This week! Books!
The fallout continued from the implosion of Romance Writers of America. Their annual awards, the RITAs, have been canceled this year. They plan to regroup and retroactively issue the awards for both 2019 and 2020 next year.
You haven’t really started going through the submission process until you receive some extremely confusing feedback. For instance, what does… “quiet” mean? How can a manuscript be “quiet?” Agent Tracy Marchini weighs in.
What’s in store for the decade ahead in book publishing? Industry sage Mike Shatzkin sees more and more difficulty breaking out new titles in a big way, more shrinking and consolidation among the big publishers, and more competition from publishing entities (corporations, indie authors) without a strong profit motive.
And DIYMFA has five tips on creating a relaxing workspace.
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
- The Guardians by John Grisham
- The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
- The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
- Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Young adult hardcover:
- Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Middle grade hardcover:
- A Tale of Magic… by Chris Colfer
- Ali Cross by James Patterson
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
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:
- Nail every character’s first impression
- Why it works: “Master & Commander” by Patrick O’Brian
- Who are your favorite authors to follow on Instagram?
- The reader should generally know what your narrator knows (Page critique)
One lesson I learned the hard way is that traditional romance publishers, particularly category romance lines, want a very positive first impression of the heroine in that first scene. My heroine thought of herself as timid yet everything in the first chapter proves otherwise. That timid declaration was the reason the novel was rejected because “we don’t want timid heroines.”
And finally, Key & Peele’s take on wizard schools is really something else:
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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