Thursday, 31 July 2014

Top Trends in YA Book Covers

'Don't judge a book by its cover.' Who actually follows that saying in its literal meaning? I don't, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I remember when I used to go to the library when I was little and my mum would pick out books from the shelf to see if there were any I was interested in. 'How about this one? That sounds good.' Yeah, they sounded good. But it was always the cover which would make or break the deal for me.

Anyway, I'm here today to show you some rather awesome book covers. When they're all next to each other you can really see what trends are popular. First up is...

As much as I would love to read this book, sadly I don't own it, but that can't stop me from admiring the gorgeous cover! Using those filters was a clever move by the designer, that's for sure, because this is going to appeal to the Instagrammers of our generation whether they like reading or not! Also, Converse always get the thumbs-up from me (I have been more than a little obsessed for sixteen years now) and the blue writing...*faints from the prettiness*

Edit: I now own the book!

Themes: People / Marker pen / Filters / Sun

Unsurprisingly, Andrew Smith would win the award for 'greenest book cover ever' if there was such a thing. I haven't read this yet - sorry Egmont - but I've recently noticed the one-colour trend in YA books. Luckily, I'm a big fan of bright and bold books, otherwise that would be pretty annoying... But I could stare at these all day. Who's with me?

Themes: Limited colour palette / Bold shapes and silhouettes / Capital letters

Well, would you look at that...a book in this post which I've actually read. I love the cover of The Elites just as much as I love the story inside it. It really does suit the book perfectly. Definitely worth checking out, even if it is just so you can admire the amazing cover from the comfort of your own home!

Themes: White, green, and yellow / Staring / Weapons / Light and dark

So, I have a confession. I'm kind of in love with this cover. I haven't read the book yet (although I do have a lovely signed edition) but you already know that colourful book covers practically beg me to pick them up. Well, mixed with an awesome illustration, this is one hell of a pretty book. 

Geek Girl is pretty awesome and became extremely popular very quickly. I'm not such a big fan of the cover, but it did remind me of these three... what's with the sunglasses, people? It's not even that bright on my bookshelf.

Spies / Sunglasses / Mystery / Faces / Red, white and blue
But there are more serious cover trends that can't be ignored. For example, how many white people are on book covers? A lot. What about everyone else? Even in this blog post, while skin colour isn't a main focus, nearly everyone is white. Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies recently published an excellent blog post on that and you can see it here - it's well worth reading.

Which covers are your favourite? Have you noticed any other trends in YA?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

EVENT REPORT: Rainbow Rowell Talk and Signing in London

This year the UK has gone crazy over Rainbow Rowell, author of books such as Attachments, Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, and her latest novel for adults, Landline. So I wasn't surprised - but very excited - when it was announced that Rainbow would be flying over from the US to do a UK tour, consisting of events in London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Glasgow, and Birmingham.

The only event there was a slight chance of me attending was the one in London, but by the time I found out about it tickets had understandably already sold out. But then another date was added. July 15th. In the space of three seconds, a lot of things crossed my mind - my anxiety, money, travel, meeting such a famous author - but then I thought 'meh' and ordered three tickets for myself and my parents. I didn't ask them. I probably should have done. Instead, I quickly printed out the tickets and stuffed them behind a stack of books on the shelf in my room, not to be seen again until a week later when I casually dropped the fact into conversation that I'd bought the tickets.

The parents were very reluctant, but I'd already bought the tickets...what could they do? ;) Luckily they ended up having an enjoyable evening anyway.

The day arrived and I was a nervous wreck. I considered not going. I considered missing the talk and only attending the signing. I considered letting my mum go ahead and get the books signed on my behalf - which she had offered to do - as I waited at Stratford station, which is where we were as I started having a panic attack. I think it was because I was already really nervous, and it didn't help that the trains were packed and boiling hot.


Because of that, we had to let around 15 trains go by (at 2-minute intervals - 15 trains sounds like a lot but it really wasn't!) as I got myself together. That's also why I didn't vlog the day, which is what I'd planned to do. Then it took longer than expected to get to Waterstones when we were back on the tube because there were delays at Liverpool Street. So we walked, which was intimidating because...let's just say we were in the part of London where there are more posh suits than tourist backpacks...

Eventually we arrived at Piccadilly Waterstones having completely missed Rainbow's entire talk, so unfortunately I can't tell you what she talked about, but Stacey at The Pretty Books has gone into great detail about it so you can read about that here.

But now I'll tell you about what I didn't miss...

Now, this was my first time at Waterstones Piccadilly. I knew it was the largest bookshop in Europe but nothing can prepare you for the pure awesome of it. We chilled on the armchairs just outside of the event until the queue got a bit shorter because I still felt pretty out of it and I didn't feel up to facing so many people just yet. Instead, I bought the finished copy of Landline and the special edition of Fangirl, and ended up getting two free Fangirl tote bags too. Win!

There was also a table with refreshments and the event was just generally really well organised, although I know the staff are used to dealing with popular authors so I wasn't surprised!

Then we headed into the event area and joined the queue; we were last.

I recognised Charlotte from her Twitter profile and also thought I saw Georgia from The Bibliomaniac out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't do anything about it because I wasn't expecting her to be there. Later it turned out it was her and we were even wearing the same shirt! WUT? I was also meant to be meeting Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa but she couldn't make it. :(

The stage where Rainbow had been sat with Bim Adewunmi was still set up but unoccupied, and it was right next to the queue, so I decided to casually hop up onto the stage and sit in Rainbow's vacated chair. I SAT WHERE RAINBOW SAT. SOMEONE HOLD ME.

Then it was my turn and Rainbow signed all of my books even though there was a 4-book limit and I had 6, which was lovely. She didn't say much and I felt really awkward; Rainbow because she was understandably tired, and me because I was so incredibly nervous. She asked if there were any of her books which I hadn't read, and I said Attachments. She replied that it was the lighter of her books - the funniest - so I'm looking forward to it even more now! Then she said "I hope you enjoy it," and I said, "I'm sure I will," which made me want to die because I sounded so formal and forced and I SOUNDED LIKE SUCH AN IDIOT. Also, publicist Kat McKenna was next to the table but I didn't want to sound like a weirdo by saying hello when she wouldn't have recognised me.

I got my photo taken with Rainbow.

Click to enlarge.

Fangirl (paperback)
Fangirl (hardback / special edition)
Eleanor and Park (paperback)
Landline (paperback / ARC)
Attachments (paperback)
Landline (hardback / not dedicated)

After the event we wandered around the city for a while, watched some buskers in Piccadilly Circus, and ended up in Leicester Square. It's like that place has this weird magnetic pull on me because whenever I'm in London I always end up there, even if it's not in the original plan. We then headed to a pretty little restaurant but ended up leaving after half an hour without having ordered any food because the waiter seemed to have forgotten us... so off we went to Pizza Hut instead. I didn't order anything myself, and all I ate that day was two packets of crisps. Anxiety really messes with my eating habits sometimes.

As we were waiting for the tube home, I saw a mouse on the platform. I've been to London a million times but I've only ever seen mice on the tracks. I resisted the urge to run away and instead backed away slowly... and in doing so, I discovered this poster. I fangirled.

If you were paying attention earlier on in the post, you'll know I bought a hardback copy of Rainbow's latest book Landline, but I asked her not to dedicate it. That's because I bought it! This is an international giveaway.

Good luck!

Thanks to Rainbow, the publishers, and Waterstones Piccadilly for hosting such an awesome event!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

RE: Blogger Email Addresses Are Being Sold Without Our Consent

You all know what's happened by now, and if you don't then read this post before carrying on. As I write I am currently half asleep because it turns out a lot happened with the jaydpromo situation last night and this morning and now I feel the need to update you all on what's going on.

Last night at around 10pm I found a way to report the website for illegally selling a list of 1,200 blogger email addresses. As far as I know, booktubers aren't affected. Basically I did a search, found his registrar (GoDaddy) and reported him to them. Then I quickly made a mini tutorial on how to report him and posted it to Twitter to help others who were a bit stuck on how to report his site:

The amazing @ZMacIver and @LaLaT0adst0ne were helping me spread the word by either tweeting all of his followers and telling them they were following someone like that, or tweeting bloggers informing them of what was going on respectively. I can't thank them enough for helping to get the word out, and they clearly did a good job because I woke up to almost one hundred Twitter notifications... :')

Also while I was asleep (seriously, I missed all the good stuff) @K__Books, @Charli_TAW and @Miss_Fictional were having a 'discussion' on Twitter with the man behind the website who had finally shown up to tell his side of the story. I have selected the highlights from his beautiful and moving tweets especially for you. 

If you go to @Charli_TAW or @K__Books on Twitter you can find the entire conversation there. Oh, and he thanked me for increasing his blog traffic. You're welcome? They weren't visiting your site because they were on your side, y'know. Just saying.

At the time of writing my last blog post about his site, what he was doing was illegal because he was selling email addresses without each owner's knowledge or consent. But once he found out about my blog post and everything else, he decided to make the email list free and therefore what he was doing had become legal. He later deleted the list (or removed it from public viewing. Hmm.) and pretended the list had never existed, although it's still mentioned on his selling page and I have a feeling the list will probably pop up again in the near future. The other list (a list of blog links) was made public. If he deletes that page, just search for the cached version.

EDITED TO ADD: So many people asked him to delete their blogs from his list that he did indeed delete it from public viewing. However, I'm sure it's still being sold. I'll be keeping an eye on it.
EDITED TO ADD 20/7 15:50PM BST: The list is back up with only 2 blogs on it. He could still have the rest of the list in private, though.

So the reports filed last night will now be irrelevant. Nice save, 'Jay D.'

Then he who shall not be named (erm, not Voldemort, someone else) recognised a pattern in the list of bloggers on Any blogs newer than mid-2011 didn't seem to be listed. Mine was, as were a LOT of others, and it later came to my attention that this guy who had earlier called US lazy had copied and pasted his list of bloggers from a completely separate YA book blog directory which I had signed up for years ago. I'd just like to say that the YA book blog directory is legit. It's fine. Everyone on that list opted in for it years ago and the people who made it put in a lot of hard work and effort. What isn't fine is this other guy, Jay D, taking the list and selling it. Prat.

What to do if you're listed on his site:
If you find your blog on his list, you can tweet him @AuthorJayD and ask to be removed. He must remove you if you ask. If you see anyone you know listed on the site, it's a good idea to let them know they're there. It would also be really helpful if you could share this post to let everyone know what's going on.

Before I go I'd just like to say sorry for how badly written this post is. It was rushed and I'm barely awake! I'd also like to say how nice it was, despite the circumstances, to see the whole book blogging community come together as one force against him and his disgusting website. Without sounding patronising, well done. :)

So now you know. Feel free to tweet him your anger.