While many of us use the summer as an opportunity to slow things down a bit and catch up on the books that critics raved about the year before, it’s different for the pros. For book editors and critics, it’s crunch time as the industry learns about books soon to come and what the coming year in print is shaping up to be.
Ground zero for the publishing industry is New York City. Kirkus Reviews’ Editor-in Chief Clay Smith attended the 2018 Book Expo, there. It’s similar to a car show, minus the cars.
“The big publishers and small publishers have these booths for journalists, like me,” he says, “Publishers are trying to pitch me on books that are coming out in the fall that they want us to write about.”
Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” will be available on November 13. It’s an inspirational memoir that’s been under wraps until recently. Smith says it covers her career before and during her husband’s time in the White House.
Former San Antonio Mayor and Housing Secretary Julian Castro’s “An Unlikely Journey” is set for October 9 release. Smith says it’s a memoir about Castro, his congressman brother and his mother and their journey from nothing.
Smith says big publishers are reacting quickly to what is happening in the country. One in particular is “We Can’t Breathe” by Jabari Asim which is out on October 16.
“In the past it felt to me like it took publishers longer to get these sort of Zeitgeisty, buzzy books that really – in a sort of contextualized and deep way – address this country’s problems,” he says, “It’s really hopeful to me, because it seems like they’re really adapting more quickly.”
Written by Amber Chavez.