A hybrid-press founder advocates for women who want to publish their writing.
In this follow-up to 2016’s Green-Light Your Book (2016), Warner (The Magic of Memoir, 2016, etc.), president of She Writes Press and SparkPress, focuses not on the mechanics of writing, but on the personal and cultural influences that drive some female writers to devalue their work, as well as the structural impediments to the creation and promotion of books by women. The first section details the many ways that women’s writing was dismissed by “Gatekeepers of the Status Quo”—generally white men—and the second section turns to solutions, both individual (such as overcoming one’s inner critic and making writing a priority) and systemic (such as choosing nontraditional publishing). This useful motivational book has an encouraging tone, asserting that any woman who wants to write and publish should be able to do so. The book is strongest when it addresses the structural barriers to female writers in traditional publishing (“my lived experience as a publisher of books by women is that a lot of women deal with false categorization and get accused by the industry of having executed imperfect stories”) and when it provides strategies for developing confidence in the value of one’s work. The book is very timely, with references to Christine Blasey Ford, #MeToo, and the annual VIDA Count. Warner, co-founder of an author-subsidized publishing house, is a fervent advocate for the hybrid model and offers valid criticisms of traditional publishing. However, an implication that agents rarely work with small publishers seems inaccurate, and a description of the royalty process is unclear. Warner does address the experiences of nonwhite authors, particularly in a section called “The Whiteness of the Publishing Industry.” However, the treatment feels superficial, as when the author asserts that, after a 2016 survey by Lee & Low Books, “diversity has become a publishing buzzword.” Despite these limitations, its advice to authors is generally sound.
A book of useful strategies for developing female writers’ voices and platforms.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)