2012 Was a Great Year for Fiction

Bestselling Books of 2012 (Adult & Children's) across Nielsen and Amazon Kindle and Print - peoplewhowrite

Fiction titles dominate lists* of 2012’s best selling books, a marked shift from the early 2000s when The Guardian reported “Although fiction still sells in great quantities and continues to produce stars, the attention of publishers and booksellers has moved elsewhere. Everyone in publishing agrees it is getting harder to sell a new novel, even by a distinguished name, in this country; book buyers seem interested only in non-fiction.”

Looking at the November 2012 partnership between powerhouse talent agency ICM and Washington, DC literary agency Sagalyn would suggest agents are looking to pad their lists with narrative non-fiction titles, even as recent book to film deals also bear this out. John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s Game Change, based on the 2008 US Presidential campaign, was snapped up by HBO and earned multiple Emmys as well as Golden Globe nods. HBO has already optioned the Game Change sequel.

But while the trend favoring non-fiction seems to have continued among publishers and agents, in 2012, readers came out solidly for fiction, specifically general fiction and fantasy. What’s exciting is the top seller across all lists, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, surprised the industry with the swiftness and muscularity of its success — proof that if a story finds and resonates with its intended audience, it will succeed no matter what the genre.

*Just before the end of 2012 Nielsen, Amazon, and Apple released lists of their top selling books. The lists above incorporate numbers from the last week of December and appear to include overall performance of adult and children’s titles combined. 

Last Minute Places to Give & Get a 2012 Tax Deduction Before The Year Ends

Donate to Room to Read - peoplewhowrite

Room to Read works with communities and local governments in Africa and Asia to develop literacy skills. Donate at roomtoread.org

You still have a few hours to give to the charity of your choice before 2012 ends. Give, and increase your 2012 tax deduction. Here are a few writerly ones to consider:

Room to Read: Founded in Nepal in 2000, Room to Read is now a global organization that establishes school libraries, builds schools, publishes local-language children’s books, trains teachers on literacy education, and supports girls to complete secondary school in Africa and Asia. Learn More / Donate.

United for Libraries: United for Libraries is a national network of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses. The mission of United for Libraries is to support citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for all types of libraries. Learn MoreDonate.

Girls Write Now: Founded in 1998, New York-based Girls Write Now is the first organization in the country with a writing and mentoring model exclusively for girls. Fifteen years later, they’ve grown from a grassroots collective into a nationally-recognized organization with a robust staff and a highly-structured corps of dedicated volunteers.  Girls Write Now has been recognized twice by the White House, The New York TimesNBC Nightly News, the MacArthur Foundation, and the global branding firm Siegel+Gale. In 2012, Youth, I.N.C. honored GWN as one of the most enterprising nonprofits improving the lives of New York City youth. Learn More / Donate.

Worldreader: Worldreader is a US and European non-profit whose mission is to make digital books available to children in the developing world so millions of people can improve their lives. As of November 2012, Worldreader has put over 245, 000 e-books into the hands of 1,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa. Those children now read more, read better, and are improving their communities. Learn More / Donate.

The Office of Letters and Light: The Office of Letters and Light organizes events, including National Novel Writing Month, where kids and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to reach their creative potential. When you donate to the Office of Letters and Light, you help bring free creative writing programs to nearly 350,000 kids and adults in approximately 100 countries, 2,000 classrooms, 200 libraries, and 500 NaNoWriMo regions every year. Learn More / Donate.

viBe Theater Experience: Founded in 2002, viBe provides a safe space for girls (ages 13-19) to write, create and perform collaborative performances about real-life issues as they express their unique voices, foster meaningful relationships, take on challenges, and gain the self-confidence to succeed personally, socially, and academically. viBe’s free programs and productions inspire teenage girls to work together and direct, publish, record, and perform in art forms including theater, dance, poetry, and music. Learn More / Donate.

MediaBistro has a list of worthy charities from 2011 that you should also check out. And of, course, just ’cause you’re a writer doesn’t necessarily mean you only want to support literacy-related organizations. I am personally passionate about OrphanAID Africa, a non-profit based in Ghana that helps poor families keep their children, and provides loving families for abandoned children. We currently have an IndieGogo campaign up to raise money for the kids’ school fees. Learn more about OrphanAID Africa / Donate.

HuffPo Writes Up Publishing's 15 WTF Moments of 2012

In 2012, the Pulitzer Prize Jury could not agree on a winner - peoplewhowrite

In 2012, the Pulitzer Prize Jury could not agree on a winner – the last time this happened was 1977

From bookstores refusing to stock Amazon-published print titles to the Pulitzer Prize Jury failing to agree on a Fiction winner, The Huffington Post‘s 2012 year end slideshow reminds what a storied year Publishing had. Click here to review.