New Video! Are There Too Many Literary Adaptations?

I know there are going to be some strong thoughts on this topic. I think it’s difficult to say there is too much of something we really like, BUT I obviously think it’s a valid question if I took the time to make a video out of it! Now watch or don’t and just tell me what you think!

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Fifty Shades of Nada

What I’ve noticed in my six months of working in a bookstore is that the buying trends at the store level essentially match the buying trends at the national level. The really popular books nationwide are also really popular at Half Price Books. There are a number of books that simply cannot be kept in stock because they’re consistently bought. But then there are other books that are consistently sold back to the store and not bought as much by the public. One of the series we see a lot of but that isn’t flying off the shelf happens to be written by EL James.

I see people buying Zane, Maya Banks, and other erotica authors; but not as much EL James as you might expect. I’m saying this knowing exactly how popular Grey was last year, but perhaps the series as a whole has lost just a little bit of steam. Perhaps.

Do you think the Fifty Shades is still as popular as it’s been before? I think it’s still popular, but maybe just a notch or two lower than before.

Did you Know These Books Were Originally Self-Published?

Cause I didn’t.

Most people by now know the story of Fifty Shades and The Martian starting out as self-published works. And anyone who knows anything about publishing also knows about Hugh Howey. But there are a few more titles I’d not known about until just a few minutes ago.

Legally Blonde.

Uh, weren’t there like three movies in this series? And it was originally a self-published book? Did not know that.

Still Alice.

I actually think I may have known about this one. Maybe. But I definitely know Julianne Moore won ALL the awards for her performance in the movie adaptation.

Eragon.

I think this has something to do with a dragon, right? I just know from the bits and pieces of the movie I’ve seen. Two interesting facts about this one. The author was 19 when he became a NYT bestselling author with this title. And he started writing when he was just 15. Yikes.

Did you know these were originally self-published? Or do you know of any other popular books/authors who were?

E.L. James Just Pulled a Beyonce (Kinda)

Y’all know I’m not a fan of the works of E.L. James, but she’s got some confidence.

Earlier this week it was announced that she’d be releasing a new book from the perspective of Christian Grey. You’re probably thinking that we could have expected that. I guess that’s true, but the kicker is that the book will be released later this month!

I’ve seen a number of authors announce new books via Twitter or Facebook or a press release, and each time the date was months into the future. I’m talking like nine or ten. And I see that as pretty normal because books are often announced before there’s a final product. But I can’t say that I’ve ever seen an author do this before. A couple of weeks is no time for publicity, though just about every book news site has already written about her new book. And it’s also probably not a scary thought to do this when you’ve already sold 98625398916635 books, right?

I think this was an interesting move by James and her publisher, but at the end of the day there’s almost no risk involved for her.

Oh, and Beyonce released an album a little while back in a similar manner. Now you understand the reference.

What do you think of James releasing a new book in her series from the perspective of Christian Grey with no time for publicity?

PS: It’s already #1 on Amazon.

Have you watched my first YouTube video yet!? You can do so here.


On this day in 2014 I published How Important is a Creative Writing Degree?.

 

Forget Fifty Shades of Grey…I Have Something Better for you This Weekend

bosch-poster-amazon-studios

Photo: Amazon

As you well know, Fifty Shades of Grey is officially out today. Oh brother. All the moms and teens are likely flocking to their local movie theater this weekend to watch the movie in the same auditorium as a couple hundred other people. I just feel bad for the guys who are being dragged alongside.

Moving on. Anyway, there’s another series adaptation being released the exact same day and I assure you that it will be significantly better onscreen than this other crap. So what am I talking about? Bosch! It’s the Amazon Studios adaptation from Michael Connelly’s bestselling Harry Bosch series! I’ve written about it twice before and its release is finally here. The first season consists of ten hour long episodes and it’s Amazon’s first foray into the hour long drama that we see basically everywhere else on TV.

The series will follow LAPD detective Harry Bosch during a tumultuous time. I won’t say any more because either you’re going to watch it or you’re not and it’s not my job to do the convincing.

You’ll be able to stream all ten episodes of Bosch starting today in the US and if you’re interested you’ll have to see when and how it’s available in your country. Just a little perspective, the pilot episode that helped make the series a reality currently has over 13,000 reviews on Amazon and a ridiculous 4.7 out of 5.0 rating. This is not your typical cop show.

You have to be an Amazon Prime member to watch. You can read more about and watch the show here.

Bye now, I’m off to see how quickly I can get through all ten episodes!

Books Hitting the Big Screen in 2015

Is it me or did that title rhyme a bit? Hm.

Anyway, 2015 is another year full of books being adapted into movies. I wrote a million years ago about Hollywood’s fascination with turning toward the literary world for movie ideas. We all hear about the movie deals for this title and for that one just about every week. A movie is a hit, another book by the same author is adapted. Two prime examples of this just from 2014 are Gillian Flynn and John Green. And let’s not forget that the top grossing movie at the domestic box office has been adapted from a book in three of the last four calendar years. 2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. 2013 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 2014 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.  Technically Guardians of the Galaxy still shows as the top grossing movie of last year, but I’m happy to say that Mockingjay is just a short time from claiming the top spot.

So when you take those little tidbits into consideration, it’s easy to see why Hollywood is always searching for that next big hit by way of the publishing industry. American Sniper just expanded its release and what happens? With Bradley Cooper as the lead and awards buzz from every which way, it’s going to shatter the January opening record at the box office. Another movie adapted from a book.

I’m sure you know exactly when your favorite adaptation will be released this year, but here are 20 notable releases. And no, I didn’t come up with the list myself. And no, I don’t have release dates because I’m too lazy to find them on Box Office Mojo. Here’s the list:

Silence

The Revenant

The Light Between Oceans

Paper Towns

In the Heart of the Sea

The Martian

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Secret Scripture

Into the Forest

A Book of Common Prayer

Walk in the Woods

Lion

Dark Places

Child 44

Carol (The Price of Salt)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Jungle Book

Macbeth

The Duff

Far from the Madding Crowd

And that’s it. Of course, none of these matter. It’s all about how soon November can get here so we can see Katniss again. Sorry for the lack of actual information about each movie, but I stole the list from here and they tell you a little about the story and the actors involved with most of the adaptations.

Are you looking forward to ANY of these? I’m not. But eh.

PS: You should know by now that the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is just weeks away from its release date. Well I read from a very good box office guy that it might open to more than $75 million domestically. A little perspective, Twilight opened to $69 million and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened to $90 million.

Do you shy Away From Reading Long Series?

I actually just read a blog post about this topic yesterday that gave me the idea to write this. I’d link to the post if I remembered the name. Oh well.

Let me just tell you what this other blogger said. She categorized a “long” series as more than five books. And basically said that anything more than that is just too long and fails to keep her attention. I disagree. Let’s not forget Harry Potter was seven. Just saying.

I mean, five books being categorized as a “long” series is a joke. That is a short series. A very short one. I mean, five books is probably only long to YA readers who read trilogy after trilogy. Followed by Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m not trying to generalize here, but really who thinks five books is a long series? Who? Another question. How many books are in your favorite series? Mine happens to have three, but when I start looking at more of the series I read I see a whole lot more books than that. Let me see. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series is into the 40s. And oh by the way, this is only considered one of the great detective series of the past half century. Jack Reacher is about to reach 20. Alex Cross is into the 20s. Harry Bosch is nearing 20 books. Alex McKnight is in the double digits. Jesse Stone is at 14. Elvis Cole is at 16.

See what I’m saying? These are not just random series I found on the internet. I read all of them and there are several more that I could name. But I think I’ve made my point. I know I don’t speak for every reader out there, but it does beg the question that if readers were turned off by long series, then why are so many authors writing them? Michael Connelly just released a new Bosch novel this week and I’m near certain that it’ll be a #1 NYT bestseller whenever the list updates. As is also the case with most of James Patterson’s books. And Lee Child’s. And Sue Grafton’s. And I know there are YA series that go on and on, as well.

The moral of this post is that I don’t buy into the notion that readers are turned off by long series. Not at all. There are way too many that sell quite well for that to be the case. But I’ll ask anyway, do you shy away from reading lengthy series?