Lou Reed's Poe Fancy, Unfinished Book Becomes Best-Seller, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Blessed be the gatekeepers? Given rise in popularity of self-published e-books, and the "orgies of desperate back-scratching that make old-school literary logrolling seem downright genteel" that e-book review forums can resemble, Eric Felten urges readers to appreciate traditional publishing while they still can. (Wall Street Journal)

The news of the demise of the Oxford comma has been greatly exaggerated. Mary Elizabeth Williams provides an overview and offers a plea for reprieve. (Salon)

Edward Nawotka proposes that literary xenophobia may be a global problem, not just an American one. (Publishing Perspectives)

Author John Green's latest young-adult novel has topped the best-seller lists of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, though the book, The Fault in Our Stars, won't be published until next spring. What's his secret? Green's avid tweeting, for one, which has earned him over a million followers on Twitter, coupled with the author's promise of signed preorders. (Publishers Weekly)

Borders has reached an agreement to sell itself to private equity firm Najafi, the company that owns the Book-of-the-Month Club. (Guardian)

Songwriter Lou Reed speaks about his latest Edgar Allan Poe–inspired project—a graphic novel titled The Raven, set for release next month—and suggests John Cusack's forthcoming Poe movie should use his music. (New York Magazine)

Call Heather Christle at (413) 570-3077. Seriously. To promote her new book, the poet has secured a telephone number to deliver poems to callers, beginning today. (HTML Giant)

Just in time for the long holiday weekend, David Gutkowski offers a summer reading list to end all summer reading lists.(Largehearted Boy)