Monday News: Popularizing poetry, what net neutrality?, “One Book” movement, and Nate Parker backpedals
How To Sell Nearly a Half-Million Copies of a Poetry Book – The success of Rupi Kaur’s poetry collection, Milk and Honey, initially self-published and then picked up by Andrews McMeel Publishing (AMP), is surprising on a number of levels. Especially since AMP has only been publishing poetry since 2013. And it’s poetry, hardly a blockbuster genre. AMP’s publisher and president Kirsty Melville has been savvy about choosing authors with a large social media following, for example, but she has also identified an interesting trend:
In addition to strong sales, the publication of [Lang Leav’s Love and Misadventure in 2013] provided Melville with some market insight. “We saw that there was this generation of young women, mostly in that early-20s age group, who were responding to this form of expression,” she said, adding that the type of poetry that was resonating with readers is often associated with spoken-word poets or poets publishing online. . . .
Melville feels “that the medium of poetry reflects our age, where short-form communication is something people find easier to digest or connect with.” As for AMP being a poetry publisher, she said, “Yes, this is poetry, but I think we are publishing a form of communication for the times that happens to be poetry, as opposed to being a poetry publisher. As a company, we’ve always published books about the meaning of life, in humor or in gift-book form, so it’s sort of an extension in that way.” – Publishers Weekly
How Is This Not A Net Neutrality Violation, Sprint? – Despite new net neutrality rules, according to Techdirt, ISPs apparently continue to provide tiers of speed and service, either on competitor content (Comcast), on the basis of a customer’s popularity and power (T-Mobile), or depending on how much a consumer is willing to pay (T-Mobile and Sprint). And the FCC seems to be doing nothing to prevent this from happening:
Again, so we’re clear: this is an ISP forcing users to pay more money if they want the services they consume to actually work properly. That’s the exact sort of thing net neutrality rules were supposed to prevent. Yet here we are, dancing on a slippery slope, staring down an incredibly fractured, confusing, and potentially exploitable new paradigm for the already uncompetitive broadband sector. And frankly, nobody seems to give all that much of a shit. Either because they’re bored of paying attention, or they can’t see a few plays ahead on the chess match between net neutrality advocates and large ISPs.
If Sprint and T-Mobile can charge users premium to avoid video, game and music throttling, what prevents Comcast from charging users a premium if they want 4K video streaming to actually work? What stops AT&T from charging users a premium if they want their Steam games to download at full speed? The answer? Nobody, apparently, since the FCC has made it abundantly clear it believes that usage caps, zero rating, and pay-to-avoid-throttling schemes are just creative market experimentation. Except the only creativity on display here involves marketers convincing consumers to root against their own best, self interest. – Techdirt
Celebrating 10 years of ‘One Book’ – A lovely piece on the “One Book” city read program, which began in 1998, and is now even supported by NEA “Big Read” grants. The initial focus is on San Diego, which has been participating for ten years now. The program’s reach continues to expand, and this year’s book, Carlos Eire’s memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana, will be read and discussed in schools, libraries, and communities in both San Diego and Tijuana. The initiative itself was created by a librarian in Seattle:
Nancy Pearl was the executive director of the Seattle library’s Washington Center for the Book from 1993 to 2004. In 1998, she came up with what she called “If All Seattle Read the Same Book.” She chose Russell Banks’ novel “The Sweet Thereafter” and invited him to town for three public events.
By June 2002, there were 63 “One Book” programs in 30 states. By December 2005, it was 350 programs in all 50 states.
The success of the idea made Pearl something of a rock star in library circles; she wrote a best-selling reader-recommendation guide called “Book Lust,” followed it up with “More Book Lust,” and even had an action figure based on her likeness.
Exclusive: Nate Parker on Campus Incident, Consent and Toxic Male Culture – Nate Parker’s new interview with Ebony‘s Britni Danielle details all he’s learned since he made controversial statements about allegations of rape while he was in college. Those comments were basically focused on his claims of innocence and his “lovely wife” and “five beautiful daughters.” Now he has significantly changed his public statement on the incident (and it’s awful aftermath), and only time will tell if he is sincere in this new awareness and authentic in his commitment to be “a better ally.”
EBONY.com: You mentioned that your initial comments about the resurrection of this incident were self-centered, and from an emotional place on your behalf. So do you understand why people are struggling with…
Nate Parker: Absolutely! I understand now, but I was speaking from a standpoint of ignorance.
EBONY.com: Two weeks ago, you mean?
Nate Parker: Yeah. Well, when you don’t know, you don’t know. It’s like, if I don’t know how to swim and two weeks later I know how to swim, I know how to swim. Honestly, when I started reading them comments I had to call some people and say, What did I do wrong? What did I say wrong?
I called a couple of sisters that know that are in the space that talk about the feminist movement and toxic masculinity, and just asked questions. What did I do wrong? Because I was thinking about myself. And what I realized is that I never took a moment to think about the woman. I didn’t think about her then, and I didn’t think about her when I was saying those statements, which was wrong and insensitive.
I just really wanted to know more about what I was talking about. People were saying, why isn’t he speaking soon? Cuz I still didn’t know nothing. I don’t want…this ain’t the hype for me. – Ebony