Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2016 Cover Wide Range of Genres

As Americans, the First Amendment guarantees our freedom to read, and yet to this day, some books are banned. The American Library Association’s (ALA) top ten most challenged books in 2016 covered a wide range of genres: fiction, memoir, picture books, and graphic novels. (more…)

Why Do We Buy Books? Let Me Count 8 Reasons

Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg identified eight common reasons why people buy books. Instant gratification is at the top of the list. Compare these book-buying motivations with yours. (more…)

6 Small Presses Focus on Regional Fiction and Nonfiction

ManuscriptComputer-CindyFazziPicSmall presses can focus on niche markets, an advantage they have over big publishers. If your novel has a strong sense of place, check out these six publishers that specialize in regional titles. They welcome both agented and unagented submissions. (more…)

Sales of Print Books Rose in 2016

NapaValley-BookSign-CindyFazziPicUnit sales of print books increased slightly (3.3 percent) last year, the third year in a row of growth, according to Publishers Weekly. Print-book sales rose by 2.8 percent in 2015 and 2.4 percent in 2014. (more…)

In Praise of the Perilous Multiple POVs: William Martin’s “Citizen Washington”

CitizenWashington-Cover-CindyFazziPicAuthors who use multiple points of view risk losing their readers’ interest or confusing them with every shift. Only a few pull off such a perilous approach. In “Citizen Washington,” William Martin blows away the competition among “daredevil” authors. He uses not just three points of view (“The Girl on the Train” and “The Help”) or five (“The Poisonwood Bible”) but 16! (more…)

The Easiest Way You Can Help Save the Future of Arts & Literature

The Campanile at UC Berkeley (Photo by Cindy Fazzi). The university’s Pacific Film Archive is one of the many recipients of NEA grants in California.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), which provide much needed resources to low-income communities in all 50 states, face the danger of complete elimination.  The Authors Guild is working with a host of literary and arts organizations to prevent the defunding of the two agencies. Support the guild’s initiative by signing a petition now. You don’t have to be a member to lend your name. (more…)

Study Shows There are Only 6 Emotional Arcs for All Novels & Plays

A great novel or play touches or enrages or saddens us. It makes us look at ourselves or other people differently. Despite the many emotions we feel while reading books or watching plays, they follow one of only six emotional arcs, according to a recent study. (more…)

Top 10 Opening Sentences of Novels

fairoaksbooks-reliablewifeA novel’s first sentence is so important that Poets & Writers magazine devotes a section to the first lines of notable new books. In the same vein, I rounded up 10 of my favorite opening sentences. Each one is powerful, and the rest of the book delivers what the first sentence promises.  (more…)

11 Things Only Bookworms Will Understand

fairoaks-libraryreaders-1-17-cindyfazzipicThe word bookworm, dating back to 1592, refers to “a person unusually devoted to reading,” according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. It also means the larva of any wood-boring insect that feeds on paper in books. We avid readers are indeed a special kind of tribe! (more…)

The Giving Season: Top 10 Reasons Why Books Make Great Gifts

Photo by Vince Fazzi, December 2016.

(Photo by Vince Fazzi, December 2016)

Still looking for the perfect gift? An email I received from the Authors Guild listed 10 reasons why you should give books to your loved ones this holiday season—and all other occasions! (more…)