Jane Jane's Comments (member since Aug 31, 2008)

Jane's comments from the YA Book Council group.

(showing 221-240 of 248)

Nov 16, 2008 08:46PM

7960 Roxy says that a YABC member MUST have had heard of those books!
Nov 16, 2008 08:42PM

7960 Where's that Lizette? What a flake... =) She gets 20 pts taken off.
Nov 16, 2008 08:41PM

7960 I've not read Huck Finn, Anne of Green Gables, Bobbsey Twins, Heidi, Mary Poppins, Pollyanna, Ragged Dick, Secret Garden, Toby Tyler...

I didn't even know that Mary Poppins was a book.

David suggests reading James and the Giant Peach for a selection -- one of the books from the Biblio.
Nov 16, 2008 08:31PM

7960 We're talking about Arrested Development now and their references -- like the references in the Willoughbys. The difference with Arrested Development is that you actually have to think about the references. I think if you were a kid and not so familiar with the allusions to the books mentioned, you would have to think -- but for us (even though we haven't read most of the books), The Willoughbys is a non-thinking read.
Nov 16, 2008 08:16PM

7960 I'm going to have to read the glossary before I take the GRE this Friday.
Nov 16, 2008 07:58PM

7960 The funniest part was when the Nanny related to the kids what their parents said about them. They forgot about Jane.
Nov 16, 2008 07:55PM

7960 I thought Lois Lowry was a man, but I think deep down I've always known she was a woman though still I constantly forget.
Nov 14, 2008 06:10PM

7960 Hmm... How about The Door Within for those who like The Chronicles of Narnia? I'm trying to remember what the young boys borrow at the library. Lightening Thief and Diary of a Wimpy Kid usually. Maybe Spiderwick (The Spiderwick Chronicles Boxed Set) since it's so short.
Oct 26, 2008 11:59PM

7960 The Rose Labyrinth looks better. At least John Dee is actually mentioned as a mathematician. In The Magician, the author seems to like throwing allusive remarks but doesn't use the history or "clarify" the history-- as it should be done if the characters are based on real or "real" people. I've always believed that good fiction is believable. If the author is constantly loosing the reader because of their writing or wild leaps, than it's really a bad piece of work. The sad part is: Michael Scott is really a good writer. I thought there were some parts that were just really well written, but the plot kills it. I really don't recommend it, at least not to anyone in this group who I think has better taste.
Oct 26, 2008 11:52PM

7960 Grr... Yes it was bad. I have to change my rating to 1 star because the more and more I think about it, the worse it gets in my mind. It's not only full of brand references that we hated from the first book, but also full of allusions to famous historical people and events that don't really cross paths in history.

These were my comments on the review:

I find it very hard to believe that Nicholas Flamel, Joan of Arc, Niccolo Machiavelli, King Arthur, John Dee, Ares (Mars), Gilgamesh, and St. Germain (or Francis Bacon) are immortals—to name a few—and all co-exist in this same world. Talk about over doing it with allusions! Even harder to believe: the characters learn swordplay, uses of elemental magic, travel from California, the World Tree, and across Paris all during the course of the story—which covers less than 4 days!

The Mary Sue complex is very evident. Roxy would hate this book. Unless Mary Sues, branding, and weird allusions doesn't bother you, than you might like it.
Tastemakers (17 new)
Oct 26, 2008 11:26PM

7960 I agree, Holly Black is not a great writer and I've purchased several of her books because the cover was cool.

Ahhh, State Street Press... you should've been there when I told the author he had a crappy cover. He looked rather upset about the cover as well and made it clear that it was not his decision. Seems no one wants to take credit for it.

Don't publish your own book, unless you have the time and money to do your own marketing, and for those of us who have experience in this (Alethea), you'll know that it's an incredible amount of work. Christopher Paolini is one of the few that self publishing paid off-- and he had a lot of help from his parents.

Really, for a browser, books sell by cover.
Oct 26, 2008 11:08PM

7960 That was a really great discussion!

It was a 5 star rating from me, Alethea, and Roxy; and a 3 star rating from Nancy. For those of you who haven't yet finished, tell us what you think when you do.

Did you like it?
What do you think about the prequel?
The sequel?
The surprising ending?
Tastemakers (17 new)
Oct 19, 2008 05:36PM

7960 How much impact does a bookstore/bookseller have over creating demand for certain books (with promotions, signings, displays in front), vs. the demand being purely driven by customers?

As far as best sellers go, those are driven by customers and word of mouth. For a bookseller to make a book a best seller, it takes much more work than just putting up signs and writing a staff pick. No matter how much Alfonso likes to believe that he single handedly sold his staff pick with a tiny staff blub, my belief is that most of those people have either heard about the book beforehand, or Alfonso himself had persuaded the customer.

Signs are usually ignored unless it's placed very prominently at the line of sight at the entrance (like at Vromans). It also really depends on what kind of promotions went into the planning. Besides the obvious: big authors=big crowds, small authors=small crowds (or none at all sometimes), proper advertising can make a difference-- but like most things, it takes a lot of work. First, the author or publisher needs to do their own advertising, then the store. Putting up a sign is hardly advertising when it comes to a small author. If you take that artist event I planned way back when (4 years ago), you can see what I'm referring to. I had to do everything from bag stuffers, to signage in individual sections, to posting it on the net-- and for an unknown artist, the turnout was about 20 people. It took a lot of work. Most stores don't have someone who takes care of that. The impact is slim compared to the work. Usually if an author is already well known, it wouldn't take much work at all to drive a crowd.

With hand selling, the better the seller is at doing it, the stronger the result. For the most part, the three of us (Alethea, Alfonso, and I) have been able to sell most of what we put ourselves out to sell. Reading the customer is the most important. It's never random. Even now at the library, I'll look at what they're borrowing and see if I can gage what would be the best to recommend. If a patron looks like they're just borrowing a book for a class, than I usually don't recommend something unless I do a little investigating of their interests (asking them if they enjoyed so and so book--if yes, than recommend away!). I've also been able to indirectly sell books while working at the library by sending them to either Vromans or Borders.
Tastemakers (17 new)
Oct 19, 2008 05:17PM

7960 Alethea gave you the insight on Borders; Alfonso for Vromans; I'll be for school book fairs and libraries (and the stores if I can remember).

What trends to you see driving book sales?

Movies really drive sales (if the movie is good), so earlier this year, Spiderwick was very popular with the middle school kids; and the Disney channel stars are always popular. I think trends always follow what the previous big best sellers are-- and yes, this year it was vampire and werewolf stories... But I also think the big thing of late is writing style. When it comes to adults and YA books, it's all about how a story is written rather than the specific plotlines; of course, a combination of the things would make it sellable.

Also, books about current events are popular: the presidential race, politics, and the economy are always getting a lot of attention.

For the purpose of your field of study, advertised books drive the most sales. A book that has received good reviews, was on the Daily Show, or has an Oprah sticker on it are always going to stay at the top of the bunch.
Oct 13, 2008 08:21PM

7960 What kind of reading guides specifically? Books by genre, appropriate (like not banned book types), or just generally younger grades? Most of the reading guides I've come across are usually separated by age groups rather than grades. It's mainly because students are rarely at the same reading level even if they're in the same grade.

I know Library Journal puts out reading guides, but those are kind of expensive. I browsed a little on their website, but ironically it's a little difficult to navigate. What's wrong with looking through certain sections? Like Read to Me = P-K; Read to Myself = 1-3rd? grade; and so on.
Oct 02, 2008 12:39AM

7960 I loved this book! But I read it so quick that I hardly remember what happened. I think there's a lot of unanswered questions that keeps me wondering, yet I don't think there should be a sequel.
7960 I still have all the stuff. I wanted to try the crossword too, but no one else had finished all the books. I think I was really excited about this one because I read it during a dry spell time after Poison Study (you know, when you can't seem to find something else good to read). I kept reading bad book after bad book, and when I got to this one, it probably up'd my liking because of that. (Ironically, the books I read it after was Dragonlance and Dragonflight--both series that I know you really like).

I still think that Halt should look more like Aragorn, unlike the guy on the Australian cover.

What you brought up about the Rangers, or the rules of being a Ranger was very interesting. I didn't know that about them. Maybe I'll tackle Flora Segundo next month.
Oct 02, 2008 12:33AM

7960 According to Damaris, it's even worse in the second book. I'll see when I read it. Maybe I'll get to it after Graceling.
Sep 18, 2008 09:41PM

7960 Eragon is SO unoriginal!

Anyways, good job on the Study Buddies group. Looks like there's a lot of excitement!
Sep 17, 2008 08:24PM

7960 Let's try to get Maria V. Snyder to sign in L.A. next year! How do we do that? By getting enough people to be excited about her next books. Do you think we can do it? I think so...

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