The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


EPISODE # 305

Bethanne Patrick — Book World

A conversation with literary critic and publishing insider Bethanne Patrick about the future of books, book publishing, authors and readers.

Bethanne Patrick is the ultimate literary insider. If you read book reviews, you undoubtedly know Bethanne. Her endorsements in venues like the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, NPR, and the Boston Globe have moved hundreds of thousands of copies. Check your shelves: chances are you own a book (or three) with a Bethanne blurb on the cover. An influencer in the book world, Bethanne (@TheBookMaven) has over 200K Twitter followers and originated the popular #FridayReads hashtag. The author of two books for National Geographic and editor of an anthology for Regan Arts, Patrick’s debut memoir Life B will be published by Counterpoint in May 2023.

Shermer and Patrick discuss:

  • her memoir Life B about how she has dealt with depression
  • recent trends in the treatment of depression and other mental diseases
  • why memoirs by authors who have suffered traumas and stresses in their lives sell so well
  • non-fiction, fiction, and quasi-nonfictional fiction
  • censorship and cancel culture in publishing
  • why the New York Times bestseller list is so influential
  • the trial over the acquisition of Simon & Schuster by Penguin Random House over whether it will lead to a monopsony (a market structure in which a single buyer substantially controls the market as the major purchaser of goods and services)
  • digital books vs. print books, eBooks, and audiobooks
  • the future of publishing in competition with “fast” content (e.g., blogs, articles, social media posts) versus “slow” content such as books
  • how writing, regardless of the medium, compares to more accessible forms of content such as film or podcasting
  • the future of bookstores
  • what advice she would give to new would-be authors.

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This episode is sponsored by Wondrium:

Wondrium (sponsor)

This episode was released on November 8, 2022.

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