Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Poetry, Prose, and Politics: Trendsetter at AWP 2017

No matter where it was held, the fiftieth annual AWP Conference & Bookfair was bound to be memorable: all golden anniversaries are. However, this year’s festivities happened to take place in Washington, DC, a mere three weeks after Inauguration Day. Conference dates and locations are chosen years in advance, but it felt right to be there – and truly, politics and protest were at the heart of the event. The conference was held at both the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Marriott Marquis, only about a mile from the White House, so it probably comes as no surprise that this year’s conference was highly charged. The three-day affair featured quite a few marches, vigils, and handmade pink hats. Sound somber? Not at all: the overall mood was one of joyful defiance.
 
AWP, or the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, is a nonprofit literary and academic organization founded in 1967. During most of the year, its member programs provide education and support to aspiring writers around the continent. The Conference & Bookfair, however, is the largest literary conference in North America, with attendance over 12,000 in the last few years. Anyone can sign up as a member and register for the conference, provided you’ve got the necessary cash. As a result, the people who come each year represent a wide range of careers, preferred genres, and academic affiliations. Quite a few of my friends attended as participants in panels or as staff for a book fair booth, but I went as a solo observer. Though I now work in publishing, I earned two degrees in writing, and the opportunity to check out the conference from both of my professional perspectives seemed irresistible.
 
Each year, AWP follows the same general format. The conference is broadly split up into a few different categories of events: the book fair, which runs each day from nine to five; panels, readings, caucuses, pedagogy sessions, and receptions, which take place on the conference grounds; and offsite events, which are hosted by individual groups and programs, though AWP advertises them. Because the call for panel proposals concluded on May 1 of last year, some of these discussions had to be revamped to include more recent events. (Usually this is more of a problem for panels that focus on technology, which changes quickly and often.) So, although the topical panels did not directly address the election, the new administration loomed large regardless. This year’s keynote speaker, author and immigrant Azar Nafisi, spoke passionately about the arts and resistance. “There has never been a more important time for writers to assemble,” she told the audience of 1,500. Quoting James Baldwin, she added, “Artists are here to disturb the peace.” Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 2/6-2/10

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

The German Book Office New York announced several changes this week including a new name. 

The American Library Association is in an uproar over FCC changes to internet policy.

Composer Stephen Sondheim will be honored with a PEN literary award.

Audio Editions has been purchased by Blackstone Audio

National Book Foundation launched new prize for those who inspire readers. 

The Beginner’s Guide to Comics Publishers

The Big 5 publishing houses are probably familiar to a newcomer to the industry, but they don’t publish everything: for comics and graphic novels, there’s a whole other set of heavyweights. Whether or not you’re a genre fan, it’s important to get to know these players.

This edition of the Beginner’s Guide to Publishers Beyond the Big 5 is a list of the top earners in the comics market, plus a few other houses might be less familiar to you. Marvel and DC are very recognizable names, with a combined 70% share of the market last year. The other publishers we’ve listed account for most of the other 30% and represent a wide variety of subjects, styles, and philosophies.

We hope you find our key facts helpful and utilize the website and Twitter accounts listed to learn more about the companies you find interesting.

(You can also see our previous guides to children’s publishers here, and adult fiction publishers here.)

guide to comics publishers.1-page-001

Click here to download a PDF of the full guide to comics publishers.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 1/30-2/3

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

The literary community responded to the Muslim travel ban in many ways this week. 

Comma Press announced its plans to only publish works written by authors who live in countries affected to the Muslim travel ban. 

New York City is rolling out a new reading program called One Book, One New York

Audible launched a podcast in conjunction with TED

Barnes & Noble issued a recall for the charger for their most recent Nook tablet. 

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 1/23-1/27

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Roxane Gay pulled her forthcoming book in protest of Milo Yiannopoulos‘s deal with Simon & Schuster.

The New York Times will no longer give comics their own bestseller list, and explained why.

Sales of 1984 are up after Kellyanne Conway used the phrase “alternative facts” on television.

Amazon expanded into the ocean freight business.

Barnes & Noble aims to court the toy market with three months of events for the LEGO Batman movie.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 1/16-1/20

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Pearson is going to sell off their 47% stake in Penguin. 

Several major publishers and author estates filed a suit against a Swedish author writing “sequels” to popular classic novels.

Some authors have filed a class action lawsuit against All Romance eBooks over unpaid royalties. 

Several simultaneous Writers Resist protests occurred on January 15th in support of free speech

Barnes & Noble has halted sales of their new tablet due to a faulty charger. 

 

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 1/9-1/13

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

 Amid plagiarism concerns, HarperCollins will stop selling a book by Trump aide Monica Crowley.

Barnes & Noble CEO Len Riggio doubled down on his commitment to physical stores.

Marvel will offer free digital back issues with purchase of mainline superhero releases.

Maria Pallante has been named the new head of the Association of American Publishers.

Slate explores the mechanics of the Milo Yiannopoulos book deal.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 1/2-1/6

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Scribd no longer offers digital comics in their subscription model. 

Amazon will open two more physical bookstores in Manhattan and Boston.

Platform for digital publishing, Medium, laid off a third of their staff this week

HarperCollins is now full owner of HarperCollins Brasil

Librarians are creating fake patrons to save books from being booted from their system. 

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 12/26-12/30

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

All Romance eBooks and OmniLit are shutting down on December 31.

Milo Yiannopoulos, notorious for his ties to the alt-right, struck a $250k book deal with Simon & Schuster, causing some backlash online.

The publishing climate in Hong Kong is characterized by fear.

Black comics creators are turning to Kickstarter to finance diverse projects.

Two losses for literature this week: actress and writer Carrie Fisher, and Watership Down author Richard Adams.

 

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 12/19-12/23

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Industry email newsletter GalleyCat has shut down

The founder of the infamous pro-Hillary Clinton Facebook group, “Pantsuit Nation,” got a book deal to much controversy

The company that develops E Ink devices, E Ink,  has opened an online store for developers.

Google is being sued over some internal policies, including needing to approve novels written about the tech industry by their employees. 

Barnes & Noble Education will open a very large store in Newark, New Jersey for the Rutgers-Newark campus.