At the 2015 Chicago Writers’ Conference, I learned that it’s possible for lay people to track what sorts of books have been snapped up by publishers in a given week. If you are interested in pursuing the traditional publishing route, this can be a useful tool to see which sort of books are selling, and which agents are having the most luck selling them. The trick, apparently, is to monitor a couple of key websites: TheBookseller and Publishers Weekly.
I’m always looking for a good read, so naturally, I promptly started following both of them on Twitter and Feedly. Here are 3 books I learned about this month that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
Author: Jonathan Evison
Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: September 2015
Book synopsis (from Publishers Weekly):
“Harriet Chance, a 78-year-old Seattle native, gets an unexpected phone call informing her that her husband, Bernard, now dead, had won a trip on an Alaskan cruise at a charity auction and failed to pick up his winnings. With the voucher set to expire, Harriet decides to go out of her comfort zone and bring a friend on the trip. The trip causes Harriet to question everything she thought she knew about her past and her relationships.”
100 Years of the Best American Short Stories
Editors: Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Book synopsis (from the Fall 2015 Literary Fiction Announcements on Publishers Weekly):
“A centennial retrospective showcases representative stories in the series as well as literary moments in time, from Edna Ferber to George Saunders, including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Cheever, Munro, Lahiri, Alexie, Diaz, among many others.”
Author: Emma Donoghue
Agent: Caroline Davidson at CDLA
Publisher(s): Little Brown (US), Picador (UK), Harper Collins (Canada)
Publication Date: September 2o16
Book synopsis (from the article on The Bookseller):
“Set in 1850s rural Ireland, The Wonder is a story of “love pitted against evil in its many masks and of a child’s murder threatening to occur in slow motion before our eyes”. It tells the story of Anna, a girl who has stopped eating but mysteriously remains alive, and Lib, the English nurse charged with determining whether Anna is a fraud. As Anna begins to deteriorate Lib finds herself responsible not just for the care of a child who appears to subsist on air and faith alone, but for that child’s very survival.”
Want to find new books for yourself?
- The Bookseller: The Bookseller website provides news updates and blog posts on a wide range of topics provided to all visitors. More in-depth information on the publishing industry requires a subscription.
- Publishers Weekly: Publishers Weekly provides an index of book deals, and an announcements section that sorts upcoming books by segment.
- A number of publishers also post their catalogs to the web, including (but not limited to):