replied to your link “Handbook for Mortals’ Pulled From ‘New York Times’ YA Best-seller…”

What’s going on omfg

LMAOOO. All right Ima try and explain this succinctly as possible. Basically this random-ass ‘young adult’ book, ‘Handbook for Mortals,’ hit the NYT Bestseller List on the #1 Spot for the Hardcover Young Adult Category this morning. Only problem is that literally NO ONE had ever heard of this book before, like nada marketing, publicity, etc. Zilch. It was supposedly published by a company, GeekNation who only announced their publishing arm back in July. 

To hit the Bestseller list, the book would have had to sold at least 5,000~ copies within the first week, but a few people were quick to point out a major discrepancy where the book was literally out of stock everywhere in all major retailers, like legit you couldn’t find it on B&N, Amazon, and so on.  

YA Twitter basically crowd-sourced an investigation where a few anonymous booksellers revealed that they had gotten calls first asking if they were NYT-reporting bookstores, and then received bulk orders of the book but not caring when the books arrived. Soooo essentially what happened was that this book scammed it’s way on to the top of the NYT Bestseller List by figuring out which bookstores reported sales to the NYT (to determine what hits the bestsellers list, the NYT’s methodology takes a sample from various bookstores, and this supposedly changes every week). They then ordered thousands of copies of the book from those stores and only those stores – and by doing so, this was all a scheme in the hopes of driving the book to the top of the bestseller list. 

The main impetus for hitting the bestseller list was for getting a better chance to have a movie adaptation of the book made with a label like ‘#1 NYT Bestselling Book!’ which would have made it more appealing to potential investors. Butttt all of this was discovered and the NYT sent out a revision where they removed the book on the list a few hours ago. 

Someone also compared an excerpt of the book to an excerpt from ‘My Immortal,’ so now there’s a conspiracy theory that the author, Lani Sarem, is actually the author behind that fanfic. She’s also a former music manager who worked with bands like Blues Traveler, and the official Blues Traveler account weighed in and claimed that she was fired for ‘pulling these kind of stunts.’ 

And IN ADDITION to all this craziness, you had the bizarre emergence of random early-2000s celebrities linked to all of this – Lani is apparently JC Chasez’s (from N Sync) cousin who promoted the book on his twitter, and the co-founder of GeekNation (the publishing company behind this book) is Clare Kramer, who portrayed Glory on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and actor Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie, Rookie of the Year) was allegedly involved and planning to star in an eventual movie adaptation.

So, yeah that’s what happened in the last 12 hours of YA Twitter lol. 

This is the wildest thing and I love every minute of it.

#also let me be super fuckin real with you here #if we discover that ‘my immortal’ was written by jc chasez’s cousin #i will immediately expire and ASCEND TO A HIGHER PLANE OF EXISTENCE

(via @actualvampireang)

This doesn’t even cover half the craziness. Some of my other favorite parts:

– The cover wasn’t even revealed until the beginning of August

– The ONLY chatter on Twitter before this was a little blog tour they’d put together, but nothing else

– The distribution company behind this is the same people who distributed Milo Yadablahblah

– Whoever was behind this knew August was the best time to push a book onto the list (as opposed to September, which is bananas)

– Whoever was behind this knew the EXACTLY how many books to order form each store (the number that alerts NYT to start giving you a hard time is like 80 books at indies, so they went around and ordered 79 each.)

– But they were dumb enough to wildly over-order (they ordered over 18,000, over double what it would’ve taken)

– Also dumb enough to straight-up tell the booksellers “This is for an event but it’s okay if it doesn’t arrive”

– The book only has ONE blurb. One. 

– No trade reviews. No blurbs from other authors within the community

– The ONE blurb is from an “international bestselling author”

– No. She’s a self-pub romance author who’s besties with LS

– You find all that out in the foreword (who puts a foreword on a YA novel???)

– Also the main character is 25 and there isn’t a single teen in this supposed YA novel

– Also also the cover may have been plagiarized

– Also also also the book knocked The Hate U Give to #2 and Everything, Everything off the list entirely, so people were maaaaaaaad

– And finally, when confronted with all this, the author tried to pull a “#KeepYAKind uwu” in her response to PW.


I’m getting a lot of this new stuff from Kayleigh Donaldson over at Punjabi.com, which was the first site to really pay attention to what was going down, and she’s kept at it even after the list was fixed.

The cover was almost definitely plagiarized

Carrot Top has weighed in. Yes, that Carrot Top.

As has Jasper from Twilight (y’all idek anymore)

The various song lyrics quoted in the book were likely used without proper clearance as well (she’s cousin to an N*SYNC member, girl you should know better)

Even TIME has started covering this, you guys