Links + Things: Goats Sing Your Favorite Pop Songs; A Closer Look at That First Book Infographic; Facebook's Sexism; Cheapo Books; and More
It bothers me that I even have to say this, but I must remind everyone that I link to things here because I find them interesting, thought-provoking or bring a perspective I hadn't thought of previously. Diverse viewpoints are important in this world of online media and social networking where issues are generally treated in a black and white, right or wrong manner.
Just because I link to something doesn't mean that I've "endorsed" (ha, funny word) the opinion.
Except the funny videos, of course--those I wholeheartedly endorse.
First, a bit of funny-slash-crazy to start. All week, my husband has been sending me links to videos of pop songs reinterpreted with, um... goats. Yes, GOATS!!! Screaming goats! My two favorites are below. The first is for Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer, the second Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble. I dare you to not die laughing.
Many conscientious low income moms diligently bring their kids to the library every day to read to them, go to story time and borrow books on the mistaken belief that this will ensure their child a head start in school. But this effort is wasted unless that child also has decent nutrition, a safe and peaceful home and good parental role models. Some moms would be better served spending that time getting an education themselves, getting a decent job with health insurance.
I could have quoted nearly any sentence from Gabrielle Prendergast's thoughtful examination of First Book's infographic about children, poverty and reading levels/graduation rates. I worked in a school district (in a management, non-teaching role) and saw what Gabrielle's pointed to over and over again: that for many children the very serious challenges they face are worsened by their lack of access to the basics. This post is an excellent reminder that correlation and causation are two entirely different things.
Russell... speculated that her experience with Random House may be symptomatic of the industry’s changing attitudes. Debut novelists still get picked up, but midlist authors are under ever increasing pressure to produce blockbusters — or ride away into the sunset.
I always wonder what happens to authors I like who seemingly fall off the face of the publishing earth. The Washington Post took at a look at the publishing life cycle of one midlist author and it sounds like it's pretty typical for non-debut, non-bestselling authors. There's a happy ending to this story, though--Russell found a new publisher and it sounds like it's a house that is better equipped to market her work. (This makes me think of an author whose books I've loved whose last book seemed to get zero promotion and recently inked a publishing deal with one I think will be a far better match. Fingers crossed.) So much in the book world seems dependent on the right factors converging at the right time.
(via @Bookgirl96 on Twitter)
Well the thing is the scale is so different, I mean, the advances are vastly different, the initial investments are vastly different, the price points are very different. That's some of it. I think that the biggest reason is that store shelves kind of cycle through adult literary fiction a lot faster than they cycle through YA. That's starting to change, but as recent as, you know, 2005 when my first book came out, you got to be in the store for a while, so you had a chance to get into the word of mouth. And these days, in adult fiction, it's very hard to do that. It's not impossible, but it's pretty hard.
There's a very interesting interview with John Green over on The Atlantic. Most interesting of all is his take on the business and culture of adult literary publishing and YA publishing. I hadn't really thought about it before, but there are some really striking differences, particularly in the shelf life of adult (non-genre/series) fiction. I would love to know more about this subject, to be quite honest.
Over the past few years, women say they have been banned from the site and seen their pages removed for posting images of cupcakes iced like labia, pictures of breastfeeding mothers and photographs of women post-mastectomy.
Yet images currently appearing on the site include a joke about raping a disabled child, a joke about sex with an underage girl and image after image after image of women beaten, bloodied and black-eyed in graphic domestic violence "jokes". There are countless groups with names such as "Sum sluts need their throats slit" and "Its Not 'rape' If They're Dead And If They're Alive Its Surprise Sex". One of the worst images I came across in a brief search shows a woman's flesh, with the words "Daddy f*cked me and I loved it" carved into it in freshly bleeding wounds.
Misogyny thrives on the Internet, but it seems that Facebook, which such a huge percentage of people utilize daily, has turned a blind eye to it on their site, despite that much of what's depicted on users' Facebook accounts is a violation of the site's terms of service.
(via author C.K. Kelly Martin on Twitter)
For Further Reading
- Author Chuck Wendig discusses why not all authors want to be publishers (aka self-published).
- Publisher Stacy Whitman of Tu Books discusses the importance of normalizing diversity in books for children and teens.
- This is sickening and unsurprising, given higher education's approach to sexual assault: a UNC student face punishment for speaking out following a sexual assault.
- This is the most reasoned, thoughtful take on Marissa Mayer's ridiculous new policy at Yahoo! regarding remote working.
- No joke, someone's building a Titanic II.
- Parks & Rec's Ben and Leslie have a wedding album on Pinterest.
- Author Cara McKenna talks about why she liked the movie Young Adult. (This is exactly why I liked it too, but I could never articulate it.)
- And I'm saving the best for last, Reynje at Wordchasing wrote one of the most thoughtful blog posts I've read in a long time--it's about the notion of likability.
Two of my most-anticipated fall releases, Trish Doller's Where the Stars Still Shine and Stephanie Perkins' Isla & the Happily Ever After, had their covers revealed this week. I am so, so thrilled that Trish's new book has a nice cover, and I adored Something Like Normal, but the cover was all kinds of wrong. I'm liking the Isla cover more than the cutesy covers of the previous books in this series, and definitely think it's got crossover appeal and will grab the attention of older teens.
Three YA novels I've loved got new looks this week in advance of their paperback releases (in the case of Anna, it's a paperback re-release): The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Stephanie Perkins' Anna & the French Kiss and Lola & the Boy Next Door. I'm working on a post about this subject in more depth, but I think all three of these make sense for the books and their marketing, though I sure wish the gold lettering on The Scorpio Races was a different color--it's a bit jarring.
Books That Are Cheap (Right Now)
All of the books mentioned in last week's post are still discounted, but I believe the prices go up on Tuesday. If you're interested in loading up your Kindle, I'd get on those deals ASAP (I bought several and the cookbooks are extra awesome). Here are a few more, in case you haven't gotten your fix of cheapo reads.
For mystery or crime fiction fans, the first book in George Pelecanos' fantastic Derek Strange series, Right as Rain, is only $6 in paperback. I am a big fan of everything C.K. Kelly Martin's written and I am on a personal mission to get her books in the hands of more people; One Lonely Degree is only $6.80 for the handcover and a great place to start if you haven't checked out her books yet. Finally, one I haven't read, but bought, is highly recommended by the lovely Angie of Angieville fame, Ophelia by Lisa Klein--and it's only $3.60 as a bargain paperback.