Built in 1912 and renovated in the 1980s, the hotel has just enough squeak in the stair and just enough musty book smell in the reader’s attic to give bibliophiles the chills. Rooms are categorized as either “Classics,” “Best Sellers,” or “Novels.” Mark Twain’s bust sits over the mantel, Jules Verne’s submarine door clangs shut every evening, and Shakespeare’s room has dueling swords mounted on the wall, just in case. It’s perfect for a writer’s retreat or a solitary writer’s escape, as well as for hosting a reading, a book launch, or a writing workshop. And can we talk about the library?
A quiet evolution has been occurring in the world of book publishing during this last decade. A hybrid species is emerging—one that has taken until just last year to jump the Atlantic and become available to American literary consumers. There may not seem to be much room to improve upon our current forms of bookish technology, as the basic formats are pretty simple: hardcover, paperback, ebook. But even if you are firmly in either the print or electronic camp, you may be pleasantly surprised by a type of happy medium that is ideally giving readers the best of both worlds.
As a new publishing student getting my first introduction to the acquisitions process at Ooligan, I can’t help but feel a bit traitorous at the prospect of contributing to more of those infamous letters. If there is one thing I can say that might benefit a talented author who just isn’t the best fit for Ooligan right now, it’s that the rejection often has nothing to do with measuring an author’s skill. Instead, it might simply be a matter of not being in exactly the right place at the right time.
Gamebooks are about being able to play around in a familiar world, make mistakes, and try again. Interactive books for adults do just that, but this time, the majority of choose-your-path books are focusing on classic and well-known stories, rather than the nostalgic stereotypes found in the kids’ series. Interactive books use the stories of classics––Austen, Shakespeare, historical romance––to give adult readers a chance to toy with the literary worlds they have known and loved.
To anyone that’s been paying attention to recent trends in young adult (YA) over the last four or five years, the line-up of books slated for 2019 is both timely and highly anticipated. With the push for diversity in literature and media still going as strong as ever (perhaps even stronger than ever), it seems that publishers have finally started to seriously answer the call. Young adult (and middle grade) lists are heavy with POC leads and the number of books about LGBTQ characters has doubled since the last few publishing seasons (and that’s just looking at books coming out—pun intended—between January and April! The list for May through June is even longer!). This is extra important when you consider that as recently as 2012, just over 1 percent of YA books had any LGBTQ content at all.
Book reviews are nothing new, and any author will receive the advice that they must accept the good with the bad. Some readers point out that a book with zero bad reviews feels fake to them, which makes a sprinkling of negative reviews actually a good thing. But not all bad reviews are created equal and there are limits to what any person should have to endure. First, there are obviously fraudulent negative reviews. All books deserve a chance, and a negative review before the book is out hinders its chance. Then there are some extremely malicious reviews to watch out for; no author should be told to give up writing and die. These so-called reviews rarely include anything specific about the book and are clearly a form of harassment that must be stopped.