Another busy week in publishing, so let’s get started.
First off, my wonderful client Jennifer Hubbard and some of her blogging friends are hosting a fundraiser for local libraries! All you have to do is click over to her blog and leave a comment on her blog or one of the other participants, and they’ll donate an extra 25 cents.
Also on Jennifer Hubbard’s blog recently was some of the best first draft advice you’ll ever receive.
And our good friend Conduit/Stuart Neville, author of the forthcoming novel THE TWELVE (UK)/GHOSTS OF BELFAST (US) (can we start calling Conduit/Stuart “Slash” for short?) posted about a common sentiment about embarking upon the all-important second novel. Angst and nervousness sometimes (often) involved.
In the category of “holy crap, why didn’t anyone tell me this blog existed???”, I came across Picador creative director Henry Sene Yee’s blog, which is mainly devoted to talking about how book designers create their jackets, their inspiration and source material, and some of the drafts and false starts along the way. IT. IS. FASCINATING. The most recent post is about the cover for COLUMBINE by Dave Cullen. (hat tip Book Design Review)
Moonrat took a look at a Richard Curtis article from 1986 about the way the conglomeration of the publishing industry has resulted in editorial turnover that leads to less author and book commitment, which is still, shall we say, still relevant. Curtis also created just a partial list of the publishing mergers and acquisitions of the past 20 years, which is eye-popping.
Good news for the indispensable site Writer Beware, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by a supposed literary agent against the site, with prejudice. I’ve always wanted to type that. I just took out the trash WITH PREJUDICE. It has a ring to it. Anyway, as you may recall a literary agent sued the site’s organizers claiming libel, but the judge was having none of that.
The Bookseller recently reported on a reader study (market research?? publishing??) in the UK that concluded that 20m (which I think means 20 million, although it could mean 20 males) readers are currently being left behind by a publishing industry that they think conveys a certain type of society and lifestyle. They also regard reading as an “anti-social activity”. Well, YEAH. And thank goodness, too.
Also in “those wacky Brits” news, the annual award for the Oddest Book Title was announced. This year’s winner: THE 2009-2014 WORLD OUTLOOK FOR 60-MILLIGRAM CONTAINERS OF FROMAGE FRAIS. Sorry, BABOON METAPHYSICS. Not weird enough for first place.
In agent advice news, you may have noticed a recent article in The Beast about how some big short story collections are defying industry conventional wisdom that says collections don’t sell. So agents are probably all over them now, right? Miriam at Dystel & Goderich says not so fast.
Meanwhile, after all this talk about the death of publishing, do you still want to work in the publishing business? Jessica Faust has some advice: pack your bags for Manhattan. Oh. And you might want to brush up on your drink mixology skills for your night job (yes, you may need one).
And in another crucial question answered, Jessica Faust tackles what an author can really do to help sell their books. A must-read.
And finally, take a beloved picture book classic, add Dave Eggars and Spike Jonez, mix in a dash of the Arcade Fire (Mom, that’s a popular band among people my age), and what you have is pure hipster crack. I can tell you from personal experience that Gen Xers and Yers across the nation are currently losing their minds over the trailer for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE:
Have a great weekend!
Rick Daley says
Thanks for the update, now I’m off to post another comment elsewhere so I can help find a library…
Justus M. Bowman says
Thanks for the information.
Lots of great info. So glad I found your blog.
Tara Maya says
I agree the first place winner deserves the title. But “Baboon Metaphysics” is going to be on my must-read list.
Let’s hear it for anti-social activity! Unless, of course, you’re reading out loud…to people who want to hear it.
You know, that post made by Jennifer Hubbard was really what I needed to read now 🙂 I’m the queen of second guessing, and that’s probably the main reason why I haven’t finished my first draft. 😛
Best. Kids. Book. Evah.
Okay, tied for best. Gotta give some props to Mercer Meyer’s One Monster After Another. But much love for the Wild Things (wherever they may be).
And nice to see some props for short story writers. And I’m probably going to have to buy that Columbine book now… damn the enticing linkage!
I’d have to disagree. Best children’s book ever would have to be “Goodnight Moon”. Although I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be much of a movie line for that. Thanks for the news Nathan!
Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! says
Where the Wild Things Are trailer look good, but not THAT amazing.
have a good weekend, everyone. cheers
ryan field says
Library funding this way is a great idea.
I’m Glad the writer beware case was dismissed.
Chuck H. says
Big snowstorm comin’ in. Looks like a good weekend to stay in and read. Too bad I don’t have a copy of “Baboon Metaphysics”.
I read Goodnight Moon to my kids all the time! Good book. I’d still have to tip my hat to the Wild Things, though. Goodnight Moon is lacking in, um, monsters. How can you win without monsters?
Marilyn Peake says
Thanks once again for so many great links. All that information makes me very excited to be a writer, even if it is tough times right now. I left a comment on Jennifer Hubbard’s blog, and even managed to use the word Huzzah! She’s doing a wonderful thing. I love the book, Where the Wild Things Are, and the movie trailer for it looks absolutely awesome! I saw it yesterday on The Swivet blog, and sent the link to my friends. I also love the adult graphic novel, Watchmen, saw the extraordinary movie yesterday; and feel so inspired, it’s like I’ve been in creative heaven since then. Amazing trailer for Watchmen: here.
Have a great weekend!
We have a name for those 20m who stuff their faces with moving images all day and look at book readers as lame. “Vidiots”. The experience of reading requires effort, and has its own reward. One that sticks with you. You want a fast track to annoying? Keep worshiping that tube.
Hmm…maybe we can hide 3-D glasses in them. That might get them to open one.
And cheers for the collection info, Nathan. I’d been wondering about that myself. Not everyone is the next Donald Ray Pollock, but I do have a collection idea tucked away that I may just sit on some more.
And 25 cents deposited. Hurrah!
A little music for those of a monsterish persuasion…
finally i can waste time for a good cause. 🙂
Thanks for linking, Nathan! Several of your readers have been gracious enough to drop by, and I appreciate it. I imagine the libraries will, too. 🙂
Vancouver Dame says
A good wrap-up post for the week, Nathan. Enjoyed all the links, but I especially liked hearing that the people who maintain the Writer Beware blog were vindicated.
Also enjoyed Stuart Neville’s post on the second novel. His current position is enviable, but I agree that angst persists at all levels in any creative field.
Nathan, There was a question raised by one of the readers earlier this week, regarding what you and your readers consider their favorite writing book, and why. I second that suggestion for a future question. We might all learn of a few new books to help us in our quest. Some of us might even buy a book or two, as a result.
Have a great weekend, Nathan, and ditto to all the readers of your blog.
I can’t wait for the film adaptation of my favorite children’s book, Everybody Poops.
And how are y'all doing the word-linking? Is it < url= >?
Nathan Bransford says
Yeah, I’ll be asking the writing book question at an upcoming You Tell Me.
Have you ever read Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott? If not…
Always good to help out a fellow Canuckian. 🙂
My best, as always,
If people get counted like office supplies, 20m would be 20,000. I’m familiar with office supplies, less so the standards on reporting numbers of people.
Thanks for all the links Nathan. Good for Jennifer Hubbard – I left a message but had to do so as Anon for some reason so hope it counts. I also loved Jessica Faust’s blog.
As far as short stories go, they may not sell but they’re so much fun to write. I figure, as long as you’re unpublished and not beholden to anyone yet, you can write whatever the heck you want. Happy Friday! 🙂
Mark Terry says
Better watch out. You start labeling reading an “anti-social activity” and the next thing you know, kids will do it just to spite their parents.
Nathan Bransford says
lol @ Bryan.
Scott, here's how you do it, only replace every [ or ] with a < or >
[a href="https://link.com"]text text text[/a]
(Nope, fourth time isn’t the charm either… so I erased it and will simply let Nathan do it. These are words of wisdom. Frankly, I’m planning on ceding my laundry and dishwashing to Nathan as well. Superior technique is superior technique.
And here I thought spaces and stuff would break the link and make me look all clever and sophisticated. Apparently, um, not.
Wow, what an assortment of interesting links. I’ll be reading this weekend. Thanks, Nathan.
My favorite picture book goes to the Polar Express. But I love Where the Wild Things are and Good Moon.
Can I make a blatant plug? I want to plug my new blog ‘Come In Character.’ I started it last Friday, and some here are over there posting, which is fanastic. I’d love for anyone who would like to come over.
It’s a cool way to sharpen your characterizations skills. You post in your character voice, answer questions and interact with other characters.
I know this is blatant, sorry, but I started it from this blog, and this is the best place for me to keep plugging it.
I’m going to go read some DeLillo now. This will make me feel smart.
Bane of Anubis says
I liked WTWTA with prejudice, but I’m not sure how well it’ll translate to the screen – though I’m sure the tikes’ll lap it up. Best kids books, though, I’d go w/ the works of CVA.
I disliked Bird by Bird with prejudice.
Everybody, have a good weekend with prejudice…or scones.
Justus M. Bowman says
Just watched the trailer. Better than I expected.
Lady Glamis says
That was a great post from Jessica Faust, I agree. Thanks for all these links and for the video. Looks interesting and WILD!
Great links. Glad the lawsuit was dropped.
Loved the clip! Looks very cute.
Where the Wild Things Are was my favorite book when I was a young kid! Hmmm…telling! 🙂
Rick Chesler says
Thanks once more for the info, Nathan.
Re: UK survey: But reading CAN be a social activity. Ever see four kids hanging over the same magazine or yapping about a bestseller? The article makes a good point about difficult-to-navigate libraries and bookstores. You should be asking how you can make it as easy to get books as it is to get TV.
Victoria Strauss says
Thanks for the mention, Nathan. WITH PREJUDICE.
Thanks Nathan, I was especially grateful for your link to Jennifer Hubbard, as like Dara it is precisely what I need to hear at the moment.
All the best,
Solvang Sherrie says
Love the Jessica Faust links. The preview for Where the Wild Things Are looks cute, too. Have a good weekend!
Stuart Neville says
Thanks for the nod, Nathan. I shall watch my visitor stats with interest!
If I’m going to shamelessly promote, I should at least post the link:
It’s the best darn tool for characterization in the known universe. Hell, the unknown universe. The gods post there.
Well, not yet. I could use a god. Any gods want to come post there? Or goddesses? I’m not choosy.
Laura Hyatt-Author says
That looks like a perfect movie for the gen x crowd. You see, we aren’t that hard to figure out! Take some imagination and a wild adventure and we’re all in. (P.S. especially if they throw in a little anti-abusive-authority themes in as well!)
The “literary agency” that sued the Writer Beware gals actually advertises on Facebook claiming to be a new literary agency. Thank God for that blog and website!
It is so true what you and other agents tell writers…research agents before you query (for multiple reasons)!
A movie whose trailer is set to Arcade Fire has got to be awesome. Thanks, Nathan (for the news, too).
Cheers, Nathan. I’ll give it a try.
I never read ‘Wild Things” but maybe I would like it now. I do love anything that has a monster becoming beloved.
The Little Prince has always been one of my favorites.
Melissa McInerney says
Dave Eggars! Spike Jonze! This could be good. Usually movies based on beloved children’s books are really bad, unless Tim Burton gets involved.
Great links this week with lots of good advice. Too bad you can’t help me with March Madness, although I did pick Missouri to win and last time I checked, they were still hangin’ in there.
christine tripp says
Also in “those wacky Brits” news, the annual award for the Oddest Book Title was announced.
You have to love the Brits. They have given us most of the classic children’s books but also most of our movie and TV favorites.
As for the trailer, must see the whold movie but as it stands now, from the trailer, the musical score nails it and though I think it could have been done (carefully, meaning darkely) with just animation, the live might work (though that intails the child being much older then in the book)
No, it’s not exactly like H.R. Puffenstuff as some say (though I get the similarity)
We can only see.
Vancouver Dame says
To INK: No, I haven’t read ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott. I’ll check it out.
I’ve also got quite a few ‘writing books’ in my library including a few traditional reference tomes. I’ll wait for Nathan to put the question up for discussion before I list the ones I know about. I think it’s an excellent way for writers to learn from other writers which books are worth the purchase.
Thanks, Nathan – will watch for that question to appear in one of your posts.
Marilyn Peake says
My characters have been having a blast, chatting on your new Come in Character blog site. Great idea!