News From The Publishing Industry

I'm back, bookworms! Did you miss me? I know I missed you! I'm posting this so late because I spent a lot of today catching up on blog posts. I don't think I missed anything!

Anyway, I had a great vacation. I really enjoyed visiting my family and relaxing. I got a lot of reading and writing in. I read four books and a bit of a fifth. Of those, I'll be reviewing two: Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell (yes, I finally read it!) and Lost Voices by Sara Porter (which is AMAZING! I can't review this for you until June or July closer to when it comes out, but it's fantastic. This reminds me: Fellow book bloggers, I'd love to know how you handle talking about recently-read ARCs that don't come out for months. I usually don't do anything at all until we're right on top of the date. Am I wrong?). Two books were just okay, imo, and the third...well, I only got a couple of chapters into it. I won't tell you the names of the books I didn't enjoy because they weren't for *me* personally. It doesn't mean you won't love them. I'll never review a book I didn't enjoy. It's not fair to the author who poured his/her blood and sweat and tears into the story and it isn't fair to you, the readers who might love the book but decide never to pick it up because of my review. That's a policy I've always had. Today, author Jessica Day George posted similar sentiments on her blog. She sums up everything I think in regards to reviewing books. I seriously loved her post, especially as an aspiring author. You should read this. Speaking of my aspirations, I got some writing done on my trip, which made me happy. Of course, the final day of the trip I realized that the story I've been slaving away on doesn't come first in the series I'm envisioning, so I fiddled around with some ideas that night and yesterday on the plane, I wrote the first eleven pages of the new story. Hopefully it gets somewhere. I'd love to be in editing mode by the summer and submitting to agents by the end of the year, if possible. We'll see!

So what all happened in the week I was gone? A LOT! Look at all the news I missed out on reporting to you guys:

C O V E R A R T R E V E A L E D :

My favorite time of week! So many lovely covers were revealed during my absence. Are you ready for the pretties?

Vanish by Sophie Jordan: The sequel to last year's awesome debut novel, Firelight (reviewed here)! I'm not sure what I think about the obviously different model this time around, but we'll wait and see. I have to read this book, though! The first one leaves you hanging!
• The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab: I've wanted this book ever since author Alexandra Bracken first blogged about Schwab receiving early cover art. The cover is final now and will have all kinds of fancy embossing. I love reading Scwab's blog and recently was a runner-up in one of her online contests. I'll have to send a picture of the fancy swag she sent out! Is it August yet? (debut author)
Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez: Okay, so this one posted right before my trip, but I never got around to revealing it here. It's HOT, though. What a gorgeous cover. I think a lot of teens will pick it up. The summary reminds me a bit of fellow 2011 debut author Sara Bennett Wealer's February release, Rival (which I really enjoyed reading) I also love the "o" in the title and the way it's pink, bringing out the colors behind the black silhouette. I also like how the rest of the title is black like the silhouette. Such a fun cover... I can't wait to read this! (debut author)
Flyaway by Helen Landalf: This cover is so much fun. I love the block font and the fact that the model is made up of a composite that only partially consists of real images. I love the sketchy art effect going on. I also adore the wings and swirlies in the background. What a fun cover!!! (debut author)
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George: First in a new series about a castle that's alive. The summary reminds me a bit of Howl's Moving Castle, which I love (both the book and the movie). I LOVE George and can't wait to read a new book by her!
• The Pledge by Kimberly Derting: This Dystopian novel sounds AMAZING. Just look at this GoodReads summary: romantic fantasy novel set in a dystopic, war-torn world, in which a teenage girl realizes that she may be the key to saving her country. I love, love, love this cover. I wish the book was coming out NOW, not in November!

M O V I E N E W S :

*The LA Times has reported that there might, in fact, be a Sea of Monsters movie. Speculation has been rampant for the last year due to the fact that Rick Riordan's first Percy Jackson novel, The Lightening Thief, didn't do as well as anticipated at the box. I won't get into all the pros and cons now, but if you're interested in my thoughts, check out this blog post from when I saw and reviewed the movie last year. While there's no director attached to the movie (it won't be Chris Columbus this time, though he'll be producing it), there are screenwriters currently hard at work.

*I suspect it won't be long now: The search for Katniss Everdeen is close to an end. With filming of The Hunger Games set to start a few months from now, the race is heating up. People have been speculating on actors for months, and it seems that two talented young ladies have come to the forefront: Hailee Steinfeld, who was just an Academy Award Nominee for her supporting role in True Grit (mentioned in Parade, which you can find in your Sunday paper) and Jennifer Lawrence, who had Katniss' spirit in Winter's Bone (according to Lainey Gossip). What do you think? Do they have the chops to handle it? I'm just glad they're looking for the best actress in the role and not just a pretty face. I'm so annoyed when there are people who can't act very well. In fact, there are two movies based on books coming out in the near-future that I'm not sure I want to see due to two of the actors casted, popular as they are...

M A J O R A W A R D S :

The Nebula Award Nominees have been announced. Are you ready to see who was nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy?

Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
White Cat, Holly Black (McElderry)
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press; Scholastic UK)
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, Barry Deutsch (Amulet)
The Boy from Ilysies, Pearl North (Tor Teen)
I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; Harper)
A Conspiracy of Kings, Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow)
Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)

I'm ashamed of myself. So far, I've only read White Cat and Mockingjay. They're both fantastic. I have several others on my wishlist, though! All I need is time...

M A J O R A N N O U N C E M E N T S :

George R. R. Martin has FINALLY issued a release date for A Dance with Dragons. Seriously this time, people! Get ready to watch those dragons dance on July 12, 2011. Martin even unveiled the potential final cover art:

Have you read his A Song of Ice and Fire series? I haven't. I've been hearing about it since last spring or summer, though. I have co-workers who love it. This winter, I started hearing about it all over again because HBO is turning the books into a TV series, Game of Thrones, which will debut in April. I really want to read this series, but it's a little daunting. Each book is upwards of a thousand pages. Granted, I love a big, fat book, but A Dance with Dragons took almost six years to write and there are still two more books in the series. I think I might wait until the final book is announced with a *real* release date and then read them all together so I don't have to go back and re-read all those pages. Plus, I hate waiting. What do you think? Good decision, bad one?

B O O K D E A L S :

Alexandra Bracken, author of Brightly Woven (Great book. Check out my review here! Out in paperback next month ^_^), announced that she finally sold her new trilogy to Disney-Hyperion. The first book, Black is the Color, sounds amazing. I've been following Bracken's blog for a long time now and have seen some teasers for BITC. I'm so glad she got a book deal!

From her website:

Black is the Color will be published by Disney*Hyperion in Spring 2013, with two more books to follow. Below is a rough summary, but more details will follow soon! In the meantime, you can go have a listen to the two playlists I used while writing it, or you can add it on GoodReads.

In the six years since being plucked from her old life and placed in a government-run “rehabilitation camp,” the only color that has entered sixteen-year-old Ruby’s world is gray of the electric fence surrounding it. The mysterious “Kid-Killer” virus has left most American children dead, but Ruby is not one of them—she’s one of the dangerous ones, the ones who lived.

The ones who developed frightening powers of the mind.

When the opportunity to escape her camp comes, Ruby soon finds herself on the run and joining forces with a small band of other escapees: Zu, a mute girl who can telekinetically control electronics, Chubs, a skinny genius who doesn’t want another kid along to deplete their meager supplies, and Liam, the kind and good-hearted leader of their ragtag group who can move objects twice his size with the wave of a hand. They seem to be on a mission but won’t confide in Ruby, who only wants to learn to control her extraordinary ability which makes her a danger to anyone she gets close to.

The gang soon learns that there are other forces at work, organizations that want to use Ruby in their fight against the tyranny of the political regime. But they also learn there may be someone who can help them all reunite with their families after all: The Slip Kid, a leader who offers shelter to young people in danger and who possesses the secret to controlling one’s powers. As she finds herself drawn to Liam, Ruby becomes more and more desperate for the knowledge she has always craved. But the Slip Kid is not all that he seems, and Ruby soon finds herself unsure of who to trust…and who to love.

Doesn't that sound awesome!?

So that's all the news that had me reeling this past week. Did I miss anything amazing?


  1. Glad you had a good vacation! You were missed :)

    Your ARC question is the same question I have. You might be interested in a post made by The Perpetual Page Turner. I used to post my ARC reviews as soon as I wrote them, but I'm thinking I may post them either a few weeks before publication or a few months after publication. Maybe 1-4 months later. I may still post some earlier and then post a notice again during the week of publication. I haven't decided yet.

    I'm pretty sure some publishers, like Simon and Schuster prefer ARC reviews to be posted on the release date or later and not before. Of course I only found that out after I had posted mine earlier! Oops!

    I know as a reader I really dislike seeing a whole bunch of reviews for a book clogging up my entire reader for a week. After reading one or two I usually skip the rest unless I'm really conflicted. I don't want my review to be skipped, so I don't really like the idea of posting it during publication week.

    I do post negative reviews. I tend to distrust bloggers if all of their reviews are positive. It seems like they're just in it to please publishers/authors so they'll get more ARCs. It's just not believable that a person will love everything they read.

    I'm glad you mentioned that you do read books you dislike, you just choose not to review them. That's totally different and knowing that I know I can trust your reviews :) Ultimately you have to do what works best for you.

    I post negative reviews because my feeling is that just because I didn't like a book doesn't mean someone else might not like it either. I recently posted a review for 7 Souls and one of my followers said that even though I didn't like the book much it looks like something she might enjoy. She also said she hadn't heard of the book before. So my negative review helped introduce her to a book she wants to read now. That makes me happy!

    When I write "negative" reviews I try to explain why it didn't work for me personally. That way a reader can decide for themselves if those features would also turn them off or if they would like those features. I know as a reader I value negative reviews very much and I would be peeved if I could no longer find any negative reviews.

    I can understand it being completely different for an author though. I'm not an author and I never will be. That makes a huge difference.

    I hope that helps!

  2. A)

    Yay! I'm glad someone missed me :) *hugs*

    The Perpetual Page Turner had a lot of good comments. A lot of them summed up my thoughts. Thanks for linking me! I did read that Story Siren series back when it came out, actually. So far, I've posted a couple of ARC reviews a week or so before release, but most of the time, I've tried to do it on the release date or within the first week. Your point about reading too many reviews of a book in one week makes a lot of sense, though. I never thought about it that way before. So maybe the first week isn't so good. It's so hard to judge. If it's an ARC, I don't want publishers to think I'm ungrateful, you know?

    I really liked this comment from publisher Molly O'Neill:

    In a perfect world, I'd love if (for ARCs you get really excited about, at least), you posted twice: once just briefly, right after you've read (all gushy but also informational, saying that you just finished this book; it was great; linking to the author's blog or Twitter or such; and when it comes out). Then, closer to publication (within a couple weeks before or after the official pub date), you could post your full actual review. And you could of course have written right that right after you read it, so you don't forget anything; you'd just held off on pressing post till later. A two-pronged approach like this lets you help to build buzz/get books on the radar of other readers without spoiling the reading experience for anyone.

    I think this is the sort of answer I was looking for. You put a single line out there saying how much you loved the book (without really the why, because that = review), possibly a summary from Goodreads, and a link to the author. Perhaps even a teaser sentence you really loved. That way, hype builds without making readers frustrated they can't have the book right away.

    I'm one of those readers that won't read a review if it's posted months in advance. For one thing, if I'm dying to read it, I refuse to read spoilers. That's the biggest thing, actually. If I was just a reader, it would frustrate me that the book wasn't available and there's a good chance I would forget about it.

  3. I absolutely read books I dislike. I have it on my disclaimer page that I won't review such books, though. I'm glad I posted this so you knew, though! The books I post about vary. Some I just "like," but there are enough good things to say about it that I can write a nice review. Some books I love and become a gushing fountain of mush over. I try not to post out negative elements in a book, even one I love, but occassionally, something bugged me enough that I know it will bug others going into the book and I mention it so they know what they're getting into. For example, recently Human Blend had a ton of grammatical errors and I wanted people to know that upfront because it annoyed me and I know people who wouldn't read it based on that. Doesn't mean it wasn't a good book, though. Sometimes, it might seem like I don't like a book as much because the review is short, but that's not true. It could be an ARC (or book, even) I read forever ago and didn't get a chance to review right away, so the immediacy is lost. Sometimes, like with Hex Hall, I just have trouble summing up my thoughts properly.

    There were two books from debut authors last month that I debated over whether or not to review and ultimately chose not to. One was too violent and I probably won't read the sequels despite the intriguing concept. Plus, it ripped from a TV show I love way too frequently for my tastes and distracted me. The other book, I love the writing style and would absolutely read more books from her, though I'm unsure about in this series. I couldn't forgive the fact that the book pulled a 180 a couple hundred pages into it and became something I wasn't expecting. If I reviewed it, this 180 wouldn't be mentioned and I couldn't do that to potential readers. I felt betrayed when it changed, and I'd betray all of you by not pointing certain surprise elements out. I've seen many favorable reviews for both books, though. People do love them. They just weren't for me, so I didn't review them.

    There have been times I've seen disfavorable reviews (well, mostly lukewarm), where I've never heard of the book and think it sounds interesting, so I'll pick it up. Then there are reviews from people with tastes similar to mine such as yourself. I think we like very similar books for similar reasons. Haha, how many times can I use similar in a row? You recently reviewed Dragon's Keep, but since you mentioned certain things that didn't appeal to you and the fact that the book is long, I'm not sure I want to dedicate the time to it despite the fact that it is an intriguing ssynopsis. Both sides of a coin.

    Thank you for the long, lovely comment! I always love hearing from you

  4. :) *hugs* back!

    I do like that comment you highlighted about ARCs. It’s very helpful and I think I might do something similar. I made a button for The Vespertine now that I’ll keep up surrounding its publication week. The button links to my review if you click on it. I had posted my review a lot earlier (before I knew about any of this stuff!) and so hopefully that button will help? I’m not really sure.

    I’m completely opposite. It doesn’t bother me at all reading about a book earlier. I have a whole bunch of books on my TBR that don’t even have covers yet or won’t even be published this year. I just add them to my TBR and then check later. I love learning about books early. That’s why I love posts like this and the one on The Perpetual Page Turner because I get to see different viewpoints. I probably wouldn’t have thought at all about early reviews alienating or frustrating readers, but now I know to consider that viewpoint as well.

    Sometimes with Goodreads first reads books you have to post a review early if you want to be considered for more of their books. I think those are the ones I’ll make an exception for and the rest I’ll try to post closer to the date.

    Oh I know just what you mean about not writing longer reviews for certain books. There are just some books that, even if I liked them a lot, I just don’t know what to say. My memory is also pretty terrible, so if I don’t review the book shortly after reading it then I forget a bunch of stuff I wanted to say.

    The flip side of posting negative elements is that what’s a negative to one person might be a positive to another. I’ve seen a bunch of reviewers say books were too fast-paced and “Go-go-go!” action, but that made me want to read the book more because I love that type of pacing! I do agree with you about the grammatical errors. I would definitely want to know about that in advance.

    :) I’m all curious now about those two debut author books. They sound good!

    Oh, Dragon’s Keep isn’t too long. I think it was somewhere around 320 pages or so. It just had slower pacing.

    There definitely are two legitimate sides to consider. That’s why I don’t really think there’s a right or a wrong answer. It’s really just what works for each individual and what they personally feel comfortable with. :)

    You’re very welcome! Thank you for writing such an interesting post and response!

  5. Small Review, I just started a new feature based on this conversation! I'm glad you commented. I think I really like this direction of creating buzz without releasing a full review yet.

    Yeah, I have no problems telling you what those two books were, but let me email you or PM you on Goodreads (I just found you there, haha. I am a stalker...) instead of posting it out in the open. ^_^

    The Vespertine actually releases this week. In fact, my store is already selling it because it had no strict street date. I think you can post your stuff whenever you want now. :) I do see the pretty button when I'm on your page, though. Yay for prettyful buttons!

    Don't get me wrong, I love learning about books early. I want more than the two-line Publisher's Market summary. But I don't want to read anyone's personal opinion on the book until I make up my own. I don't know, I can't explain...

    Ack, the Goodreads reviews HAVE to post early to be considered again? I didn't know that. Shoot, shoot, shoot. The book I won comes out Tuesday and I haven't read it yet...and I don't think I'll have time to. I leave for work in about 20 mins. and won't be home until 9ish, and I work all day/night tomorrow. Plus, I'm still reading "Wither" and don't like to mix books if I can help it...

    YES, exactly, I'm ALWAYS forgetting what I want to say if I wait too long! I'm already forgetting what I want to say about Lost Voices. I'm going to have to review that this week and then figure out how to schedule a post. I've never done that before.

    Stilly iffy on Dragon's Keep. I'll probably wind up grabbing it if I ever see it on a shelf at the library. The next dragon book I read will be Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn, I think. Have you read that?

  6. I like your new feature idea! I think I'm going to try just talking a little about ARCs in my weekly recaps and then post the full review later on.

    Thanks for the email! I'll be getting back to you soon :)

    Thank you for the heads up about The Vespertine! I was basing that on an earlier Amazon release date. Thank you for liking the button! I was all proud of my (rudimentary) photoshop skills :P

    I know what you mean about not wanting other people's opinions too early. I'm really weird and can't describe it (because there's zero logic involved) but some books I want to read a whole bunch of reviews for and other books I don't want to see anything until after I've read the book.

    I don't think the Goodreads reviews MUST be posted early, but I don't think you'll really be considered for new books until you've posted a review for the ones you've already received. At least, that's how I understand it to work.

    I have a How To post scheduled for this Thursday that explains how to schedule posts! Good timing :)

    I have heard of Voices of Dragons, but I haven't read it yet. It's one of those books that has been on my TBR for a shamefully long time! I'll be curious to read your review on it.


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!