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Reading children’s books has to be a priority for writers in this genre. We need to know what children want to read or why a book is selling. Some of the best books I read this year did not make some of the lists. But here are a few that did.

The NY Times top-selling children books had only one book I have read this year: “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill. 28110852.jpg

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads and you can read my review of it here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2357366254?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

You can also see the full list of books that made the top of NY Times Bestsellers:

https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/childrens-middle-grade-hardcover/?module=DropDownNav&action=click&region=navbar&contentCollection=Books&version=Childrens&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&pgtype=Reference

From Goodreads Best Middle Grade & Children’s for 2018 the top of the list was “The Burning Maze” by Rick Riordan. A lot of my favorite authors made it on this list.  You can see the full list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-childrens-books-2018

Commonsense media is anotherplace where you can find the top children’s books for the year. One book I have added to my read list (maybe because I really like this author and met him once in person) is by Matt de la Pena called “Carmella Full of Wishes”.  His writing is full of emotion, which makes it is hard not to get swept up into the characters lives.  See the full list here:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/best-kids-books-of-2018

What books were your favorite from this year? Comment below what books did not make the list.

And read some great books this coming new year!

 

 

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A book that uses the shoulders and backs of other hard working novels to become a bestseller tends to get some attention. When I read a book I look for the audience it is written for: like Children, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult. Then I see what the genre it is: Comedy, History, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Is it Fiction or Non-fiction? Does it have a huge following? Is the author well known? Has the book won an award? Or has the author won any awards? These questions are used for the selection of book I will read to fill my brain with.  image_preview

There is a little bit of space in my brain and unlike a computer I cannot add an external hard drive to store more information. So I am pretty selective about what I read. I have a degree in English literature and have had to read books that were not of my choosing. These books were chosen because they are in the literature canon. Not every book that makes it into this collegiate masterpiece of literature is likable. I did not like reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Garcia Marquez Gabriel, nor did I understand how this book became a classic. But other books I was glad to have read.

I have read so many books over the years that I have to have a log of what I read or I would forget them all. My genre of choice is Middle Grade fantasy. Why? Because this is what I write. When a writer is told by other authors to “write what you know”, that means to write what you read or experienced.  Now this does not mean I do not read adult or young adult books, because there are occasions in which I flit over to the other shelves tempted because of an attractive cover. Which brings me to my point.

 

I just finished reading a novel (more like a novella) called “A Shade of Vampire” by Bella Forrest. The authors name alone told me she was a fan of “Twilight”, but I should have noticed by the title that she was a fan of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, too. This book is what makes other writers cringe. Too many cliches. Too predictable. And the writing was high school level. When I say she wrote what she knew it is evident when you read the first few pages. This is not classic literature with beautifully written prose. Nor is it written by someone with a large vocabulary. When did romance/fantasy novels become sub par on their writing? There are adult books written by Mary Higgins Clark or Nicholas Sparks that are smarter than what I read. Books should be enjoyed and pondered over. Young adults should not be reading something that needs to belong in the Adult section of the bookstore. The only thing stopping me from giving this book a negative review on Goodreads was that I know what happens to books like this. The book everyone hates turns into a best seller because everyone wants to know what the big deal is, then they go buy the book. So I gave it an average rating and made no comments. Readers beware of the trap of making a new writer into a hit. Instead read the cover for yourself and decide if you want to read some drivel about a guy and a girl and you know how it ends. The books are all the same. In fact new writers spit out so many books at readers that they all blend into one massive collection of phlegm. Gross!

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Please save a reader! Write good works.

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When I want to write something I don’t look at the bookshelves in the stores to see what’s popular now.  I write what I want to write.  This is how every artist, singer or writer in the world expresses themselves.  If I wrote what is popular now and then try to get it published, by the time it sees the bookshelves, which is over a year later, those topics or genre is no longer popular.

Readers today will look up books by popularity and read reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.  This little tool of reading reviews has saved me many times from buying the wrong product.  How ingenious it is to have a place where we can read what other people thought of the book or product before we decide to read or buy.

But there is another side where readers don’t trust complete strangers on the internet to give them advice to read a book.  So what do they do?  They ask their friends and family members.  They ask librarians or teachers.  They research a book’s quality by doing a lot of leg work.  Sounds tiring huh?

It starts small…

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Then grows a little more…  images (5)

 

 

till finally your eyes are screaming !!!!images (6)

 

 

 

 

The only thing left is to trust the reviews online.  Surely, over a hundred people can’t be wrong about a book, right?

So write what you want to write.  Sooner or later they will find your book, and either love it or hate it, and let everyone else in the world know about it.

Read more at : http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/03/18/what-should-i-read-next/

 

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With the changes in the publishing industry to accommodate writers, who are breaking in whether through traditional or e-pub, there is a wave of new things to cover.

Amazon +1 vs. Safari

Amazon +1 vs. Safari (Photo credit: gcorrin)

First there are new genres.

  • NA – stands for New Adult books.  This is for young adults who have left their parents house and are trying to make it in the world on their own.  A lot of the stories are focused around college students or young adults in the working world.  Some new NA books that are hot grabs are Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster.  Check out USA Today’s article about this genre and the authors making headlines at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2013/04/15/new-adult-genre-is-the-hottest-category-in-book-publishing/2022707/ . ( I just recently found out about this genre. )
  • Metaphysical Fiction – It is not really a new genre but more of a sub-category of fiction writing, whether it is for YA, MG or adult books.  This subject covers the mixture of some fantasy with real world phenomenon and or magic.  You can read a better description of what this category covers at Karen M. Rider’s blog at http://www.karenmrider.com/what-is-metaphysical-fiction/ .  She goes over the category really well along with visionary fiction.  The post is a great read.

The new writing styles have been put into these new categories to help readers find these books.  The changes seem minuscule and sure there are categories above I left out.  But you can find them on your own by visiting Amazon or Goodreads and searching through the many categories.

So what are the headaches to come with these changes.

  • Readers will have that many more choices to choose from.
  • Older books will have to be re-categorized to accommodate the new genres.

But here is the plus side to all this for authors out there.  We can now have our works more specifically categorized.  Which in turn will help all those readers out there who know what they are looking for in a good book.

So read on, fellow book enthusiast.  And may the writers imagination be forever endless.

 

Barnes & Noble eReader Software Coming to iPad

Barnes & Noble eReader Software Coming to iPad (Photo credit: John Federico)

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Goodreads | Jessica Wilsons review of Creepy Carrots!.

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Oh my heck! This is great. Now all my books I read and buy on Amazon will be linked to Goodreads. I already have an account with Goodreads and share my reviews with readers everywhere. This is big news for book lovers everywhere.

Nathan Bransford, Author.

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Goodreads | Jessica Wilson’s review of The Kite Runner.

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