In this week’s Buzz Worthy News: Penguin finally settles, Macmillan announces the launch of Swoon Reads – The publishing world’s answer to So You Think You Can Dance? Neil Gaiman breaks everyone’s hearts but this time not with a book, a seventeen year old gets a book deal after her online writing gets over 19 million views, and Beth Revis is going where no YA author has gone before! All this and much, much more! Click to read more!
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly, regular Monday post bringing you all the most interesting news on the publishing world. For cover reveals and new releases, check out our Sunday post, Hot New Titles.
The will-they won’t-they game for the price fixing lawsuit with the DOJ is starting to wrap up, and got a little bit closer this week as Penguin settled.
Penguin Group has reached a proposed settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the price fixing lawsuit filed in April 2012. Macmillan (as Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC) and Apple are the only two remaining parties who have not settled with the DOJ about an alleged conspiracy to fix eBook prices.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York must approve the settlement, but it would end Penguin’s role in the suit. In addition, the DOJ noted that they are “currently reviewing” the merger deal struck between Penguin and Random House. If the merger occurs, then “the terms of Penguin’s settlement will apply to it.”
Macmillan has proclaimed it it holding out against the suit.
“The second reason is the more important one. Since the very beginning, the government’s demands have never wavered in all our discussions. They still insist on the two year discounting regime that forms the heart of the agreement signed by the three settling publishers. It was our belief that Amazon would use that entire discount for the two years. That would mean that retailers who felt they needed to match prices with Amazon would have no revenue from e-books from five of the big publishers (and possibly the sixth) for two years. Not no profit, no revenue. For two years. We felt that few retailers could survive this or would choose to survive this.”
Okay, that makes sense. Macmillan! Why do you have to keep sounding so reasonable! On being the smallest of the big publishers:
“We will be more than fine in the land of the giants. I expect we will continue to grow and prosper.”
Aw, Macmillan! We can’t help but cheer you on! But don’t tell the other publishers we said that!
In an idea pulled directly from my most desperate wishes and actualized for all to love and participate in, Macmillan is launching Swoon Reads.
A crowdsourced YA romance imprint under the aegis of Feiwel and Friends. This pioneering venture will create an online community where writers submit their manuscripts directly to the publisher, and readers participate in the publishing process by reading, rating, and commenting on submissions – and subsequently by providing notes and input on cover design and marketing for accepted books. The manuscripts achieving the highest ratings by readers and an in-house Swoon Reads editorial team will be published in paperback and e-book editions. The imprint’s Web site will launch in spring 2013; the first Swoon Reads novels are due out in 2014.
Sorry if I’m gushing, but, where do I sign up again?! Give it to me naow!
So, trufax, I’m not a huge fan of Gaiman’s work. But I still appreciate him as a writer and pretty iconic part of the geek community. Plus, despite my misgivings, Sandman was pretty great on a number of levels. But the golden age is coming to an end as Neil Gaiman announced that he is doing his last tour.
Neil Gaiman has announced that his next book-signing tour will be his last. He’ll be heading out in 2013 to sign copies of “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” which hits shelves June 18, traveling around the U.S., the U.K., and then going farther afield. Then: No more.
This will be his final book-signing tour because, for Gaiman, recent book-signings have turned into overly long affairs. In 2009, a reading and book-signing he did in Georgia had some fans waiting almost seven hours.
“[O]nce the Ocean at the End of the Lane tour is over, I do not think I will do any more book signing tours,” Gaiman wrote on his blog Tuesday. “I’m going to try and make this tour the glorious last US book signing tour, and then stop doing book signing tours for good.”
Damn! This sucks, guys! Maybe we should start a petition or something? Invoke supernatural forces? I never got him to sign a book for me! Waaaahhhh! Not fair! Also, if you don’t already follow his twitter stream, you should. It’s bloody hilarious!
Seventeen Year old gets publishing deal. Frustrated writers the world over weep
Seventeen Year old Beth Reeks loaded her writing online and then something kind of amazing happened. It was viewed 19 million times which is the kind of awesome that most of us never achieve, let alone at 17.
“When I started comprehensive school I had a laptop and began writing really long books.
“I couldn’t say how long, I rarely look at the word count anymore, I just save the stories and store them away on my laptop.
“A friend introduced me to the website Wattpad and I was quite excited that there were other authors out there who were my age.
“Sometimes I won’t write for two weeks in a row and other times I will write for maybe 10 hours a week.
“With ‘The Kissing Booth’ I was posting one chapter at a time every couple of days. The first chapter had one million reads alone and at one point I had a million hits in two weeks.”
Okay, now she’s just rubbing it in! But seriously, congrats to her!
“Philippa Dickinson, from Random House said: “We are very excited to be partnering Beth at the beginning of her publishing career.
“She is a teenager writing for teenagers, her knowledge of her readership is spot-on and her voice is completely authentic.”
Another big win for Random House maybe?
Some publicity stunts are fun, others dumb. Rarely are they exciting. This time though, Penguin has come up with something very interesting! They’re going to launch Shades of Earth into space. Oh, but there is a previso!
To celebrate the third and final book in the series, Revis has partnered with Penguin for a literal book launch. If fans pre-order more copies of Shades of Earth than they did for books one and two combined, they will launch a copy of Across the Universe into space. (Picture something similar to this.) Watch Revis explain the promotional campaign after the jump.
The question is, how likely is Shades of Earth to reach this milestone? Does the third book in a trilogy usually amass more preorders than previous books? Who’s counting? I need to know! Regardless – congrats to Beth Revis!
We all want to know what’s coming up in the next year of publishing. Well, I assume we do. So the end of year is the perfect time to listen to what everyone has to say and then mock them when it doesn’t happen. What does Jeremy Greenfield predict for us? Mostly a hellish dystopian future in which Goodreads sells books, Ebooks go ‘dynamic’ and publishers form backlist marketing divisions.
But the big thing on this list is Goodreads selling books. The very backlash from this move might be enough to psychically scar the universe for all time. It’s impartiality in the arena had been its strongest selling point – with a focus on selling books for profit would impinge on that. Problem is there really isn’t a valid alternative that doesn’t involve me trying to figure out how the hell LibraryThing works.
“Goodreads, the massive social network dedicated to books and readers, will turn into a bookseller in 2013. When I asked founder and CEO Otis Chandler about it earlier this year,he said “not yet.”
I am shaking my fist at this prediction. Partly because I don’t like change and partly because I definitely don’t like changes to my favourite social media!
Sexed up YA
The New York Times has an article out about sex in YA, as in – peeps are wanting it!
“Publishers and authors say they are seeing a spurt in sales of books that fit into the young-adult genre in their length and emotional intensity, but feature slightly older characters and significantly more sex, explicitly detailed.”
“Providing more mature material, publishers reason, is a good way to maintain devotion to books among the teenagers who are scooping up young-adult fiction and making it the most popular category in literature, with a crossover readership that is also attracting millions of adults. All while creating a new source of revenue.”
The move isn’t popular with everyone though as sex in YA is still a contentious issue. Is it okay in general, if it only has a purpose in the story, is a little titillation okay or should it only exist to serve a purpose? What do you think?
Okay, are you clutching your unmentionables in excitement? Okay… NOW are you clutching your unmentionables? Ready for it? THEY’RE MAKING UNWIND THE MOVIE!
I know! The excitement can barely be contained!
Robert Kulzer, co-prexy of Constantin Film in Los Angeles, brought the project to the company and will serve as producer on “Unwind” alongside Marc Benardout, Catherine Kimmel, Julian Stone and Charlotte Stoudt, who will produce for Stay Whole Prods. Constantin board member Martin Moszkowicz, who is responsible for film and TV, will exec produce.
All I can say is that they had sooooooooo better get this one right!
Vampire Academy: The Movie!
In another installment of our weekly YA-Book-Gets-Turned-Into-A-Movie, Vampire Academy finally joins the ranks!
According to the Official Facebook page for the film Don Murphy stated, “We have a writer & a script: DAN WATERS of ‘Heathers’ fame! Woot Woot!! Dan has written a brilliant screenplay for VAMPIRE ACADEMY. Smart and funny, clever and really a great read – it is going to make a terrific film.”
The Vampire Academy focuses on two best friends, Lissa and Rose. Lissa is a vampire princess and Rose is her half human bodyguard. Two are required to attend the secret boarding school, St Vladimir’s Academy. Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi–the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires–make Lissa one of them forever.
The movie will definitely fill the void of vampires left by Twilight, however this novel is nothing like Twilight. Peppered with sexy scenes, mean girls, and social issues The Vampire Academy is not your run of the mill vampire novel.
Now prepare for the rush of nominations for Ian Somerhalder to play the role of Dimitri!
Okay, no really, try not to freak out. Daughter of Smoke and Bone + Movie = OMFGWCIHTN!
As in: Oh My Fucking God Why Can’t I Have This Now!
Signaling that Universal Pictures sees the project as a priority, the studio has set Joe Roth to produce the film adaptation of Daughter Of Smoke & Bone, the young-adult fantasy novel by National Book Award Finalist Laini Taylor. Roth Film President Palak Patel will executive produce.
Dear Universal Pictures,
Pro Tip: THIS PROJECT IS DEFINITELY A PRIORITY!
“In Daughter Of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor masterfully tells a story of identity and destiny that welcomes readers into a fantastical world with a unique mythology,” said Roth. “It is very different than anything we’ve seen before and I look forward to bringing the fascinating characters to the big screen.”
Okay, he did the Snow White and the Huntsman script. I’m officially terrified for one of my absolute favourite YA books.
So you know how someone goes to give advice to you, and they’re talking and talking and the more the talk, the more you wish you could find a pineapple to fill their gob with because that is the only way to rectify the situation without launching multiple Death Machines upon the Earth?
Something like that happened this week when I read Seeley James’ post on Three Lessons From Writing a Thriller Heroine. But luckily you can learn from everything, even if it wasn’t the intended result. So here’s three things I learned.
1. IMAGE: Women readers have to identify with a woman protagonist (no other gender combination has this problem, just women reading about a female). Now, this is a thriller and thrillers always have fight scenes. If you know anything about fighting, you know that the simple physics of weight is why boxers are separated into weight classes. A 5’2” woman is never going to beat up several 6’ guys no matter what form of Krav Maga or Muay Thai, or whatever fighting style she employs. She might get one guy but the rest she’ll need to shoot with a gun. So, wanting a touch of realism, I included my heroine’s height and weight at a realistic level.
First of all – WHAT?! I’m sorry… what? No other gender combination has the problem of wanting to identify with the protagonist? I’m going to have to object on the grounds of the entire history of the human race. Ever.
2. ACTIONS: Women readers don’t like to read about violent women. One of the most violent men in literature today, Jack Reacher, has a fan base that is 65% women. Yet those same women would turn up their noses at a Jane Reacher if she were equally violent.
This is so true. I’ve never met a single woman who liked Buffy, or Katniss. Definitely no woman liked Kill Bill! And the wide range of violent female protagonists in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance would not at all suggest that women like violence.
I definitely prefer my MEN to be violent – which is why no woman has ever loved watching Doctor Who.
3. KINDNESS: Even on the second round, women beta readers said something was missing that kept my heroine from reaching them. No one could put a finger on it. Since thrillers don’t have a lot of overt sex or fashion shopping, I had to fish around to make the character do something that would distinguish her as feminine. I came up with a few random acts of kindness. As fate would have it, the three acts of kindness my heroine completes in the story were based on real life actions I’d actually witnessed—done by men. Hey, but it worked. The next group of beta readers identified with her and noted that she was ‘thoughtful’ and had ‘good instincts’. Do you know a thriller heroine who takes time to help others?
Can I just repeat a sentence: “Since thrillers don’t have a lot of overt sex or fashion shopping…”
Yup. Michelle Rodriguez isn’t my imaginary girlfriend and I don’t consider Vasquez my personal idol to live up to. Thousands of men don’t watch My Little Pony. I did not just shoot some guy on Halo and teabag his dead body.
Here’s an idea: When you’re writing a female protagonist, start by writing a human being. The End.
This Might Just Make You Slightly Uncomfortable But… You’re Welcome
George Takei records a hilarious reading of Fifty Shades of Grey, which also doubles as promo for his new book Oh Myyy! (There Goes the Internet).