This week! Books!
Well. It was a week. How are we doing out there?
Publishing scams are pretty much as old as publishing, and they’re proliferating in our digital and gullible age. Anne. R. Allen has a good roundup of publishing scams to watch out for in 2021, including new ones (manuscript phishing!) and old ones (bogus book deals!).
A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the most imitated and most unimitatable (not a word) novels of the 20th century, and Tom Bisell took another look at its uneasy afterlife. It’s both better and worse than he remembered, and feels oddly prescient for our current time.
Jane Friedman updated her excellent and handy chart on the paths you can choose to publish your book in 2021, including Big 5, other traditional, small presses, hybrid, self-publishing, and social publishing.
The incredible Angie Thomas has a new book out, Concrete Rose, and she gave a great interview with the We Need Diverse Books blog on her new novel, writing advice, and knowing how and when to set limits.
George Saunders also has a new book out on writing craft, A Swim in the Pond in the Rain, and Lincoln Michel talked to him about his writing process, resistance fiction, and the importance of literature.
And agent Janet Reid has a helpful list of things to leave out of your query letter because they go without saying.
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:
- The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
- Star Wars: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule
- Neighbors by Danielle Steel
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
- Educated by Tara Westover
Young adult hardcover:
- Lore by Alexandra Bracken
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
Middle grade hardcover:
- The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling
- Star Wars: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
Comment! of! the! week! goes to John Shea, who notes at least one dissent for my argument that reactions should follow action:
With Nathan’s demand for linearity Yoda does not agree!
And finally, we could all probably use a bit of positivity right now, and I really enjoyed this article about a man in Philadelphia who decided he could bring some smiles if he used a pulley to drop free homemade pizzas out of his apartment window.
Have a great weekend!
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A Confederacy of Dunces has been on my to read list for like 20 years now. Someday. This year? Sure, let’s do it.
Neil Larkins says
I tried to read it some 30 years ago and jus couldn’t stay with it. Only got about ten pages in. That’s the way it seems with this book: Some love it, some not so much.
I’ll keep you posted.
Anne R. Allen says
Thanks for the shout-out, Nathan!
Neil Larkins says
Appreciated your article, Anne. Publishing scammers are shameless parasites on the writing community and need to be exposed. But I’m curious. I decided to check out your CAMILLA RANDALL MYSTERY SERIES boxed set and noticed in your “Forward to the Second Edition” that some of your titles were published by several publishers. I though second editions were only done by the same publisher. If you did another way I think that’s an amazing feat, yet don’t know how you pulled it off. From what I understand, once your book is published by one publisher, another one will never touch it. Interesting, unless I’ve misconstrued what happened with those books.
Incidentally, I love your genre of mystery/romantic-comedy (even read some of your sample, which was great!) and think you’ve created a whole new genre or subgenre, if you will. Keep it up!
Neil Larkins says
I tried to read “Cavalcade” some 30 years ago and jus couldn’t stay with it. Only got about ten pages in. That’s the way it seems with this book: Some love it, some not so much. Or perhaps I wasn’t ready for it.