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The Roundup: September 11, 2020

fact check - the authors guild

Our roundup of key news affecting authors. In this edition: Supply issues disrupt the book industry, the pros and cons of virtual book events, and more…

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bill Helping Musicians, Writers and Other Independent Contractors Avoid Job-Killing Rules
“The new, modified version” of California’s AB-5 “takes effect immediately and provides flexibility to such diverse employment fields as freelance writers, musicians, film support crews and visual artists, who now can continue working as independent contractors.”

Printer Jam: Serious Supply Issues Disrupt the Book Industry’s Fall Season
The New York Times
“Capacity issues at the two largest printing companies are among the factors creating havoc for authors and publishers.”

Fact Checking Is the Core of Nonfiction Writing. Why Do So Many Publishers Refuse to Do It?
“Emma Copley Eisenberg discusses the dangers of authors being forced to hire their own fact-checker out of pocket. If they do so at all.”

Pros and Cons of Virtual Events Weighed by Publishers, Booksellers
Publishers Weekly
“While the three publishers’ reps agreed that virtual events are effective in drawing large audiences from far beyond the bookstore’s physical location, there are flip sides to virtual events ranging from the need to make each event on an author’s tour unique to delivering a program that keeps viewers engaged.”

July Sales Jumped in Trade, Fell in Education
Publishers Weekly
“Sales of adult books rose 20.9% in the month over July 2019, and sales in the children/young adult category increased 14.5%.”

Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction for Amazon and Top Authors in Lawsuit Against ‘Pirate’ Book Site
Kiss Library and its affiliates were ordered to stop selling counterfeit ebooks as a result of the lawsuit featuring prominent Authors Guild members as plaintiffs.

Indie Bookseller Says ‘We Must Take a Stand,’ Abandons Amazon
Powell’s Books of Portland, Oregon, “decided to mark this year’s Independent Bookstore Day by announcing that we will no longer sell our books on Amazon’s marketplace.”

What I Wish They Taught Me About Copyright in Art School
Copyright: Creativity at Work
“I have a confession to make. I made it all the way through a BFA in photography without knowing what exactly copyright was or what it meant for me and my work.”

Black Chefs Are Landing More Cookbook Deals. Is That Enough?
The New York Times
“African-American food writers are seeing more interest among publishers, but the ones who have been burned by the experience warn that the industry’s problems go further than advances and paychecks.”

Bon Appétit Announces Dawn Davis, Publishing Heavyweight, as New Editor-in-Chief
“Davis is currently a vice president at Simon & Schuster, where she founded 37 Ink, an imprint dedicated to publishing marginalized voices.”

Ayad Akhtar to Lead PEN America
The New York Times
“The Pulitzer-winning playwright, whose new book, Homeland Elegies, comes out this month, succeeds the novelist Jennifer Egan at the literary organization.”