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Gatekeeping in Non-fiction?

Discussion in 'Tea Room (Book Chat)' started by Reader, November 12, 2019.

  1. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    An article in the Guardian today covered the issue of whether publishers are refusing to publish books that presented Leave topics:

    'Bookshops pass on anything to the right of Tony Blair': are publishers failing leave voters?

    It made me think. Most authors already know that there is gatekeeping due to marketability in major publishing houses, and that because the publishers come from similar backgrounds and education they tend to choose the same type of books (hence horror and other genres having trouble). It is one of the major drivers of self-publishing.

    Is the same thing now happening in factual works?

    (I understand this is politics and may be moved to the Dive.)
  2. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    Keep the politics out of it. A High-level and civil discussion of censorship and gate-keeping is allowable, but I will be watching this. Pre-moderation may be employed if posters cannot behave.
  3. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    I'm not sure how to say this with out getting political::unsure::, but the Guardian article itself says that one of the agents had authors 'across the political spectrum from Oliver Letwin to Richard Reeves'. Except that this isn't really a defence as that is a very narrow spectrum as Richard Reeves was Director of Strategy for Nick Clegg, who was in coalition with the Cameron government that Letwin was part of, and they are both Remain.

    If that's what the paper itself thinks is the full political spectrum, aren't they proving that they are part of the problem? If they had mentioned someone like John Redwood it would have been a wide spectrum, because he definitely and loudly holds different views. Doesn't mean I share them:p, but its kind of disturbing.
  4. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    Who was it who said 'the problem is not the people who read Mein Kampf, it's the people who believe in it'?

    If the arguments aren't presented, how do you know what they are to rebut them?
  5. porridge

    porridge Member

    Ah'm more surprised ya read t'Guardian.
  6. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire Scribe

    I'm generally not in favour of gatekeeping for anything other then quality, but if it is based on profitability it makes sense even if I dislike it. I am surprised they'd leave the money from Leave voters on the table, since that's about 50% of the market which leaves them all competing for a slice of a smaller pie.

    The problem with arguing for critical source evaluation is that no matter how much you tell people to evaluate their sources, they've been told to listen to their teachers and parents for longer. When many classes, especially at senior level, use textbooks written by the teachers, there is an argument there for conflict of interest. After all, it is almost impossible to be unbiased when debating your own work.
  7. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    I was directed to it by the Telegraph, via the comments section.
  8. Angel

    Angel Munificent Critic

    If there is, then it's not a good thing at all as people will go elsewhere to find stories that they relate to, most likely online or by recommendation.

    It was depressing to see that they feel they should push their narrative, which in turn will push people away from using their shops or goods. It would not surprise me if they are simultaneously decrying the lack of people in the shops, but insisting they should only deal with the right kind of people who think like them.

    If they cannot or will not challenge their viewpoints, they will miss out.
  9. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    So that's why some biographies you can't enter a bookshop for falling over and why you never see some others.

    Of course, there are some right wing biographies I wouldn't dream of ever considering...but then you have to consider Terry Goodkind and his works.

    As for leave topics, I'm betting most of them are trying to ignore it and hope it goes away. Which it will do once the next election is sorted out (please let it be sorted out).

    Still don't get why most people consider Brexit to be a right-wing only policy. The hard left hate Europe just as much

    sorry if I'm straying too far.

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