Our roundup of key news affecting authors. In this edition: Amazon reducing orders to publishers, what makes a reader give an unknown author a chance, and more...

What Makes Readers Give an Unknown Author a Chance?
Janefriedman.com
“It’s natural to gravitate to the familiar, and it’s proven that readers tend to buy books by authors whose prior novels they’ve enjoyed. We expect to like the author’s newest book. And we will, unless our expectation is disproven. It’s the other way around for an unknown author with no ‘upfront credit.’”

Amazon Reducing Orders to Publishers
Publishers Weekly
“Several independent publishers contacted by PW reported cuts in their weekly orders since late October. One publisher reported that an order placed last week was about 75% lower than an order placed last year at this time. ‘It’s a nightmare,’ the head of one independent publisher said.”

Congress Can Protect Creative Artists from Piracy. Why Won’ t the Senate Pass the Bill?
Hartford Courant
“The Internet has become a candy store for the stealing of creative work, and it is devastating the careers and incomes of authors and virtually everyone whose work touches the creative arts.”

7 Books About the Struggle of Being a Writer
Electric Literature
“The agonies and the ecstasies of the mysterious ‘writing process.’ The torture of knowing you have pledged your soul to the noble pursuit of art. No one knows just how hard it is in these times to be An Artist™ quite like a fellow writer.”

2018 VIDA Count Finds Mild Improvement in Lit Mag Gender Parity
Publishers Weekly
“This year saw marked improvements: four of the top 15 publications published more women writers than men, and pieces by women comprised less than 40% of all articles at only six of those 15 this year."

How Literary Translation Can Shift the Tides of Power
Electric Literature
“Translation holds a particular and peculiar power. It is how we come to understand the world outside our own; that is, the world that exists outside of our own language.”

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash