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This blog was featured on 09/30/2019
This Month's Publishing News: September 2019
Written by
She Writes
September 2019
Written by
She Writes
September 2019

Just when you think you know what the publishing world will do next, a new breaking story reminds you of the fact that the industry is always evolving. To keep up with the times, we did some research on the most important publishing news of September 2019. 

Oprah's Book Club Reimagined

There's no doubt that Oprah's Book Club is one many authors have dreamed of being a part of for years. With 81 picks since beginning her book club in 1996, the mogul has partnered with Apple to relaunch her book club this fall. Her first pick of the relaunch is debut novel The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Learn more about this pick over at Publishers Weekly.

Amazon Breaks Embargo

Margaret Atwood's release of The Testaments was one of the biggest releases of the year and thanks to Amazon this September, they began sending out pre-ordered copies before they were allowed to. Claiming a "technical error," the online retailer broke their embargo by releasing the copies before the sell date. Read the full story on BBC News now.

DOJ Sues Edward Snowden Over New Memoir 

Former NSA contractor, whistleblower and memoirist Edward Snowden is being sued by the Department of Justice for his nonfiction publication with Macmillan. The DOJ is claiming that the book contains information that should not have been shared according to the nondisclosure agreements he signed while working for the government. The government agency is asking that they surrender any and all profits that Snowden, his agents or others close to him may have made off the book. Get the full scoop on Publishers Weekly.

Gender Bias Improving in Australia 

In previous years, records showed that there was major gender bias when it came to book reviews. However, things are turning around for female writers as numbers from 2018 show that of all the book reviews published in that year, 49% were for books written by women. This research was shared on behalf of Stella Count, a service that "surveys women's representation in major literary publications and book reviews." Read more on the intriguing topic here.

The Battle for Banned Books in Prisons

Non-profit organization PEN America recently spoke up about the fact that there have been recent reports about book bans in prisons nationwide. On behalf of Banned Book Week (Sept. 22 - 28), the organization published a report condemning the fact that many institutions across the country continue to ban books in their prisons. Many of the books being banned cover topics of race and civil right and PEN America disagrees with this kind of censorship and the lack of oversight when it comes to what gets censored. Read more from Publishers Weekly on the topic.

Lack of Diversity in Children's Books

When it comes to diversity in publishing, the conversation seems to be neverending. To add to this dilemma, new research has shown that in the UK only 4% of children's books in 2018 featured ethnically diverse hero. With all the characters being described as a peach color, it makes it difficult for BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) readers to find themselves in the pages of their favorite books. Read more on this pressing topic.

HarperCollins Teams Up with Ingram

Since Baker & Taylor has left the book wholesale business, HarperCollins has found it increasingly more difficult to supply independent bookstores to 10 western states in the United States. Because of this, HarperCollins is now working with Ingram to ensure that these stores get the books they need on time. This is so important to HarperCollins that their vice president of sales went on the record to say, "Quick replenishment is a key ingredient in successful bookselling today, and we are happy to be working with Ingram to offer this program to stores in the western states." Read more about this new partnership.

Amazon Acquires Guillermo del Toro's Short Story Collection

Guillermo del Toro, the filmmaker behind hits like Pan's Labyrinth and The Shape of Water has just finished a short story collection that will be published by AMZN (an imprint of Amazon Publishing) in 2021. This new book will feature dark and fantastical short stories from the creator. On the topic, the filmmaker - and now writer - had this to say: "Throughout the years, I’ve been inspired by reading short stories, from ghost stories to fairy tales. Now I have the privilege to create and share my own." Read more on the acquisition. 

Librarians vs. Publishers

Librarians are upset with publishers this month as November looms close in the distance. In July of 2019, Macmillan announced that starting in November, they would only allow libraries to buy one copy of new books in their first eight weeks of availability - no matter the size or location of the library. Taking this matter into their own hands, the American Library Association has put out "an online petition with a populist call against such restrictive practices." Macmillan is trying to enforce these practices claiming that people are much more inclined to read a free loaner than pay for the ebook. Get all the details on this pressing issue.

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