Industry & Advocacy News
July 1, 2022
In this week’s edition: Two news outlets explore the systemic racism of the U.S. publishing industry; why more novels don’t discuss climate change; the end of an era at Graywolf Press; Macmillian Publishers shut down for three days due to a security breach; financial trouble at Substack; and more.
Inside the Push to Diversify the Book BusinessThe New York TimesLisa Lucas, the first Black publisher in Pantheon’s 80-year history, is part of a new generation of publishing executives trying to open up the industry..
Publishers Discriminate Against Women and Black Authors—but Readers Don’tQuartzA new study conducted by the nonprofit organization PLOS found that readers are just as likely to select books by diverse authors when presented side-by-side with those written by white males. In fact, they may even be willing to pay slightly more for books by Black writers.
In Talking—and Writing—About the Climate Crisis, We Need to Make Space for Our FlawsLit HubThis essay discusses why characters in novels avoid discussing climate change and asks what obligation writers have to address the subject in their work.
Shutdown Leaves Macmillan Unable to Handle Book OrdersPublishers WeeklyAn online security breach necessitated that Macmillan shut down its physical and virtual offices for three days. During that time, the publisher was unable to “process, receive, place, or ship orders,” causing headaches for employees and booksellers, authors and book buyers alike.
Substack Is Laying Off 14% of its StaffThe New York TimesSubstack, which enables authors and other thought leaders to monetize their content in subscriber-only newsletters, announced it is laying off 13 of its 90 employees as it struggles to find more investment dollars.
Fiona McCrae Retires from Graywolf PressPublishers WeeklyAfter nearly 30 years, in which she turned Graywolf Press from a struggling small poetry press into the nation’s finest, most respected independent publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry, Fiona McCrae is retiring. Under her leadership, Graywolf introduced U.S. readers to some of the world’s most revered and award-winning writers including Charles Baxter, Jane Kenyon, Eula Biss, Percival Everett, Sven Birkerts, Maile Chapman, Mark Doten, Per Petterson, Nuruddin Farah and Tracy K. Smith.
Over 360 Newspapers Have Closed Since Just Before the Start of the PandemicThe New York TimesRoughly two newspapers a week have folded in the last two years, but some in the industry are relieved it isn’t worse. A new study by the McGill School of Journalism found that the number of papers that have closed their doors since the pandemic began is approximately the same as before the pandemic, meaning that the closure rate hasn’t accelerated.