This weeks Buzz Worthy News includes the winners of the Independent Book Blogger Awards, YA Book gossip, book cover analysis, somebody bashing on YA lit again, book news and scandalous scandals! Check it out and enjoy!
Buzz Worthy News is a regular Monday feature on Cuddlebuggery aimed at keeping you informed and uptodate on the latest book world news, blogging posts and drama.
For weekly YA releases and a spotlight on the latest cover reveals, check out Friday’s Hot New Titles feature.
Book World News
Goodreads members flooded the polls for this inaugural IBBA, with nearly 10,000 people voting for more than 800 blogs. And the topics the blogs covered were extraordinarily diverse: a recap of World Book Night; a post about favorite literary quotes; a Fify Shades of Grey read-along. After the Goodreads community narrowed the field to fifteen finalists in four categories, a panel of book industry professionals judged each blog for its caliber of writing and design, depth of knowledge, and the quality of the discussion it generates.
The winners received a trip to New York to attend the Book Expo America 2012.
The four winners were:
And by bad, we mean – dismal.
We should take a moment to appreciate that Kate Hart evaluated over 624 traditionally published titles, and a further 200+ self-published titles. Kate Hart – take a bow! That is a brilliant effort!
But her findings are so very depressing!
This year, I counted each model individually– for example, a cover with two white girls and one latina would be counted three times overall, but my divisor of 624 remained the same. There’s certainly a margin of error present in my perceptions, my questionable eyesight, and the sheer overwhelming mess of a 900+ line spreadsheet, but still.** Even if you can think of two or three examples I missed (and I hope you can!), this is just dismal.
Of the groups represented enough to show up in a pie slice, black characters/models are not only fewest in number, they’re barely even on their own covers.
Also, her general observations about covers:
- Filigree. It’s so hot right now.
- Flowers. Only half as hot as filigree.
- It turns out there’s only one “l” in filigree but the object chart crashes my computer every time I open it so I’m not going to edit the image. Please forgive me, grammar gods.
- Trees, water, hearts, moons, snow, sparkles, blood, necklaces, the ocean, birds, fire, grass, stars, leaves, reflections, clouds, and hands are the other most popular cover images. I thought butterflies and masks would figure much higher. (Also, I did some dumb things like counting trees and branches separately. Same with swords, blades, and daggers. Your mathematical mileage may vary.)
Steph says: And I have a dream that one day races of all nationalities and both genders will be properly represented on the covers of YA books!
Read the rest of this amazing post here.
Sarah Rainey, writing for the telegraph had this to say:
Indeed, studying Harry Potter as a work of literature turns the literary world upside-down. If Dumbledore and Hagrid can be granted the status of Don Quixote and Hamlet, it’s alarming to contemplate what’s next. A dystopian interpretation of A Very Hungry Caterpillar? The Twilight series as an A-level text?
As the first Potter literary conference draws to a close, let’s hope the delegates have learnt something: J K Rowling may be a great storyteller, but she’s no Shakespeare. Her books, though enthralling, weren’t written for academic study. It’s an injustice to Britain’s true literary greats to pretend otherwise.
Leigh Bardugo had this to say:
“What bugs me is that people seem incapable of talking about a single work w/out slamming the entire genre (with antiquated half-assed ideas).”
And, possibly reflecting Stephanie and my feelings more adequately:
“We are coming. And we have EFFING BROADSWORDS. You should be scared, you reductive asshats.”
Sarah Rees Brennan also had some interesting comments:
“Ugh, no Shakespeare. ‘Not written by someone dead more than 100 years, and she’s a LADY, and it’s for KIDS!'”
Then she posted this video – which we feel will be educational for all involved.
Debate about Harry Potter literature:
I know, right? What is the world coming to?
“Although The CW didn’t pick up the Aimee Teegarden pilot The Selection for its 2012-2013 season, Deadline reports that the network hasn’t given up on spinning Kiera Cass’s dystopian book trilogy into a TV series. An epic romance set 300 years in the future, The Selection centers on a young woman (Aimee Teegarden) who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to marry a prince and become the next queen of a war-torn nation.
Sounds a lot like The Hunger Games, no? Well, that’s the idea, and it’s no wonder The CW wants to try again with this one, since it succeeded big-time when it capitalized on the Twilight craze with The Vampire Diaries. According to Deadline, the network is looking to redevelop The Selection pilot, most likely with Aimee still playing the lead. CW president Mark Pedowitz tells the site, “I truly believe that there is a series in The Selection.””
“Though like think of how shitty this pilot must have been for the CW to reject it.Mull that over.”
SOURCE – Oh No They Didn’t blog
More Tragedy Strikes the book world!
Jean Craighead George, a Newbery Award-winning writer for young people whose books brought the natural world from the Catskill Mountains to the Alaskan tundra to wild, luminous life, died on Tuesday in Mount Kisco, N.Y. She was 92.
The author of more than 100 fiction and nonfiction titles that have collectively sold millions of copies, Ms. George was best known for two novels for older children, “My Side of the Mountain” (1959), which she also illustrated, and “Julie of the Wolves” (1972), illustrated by John Schoenherr. That book won the Newbery Medal — considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s letters — in 1973.
First Maurice Sendak, and now Jean Craighead George!
SOURCE: The New York Times
Carlos Fuentes, who has died aged 83, was the most influential Mexican novelist of his generation and a catalyst for the literary explosion that introduced Latin American writers to a worldwide audience.
“…he examined his country’s history, its revolution, the corruption of power and the dilemma of national identity. He addressed his country’s uneasy, shifting relationship with its northern neighbour, the United States, and celebrated the cultural and linguistic re-colonisation of territory such as California, that had been appropriated in the 19th century. These were interests that rippled outwards, developing into a metaphor that reflected Latin America’s relationship to the rest of the world.”
SOURCE: The Telegraph
“The company, based in Boston, listed assets and debt of more than $1 billion each in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. More than 20 affiliates also entered bankruptcy, including Broderbund LLC and Classroom Connect Inc.”
Fake Editor’s comments on the matter?
“Reading the bankruptcy statement from Houghton Mifflin. Suppliers and employees get paid. Authors get “no disruption to relationships” Which I read as authors, you’ll still have to fight tooth and nail for your royalties and good luck getting advances now.”
That’s right. We here at Cuddlebuggery get most of our opinions for twitter accounts prefaced with the word “fake”. We’re just that good.
Mandy DeGeit blogs about her experience with Undead Press for the publication of her title She Makes Me Smile.
The book, part of a larger anthology arrives and she is greeted with this unpleasant experience:
There’s a spelling mistake in the title of my story. *(Not from my submission however… They changed it to wrong.)
“She Make’s Me Smile” by Mandy J. De Geit
Well that made me sad, but okay the Mandy part is kinda cool. Let’s see the story itself…
ARGH!!! Same mistake on the title page. Fack, She Make is Me Smile… Really?
However, had that been the only, mortifying, issue then perhaps… no. It would still be horrific. But it gets worse.
They changed my story without telling me. Let’s see: They turned a non-gendered character into a boy, they named the best friend, they created a memory for the main character about animal abuse. They added a suggestion of rape at the end…
This is the response from Anthony Giangregorio:
“wow, i truly cant believe that e,mail. you go girl. this one one hell of a story about dealing with unstable writers
on the contract, it clearly says publisher has the right to EDIT work. you signed it. are you saying you are a dishonest and immoral person and will now try to deny you signed the contract? well i have a copy right here
and as for the story. the editor had a hard time with it, it was very rough and he did alot to make it readable. despite what you think, your writing has a long way to go before its worthy of being printed professionally.
we did what we had to do to make the story printable. you should be thankful, not complaining. ah, the ungrateful writer, gotta love it
the contract also says any disagreements you have about the contract must be filed legally in Massachusetts and when you lose, you must pay all court costs.
so, we are done here. any more correspondences from you must be from your lawyer. i will then send any of those letters to my lawyer and they can hash it out as i dont waste my time arguing with writers over legalities. thats what lawyers are for.
you are so funny. thanks for this email, it truly made my day.”
Perhaps a break in the narrative should be taken at this point to illuminate on the fact that any publisher who writes like this, even in casual emails, should probably not be trusted with your baby.
You can read the rest of Many DeGeit’s tale here. There aren’t any screengrabs up on her site and we only have a very partial story so far, but other authors who have dealt with this press have come forward with similar stories.
It should be noted that before signing with ANY press, a good place to go is AbsoluteWrite’s Bewares, Recommendations, & Background Checks forum is an invaluable tool.
A self-published author posted her opinion, defense and top tips for encouraging reviewers to change their negative reviews and up the star rating.
Of course, you won’t actually find any of these reviews there now—at least, not exactly, and not with the 1-star ratings they were originally given. Why? Because when I got my first 1-star review back in 2010, I didn’t close my eyes, “wish upon a star,” and hope it would all go away.
That sound you heard was my internal groaning manifesting itself into physical form.
The author claims that this is because she is keeping their money and feels POORLY for them and is thus doing them a favour by contacting them.
And she goes out of her way to assure us that:
In fact, never has my attempt to reach out to a reader resulted in a negative outcome. Deafening silence, sure, but never negativity.
Really? Surprising but… okay, that’s at least a good thing. But then, what did you mean when you said:
I will describe—in painful, mortifying detail—the worst reviews I’ve ever received, the (often heated) exchanges with the readers that followed.
So… never a negative outcome for you? Or for them? I think I’d like a clarification on that one.
I think the best response to this post is made by, none other than, Stacia Kane.
And quote of the day:
6. Not only do I think Lisa in Omaha deserves a book that’s as good as I can possibly make it right from the get-go, I happen to think Lisa in Omaha deserves the truth. The emotional truth. The intellectual truth. I think Lisa in Omaha deserves art for her seven bucks. I think Lisa in Omaha deserves to read a book that actually fucking means something. To me. Hopefully to her.
Lisa deserves to read fiction that stands for something and that says something, written by an author who stands for something and has something to say. I don’t care what genre you write in or what genre you read; at its core, in the most basic and honest and real fashion, fiction is about telling the truth. It is about connecting with people; with people who read the book, with the person who wrote it.
I’m going to need a judge’s approval on that.
If that was your first dose of Ryan Gosling today, then you’re welcome.
Self-published author, M. R. Mathias had a little (or not so little) meltdown on Fantasy-Fiction.com.
When his posts, publicizing his own book, were moved to the self-published, small press forum, Mathias had this to say:
I am not a small press. I am an author with 18 titles for sale. That is more titles that some big publishing houses. I have advertising currently running in Locus, Publishers Weekly, Fantasy and Sci Fi, and Revolver magazines. I have blog advertising across the entire blog-o-sphere. I am not a small press or even self published. M. R. Mathias’ books are PUBLISHED by Michael Robb Mathias Jr. and should be treated no differently that any big named publishers title. WHY? Because I do my job as a publisher too. Please quit sending my posts into the self published/small press thread. My titles are neither. I have 92k twitter followers @DahgMahn and 10 titles in their genre bestselling list. There is nothing self pubbed, or small, about books written by M. R. Mathias.
M.R.Mathias’ publisher, Michael Robb Mathias Jr.
Jennie Ivins makes a valid reply when she responds with:
Small Press is defined by Wikipedia (related to US publishers) as a publishing house that makes under $50 million dollars a year and publishes fewer than 10 titles a year. Unless you are making and publishing more than that, in the US, you are considered a Small Press publisher. There is nothing wrong with being a small press publisher. If you look purely at the numbers a company could make $40 million dollars a year and publish 9 books a year and still be considered small press. That does not make them less successful or the work they publish less important. But it still means they are small press.
But this is mostly lost on the author in question who went on to tweet and tag Fantasy Fiction as Nazis. You can read about it here.
You can read the post here*.
It is still unclear if Cross knew about Sirengate and was aware of it before the guest post went up. But the move by TSS to post it has caused something of a scandal on Twitter.
*The link posted above does not go to The Story Siren but to an image of the blogpost for people to read and determine for themselves how they feel about it.
*There has been one other drama this week that we will not be covering today on Cuddlebuggery. We will be delving into it in much more detail this week so stay tuned.