• A brouhaha is brou-ha-ha-ing at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), following a HuffPo blog post by conference subcommittee member Kate Gale (whose Twitter profile states “I am a goddess”). AWP Executive Director David Fenza defended the goddess.
How gay is AWP? I would say that I’m about 30% gay, that percentage accounting for all the time with girls before I started dating guys and which I’d be happy to return to if the need arises. We could simply ask applicants, how gay are you? If the person is confused, AWP could lay out some questions to help tease out the truth. If you’re female and not sure if you’re gay, think about this. Did you attend Smith or Reed? How many pairs of Doc Martens do you have? Have you seen the movie Bound more than once? If male, do you attend musicals regularly? Do you have a large Barbara (sic) Streisand collection? Do you shop at Crate and Barrel?
Apparently we at Easy Street are all gay. We even know how to spell Barbara (sic) Streisand’s name. We think Literary Hub said it best: A last minute, but very promising, new candidate has entered this season’s race for Most Clueless White Person in Publishing.
• In a well deserved blow to the “Sad Puppy” movement in the sci-fi world, voters chose “No Award” in five categories at the 2015 Hugo Awards ceremony.
• A Japanese bookstore chain is buying 90% of a Haruki Murakami print run to keep the books out of the hands of Amazon. There are so many things wrong with this, we don’t know where to begin. Let’s just say chain managers should make purchase decisions because they make good business sense, not out of poopiness with the competition. Besides, if Amazon needs more copies than they’re getting in the first print run, the publisher will print more. Publishers have an annoying habit of doing just that.
• And if that’s not enough, in the “Here We Go Again” department, here we go again: Authors United is pressing its case to the Justice Department to investigate whether Amazon is a monopoly. Here’s why the claim is doomed.
• Having Said All That. Remember the recent uproar over Amazon being a bad place to work? Of course you do; it was just a couple of weeks ago; pay attention! Now a former employee is speaking out about a gender bias at the company.
Jeff: You asked for direct feedback. Women power your retail engine. They buy diapers. They buy books. They buy socks for their husbands on Prime. On behalf of all the people who want to speak up but can’t: Please, make Amazon a more hospitable place for women and parents.
• The lawsuit against Author Solutions has petered out.
• Kindle counterfeiting: a growing threat to authors.
• We get one more Günter Grass novel, but we have to wait until the fall of 2016 to read it in English.
His skin was black, his sexuality fluid, and his politics tended toward the left, a combination that was enough to turn him into a target for the FBI.
• The latest from the Authors Guild Fair Contract Initiative: Delete the Non-Compete. We don’t always agree with the AG, but this time we do.
• Finally, Scarlett Johannson’s attempt to ban the translation and film adaptation of a French novel that capitalizes on her name has only resulted in bringing attention to the novel. Oh, and she got €2500 (about $2800) out of the lawsuit. We advise her not to spend it all in one place.