This week! Books!
First up, impersonation scams are the rage among the unsavory people trying to prey on authors. Be really careful that the “agent” who reaches out to you really is who they say they are. Now, according to Writer Beware’s Victoria Strauss, there is an entire website imitating Macmillan Publishers. Yes, really. Be careful out there!
When authors think of bestselling books, they often think of the splashy new books out there, but in truth about 70% of sales are in the backlist, as in books that were published a year or more ago (and sometimes many years ago). I enjoyed this roundup from Katy Hershberger at Publishers Lunch putting the bestselling books of 2023 in context ($ link).
Congrats to the 2024 winners and finalists for the Walter
Readers ( ages 9-13 ): Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson
( ages 13-18 ) : Saints of the Household by Ari Tison
Are you rich? Do you want to own some of the greatest bookstores in the world? Well, the opportunity of a lifetime is here. Vroman’s two locations in my adopted hometown of Pasadena are for sale, along with Book Soup in West Hollywood as longtime owner Joel Sheldon is retiring. The flagship Vroman’s in particular has to count among the top handful of bookstores in the entire United States. Please, please don’t change anything. Unless it’s unquestionably for the better. That’s allowed. (But really please don’t change anything.)
Author Jessica Mason wants to normalize writers talking about the endorphin crash that happens after you reach a major writing milestone like finishing a draft or releasing a book, moments where you might feel like you “should” feel a certain way. I endorse. I shall be returning to this topic.
And publisher Ken Whyte takes a look at the audio market, which continues to boom.
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 Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
- Holmes, Marple & Poe by James Patterson and Brian Sitts
- First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Oath and Honor by Liz Cheney
- The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
- The Wager by David Grann
- Outlive by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford
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
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- How to balance writing for the market and writing for yourself
- Don’t smush exposition into dialogue (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, like many on the Millennial/Gen X cusp, I’m absolutely devastated that the news that legendary music reviews site Pitchfork is being downsized and folded into G.Q. And it comes while I can’t stop listening to one of their recent raves, Kali Uchis’ banger of a new album Orquídeas.
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, my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
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