Happy Friday, writers! We hope everyone is staying nice and toasty as winter rapidly approaches. The holidays are also rapidly approaching—as you set your publishing plans and metadata updates for the coming weeks, please keep our Holiday Content Processing in mind!

The second week of our cover contest was underway this week! Stay tuned for week three on Monday!

Now that you’ve voted in our best indie cover of 2021 poll for this week, be sure to check out Lit Hub’s favourite covers of the year.

The 101 Best Book Covers of 2021

Well, friends, it’s been another tough year. But as we wind down 2021, it is useful to remember the good parts, the pleasures small and large that got us through. And yes, a beautifully designed book can be one of those pleasures-especially when we’re still spending more time at home than perhaps we would like.

Author’s Republic has been acquired by RBmedia.

RBmedia Acquires Author’s Republic Self-Published Audiobooks Platform – RB Media

Only independent, open, audiobook system enables audiobooks from emerging authors to be distributed everywhere Landover, MD, Dec. 1, 2021-RBmedia, the largest audiobook producer in the world, today announced its acquisition of Author’s Republic, a leader in bringing the works of self-published authors to audio listeners around the globe.

Zestworld, a new comic book publishing platform, is set to launch in 2022.

A New Publishing Platform for Comic Books Will Give Creators a Greater Stake

Many comic book characters anchor global franchises, but their creators – or the writers and artists who helped make them popular – have not always shared in that success. Zestworld, a new subscription-based platform that is set to be introduced in early 2022, is hoping to change that.

Malcolm X’s former prison cell is being converted into a “Freedom Library”.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is converting Malcolm X’s former prison cell into a “Freedom Library.”

Sometimes, the darkest places can make way for transformative light. Poet, author, and Yale doctorate student Reginald Dwayne Betts is planning to transform the former prison cell of Malcolm X into a library for incarcerated people. Betts, a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2018 NEA Fellow, knows firsthand about the mentally and physically taxing experience of serving a prison sentence.

George Orwell’s estate has approved a feminist retelling of 1984.

Sandra Newman is writing a feminist retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

As The Guardian reported this morning, George Orwell’s estate has approved Sandra Newman’s Julia, a retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four from the perspective of Julia, the woman with whom Winston Smith has an illicit affair before they are captured and re-educated by their totalitarian government.

Chris Cuomo’s upcoming memoir has been cancelled by his publisher.

Post-controversy, Chris Cuomo’s book has been scrapped by its publisher.

Possibly the last Cuomo book update Lit Hub will ever blog: on Tuesday, HarperCollins announced that they are pulling Chris Cuomo’s book from publication following his termination from his position as an anchor at CNN. Cuomo was previously suspended for using his press connections to help his brother Andrew Cuomo’s team handle this year’s sexual harassment allegations.

The reading community in the UK have come together to help save indie bookshops.

Crowdfunding offers the UK’s independent booksellers a pandemic lifeline

Booksellers have kept readers around the UK going throughout a series of lockdowns. Now the reading community is coming together to back their local bookshops, with tens of thousands of pounds donated to support stores in Crickhowell, Brighton and Buckley.

Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah delivered his speech this week.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021

Abdulrazak Gurnah delivered his Nobel Prize lecture in literature on 7 December 2021. © THE NOBEL FOUNDATION 2021 General permission is granted for the publication in newspapers in any language after December 7, 2021, 5:00 p.m. CET. Publication in periodicals or books otherwise than in summary requires the consent of the Foundation.

Calling all Canadian authors! Aspiring Canadian writers can now apply for the Writers’ Trust mentorship program.

Aspiring Canadian writers can now apply for the Writers’ Trust mentorship program | CBC Books

The Writers’ Trust of Canada mentorship program is currently accepting submissions from emerging Canadian writers. The program will select Canadian candidates who want to gain support, guidance and personalized instruction from an established writer. The program, which supports developing writers working in the categories of fiction, poetry and literary nonfiction, was established in 2019.

Thanks to all of the supply chain issues (I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing about), publishers might start printing their own books (again).

Ahead to the 19th century!

Welcome to the 127th edition of SHuSH, the weekly newsletter of Sutherland House Books. If you’re new here, hit the button-it’s free: I had a serious conversation with another publisher this week about the need for publishers to start printing their own books.

The topic of properly crediting book translators has been pretty toasty this year—this piece offers another look as to why they should be included on the cover.

What’s So Hard About Crediting Book Translators?

It’s strange that the literature of a language that rubs up against so many others should be as wary of translation as English is. For English speakers, there seems to be an expectation that the entire world should be instantly legible, and if it isn’t, that it be brought in seamlessly and domesticated.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the idea that an author platform is of the utmost importance, but do hundreds of thousands of followers guarantee a bestseller?

Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’

Social-media fandom can help authors score book deals and bigger advances, but does it translate to how a new title will sell? Publishers are increasingly skeptical. A book by Billie Eilish seemed like a great bet. One of the most famous pop stars in the world, Ms. Eilish has 97 million followers on Instagram and another 6 million on Twitter.

It’s a common assumption that YA is leading the charge when it comes to diversity on and behind the page, but is that actually the case?

Is YA Leading Diversity in Publishing? | Book Riot

Conversations about diversity in publishing and literature have dominated publishing news for several years now, internationally and across all genres and age groups. Many articles have explored the sad fact that, even well into the 21st century, publishing is still overwhelmingly white-centric, with authors of color less likely to be picked up or paid equivalent amounts to their white counterparts, and BIPOC publishing professionals being underrepresented in the industry at all levels.

For the copyright nerds out there, this article at how a cookbook can hold copyright on its recipes.

Who Owns a Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking.

U.S. copyright law protects all kinds of creative material, but recipe creators are mostly powerless in an age and a business that are all about sharing. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android .

Is it really the holidays if you’re not debating politics? This piece takes a closer look at what the true moral of A Christmas Carolis.

The Politics of A CHRISTMAS CAROL | Book Riot

There is some debate over what, ultimately, the message is in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Is it pro-Christmas and Christianity? Anti-capitalism? Socialist? People have been arguing about the politics of A Christmas Carol since its publication in 1843, and will probably continue to do so for some time.

Those of us who were professional note passers in middle school will appreciate this: Mary Queen of Scot used a “letter locking” process to conceal her final letter.

Mary, Queen of Scots ‘locked’ final letter using paper-folding, research finds

Mary, Queen of Scots used a complicated “letterlocking” process to conceal the secrets of the last letter she wrote before she was beheaded, researchers have discovered. Written in French on 8 February 1587 to Henry III, king of France from her prison cell, the letter sees Mary write that she has “been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning.

This year’s most mispronounced words sure are an eclectic bunch!

The list of 2021’s most mispronounced words is out – and it’s a mouthful | CBC News

“Cheugy” is apparently a lot to chew on. Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Philadelphia Eagles centre Jason Kelce have something in common – broadcasters butcher their names. And virtually everyone is having trouble with “omicron.” All four made it onto this year’s list of most mispronounced words as compiled by the U.S.

Staff Pick

Rachel, Author Engagement Coordinator

“I know I’m a year and a half late to the Untamed bandwagon, but as someone who tends to shy away from this genre, I was hesitant to pick it up. That hesitance was wildly incorrect. This book is phenomenal. Even though some of the chapters didn’t apply to me specifically (for example, I am not a mom), every page contained a lesson to be learned, some introspection to take into consideration, or a nugget of wisdom. I cannot recommend this book enough, especially if you’re trying to find any part of yourself or carve out a new chapter of your life.”

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