Hey all! I am sure that since we are all actively participating in the online writing community, we have seen the recent twitter fallout that has caused two major book releases to be cancelled. If you haven’t, check out this article explaining the recent events, and I will do my best to summarize it below.
Amélie Wen Zhao wrote and secured an advance of at least $500,000 with Delacorte for her debut trilogy on the strength of the first novel Blood Heir. Months before the novel was slated to be released, a few book reviewers went to twitter stating that the ARC continued racists themes. Ultimately, they viewed her depiction of slavery, which was inspired from Asian history, as being insensitive due to how they perceived through the lens of American slavery.
Due to the mass outrage this sparked on twitter, well before the vast majority of people had a chance to read the book and judge it on their own, Zhao ended up requesting to pull the book from publication. This mob justice is the sort of thing that I think runs rampant on twitter and it is not isolated to only the YA crowds.
Twitter seems to thrive on the outrage culture. Whenever I scroll through my feed, it seems that every other post is talking about how everything is awful, on fire, or is a gross generalization about entire demographics of people. (Facebook isn’t much better, truth be told. I personally enjoy the writing communities on reddit the most.)
I think twitter has some great aspects. All of the pitch events are a great resource, and it allows writers to keep up with current events in the publishing world in real time—I would have never heard about Zhao had the twitter stuff propelled her into the spotlight. In fact, twitter is how people can see when publishing jobs open up (i.e. PodCastle just put out a call for two more slush readers.)
I don’t plan on leaving twitter anytime soon, but I don’t plan to post often. I feel that it just isn’t quite my thing, but more power to everyone who is killing it on there. Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t hit the subscribe button below, it would be freaking awesome if you did!