This Week! The publishing! Which is on a diet this week as I have just a few links for you to peruse.
There’s lots of talk out there about how e-books are better for the environment than paper books. How much better? Well, first of all, would you believe that 125 million trees are cut down for the publishing and magazine industries EVERY YEAR? That startling fact and more in Fast Company’s assessment about whether e-books or print books are more sustainable. (via Book Bench)
Annnnnd speaking of e-readers, Sony announced one more e-reader, and this one will have 3G!! Praise the gods of wireless!! Needless to say I’m pretty excited. Sony will soon have three different e-readers at three different sizes and price points to choose from. Choice is good.
A very interesting discussion at the Guardian’s book blog, as Allison Flood took issue with an assertion that realism has gone too far in children’s literature. What do you think? Has the sex and violence in children’s literature gone too far or do we benefit from authors delving into the difficult areas of teen life?
In writing advice news, Rachelle Gardner is having a guest blog contest of her own, and this week she also tackled some of the pervasive myths about the publishing industry. Spoiler: there is not actually a fire-breathing monster underneath Random House. You can put away your pitchforks.
Jessica Faust at Bookends addressed yet another myth: rampant idea theft among writers. She doesn’t think it’s very common. I’m going to have to agree. And also steal that idea.
Almost finally, Kiersten White got some fantastic news recently about her novel PARANORMALCY, which was quite the splashy acquisition for HarperTeen, so congratulations Kiersten! She also used my brief overview of the publishing process for her own in depth (and hilarious) look at how a book gets published.
And finally finally, I always love reading about the path an author takes from unpublished to published, and Lisa Brackmann/Other Lisa has a great story.
Have a great weekend!
Also, re: book rating systems (and then I'll shut my trap and go back to my WIP b/c I'm sure this comment box is sick of me).
There is so much information out there about books these days, and I see this with YA in particular. It amazes me how much easier it is to find information about any given book compared to how things were even two years ago. Between Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, and the proliferation of book review blogs, I can become an expert on practically any YA novel out there without ever having read it. (Not really the recommended way to experience literature, but…) To me at least, this negates the need for a content advisory / rating system. Trust me, if you can't find the answer to a book-content-related question through a quick Google Blog Search, you can shoot a quick e-mail or comment to one of the bloggers who reviewed the book, and I'm sure they'll provide you with the information you need.
Not only that, but there are tons of blogs I've seen that review "clean" books and make recommendations with regard to a given book's content.
There's no reason today that anyone would have to be surprised by a book's content (unless you've been purposely avoiding spoilers!). All the info is out there.
I love it when your links coincide with my rss feeds. Lets me know what I was already going to read is a good choice.
Bane of Anubis says
Lauren, you're right that anybody who performs proper research can determine the contents of most books nowadays; however,some people don't have those resources, some people don't have the time, and, as evinced by political reactionism, many people are too indolent to perform due diligence.
Lisa R says
I read the story about Other Lisa which was fantastic. I was wondering–she said that you had her do several revisions before you took her on as a client–how long did that take? I've had a few agents who love my book but think it needs revisions. They say they are "close" to taking me on as a client. However, thus far the process has taken 3 and a half years. Not because I don't immediately do the revisions but because as you well know, agents are superbusy and since I'm NOT a client, I am last on their list. That's okay with me, I'm just glad to be in the running at all. I was just wondering from an agent's perspective–is there a time frame that you think is TOO long for me to be waiting it out?
I think the YA thing is tough. Personally, I think it would do way more harm than good to censor it in any way, because teens do go through all that angsty stuff. But it seems like right now there is a lot of pushing the envelope just to be edgy, not to benefit the story telling.
And it is especially tough in regards to middle-schoolers. We all know MG exists, but it seems like that category isn't always acknowledged. There is no Middle Grade or Tween section in our local libraries or bookstores. In fact the same MG book could be shelved in YA in one place and with the children's chapter books in another. So you have to know in advance what you're looking for. That can be tough when you have a kid like mine that reads a couple hundred pages a night.
With the gazillions of books published, you'd think there would be plenty of choices for everyone. But we have to constantly research books for my thirteen-year-old daughter. It seems like there is a bit of a gap between stories that are too Disney-ish and too gritty (by her standards, not mine… I don't censor what she reads, but I do give her a heads up about sex/drugs/etc. She hates too miss out on a good story, but that stuff makes her really uncomfortable).
So if anyone else (like Sissy) is writing with this in mind, more power to ya, because I personally don't think there are enough books in this category. But I think there needs to be a bigger industry-wide change to clarify what YA vs. MG is (for the masses and the retailers, not just within the publishing industry). Maybe the term Middle Grade in itself is part of the issue. Maybe teens don't want to feel like they're reading down a level.
Just my thoughts… sorry to ramble. 🙂
Best New Writers says
As a Writer, and Mother, I say Yes. I was at a book signing at Barnes and Noble, when a reader told me her niece really enjoyed my book. I was a bit horrified until she told me her niece was 23. My books should definitely be rater "R"
Best New Writers says
As a Writer, and Mother, I say Yes. I was at a book signing at Barnes and Noble, when a reader told me her niece really enjoyed my book. I was a bit horrified until she told me her niece was 23. My books should definitely be rated "R"