Friday News: upcoming romance conference, fake memoir pulled, sexist internet comments, and Kickstarter’s trends
“What Is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age,” an international, multimedia conference, will be hosted by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 10, and Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015.
The conference, which is free and open to the public, is made possible through the generous support of lead sponsor Harlequin, a worldwide publisher of books that are printed in 34 languages and sold in 102 international markets. . . .
“This two-day gathering will unite authors, scholars and fans to explore the changing dynamics of the genre, its relevance in popular culture and how digital technology is shaping the future of romance fiction,” said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book. –Library of Congress
Alex’s parents are now divorced; he and his siblings live with his mother, Beth Malarkey, who has previously spoken out against the book (and last year, a movie) featuring her son. She has also said that profits from the book haven’t been going to Alex.
Last spring, Beth Malarkey wrote a blog post stating, “Alex’s name and identity are being used against his wishes (I have spoken before and posted about it that Alex has tried to publicly speak out against the book), on something that he is opposed to and knows to be in error according to the Bible.” –NPR
Their study, recently published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, found that the negative comments were significantly more likely to be written by men. Mind you, these are not comments criticizing the quality of the journalism. These are comments such as, “The successful males I train simply seem to be hungrier and more willing to make the personnel [sic] sacrifices required to get ahead of the competition.” About 5 percent of the comments contained blatantly misogynistic remarks, such as “In every competitive situation, with a few exceptions, the women I worked with were NOT competent, by comparison with the men,” and all but one of those comments was left by a man. –The Atlantic
Keeping Up With Kickstarter – This story, combined with one published last month about the way Kickstarter has changed their terms to be even more hands off with projects are pretty informative. The previous story highlights the extent to which Kickstarter is itself a money-making project, and that priority seems even more relevant in the new guidelines. The current story has some interesting statistics about what kinds of projects get funded and at what levels. Publishing projects are funded at less than 30%, but they seem to be funded at higher levels, which may reflect projects by more popular, well-known authors:
Dance is the most successful category on Kickstarter, with nearly 70 percent of projects successfully funded, followed by theater, with a success rate of 62 percent. By contrast, games have a success rate of just 34 percent but have raised more than $250 million since Kickstarter began, making it the largest category by total contributions — more than art, music, theater and publishing combined. “In the technology space, there’s a potential for something to be truly a blockbuster and also a total dud,” Mr. Strickler said. — The New York Times