Alisa Krasnostein is World Fantasy Award winning editor and publisher at Twelfth Planet Press and part of the Galactic Suburbia Podcast Team. She was Executive Editor of the review website Aussie Specfic in Focus!.
Currently working on a PhD in Publishing, in her spare time she is a critic, reader, reviewer, runner, environmentalist, knitter, quilter and puppy lover. She is a fulltime Mum.
By the end of the week I end up with far too many tabs open with articles I’ve half read and want to come back to later. Every now and then, I send myself an email with all the links to clean up my browser. I’m going to start posting them here instead.
Diversity quotas are meritocracy in action -“For centuries, there was a quota for the representation of men in politics. It was 100 per cent.” … “the fact is that if you truly believe in meritocracy, you must also believe in diversity – any other position is prejudice of the most insidious sort.”
Weirdfictionreview.com is a website devoted to The Weird and created by Luis Rodrigues. The project is the brainchild of editing-writing team Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. With regular and weird updates throughout the week, it’s well worth adding to your RSS feed.
CAL’s Creative Industries Fund – Applicants can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to undertake training, travel or other activities that will enhance their careers. The application deadline for the next round of funding is 5.00 pm Friday 20 January 2012. Why not apply for travel to Adelaide Writers Festival or Continuum for Natcon?
Most people are just keen to tell their story, a lot want a book in print for themselves, either as an e-book or a book. If it’s published, it could get greater distribution. This is not vanity publishing. This is publishing that is author pushed, not publisher pulled.
D Publishing will be an opportunity for all budding Australian authors to see their works in published form and available for purchase online, while a selection of titles may also be available in Dymocks stores across Australia
a new program that will allow publishers in any country to print and distribute titles in countries where Ingram has its own operations as well as in countries of one of its partners.
Advertising in Ebooks – Heresy or Genius? As a publisher, I can see the financial side of it but … if advertisers can truly see how much attention and time we interact with their ads, won’t they know how much we actually ignore them? Could *that* be the end to ads?
Strange Horizons have begun their month Funds Drive to raise money to run the online magazine. Donors enter the prize draw which includes a full subscription to The Twelve Planets from Twelfth Planet Press.
A cursory web-search will tell you that Pat Cadigan is the Queen of Cyberpunk, but who wants to be queen of a moribund genre? BBC TV’s Future Fantastic designated her, more promisingly, “the queen of modern science fiction;” Wired, though, may have come closest to the truth with the plaudit “sci-fi maverick.”
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is holding a cocktail event at the Wheeler Centre (Melbourne) on September 9th 2011 from 6.00pm – 8.30pm to raise funds through the sale of original and limited edition artwork. Monies raised from the sale of the indigenous artwork will be used to purchase literacy resources for the communities from where it has come.
Oh my goodness yes. And frankly, there is nothing more irritating than someone who can’t follow the guidelines or thinks that they are a precious little snowflake. Tip for nothing – the best way to be viewed, appreciated and invited along next time as a professional is to BE a professional. As an editor, *I* know what I am looking for and I conveyed that in my submission guidelines. And every body else played by the rules. And now, 5 years along in this gig, when someone walzes up to me and announces right off the bat that they either a) can’t read guidelines or b) don’t want to play by the rules, I actually thank them for saving me the time of discovering for myself that they are a pain in the arse to edit –> quick rejection.
FED UP with women being overlooked for literary prizes, sisters are doing it for themselves and establishing Australia’s answer to Britain’s Orange Prize for fiction, which is open to women only.
”Women are much less likely to win literary awards, to write reviews of books, or have their books reviewed. This, despite the fact they write about half the books published,” Cunningham said.
She pointed out that in 2009 and 2011 the Miles Franklin Award had all-male shortlists and that since the Miles Franklin began in 1957, a woman has won 13 times. In the past 10 years, women have won the Franklin twice.
The late Miles Franklin was born Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, but she knew better than to stick with her given name (as did her contemporary Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson, who chose the pseudonym Henry Handel Richardson).
Big fish start small, and that goes for writers, and publishers too. And as a reader, I know my reading life would be all the poorer without our wonderful indie publishers
If you live in Melbs, please go to this because I can’t make it -
On Sunday, September 25th, WoL host and co-curator MICHAELA McGUIRE will bring together for the first time ever on stage: star of hit channel 7 series Winners and Losers VIRGINIA GAY, comedienne and actress CELIA PACQUOLA, journalist and political dynamite MAXINE MCKEW, opinion writer, essayist, and co-author of The Great Feminist Denial MONICA DUX, award-winning playwright LALLY KATZ, and doyenne of Australian journalism and knockout businesswoman ITA BUTTROSE. These fine females will each be penning ‘A Letter To The Life I Could Have Lived.’
Strength in and of itself is not strategic, and it’s not necessarily powerful, and I wonder if we tend to forget that.
A strategic woman, a powerful woman, is a brilliantly disruptive woman.
I admire women who are dangerous.
The conversation is framed in a way that underscores and reinforces the idea that men are men and women are….not.
It also denies the fact that women have always been strong, birthed babies and held dying children and endured oppression and fought for the rights of others (and sometimes even themselves) and waited for husbands and sons to come back from wars and managed households and worked in factories and lived in the streets and nursed the sick and dying and worked the fields and kept families together and survived domestic violence and sexual violence and started businesses and reinvented themselves and carried water for miles and so on and so on: they saw work that needed to be done and they did it, and they continue to do it.
But that kind of female strength isn’t glamorous or even all that visible or acknowledged. These are not the tasks that win prizes or promotions or partnerships.
and for Tansy (after our conversation on Sunday morning)
A powerful man falls into the category of powerful men.
A powerful woman creates (still!) her own category.
She is by her very nature a challenger and a rebel.
She has to defy the ingrained gender norms which encourage a woman to be good…but not great.
To be bright…but not brilliant.
To be creative…but not disruptive or innovative.
To play the game…but not to change it.
To play by the rules…instead of shifting the battlefield, to where she can make new rules.
Time travel and warp drives may, alas, be out of the picture in a new partnership between Nasa and Tor/Forge Books, which will see the science fiction publisher’s authors teaming up with the space agency to release a range of “scientifically accurate and entertaining” novels.
Someone linked to this on Twitter (Nicole?) – I love it! (I love Ira Glass firstly but) Ira Glass talks about The Gap – the distance between where you currently are and where your tastes says is “good”. All you can do, is keep on producing work to close The Gap.
Ann Vandermeer announced the sale of Weird Tales which involves a complete change in editing staff. I’m sure I’ll say this on Galactic Suburbia but … it’s with great sadness to me that we lose Ann Vandermeer as Editor in Chief of this magazine and also, the end of only the second female editor’s editorship of this long running magazine as well as the first time ever all female editor staffing of it. Feels like the end of a Golden Age or something.
Adding women to your group makes your group smarter – says so here.
An MIT study that seems to have found that while “there’s little correlation between a group’s collective intelligence and the IQs of its individual members… if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises.”
Australian Research Council chief executive Margaret Sheil tells schoolgirls when establishing and maintaining a career in science:
“You need three things: a good boss, a good husband and a good mother,”
(You probably need these three things (or similar) even when not establishing and maintaining a career in science.)
Great piece by Tobias Buckell on goals versus milestones. (Tansy is always at me about this one). You can only work towards the things you can control, basically. So for me, this is always in terms of sales – because the more books I sell, the more seed money I recoup, and then I have money to buy/pay for the next project (and can still play the game). I can’t control sales – I can only track them, and set milestones I’d like to read. Bu I *can* control things like sending out review copies, judges copies for awards, quality and standard of the product and so on. And so I make sure every single day I take an action that I *can* control that leads towards buzz, reviews and then hopefully sales.
More on the changes to the Hugo category for the Semiprozine – the 2011 Report of the SemiProzine Committee. It includes an overview of the Zine continuum and the issues that have arisen with the categories as they stood up til 2011. Also included are the Minority Reports which were also debated at the meeting on Saturday.
And the 2011 Hugos Awards go to … THESE PEOPLE Galactic Suburbia will of course deconstruct and dissect in enormous detail for those who weren’t at our Twitterati parti. And you can download all the voting and nomination stats here
The Horror Writers Association will award the Bram Stoker’s Vampire Novel of the Century in 2012. The award is in memory of 100 years since the death of Bram Stoker and will be given in conjunction with his estate. The jury will be chaired by Leslie S. Klinger, one of the world’s foremost authorities on DRACULA and include Jo Fletcher, Ron Breznay, James Dorr and Linda Addison. The six nominees will be announced late in January.
The WSFS Business Meeting has deliberated on the creation of a new Hugo category for audio and visual to be separated from the paper Fanzine and to also look at the contentious SemiProzine eligibilities. The wording of the outcomes is here. A new Fancast category has been created and some changes have been made to the SemiProzine.
I struggled for the point in this Forbes article but did find the fact that at one point, Stephenie Meyer’s sales accounted for 15% of all books sold in the US. Which, if nothing else, is deeply interesting in terms of gender and age bias. A book aimed at female teens can have that much pull? Imagine what sales could be made if the gatekeepers and book buyers took that into consideration more often.
Angry Robot have announced their latest project – WorldBuilder. More playing around with what’s possible under Creative Commons Licences and embracing fan interaction.
Geena Davis is cool. I’ve always thought so. I LOVE A League of Their Own. And I loved Commander in Chief. She is an awesome role model and at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media she again is a role model both for taking up this issue but more importantly, doing something important about it. When I grow up, I kinda wanna be Geena Davis.
This week Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012. The effective of this is a change in ebook format with the phasing out of .lit file format and a push towards .pub.
I glean links from all over the place to read – from Twitter, mailing lists I’m on, all kinds of other blogs (probably mostly The Bibliophile Stalker aka Charles Tan). A lot of writers write a lot of guide posts about writing, for and to writers. There’s a lot less out there for publishers. I’ve found it a really interesting journey looking for guidance and advice as a publisher. I’ve got a new sekret project which was intended to be launched before Worldcon but didn’t quite make it. But I think a regular round up of publishing links and news might fit in well with that.
Cory Doctorow writes about the changing role of publishers – he has a really interesting take on the breakdown of the traditional process of publishing and looks at how works can be distributed first and then published (where I take him to mean read by audience).
Readings. What are they good for? The Observer - No One Cares About Your Readings. I loathe readings. I hate being read to. I hate not having the control to pace my own ingestion of the words and story. Also, my mind wanders and as soon as that happens when someone is reading to me, I have no way of catching up on what the hell they are telling me. Fave quotes from his article:
While these turgid, awkward, too-often sexless events are an evil necessity, not enough people enjoy them to justify their existence.
But most importantly:
For most publishing houses, though, selling books at a reading is nothing but a pipe dream.
Is POD the future of publishing? Matthew Stadler of the Publication Studio says yes in Print-On-Demand The future of Publishing Part 1. Not sure how I feel about this piece. I struggle to continue listening to anyone who likes to take a dig at the traditional big publishers as they talk about how they are deviating. I don’t think it’s an all or nothing game and there are a lot of big publishers who have been successful at what they do. Comments like:
Well, real readers matter to me, more so than do sales numbers.
I find it hard to believe that any writer (or publisher who wants to stay in business for that matter) would prefer to sell just a handful of copies of their work to a few really enthusiastic readers over hundreds or thousands. Sales numbers equate to payment and at the end of the day, isn’t the salary of a writer one of the objectives of writing as a career? And as a reader who has bought books from all kinds of publishers, big and small and self publishing, I actually resent comments like this:
The bigger houses were good at selling books, but didn’t do much to hook me up with real readers.
Am I not a real reader? Who are all these people buying books and what, not reading them?
Still the article is an interesting one. There is something both economically viable and environmentally friendly about only making books after they are already bought.
And they said that science fiction and fantasy wasn’t as serious as literary fiction! Tanith Lee’s short story “Snow-drop” published in Snow White, Blood Red edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling is at the centre of a political, gender and moral debate at the University of Cairo.
Salon asks Bob Stein (The Institute for the Future of the Book) Is there hope for Books? In short, he answers yes and no. Just as I thought.
The True Price of Publishing – so why are ebooks not free? This article does go some way to explaining why publishers can’t sell ebooks at the 99cent price point. The bit that gets lost in discussions like this is the element of publishing that I liked to gambling – that you throw a lot of darts and hope one or two hit the board and if they do, then you’re gonna be ok. In other words, that you gamble a lot on the projects you buy and you hope that one or two hit the big sell to cover the costs of the ones that are less successful or are more niche or are debut novels or experimental. I worry that in the push to remove that kind of model, which I believe is happening more and more, it will mean that the bigger publishers that remain will be less willing to take a gamble and to pick up newer or emerging writers. On the other hand, as a smaller player, this element does intrigue me in so far as – what does that then make possible for my publishing house?