I find a lot of these news articles especially timely in publishing this month because things are so busy at work as I’m becoming immersed in the Industry.

  • To kick off, let’s do some personal plugs: the BC Book Prizes will be kicking off the annual province-wide author tour on Monday, April 13th. Eight authors on tour legs throughout Northern BC and the Kootenays & Okanagan. Visit the BC Book Prize website to see full tour schedules, follow the On Tour author blog, and attend free readings. Oh and we’ll be tweeting all about it as they’re on the road!
  • Did you know that the BC Book Prizes is part of BC Book and Magazine Week? BCBMW is co-produced by the BC Association of Magazine Publishers (BCAMP) and the Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC) and it is a celebration of all things literary in BC. The words festival occurs annually and events this year (April 18-25, 2009) include a Literary Tour along Main Street in Vancouver, and Magazine Cabarets in cities all across BC. Visit the BCBMW website/blog for details on events and to keep up-to-date with BCBMW news!
  • The Alcuin Society has announced the winners of its 27th annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. Of an astounding 233 entries, the judges selected 32 winning titles. Congratulations to all the Canadian authors, illustrators, designers, and publishers recognized by The Alcuin Society’s Awards for Excellence in Book Design. You can view the full list of winners as a PDF on the Alcuin website. They also now have a Flickr photoset of the judging process and a number of the winning designs.
  • April is National Poetry Month: a lot of people across the blogosphere are participating in NaPoMo, but I’d like to highlight this page by the League of Canadian Poets. They have a very informative page on National Poetry Month including links to event listings, historical information, and the Poet Blog.
  • Speaking of poetry, Vancouver poet Shannon Stewart, author of Penny Dreadful, has been covered in Weekly World News for her tabloid inspired poems.
  • More poetry news: The Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist was revealed on April 7th, 2009. The judges each read 485 books of poetry, including 33 translations, received from 32 countries around the globe. From seven finalists — three Canadian and four International — the prize will be awarded to the two best books of poetry on June 3, 2009. View the list of seven finalists here.
  • All the blog world is atwitter today regarding a post at Flavorwire regarding Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. First of all, go and read the article “How to Alienate Bloggers and Boost Book Sales” on Flavorwire, including the scanned letter. I would like to offer some insight from the other side of the fence:
    1. In the publishing industry, embargoed information is extremely important. When we were preparing for the release of the finalist list for the BC Book Prizes in March, we had to send embargoed releases to newspapers and magazines so that they had time to prepare. We specifically requested they didn’t release the information in any way, shape, or form prior to the date. While this may not seem important for book review copies, it could be if the publisher wants to create a sweep of information every where you look on exactly the publish date.
    2. The question of excerpts and quotations in regards to copyright is very touchy. It is difficult to get into (but I may go into it further at a later date), but a lot of people think with the quantity of information widely available on the internet, that copyright does not apply. In the USA, there is a “fair use” clause, and in Canada it is called “fair dealing”. It is always better to check (if possible) before reprinting any quotes without requesting permission. From the sounds of the letter, he is worried about people posting multiple paragraphs as an excerpt and it would probably be safe to just email him and as about one-to-two sentence quotes. As for images, chances are the letter-writer was refering to inside illustrations.
    3. Yes the letter was just downright rude. I’m not going to get into the details, but the person could have approached the letter in a much better way and I am surprised no one proofread his letter before it left the publishing house. Letters should end with a call to action, not a threat.
  • Onto nicer topics, oh wait… I’m out of links. Okay time to go read.