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2020 began with the literary advocacy neighborhood Dignidad Literaria organizing towards the unconventional American dust, which critics argued fetishized the suffering of Mexican migrants. (publisher Macmillan had celebrated its launch with barbed wire centerpieces.) That March, journalist Ronan Farrow wrote an open letter against his publisher Hachette for making a choice on to publish Woody Allen’s memoir, despite accusations from Ronan’s sister Dylan that Woody had molested her when she become a baby. (Allen continues to disclaim all allegations of molestation; Hachette at last dropped Allen’s e-book following a group of workers walkout, and it went to yet another writer.) In July, the writer L.L. McKinney launched the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe to draw consideration to the disparity between the way many publishers pay white authors and the way they pay authors of color. Meanwhile, publishers spent the summer of protests issuing statements avowing their help for Black Lives count number.
The protests didn’t cease there. In April, Blake Bailey, author of a splashy new Philip Roth biography, become accused of rape with the aid of two women, together with one in all his former college students. (Bailey has denied all allegations.) Bailey’s writer W.W. Norton announced first that it could stop printing and promotion his book, after which that it will take the ebook absolutely out of print.
but Bailey’s book wasn’t the primary to see its writer withdrawing aid this year. The trade kicked off 2021 with two high-profile cancellations. Each came from Simon & Schuster, some of the “big five” publishing properties whose imprints together post the vast majority of trade print books within the US.
In January, within the wake of the Capitol insurrection, the company announced it changed into losing plans to post a ebook by way of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). “We didn’t come to this decision calmly,” it spoke of in an announcement. “As a writer it will at all times be our mission to extend numerous voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public accountability as residents, and cannot help Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous possibility to our democracy and freedom.”
quickly, Simon & Schuster would distance itself from a further title. On April 15, the Louisville Courier-Journal said that Jonathan Mattingly, one of the cops who fired shots at Breonna Taylor, can be publishing a book about the case via post Hill Press, an impartial writer distributed by way of Simon & Schuster. The same day, Simon & Schuster announced it would not be distributing Mattingly’s book.
but whilst Simon & Schuster deserted Mattingly’s publication, it turned into about to announce two more publication deals that would be just about as controversial: one with Pence, and one with Conway.
And these new acquisitions would instantaneous outrage now not best from outdoor the company however additionally from its staffers.
“Your determination-making is barely guided through earnings presently”: The fight over Mike Pence’s booklet deal
One Does Not Stop Buying Books Just Because There Is No More Shelf Space Poster
On April 7, Simon & Schuster announced that it had reached a two-e-book take care of Mike Pence and that it deliberate to put up his autobiography in 2023 through the company’s flagship imprint, also known as Simon & Schuster. (For more on the difference between Simon & Schuster the business and Simon & Schuster the imprint, see here.)