This Week in Publishing: Gender Bias, DOE–Amazon Partnership, HarperCollins Booklab

Gender Bias Experiment in Manuscript Queries

We’ve read studies on how gender (conscious or unconscious) might affect the publishing process, and such studies have given rise to legitimate concern. In an article on Jezebel, author Catherine Nichols talked about her experiment in the query submission of her new novel, positioning herself as a male author, George Leyer, in fifty of the queries that she sent.

“I sent the six queries I had planned to send that day. Within 24 hours, George had five responses—three manuscript requests and two warm rejections praising his exciting project. For contrast, under my own name, the same letter and pages sent 50 times had netted me a total of two manuscript requests. The responses gave me a little frisson of delight at being called ‘Mr.’ and then I got mad. Three manuscript requests on a Saturday, not even during business hours! The judgments about my work that had seemed as solid as the walls of my house had turned out to be meaningless. My novel wasn’t the problem, it was me—Catherine.”

The rest of her article is worth taking the time to read as it details her experience in depth. The awareness brought to this issue is broader when personal experiences like this are put on display.

New York City Partners with Amazon

The Department of Education is on the brink of signing a three-year, $30 million contract with Amazon in an effort to create the Department’s first unified e-book marketplace.

“We’ve listened closely to educators and this new marketplace will address many of the major current concerns of our schools relating to school texts: not having enough space for textbooks and primary resources, the physical decay and loss of books, not being able to easily compare options and prices, and not being able to exchange book licenses with other classrooms and schools,” Devora Kaye, a D.O.E. spokeswoman, said in a statement.

It is heartening to see unified efforts to improve the state of public education and expand its available resources.

HarperCollins to Occupy Space at Seaport Studios

The publishing company has announced the launch of a “Pop-up Booklab” that will be available for use from mid-September until the end of October. During that time, the Booklab will be host to a number of readings, panels, talks, and parties.

“We see this not only as a destination for visitors, but also as a cultural hub for the growing number of New Yorkers who live and work in the area,” said Michael Morrison, President and Publisher. “In a world full of increasing distractions, the idea of a place to sit and read a book, listen to an author, or buy a book is a novel idea.”

Located in the Seaport Studios, the Booklab will exist alongside designers and artists. As defined on their website, Seaport Studios is “the port of origin. Where extraordinary ideas define the culture of the city.” Be sure to keep an eye out for more information regarding future events at this venue.

(Featured Image source: Morguefile)

Allison Bucknell
On any given day, you’ll find Allison with a book in her hand and a crossword puzzle in progress. Currently a student in Pace University’s Masters in Publishing program, she is pursuing a career in the editorial field, and has a strong interest in creative non-fiction.

About Allison Bucknell

On any given day, you’ll find Allison with a book in her hand and a crossword puzzle in progress. Currently a student in Pace University’s Masters in Publishing program, she is pursuing a career in the editorial field, and has a strong interest in creative non-fiction.

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