Hundreds of Authors Support Striking HarperCollins Workers, But Management Isn’t Listening

Authors who have signed include extremely famous names like Barbara Kingsolver, Kwame Alexander and Jacqueline Woodson. But they are far from the only ones to have spoken, urging the publisher to do the right thing.

Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant, a married couple who were both bestselling authors, write an open letter at HarperCollins in early December highlighting the costs of the publisher’s approach:


Applegate isn’t the only author who must have wondered directly if she’d cross that picket line. In November, novelist Monica Wood wrote that she had refused to sign the cover of his sixth novel in solidarity with the strikers, even if his refusal could harm or even prevent the publication of the book.

There are several open letters, including one that everyone must sign, not just the authors but also the readers.

Letters from the authors and others follow a late November threat by more than 150 literary agents to stop submitting books to HarperCollins. “This burgeoning generation of publishing professionals must contend with student debt, rising costs of living, and the inherent barriers of working long hours without adequate pay,” the agents wrote. “These employees, many of whom bring with them the diverse perspectives that our industry lacks, have been essential to producing the books we are so proud of.”

“I wanted them (HarperCollins) to know that even if they don’t think they will see the effects of the strike now, they will definitely see it in January, when agents will have the most new projects to share.”, Letter organizer Chelsea Hensley told The Associated Press, referring to it being a slow time of year.

HarperCollins isn’t listening, however. CEO Brian Murray replied with a dishonest and defensive letter making it clear that he has no intention of making an improved offer to the strikers. The pressure he is under is not going away, however, as support for the workers continues to grow.

Election season overtime is finally over, so Democratic operative Joe Sudbay joins David Nir on Downvoting as a guest host this week to recap some of the latest results that just dropped. Topping the list is the Arizona Attorney General race, 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 the success of Arizona’s Proposition 308, which will allow students to receive financial aid regardless of their immigration status.

In California, the Democrats have just taken control of the supervisory boards of two huge counties, Riverside and Orange, in the case of the latter, for the first time since 1976. Joe and David also discuss the Democratic candidates who failed this year . they’d like to see try again in 2024, and what the GOP’s slim majority means for Kevin McCarthy’s prospects as a speaker.

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