Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, August 3, 2012

This Week in Books 8/2/12

Relatively quiet weeks in books as the dog days of summer are here, but I spotted a few good ones for you. As always, please share the best ones you saw in the comments section!

Colson Whitehead, who is spectacular on Twitter, is equally spectacular in the pages of the NY Times as he has 11 rules for writing, some of which are hilariously dubious. My favorite is #8.

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has now outsold the Harry Potter series on Amazon UK. Yes, really.

Probably not a coincidence that another self-published book that started as Twilight fan fiction just sold for seven figures.

Who says agents aren't embracing the future? Agent Ted Weinstein built a widget that allows you to sell books from multiple vendors on your blog or website. Check it out.

Adding to the chorus that social media alone can't sell books, industry sage Mike Shatzkin gets at the broader question that is getting more and more crucial to answer: does the publisher add value commensurate with their share of the revenue?

And, of course, since it's summer, book covers matched with bikinis!

This week in the Forums, debating re-writing classics with an erotic slant (will that be the new X and Zombies?), new vs. experienced agents, writing from loneliness, and what to do when an idea takes over.

And finally, one of my favorite viral videos of all time, I give you Buttermilk the very excited goat!

Have a great weekend!


Emily said...

I will never not almost piss myself laughing at Buttermilk. Definitely the best of the recent viral crop.

Matthew MacNish said...

"Remove a comma and then print out another copy..." Hah! Perfect.

D.G. Hudson said...

Most likely, those who would read Harry Potter are not be the same audience as those who are reading Fifty Shades.

Bikinis and books, sheesh, what next?

Forums: please leave the classics alone. Be original.

Anonymous said...

sorry, but after reading his dated sounding post, to characterize Mike Shatzkin as an "industry sage" seems overly generous.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

holy moly... amazon uk, you break my heart. :(

emii. said...

This Buttermilk the Goat just made my day. I will save the video for the days when I can't smile and laugh. :D

Bryan Russell said...

Good ol' Colson. And I'm totally looking forward to Zone One.

Also, the Four Million Shades of Grey thing vaguely depressed me.

Peter Dudley said...

If only I could find an editor that would look at my work and say with a meaningful wink, "Repeat the above, but with fish."

Mira said...

Cool links, Nathan. :)

I thought the Colson Whitehead article was hilarious. I liked the one about the land shark best. Funny.

So, I have a theory about why 50 Shades is selling so well. I think it's because you can read it on an e-book, and NO ONE WILL KNOW. Pair that with the current state of semi-legitimacy that its found, and you have a winner.

I think that widget from Ted Weinstein is awesome!

I liked that Shaskin addressed the question of value added by the publisher - I like that he is taking up author concerns!

I didn't like the book cover/bikini matching because there were no men in bikinis. Where are the bikini men? That's a link I would 'like'.

I thought the thread on the forums about how publishers are planning to re-write some classics (Pride and Prejudice, etc.) with an erotic slant was fascinating. So many interesting issues there.

So, I do have a link I want to share. I thought this was cool. It's book art, for example a castle made of books. You can't see it in the pictures, but they carefully selected the title and placement of the books to match the theme. Wouldn't it be cool to walk in the tower and read the titles?

Here's the link:

Diana said...

More interesting than the Mike Shatzkin article is the Guardian article by Ewan Morrison that he linked to: Why Social Media isn't the Magic Bullet for Self-epublished Authors:

Something I realized a couple of years ago is that when you tweet or post on facebook, you are just preaching to the choir. Facebook and Twitter accounts are not easily accessible to the entire internet population. If you market through them you can only reach your hundreds or thousands of followers as opposed to marketing through a blog or a website which can reach everyone with access to the internet.

The article has some rather startling numbers for writers like this one: only 70 self-published authors in the world in 2011 were selling more than 800 ebooks a month. I think it is worthy of a blog post on its own.

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