Wednesday News: Oyster’s new CFO, Goodreads’ new author policy, black authors and self-publishing, and Kindle cover disasters
Mun suggested that Oyster has been largely product-focused until now, with “relatively little outbound efforts” aimed at increasing the subscriber base — so hiring a CFO is part of a broader shift towards growth mode.
“What I’ve always focused on is helping companies grow, and really thinking about what the future holds, and what scenarios should we evaluate today to really set us up for success to tomorrow,” she said. –Tech Crunch
To start with, the old system had members forming connections with authors, while under the new system members “engage with author pages” – and yes, that is the way GR framed the interactions.
Yes, authors are no longer members of Goodreads; they’re now pages. In other words, Goodreads sees authors as things. –Ink, Bits & Pixels (aka The Digital Reader)
A friend who is a librarian in Oakland, CA, recently encountered a young patron requesting a book on Michael Brown, and she had to explain that the traditional publishing process will likely take years to produce such a book. Police brutality is an issue of great importance to the Black community—the poet Jordan has called it one of our “urgencies”—yet the publishing industry has failed to produce children’s books that reflect and/or explain this reality. According to Horn Book editor-in-chief Roger Sutton, self-published books “aren’t filling any kind of need that isn’t already being met by established publishers,” as he wrote in a blog post entitled “An open letter to the self-published author feeling dissed.” Sutton finds it “difficult to otherwise think of subjects that scare the mainstream off.”
Really? How many children’s books do we have about police brutality—mass incarceration—lynching—HIV/AIDS? Homelessness and suicide among queer youth of color? How many books show Black children using magic and/or technology to shape an alternative universe? . . .
I am hopeful that more public libraries will embrace a community-based publishing model and assist diverse patrons as they learn how to tell their stories, becoming producers and not just consumers of books. Public libraries have served as a sanctuary for me since I was a child, and I had a library card in this country long before I had a green card. The Brooklyn Public Library sends me into dozens of schools every year, enabling hundreds of kids of color to meet an author who lives in and writes about the magic to be found in their community. Most of my thirteen books for young readers aren’t part of the library’s collection, but perhaps that will change over time. I am hopeful that in the future the bias against self-published books will diminish as gatekeepers realize that it is unfair to punish writers of color for failing at a game that’s rigged. Until then, I will continue to self-publish, and I will offer my “organic” writing to the members of my community. I will find a home where my creativity can flourish. I will insist upon my right to breathe. –School Library Journal