This week in books 6/23/17

by | Jun 23, 2017 | This Week in Books | 1 comment

This week! Books!

I skipped last week’s roundup because we were a bit light on the ol’ content, but now I have a whole slew of good links for your enjoyment.

Who’d have thought that Instagram, a photo app, would be an influential way to market books? Jo Piazza takes a look at the world of Bookstagramming. (via The Millions)

And speaking of Instagram, The Next Web had a pretty solid guide to killing it on Instagram.


Agent Jessica Faust has an interesting post about fear, and how you should respond to it and let go of it. Also from Jessica, first impressions mean (almost) everything.

Over at Publishers Marketplace, there’s a really interesting series of posts that scopes the size of the US book market (subscription required). Two interesting nuggets of many: Amazon has about 75% of the e-book market, and independent authors represent a little less than 25% of the e-book market.

Speaking of which, do Amazon ads work? Reedsy takes a look at a few case studies.

Check out this incredible book art from a few years back in Spain.

Slate is launching a new podcast devoted to conspiracy thrillers. They’re focusing on movies, but it may be interesting for book lovers out there. (via John Ochwat)

This is some really interesting writing advice from Murakami.

And in science news, a new experiment has proven spooky action from a distance. Spooky and amazing!

This week in the Forums:

Ten (Totally Made Up) Commandments of Querying
Request for feedback
Ask me anything!
Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog
Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Comment! of! the! week! Goes to Unknown, who I think had some good advice for authors on the do you have beef with agents post:

I think writers should get on with their writing lives and not put all their eggs in the seeking-an-agent basket (one egg at most, zero is better). (1) concentrating on getting an agent’s validation can lead to tunnel vision, as well as despondency and loss of motivation when you don’t get one. (2) Agents are looking for something they think will sell, i.e., something that’s like a recent big publishing success, which may not be what you write. (3) Concentrate on challenging yourself and enjoying writing. (4) Join or start a writing group. This is the single most important thing you can do to improve your writing and be successful. Really! While I don’t entirely agree with Anonymous above, because the way he puts it, it sounds like if you just know the right people they will get you published, it is true that having a circle of writing friends and colleagues will help you in a multitude of ways. There is a social side of writing, and it is vital. (5) Take every opportunity to find readers (blogging, self publishing, whatever) because you simply don’t know what’s going to draw attention and readers to your stories. No one is an overnight success. (6) Learn about the business side of writing so that you don’t become the victim of a lazy or unethical agent or publisher. Never sign a contract that you don’t understand thoroughly and that your attorney hasn’t read and explained to you. People’s careers are ruined by bad contracts. (7) Join a writing group. (8) Join a writing group. (9) Join a writing group. (Repeat as necessary)

And finally, Bill Ferris does not want you to support his Patreon.

Have a great weekend!

I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and consultations! And if you like this post, check out my guide to writing a novel.

Art: Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram! @nathanbransford

1 Comment


    Thanks for all this, Nathan, particularly your pic reminding us of the days when US cars had hoods modeled on aircraft carrier flight decks! And congratulations to Unknown!


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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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