These Past Few Weeks in Books 7/2/12

by | Jul 2, 2012 | Uncategorized | 10 comments

Where does the time go??

Well, strike that, in the past few days I know exactly where it’s gone, to moments like this out hiking in Point Reyes with Tahereh Mafi, Tana Gandhi and Randa Gill:

I’ve been enjoying being done-done with Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp, so I may not have had my eye on the Internet quite as closely the last two weeks. Besides, as you can tell from the chilly fog in the above photo, it’s summer!!

But here are some books and publishing links for your linky enjoyment.

First, thanks so much to everyone for all the great responses to the recent post on Jonathan Franzen, which dealt in part with our culture of distraction. As it happens, after I wrote that post but before I published it, I came across an awesome post by Mathew Ingram on the Internet and distraction, which has an optimistic take that I enjoyed.

Also, I was interviewed recently on author Matt Myklusch’s podcast, in which we talk about my somewhat unique path to publication (which actually ended up being somewhat conventional), and social media for authors.

The exponential growth of e-books may have slowed in the past year, but another milestone was nevertheless reached recently. E-book revenue topped hardcover in the first quarter of 2012. Pretty amazing.

Goodreads put together a pretty cool blog post on the anatomy of book discovery, which looks at such things as the impact of giveaways on ratings and how much timing matters when doing said giveaways. Science!!

Want to know how the professionals tell stories? io9 recently featured the 22 rules of storytelling according to Pixar. Really good stuff.

Ever wonder how authors and agents choose publishers when they have multiple offers on the table? Agent Rachelle Gardner peels back the curtain.

My former client and soon-to-be-published author Natalie Whipple has some extremely good advice about not being too attached to your first idea for a story. Too often authors think their first idea is how the story is supposed to go, but in reality you should allow yourself to think of alternatives and be flexible.

Speaking of writing advice, you hear so much about how you have to grab an agent’s attention, and it’s true, but as agent Kristin Nelson points out, that doesn’t mean you have to have an action-packed opening.

Two long-time friends of the blog, Anne R. Allen and Pay It Forward author Catherine Ryan Hyde just released an e-book called How to Be a Writer in the E-Age… And Keep Your E-Sanity!, and it’s priced at $2.99 for a limited time. Check it out!

And agent Jenny Bent dispels a perennial myth that can’t be dispelled enough: Publishing really is not about who you know.

This week in the forums, please don’t forget about the forums! We have places where you can share your synopsis, your query, excerpts, you can ask me questions, and much more. It’s easy to join and we’d love to have you!

And finally, long-time friend of the blog Brian Wood, author of Dreamworld, recently released an extremely cool book trailer that shows how his cover artist created the cover for his second novel, Reality. Pretty awesome:

Have a great week!


  1. Jenny Bent

    Hey, thanks for the shout out and the other great links. Will be sending a few folks over to read Kristin Nelson's post in particular, great topic.

  2. Anonymous

    The Book with Anne R. Allen and Catherine Ryan Hyde looks interesting. I like what Hyde has done with self-publishing…and she's been gracious about it, too. It's not the loud screaming about how self-publishing is better than traditional publishing. It's just more like I did it and I enjoyed doing it. Period. In the same respect, it gives credibility to self-publishing.

  3. Sally

    Great post! And, thanks for the links.

  4. Mirka Breen

    One more vote for a walk at Point Reyes…

  5. Naja Tau

    These links are awesome! I spent an entire morning on them!

  6. Mira

    Nice variety of links, Nathan! Thank you! 🙂

  7. Anne R. Allen

    Thanks so much for the shout-out Nathan! Guest-posting here on your blog is what re-started my career. And I've learned so much here!

    Working with Catherine Ryan Hyde has been amazing. She really does live a Pay it Forward life.

    Thanks to Anon 8:50 too. Catherine publishes with Big 6 and self-pubs and this new book is with a small international press. We all have so many choices now. It's never either/or. The best road depends on the book and the author's needs.

    One of the best things about the book is that there will be FREE updates, because this industry is changing so fast nobody knows if what we say today will be true in a few months.

    And, hey major congrats to Natalie Whipple!

  8. Catherine Ryan Hyde

    prodcastYes, I'd like to second my appreciation for that anonymous comment. Anne I are are careful to clarify that our book is not all about self-publishing. We try to strike a balance on the pros and cons to help people find a good fit for their work and themselves. Many thanks to Nathan for the shout-out!

  9. Robena Grant

    Fabulous. Thanks for the links. And that painting is so peaceful.


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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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