The Nobel Prize people tease us about the possible candidates for this year’s prize, J.K. Rowling is being awesome (again), Nebula Awards winners happen, Amazon is pissing off everyone in publishing methodically AND more of The Vampire Academy gets cast! All this and more 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.
The crazy, outrageous book awards part of the year is continuing at a steady pace since… actually, book awards tend to pretty nicely occupy most of the year. BUT the big one. The BIG award. The Nobel prize for literature is on its way. I know you’re as excited to see what your favourite authors will be wearing to the award ceremony as I am! Okay, no. That’s not a real thing either. But Nobel is big news and the nominees for the literature category were teased this week pending their announcement.
Five authors have made it to the last round, unfortunately there was no phone in votes allowed. But, keeping with the times, the final list was tweeted about by the committee.
What do you think are the chances that I’ll win?
Hang onto your britches, people. This is HUGE.
J.K. Rowling is auctioning off an annotated copy of The Philosopher’s Stone. This is a re-release First Edition with 22 illustrations and includes her hand written notes. This edition is only one of 500 to be released. Which means I am officially looking for people to purchase one or both of my children to cover the purchasing of this book!
The proceeds will go to English PEN, which is a writer’s association:
“We campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk.
We work to remove inequalities, where they exist, which prevent people’s enjoyment and learning from literature. We match writers with marginalised groups such as people in prisons in the UK, in refugee or detention centres and young people in disadvantaged areas, opening minds to reading and creative writing.”
So what could the lucky (read: rich) winner expect to find when they claim their prize?
Annotations in Philosopher’s Stone include: “Perhaps Hufflepuff house would have the respect it deserves from fans if I’d stayed with my original idea of a bear to represent it?”
Holy shit was that an intense wait for the Nebula Winners to be decided! But it’s happened and the winners are:
Winner: 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
Ironskin by Tina Connolly (Tor)
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Roc)
Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Winner: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
“The Stars Do Not Lie” by Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
“All the Flavors” by Ken Liu (GigaNotoSaurus 2/1/12) COMPLETE
“Katabasis” by Robert Reed (F&SF 11-12/12)
“Barry’s Tale” by Lawrence M. Schoen (Buffalito Buffet) COMPLETE
Winner: “Close Encounters” by Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)
“The Pyre of New Day” by Catherine Asaro (The Mammoth Books of SF Wars)
“The Waves” by Ken Liu (Asimov’s 12/12)
“The Finite Canvas” by Brit Mandelo (Tor.com 12/5/12) COMPLETE
“Swift, Brutal Retaliation” by Meghan McCarron (Tor.com 1/4/12) COMPLETE
“Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia” by Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com 8/22/12) COMPLETE
“Fade to White” by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12) COMPLETE
Winner: “Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12) COMPLETE
“Robot” by Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12) COMPLETE
“Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes” by Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12) COMPLETE
“Nanny’s Day” by Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12) COMPLETE
“Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream” by Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12) COMPLETE
“The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” by Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12) COMPLETE
“Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain” by Cat Rambo (Near + Far) COMPLETE
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Winner: Fair Coin by E.C. Myers (Pyr)
Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
Black Heart by Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz)
Above by Leah Bobet (Levine)
The Diviners by Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
Every Day by David Levithan (Alice A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
Railsea by China Mieville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Above World by Jenn Reese (Candlewick)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Winner: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (director), Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Abilar (writers), (Journeyman/Cinereach/Court 13/Fox Searchlight )
The Avengers, Joss Whedon (director) and Joss Whedon and Zak Penn (writers), (Marvel/Disney)
The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard (director), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (writers) (Mutant Enemy/Lionsgate)
The Hunger Games, Gary Ross (director), Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray writers), (Lionsgate)
John Carter, Andrew Stanton (director), Michael Chabon, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Stanton (writers), (Disney)
Looper, Rian Johnson (director), Rian Johnson (writer), (FilmDistrict/TriStar)
Just some comments:
E.C. Meyers imma let you finish in a minute, but Rachel Hartman wrote the best novel ever! *Runs off stage*
Also, how could Avengers not win? Just because there were parts of it that were frankly ridiculous (including a scene where all the characters are speaking to each other over long distance while NONE of them have any ear pieces in) But still? Or Hunger Games? Obviously I need to watch Beasts of the Southern Wild and it had better KICK ASS!
Don’t even get me started on how John Carter was even nominated because that’s a disgrace to everyone involved.
The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Founded as the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1965 by Damon Knight, the organization began with a charter membership of 78 writers; it now has over 1,500 members, among them many of the leading writers of science fiction and fantasy.
A Brief Review:
It’s easy to login and create a user for yourself. Downside? I can’t register as an Australian. Only “Other country”. Thanks for the diversity, BookLikes!
Then it gives you options as to what kind of experience you want to have. Blogging, Collect & Organize your Books, and Keeping Track of your Reading Life (Basically status updates on what you’re reading and how you’re liking it) You can check on uncheck any of these.
Once you set up the capacity in which you want to use the site, things get a little complicated. The feed wasn’t filled with my friends but with random people that I didn’t realize I had to uncheck from following. One of those random people was Bird Brian from Goodreads, so I wasn’t too offended, but there’s an inherent issue with the formatting. The feed contains each person’s entire post. On Goodreads, people can post long reviews because only a small portion will show up in the feed – not so for Booklikes. So there is a lot of scrolling.
Booklikes operates differently to Goodreads in that it is more like the illicit love child of Goodreads and Tumblr. A good option for those who get annoyed at the rampant complaining on Goodreads about people posting photos and such. It’s encouraged on Booklikes.
It’s pretty easy to use, but not quite as easy or simplistic as Goodreads.
When I signed in, before I got my welcome email, I received notification that I was being followed by someone already. Curious, I opened the email. It was BookLikes. BookLikes was following me. I had such horrendous Tom from Myspace flashbacks that I closed the screen and haven’t returned.
Apparently the site has been in beta for 8 months, I would say they spent that time building a reasonably useable option for dissatisfied Goodreads users. Provided they’re prepared to spend some time readjusting and they don’t mind liberally using their scroll function.
Both recent Booklikes transferees that I spoke to last night had problems importing their Goodreads libraries. For a short time it broke the site for them, and then they received estimates of about 23-46 hours to upload their books…
Your reading choice may indicate how much of an uncontrollable slutface you are. And luckily there’s a website out there to study such a thing (poorly) and release the results so that horny studs looking for an easy hook up can use that information to track you down like a lion does a gazelle.
Welcome to the illustrious site that is Miss Travel.
It all began innocently enough when Gwynn and her colleagues decided to ask the site’s 47,230 female users about their reading habits. “We wanted to find out if our users are readers,” she reports. “We found out that they don’t read unless they’re traveling.”
Brandon Wade, the site’s founder and CEO, found that nugget interesting. “We wanted to take that information and see if we could find meaning behind the books they choose,” he said in a press release, “and use it help the guide man [sic] in his search for romance abroad.”
I’m legitimately wondering whether this site has a daily challenge for sexual creepiness that it must reach at all costs, or if it just comes naturally. Regardless, just briefly surfing their website is enough to make me use a year’s supply of purel so I’m done with this article.
Dan Brown’s new book, Inferno, is due out. Peeps. Booksellers are preparing themselves for a veritable horde of Brown-thirsty book purchasers to descend upon them. No doubt this will keep the book industry alive for another four weeks before it invariably collapses on itself due to a distinct lack of new Dan Brown novels.
But, you know, guys, all your mocking is making Dan Brown angry. And you don’t want to make him angry.
Thus comes the tale of poor, rich Dan Brown and how he survives the rush of horrible, nasty criticism!
The critics said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive. They said it was full of unnecessary tautology. They said his prose was swamped in a sea of mixed metaphors. For some reason they found something funny in sentences such as “His eyes went white, like a shark about to attack.” They even say my books are packed with banal and superfluous description, thought the 5ft 9in man. He particularly hated it when they said his imagery was nonsensical. It made his insect eyes flash like a rocket.
My god. That poor bastard!
Renowned author Dan Brown got out of his luxurious four-poster bed in his expensive $10 million house and paced the bedroom, using the feet located at the ends of his two legs to propel him forwards. He knew he shouldn’t care what a few jealous critics thought. His new book Inferno was coming out on Tuesday, and the 480-page hardback published by Doubleday with a recommended US retail price of $29.95 was sure to be a hit. Wasn’t it?
Find out how Dan Brown survived his anxious doubts amid his expensive lifestyle here!
Workers in Germany about to strike and strike hard at Amazon for better working conditions. You’d think that, whilst simultaneously strangling the book industry, they would actually treat their workers and employees well. I mean, if you’re going to be an evil, mega corporation then don’t blatantly ACT like it!
“Amazon employs around 9,000 people in Germany and has come under fire from trade union Verdi for refusing to implement a collective agreement on employment conditions, similar to other mail order and retail firms…The union is also pressing for higher basic pay and bigger supplements for night shifts.”
“In the eastern city of Leipzig, the union is calling for starting pay of 10.66 euros ($13.84) an hour, compared with 9.30 euros now. In Bad Hersfeld, they want pay of 9.83 euro to be increased to 12.18.”
$9.30 an hour?! My German Amazon employee peeps – please protest loud and hard because you are getting ripped off!
This is especially bad, Amazon, since you still don’t pay any tax in the UK…
A bunch of people got cast this week. Are you going to make me list them all? FINE.
The Weinstein Company‘s Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters has added the final pieces to its casting puzzle. Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland and Vikings’ Gabriel Byrne will now also be sinking their teeth into the movie based on the books by Richelle Mead. Byrne will play Victor, one of the leaders of the Academy while Hyland will play Natalie, Victor’s daughter and the best friend of the lead Rose and Lissa characters. Lucy Fry and Zoey Deutch have already been announced as Lissa and Rose. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Joely Richardson and Dominic Sherwood have also joined the film. Richardson will play Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi Vampires. Sherwood will be playing Christian, Lissa’s love interest.
This should make the movie somewhat more enjoyable for everyone under the age of 15.
Kendall Grey is Being Kendall Grey. Again.
This week in controversies was a doozy. Kendall Grey, author of the Inhale series and Strings, wrote a blog post about selling out. The post caused widespread condemnation amongst romance and erotica authors for Kendall’s derogatory remarks about the genre:
Selling Out 101 with @kendallgrey1
Selling Out 101
I self-published an urban fantasy trilogy last year. I spent four years writing it. I poured all kinds of money, time, and energy into that bugger. I did everything “They” tell you to do: blog tours, paid advertising, securing reviews, professional editing and cover design, book signings, pimping, pimping, pimping. I put way too much cash into making my books as perfect as they could be.
Okay, they didn’t really tank, but the output wasn’t remotely proportional to the input. I viewed the series as a bomb, despite good reviews and positive feedback from readers. The books just didn’t do what I needed them to do. They didn’t make money.
So, I went through all the stages of grief, and in the end I got angry. Anger is a great motivator for me. I looked at what was hitting the tops of the bestseller lists: Contemporary. New Adult. Erotica. None of my preferred genres. But I was so driven to prove to myself that I didn’t suck as a writer, I did something I swore I’d never do.
I sold out.
I wrote an erotica book.
It kicked my UF series’ ASS in sales and rankings.
Go effin’ figure.
Some hard truths came to light through this process. The biggest revelation was that as authors, we have to decide whether we’re in this business to make art or to make money. We can’t have both. Very few authors make art that sells. Commercial viability does not lend itself to artistic endeavors, and vice-versa. If New York doesn’t want your book, then you’re probably too creative. If they do want it, then you’re marketable. New York publishers run a business. They don’t give a shit about art.
Apparently, they have something there. Readers generally (don’t throw stones—I’m referring to the masses here, not individuals) don’t want art either. They want easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets of warm fuzzies. They want simplicity. Art is neither easily digestible (you sometimes have to chew on it for days to filter meaning from it) nor simple.
I made $10,000 in two weeks off my new erotica book STRINGS. Nearly three weeks later, I’m selling over 100 copies of the book a day. And this piece of trash never even cracked Amazon’s top 100. Imagine how much I’d have made if I’d busted open THAT list. My beautiful, artistic, deep JUST BREATHE urban fantasy series? Well, I’m still in the hole there if that tells you anything.
I spent exactly two months plotting, writing, editing, and publishing STRINGS. The JUST BREATHE Trilogy? Four YEARS.
My total production cost for STRINGS was under $500. I’m embarrassed to reveal how much money I poured into producing the three JUST BREATHE books.
How did I transform from nobody to Somebody? I sold out.
And you can too!
I know it’s depressing to hear that in order to find success, you may have to compromise your principles. I’ve come to grips with the fact that in the current market, trashy smut sells, and urban fantasy does not. Tough shit for me. If you want to sell books, you have to feed the market what it craves.
You can be noble and stick to your guns and say, “Screw that! I’m gonna keep writing what’s in my heart no matter what!” Fine and groovy, as long as you accept that this guerilla mentality of badassery won’t pay your bills. More power to you for upholding your principles!
For us artists who want or need to make a living at writing, there is a silver lining. Once you’ve done your part to feed the reader machine, and you get paid ridiculous amounts of money for publicly shaming yourself and lowering your standards, you’ll be armed with the power to write what you want. Once you’ve built your readership, there’s a good chance many of your readers will follow you into your preferred, artsy-fartsy genre because they like you. Yes, you may have to compromise and write more sell-out books along the way to feed YOUR machine, but the beauty is that you can do BOTH and make it work.
Compromise: The name of the game for writers in the New World Order of Publishing.
So, who do you write for? Yourself or the market? How far are you willing to bend to achieve your dreams as an author?
Kendall Grey, word wrangler, whale warrior, wicked wench, and lover of tongue-tripping alliteration, was born without an off-switch between her brain and mouth. She’s been called the “Flux Capacitor of Twitter” and “A little package of love all wrapped up in F-word paper,” but she’s really just a maniacal writer relaying eyewitness accounts of the rave inside her head. She writes erotica and urban fantasy with strong romantic elements.
Kendall lives off a dirt road near Atlanta, Georgia, but don’t hold that against her.
The post caused a significant uproar. Obviously. You’d think this would be the low point. But that was actually just a jumping board for even more fuckbuggery. There was a lot of discussion by romance writers (and more romance writers) and readers on twitter. There were blog posts written. There was Goodreads discussions. However the first time Grey responded to the controversy was to state that she refused to even read people’s opinions.
Here are some favourite quotes of mine from that:
“My inbox is overflowing with praise from authors thanking me for writing the post. They are afraid to publicly support me because they fear being crucified as I was.”
Yup. That sounds totally legit.
“That blog caters to developing writers who want information and stories about other authors’ experiences with publishing. They were my audience. Not bloggers. Not readers. Not anyone else.”
Wonderful. What about the shit-ton of romance writers who were the most offended?
“4. When did I call my readers stupid? I must’ve missed that. I adore and respect every single one of them.”
Even the ones who “generally (don’t throw stones—I’m referring to the masses here, not individuals) don’t want art either. They want easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets of warm fuzzies. They want simplicity.”? I don’t know where they got the idea that you were calling them stupid from. (Not to mention the time you said 90% of people on Goodreads would fail a reading competency test…)
Strangely, things did not get better. I don’t know why.
She then put out a call for help against the vicious bullies.
Also, whoever captured this image, if you ever want to talk to me about screencapping, I would be delighted to have that conversation with you.
But all this isn’t much of a surprise. Grey has a long and sordid history of poorly responding to criticism in a professional or even mature way (Let’s not forget the time she came out in support of STGRB. Although, to be completely fair, she then apologized – but Goodreaders are still bullies, I guess? She sure didn’t apologize about that!).
So far the whole thing have finally culminated in this sorry-not-sorry post where she offers these nuggets of wisdom (I’m not even touching the mighty woman-cock of truth she mentions. Get. Help.):
“It should be pretty obvious from all of this that I would never do anything to purposefully harm the readers who gave me my success. There is no other group of people in the world that I respect and value more.”
I respectfully disagree with this conclusion.
“Could I have employed less “shock value” wording in my post and opted for nice, sweet, politically correct terminology? Absolutely. But that’s not me. If you’ve read my books or follow me on Twitter, you understand that. I chose those words for their shock value. To make readers of the post feel something. Apparently, it worked too well and on the wrong audience. The post was exploited to the masses outside of its intended audience. It’s pretty obvious who came out on the losing end of this debacle. The person with the most to lose and the best intentions. Kendall Fucking Grey.”
I also respectfully disagree with this.
I guess I missed the part of the original post, up the top, where Kendall Grey says, “This post is only to be read by authors who know me, are completely familiar with the way I express myself which is counter intuitive to the context and natural comprehension of my words. Also, if you disagree then you’re just a bully.”
But it’s hard to see the legitimate and thoughtful criticism that many people provide when the person in question refuses to read it. Bullying is a real, important issue that exists and needs to be addressed. Kendall Grey is not being bullied. Kendall Grey wrote a poorly thought-out, poorly-worded post and people got angry. That is not bullying. It’s called the internet. A lot of people being angry at someone for writing something stupid is not called bullying.
But this is not surprising. This is an author who thought my review of her book, which was the nicest damn two star review ever, was bullying.
Clearly there is no hope.
M. Leighton is Pulling One of Her Books From Sale For…Reasons
M. Leighton wrote a blog post. All you annoying readers who found the content disturbing have finally won. WON I SAY. It will no longer be for sale and can not be purchased at all. See what you’ve done?
Actually, I really don’t get this. There is like 1% of 1 star reviews and 7% 2 star reviews on Goodreads. That’s… pretty good. *Shrugs*
Stuff Happened With LeighAnn Kopans
To be honest, I’ve been over and over this one and I’m not sure I get it all, so bear with me.
Ashleigh Paige of Goodreads posted this status update that Ceilidh responded to criticizing the author for spending a bunch of money on her book and writing a blog post that Ceilidh found to be not so great (I can’t find it now. I swear I had it at some point). Then all these tweets happened.
And then LeighAnn Kopans wrote an apology post about the original post that I couldn’t find here.
You can see people’s reactions to all of this here.
And that’s about all I know, really. Which turns out to not be much.
UPDATE: Leigh’s original blog post in question can be found here.
Ahhhhh! It’s always wonderful to get reviews back for books in the Little Blogger, Big Ambitions Project! Remember, if you’re a smaller blogger who finds it hard to get ARCs, then see more details about our project aimed at helping you here. Here are some of the reviews by bloggers who have received ARCs through LBBA!
The Die For Me trilogy is not one of my all-time favorite series, but it is a fun read. Sure, there’s a handful of paranormal clichés, and the romance is way too gushy at times, but what really stands out about this series is the awesome setting.
Amy Plum is so talented at describing the setting. The way she writes about Paris makes me want to pack up everything and move there right away! I love how she mixes French words and customs into the storyline, too. It flows very well and seems natural. The Parisian setting is gorgeous and so well-done.
I started this book, for some reason, not knowing that it was going to have a heavy drug plot. After I started the book and looked back at the synopsis and title, I was a bit dumbfounded on how I had missed that. I think, maybe, that I saw abuse and zeroed in on that alone.The drug bit made me slow down at first, just because I don’t tend to really enjoy drug related things, including storylines, and I must say that I am definitely biased in that, but I got through the book. It had some good parts. And some not so good parts.
I’m going to be honest here. It has been a little while now since I’ve read an honest-to-goodness contemporary novel that I’ve truly enjoyed. The last one that comes to mind is PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry. That was forever ago! I really hoped that this would be the one that broke that long dry spell for me because this one is different. This is not a “girl-meets-boy and they fall in love, awwww” kind of book. While those can absolutely be fantastic, they seem to be what have pushed me away from contemporary recently. But FIVE SUMMERS has brought me back. This is the contemporary novel that, while not perfect, has me interested in reading true contemporary again, which I think is a fantastic accomplishment.
SIEGE AND STORM definitely managed to avoid the dreaded Second Book Syndrome. I found it much more enjoyable than SHADOW AND BONE with its faster plot and numerous action scenes. The plot started racing so much sooner than I expected. You get to the end of the first or second chapter and shit starts going down, and it doesn’t stop for a while. The middle was a little slow, and some plot points are a tad predictable, but then the ending. The Ending. OH. MY. GOD. The ending is hands down my favourite part of the book.
Boohoo, can’t quote so you’ll just have to go and check it out yourself.