This week in Buzz Worthy News: Fifteen-year-old Bella Thorne signs a series deal, Wikipedia messed with the wrong novelists, Amazon don’t want you 2,500 word or less novel, Deborah Copaken Kogan gives us an insight into what many female authors suffer through in the publication process and the first reviews are in for ARCs given away as part of Cuddlebuggery’s LBBA Project! All this and more on 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.
I’m sorry publishing industry. I think there comes a moment when everyone loses faith in their idols. And I’ve idolized the publishing industry and published authors since my childhood. Even when they gave Snooki a book deal and published Justin Beibers memoirs even though he was born half an hour ago.
But now, I’m kind of really disillusioned. Teen Disney Star Bella Thorne (IS THAT EVEN YOUR REAL NAME?!?!?!) as been signed for a book deal with Delacorte Press and will be released in 2014. But who wants to bet me that this series won’t, by definition, suck salty sea otter balls?
Or, if it’s not a complete failure, is it crass to suggest this won’t be because Elise Allen who co-wrote Hillary Duff’s Elixir is on the project? And this is nothing against Bella Thorne. She’s fifteen years old. Of course she thinks she can write a novel! Hell, if someone had offered to P2P my Harry Potter fanfic from when I was thirteen, I would have jumped at the chance for it! And, by the way, I encourage Bella Thorne and Elise Allen to prove me wrong. I want them to. That would be awesome. Do it, peeps! Make me eat my words!
And here are the details in case they do:
“AUTUMN FALLS is the story of a 14-year-old girl whose high school life unexpectedly changes after an encounter with magic. AUTUMN FALLS is Thorne’s publishing debut, and she will co-write with Elise Allen. A multitalented teen star, Bella is best known for her lead role playing aspiring dancer “Cece Jones” on the hit Disney Channel original series Shake It Up, which is in its third season.”
Titillating premise sure to rock the Young Adult world.
Did I mention that Jason Segel also landed a book deal for a Middle Grade series a few weeks back. The only difference being that his has a bit more chance of succeeding because he is not fifteen years old.
So a few days ago it came to light that Wikipedia was quietly rearranging its American Novelists List. See, it was moving all the women OFF the American novelist’s list and moving them to the American Women Novelist lists because, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Wikipedia has a category for “American novelists”, but it runs to so many names that the site has said “pages in this category should be moved to subcategories where applicable”. Yesterday, the authors – and females – Amanda Filipacchi and Elissa Schappell noticed that editors had begun moving women “one by one, alphabetically, from the ‘American novelists’ category to the ‘American women novelists’ subcategory”, wrote Filipacchi in the New York Times. “If you look back in the ‘history’ of these women’s pages, you can see that they used to appear in the category ‘American novelists’, but that they were recently bumped down. Male novelists on Wikipedia, however – no matter how small or obscure they are – all get to be in the category ‘American novelists’.”
Oh yeah! Nice to know that in 2013, a man is still a person, and a woman will always a be-vaginaed mystical creature who is lucky if they can be included with Teh Real People.
Obviously, Wikipedia’s antics have caused some controversy amongst… everyone.
Luckily, there are a few reasonably Wikipedia editors who are thinking critically about these things and thus, when confronted with intense backlash, are willing to cave to the pressure!
Wikipedia editors have now begun the task of adding the female writers back into the wider category, while debating the situation among themselves. “This is embarrassing us on a global basis. If you don’t segregate males and gender unknowns, then don’t segregate women (and that’s how it’s being perceived),” wrote one.
Another said: “Removing women from the list of novelists is like removing black or foreign-born novelists. Its effect is inherently biased. For those who want to find women novelists, a sublist is acceptable, but it cannot fairly involve removal from the main list. The effect is too discriminatory and drastic. The same applies to all women-nationality lists (not only novelists). I think this kind of category, based on the characteristics of the novelist, is very different from a subcategory based on the characteristics of the novels, eg, mystery novelists or science-fiction novelists.”
An author on the Kindleboards reported receiving an email from Amazon saying:
Sucker Self-published author,
We don’t want your book because it’s too short.
Suck it! Ha!
Okay, that wasn’t the email. It looked more like this:
During a quality assurance review of your KDP catalog we have found that the following book(s) are extremely short and may create a poor reading experience and do not meet our content quality expectations:
Name of Short
In the best interest of Kindle customers, we remove titles from sale that may create a poor customer experience. Content that is less than 2,500 words is often disappointing to our customers and does not provide an enjoyable reading experience.
We ask that you fix the above book(s), as well as all of your catalog’s affected books, with additional content that is both unique and related to your book. Once you have ensured your book(s) would create a good customer experience, re-submit them for publishing within 5 business days. If your books have not been corrected by that time, they will be removed from sale in the Kindle Store. If the updates require more time, please unpublish your books.
So rumour has it this is a legit letter and Amazon is cracking down on books under 2,500. This basically means the my unpublished memoir, Kat: The Awesome Years (i.e. All of Them) may never live to be self-published on Amazon. You can see the thread here.
If The Rest of The World is Too Enlightened and Equivocal for Your Taste -The Publishing Industry is Always There
I guess it’s easy to look up to publishing as something on the forefront of social issues and lateral thinking. Because the vast majority of authors, publicists and publishing people I know are awesome and amazing. It’s hard to imagine that the publishing industry in general can really suck hard for women.
But if the Vida statistics for books by women reviewed in professional publications didn’t depress you enough, this article by Deborah Copaken Kogan, certainly will.
Here’s some choice quotes for remembering how much the world sucks:
“The book is sold on the basis of a proposal and a first chapter under the title Newswhore, which is the insult often lobbed at us both externally and from within our own ranks—a way of noting, with a combination of shame and black humor, the vulture-like nature of our livelihood, and a means of reclaiming, as I see it, the word “whore,” since I want to write about sexual and gender politics as well. Random House changes the book’s title to Shutterbabe, which a friend came up with. I beg for Shuttergirl instead, to reclaim at least “girl,” as Lena Dunham would so expertly do years later. Or what about Develop Stop Fix? Anything besides a title with the word “babe” in it.”
Depressionville, here we come! It’s a good thing none of us have any dreams of being publi-oh… fuck.
“I’m told I have no say in the matter. The cover that the publisher designs has a naked cartoon torso against a pink background with a camera covering the genitalia. I tell them it’s usually my eye behind the camera, not my vagina.”
You can read the rest of it here.
The book industry, like many other industries, is failing. James Patterson doesn’t think that should be the case and has, out of his own pocket, purchased ads to support the bail out of the Book Industry. This has been received with mixed results.
“This past weekend, James Patterson took out ads on the cover of PW, in The New York Times Book Review, and in Kirkus asking the questions “Who will save our books? Our bookstores? Our libraries?” and listing a number of classic books like The Sound and the Fury and A Wrinkle in Time. PW spoke with Patterson by phone to find out his motivation for placing the ads.”
“Patterson cited books including William Styron’s “Sophie’s Choice,” Joan Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking,” and Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” in service of his argument that the American publishing industry has, historically, been able to produce enduring classics — and that its power will be gravely foreshortened, and the number of classics limited, by attenuated publishing and bookselling industries.”
He brings up a good point when he says:
“The Federal Government has stepped in to save banks, and the automobile industry, but where are they on the important subject of books? Why are there no impassioned editorials in influential newspapers or magazines?” The PW ad closed by stating: “Spread the word about our endangered books! Peel off this wraparound cover and share it with a friend or post it at your local bookstore or library.” SOURCE
However, Augustus Wainwright has some disagreements over Patterson’s ads:
“The publishing companies, to which I include Patterson among their ranks, are just like politicians; they hate the idea of regulations. They hate being told what they can and can’t do. They scream, “Stay out of my pocket because I’m a titan of industry and I’m creating jobs, creating wealth… hell, I’m creating America.”. They hate handouts. They hate when marketplaces evolve and the people at the bottom start to change the rules of the game.
But yet, as soon as they see things changing (which is always much much later than everyone else), they go running right to the government begging for help.” SOURCE
I hope Kristin Cashore poured herself an awesome cocktail, put on her favourite song and looked out upon the world beneath her feet with a sense of triumph and justification.
It was announced this week that Graceling would become a movie. Badass!
India-based Reliance Entertainment has acquired as a film franchise starter the rights to Kristin Cashore’s bestselling, award winning young adult fantasy trilogy Graceling in partnership with Kintop Pictures.
Producer Deepak Nayar (Paranoia, Bend It Like Beckham, Buena Vista Social Club) will oversee the project for Reliance and Kintop Pictures and will produce alongside Tabrez Noorani (Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi) of Tamasha Talkies and Leigh Ann Burton for Blu-Sky Media.
British screenwriter Piers Ashworth (Nostradamus, St Trinian’s 1, 2 & 3) has signed on to write the script.
So, to be fair, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Mortal Instrument series. Or the Infernal Devices Series (its prequel), or the Dark Artifices series, or the Bane Chronicles, or the TLH Sequel, or the Shadow Hunter’s Codex, or the Infernal Devices Manga, or the recent movie adaptation.
But that’s not to say that I’m not going to LOVE the prequel to the movie adaptation of the Mortal Instruments series. Well, no, I probably won’t. But it’s happening and here’s the deets:
Stephanie Sanditz has been hired to pen “Infernal Devices,” an adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s spin-off book series.
Young adult franchise hopeful The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones doesn’t open until August 23, but Constantin Films is already working on a prequel.
The company has thrown into development Infernal Devices, an adaptation of the spin-off book series written by Mortal Instruments author Cassandra Clare, and has hired Stephanie Sanditz to write the screenplay.
Little Blogger, Big Ambitions Project Reviews
Folks! The first of the LBBA Project reviews are in! Time to see the results!
The story was never really funny, just strange. For instance, the kingdom doesn’t have a name but instead is referred to by characters mumbling an unintelligible string of letters together for the length of the average kingdom name (such as Krrrgggghhrr). Um… okay? And everyone in the kingdom is pessimistic and has low expectations, because if you have low expectations then you’ll never be disappointed! Ha?
“The core concept, committing suicide, only to come back completely unharmed, I love. It opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for a character. But when you have a concept as unbelievable as this, you really have to sell it. That’s probably where Galloway missed the mark the most. Apparently everyone knows about Adam, how he keeps coming back after he dies. They’re cool with it though, I mean, nothing scary about a person who keeps living after blowing their brains out.”
“I’m impressed with the way Elizabeth Richards has written the villain, Purian Rose. He’s so twisted and will stop at nothing to get rid of Ash and Natalie. He’s a deliciously creepy villain. And I love the way Richards holds nothing back – Natalie and Ash both suffer a lot in this sequel. They lose people who are dear to them, and are betrayed by people they thought they could trust.”
Thank you to all the LBBA Project winners who get back to us with their reviews! It’s wonderful to see these ARCs going to good use.