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A Kobo Quarantine, an Unhappy Gallagher, and Other News…

This week in the publishing world…

Kobo Quarantines Self Published Authors

After highly unflattering news coverage regarding several pornographic publications, Kobo pulled several self-published titles from the digital shelves on October 15, BBC News reports. A spokesperson for Kobo has insisted that the move is not a form of censorship, but an effort to “protect the reputation of self publishing as a whole”.  Self-published

McDonald’s Celebrates Literacy with Happy Meals

From  November 1st to November 14th, McDonald’s will be distributing an expected 20 million books with their happy meals, according to Publisher’s Weekly.  Four original titles will be released with the popular kids meals and will not be sold outside of the promotion.  This promotion will position the fast food chain as one of the top children’s book distributers.

Neil Gaiman: “We Have an Obligation to Imagine.”

Author Neil Gaiman gave a lecture earlier this week discussing the importance of libraries, reading fiction for pleasure, and daydreaming.  Gaiman spoke at The Reading Agency’s annual lecture series at the Barbican in London, England on Monday, October 14th.  An edited version of his lecture can be found on The Guardian.

Eleanor Catton Wins the Man Booker Prize

Catton, the youngest author ever to win the prestigious award was honoured for her book, “The Luminaries”.  The Luminaries is a stylistic tale of mysterious and seemingly linked occurances in a New Zealand gold-mining town.  It is also the longest book to ever receive the Man Booker Prize, a hefty read at 848 pages long.  Publishing Perspectives has the full story available.

Noel Gallagher:  “Fifty Shades of Grey? Fifty shades of s–t.”

The 46 year-old musician, known for his previous successes with the rock band, Oasis doesn’t like fiction.  At all.  In an interview with GQ Magazine, Gallagher expresses his extreme distaste for fictional books and their authors, book sellers, and owners, completely baffled by their use and offended by their “snobbery”.

Did we miss one of your favourite publishing news stories of the week? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @sumbolacosi.

One thought on “A Kobo Quarantine, an Unhappy Gallagher, and Other News…

  1. If Kobo wanted to help self-published authors, it might make available better content guidelines. Its Content policy gives it the ability “deem” something sexually inappropriate, or not. On the violence end, it only “asks” that users not publish content that contains graphic violence. This is a pretty thin editorial policy for a company that holding itself out as an open platform.

    See Kobo Content Policy retrieved 10/23/2013:
    Pornography, adult content, and obscenity:
    Pornography, Nudity, and Sexually Explicit Material: Adult or explicit material depicting illegal [UNDER WHAT LAW?} acts or deemed[?] to be exploitative [OF WHAT?] shall be considered pornography and blocked or removed from the Website. See below for details regarding Kobo standards. If Your content contains appropriate adult or explicit material, please mark the page as containing mature content as a courtesy to other Users, so that they will have the choice whether or not to view this content. You can do this either in the subtitle or in the opening paragraph of your Shortcover. We reserve the right to put such content, or any Shortcover containing mature content, behind an interstitial.
    -Pedophilia, Incest, Bestiality, Exploitation and Sexual Violence or Force: Users may not publish written, image, audio or video content that promotes pedophilia, incest, bestiality, or sexual violence or force.
    -Commercial Pornography: We do not allow content that exists for the primary purpose of monetizing porn content or driving traffic to a monetized pornography site.
    -Child Pornography: Kobo has a zero‐tolerance policy against child pornography, and We will terminate and report to the appropriate authorities any User who publishes or distributes child pornography, or who promotes material that is or purports to be child pornography.
    -Hateful content: Users may not publish material that promotes hate toward groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity.
    -Violent content: Users may not publish direct threats of violence against any person or group of people. We also ask Users not to publish content that contains graphic violence. [WILL KOBO BLOCK THIS?] Users may not publish instructional material regarding the creation [promoting the creation?] of weapons of mass destruction. [THERE GOES MY NONPROLIFERATION TRAINING MANUAL]

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