Publishing Industry Lowdown (March 12-16)

It’s that day again–time for Sooz’s YA and MG Publishing Industry Lowdow. The general idea is that I share all the deals I know if in the young adult and middle grade publishing world each Friday.

My source for deal news is Publishers Marketplace, which requires a paid subscription. As such 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!

Now, let’s get started, shall we?


Author of FETCHING Kiera Stewart’s middle grade HOW TO BREAK A HEART, in which a 13-year-old girl who’s been dumped almost as many times as the characters on the telenovellas she loves tries to turn the tables and learn to be a heartbreaker herself.

Chloe Jacobs’s young adult GRETA AND THE GOBLIN KING, in which a seventeen-year-old girl is pursued by the sexy young Goblin King as she fights to find a way home for herself and the ragtag group of boys marooned in the fairytale world, pitched as Hansel and Gretel meets Labyrinth meets Alice in Wonderland, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2012 and 2013.

Leah Miller’s humorous debut young adult THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, in which a cheerleader with a secret comic book obsession is whisked into a world of comic conventions, live-action role playing, and first-person-shooter video games when the adorkable boy behind the comic book store counter uncovers her secret, for publication in Summer 2013.

New York Times bestselling author of the Strange Angels series Lili St. Crow’s next two novels in her young adult TALES OF BEAUTY & MADNESS series, dark, modern retellings of Grimm fairy tales, with an otherworldly twist.

Jenn Reese’s middle grade ABOVE WORLD #3, the third title in the science fiction adventure series that began with ABOVE WORLD, for publication in Spring 2014.

Ruth McNally Barshaw’s fifth and sixth installments in the middle grade ELLIE MCDOODLE series, focusing on the theater and green activities, respectively, while incorporating the signature Barshaw sketch-diary style as well as games, crafts, fun facts, and Ellie’s can-do-with-friends attitude.

Leah Cypess’s young adult DEATHSWORN, a fantasy about a young sorceress with mysteriously fading powers who has been sent to tutor a sect of assassins in their underground stronghold; but while trying to solve the murders of the tutors who preceded her, she will discover a terrible secret about the assassins’ true goals, one that will challenge her deepest beliefs and force her to make a choice that could overthrow an empire, for publication in Fall 2013, plus a sequel.

Ryan Gebhart’s middle grade THERE WILL BE BEARS, in which a thirteen year-old confronts first crushes, losing his best friend, his grandfather’s failing health, and a man-eating grizzly.

Lisa Ann Scott’s middle grade TOMBOY BEAUTY QUEEN, in which an eleven-year-old tomboy Brenda Anderson and her family moves down south from upstate New York after her Dad dies to live with her former beauty-queen Grandma, for publication in winter 2014.

Barbara Brauner and James Mattson’s middle grade series OH MY GODMOTHER, illustrated by Abigail Halpin, about a modern-day middle-schooler who becomes a reluctant fairy godmother.

Cassandra Clare’s new young adult fantasy series THE DARK ARTIFICES, her third Shadowhunters series, set in Los Angeles, continuing her tales of Shadowhunters, as Emma Carstairs and partner Julian Blackthorn must band together to investigate a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

Holly Smale’s young adult GEEK GIRL, championing a reluctant heroine and self-confessed geek as she struggles with the universal awkwardness of adolescence and navigates the glamorous yet ridiculous world of modelling; every teen girl will empathize with the dramas and pitfalls of friendship that she goes through as she attempts to transform herself from geek to chic, in a three-book deal, for publication in spring 2013.

Newbery Honor winner and Eisner nominated authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale’s first four books in a young chapter-book series following the brave and exciting adventures of a perfectly proper princess by day, but when trouble raises it’s ugly, monster-shaped head, she ditches her flouncy dresses and glass slippers and becomes THE PRINCESS IN BLACK!.

Christine Pakkala’s middle grade LAST BUT NOT LEAST LOLA: Wild Chicken, the second title in this debut chapter book series about an unintentional troublemaker with a lot of heart.

Richard Farr’s young adult TONGUES, first in a series of supernatural, pop-science thrillers for teens, about a 16 year-old boy thrown into an international game of survival after his father, the world’s foremost linguist, discovers a terrible secret about the origin of human language — and the non-human “Architects” who created it, in a three-book deal.

Katie D. Anderson’s debut young adult KISS & MAKE UP, about a 16-year-old lip gloss addict who can read the mind of anyone who kisses her, but turns to old-fashioned studying thanks to a scholarship contest and a new crush for publication in fall 2012.

Shana Mlawski’s debut young adult NEW WORLDS, about a bookmaker’s apprentice who, accompanied by a half-genie, sets off on Columbus’s journey to the New World to avoid the Spanish Inquisition and fulfill a quest to find his father and figure out his magical heritage.

(Source: Publisher’s Marketplace)

Other Stuff

So…erm…I’m so embarrassed to be doing this AGAIN–it has clearly become more the rule than the exception–but I’ve been so entrenched in revisions for A Darkness Strange and Lovely, I haven’t done any internet-scouring. I literally do not turn my computer on before 4 PM each day (it’s the ONLY way I can work-work-work at the pace I need to…and remember: I handwrite my revisions).

So all I have for you this week are two links:

First, Nathan Bransford lays out what this whole lawsuit against the big 5 and Apple means. He offers a lot to consider, and ultimately, he indicates that READERS will win…but everyone else? Not so much–authors included.

But if the agency model is dismantled in whole or in part and Amazon and others can go back to pricing as they see fit, suddenly price is going to be at the forefront of consumer choice.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Amazon and their deep pockets are going to have a big advantage in that environment.

Second, this really great article from Rachel Stark about what authors can learn from THE HUNGER GAMES marketing campaign. Basically: Lionsgate has done it RIGHT, and there’s a lot we can learn. I found this article incredibly eye-opening–and I don’t have a book out!

Writers and publishers must approach the gap between initial buzz and the new book’s publication strategically by bridging content. The most successful bridges give existing fans more of what they already love and want (whether it’s the books’ smoldering love interests, the author’s snarkily hilarious style, or the writer’s off-the-page personality) while at the same time introducing concepts and characters that will appear in the new book and tying back to the upcoming new release.

Oh! And don’t forget bookplates! If you want one, fill out the form!

You tell me: Is there any industry news-bite or fun link you wanna share?