This week! Books!
One of the great running mysteries in the publishing world appears to have at last been solved. For years, someone has been tricking publishing employees into sending them unpublished manuscripts, from famous authors to the relatively obscure. Why? No one quite knew. But this week, the F.B.I. arrested Filippo Bernardini, a Simon & Schuster UK rights coordinator in connection with the crime.
Several publishers have been recording record profits ($ link) as the pandemic continues to be a boon despite its attendant disruptions. Penguin Random House’s parent company Bertelsmann posted its highest profits in 19 years in the first half of 2021, and Simon & Schuster broke a record for third quarter profits.
Meanwhile, Penguin Random House defended its proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster against the Justice Department’s objections, which would transform the “Big 5” publishers into a Big 3 and Mega 1. Many within the industry are predicting the merger will ultimately go through. We shall see what 2022 brings. (Here are agent Laurie McLean’s predictions).
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes, and Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker are among the books that go into the public domain in 2022.
“BookTok” has become a huge (and largely organic) marketing boost for YA fiction especially, as teens take to TikTok to talk (and sometimes weep) about their favorite books. Jane Friedman has a deep dive.
And Parul Sehgal has a fantastic essay about the perils of the trauma plot in fiction, which can flatten characters and miss more individualized experiences of the world.
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:
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Annihilation Road by Christine Feehan
- The Judge’s List by John Grisham
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- The 1619 Project edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman and Jake Silverstein
- Will by Will Smith
- The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
- Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Young adult hardcover:
- Here’s to Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus
- These Violent Delights by Chloe Zhao
- Our Violent Ends by Chloe Zhao
Middle grade hardcover:
- Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
- The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling. Illustrated by Jim Field
- Out of My Heart by Sharon M. Draper
- Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani
- Pony by R.J. Palacio
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- What will you build in 2022?
- What are your favorite online classes?
- Details bring a world to life (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, one year after January 6, let’s not do another Civil War okay?
Have a great weekend!
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