Publishers Weekly

ibookbuddies asked:

hi can you please explain the drama going on in the booklr community? with the white cis male author that got a movie deal? I haven't heard abut anything about this???

Yesterday, Publisher’s Weekly (a huge book news site) posted an article written by Sue Corbett about Scott Bergstrom‘s book called The CrueltyLink.

The headline reads: “YA Debut Gets Six-Figure Deal, Sold to 16 Territories and Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean)” and you think, oh my goodness, good for him, his book took off after being picked up and it’s a huge deal.

The articles writer, Sue Corbett, descibes the books as “Bergstrom’s heroine is Gwendolyn Bloom, a Jewish, slightly overweight 17-year-old, who is transformed into a “lean warrior with hair dyed fire-engine red,” during her mission to rescue her father, a kidnapped diplomat. Her search takes her into Europe’s most dangerous slums, and into contact with gangsters, spies, and arms dealers.”

You can probably already hear several alarm bells. For one it sounds like the plot of all three Taken movies -  plus several other people pointed out it sounds exactly like The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. For some reason, Ms. Corbett makes a giant negative connotation on both overweight (and some people say Jewish as well) to a positive “lean warrior” and for some reason red hair is also an important part of the heroines development. Because of course overweight girls can’t rescue their fathers - they have to completely physically transform themselves in order to become truly kick-ass.

Then it gets worse when Scott Begstrom says “The morality of the book is more complicated than a lot of YA so I wanted to try doing it on my own,” Bergstrom said. “In a lot of YA, the conflict takes place inside a walled garden, set up by outside adult forces. If you think of those stories as a metaphor for high school, they start to make a lot more sense, but that was one thing I wanted to depart from.” 

Bergstrom disses both the YA genre writers and his primary audience - which is primarily women and girls. Not only that, but he sounds like he’s literally never read a YA book in his life, let alone have any business writing one. This was I think the primary spark that caused the firestorm on twitter.

Then the article praises the story as being revolutionary and outstanding, basically the next best thing that happened to YA. So when white man writes a YA book about a hyper-violent teenage heroine people say it’s morally ambiguous instead of being a high-school metaphor– he’s revolutionizing the genre, gets a six figure book deal, sells to 16 countries, and a movie deal with the Pirates of Caribbean director.  Meanwhile, all the female authors who’ve literally created and up-kept YA for decades are still dismissed and side-lined and deemed unimportant and are constantly forced to defend their work and prove it’s worth simply because they are women.

The article finishes with Scott’s agent Tracy Adams  “thought that Gwen would get a lot of leeway from readers because of her mission’s goal. “She’s going to do whatever it takes to save her dad and that was good enough for me,” Adams said. “Kicking butt to save your dad is actually a lot easier for me to swallow than kids killing kids in The Hunger Games.”

Can you believe that this woman basically dismisses one of the most important YA novels of our decade by trivializing it? Literally what she’s saying is “the violence is our book is more palatable that the violence you’ll see in that one really popular YA… you might have heard of it”

So as you can tell, this got a lot of people - authors, readers, and bloggers very angry. Not even because of this instant, but because this shit happens all the time, and women writers are tired of being side-lined every single time a white man decides that he’s better at doing what women have been doing their entire lives while he haven’t even bothered to learn anything about the subject.

Kayla Whaley @PunkinOnWheels on twitter created the #MorallyComplicatedYA hastag on twitter in response so that people could not only respond to this but also give recommendations about morally complicated YA novels that already exist. 

I’ve also heard that people have read excerpts from the book ( @buttermybooks and @ladybookmad and @cresdarnels) have told me that this guy basically created a “I’m better than those other females” character and basically bashes the YA dystopias that already exist and their readers.

At this point, I’m not really angry with Bergstrom but with the publishers, who clearly decided that this guy - a debut author- is worth a six figure deal, rights in 16 territories, and a movie deal with a basic plot like “fat Jewish girl gets lean and red-haired when her diplomat father goes missing and she has to go to Europe to rescue him while beating up and meeting up bad guys”.

They’re showing us what they think they find valuable while ignoring the fact that this guy is literally insulting not only to the genre but the readers who love it as well.

Navigating an All-White Publishing Industry

By Ebony LaDelle, marketing manager at Simon & Schuster

At this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite authors, Edwidge Danticat. When she found out I worked in publishing, she looked at me and said, “So you’re like a unicorn.” “I’m sorry?” I replied, star struck. “You’re one of the few black people who actually work in publishing,” she said, “You’re a unicorn.”

Growing up in the Midwest, I was fortunate. My mother taught me the power of reading at a young age. She couldn’t afford to buy me a collection of books, but she made sure to take me to our local library. Goosebumps, The Boxcar Children, The Baby-Sitters Club…those books transported me into a world of make-believe.

Keep reading
What Tumblr Taught Me About Writing

I was teaching a ninth-grade humanities class in a New York City public school last year when I was accepted into two M.F.A. programs for fiction writing. I was over the moon: they were each funded with a stipend, and one was a school I never would’ve thought I’d have a shot at getting into. Against all odds, my dream had come true.


Another title back in print after 30 years!

THE DELICATE DEPENDENCY (1982) has long been regarded as one of the best vampire novels ever written, but until now readers have been forced to pay huge sums for dilapidated old paperback copies. It was the first, and best, novel by Michael Talbot (1953-1994), a brilliant gay author more famous for a nonfiction book, The Holographic Universe, which examines the idea that the entire universe is a holographic projection. How good is it? It has 21 five-star reviews on Amazon and a whopping 4.34 average on Goodreads! Features a new foreword by Jillian Venters, author of Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them

Included in Fangoria’s Top 10 Books That Suck list. The best vampire novels ever written.

“The past half-decade has seen a glut of vampire novels, but few as ambitious and seriously intended as this one … an impressive book, unflaggingly interesting.” – Publishers Weekly

“The tension builds page by page to a stunning climax … I doubt that I will ever forget it.” – Whitley Strieber, author of The Hunger and The Wolfen 

“[O]ne of the most impressive explorations of a vampire mind ever written … a novel of considerable suspense … compelling and deeply original.” – Darrell Schweitzer, Encyclopedia of the Vampire

Help support Valancourt’s efforts by reblogging. We THANK YOU!


Oh gods above and below THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!!!

I received an email from Publishers Weekly saying that my book was being considered for review and didn’t want to get to excited and jump the gun, but RECEIVER OF MANY IS GOING TO BE REVIEWED IN PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY!!!

For those who don’t know about the publication, it is a weekly updated trade print magazine with a subscription base of over 15,000 readers, many of them bookstores and publishers!

I am over the moon right now. Of the thousands of self-published books, submitted to BookLife (PW’s self-pub wing) Receiver of Many was chosen to be reviewed in an upcoming edition.

So please excuse your humble author, I’ll be over here in the corner trying to rediscover oxygen.

Q: I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.

A: For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t “is this a potential friend for me?” but “is this character alive?”


(Claire Messud gave Publishers Weekly the answer it deserved last week. She’s on the show tomorrow. Tune in to see what answers she gives Terry!)

So amiekaufman and I have been sitting on some pretty exciting news for the past few weeks, and today we finally get to share it with all of you! The announcement went live today for our new series together, starting with Unearthed, to publish in Fall 2017.

The quick and dirty down-low? The book is Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft… in space. 

If that’s not enough of a teaser for you, then check out its page on Goodreads for the (slightly) longer version of the pitch!

Fall 2012 Sneak Previews


Little, Brown channels Dr. Frankenstein with The Monster’s Monster by Patrick McDonnell, in which three little monsters build their own big, bad monster; All the Awake Animals (Are Almost Asleep)by Crescent Dragonwagon, illus. by David McPhail, an alliterative bedtime story; The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, a first novel from the Glee star about twins who enter the world of fairy tales and have trouble getting out;Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket, the first in the “autobiographical” All the Wrong Questions series; and The Divinersby Libba Bray, which kicks off a glitzy murder/mystery/occult series set in New York City during the Roaring ’20s.

February 20, 2012 - Publishers Weekly

Adult author and comedian Benincasa (Agorafabulous!) gives The Great Gatsby a biting, genderbent twist in her first book for teens…any readers who have completed ninth-grade English (or caught the recent Baz Luhrmann film) will have as much fun picking out the parallels and allusions as Benincasa clearly did creating them.
—  Publishers Weekly review of GREAT. Go on and preorder it now!

“For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections?” Claire Messud bristles at the notion that characters should be likable. 

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Sam Alden’s It Never Happened Again got it’s first review on Publishers Weekly a while ago! Here’s what they say about one of the two stories, the never before published “Anime”:

The storytelling in “Anime” is a fair bit more complex, and the artwork is more refined, though only slightly. The character study of a Japanophile uncomfortable in her own skin and native country relies more heavily on dialogue to draw a full and sympathetic portrait of its protagonist, but Alden still knows when to let the silence take over. The result is two thematically divergent, but devastatingly human portraits from an emerging cartoonist displaying the sort of storytelling and artistic restraint that often only comes after years of toiling away at the drawing board. Alden is a talent to watch.

Read the whole thing here. Preorder the book here!


It has been a tremendous week for Jesse Jacobs; his new book Safari Honeymoon has been reviewed by The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and mental_floss.

The Globe and Mail

“That the London, Ontario cartoonist cut his teeth working on TV’s Adventure Time makes sense, given the almost stop-motion quality of his critters throughout. But the artist’s concern with the squishy, tactile processes of mutation, infection, and evolution goes beyond what animation captures of life, and gestures instead toward the natural world in all its bewildering complexity.” — Sean Rogers, The Globe and Mail

Read the whole review here.

The New York Times

“The central motif here is parasitic transformation — one species crawling into another and overtaking its body — and, by its end, the book has shifted from an eccentric satire to a vision of union with monstrous nature.” — Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Read the whole review here.

Publishers Weekly  

“Jacobs makes some of the most intricate, most fascinating, and oddest stories in comics today.” — Publishers Weekly

Read the whole review here.


“Jesse Jacobs’ last graphic novel—By This You Shall Know Him—is probably one of my top 5 favorite comics of the past half decade, making his latest—Safari Honeymoon—one of the books I’ve been most anticipating this year. His comics are weird, smart, beautifully designed and always surprising.” — Rich Barrett, mental_floss

Read the whole review here.