Costco largely exits the book business (This week in books)
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
1w ago
This week! Books! I’m going to be going on an early summer hiatus the next few weeks, returning to a normal schedule later in June. There may be a post or two popping up in the interim, but otherwise things will be as quiet around here as a publishing house on a summer Friday afternoon. On the news, which is not great! In some devastating news for the publishing industry, Costco will no longer be stocking books except at peak holiday season. I’m not sure publishing civilians realize just how many book sales now happen through the big non-bookstore box stores like Costco and Target, particular ..read more
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“Eleven and up” isn’t a genre (query critique)
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
1w ago
If you’d like to nominate your own page or query for a public critique, kindly post them here in the discussion forums: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog Also, if you’d like to test your editing chops, keep your eye on this area or this area! I’ll post the pages and queries a few days before a critique so you can see how your redline compares to mine. And, of course, if you need help more urgently or privately, I’m available for edits and consultations! Now then. Time for the Query Critique. First I’ll pres ..read more
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Who are your favorite publishing people to follow?
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
1w ago
With social media fragmenting, I’m bringing back my old “You Tell Me” Wednesday discussions to try to get good old fashioned blog conversations going. If you’re reading in a feed reader or via email, please click through to the post to leave a public comment and join the discussion! The social media landscape is certainly chaotic these days, but there are still some great writing and publishing types out there still clicking away on the old interwebs. Who are your favorite writers and publishing types to follow via newsletters, blogs, and social media? For my industry news, I rely m ..read more
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How Emily Henry hooks the reader
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
1w ago
Romance or romantic women’s fiction or chick lit or whatever we’re calling it these days often gets a tremendously unfair rap from a craft standpoint. I don’t think most readers and critics appreciate just how tricky it is to hook the reader and keep them engaged in a way that’s very common in the genre. The bar is super high. To be sure, a sentence like “My whole body heated until I felt like lava, burning and liquid” won’t likely be read aloud at a future Nobel Prize ceremony (it’s required by law to include at least one lava simile in a romance novel, but I’d delete “burning and liquid,” w ..read more
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RWA goes bankrupt (This week in books)
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
2w ago
This week! Books! The implosion of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) in the wake of a racism controversy several years ago continues, as the organization filed for bankruptcy after membership dropped from 10,000 to 2,000 in the past few years. As recently as 2015, RWA nominated a book for a “Rita” award (their annual prizes) that featured a Jewish woman falling in love with a Nazi concentration camp guard, and was pressured to rescind an award in 2021 for a book with a love interest who took part in the massacre at Wounded Knee. Keila Shaheen’s self-published, largely TikTok-driven phenome ..read more
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Let scenes unfold (page critique)
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
2w ago
If you’d like to nominate your own page or query for a public critique, kindly post them here in our discussion forums: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog If you’d like to test your editing chops, keep your eye on this area or this area! I’ll post the pages and queries a few days before a critique so you can see how your redline compares to mine. And, of course, if you need help more urgently or privately, I’m available for edits and consultations! Now then. Time for the Page Critique. First I’ll presen ..read more
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What’s your favorite short story?
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
2w ago
With social media fragmenting, I’m bringing back my old “You Tell Me” Wednesday discussions to try to get good old fashioned blog conversations going. If you’re reading in a feed reader or via email, please click through to the post to leave a public comment and join the discussion! For as long as I’ve been connected to the publishing industry, short story collections have a reputation for not selling. And yet everyone likes short stories! I wonder if this conundrum will be solved in my lifetime. At any rate, with the passing of Alice Munro, it got me thinking: what’s your favorite ..read more
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Every artist needs Raccoon Phases
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
2w ago
I finished a new novel earlier in the year and, for the first time in a long time, I’m taking some time to figure out what’s next while it starts an uncertain journey through the publishing process. Do I want to write a sequel? Try one of those million ideas I have on the back burner? Set novels aside and write a screenplay? Who knows. I’m trying to hold off on pushing myself to decide. Partly because I need a creative break, but partly because it’s time to recharge by finding fresh ingredients for future inspiration. That’s why I am stepping into a Raccoon Phase, one of those crucial periods ..read more
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Lisa Lucas and Reagan Arthur out at PRH (This week in books)
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
3w ago
This week! Books! Even in the aftermath of the social justice protests of 2020, there were pretty loud questions about whether the publishing industry’s newfound push for diversity in its hiring practices would actually sustain itself, or, like so many previous ones, prove to be a flash in the pan. One of the flashiest hires was Lisa Lucas, who was brought over from the National Book Awards to be the publisher of Pantheon, which was particularly notable because it broke with the industry’s long standing practice of promoting solely from within, which, like biomagnification, tended to compound ..read more
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Avoid catch-all terms (query critique)
Nathan Bransford Blog
by Nathan Bransford
3w ago
If you’d like to nominate your own page or query for a public critique, kindly post them here in the discussion forums: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog Also, if you’d like to test your editing chops, keep your eye on this area or this area! I’ll post the pages and queries a few days before a critique so you can see how your redline compares to mine. And, of course, if you need help more urgently or privately, I’m available for edits and consultations! Now then. Time for the Query Critique. First I’ll pres ..read more
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