All the things I've read and loved this year
Plus some announcements on what's coming next.
I’ve been keeping a list of all the things I’ve read and loved for a rainy day—and that day is today because I’ve been very busy laying the groundwork for what is coming next for my newsletter:
I’m writing an article on the future of web3 publishing for Esquire. I was very excited (understatement) to have this pitch accepted and I have been deeply immersed in researching this piece. I have talked to dozens of startups in this space, joined way too many discord servers, and have learned SO MUCH about what is possible in the publishing industry and what might be coming for us next. I can’t wait to share this one with you when it’s done!
I created a think tank on the future of fiction and invited everyone I know in the publishing industry to participate in it. There are five video discussions taking place over the next five months in which execs from Hachette, Wattpad, Substack, Aethon, Mirror, Readl, Alexandria Labs, Novlr, Storia, PageDAO, Soltype, Paragraph, and Legends of Cypher get together to brainstorm the future of fiction with me.
The topics of each discussion are: The future of reading, the future of publishing, the future of fandoms, the future of author communities, and the future of web3 publishing. We’ve already recorded the first one and it will be coming to paid subscribers of The Novelleist in the next two weeks—with a new one coming every month thereafter! Become a paid subscriber to get those video discussions:
Wattpad and Kickstarter have been helping me secure really amazing interviews for my newsletter. I have about 10 writers in the works right now and can’t wait to share these with you! I am learning SO much! (Also, Kickstarter is totally gangbusters for writers. For real. I’m deeply considering this as an option for funding my Oblivion project. More to come on that project once Obscurity is done serializing IN ONE MONTH 🥳)
The Novelleist Magazine and the (very) first edition of Obscurity are getting printed! I’ve been working hard on making these two collector’s items stunningly beautiful and they are coming signed (and with some treats!) for paid subscribers at the Novelle Collector tier very very soon. Subscribe at the Novelle Collector tier if you want to get those:
As I wait for all of these in-process things to be ready to send you, here’s a list of everything I’ve read and loved this year.
You can see all the books I’ve read since 2017 here but so far this year:
The Anomaly has been the best thing I’ve read. A plane arrives in New York City, but it’s the exact same plane that arrived there five months prior—the same passengers and everything. What ensues is a story about each of the individuals on the plane, the country, and the governments as they try to figure out what happened and what to do with the duplicates.
I also really loved reading the entire Bridgerton series while I was also watching season two of the Bridgerton show while I was also listening to the Bridgerton musical soundtrack. It was a very meta couple of weeks there, and quite enjoyable too.
You can see all of the newsletters I subscribe to here—as for specific articles I’ve loved so far this year:
How to want less—this one has become me and my husband’s mantra this year.
Doing less work is a lot of work.
Unable to support his family with his children’s books, Aaron Blabey was ready to give up. Then he came up with the concept that’s now a best seller and an animated movie.
Why are we still on social media apps that we hate?
Related: why this person turned off comments and DMs.
DJ Steve Aoki says he makes more from NFTs than music royalties.
Really good insight on how Spotify actually works for musicians.
Jessica DeFino’s Substack strategy is really freeing!
TED Talks are all talk—most of the big ideas people mention in TED Talks never happen.
I love this post about stupid hobbies—partly because it is an ode to stupid hobbies (which are important) and partly because it’s very informative on how to make a vlog.
Victoria Aveyard’s book writing process broken down in the “Craft Corner” of her newsletter.
Erik Hoel shares what happened when his novel (with a really good agent and a really big publishing house) was finally published.
How Wattpad is establishing itself as an entertainment powerhouse.
TikTok heartthrobs are now acting in Wattpad movies. Is this OF THE TIMES or what?
Donald Glover interviews Donald Glover.
The query letter that got Catherine Baab-Maguira four agent offers.
An alternative ending to your career path.
Some insight into how video games got their start in the 80s—which feels very pertinent to where the publishing industry is now.
An interesting take on endangered species and whether protecting them is really the best thing.
Screw Hollywood—let’s make our own movies! Ok, I actually wrote this one. But you might not know about it so I thought I would include it. It’s about how the creator economy is seeping into the film industry and I wrote it for Utah Business.
I know this isn’t exactly something I’ve “read.” But I’ve been VERY into TikTok lately and what it has done for artists. If you click on my username @novelleist you can see all of the artists I follow as well as all of the videos I’ve liked.
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I’m currently researching a piece on TikTok and how it is completely changing the game for artists, and I have plans to start a TikTok challenge of my own in the coming months (be prepared if you want to join me). This is such a fascinating time to be an artist!
I’ll be back in two weeks with the very first think tank (because my final Esquire article draft is due next week so I need to focus on that first). After that, I’ll be back to posting every week. In fact, my gothic novel Obscurity will be done serializing in only one month, I can’t believe it!
My time is about to free up so much and I can’t wait to really focus on making this newsletter my own personal haven of writing and creativity on the internet and to launch my next creative project! Thank you so much for being here. More to come!
How I’m tracking to my newsletter goals
I cannot even believe my newsletter right now. I haven’t even had a moment to promote it in the last month or so and yet it has been growing SO FAST. I think I must have finally hit the snowball effect everyone talks about where things just start happening on their own.
Well that and Substack’s new recommendations feature is going absolutely crazy for me. Thank you so much to everyone who has “recommended” my newsletter recently. I’ve loved recommending newsletters and seeing how many people subscribe. And I am honored to be mentioned by your newsletters!!! This is such a cool way to find one another!!!!
With all the new growth, here’s my chart and how I’m tracking to my newsletter goals right now (available to paying subscribers):