This week! Books!
Lots and lots of good links for you this week, so let’s get to it.
First up, there’s…. good news? In the publishing industry? 😱😱😱 What is this? Book sales are up a whopping 21.4% YOY, fueled by adult fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. The rest of the year looks promising as well, though pandemic-related high costs and service disruption plague the print supply chain.
What was the year of the pandemic like for people within the publishing industry? Literary agent Jennifer Laughran has a great timeline of dealing with the adjustments, delays, and backlogs forced by the pandemic, on top of all of the stress everyone was separately experiencing. Worth a read to get a sense for why response times might be slower than normal in an already-slow industry.
There’s been a lot of attention on the Great Depression-era Federal Writers Project recently. In The Atlantic, Scott Borchert looks at the strange, fascinating history of American Guides, nominal travel guides that were more like a compendium of American history. And in The New York Times, Borchert makes the case for a new New Deal for writers.
Are NFTs and crypto a flash in the pan or will they alter the publishing industry? Walker Kaplan has a really great survey of some of the different ways authors are dipping their toes in the NFT waters and what the newfangled tech could mean for writers and the industry.
Author Isabel Fall was the target of a great deal of Twitter outrage after publishing a science fiction story called, “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter,” which many people criticized without reading, assuming Fall was anti-trans. In the wake of the criticism Fall checked into a psychiatric ward due to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Then she came out as a trans woman. Emily VanDerWerff has a rundown of the chain of events and the unique collision of sexuality, meme culture, Twitter outrage fests, and authorial identity. Lincoln Michel delves into the issues and argues against a puritan art police.
In writing advice news, Lincoln Michel delves into Cesar Airas’s “no revision” method, Kristin Lamb talks about the importance of a character’s burning desire as the heart of great stories, Sarah Penner has a pre-launch checklist for debut authors, and Rachel Michelberg talks about dealing with post book launch depression, which is definitely a thing.
And Jackie Collins is typically regarded as one of the queens of pulp fiction, but Sophie Gilbert makes the case that it’s time she got her due.
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:
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino
- The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
- Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Nightmare Scenario by Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- (Re)born in the USA by Roger Benett
- Killing the Mob by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Young adult hardcover:
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- The Betrayed by Kiera Cass
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Middle grade hardcover:
- Ali Cross: Like Father, Like Son by James Patterson
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Star Wars: The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older
- Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
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!
And finally, if you’re a soccer fan you definitely know Roger Bennett, one of the Men in Blazers, and GQ has an utterly fantastic excerpt from his new book (Re)born in the USA, which chronicles a Beastie Boys concert gone bad in Liverpool.
Have a great weekend!
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