This week! Books!
I have tons and tons of great links for you this week, but real quick, I have two brand new pages that I want to make sure you see. I have a new blog landing page that makes the categories and search bar a little more prominent to help you find what you need, as well as some of the greatest hits. And check out my snazzy new editing page, which you should definitely utilize if you need editing or coaching.
Also, I’m excited to be moderating the Literary Agents 101 panel at the upcoming CLMP Literary Writers Conference in December, where we’ll be talking all things agents. Check it out and register!
Now then, on to the links…
We’re living through a time that feels pretty dystopian, and there were two recent reflections on the intersection between These Times and fiction. Cory Doctorow sees danger in the dark views of human nature reflected in dystopian works and wonders how much dystopian fiction contributes to real world malice and paranoia. And Christopher Brown suggests science fiction can show the way forward out of dystopian times.
This is one of the more tumultuous times in book publishing in recent memory as both long term trends and the pandemic converge. Industry sage Mike Shatzkin talks about how this time may well spell the end of “trade publishing” as a concept, meaning the industry is moving away from being primarily oriented toward publishing and marketing through traditional bookstores and libraries.
And in that vein, news broke this week that editor Molly Stern is starting a new publishing house that will partner with celebrities and brands to promote books to their followers and customers, bypassing traditional channels, including reportedly experimenting with direct-to-consumer sales.
What makes for a bad ending to a book? What are some of the worst? Ron Charles on bad book endings, including the insight that people don’t generally worry about the endings when the rest of the book is bad.
Former Executive Director of the National Books Foundation Lisa Lucas is headed to Penguin Random House. Do you want her old job?
Are you stuck creatively? Kyle Chayka has a great list of eight books to help you through a creative block. And agent Rachelle Gardner talks about acedia, listless undirected anxiety that’s all too common these days.
Agent Kate McKean hones in on the three main publishing questions authors ask.
Can tuning out feedback…. help? Lauren D. Woods talks about how sometimes eschewing negative feedback can help get your writing groove back. (Editing surgeon general’s warning: be careful with this advice! Everything in moderation).
And agent Janet Reid tackles a tricky topic: is there a “Republicans need not apply” exclusion in the current publishing industry? (Spoiler: no).
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:
- A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
- The Return by Nicholas Sparks
- The Searcher by Tana French
- The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett
- Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Killing Crazy Horse by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- Blackout by Candace Owens
Young adult hardcover:
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
- All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott
- Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha
Middle grade hardcover:
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
- A Tale of Witchcraft by Chris Colfer
- Wonder by R.J Palacio
- The Complete Cookbook 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:
- Your writing matters
- Apply for the WNDB mentorship program!
- Beware of gesture explosions (page critique)
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
And finally, do you remember how to do nothing and let your mind wander?
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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Photo: Woodstock, NY. Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram!