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!
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 and my guide to publishing a book.
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Photo: Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram!