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Writers' News

Print Unit Sales Rose 9.5% At the End of October

publishersweekly.com – Sunday November 8, 2020

With sales up in all categories, unit sales of print books rose 9.5% in the week ended Oct. 31, 2020, over the comparable week in 2019, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The top-selling book was The Deep End (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #15) by Jeff Kinney, which sold more than 171,000 copies and helped to drive up sales in the juvenile fiction category by 15.5%.

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New Agent Listing: Lori Galvin

firstwriter.com – Friday November 6, 2020

Represents both adult fiction (especially women’s fiction and thrillers) and nonfiction (personal development and cookbooks).

[See the full listing]

Bookshop.org is what the publishing world has been waiting for

theguardian.com – Thursday November 5, 2020

In publishing we often talk about things that we are “excited” and “delighted” about, so much that sometimes I think the words have lost their meanings. However, when readers, publishers and independent bookshops shared their delight about the new books retail platform, Bookshop.org, launched on Monday, it was the result of some of the most exciting news we’ve had in publishing for aeons.

Following its success in the US, Bookshop.org has arrived in the UK and promises something we have all been asking for – an ethical and transparent platform for buying books that amplifies the uniqueness of independent bookshops, with reading lists curated by humans rather than algorithms.

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New Literary Agent Listing: Jim Gill

firstwriter.com – Thursday November 5, 2020

Acts for a broad range of both fiction and non-fiction authors writing for the general-trade market, and is always on the look-out for the original and the excellent.

[See the full listing]

New Publisher Listing: Viking Dog

firstwriter.com – Tuesday November 3, 2020

A content company based in Los Angeles that creates, publishes and distributes film and book projects.

[See the full listing]

New Literary Agent Listing: Ariella Feiner

firstwriter.com – Tuesday November 3, 2020

Always open to submissions. In fiction, would like to see crime and thrillers, issue-led books, plot-driven stories, reading group books, high-concept tales, a great elevator pitch, novels with strong female characters, and historical fiction with a twist. In nonfiction, is interested in topics which feel untouched before now or are inspiring, expert-led ideas, mouth-watering cook books, narrative memoir, and empowering female tales.

[See the full listing]

NaNoWriMo: how to make best use of the annual writing month

theguardian.com – Monday November 2, 2020

If everyone has a book in them, then November is the month that many of those books are conceived. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, comes of age this year with its 21st birthday, and the concept remains as simple as it was in 1999: over 30 days, write at least 50,000 words of your novel.

Almost 368,000 novels have been completed by participants. There are no prizes or league tables, just the satisfaction of taking part – and the potential creation of something publishable.

There remains some sniffiness over NaNoWriMo in some quarters, usually published novelists who like to point out that some people write all year round. Half the world wants to write, it seems, and that means they think they can. Yes, writing a novel is hard work. And for every author that gets published, hundreds – possibly thousands – fail. But does that mean that we shouldn’t write novels just for sheer enjoyment?

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Bloody Scotland: Virtual Scots crime writing festival goes global on its debut

sundaypost.com – Sunday November 1, 2020

The Bloody Scotland festival, usually held in Stirling, featured leading authors including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Chris Brookmyre and Lee Child.

Organisers confirmed the three-day virtual festival attracted nearly three times the record 10,000 who attended in person in 2019.

The event also “went global”, with authors discussing their work in five continents and audiences logging in from more than 20 countries around the world.

Bob McDevitt, Bloody Scotland’s director, said the success of this year’s virtual festival had inspired a rethink of the traditional format to combine live and online content in future.

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Novel-writing challenge offers 30 days to go ‘dancing’ with words

pe.com – Sunday November 1, 2020

According to its website, “NaNoWriMo tracks words for writers like FitBit tracks steps.”

NaNoWriMo is a worldwide nonprofit organization that offers support for writing goals. It’s name is short for National Novel Writing Month. Since 1999 thousands of novelists have challenged themselves to write an astounding 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

NaNoWriMo serves as a “social network with author profiles, personal project libraries, and writing buddies.” During November, they send periodic pep talks. This year, you can expect motivation from authors Elizabeth Acevedo, Charlie Jane Anders, Kacen Callender and Alexis Daria. (If you are a writer of YA novels and are not familiar with Elizabeth Acevedo, check out my post on her novel in verse “The Poet X” at VictoriaWaddle.com. It’s very exciting that she is giving a pep talk this year. She’s a perfect choice.)

You might think there’s no way you can get any writing done this month, not in 2020. I understand this feeling. Yet, I’ve always found the time I least wanted a goal was when I most needed one. Consider also that readers are looking for conflict. No conflict, no story. And if you aren’t conflicted right now, you are living in an alternate universe. Since the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write as much as you can, why not try putting that conflict on the page? No editing, no revision, not yet. Just pour it out. It might be great therapy and ease some of your stress. And it will likely be the genesis of a future work.

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ANALYSIS Publishers and retailers have pivoted to keep books on shelves and in readers’ hands — but will holiday sales fill them with joy?

thestar.com – Sunday November 1, 2020

In New York, a week or so ago, the famous Strand bookstore sent out a call: “We Need Your Help!”

“The Strand’s revenue has dropped nearly 70% compared to last year,” wrote the shop’s proprietor, Nancy Bass Wyden, in a letter. “We need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there is a vaccine.”

And like some present-day remake of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” customers lined up around the block and placed so many orders for books they crashed the website.

The famed Paris bookstore Shakespeare and Co., also made an appeal to its customers in a message this week. “We are struggling, trying to see a way forward during this time when we’ve been operating at a loss, with our sales down almost 80% since March.”

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