I often get letters from former writing students, or friends of friends who are working on a novel, or complete strangers who have read one of my books and are working on one of their own. Usually they have a central question about their writing project that they’re hung up on. I try to say […]Read article
Category: Fiction publishing
When Is It Plagiarism?
Recently The New Yorker magazine ran an extended piece called “Unreliable Narrator” (February 11, 2019), in which it takes best-selling author Dan Mallory to task for (among other things) the close similarities of his new novel The Woman in the Window with Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train, not to say the film, Copy Cat, a thriller […]Read article
A Leg To Stand On
As our American political system devolves toward a useless institution that pleases no one, American publishing may not be far behind. The New York Times recently spoke to the matter of publishing houses employing “sensitivity readers.” These are an extra layer of editorial scrutiny aiming to spot potentially offending language, allusions, metaphors, et al–anything that […]Read article
Reading Makes the Man (Or Boy)
How do angry young men become that way? What has gone wrong in their lives? One answer might be reading–or lack of it. The big American publishing houses have thrown in the towel on books for young men. Why? Because books for teen boys don’t sell. Boys don’t buy books. Boys don’t go to mall […]Read article
Is There a Next Generation of Readers?
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently published a study on reading. It confirms what most teachers and librarians already know. Kids read less and less. The stats show a particularly alarming drop among teenagers. They spend more time on the internet and less time with the printed word (duh). Dana Gioia, the NEA […]Read article
Right now is perhaps the worst time in my memory for publishing a novel. That is, for a mainstream print publisher to pay you and produce a print version of your novel. The “Big Six publishers” in New York City are offering fewer print titles and paying their best-selling authors more. This leaves crumbs for […]Read article
Can You Handle Publishing Success?
Once you publish a novel or two, your life changes. What used to be a solitary life now becomes public. You start to get invitations to come and say something about yourself and your writing. Invitations to speak span a big range. Small book clubs in living rooms. Keynoting a library convention. Addressing an auditorium […]Read article
Big Publishers Not Always Best
I wanted to share one more, very recent story of working with a “Big Six” publisher. HarperCollins has published several of my YA novels in the past, and has made good money on my titles, especially Memory Boy. If you really want to hear about it, they’ve sold over a million bucks worth of my […]Read article
The New Publishing Landscape
Since my last post a full year has passed. If “blogging” infers regular postings, then I must doing something different–and “different” is a good metaphor for the world of publishing right now. In twelve months the worm has turned still more, and faster. Notably, the Big Six, print publishers are even further back on their […]Read article