Did Murakami Write a new Book?

I spent dome time at my local Half Price Books last week and I discovered a new Murakami book among the new releases. Is it new? Anyone know?

I don’t own any of his previous work, but I did study something he wrote in college? I think? I could be mistaken and it was written by someone else. But I remember very much enjoying the writing. Perhaps it was Murakami, perhaps not. But since then I’ve held him in high regard, at least in my head. I could be crazy and not giving some other writer their due credit. OH WELL.

Have you ever read any Murakami? Also, since “allegedly” studying his work I’ve felt he should win EVERY award.

Do all Book Genres Share This?

I’ve thought about this quite a bit. It’s the one thing I can say all genres share. Every well written book in every genre is actually a mystery book.

What I mean is just about every author aims to leave the reader guessing by not being predictable. Mystery is mostly crime fiction at this point, but that’s an arbitrary classification. Any author who keeps their cards close to their chest throughout the story is actually writing a mystery.

Not every book is a mystery and not every author writes them, but I’d argue that every genre is full of mysteries and mystery writers. Even if these works are classified differently.

What do you think?

This Week in Books #3: Authors and their freedom of expression

Today’s video discusses two specific cases regarding authors’ freedom of expression. Both cases are current and involve Salman Rushdie and Ahmed Naji. Maybe you know one or both of them, but maybe you don’t. Regardless of what you might think of either one of them as a person or their work, these two men are unfairly being targeted and singled out for their work. I’d rather talk about them and bring a little bit of awareness to their cases than just sit back and say nothing.

Take a few minutes to watch and let me know what you think of authors’ freedom of expression in the 21st century.

George R. R. Martin is Right on Track

So I’m lying here before bed just reading a few articles, right? I try reading as many book articles as I can in order to stay up-to-date on the happenings in the book world. But I don’t really have a particular type of article I like more than another. But I stumbled upon one about Mr. Martin.

I’m not a watcher of the HBO series based on his bestselling books, and I recently sold my copies of the books to my Half Price Books store in an effort to get books off of my TBR shelf I have no interest in reading. But I know a lot of criticism is thrown his way because everyone is so anxiously awaiting the release of the next book in the series.

Well, it turns out all those people are foolish. Mhm. The Washington Post created this graphic to show how fast authors publish books relative to the number of pages in their respective series. Take a look.

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His next book could come out next year and he’d still be writing at the same pace as the much beloved J.K. Rowling. Welp.

So get off his back and let the mam write.

Would you have ever guessed he’s writing at the same pace as her and faster than other prominent authors of the last century? I wouldn’t have just based on what everyone says about him.

YouTubers Responsible for Higher Print Sales?

I think not.

So I’m sitting here reading my usual book articles, right? Well it seems the rise in print book sales is being partly attributed to YouTubers.

I can probably think of 5-10 YouTube stars who released books this year. They were all bestsellers. I think. But it’s not like these books are selling 5-10 million copies apiece. I’m quite certain they aren’t even selling one million copies. Their books are the kinds that rarely earn publishers back the advances given to the authors in the US. They more than earn it back from other markets.

Anyway, I don’t know why there has to be a very specific, concrete reason for the resurgence in print sales. I mean, did people think books were going to fall off the face of the earth? I’d attribute the rise in sales to adult coloring books and Harper Lee. I’m not saying they’re entirely responsible for the rise in sales over last year, but they played a nice part.

What do you think of the continued rise in sales of print books? (2014 also rose). And which books/authors do you think are responsible, if any?

James Patterson Isn’t the Only James Patterson

Wait, what did I just say? Hehe. I’ll explain.

What do you think of when you think of James Patterson? I think of several things. Alex Cross. Michael Bennett. Young adult. Ghostwriting. Ridiculous criticism. ¬†MILLIONS. And also, “all the books.” If you know anything about James Patterson, then you should understand why I think of those things. Pretty straightforward. The difference between myself and others is that I have no issue with the way he does things. He’s figured out how to make book publishing an overly profitable business for A LOT of people. He now publishes his young adult series under his own imprint. But I’ve learned something during my 4+ months working in a bookstore. He’s not the only one, he just does it better than everyone else.

John Grisham. David Baldacci. J.K. Rowling. Rick Riordan.

What do all of these authors have in common besides being major bestsellers? They’ve all written/write young adult and adult fiction. And this is certainly not an exhaustive list. Now I bet you’re thinking, “But that isn’t why I criticize Patterson, I criticize him because he doesn’t write his own books.” Right. Except you only know that because he’s allows you to know it. What you don’t know is how many authors don’t. Right? You can’t sit there and say with any amount of certainty which authors do and don’t write their own books. You can guess and you can assume, but you can’t really know for sure because you’re not in the room when those books are being written. So the ghostwriting criticism is flat out dumb. And there can’t be too much criticism about publishing for teens and for adults because there are SO many other authors doing the same.

Patterson doesn’t need me to defend his work or methods, but I’ll continue to do so for as long as he keeps entertaining me with his¬†Alex Cross novels. Because they’ll never be the greatest books written, but they’re more entertaining than so many other series I’ve read. That’s gotta count for something.

PS: His various young adult books can’t be kept in stock at my store. Too many people coming in for them. So while so many people criticize him he’ll just keep on writing books that entertain readers of all ages.

What do you think of authors writing in different genres and not doing so under a pen name? I have no issue with any author who’s able to do it well, because it can’t be as easy as they make it seem.

Writing Pet Peeves #12: Consistently Wrong

I’ve forgotten about this series for a few months, but now it’s making a comeback.

Today I’m discussing something I know just about everyone has encountered. People who are consistently wrong. Don’t forget we’re still talking writing here.

Have you ever found a grammar or spelling error in someone’s writing and then told them about it? Just so they can correct it, at least in the future. Then one of three things happens. They ignore you and the error is bound to happen again. They realize their mistake but make no effort to change anything. Or they’ll experience some sort of “Ohhhhh” moment and that particular error may not happen as often in the future.

In the past when I’ve pointed out a mistake in someone’s writing I’ve rarely experienced the third scenario. Mostly one of the first two. It just makes me scratch my head.

Which of the three examples do you see most often when you point out a mistake in someone’s writing? Or is there a fourth one I didn’t consider?

On False Claims From Bloggers

I came across a blogger recently who had some interesting things to say about herself. She’s young. A teenager. I remember reading that she’s been writing since she was 12. She goes on and on about how long she’s been writing, and how great she is at it. And then she claims to be an expert on writing YA. With loads of information that would greatly help other authors writing in the genre. She could barely write a blog post that made any logical sense.

Honestly, this person isn’t even the first to make somewhat outrageous claims. I have no idea what her fiction looks like on paper, but I can’t imagine it being much better writing than her blog posts. It just baffles me when people say stuff like this. It’s like everything is a competition or something, and they’ve gotta be winning it.

I’m sure there are plenty of solid and great writers on WordPress. And I’d bet most of them are working to be better, unlike some who think they’re on top of the world with their minimal writing ability.

Have you come across anyone who went out of their way to tell how great they are at something, and they really weren’t? I know you have.

November is Over

No, this isn’t my monthly recap post. It’s a little different. November being over also signifies the end of NaNo. Finally.

Now most of the people who rave about the “community” will see how they’ve got it all wrong. Sure some might stay interested in your project, but it likely won’t be too many. Because why would they? They’re going to self-publish soon. Or continue working on their own project. Or they won’t be “writing” much more for the time being. So why would they stay interested in your project when it’s no longer cool? They won’t.

And so many of the NaNo participants will finally shut up about how great NaNo is until Camp NaNo in whichever month. Thank goodness.

Writing With Family

Ever come across those articles about a mom and son publishing a book? Or maybe father and daughter? No? I have. And I think it’s a little ridiculous.

Now obviously I’m not talking about well known, accomplished authors who can write with whomever they like. But rather the unknowns of the world like me. Imagine if I decided one day to publish a book with one of my parents. It’s crazy for me to even think about. I honestly wouldn’t even consider the thought. I don’t see any positive that would come from that. One is inevitably going to be a better writer than the other. And there will be disagreements.

When two more professional  authors collaborate I think it’d be easier to divvy up the work in a more manageable way. They don’t have to worry about hurt feelings or other nonsense.

What do you think of parents now writing books with their kids?