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Literary Publishing in the 21st Century

From Publishers Weekly

An impressive roster of contributors makes this anthology on the future of publishing a must-read for anyone in the industry. Familiar issues—the dominance of Amazon, the lack of diversity, the role of university presses—are explored in essays that are accessible to lay readers, while offering valuable new insights for insiders. There is no shortage of pessimism—for example, Sven Birkerts's essay concludes that in "the future, literature will likely not command enough marketplace attention to make it commercially viable," and may, instead, become just "an artisanal product that functions either as a vital inner resource or else as a status marker for its reduced population of consumers." But that's not the only lens through which the coming decades can be viewed. Matthew Stadler of Publication Studio explains how his print-on-demand press enables people to be "readers rather than always shoppers." And Jane Friedman, a University of Virginia academic and former Writer's Digest publisher, makes a convincing case for the continued value added by publishers who serve as beacons, "offer a strong signal amidst all the noise, and organize ideas, content, and stories within an identifiable and useful context."

From Publishers Weekly "Editor's Pick"

More than a book of problems and solutions identified, this is an insider’s look at how the technological and economic changes of the last decade and a half have affected one part of the book world, which also happens to be the part that many in the book biz personally identify with. It’s less a guide and more a near-term history book of our little corner of the world. You should read it.  —Craig Morgan Teicher  [Complete Review]


From Kirkus

I’ve been reading a thought-provoking new book called Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Tavis Kurowski, Wayne Miller, and Kevin Prufer and published by Milkweed Editions. It’s hard to see the whole of the literary ecosystem from any one desk, whether you’re an editor at a big New York publisher, an agent, a publisher who specializes in translations, a poetry editor, or even a book reviewer, and this book presents the perspectives of all these people and many more.  —Laurie Muchnick

From Literary Hub

Literary Publishing in the Twenty-first Century is edited by three literary figures I trust–Travis Kurowski, Wayne Miller and Kevin Prufer. Another plus: They name Pushcart Press founder Bill Henderson’s 1980 The Art of Literary Publishing as a model. Yet another plus: Essays by Jessa Crispin, Sven Birkerts, Erin Belieu, Richard Nash, Jane Friedman, and Emily Louise Smith (she writes of founding Lookout Press, publisher of Edith Pearlman’s spectacular Binocular Vision), to name a few. Keeper.


From Chicago Review of Books

This series of essays from of the biggest and brightest names in the industry (writers, editors, agents, and journalists) is like a portable MA in publishing. From Jessa Crispin’s “The Self-Hating Book Critic” to Steve Wasserman’s “The Amazon Effect” and Daniel José Older’s “Diversity is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing,” it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the nuances of publishing in the modern era.

From Diagram

If I were teaching a class on editing and publishing, I would use this book.

From Shelf Awareness

This anthology captures a compelling breadth of perspectives ... well worth a reader's time.   —Dave Wheeler



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