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View Full Version : 20-year old Oxford student: "the new JK Rowling"?



aruna
05-07-2012, 02:46 PM
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts-books/oxford-student-samantha-shannon-dubbed-the-new-jk-rowling/story-fn7euh6j-1226347954799


A 20-year-old Oxford student has been dubbed the "new J.K. Rowling" after signing a seven-figure deal for her futuristic adventure series with the publishers of the Harry Potter books.



Samantha Shannon landed the multimillion-pound deal with Bloomsbury for her first novel, The Bone Season, and two sequels
This will be interesting to watch. At the very least, it proves that publishers are still on the prowl for great books.

fireluxlou
05-07-2012, 02:56 PM
Good luck to her I will be reading it. I love that she has a female protag.

Katrina S. Forest
05-07-2012, 03:03 PM
I don't want to hold any book to the standard of, "the next Harry Potter," before I read it.

I'll wait and see what happens when the book actually comes out.

aruna
05-07-2012, 03:27 PM
I don't want to hold any book to the standard of, "the next Harry Potter," before I read it.

I'll wait and see what happens when the book actually comes out.


Yes, I should have put that in quotation marks. In fact, I think I will. When I hear "the next.... anybody" I get the heebie jeebies.

JoeSmith
05-07-2012, 05:28 PM
I think it's a bit early to get excited about this, but a seven figure deal for three books is very impressive.

Toothpaste
05-07-2012, 05:49 PM
I get kind of annoyed that people consistently call those people who are writing a series and get a massive book deal "the next JK Rowling". I automatically think, "So we finally have the next big middle grade then?" But nope, again, this is YA or likely more YA/Adult Crossover, and dystopian. If anything she's the next Collins.

It's a minor frustration, but I really don't like the inaccuracy with it.

Nonetheless, hey, props to her! I hope she does well! :)

Shadow_Ferret
05-07-2012, 06:23 PM
Labels like this are usually the death knell to someone's career. They never live up to the hype and they crash and burn. Better to go in without any expectations and surprise the hell out of everyone. "Where the hell did they come from?"

To use music as an analogy, how many players ever lived up to the "next Jimi Hendrix" or bands survive "the next Beatles" label?

shaldna
05-07-2012, 06:26 PM
I read this earlier. Kudos to her. From what I read this morning she worked hard on it, and IIRC, this was only her second novel, which makes it even more impressive.

Susan Littlefield
05-07-2012, 06:42 PM
I wish her the best of her luck on her own merits.

Libbie
05-07-2012, 06:59 PM
Labels like this are usually the death knell to someone's career. They never live up to the hype and they crash and burn. Better to go in without any expectations and surprise the hell out of everyone. "Where the hell did they come from?"

That's what I thought, too. I feel sorry for the kid. That's an enormous expectation to live up to. I'd be scared shitless if somebody made such a comparison about my work before it was even published.

After it was published, preferably years later, would be okay with me. Definitely not before.

rynthewin
05-07-2012, 07:09 PM
While I'm happy for this author and hope the book lives up to the hype for her sake, I'm also a tad breathless with envy at the seven figure deal.

Raventongue
05-07-2012, 07:12 PM
I'm not a fan of J.K. Rowling, so if she fails to live up to the hype I may, paradoxically, read it. Just on the off chance that the reason it plunked was that it was too profound for the folks who were looking for another Rowling.

I'm of the general opinion that the vast majority of HP readers had no taste. Not to be judgmental, of course; I was one at one point. Probably had something to do with the fact that we were all 10 freakin' years old.

AVS
05-07-2012, 07:12 PM
Gosh is the "old" J K Rowling worn out already. Authors, they don't last these days.

Good luck and deep envy.

aruna
05-07-2012, 07:43 PM
Labels like this are usually the death knell to someone's career. They never live up to the hype and they crash and burn. Better to go in without any expectations and surprise the hell out of everyone. "Where the hell did they come from?"

To use music as an analogy, how many players ever lived up to the "next Jimi Hendrix" or bands survive "the next Beatles" label?


Exactly. Remember that JKR came out of nowhere; that was part of the phenomenon. I do like the sound of this kid's beginnings, though; she seems really dedicated. More on the (sorry!) Daily Mail website:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2140282/Is-Samantha-Shannon-new-JK-Rowling-Oxford-student-lands-figure-book-deal.html

thebloodfiend
05-07-2012, 07:52 PM
Labeling someone the "next" big thing is probably the worst thing you can do for their career. JK Rowling and Steph Meyer didn't have artificial praise, huge advances, and huge PR campaigns. You can't make publishing fame.

Good luck to the girl, but I feel sorry for her. Out of all the "next" Steph Meyer's/Rowlings, not one is remembered in 2012 as someone who'll go down in history books. Not even the author of The Night Circus. You can't be the "next" blank. You've got to make people want to be the next you.

Silver-Midnight
05-07-2012, 08:04 PM
Props to her. I wish her much success and many sales.

KTC
05-07-2012, 08:09 PM
Congrats to her. I'm sure of one thing...she's going to be the next big Samantha Shannon. That's enough...to be ourselves. I would give her a try based soley on the title. (I couldn't get through book 1 of Potter. Hated the writing...loved the movies)

Cyia
05-07-2012, 08:15 PM
First - this is not a dig at the author, because anyone who can land a "multi-million pound (or dollar) deal" straight out of the gate has something going for their writing, but I have to agree with Toothpaste on this one. It's not MG by any stretch. The protag is 19, which would exclude it from even YA by most current market standards. The MC's not in school, either.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/oxford-student-samantha-shannon-dubbed-the-new-jk-rowling/story-e6fredpu-1226349356015


She has mapped out her story to be spread over seven books, just like Rowling's Harry Potter series, following the adventures of Paige, a 19-year-old clairvoyant who escapes from life in a criminal underworld.


The Bone Season is set in 2059 where Paige is captured by the repressive government, Scion, and sent to Oxford, a town which has been kept secret, where she meets Warden, who becomes her "keeper."
It sounds like Alias meets Eureka + supernatural aspects to me. (A good thing, since I liked both shows.)

aruna
05-07-2012, 08:18 PM
The story is not at all up my street but I would read it out of sheer curiosity (or at least, start to read it!)

Toothpaste
05-07-2012, 08:21 PM
I'm of the general opinion that the vast majority of HP readers had no taste. Not to be judgmental, of course; I was one at one point. Probably had something to do with the fact that we were all 10 freakin' years old.

This is a totally unnecessary statement, has nothing to do with the topic at hand, and is pretty darn insulting (on so many levels, not only insulting adult readers of the books as having no taste, but assuming that kids will like pretty much anything).

Just pointing it out in the hopes that the next time you feel like saying something incredibly negative about a great number of people and it has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand . . . you might . . . you know, not.


(also just because you claim you aren't being judgmental in saying that almost everyone who likes HP has no taste, uh, doesn't mean you actually aren't)

Cyia
05-07-2012, 08:25 PM
Also, I was NOT 10 when I read the books (or even when they came out), as was the case with a great many Potter fans. That was the "Secret" of the books' success. The parents bought the books for their kids, then got so caught up in the stories, they wanted to read them, too.

Raventongue
05-07-2012, 09:11 PM
This is a totally unnecessary statement, has nothing to do with the topic at hand, and is pretty darn insulting (on so many levels, not only insulting adult readers of the books as having no taste, but assuming that kids will like pretty much anything).

Just pointing it out in the hopes that the next time you feel like saying something incredibly negative about a great number of people and it has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand . . . you might . . . you know, not.


(also just because you claim you aren't being judgmental in saying that almost everyone who likes HP has no taste, uh, doesn't mean you actually aren't)

Unnecessary? Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were discussing the concept of labelling an author "the next J.K. Rowling". I must be in the wrong thread.

It wasn't even negative. Rowling did what she set out to do, and better than she probably expected anyone could do it. We all have different goals.

And if that's judgmental, I'll take judgmental over jumping down someone's throat for voicing an opinion any day.

Toothpaste
05-07-2012, 09:40 PM
It wasn't even negative? Did you or did you not say that almost everyone who likes Harry potter has bad taste?

You'll note that was the part of your statement I quoted and took issue with. How is that not a judgment? I guess if you truly believe it as fact you could therefore think it not judgmental. But if it's fact I'd like to see proof of that.

And despite your supposed explanation I still have no idea what saying the lion's share of her fans have no taste has to do with this thread. Please do explain it to me however.

Phaeal
05-07-2012, 09:49 PM
Unnecessary? Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were discussing the concept of labelling an author "the next J.K. Rowling". I must be in the wrong thread.

It wasn't even negative. Rowling did what she set out to do, and better than she probably expected anyone could do it. We all have different goals.

And if that's judgmental, I'll take judgmental over jumping down someone's throat for voicing an opinion any day.

You're perfectly free to state your opinion and vent your bile. The rest of us are perfectly free to react to it, and to check our cabinets to make sure we have ample supplies of troll repellent.

I have mine shipped in monthly from a dear little shop in Diagon Alley. At bulk rates, you might as well go for the best.

But back to topic:

I can't tell from the linked articles who is dubbing Shannon "the next JKR." Could be anyone from Bloomsbury (who, after all, have the cash for monster advances thanks to JKR) to the press to anyone on the streets. Almost every time someone finds out I write, the first thing they say (regardless of whether they know my genre and audience) is, "Oh, you mean like that Harry Potter thing?"

Okay, some say "that Twilight thing." But Harry still leads at about two-to-one. Poor Dan Brown has dropped way back in the pack. Watching to see if E. L. James makes a move on the outside (or whether all those chains and whips slow her down.)

From the description, as others have noted, Shannon's series sounds much more like The Hunger Games and other YA dystopians than it sounds like Harry Potter. If Scholastic buys the US rights, it can invoke two of its heavy hitters and declare that Shannon is "the next Harry Potter but kind of more like Suzanne Collins!"

This will be an interesting one to watch, both for the marketing and the book itself.

ladybritches
05-07-2012, 09:57 PM
Unnecessary? Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were discussing the concept of labelling an author "the next J.K. Rowling". I must be in the wrong thread.

It wasn't even negative. Rowling did what she set out to do, and better than she probably expected anyone could do it. We all have different goals.

And if that's judgmental, I'll take judgmental over jumping down someone's throat for voicing an opinion any day.

:e2thud:


Labeling the vast majority of Harry Potter readers as having no taste is definitely judgmental. I think that's the offensive part of your original statement, not your opinion of the series itself.

IceCreamEmpress
05-07-2012, 10:01 PM
I thought AW's own Erin Morgenstern was the new J. K. Rowling? So many new J. K. Rowlings coming off the production line every year now...

No, seriously, I wish Ms. Shannon well. Her story sounds interesting, though definitely more like the Hunger Games books than like the Harry Potter books, as others have pointed out. I hope the hype isn't too daunting to her, and that it doesn't put off any potential readers, and that everyone enjoys the books on their own merits.

What author would you like to be called "the new" of? I wouldn't mind being called "the new Mary Renault" for my historical novels.

aruna
05-07-2012, 10:08 PM
I wouldn't want to be "the new" anyone, but I'd like to be a 21st century incarnation of E M Forster!

It's tricky for a publisher with a potentially big book. Yes, the huge advances and hype generate media and public interest. But it can backfire horribly, if readers don't agree with the publisher/the timing is off and it doesn't hit the public nerve. It puts the author in a terrible position. Better to come from behind and let the readers decide.

Bicyclefish
05-07-2012, 10:08 PM
It's been my personal experience and opinion when people say variations of, "Not to be [so-and-so], but..." they often come off as that which they claim not to be. It's practically a running joke.

Back to the OT, I dislike labels of "the next [Big Name]" too. It's puts more pressure on the author and readers may judge the book against it, rather than on its own merits and faults.


Not to be silly, of course, but... lalalala (http://www.furrytalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/funny-fish.jpg).

waylander
05-07-2012, 10:17 PM
I presume the headline figure of her advance is contingent on various sales milestones being met etc.
7 books is a long old stretch. I hope she still loves her characters by the time she gets to, say, book 5.

thebloodfiend
05-07-2012, 10:21 PM
I'd like to be the new Salinger, sans the never talking to people or writing a second full length novel thing. Or the new Chbosky. Either/or is fine with me.

Raventongue
05-07-2012, 10:22 PM
It wasn't even negative? Did you or did you not say that almost everyone who likes Harry potter has bad taste?

You'll note that was the part of your statement I quoted and took issue with. How is that not a judgment? I guess if you truly believe it as fact you could therefore think it not judgmental. But if it's fact I'd like to see proof of that.

And despite your supposed explanation I still have no idea what saying the lion's share of her fans have no taste has to do with this thread. Please do explain it to me however.

It was relevent to this thread because the point of my post was that Shannon's career isn't necessarily ruined by the high expectations, even if she doesn't end up living up to them. But this entire topic has grown way too sour for me to come back to it; my interest was in how this will impact her budding career, and by getting nasty with eachother we've strayed far from that.

I'm not going to bother to defend myself any further. First impressions will stick no matter what, apparently, so I may as well spend the energy somewhere else. Call me what you want to.

Momento Mori
05-07-2012, 10:28 PM
There's a big tree house filled with the next JK Rowlings. It's a good tree house to be in (including Eoin Colfer, Philip Pullman, Erin Morgenstern, Phillip Reeve) as the authors have generally done well, but at the end of the day it's a marketing ploy (and a lazy marketing ploy at that).

Best of luck to this author as I'd definitely check out the book on the basis of what's being written, but as other posters have said, the next J K Rowling is going to come out of nowhere, not a marketing sheet.

MM

Cyia
05-07-2012, 10:29 PM
Whether she lives up to the hype or not, at least she's getting to start her post-university life with enough money to pay off her student loans. :D

Raventongue
05-07-2012, 10:29 PM
:e2thud:


Labeling the vast majority of Harry Potter readers as having no taste is definitely judgmental. I think that's the offensive part of your original statement, not your opinion of the series itself.

See, that's reasonable. I wasn't careful with my wording, I spoke without reading my post to ensure it wouldn't be offensive first etc. I'll own up to having been judgmental. I reacted the way I did to Toothpaste's post because it seemed much more aggressive, and if the first post to criticize mine had been more charitable then this probably wouldn't be my last post in this thread.

As it is, this will be my last post in this thread. Peace out, folks.

CalebJMalcom
05-07-2012, 10:41 PM
I'm happy that this girl got such a large deal, but I don't like the hype around it already and I hope it doesn't ruin her or her story. Good luck to her in the pot she's been tossed into.

Alessandra Kelley
05-07-2012, 10:45 PM
It's a hard thing to have your first work compared to someone really famous. If Ms. Shannon's work is really that good, it is likely to be idiosyncratic and not that much like Ms. Rowling's. I hope the hype does not cause her harm.


Better to go in without any expectations and surprise the hell out of everyone. "Where the hell did they come from?"

To use music as an analogy, how many players ever lived up to the "next Jimi Hendrix" or bands survive "the next Beatles" label?

J.K. Rowling surprised people, if I recall. "Harry Potter" was pretty obscure its first year. I got some early HP mugs dirt cheap when they were remaindered at the local Hallmark store because no one was buying HP stuff yet.

I poked around news archives to see if I could find who was being lauded as "the new _____" back when Ms. Rowling was just getting started, but all I could find was a reference to Tim Green as "the next John Grisham" (http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PBPB&p_theme=pbpb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EAF40DEEFFD4182&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM).

Amadan
05-07-2012, 10:48 PM
See, that's reasonable. I wasn't careful with my wording, I spoke without reading my post to ensure it wouldn't be offensive first etc. I'll own up to having been judgmental. I reacted the way I did to Toothpaste's post because it seemed much more aggressive, and if the first post to criticize mine had been more charitable then this probably wouldn't be my last post in this thread.


Toothpaste wasn't nasty to you. Defensive? Yes. You said anyone who likes Harry Potter probably has no taste. Of course people who like Harry Potter are going to take offense. What, it never occurred to you that there are people in this forum who like Harry Potter?

No one gets dogpiled for saying "I don't like X." But I'm surprised that it surprises you that saying "If you like X, something is wrong with you" might be read as offensive.

Soccer Mom
05-07-2012, 10:59 PM
Okay, move along. Discuss the the original topic and not each other please.

cmi0616
05-08-2012, 02:02 AM
I'm glad to hear this is still an industry where people can make seven figures. It means there's still people out there who write, and, a bit more importantly, still people out there who read.

AnneGlynn
05-08-2012, 02:27 AM
JK Rowling and Steph Meyer didn't have artificial praise, huge advances, and huge PR campaigns. You can't make publishing fame.

As a first time author, Stephanie Meyer signed a 3-book deal for $750,000. That would be a very, very good advance to me. Her publisher sent TWILIGHT out with an initial print run of 75,000 copies and a strong PR campaign, putting the book on the bestseller list.

I'm not saying she didn't deserve her success but she definitely was given a running start.

thebloodfiend
05-08-2012, 02:47 AM
As a first time author, Stephanie Meyer signed a 3-book deal for $750,000. That would be a very, very good advance to me. Her publisher sent TWILIGHT out with an initial print run of 75,000 copies and a strong PR campaign, putting the book on the bestseller list.

I'm not saying she didn't deserve her success but she definitely was given a running start.

But she didn't get the artificially created praise. I don't remember her being "the NEW LJ Smith" or "the NEW Anne Rice". In fact, I don't really remember hearing anything about her until the movies went into pre-production. Nor do I remember her six figure deal having a lot of buzz around it, compared to the hype seven figure deal authors get (Starcrossed, for example, which was supposed to be Twilight with Greek gods -- didn't happen).

Everyone knows who Harry Potter and Edward Cullen are. Almost everyone knows who Katniss Everdeen is. And that took months, if not years. I think it's premature to start comparing a novel to something "timeless" until it's at least lasted past the third book.

Cyia
05-08-2012, 04:22 AM
As a first time author, Stephanie Meyer signed a 3-book deal for $750,000. That would be a very, very good advance to me. Her publisher sent TWILIGHT out with an initial print run of 75,000 copies and a strong PR campaign, putting the book on the bestseller list.

I'm not saying she didn't deserve her success but she definitely was given a running start.


Tw1light also tanked when it was first released, in spite of all that publicity. They pulled back, repackaged it with the black and red "artistic" covers and put it back out into the world.

Niiicola
05-08-2012, 05:45 AM
As a first time author, Stephanie Meyer signed a 3-book deal for $750,000. That would be a very, very good advance to me. Her publisher sent TWILIGHT out with an initial print run of 75,000 copies and a strong PR campaign, putting the book on the bestseller list.

I'm not saying she didn't deserve her success but she definitely was given a running start.
I think the reason why you can't compare this type of marketing push with Stephenie Meyer or JK Rowling is that they're the reason why these marketing pushes exist. With these two series, their movies, their rampant fanbases, etc, it became this huge moneymaking phenomenon that hadn't existed before. So now, obviously, everybody's trying to repeat it artificially.

frankiebrown
05-08-2012, 06:29 AM
Wow! The girl must be an incredibly talented writer. I'm really looking forward to seeing what she can do :).

aruna
05-08-2012, 09:31 AM
I'm glad to hear this is still an industry where people can make seven figures. It means there's still people out there who write, and, a bit more importantly, still people out there who read.

...and where publishers still get excited over new books, and but them! There's so much gloom and doom about the industry these days, it's encouraging to hear that this kind of deal can still happen.




Everyone knows who Harry Potter and Edward Cullen are. Almost everyone knows who Katniss Everdeen is. And that took months, if not years. I think it's premature to start comparing a novel to something "timeless" until it's at least lasted past the third book.

Actually, I don't think Edward Cullen is nearly in the same league as HP as far as name recognition goes. The only reason I know who he is is bcause I'm on AW, and I'm guessing that's the same with most non-writerly types. The thing with Harry Potter is that his name is in the titles. Unless you've read Twilight and seen the movies (I haven't) you wouldn't necessarily know.

Once!
05-08-2012, 10:52 AM
is it just me or is there a whiff of marketing spin about this? JK Rowling launches a "serious" novel which may disappoint fans hoping for another Potter. So a new author is feted as the next Rowling for a Potteresque fantasy series set over several books and with a young main character.

After the Beatles came the Monkees.

It might be good. It might be derivative. It might stand perfectly well on its own. But linking her to Rowling already sounds more than a little like cashing in. We'll have to read it to find out.

Good luck to her. Many many have tried to follow in Rowling's footsteps and only few have succeeded. I am sure that we are all insanely jealous.

fireluxlou
05-08-2012, 11:20 AM
I was looking to find more information about her book and it helps when you have friends in the business :P


The Man Booker shortlisted novelist Ali Smith first recognized Samantha Shannon's talent and recommended her to David Godwin. Bloomsbury Editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle moved swiftly to acquire the series from David Godwin at DGA the week of the London Book Fair, ahead of meetings with other publishers. The Bone Season is a startling combination of a unique literary voice, a fully conceived, terrifying parallel world and a narrative pace that grips like a vice. It marks the arrival of an extraordinarily talented British writer set to challenge the worldwide bestseller list domination of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.

http://www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/40558


The Bone Season begins in 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. She works as an envoy between secret cells: she drops in an out of people's minds. For Paige is a lucid dreamer, a clairvoyant, and in her world, the world of Scion, she commits high treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes forever. Attacked, kidnapped and transported to Oxford, a city that has been kept secret for two hundred years, she meets Warden, a Rephaite with dark honey skin and heavy-lidded yellow eyes. He is the single most beautiful and frightening thing she has every laid eyes on – and he will become her keeper.

Phaeal
05-08-2012, 05:22 PM
is it just me or is there a whiff of marketing spin about this? JK Rowling launches a "serious" novel which may disappoint fans hoping for another Potter. So a new author is feted as the next Rowling for a Potteresque fantasy series set over several books and with a young main character.

Ooh, I didn't think about that. Yes, if JKR is no longer to be Bloomsbury's original JKR, then they DO need a new JKR.

Phaeal
05-08-2012, 05:29 PM
....she meets Warden, a Rephaite with dark honey skin and heavy-lidded yellow eyes. He is the single most beautiful and frightening thing she has every laid eyes on – and he will become her keeper.


My mind insists on reading "Rephaite" as "Pre-Raphaelite." I'm thinking Dante Gabriel Rossetti. And let me get in an early bet: Love triangle with Paige, Jaxon Hall and Warden! Ante up, people, ante up.

Something in this description has me thinking maybe they should go more with "the new Suzanne Collins meets Cassandra Clare" than "the new JKR." I'm just not getting any Potter vibes, apart from the British setting.

hlynn117
05-09-2012, 08:30 AM
So now, obviously, everybody's trying to repeat it artificially.

Exactly. Readers are the ones making these phenomenons. The marketing team can put the information out there and get the books sold, but the fans are the ones who ultimately decide if something will take off. If publishers could pick a book and make "the next X!" then you wouldn't have self-publishing successes or indie authors who've been publishing for years.

Mr. Anonymous
05-09-2012, 08:51 AM
Eh. If I was in her position, I'd be far more terrified by the size of my advance than by what people were calling me/whom they were comparing me to. "The new J.K. Rowling" is ultimately just a bunch of words. A 7 figure advance is not just words.

I mean, from a career standpoint, even if her book doesn't do nearly as well as expected, she's probably set for life as long as she can continue producing books.

From a psychological standpoint, though, I imagine that kind of success can be really intimidating for a new writer.

Silver-Midnight
05-09-2012, 09:00 AM
I'm just not getting any Potter vibes, apart from the British setting.
Neither am I. No offense to her though

I don't know if there will be a love triangle with Jaxon Hall. There might be one with another character she meets though.

Phaeal
05-09-2012, 05:42 PM
Yeah but JAXON HALL???? Come on, that's a perfect bad-boy love interest name.

;)

Silver-Midnight
05-09-2012, 09:30 PM
Yeah but JAXON HALL???? Come on, that's a perfect bad-boy love interest name.

;)

Touche'. ;)

.......Until Rex Underling comes in.

(I don't know if she actually has a character named that; I'm just kidding. :tongue)

Niiicola
05-09-2012, 09:40 PM
My mind insists on reading "Rephaite" as "Pre-Raphaelite." I'm thinking Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Me too! And then I try and say Rephaite in my head, and it's going all Ali G "reph-ayeet" on me. I'm confused.

I'll still read the book though ;)

aruna
05-09-2012, 10:08 PM
Speaking of Reph -- anybody remember Reph of AW? I miss her! :( (sorry for the derail!)

Ruth2
05-10-2012, 01:29 AM
All I can think of is, with sinking a cool million into her work, her publisher better hype her to the max to recoup their money.

Yorkist
05-10-2012, 08:14 AM
I wouldn't want to be "the new" anyone, but I'd like to be a 21st century incarnation of E M Forster!

Ooh, nice!

I wouldn't mind being the new Alice Hoffman. Or perhaps the new Amy Tan. Though those two are literary heavyweights and it'd be awfully hard to live up to them.

If I had to pick a 21st century incarnation I'd like to be, it'd be a toss-up between Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Bronte, and Henry James. It's hard to choose. They're all so good.

I feel bad for this girl. That's awful. It's like if someone brags over and over again about your cooking to people who are going to have dinner at your house. Well, what if you have an off day? What if you make shrimp creole and they're allergic to shrimp? Ugh, no.

TrixieLox
05-10-2012, 02:04 PM
Rebecca James, the author of Beautiful Malice, was pitched as the 'next JK Rowling (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125625947789002885.html)'. The comparison was made because of her 6-figure deals and 'mum at home' status. Her book's a psychological thriller so completely different! But some people read with the expectation it would be like the HP series judging from some of the lack lustre reviews (I read and enjoyed it actually!). It kinda launched with a whisper too. And now she's disappeared off the face of the map lately: blog discontinued, not tweeting, which makes me wonder whether the pressure and expectations were too high.

Despite the pressure, I'd love a 7-figure deal. You know why? I could write novels full-time.

seun
05-10-2012, 02:21 PM
While I'm happy for this author and hope the book lives up to the hype for her sake, I'm also a tad breathless with envy at the seven figure deal.

Got to be honest, I'm not envious. Yes, the money would be very nice, but despite "the new JK Rowling" obviously being a crap marketing ploy, it piles on the pressure. What happens if the readers don't agree with the marketing? They're the people who ultimately decide how successful a new writer is going to be, not the marketing people.

Personally, I'd rather a publisher markets my book as MY story maybe with a blurb from someone famous in the same genre. And gives me a few quid, of course. :D

aruna
05-10-2012, 02:27 PM
I agree with seun. And if her goal is to become a great writer, as opposed to a rich writer, the deal could be the very worst thing that happened to her. Too much "success" too early can ruin a writer's trajectory; it's eay to lose the motivation to write well if success is all handed to you on a plate. I think it's better to earn it through readers rather than through publishers, the way JKR did. What if she loses steam after the first, second or third book? Seven is a whole lot of writing for a young person who wants to stay at her peak and even improve.

Amadan
05-10-2012, 03:38 PM
I agree with seun. And if her goal is to become a great writer, as opposed to a rich writer, the deal could be the very worst thing that happened to her. Too much "success" too early can ruin a writer's trajectory; it's eay to lose the motivation to write well if success is all handed to you on a plate. I think it's better to earn it through readers rather than through publishers, the way JKR did. What if she loses steam after the first, second or third book? Seven is a whole lot of writing for a young person who wants to stay at her peak and even improve.


Really? How many writers' trajectories have been ruined by too much success? I'm kind of laughing at the idea that J.K. Rowling is more motivated than someone who gets a huge advance with their first book.

The worst thing that ever happened to her? Come on. How many people would actually say, "Oh, no, I'd turn down a seven-figure advance, I'm afraid it would ruin my writing career."

TrixieLox
05-10-2012, 04:50 PM
I totally agree with Amadan. Those who say large advances and early buzz are harmful and they'd rather not have one, I have to wonder: do they really love writing? Because to get a large advance means you can leave your full-time job and focus 100% on novel-writing. Sure, you might be lucky enough to be able to do this anyway if you're wealthy or supported by others so you can write full-time. But for those of us who haven't got this luxury, the idea of getting an advance big enough to allow us to give up work and write novels NOW is just wonderful. Regardless of what might come in the future, a 7-figure deal will set an author up for a number of years, free to write full-time. If you love writing, isn't that the aim, no matter how unlikely it is: to write, write and write some more without the distractions of a full-time office job?

Of course, the chance of this happening are minimal. So maybe that's what this is about, protecting ourselves from this improbability by pretending we'd hate to get an advance like this?

Except I know of at least one of the people on these boards who've said such early success and advance is harmful who got a very good advance themselves. So maybe they're gently trying to say it's not always as wonderful as it seems....

seun
05-10-2012, 05:15 PM
I totally agree with Amadan. Those who say large advances and early buzz are harmful and they'd rather not have one, I have to wonder: do they really love writing? Because to get a large advance means you can leave your full-time job and focus 100% on novel-writing. Sure, you might be lucky enough to be able to do this anyway if you're wealthy or supported by others so you can write full-time. But for those of us who haven't got this luxury, the idea of getting an advance big enough to allow us to give up work and write novels NOW is just wonderful.

Sure, it means you can work full time as a writer. I, for one, would love to be able to do that, but what I don't want is being marketed as the next whoever on top of the buzz that a massive advance generates. I've always thought that nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. You tell people that so and so writer is the next big thing and they've been given a huge wad before the first book is published, then people will be interested definitely, but unless a good book (followed by several other good books) backs up the marketing and the money, see how long it takes for that crowd to go looking for someone else.

Like I said, I want to be marketed as me. Not as the next whoever.

HJW
05-10-2012, 05:26 PM
Really? How many writers' trajectories have been ruined by too much success? I'm kind of laughing at the idea that J.K. Rowling is more motivated than someone who gets a huge advance with their first book.

The worst thing that ever happened to her? Come on. How many people would actually say, "Oh, no, I'd turn down a seven-figure advance, I'm afraid it would ruin my writing career."

But she isn't a success yet, is she? Her only "success" so far is having a massive advance and a lot of hype.

I honestly don't think I'd want that kind of deal. She's tied to writing a seven book series with a HUGE amount of pressure from the off. That sort of pressure can be really bad for a creative person.

I think I remember JKR saying the pressure when she got to book five was almost too much and she rang her publisher and said she wanted to give her advance back.

On edit:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3004456.stm

A three book series might not be so bad, but seven...

I just hope her agent and editors nurture her and don't treat her as a money machine.

Amadan
05-10-2012, 05:37 PM
But she isn't a success yet, is she? Her only "success" so far is having a massive advance and a lot of hype.

Which gives her a much better chance than an author who doesn't have that kind of buzz and enough money to take her time writing what she wants to write. I mean, seriously, if she wrote the same book but only got a $5K advance, would you say she's got a better chance of success because she doesn't have so much "pressure"? C'mon now.



I honestly don't think I'd want that kind of deal. She's tied to writing a seven book series with a HUGE amount of pressure from the off. That sort of pressure can be really bad for a creative person.

Yeah, being free of financial worries and not having to work a day job is so stressful.

So seriously, you have one publisher offering you a 7-figure deal if you write six more books, and another one offering you an advance that just might pay your rent while you finish your current one, you'd take the smaller one because you'd be afraid the 7-figure deal would KILL YOUR ART? Be real.


I think I remember JKR saying the pressure when she got to book four was almost too much and she rang her publisher and said she wanted to give her advance back.

I'm sure she considered it for all of half an hour or so, before her publisher talked her down off that ledge.

No, even being richer than the queen doesn't make you immune to anxiety, depression, insecurity, etc. But J.K. Rowling has taken years to work on her next book, which is, apparently, some kind of cozy political mystery completely unlike her previous books. Do you think she's going to cry and feel like her career is over if it's not as well-received as Harry Potter? Or will she just keep leisurely writing whatever the heck she wants to at her own pace, knowing that there will always, always be people reading her?

Phaeal
05-10-2012, 05:47 PM
The biggest irony about any mega-hyped "next JKR" is that the original JKR received a queenly advance of 2500 pounds and a first printing of HP/PS of 500 copies. The factors leading to her success, as I recall, were her editor's clever strategy of putting most of the copies in libraries, early reader-voted awards and the ever-invaluable word-of-mouth.

Oh, and would I take the huge advance? Yes. Then I'd invest it very, very carefully so that I could live off it the rest of my life*, in case my book tanked and I became a publishing pariah. ;)


*Though, actually, I wouldn't quit my day job no matter how much advance money I got. At least not right away. I've already tailored my life to allow for writing (fewer hours, frugal life style), and a sudden change could throw me off.

I would hire people to do all my house work, though. :D

HJW
05-10-2012, 05:48 PM
Which gives her a much better chance than an author who doesn't have that kind of buzz and enough money to take her time writing what she wants to write. I mean, seriously, if she wrote the same book but only got a $5K advance, would you say she's got a better chance of success because she doesn't have so much "pressure"? C'mon now.



Of course she has a better chance of success, but no-one knows if the books WILL be successful yet, not even the publishers.

On edit: Plus, it's not an advance for one book, it's for seven. She won't get anywhere near the whole of the advance if she doesn't deliver.


Which gives her a much better chance than an author who doesn't have that kind of buzz and enough money to take her time writing what she wants to write. I mean, seriously, if she wrote the same book but only got a $5K advance, would you say she's got a better chance of success because she doesn't have so much "pressure"? C'mon now.




Yeah, being free of financial worries and not having to work a day job is so stressful.

So seriously, you have one publisher offering you a 7-figure deal if you write six more books, and another one offering you an advance that just might pay your rent while you finish your current one, you'd take the smaller one because you'd be afraid the 7-figure deal would KILL YOUR ART? Be real.



I'm sure she considered it for all of half an hour or so, before her publisher talked her down off that ledge.

No, even being richer than the queen doesn't make you immune to anxiety, depression, insecurity, etc. But J.K. Rowling has taken years to work on her next book, which is, apparently, some kind of cozy political mystery completely unlike her previous books. Do you think she's going to cry and feel like her career is over if it's not as well-received as Harry Potter? Or will she just keep leisurely writing whatever the heck she wants to at her own pace, knowing that there will always, always be people reading her?

I'm not sure why you are so angry about me saying I'm not sure I would want to commit myself to seven books, even if it meant a huge advance.

A massive advance and loads of hype does not always equate to a happy author or a good book.

HJW
05-10-2012, 05:50 PM
The biggest irony about any mega-hyped "next JKR" is that the original JKR received a queenly advance of 2500 pounds and a first printing of HP/PS of 500 copies. The factors leading to her success, as I recall, were her editor's clever strategy of putting most of the copies in libraries, early reader-voted awards and the ever-invaluable word-of-mouth.

Exactly. I'd much rather have the million quid that way around!

Amadan
05-10-2012, 05:54 PM
I'm not sure why you are so angry about me saying I'm not sure I would want to commit myself to seven books, even if it meant a huge advance.

Who says I'm angry?

I just don't believe you'd turn down a seven-figure advance, and I think most people saying "Oh, I feel sorry for her, that would be SO MUCH PRESSURE, I would never want that kind of deal, it would KILL MY ART" are perhaps being somewhat less than completely ingenuous.

HJW
05-10-2012, 06:05 PM
Who says I'm angry?

I just don't believe you'd turn down a seven-figure advance, and I think most people saying "Oh, I feel sorry for her, that would be SO MUCH PRESSURE, I would never want that kind of deal, it would KILL MY ART" are perhaps being somewhat less than completely ingenuous.
You do seem a bit annoyed, what with the CAPS and that.

Honestly, I wouldn't turn down an advance like that for three books, but seven books, I don't know. Id really worry there was a danger I might not be able to produce seven decent books. But if I ever get that sort of deal and accept it, Ill let you know so you can say you told me so.

I also didn't say it would "KILL MY ART". I'm not that bleeding pretentious. I did say that sort of pressure might not be good for a creative person (or any person) and then backed that up with the JKR example.

aruna
05-10-2012, 06:19 PM
Really? How many writers' trajectories have been ruined by too much success? I'm kind of laughing at the idea that J.K. Rowling is more motivated than someone who gets a huge advance with their first book.


I know of several writers -- can't think of names now; I'm in a hurry but can do research if you want -- whose work became much, much worse once they grew rich and famous.


I totally agree with Amadan. Those who say large advances and early buzz are harmful and they'd rather not have one, I have to wonder: do they really love writing? Because to get a large advance means you can leave your full-time job and focus 100% on novel-writing. Sure, you might be lucky enough to be able to do this anyway if you're wealthy or supported by others so you can write full-time. But for those of us who haven't got this luxury, the idea of getting an advance big enough to allow us to give up work and write novels NOW is just wonderful. Regardless of what might come in the future, a 7-figure deal will set an author up for a number of years, free to write full-time. If you love writing, isn't that the aim, no matter how unlikely it is: to write, write and write some more without the distractions of a full-time office job?
.

knowing human nature as I do, even someone who loves writing can get slack if everything is handed to them on a plate.
I probably wouldn't turn down a 7 figure advance. But I know what happened with only a fuve figure advance and th epressure to live up to my first book: my second book wasn't as good, the publisher said; by the third book they had lost interest, and they didn't buy my fourth book. And I: I didn't go back to work and I had all the time in the world; yet I never again wrote as intensely and as passionately as with the first book that everyone loved. I wrote that book when I was dirt poor and living in an ice-cold house; I wrote it in the dead of winter wearing a furry coat, a cap, boots and gingerless gloves, I was so cold. I wrote several hours a day.

Once life got cozy and comfortable, so did I. It doesn't mean I love writing any less. I still have great stories inside of me. But I spend more time on forums and blogs than I do writing. Maybe I'm just a lazy bastard. But I believe that lots amd lots of money can easily be an artiist's downfall. It's easy to say "oh, I'll give up my day job and just write all day long" but it very often doesn't happen like that. How many artists -- and I don't mean just writers -- get carried away with their fame and money and don't know what to do with themselves once it comes their way?



Which gives her a much better chance than an author who doesn't have that kind of buzz and enough money to take her time writing what she wants to write. I mean, seriously, if she wrote the same book but only got a $5K advance, would you say she's got a better chance of success because she doesn't have so much "pressure"? C'mon now.

I'm not saying anything; I don't know her. Maybe she is so brilliant golden words will flow out of her no matter what. But there are many, many authors who got seven-figure advances and lots of hype and the book died a wet death and nobody ever heard of them again. Ever heard of the Londonstani effect? (http://www.thebookseller.com/feature/lbf-assessing-risks.html)





Yeah, being free of financial worries and not having to work a day job is so stressful.It's not stressful. Life gets very easy. And I am very, very cautious about an easy life.


So seriously, you have one publisher offering you a 7-figure deal if you write six more books, and another one offering you an advance that just might pay your rent while you finish your current one, you'd take the smaller one because you'd be afraid the 7-figure deal would KILL YOUR ART? Be real.Seriously: for my fourth book my then editor had ideas of her own, and she wanted to make my career. If I had done what she wanted then yes, I would have got a big advance and all the hype. I started the book, she liked the beginning, but I found it wasn't what I really wanted to write. So I dropped it and wrote what I really wanted to write, which was turned down.

Of course, I've sometimes regretted that decision. Why not just play the game, as my agent told me to; why not write what they wanted me to write until I was big, as my editor wanted me to? And yet I know it was the right decision. So yes, I am being real. It's not only about the money, at least for me. I'm not saying it's about not "killing my art" but I remember telling my agent at the time that I didn't want a big advance any more: I wasnted to write what I had to write, and see what happened.

You might call me naive; go ahead.

seun
05-10-2012, 06:21 PM
I just don't believe you'd turn down a seven-figure advance, and I think most people saying "Oh, I feel sorry for her, that would be SO MUCH PRESSURE, I would never want that kind of deal, it would KILL MY ART" are perhaps being somewhat less than completely ingenuous.

Give me a minute. I'll have a look through this thread and find out where someone said that.

TrixieLox
05-10-2012, 06:44 PM
I was hoping you'd talk about your experiences, Aruna. I'd read one of your other posts before hence my little hint. I think it's a really interesting insight. My friend has given up work to write after getting a good advance but is struggling to write every day, so I know this happens. And yes, have heard of the Londonstani effect. But I'd still not turn down a large advance knowing all this.

TrixieLox
05-10-2012, 06:49 PM
This is an interesting article (http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/tops-and-flops-lbf.html)in the Bookseller too about how well or not so well massively hyped books have done. Though to be fair, a couple of those books had only been out a couple of weeks and it didn't mention the Booker Prize Aravind Adiga won!

Phaeal
05-10-2012, 09:26 PM
This is an interesting article (http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/tops-and-flops-lbf.html)in the Bookseller too about how well or not so well massively hyped books have done. Though to be fair, a couple of those books had only been out a couple of weeks and it didn't mention the Booker Prize Aravind Adiga won!

LOL. I personally know about 342 people who read White Tiger, so the article's total sales figure must be way early in its run.

aruna
05-11-2012, 10:18 AM
I was hoping you'd talk about your experiences, Aruna. I'd read one of your other posts before hence my little hint. I think it's a really interesting insight. My friend has given up work to write after getting a good advance but is struggling to write every day, so I know this happens. And yes, have heard of the Londonstani effect. But I'd still not turn down a large advance knowing all this.

I wouldn't turn it down. I wouldn't have turned it down when I was 20. But I honestly can't say if I could have fulfilled the contract when I was in my 20's, and to the same level as the first book, as the publisher expected. Creativity is a fickle fiancee.


This is an interesting article (http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/tops-and-flops-lbf.html)in the Bookseller too about how well or not so well massively hyped books have done. Though to be fair, a couple of those books had only been out a couple of weeks and it didn't mention the Booker Prize Aravind Adiga won!

Very interesting. Many of those huge advances went to people never heard of again -- and I'm sure that wasn't the result the publishers were expecting.


LOL. I personally know about 342 people who read White Tiger, so the article's total sales figure must be way early in its run.

Have you counted me? if not, make that 343! :)

I personally know two authors who have won major literary prizes. One of them won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize several years ago; I met her at a literary festival and made friends with her because I loved the book that had won. She was extremely snooty and seemed to think she was God's gift to the literary world. She was talking a lot about her next book, which she was writing at the time. Well, that was at least six years ago and that book has never been published.

The other is a Guyanese author who won the Whitbread Prize about ten years ago; that's about as prestigious as it gets in GB. She is well known for her very high-maintenance-author behaviour; I know her quite well. She too was working on her next book when I met her in 2004; she seemed to thinik it was a masterpiece. It was eventually published, but not by the Big Six publisher of the prize-winning book -- but by a very small publisher (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eating-Air-Pauline-Melville/dp/1846590760/ref=pd_cp_b_0). And has not sold at all well; certainly it has not won any prizes. (This, despite her being a very good friend of Salman Rushdie, who blurbs her books, and a client of the exclusive agent Andrew Wylie)

I don't know how high the advances were for these two authors, but certainly, fame seems to have spoilt them. Of course, we don't know what would have happened if they had not won those prizes; could they, would they have continued to write good books? Nobody can say. But I feel that the moment a creative person gets too big for their boots -- through fame, money, whatever -- their talent flees. That's my observation, anyway.

I know of another book with a high advance which flopped desperately, the author never to be heard of again -- the something child. I'll dig it up in a minute.

Yorkist
05-11-2012, 10:52 AM
But I feel that the moment a creative person gets too big for their boots -- through fame, money, whatever -- their talent flees. That's my observation, anyway.

ITA. It happens in music, too - the "best new artist" grammy is the kiss of death. What do they call it - the sophomore slump? So many people never pull out of that.

I don't think it's necessarily about getting too big for one's boots; it could also be pressure, or psychological discomfort at being in the limelight. But it can happen with prizes, an unprecedented breakout debut, a huge advance and everyone calling you "the next ____"... Whatever. It definitely happens.

bearilou
05-11-2012, 04:59 PM
I've not written a book that has gone to auction and netted a seven figure advance, enough to allow me to quit working and write full time.

I'm unemployed. I have all the free time in the world. Many people envy my 'freedom' to sit and write all day.

The stress, for me, is crushing. I'm expected to produce. More so because my existence depends on it.

So...it'd be nice to get offered a seven figure advance. I'd hope that I'm lucky enough to get it, knowing that I most likely won't. But I'd rather write a breakout novel that gathers momentum into a world wide phenomenon where the pay off comes after I've delivered, not before. The stress to deliver a follow-up would be a bit more manageable for me.

Marquess
05-13-2012, 02:53 PM
If you read Ms. Shannon's blog (http://samantha-shannon.blogspot.co.uk/), you'll see that she didn't actually get a seven figure advance. It was an unnamed six-figure sum for the first three books. The seven-figure confusion seems to have come from some articles published in Australia, in which Ms. Shannon was mistakenly described as having received a "multi-million pound deal".

Also, Bloomsbury did not describe her as the next JKR. Their press release contained no such wording. The label came from an article published in The Sunday Times on 6th May. The headline was "New JK Rowling in seventh heaven". The Daily Mail then picked up on this and the article(s) went global.

Just laying a few rumours to rest. :D

HJW
05-13-2012, 03:23 PM
If you read Ms. Shannon's blog (http://samantha-shannon.blogspot.co.uk/), you'll see that she didn't actually get a seven figure advance. It was an unnamed six-figure sum for the first three books. The seven-figure confusion seems to have come from some articles published in Australia, in which Ms. Shannon was mistakenly described as having received a "multi-million pound deal".

Also, Bloomsbury did not describe her as the next JKR. Their press release contained no such wording. The label came from an article published in The Sunday Times on 6th May. The headline was "New JK Rowling in seventh heaven". The Daily Mail then picked up on this and the article(s) went global.

Just laying a few rumours to rest. :D



Well it's got us all talking about her book, and I'll read it, so maybe rumours aren't always a bad thing!

On edit: on her blog she sounds like a really nice, grounded person.

seun
05-13-2012, 03:40 PM
Also, Bloomsbury did not describe her as the next JKR. Their press release contained no such wording. The label came from an article published in The Sunday Times on 6th May. The headline was "New JK Rowling in seventh heaven". The Daily Mail then picked up on this and the article(s) went global.


And there we have the reason for all of the world's ills.

Silver-Midnight
05-13-2012, 10:35 PM
If you read Ms. Shannon's blog (http://samantha-shannon.blogspot.co.uk/), you'll see that she didn't actually get a seven figure advance. It was an unnamed six-figure sum for the first three books. The seven-figure confusion seems to have come from some articles published in Australia, in which Ms. Shannon was mistakenly described as having received a "multi-million pound deal".

Also, Bloomsbury did not describe her as the next JKR. Their press release contained no such wording. The label came from an article published in The Sunday Times on 6th May. The headline was "New JK Rowling in seventh heaven". The Daily Mail then picked up on this and the article(s) went global.

Just laying a few rumours to rest. :D



Well, that's good for her still. A lot of well wishes for her.