Issues. And stuff.

Coming Soon to a Blogosphere Near You: The American Library Association’s annual celebration of the joy of reading kicks off this weekend. Banned (& Challenged) Books Week is back! First Amendment rights in hand, go forth joyfully to your library, and read offensively, indiscriminately, unsuitably, and in salute to your intellectual freedom, read voraciously.

In Publishing News: Via SB Sarah, I read that several authors are reporting wrist slaps from their editors for not having a B&N purchase button on their websites. Yes: authors are being REQUIRED to have a point of sale button for B&N — OR ELSE their book will not be stocked by this retailer.

Oh, wow. I have been warned, by no less than three people, that if I don’t get that specific number of sales that proves me a “viable” author, that my work will never get any shelf space at B&N. Your first book doesn’t sell enough? You can kiss the rest of your titles, at least with that publishing house, goodbye; you’ll never get carried. I expect that such a huge bookstore would have that kind of hold on the market, but the bullying tone is somewhat surprising. While I know that all bookstores are hurting just now, what with Google buying those massive print-on-demand Espresso Book Machines which can produce a bound one-off 300-page paperback, with a full-color cover, in about five minutes, it does seem that this is unnecessarily threatening, and a bit harsh. (Meanwhile, I read those books are about $85 – $97K a pop — but they have the potential to change the face of publishing for sure. Will there simply be more schlock? Or more opportunities? Or both?)

Glasgow Uni D 455

Meanwhile, Colleen and the W.A.G.W. author team‘s post about wealth and poverty in the YA novel has sparked off a few other like-minded individuals.

Mitali writes about how the “greed gene” has struck YA, and how difficult it is to be a young adult without all of the accouterments that seem to go along with it. I know I’ve felt sympathy for my siblings, who long for an Xbox – which they’re not going to get – for a Wii – which they might get, during halftime at a hockey game in Hades — and for all of the iPhones and nifty gadgetry that is new this week and out of fashion the next. My parents are just thoroughly indifferent to what a teen thinks they need, and I know that the only reason my bro has an iPod is because he a.) got a job, and b.) bought one himself. It’s tough, when consumerism leers at you even from the pages of your favorite stories. This is why I’m so against name dropping/brand bumping. Honestly: if they’re not paying me, I’m not mentioning them. And I don’t want their money. I don’t want to be owned, and neither do I want to put that additional burden on kids who don’t have and can’t have, and feel like they never will. Their peers are pressure enough. As Mitali says, if you’re not actively resisting this, you may be inadvertently campaigning for various brands. Writers: just. say. no.

Did you know that Amy Bowllan’s School Library Journal blog W.A.R. series is continuing?? Writers Against Racism is rolling on, this week with Brent Hartinger, Carla Pacis, and Vanessa Irvin Morris. Each of us who participated in the initial series has been asked to invite one more person to participate. I’m trying to track down an illustrator I met at the 7-Imps with whom I exchanged emails a long time ago — (Jules might have to help me, there), but I hope to soon do my part. Keep reading, and let’s keep talking about racism in writing, expectations from publishers and what young readers would really like to read.

Lynedoch Crescent T 55

Finally, I’m ridiculously excited to note that my copy of Operation YES finally showed! Glasgow is having a major (possibly UK-wide) postal strike, which means that there are scheduled walkouts, and mail is really only delivered every other day or every two days. This means that packages sent to me can take FOR. EV. ER to get here. But finally! I am really pleased; look for a completely-unbiased-despite-the-fact-that-I-really-love-the-author review of this title on Wonderland sometime next week.

I know exactly how lucky I am. I love my job. I couldn’t leave my single post for the week as a self-pitying whine, but thank you for indulging me anyway. I’ve talked to Secret Agent Man, (S.A.M.) and I feel like we’ve got a good direction in mind for what to do next. It’s actually good to be pushed out of working with the familiar and the safe and to break new ground. Here’s hoping all new inquiries will bear fruit! Meanwhile, I’ll be back to more work and less whining.

(And isn’t that always much more fun?)

The window washer that I saw yesterday during a rainstorm washing windows without a net or a rope by STANDING ON A WINDOWSILL TEN FEET ABOVE HARD GROUND reinforced the idea that yes, I am blessed to sit at a keyboard and talk to my imaginary friends all day. In spite of rejections, I’m not outside freezing and risking my neck. Life is good.

3 Replies to “Issues. And stuff.”

  1. Every time I look at the updated banned and challenged book announcements and lists, they're filled with books I enjoyed. I do not understand the things that upset other people.

  2. A small package from England sent first class in July arrived with me in T.O. only today because of the on and off postal strikes. It's a headache.

    And reading that news about B&N gave me an even bigger headache. We all want to support bookstores but that's crossing a line!

  3. First: EEP! I can't even look too long at the picture of the window washer, let alone watch him in person. Get down already!!

    Second: I didn't know about the postal rebellion. So glad Operation Yes snuck through.

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