Friday News: Publishing post-Brexit, making book trailers, dangerous reading, and the history of exhaustion
Publishers ‘committed’ to investment following Brexit – Along with a sense of chagrin, there is still a lot of uncertainty around the likely consequences of Brexit, but at this point publishers foresee the opportunity of more and cheaper exports, but are also concerned about the impact of Brexit on academic publishing (because of reduced funding for academic research). About a third of PA respondents and half of IPG respondents indicated that reducing VAT on digital books is a priority, especially with likely increases in production costs.
A PA [Publishers Association] survey of 48 UK publishing houses has revealed that 73% of publishers do not intend to change their investment plans following the Brexit vote, while 2% intend to increase involvement. Similarly, 75% of the 115 IPG [Independent Publishing Guild] members polled said that there would be no change to their investment plans. . . .
On the flip side, the biggest opportunity for publishers following Brexit is improved competitiveness of UK exports following the weakening of the pound, both surveys found. More than half (58%) of IPG members highlighted a boost in exports as a current positive consequence of Brexit, while 44% of PA respondents agreed cheaper exports would be beneficial for business. However, some PA respondants warned any uplift would be cancelled out by higher printing costs, with more than a third – 35% – reporting that higher costs of doing business, including for imports, was one of the biggest challenges facing publishers. – The Bookseller
How A Filmmaker Became The King Of Book Trailers – Are you a fan of book trailers? I mostly ignore them, but clearly not everyone is as uninterested as I am. This is an interview with Jamieson Fry, who went from making films to making book trailers, despite his understanding that such visual representations are “weird” relative to the experience of reading. In fact, Fry’s take on the whole process is pretty detached from the marketing power of these videos, which is probably a good thing, actually:
There’s also the cost-benefit analysis, how much publicity does it really generate, how much that publicity turns into sales. My response to that is that it’s really not my business, I create the media, I do my best to make that cool piece of art. But for it to be truly successful, it’s not enough to just make something cool, it has to be part of the cadence of the marketing. Sometimes publishers just put them on Youtube with a hashtag, and no one’s ever going to find it. – Inverse
British Muslim detained for reading a book about Syria while on a plane – A 27-year-old woman on her honeymoon was reported by a flight attendant for “suspicious behavior.” aka reading while Muslim. Just horrifying. According to Boing Boing,
She is a psychotherapist from Leeds who works with at-risk teens to help prevent them becoming ‘radicalized.’ Shaheen was reading the book Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline on her honeymoon flight. It looks like a really cool art book, put together by some really cool people, and I’m ordering a copy for myself right now.
Police detained her at Doncaster airport on July 25, on her flight home from her honeymoon in Turkey. A Thomson Airways flight attendant reported her for her suspiciously radical book-reading behavior on her outbound flight two weeks prior. – Boing Boing
How Exhaustion Became a Status Symbol – Although this article kind of bounces between a chronicle and a critique of Katharina Schaffner’s book on the history of exhaustion, it highlights some of the ways in which exhaustion has been moralized, medicalized, and even elevated as a symbol of personal importance. There are definitely some class (and cultural and geographic) issues here that are not really addressed, though, although perhaps Schaffner takes those on in her book.
Today, exhaustion still hints at status, but of a different sort. To say that you’re exhausted is to telegraph that you’re important, in demand, and successful. It’s akin to the humblebrag of ruefully describing yourself as “so busy”—naturally, since exhaustion follows from busyness. In Schaffner’s telling, the associations of exhaustion with prestige have crystallized in the form of burnout. First used in the 1970s to describe exhaustion suffered by workers in the social sector, “burnout” was characterized by increased cynicism and apathy, and a decreased sense of personal accomplishment. Since then, its application has widened to include all worn down, overburdened workers, especially in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, where burnout is a subject of regular media debate. Burnout, caused by workplace conditions rather than by a worker’s mental and physical composition, is depression’s more palatable, more prestigious cousin. As the German journalist Sebastian Beck puts it: “Only losers become depressive. Burnout is a diagnosis for winners, or, more specifically: for former winners.” – New Republic