Wednesday News: British Book Awards, the art of shutting up, FTC warns celebrity endorsers, and female pirates
These are officially the 6 best books of the past year – The British Book Awards (aka the “Nibbies”) honor booksellers and libraries, publishers, publishing professionals, and books in six categories, including Fiction Book of the Year, Debut Book of the Year, Crime & Thriller Book of the Year, Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year, Non-Fiction Lifestyle Book of the Year, and Children’s Book of the Year. You can see the full list of winners here, but the big winner was Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent (Fiction Book of the Year and overall Book of the Year), and J.K. Rowling was recognized for her Outstanding Contribution to the Book Trade (for, of course, selling so many books – or scripts – as the case may be.).
The awards also celebrated a record-breaking year for the publishing industry and the resurgence of print book sales, with Nielsen data showing that print sales of consumer book titles rose by almost 9% in 2016 to £1.55 billion. Overall sales of books reached £4.8 billion, the highest ever level. – Business Insider
Want to write a book? Stop talking about it. Entirely. – There’s nothing better than overgeneralized advice to an already stress-filled process. In this case it’s NOT talking about a book you are working on. The article sets silence against an “intentionality” rationale (manifesting your dreams by talking about them), but is that really the issue here? Or are there some folks who are just more creative when they get the chance to talk through what they’re working on? Isn’t that part of the appeal of the writer’s workshop?
Why does talking about a big goal, such as writing a book or quitting smoking, sabotage your ability to complete it? Because every time you talk about an unfinished project with someone, you are tricking your brain into thinking you’ve done some of the work. Talking about writing a book gives you the same mental fatigue and satisfaction that you’d get from actually writing for an hour. It’s demotivating. . . .
One of the biggest mistakes people make in life is assuming that intangibles are in greater supply than money. All resources are finite—all of them—including the three traits that separate people who finish books from people who don’t: ambition, stamina, and your ability not to tire of hearing your own ideas. (Note that I did not include “writing ability” as an essential trait. Talent is a nice thing to have, but is literally not even tertiary in importance.) All three of these resources get depleted every single time you talk about your book. – Quartz
FTC Issued Warnings to 45 Celebrities Over Unclear Instagram Posts – Although these endorsement concerns are not usually connected to books, with more authors and readers becoming increasingly immersed in “the industry” together (with readers serving on street teams and authors cross-promoting, etc.), it may be a good idea to revisit the FTC guidelines, as they seem to be cracking down on “influencers” and ambiguous endorsement posts on Instagram and other social media venues.
The FTC said it sent out similar letters to each influencer to “call attention” to the post in question. Each letter reads: “The FTC’s Endorsement Guides state that if there is a ‘material connection’ between the endorser and the marketer of a product — in other words, a connection that might affect the weight or credibility that consumers give the endorsement — that connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed, unless the connection is already clear from the context of the communication containing the endorsement. Material connections could consist of a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the provision of free products to the endorser.” – Yahoo (via Women’s Wear Daily)
WOMEN WERE PIRATES, TOO – Short but fun post from JSTOR on the relative commonality of female pirates, who, despite facing additional challenges, still managed to find success that, in many cases, exceeded that of their male counterparts. And the fact that they were disguised as men makes their prosperity and persistence even more interesting, because they were perceived to be competing on the same terms as male pirates.
These women pirates have been almost completely obscured by the lore that surrounds their male counterparts. But they weren’t that uncommon: Marcus writes that women pirates “were not entirely unusual cases” and that they were part of “a deeply rooted underground tradition of female cross-dressing, pan-European in its dimensions but particularly strong in modern England, the Netherlands, and Germany.” . . .
There were major obstacles to women going to sea, even under the auspices of legitimate expeditions. Women were forbidden from serving as crew members on vessels that presented major physical challenges to men; they were also considered “inimical to work and social order” on a ship. In other words, the mere fact of their femininity was thought to be capable of bringing mutiny and bad luck to a ship’s crew. Even pirates, who rejected the seafaring mainstream in favor of profit, believed that women would ruin their raids and foment discord among their crews. – JSTOR Blog