This week! Books!
Some literary awards have been dispensed, and congrats to all the winners and nominees! First, the Hugo award winners for science fiction and fantasy. The book winners (affiliate links):
- Best Novel: A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine
- Best Series: Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire
- Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book: The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
And here’s your Booker shortlist:
- Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo
- The Trees by Percival Everett
- Treacle Walker by Alan Garner
- The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
- Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
- Oh Willliam! by Elizabeth Strout
And speaking of Elizabeth Strout, after having her first novel published at 42-years-old, she’s enjoying a remarkably productive stretch in her sixties. I really enjoyed Elisabeth Egan’s profile of Strout’s recent sprint.
Last week I’d posted the surprising stat that emerged from the PRH/S&S antitrust trial that most books sell less than a dozen copies, which Lincoln Michel researched and poked holes in. Some of it comes down to what it is you’re actually counting (as in: what exactly are you considering a book? A more complicated question than it seems!) and what and where you’re counting for sales. Kristen McLean at Bookscan chimed in with some sobering stats showing that among frontlist titles, “roughly 66% of those books from the top 10 publishers sold less than 1,000 copies over 52 weeks.”
BUT. Even that stat needs a whole lot of caveats. Bookscan has a limited view into total sales and it doesn’t include direct sales by authors and publishers and, very notably, does not include e-book sales. Got all that?
Whew. What a business.
And legendary literary agent Sterling Lord, who represented luminaries like Jack Kerouac, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gordon Parks, and Erica Jong, and who cofounded Sterling Lord Literistic, passed away this week at 102.
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 Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- Breaking History by Jared Kushner
- Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
- Diana, William, and Harry by James Patterson and Chris Mooney
Young adult hardcover:
- Long Live the Pumpkin King by Shea Ernshaw
- Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus
- Hocus Pocus: The Illustrated Novelization by A.W. Jantha
- Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
- Lightlark by Alex Aster
Middle grade hardcover:
- Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman
- Ground Zero by Alan Gratz
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- Don’t criticize a book’s editing unless you saw the original manuscript
- It pays to be vivid (query 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, incredible images and data are now emerging from the James Webb Space Telescope. We may still find evidence of life elsewhere, but physicist Alan Lightman writes that even if life as we know it exists everywhere that could support it, it still would be incredibly rare in the universe.
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 online classes (NEW!), my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
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Photo: The Gamble House, Pasadena, CA. Follow me on Instagram!
JOHN T. SHEA says
My first reaction was, these Gambles must be very small people!
But seriously, Nathan, thanks for this roundup and your neat pic of a detail of that Arts and Crafts masterpiece, built by the son of the co-founder of Procter and Gamble. I hope you’re enjoying Pasadena.