Happy Friday, writers. And Happy October! It is the dawn of spooky season: the best time of year to cuddle up in a warm sweater with apple cider and delve into a book full of ghosts and witches and things that go bump in the night. It’s also that time of year when NaNoWriMo preparations get underway as we gear up to try and write 50,000 words in the month of November. The KWL team will once again be hosting weekly virtual write-ins as we try to finish NaNoWriMo together – stay tuned on more details as we get closer to November!

We hosted a live Q&A with Author Revolution’s Carissa Andrews this week. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the live event you can catch a replay here.

Now let’s take a quick look at what’s been going on in the publishing world this week.

Written Word Media has launched a Facebook Ad service.

Reader Reach: Reach More Readers with Ads – Written Word Media

Reader Reach™ helps you find a new audience for your book through Facebook ads. We do all the heavy lifting for you. From ad creative and copy to audience targeting and bidding, we have you covered so you don’t miss out on a single opportunity for your book.

Astra Publishing House has announced a new children’s imprint.

Astra Forms Children’s Division, Introduces Imprint

Astra Publishing House, the group created in 2020 as a subsidiary of Beijing-based Thinkingdom Media Group, has established a children’s book division, Astra Books for Young Readers, under which the company has organized its expanded roster of children’s book lines.

University of Nebraska Press is launching a LGBTQ+ Fiction series called Zero Street Fiction.

Univ. of Nebraska Press Launches LGBTQ+ Fiction Series

The University of Nebraska Press, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, is launching a new LGBTQ+ book series, Zero Street Fiction. Zero Street will focus on literary fiction and short story collections with commercial appeal written by LGBTQ+ authors and featuring LGBTQ+ characters and/or themes.

Traci Todd has been named publisher of Little Bee Books.

Traci Todd Named Publisher of Little Bee Books

Little Bee Books has announced that Traci N. Todd joined the children’s book company this week as publisher. Todd brings more than two decades of industry experience to her new role; most recently she served as children’s publishing director at Workman.

Penguin Random House has reached an agreement to distribute IDW Comics.

PRH to Distribute IDW Comics Worldwide

IDW Publishing and Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS) have entered an exclusive worldwide multi-year sales and distribution agreement for IDW’s newly published and backlist comic book periodicals, trade collections, and graphic novels to direct market comic shops beginning June 1, 2022. PRHPS already sells and distributes IDW’s trade book frontlist and backlist to bookstores.

Speaking of comics, graphic novel adaptations of classic middle grade novels are on the rise.

Old Stories in New Formats: The Growth of Graphic Adaptations for Young Readers

The middle grade graphic novel boom of the past several years has publishers looking at new ways to tell familiar stories, and two trends have emerged: faithful adaptations of backlist books, particularly series, along with imaginative reinventions of classics in the public domain.

The Finalists for the Atwood Gibson Prize have been announced.

Miriam Toews & Katherena Vermette among five finalists for $60K Atwood Gibson Prize for Canada’s top fiction | CBC Books

Miriam Toews and Katherena Vermette are two of the finalists on the 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction. The $60,000 award annually honours the best novel or short story collection published in Canada. Toews is a finalist for her novel , while Vermette is nominated for her novel .

The winner of Restless Books 2021 Prize for New Immigrant Writer was announced this week.

Announcing the Winner of Restless Books 2021 Prize for New Immigrant Writing

We’re delighted to announce the winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, which each year awards $10,000 and publication to a first-time, first-generation immigrant author, alternating yearly between fiction and nonfiction. The 2021 nonfiction prize goes to Ani Gjika for By Its Right Name, a memoir, which will be published by Restless Books in 2023.

S&S AuthorFest is kicking off this year.

Simon & Schuster’s Book Festival Resource Page

Simon & Schuster’s Book Festival Resource Page

The pandemic has changed how many libraries are handling late fees.

Times Are Changing: COVID-19 and Library Late Fees

Almost any reader with a library card will be familiar with the concept of library fines. Developing the ability able to return my books on time and not incur a fine was basically the only reason I ever learned to read a calendar as a child.

Cozy Mysteries are as popular as ever, but they’re starting to shed their protective coating and reflect the real world.

The Dark Reality Behind ‘Cozy Mysteries’

The genre’s popularity can feel like a relic of a bygone era-but these books share DNA with today’s bloodier thrillers. My first exposure to the strange, inoculated world of “cozy mysteries” came during a long road trip with my older sister.

This is a really interesting look at the current trend of “Book Blob” cover design.

Behold, the Book Blob – PRINT Magazine

By: R.E. Hawley I’m going to describe an image for you; maybe it’s something you’ve seen before. It’s a canvas filled with amorphous daubs of warm, bright color, intersecting with one another to form different hues in the overlapping spaces.

On the topic of cover design, Joan Didion’s backlist is getting a facelift and you can peep the new covers here.

Joan Didion’s backlist is getting a facelift – see the first look at her new book covers

Joan Didion has been publishing books since 1963’s Run River, and her collected works currently number nearly 20 (to say nothing of her magazine and newspaper pieces). The venerable author, 86, has pulled back as of late – understandably so – but her publisher still has a few surprises in the works for her legions of fans and admirers.

TikTok, more specifically BookTok is having a positive impact on the sales of fantasy novels.

TikTok, booktok, and Fantasy

The fantasy novel has a long successful history; however, when print sales dropped in 2012, the online sales flourished, paving a new way for self-publishing. Despite the fluctuating sales, fantasy continues to carry with it a strong fan-base that only adds to story-building worlds.

And last but not least, I really enjoyed this look at the evolution of books into full blown brands.

When Did the Book Become a Brand?

If you see someone walking down the sidewalk in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wearing, say, well-worn Doc Martens and a canary yellow bucket hat emblazoned with the title of Sally Rooney’s new novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You, what do you think of them?

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

Rachel, Author Engagement Coordinator

Malice by Heather Walter

“The heirs to the throne in the Kingdom of Briar have been cursed: if they don’t find true love’s kiss by the age of 21 they will die. Of course this doesn’t matter at all to Alice, the Dark Grace whose powers have been used by the nobles of Briar to create evil and petty elixirs. All Alice wants is to run far away from Briar and from the people who have always been so cruel to her. That is until she meets the last princess, Aurora, who is still looking for true love’s kiss. This queer retelling of Sleeping Beauty was excellent. Not only was it a compelling take on a classic tale, it was such an interesting look at what it means to be villainous versus what it means to be a villain. I can’t wait for the sequel!”

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