Live, Love, Read by Lilly Kiel

The sense of community in publishing is questioned. Depending on the publisher and the writer, many people can lack the communal aspect of publishing. But some experience it throughout their whole publishing journey. One of the readings we did about diversity in Literary Publishing in the Twenty First Century gives an example of publishing and diversity intertwining.Writer Daniel Jose Older submitted his novel’s manuscript to a publisher. The editor reviewing it crossed out a section of the manuscript and said “this doesn’t happen today”. The part that was crossed out was when a Latina walks down the street and is given nasty looks because of her race. Apparently, that doesn’t happen today. But I think we all know it absolutely does. When I think about it, I don’t think that was a good start to forming a bond, or a sense of acceptance between publisher and author. But, on the other hand, in the same text when we read about Publication Studio, they published a woman’s work and formed a great bond with her. They had a release party with a band, friends, and drinks. Ultimately, these two examples show that there are two ways of going about publishing. Whichever mindset the publisher or author has when going through with the publication of a piece, that’s how the process will take its course. I feel that smaller publishing houses have a better way of making connections and forming a community over a bigger publishing house. It depends on the mindset of the author, whether to go to a big publishing house or a small publishing house, and whether the publishers take the friendly approach or not. Publishing and working together on a piece should be a bonding experience. It disappoints me that people, such as Older, have negative involvements with publishers. I wish for all aspiring authors to celebrate their books being published with the people who accepted them. I sometimes wonder whether there even is a community in publishing. I believe that there’s community between writers but the writer vs publisher act is a 50/50 chance of being a success or a flop. I dream of having my future book to be published and my publisher and I celebrate. But today, that seems like a rarity. The attitude of both parties are what forms the communal aspect of publishing. Hopefully, as years go on, we see more publishing houses who are willing to care about an author’s work as much as the author cares.community

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3 thoughts on “Live, Love, Read by Lilly Kiel

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  1. I love how you talk about this issue. Maybe you could bring up ideas on different solutions to helping big publishers form a closer bond with the authors? Gerald Howard’s essay in “Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century” mentions his solution on how to help big publishers become more focused with the actual writers and how to actually become more involved with the writers themselves.

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  2. I really like what you discussed here and how it’s all about the mindset of the person behind the desk. If I were to suggest a change it would be to break up the section above into slightly smaller paragraphs. It will ease the dense block of writing.

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  3. I’m interested in the differences you note between working with large vs. small presses, and I agree that small presses can foster close relationships between publishers and authors. The essays by Older and Stadler certainly show different experiences (it would be helpful to include the names of each of their essays in your post), but I’m not sure the difference in this case is based on the size of the press — correlation doesn’t always equal causation. That is, the kind of implicit bias Older encountered can live anywhere. And, since larger presses have considerable influence in the culture at large, it’s important that books by women and non-white writers aren’t denied this forum.

    It could be interesting, though, to examine in more depth how small presses provide a forum for minority writers (Stadler’s article doesn’t address this, but you might find others that do). I also second Gabrielle’s note on breaking the text up a little.

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