How the ‘brainy’ book became a publishing phenomenon
theguardian.com – Sunday July 29, 2018
This is a story about a book that just kept selling, catching publishers, booksellers and even its author off guard. In seeking to understand the reasons for the book’s unusually protracted shelf life, we uncover important messages about our moment in history, about the still-vital place of reading in our culture, and about the changing face of publishing.
The book is Sapiens, by the Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari, published in the UK in September 2014. It’s a recondite work of evolutionary history charting the development of humankind through a scholarly examination of our ability to cooperate as a species. Sapiens sold well on publication, particularly when it came out in paperback in the summer of 2015. What’s remarkable about it, though, is that it’s still selling in vast numbers. In its first two and a half years of life, Sapiens sold just over 200,000 copies in the UK. Since 2017, when Harari published Homo Deus, his follow-up, Sapienshas sold a further half million copies, establishing itself firmly at the top of the bestseller lists (and convincingly outselling its sequel). Sapiens has become a publishing phenomenon and its wild success is symptomatic of a broader trend in our book-buying habits: a surge in the popularity of intelligent, challenging nonfiction, often books that are several years old.
This Piece Of Writing Advice From 'Ron Carlson Writes A Story' Transformed My Creative Process For The Better
bustle.com – Friday July 27, 2018
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a writer in some capacity or another. Growing up, I spent all the free time I had working on angsty teenage love poems and cringe-worthy romance stories that were in reality just thinly veiled fantasies about whoever I had a crush on that week. Back then, the words flowed out of me almost seamlessly, but as I got older, I found that writing — and I mean really writing, actually working on a novel — is a lot more difficult than it seemed a decade ago when I still believed every idea I had was pure gold and every word I put on paper was absolutely genius. It had a lot to do with my confidence, or a lack thereof and my fear of creating something terrible, embarrassing, or just plain boring. For years, I found myself starting a project with the highest of hopes, only to abandon it after a few hundred words, convinced there was no way that what I was writing was could ever become an actual work of literary art. That is, until I picked up a slim writing guide that held within its pages advice from author Ron Carlson that transformed my writing process for the better.
No, you probably don’t have a book in you
theoutline.com – Friday July 27, 2018
Has anyone ever said you should write a book? Maybe extraordinary things have happened to you, and they say you should write a memoir. Or you have an extremely vivid imagination, and they say you should write a novel. Maybe your kids are endlessly entertained at bedtime, and they say you should write a children’s book. Perhaps you just know how everything should be and imagine your essay collection will set the world straight.
Everyone has a book in them, right?
I hate to break it to you but everyone does not, in fact, have a book in them.
A Published Author Told Me To Stop Writing Fan Fiction — But The Lunar Chronicles Author Marissa Meyer Disagrees
bustle.com – Wednesday July 25, 2018
"If you ever wanted to be a published author, you need to stop writing fan fiction immediately."
I blinked, wondering how I'd gotten from standing in line for a snorkel at the beach to having my entire geeky world upended in one sentence. Several minutes earlier I'd struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me, who turned out to be a published author. It was January of 2016, so I was about 15,000 words deep into what would eventually become a monstrous, novel-length fan fiction sequel to The Force Awakens, and was so hopped up on having someone to talk writing with that I told her as much.
Cue the existential crisis.
2 Big Book Writing Myths That Will Keep You From Achieving Big Profits
entrepreneur.com – Wednesday July 25, 2018
When my first book was published, I thought it would be an overnight success based purely on the topic and the fact that I knew the world needed it. My genius marketingplan was to simply publish it. If it exists on the internet, people will find it, right?
As you can imagine, that didn't work. It's a bit like showing up to a party, not knowing anyone, trying to make a grand entrance and having zero people pay attention. In fact, it was a lot like that. Hardly anyone blinked an eye or turned their head when my book became available.
Undeterred, I decided that the ticket to my success was that coveted Amazonbestseller ribbon. That will solve all my problems, I thought.
How to hook time-poor readers: 16 tips for publishers, booksellers and authors
thebookseller.com – Wednesday July 18, 2018
I’m a mom of four kids, and a book lover. These two facts don’t typically mesh too well. For years, the only time I could find to read was when I finally crawled, exhausted, under my covers at night. It would sometimes take months for me to get through even a short, mindless read. Many nights I’d have to backtrack a few pages because I couldn’t even remember what I’d read in my half-dazed, zonked state the night before. Short chapters were my savior.
It got to the point where I felt guilty buying books because I would never get through any of them. My book-buying slowed down, despite my interest in new releases. I felt like a book failure! In my most stressed out, time-short kid-raising moments, I needed to escape into someone else’s story more than ever, yet couldn’t figure out when and how to do it, or even what to read. And in today's frantic, information-overloaded world, I don't think this issue is restricted to moms.
Writing about pop music is a novelist’s worst nightmare – and I should know
inews.co.uk – Tuesday July 17, 2018
For a writer in hot pursuit of that eye-catching new direction, there are not many greater challenges than the world of popular music. In fact, it isn’t going too far to say that from whichever historical vantage point you aim to examine the shambling behemoth of contemporary music, pop is both a novelist’s dream and a novelist’s nightmare: crammed with ready-made material, larger than-life characters, lurking tragedy and flagrant excess, yet simultaneously awash with protocols, jargon and technical detail that most newcomers to the scene will struggle to comprehend.
And then – even more problematic for an art-form that prefers solid subjects, where it can hunker down and modestly establish itself – there is pop’s built-in ephemerality, the suspicion that last year’s top ten smash will very likely be this year’s bargain bin-filler, the thought of an industry which is changing so rapidly that the whole edifice threatens to dissolve beneath the onlooker’s gaze. For the fan of the three-minute single, pop’s oddly provisional quality is part of its charm.
It is easier to win major literary awards by writing a lead character who is a man, Booker Prize-winning authors warn
telegraph.co.uk – Sunday July 8, 2018
It is easier to win major literary awards by writing a lead character who is a man, Booker Prize-winning authors have suggested, as they warn the tendency to laud with male protagonists is “concerning”.
Dame Hilary Mantel, the only woman to have won the Man Booker Prize twice for the first two novels of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, said it “might be observed” that her award success came easier for having a male protagonist than if she had been writing about a woman.
Taking A Creative Writing Class Can Be Intimidating, But Here's 13 Things To Know Before You Sign Up
bustle.com – Wednesday July 4, 2018
I was lucky enough to take my first creative writing class in high school, and I was instantly hooked. I went on to take classes in college, and then even after I graduated. So, if you're about to start your first creative writing class, I am so excited for you.
But, what is creative writing class, anyway? How does that even work? When I took my first class, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Creative writing is not taught like your typical school subject, but it's not a complete blow-off elective either. And of course, every teacher does things in their own way.
'Annihilation' Author Jeff VanderMeer Shares the Secrets to Writing Great Imaginative Fiction
space.com – Wednesday July 4, 2018
Aspiring writers of "imaginative fiction" — whether science fiction, fantasy or other kinds — are in for a treat: a new update to the fiction-writing guide "Wonderbook," by Jeff VanderMeer (Abrams Image, 2018).
VanderMeer is a well-known author of some of the strangest fiction today (including the "Southern Reach" trilogy that the recent movie "Annihilation"draws from), and with "Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction," released today (July 3, 2018) he provides an equally strange (but effective) dive into the fundamentals of fiction writing, intermingling text and illustrations to explore the complexities of fiction. The book also includes perspectives from many authors, including Kim Stanley Robinson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman and more.