A Book Town is a trend that began in the 1960’s and refers to a town or village with a large number of used book or antiquarian book stores.
Along with their unique and plentiful bookstores they also host wonderful literary festivals
These book festivals attract book lovers and bibliophiles from all over the world. A number of towns are also members of the International Organisation of Book Towns.
Check out these first 6 awesome, yet quaint little book towns:
Sometimes referred to as the “Village of Books.” Montolieu was the town that first introduced me to the concept of “Book Towns.” With a population of roughly only 747 people Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and antiquarian books. Every year the town offers many workshops such as: Used and antiquarian bookshops, Working craftspeople of books and art, The Arts and Crafts of the Book Museum, Bibliophilia…
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Oh you wrote a book? How fun!” since October. And yes, writing Beasts and Savages was fun. I was a naive writer playing around with characters in a world I built. Don’t get me wrong, writing is still fun, but there’s little pockets of work infused with the fun now. There’s also something else that wasn’t there before: A deep sense of passion and commitment to a way of life.
Don’t think that being a writer is a way of life? Ask an author, they’ll confirm that it is.
As an indie author, I live, sleep, and dream about writing and books. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing, if I’m not thinking about writing, I’m reading. If I’m not doing any of those things, it’s because I’m researching book marketing, formatting, social networking,etc.
In a way I didn’t understand, my life changed when I hit that publish button in October. At first, the ride of putting myself out there in a world I knew nothing about was exciting and scary. Once things calmed down a bit (around December), I’d learned enough to know that I didn’t know anything.
I looked back at October Emma and thought, “Emma! What were you thinking?! Your book wasn’t ready to go to print. Just look what you’ve done! No one’s ever going to take you seriously at this rate. Now you have to go back and fix those mistakes, and search for more. This is going to take a month, or two, maybe three. And you’re supposed to be writing the sequel, young lady. Next time you’re getting an editor, I don’t care how many papers you have to proof.” … and for January and February, that’s what I did: went back and fixed mistakes.
While I was editing and re-editing, in the back of my mind was a little voice saying, “You missed out on so many marketing opportunities because you had no idea what you were doing. In a way, that’s good. Very few people saw your terrible first edition. But now you’re six months out, you don’t have a sequel yet, and no one knows who you are. No one. Stop editing for the seventh time and get writing. And find an editor!” So, I did. Writing the second book took much less time than the first, but waiting on editing is taking just as long.
After March Emma finished her second novel, I decided to stop writing for a bit and put on my marketing hat. I had a book expo at the end of April, after all. The expo will be rainbows and sunshine and hundreds of people will line up to meet the authors there. Since I haven’t become a bestseller online yet, maybe I can at least become a little know in my state. Um, no. If you haven’t read my blog posts about attending a book expo, read them here.
When I got back home and settled from the expo, I decided it was time to take a new approach. I’d gotten back Savage Revolution from my critique partner and was excited to make the changes. I still haven’t gotten my book back from the editor, but I’ve decided that I’ll go ahead and ask my formatter to make me a copy for beta readers.
The next thing on my list was to pick my last three KDP free days before my contract with Amazon is up in June, line up the marketing, and make sure my second book is ready to publish by the KDP days. And then, line up a marketing budget and sign up for promotions. I’m still working on this, but at least I have a plan this time.
In addition to my marketing plan and book release, I want to get Savage City out so there’s less of a turn around this time. So I’ve given myself a 3,000 a day word goal until the book is finished. That’s about three hours a day. If all goes as planned, it should be out late June, early July.
What do all my ramblings have to do with anything? Why did I share this with you? Because I started this blog to document the ups and downs of a beginner indie author. Most of my followers are new or aspiring authors.
I love writing and I aspire to be only a full time author one day. Until then, I’ll keep working hard to make doing what I love my only full time job. After all, no one’s going to write the last three books in The Beastly Series for me, and I have three other series and two stand alones waiting to be written.
P.S. Have you signed up to win one of 10 signed paperbacks through Goodreads? You have until May 31. Go Go Go!
So far, I haven’t asked anyone on YouTube to review Beasts and Savages. Not that I don’t want them to, I’ve just been focused on other things. More on that tomorrow.
Anyway, as I’m a stickler for research, I searched for reviewers of teen books and began my descent down the rabbit hole. That’s where I found this gem:
That’s right. Self-proclaimed book worm and YouTuber Whitney Atkinson tells authors the proper way to request a review. She is pretty darn professional and the most polite I’ve every seen. For the most part, you could apply her suggestions to any type of book review request. Thank you, Whitney.
Now, here’s a few tips from an author (me, Emma Woods) who did quite a bit of research on requesting reviews from bloggers and, after a very frustrating month of getting nothing but research done, sent out maybe ten requests for review. These things can carry on to YouTube reviews, so pay attention!
Read the sites review policy first. If they don’t have a policy, email them and ask what their review policy is. If they never answer, cross them off your list. *If they don’t review indie authors, I don’t follow them, sign up for email lists, etc. If they aren’t willing to acknowledge my business model as an author, they don’t need my support. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll support ANY author regardless of the way they publish, but my time and efforts are already so stretched that I don’t get to do as much as I would like for other authors. So to support someone who’ll never be willing to help a large group of people that I identify with would be counter productive. I have more on this. Maybe I should post about this at another time.
Get to know the reviewer. Whitney mentions this in her video, but I suggest watching/reading a few reviews even if you know they review your genre. Why? Well, reviewers are people, too. And they have reading moods. Maybe you found someone who reads YA urban fantasy but isn’t digging shifters right now. And the last three books with shifters got bad (or mediocre) reviews. If you wrote a book featuring shifters, you might want to skip this blogger, at least for now.
Remember that requests for book reviews are investments. For me, a paperback book review would be a $10 investment after I add the cost of the book, shipping, and packaging material. If I’m willing to spend the cash, I’m going to want to maximize my investment. Why not find reviewers in the audience you’re marketing to and spend the time to do it right?
As an author, I completely understand the love/hate relationship we have with reviews. We all love when we get great reviews, even though social author convention says we’re not supposed to react to reviews, good or bad. Most of us hate asking for reviews and would rather do any other type of marketing. Literally anything. And then there are those marketing resources that won’t give us a second glance until we have a certain number of reviews, mysterious vanishing reviews, and review sharks trying to lure desperate authors to purchase reviews (A HUGE NO-NO!!).
So the next time you make a review request, don’t squeeze your eyes shut and pull the trigger. Know your target, take you aim, and fire.
I was tired. And happy. To me, going there and introducing myself as an author to complete strangers, in person, was a victory. Sure, I’d told my friends and some of my family that I was writing a book, and I shared when I published it with everyone on social media. Some of my friends congratulated me then for “putting it all out there.”
The most important part was that I felt just as, if not more, prepared for this type of event than any other author there. Though I know that being an indie author today is much … I don’t want to say easier… but no one accused me of witchcraft and there was no burning at the stake. I’m fully aware that ten years ago in Ohio that could’ve been the case.
To those early indie authors, the ones who pioneered the way, Thank You.
I know the journey isn’t complete. Indie authors of a decade or more ago were like Lewis and Clark. Now I and other indies are on the Oregon Trail and the railway’s being built.
My very long point is that this validated me as an author in a way I still don’t completely understand. There’s just something about being in a room full of people who share the same craft and goals as you, holding something you’ve made in your hands, and telling anyone who’d listen, “I made this.”
Okay, Emma, enough with the theatrics, what do I Do now that the expo is over?
Here’s my after to-do list:
Share what you’ve learned. I wrote three blog posts about it and have done a podcast where I discussed it. I hope to do more.
Thank the coordinators. Just send them a little thank you email. If you plan to come back, let them know.
Reach out to the other authors you met. Find them on Twitter, Facebook, follow their blogs. I have one author that I’m sending an interview to so I can highlight her on my blog. Network, people, network.
Send out a newsletter. Once you’ve added all your new subscribers, send out a newsletter thanking everyone who attended the expo and announce the winners of your drawing. Because of handwriting issues, I actually sent out the same one three times to catch as many people as I could.
Take a break. Seriously. I told a writer friend that I felt like I had a hangover, and there were no drinks involved. This was the Sunday after.
Get back into the grove of things. Once I fully recovered, I was more focused and energetic than I had been since the beginning of the year. I actually made a marketing strategy,which is something I’d researched but didn’t think I was “ready” for.
Host a giveaway. Or two. Unless you sold all of your books or didn’t take very many to start with, you’re going to have some books left. That’s how it works.
Plan to go to another one. Though I most likely won’t go back to that expo, I’m on the search for another to attend. Heck, I’d love to plan some type of book fair in the Columbus, Ohio area. All I need is some other local authors in the area willing to join me.
Now that I’ve given you the low down on attending a live book event, go out there! Sign up for one and have fun! And make sure you tell me about it. I love hearing stuff like that.
So, I mentioned a giveaway.. here it is! Hurry, it ends at the end of the month, and right now 1 out of every 32 people will win a book. It could be you!
Looks interesting, right? I think so. I’ve already signed up for the newsletter … are you? Not yet? Let’s take a look inside.
Ten years ago, Argus Gunther escaped Hawkhurst, thinking he had left behind a desolate life and a forsaken name. Though, when he is lured back to complete a contract, Argus discovers he can’t bury the past so easily. Pulled instantly into Hawkhurst’s daunting political games, Argus is forced to navigate through his nightmares. Now, while in search for his freedom, he must decide whether or not there are worse fates than death.
“Nothing in Hawkhurst is close,” Argus said. His words were honest. The city was built in layers, from top to bottom, from rich to poor, from free man to slave. It would take several hours to walk from one end to the other.
“Then we have plenty of time to talk. Maybe you could tell me of the Eadfel. My friends and I speak about it often in Galoroth.”
Argus scratched his bald head. It was hard for him to believe she had any friends as much as she talked.
“I’d rather walk in silence.”
“Indulge me, Mr. Gunther.”
Argus swallowed, feeling as though he were at the mercy of a spoiled brat who had never had a good spanking. It was difficult to simply argue with such a person without cutting out their tongue.
Unfortunately, killing her was not part of the plan. He yielded. “The Eadfel is the name for the political estrangement or interrelation that occurs between the leading families in the city.”
“Any simpleton could tell me that. Is it not a game?”
Argus winced. “If games end in poverty, slavery, or death, then yes—it is a game.”
Astrid crooned, a bounce in her step, “It sounds horridly delightful.”
Joshua Robertson was born in Kingman, Kansas on May 23, 1984. A graduate of Norwich High School, Robertson attended Wichita State University where he received his Masters in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Sociology. His bestselling novel, Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series, was released in 2015. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys and ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He counts R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien among his literary influences.
Guess what else he does? That’s right. YouTube . He did an episode on speaking elvish. Who doesn’t need that in their life? Here’s the link: Sindarin Talk
Welcome to the second installment of my Book Expo Guide. Last week, I shared with you how to prepare for a book expo. Did you miss that one? That’s okay. You can find it here: Book Expo Participation: A Guide
So… now you’re packing your bags and heading out the door… what next?
Well yes, you do need to pack your books. But what else do you need to pack?
Here’s a helpful list:
Books (This one’s obvious, but… Also, a suitcase on wheels because books are heavy.)
Pens (Not only for you to sign your books, but also for people to sign up for your newsletter.)
Swag and business cards (I only give business cards out to other authors or service providers because it has my phone number on it.)
An easel. (A small one to put a copy of your book on. You can get one at places like Dollar Stores or the ‘Mart.)
Email sign-up slips, and something to hold them. (I printed mine 5 to a page and they looked like raffle tickets. I used a small basket I already had at home.)
Candy. (Another way to pull people in. I had miniature chocolate bars in a clear glass bowl.)
Water and mints. (These are for you. After talking for a while, your mouth gets dry and your breath gets stale.)
Comfortable clothes and shoes. (You stand all day , and if you’re not, you’re missing some valuable interactions with potential customers.)
A card reader and change. (Most people bring cash, but not always. You can get a Square or PayPal reader for free, it plugs into your phone or tablet. They charge you a minimal percentage of every sale, but it’s worth it.)
At least one colorful flyer that encourages someone to sign up for your email list and has the prizes on it.
This is just the minimal stuff. I also had things like sharpies, tape, tissues, hand sanitizer, and a notebook.
I’m here… now what?
Now that you’ve dragged your stuff into the building, found your table, located the nearest restroom, and helped your assistant set up your table, what’s next? Well, if you’re like me, you’ll have some time to network with all the other authors there.
I signed up for other author’s email lists so I could see how other authors do newsletters and learn from them. I asked a few of them questions and met some really great people. I think networking with the other authors there was the experience I enjoyed the most.
When the expo began, I spent most of my time trying to pull people to my table. My approach was to ask every passing person if they’d like to sign up for a chance to win $25 to Amazon. 47 people signed up. While they were writing, I’d ask them what kind of fiction they liked and told them about my book. Five people purchased my book.
To me, this was a small celebration. It may not have been what I expected, but that’s 47 people who’d never heard of me before and now knew who I was. Of those 47, thanks to poor handwriting and something called a ‘hard bounce’ in Mailchimp speak, my news letter got to 45 people.
Be on a Panel
A few weeks before the expo, the organizers emailed participating authors and mentioned panels. They noted that panels were great to reach readers, but didn’t have specific panels set up. They told us that if we had something we’d like to discuss, email them and they’d create a panel for us. As a newbie, this was extremely intimidating. I asked myself, “What could I possibly have to talk about? And who would want to listen to someone with only one book?” The idea was daunting, so I didn’t sign up.
While at the expo I met a really great author who asked me if I signed up for a panel. She had signed up with someone else who had come up with the idea and she talked about the creativity of writing. If I had to do it over again, I’d join a panel.
Something Customers Come Back For
In addition to all the things I used to pull people to my table, I had an extra incentive for anyone who bought my book. I tucked a coupon for 30% off the Savage Revolution paperback through Createspace. I had 4×6 printed book cover in a a frame that said, “Ask me how to get 30% off.” Basically, it was just another incentive to purchase a book at the expo.
At the End of the Day
At the end of the day, you’ll be tired, cranky, and ready to go home. Or, at least I was. Standing all day, smiling, conversations, and just putting yourself out there is exhausting. Thankfully, my sister is an efficient packer and we spent all of 15 minutes packing up and only had to make one trip to the car. Even though I was ready to go and had a disappointing day (it felt like it then, anyway), there were still a few things that needed done before I could leave. This is what I did/didn’t do:
Fill out a survey if given one. Be honest, but not mean. Give suggestions, not complaints.
Thank the organizers. Though I’d love to organize one of these events myself more locally (like Columbus, Ohio. And yes, that’s a hint. If you’re an author in the central Ohio area and would like to do something like this, too, hit me up 😉 ), I know that planning one isn’t easy.
Congratulate other authors. The expo had best sellers announced at the end. If the event you’re at has this and you’re close to one of these winners, or see them on your way out, congratulate them.
Double check that you have everything. There’s nothing worse than getting out of the parking garage and then realizing you forgot your phone. (No, that didn’t happen to me. I double checked.)
DON’T count your money while sitting at your table. It comes off unprofessional to potential customers and other authors. There could still be stragglers that haven’t left yet or an author who was interested in your book but wanted to wait until the end of the event. If they’re looking for your type of book and see you ‘counting down your drawer’, they’ll assume you’re done for the day and won’t stop by.
I hope this helps all of you potential event-goers. Stay tuned for Part 3: After the Big Day.
P.S. Would you like an autographed copy of Beasts and Savages? I’m giving away 10. Sign up:
“Well kids, a book expo is like a book fair. Every author has a table where they can sell their books, get email sign-ups for a newsletter, etc.They can be lots of fun for readers and authors.
I learned so much and networked with some really great people. Also, it made me realize that I’m glad I chose the indie author route for my first book series, or I wouldn’t have been prepared for an event like this. I think because I do everything myself, I did more research and planning than most of the authors there because they expected their publishers to tell them what to do.
If there’s one thing I suggest you do as an author, it’s attend an event like this.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to post some pointers and helpful hints so that when you’re ready to sign up for an expo, you’ll know what to do.
I’m going to start today with things to do before you pack your bags.
Before You Get There:
Set a budget. Just getting a table at an expo can be expensive. I paid $100 for the table. Which is actually inexpensive if you compare it the starting rates of $3000 at Chicago BookCon. (Here’s my source.) That didn’t include any extra advertising, travel costs, books, swag, or prizes.
Research! Research! Research!
Do as much research as you can about the event before you sign up to go. See if you can find previous attendees or participants and reach out to them. Don’t rely on numbers from the event coordinators; ask previous participants how busy they were. Ask the hosts for a list of their advertising venues. Find out if any big name authors will be attending and look up the authors listed as guest speakers. If you’re not from the area (I live two and a half hours away from this event), search hotels and other attractions nearby.
This is something that I didn’t spend enough time doing. If I had, I may not have participated. The event coordinators were great at organizing authors and coaching them on how to get sales once people were in the door, but they relied completely on the participating authors to pull in the crowd. There weren’t even signs outside the building advertising the event. I’d say half of the authors were new to this type of event and their publishers gave them some books and postcards/bookmarks and told them “good luck.” I talked to about 30 of the 81 authors there. Of those 30, 10 told me they did no or very little individual promotion because they thought telling their agent or publisher would be enough. So what happened? There were maybe 100 people who came to the event. At least 20 of that estimated 100 were other local authors who wanted to network or people who provided services for authors (like audio books).
Have plenty of swag with your social media stuff on it. I ran out of bookmarks (the only thing I brought with me) with an hour of the event left and didn’t have anything to give the last few people who asked. I also had IndieBooksBeSeen catalogs, which went well, and business cards to give to other authors and other professionals.
Do Your Own Advertising.
Even if the event itself is doing plenty of advertising (which it should be), you should still do your own promotions. Since my book is Young Adult, I looked up local high schools in the area and sent as many English teachers and librarians as I could postcards telling them that I was participating in the expo. I included a QR code to my website which had a link to the Expo’s home page. I also put out several notices on my social media. I wish I could’ve done more advertising, but funds and living far away made it more difficult.
Enlist Someone to Go with You.
Don’t go alone. My sister went with me as my “assistant.” She collected money, bagged books, and arranged the table while I connected with potential readers and authors. I wouldn’t have been able to do simple things like go to the bathroom if she hadn’t been there.
Go to Pre-Events.
There was a boot camp a few weeks before the expo that went over marketing for authors and a prize system they had set up for readers and best sellers of the day. I missed it, but I connected with another author on Twitter and she gave me the highlights. The night before was an author meet-and-greet, which was fun and connected me with many great authors. The coordinators also went over last minute sales strategy.
Have a Marketing Plan for the Day.
Selling books was an important goal for me, but more than anything I wanted to grow my email list. I created a prize drawing for email addresses. I have a newsletter with short stories about the characters in my book series. Before the expo, I had 13 people on my list. Now I have 45. How? I offered $25 to Amazon as a prize if people signed up for my newsletter with second and third prizes as copies of my soon-to-be-published sequel. The winner was announced in my newsletter sent out on Monday. I couldn’t believe how many authors there didn’t have email lists, and the few that did had no incentive to sign up.
Even though I spent more money than I made to go to this expo, I’m glad I went. It validated me as an author in a way I didn’t know was missing and introduced me to so many great people. It also gave me a great 15-second line to describe and sell my book:
“Beasts and Savages is a YA dystopian about women who rule the world. They stage hunts to keep men in check and my protagonist, Lea, decides to run away instead of hunting. When she gets kidnapped by some savages, she learns that the men are not as bad as the women make them out to be.”
Stay tuned for next time when I share what I’ve learned about what to do and what not to do during the actual expo.
This story picks up at the end of Beasts and Savages, where Lea’s parents meet for the second time of their lives, almost eighteen years later.
“You need that taken care of, but I don’t think it’s deadly.” Locke knelt beside Lea’s mother and inspected her. Even in the darkness, he could tell that she’d aged gracefully. Her pale eyes shone in the moonlight as her long fingers traced around the knife sticking out of her shoulder. He studied her wound. The knife was only half in, but he didn’t want to risk pulling it out.
She grunted, “Thanks.”
He grabbed the gun and glanced at the kids. “I’m taking her to the bunker. Tanner, Lea, get out of here. Don’t stop running until you can’t hear the gunshots.”
“Mom,” Lea choked, “I can’t.”
She let go of Lea’s hand and pushed her away. Tears pooled in her eyes as she said, “Lea Marie Corre, listen to your father.”
Locke inhaled sharply. She’d recognized him. Though he had known this woman was the one who had mated him so many years ago, it was still startling to know that she knew him too.
Tanner tugged gently on Lea and led her into the darkness. She stared after them until the bulking man knelt in front of her and blocked her view.
“So you remember me?”
“Of course.” She squirmed and winced. “Are they gone? Has Lea gone?”
Locke glanced over his shoulder. “They are. Don’t worry about her; she’ll be fine. My boy, Tanner, will keep her safe.”
“Good. You can leave then. Thank you.” She gave a curt nod toward the gun he was holding and held out a hand.
“Melanie. I’m not just going to leave you here. If I do, you’ll probably die. You saved my life once, and now I’m going to return the favor.” Locke lurched over her as gunfire rang out nearby. He popped his head up and searched for the shooter, but there were bodies all around him: some with guns, most with knives, and all in their own individual battles. Now was his chance to get her out of here. Now was the time to get her to Torres.
“I spared your life. I didn’t save it. There’s a difference.”
Locke ignored her and wrapped her good arm around his neck. She was small and light enough that he could’ve easily carried her but somehow that seemed as if it would offend her, even in her injured state.
“Name’s Locke. Can you walk? I’m going to get you out of here.”
Melanie wobbled as she stood and leaned heavily on him as they made their way through the battlefield. Several times they had to stop and duck behind a tree. As they got closer to the path that led to the bunker, they passed more and more bodies lying on the ground. He couldn’t see their faces in the darkness, but he was sure that many of them were men that Locke knew.
Another burst of shots came at them and he dropped to the ground, pulling Melanie with him. She cried out in pain and he rolled her, checking for new wounds. The knife was in deeper now and he swore under his breath. How could he have been so stupid?
Melanie was gritting her teeth and gasping for breath. Locke scooped her up and sprinted toward the bunker, no longer bothering to dodge knives and bullets. She didn’t complain and, for a moment, he thought she’d passed out. But when he kicked open the first door he bounced her leg off the doorframe and she called out, “Watch it!”
Torres met him at the bottom of the stairs and led him to the nearest bed. He had the bunker set up like his med ward in the village. There were tables covered in sheets with various bandages and medical supplies at the head of about twenty beds. Locke noticed that Melanie was the first patient Torres had.
“There are injured men out there, and you brought back a woman?” Torres’ voice was low and heated.
Locke nodded. “This is Lea’s mother. She helped me save Tanner… and Lea.”
“Ah. So she’s an ally.” He nodded and leaned over Melanie. “I can take the knife out and stop the bleeding, but I don’t have antibiotics so you’ll most likely die of infection. And I’m not giving you anything for the pain. I don’t have very much left.”
“What? Her women killed my Flynn. He was a good boy and he didn’t deserve to die. And before he did, he gave the last of our medicine to your daughter.” He glanced from Locke to Melanie and sighed. “Fine. I’ll go wash my hands. But you better get back out there and start bringing me boys or this war will be over and we’ll all be dead.”
Locke took Melanie’s hand. “He’s right. I need to get back out there. Don’t worry; you’ll be safe here and I’ll be back to check on you.”
“Their communications towers are too far away from here. They have to get to higher ground to set up a temporary tower to talk to the city. If you take out their communications, they can’t request back-up. It’s the only way.” She squeezed his hand, but couldn’t look him in the face.
“Yes. That farmhouse on the hill. That’s what they’ll use.” She grimaced but Locke couldn’t tell if the pain was from her wound or the realization that she’d just betrayed her city; her way of life.
“Okay.” It was as simple as that. He’d lived in that house since he brought Tanner home from the Welcome Ceremony sixteen years ago. He’d raised Tanner and all of his brothers there. It was his first and only home, but he knew what he had to do.
On his way out, Locke grabbed a box of matches. He’d rather lose him home than lose the war.
Did you enjoy this story? My email subscribers read this a week ago. The also get the chance to win monthly prizes. Would you like to get June’s story before everyone else? Join my email list: Click here!
If you think this is going to be another post about how much better books are than their movie counterparts, then stop reading. Stop reading right now. Go on, I’ll wait.
Okay, now that that’s over with, everyone else grab some popcorn and let’s talk movies that got their start as books. I love books, and I love movies. Sometimes, these things go hand in hand and I have a moment of sheer bliss. Or not. Because darn it, their plan in the book is so much better than what they did in the movie! And the ending? The movie ending was waay better. Since I’m an avid reader and writer of young adult fiction, we’re going to stay in that genre. And I promise I’m only going to discuss books that I’ve read and their subsequent movies that I’ve watched. *THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*
Emma’s Top 5 Books vs Movies
The Harry Potter Series by J. K Rowling
Please. You should have known. I’m a huge Potter fan. While I must admit that I *gasp* watched the first two movies before reading the book series, I like them both. Equally. J.K. Rowling did a wonderful job of knowing and loving her characters, and keeping up with a plot that flows and ebbs throughout seven books is an amazing feat. Steve Kloves did a great job keeping the magic J.K. Rowling weaved alive for eight movies. Yes, there are differences, but nothing that made the movies any worse for ware. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t have to see the Death Day Party, reading about it was enough.
My Vote: It’s a win, win!
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Once again, I watched the movie before reading the book series. But only the first movie, and catching the movie at 3am while I was wrapping Christmas gifts was what got me back into reading YA books, so no regrets. You know what I did miss in the movie, though? No Madge Undersee. It completely changed the meaning of the Mocking Jay. I can understand why they changed the prison sentence at the end of Mocking Jay in the movie, someone sitting in a cell with nothing happening isn’t very good in movies, but it didn’t mention Gale or Katniss’ mother at the end of the movie. Bummer.
My Vote: It’s a win for the book!
Movie: Nope. 😦 Book:
3. City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau
The movie had everything. Giant bugs and rodents, a few really cool scenes in the waterworks, a connection between Lina and Doon’s parents, a religious cult that completely ignores the failing city around them, and a satisfying end to the mayor. What does the book have? Well, without the book, the movie wouldn’t exist, but the mayor still would. I’d say that’s where the book ends.
My Vote: The movie gets the vote.
Movie: Book: Nope 😦
4. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
I’m going to be a hipster for just a moment here. I read Divergent before Allegiant was published, and well before any movie was advertised. Does that mean I automatically hated the movie? No. In fact, I was one of those people that went with a group of friends on opening weekend and was super excited to see one of my favorite books come to life. The beginning of the movie was awesome, but there were some crucial parts changed and/or left out as the movie went along. No one lost an eye in the movie. And Tris helping Four with his fear of small spaces? Way sexier in the book, and it help developed their romance better. But my biggest complaint about the movie? Tris’ mom. In the book, she was a tattooed, double gun wielding, bad-ass that faced her death head on so that Tris could escape. In the movie, she got struck by a stray bullet and died peacefully in an alley while the Dauntless under mind control gave Tris plenty of time to weep. I bet movie goers who hadn’t even known it was a book would’ve like the book version better.
My Vote: It’s a win for the book!
Movie: Nope. 😦 Book:
5.The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
I first read the book when I was a kid, and I enjoyed it. But when the movie came out in 2005, I was captivated. I reread the book, and read others in the series for the first time. If Walden media wouldn’t have produced the film, I most likely wouldn’t have gone back to Narnia. For that, the movie gets my vote.
My Vote: The movie gets the vote.
Movie: Book: Sometimes movies unite us with books.
City of Bones by Clarissa Clare
I enjoyed the book enough to read the entire series, which means it hit every YA troupe that I usually read (and a few that I don’t, but I forgave in this case 😉 ). I read them well after the movie was released and didn’t even know there was a movie until six months ago. After watching it, I understood why. If I were Clare, I wouldn’t mention it either. Though I haven’t seen the TV show, it seems better than the movie based on the trailers alone.
My Vote: It’s a win for the book!
Movie: Nope. 😦 Book:
Do you agree with my choices? Wish there was a book/movie combo I would’ve done? What would you have picked?
Also, every book/movie cover is a link to the book or movie if you’d like to check them out.