Each year brings with it a brand new crop of books, and, if you’re anything like me, you love to find new things to read. But where do you start? Whatever you’re searching for, look no further. I’m excited to recommend your next possible fantasy read.
Rather than go through the sometimes tedious process of asking questions and making suggestions, we are tempted to just tell the author what to do to make the story better—or, at least, make it better to us. And that is the one thing we must not do.
Dr. Kathi Berens opened up our digital skills class for a discussion about the complexities surrounding digital media platforms, synthesizing the article with her belief that “basic code literacy is an extraordinarily empowering skill set that…gives users a level self-control and freedom that people don’t have if they rely entirely on third parties to represent their public speech.” Her point parallels one made by Michelle Goldberg in the aforementioned article: while she agrees with the decisions made that ultimately de-platformed the former President, she also states that people “don’t have a constitutional right to have their speech disseminated by private companies,” and that it is “dangerous to have a handful of callow young tech titans in charge of who has a megaphone and who does not.” We are not political leaders, but publishers are global leaders; how, and on whose terms, we use our voices matters.
Marketing is an intersectional endeavor. As publishing professionals, we need to talk to our editors and acquisition teams about the kind of content we are publishing, we need to talk to the artists who are creating covers for our books, and we need to combine all of these elements together when we create our copy and really ask ourselves if what we are doing is an accurate representation of the work we are putting out.
Agents are more interested in what you as a person bring to the table and to the publishing industry. As an author, if you can’t relate to your readership or appeal to them or potential agents, they won’t be interested in what you’ve written. Relying solely on your writing without acquiring marketable skills as a person won’t get you very far; give them something to root for, something that makes you stand out alongside your competitors and other authors. Choosing to put in the effort to become a better writer will always get you further than just expecting to get published right away.
The line between imagination and reality blurs in these forty poignant pieces written by first- and second-generation immigrant authors.