Friday News: upcoming romance conference, fake memoir pulled, sexist internet comments, and Kickstarter’s trends
Library to Host Conference, “What Is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age,” Feb. 10-11 – Next month Harlequin will be sponsoring a conference on Romance at the Library of Congress. Conference program and registration information can be found here. It looks like the Popular Romance Project is also a co-sponsor.
“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
Boy Says He Didn’t Go To Heaven; Publisher Says It Will Pull Book – I don’t remember this book being published, but apparently it did quite well. It was the story of a 6-year old boy who spent two months in a coma following a car accident and who claimed he visited heaven. The book, co-written with his father, is now being withdrawn from sale based on a letter from the boy claiming that the story was fiction and that he did it “for attention.” Probably not coincidentally, his parents are now divorced and his mother has been a vocal critic of the book:
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
The Dark Psychology of the Sexist Internet Commenter – I’m not sure how extensive of a “study” this is, but three Skidmore College faculty analyzed more than 1,100 online comments made on stories claiming that science professors favor male undergraduates. Not surprisingly, they found that men are more likely to express themselves in sexist language, women are more likely to point it out, and the more privileged of the two groups is less likely to recognize or abandon their privilege.
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
So any comment about this kickstarter : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lightspeedmagazine/queers-destroy-science-fiction/description
Looks like they have run successful kickstarters before. Seems like a good one.
I can’t help it. Every time I see the name of the (awesome-sounding) Library of Congress conference, I can’t help but think–
“What Is Love?”
Keynote Speaker: Haddaway
What about “My visit to Heaven” by Malarkey? Or a bunch of Malarkeys?
Just a slight correction to the Heaven book portion. The Heaven is for Real movie/book is entirely separate from this young man’s book.
“a letter from the boy claiming that the story was fiction and that he did it “for attention.””
Well, I, for one, am shocked and amazed.
@Tory Michaels: THE BOY WHO CAME BACK FROM HEAVEN was made into a TV movie / documentary: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1716769/
As I said on another thread, while I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the Malarkeys and of Tyndale, this publicity has done nothing but cause a sudden interest in a book that had been recently overshadowed by HEAVEN IS FOR REAL and PROOF OF HEAVEN. It also got a nice bump on Amazon (#443 in *all* books, as I type this)
@Michelle: Oh, I backed it right away. I’ve backed several similar projects endorsed by Seanan McGuire and they’ve all delivered tremendously, and these are exactly the stories I want to hear!