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 Stephen Colbert defines YA, All The John Green Books are being published, Amazon takes on JK Rowling, and farewell to Strange Chemistry.
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.
Thank GAWD For the Government! (NOT)
In a spectacularly idiotic move that has book lovers all over the country shaking their collective fists, officials in the small Kansas town of Leawood, have ruled Little Free Libraries
and children to be bad.
A “Little Free Library” is a small container, often a cabinet, filled with books that passers-by can take, read, and return as they please. They can also donate their own books. There are thousands of these mini-libraries all over the world, but the city of Leawood, Kansas won’t stand for it, and has asked the family to take theirs down.
When we say “thousands,” were’ not exaggerating. There’s probably an officially registered Little Free Library near you, which you can find using this map.
The town has told 9 year old Spencer Collins (the little library’s creator) to remove the “illegal accessory structure” or the family will receive a citation from the city. SAY WHAT??? Have they actually seen it? Collins’ plans to complain at the next council meeting. Maybe the town council can also eliminate schools and libraries while they’re at it.
But no worries, people, because we who are OUTSIDE the bounds of government reason and logic have built up a groundswell of support for young Spencer, including the ever awesome Lemony Snicket.
Now, Spencer is getting some public backing from Handler, a.k.a Lemony Snicket, author of the “Series Of Unfortunate Events” books.
Handler told the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s sending Spencer “a handful of Snicket books — largely from my new series, ‘All the Wrong Questions,’ in which a librarian is a hero.”
When asked if he had any advice for Spencer, Handler replied, “I would rather be advised by this librarian on what he thinks I ought to read next.”
Handler is among thousands who have voiced support for Spencer since the Leawood shut down the tiny library, which was roughly the size of a large birdhouse.
Mayor Peggy Dunn said the city MIGHT make an exception for Spencer’s library at the next meeting. GOOD LORD.
Stephen Colbert Defines YA… Like A BOSS
This isn’t a John Green mention pretending to be a Stephen Colbert mention, I swear! In a recent interview with the VERY EXTREMELY UNBEARABLY popular YA author, Colbert asked what Green thinks about the term YA, saying, “Because as far as I can tell, a YA novel is a novel that people actually read.”
You know what, Colbert, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT A YA NOVEL IS. Watch the full clip here:
Also, you’re welcome for the abs even though they have nothing to do with this story.
83% of Parents Are Doing a Shitty Job
Only 17% of parents said that reading was a summer priority. 83% of parents are terrible, no good, horrible people who probably won’t even get that pun because they don’t have their bloomin’ priorities straight.
American Teens spend roughly 4.2 minutes a day reading during weekends and holidays. Call the National Guard! This is a crisis! The research reveals that, mostly, only old people are really reading and that’s because they have nothing else to keep them from the icy fingers of death.
News From the Front Lines: The Amazon Hachette Wars
I’m afraid our news this week is a mixed bag. Soldiers from the front lines tell us that Amazon has started expanding upon its current territory by requiring book publishers in the UK to agree to new terms as well.
According to book industry bible the Bookseller, to whom UK publishers spoke on condition of anonymity, Amazon is putting publishers under “heavy pressure” to introduce new terms. The Bookseller reports that these include the proviso that “should a book be out of stock from the publisher, Amazon would be entitled to supply its own copies to customers via its print-on-demand facilities”, and that “books cannot be sold for a lower price than Amazon’s anywhere, including on a publisher’s own website”.
When asked for their opinions, self-published authors commented that (1) they’ve had to follow those rules from the start under KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and (2) MOST booksellers online (including B&N, Google Play, and Kobo) have the same terms.
Still, it is troubling to see how much territory Amazon has grabbed up in this ongoing battle, particularly when you consider their terms for surrender to Hachette:
Last week, The Future Book‘s Philip Jones revealed that Amazon was seeking a “dramatic shift” in the terms of its contract with Hachette. Specifically, Amazon wanted to “shift its agency commission from 30% to 50%,” which “would have the impact of reducing the publisher’s revenue from each sale by $2.40, from $8.40 to $6, or by 30%” on a $12 ebook. This would reduce Hachette’s yearly revenue by between between $16.5 million and $33 million. (You can read our full report here.)
Soldiers also tell us, the demands don’t stop there. Says one brave fighter:
I spoke to someone involved on the Hachette side of the negotiations, who is under orders not to discuss them and asked not to be named. This person said that Amazon has been demanding payments for a range of services, including the pre-order button, personalized recommendations and a dedicated employee at Amazon for Hachette books. This is similar to so-called co-op arrangements with traditional retailers, like paying Barnes & Noble for placing a book in the front of the store.
But Hachette is firing back. Determined to gain ground for themselves in this volatile fight to the death, they’ve bought out Perseus Books Group, in an effort to maintain any amount of leverage they can against the multi-media powerhouse dictator.
The Perseus Books Group, founded by the late Frank Pearl in 1996, is being sold to the Hachette Book Group. Through the deal, Hachette will then sell Perseus’ distribution business to Ingram.HBG will take ownership of the Perseus publishing imprints, while Ingram Publisher Services will add the distribution lines.Perseus has been headed by David Steinberger, who will leave the company after helping with the transition, since 2004 and is composed of the publishing imprints Avalon Books, Basic Books, Da Capo Press, The Economist, PublicAffairs, Nation Books, Running Press, Seal Press, Weinstein Books and Westview.
Ultimate Death Match: Amazon Vs. JK Rowling
Amazon didn’t take into account when they started The Amazon Hachette Wars that they’d be taking on the great Rowling herself in their bid to win every tick mark in their new publisher contracts.
And this is to their detriment and the fans gain, as they have apparently backed down on some of their guerilla tactics, at least.
Amazon.com appears to have bowed to consumer pressure and speeded up delivery of JK Rowling‘s just-published new novel The Silkworm – one of the victims of the retailer’s battle over terms with the publisher Hachette – as well as releasing it in ebook form.
On Thursday, Rowling’s mystery The Silkworm – written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith – was being offered by Amazon.com as “usually ship[ping] within 1 to 2 months“, according to the book industry website Publishers Lunch, which reported that “social media and the Kindle discussion forum started filling with complaints and questions, since Amazon had previously told customers who pre-ordered Hachette Book Group titles when they were available that those orders would be honoured on publication date”.
As of Friday morning, delivery times had shortened dramatically, with Amazon suggesting that the book was “in stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process”.
In other words, fans bitched to such an extent that Amazon was forced to honor their wishes. But wait, there’s more…
The Kindle edition of the novel, which was published on 19 June in the US, was also unavailable on Thursday, prompting a wave of complaints on Amazon.com. One reader wrote: “I just went to Barnes and Noble and downloaded their free nook app and bought the book from them. You have stupid corporate feuds, you lose, Amazon!”, adding: “I’ve been a loyal Amazon customer for years, but this is ridiculous. You don’t stand between a reader and her JK Rowling!” Another wrote: “Been a loyal Amazon customer since it arrived, but this is just ridiculous. Have cancelled pre-order Kindle edition of this book, and buying it from Apple instead. I hope others make the same protest.” A third said: “C’mon, Amazon. Settle your differences! Very anxious to read the sequel to The Cuckoo’s Calling. Rowling is a terrific writer.”
A few hours ago, Amazon.com started selling the Kindle version of The Silkworm, with the novel going on to soar up the online retailer’s chart.
‘Scuse me while I LOL it up over here. hahaha
Barnes & Noble is Breaking Up…
“We need to talk.” Nobody likes getting that text. It’s happened to almost everyone, though. In the case of Barnes & Noble, it’s the Nook division that’s decided to split.
Barnes & Noble Inc. is to split in two, separating its unprofitable Nook digital business from its consumer bookstores, an acknowledgment of the difficulties the retailer faces in competing with bigger companies like Amazon.com Inc. in the e-book and hardware sector.
The split, expected to occur by March, will make Nook Media a separate public company housing both Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book and e-reader business as well as its college stores. Among Nook Media’s big shareholders will be Microsoft Corp. and Pearson PLC, both of which have invested in the Nook Media division but don’t have a stake in the broader company.
So, the good news is you can still buy and sell books for Nook. The bad news is, Nook isn’t profitable?
Angry Robot has disinherited and dumped it’s beautiful young adult imprint, stopping all further publications, cancelling series, debut books and everything.
Please find a list of the following sad tweets:
And if you were thinking about purchasing a @strangechem book, now’s the time to do it. Not sure how long they’ll be available. *sadz*
— MG Buehrlen (@mgbuehrlen) June 20, 2014
I see people are worried, but I'm fine. The book I'm proudest of comes out in a few months, and soon a new project will be announced.
— Gwenda Bond (@Gwenda) June 20, 2014
Best to those authors who just had their books yanked out from under them. And to those who are losing jobs, too!
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) June 20, 2014
To the Authors Formerly Known as Strange Chemists: Keep on keeping on. Devoted readers will follow your characters anywhere. @strangechem
— Lauren Thoman (@LaurenTHCW) June 20, 2014
Gwenda Bond had this to say:
I will be forever grateful to Strange Chemistry and Angry Robot for giving my career its start, and for the wonderful friends I met because I published there. I hope everyone lands on their feet — staff at the publisher, but most especially the amazing writers who were notified yesterday that their books are canceled, debut authors and people writing sequels or who had already written them, and those who were mid-series. Please support them, now and in the future. We can’t afford to lose their voices. – Gwenda Bond
Ben Kingsley Cast in The Jungle Book
It seems like Disney had a meeting and they were all, “Let’s take all our animated cartoons and make them into live action films!” And let me just say, here at Cuddlebuggery, we approve of this idea! So far we’ve gotten Malificent and a Cinderella teaser. Well, it looks like The Jungle Book is up and running full steam ahead, as well.
Oscar winner Ben Kingsley will provide the voice of panther Bagheera in Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The movie, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), will be a combination of live-action and animation with a script by Justin Marks. Kingsley joins previously announced stars Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Scarlett Johansson (Her), and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) as the voices of Shere Khan, Kaa, and Rakcha, respectively, for a scheduled Oct. 9, 2015, release.
Viacom Launches 24 Hour John Green News Network
JGNN, as it will be called, will bring us all the news we never wanted to hear about the outrageously famous author, including this next bit I’m sure.
Looking For Alaska is going to be a movie, too! YAY! Now we will finally get never-ending tweets and clips and news stories about a DIFFERENT book for a while. I know I will come to regret this later, but for now, I’m ecstatic to hear about anything BUT TFIOS, seriously.
The studio is in talks with Polley to direct the adaptation of John Green’s novel of love and loss at an Alabama boarding school.
And as Green posted to the Twitter yesterday, it’s all legit, people.
So excited to announce that the brilliant filmmaker Sarah Polley will be writing and directing a film adaptation of Looking for Alaska.
— John Green (@realjohngreen) June 26, 2014
Paramount picked up rights to “Alaska” in 2005 and set up the project with Mark Waters and Jessica Tuchinsky after outbidding several other studios. The novel is centered on Alaska Young, the reckless girl who’s the object of affection for most males at the school.
Polley directed “Away From Her” from her own Oscar-nominated script. She won the Writers Guild of America award this year for best documentary script for “Stories We Tell.”
So, you know, there’s that. (PS- JGNN is not a real thing, sorry fangirls. PPS- But I might reserve the right to use it from now on. Just because I can.)
Mockingjay Trailer Fun!
No, it’s not a super cool extended trailer featuring everyone’s favorite hardcore kick ass Hunger Games’ MC, Katniss. On the other hand, it is a PSA courtesy of President Snow, guaranteed to give you chills and remind you what the people of the different districts are fighting for. Take a gander, here:
Here are a few things we didn’t have time to get to this week.