In case you've been away from all forms of media, Barnes & Noble is rumored to be putting itself up for sale. The company founder and, iirc, chairman of the board, Leonard Riggio is in a battle with Ron Burke for control of the company. This article from Reuters notes that the fall-out from lower than expected earnings and in-fighting may have detrimental effects on the potential sale of the big box chain.
Jodi Picoult has taken on the NYT, claiming it is biased toward male writers. According to this post, Picoult tweeted the following: NYT raved about Franzen's new book. Is anyone shocked? Would love to see the NYT rave about authors who aren't white male literary darlings. It is possible this is a case of sour grapes after receiving a fairly scathing review from NYT. Still, is this something an author should be doing? More to the point, would a mid-list or new author be able to do something like this and get away with it?
Censorship also reared its ugly head again. If you haven't heard already, author Ellen Hopkins was un-invited to the Teen Lit Fest in Humble, TX. This is after she's made other appearances there -- without incident. I'll let Hopkins' own words explain what happened:
Apparently, a middle school librarian saw my name on the roster and decided my presence would somehow negatively affect her students. I’m not sure how that is possible. Maybe she thinks I sweat “edgy and dark.” (Are those things catching?) Anyway, she went to a couple of parents with her concerns. I’m guessing she knew the exact ones who would raise a stink, and they did. They went to the school board, and the superintendent, Guy Sconzo, decided to uninvite me. (He says I was never invited, but I was!)
You know, I’m kind of getting used to this, and I had just about decided not to make a big deal about it. But then another Texas librarian, who is a great supporter, e-mailed Mr. Sconzo. His reply was arrogant and condescending and really made me mad, on two fronts. First, he admitted he “relied on his head librarian’s research” in regard to my books or me or both. Meaning he never bothered to read them himself. (Censors rarely do!) Never bothered to contact me with his concerns. Didn’t listen to the other librarians who lobbied heavily to keep me on the speaker roster, or ask other teen book festival organizers about their experiences with me.
But that's not the end of the story. Other authors who had been invited to the Teen Lit Fest, upon hearing what happened, have pulled out to show their support of Hopkinsl. From the Publishers Weekly blog: In the last few days, four authors who were also scheduled to appear at the festival—Pete Hautman, Melissa de la Cruz, Matt de la Peña, and Tera Lynn Childs—announced in quick succession that they were also withdrawing. “What is important is that a handful of people – the superintendent, the one (one!) librarian, and “several” (three? five?) parents – took it upon themselves to overrule the vast majority of teachers and librarians and students who had chosen one of the most popular YA authors in America to be their headliner,” wrote Hautman in a blog post. “That is a form of censorship as damaging and inexcusable as setting fire to a library.” And on her blog, de la Cruz wrote, “I believe that as a writer, we have to stick up for each other, and against censorship, and against people who want to tell everyone else what to think, what to read, what to watch.”
Finally, for the gadget geeks and gawkers out there, news of two new tablets coming to your hot little hands soon. The first is a Chrome OS tablet from Google, scheduled for the end of November. The second comes from HP. It is due out the beginning of next year. Look out, Apple. It looks like there might be some real alternatives to the iPad soon.
So, any thoughts about any of these links? Do you have other publishing related news you want to discuss? The floor is now yours.