I’m taking a break from the publishing Q&A this morning to clue you
in on a lively conversation that is taking place on the BookBaby blog.
Our friend and contributor Scott McCormick recently wrote a post entitled
“Publishers are hiring sensitivity readers. Should you?”.
His post explored how the desire for more diversity in publishing may not
conform to the oft-stated opinion that writers should “write what you
know.” In seeking to make their books more authentic, authors and
publishers sometimes look to sensitivity readers to help shape their
Scott sums up the article by saying, “All you authors looking to
self-publish: the choice is yours. You can choose to hire a sensitivity
reader or not. Should you hire one, you can even choose to disregard his
or her advice. But if you’re seeking a more traditional publishing
experience, be aware that your book may go through this extra step along
the way. What are your thoughts on all of this?”
It didn’t take long for the debate to begin!
From S. Willow: “And this is why I stopped writing for the overly
sensitive, hyper-reactionary, immature millennial market. No, I do NOT
think we should be running our work past ‘sensitivity’ readers. Books
will end up like movies, boring, safe and all the same because no one
will dare write anything that might offend someone somewhere.”
J. Redmond says: “As an editor, I do point out things that readers might
find objectionable when doing content edits. That doesn’t mean authors
always take my advice, but a few times my clients had been pleased to
have something highlighted as insensitive, and have thanked me.”
M. Carvin adds: “I want a sensitivity reader for my early California
novel. Not so much afraid of “offending,” as afraid I am missing details
that would enrich it and don’t want to put something in that a
knowledgeable reader would consider unlikely.”
DJ McCoy chimed in: “Maybe when the whole world holds hands and sings
girl scout songs around the campfire, we writers will be able to write
about that. Until then it’s a tough world. If you can’t face reality
maybe shouldn’t get on the bus Buttercup!”
And speaking of conversations, here’s one for the ages: Ninety-two years ago,
J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis—perhaps the two most famous fantasy
writers of the 20th century—met for the first time at a meeting at Oxford
University. You can learn all about their long friendship right here.
writing a romance novel, don’t look for ideas in other romance novels.
Look to thrillers, chaos theory, or the building of the Flavian
amphitheater. If you’re struggling for inspiration, try looking in the
unlikeliest places. Read
You have until June 30 to enter your self-published book into this year’s
sponsored by Winning Writers and co-sponsored by BookBaby and Carolyn
Howard-Johnson (author of The
Frugal Book Promoter).
Choose from five categories: Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction,
Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry (new), and Children’s Picture
Book (new). The top winner in each category will win $1,000, one grand
prize winner will win $3,000, and all will receive additional benefits to
help market their books. Any year of publication is eligible. Entry fee:
$60 per book.
Submit online via Submittable or by mail. Please see our guidelines, past
winners, and judges’ remarks at winningwriters.com/north.
Mail your entry and $60 fee to Winning Writers, Attn: Book Prize, 351
Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060-3961, USA. Include your
name, email address, mailing address, and phone number. Your payment
should be US funds drawn on a US bank, or US currency.
Outlined insights to reach
Award-winning author Rochelle Carter defines
authorpreneurship as, “Coming up with an idea centered on book publishing
and turning it into a profitable business.” It’s a process any author can
benefit from—and now you can learn it all for free in her latest book.
The 7-Step Guide
to Authorpreneurship explains how to:
and polish your manuscript
your business plan
your author platform
for your book launch
the value of your success
This book is full of advice you don’t want to miss. But
you only have a limited time to get your advanced reading copy. Download
Rochelle’s book for free right now.
Bad players in
our industry prey upon unsuspecting independent authors by disguising
themselves as traditional publishing houses and using deceptive
tactics. Here are four ways to identify self-publishing scams. Read