clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Publishing Trends: Data Points

Here I  continue our unofficial scorecard of publishers landing reviews in the Sunday _NYT Book Review_. I heard from several of friends last week who asked "what does this mean?"

I'll explain.

The books listed herein are likely to receive publicity money and marketing effort. The measure is simply "sales potential" as illustrated by the variety of genre represented. These books were interesting enough to be reviewed in this thin slice of all that was published recently.

"Interesting enough" means someone cared enough somewhere to campaign to have their review listed here. Someone. Probably not the author's mother.

Are you writing books which are sufficiently compelling for someone (other than Mom) to go to bat for them?  That's our lesson here.

These publishers listed have these books on their list where that drive for interest is sufficient to result in a review however the event came to pass: favors, professional consideration, merit, buzz, NY cocktail party chat, D.C. cocktail party chat, S.F. party chat of any kind, prior merit, awards, payola, or dumb luck. It happened and it means sales and probably further exposure.

I'd bet that these publishers offer larger advances than the house of  Bab's Happy Writing Place. I love Babs, but everybody has to eat. I like steak.

In the end, we as authors compete for attention and there is only so much to go around.

Let us see who is getting that attention today.


Alfred A. Knopf. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg (with Neil Scovell). p.1. non-fiction. [ self-help career advice]. Reviewed by Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Yale University Press. The Great Agnostic, Susan Jacoby. p. 10. non-fiction. [ biography, social studies]. Reviewed by Jennifer Michael Hecht.

Hogarth. The Dinner, Herman Koch (translated from Dutch by Sam Garrett). p. 11. novel. [ two couples, four dinner plates, a pair of sons and violence's aftermath]. Reviewed by Claire Messud.

St. Martin's Press. The Good House, Ann Leary. p. 13. novel. [small town intrigue]. Reviewed by J. Courtney Sullivan.

W.W. Norton & Company. P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters, Sophie Ratcliffe, ed. p.14. biography. [ careful there, vicar]. Reviewed by Charles McGrath.

New Harvest / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The Blue Book, A.L. Kennedy. p.15. novel. [lives, intertwined]. Reviewed by Wendy Lesser.

St. Martin's Griffin. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell. p.17. novel. [Y.A. young love]. Reviewed by John Green.

Scholastic. Hold Fast, Blue Balliett. p.17. novel. [Crime with a juvenile protagonist-detective written as poetry concealed in prose]. Reviewed by Abby McGanney Nolan.

Simon and Schuster. Better Nate than Ever, Tim Federle. p.18. novel. [middle grade, as the title would suggest]. Reviewed by Bob Balaban.

Greenwillow Books. I Respect Sean Rosen, Jeff Baron. p.18. novel. [middle grade]. Reviewed by Bob Balaban.

Alfred A. Knopf. I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies, Jeanine Basinger. p.19. non-fiction. [ from review: "codifying conventions of an unexamined genre."]. Reviewed by Judith Newman.

The Penguin Press. Ghana Must Go, Taiye Selasi. p.20. novel. [ life in America complicated by a homeland and exile]. Reviewed by Nell Freudenberger.

Alfred A. Knopf. Benediction, Kent Haruf. p. 22. novel. [ We're back in Holt, Colorado for more]. Reviewed by Paul Elie.

W.W. Norton & Company. Weird Life: <excessive title expansion here>, David Toomey. p. 23. non-fiction. [oddly, not a biographical survey of novelists but a tour of microbiology]. Reviewed by Richard Fortey.

Some Short Mentions (in Crime, no less).

Mysterious Press / Grove / Atlantic. The Boyfriend, Thomas Perry. p.21. novel. [crime]. Reviewed by Marilyn Stasio.

Crown. The Andalusian Friend, Alexander Soderberg. p.21. novel. [crime-thriller]. Reviewed by Marilyn Stasio.

Simon & Schuster. The Demonologist, Andrew Pyper. p.21. novel. [horror - psychological style. Don't take the kid on career day if your day gig is the supernatural]. Reviewed by Marilyn Stasio.

Top Ten of Hardback Fiction.

Little, Brown & Co.
Tor / Tom Doherty.
Random House.
Little, Brown & Co.
Morrow / HarperCollins.


Unknown said...

Oh, but isn't it glorious when a small press makes the list, or even an indie author? Too bad it's a rare occasion. :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I've heard St. Martin's pays exceptionally good advances. :) Wonder if that's still the case or if that's waning.

I've read "Good House" on this list. Unusual book, but I enjoyed it.

jack welling said...

News - I didn't recognize New Harvest. That is Amazon's imprint.

You won't buy _The Blue Book_ from Barnes and Noble nor from many independents.

I wounder how that will work out in the end where the retailer is the publisher?