Episode 8

What People Are Reading This Year

In this Writing Break, we’re discussing Simon & Schuster’s prediction for book sales in 2022, the end of Pitch Wars, and Brandon Sanderson's mega-success with Kickstarter. Plus, the Muse answers some listener questions.

Music licensed from Storyblocks:

“More Jam Please” by Raighes Factory

"Funky Good Times" by Jason Donnelly

"Breakin Smooth" by Gar Ashby

"Western Adventure" by Volodymyr Piddubnyk

“Pop-up” by Humans Win

"Storm On The Plains" by Humans Win

“The Simple Things” by Judson Lee

Rosemi Mederos:

If you have plot bunnies coming out of your plot holes, it’s time for a writing break.

prediction for book sales in:

The bookstore we’re visiting today has a café, so let’s head there first to discuss some publishing news.

Today we are at Tumbleweed Bookstore and Cafe in Gardiner, Montana. The town of Gardiner serves as the main entrance to Yellowstone National Park. At Tumbleweed, you can find a book to help plan your trip into Yellowstone or a book to keep you company on the old dusty trail. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the café claims to have the best breakfast burrito in town, which I would love to try. Let’s place our order and grab an outdoor table before getting into the news.

billion in:

AMC Networks is getting into publishing with the all-new AMC Networks Publishing, which will release fan-friendly books, comics, and original graphic novels. Working titles include Shudder’s Creepshow: From Script to Scream and Miss Fisher's First Mysteries.

After ten years, Pitch Wars is coming to an end. The nonprofit mentoring program paired writers with editors or other publishing industry professionals who served as mentors on a volunteer basis. They also ran the #PitMad contest. Other such mentoring programs have cropped up over time, but most are not free.

The books will be released in:

Despite the rising cost of well . . . everything . . . and the time-consuming process of overseeing a Kickstarter, Sanderson has committed himself to sharing his art directly with his readers, and I think it’s terrific that his audience is supporting him.

Links to these articles can be found in the show notes of this episode and on writingbreak.com.

I think it’s time to take a stroll among the books and check out an independent author.

er and rancher who lived from:

Let’s head to the register and then take a hike into Yellowstone where we can use a river bed as today’s Overthinking Couch.

Today I’m overthinking about pseudonyms aka pen names. If you use a pen name or plan to use a pen name when you publish, then you have your reasons for that, and I concur. But what if a writer is on the fence about whether or not to use a pseudonym? Is there a good reason to use one if you don’t need to hide your books from your family or what have you? Some might argue that using your own name for everything you do in life is a matter of branding, and we know that branding is ruling this century so far. In today’s day and age, oof, I hate saying that . . . . These days, privacy is not easy to protect, and a pen name might offer a sense of freedom that helps your writing flourish. A pen name does not have to be about anonymity. It can be about an alter ego that helps you tap into your imagination. I have ghostwritten for others and used a pen name before. Still, I’m never sure what to say to an author when they ask me if they should use a pseudonym. But, boy, do I think about it. What about you? What would you tell someone who asks if they should use a pen name?

Before I answer a couple of listener questions, let’s stretch our legs a bit and find a spot where we can watch the sun set.

online shopping increased in:

Another listener wanted more clarification about my advice to create an ideal reader in your mind and to focus on them while you write. Their email came with several question marks at the end of each question, so let me start by saying that is not necessary. As an editor, I am familiar with all punctuation marks and their purposes. One question mark at the end of a question has always sufficed and shall always suffice.

In essence, the imagined ideal reader that you are writing for could be a person you know , it could be you at a younger or older age, it could be a few different people intermingling as one reader. How detailed you want to get about this is up to you. You can give the ideal reader a name, a backstory, a chiseled jawline, or it could be an amoeba-like, shape-shifting apparition. Whatever works for you.

All right, break’s over. Until next week, believe me when I say that you deserved this break.

If you would like us to visit your favorite independent bookstore, feature your favorite independent author (even if it’s you), or discuss something you’re overthinking about, please email me at podcast@writingbreak.com.

Thank you for making space in your mind for The Muse today.

Outro music

Writing Break is hosted by America’s Editor and produced by Allon Media with technical direction by Gus Aviles. Visit us at writingbreak.com or contact us at podcast@writingbreak.com.

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Rosemi Mederos


Rosemi is the founder of America's Editor, a book editing company.