This week! Books!
It’s really difficult to concentrate these days and few people I know are as productive as usual. Anne R. Allen has a great post on why it’s so tough to write right now as we deal with our collective grief, and she has some tips on how to keep moving forward.
In coronavirus and publishing news, print sales dropped 13.5% in mid-March, whereas before they had mostly held steady.
Meanwhile, Book Bub’s blog has a really good post on the ways publishers are adapting their marketing in this new era, which might give you some ideas for marketing your own book.
ProPublica took a very interesting deep dive into the way Amazon’s self-publishing arm has become a haven for white supremacist content. While Amazon has long resisted restricting books, they now have much more of an opaque process for determining what can be published in the wake of a controversial pedophilic book. ProPublica notes the extent to which Amazon’s algorithms give objectionable books a boost with just a few searches and purchases, sending you into what’s basically a Nazi rabbit hole.
The Internet Archive has been exploiting the pandemic to launch a “library” that is just pirated scanned copies of author’s books. Senator Thom Tillis sent them a letter questioning their legitimacy.
Ben Cohen has a really interesting look at the ways the plague wove its way into the plot of some of Shakespeare’s classics.
And how do you know when to stop querying? Janet Reid updates her advice on that, noting that there are fewer reputable agents than there used to be.
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:
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
- Texas Outlaw by James Patterson and Andrew Bourelle
- The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Front Row at the Trump Show by Jonathan Karl
- More Myself by Alicia Keys with Michelle Burford
- The First Time by Colton Underwood
Young adult hardcover:
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
- Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
- Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
Middle grade hardcover:
- The Wizenard Series: Season One by Wesley King. Created by Kobe Bryant
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Wings of Fire: Legends: Dragonslayer by Tui T. Sutherland
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
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:
- There will be a time after this one
- You probably don’t need that dramatic pause
- New Facebook page and group!
- Don’t substitute voice for scene-setting (page critique)
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Carol McKenzie, who has thoughts on those dramatic pauses that you probably don’t need:
I do law enforcement transcription and even though that’s how people speak, it’s infuriating to listen to much less to try to read on a page.
But when I started writing I couldn’t write a sentence without an ellipse. I’ve broken myself of that habit…more or less.
And finally, stressful times can radicalize vulnerable people, but I thought this article by Annie Kelly was a fascinating reminder that we all are vulnerable to radicalization and are affected by everything we expose ourselves to. Be careful what you consume in this period of great stress.
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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