What's on the 'manuscript wishlist' of literary agents?
startribune.com – Sunday March 20, 2016
The other day, a friend sent me a link to something called "manuscript wishlist" — a Twitter thread (#MSWL) from literary agents who are looking for that next bestselling blockbuster manuscript by an unknown writer. (Also online at http://mswishlist.com)
It's fascinating to troll the posts and see what they're hoping to find. (And poets, I'm sorry, but you can all stop reading right now. They're not looking for poetry.)
Moneyball for book publishers: A detailed look at how we read
boston.com – Wednesday March 16, 2016
Andrew Rhomberg wants to be the Billy Beane of the book world.
Beane used analytics to transform baseball, famously recounted in “Moneyball,” a book by Michael Lewis. Now Rhomberg wants to use data about people’s reading habits to radically reshape how publishers acquire, edit and market books.
Writers competing with the next Scandi noir, says Ian Rankin
telegraph.co.uk – Sunday March 13, 2016
British writers are facing more competition than ever as publishers turn their eyes to finding the next big foreign cultural craze to replicate the success of Scandinavian noir, Ian Rankin has said.
Thirties crime fiction has spared more women a grisly end
telegraph.co.uk – Sunday March 13, 2016
They have already been credited with rejuvenating the book market, as real paper novels battle back against the rise of ebooks.
But it appears the decorative classic book covers so popular with modern readers have had one other inadvertent benefit: a boost for feminism.
The trend for ornate retro book covered has made classic 1930s crime fashionable once again, bringing a trend for brutal misogynistic killings to an end, according to authors.
A boom in the business of literary agents in India
dnaindia.com – Sunday March 13, 2016
For publishers looking to bet on the next, potential big selling author, Aditya Mukherjee would seem to tick all the right boxes — he is an MBA from an IIM, a start-up entrepreneur and his 2013 book Boomtown is a pacey, good read. Yet, when he'd finished writing Boomtown, Mukherjee had little idea what to do. He didn't know any commissioning editors, how to get his manuscript across to them, or make sure they read it. Being the enterprising kind, he read up on the subject and decided that he needed an agent to represent him. He got himself one — Mumbai-based Purple Folio, started by Urmila Dasgupta, and in three months, he had a deal with Rupa.
Powerful Writing App Ulysses Launches on the iPhone
lifehacker.co.uk – Saturday March 12, 2016
Popular writing app Ulysses has been available for some time on desktop and iPad devices, enabling those who need to write regularly, like journalists, writers or teachers to use its clean interface and easy organisational structure to find what they need fast and write, write, write with no distractions.
Tax Court Holds That Family Vacations Are Not Deductible As Book-Writing Research
forbes.com – Thursday March 10, 2016
For the past few years, I’ve harbored the hope that I would author a children’s book. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered two small problems that have thus far kept me from fulfilling my goal:
- I have no ideas, and
- I have no talent.
Should those two things change, however, I’ll be off and running. And once that happens, I had hoped to turn my two kids into what I always dreamed they’d become: big ol’ tax deductions.
What Big Publishing Consolidation Means for Authors
huffingtonpost.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016
So, the Hachette Book Group is acquiring the Perseus Books Group again, 18 months after its first failed attempt to do so. This time it looks like the deal will stick, though.
If you read industry news deals or press releases, you'll see all kinds of positive spin on deals like these. This is the third major publishing merger in the past three-plus years, preceded by the 2013 merger between Penguin and Random House and the acquisition earlier that same year of Harlequin by HarperCollins. The companies like to talk about expanding their global reach and investing in broadening their lists. And while these corporate agendas sound good on paper, the consolidation of publishing is not good for authors.
The simple truth behind suspenseful writing
bostonglobe.com – Tuesday March 8, 2016
With simple words, suspenseful stories thrill and chill us.
In Stephen King's The Shining, there's a heart-pounding moment when young Danny once again finds himself standing outside Room 217 of the Overlook Hotel.
Despite being warned not to enter, he puts a key into the lock. He turns the knob.
It's enough to make my palms sweat.
Good suspenseful stories elicit strong emotions, even when we know what happens next. Now, a team of academics at Stanford University has identified what prompts those feelings. Surprisingly, it often comes down to the use of simple words and sentence patterns. So simple, in fact, that the team trained a computer program to accurately predict when a written passage will be suspenseful.
One-handed typing improves prose, research suggests
alphr.com – Tuesday March 8, 2016
Nothing highlights someone unused to hammering away at a computer keyboard more than the use of a single digit, hunting down each character slowly and deliberately. But while you may finish your emails first, they’ll have the last laugh. It turns out this is very much like the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the race – at least in terms of quality.