The LA Review of Books blog has an interesting, lengthy interview with Dalkey Archive Press founder John O’Brien, who has been in talks with Chad Post at Open Letter Press about a merger or other types of cooperation. “Chad and I have been talking about what happens with Dalkey when I’m gone, and right now we are focused on how we can be of help to each other. Dalkey has this very substantial backlist of over 850 books, and Open Letter has who I think is the smartest person there is in terms of marketing. Right now we are speculating on everything from a close alliance to an eventual merging of the two presses.” More broadly, “I’m focused on how to hand over Dalkey to the next generation and keep in print the 850 or so books we have. The United States is not great at preserving literature or at preserving publishing houses. I am hoping to help create a new model for how a publishing house can go on beyond its founder with its mission and values preserved.”
In the UK, the Society of Authors has received combined gifts of £235,000 to their Authors’ Contingency Fund for the support of authors through the crisis. Money was donated by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, the Royal Literary Fund, English PEN with the T S Eliot Foundation, and Amazon UK. The SOA is “talking to other partner organisations and funding bodies about the possibility of increasing this funding pot, to make it a truly sector-wide national initiative.” They expect to make grants of “up to £2,000 and designed to meet urgent need.”
Bookshop.org made an important update to their site: They now have a directory of participating independent booksellers. Stores get the most benefit when shoppers buy through any individual Bookshop-powered store page, which provides the booksellers with a direct 30 percent of the purchase price — so encourage your networks to find and support individual stores.
The British Book Awards posted their shortlists — with nominees in 9 book categories, and 15 trade categories.
The Windham-Campbell Prizes announced eight winners in four categories, with each winner receiving $165,000:
Yiyun Li (US)
Namwali Serpell (US/Zambia)
Maria Tumarkin (Australia)
Anne Boyer (US)
Bhanu Kapil (US/UK)
Jonah Mixon-Webster (US)
Aleshea Harris (US)
Julia Cho (US)