A blog about writing and self publishing

Wattpad is Sold, Inaugural Poems, and The Great Gritty: This Week in Book News

Hello and happy Friday! While it was a relatively slow week in the publishing world, the past few days have not been short on excitement (Hello President Biden and Vice President Harris!!).

Here at KWL we’ve announced our next live event, speaking with Kathleen Sweeney from Bookbrush! Be sure to have your questions ready and tune in next Thursday, January 28th, at 12:30pm EST! We also launched our 2021 Reading Challenge and are excited to try and read as many of the 50 categories as possible! I’m already working on “A book where the setting is a character” (see my recommendation below!); let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments!

Wattpad was sold this week in a bidding frenzy.

Wattpad US$600M sale follows bidding frenzy that included Spotify, TikTok owner – BNN Bloomberg

It’s been a whirlwind start to the year for Canadian tech darling Wattpad Corp. On Tuesday night, the online storytelling company announced it has agreed to be acquired by South Korean tech giant Naver in a cash and stock deal valued at more than US$600 million.

Medium has acquired Glose, a French digital reading platform.

Before Substack, there was Medium – and its network is about to get bigger

Substack has become synonymous with writers looking to go independent. But for many years prior, there was a different go-to place for self-publishing: Medium.

Draft2Digital is removing their distribution to 24Symbols.

Draft2Digital is removing distribution to 24Symbols

Preview Part of our job at Draft2Digital is to ensure that any distribution partnerships we offer are structured and maintained to a set of standards. We do this so that authors can continue to receive the same level of high quality that we’ve always offered, and can continue to trust that we are protecting their interests.

Hundreds of publishing professionals have signed an open letter opposing any future book deals for former President Trump or members of his administration.

Hundreds in publishing sign letter objecting to book deals for the Trump administration

More than 250 authors, editors, agents, professors and others in the American literary community signed an open letter this week opposing any publisher that signs book deals with President Donald Trump or members of his administration.

Read every presidential inauguration poem ever performed, including the breathtaking poem from President Biden’s inauguration, The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman.

Read every presidential inauguration poem ever performed (there are fewer than you think).

Today, Joe Biden will become only the fourth president in American history to have a poet read at their inauguration. (Yes, they’ve all been Democrats.) When she takes the stage, Amanda Gorman, at 22, will be the youngest ever inaugural poet, and perhaps the one shouldering the greatest challenge, considering the circumstances.

Speaking of Amanda Gorman, this is a great interview about her journey to inaugural poet.

Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman on Her Career-Defining Address and Paying Homage to Maya Angelou

Under a decade ago, Amanda Gorman was still a teenage student in Los Angeles, spending her days devouring the works of Toni Morrison and furiously scribbling in her journals with the dream of one day becoming a writer.

Philadelphia poet laureate Trapeta B. Mayson has launched a toll-free poem hotline.

Healing Verse is Philly’s new poetry hotline

Philadelphia poet laureate Trapeta B. Mayson on Monday launched the Healing Verse Philly Poetry Line (1-855-763-6792), a toll-free telephone line that offers callers a 90-second poem by a Philadelphia-connected poet. A new poem will be featured each Monday throughout 2021.

Netflix is adapting three of Ibram X. Kendi’s books.

Netflix to Adapt Three of Author Ibram X. Kendi’s Anti-Racism Books

Netflix will be adapting three books by author, anti-racism activist, and historian Ibram X. Kendi, reports Entertainment Weekly; the director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research joins all three projects as executive producer.

The Great Gatsby entered public domain this year, and new imaginative versions of the classic novel have already emerged.

‘The Great Gatsby’ Is Now ‘The Great Gritty’ Thanks to the Public Domain

The Great Gatsby, the songs of blues singer Ma Rainey, and Franz Kafka’s The Trial entered the public domain on January 1st, 2021. Because these works are now free for people to republish without restriction, that means they’re also being uploaded in full to fanfiction site Archive of Our Own-usually with a few changes.

UK Crime writers! HarperCollinsUK is launching a crime writing competition:


HarperFiction is proud to launch Killing It: The Killer Reads Competition for undiscovered writers. All you need is a good idea, a passion for the dark side and a dollop of determination! Launching at the start of 2021 on January 7 th, this is a competition to help push open doors to crime writers who need a way into the publishing industry.

And finally, my favourite pieces of the week. First up, a really interesting piece about the popularity of the Regency period in romance.

Why Are So Many Romances Set in the Regency Period? | JSTOR Daily

On December 25, 2020, Netflix released Bridgerton, a book-to-screen adaption of Julia Quinn’s popular romance novel The Duke and I. Only four weeks after its debut, the series reportedly became one of the streaming giant’s most-watched shows. According to Netflix, around 63 million households immersed themselves in this steamy historical romance.

And last but certainly not least: I will never tire of pieces that discuss the intersection of artistry and leadership, especially when it comes to Stacey Abrams.

Stacey Abrams Writes Black Women Into History

A few days after white supremacists ambushed the Capitol, one of my good friends posted an old recording of Elaine Brown, former leader of the Black Panthers, singing at a piano.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Staff Recommendation:
Rachel, Author Engagement Coordinator

“I do not like spooky stories so Mexican Gothic is definitely out of my comfort zone, but it was getting such rave reviews I needed to check it out. And friends, the reviews are right. This book is a masterclass in creating an atmosphere of dread and uncertainty. As you dig deeper into the goings on at High Place, you will start to wonder what is real, who is trustworthy, and will the heroine, Noémi, make it out unscathed.”

Mexican Gothic ebook by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Rakuten Kobo

Read “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia available from Rakuten Kobo. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Goth…

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