This week! Books!
It’s now officially summer in the publishing world, and happy Summer Friday to all who are celebrating by shutting their laptops around lunch time. Just a few links for your weekend pleasure
Publishers Weekly hosted a virtual U.S. Book Show, and BookBub has a good roundup of some of the marketing and sales trends that were discussed at the conference. Namely: the backlist is more important than ever, supply chains are stretched, and publishers are increasingly valuing analytical skills in their marketing hires.
Bashirat Oladele at Polygon has a thought-provoking article about some of the cultural dynamics that have led to a downward trend in dystopian fiction, namely that a single-protagonist-bringing-down-the-government storylines in particular doesn’t speak to younger generations more versed in collective action, and a dearth of non-white characters doesn’t reflect their world.
As someone who, full disclosure, has a dystopian-ish novel pending, let me just reassure others in my boat that this current trend doesn’t mean your dystopian novel is DOA. The vast majority of non-space opera science fiction is dystopian-ish (and even a lot of space operas are too). There will always be an appetite for these kinds of novels, even if they’re not blowing up the bestseller list en masse right this second. But the dynamics Oladele speaks to are worth internalizing to make sure you’re writing a novel that speaks to today’s readers.
Stephen L. Carter at Bloomberg cites studies that show that we remember content more when we read physical books as a way to celebrate resilient print sales.
Agent Jessica Faust at Bookends discusses how agents decide to offer representation and what goes into preparation for the offer call.
And there’s an intriguing new program in the UK that would allow authors to earn royalties on used book sales.
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:
- Legacy by Nora Roberts
- The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
- Shadow Storm by Christine Feehan
- Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
- Sooley by John Grisham
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Killing the Mob by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- What Happened to You? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey
- The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
- Zero Fail by Carol Leonnig
- The Premonition by Michael Lewis
Young adult hardcover:
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard
- Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater
- Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Middle grade hardcover:
- Stamped (For Kids) by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi and Sonja Cherry-Paul
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Best Nerds Forever by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- How do you plan to publish your work in progress? (2021)
- Be careful with the “VERBing, character(s) VERBED” sentence structure (page critique)
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!
And finally, this horrific story feels like something out of a science novel. Or, you know, specifically Minority Report. When the Chicago police used algorithms to predict that a man would either shot or get shot, they turned it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Um, well, have a great weekend! Support police reform and ethical application of algorithms!
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