The Last Few Weeks in Books 3/21/13

by | Mar 22, 2013 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

Springtime in Brooklyn

First up: In case you missed it on Wednesday, Maggie Mason and I are kicking off a project where we’re writing thank you notes to our favorite writers. Join us in the #ThankAWriter project! Details are here.

Meanwhile: Lots and lots of links, so let’s do this quick hit style:

Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, has passed away.

Smashwords maven Mark Coker has six tips for reading the tea leaves and figuring out the right remedy when your e-book sales are languishing.

I have competition! Yes, I’m not the only one working on a guide to writing (more info about my project here). Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James will soon release In The Fifty Shades of Grey: Inner Goddess (A Journal), which will include writing tips.

An author submitted her unfinished novel to some contests and then noticed similarities in a later published work. She sued. She lost. (The lesson always: Execution is more important than your ideas)

The story of the first novel written on a word processor is fascinating.

I am interviewed by Jeff Rivera (thanks, Jeff!)

Random House digital imprint Hydra was the subject of quite a bit of criticism due to its onerous contract. They eventually caved.

In the wake of Amazon and Apple trying to patent plans to sell used digital content, the New York Times took a look at the history of used books and how “first sale” rules were established.

David Pogue thought a lot about used e-books and arrived at the same place I did: Concerned about whether anyone would ever want to buy a new copy.

David Haglund would like people to stop hating on acknowledgements.

Matthew MacNish asks how you know when you’re ready to start telling your story.

My former colleague Tracy Marchini has advice for people thinking of writing a picture book.

A rather awesome 11-year-old took to Kickstarter to raise money for a book project.

Agent Rachelle Gardner looks at the reasons an agent might give up on a project.

The past few week in the Forums: a place to spread the word about your public events, how accurate do you need to be about ancient cultures?, talking third person omniscient, when to use stars and when to use white space, and an oldie but goodie: How many characters do you have?

And finally, a little blast from the past for your Friday. Remember the Secret City drawing show??

Have a great weekend!

Photo by me. I’m on Instagram here.


  1. Matthew MacNish

    WHAT!?! I love how whenever you link to me, it's a surprise. Thanks, Nathan.

    And I know why you liked that post. It's because I went with a Nathan Bransford style old school painting for the picture.

    And how about Harvard? I had New Mexico going to the Sweet 16, dangit!

  2. Susie Lindau

    What a great mashup! You have been a busy guy…
    Love It reminds me of, but a little more focused. The idea of writing notes to your favorite authors is brilliant and a great way to pay the enjoyment of their book, forward.

  3. Kristen Pham

    Thanks for the great list! How did I miss so much this week?

  4. 120Pages

    I'm so glad you're a fellow child of the 80s! I've been absently drawing these types of circles for years and couldn't remember what show in my childhood introduced me to them. Now I know!! (And how I could ever have forgotten such a show in the first place is beyond me 😉

    And of course, thanks for all the fantastic links!

  5. Joe Moody

    The editor in me is compelled to mention the typo in the headline:

    The Last Few Week in Books 3/21/13
    should be:
    The Last Few Weeks in Books 3/21/13

    (once an editor, well…)

    happy blogging,


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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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