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.

There is nothing dramatically new in this piece, but it's yet another reminder of the bifurcation in the book marketplac...
06/24/2019
Bookstores Find Growth as ‘Anchors of Authenticity’

There is nothing dramatically new in this piece, but it's yet another reminder of the bifurcation in the book marketplace: Amazon controls half of the it, and clever indies the rest. The success of book festivals also points to the desire for reader engagement and outreach with authors and ideas (Pat).

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/23/business/independent-bookstores.html

Big chains once posed a threat, but independents are thriving by hosting events, adding nonbook merchandise and becoming community hubs.

06/22/2019
Haunting Paris Book Launch

As some of you know, I'm thrilled about Mamta Chaudhry and her debut novel, Haunting Paris (Nan Talese/Doubleday, agent Marly Rusoff). Her launch was at Books and Books in Miami and Edwidge Danticat and Debra Dean were there, in support--along with a full house. This clip gives you a sense of Mamta and her magic. I hope you'll take a look at this beautiful book. I worked with Mamta on early drafts and was captivated each time.-- Judy

Mamta Chaudhry, a Coral Gables resident, launched her first published novel “Haunting Paris” at Books and Books.

I found this piece to be very entertaining. I learned the rules of grammar from the nuns, who scared us into compliance....
04/25/2019
The Petty Writing Mistake That Drives Me Nuts

I found this piece to be very entertaining. I learned the rules of grammar from the nuns, who scared us into compliance. To this day, I remember most of what they taught me: one reason to be grateful for some aspects of old-school teaching (Pat). Please note my period placed here OUTSIDE the parentheses.

https://www.thecut.com/2019/04/the-petty-writing-mistake-that-drives-me-nuts.html#_ga=2.145397684.1433967680.15

For no good reason, and I know I’m wrong to care, but I do, and so I looked for company.

This excellent practical guide for authors doing public readings came to 5E via Thierry Kehou at the Center for Fiction:...
04/24/2019
Viet Thanh Nguyen: How Not to Bore Your Audience at a Reading

This excellent practical guide for authors doing public readings came to 5E via Thierry Kehou at the Center for Fiction: (Judy)

Am I the only one who finds literary readings boring? I usually avoided them. Then I had to go on book tour and tried not to bore people. I learned to think of myself as a performer rather than a r…

Donna Seaman is a positive and astute book reviewer. I'm glad she's getting recognition. “Book reviewing is deeply sat...
04/04/2019
Book-Struck: Talking with Donna Seaman, Recipient of the 2019 Louis Shores Award

Donna Seaman is a positive and astute book reviewer. I'm glad she's getting recognition. “Book reviewing is deeply satisfying, but it can also be difficult and frustrating. We don’t always know if our advocacy for books we believe are important or glorious is having an impact. I usually feel that I haven’t done enough for books and readers.” (Judy)

For 29 years, the Louis Shores Award has recognized excellence in book reviewing, honoring individual reviewers, groups, editors, and/or organizations for their contributions to libraries across the US. This year, we're proud to announce the Collection Development and Evaluation Section of RUSA has

After ‘Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing’, Mira Jacob, as far as I know a self-taught artist, decided to make a graph...
03/28/2019

After ‘Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing’, Mira Jacob, as far as I know a self-taught artist, decided to make a graphic memoir. Memoir is hard; graphic memoir is doing all the work backwards and in high heels. ‘Good Talk’ also happens to be a remarkable book about race and identity. I gave Mira a bit of advice in her early days working on it when we were both residents at Powderkeg Writers, my Pageturner partner Pete Friedrich wound up design doula’ing it to the finish line at Random House, and we were all very, very, very happy to see it out in the world Tuesday. -Joan

I'm looking forward to the "First Pages" panel (for fiction writers) at the upcoming American Society of Journalists and...
03/20/2019
ASJA 2019 Annual Writers Conference

I'm looking forward to the "First Pages" panel (for fiction writers) at the upcoming American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conference at the NY Marriott Downtown on May 5 with Jeff Kleinman, Stuart Bernstein, Clio Seraphim and Beverly Gray. Spread the word? Thanks... (Judy)

I know many people find Anna Burns' novel Milkman to be a tough read, but for me it was well worth it. It took me a week...
03/15/2019
National Book Critics Circle Winners Include New York’s Christopher Bonanos

I know many people find Anna Burns' novel Milkman to be a tough read, but for me it was well worth it. It took me a week to read it: take it in smaller doses to digest the sometimes looping prose. But it is not "Joycean" in complexity, and it does have a really good plot, even if it takes a while to kick in. Congrats again to Graywolf for taking on innovative and very worthy fiction (Pat).

https://www.vulture.com/2019/03/here-are-the-2018-national-book-critic-circle-winners.html#_ga=2.37300960.1749445732.1552155037-145103688.1443190315&_gac=1.148332101.1551126562.Cj0KCQiAwc7jBRD8ARIsAKSUBHKyXNc0eTrvwUgLC5Je3I9vSAcYOinJal26UYaV7ZtLRctDBqqjtZgaAuZMEALw_wcB

Also receiving awards were Zadie Smith, Anna Burns, and Maureen Corrigan.

Here is Kwei Quartey, author of the Inspector Darko Dawson mysteries, writing about press freedom and the recent murder ...
02/11/2019
The Jamal Khashoggi of Ghana

Here is Kwei Quartey, author of the Inspector Darko Dawson mysteries, writing about press freedom and the recent murder of an investigative journalist who was delving into political corruption in Ghana. A character in Kwei's forthcoming novel is based on a Ghanaian investigator so this one hit close to home. (Judy)

Investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale, at the behest of an odious politician, was murdered for exposing corruption.

This is twenty minutes long but very much worth a listen. Insightful, wise, and truly helpful (Pat). https://www.benning...
02/06/2019
To Be a Writer in America Today | Bennington College

This is twenty minutes long but very much worth a listen. Insightful, wise, and truly helpful (Pat).

https://www.bennington.edu/news-and-features/be-writer-america-today

Garth Greenwell is an American novelist, author, literary critic, and educator. His debut novel, What Belongs to You won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Bla...

WOW. Some remarkable editors and other publishing peeps are newly liberated in the latest industry reorg. My guess is th...
01/26/2019
Penguin Random House Closes the Prestigious Imprint Spiegel & Grau

WOW. Some remarkable editors and other publishing peeps are newly liberated in the latest industry reorg. My guess is that most of them will land at excellent houses or literary orgs, and they will continue to publish and support great books. I loved my years at Random House but I don't miss these upheavals. (Judy)

The division published best-selling books by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Trevor Noah and more. Its closing is the latest move by Penguin Random House to streamline operations.

Jane Rosenman has posted a wonderful blog entry about working with a client whose memoir turned out to be much stronger ...
01/24/2019
The Beating Heart of the Story

Jane Rosenman has posted a wonderful blog entry about working with a client whose memoir turned out to be much stronger in another format. An inspiring look at how openness to new ideas can pay off. We'll continue to highlight the process behind imaginative editorial interventions in the coming months. Thanks to Liz Van Hoose for tech support! (Pat).

https://5eeditors.com/5eblog/2019/1/20/the-beating-heart-of-the-story

I have a lovely story to tell as a way of ushering in for us all a creative and productive new year. In early 2017 I worked with a writer living in Portland, Oregon named Gigi Rosenberg whose 50,000 word memoir, THE INHERITANCE,  had received what she called “glowing rejections” from litera

Shout-out to author Katrin Schumann whose novel, THE FORGOTTEN HOURS, is #7 on the Washington Post Bestseller List! I wa...
01/19/2019
The Forgotten Hours, A Novel - Katrin Schumann

Shout-out to author Katrin Schumann whose novel, THE FORGOTTEN HOURS, is #7 on the Washington Post Bestseller List! I was an early reader and this writer is terrific. Congrats to agent Erin Harris and Lake Union editor Jodi Warshaw, too...(Judy)

At twenty-four, Katie Gregory feels like life is looking up: she’s snagged a great job in New York City and is falling for a captivating artist—and memories of her traumatic past are finally fading. Katie’s life fell apart almost a decade earlier, during an idyllic summer at her family’s cab...

Back when I was acquiring books at Random House,  Modern Library was an essential part of my list. In addition to signin...
01/01/2019
New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out

Back when I was acquiring books at Random House, Modern Library was an essential part of my list. In addition to signing up new books and translations, I hunted for noteworthy classics, eager to give them another window of time in the sun. Call me a nerd, but I found this article exciting. And how cool, that my savvy friend (and former competitor) John Siciliano at Penguin is quoted in the piece. (Judy)

Works by Marcel Proust, Willa Cather, D.H. Lawrence, Agatha Christie and Robert Frost are entering the public domain on Jan. 1. And that’s just the first wave.

Merry, merry to all 5E's friends in the literary community! Despite all of the turmoil in the world, it was a good year ...
12/18/2018
From Trump to #MeToo, publishing made headlines in 2018

Merry, merry to all 5E's friends in the literary community! Despite all of the turmoil in the world, it was a good year for books overall, though best for books with a political tilt. Looking forward to great reading in 2019, too! (Pat).

https://www.apnews.com/5ea3a234b85241d5a846fac2a35cfa53

NEW YORK (AP) — The publishing world made headlines in 2018, and not always by design. A wave of best-sellers offered damaging accounts of Donald Trump's White House, a million-selling memoir by Michelle Obama had readers longing for the previous administration and a political thriller by former P...

SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO makes Bookish's winter must-read list! Psyched, and grateful to the team at Abrams and James, Ted...
12/12/2018
Winter 2019’s Must-Read Nonfiction | Bookish

SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO makes Bookish's winter must-read list! Psyched, and grateful to the team at Abrams and James, Ted and my tireless Pageturner partner Pete who helped bring it across the finish line. -Joan

The weather outside may be frightful, but reading nonfiction is so delightful. Cozy up with one of winter 2019’s must-read nonfiction books.

Inbetween holiday craziness, a brief report from Miami Book Fair. Graphic novels continue to take off if you ask me, as ...
12/07/2018

Inbetween holiday craziness, a brief report from Miami Book Fair. Graphic novels continue to take off if you ask me, as I moderated panels on memoir, webcomics, medicine and NYC, and thrilled at having Madeline Miller of CIRCE aboard for moderating a panel on graphic novel mythology! -Joan

I've already posted once today but I think I'll highlight this one, too, since it's positive. We need all the positive n...
12/05/2018
What’s behind a recent rise in books coverage?

I've already posted once today but I think I'll highlight this one, too, since it's positive. We need all the positive news we can get in book world, right? Lots of expansion of book coverage even if some of it needs techie bells and whistles to keep Twitter-happy readers engaged. You have to roll with it....(Pat).

https://www.cjr.org/criticism/books-coverage-growing.php

If it occasionally feels like nobody reads books, anymore—that we are indeed witnessing the slow death of the literary novel, and the rapid decline of leisure reading, and the steady increase of American non-readers—why is it that mainstream publications are writing more about them? Since the be...

This discussion gets a little technical at times, but is valuable in citing specific works that handle these first perso...
12/05/2018
Jonathan Lethem on First-Person Narrators: When Men Write Women and Women Write Men | Book Marks

This discussion gets a little technical at times, but is valuable in citing specific works that handle these first person narrative perspectives that are often a challenge for fiction writers (Pat).

https://bookmarks.reviews/jonathan-lethem-on-first-person-narrators-when-men-write-women-and-women-write-men/

Jonathan Lethem’s The Feral Detective was just published by Ecco. He shares five books that, like his, have first-person narrators written across gender, with Jane Ciabattari.

Congrats to Patricia Mulcahy on THE GOOD NEIGHBOR which is getting  much praise, and was the Goodreads Choice Winner for...
12/04/2018
Announcing the Goodreads Choice Winner in Best History & Biography!

Congrats to Patricia Mulcahy on THE GOOD NEIGHBOR which is getting much praise, and was the Goodreads Choice Winner for Best History and Biography! (5E gang)

Congratulations to our winners in 21 categories! The Goodreads Choice Awards are the only major book awards decided by readers.

This is all over social media so I feel compelled to post it, too. It's a really interesting list....I love that To Kill...
11/28/2018
Here are the Biggest Fiction Bestsellers of the Last 100 Years

This is all over social media so I feel compelled to post it, too. It's a really interesting list....I love that To Kill a Mockingbird was on the bestseller list with The Tropic of Cancer!! (Pat).

https://lithub.com/here-are-the-biggest-fiction-bestsellers-of-the-last-100-years/

As the year draws to a close, some of us like to look forward, and some of us backward—and some way backward. Last month, while working on the not-at-all-controversial Books That Defined the Decade…

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