Sooz’s Publishing Industry Lowdown (June 20-24, 2011)

I thought I’d start a new feature: Sooz’s YA Publishing Industry Lowdow.Β  The general idea is that I’d share the biggest news in the young adult and middle grade publishing world each Friday–big deals, important changes, etc.

Why am I doing this?

  1. In the recent polls, that was one of the most requested things.
  2. Not everyone can afford the cost of Publisher’s Marketplace or has the time to browse through Publishers Weekly.*
  3. It’s a good way for me to stay abreast of my industry.

So, let’s get started with this weeks big news!


Sarah Skilton’s debut young adult BRUISED, about a 16-year-old girl with a black belt in martial arts who freezes up at an armed robbery and is left wondering if martial arts failed her or if she failed it.

John Hornor Jacobs’s young adult THE TWELVE FINGERED BOY, the first book in The Incarcerado Trilogy, in which two inmates of the Pulaski County Juvenile Detention Center for Boys discover their superpowers even as they realize that the sinister Mr. Quincrux, head of the Extranatural Agency, wants to control them.

Rapper 50 Cent’s young adult PLAYGROUND, a semi-autobiographical young adult novel about bullying, for publication in in January 2012.). AAAH! LOOK AT THIS!! 50 Cent has a book!!

Caprice Crane’s young adult debut HOW TO BE A HATER, about a sixteen-year-old girl who scores the rules to cool from her older sister’s diary and reinvents herself at her new school; pitched as “Mean Girls” meets “Revenge of the Nerds” with a comic book twist.

Yona Zeldis McDonough’s young adult AMERICA’S GIRL: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, in which Laura’s role as a daughter, sister, wife, and mother are shown to have enriched and amplified her life as the writer of 8 children’s classics set in the vanished world of America’s pioneers, books that have been translated into 40 languages and made into a highly successful TV series.

Tiffany Schmidt’s young adult SEND ME A SIGN, when you have everything going your way, you have everything to lose; or do you?, for publication in Fall 2012.

Maria Lennon’s middle grade CONFESSIONS OF A SO CALLED MIDDLE CHILD, written for the misunderstood middle children out there who have no room to strive, sandwiched between an overachieving (and probably super hairy) older sister and a sniveling but “cute” younger sibling.

Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam’s young adult ELUSION, pitched as an “Inception”-type futuristic thriller series about three teenagers attempting to solve a mystery with serious personal stakes, that leads them inside an alternate reality game that transports users to dangerously seductive Utopian world, and ETHERWORLD.

Elle Jasper’s young adult FOREVERMORE, 16-year-old violin prodigy Ivy Calhoun discovers ghostly love and a long-held secret within the eerie corridors of a haunted Scottish castle.

National Book Award Finalist Sara Zarr’s young adult THE LUCY VARIATIONS, about a once promising concert pianist who now believes that at sixteen her best years are behind her, a belief that everyone she knows seems to agree with, until she meets her brother’s attractive new piano instructor, for publication in Spring 2013.

Author of the NYT bestselling DORK DIARIES series, Rachel Renee Russell’s middle grade DORK DIARIES Books 5 and 6, continuing the NOT so fabulous tales of Nikki Maxwell’s middle school life, for publication in Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 respectively, along with an interactive DORK YOUR DIARY novel, for publication this fall in October 2011.

Author of Leaving Gee’s Bend Irene Latham’s middle grade DON’T FEED THE BOY, with illustrations by Stephanie Graegin, in which a lonely 11-year-old boy, born to a zoo director mom and elephant keeper dad who barely notice him amid all the other more exotic species, finds a new friend in the Bird Girl, and with her help, struggles to escape the confines of zoo life.

Jane Nickerson’s debut young adult STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD, pitched as based on Grimms’ “Bluebeard” and set in pre-Civil War Mississippi, in which a 17-year-old girl goes to live with her charming but mysterious guardian in the lavish Wyndriven Abbey.

Other News

The next in Jeff Kinney’s bestselling children’s series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, CABIN FEVER, will get a first print run of 6 million for its November 15th release. For those of you who don’t realize, this is an ENORMOUS number.

J.K. Rowling shocked and pleased the world with her final explanation regarding Pottermore. It seems it will be part social network, part online game, part ebook, and ALL Harry Potter Awesome.

On the ebook note, ebook sales are (according to the AAP) still on the rise.Β  February saw $90.3 million worth of sales, and April is now reported to have had $72.8 million. Not too shabby.

At the 2011 Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, digital rights was the topic on everyone’s lips.

Amazon has announced it’s new “Essentials in Young Adults Books“, a new feature meant to share with teens and parents what’s worth reading outside the classroom.

And, continuing on the reader trend, if you’re interested in catching a glimpse of what Fall 2011 has in store for us kid’s book aficionados, you can scan a sneak preview here.

And finally, don’t forget to check out the Writing for Young Adults Workshop Sarah J. Maas and I are offering in July. Application submissions will open on Monday!

You tell me: Is there any industry news-bite I missed? Do you have an significant news you want to share?


*Note: Because Publishers Marketplace requires a paid subscription, I’m only sharing part of the information here–basically, just author names and pitches. If you want to know deal sizes (e.g. advances), editors, publishers, and agents, I highly recommend you sign up for PM–it’s totally worth the cost!