Fridays on the SCBWI blog, I share snippets of and links to some of the publishing/media-related news I've read during the last week that I found interesting, helpful, and/or fun. Click titles to get to the full articles.
Among this week's news: Laurie Halse Anderson's post that sparked #speakloudly, Elizabeth Bluemle's update of starred books, Scholastic's Q1, speculation on the next YA books adapted to movies, thoughts on THE HUNGER GAMES as the new TWILIGHT, the weird-headed Berenstain Bears coming to your iPad, a bus driver who loves his Kindle a little too much, Rachelle Gardner on why agents don't tell you more about why you're rejected, Katy Perry's duet with Elmo that you won't see on Sesame Street (below for your viewing--it's quite cute), and more.
This guy thinks SPEAK is pornography (Laurie Halse Anderson)
Remember last September, when the book banners crawled out of their pits of nastiness to try to remove YA literature from classrooms and libraries? It is September again, my friends. Wesley Scroggins is an associate professor of management at Missouri State University. He was also a speaker at Reclaiming Missouri for Christ, a recent seminar whose purpose was to "To educate our pastors, legislators, educators, students, and all citizens as to the truth about America’s Christian Heritage and the role of fundamental, Biblical Christianity in the establishment and function of our legal, legislative, and educational system, and to work towards the successful reestablishment of these values in our society."
What young adult novel should Hollywood adapt next? (PopWatch)
Talk about a hot read: Yesterday, Variety reported that Mandalay Pictures had snagged the much-coveted rights to Sophie Jordan’s young adult novel Firelight, a book that has been picking up sizzle ever since its release…on Sept. 7. Yes, as in Sept. 7, 2010, just two weeks ago.
Scholastic Shrugs Off Lackluster First Quarter (PW)
First quarter sales for the period ended August 31 fell 7.8% at Scholastic, to $290.9 million, and the net loss increased to $35.2 million from $23.0 million in the comparable quarter in fiscal 2010. Despite the results, the company said it remained on track to meet its earlier forecast of total sales for fiscal 2011 of between $1.9 and $2.0 billion and earnings per share from continuing operations in the $1.95 to $2.20 range.
Smashwords Publishes 20,000th eBook (GalleyCat)
Self-publishing website Smashwords published its 20,000th eBook this week. This is up from 6,000 at the end of 2009 and only 140 at the end of 2008. The publisher predicts that it will have published 25,000 titles by the end of the year.
The Stars So Far – Updated Sept. 22, 2010 (Shelf Talker)
It’s time for another update of the starred reviews from Booklist, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, the Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates).
Why 'The Hunger Games' Isn't the new 'Twilight' (Shelf Life)
It’s Twilight all over again. How many times have I heard that in the two years since The Hunger Games came out? Too many too count. And I have to say, it continues to baffle me: These novels could not be more different. Stephenie Meyer’s is more of a traditional romance (populated, I grant you, by some pretty untraditional characters); while Suzanne Collins’ is a tale of war and survival.
RIM Readies Its Answer to iPad (WSJ)
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. could unveil its new tablet computer—as well as the operating system that will power it—as early as next week at a developers' conference in San Francisco, said people familiar with RIM's plans.
Why, Oh Why, Did I Get Rejected? (Rants & Ramblings)
Yesterday's blog post asking writers what annoys them yielded lots of helpful comments, and a smattering of familiar complaints. Julie Geistfeld wrote that she wants a "reason" with her rejection letters. But, she says - she's not asking for much - just "one word, maybe two" of explanation at the end of a form rejection. A "simple category," she says. That's not asking too much, is it? Julie expanded her plea to agents in this blog post.
Farley Stepping Down as Head of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group (PW)
In a memo to his staff this afternoon, Dan Farley, president and publisher of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, announced he will step down from those posts sometime in the next few months. Farley, who lives in San Diego and spends roughly two weeks per month in New York, cited his desire to base himself fulltime on the West Coast as the reason for his decision. After talking with Macmillan CEO John Sargent, Farley said, “We’ve determined that my new plans would not mesh with the business needs of the Group.” He said he will stay on at Macmillan at least through the end of the year
The Berenstain Bears come to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (PWxyz)
Today, Oceanhouse Media announced a partnership with the Christian publisher Zondervan, bringing three Berenstain Bears books to iOS devices as interactive e-books. Oceanhouse has already had great success with its Dr. Seuss e-book apps for iOS, and these new Berenstain Bears apps follow the same format. The first three titles released through the agreement are The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers, The Berenstain Bears Go To Sunday School and The Berenstain Bears And The Golden Rule. All three are available in the app store now for $2.99.
David Baldacci Joins Several Authors to Write the 2nd Wave of '39 Clues' Series (GalleyCat)
The highly successful 39 Clues series will have a second wave of books and the final title in that installment will be written by novelist David Baldacci. Vice-President and Editorial Director at Scholastic Press David Levithan cited the decision to publish the second wave: "The kids wanted it." Baldacci feels excited to take part in this project.
The fierce fight over the present tense (Salon)
It wouldn't be a Man Booker Prize shortlist without a controversy in the British press, but this year's furor -- launched by one-time Booker judge Philip Hensher -- may strike some readers as a bit wonkish. Hensher (author of the splendid novel, "The Northern Clemency") complained in the Telegraph newspaper that three of the six nominees for Britain's most celebrated literary prize are written in the present tense, a choice he regards as merely, and annoyingly, "fashionable."
New Yahoo! Mail to let you update Facebook and Twitter from your inbox (TNW)
Yahoo! has announced that it will be rolling out a new Yahoo! Mail Beta to its 281 million users worldwide over the next few weeks. On the Yahoo! Mail blog, the company promises a “faster, cleaner, and safer” experience.
Bus Driver Reads Kindle While Driving (GalleyCat)
Debating whether or not to get a Kindle? They can be kind of addicting, as you can see from the above video. This bus driver is so into his, that he can't even put it down when he is behind the wheel.
Katy Perry's Boobs Banned from 'Sesame Street' (Gawker)
Katy Perry was supposed to guest star on Sesame Street, but her boobs were too exposed. TMZ reports that 'Sesame Street' has decided not to run a clip featuring her and Elmo performing 'Hot N' Cold' in a low-cut top.