This week! The books!
You still have until 7pm tonight to enter the 6th Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge! There is pride at stake. Also prizes. Enter now for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from your favorite independent bookstore!
Meanwhile, the publishing world did not grind to a halt for our contest and I collected some links for you.
Literary hearts were aflutter with the news that Stephen King won approval to turn his classic Maine house into a museum and writers retreat. No word yet on any specifics but a thousand writers just raised their hands.
Author Aleksander Hemon (Nowhere Man) makes the case in the New York Times that Peter Handke, recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, is an apologist for Serbian genocide and Slobodan Milosevic. Hoo boy.
Bowker released their ISBN statics for 2018, which showed that CreateSpace issued 1.416 million self-published titles print-on-demand editions in 2018, which Publishers Lunch notes (subscription link) is up more than 52 percent from 2017. But as Nate Hoffelder notes, this may be less of a boom than it appears, as many authors may have taken advantage of the merging of CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing to bring their books out in print.
Ever wonder why some hardcover books have retro rough page edges? It’s called deckle edges, and BookRiot takes a deep dive into the history at play.
Pitching for film is not at all the same as pitching books! They have different customs and you shouldn’t mix the two. As agent Jessica Faust points out: A logline is not a hook.
And how much creativity is too much creativity in creative nonfiction? Eileen Pollack, former director of the University of Michigan MFA Program, dives in to explain.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- The 19th Christmas by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
- What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Child’s Play by Danielle Steel
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Blowout by Rachel Maddow
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
- Witch Hunt by Gregg Jarrett
- The United States of Trump by Bill O’Reilly
- Educated by Tara Westover
Young adult hardcover:
- Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
- The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
- The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
- Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha
- The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Middle grade hardcover:
- A Tale of Magic… by Chris Colfer
- Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
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:
- The 6th Not-quite-as-annual-as-it-used-to-be Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge!!
- ON SALE NOW: 2nd Edition of my guide to writing a novel!
- 6th SUFPC update!
Comment! of! the! week! will be back next week. This was contest week!
And finally, can you honestly imagine cleaning out a storeroom and finding a lost chapter from The Tale of Genji? Well. It happened.
Have a great weekend!
• Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
• 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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