It’s our new Friday feature, This Week in Books. Which will look a lot like This Week in Publishing! Only, since I’m not working in publishing I thought it should have a new name. Thus: This Week in Books. Stay tuned on Friday for your linkage goodness.
FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY! It’s still HARRY POTTER week, so please please don’t miss the bottom of this post, where you’ll have your chance to end HARRY POTTER week with a contribution of your own.
We’re also bringing back Page Critique Fridays. Page Critique Fridays may not be complete until Page Critique Saturday or Page Critique Sunday, but the page up for critique is posted in the Forums. UPDATE: My critique and the importance of specificity posted here.
Meanwhile, I’ve been storing up lots of links over the past few weeks, and off we go!
How are the NaNoWriMo-ers doing?? There was actually a bit of controversy around NaNoWriMo as Laura Miller posted an article calling NaNoWriMo a waste of time and energy, while Carolyn Kellogg riposted point by point with a post called 12 Reasons to Ignore the Naysayers. Where do you stand?
Lots and lots of e-book news this week. The NY Times announced that they will have an e-book bestseller list in 2011 that will divide e-books into fiction and nonfiction, Engadget has a preview of a color e-ink reader arriving in China in March, Eric from Pimp My Novel notes that e-books are closing in on the $1 billion a year benchmark, and CNET (where, disclosure, I am employed), has a comprehensive post on how to self-publish an e-book as well as a breakdown of Kindle vs. Nook vs. iPad.
And in less than rosy news, GalleyCat picked up on a report that adult hardcover sales were down 40% in September, and overall sales were down 12%. Yikes. But speaking of those e-books, they were up 158%.
In really creepy and weird news, there was a significant controversy at Amazon this week around a guide to pedophilia that was self-published as an e-book. Amazon initially defended its decision to sell the book, stating to TechCrunch, “Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable,” but by this afternoon the book had been de-listed without further statement by Amazon.
The Wall Street Journal confirmed a rumor that was making the rounds while I was in New York: Random House is significantly reducing its office space and will be leasing out the rest. Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum states that this is not a sign that the company is planning layoffs.
In honor of the new fictional Roger Sterling memoir, the Onion AV Club surveyed 30-plus books written by fictional characters (via BookSlut). Which fictional character do you want to see write a memoir? I’m going with Omar from The Wire.
There were two separate posts on the benefits and consequences of the Internet and social networking. Veronica Roth talked about how sometimes not writing is as important as writing, and Sarah LaPolla wonders if social networking is making us dumb (hint: her conclusion is rosier than that).
And the great Tahereh has a great and accurate list of 7 Things Your Characters Do Too Much.
This week in the Forums, talking about my decision to leave agenting and what it’s like being an agent, debating the Kindle vs. Nook, your daily NaNoWriMo encouragement courtesy of Somner Leigh, do you have to be serious?, and what to do when you’re losing the spark.
Comment! Of! The! Week! goes to Lindsey, who put a great image together with the concept of J.K. Rowling, clutch writer:
Here’s my image of Rowling’s final clutch touchdown: My daughter and I are standing in the parking lot of BookPeople in Austin, Texas. It is the midnight release of the seventh book. Thousands of people up and waiting. The Austin Symphony is playing Hedwig’s Theme. Bookstore employees and fans are dressed as HP characters. All manner of games, mazes and foods related to the world of HP are tucked into different areas of the parking lot. My daughter looks around at some of the fans and says, “They’re so old.” (She was ten, ‘they’ were 20-somethings.) And that’s when I got Rowling’s amazing play: She reached generations of readers with this story. She created a world and we all entered in. Parents, grandparents, children, teens…we all know what a muggle is.
What a run, what a marathon.
And finally, a massive, huge, endless thank you to all of your kind words this week as I made my transition from the publishing world to the tech world. I can’t say enough how thankful I am for the kindness of the Internet and this community! I never knew when I started this blog that it would lead to so many great friendships (and if I had, I would have started it in like 1992). Thank you thank you. I really, truly appreciate it.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST. It’s been a blast hosting HARRY POTTER week, but now it’s your turn!! If you’d like to write your own HARRY POTTER/J.K. Rowling post, add it to the list below. And be sure and stop back by to see what everyone else posted!
Have a great weekend!