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A long list of commercial success stories has emerged from the self-publishing boom, sometimes with sales in the millions. Nicolas DECOOPMAN

Self-publishing matters – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

It is still stigmatised, still seen as amateur, even as illegitimate, but self-publishing has truly arrived. We ignore it at our peril.
Austen periodically runs afoul of a particular kind of cultural hypocrisy. jamelah e.

Jane Austen is facing death by popularity … and men

Once pivotal to the English canon, Jane Austen has been adapted and readapted for Hollywood and Bollywood – and that kind of popularity comes at a cost.
Campbell Newman is keen to be the subject of a memoir – but the University of Queensland Press doesn’t want to publish it. AAP Image/John Pryke

Why on earth would a publisher knock back a politician’s memoir?

The University of Queensland Press caused controversy when it turned down Campbell Newman's memoir – but why shouldn't a publisher be entitled to principled refusal?
Adam Smith used parables, morality tales, and canine analogies to explain his theories of economics. Kasper Flörchinger

How cute dogs help us understand Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’

A careful study of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations reveals that its influence lies not in Smith’s ability to construct an argument – but in his skill as teller of tall tales.
More than 20 years after the death of Dr Seuss, readers will have the opportunity to read a new book by the much-loved author. Steve James

It’s not obtuse to deduce there’s a new Dr Seuss on the loose

Adult and child fans of Dr Seuss are set for a treat in July with the publication of a lost manuscript, What Pet Should I Get? Why is it that the works of the American author have such broad appeal?
Alex Prager’s work invites belief in the vocabulary of hope. © Alex Prager, courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

The American Dream is yours, and this is your wake-up call

LA photographer Alex Prager is currently exhibiting short films and film stills at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne. There is something authentic behind the artifice of her highly staged…
Some criticism of Fifty Shades reveals a disdainful attitude toward fans of the franchise. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick - © Universal Pictures

The ‘mommy porn’ myth: who are the Fifty Shades of Grey fans?

With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey in cinemas this week, serious questions have been raised about whether the film depicts abuse – including on The Conversation. Some feminist groups have staged…
The new waterfront in Australian literature: Parramatta. Lina Hayes/Flickr

The new Australian literary frontier: writing Western Sydney

Despite boasting a population of 2 million people – more than South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT combined – Western Sydney has, to date, had little impact on the literary pulse…

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