Book cancelling through a media studies lens

BookRiot gets serious for a moment with this piece by a media studies type on whether books are being “cancelled” and why.

From a Media Studies perspective, the behavior of publishers that led up to this fracas is troubling as well. Every big publisher has a conservative imprint for Fox News hosts, self-described thought leaders, and former and current politicians to publish their books. The old guard of publishing (meaning most of the people in senior executive roles) believe they should publish a variety of voices.

But why write a book? It’s a product to sell. Why is a book different from any other commodity? It holds power, and who will publish your book proves how much power the knowledge you’re trying to convey in your book has. Books are still seen as important units of learning and knowledge collection — that’s why so many antiracist reading lists came out over the summer. A book published by a big publisher is seen as having a robust argument and valuable knowledge to contribute to your brain. The big publishers are valuable and the publishers confer value onto the authors they choose. Accumulating capital through power over knowledge is just as important to publishers as profit because their reputation allows them to position their books as necessary commodities.

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