Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's Next?

Now that summer is in the rear view window, with respect to slicked-back hair, Wayfarers, and Don Henley, the publishing industry is moving once again at full speed ahead.

So, what's the next thing?  More vampires?  Werewolves?  Steampunk?  Angels?

Really, nobody knows.  It's like trying to predict the weather.  But it's fun to guess.  One good way to do that is to look at what's popular now and what's coming in the near future.  My agent, John Rudolph has just posted a nice blog entry at the Dystel & Goderich website about the Young Adult Library Services Association's (YALSA) 2011 Teens' Top Ten. It seems paranormal and fantasy are still going strong.

Which, ahem, is very good news.

But what is on the shelves right now doesn't necessarily translate to what's going to be on the shelf tomorrow.  You have to look at what is being pitched to do that.  Luckily, John and his cohorts have just posted the DGLM Childrens Newsletter for Upcoming Submissions.  There are some awesome titles coming up by some talented authors.  And be on the lookout for a special appearance by yours truly.  How I convinced them to let me into that party, I'll never know.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lauren Myracle's SHINE: Wronged

Today news broke that one of the finalists for the National Book Awards was announced in error. 

Think about that for a minute: you as an author being told you are nominated for the most prestigious book award - the Oscar of literature - only to be told, "Oops.  Our bad."

Publishers Weekly reported that Lauren Myracle’s finalist spot in the Young People Literature category for her book SHINE had been intended for Franny Billingsley’s CHIME, a mistake made when a member of the National Book Foundation staff misheard a judge’s announcement over the phone . 

The mix-up was not caught until last Wednesday’s radio announcement.

Myracle decided to withdraw her book as a finalist after being asked by the NBF.  She was told that by doing so she would “preserve the integrity of the award and of the judges work.”  

What a shocking embarrassment for the National Book Foundation.  And what a horrible thing for Myracle to have gone through.  Frankly, I’ve never been much of a fan of quantifying the value of one’s artistic work over another’s, but I’ve always been somewhat eased by the fact that, whether it’s the Oscars, Grammy’s, or the NBA, there was a professional, competent group of people running the show.

I have to say, my confidence in the National Book Foundation has been shaken.