November 07, 2022
Schedule all booked up? 📚
IT'S NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS WEEK 🤓
The National Book Award was established in 1936 by the American Booksellers Association (A.B.A.). The industry put a pause on the tradition during World War II, but resumed in 1950. Nowadays the award is presented to one book (author) each year in the following categories: fiction, documentary, poetry, translation, and youth literature.
I guess it can be interesting to see what the industry is impressed with, but really my favorite way to find things to read is recommendations from friends or browsing the local library or bookshop.
The thing I think some people fail to appreciate about the publishing world is that it's an industry, like any other, so a book being held up as great isn't necessarily the greatest. It might be quite good (or even great), but a lot of a book's commercial success comes down to marketing.
Here at Boredwalk, we've put out two books thus far. They are in the novelty category, but nonetheless we were approached by a major publisher about them. I'll share this story because I know a lot of our fans are readers or writers themselves who would love to get a publishing deal.
When we initially thought about publishing our first book, we considered working with a publisher. We pitched a bunch of them and they all ignored us, so we decided to just do it ourselves. Luckily our first book sold well enough that we decided to do a second one. It wasn't until months after our first book was on the market (and successful) that a major publisher was interested in us. By that point, we'd already been successfully selling our book on our own and not having to share any of the profits with a publishing company.
They sent us an offer for a two book deal and, while we were flattered, we regretfully had to decline. We'd run the numbers on their offer and the numbers on our sales without them and came to the conclusion that we'd make more money continuing to self-publish.
There's the rub about getting a book deal. You are more likely to get an offer if you're already successful at selling a book you created, but if you are already successful at selling a book you created you probably stand to make more money continuing to be your own publisher.
If you've ever wanted to put out a book, don't wait for a book deal. Write the book you want to write and learn how to market it. That's how you'll sell copies and, if you do end up getting that book deal offer you've dreamed of, you may realize you don't need it after all.
I read Carrie as a child and, well, it explains a lot.
(gif via the film You've Got Mail)
Want a few famous November 7th birthdays and historical facts? Of course you do!
• Born on this day: singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell (1943), singer-songwriter Lorde (1996), philosopher/author Albert Camus (1913), and scientist Marie Curie (1867)
• On this day in 1929 the Museum of Modern Art opened to the public in New York City
• On this day in 1893 women in Colorado were granted the right to vote, making Colorado the second state to do so
• Finally, because it's election season, tons of historical firsts happened on November 7ths of the past, including:
- Carl B. Stokes was elected as Mayor of Cleveland, making him the first African American mayor of a major American city (1967)
- Douglas Wilder won the governor's seat in Virginia, becoming the first elected African American governor in the United States (1989)
- David Dinkins became the first African American to be elected Mayor of New York City (1989)
- Jeannette Rankin from Montana became the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1916)
On that note, be sure to vote tomorrow, Americans, if you didn't already do so! Boredwalk co-founder Matt and I filled out our ballots yesterday and dropped them off at the ballot drop box down the street this morning! We can't wait to get our text message confirmations that they have been received and tabulated. Let the Great Judgening of 2022 commence!
And by "know it," we mean that you will have one less vote on your side of the ledger, chumps!
GIF courtesy Bravo
Alright! Scroll on down to learn a bit about fellow Boredwalk fan Lexy! If you'd like to be featured in an upcoming Monday email (and are a customer with some Boredwalk tees, tanks, hoodies, towels, bags, or books to show off), just reply to this and let us know, and we'll send you some fun questions to answer (along with our undying gratitude)!
We'll be back here in your inbox on Wednesday with some more random holidays to observe, historical tidbits to acknowledge, and fun links to entertaining content! Until next time...
Peace, love, and reading,
Lexy exercising the franchise in style in her Slay the Patriarchy scoop-neck tee!
1. What's your actual day job and what's your dream day job?
My actual day job is working for a huge coffee conglomerate that shall remain nameless, and raising two little humans.
My dream job would be children’s librarian (while still enjoying all of the free coffee from my current job).
2. What's your biggest pet peeve?
Working in customer/food service, I’d say people that don’t use “please” and “thank you.” It really does go a long way.
3. What's a book you think the Boredwalk community should read?
The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern. It’s like a love letter to book lovers.
4. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Teleportation. So sick of air travel, and think of how much better it would be for the planet!
5. You can curse your nemesis with a minor annoyance for eternity; what do you choose?
Their food would never be the correct temperature. Cold is never cold enough, hot isn’t hot enough.
6. What experience do you most want to cross off your bucket list?
I’d love to visit New Zealand. Yet another thing that would be made easier with teleportation.
7. What is something you wish you could go back in time and say to your younger self?
No one has their sh*t together, so stop worrying you’re the only one. In fact, start TALKING about how you don’t have it all together and make someone else feel better, too.
8. Clear up a misconception (about your job, where you are from, or some other topic you know a lot about)?
Some of your baristas just like their job. We like making your day fractionally better, and this isn’t a stop-gap to something else.
9. Where can the rest of the Boredwalk community find you?
Hanging out waaaaay in the back at a punk rock show. Because the music is just too loud these days, and I gotta leave early to relieve the babysitter.
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