Book banning, author plagiarism, Eleanor & Park movie news and authors quitting left and right. All this and more is happening in this week’s Buzz Worthy News.
Welcome back to Buzz Worthy News where the stories are awesome and not at all well-written. Need your YA industry news? Never fear, Kat and Kate are here to give it all to you. Just, ya know, not in any kinda sophisticated sense or nothing. Basically: book banning, author plagiarism, Eleanor & Park movie news and authors quitting left and right. All this and more is happening in this week’s Buzz Worthy News.
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: Hot New Titles.
Lemony Snicket and Malcolm Gladwell go head to head. Lemony Snicket, the author not the candy, claims that Gladwell plagiarised from him.
Using such evidence as circling plagiarised words like “If” and “to” that Gladwell took from Snicket, as well as at least one comma clearly borrowed without asking, Snicket was able to prove, beyond a doubt, that Gladwell is a plagiarising plagiariser!
“Every time I blink Malcolm Gladwell steals from me like an outright outlier. I’ve reached the tipping point. It’s like an old biblical story I can’t think of right now.”
Gladwell himself has given this response: “Mr. Snicket is asking All The Wrong Questions. He better watch out, or this will turn into a series of something or other.” SOURCE
More Author Plagiarism
Scarlett Dupree’s novel, Beauty and the Bad Boy was pulled from Amazon this week after it was found to have many similarities to Susan Fanetti’s The Rose and The Storm, an Opie (Sons of Anarchy)/OFC fan fiction.
A reader told me that she recently read Beauty and the Bad Boy and wanted to let me know that it was strikingly similar to my Opie story, The Rose and the Thorn. I read the sample on Amazon and the reviews, and I agree. Far too strikingly similar to be coincidence. It’s not a direct lift, but from what I can tell by the sample and the spoilers in the reviews, it’s close. It’s my story, very lightly revamped.
Readers can probably still get refunds for purchase of this book if you want to. More details here.
Two Authors Quit Claiming Bullying
The first author, Sarah Daltry, posted her tale this week of woe and horror. She complains of being broke, unsuccessful and bullied and has thus removed all her books except those contracted.
The utter cruelty, harassment, and sabotage associated with some of those “reviewers” and their minions has played a role, though….As they sit back, thrilled with the destruction they wrought, maybe someone will feel a sliver of shame or regret.
Yeah, I don’t know what to say about this. I haven’t been able to find the bullying reviews so far.
The second is Nadine Christian who posted an excerpt, that she claims is only one of many she receives, that are overly abusive and cruel. Thus she, also, decided to quit in a flounce.
“I’ve always been a needy writer.
I needed acknowledgement that I’m doing okay, need to see sales, need to get feedback.
I’ve had little of all these things.”
Okay…I’m concerned but, continue. Here is part of the excerpt she posted as an example of the cruelty she’s felt at the hands of reviewers:
“I’ve read all your books, and thank the Lord above I’ve not had to pay for one. Not only are they badly formatted, but they are badly edited. However, I think even good editing would not have saved you. Your characters are dragged through the story, wooden and unyielding. I cannot garner a fragment of feeling for any of them, and in fact feel relief, not sadness when you kill one of them off…
…Basically, you need to refrain from this folly you call writing.
Harsh. Very harsh, but worth quitting over?
It’s hard to comment about these kinds of things without dismissing them. I know a lot of authors, none of whom receive this kind of treatment. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, only that the portions of emails deemed bullying, posted by the author, weren’t. Highly critical and dismissive of the authors work, whether rightly or wrongly. This author also claimed poor sales as a reason for quitting.
DreamWorks now has the rights to Rainbow Rowell’s debut novel, Eleanor & Park, proving once and for all that everything can and will become a movie. Even your face. Well, probably not that so much.
The story, set in 1986 and involving two outcast teens is romantic and sad and it will be interesting to see it brought to the big screen. Rainbow Rowell has been contracted to draft a screenplay for the movie, a task which may postpone filming as she finishes her new novel. Thus the shooting is not scheduled to begin until 2015 and cast + director won’t even be selected until Rowell manages to do the script.
There’s a great post on why the making of this movie is so awesome, over on Book Riot:
Eleanor and Park, the eponymous leads of Rainbow Rowell’s breakout YA novel, cannot be played by Shailene Woodley or Ansel Elgort or Miles Teller or any of the leads of the aforementioned adaptations. Park is half-Korean, and Eleanor is overweight. They are not going to look like any teen romantic movie leads in the history of ever.
Check out more details here.
Turning Book Covers Into Purses
Normally, when I think about book destruction, my inner bibliophile turns into a rage monster of epic proportions. But Olympia Le-Tan has circumvented my anger by merely designing bags to look like actual book covers. Among them:
The Little Wonder Book Boats by Beatrice J. Hurley, Paperboats A Sailing by Jennifer Just and Surgeon of the Seas by Charles S. Foltz have all been adapted into handbags this season.
Go check the rest out HERE.
(And by the way E Online, don’t think I haven’t noticed your blasphemous little post on turning an actual book into a purse! SHAMEFUL.)
Books for Kids, UNLIMITED, at $38 per year
I don’t know about you, but I use the library a LOT for kid’s books. Yeah, we have a freaking bookcase for our favorites, but if you have voracious readers at home, they will want some variety. And books are expensive. Especially kids’ books. But have no fear, MagicBlox has you covered!
The popular children’s e-book provider, MagicBlox announced today that it has surpassed one million pageviews for their website, which offers customers their choice of one free kids e-book each month – or additional “access pass subscription” options that allow for five books at $2.99 per month or unlimited access to a growing digital library of nearly 700 electronic children’s books for $3.99 billed monthly or $38 billed yearly.
You really can’t beat that. Believe me, I’ve looked around. So yeah, buying this IMMEDIATELY. (Can’t wait until they get that app finished!)
Pretty much anything that you can use for free is something I’m interested in. HBO having a “free” weekend? I’m on board. Getting free fries with my burger? Heck yes! Oxford University Press making a bunch of online products free during National Library Week? Amazing!
To celebrate National Library Week in the United States (April 13th-19th) and all the hard work librarians do to support their patrons, OUP is freeing up all of our online resources* for the week! Libraries are a vital part of many communities, whether it is a school, a town/city, the government, a corporation, or a hospital, and we have freed up this unprecedented amount of content to show our appreciation for these libraries.
Simply use the username and password of “libraryweek” and you’ll have full access to everything their site offers. Very cool, guys!
Check it out HERE.
It’s award season in book land. Oprah approves of this.
The Aurealis awards happened this week which, if you don’t know, celebrates the achievements and all around kick-ass-ness of Australian Authors. You may recognise at least a couple of peeps on this list!
BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK
The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie
BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT FICTION
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL (Tie)
These Broken Stars
Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Fairytales for Wilde Girls
Bailey’s Women’s Prize For Fiction
Though no one has been awarded this year’s Bailey’s Women’s Prize for fiction as yet, they released the short list of authors this week.
This year’s shortlist features six female writers from across the globe, including novels from US writer Donna Tart, Irish Eimear McBride, and Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Their works will go up against novels from Australian Hannah Kent, Irish Audrey Magee and Jhumpa Lahiri.
It is a tough job being a judge in these prize competitions. You have to read so many books! I mean, I think I got to 77 last year and these judges are reading 158! How do they find the time? I’m seriously impressed.
Andrew Carnegie Medals
And speaking of shortlists, the Andrew Carnegie Medal hopefuls have been announced this week as well.
On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes. (Alfred A. Knopf).
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink. (Crown Publishers).
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalismby Doris Kearns Goodwin. (Simon & Schuster).
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (Alfred A. Knopf).
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. (Alfred A. Knopf).
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. ( Little, Brown).
Philip Roth gets Yaddo Medal
I had no idea what a Yaddo is, and it turns out, it’s the first time there’s ever been one, so I’m probably in good company.
Mr. Roth has had seven residencies at Yaddo to work on his writing, beginning in 1964. “It’s a great pleasure for us to begin a new tradition by presenting Philip Roth with the inaugural Yaddo Artist Medal,” said Elaina Richardson, Yaddo’s president.
Congrats to Mr. Roth!
Literary Prize For Self-Published Authors
This one is self-explanatory. (haha, do you see what I did there?)
The Guardian is set to become the first national newspaper to champion self-publishing on a regular basis with the launch of a new monthly prize that aims to find the best DIY novels.
The paper is teaming up with publisher Legend Times to support and showcase what it said was “the fantastic quality of writing that can be found from independent authors”, as the sector continues to boom. New figures from Nielsen’s Books & Consumers survey show that self-published books accounted for one in five of the 80m ebooks purchased in 2013. “No longer can the mainstream industry ignore what the general public have been reading and enjoying for a number of years, with many self-published authors outstripping the sales of novels published traditionally,” said the Guardian.
I’m all for awards, but this one seems a little frequent. I mean, once a month? That’s a bit excessive, isn’t it? Why not limit it to once a year and make a big impact?
And Speaking Of Self-Published Authors
According to Amazon, they will soon be a dying breed. Or mutants. I’m not sure which, but I’m pretty sure they will be one of the two. Personally, I’m hoping for mutants with superpowers.
The term “self-publishing” may have outlived its usefulness, according to Jon Fine, director of author and publishing relations at Amazon, speaking at the Publishing for Digital Minds conference this week in London.
When asked at a recent past conference what “self-publishing” looked like in ten years, Fine, who is intimately involved in that business at Amazon, said that it probably won’t be called that anymore. In the future, authors will publish in a number of ways.
“If you’re an author in ten years, you’re going to have an array of options,” said Fine. “What we’ve done is provide the tools that make it possible to take a story and make it available to hundreds of millions of people around the world…and do it in multiple formats.”
Well, I don’t necessarily disagree with Mr. Fine’s view of the future, but a lot of indie authors self-publish because they don’t want to work with traditional publishers (and yes, I will point out the inevitable examples of those who couldn’t if they wanted to). So what exactly will he see happening to these writers?
Best-selling hybrid author Hugh Howey shared the stage with Fine.
“Do you want to be a small business owner or work for a corporation?” asked Howey, referring to the difference between self-publishing, where authors are also entrepreneurs (the former) and traditional publishing, adding, “and there are advantages and disadvantages for both.”
To me, that’s a more realistic take then saying that anything’s going to go away. There will always be some authors who want use one or the other. There’s nothing wrong with that, or those who want to use both.
Also, I’d like to point out that the ability to self-publish and traditionally publish at the same time is a pretty lame superpower. I’d like flying, please.
And Speaking Of Amazon (I’m noticing a trend here in titling.)
I want to put my snarky pants on for a second to address something that Jeff Bezos himself wrote this week in a letter to his shareholders. It’s referenced at Publisher’s Weekly and of course everything related to Amazon gets a lot of press, but this one thing caught my eye in particular, probably because it hit close to home. It’s about Audible’s success as a company:
2013 was a landmark year for Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of audiobooks. Audible makes it possible for you to read when your eyes are busy. Millions of customers download hundreds of millions of audiobooks and other spoken-word programming from Audible. Audible customers downloaded close to 600 million listening hours in 2013. Thanks to Audible Studios, people drive to work listening to Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, Anne Hathaway, and many other stars. One big hit in 2013 was Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance of The Great Gatsby, which has already sold 100,000 copies. Whispersync for Voice allows customers to switch seamlessly back and forth between reading a book on their Kindle and listening to the corresponding Audible book on their smart phone. The Wall Street Journal called Whispersync for Voice “Amazon’s new killer app for books.” If you haven’t already, I recommend you give it a try – it’s fun and expands the amount of time you have available to read.
Hmmm… Okay, Mr. Bezos. Obviously it’s awesome that readers around the globe are realizing what a great value Audible is. And it’s so cool that you’ve got that many thousands of copies purchased for just one book. I mean, kudos. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to direct your attention over here for just a bit. It won’t take long. After all, it’s regarding a company YOU own, a subsidiary of Audible, in fact.
ACX is a marketplace where professional authors, agents, publishers, and other Rights Holders can post fallow audiobook rights..
At ACX, those unused audio rights will be matched with narrators, engineers, recording studios, and other Producers capable of producing a finished audiobook, as well as with audiobook publishers.
The result: More audiobooks will be made.
And speaking as someone who has used the service, yeah, it was all well and good until about a month ago when ACX decided to screw over self-published authors, small publishers, and voice actors alike, by lowering their royalties to a rate so laughably low that people couldn’t believe it at first.
We’re posting today with an important update regarding ACX royalty and bounty payments, effective March 12. For titles started on or after March 12, 2014 that are distributed exclusively through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, a flat 40% net royalty will be paid to the Rights Holder; on royalty share deals, this amount will be split equally between the Rights Holder and Producer.
The previous terms started at 50% and rose according to the number of downloads of the book, with a cap at 70% (for ACX exclusive works). And yeah, self-published authors could swallow the new terms, because their job is pretty much already done. What’s the big deal? It’s not like they have to do anything but write the book in the first place and find a voice actor to narrate the thing. For voice actors, who don’t have their eggs in other baskets, this is a royal screw over.
They put in HOURS making these books sound great. Not only do they narrate, they put in a lot of work as producers, too, lining up all the chapters and doing audio cleanup. The only payout in the “royalty share” deal is the hope of getting some good book sales. So in essence, they’re taking a big chance already. Now ACX has basically said, “You’re never going to earn more than 20% royalties on these audiobooks, like EVER.” (At least going forward. Books that were made before March 12 are still under the previous terms.)
But here’s the question I have for you, Mr. Bezos. If Audible is kicking ass, as you say, then why would they need to screw over the people who create content for them? And why, when all they really provide is a website where authors and voice actors can trade emails and a few bits of audio, and a service that connects audiobooks to Amazon, Apple and Audible, would ACX feel like that’s worth a 60% cut of the revenue? The content creators deserve a fair cut, since without them you wouldn’t have your precious audiobooks in the first place.
The Meridian School Board chose to uphold a ban on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, saying they wanted a book with a higher reading level that gives a cultural perspective on Native Americans. Since TATDoaPTI has won at least a dozen literary awards and is one of the few YA books out there representing for Native Americans, I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit. Soon enough the real reasons came out and they’re fairly predictable. Swearing. Masturbating. Anti-Christian sentiments. Ermagherd! Lock up your children! Cover their ears! At fifteen years old, the tenth graders who were reading this book, might read some swear words and realise they can masturbate and might choose not to be a Christian!
The Weekly Deals
What Young Adult Books are Coming Our Way?
All details thanks to Publisher’s Weekly Rights Report.
Cloudforest and Red Rocks by Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication: Spring 2016 and Spring 2017
A speculative thriller in which a teen overcoming a traumatic incident joins her mother at a healing center in a Latin American rain forest, only to discover a dangerous ability that will transform her life whether she wants it to or not.
Machine and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication: Winter 2016
A genre mash-up follows Westie, the adopted daughter of a local inventor, as she pursues her family’s killers through a gold-rush era California riddled with fantastical creatures, dark magic, and cannibals.
Red Moon Rising by K.A. Holt
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication: Early 2016
Firefly meets Little House on the Prairie. In the novel, a feisty 13-year-old becomes an unwitting pawn in the standoff between her struggling colony and the enclave of aliens who may be something quite different than they seem.
Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins
Publication: Fall 2015
The series focuses on 17-year-old Zo, who after the murder of her parents by a warring clan, volunteers to infiltrate the clan, but soon discovers they are not at all what she expected. She finds herself falling in love with an enemy soldier and accepting the friendship of a boy who saves her life.
A Riddle in Ruby (Book #1 Key to the Catalyst series) by Kent Davis
Publication: Fall 2015
The series is set in an era called the Chemistral Age, when magically augmented alchemy and chemistry have thrust an alternate version of 18th-century colonial America forward into industrialization. The heroine, 13-year-old Aruba “Ruby” Teach, is a smuggler’s daughter and “picklock prodigy,” and in book one, A Riddle in Ruby, she and her servant, Cram, must “navigate a world filled with cobalt gearbeasts, alchemical automatons, and devilish secret societies.
Untitled Series by Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
About a “dangerous rivalry for souls and star-crossed love” that is “set in a world where real life begins after death.”
Untitled Two Book Series by Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication: Spring 2016
pitched as “Romeo and Juliet meets Sabriel,” re-imagines Shakespeare’s story of feuding families and doomed lovers in a city threatened by necromancers and protected by “the Juliet,” a girl born in every generation with powerful magic.
This Year’s Last mistake & Untitled by Gina Ciocca
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication: Summer 2015
In the first book, Kelsey is given the chance to start over: move to a new city, shed her old reputation, begin afresh. But a year later, the boy she desperately wanted to forget – the one who’d confessed his love for her – shows up and changes everything.
Look Both Ways by Alison Cherry
Publisher: Delacorte Press
A girl apprentices at a summer theater festival hoping she’s finally found a place to belong, only to learn that neither talent nor love is as straightforward as she thinks.