Last Week in Books 9/5/11

by | Sep 5, 2011 | Uncategorized | 14 comments

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Here are some links to help you pass the holiday.

First up, I am doing the Tumblr! I think for real this time! I have given my page a fresh look and hope to be updating much more often with photos, art (not mine, don’t worry), links, clips, and etc., along with links to my blog posts as well. Fun fun.

Second! If you have not yet tired of the sound of my voice there are two new places where I am speaking the words. First, the second episode of the Wordplay Podcast is live, with special guest Ally Condie:

Click through to the post to find out how you can win a signed copy of Ally Condie’s MATCHED. Also, I was interviewed by Moses Siregar III for the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast (interview starts around the 20 minute mark), where we talk about living the ups and downs of the writing and publication process and how important it is to be a part of the community of writers. Also, Moses’ novel THE BLACK GOD’S WAR just came out, so give that a look-see as well.

Now then. The links!

Amazon is on a lot of people’s mind this week. First, TechCrunch says they’ve gotten their hands on a prototype of Amazon’s upcoming tablet and have some early specs: 7 inches, could be released in October for $250, and a custom Android interface. Among those responding with analysis, at the LA Times Carolyn Kellogg starts with the breathless headline The hypothetical Amazon tablet will take over the universe, before pointing out that the Nook Color… is a 7 inch Android tablet that costs $250 and is already on sale. And writing for CNET (where, disclosure, I’m employed) Eric Mack wonders if the Amazon tablet will succeed where other Android tablets have failed.

And (yes there’s more), writing for GigaOM, Matthew Ingram analyzes the new @author program, where you can tweet at authors as part of the reading experience, and the way Amazon is further disrupting the traditional publisher’s place in the reading ecosystem.

Speaking of disruption, guest posting at Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog, picture book author Lindsey Lane talks about the digital transformation of a picture book over to an app.

Cory Doctorow has been a prominent freevangelist and digital innovator for some time, so after he self-published a short story collection I was mildly surprised to see this great post defending publishers and reaching an inescapable conclusion: Self-publishing is hard. (via Victoria Strauss)

Writing for The Millions, Kim Wright takes a look at a really significant trend in the world of literature: Literary writers moving to genre fiction.

In writing advice news, Brian Wood has an interesting interview on writing humor, agent Rachelle Gardner reminds everyone that we have to write for our own times rather than bemoaning that publishers don’t publish books like X classic, writing at Wicked & Tricksy, Sommer Leigh writes about the Courage of Writers, and Shrinking Violet Promotions talks about writers finding their voices, not just on the page but in life.

You may have gotten a rejection letter this week, but chances are it wasn’t as mean as this one.

And the Onion profiles a novelist who has his whole $^&@%& world plotted out (via JohnDurvin in the Forums).

This week in the Forums, an ode to Fantasy Football, waiting is the WORST, thoughts on designing a blog, whether to smile or not in author photos, how to develop a unique plot in each book in a trilogy, another NaNoWriMo success story, and you are worthy of success.

Comment! of! the! Week! I had a seriously hard time choosing a comment of the week this week because there were so many great ones. So I’m going to duck choosing just one and give the thread on whether the Internet is making us better or worse a collective comments of the week. Awesome discussion.

And finally, sometimes it’s important to take a walk in the park, which I did on Saturday:

Have a great week!


  1. veela-valoom

    So I'm not sure I get the @author program. I already tweet authors at will. What'st he point of letting Amazon be the go-between when they don't need to be? (I could just be missing the point).

    My dream is for amazon to connect my Kindle to Goodreads so I can update my status with ease. Now that I'd get excited about.

  2. Michele Shaw

    All great stuff in this post, but the rejection letter…wow! Mine were all hearts and sunshine compared to that!

  3. Meghan Ward

    Thanks for all these great links, Nathan. Before I clicked on the Millions link, I thought of Justin Cronin, who has come to the Grotto for lunch. He did say he switched to make money – and money he is making like hotcakes. I'm just hoping all literary fiction writers don't sell out. I'll take Jo Ann Beard's In Zanesville over a zombie novel any day.

  4. Meghan Ward

    P.S. Your Tumblr page looks great! Although I haven't completely understood the purpose of Tumblr yet for people who already have blogs. Do we really need both?

  5. Nathan Bransford


    I'm not sure! I think the easiest thing about Tumblr is re-blogging and sharing things you see elsewhere, which is a snap. I also am using it to share short clips and photos things that I might not share to my blog. But I guess I could do what I'm doing on Tumblr on my actual blog. Hmm….

  6. Mira

    oh, pretty picture, Nathan. A walk in the park sounds so peaceful and lovely. And I love your tumblr site, very classy.

    I've only had a chance to read a few links so far. I loved Sommer's article, very inspiring. I also liked the Shrinking Violet's article about courage and finding your voice. And that was a mean letter. Why do people do that?

    Looking forward to the rest of the links! Thanks, Nathan!

  7. Anonymous

    I love the Tumblr thing. Thank you for sharing. Now I'm getting one myself.

  8. abc

    I have lots o' fun with my own tumblr:

    Using the tumblr button to post pictures and excerpts of articles is kinda awesome. Plus it links to my twitter for easy review of my dumb thoughts.

    Is that an instagram! I have way too much fun with that program.

    Those genre books by literary writers look really good. Sign me up (and what the heck, I'll read their regular ole stuff, too).

  9. Meghan Ward

    I guess I use Twitter to share links and FB for videos. It just sounds too overwhelming to have all three – and Google +! I don't know how people find the time.

  10. The English Teacher

    Ooooh! I like the idea of being able to ask an author a question while I'm reading!
    Maybe it's because I really love going to book festivals and meeting authors to ask them questions face-to-face. This would be almost that good.

  11. Lisa Shafer

    Forget the publicity part of self-publishing! The freakin' formatting alone is driving ME nuts!!!

  12. Matthew MacNish

    Dang it! I was hoping for my first comment of the week. Mine are rarely any good, so that may have been my last, best hope.

    Oh well. I'm off to read your forum highlights.

  13. D.G. Hudson

    I'm late checking the links, but really liked Sommer's post – and checked a few of the forum discussions.

    I hope your photos do make it to the blog, they up our viewing pleasure.

  14. Alana Roberts

    I really appreciate these publishing week-in-review posts, Nathan! They lead to so many interesting conversations and I feel I'm keeping up more than I'd be able to on my own.


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Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

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