Thursday News: Update on EC v. DA, Atavist Books shutting down, Interview with After author Anna Todd, and mummifying Barbie
Update on Ellora’s Cave v. Dear Author – Jane wanted to update everyone on some of the latest developments in the case. First, the case was recently removed to federal court and opposition papers to EC’s request for a temporary restraining order have been filed by Jane and her attorney, Marc Randazza. There is federal court hearing scheduled for October 29th, where arguments of counsel will be made.
Jane would also like everyone to know that she is doing fine and greatly appreciates all the well wishes.
I’d like to add another thank you to everyone who donated to the defense fund, which is currently more than $54,000. Given the awfulness of the past few days, this shared accomplishment has helped keep my faith in the integrity of our overlapping book communities. –Dear Author
Atavist Books to Close – Barry Diller’s Atavist Books, which was founded in September 2012 and did not even release its first book (a novella) until March 2014, is shutting down at the end of the year. The venture was intended to be a “multi platform” publisher, and its first publication was Sleep Donation by Karen Russell, who was a finalist for the Pulitzer.
“While we are very proud of the quality of the titles produced by Atavist Books to date, we have identified that the market for highly innovative enhanced full length literary e-books still heavily relies on a print component and has yet to emerge,” said a spokesperson for IAC, who confirmed the news, first reported yesterday. –Publishers Weekly
Q&A With Anna Todd, the Breakout Fanfic Star Who Writes Everything on Her Phone – 25-year old Anna Todd’s After will be released as a four-book series by Simon and Schuster and is also being optioned for a film adaptation by Paramount. Todd wrote this Harry Styles fan fiction Romance on her phone, and became the most popular offering on Wattpad.
What this says to me is that we should not underestimate the market clout of readers in their late teens and early 20s.
On Wattpad, “After” has been read more than one billion times. The multi-part book has just under 10 million unique readers, who have left 6 million comments. It’s crazy. To make bestseller lists, authors generally sell tens of thousands of books per week. Then again, reading on Wattpad is free.
Todd’s method is madness, too. Just out of college, she wrote the million-word series in largely unedited spurts from her Android phone, over the course of a little more than a year. She told Re/code she started writing because she was an avid fanfic reader and was bored without new installments from Wattpad writers she followed. So she pulled out her phone and jotted down her own, typos and all.
Todd finalized the book contract in June of this year, just before wrapping up the epic story. For the print version, the character named after the real-life pop star “Harry Styles” — an abusive jerk with a heart of gold (well, maybe) — has been renamed Hardin. –Re/code
Mummification: Let’s Mummify Barbie! – I just think this is the coolest thing. A mother helps her daughter learn about ancient Egyptian methods of mummification by designing a project to mummify the daughter’s Barbie doll. It’s clever and adorable and hilarious. –Kids Activities Blog
On mummifying Barbie – yay! I love it. After wondering where she got the canopic jars, I headed to ebay and wow – who knew? Lots of jars for sale.
The Anna Todd book has not really blow the doors off in terms of sales. It’s print sales appear to be exceeding the digital sales and despite her rabid fan base on Wattpad, there are few reviews on Amazon which says to me that either her fanbase doesn’t buy at Amazon and/or they don’t have credit cards allowing them to open Amazon accounts (which you need to write a review).
Thanks for the update on Jane. I keep hoping the whole thing will just get thrown out.
What are the odds on Ellora’s Cave staying in business? 5 to 1, 10 to 1? Don’t tell me it’s up to 100 to 1 already.
I’m so, so glad Jane got Marc Randazza to represent her–after Dear Author introduced me to Popehat with a short note on Funnyjunk v The Oatmeal a while back, I’ve read enough about Mr Randazza to believe he would be a great asset for Jane. His motion in opposition made me cheer.
Mummifying a chicken was a popular science/history project back when I was homeschooling my children. We started w a regular roasting chicken, and in the end had a well-preserved albeit well-salted mummy.
It was a rite of passage in our homeschool community. “You made your mummy yet?”
Just wanted to mention fanfic readers/writers are all ages. I’ve met/known senior citizens in fandom and people who have been in it for decades. It’s not just the young demographic, though Wattpad still appeals to a slightly younger crowd.
I’m thinking that S&S may have overestimated the selling power of a book that has, by their own admission, been viewed over a billion times already for free. Paramount is going to make bank, though, because the fanbase for the fic has been waiting for the movie since the moment the dramatic rights got representation.
It seems like S&S made a huge error in a grab for what they thought could become the next big 50 Shadesesque phenomenon. 50 was a popular fic, but the book didn’t really explode until Vantage bought it and it went from a cult thing to a blockbuster. After was already breaking records, and was its own brand, before S&S picked it up.
I’m still impressed that people can write on their phones in general. I know one of the weird selling points of Brent Weeks’ first book (I really like him as an author and a person but the first book took a bit to hit its stride) was it was all written on phone pre-smartphone days. I spent my time on transit staring out the window or reading, apparently I’m not productive enough!
@Liana Mir: That’s certainly true, but I bet the demographic for One Direction fanfic skews pretty young.
@Lindsay: I saw Deepak Chopra speak at a conference a few years ago and he mentioned that he wrote at least one of his books on his phone, I think while on an international flight.
Like you, I prefer to spend my time in transit reading or thinking or window gazing. And I sincerely believe that that makes me more productive and creative when I actually get down to work.
::we have identified that the market for highly innovative enhanced full length literary e-books still heavily relies on a print component:::
Too bad there’s no self-published authors who have blazed a similar trail. They could have asked about her experiences and pre-market analysis so as to have some ideas about whether and how to position books like that.
I’m so happy to see Jane and DA so well represented in Court and to see the strong and righteous fight they are bringing.