Seize the Tuesday #16: Something I Don't Understand About the Publishing World
Seize the Tuesday is a book blogger meme created by myself and the Let’s Get Lost Buddies Street Team, to share stories about how we’ve seized the Tuesday, with a special focus on the particular book we’re reading. We’ll share our posts online with the hashtag: #LetsAllGetLost.
The idea is to share little ways in which you may have embraced Bree’s motto of seizing the Tuesday. To relate it to books, you can talk about what book you’re reading, and how you stole some moments from the day to enjoy reading. It doesn’t have to be about reading, but we all know that a well-read day is a day seized. The idea is not just to help spread the word on LGL, but also to remind people to live fully, even/especially if that means spending a part of your day reading.
If you've followed me on the blog for very long, then you know that SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS is one of my favorite books.. This is the seed for today's post.
Something that I don't understand about the publishing world (And I try to keep myself updated with the mysterious ways of the publishers because the way I see it, if I'm wanting to be published one day, I should know about the business I'm getting myself into) is how an amazing book that makes you change the ways you think about/see people can get picked up and published, but not have anyone pushing it.
RED QUEEN, was recently (ish) released, and soon after it hit the shelves, it hit the NYT Best Seller's List. It soared. People went out and bought it, because they'd heard so much about this book that they just HAD to find out from themselves what the hype was. This is what happens when a company pushes a book. THe publishing house knew that RED QUEEN was the real deal, and they did everything they could to let the public know, too.
SHORT BUS, however, was published with very little publicity, and I can only buy it online. It's not in stores, and it's a title that most people have never heard of.
Now, RED QUEEN and SHORT BUS are two very different books. In fact, the only thing they have in common is a female MC and the fact that they're YA novels. But that's not the point. The point is that RED QUEEN has done exceptionally well in the few months that it's been out, while SHORT BUS has been out for nearly a year now and it hasn't gotten the response it deserves.
I guess I understand why the pub chose not to give SHORT BUS media attention. It's a book about disabled kids, and how people view them. It's brutally honest, but it makes you see things. It makes you see that maybe the fact that you turn your nose and want nothing to do with these kids shows just how superficial and shallow you are. And maybe you don't even realize you're doing it. I know I didn't.
If you look at the reviews of this book on Goodreads, then you'll see how the author gets a lot of hate over her book. Yeah, it's a controversial topic, but in no way does Crandell speak bad about these children. In no way does she write about them with malice. The author bio on the back of the book specifically says that Crandell has a daughter who is "differently-abled", which is an added point to her defense, because I don't think any parent would speak badly about their child in that way.
It truly breaks my heart to see the people review SHORT BUS and talk about how the book is an outrage, how it's disrespectful to kids with disabilities, how they couldn't even get to the end of the book because of it. Because I know that these reviewers, these readers who gave SHORT BUS such a nasty review, they didn't get it. They didn't let the message and spirit of the story into their hearts. They superficially read the book, didn't get to the end, which is one of the most important parts, and then they decide to go out and give it hate.
My question is, did the pub co not push SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS because it's controversial? If so, I'd like to pull their attention to the trend right now, which is "We Need Diverse Books". Diverse, adjective, showing a great deal of variety; very different. If anything, now is the BEST time to push SOTSB. It's diverse, maybe not in racial standards, but in the sense that, how many honest books are out there about kids with disabilities? And I don't mean disabilities as in sickness, or cancer-- I mean disabilities as in mental handicaps.
Readers are loving diverse and controversial novels, so what I don't understand is why SHORT BUS got left out of the publicity hype.
So I guess my question for the day is to those of you in the publishing business. I'd be curious to find out why SHORT BUS was kept on the down low, when it's a very relevant and truthful read for today's society. Have you noticed any other books like that out there? If so, I want to know! Comment below!