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The Cost of being Spiderman

The Cost of being Spiderman

The very excellent feature from Mashable on how much it costs to be Spiderman.

In Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s day it cost a mere $7,888 for Peter Parker to don the mask and web-sling across the Manhattan sky-line. In 2013? It’s a HEAP more. Namely $83,908.

Tsch, inflation!


Veronica Mars: new book series

Veronica Mars: new book series

Veronica Mars fans are being spoiled… with not one, but two books in development. Show creator Rob Thomas, who is already working on the famed Kickstarter funded film, has now got some writing to do!

Book one features details after the film and goes from there.

A word from Vintage  editor Andrea Robinson:

Veronica Mars has always been a one-of-a-kind character, and, as a longtime fan of the series, I’ve always thought there is an immense amount of story left to be told. Our goal for the book series is to appeal to fans of the show, but also to appeal to mystery readers and lovers of series featuring strong, intriguing female protagonists.

Lots more on this over here.

Catnip on LGBT in UK YA

Catnip on LGBT in UK YA

That’s a lot of abbreviations - for those who might need it: Publisher Catnip explore the lack of gay fiction in Young Adult fiction in the UK:

On speaking to an agent who receives both UK and US submissions, I was told that the US manuscripts featuring gay protagonists often tended towards being too earnest for the UK market, where we tend to shy away from anything too ‘issues’ based. For the UK, we need storylines that reflect our society and attitude, books where the main character just happens to be gay.

So, why aren’t publishers picking up UK-based non-straight protagonists?

OK. So that agent I mentioned just now, would you like to hazard a guess as to how many of the UK submissions featured a non-straight protagonist?


I asked around and got the same answer from other agents and editors - I’m not saying this was an extensive study, but the agents I talked to receive something in the region of 12-15,000 submissions a year. Gay sidekicks? Tick. Siblings? Tick. Even parents might feature, but not one protagonist.

The unusual case of Mr Galbraith

The unusual case of Mr Galbraith

If you haven’t heard by now, debut crime writer Robert Galbraith was unmasked as a pseudonym for JK Rowling on Saturday. The result? Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling has moved from a modest success of 1500 copies sold to a stunning, incalculable figure.

What does Rowling have to say about it all?

Being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience… It has been wonderful to publish without hype and expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.


Dave Shelton and David Fickling nab Branford Boase Award

Dave Shelton and David Fickling nab Branford Boase Award

The Branford Boase Award - awarded to the author and editor of the most outstanding debut novel for children - went to Dave Shelton and David Fickling for A Boy in a Boat.

While it’s no first for Fickling - David’s nabbed the award with Siobhan Dowd, A Swift Pure Cry, and with Jenny Downham, Before I Die - Shelton was elated by the prize:

“I am especially pleased that the Branford Boase Award gives such emphasis  to the role of the editor in the process of creating a book. It’s not a role you hear that much about normally but, in my extremely limited experience, it’s a vital one, especially on your first go. And I suspect I may have been rather spoiled in landing David as editor for mine. Every word in the book is mine. But a lot of rubbish ones that aren’t in the book any more were mine too. The original title that no one can remember, that was mine. It’s not that David ever made me make changes, it’s just that almost everything he suggested was a really good idea.”

When accepting the award Fickling added: “I am a ‘potato print’ type publisher, by which I mean, I read it! I like it! I publish it! That’s important. To be decisive. If you really like something and you ‘know’ (as in no-one could dissuade you) it’s good, then, if you are a publisher, it’s important to get on and do something about it and not to dither too much.”

Thhe Branford Boase judges also highly commended Lydia Syson and Hotkey Sarah Odedina for A World Between Us.