This Week in Books 10/25/12

by | Oct 26, 2012 | Uncategorized | 13 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve done a link roundup, but I’m starting to get settled in New York and hope to begin moving to a slightly more normal schedule. Famous last words! These links may stretch back a while.

Random Penguin? Penguin House? People have long speculated that there would be consolidation in the publishing industry, and now Pearson has confirmed that they are talking consolidation. It will be very interesting to see whether this comes to pass and how it plays out.

Penguin, meanwhile, has been suing authors over non-delivery of manuscripts.

There have been a few articles lately about how the publishingpocalypse has not exactly come to pass, no matter what breathless doomsday predictions you may have heard in the past few years. In The Atlantic, Peter Osnos writes that the industry is adapting well to the e-reader era, and Mike Shatzkin writes that Amazon’s publishing wing is not yet a threat to publishers.

Cynthia Leitich Smith has a great post on how authors can prepare for public speaking.

Editor Cheryl Klein writes about how you get a job in publishing.

Book Riot has a great take on Gillian Flynn and Gone Girl, one of my favorite books of the year, writing about how genre fiction sometimes doesn’t get the same social commentary cred as more “serious” literary fiction.

Butterfly in the sky, Reading Rainbow is back! This time in app form.

You’ve probably already read this, tweeted it and had a flame war, but there was quite the controversy a few months back about sockpuppet Amazon reviews and the authors who have used them.

And, of course, rejection bingo! (via The Millions)

Now being discussed in the discussion forums, which you should totally join, which TV shows are you watching?, agents and self-published e-books, where have all the review bloggers gone?, discussing the Casual Vacancy, how many characters do you have?, and prep for NaNoWriMo 2012!

And finally, for all you cooking fans out there, one of my friends has started a really cool site, Cook Smarts, devoted to recipes and learning new techniques in the kitchen. I highly, highly recommend her newsletter, which delivers some awesome recipes straight to your inbox every week.

And finally, finally, Apple released another big player in the e-reader world with the iPad Mini. Here’s CNET’s first look at the new game-changer (disclosure: CNET is where I work):

Have a great weekend!


  1. Will Overby

    Great link to the post about public speaking. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Robena Grant

    Thanks for the links. Lots of good reading here. Have a great weekend.

  3. Laura Pep Wu

    Always love these links! Off to read them…

  4. Kristin Laughtin

    I totally forgot it was Friday until I saw this post. "This Week in Books…wait, it's not Fri–oh, it is!"

    Good for Book Riot. This has often been a rant of mine. I love genre fiction because I feel that its use of alternate worlds (whether they're ours with a tweak or completely different) provides a great opportunity for social commentary. When the world is different, the things that remain the same make a bigger impact, especially the social issues!

  5. Anonymous

    Re Penguin suing authors: The authors were paid advances and didn't deliver the books. Wouldn't it be better if the books were written before pitching them to the editor and being paid on them?

  6. Lisa Shafer

    Random Penguin!! Love it! Who wouldn't want their book published by some random penguin? *giggles*

  7. abc

    Hey, those people need to deliver on their books already! Except not Elizabeth Wurtzel. No thanks on that one.

    Gillian Flynn! Gillian Flynn!

  8. Bryan Russell

    All I want for Christmas is an iPad Mini. Wrapped in a Mini Cooper.

    I always aim small.

  9. Mira

    Links! Awesome!

    Although, the best part was this:

    "You've probably already read this, tweeted it and had a flame war"

    Ha, ha! Classic. 🙂

    So, it's I think it's just plain mean for Penguin to be suing authors years after Penguin let the projects drop. Because they did let these projects drop. Editors left, etc. It's not unusual for publishers to write off small advances like this, and why should the authors in this case think any differently?

    Penguin is being a big bully.
    Now, the authors have to pony up interest, legal fees, etc. (Obviously Penguin is doing this to get the money back, otherwise, they'd just go through the agent and work with the client to finish the book). If Penguin lost interest in the project, they should have asked for the money at deadline.

    Makes me mad.

    Maybe I'll go start a flame war. 😉

    Thanks for the links, Nathan – Glad you're settling into New York!

  10. Anonymous

    Publishers aren't running a charity. If they have signed contracts with writers that are not delivering products, it makes sense for them to take action.

    Of course, putting on my business hat, this really hurts relationships. Now, if the author had already provided good product in the past, I can see the publisher waiting a little bit longer. But if this is the first work by a writer, then I can see the publisher launching a missile in the writer's direction.

    Why do folks fail to see that publishing is a business? This boggles my mind.

  11. matt marshall

    All the best for when the storm hits.

    Let us know how things are once it passes.

  12. Jess @ COOK + SMARTS

    Aww, thanks Nathan for the shout out. Hope you weren't too affected by Sandy. SF misses you!


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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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