There’s no doubt that we have more books to choose from than ever before: according to data collected by Worldometer, over 2.4 million books have been published in 2017 alone—with the U.S. leading other countries in the number of titles published each year.
So how do you pick just one great title out of all of these choices? One option would be to narrow, narrow, narrow to your heart’s desire: looking for a dog-themed murder mystery romance set in paradise? Chances are, there’s dozens of books out there (at least!) that fit exactly that bill.
Another option, if you’re looking to expand outside your niche, is to check out books that have built a lot of buzz already. Some books, slated for 2018, have already generated interest from publishers and booksellers alike, and are set to reach wide audiences when they hit the shelves. Chances are, you’ll be seeing these books on the bestseller lists, award lists, and more.
Here are 10 of the titles that already have people talking:
1. A Higher Loyalty, James Comey—May 1st, 2018
Former FBI director James Comey has penned a book about his experiences serving in the American government, which will touch on high stakes situations he faced in his career, as well as what he believes ethical leadership looks like, according to publisher Macmillan. The book was bought at auction in a major ($500,000+) deal, after multiple publishers bid on the work. A number of outlets, from USA Today to Newsweek, have reported on the deal, though not much more information has been released since then. But come May 1st, you’re sure to see a lot of buzz around a man whose firing by President Donald Trump made headlines in 2017.
2. Rise as One, Ashok Banker—Late 2018/Winter 2019
The editor of Ashok Banker’s forthcoming Rise as One loved the author’s manuscript so much that she immediately offered seven figures for the series, in order to keep Banker’s agent from continuing to shop the manuscript around. (That kind of deal—where an editor presents a strong offer early on to avoid an auction—is called a “pre-empt.”) The book was pitched as Six of Crows meets An Ember in the Ashes, according to Banker’s agent, John Cusick, and features an LGBTQIA, PoC, and differently abled cast.
3. S.T.A.G.S., M.A. Bennett—January 30, 2018
In a book that publisher Penguin Random House calls The Secret History meets Pretty Little Liars, a scholarship student named Greer MacDonald arrives at St. Aidan the Great School (S.T.A.G.S.), only to be bullied by the popular students, who call themselves the Medievals. But when Greer receives an invitation from the Medievals to their exclusive weekend retreat, Greer’s time at the school takes a dark—and bloody—turn. Film rights to the novel have already been snapped up by Chernin Entertainment. And no wonder, since Bennett told The Irish Times that she conceived of S.T.A.G.S. as “a kind of dark Hogwarts.” The book was published last year in the U.K., and is debuting in the U.S. in January 2018.
4. Jabs, Sherine Hamdy and Myra El Mir—Fall 2018
You may not have heard of Jabs yet, but you will: this black-and-white graphic novel was sold at auction to Dial, who won the rights to the manuscript in a six-figure deal brokered by agent Anjali Singh, according to Publisher’s Weekly. The story, a coming-of-age tale about a Muslim American girl, has two powerful creators behind it: Sherine Hamdy is a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology at Brown University, and Myra El Mir is an illustrator based out of Beirut, according to their agent.
5. Flying at Night, Rebecca Brown—April 10, 2018
Brown’s Flying at Night is not coming out until April, but it’s already generated a ton of great praise: New York Times bestselling author Karen White called it “a gorgeously written book,” “expertly done,” and “a wonderful and emotionally engaging read.” Fellow New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins noted the book is “fearless, graceful and compelling”—and those are just a fraction of the pre-publication blurbs. What’s all the hype about? Brown’s novel is a sweeping look at three generations of a family after its patriarch suffers a heart attack that uniquely connects him to his autistic grandson.
6. Trex (Crash and Burn Series, Book One), Jamie McGuire—October 2018
As Kirkus Reviews notes, Jamie McGuire is one of the authors credited with starting the entire new adult genre, specifically with Beautiful Disaster. McGuire has found success in both the self-publishing and traditional publishing world, and hit bestseller lists like the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal with each. In October 2018, she’ll start releasing a new series through Hachette imprint Forever Yours. The first book, Trex, follows character Scottie “Trex” Trexler as he takes a new government assignment in Colorado, only to have his world thrown upside down by a runaway bride working the front desk of his hotel.
7. Bloodleaf, Crystal Smith—Fall 2018
Crystal Smith’s debut novel, Bloodleaf, already has U.S. and international publishers excited: the novel, which follows a destitute princess trying to reclaim her crown by solving a ghostly mystery, sold to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s in a three-book, major deal. The series’ Italian, Spanish, and German rights have already been picked up, according to Publisher’s Marketplace—many of them in competitive auctions.
8. The Man Who Didn’t Call, Rosie Walsh—July 24, 2018
Another book that has the entire international publishing community buzzing? Walsh’s The Man Who Didn’t Call (published originally in the U.K. as Ghosted), a love story interrupted by a sudden disappearance, which leads one woman to discover a shocking truth about her lover. The book, which is Walsh’s U.S. debut, has 20 confirmed foreign deals, according to Publisher’s Weekly, and will be published in places like Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Israel, The Netherlands, and more.
9. Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James—Fall 2018
Decorated author Marlon James, winner of the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, is debuting the first novel in his The Dark Star Trilogy next year. The series, which draws on African history and mythology, according to James’ interview in Entertainment Weekly, centers around the disappearance and death of a missing boy. Each book in the trilogy will be from a different character’s perspective, featuring differing accounts of what really happened to the boy. In addition to Entertainment Weekly, the book deal has already been written about in Vulture, The Guardian, LA Times, and more.
10. A Court of Miracles, Kester Grant—Fall 2018
A whopping six publishers bid on Grant’s debut A Court of Miracles, according to Publisher’s Weekly, a novel pitched as Les Miserables meets The Jungle Book. In the story, a young thief named Nina battles both nobility and Paris’s criminal underground to save the life of her sister Ettie after a failed French Revolution. And as noted by Grant’s site, a number of international publishers are already on board: so far, publishers have already purchased Turkish, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, French, and Spanish world rights.
(featured image: Sam Greenhalgh on Flickr)
Stephanie Bucklin is a writer of children’s books, including Jack Death (Creston Books 2016), under her pen name, ML Windsor. Her stories have also been published in magazines like Chicago Literati, The Caterpillar, and Balloons Lit Journal, and her nonfiction has been published on outlets including NY Mag, TODAY.com, Psychology Today, and Vice. She currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI.
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