5E A brain trust of independent veteran editors, talking about the shifting publishing landscape. We're a brain trust of independent editors bringing decades of cumulative in-house experience to the rapidly shifting landscape of publishing. 5E provides a source for informed discussion while helping authors, agents and publishers create their best work; each member operates independently, but we meet, network, and offer speaking engagements as a group.

Please contact us via either our 5eeditors.com website, individual websites or a private FB message with brief, specific details regarding your project.

In early January, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt releases a first novel I really enjoyed working on, Black Buck by Mateo Aska...
12/23/2020
Order Black Buck, ISBN: 035838088X | HMH

In early January, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt releases a first novel I really enjoyed working on, Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour, who is of Iranian and Jamaican descent. It's a workplace satire based on a tech company Mateo used to work for, and looks at the struggles of a young man from Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy trying to navigate this not so brave new world after meeting the company's owner while serving him at Starbucks. A rave endorsement from Colson Whitehead can's hurt. Mateo is mostly self-taught as a writer and is really a quick study as well as a natural storyteller (Pat).

https://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/emblackem-embuckem/9780358380887

Buy Black Buck, ISBN: 035838088X from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Shop now.

This is very welcome news! Julie and Cindy are excellent editors with years of experience, and it's great to see new ind...
12/18/2020
Spiegel & Grau

This is very welcome news! Julie and Cindy are excellent editors with years of experience, and it's great to see new indie ventures form as the big publishers consolidate so massively (Pat).

https://www.spiegelandgrau.com/

We are a new multi-platform publisher. We understand the power of stories to enhance meaning, deepen understanding, engage emotions, effect change, and enlarge our sense of humanity by connecting us to people and places we may never experience in our lifetimes. As a team, we are storytelling experts...

My former colleague Gerry Howard looks back at the trade paperback "revolution" that gave writers like J.M. Coetzee and ...
12/15/2020
On the Glory Days of the Great American Trade Paperback

My former colleague Gerry Howard looks back at the trade paperback "revolution" that gave writers like J.M. Coetzee and David Foster Wallace their first publications ins paperback original. For Coetzee, qualify that to be first publication in the U.S. It really was something different to try to introduce new voices in that format then. Change in publishing is possible, even if it's as slow as molasses in January, as my mother used to say....(Pat).

https://lithub.com/on-the-glory-days-of-the-great-american-trade-paperback/

The 1980s were an exciting and highly significant time in the evolution of the publishing format known as the trade paperback. Many tens of millions of book buyers had grown up buying and reading t…

A very interesting but also sobering look at changes in the publishing business. No worries, the header doesn't mean tha...
10/20/2020
The end of the general trade publishing concept | The Idea Logical Company

A very interesting but also sobering look at changes in the publishing business. No worries, the header doesn't mean that publishing is "ending." It is more precisely morphing into a different kind of operation....(Pat)

https://www.idealog.com/blog/the-end-of-the-general-trade-publishing-concept/#.X48sTikDvIk.twitter

My brilliant friend Joe Esposito has written a piece to explain why Penguin Random House would want to acquire Simon & Schuster. I have also been thinking about why PRH, or any of the other three of the “Big Five”, would want to acquire S&S. In fact, two of the three, Hachette and HarperCollins,...

The Brooklyn Book Festival is all virtual this year, enabling a wide range of panelists and moderators. I have already r...
09/29/2020
Home - Brooklyn Book Festival

The Brooklyn Book Festival is all virtual this year, enabling a wide range of panelists and moderators. I have already registered for several talks because even if it's virtual, I wonder if there is a limit that the platform can hold. Maybe not, but....early is always better, when voting or registering for a popular event! (Pat).

https://brooklynbookfestival.org

Join us for the 2020 Brooklyn Book Festival as we celebrate our 15th anniversary of presenting free literary programming! We are looking forward to the fall and do hope that October will be a time when cultural gatherings and celebrations can once again take place.  As our planning progresses, we w...

DC is a great book town and the virtual line up at this annual festival is a treat! (Pat). https://www.loc.gov/events/20...
09/25/2020
Schedule  | 2020 National Book Festival  | Events at the Library of Congress  | Library of Congress

DC is a great book town and the virtual line up at this annual festival is a treat! (Pat).

https://www.loc.gov/events/2020-national-book-festival/schedule/?utm_campaign=wp_book_club&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_books

All National Book Festival events on Sept. 25-27 will take place online, culminating in a program on PBS television on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. ET (check local listings).

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-perfect-prose-of-a-joan-didion-photo-caption?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny...
09/24/2020
The Perfect Prose of a Joan Didion Photo Caption

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-perfect-prose-of-a-joan-didion-photo-caption?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_092220&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9febe3f92a404693a4b21&cndid=27078735&hasha=83d3380b05e0b3b7f4ff3f29bc06723b&hashb=5c0d4ebbbbc623cf54d984d75d6d5040ebea64d8&hashc=f3699f658f31134980e58487050bf67ccc58a61d0309fa3e8a3f6017bdb82671&esrc=AUTO_OTHER&mb
https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-perfect-prose-of-a-joan-didion-photo-caption?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_092220&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9febe3f92a404693a4b21&cndid=27078735&hasha=83d3380b05e0b3b7f4ff3f29bc06723b&hashb=5c0d4ebbbbc623cf54d984d75d6d5040ebea64d8&hashc=f3699f658f31134980e58487050bf67ccc58a61d0309fa3e8a3f6017bdb82671&esrc=AUTO_OTHER&mbid=CRMNYR062419&utm_term=TNY_Daily

A fascinating look at the education of a master wordsmith who learned much of her trade writing photo captions in which every word had to create a lively counterpoint to the accompanying image (Pat).
https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-perfect-prose-of-a-joan-didion-photo-caption?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_092220&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9febe3f92a404693a4b21&cndid=27078735&hasha=83d3380b05e0b3b7f4ff3f29bc06723b&hashb=5c0d4ebbbbc623cf54d984d75d6d5040ebea64d8&hashc=f3699f658f31134980e58487050bf67ccc58a61d0309fa3e8a3f6017bdb82671&esrc=AUTO_OTHER&mbid=CRMNYR062419&utm_term=TNY_Daily

The caption, in the August 1, 1965, issue of American Vogue, sounds like Didion in its rhythm, care, and thrift, and also in its swerve toward something more troubling or mysterious.

Tomorrow is the pub date for James Lee Burke's A Private Cathedral. It's one of his best! I didn't know it was his 40th ...
08/10/2020
James Lee Burke | Author

Tomorrow is the pub date for James Lee Burke's A Private Cathedral. It's one of his best! I didn't know it was his 40th novel until I saw this on his home page, where all manner of big names offer their congratulations.

I worked with Jim on eleven of those forty books and it was always a great experience. As Michael Connelly notes in his tribute, at age 83, Jim never "phones it in." I would say the same of Michael! These two giants in the crime and mystery genre are two of the most hardworking people I've met in a long career in the book world. And they NEVER take readers or booksellers for granted.

Jim knew some hard times in the middle of his career. When things started to look up, he would send handwritten thank-yous to every bookstore owner who supported his work. He is a master stylist and also a Southern-born gentleman in the best way. A man of honor, and a keen student of the history way that informs all of his work.

Best to him for continued bestsellerdom! (Pat)

https://www.jamesleeburke.com/

This is a truly visionary initiative to distribute a "curated" group of books to people who are incarcerated. A few year...
06/30/2020
With Books and New Focus, Mellon Foundation to Foster Social Equity

This is a truly visionary initiative to distribute a "curated" group of books to people who are incarcerated. A few years back, a neighbor and I reorganized the donated library in the base of our building and gave a slew of books to Books through Bars. The organization's "suggested titles" included everything from crossword puzzles to New Age-tinged self-improvement to African American history. This compilation will be many levels above and beyond....(Pat).

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/arts/mellon-foundation-elizabeth-alexander.html?referringSource=articleShare

The philanthropy’s new focus on programs that promote social justice will include a plan to provide book collections for 1,000 prisons.

This is very true! I relish having the time to work closely on manuscripts from home, while also appreciating a group li...
06/25/2020
Books Are a Great Fit for Quarantine. The Book Business, Not So Much.

This is very true! I relish having the time to work closely on manuscripts from home, while also appreciating a group like 5E that helps with social connections that are so important in the book business. Best of both words, IMHO (Pat).

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/books/coronavirus-publishing-working-from-home.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

You can read or write a book from home just fine. Publishing one, however, remains a very social activity.

What an inspiring life Grace Edwards led. And interesting that Diane Richards, current director of the Harlem Writers Gu...
06/06/2020
Grace Edwards, Harlem Mystery Writer, Dies at 87

What an inspiring life Grace Edwards led. And interesting that Diane Richards, current director of the Harlem Writers Guild (quoted in this article), is also writing rich stories set in Harlem. (Judy)

A former director of the Harlem Writers Guild, she published her first novel when she was 55, and her first mystery, featuring a stylish female ex-cop turned sleuth, when she was 64.

This is a timely and optimistic article on who is narrating the audiobooks that some of us are devouring. (Judy)
06/03/2020
As Audiobook Market Grows, Narrators of Color Find Their Voice

This is a timely and optimistic article on who is narrating the audiobooks that some of us are devouring. (Judy)

Publishers are increasingly seeking out audio talent that reflects the race and experience of the books’ authors and characters. But what constitutes a black, Latino or Asian voice?

This is a nice compilation. What caught my eye in particular: Christopher Buckley's fictional memoir of Herb Nutterman, ...
05/28/2020
20 books to read this summer

This is a nice compilation. What caught my eye in particular: Christopher Buckley's fictional memoir of Herb Nutterman, Trump's seventh chief of staff. Coming in July. Can fiction catch up with reality?? (Pat).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/entertainment/books/summer-books/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

A look at the novels and nonfiction that can transport you to faraway places – without ever leaving home.

Patrick Hoffman's twisty novel Clean Hands hits the stores on June 4th. He knows the vagaries of legal and financial wor...
05/26/2020
Clean Hands | Grove Atlantic

Patrick Hoffman's twisty novel Clean Hands hits the stores on June 4th. He knows the vagaries of legal and financial world shenanigans inside and out from his work as an investigator; and one of the most compelling aspects of the story is the interplay between the corporate "players" and members of a shadowy underworld that features some Russian mobsters right out of a show like The Wire. It also features a well-drawn female lead, a former CIA analyst now "freelancing" as a high-priced fixer. Suffice it to say that the title is deliciously ironic. I loved working on it! (Pat).

https://groveatlantic.com/book/clean-hands/

From Patrick Hoffman, CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award finalist and critically acclaimed author of The White Van and Every Man a Menace, comes a breakout thriller about a powerful law firm on the br

And speaking of writers I'm proud of...I can't wait to read Marie Helene Bertino's PARAKEET, due out in 2 weeks. I loved...
05/20/2020
4 Writers to Watch This Summer

And speaking of writers I'm proud of...I can't wait to read Marie Helene Bertino's PARAKEET, due out in 2 weeks. I loved working with her on 2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas. She's a marvelous, inventive writer and teacher. All four of these books sound good! (Judy)

Brit Bennett, Megha Majumdar, Roddy Doyle and Marie-Helene Bertino talk about their new books.

05/19/2020
Paris: A Moveable Feast

To echo what Pat said, further down, now is a great time to support good writers and indie bookstores. This is on-sale day for the paperback edition of Mamta Chaudhry's HAUNTING PARIS. As some of you already know, I'm crazy about this book and this captivating author. Here's a trailer for the novel with Ruth Greenfield playing Chopin's Barcarolle. Enjoy! (Judy)

In this love letter to the City of Light, Paris is at once haunting and haunted.

5E just did a virtual meet-up with ART (THE AGENTS ROUNDTABLE) -- a lively collective of independent literary agents.  W...
05/08/2020
Agents Round Table – Managing the careers of bestselling authors and emerging talents

5E just did a virtual meet-up with ART (THE AGENTS ROUNDTABLE) -- a lively collective of independent literary agents. We traded a lot of questions and speculation, wondering how the publishing biz will be affected during and after this pandemic (and in an election year). We're still seeing book deals, though the bar feels even higher than usual. We're also finding that some of our authors are in periods of marvelous creativity. (Judy) https://theagentsroundtable.com/

Exciting news! The PEN World Voices Festival will be presented online. The Festival always features a terrific range of ...
05/06/2020
2020 PEN Digital World Voices Festival

Exciting news! The PEN World Voices Festival will be presented online. The Festival always features a terrific range of authors and topics. This is a wonderful opportunity to sample a world of good writing from the comfort of your couch (Pat).

https://pen.org/2020-world-voices-digital/

With in-person events now impossible to convene, PEN America has curated an ongoing digital version of the Festival to be rolled out over the coming weeks.

I just bought a book from this new online platform that pairs readers with a local indie shop. At the top, they declare:...
05/05/2020
Order R758132584

I just bought a book from this new online platform that pairs readers with a local indie shop. At the top, they declare: "$1,257,075.89 raised for independent shops!" Truly noteworthy numbers for an enterprise started just a few weeks before the pandemic hit. You may not get your book as quickly as if you order on Amazon Prime; but this is a way to boost local booksellers that is really making a difference (Pat).

https://bookshop.org/orders/R758132584/token/W9oaak4V0ylZ6XQ1Rv8VFw

An online bookstore that financially supports local independent bookstores and gives back to the book community.

This multi-part, free streaming event begins tonight! Edna O'Brien is one of the participants (Pat).
04/28/2020
Dear Ireland - Abbey Theatre

This multi-part, free streaming event begins tonight! Edna O'Brien is one of the participants (Pat).

An Abbey Theatre production A national conversation led by Ireland’s artists 50 writers, 50 actors Presented on our digital channels, April 2020

After posting about this interesting and very worthwhile project from McSweeney's a few weeks ago, I decided to join the...
04/24/2020
A Force Outside Myself: Citizens Over 60 Speak

After posting about this interesting and very worthwhile project from McSweeney's a few weeks ago, I decided to join the fray My entry is entitled "The Epicenter of the Epicenter," that is, Queens, NYC. It's the second one down from the top as of today (Pat).

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/a-force-outside-myself-citizens-over-60-speak

In the past few weeks, the voices and even the lives of older people have been marginalized, scapegoated, written off. Most recently, certain polit...

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Have any of the wonderful editors in this group read Emily Wilson's new translation of The Odyssey? (It's the first translation in English by a woman and it is all kinds of wonderful.)