I’m always heartened to hear about books selling and new opportunities for authors. This week we’ve had a couple of stories in the news that speak to both of these things.
First, The Today Show, a longtime supporter of authors, announced a new book club this week that will be a wonderful way for new and old books to be exposed to a large audience. The first pick, Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season, is written by a 21-year-old debut author! With the great press surrounding the new club, the book is sure to be a bestseller right out of the gate, a rare achievement in this market and especially remarkable for an author so young.
Then I saw this bittersweet piece about a successful word-of-mouth (the old-fashioned way) bestseller by another debut author which is being compared to last summer’s breakout hit Gone Girl. The Silent Wife has been climbing the lists since its release and unfortunately the author is no longer here to enjoy its success. She passed away from cancer in April, just weeks before the book’s release but the fact that a first novel by an unknown author can achieve this level of success is incredibly encouraging. And a piece of advice to you aspiring novelists – use “wife” in the title of your book because there have been a number of bestsellers recently that have done just that (The Paris Wife, The Time Traveler’s Wife and American Wife)!
I enjoy reading stories like this because it gives me renewed enthusiasm for the book business and the ways in which good books can be published well and find a large audience. If you have any positive publishing stories to share, please do. We’d love to hear them.