Monday News: Romance WOC, Walmart + Kobo, magazine archive, and Harry Potter in Scots
WOMEN OF COLOR AND MAJOR PUBLISHING HOUSE DEALS – So Bitch Media’s Evette Dionne published an interview with Jasmine Guillory on her upcoming debut, The Wedding Date, a Romance published by Berkley. Unfortunately, in their enthusiastic promotion of Guillory and her book, a lot of incorrect assertions about the status of women of color in Romance, especially Black women, as authors, characters, and readers, were used to present Guillory as “the Black woman who revitalizes the genre.” Yes, that’s a quote. So Romance in Color’s Kimberlee Stevenson responded with a much more robust historical record, especially when it comes to authors of color being published by major publishing houses. It’s a complicated situation to be sure, because women of color have been, and continue to be, marginalized by publishers, and it’s a significant problem that isn’t exactly careening toward equity. But at the same time, Stevenson is absolutely correct that women of color have been writing, publishing, and reading Romance for many years, and it’s unnecessary and potentially damaging to celebrate one novel or writer at the expense of so many who have come before her (and p.s. I used the cover from a great series by Seressia Glass, Shadowchasers, as the featured image for today’s news).
If you wanted to interview an author of a romance novel, then go ahead. There was no need to say “I can’t recall the last time I read a romance novel written by a Black woman with a Black woman protagonist that was released by a mainstream publisher.” That’s not the mainstream publishers fault, that’s your own. There are so ways for you to find out this information, it’s one of the reasons Romance Novels In Color was started.
We’ve seen numerous authors get inspired by other authors and want to write their own romance novel. That’s great, but don’t act like there no are books out there like yours. That’s not fair to all of the other women of color that have come before you. There is enough room at the table for all of us. Be respectful to all those women of color who have not only written romance novels before you, but also have such a huge following that an endorsement from them could put you on the map. I don’t see that as happening since some of the women on the above mentioned list read the original article and were shocked. These women have been in the industry for decades, so to write an article like this makes it seem as if their work doesn’t exist. – Romance Novels in Color
Apple and Walmart Inject New Life Into Sleepy E-Book Market – The “sleepy e-book market” – gag. Anyway, what’s interesting is that Walmart, which used to be a huge print Romance marketplace, is partnering with Kobo, as is Apple, to expand their presence in the ebook market. I have to say that I recently saw a friend’s new Kobo reader, and it was a sleek, lovely, light, and WATERPROOF piece of genius, and I really hope they give Amazon a run for at least some of their money. Also, is the NOOK dead yet?
For Apple, it’s not so much about e-books per se as it is about keeping Apple’s panoply of content offerings up to date. The planned changes are mainly user experience facelifts to bring iBooks — which will be renamed simply Books — into line with newer services such as the latest version of the iOS App Store and Apple Music, Apple’s subscription streaming service that competes with Spotify, Google Play, and others. E-books are one piece of an overall operating platform, which nowadays is expected to include a range of content services; upgrading individual services like e-books is therefore analogous to a desktop operating system improving its backup utility or anti-malware service.
The Kobo deal with Walmart is more interesting. It’s actually a small part of a much bigger deal that partners the massive global brick-and-mortar footprint of Walmart with a Japanese company — Raukten, Kobo’s parent since 2012 — that is a global leader in e-commerce, even though it’s relatively unknown in the U.S. – Forbes
All Good Magazines Go to Heaven – Remember magazines? Actually, I still get some of my cooking magazines in print, but even that’s getting difficult to justify (especially for storage purposes). If you want to visit more than 160,000 magazines and find yourself in London, though, you might want to visit the Hyman Archive, which, by the way, also accepts donations.
The Hyman Archive was confirmed as the largest collection of magazines in 2012 by Guinness World Records; then, it had just 50,953 magazines, 2,312 of them unique titles. Now, a year and a half after Mr. Hyman was interviewed by BBC Radio 4, donations are pouring in, and amid them Mr. Hyman and his staff have carved out space for an armchair and a snack-laden desk. (The rest of the foundry is a storage facility used mostly by media companies to house their film archives and the obsolete technology with which they were made.)
At a moment when the old titans like Condé Nast and Time Inc. are contracting, shape-shifting and anxiously hashtagging, herein lies a museum of real magazine making, testament to the old glossy solidity. The price of admission, however, is stiff: visitors can do research with a staffer’s aid for 75 pounds per hour (about $100), with negotiable day rates (and a student discount of 20 percent), or gingerly borrow a magazine for three working days for £50. – New York Times
Harry Potter Finally Gets Translated Into Scots: Hear & Read Passages from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane – Please, please, please don’t let the March release of Harry Potter in Scot’s (its 80th language) inspire more quasi-Scots dialect/dialogue for Romance characters. Please.
Originally written by J.K. Rowling in Edinburgh, the first Harry Potter book was carefully translated by children’s author, writer, poet, editor and translator Matthew Fitt. – Open Culture
Ugh, that article. I have sooooooo been looking forward to The Wedding Date, as I’ve heard nothing but good about it (and apparently the rest of my community has too, because I’m number A Lot in line on the library’s waiting list) but THAT ARTICLE. :/
Has Bitch Media or the writer of the article commented or replied? Any acknowledgement from them at all?
authors of color?? they’ve been writing for years…
There’s one author of regency romances that people don’t realize is an author of “color” but not of African descent. (I love her books!!)
For centuries, authors have used pseudonyms to cloak gender and ethnicity. Why pretend now?
Yes it is hard to break through and write openly and successfully…. but we must try!!