This week! Books!
First off, I hope everyone is safe and healthy amid these very stressful times. I don’t have any knowledge to bring to bear on what to expect, but it seems like we’re soon going to have lots of time indoors. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, but I also just want to say: reading and writing still matters. It’s one of our best ways to turn the darkness into light. Get your must-dos done but don’t feel guilty for delving into some fictional worlds for a while.
Now then. There are a few things going on in the publishing world?
Publishing festivals and writers conferences are getting canceled right and left, too numerous to really name. But shout out to the UW-Madison Writers’ Institute where I was supposed to speak in a few weeks, hope to see you all at the rescheduled date.
Two interesting articles about how the coronavirus is affecting the publishing industry, first LitHub takes a look at how COVID-19 has ground the Chinese publishing industry to a halt. And Slate takes a look at how the pandemic is impacting a bookstore in Washington state.
And if you want to escape via some stories about pandemics, well, more power to you. Electric Lit rounded up twelve books about pandemics.
Congrats to the Lamda Literary Awards finalists!
Love this post by author Jennifer Hubbard about first drafts: “A first draft can feel like a journey through unfamiliar territory with only a sketchy map.”
Maris Kreizman looks at how the Hachette employee walkout over Woody Allen’s memoir could signal a new era for the publishing industry.
In agenting news, did you know there are different types of submissions and offers? Agent Jessica Faust talks about Auctions, Pre-Empts, and Exclusives.
Also from Jessica, how a literary agent’s passions inform their list.
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:
- House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
- Long Range by C.J. Box
- The Numbers Game by Danielle Steel
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
- The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant
- Unknown Valor by Martha MacCallum
- Educated by Tara Westover
- The Maga Doctrine by Charlie Kirk
Young adult hardcover:
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
- The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
- Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wings of Fire: Legends: Dragonslayer by Tui T. Sutherland
- If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barrett Smith
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
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:
- Everything writers need to know about book series
- Don’t fear repeating pronouns
- What will you write during the pandemic?
- Don’t force your first line (page critique)
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Ken Hughes, for a term I hadn’t been aware of for writing that’s afraid to use pronouns:
It’s been called “Burly Detective Syndrome” when authors keep swapping in a flashy phrase to avoid using the obvious noun and pronoun. The trouble is, we’re supposed to be immersed in the story — stepping back to show the character in new words ought to be done for a reason.
And finally, a public service announcement from soccer star Paul Pogba:
Have a great weekend!
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JOHN T. SHEA says
So, books about epidemics are escapist reading!? No!
Amen to Jennifer Hubbard! And sometimes we have no map, or the map is full of errors and blank spots and cryptic inscriptions like “Here be dragons!”.
Congrats to Ken Hughes! And amen, Paul Pogba!
Thanks, Nathan, for this post and the great shot of the Manhattan Bridge, and the best of health to you and yours!
I’ve been querying agents since last fall for my literary novel, took a break over holidays, and am wondering if I should keep going now during these challenging times or hold off, wait … wait for … what, exactly? The virus isn’t going away for a long time, and agents are still working, right? So why not keep them busy as ever? But they’re also home-schooling kids and coping with disruption and stress and anxiety like all of us. What’s your take?
Nathan Bransford says
I’d go ahead and query. Many agents are using the extra time and self-isolation to catch up on their readings: https://twitter.com/BookEndsJessica/status/1237803770689576965