The New Year’s Countdown: Book Industry Issues of 2012

Hello Upper East Siders!

I’m not in New York City (still in Toronto) but since the series finale of Gossip Girl was yesterday, I thought I’d write this post with GG in mind. What an appropriate post to channel GG when it’s ALL about the scandalous issues and discussions of the book world this past year (bare with me).

White Washing

We all remember the Cassandra Clare’s Tumblr post on White Washing that she re-posted this past summer. It got everyone buzzing on the social media chain as the issue was renewed. Bloggers jumped up (myself included) to have their say (or leave their mark) and had a lot of us rethink the covers of the books we read (as well as the movie/television adaption of source material) that have been given the Caucasian workup on a character who wasn’t (example: the former cover of Liar by Justine Larbalestier. She talks about it on her website).

Sex in Young Adult Novels

Then there was the New Adult debate that was at a simmer in the summer but then exploded a month or so ago. Everyone had a say (again, me included. Twice) and everyone choose a side whether it nay or yay. A genre was born with 18-25 year olds, usually in college/university, with the must haves of the genre: absentee parents and the tendency to get naked at every opportune moment. Very GG to me, no? The debate ranges on and even sparked some side conversation about the sexiness of Young Adult that is mindless or not important to the plot. Remember kiddies, pointless sex is Fifty Shades territory.

Authors/Book bloggers: To be Snarky or Not to Be?

Not juicy enough for guys? What about the ongoing debate between book bloggers and authors regarding reviews? There have been cases of authors speaking out against painful reviews that take things too far by attacking the author personally but then it morphed into a discussion of whether or not reviews could have a “snarkiness” to them. Bloggers write back with their view of reviews with some saying snarkiness adds personality while others think the facts of whether or not a book is good or not is all that is needed. What do you think, Upper East Siders? (who aren’t necessarily from NYC or the Upper East Side).

Reviews…for a price

This was the most disappointing topic of the year. Paid reviews. Where people PAID to have someone write a good review of their book. I just…read this article from the New York Times for more.

Penguin/Random House Merger

We mustn’t forget the merger that got everyone talking. Pearson and Bertelsmann decided to merge their publishing houses, Penguin and Random House, making them  “the largest publisher of consumer books with around a quarter of the market” according to a CBC article. This inspired many people to create a new name for the publishers (Penguin House and my favourite: Random Penguin) as well as new logos. This doesn’t mean everything was all memes and sunshine. The blogosphere blew up and claimed that this creates a monopoly in publishing held, now, by the big five.

That, my lovely readers, are the top book issues that have crossed the Internets. Till next year…

Books Love Me,

A. A. Omer

P.S.

Miss an issue of 2012? Comment below with what you thought was a 2012 issue/discussion in the book community.

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