This is a seriously linktastic This Week in Publishing, so let’s get right to it.
Let’s see… hmm… where to begin….. Wait, I know! Franz Kafka’s taste in porn! Oh, and you thought I was joking. Via Publishers Lunch, a controversy is brewing because a British scholar Went There and detailed Kafka’s penchant for prOn. Now some German scholars are in an uproar and saying “Oh no you di-in’t” in German. Clearly this is the most exciting thing to happen in the world of Kafka scholarship since… uh… ever.
Speaking of, Random House UK has begun inserting morality clauses in their children’s book contracts. Basically, if you accept this language and “act or behave in a way which damages your reputation as a person suitable to work with or be associated with children” they can either terminate or renegotiate the agreement. Boy, it sure is a good thing children’s authors of the past have always lived up to morality standards. That might have gotten awkward.
In the world of blogs, the good people at Book Roast are partnering this month with Reach Out and Read, a charity that gives books to kids as part of pediatric care. Definitely go over to Book Roast and check that out. And for you blog contest fans, Chuck Sambuchino at Guide to Literary Agents is hosting a Worst Storyline Ever contest, so if you can top my idea of a coming of age novel about a man, a pig and Heidi Montag as they find redemption by writing a scholarly article on Franz Kafka’s porn collection…. well, good luck to you.
Also via Publishers Lunch, slashing Book Review sections isn’t just for Americans anymore! Yes, the Canadians decided that the literary apocalypse looked like so much fun they didn’t dare miss out on the action. The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star have both reduced their book pages, proving that a quirky accent and Celine Dion are no defense (or should I say “defence”) against the decline of newspaper book coverage.
The indispensable Jessica Faust at BookEnds has put together an indispensable Publishing Dictionary, so if you’re ever wondering about what terms like sell-through and AAR mean…. that’s your source. Also in literary advice news, Adrienne Kress continued her awesome breakdown of the road to publication, this time detailing the path from agent to publisher.
Remember how we were wondering if the slumping economy was going to drag down book sales? Well, via Shelf Awareness, even as they cut their sales forecast, Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio reports that “Even in this soft retail environment across America, the book business is stubbornly holding up.” So there you have it.
And finally, if you’re drawn to bookish librarian types, Penguin UK just might be launching the dating service for you, in conjunction with Match.com. A book publisher getting into an online dating service business? Why no, this doesn’t make me worried about the state of the book business at all. Not. At. All.
Have a great weekend!