This is it or isn’t it discussion over piracy continues this week, breaking news on Sylvia Plath and her relationship with her mother, Marvel is down with the ladies, a poetry competition winner was outed this week for plagiarism, and the drama in the book blogging community is getting back into full swing. Come check out all this and more in this week’s Buzz Worthy News.
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: How New Titles.
Another voice adds to the deluge of opinion over whether piracy is good or bad or will feed your pet while your overseas and drink all your rum (No to feeding pet, yes to drinking all the rum).
In a presentation at the Digital Book World Conference in New York today, Smith argued against three myths that he said permeate the discussion on illegal downloading. The first is that piracy doesn’t harm sales, which he said is not true. “Piracy harms sales,” he said, claiming that while 3 studies have been published suggesting that piracy doesn’t hurt sales, 25 others have shown that piracy is bad for sales. ”There are options to use legitimate distribution channels to convince people who have stolen your content to buy it,” he added.
See, folks? This is the problem with stupid stuff like studies and science! One study says one thing, five others say a different thing. Way to be confusing, science!
Then Michael Smith argued that not having digital content available makes people more likely to pirate.
“When people couldn’t find it in iTunes anymore they went to piracy,” concluded Smith. (During this time DVD sales remained steady.) Piracy increased 11 percent for NBC titles and ABC, CBS and FOX, also saw increases in their content being pirated. “There was also a negative spillover effect for the industry because people learned how to pirate,” explained Smith.
Captain Obvious concluded his speech by proclaiming that it’s rude to kick puppies and that stealing candy from babies is socially unpopular.
Plath committed suicide in 1963, but her life, her death and the messy issue of the hesitance issues that followed.
Some of her old friends have come forward to criticize – a little more – her ex-husband and her publisher over their actions after her death.
Sylvia Plath would never have wanted her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar published under her name while her mother, Aurelia Plath, was still alive, one of the writer’s friends has said.
Elizabeth Sigmund, one of Plath’s closest confidants, also accused the writer’s former husband, Ted Hughes, and his sister, Olwyn Hughes, of deliberately missing the dedication to her from the first edition which was published under Plath’s own name, in 1966, “because they didn’t want anyone who knew Sylvia to have any contact with the press”.
Long story short, because bickering between people of Plath’s estate always turns into a long, petty story, the publisher denies any wrong doing. Ted and Olwyn gave them permission, isn’t the Bell Jar great, blah, blah, blah.
Sigmund said in an interview with the Guardian: “There are two sides to this, of course. Because it was a brilliant book, one is glad that it was credited to her. But also you have to regard her wishes. If she said she didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings, by having it published under her own name … I certainly think that Ted and Olwyn should have mentioned that. And then Faber would have had to make up their minds. But for Monteith to say that he’d certainly never heard that – it just seems that they were keeping it from Faber.”
Basically, other people weigh in and, long story short, everyone is horrible.
He said there was “no love lost” between Plath and Olwyn Hughes, a view also held by Sigmund, who claims that “Olwyn hated her”.
Olwyn Hughes admitted she thought Plath was “a monster”. Yet she also expressed sympathy for the author.
“She was a very agonised lady. She had to battle to live every day – as you might think from The Bell Jar. When I read it after she died, I just wept.”
On the matter of using Plath’s own name on the book, she denied this was controversial. “What people want after they’re dead. That just goes.”
Yes. As soon as a person is dead, it’s totally cool to disregard all their wishes, desires and do stuff that will certainly cause extra harm to the vulnerable people left behind. Awesome.
So you’re a library and you want to increase attendance and borrowing by your local community – what do you do? How can you be fresh and new and different?
Well, you could try and think up ways to increase community awareness and participation by activities that involve reading, book discussion and recommendation. Or you could do what Midlothian does and just hold pole dancing classes. And as bad as that idea is – they actually managed to come up with a worse one. I mean, pole dancing classes are bad because it has nothing to do with reading and seems designed entirely for shock value. But Book Pong is even worse. Using books as pong paddles? Seriously?! How does this encourage reading? How is that even fun? WHO THOUGHT OF THESE IDEAS AND WHY DO THEY STILL HAVE A JOB?!
I mean seriously, on a scale of 1-10 for blatant misuse of a library for reasons that are inexplicable to any normal person, this rates a bit ol’ 10-point-wtfwereyoudrunk?!
“The pole fitness session is a fun and interesting way of encouraging more people into our libraries, trying out all the services on offer and ultimately borrowing more books.
“But it’s not just pole fitness on offer. I’m delighted to see such a wide range of free and exciting events organised to mark this special occasion.”
The pole dancing class, for over-16s only, will take place between 1.30pm and 3pm.”
OH! So it’s only for over 16’s only – well, that’s completely ok- no. It’s not. May your crotch itch with the fury of a thousand louse.
Out in April, the first issue in the new X-Men series from writer Brian Wood steers clear of any male team members, instead focusing on female characters including Storm, Psylocke, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey and Rogue. The superheroes chosen for the series are a “plethora of greats” and an “iconic and dynamic cast”, according to publisher Marvel, which specified the characters to be included in the book.
You know, I’m not saying this is a bad idea, okay? I love it. I already checked the Marvel App to see if I could preorder it yet (alas no! But I did buy six issues of Sigil. Anyone know if this is any good?) After all, I’m ignoring the fact that many books have an almost entirely male cast (like Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) and this mostly isn’t even questioned let alone considered out of the usual. B-but, just make it good, okay guys?
You’re already kind of worrying me when you write things like: “but added that “a sceptic might point out that this would have been a great opportunity to hand a big franchise to a female creator, grumble grumble”. The comics industry has come under fire in the past for its perceived lack of female characters and authors, with Marvel’s rival DC Comics the subject of a petition in 2011 over the limited number of women it employs.”
I mean, yes – it would have. And if we grumble, it’s because we care and we’re sick of being invisible/existing mostly for titillation in the comic book world. And “perceived lack of female characters and authors”? Okay, this isn’t a problem of perception, okay? Our eyesight and ability to cognitively process images is just fine. There IS a lack of female characters and authors in the comic book industry and the artistic depiction/backstories and representation of existing female characters tends to be problematic.
Look, I want this to succeed. I want this to be epic. So, Marvel, please don’t fuck this up, okay? You’re years ahead of DC. Don’t just make this a cheap, half-arsed gimmick where the characters are two-dimensional sex-objects whose main job it is to look pretty. I’m begging you. Out of Wood, Copiel and Martin, Martin is the only woman billed on the project – though Wood claims to have a strong history writing female characters in comic books. Based on the teaser cover, I’m already feeling extremely apprehensive.
So Christian Ward won a poetry competition. Awesome. How totally cool is it to win a poetry competition? I want to win one! Here – I have a poem.
Dude, win me this competition.
Otherwise I will make a petition
to get your ass beat.
The poet Christian Ward has said that he had “no intention of deliberately plagiarising” the work of another writer after it was discovered that his prize-winning entry to a poetry competition was lifted “almost word-for-word” from a poem by Helen Mort.
Question: How do you almost word-for-word write the same poem as someone else? I mean, did he slip and press the ctrl-c, ctrl-p key and then sneeze extra hard when he accidentally submitted that to a competition? Then, like, forget to mention it to anyone until it gets brought up? DUDE! He, of course, Mansplains so that all us stupid people can understand how innocent he is:
“Working on a poem about my childhood experiences in Exmoor and was careless”, and that he “used Helen Mort’s poem as a model for my own but rushed and ended up submitting a draft that wasn’t entirely my own work”.”I had no intention of deliberately plagiarising her work. That is the truth,”
Happens, to me all the time. Here’s another poem I wrote the other day by bashing my head on the keyboard while screaming “I love cheese” over and over again:
“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore –
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore –
Nameless here for evermore.
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was part of him — and I didn’t know how potent that part might be — that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
So, Christian Wood, even though Helen Mort did all the hard work and wrote a kickass poem worthy of winning a competition, I totally understand how you could accidentally submit her poem as your own. I believe you. It was a total accident. Could happen to ANYONE.
Do Not Read? More like: Do Not Exist, Please!
Okay, so Do Not Read lists have been a discussion point in the Goodreads/Book Blogging world this past year. But you know something’s gone mainstream when Jimmy Fallon brings it up! So, I present to you a video of his Do Not Read list. I honestly wish I could describe it to you, but it doesn’t allow Australian viewers to watch it… I’m going to blame Rupert Murdoch here because shit like this is usually his fault. Please feel free to tell me if this video is amazing and I’m truly missing out.
What books are on this list? I don’t know! I can’t report on this because I can’t view it. Does this seem unfair to anyone else? Cause it’s complete bullshit to me!
What’s on your Do Not Read List? For me, personally, it’s anything with a cover like this:
Stephanie Meyer is Producing Anna Dressed in Blood
Okay, so it’s no secret that Cuddlebuggery Book Blog adores Kendare Blake with the passion of a thousand suns. We worship her as the brilliant, shining, brilliant light of authorly brilliance that she is. So, imagine our excitement when we heard that Anna Dressed in Blood was being made into a movie? We danced, we celebrated, we worshiped at the bubble-gum altar of Blake that we keep in our closet a la Hey Arnold!
So imagine our horror and shock when we saw that Stephanie Meyer was producing Anna Dressed in Blood. No! What? Why?! The Book that I loved and Stephanie was famously meh about?! NNOOOOO. We love Blake too much to let this happen!
Meyer and her producing partner at company Fickle Fish have optioned the book’s rights and begun developing the film, with Meyer set to produce (but probably not write), according to a person familiar with the project who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak about it publicly.
What???!!! Okay, you know what? In exchange for getting an Anna Dressed in Blood movie, I don’t care if Beelzebub himself is producing it. As long as someone decent writes the script, I need it, okay? I need this NAOW.
You know, I never really read a book by Jim C Hines, not that I wouldn’t like to, but I love his cover work. Which he has done for a while now, where he poses as women on the covers of books. And it’s fantastic because, like the Hawkeye Initiative, it makes fun of the popularist and horrible ways women are depicted on book covers. But this week Jim C Hines hooked up with several other sci-fi authors to do a pretty impressive cover shoot!
In case you’re wondering – that is, from left to right, up to down, John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Cowal (Robinette is possibly the coolest middle name ever), Patrick Rothfuss and Charles Stross. And it is hilarious. Reverse the genders and all the sudden, something that looks so normative becomes ridiculous. I couldn’t think of a better way of highlighting gender inequality in fiction than this!
So, basically, keeping being awesome, Jim C. Hines! And I will keep loving you – and eventually read one of your books!
Also, Jim C Hines’ antics made it into the Guardian, peeps! Celebrate!
Plagiarism: Nobody’s Fault, a Victimless Crime *Insert 90’s “not!”*
So, earlier in this Week’s BWN we showed how Wood admitted to accidentally copying another poet’s work – cause that’s totally something that’s easy to do, and what does it matter any way, right? In the age of easy internet sharing when stuff gets recycled, tumblred, shared and the watermarks for the original artist removed, this is nothing new. Unfortunately, Sparkles and Lightning Blog recently went through this and they’ve posted their latest debacle this week.
Up-To-Date Reviewing has stolen content from at least six blogs at last count, and I’m not sure what the count is up to now. They obviously thought they wouldn’t get caught, or they wouldn’t have done it. But if there’s one thing I know it’s that you can’t hide forever. When you make your bed, you gotta lay in it.
Once we discovered this, it seemed like all hopes of resolving this privately were lost. Up-To-Date Reviewing began to remove all the plagiarized content from their blog, but they did not contact or apologize to the owners of the blogs they stole from. They were clearly trying to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened. And that is absolutely not okay. They made their decision when they plagiarized and they have to deal with the consequences.
They go on to present their email exchanges with Up To Date Reviewing, which is really depressing and disheartening. It just goes to show that being plagiarized from is really blood depressing and horrible. We wouldn’t know, because Steph and I have never been plagiarized (that we know of), but we’re damn sure glad of that! Because we can only be glad of that.
Look, plagiarism is horrible. Take it seriously, dudes. The effects, the victims and how it absolutely doesn’t even phase those who profit from it.
Authors and Negative Reviews – Just Fucking Deal With Them, Okay?
My Paranormal Book Reviews posted a really depressing recap of their communication with an author this week. Basically, this is what happened:
…so I recently (very recently) read a self published story that I really found a lot of problems with. I rated the book two stars and wrote a negative review. I pointed out what I felt to be really off with the story, and yes, I was sarcastic in my review because I was just dumbfounded by the story. You can read my review here.
Of course every author thinks they have a five star book, otherwise what would be the point of publishing it? Some authors take criticism better than others. This particular author felt the need to defend her writing. She felt my review was “mean spirited” and an “unfair assessment” of her writing. She went on to imply I either had a “bad day” or an “agenda”. Really?
Basically, the interaction gets more ridiculous as it progresses. But, most annoying, is the insinuation that a normal response to a book not liked, is a non-review.
I guess it certainly serves me right asking for assistance in my email that if you enjoyed the book, if could you help me out by letting others know about it. Figured if you did not like it and couldn’t in good conscience offer any assistance, you’d just do nothing or decline privately. ** hits self in head ** Thanks.
Whether it’s the mistaken assumption that it should be assumed bloggers would only provide positive reviews, or the fact that this author is so ungrateful to receiving a review at all, that annoys me most. Point of fact: We are not a free publicity service. Because you created a product, because you’re passionate about it, does not entitle you to have your feeling cared about by all your consumers. Are we to assume that musicians and inventors and programmers don’t care, or are not passionate about their products?
Anyway, read the entire entry here for more details!
Drama, drama, drama.
So, this author that almost everyone on the planet as never heard of, posted about how wonderful STRGB was because they stuck up for her against negative reviews.
Recently I have been the victim of bullies on a reader’s site called Goodreads. At first, I was deflated and even cried over it, sad to say. However, I decided to look into this matter further in order NOT to be a victim again! This is what I found…Apparently, there are quite a few people on this site who have attacked other new authors such as me. It is nice to know you are not alone when the chips are down and even more wonderful to see people defend you. It lends credit to the valid fact of the reality of this attack. It is tough enough following your dreams out there in any pursuit, but to have bored and vindictive people prey on you is appalling and pathetic. This same group has even discouraged writers from not only the site out of the pain inflicted-but even one author is not writing anymore!
Fact #1: People aren’t bored enough to hate on your book for fun. It’s nice to imagine those negative reviews are just from biased haters. But this is a pipe dream that benefits no one.
As one commenter said:
You’re barely a blip on anyone’s radar. You don’t have more than twenty ratings or reviews on any of your books. I have more ratings and reviews on one short story than you do on all of your novels combined. I really think you need to put up your big girl panties and suck it up. Being a writer is hard. You will be criticized. Get over it.
Hard to believe: that people legitimately dislike your book, believe it is of lesser quality, have honestly given it one star.
Easier to believe: that they’re just horrible, bored haters who are picking on your for fun for no other reason other than that they are shitheads.
Unfortunately, for many authors, people have better things to do with their time than to hate on unknown authors for fun.
Fact #2: Public opinion is cruel. Arguing against it and requesting every random reviewer be kind and take your emotional state/kindness into consideration is like Caligula waging war against the ocean – crazy and impossible. People will review how they honestly feel. This isn’t bullying, this is opinion because they are consumers and you are the pusher of a product.
Fact 3: If you support STGRB then no one will take you seriously. Ever.
No need to elaborate on this. Enjoy the bullshit-factory while it still works for you.
Fact 4: The author you’re referring to, that quit writing, did not quit writing because of Goodreads. This it her blogpost on why she quit writing so that you can see why she really quit and why even she doesn’t support STRBG:
Another author responds to this author’s post and private communication.