Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Book Marks: Oneworld, Scams, And Don't Sell A Book Like This

"It has to be great writing, really good storytelling, a strong voice, a strong story, and something else about it that makes you think, that stays with you, that you mull over.

... If you look at [Marlon] James and [Paul] Beatty, both of them have that edginess to them that 'this is important, this is opening a world that you ought to see and that you probably aren’t aware of', and that's what makes it special for me. I'm not saying everybody buys books like that, but to me that's what makes it great – although maybe it's what makes it risky for everybody else."

Get acquainted with Oneworld, the publisher behind two Man Booker winners.

"In these days of POD (publish-on-demand) technology, the vanity presses may promise to ship the books when they are ordered, which at least relieves the author of having to warehouse the books. But the vanities still charge large amounts of money and the author is still left with an empty bank account and shattered dreams. Or worse. Some scammers take money from hopeful authors and deliver nothing at all."

Read about some red flags of publishing scams.

In The Daily Beast, Tom Leclair argues that the US National Book Award "has gone to hell":

A fiction judge in 2005, I’ve reviewed the fiction finalists the last seven years and have managed to pick four winners, but it’s tough to make a buck as a book tout. The panel of five judges changes every year, so there are always different tastes, criteria, personalities, and loyalties in play.

... Corruption can also enter in. The year I was a judge, one colleague tried to give the award to a family friend. Another judge supported the writer with whom she shared an agent.

"Indian historical crime fiction has come of age!" someone enthuses. All fine and dandy, until near the end...

"My own humble attempt at creating an authentic Indian historical detective series hits the shelves this very month with A Very Pukka Murder, published in India by Harper Collins and in the United States by Poisoned Pen Press."

I think there should be rules against writing pieces like this.


  • "Rumours of a literary uprising in Singapore are true", writes Darryl Whetter for Singapore's Straits Times. Perhaps, but there are some things to note before diving into the city-state's literary scene.
  • "...despite the increasing realisation that digital and print can easily coexist in the market, the question of whether the ebook will 'kill' the print book continues to surface." When it comes to discussing whether print books will die, is one's aversion to change a factor?
  • "Many young people here know about the Dragon Ball, but nothing about this novel," says a designer of Eva Luedi Kong's German version of Journey to the West.
  • "Though he shared select passages with friends and failed to burn it before his death in 1798, there is no evidence to suggest that [Giacomo Girolamo Casanova] ever intended the work to be published. Indeed, more than its explicit content, it’s the work’s length and the level of quotidian detail clotting its pages that made it unpublishable."
  • "Racism in literature manifests itself in myriad ways: characters whose personalities are reduced to their accents, cultural dress or foods; brown or black characters “rescued” by white saviors; the “surprising” friendship between a white character and a character of color; or, a white character’s journey to a “foreign” or “third world” country in search of enlightenment. These narratives ... exist mainly to service and conform to the white gaze. And yet they are rarely deemed problematic in book reviews. The reason why has everything to do with who is writing those reviews."
  • "...comic cookbooks can do something for home cooks, too — make recipes less daunting and easier to follow. Cookbooks are still in demand, but many — with their overly aspirational food photography — wind up as coffee-table books for the kitchen."
  • The sun rises again! Amir Muhammad's dormant non-ficiton imprint Matahari Books appears to have been reactivated. It is releasing a new title and is calling for submissions.


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