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.
In this week’s Buzz, Kat is still sickly but she’s contributing to Kate’s awesomeness as much as she can. John Green, John Green, sick of hearing about John Green yet? YA sales are up 43.7% because YA rocks and the Bookcon scandal continues!
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.
Sales for YA up 43.7%
Kids and YA books sell well, that’s been a fact for a while now. But sales are up yet again, making it clear that the industry, authors and bloggers associated with it are awesome. Go team us!
I’m not sure what’s in the water, but hardback is up 53.7% and YA and children’s ebooks are up 65.1%.
“According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) StatShot report for the first month of 2014, publishers saw total trade eBook sales increase 12.8 percent compared to the prior year.
The report looked at net revenues for 1218 publishers in January 2014.”
To Kill A Mockingbird Will Be An Ebook
FINALLY! Look, I don’t want to slam Harper on this one, because well, she’s awesome in general… but didn’t you read my last post? Anywhere from 28-54% of people are reading eBooks and what they really want is to read yours.
Says the woman who tried to make people read her book only in paper form:
“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. I am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived this long. This is Mockingbird for a new generation,” she explained in a statement. Harper Collins will be publish the eBook on July 8th.
New Fault in Our Stars Teaser
A short teaser and some stills have been released this week for The Fault in Our Stars. Featuring Gus (Ansel Elgort) talking to Hazel about smoking etc.
“It’s a metaphor, you see. You put the thing that does the killing right between your teeth, but you never give it the power to kill you.”
This may just prove how burnt out on The Fault in Our Stars news I am, because when I saw the memecation of this, somewhat corny, line, I struggled not to cackle maniacally.
You can watch the teaser for yourself here.
There’s been a a brilliant, brilliant backlash regarding BookCon’s complete lack of diversity in their guest panel.
John Green, in particular, has come under fire for his silence regarding the controversy.
When asked about it on Twitter, John Green stated that:
— John Green (@realjohngreen) April 28, 2014
— John Green (@realjohngreen) April 28, 2014
John Green informed Penguin six months ago that he would no longer do all male panels, according to what he told fellow author Justine Larbalestier on twitter this week. He followed up with a commenter that he felt it would be unfair to Penguin to “move the goal post”.
BFG. Big Friendly Giant – as opposed to Best Friend Gorever as I initially thought it was, is being made into a movie because apparently there just aren’t enough book adaptations out there.
The idea, though not as good as adapting The Twits, is the brainchild of executive producer and godlike creature, Kathleen Kennedy. She has threatened Frank Marshall with eternal washing up dibs unless he did it too, so they’re both on board along with Michael Siegel and John Madden for executive producers.
DreamWorks is on for the production and Spielberg has been signed because DAMN. This at least looks promising.
Do you know what The Seeker is? No, neither do I. And that’s apparently okay because it’s a YA book that won’t be out until 2015. The book is by Arwen Elys Dayton. However Sony has the rights and Callie Kloves is on to write the script adaptation.
The story is about Quin Kincaid who’s “been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker.’ Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her newfound knowledge and training to become an assassin.”
You know what’s better than being Little, Brown Books? Being Little, Brown Books on a day when it donates 350 books in order combat book banning.
This week a Junior high school student, Kissel, organised the event in protest to a Meridian school board decision to uphold a ban on Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.
Believe it or not, the police were actually called to the scene by a concerned citizen, and Kissel was briefly questioned. Little Brown, who donated the books had this to say:
“It was a fantastic grassroots movement that we wanted to support. It ties in very nicely with what’s going on. After all, WBN’s mission is to get books into the hands of people who don’t have access to books.”
And Speaking of Movie Adaptions…
The original author of the book Gravity is suing the makers of the movie Gravity, for violating the contract they made with her when she signed over rights for the book.
Novelist Tess Gerritsen filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. on Tuesday, claiming the studio failed to acknowledge that its box office smash Gravity was partially based on one of her books, and that it now owes her 2.5% of the movie’s net profits.
The weird thing to me is that she didn’t even recognize that it might be her own novel at first, despite the fact that it has the same freaking name and a single female astronaut character. But who knows? Maybe she doesn’t go to the movies and didn’t find out about it until all the hubbub died down.
This was the author’s statement when she first heard about it:
I’ve been receiving a number of emails from readers, congratulating me on the new movie GRAVITY, which they believe is based on my book with the same title. The film is slated to go into production next year, to be director by Alfonso Cuaron from a script written by his son. Here’s a description of the Cuaron project:
“‘Gravity’ will highlight a female astronaut’s efforts to return home to Earth and her daughter as she is stranded on a space station after satellite debris slams into it and wipes out the rest of the crew.”
Two tales about a lone female astronaut trapped aboard a space station and struggling to get home. Both are titled GRAVITY.
But the movie has absolutely no connection to my book. At least, not that anyone’s told me about.
It seems like something must have changed that belief.
Yet Gerritsen’s lawyer, Glen L. Kulik, told the New York Times that the author now believes Cuarón based his script on her novel, after discovering some unnamed, mystery information. “We’ve since come up with some other ties through a little investigation,” he told the Times, somewhat cryptically.
Neither Warner Bros. or Cuarón responded to the Times‘ requests for comment. The film Gravity won seven Oscars and took in more than $716 million at the box office, which means Gerritsen could be looking at a $17 million payday if her suit is successful.
McDonald’s Now Offering Happy Meal eBooks
Please don’t confuse this with the story about free books with happy meals I wrote last fall. Apparently McDonald’s has decided to up the ante with eBooks.
Fast food chain McDonald’s is teaming up with Kobo to offer free downloads of children’s books for the first time.
From today (30th April), every Happy Meal box will come with an e-book voucher allowing customers to download Famous Five book Five and A Half-Term Adventure by Enid Blyton (Hodder Children’s Books).
So yeah, that’s really cool if you have a tablet. And if you don’t? The fast food eatery has got you covered.
However, McDonald’s said it is not deserting print books and the Happy Meal boxes will also contain one of six Secret Seven stories, again written by Blyton and published by Hodder, and a £1 voucher that can be used to buy a Secret Seven or Famous Five book at WHSmith or Eason.
The only real bummer about this is that it’s only in the UK right now.
And Speaking of RIDICULOUS Book Banning…
You are a special species of odd if you think Dr. Seuss is worthy of book banning and a parent in Canada proved that true by trying to have Hop on Pop banned from the Toronto Library.
A Canadian parent filed a complaint to the Toronto library last year, asking to ban Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book Hop on Pop because it “encourages children to use violence against their fathers.”
The person suggested that the library remove the book from the library’s collection and “issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book.”
Wow, you have a lot of time on your hands as a parent if you can sit around stewing over a book that was written in 1963. And btw, it specifically says, “Stop, you must not hop on pop” right there in the book. Believe me, I’ve read it 50 bazillion times, so I’d know.
John Green Is Everywhere on the Internet
I’d like to kick off this week’s edition of “John Green Is King” with this quote from a recent HuffPo article in his honor.
Oh, the brilliance that is John Green. One must not go a lifetime without exposing themselves to his books. The inevitable consequence of non-exposure will be a life spent in despair, missing out on a journey one could only comprehend through experience. I may not be a literary critic and I may not fully grasp the intricacies of their job, but I am a young adult who can see that while many young adult writers try to make their characters different, dramatic and surprising, Green reaches into all of us, and through his prose tackles and unifies our common humanity. Such brilliance, such utter brilliance!
I received thousands upon thousands (okay, it was more like 2) of angry emails from fans of his work, lambasting me for daring to imply that John Green is either a dark wizard (which I honestly think he’d be flattered by) or some kind of Satanic priest who sacrifices virgins on his nefarious altar.
I take your point. I don’t actually think he is either of those things. Instead, I’ve decided that he’s an alien life form, come to take over the world through YA fiction and a strong Youtube media presence. You don’t really all love him, you just think you do because his death rays are influencing your minds.
In closing, I’d like to share this haiku I wrote for John Green, in my great admiration for him.
John, why are you here?
I can not escape your face
staring from the net.
Meg Cabot Releases Even More Of The Awesome!
I think astronauts from space could hear my fangirl squeeeeeeing when I found out that not only would Meg Cabot be releasing new books, she’d be releasing new books about MIA THERMOPOLIS. ZOMG, guys!! GUYS!!!
Next summer, to mark the 15th anniversary of “The Princess Diaries,” Ms. Cabot will release two new novels featuring Princess Mia, one aimed at middle grade readers and one for adults. In the adult novel, Mia is older and engaged to be married. Mia’s wedding plans are interrupted by a scheming usurper who attempts to force Mia’s father from the throne.
The middle grade novel will center on a new character, Olivia Grace, a middle school girl from New Jersey who discovers that she’s Princess Mia’s long lost half-sister, and a royal descendent of the kingdom of Genovia. Like Mia, Olivia chronicles her transformation from civilian to princess in her journal. Ms. Cabot, who studied fine arts as an undergraduate at Indiana University, will illustrate the middle-grade book herself. Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, will release the first middle grade “Princess Diaries” novel next summer. A sequel is planned for the following year.
My first question about the adult book… Will there be sexytimes? My impression of the second… Boy, Mia’s dad sure gets around. Hmmm… just now seeing that I think about sex and characters a lot. I blame my mother’s collection of steamy romances that obviously infected me in the womb.
Octavia Butler Has A New eBook!
When I first saw this story, I was secretly hoping that there was a found manuscript sequel to Fledging in the works, since Butler passed away before she could publish one. But alas, no. Still, fans like me will be thrilled to read this new collection of stories from the world famous author.
This exciting collection presents two previously unpublished stories by SF legend Butler: a novella titled “A Necessary Being,” and a short story titled “Childfinder,” which, according to the June 1979 issue of Locus, was originally slated for inclusion in the projected third volume of Harlan Ellison’s notorious Last Dangerous Visions anthology.
“A Necessary Being” precedes the events of Survivor, Butler’s third (famously disowned) installment in her Patternist series, and includes characters from it, focusing exclusively on the Kohn, aliens who build their social hierarchies on the blueness of their fur.
In “Childfinder,” a black woman with the gift of identifying children with latent psychic ability refuses to share her skill with an organization of white telepaths. These riveting additions to Butler’s oeuvre are superb examples of her craft and will be welcomed by Butler fans and scholars alike.
If you like science fiction, fantasy or dystopian books, you really need to read Octavia Butler. She’s amazing!
James Strauss Is Apparently a Lying Shyster
At least according to Lee Goldberg, anyway. It seems that Lee caught on to Strauss’ misbehavior when they were both on a TV writing panel at a mystery conference. Initially wrote a post about it redacting Strauss’ real name, but when he found out that the guy was still conning other conferences, he decided to republish the blog post with the author’s real name.
I omitted his name to save him embarrassment. I was being too kind, because the guy is still hoodwinking conferences and the paying attendees with the same scam.
James gets gigs teaching screenwriting courses based on his experience writing episodes on the TV shows HOUSE, DEADWOOD, SAVING GRACE and ENTOURAGE. The problem is, according to the Writers Guild of America and writer/producers on those shows, James Strauss never worked as a writer on any of those series. So beware. If you run across any conference or seminar programs where he’s fraudulently claiming those credits in his biography, please alert the organizers and have them contact Lesley McCambridge in the WGA West credits department.
I could act all surprised and offended by this, but the truth is, people like this exist everywhere. The best thing to do is out them as quickly as possible so they can’t run their little scams anymore. So good job, Lee.
Anne Rice Supports (or doesn’t?) Bullying
Anne Rice may or may not like bullies. On the one hand she’s against one starring a whole bunch of books for no apparent reason. On the other hand, she also supports a website that has made it a campaign to slam reviewers for being honest in their reviews. So, I dunno. Here’s a screenshot I guess.
Here’s another screenshot of various reader comments.
I’m so over this story. Let’s write a new version! Authors and readers get along forever because everyone loves each other. The end. (cue picture of author and reader holding hands and prancing off into the sunset together)
We Need Diverse Books!!!
Remember last week and the week before, when I was complaining about the lack of diversity in books and how no one ever seems to do anything? Well, I have been happily proven wrong! #WeNeedDiverseBooks is a campaign supported by readers, reviewers and authors (both indie and traditionally published). It is happening May 1st through May 3rd. I’ll let the website fill you in on the deets.
On May 1st at 1pm (EST), there will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We want people to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.
On May 2nd, the second part of our campaign will roll out with a Twitter chat scheduled for 2pm (EST) using the same hashtag. Please use #WeNeedDiverseBooks at 2pm on May 2nd and share your thoughts on the issues with diversity in literature and why diversity matters to you.
On May 3rd, 2pm (EST), the third portion of our campaign will begin. There will be a Diversify Your Shelves initiative to encourage people to put their money where their mouth is and buy diverse books and take photos of them. Diversify Your Shelves is all about actively seeking out diverse literature in bookstores and libraries, and there will be some fantastic giveaways for people who participate in the campaign! More details to come!
The bottom line is, we want change and now we’re going to demand it! This is from author Ellen Oh:
When BookCon announced their all-white-male panel, we began talking on Twitter with a few other people about just how disappointing this was. And more people kept joining into our Twitter conversation. At that moment, I just had this image of the Whos of Whoville shouting “We are here!” and nobody hearing us until that one last little Who joined in. I knew that if we were going to have anything happen, if we were going to make change, then we had to bring together a whole lot of voices to really be heard. I think it was the right time to remind people that we are here. We aren’t going away. And we are needed.
Okay, I just seriously teared up at that visual. Here are some fantastic examples of the May 1st kickoff on Twitter.
Hi, I am an Asian author who wrote a book about an Asian, katana wielding vampire girl. And I'm quite proud of it. #WeNeedDiverseBooks
— Julie Kagawa (@Jkagawa) May 1, 2014
— E.C. Myers (@ecmyers) May 1, 2014
#WeNeedDiverseBooks because prejudice is a fly that's been in the soup so long we think it's an ingredient, not an invader.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) May 1, 2014
#WeNeedDiverseBooks because it literally DID NOT OCCUR TO ME that I should see myself in books as a child because I never did.
— Sunil Patel (@ghostwritingcow) May 1, 2014
— gayle forman (@gayleforman) April 30, 2014
News Corp. Acquires Harlequin… Yay?
Well, I can’t say I saw this coming, but this morning, Torstar Corp., the parent company of Harlequin, announced the sale of the publisher to News Corp., the parent company of HarperCollins.
In a news release David Holland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corp. had this to say about the deal:
“While making the decision to sell has been difficult, we are confident that this transaction represents excellent value for Torstar shareholders and it also further strengthens the financial position of Torstar [sic] ….We concluded it was a good opportunity to exit the Harlequin business at an excellent price,” he said.
Indeed, Holland. $455 million dollars in cash is quite a pretty penny.
The biggest question on everyone’s mind, however, is what changes this means for both the HarperCollins and Harlequin divisions.
Remember how you could use coupons with Harlequin books? But never with Avon books? or how Harlequin's are always in libraries? Yeah.
— DearAuthor (@dearauthor) May 2, 2014
BC we know what DRM is, what library limitations are, etc. And HC and HQ do them – and many other things – differently.
— Sarah Wendell (@SmartBitches) May 2, 2014
There should be a hashtag for the inevitable furious debate whether HarperCollins acquiring Harlequin is good or bad. My vote: #HaHa
— Brooks Sherman (@byobrooks) May 2, 2014
Harlequin’s chief executive Craig Swinwood said they are “excited to be joining HarperCollins Publishers.”
“This transaction will allow Harlequin to continue to operate as a distinct and successful brand within a larger publishing company.”
Uh huh. Well, only time will tell. The deal is expected to close sometime in September if receives approval from Torstar’s Class A shareholders, Canada and the U.S.