Is publishing finally changing for real this time?

Nathan Bransford, one of TVWriter™’s favorite writers and writing consultants speaks his mind about the latest developments in publishing. (You know, that part of the writing biz where our work is said to be “by Your Name Here” instead of merely “Written by Your Name Here.”)

by Nathan Bransford

Could the publishing industry finally be changing? For real this time?

The last few months have brought a huge amount of change to the leadership of some major publishers. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy, Knopf publisher Sonny Mehta, and Random House publisher Susan Kamil passed away, and editor Nan Talese announced her retirement.

And in a huge, huge shift, the publishing industry is looking outside of its own ranks for more diverse leadership. Simon & Schuster hired Dana Canedy, formerly the administrator of the Pulitzer Prize, as its publisher, and this week Penguin Random House announced that National Book Foundation head Lisa Lucas will be the new publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books.

This is big for two reasons. For one, the lack of diverse leadership, the lack of turnover, and the publishing industry’s habit of promoting from within meant that, in the words of One World publisher Chris Jackson, “we’re really talking about a 20- or 30-year project to get those people into senior positions as they work their way up.” Essentially, a multi-decade gauntlet through a culture rife with micro-aggressions and systemic blind spots (at best)….

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