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, JK Rowling remembers the Battle of Hogwarts, a Graphic Novel of Legends is on the way, too little too late for Bookcon’s latest effort, Blackbirds is in development with Starz and we have your Outlander Teaser needs right here.
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.
16th Anniversary: Battle of Hogwarts
It was the 16th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts and Rowling celebrated it with a tweet.
It's the 16th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. I'm having a moment's silence over my keyboard. I hated killing some of those people.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 2, 2014
It was the tragic night, occurring in the seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series, in which Voldemort attacks Hogwarts Castle. Many important and beloved characters died in the battle and I know that each and every one of us will remember their sacrifice.
Rowling has spoken publicly previously about how hard it was to kill off those characters, and also how she thought Ron should probably have died.
George R. R. Martin had a comment on that:
.@jk_rowling Oh my sweet summer child…
— George RR Martin (@GeorgeRRMartin_) May 3, 2014
Never Mess With Our Queen
Also in Rowling news this week, The Daily Mail was forced to print a retraction on an article they wrote about her. The Daily Fail implied that Rowling slighted a Church and its members who had helped her through a rough time.
Basic reading comprehension skills determined that to be a lie.
“Our September 28, 2013 article ‘How JK’s sob story about her single mother past surprised and confused the church members who cared for her’ suggested that JK Rowling made a knowingly false and inexcusable claim in an article for the Gingerbread charity that people at her church had stigmatised her and cruelly taunted her for being a single mother.
In fact Mrs Rowling recounted only one incident where a visitor to the church sitgmatised and taunted her on a particular day. We accept that Ms Rowling’s article did not contain any false claims and apologise for any contrary suggestion and have agreed to pay substantial damages to Ms Rowling, which she is donating to charity, and a contribution to her legal costs.”
Legend to Become Graphic Novel
Marie Lu tweeted the exciting news this week that Legend was becoming a Graphic Novel.
Yes, it's true: the LEGEND graphic novel is happening!
— Marie Lu (@Marie_Lu) May 7, 2014
There’s currently no release date set.
Veronica Roth Joins BookCon Program
Divergent author Veronica Ross will now take part in two event sets the Con.
She joins the Dystopian Futures: Are They Science-Fact or Fiction? panel, and will be taking part in a conversational event with fellow author Alex London.
Brien McDonald who is managing BookCon said that fans of Roth will:
“not only get the chance to listen to Roth talk about the next installment in her celebrated series… but also hear her lead an insightful discussion about science fiction with marquee authors.”
Publisher’s Weekly claims this will add more diversity to the controversial book con panels. I wouldn’t personally go that far.
Wendig’s Blackbirds In Development for Starz
If you haven’t read Chuck Wendig’s blog Terribleminds, you’re really missing out on life. Or swearing. Mostly a lot of nsfw talk. But funny, and self-deprecating, and overall, in case you haven’t read his blog, Chuck is a pretty cool guy.
But also, he’s a writer, and it looks like his book, Blackbirds, might even be a TV show soon!
The cable network is also teaming with Shiban to develop Blackbirds, a drama about a street-smart runaway hitchhiking through the American Southwest who has the ability to see how and when a person dies by touching them. The drama is based on the novels byChuck Wendig. Shiban will adapt the book and exec produce with David Knoller, who also exec produces the cabler’s upcoming 50 Cent drama Power.
Sounds cool to me! Maybe I’ll have to give the book a look-see.
First Teaser For Outlander TV Series
In case you haven’t heard the loads of middle-aged ladies squealing like high school girls, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is going to be a TV series on STARZ. Man, they are just hopping into the headlines lately, huh? Way to look for book-based series, STARZ!
Anyway, there’s lots of info on it, but this is really all you need to know right here:
You’re welcome. And if you didn’t get enough of Jamie via picture, how about a whole teaser. Enjoy!
Harlequin’s Chatsfield Experience
I’m not one of those whippersnappers that’s all about the total media experience. Sure, I’ve got a FB. I also have a tumblr that I barely update, a twitter that I got dragged into using, and don’t even ASK me about snapchat. No interest.
If you’re the exact opposite of me, though, Harlequin’s Chatsfield series might appeal to you.
Mills and Boon, the Harlequin-owned book publisher best known for its saucy women’s fiction, is embarking on a new chapter in storytelling, with the launch of digital series The Chatsfield.
The series is not just an eBook, or an eBook with hyperlinks or video added. Harlequin has taken traditional storytelling and turned it on its head, creating non-linear stories in bite-sized chunks that are designed to be told in real-time.
The series is set in a luxury hotel called The Chatsfield. The main character is an executive assistant called Jessie Loe, who after an embarrassing break up accepts a challenge from her best friend to stay single for three months.
What’s the appeal here? It’s an interactive experience.
The characters tell their stories side-by-side using multiple digital, social and mobile channels – including their own Facebook, YouTube, blogs and Twitter accounts, as well as traditional publishing. It is up to the reader to find all the pieces of the story and stitch together the bigger picture.
Fans can visit the dedicated Chatsfield website to learn more about each of the characters, snoop around their rooms and read their private emails and text messages. They can also create their own stories and share their own hotel escapades in the Lounge.
Fans can even send emails and voice messages to the characters, who will respond, giving away possible new clues to the story. Harlequin plans to develop the characters that the consumers interact with most.
This actually reminds me of that cool treasure hunt thing that Lost did one summer between seasons of the show. And you know what? It was pretty fun to play, too. Anyway, here’s a video for the Chatsfield thing:
Amazon To Take Over Twitter
You know, every day until now, I’ve thought, “Gosh, I wish I could just shop at Amazon without ever having to leave my current tab. Well, Amazon’s got you covered.
Amazon has launched an innovative way for Twitter users to shop on Amazon without having to leave their favorite social media site by using #AmazonCart, according to The Next Web.
When users connect their Twitter accounts to Amazon through their settings page, they can reply to tweets containing a link to an Amazon product with the hashtag “#AmazonCart” and have the item show up in their Amazon shopping carts. They don’t actually buy the item right then. Shoppers have to actually go to the Amazon website to do that.
The paranoid part of me thinks that this is just another way for Amazon to mine information about you and use it to send you those annoying emails about products that you can buy. The practical part of me likes it, because I see links about my fave author’s books on sale ALL THE TIME and it would be seriously cool to just add them to my cart and check them out at the end of the day. Oh, and here’s a video.
In Other News, Amazon Ruins Comixology
Amazon just can’t stop meddling in other people’s business. It was pretty big news a few weeks ago when they bought out the giganto comic book e-store Comixology and now the other shoe has dropped, apparently.
Comixology removed the storefront from its digital reading app for comics on the iPad and iPhone. It didn’t replace it with anything, just a link that takes you out of the app to the Comixology website. No big deal, right? Just one (or two, or three, as it turns out) additional step for the fanatic comic book reader to access comics on his digital reader. Nothing to get upset about.
Wrong. This is a very big deal, because it strikes to the heart of what made Comixology’s app, a near-perfect venue for discovering and falling in love with new comics, a venue creators and publishers have been searching for since the collapse of mainstream newsstand distribution in the late 1970s-early ’80s: it destroys the casual reader’s easy access to an impulse purchase. And that’s a terrible development for the future of comics.
So here’s the deal, for those of you who are scratching your heads right now. Apple requires that everyone who has an app in their iTunes Store pay a 30% cut. That’s of EVERYTHING you sell, including in-app purchases. Amazon doesn’t pay anyone but themselves, people. So they got rid of all the app stuff and now whenever you want to buy something, it kicks you out of the app and send you to the website for a ridiculous rigmarole that most users find extremely annoying. And it will greatly cut into the impulse buys that make readers embrace new comics.
By forcing readers to leave the app and go searching the Comixology website, add books to a cart, process the cart, return to the app, activate download, and wait for their purchases to appear, Comixology has replaced what was a quick, simple, intuitive impulse purchase experience with a cumbersome multi-step process that will provide multiple opportunities along the path for the casual reader to think twice and decide, ah, never mind, I don’t really want to try that new book after all. I’ll stick with what I know. Or worse, when a new casual reader opens the Comixology app for the first time and sees that THERE ARE NO COMICS THERE, and that he or she will have to exit the app and go somewhere else and sign up for a new account, maybe he or she won’t bother buying a comic in the first place.
This is a disaster.
Not having a huge disposable income, I’m not a big comics reader. So I don’t know how truly awful this change is. I will say this though, now that Apple isn’t in charge, there are some new naughty comics that are allowed to be sold and I think a lot of people will be happy about that change, at least.
Authors, Release Your Books Into The Wild With Unglue.it
We talk a lot about authors getting paid around here, but recently Kat brought up the idea that there had to be a way for authors to get paid, and people to get books for free. Well, here it is! I introduce to you, unglue.it:
It’s a service that allows authors to post ebooks and then give them out for free after a certain amount is reached. The books can be sold for any price and you can donate any amount to each book. Once they hit a certain level, the book becomes free.
The service just added a new feature, called Thanks-for-Ungluing, that allows people to donate to a book author even after it’s “unglued.”
Well, I’m not going to hippity hop on board right away, but it’s certainly worth looking into!
Putin Has Too Much Time On His Hands
Not satisfied with the chaos he’s brought to the lives of the Ukranian people, Putin took time away from his warmongering this week to revise the morality laws of the Russian people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law this week that requires books containing obscenities to come in sealed packages with warning labels and that bans cursing in movies and the performing arts. The law is set to take effect July 1, and violators will face fines. NPR’s Corey Flintoff reported from Moscow that the law “doesn’t specify exactly which words will be banned — that will be up to the Ministry of Culture, which oversees theaters and film. A similar law that applies to television already bans the Russian version of the F-word, plus vulgar names for male and female body parts.” He adds that the legislation “is supported by religious conservatives, who see swearing in the media as a sign of Western decadence and permissiveness.”
Let’s just take a moment to consider this news. In case you’ve forgotten, here is the guy we’re talking about.
THIS GUY??? THIS GUY RIGHT HERE??? This guy wakes up everyday, has a mug of good Russian Vodka, wrestles a Siberian tiger, has a group of men punch him in the face just to prove how tough he is and probably swears like a sailor. You’re telling me this guy is against swearing in books because he thinks it’s a moral quagmire??? Okay. Well. That’s just weird.
Good News for #WeNeedDiverseBooks: You’ve Gone Viral!
What do you do when your non-diverse media event sets loose a firestorm of criticism, starts a viral campaign for more diversity in children’s and young adult’s books, and makes you look the the corporate idiots you probably are? You call up the organizers of the campaign and say, “Hey, I was a dumbass, why don’t you put together a panel yourselves?”
And so the new diversity panel for BookCon was born.
In response to the controversy that erupted last month over the lack of diversity in its schedule, BookCon has added a panel titled “The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks” to its programming lineup. The panel includes five key members of the #WNDB campaign that emerged out of the BookCon controversy and three bestselling authors well-known for including diverse characters and exploring issues relating to diversity in their books: Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Matt de la Peña (The Living), and Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon). The panel discussion is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 31 from 10-11 a.m. The moderator will be #WNDB team member I.W. Gregorio, whose debut YA novel, None of the Above, will be published in 2015.
BookCon show manager Brien McDonald told PW that, after witnessing the outpouring on May 1 of tweets under the #WNDB hashtag concerning diversity in books, he contacted the organizers of the grassroots campaign and invited them to put together a panel. “When you look at BookCon and what we’re striving to do for the industry and what we will do as far as content, this is a really nice piece of it,” he said. “What they’re doing is highlighting an industry-wide conversation that is of critical importance. And it’s an issue a lot of readers definitely care about.”
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, because overall, I think it’s awesome that McDonald went directly to the organizers of #WeNeedDiverseBooks and let them put together a truly AWESOME panel. I think their panel is going to kick every other panel’s ass.
The panel will kick off with five #WNDB representatives, four of whom are YA authors – Ellen Oh (the Prophecy series), Aisha Saeed (Written in the Stars, 2015), Marieke Nijkamp (DiversifYA founder), Lamar Giles (Fake ID), and Mike Jung (Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities) – discussing the highlights of the campaign, as well as strategies for effective grassroots activism, and how readers can diversify their own bookshelves. The discussion will then shift to the three featured authors speaking on how, in Woodson’s words, “the work of African-Americans and people of color is important and necessary and relevant and timely and timeless.” While declining to provide specifics, #WNDB spokesperson Oh promises that the #WNDB campaign will also “have some really exciting news to share” about the group’s future activities that will be disclosed during the session. ReedPOP is also providing a table for the #WNDB team members at the show to publicize the campaign and its message to BookCon attendees.
If you have to be an idiot, better to turn the problem over to the experts instead of throwing together some dinky, half-assed panel and say, “Okay, we did what you wanted.”
Still. (You knew this was coming!) It feels very self-congratulatory. Like they’re dusting off their hands and saying, “Job done!” And that is not what #WNDB is all about. It’s about carrying on a long-term conversation. It’s about continually reminding people that this is a goal that we’re gonna keep striving for. The discussion isn’t over, people. We need diverse books and we’re not going to limit the conversation to once a year. Which is ultimately why the organizers agreed to the panel in the first place. They need the publicity.
Oh told PW that after McDonald contacted the group to suggest that they put together a BookCon panel on diversity, they agreed because “we realized that we could do a great job talking about the issues and that we have amazing authors. [BookCon] is a great place to continue the conversation. I’m glad they’re taking things seriously.”
While earlier expressing to PW that it’s “heartbreaking” and “exhausting” to “constantly have this discussion” about the need for and importance of diversity, [Jacqueline] Woodson said that she agreed to participate on the panel because the “easiest thing to do would be to turn my back on BookCon, to continue to be insulted and aggravated and do nothing.” Woodson is autographing books at BEA on May 30 and is one of the featured speakers as well at the BEA Author’s Tea that afternoon.
“Change has never come from walking away from the struggle,” Woodson added in an email to PW. “I want to sit on a panel where I am not the one person of color speaking about diversity but part of a bigger group, part of a larger and longer-term idea about creating effective and lasting change – part of a continuum. And that’s what this is, that’s what my work is, that’s what the struggle is –a continuum.”
So, if you’re one of the lucky BEA attendees (I am not, *sob*), then stop by and show your support. Let’s remind everyone what the message of #WNDB is all about: “We’re here, and we care about diversity in books!”