THE BIG NEWS THIS WEEK
Yeah, I saw this week's author/reviewer kefuffles, and no, I'm neither linking them nor rounding them up. Here is my official statement, co-opted from agent Amy Boggs (who may have been talking about something completely different).
I only bother to say this much because I've covered similar issues in the past, and thought its absence would imply that I was scared to comment. Nope. I just think all parties involved-- including writers, reviewers, myself and the rest of the peanut gallery-- would be better served to a) keep in mind that this is not an issue unique to YA, b) listen to "Am I a Man or a Muppet?" thirty times on repeat, and/or c) use our powers for fun instead of drama (this one is my favorite of the week).
Moving right along... James Franco sold his book to Amazon. So. That happened.
THIS WEEK IN WRITING
- Lots of reevaluating going on with the new year. Several people shared the ways they're taking back control of their lives and careers, including Stephanie Perkins, Elana Johnson, and Stephanie Kuehnert. Gala Darling writes in praise of calling it quits (via Maureen Johnson); Dani Shapiro reminds us that it never gets easier, and Sarah Enni brings back her motto from last year, "I am where I am."
Wordplay has 12 writer's resolutions for 12 months, Chuck Wendig has 25 things writers need to stop doing, and Sarah Ockler has a great post with "Just Make the Bed." I especially like this post from Sara Zarr, encouraging us to do something for ourselves and our creativity.
Inspired by a post from Cleolinda Jones, I wrote about the relationship between depression and writer's block; The Bloggess shared her battle with depression, and agent/writer Betsy Lerner says, "If you're not feeling well, get help."
Whatever you do, take care of you-- and remember, there are things to look forward to.
- H. Samy Alim at the NYT suggests we "Occupy Language" to expose how it is used as "a means of social, political and economic control." Jessica at Scholastic will be doing a series on managing information overload, and Jenny Martin says, "Let this be your year."
- Famous authors on why they write, at The HuffPo.
- The Horn Book has a great discussion about why first person present is so prevalent in YA. (via Michelle Andelman)
- Author Sarah Rees Brennan isn't ashamed of writing fanfiction, but if she could do it all again, she'd hide that hobby.
- Who writes that text on the backs of books? Our girl Kirsten explains.
- io9 considers how famous writers would have written Twilight. My favorite:
Edward's rapacious love for Bella reflects the way globalism has pillaged Ireland. It's entirely written in Esperanto, with sections in untranslated Greek, except for Chapter 40, which is inexplicably rendered as a script page from the musical The Book of Mormon.
THIS WEEK IN READING
- Flavorwire matches kidlit characters and their grown-up counterparts. (via Rachel Stark)
- 50% off teen books at Barnes and Noble! Katie's Book Blog has details.
- Congratulations to this year's Cybils finalists in young adult fiction and sci fi/fantasy, as well as Moira Young's Blood Red Road, winner of the UK's 2011 Costa Children's Book Award.
- Novel Novice lists their most anticipated YA releases of 2012. You can also vote for your favorites on Goodreads.
- Author Natalie Whipple is proud that YA is a girl-centric genre.
- Why are YA fantasies popular? Cassandra Clare on the secret worlds kids hide from adults, at the WSJ.
- We're sad to see the Diversity in YA blog come to an end. :(
- Publishers Weekly gives an overview of the holiday season's bestsellers.
- Edi Campbell at Crazy Quilt has information about a petition to provide federal recognition to school libraries.
THIS WEEK IN PUBLISHING
- Considerable confusion reigns regarding Barnes and Noble's plans for the Nook. Dealbook, Silicon Angle, and Investor Place all have info.
- Walter Dean Meyers has been named the national ambassador for young people's literature.
- Elizabeth Bird makes a wish list of kidlit conferences to attend. (Sadly, none of the Highwayers can make it to ALA Midwinter in Dallas this month, but if you get to go, there's a blogger meetup on Friday night!)
- Author Kiersten White shares her rookie mistakes in "Yes, Do This, No, Don't Do That."
- Edittorrent explains what editors want to see when they check out your website.
- Find out what literary agents talk about at dinner, with secrets provided by The Intern.
- How do you know if your agent is any good? Jane Friedman has some pointers, and Michelle Witte has some tips that apply to agencies as well as other publishing professionals.
- Brilliance Audio is suspending the availability of download audiobook titles for libraries.
- Author Caleb J. Ross says he lost $75.48 on a Facebook ad campaign and you can too! (Caveat: This is exactly the opposite of some information I've heard from an agent via an experienced marketing rep, so YMMV.) (via Lydia Blackburne)
- This one also confused me: Author Sophie Perinot says the best way to help your writer friends is to pre-order their book, because it improves their first run numbers. I may be totally off here, but I was under the impression that pre-orders don't count toward your chances at the NYT bestseller list. Of course both those things could be true-- if anyone can explain, please do so in the comments!
- Olivier Blanchard says 2012 is the year "personal branding" dies. (via Maureen Johnson, of course)
THIS WEEK IN TECH AND THE WEB
- See your Twitter feed in instant infographic at Vizify (then knock over the bar graph Angry Birds-style).
- Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Facebook consider "nuclear blackout" in protest of SOPA.
- How Google+ is ruining the internet, from ReadWriteWeb.
- Did you get an iPad for the holidays? Check out the NYT's list of best iPad apps.
- Voting is open in the Shorty Awards-- choices include best author, blogger, and fake account, or you can nominate other industry figures for a variety of categories.
THIS WEEK IN OTHER STUFF
- Um, guys? Twilight the musical. I'm so not kidding. (WHERE IS OUR PRODUCTION OF TINY DANCER WHERE. And speaking of, John Green's tour van is freaking awesome. Also, you should click that picture, because I spent way too long making it for absolutely no reason.)
- Chloe Caldwell writes a love letter of sorts to Sugar at The Rumpus.
- What's the next big YA blockbuster? Salon asked authors for their hopes and predictions.
- A martial artist and contortionist attempts, and fails, to recreate common comic book poses for female characters, and explains why torso dislocation just isn't sexy.
- Actress Kristin Bell apparently throws fantastic Hunger Games parties.
THIS WEEK IN THE RANDOM
(Examples: "“I’ve been examining your assonance all day;” "“What do you say we skip the exposition and cut straight to the rising action?”)