This week on Buzz Worthy News: Maureen Johnson won the internet with her Coverflip competition, the Sookie Stackhouse series has come to an end and people are pissed about it, City of Ashes and Insurgent are set to become movies, Yes your book cover is important so make sure you get it right and controversies, controversies, controversies. All this and so read on to check it out!
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two. For new releases and cover reveals of all the best Young Adult fiction, check out our Sunday post: How New Titles.
Maureen Johnson Wins the Internet for the Week
This week Maureen Johnson did something kind of awesome. She tweeted:
This one tweet kind of flipped out the internet – who mostly rushed to agree with Maureen’s complaint that novels written by women are discriminated against in regards to the cover.
“The simple fact of the matter is, if you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s “girly,” which is somehow inherently different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it.”
She hosted a contest for people to do cover flips on famous books, imagining the gender of the author had been flipped and how that would effect the promotional cover given to it.
My favourite ones:
Coverflip has caught fire as it blazes across the publishing world. Probably fueled by a growing league of female authors sick of their novels being given the soft sell and a largely female book blogger community passionate about rectifying the gender imbalance in the book publishing world. Maureen Johnson has been approached by a radio station keen to talk about it. Her post went up on the HuffPo and well as posting about it on her blog. Coverflip has also inspired others as they discuss the injustice done to many great female authors, like in this Guardian article.
The First Annual Book Bloggies has been announced to honour book bloggers. Which we could certainly use some honouring. Someone honour me, please. I need some good honouring. And I don’t mean honouring with a nomination. I think a good, alcoholic beverage would do.
JKSCommunications, a literary publicity company, has organized the First Annual Book Bloggies Awards to honor book bloggers.
For four categories, the winners will be determined by readers’ votes: Biggest Variety, Most Creative Features, Best Indie Reviewer, and Most Eye-Catching Blog Layout. A deadline has been set for midnight on May 14th.
I guess my first question would be: “That icon? Really? That’s what you’re using to promote it?
“In addition to your votes in those separate categories, the JKS team will be choosing one overall winner as the 2013 Miss/Mr. Book Bloggie of the Year. Recipients of each award will be announced May and each will receive a special award to commemorate this honor!”
Good to know that, having said that, Cuddlebuggery will now never win.
The End of the Sookie Stackhouse Series Has Come – Peeps Be Pissed
It’s been thirteen years since the Sookie Stackhouse series first blasted its way into the world with its sassy, brave, small-town waitress from Bon Temps and her many paranormal mysteries/dramas. One of the biggest controversies amongst fans has been who Sookie ends up with, because there were certainly a few to pick from.
Eric is the only option I’ll accept though. Sam fans to the left, please.
But with the last book set for release, and with the ending spoiled for thousands and thousands of fans, some are finding the final romantic choice to be a contestable one. All this culminating in at least one suicide threat for Harris even daring to end Sookie’s long overdue finale.
“I’m very fortunate that people are so invested in the series,” Harris told the Wall Street Journal. “At the same time, it can be a source of some anxiety to get emails that say, ‘If Sookie doesn’t end up with Eric, I’m going to kill myself.’”
Farewell Sookie! We had good times, we had bad times, but the memories remain.
Barnes & Noble stock went up 20% yesterday after rumours floated that Microsoft was planning on acquiring it’s Nook stuff.
“The technology website TechCrunch reported that Microsoft, which already owns 17% of Nook Media, was proposing a $1bn offer to buy Nook’s digital assets. Microsoft acquired its stake in the Nook Media unit a little more than a year ago in a deal that valued the entire business at $1.7bn. But Nook Media sales have been disappointing. Sales dropped 26% in the last three months as Nook sold fewer digital readers and tablets and had to cut prices.”
I dunno, Microsoft. This rumour makes me a little uncomfortable.
But I can’t describe it. It’s like there’s a spider in the room but I’m not sure what type or how close it is or if it was really just my imagination.
JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE PLANNING?!
Yes, Your Book Cover is Important
So, you’re going to publish your book and you need to get that cover on it before you’re ready to go. But, ultimately, a cover is just a cover! It’s the words that are important, folks! All that print is what really makes your story!
Well, yeah, but if you want to sell? Then you’d better make sure that cover is awesome.
“Self-published novelist R.L. Mathewson initially published Playing for Keeps with a plain blue and white cover, but saw a significant sales spike in the iBookstore once she added a steamy Shutterstock photo to her cover.”
What was this significant sales spike? Well, it only went from 5-10 copies sold daily (not a bad effort, mind you!) But between May 29th and July 7th it became a NYT best seller, hitting 1766 book sales a day in the time the sales were charted. That’s… wow.
What Mathewson had to say about book covers:
“The new covers caught the readers eye and it helped clear up any confusion they may have had about the books. The new cover along with the price helped the books sell. I would say that you should avoid covers that cause confusion, are horrible to look at, too plain, or too over the top. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good cover, but you do need something that can help draw attention to your book and intrigue someone to take a chance on your work.”
I dunno, still seems like a pretty shitty book cover to me – but what do I know?! Nothing, apparently.
City of Ashes Movie. It Will Happen.
Despite your best efforts and protests, this is happening. It’s really happening. The City of Ashes, second book of the Mortal Instrument series, will be a movie.
“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones opens this August, and fans of the original book by Cassandra Clare have been eagerly awaiting the adaptation.
Sony must be happy with how City of Bones turned out considering the sequel is already in development. They must also think there’s enough positive anticipation to warrant a sequel. It looks like they hope to begin shooting the City of Ashes movie later this year.”
Delirium Pilot Rejected
I hope you enjoyed those dreams of a Delirium TV Show, because it looks like they’re not as close as they were before. Fox has rejected the Delirium Pilot based on the series of the same name by Lauren Oliver. Although, the people working on the Delirium Pilot shouldn’t feel too bad. It was a big day of pilot rejection for the station.
Fox has decided to not move forward with Delirium, an ambitious sci-fi novel adaptation starring Emma Roberts as a 17-year-old in a dystopian future where love is outlawed. Billy Campbell also starred. The pilot was based on the bestselling young adult novels by Lauren Oliver. Instead Fox ordered J.J. Abrams’ robot cops drama, a Sleepy Hollow series, and two others.
Um, you aren’t going to try again, Fox?! Delirium, despite my issues with the series, would still probably make an alright TV show. Better than a lot of the shit you put on!
Insurgent Movie Sequel Also on the Way!
Insurgent looks like it, too, will become a movie with the announcement coming this week that a screenwriter has been brought on board. Trufax, I still haven’t read Insurgent.
Word of a script in development is great news even though Insurgent hasn’t been officially green lit for production (as far as we know). We assume that Summit will want to get filming underway for Insurgent later this year or early next consider the script is already being prepared. We’d expect the Insurgent movie will open in theaters in spring or summer 2015.
As Per the Promises of the Pre-Trailer of Ender’s Game, Here’s the Trailer
Are you ready for it yet? I mean spiritually as well as physically? Okay, well, I’m not one of the people actually gearing up to watch it, but in case you are – here’s the trailer.
You know when you start your argument with, “Why I think I have the right to describe the majority of published work as garbage” that there’s a problem, and it isn’t teh eville gatekeepers.
Want more gems?
“The haughty standards put up by the gatekeepers is nothing more than a smokescreen masking their utter contempt for the unsolicited slush-pile entry.”
I don’t even know what to say in response to this. I guess my advice would be to go out and make some friends with people in publishing? See the shit they have to go through and the hard work they put in.
And, I think there are some red flags here. I mean, if someone is this unhinged before even getting published, then I don’t want to see that ego unleashed when the bad reviews start coming in.
It did not end well.
This week Geoffrey Girard blogged about a negative review he received from popular YA reviewer, Blythe. Blythe’s review can be found here. Geoffrey pulled some of the content for his blogpost from her GR review and her twitter comments about his book.
This Goodreads member read about 40 pages of Project Cain before giving two thumbs way down, specifically targeting the dry style, “info dumping,” and a couple direct addresses to the reader. Things I put in the book deliberately so Project Cain would not be exactly like all those other YA books — which clearly failed for this reader.
But I also sold this novel on proposal alone, submitting only the first 40 pages as a sample of what I had in mind. The exact same 40 pages so hated by this reader for not being the book she thought it was going to be. The same 40 that got me a major agent, a major publisher and a major deal in less than two months. Because the writing stood out from all the other three thousand books that came in that month. My 40 pages were different.
Blythe had actually read 40% of the book as opposed to just 40 pages. Disagreements occurred in the comments with Girard posting an explanation after several readers responded to his post.
Leon Jenner wants to hit back at the bullies. Those evil, roaming readers desperate to tear down any hard working, innocent author they can get their clutches on. Here is one such bully reviewer for his book:
“I need to talk about the main positive of Bricks by Leon Jenner. It is presented beautifully. It is a lush hardback, with lovely black and white illustrations within. The paper is thick and feels delicious to turn the pages.
It is just such a shame that the interior words cannot match up to the exterior. In all honesty, I found the prose to be dry and with little flow or passion. At times it was overly pretentious – showcasing what seemed to be 101 philosophy with little relation to the overall story.
And the poetry! In a very slim novel, some of the poetry stretched to four pages worth of text, which is hard to take in what is supposed to be a story – particularly when said poetry isn’t of a great quality.
I found myself both bored and confused by the plot, which is not a good mix. I struggled to the end, to be sure that there was nothing that I was missing, but I can say that this was wasted effort.
Dull, dull, dull – and definitely not worth the rather hefty price tag for the hardback.”
So naturally Jenner responded – obviously simply defending himself from such a vicious and uncalled for attack.
“Been trying to find your published works but after twenty months I can’t find anything! I phoned up up the people who organise the Booker prize but the helpful lady on the telephone couldn’t find anything and I went through the Society of Authors member list but couldn’t find you there either! I told them that their system must be wrong, but they wouldn’t have it! So I suppose you must write under a pseudonym? Could you let me know what it is so that I can pick up some tips from you?”
It kind of descended from there tbh. When people criticized Jenner’s decision to throw feces over such an uneventful review, Jenner responded with:
“I’ve taken on board what you’ve said. I’m going to pop down to the local hospital tomorrow and review some open heart surgery.”
Totally equivocal, dude. Brilliant argument.
“For those who are able to create, the perceived wisdom is to keep a dignified silence when their work is criticised.
But those who act with maliciousness and bitterness are becoming too many.
The trolls operate from the subtle to the obvious and are no more than bullies prowling for victims. They may join together clicking on `like’ or `yes’ buttons like a gang and they write their comments using personal insults, feeling as if they have composed an aria of wisdom quite unaware that they are tone deaf. Some may even delete their comments, unable to stand by what they have written and most hide behind another identity.
Not one of the trolls cares about the man trying to support his young family, of the passion, of the late nights of work on top of a physically demanding and tenuous day job, of sometimes only writing five words a day whilst your little girl is crying for her father, of looking at your little boy and hoping that you can tell him truthfully that it is possible for him to do what he wants in life.
Would any of you walk up to me in the street with my wife and children and call me names and insult my work. No, because in the real world people don’t behave like that.
The good people have been silent for too long and I wish so much that they would find their united voice and fight back against the bullies, for the bullies are cowards who want only to diminish the passion of others.
The world is in dire need of the positive and I believe that the time has come to fight the bullies.
This is my final word and I will not be looking at these comments again.”
Damn right, man! Fight those bullies!
You can see the whole thing here.
Don’t Like a Book? Better Check PW and Kirkus Before Writing Your Review
It can be so hard to be an author. Even if you do all the right things, manage to keep your mouth shut against a riptide of negative reviews, stay cool and calm etc, someone else can still screw it up for you. In this case, your agent.
On Renae M’s review of Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe, agent Bob Diforio decided to even it out its harsh criticism by posting Kirkus’ and PW’s reviews in the comment section.
Not a great PR move, really. Though he did quickly apologize and admit that it was a not-great thing to do.
You can read it all for yourself here.