The "big" news of the week is that, apparently, younger Americans still read and use libraries a lot, refuting all the criers who've been telling us that literature is dying, young people are not reading, ebooks are killing publishing, etc., etc.
The other news is not much of a news item, or rather, not publishing news many of us truly care about - Penguin and Random House are in talks of a merger. But it sure became an inspiration for a great book nerd memes - #RandomPenguin and slightly less popular #PenguinHouse.
On a more serious note, you should check out these clever and thoughtful posts:
Dear Author has a great follow-up to the recent Jon Stock controversy, dissecting why the culture of authors stalking and intimidating reviewers in the name of "customer service" is wrong (yes, evidently this has to be explained again and again) - Ladysplaining the Value of A Literary Culture for Commercial Fiction.
Sarah at Clear Eyes, Full Shelves invites us to discuss the topic of the necessity of "new adult" category.
There is also a curious discussion going on in the world of fantasy lovers -Portal Fantasy: Threat or Menace? (Portal fantasy - think Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, even Harry Potter where a character from the real world steps into a secondary fantasy world.) According to this post, literary agents participating in a panel claim that nobody accepts and publishes such stories anymore, that good portal fantasies haven't been in print for a decade.
"They explained that portal fantasies tend to have no stakes because they're not connected enough to our world. While in theory, a portal fantasy could have the fate of both our world and the other world at stake, in practice, the story is usually just about the fantasy world. The fate of the real world is not affected by the events of the story, and there is no reason for readers to care what happens to a fantasy world."
Really?! we want to exclaim, flipping through our copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and even Dreamfever. Someone is out of touch. But read the discussion anyway. If nothing else it's a great insight of the minds of the agents.
And, speaking of literary agents, if you ever dreamed of becoming one, Pub(lishing) Crawl has advice for you - this week's How to Become an Agent, Part 1: The Way In and How to Become A Literary Agent in 2 Easy Steps. Good news: you don't have to have a fancy literary degree to become one. Bad news: prepare to work for free in the beginning.
And now, the warning of the week: Amazon or any e-reader manufacturer has every legal right to wipe out your purchased ebooks.