Welcome 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 Worthy News, trailers are out but the movies aren’t until 2015! Science tells us stuff about books and Amazon and Hachette wars are over, Daniel Handler says stupid shit, and much, much more!
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 Tuesday post: Hot New Titles.
Trailers, Trailers Everywhere, and Not a One Before 2015 *sob*
I don’t know if you’ve read the book, The Duff, but after watching this trailer, I have to say, the movie bears little resemblance to the book as I remember it. I’m looking at this and thinking She’s All That. But what can I say, that dude is hot, so I’ll roll with it.
The new take on Cinderella is already getting mixed reviews and it isn’t even out yet. Here is what director Kenneth Branagh has to say about it:
I felt we were doing a film unashamedly about goodness. Disney at one point picked up on this and said, yeah, goodness as a superpower. And yes, maybe that’s true, but it’s also trying to access that quality without seeming self-righteous or pious, or too-good-to-be-true. I think Cinderella, in Chris Weitz’s screenplay, can be funny and sexy and smart and kind, but she can turn the other cheek. She can, through knowing herself as she does, be totally at peace with these qualities. And I would call that real strength.
Kat just wants them to play Ever After in the theater, me, I just want some gosh darned singing.
Science Tells us Stuff about Books
Oh, what would we poor innocent book readers do without Science to come along and tell us how everything works?
In the latest from Science, regular books are way better for your brain than ebooks.
A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback. Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University concluded that “the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does.”
Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page.
I’m willing to concede some of this, but they didn’t say what kind of Kindle was used. Was it an old style? My paperwhite is almost as good as paper, and I use my hand to “turn” pages like I would regular pages. Also, why only a Kindle? I don’t think anyone would argue that all ereaders are alike. Is a Nook the same as a Kindle or as an iPad? If you’re going to test out a theory, test out a variety. And here’s another thing:
As we increasingly read on screens, our reading habits have adapted to skim text rather than really absorb the meaning. A 2006 study found that people read on screens in an “F” pattern, reading the entire top line but then only scanning through the text along the left side of the page. This sort of nonlinear reading reduces comprehension and actually makes it more difficult to focus the next time you sit down with a longer piece of text.
A lot of this is also referring to reading on a computer screen, reading websites. Neither of these is the same thing as reading books. I feel like one of these studies pops up every once in a while to make us feel bad for using our technology. Well, okay. We feel bad. Are you happy now?
Daniel Handler Says a Bunch of Stupid Shit
So, in case you missed it (I almost did, because a certain Twitter account that I follow promised to live tweet it, so I had to mute them for a while) they held the National Book Awards, and a bunch of people won, and for some, it was pretty much the biggest day of their lives.
Take black author Jacqueline Woodson, for instance. She won the award for her book Brown Girl Dreaming. Daniel Handler (known to many of you as Lemony Snicket), who hosted the event, then proceeded to contract a case of some of the worst verbal diarrhea I’ve ever seen. (The video clip is HERE)
Here is the transcript:
Handler: I told you! I told Jackie she was going to win. And I said that if she won, I would tell all of you something I learned this summer, which is that Jackie Woodson is allergic to watermelon. Just let that sink in your mind.
And I said you have to put that in a book. And she said, you put that in a book. And I said I am only writing a book about a black girl who is allergic to watermelon if I get a blurb from you, Cornell West, Toni Morisson, and Barack Obama saying, “This guy’s ok! This guy’s fine.”
Alright, we’ll talk about it later.
Now, I’ve seen the clip and it seems like he and Woodson are genuinely friends and he also seems genuinely pleased for her to win this award. HOWEVER. (Yeah, you knew this was coming.) WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, DUDE??? Like, you seriously thought that this was the kind of joke you make at a very prestigious award ceremony and you thought it would do ANYTHING to advance the discussion of Woodson’s work in any way????
Oh God. I just. I don’t even know what to say about that, so I’ll leave you with a quote from thismess.net, who I think sums up the problem with this type of joking very well.
It’s not. Woodson can make that joke about herself. But for a powerful white author to make a watermelon joke when handing out an award to a black author, the message is – no matter what you write, no matter what you do, no matter what you accomplish, you will always be a BLACK author, not just an author.
That’s not Handler’s intention here, but that’s the effect.
Handler has come out with an apology and he doesn’t make any excuses, but guys, in the end, this cycle is too common and it needs to change.
All the Stories in the World About Amazon!!!
You know, it’s been so long since we’ve covered any Amazon stories that I almost forgot that mastodon of a company even existed. Haha, Just Kidding! But in case you did actually miss hearing about the doings of this powerhouse of bookselling/publishing/selling you stuff you never knew you needed, here are three stories we’ve brought you.
The Amazon Hachette Wars Are Over
So, the Amazon Hachette Wars are over. Well, Hallelujah! Let the parade begin!
Hachette won an important victory on Thursday in its battle with Amazon: the ability to set its own prices for e-books, which it sees as critical to its survival. But even as the publisher and retailer announced a negotiated peace after sparring since January, hardly anyone seemed in the mood for celebratory fireworks.
It’s been the never-ending story of the summer (much to the dismay of the book world, because GOOD GAWD) and now it’s over.
The multi-year agreement, which includes both e-books and print books, broadly follows a deal Amazon recently worked out with Simon & Schuster. A source with knowledge of that deal said it was negotiated relatively quickly and gave the publisher control over most of its pricing but offered incentives to sell at lower prices. Amazon got increased co-op funds, the payments for placement on the retailer’s website.
Kindle Unlimited: Good or Bad for Authors?
As usual, every time Amazon does something new, everyone’s got an opinion. Right now, however, some indie authors are scratching their heads about the viability of including their books in Kindle Unlimited.
In case you didn’t know, when you put your books in any special programs for authors, such as Kindle Select or Kindle Unlimited, it comes at a cost. You are agreeing to 60 days (this is renewed every 60 days) of Amazon only publishing. Most authors who sign up, though, are cool with it because they feel like they get a bigger bump in sales overall, and they get good compensation.
Digital Book World is reporting a change in the wind, however:
Despite recently adding to the pot from which KDP Select authors are compensated, the amount they’re paid per read through the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s new subscription program, dropped to a record low of $1.33.
So in case you don’t get that… if you sign up for Unlimited with your book that is normally listed at $3.99, you’re getting half that money every time someone borrows the book or reads it through Kindle Unlimited. OUCH. This is good news for Amazon, because it means that their new program is really popular. But if they want to keep authors interested, they’re going to need to add more to the pot.
Boycotting Amazon Over Christmas
A group called Amazon Anonymous is urging citizens in Britain not to do any Christmas shopping with Amazon this year. Why? I’ll let them tell you:
“Amazon claims to be the world’s most ‘customer-centric’ company, but tens of thousands of us disagree,” the group said. “Amazon can and should be a better company by treating their workers, society and other businesses fairly. So let’s use our consumer power against them and support shops more deserving of our cash this Christmas.”
It added: “We know going cold turkey is hard – but we’ll provide you with support to help you shop somewhere better. All you have to do for now is add your name.”
Good luck to them. My mom has eight kids living in 4 states to send Christmas presents to every year. She gets free 2 day shipping and racks up enough points on her Amazon visa to buy 10 gift cards. I don’t think she’d give that up for anyone. Then again, she doesn’t live in the UK, sooo…
BTW- Anyone notice that 2 out of the 3 stories about Amazon are about lowball pay? Just sayin’.
Woman Gets a Pride & Prejudice Proposal (SOOOOO Jelly!!!)