The authors who signed include extremely famous names like Barbara Kingsolver, Kwame Alexander, and Jacqueline Woodson. But they’re far from the only ones who’ve been speaking out, urging the publisher to do the right thing.
Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant, a married couple who have both been successful authors, wrote an open letter to HarperCollins at the beginning of December highlighting the costs of the publisher’s course of action:
Applegate isn’t the only author who has had to directly consider whether she would cross this picket line. In November, novelist Monica Wood wrote that she had refused to sign off on the cover of her sixth novel in solidarity with the striking workers, even though her refusal could damage or even prevent the book’s release.
There are multiple open letters out there, including one for everyone to sign—not just authors but readers as well.
The letters from the authors and others follow a late November threat by more than 150 literary agents to stop submitting books to HarperCollins. “This generation of rising publishing professionals must contend with student loan debt, the rising cost of living, and the barriers inherent in working long hours without adequate compensation,” the agents wrote. “These employees, many of whom bring with them the diverse viewpoints our industry lacks, have been essential to the production of the books we are so proud of.”
”I wanted them (HarperCollins) to know that even if they don’t think they’re seeing the effects of the strike now, they’ll definitely be seeing it come January, which is when agents will have the most new projects to share,” letter organizer Chelsea Hensley told the Associated Press, referring to the fact that this is a slow time of year.
HarperCollins is not listening, though. CEO Brian Murray responded with a dishonest, defensive letter making clear that he has no intention of making an improved offer to the striking workers. The pressure he’s under is not going away, though, as support for the workers keeps building.
Election season overtime is finally winding down, so Democratic operative Joe Sudbay joins David Nir on The Downballot as a guest-host this week to recap some of the last results that have just trickled in. At the top of the list is the race for Arizona attorney general, where Democrat Kris Mayes has a 510-vote lead with all ballots counted (a mandatory recount is unlikely to change the outcome). Also on the agenda is Arizona's successful Proposition 308, which will allow students to receive financial aid regardless of immigration status.
Over in California, Democrats just took control of the boards of supervisors in two huge counties, Riverside and Orange—in the case of the latter, for the first time since 1976. Joe and David also discuss which Democratic candidates who fell just short this year they'd like to see try again in 2024, and what the GOP's very skinny House majority means for Kevin McCarthy's prospects as speaker.
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