This week! Books!
Now that Workman has been acquired by Hachette and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has been acquired by HarperCollins, where have all the midsized book publishers gone? Jim Milliot at Publishers Weekly surveys this dying breed and cites the difficulty of building a backlist, the capital needed to grow into midsized publisher, and ongoing acquisitions by bigger players, but there are still publishers like Kensington who are holding on by focusing squarely on their niche.
Author Sally Rooney sparked controversy by turning down an Israeli publisher’s offer for a Hebrew translation of her latest novel Beautiful World, Where Are You in support of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
Reading and publishing platform Inkitt, which also owns the app Galatea, recently raised an additional $59 million in capital on a reported $390 million valuation. Jane Friedman’s excellent recent Hot Sheet (you should subscribe) delved into the economics of platforms like Wattpad and Inkitt, which are doing some big business.
In writing advice news, Angela Ackerman has a great taxonomy of types of adversaries in novels, which could be a useful brainstorming tool.
Literary agent Jessica Faust at BookEnds tackled two perennial publishing industry myths: Editors at publishers don’t edit anymore and you’re fine going to a major publisher without an agent. (Spoiler: Both continue to be untrue).
And Betsy Lerner talks about the importance of short query letters (I recommend between 250-350 words) and some of the things she looks for.
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 Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
- The Wish by Nicholas Sparks
- Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
- Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
- The Butler by Danielle Steel
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
- I’ll Take Your Questions Now by Stephanie Grisham
- Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
- Taste by Stanley Tucci
- Vanderbilt by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe
Young adult hardcover:
- Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
- The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Pony by R.J. Palacio
- The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities by Rick Riordan et al
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- How to make your novel un-put-down-able
- What I learned about writing from being an editor
- Choose your mysteries carefully (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, I really liked this post by Arthur C. Brooks about what really leads to happiness with one’s work.
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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Art: Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Follow me on Instagram!