I’m off to New York next week for a whirlwind round of approximately 2,274 1/2 meetings, so posting will be sporadic until my return. Now if New York would kindly cooperate and keep its weather below 80 degrees I’d appreciate it. I’m watching you, humidity. Don’t get sassy.
It may have been Gut Week in Publishing on this blog, but it was Sequel Week in the rest of publishing. That’s because two major, beloved franchises are getting sequels, and not your ordinary “let’s just put a sequential number at the end” type either. First, from Penguin’s UK blog came word that ARTEMIS FOWL author Eoin Colfer will be writing a sequel to the late Douglas Adams’ HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY series. Hyperion will be publishing here in the US. Hope Eoin brought his towel. Meanwhile, Publishers Marketplace brings news that Candice Bushnell just signed a deal with Balzer & Bray to write a YA novel based on Carrie Bradshaw’s high school years.
In a move that had me saying “Innnnnnteresting,” Sony announced that their Sony Reader would soon be sold in Target stores. The Kindle is still only for sale via Amazon’s website. Who wins in the brick and mortar vs. silicon battle of the e-readers? Grab your popcorn and coke, this one is going to be a barnburner.
That sound you heard is the economy melting down! And how are book sales doing? Um… Yeah. Maya Reynolds notes a PW report that book sales took another tumble in July, and are only up 1.7% over last year, compared to 3.2% in the entire retail sector. Blech.
This may explain why telling people to stop writing is a growth industry. Into the territory championed by Sean Lindsay at 101 Reasons to Stop Writing, GalleyCat noted an article by career specialist Penelope Trunk called 5 reasons you don’t need to write a book. #4 Reason is that you’ll make more money flipping burgers than writing, to which authors everywhere will respond, “Well, YEAH….”
Bestselling suspense author Jeff Abbott noted a recent study on the destructive force of the Internet on writing. Of course, if you’re reading this, the Internet is probably distracting you from writing. Ha! The Internet is a clever foe indeed.
My client Jennifer Hubbard, author of the forthcoming BLACK MOUNTAIN ROAD, wrote a seriously awesome post on voice. Among the insightful insights: voice isn’t just for first person, and a compelling voice is consistent and yet complex. There’s much more, and it’s terrific advice.
And finally, you know all those books we were embarrassed we hadn’t read? Well, along came British author Richard Wilson with an article on 10 Books NOT to Read Before you Die. Mine is #9, and plenty of popular answers were among those Richard says we shouldn’t read.
Have a great weekend!
I think I read the first few pages of one or two of them but the others have always been on my boooooring list.
David Sean says
-I’m writing stories in a blog I started recently. If you ever have the time, I would like you to check out the beginning of my first story. My family and friends all say it’s pretty good, but none of them are literary agents. So I would like your construcive criticism and your advice.
Lonely Paul says
“I can only assume that like modern art where you can sneeze on a canvas and call it art”
I’m not really scary and mean either, and I love everyone on this blog (really) but I do take exception to that last point.
If a person doesn’t like a painting they can just roll their eyes and walk away from it whereas reading a book from cover to cover requires a significant investment of time as well as effort.
That’s probably why I end up skimming so many of them. A page here, a paragraph there.
I don’t like his list so I made my own:
1. ATLAS SHRUGGED
2. THE SHIPPING NEWS
3. LIFE OF PI
4. NINETEEN MINUTES
5. ALL THE PRETTY HORSES
7. THE FIRM
8. GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
9. THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
10. ANY ‘CHICKEN SOUP’ BOOK
Anonymous made me chuckle. Good list.
Bushnell writing books for my kids? I don’t know if I can handle that. I’m a fan – sort of. I watched “Sex” religiously on HBO (in my bedroom with the door closed and the volume on low to protect all the innocents in the house.) And I’ve read several of her books. They’re good summer porn. Great to read in the waiting room of the dentist office, if you don’t mind blushing in public. But, I’m not ready for CB to write for my daughter.
Obviously, someone else thinks differently. I imagine a lot of allowance money will be spent at Barnes and Nobles without parent’s permission on the teen life of Carrie Bradshaw. Just as it was spent on “Forever” by Judy Blume when I was 13.
Just so you know, I did get that chapter done today. No distractions from the internet! Well, *this* one. 🙂
There should be a rule that there should be no sequels allowed written by anyone other than the author. Like when they did that with Gone With the Wind; that was ridiculous. If anyone wants to write the the original Hitchhiker books, then WRITE YOUR OWN. (Sorry, I feel strongly about this.)
I’m sorry, that made me so mad about the sequel to HGTTG that I wrote about the first time I picked up the original and I want to know – do other people think it is a good idea to have author’s try to ride coattails and do sequels like this???? you can vote on my blog on http://www.spinregina.blogspot.com you’ll notice that the one vote thus far is NO and it is from me. No, never, ever. Period.
Wanda B. Ontheshelves says
Re: “Just so you know, I did get that chapter done today.”
Good for you. Bravo.
Kate H says
Richard Wilson, I thumb my nose at thee! But what can you expect from a television producer? Several of his “don’t bother”s are among my favorite books. I was one of those people carrying LOTR around in high school. I wonder what people like Wilson carry so that I’ll know at a glance I have nothing in common with them. Maybe a handheld video player . . .
by Ambrosia and Epiphany says
Thanks for the wealth of information as usual and Welcome to the NY!
Maybe for next week’s This Week in Publishing:
Jane at the Dear Author Book review site posted a very interesting post on “Why Literary Fiction Should Embrace Digital Publishing”.
Here’s the link if you’re interested:
cool how u get yr writing juices, on any topic! flow so easily…any tips wld be oh so great!
My BREASTS, My Business!!
really awesome some extra clicking
Here’s my comment about books – I love the feel of the pages in my hand; which is why, an e-reader is not on my top 100 list of things I need to buy in the near future. I love to go into Borders and browse – for hours – through the shelves, picking up books, reading the jacket, and then flipping through and reading a paragraph or two to decide whether I want to buy the book or not. I have, once or twice, bought a book solely because of the paper of the pages (Abarat by Clive Barker was one of those books). So, for me, forget the e-readers. Just give me a good book, a rainy day, and endless hours to read.
Adaora A. says
I don’t understand how people can NOT like Jane Austen’s works, nor Hemmingway, and a lot of other stuff which made the list. But the beauty of the industry is the variety alongside the selectivity.
JayJay Rush says
I’ve read five of the “Ten books not to read…” So much life wasted
Just recently found your blog, and guess what, I’m a writer… I think.
Thanks for the blogs, they are very informative.
JayJay Rush says
and I read two on anonymous’ list…
Do I just read too much?
kilo verme says
Among the insightful insights: voice isn’t just for first person, and a compelling voice is consistent and yet complex. There’s much more, and it’s terrific advice
botoks kremi says
But, you know, I also love Hemingway, Dostoevsky, and O’Connor. Yeah, I’m nuts.
Nathan, you’re too cute! Have fun in New York…and oh, what’s that I hear? oh yes, Candace Bushnell laughing all the way to the bank as she jumps on the hot YA market bus!
Oh my! I hope that ’10 Books’ article was not written seriously!
The number 1 is one of my favorite books.
And I didn’t like what he had to say about us Dune-reading Peter Gabriel fans. 0_0
Helen Ginger says
Totally agree with Jeff Abbott. The Internet has begun to eat up my day. Need to cut back, but on what exactly? Something’s gotta go, that’s for sure.
Very excited to see a new Hitchiker book, albeit a bit wary to see what it will be like without Adams’ input.
Sally's Chateau says
A home without books is a home without a heart, anyway writing is massively theraputic and it’s free, thats a good thing huh ?
I recall reading a story somewhere about the youngest boy in a family of boys, all farmers. One day he made a comment about the beautiful colors in a rainbow and he was shouted down by his scornful brothers. They said he was talking like a woman and never to mention the beauty of color again.
Later the boy found out that every male in his family except him was colorblind.
The list of books not to read looks like a list of books to be avoided by the art-blind. A true work of art does not divulge its treasures to those who don’t know how to dig into it. A work of art is an object of contemplation. To enjoy it requires the developement of patient contemplation.
What is a person missing out on if he never develops this capacity for patient contemplation of art? Well, let’s just say that there’s a world of difference between the quality of enjoyment you derive from entertainment and the quality of enjoyment you derive from art. People like the author of this list are impoverished souls, not authorities on matters of such importance to society. To shift metaphors, I don’t think we need to pay much attention to the opinions of people addicted to dime candy, on whether rare steak and gourmet salads are really worth trying out.
Perhaps the only way in which I could connect with this list at all is to agree it’s silly to read a book just because it’s considered “important” and you’re embarrassed not to have. Delight is the only good reason to read. Still, the capacity for delight must be developed.
I like to tell people to start with Dr. Seuss.
the Amateur Book Blogger says
Who would parent Carrie Bradshaw? LOL.
Hope NY is treating you well.
What do you think of this news over at You Write On – Arts Council funded YouWriteOn.com will publish for free the first 5,000 writers who contact them – Fiction & Non-Fiction.
It's a genuine site with proven track record. It is still self-publishing, but with a twist.
Interesting blog there on voice. nice 🙂
dear joseph selby,
(1) Hear hear! I see no problem with him giving his opinion about these books, but how ludicrous to tell other people it’s a waste of time to read any book that has inspired generations of readers and writers.
(2) Hear hear! Nuff said.
Thanks for the posts. I am researching agents, publishers, and how to promote books now because I am in the process of writing a book. I also started a blog for new writers to share their experiences. The-New-Author.blogspot.com
An agents point of view in that mix would be great as we new authors need all the information we can get. Thanks again for the insight and keep up the good post.
Fantasticos Ganymede says
“Eoin Colfer will be writing a sequel to the late Douglas Adams’ HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY series.”
And then going straight to hell, I hope. What’s next? Letting McG loose on Citizen Kane II: Xanadu Nights?
Karin Zirk says
OK I confess. This website is distracting me from work (I’m a database administrator when I’m not practicing my writing) and the SQL query from hell against junk data that is supposed to uncover something meaningful. But when the powers that be can’t even provide a list of who works here, I don’t know how I’m supposed to validate their existence.
–The zen of data management.
yep, I heard penelope speak, and she was pretty adament about that one… although she did say that if you insist on writing a book (like she did…), make sure it’s about something new and valuable, not just a book for the sake of you ego/ amusement. guess that makes sense… you have to find a niche and say something new for people to find you amid the millions of books being published–not to mention the wealth of online media clogging public discourse, of which I suppose we are a part, as bloggers.