This week! Books!
It was a bit of a quiet week out there in books land as April got the heck out of 2020, but here are some of the best articles I saw.
The “One or two spaces after a period?” debate is over and one space has emerged victorious. Microsoft Word now flags double spaces as an error. Condolences to those whose spaces will be lost in this difficult time.
Bookshop.org is a new online bookstore that gives a share of its sales directly to independent bookstores, and sales really took off in March. They’re up to $4.5 million in sales and are eyeing trying to nab at least 1% of Amazon’s sales.
Lots of people in the writing community were already living in financial precariousness before the pandemic hit. Lynn Steger Strong took a pretty devastating look at her own life as a writer in New York.
If you’re looking to give your books a boost, here are 9 tips for increasing your conversions on Amazon ads.
And I really loved this reminder from Chuck Wendig on writing during the pandemic: Just keep moving forward, however slowly.
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:
- Walk the Wire by David Baldacci
- If It Bleeds by Stephen King
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Masked Prey by John Sandford
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
- The Great Influenza by John M. Barry
Young adult hardcover:
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- 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:
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Food Network Magazine: The Big, Fun Kids Cookbook by Food Network Magazine
- Wonder by R.J Palacio
- Wings of Fire: Legends: Dragonslayer by Tui T. Sutherland
- The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
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 you need to know about inciting incidents
- You probably don’t need publishing credits
- Causing confusion will sink your query letter (query critique)
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Ken Hughes on mini-quests before the inciting incident:
I’m especially fond of that “mini-quest” (also called “bridging action”) that can be offered before the inciting incident itself. It’s usually the best way to be sure the first pages have a strong something to relate to, but still showing the character in their normal environment. That means we get to know who they are before the life-changing situation hits, and from then on we can appreciate how someone who was just a farm boy has to scramble to take on the Empire.
And finally, yeah…. pretty much.
Have a great weekend!
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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: Socially distanced Brooklyn pizza. Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram!