This week! Books!
The winners and finalists of the very prestigious ALA awards were announced for children’s literature, congrats to everyone!
- Newbery Medal: The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris
- Caldecott Medal: Big by Vashti Harrison
- Coretta Scott King Author Book Award: Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi,
- Michael L. Printz Award: The Collectors: Stories edited by A.S. King
Speaking of awards, controversy erupted this week around the 2023 Hugo Awards, which were held in Chengdu, China, when it emerged that several authors who should have qualified for the awards were disqualified without any explanation, including R.F. Kuang, author of Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence, Xiran Jay Zhao, author of Iron Widow, and Paul Weimer, who would have been eligible for Best Fan Writer as well as an episode of Netflix’s The Sandman series. Although there’s not yet proof, speculation is rife that censorship played a role.
If you’re curious at all about ghostwriting, there were several good roundups of the recent ghostwriters conference Gathering of the Ghosts, co-hosted by Dan Gerstein, CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters. Here are writeups by Erin Somers at Publishers Lunch, Josh Bernoff at Jane Friedman’s blog, and Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter at the New York Times. In particular, Somers’ pay bands for ghostwriters at Gotham Ghostwriters were revealing: Basic: Professional ghost to do a straightforward book: $40,000 to $60,000; Mid-Market: A more credentialed writer who has written for major publishers for a more sophisticated work: $75,000 to $150,000; Elite: A collaborator who has written multiple New York Times bestsellers to produce a Malcolm Gladwell caliber book: $150,000 to $300,000.
And a few excellent writing posts this week. Erin Bowman has advice for published authors about getting your rights back and re-publishing yourself (which I did with the Jacob Wonderbar series), Angela Ackerman has good advice about the one writing rule you should never break (hint: slow down and read this post), and Samantha Skal breaks down good twists in mysteries and thrillers.
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:
- Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
- Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
- The Fury by Alex Michaelides
- First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston
- The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
- The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
- Oath and Honor by Liz Cheney
- The Wager by David Grann
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
Young adult hardcover:
- Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
- Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross
- Powerless by Lauren Roberts
- Murtaugh by Christopher Paolini
- Nightbane by Alex Aster
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonka by Sibéal Pounder
- The Sun and the Star by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- The Misfits: A Royal Conundrum by Lisa Yee
- Wings of Fire: A Guide to the Dragon World by Tui T. Sutherland
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- Six reasons you’re confusing the reader
- How to nail the last line of the plot description (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, when one thinks of economics one doesn’t always think about famed Russian novelist Leon Tolstoy, but I really enjoyed Nick Romeo’s look at what Tolstoy’s story “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” might have to tell us about the shortcomings of current economic thinking.
Have a great weekend!
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Photo: The Huntington, San Marino, CA