Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Travis Kurowski, Wayne Miller, and Kevin Prufer. Milkweed (PGW, dist.), $20 trade paper (318p) ISBN 978-1-57131-354-6
An impressive roster of contributors makes this anthology on the future of publishing a must-read for anyone in the industry. Familiar issues—the dominance of Amazon, the lack of diversity, the role of university presses—are explored in essays that are accessible to lay readers, while offering valuable new insights for insiders. There is no shortage of pessimism—for example, Sven Birkerts's essay concludes that in "the future, literature will likely not command enough marketplace attention to make it commercially viable," and may, instead, become just "an artisanal product that functions either as a vital inner resource or else as a status marker for its reduced population of consumers." But that's not the only lens through which the coming decades can be viewed. Matthew Stadler of Publication Studio explains how his print-on-demand press enables people to be "readers rather than always shoppers." And Jane Friedman, a University of Virginia academic and former Writer's Digest publisher, makes a convincing case for the continued value added by publishers who serve as beacons, "offer a strong signal amidst all the noise, and organize ideas, content, and stories within an identifiable and useful context." (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
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Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-57131-922-7
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