You Can Still Help
Japan, we love you, and we grieve for you. Folks, you can still help. This Mashable article gave several great ways to get involved.
On a more writerly note, Genre for Japan was an auction held, although bidding is now closed. Via the Booksmugglers.
The romance reading community rallied to support a fellow author whose family suffered a terrible tragedy recently. Read more here.
Goodreads Isn’t So…Read-y?
Not that it wasn’t obvious, but Goodreads ( a site with READS in it, bet you spotted that) has confirmed that they do not require that readers posting there actually read the books they post on. This allows anyone who hasn’t read a work to post a pseudo review for it, before it’s even published or being promoted via ARCs. I know, we’re shocked, right? Author Lauren Dane received the proof via email.
Though I’m not surprised by it as it’s been obvious Goodreads allows it (I mean, how long has the site been up and books not yet published “reviewed” there?), this, to me, is extremely unprofessional of Goodreads, to at least not uphold a more professional stance. I think author Penny Watson does say it best in the comments on Dane’s post, though, and that it would be impossible for Goodreads to stop the “bad behavior” from some reviewers at Goodreads completely. Speaking as someone who ran a message board and learned her lesson – it. is. impossible. Teeth are yanked sans anesthesia with much less pain. I think just about any online community is going to get littered at some point by unsavory elements. Case in point – why I only post to Amazon message boards a handful of times a year now. Usually, if a community is being monitored, the folks behind the scenes are trying their best to manage it all, and that usually shows, although such efforts will NEVER please everyone either. It’s a thankless, gut-twister of a job.
But Goodreads isn’t even bothering to put up a concerned or halfway professional stance (other than requiring authors to opt into an agreement not to engage readers negatively. YEAH. I’m all for authors not being ugly to reviewers, but isn’t that a little hypocritical? They’ll police the authors, but not the reviewers that are acting ugly? By the way, have they adopted a stance since I wrote this part of the post? Lemme know in comments – thank you!). It’s my understanding that authors wouldn’t be on Goodreads if a platform hadn’t been provided for them there, and it most certainly has been provided. By the same token, there’s an overwhelming majority that feel the site is only a reader forum. I say it’s for both, but that there’s a delicate balance.
Personally, I thought at first it was just a place to catalog books I owned or wanted to read, etc., back when I first opened my account and promptly abandoned it for about a year. I didn’t realize folks used it as a community till I actively started cataloging and taking notes on my reads there, which I feel is where the site has the most value for me.
“Just look at your ball all of you….look at you.”
I dunno, I’m not sure what to think of this latest author meltdown. Author Jacqueline Howett didn’t like a review of her book, The Greek Seaman at BigAl’s Books and Pals, so she torpedoed the blog post with all the kewl reviews and other kewl things authors such as her hoard like dragon gold, including but not limited to a classy “Fuck off!” comment. I really dunno - do kind of wish the comment thread had been closed (clearly the author got intimidated or is either thinking over her actions or has moved on, she stopped commenting after a while), but we also can’t deny that this happens, authors doing this sort of thing and looking away from them is like trying to not to look at the twenty-car pileup on the south side of Atlanta. Some people pointed out in comments that continuing to “dogpile” the author wasn’t any better behavior – do they have a point? I’m thinking… yeah. When I first read the author’s comments on that review thread, they were funny in a WTF does she mean way, and there weren’t a whole lot of comments yet. When I woke up the next day, though, saw another link to it and looked again, I was really surprised to see over three hundred comments.
On a completely different exploration of this sitch, you can now have a mug with one of the author’s crazy statements on it. I’m seriously thinking about buying it. I bought one. I know, I know. But it makes me laugh. Throw your stones if you must. Maybe it’s just as good a reminder not to dogpile?
Books vs. Books!
March was Dear Author’s and Smart Bitch’s annual DABWAHA event (with it carrying a little into April). Bet you already knew that. It’s really fun to watch everyone play and vote monger and all, across Twitter, author blogs, reader blogs. The insults and threats are inspired. I confess I still have no clue how to actually play it, despite reading all the fine print. I’m hopeless. I’ll continue the sport of popcorn while everyone else slings mud.
The Alarm, Ring It…?
Booksmuggler Ana pointed out this interesting article by Lady Business, about how some menfolk think womenfolk being so predominant in the YA industry has not helped young male readers find books that interest them. In fact, it’s working against boys who want to read.
I quote, from a male (I assume?) commenter that the article itself quotes:
I don’t blog about books, so I’m part of the problem; at least ‘Girl in a Cage’ walks the walk. Still, so long as women completely fill the ranks of Elementary school teachers, school librarians, and bloggers, guys are not going to feel so welcome in the world of books.
Um. Yeah. Try to wrap your mind around that one. I’d say more, but my mind isn’t done wrapping itself around all that yet. When it has, there’ll be a fireworks show to rival all fireworks show. Admission is $10. To pay for my therapy.
Hocking Goes Pro
Amanda Hocking, the “darling” of the self-published YA world for selling a million copies of her work in a short time, has signed a deal with St. Martin’s. It’s a huge, BIG deal. Literally. Congrats to Hocking! Via Katibabs.
Lenore Goes Pro!
Huge congrats to Lenore of Presenting Lenore for her book deal! Yeah, I think this is pretty great, since she’s such a prolific YA blogger and all. Wink.
Mills & Boon Has A Fan
And you thought YOU were a fan of Mills and Boon covers? Oh ho ho! Think again, my category friend. These folks have so totally outdone you! Come back when you top that. And if you top that I might start to worry.
The Author(s) Is(Are) Awesome
Jessica Verday is an awesome person and author, who recently pulled her short story from an upcoming anthology. Go here to see why.
In support, author Lesley Livingston also pulled her story from the same anthology.
Looks like we might have to make a list. Karen Mahoney as well.
Lisa Mantchev has, too.
Seanan McGuire has withdrawn. ( a link to her Twitter announcement, hope it’s still a good link by time this posts)
Edited to add: Just today I was pointed to a Publisher’s Weekly article by Dear Author Jane via Twitter, written by Running Press publisher Christopher Navratil himself, and I’m not at all impressed. In fact, it’s only made the situation seem more insulting. Not only does he pretty much blame Verday for the entire scenario, but there’s absolutely no blame for Telep, who admitted her error in the comments section of Verday’s blog. Running Press, I wasn’t really irritated at you about all this, more so Telep, but now count me in as thoroughly disgusted with Running Press as a whole.
Verily, You Say?
The latest Ward BDB slangfest, Lover Unleashed, hit shelves on March 29, and it seems the latest oddballness to come out of it is the word verily? What, were all the modern adverbs getting that boring? The Middle Ages wants its wordage back. And maybe some of V’s torture tools.
Romance Trades Cards
Out of nowhere it felt like, romance trading cards have hit the scene. Or they will be at upcoming book/author conference events. It’s interesting to see a new form of conference and author promo surfacing, even if it mystifies me. Then again, I’ve never been big on trading cards, not even Cabbage Patch Kids as a child.
Video Moments: Android on Crack
I was having a crap day late in March and the next day a coworker showed me this to cheer this ‘ole crabby person up. My question is, how the heck are they not falling down, and how can they see? Also, if this dude was in America, we’d have torn the mall down hooting and hollering for them. Or….maybe not? Still, verily I laughed.