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Posts Tagged ‘Cory Doctorow’

Are You Pure Enough to Write YA?

A few weeks back, Guardian blogger Sian Pettenden called attention to a morality clause in Random House‘s contracts for children’s book authors: According to an alert distributed by a UK-based support group for writers and illustrators of literature for young people, the publishing conglomerate is now attempting to tell authors

“If you act or behave in a way which damages your reputation as a person suitable to work with or be associated with children, and consequently the market for or value of the work is seriously diminished, and [sic] we may (at our option) take any of the following actions: Delay publication / Renegotiate advance / Terminate the agreement.”

It is unclear based on Pettenden’s reporting, however, whether this clause is appearing in contracts offered by the American division of Random House as well. Picking up the story for BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow notes that “Random House Audio published my young adult novel Little Brother and did not request this clause.” An agent at a New York-based literary agency that specializes in representing authors of young people’s literature said that, although it had been a while, the most recent contracts he’d seen from Random House hadn’t included any such clause, either. But, he observed in passing, “there’s a lot of strange language that goes into UK contracts that has little bearing on the American market.”

Little Brother, DJ Spooky Finally Ready to Party

little-brother-cover.jpgBack in April, I told you about Cory Doctorow‘s Little Brother, which I consider the most important YA novel of the year. A month or so later, Doctorow was supposed to take part in a reading/party to raise funds for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Unfortunately, circumstances forced a rescheduling—the good news is that it’s tomorrow Thursday night, and there are still, I’m told, a couple dozen tickets left through the CBLDF website.

After Doctorow reads at the Helen Mills Theater, DJ Spooky will give a presentation based on his new anthology, Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture—and after that, he’ll be working the afterparty at Sutra Lounge. $20 gets you into both events, or it’s $10 if you just want to go clubbing—either way, the funds go to support the CBLDF’s work on behalf of comic book writers, artists, and vendors in need of legal support.

Publishing Unbound, Google-Style

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A crowd more than 300-strong gathered at the New York Public Library‘s Celeste Bartos Room for Google‘s all-day Unbound conference to be told, in no uncertain terms by an array of speakers, that if you’re not moving with the digital times, you’re just not a 21st century publisher. I paraphrase, of course, but that was certainly the vibe in the air what with Seth Godin comparing publishers to outlying planets, Cory Doctorow (on the fiction side) and Daniel Weiss (on the educational side) explaining why giving content away is a good thing, and Tim O’Reilly advocating for Google Book Search as a way of capturing the almost 75% of books that aren’t accounted for by not being in print or in the public domain.

Aside from Godin and Doctorow, Chris Anderson was on hand to give an abbreviated spiel of his bestselling THE LONG TAIL, Stephen Dubner (of Freakonomics fame) talked about how the related website – now a blog with additional content features – brings in over 2 million page views a month, and J.A. Konrath stressed the importance of having “things to offer” instead of “things to sell” on an author website. But the big hit of the afternoon – at least, judging by applause – was Josh Kilmer-Purcell, who used Powerpoint in hilarious fashion to describe how MySpace hooked him up with fellow members of the Memoirist Collective. And for those who need help interpreting the slide, Kilmer-Purcell illustrated how his book, I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS, was published by HarperPerennial, which is part of HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns “half the world” – and when the Judith Regan graphic cued up, the room erupted in laughter…

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