July 16, 2009

An ALA Oops, Bitterblue, and...Squids?

The ALA Conference this year has brought us many fine things: the music video. The news that the Best Books for Young Adults is still alive and well. For now.

The conference is a great place to meet your favorite librarians, book lovers, book writers, and whatnot, a fine place to socialize and talk about the business of books. It's where they fĂȘte the Newbery and Caldecott winners. It is a fine thing.

One not so fine thing the conference brought was this exchange:

Her: And if the numbers are good enough, we will send you ONE BOOK and IF WE LIKE HOW YOU HANDLE THAT TITLE YOU CAN HAVE ANOTHER ONE.

Me: (Blankly.) Oh?

Anyone who has worked with Tasha from the Kids Lit blog knows that she's a mild-mannered soul who has been seeking out some of the best in children and teen literature and blogging those books for the last five years. Before we even knew her name, tons of us knew her blog, and it was a go-to site for me before I went to the library. We know Tasha. Apparently, some publishing house reps don't... and they lump all bloggers into the same basket, and ...then they're rude to all of them.

Wow. Tasha's experience reminds us: that... a.) book blogging isn't a blog popularity issue, and b.) children's literature librarians and bloggers do this because we love books, and c.) we're independent reviewers. We read what we want, and we say what we want.

Right now, I'm glad Tasha is saying "NO" to the publishing company that expected her to kiss feet and beg to be allowed to do reviews their way so that she could pleasepleaseplease have another book.

As if.

Meanwhile, Charlotte already has the lowdown on the next Kristin Cashore book. Only seventeen months til publication! I kind of have to laugh at our long-term enthusiasm. I love that we're all waiting like this. Cashore is an evocative storyteller.

Another thing to anticipate and enjoy is the novelization of Cory Doctorow's latest book, MAKERS, in current serialization at Tor.com before coming out in print this November. How cool is that?

Everything Yat Yee knows about writing, she learned in the garden. I'm honestly not sure where those two snakes come in, though.

And finally: Quirk Publishing. Jane Austen. And... sea life. You loved Jane with the Zombies. Now, there's more to love. I posted the trailer yesterday... and am still completely bewildered.

Whose bizarre idea were these books!?


Charlotte said...

I am a huge believer in long term enthusiasm. Remembering, during the course of a long day. that a longed for book will come is a small jolt of happiness, and if one can have that for 17 months, so much the better.

Except then you fall into the trap Laura Ingalls encountered in Little Town on the Prairie, when she finally got the book she had first seen 6 months before, and she'd looked forward to it so much it was an anticlimax.

Sarah Stevenson said...

Oh no, poor Tasha. What a pain.

Charlotte--I'm constantly amazed at how the Laura Ingalls Wilder books are still such a part of our American consciousness. I keep telling myself I need to re-read them.

Tasha said...


Thanks so much for mentioning my blog post. Luckily, I was contacted by Little, Brown today and the matter was resolved. But I still worry about what damage one person can do to a relationship between a librarian/blogger and a company.

Yat-Yee said...

Ha! Thanks for linking to my gardening post. The snakes? Don't snakes and gardening and whacking and writing kinda all go together?

I read Tasha's recounting of the exchange with that publisher person. Give a person a bit of power...

Saints and Spinners said...

Yay for Bitterblue! Boo to that publishing company.

Tasha, it's so tempting to write a song a la "United Breaks Guitars" (can be found on YouTube) though it's not the same offense.

Charlotte, I didn't know about LIW finding Little Town on the Prairie anticlimactic. It's one of my favorites in the series.