Buzz Worthy News
Welcome to this week’s Buzz Worthy News! Where Sir Peter Stothard is calling the bloggerpocalypse, The Casual Vacancy is released and causes me heart palpitations, someone is messing with Wuthering Heights – AGAIN, and I’m running a competition on who can best make fun of Stan Lee. All this and much, much more. Read on to find out everything that’s been happening in the book world this week.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly Monday news post. Bringing you all the most interesting, relevant and fun news from the publishing and book blogging world.
Buzz Worthy News 1st October 2012
The Bloggerpocalypse is coming – and you are not prepared
So, as happens every now and again, someone in the literary world got their knickers in a twist. This one particular time it’s Sir Peter Stothard who is wringing his hands, clutching his pearls and blaming bloggers for the decline of literary criticism industry, and moans about the decline of literature in general. Some agree because…reasons?
Statistics from that day showed a significant portion of bloggers giving Stothard the finger and a 30% increase in juvenile name calling, i.e. “Sir Strokehard”.
Some bloggers responded, such as Bibliophilic Monologues. We took the laugh and close page approach to dealing with whiny literary critics. Besides, he wouldn’t be interested in our opinion anyway because we’re scummy bloggers ekking out our existence in the literary world like the mud farmers in Monty Python. But if he is ever interested then I’m sure we can scrawl it with some crayons on some butcher’s paper and send it for his perusal.
The Casual Vacancy Came Out and I don’t know who to believe…
J.K. Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy came out this week and despite Steph’s desperate prayers and pleading, it was not a Harry Potter book for adults.
The book launch was a rocky one with widely swinging reviews ranging from, “IhateitIhateitIhateit!!!!!” and “IloveitIloveitIloveit!” Who to trust? Who to believe? Some of the one star reviews were about the high price of the ebook and we have thus concluded that they were probably written by Australians. Moaning about the high price of ebooks has because a national Australian past time.
From the New York Times:
“Unfortunately, the real-life world she has limned in these pages is so willfully banal, so depressingly clichéd that “The Casual Vacancy” is not only disappointing — it’s dull.”
The Guardian, on the other hand, has stated:
“The Casual Vacancy is no masterpiece, but it’s not bad at all: intelligent, workmanlike, and often funny,” said Theo Tait in the Guardian newspaper.
“The worst you could say about it, really, is that it doesn’t deserve the media frenzy surrounding it. And who nowadays thinks that merit and publicity have anything do with each other?”-SOURCE
The ebook had formatting issues that Hachette has had to fix. So if you bought an early copy, and yours has issues, you can find out how to have it replaced here.
Berlanti is messing with Wuthering Heights – Tread carefully, dude
Whilst simultaneously triggering a discussion on what is everyone’s favourite version of Wuthering Heights, and causing mass panic to our readers – I bring you the news that Greg Berlanti is screwing around with our Bronte. Are people actually allowed to still do that?! Isn’t there a statute of limitations on how much you’re allowed to destroy a piece of literature with bad remakes?
This remake is being set in the Napa Valley because… GOD I DON’T KNOW! WHY?! WHY!?!?!?!
It’s going to be written by Tom Donaghy because… GOD I D- actually I have no idea who this is so really can’t comment on whether this is a good or bad thing.
Melissa Kellner Berman is going to coproduce it. I guess I can kind of live with that.
Actually, no, I can’t live with any of it! Make it stop! *weeps*
Caption This and win something, I guess
See this picture of Stan lee? Caption it and post it as a comment here.
Why? Well, apparently maybe there might be a prize or two. Maybe?
The contest (semi kind of maybe contest) is to promote a new joint venture between Stan Lee and Moonshark – Verticus.
Okay, if you want to be lazy – I have some suggestions:
“Did I fart or shit, private? Tell me at 0800!”
“How dare you say Peter Selleck has a better moustache, sonny!”
“Tell Hugh Hefner there’s only room for one old bastard in pop culture.”
“What does it matter that I haven’t written much since the 70’s? You will still worship me!”
Give us your best shot in the comments and the best one will maybe, kind of, probably win something. Or not.
You mess with the Penguin, you’re going to get the lawyer
So, you want to write a book. You pitch it to Penguin, they give you your advance and you run off into the sunset.
Nah huh! You’d BETTER write that book, my friend, or Penguin will come to collect!
So, who is Penguin taking to court right now for dodging their writerly commitments?
* “Prozac Nation” author Elizabeth Wurtzel, who signed a $100,000 deal in 2003 to write “a book for teenagers to help them cope with depression.” Penguin wants Wurtzel, seen at right, to return her $33,000 advance (and at least $7500 in interest).
* Blogger Ana Marie Cox, who signed in 2006 to author a “humorous examination of the next generation of political activists,” is being dunned for her $81,250 advance (and at least $50,000 in interest). Her Penguin contract totaled $325,000.
* Rebecca Mead, a staff writer at The New Yorker, owes $20,000 (and at least $2000 in interest), according to Penguin, which struck a $50,000 deal in 2003 for “a collection of the author’s journalism.”
* Holocaust survivor Herman Rosenblat was signed for $40,000 in 2008 to describe how he “survived a concentration camp because of a young girl who snuck him food. 17 years later the two met on a blind date and have been together ever since, married 50 years.” While Rosenblat’s story was hailed by Oprah Winfrey as the “single greatest love story” she had told on the air, it turned out to be a fabrication. Penguin wants him to repay a $30,000 advance (and at least $10,000 in interest).
* “Hip-Hop Minister” Conrad Tillard signed an $85,000 Penguin contract in 2005 for a memoir about his “epic journey from the Ivy League to the Nation of Islam,” and his subsequent falling out with Louis Farrakhan. The publishing house’s lawsuit is seeking the repayment of about $38,000 from Tillard. –SOURCE
The AAP VS The ALA for Heavy Weight Champion Title and the best use of the letter A title
So, a week ago the ALA president Maureen Sullivan released an open letter to three publishers criticizing them for their discriminatory practices.
“To deny these library users access to ebooks that are available to others – and which libraries are eager to purchase on their behalf – is discriminatory.” = Coathanger to the throat!
The APP responded by saying, “publishers support the concept of e-lending but must solve a breadth of complex technological, operational, financial and other challenges to make it a reality.” = the chair to the head!
“It’s a rare thing in a free market when a customer is refused the ability to buy a company’s product and is told its money is “no good here.” Surprisingly, after centuries of enthusiastically supporting publishers’ products, libraries find themselves in just that position with purchasing ebooks from three of the largest publishers in the world. Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin have been denying access to their ebooks for our nation’s 112,000 libraries and roughly 169 million public library users.” = the ALA jumping off the ropes and smashing the AAP’s face into the floor.
“And while the 9000-plus library systems’ non-profit status permits them to convene, debate and reach consensus on these issues, commercial publishers cannot likewise come together due to antitrust restrictions.” = That was a SLUG to the face!
Read the ALA‘s letter here and the AAP‘s response here. Who do you think is right?
By Peter Selleck did you happen to mean Tom? Lol
I’m torn by JKs new book. I want to read it… I know it’s not potter for the grown ups… But there are so many neg reviews, even though I’ve noticed a lot of them are from the YA community.
And Sir Peter Ballache can go forth and multiply in short jerky movements. The fact remains that every reader is entitled to an opinion and is entitled to share that opinion if they so wish. If he doesn’t like it then maybe he needs to drag his arse into the 21st century and realize that if literary critics actually wrote about their emotional responses to the books they’re paid to read, then people would care more. But there again, if they did that they’d be just like us wouldn’t they?
As for him saying he averaged 20 or so books a year and more is unnatural… Dude I read more than that in a matter of months. Maybe you should.. Y’know try enjoying what you do? Get some passion into it maybe? Miserable bastard.
Fucking ipad not formatting my shit.
@Archer You crack me up! 😀
The Peter Selleck thing was totally believable — I thought I had gotten it wrong in my head. Kat you good..sooo good. That Stothard thing is hilarious…instead of pissing me off it made me crack up when I read that article. Especially when they started citing his reasons for being such a literary blowhard. The Sir hasn’t ever watched movies, and he married a novelist, had a novelist child and practically shits novels every morning as his daily constitutional. In fact as we were doing this interview he fed me novels dipped in tea…It made me seriously question if it was thinly veiled, dry sarcasm, or if the reporter actually believed it…
Still up in the air on The Casual Vacancy. I don’t know if I’m ready to read a meh novel from JK.
SL Photo Caption: It wasn’t me. Whoever smelt it, dealt it.
Why does that WHARRGARBL picture never get less hilarious?
The only person I know who’s already tried The Casual Vacancy DNFed from boredom.
Oh dear. Napa Valley? Really?
Penguin should totally be doing what it’s doing. I mean, those guys got PAID.
People should be able to get e-books from libraries. It’s just stupid. I get why they might not want to, because people might steal them. That’s totally possible. However, if someone wants an ebook and it’s not at their library, they’ll probably go to google and search for ‘[insert book title here pdf],’ so they’re not exactly helping anything. At least library downloads can be tracked and libraries pay for use.
@cynicalsapphire I loved that photo too. It made me giggle as did Sir Strokehard.
So much good stuff this week! Regarding Sir Strokehard: People like that are only talking to themselves (or the very few others like them). Ask the readers if they give a crap. We don’t.
Regarding Wuthering Heights: I never understood the obsession with that book. I’ve been happily married for 6 years and I just don’t get the weird idea that love can make people act like that… despite every movie and book that tells me otherwise. (Although, I will admit I read a lot of books that I think have strange ideas about love and still enjoy them. Maybe it’s just that I didn’t find either of the MCs all that likeable.)
Regarding ebooks in the library: I’m all for it, of course. Ebooks are so freaking expensive! I’m a person that normally won’t spend more than 5 bucks on a book, and that is one that I can hold in my hand and lend out to my friends with no restrictions. <begin rant>This is the dying moan of a dinosaur age to me. Publishers are terrified of ebooks and digital media and piracy. And rightly so. But iTunes showed us that piracy can be mostly eliminated by REASONABLE PRICING. There is so much potential for them to make scads and scads of money, since there is no such thing as a used ebook. But whatever.<end rant>
As a bookseller I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked if a Casual Vacancy is good, or “selling well” (side note, just because we have those books up to our necks does not mean they aren’t selling. It’s called forethought).
First off, A Casual Vacancy is NOT HARRY POTTER. You will not find whimsical, vivid imagery in Rowling’s new book. She is a wonderful story teller, so you can expect a decent book, but to expect this great wonderful holy grail again is setting yourself up for failure.
I think that’s why you have such strong reactions, either way.
Casual Vacancy…damned by faint praise. Not a book I’d buy but I might check it out from the library at some point when I have a day to kill. Meh.
Ah, the vast moors of Napa Valley…
Love the WHARRGARBL picture, makes me laugh every time.
This whole ebook library thing really chaps my ass. Those three need to pull themselves into this decade and accept the fact that they can’t control all pirates. If other publishers have managed ebook lending through Overdrive, why can’t they? Because they’re scared.
“Moaning about the high price of ebooks has because a national Australian past time.” HAVE YOU BEEN TWITTER STALKING ME, KENNEDY? O__o (seriously, though, $27 for an eBook when I paid $20 for the hardcover… eh). And I DID hear a few Americans complaining about $18… and, well, yeah 😛 I’M SHUTTING UP NOW I SWEAR IT.
And how DARE those terrible, nasty dystopic monsters at Penguin expect services to be rendered for payment :O WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?
Sir Strokehard can suck it…but I think giving him the reactions he so clearly wants to bring about with such utterances of nonsense, well, abstaining from giving him those reactions- he will just fade away into the Waterloo Sunset. Let’s hope. Bloggers will still be here, blogging. One ding-dong won’t stop us.
I don’t feel right commenting about the E-books since I really don’t do them..so I will silence myself. The world applauds(as they should).
Berlanti- leave Bronte be.
Casual Vacancy- would be on my bookshelf if I bought it. I have read it, I have sold it since last Thursday, but I have no desire to read it. The great thing about authors is their ability to venture into other genres and capture new and old fans alike. I have read the premise of the book, I even took it on break to read the first chapter, it just didn’t grab me at all. If someone asks me how it’s selling, I’m going to be honest with them. It IS selling, but Harry Potter it definitely is not.
Penguin is right to get their money from those authors- they were paid to do a book, write the book, or return the money. Honor system is still valid in some parts of the literary world. Apparently Penguin subscribes to that newsletter. However, I will bitch-slap Penguin for being one of the three not letting libraries have access to E-books. That’s just wrong.
“Not everyone’s opinion is worth the same.”
Including his. Suck it.