This week! Books!
First up, please pardon our dust! As you may have noticed I’ve been experimenting with some design changes, and it’s going to take a bit of time to get some of the kinks worked out. Which means that RSS and my newsletters are currently broken. I hope to get that sorted out soon!
Now then. Here are some links from the past few weeks.
Why was Goodnight Moon missing from the New York Public Library’s list of the 10 most checked out books of all time? I turns out it comes down to a vendetta from one legendary librarian. But while it might seem easy to caricature her, Anne Carroll Moore has a largely laudatory legacy.
The Wall Street Journal delved into Amazon’s publishing efforts, which now includes perennial bestsellers like Dean Koontz and Patricia Cornwall. It’s a complicated bet for the authors because many bookstores won’t stock books published by Amazon.
Over at Chuck Wendig’s blog, Harry Connelly has some good advice for familiarizing yourself with what publishers currently want from debut authors and uses that to talk about the importance of voice.
Jezebel took a deep dive into the RWA implosion.
And a needed reminder from agent Jessica Faust: there’s no such thing as a bad time to query.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Moral Compass by Danielle Steel
- Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
- The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
- Treason by Stuart Woods
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Young adult hardcover:
- One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
- Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- The Night Country by Melissa Albert
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Ali Cross by James Patterson
- A Tale of Magic… by Chris Colfer
- Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
This week on the blog
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- List of societal changes and threats
- The power of competing desires in a story
- How has your time shifted in the past five years?
- Don’t force a “logline” into a query (Query critique)
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Jon, who might have the right idea about how to spend one’s time:
I don’t do social media – period. In the last month, because my carrier stopped supporting it, I had to deep-six my fourteen year old flip phone for a smarty-pants phone which is usually turned off during normal working hours. I don’t play online or phone games. The TV is off until 9PM or after – if then, or ever.
What do I do with my time? Write, research and read, and stare out the window from my study/office at the trees, wildlife and the sun sparking off the water. And grocery shopping and yardwork. And go for a paddle or hike whenever I get the urge and need a brain-break or inspiration.
And finally, I found this New Yorker article pretty fascinating. We know that inequality is bad. But what kind of equality is good? Surprisingly hard one to answer.
Have a great weekend!
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and my guide to publishing a book.
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Art: Hawaii. Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram!