Young Adult literature, or YA, has been a genre dominated by white authors and characters, but this is changing. In the past couple years, two debut novels by African-American women have taken the YA world and bestseller lists by storm: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017) and The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (2018). If you haven’t read them yet, you should.
Microcosm, an independent publishing house in Portland, announced in July 2018 in Publishers Weekly that it will be taking back control over its distribution for the press. The book and zine publisher, which was previously distributed by PGW/Ingram, decided to keep distribution efforts in-house and off the shelves of the large chains, starting in 2019. In the spirit of self-distribution, as inspired by Microcosm, here are some tips for hand-to-hand sales in publishing.
One of the things editors look for in a pitch is publishing credits. A great way to get them is to submit your work to literary journals. Literary journals or literary magazines are periodicals devoted to publishing literature. There are many literary journals. Some focus on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or all three. Some focus on concise nonfiction, flash fiction (a few hundred words or less), nano-fiction, and so on. The one thing that all the literary journals have in common is that they are looking for well-crafted material.
Sleeping in My Jeans by Connie Kind Leonard is a powerful book that highlights the struggles of homelessness through the journey of sixteen-year-old Mattie that she, her mother, and her sister are forced to face after a domestic abuse dispute. While carrying the question of where she will sleep at night, Mattie also has to juggle the pressures and tribulations of high school, boys and sisterhood. After the disappearance of their mother, Mattie is pushed to fight against the threat of starvation and ultimately, the threats to young women who appear homeless.
I worked as an editorial intern at Dark Horse Comics in Milwaukie, Oregon, during PSU’s winter term this year, and while I was there, I ended up learning more than I ever anticipated. In my previous post on my time at the Dark Horse offices, I focused on explaining DHDPs and work orders. In this entry, I’ll continue my detailed look into what exactly a comics editor does, and I’ll focus on two more editorial tasks: creating bookmaps and comp lists.
When I told friends and family that I would be pursuing a graduate degree in book publishing, I was met with varied reactions. Some people thought it sounded wonderful—the perfect niche degree for a bookworm like myself. Many others were surprised and pessimistic: “Isn’t that a dying industry?” I admit it made me question my choice at times. Was I really about to go thousands of dollars into debt to hopefully get a career in an industry that would soon cease to exist?