This week! Books!
Hello, September. Where did you come from?
Nearly every writer everywhere who pursues traditional publication at some point confronts one of their books not selling, and for those who self-publish, you might experience a pang of relative silence. I really enjoyed this article by Danielle Lazarin about the ambiguous and painful loss that comes from a book (probably) not selling.
Library e-book borrowing has become big business for the publishing industry, and Daniel A. Gross at The New Yorker takes a look at Overdrive, the company behind Libby, an app that’s facilitating many of the transactions.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s been a pretty tough year and a half, and publishing employees aren’t immune from feeling burned out and distracted. Katy Hershberger at Publishers Lunch surveys the effect of the pandemic on industry employees ($ link), and finds quite a few people who are finding it difficult to read and feeling the weight, but there may be some light on the horizon.
Log-lines had traditionally been more of a movie thing, but in a time that places a premium on high concept plots and when Twitter pitching is a thing, they’re creeping into the publishing world. Kristen Lamb has some advice on how to craft them.
Book Instagram is becoming a toxic cesspool of backbiting and drama? Wow. Shocker.
Haha look at me getting all cynical.
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 Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
- Billy Summers by Stephen King
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
- Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- American Marxism by Mark R. Levin
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- The Long Slide by Tucker Carlson
- Hero of Two Worlds by Mike Duncan
- Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke
Young adult hardcover:
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard
- Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Ground Zero by Alan Gratz
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
- 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:
- Describe action in chronological order
- My 10 favorite songs from the past year
- Make your opening sparkle (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, The Spook Who Sat By the Door is one of my favorite novels, and Terry Albury feels like a real life version. His story is a fascinating glimpse into broken post-9/11 policies, racism, and standing up for what’s right at great personal expense.
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. Follow me on Instagram!