Thursday, July 4, 2013

Knee Jerks

The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards are usually news for a few hours in the morning after the award ceremony. The only people who seem to care are Booksellers, Librarians and the Kid Lit community here in NZ. Not So This Year.

This year the Public have been warned that the winner of Book Of The Year and Senior Fiction (that’s Young Adult) is a smutty book with naughty language and deviant drug behaviour not to mention (gasp) the sex.

The media frenzy over a bookseller refusing to stock it, a conservative political party denouncing it, and an editorial in a major Sunday paper declaring it a waste of space is really sad. In the quotes and comments that the journalists chose to focus on, it was clear that the people doing the loudest complaining hadn’t even read the book but picked up that it might be ‘questionable.’
As one children’s writer commented...’have they forgotten that the Children’s Book Awards cover Young Adult fiction and this book is aimed at 15+

Into The River, by Ted Dawe, is a hard hitting book. It is aimed unapologetically at the hardest to reach demographic in our society. It shines a spotlight on something the wider public would rather not acknowledge...the disenfranchisement of young Maori men. 

Bernard Beckett, The chief judge of these awards has finally been asked why it was chosen and he makes a clear case for the importance of this book.

Emma Neale one of the early editors also makes an impassioned plea for the book. They are two who have read it and thought about the issues and so they have some authority to judge. 
Reporting knee-jerk reactionary comments from people who have not read the book is sloppy journalism.

The rest of the Kid Lit community here can’t believe Ted’s luck. All this publicity means the book should be flying out book sellers doors. Add in that it was self published and the world definitely changed in New Zealand’s Publishing landscape last week.

Across the world the rumbling of disquiet over Barnes and Nobles decision to stop making the Nook e-reader had pundits scrambling to explain what it would mean.

Digital Book World has taken the demise of the Nook and focused on where digital content may be heading...along the way they take a look at the children’s book industry.  

Futurebook looked at the rise and rise of Book Apps and mobile media and wondered why Apple was not connecting the dots on this in their digital publishingmarketplace. 

This all makes interesting reading about publishing futures when you add in Amazon’s latest news the patenting of e-book extras...or enhanced e-books.

In Craft,

Shortstorywritinggroup has this week’s story writing exercises

Badlanguage looks at research tips

In Marketing,

Bestsellerlabs has a look at the marketing maze and how to navigate it.

To Finish,
John Scalzi has laid down the law on his future appearances at Sci Fi Cons. As he is a draw card and attendance at Cons is built into Sci Fi publishing contracts...this is putting a firm stake in the ground on the side of anti harassment of his female colleagues. Of course he is getting dissed for it.

The Bookselfmuse has a great guest post on weathering reviews and taking criticism, something that might come in handy if you’ve had a week like Ted’s.


Anonymous said...

Someone needs to inform the US patent office about the concept of "prior art", then show them how to use Google. The Amazon patent on interactive ebooks should never have been awarded. Try a Google search on "enhanced ebook" with a date range set prior to their Nov 2010 filing. The good news of course (for all of the other companies out there doing this) is that they can ignore patent trolling on this from Amazon (we hope).


Maureen said...

I have been wondering lately who cursed the publishing industry that they should live in interesting times. The Random Penguin merger is supposed to be a big enough conglomerate to rival Amazon...with all the 'new' CEO's being just looks like business as usual. Amazon sure has the the jump on R&D. HarperCollins may have something interesting up its sleeve now that Charlie Redmayne form Pottermore has been poached back.

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