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.
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.
Sue Townsend Passed Away
This is a story from last week, but I hadn’t read up on this amazing author and didn’t realise that she was both a young adult author and such an incredible person. Sue Townsend was the author of the poplar Adrian Mole YA books which were adapted for TV in the UK in 2001. She was a best selling author and honorary laureate. She suffered from a series of illnesses in her later years including diabetes, a stroke, a kidney transplant and losing the vision in one eye. She will be missed!
The Giver Featurette is Out
And you Giver fans can rest easy! A lot of it is in Black and White. Phew! Actually the visual effect look pretty freakin’ amazing and it includes a behind the scenes interview with Lois Lowry. Also, Jeff Bridges rocks in it. See for yourself.
Chloe Moretz Cast in The 5th Wave
For someone who thinks the YA label does a disservice to YA books, Y U KEEP STARRING IN THEIR ADAPATIONS, CHOE?! It’s almost like these YA stories are awesome, engaging and worthy of being loved and brought to life BECAUSE they’re YA stories. But that couldn’t possibly be true cause they’re just all about love triangles and stupid romances…
Okay, phew, I got that out of my system, thankfully. The film is being done by Sony and GK films who had goddamn better do a good adaptation of Yancey’s novel or I will tear them new ones. Susannah Grant will be doing the script and Moretz will be playing the lead role, Cassie Sullivan.
Because, fuck it, everything is going to be two movies now. The news broke this week in a press release by Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger that this was just the best, besets idea ever. I’m surprised movie studios have enough restraint to not split Insurgent into two books just to see how much they can get away with.
The storytelling arc and world of the characters lend themselves perfectly to two films, a storytelling strategy that has worked very well for us on the two Twilight Breaking Dawn’ films and about which we’re tremendously enthusiastic for the two upcoming Mockingjay films of The Hunger Games franchise.
Excuse me while I rage eat.
If I Stay Trailer will make You Cry
Guys, this trailer. GUYS! I have no words for the tears I have shed. It makes me want to go read If I Stay all over again. Gayle Forman’s stunning novel is looking great and is definitely one I’ll be wanting to see when it comes out.
The rumour mill has been extra busy this week with speculation that there may not be a sequel to the already probably terrible Fifty Shades of Grey movie. This will, of course, depend entirely on how many people pay for a ticket to see the movie. So just stay home, okay? For the good of humanity!
But let’s be real, guys. the studios won’t be able to help themselves on this one. OF COURSE the sequel will make money. OF COURSE they’ll make it. How do we know? Because people are already talking about whether a sequel will be made and not a week can go by without some kind of ‘breaking’ news story about the fifty shades of grey movie. I think fans can relax, okay? You’ll get your desmuttified smut.
Ridiculous Arm flailing about Ebooks Continues
EBOOKS ARE NEW AND NEW THINGS MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE SO THEY MUST BE BAD. That was the alternate title of this article but they went with “Students Reading E-books are Losing Out“ because they neither care about accuracy or facts. A husband and wife team performed a study asking middle school students to read books on iPad vs traditional print. Reading comprehension was higher with the traditional print. We don’t know how much and even the article admits it’s a small sample size. The overall theory seems to be that Good quality Ebooks = good. Bad quality = Bad. Great piece of journalism there.
Queen of Teen Nominations Open
Okay, beautiful bookish people, now it your time to shine! The Queen of Teen award nominations are now open to go nominate the authoress you think has contributed most to the lives of teens around the world! Last year’s winner, Maureen Johnson will be expected to hand over her tiara amidst a sea of tears as the winners thanks the runner up and promises to deliver world peace.
Two Boys Kissing Not Allowed
I was waiting for news that this novel would be pulled from a school and I’m, frankly, shocked it took this long. Two Boys Kissing, a LGBTI themed book, by David Levithan, is under fire after a parent appealed to the school district to remove the book. This was after the school decided to uphold a decision to keep the book. Dear Parent issuing this complaint: How is it that your life is this empty?
K-books? Korean Ebooks? Oh, I’m in heaven now…
If you don’t know by now, let me just tell you, I’m a Kdrama addict. (Korean Dramas, for those of you who don’t read Entertainment Weekly) Friends of mine have become used to my fangirl gushing and now, I have one more thing to gush about! Korean books are hitting the market quicker than you can say, “Bali bali!”
The younger generation of digital natives is proving to be not only a rich testing ground for but also a discerning group of consumers of anything mobile, cloud-based or media-related. The government’s digital classroom initiative, aimed for 2015 completion, also helps to propel the e-book and e-publishing market. As such, visitors to the London Book Fair on April 8–10, where Korea is the market focus, “will see just how much progress Korean digital publishing companies have made in the past couple of years,” says Eric Yang, president of Seoul-based RHK and Tabon Books as well as director of the market focus executive committee.
But even more exciting than that, they plan on expanding the Korean market world wide!
As Yang points out, “Before we can expect foreign readers to explore our literature and culture, we first have to create awareness and arouse curiosity, something that the Koreans traditionally are not very good at doing. Despite the so-called Korean wave, Westerners’ idea of Korean culture is made up largely of K-pop and kimchee. Little is known about our ancient nation with its proud, and mostly honorable, heritage. So our mission in London is to bring attention to these little-known aspects in a variety of engaging ways. And if we succeed, the rest will follow.”
Personally, I don’t think Yang is giving either Koreans or foreigners much credit. I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but my interest in Korean culture certainly goes beyond Kpop and kimchi.
Uh, that’s not exactly what I meant…
Source(It’s a really interesting article and you should read it.)
Authors’ Guild Response to Recent Google Verdict
So, awhile ago I mentioned how #($*&@*$?!? frustrated the Author’s Guild was at the judge who ruled on the whole Google Books debacle. In essence, authors want to be paid for their work and they don’t want Google posting even pages or paragraphs or quotes, because let’s face it Google makes a profit on those pages because of ads and authors get diddly-squat. It’s not cool. I really can’t blame them for feeling that way. Well, now they’ve come out with a definitive response:
Late Friday afternoon, the Authors Guild filed its appeal in its copyright infringement lawsuit against Google, asking the appellate court to reverse a lower court’s ruling that granted summary judgment to Google, while denying the Guild’s request for partial summary judgment. The suit stems from Google’s scanning of in-copyright books without permission of authors as part of its Library Project. In its appeal, the Guild hammers away on the fact that the Library Project was, at its a core, a commercial initiative by Google and not some altruistic plan to create a digital archive of literature. “Google must not be permitted to build its financial empire of the backs of authors,” the brief states.
Amazon Buys Out Another Company In Quest To Take Over World
Someday, when the planet is covered in trash and dirt and small robots that compact the trash into squares, the only real proof you’ll be able to see of former civilization is the giant Amazon signs scattered everywhere. I mean come on, with the advent of AmazonFresh, they’ve officially reached BuyMore territory.
And now they’re buying comic books.
Amazon has purchased Comixology, and that’s a huge deal, because it means the largest bookseller in the world now owns the company that brought digital comics distribution to the masses, and essentially forced big publishers like DC and Marvel to get with it and start distributing titles on the same day in print and via digital channels.
It’s hard to understate Comixology’s role in digital comics and the transition of the medium from print to online, but that’s not the only thing Amazon gets through this purchase. They also acquire the relationships that Comixology has built with the major comics publishers, including Marvel and DC, and a direct line to the distribution of digital tie-ins for blockbuster film franchises like The Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men and more.
Smashwords’ Bestseller List Is 100% Women
If you like indie books (i.e. self-published) and you don’t know about Smashwords, well, honey, let me educate you! Basically they’re a middleman for every indie author who wants to get into iBookstore without having to own a mac or sign Apple’s Byzantine Author Agreement. Of course since then, Apple has wised up (I think we all know they ain’t dumb!), but Smashwords also offers access to other platforms: B&N, Amazon, Sony, Scribd, and even public libraries.
Well, an interesting thing about Smashwords and their top 25 selling authors. They’re all women. From the Smashwords blog:
The other day I was browsing our February 2014 Smashwords bestseller list at Publishers Weekly and realized that all the top 25 bestsellers were written by women. Cool beans.
Wondering if this was a fluke, I looked at our December 2013 Smashwords bestseller list at PW and bingo, same thing. All 25 books were written by women.
Then I looked at the bestseller list for November 2013. Same thing again. 100% women.
Our ebook bestsellers for October 2013? You guessed it, 100% women.
Smashwords doesn’t use any special scale or sort things into categories to make one group look better than another. They just deal in plain, cold numbers. And those numbers tell them that women authors are some of the most powerful on their website, in terms of selling power.
Why are women dominating the Smashwords bestseller lists, other than the fact that these women are all super-awesome writers? One likely factor is that romance is the #1 bestselling genre at Smashwords, and romance is overwhelmingly written by women. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m constantly blown away the smarts, savvy and sophistication of romance authors. These ladies have pioneered many of the ebook publishing and distribution best practices that so many indies take for granted today.
But strong romance performance doesn’t fully explain the story. While 2/3 of our February bestseller list was romance, 1/3 was not, with the remaining categories including historical fiction, fantasy and mystery.
What exactly does this tell us? I’m not entirely sure, although I would like more facts and figures across websites. But perhaps, when there are only readers to decide what they like and don’t like, no one can say what type of book they will prefer and find more worthy than another. And certainly not what gender.
BookCon Promises to Diversify Book Panel After a Bunch Of People Protest
In what came as a gigantic shock to the company called ReedPOP (a large producer of pop culture events -the largest in the world, actually) there are bunches of different people writing middle grade and young adult fiction. I mean, when they first created their event, “Blockbuster Reads: Meet the Kids Authors That Dazzle”, they thought that only middle-aged white men wrote books for kids and teens. (And really, who could blame them, considering what is splashed all over the best seller lists?)
Come to find out, THAT’S NOT TRUE. And when a lot of people on the internet brought education to them in the form of very angry responses, they saw the light. Imagine that.
After a news story ran in Thursday’s PW Children’s Bookshelf newsletter, explaining that Daniel Handler, Jeff Kinney, James Patterson, and Rick Riordan would be featured on what ReedPOP described in a release as an “unprecedented, power-packed panel” of the “world’s biggest children’s authors,” a number of industry observers expressed their displeasure on Twitter about the lack of diversity on the panel.
I’m not gonna lie. There are some big names on that list. But, um… surely, SURELY you could have convinced some ladies or some authors of more ethnically diverse backgrounds to participate. Or did you just go the easiest and “perceived” most popular route. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I think about the challenges and rewards of children’s authors, the first thing I want to do isn’t sit around listening to middle aged white dudes talking. Not that they don’t have good stuff to say, but it would be nice to see something a little different in the mix.
Fensterman emphasized that ReedPOP is “always listening” and “prides itself on doing the right thing when we get feedback” on the shows it produces, particularly consumer shows, like BookCon, which are more driven by fan feedback than are the trade shows. BookCon panels like the Blockbuster Reads panel, Fensterman explained, will continue to be built and authors will continue to be added to the entire slate “until the week of the show.” ReedPOP will, Fensterman assured PW, strive to be “inclusive and respectful” throughout the process as it assembles authors and other speakers who will resonate with attendees.
“We’re curating content that the fans want to see,” Fensterman said. “We’ll be changing the mix and adding things as we go. We want to create the best show with the best content for the masses.”
You are aware that the masses are NOT all white, right? And that about HALF of those masses are also WOMEN? Just checking.
Source (Another fascinating article that you should read)
Drama, Drama, Drama!
We had some author drama this week on twitter that ended out on a good and positive note. A Cuddlebuggery favourite got a little bit annoyed when a video review of Shadow and Bone tagged her. The video review is long and the reviewers say they liked the book overall, however at least half of the video review is dedicated to some very serious criticism of the author. Bardugo’s point was that she felt being tagged in the tweet for the review was hurtful.
Several authors agreed with Bardugo and consoled her, however, the entire encounter ended on a positive note with apologies and understanding all around. It generated a good discussion in the community on tagging authors in reviews and definitely ended up being a positive experience. Especially since both sides managed to stay civil and respectful after the initial blow up.
Cuddlebuggery’s advice? A) Take vents off twitter and B) be careful what you’re tagging authors in. Not all instances like this will end so positively.