This week! Books!
Let’s get this one out of the way. Author Heather Demetrios was the talk of the publishing this week due to her long confession in a Medium post that she had no idea how book advances or typical literary careers worked when she got a big advance and proceeded to make many imprudent financial decisions.
There are really too many Hot Takes on social media about this article to even count, but let me just take this opportunity to re-up some key blog posts on the fundamentals of publishing economics and navigating the publishing journey:
- How authors make money
- Book publishing glossary
- The economics of publishing
- Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer
And of course, when it comes to publishing, above all remember this: nothing, and I mean nothing, is guaranteed. Ultimately, I agree with author Justina Ireland on this one:
It’s award season! Congrats to the longlistees for the National Book Award in…
- Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib
- The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
- Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
- What You Have Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance by Carolyn Forché
- Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
- The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
- The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin
- Burn the Place: A Memoir by Iliana Regan
- Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- Solitary by Albert Woodfox with Leslie George
- Variations on Dawn and Dusk by Dan Beachy-Quick
- The Tradition by Jericho Brown
- I: New and Selected Poems by Toi Derricotte
- Build Yourself a Boat by Camonghne Felix
- Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky
- A Sand Book by Ariana Reines
- Dunce by Mary Ruefle
- Be Recorder by Carmen Giménez Smith
- Sight Lines by Arthur Sze
- Doomstead Days by Brian Teare
- When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book by Naja Marie Aidt (translated by Denise Newman)
- The Collector of Leftover Souls: Field Notes on Brazil’s Everyday Insurrections by Eliane Brum (translated by Diane Grosklaus Whitty)
- Space Invaders by Nona Fernández (translated by Natasha Wimmer)
- Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth (translated by Charlotte Barslund)
- Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa (translated by Leri Price)
- Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai (translated by Ottilie Mulzet)
- The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga (translated by Jordan Stump)
- The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder)
- Crossing by Pajtim Statovci (translated by David Hackston)
- Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones)
- The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson
- Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
- A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
- Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
- Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
- Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby
- 1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler
- Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
- Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
The New Yorker has a pretty hilarious look at the real publishing numbers.
I had the chance to see the movie Ad Astra last weekend, and I highly recommend it! Emily Rome argues that we need more near future space movies like this.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories:
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- The Institute by Stephen King
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- The Titanic Secret by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
- Call Sign Chaos by James Mattis and Bing West
- Educated by Tara Westover
- The Only Plane in the Sky by Garett M. Graf
- She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
Young adult hardcover:
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Frankly in Love by David Yoon
- Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- American Royals by Katharine McGee
Middle grade hardcover:
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Max Einstein: Rebels With a Cause by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
- The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
This week on the blog
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- 6 ways to build intimacy between characters
- Are you creating a mystery or just being vague?
- What’s the best mystery in a novel?
- Be mindful of the intersection between your novel’s world and the real world (Query critique)
The dialogue between Elizabeth, Miss Bennett, and Mr Darcy is scintillating. On the one hand, it’s kept to the Victorian standard of etiquette, while on the other is skirting outright rudeness. However, we also see that while Elizabeth is getting more worked up – we can almost hear her voice becoming more high-pitched – Mr Darcy has kept his self-control. The one who has self-control is the one who controls the situation. His response is admirable. When she calms down, she’ll remember it.
This week in the Forums:
- Is writing books slowly going to be a problem for agents?
- Looking for a YA Fantasy Critique Partner!
- What are you reading now?
And finally, basketball player Shaun Livingston has had an incredibly inspiring career. After injuring his knee so severely doctors actually considered amputation, Livingston very gradually worked his way back into the NBA and eventually became a key contributor to several Golden State Warriors championship teams. He retired this month, a great lesson in resilience. This profile from The Ringer is worth a read.
Have a great weekend!
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For my best advice, check out my guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and my guide to publishing a book.
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