An abbreviated week in publishing as I imagine the Americans among us will be jetting off early this weekend to celebrate our nation’s birthday. I’ll post the winners of the guest blog contest tomorrow and they’ll run next week.
First up, for all you Brits from whom we stole this fine country: longtime friend of the blog and early contest finalist Stuart “Conduit” Neville’s book THE TWELVE goes on sale today in the UK!!! The US version, GHOSTS OF BELFAST, publishes in October.
Via John Askins, Malcolm Gladwell published a review/takedown of freevangelist* (*trademarked – must credit Nathan Bransford) Chris Anderson’s new book FREE (which had previously been subject to some Wikipedia-plagiarism claims). Gladwell notes that free doesn’t really work as a business model. Seth Godin in turn published a takedown of Malcolm Gladwell, saying free is going to happen anyway. Who’s right? You decide. Also you don’t have to pay to read any of this.
Author/accused memoir fabricator James Frey recently co-wrote a children’s book project that sold to HarperCollins and has already been optioned by Michael Bay. The Guardian’s book blog has the rundown.
Mike Shatzkin wrote a provocative post on the evolving role of agents in the new publishing landscape, concluding that the new pressures on agents who previously specialized in mid- or lower-tier books (which are disappearing) could result in some new experimentation. It’s a thought-provoking article no matter your take on the future of publishing. (Via Jim Duncan’s Twitter feed)
And finally, the Millions put together a truly indispensable preview of one of the most indispensable publishing seasons in recent memory. This fall is going to be huge.
¡Que tenga un buen fin de semana!
Hope you don't mind me sharing another interesting (to me) link re: publishing. Mediabistro notes how many of Oprah's summer books this year are from indie publishers. Happy reading.
Marilyn Peake says
Thanks for all the links! Can't wait to find out the winners of your guest blog contest.
Crystal Lee Patriarche says
Regarding books coming in the Fall – I absolutely can't wait for Audrey Niffenegger's new book. I was late to hef first book, The Time Traveler's Wife – just finished it and could not put it down. I was entirely too emotionally invested in the story of Clare and her time-travelling husband Henry. Am looking forward to the movie in August and to see what awaits in Niffenegger's next book, Her Fearful Symmetry, out in September. A $5 million advance?? Must be another mind-blowing literary masterpiece!
Don't forget John Green's fascinating ongoing discussion on big advances vs. small advances.
Oh, and THIS article in SLJ raised a few eyebrows and prompted a response or two.
Marilyn Peake says
Just read Nathan's blog; had skimmed it earlier with plans to read it later in the day. Congratulations, Stuart Neville, on your published book!!
I am wondering how you all arrive at word counts.
I have heard that the "standard" is to count 250 words per page (1 inch margins and double spaced 12 point courier or New Times Roman font).
If I just use word count on my Microsoft Word program, it counts more words.
In some cases of submission, the word count is vital.
Any thoughts or experience on this?
Marsha Sigman says
Anon 12:38: Read Nathan's entire blog and you will have the answer to all questions. That sounds so zen….
Nathan: Have a great vacation!
The Millions' list for anticipated books made me really sad. Only five books by women, and, although the accounting is a little vague to me, either 0-2 books by authors of color. Looks like American publishing has gone back to celebrating white men.
Seems like Editorial Ass could host its own list of great books… the ones left off the other lists. Hidden gems ahoy! (You've got lots of friendly blog readers to chip in suggestions…)
Go by the computer wordcount. Unless it's really unfavourable to your aims. 🙂 250 words a page and pleading ignorance…
Bane of Anubis says
I see that this is not a book by Chris "The Birdman" Anderson… oh well.
James Frey's book must have lots of s*** blowing up to have gotten Michael Bay… speaking of which, saw the creepiest, most disturbing movie trailer over at RT – "Robot Geisha" – way weird. Happy 4th everyone, and Happy Canada Day to our northern territory.
Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write says
As teenagers, avid readers, and buyers of books, my friends and I agreed we won't be reading James Frey's YA novel. Too many great reads out there by honest hardworking writers for us to support that con artist. No, I'll save my money for Stuart's new book which sounds fantastic. Congrats! I'm just sorry I have to wait until October!
Margaret Yang says
The list from the Millions about all the great books coming out this fall made me drool. I can see my shelves being filled with must-reads!
dan radke says
Just curious, what was the contest turnout? As heavy as previous contests? You buried?
Nathan Bransford says
250+. Definitely more than I was expecting with such a short window.
I can't wait to read next week's blog guests. You guys rock!
I may have missed the boat, but where in my query do I put my race and gender? Especially nowadays, where things are done electronically, I think race has less and less to do with it.
The buying public chooses what's popular… favorite authors/genre are going to score high regardless of race or gender.
However, the highest selling genre (arguably) is romance, most of which is generaaly written by women.
Personally, I don't always know the writer's race before buying the book, much less gender. People use pseudonymns frequently.
Do people really buy books based on the sex and race of the author?
If that's the case, it's a saad commentary on our society.
I believe we Brits (amongst others) stole the country from someone else first, so we don't really have much claim – enjoy July 4th everyone!
Northern territory, eh? Well, since you shared your wonderful economic recession with us, I guess we can return the favour and share our melting Arctic environmental disaster with you. I think New York will look pretty good half-submerged. It will be like Venice! Tourism bonus. Gotta watch out for those crocodiles escaping the sewer system, though…
Thank you for the interesting links.
As far as your weekend goes…Egualmente! Que tengas un buen viaje y una buena experiencia en Sudamerica.
Bane of Anubis says
Do you know what would be neat… if someone did a Millions sort of list for debut writers. What are some of the hottest newbie books coming out? They probably need the pub more than the giants.
Stuart Neville says
Many thanks for the plug, Nathan – you are a prince among agents!
Oh, and congratulations, Stuart!
I entered the contest. When do we find out the winners?
Nathan, do you have a book coming out this fall?
I read through the links. These were interesting.
In terms of the 'free' argument, I have great faith in human beings ability to figure out how to charge for something. Old forms of information dissemination may fade, like newspapers, but new ways to produce specialized forms of information will pop up. I also disagree about magazines – I think magazines will always be popular.
In terms of James Frey, I might be in a minority, but I really feel for the guy. There is no way to write a memoir without fictionalizing it. Every memoir class I've ever seen talks about how to fictionalize your memoir in order to make it more readable. He got a bad rap. My opinion.
The article on agents is interesting. I actually think agents should expand their role regardless of the changing landscape. Why not? Authors have a need for guidance in the areas of e-publishing, self-publishing. Why not step in to fill the gap?
That's an exciting list for Fall. I predict extra interest in kid's books with the Where the Wild things are movie coming out.
Okay, there's all my opinions. Very interesting links, thanks.
Crystal, re. The Time Traveler's Wife. Can't wait for the movie either. Fantastic book.
Nathan! Thanks for the links. I've missed your blog as I've been MIA. But things have slowed and I have my laptop back so I'll be commenting with a vengeance (after my weekend shenanigans). 🙂
I've missed a LOT!
Oh dernit. I just read you'll be MIA next week. Sigh.
Okay I look forward to the guest blogs. If I would have known I'd have entered but your cutoff was about five hours ago or so. 🙁
Have fun reaching out next week! There is nothing better than someone that is willing to give themselves freely to help others in need! Thanks for doing your part.
Bane of Anubis says
RE: TTTW – must be a chick thing 🙂 – my wife had me read it… s'alright, but not the cat's meow for me.
Laura Martone says
I agree with you (as I often do) – I enjoyed THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE to a certain extent… but I had plenty of issues with it, too. Don't fully understand the hype.
Thanks for the links, as always. I'm sorry I didn't have time to enter your "guest blog contest" (work and family intervened), but it sounds like you have PLENTY to choose from. 250+ – yikes!
Have a wonderful time in South America – and, of course, be careful and come back soon. We'll miss you while you're gone – though I'm excited to see the guest blog winners. 🙂
Everyone – Happy Fourth of July! Shoot a firecracker for me. They're illegal where I live. 🙁
Rebecca Sinclair says
¡4to feliz, Nathan! Gozo de su blog mucho.
Etiquette Bitch says
Nathan – thanks for sharing this, esp. the New Yorker article about "Free."
I really appreciate your blog + look forward to it daily.
Interesting to note that "Free" actually costs $26.99. Where's Anderson's argument there?
Have a great 4th, everyone!
Jennifer L. Griffith says
So awesome to watch Stewart, aka Conduit, soar to new heights with his writing.
Spencer Ellsworth says
James Frey wrote a children's book that was optioned by Michael Bay… I clicked that link expecting to get Rick Rolled.
Harbinger of Truth says
I wrote a manuscript that contains neither:
Robots from the future
nor drawn out sports clichés but I can't get an agent to cross the street to pee on me if I were on fire. I wrote a gritty piece about an 18 year old from the midwest surviving on the streets. To quote Dr. Evil…"Throw me a freakin' bone here….'