1) Justine Larbalestier's second post on the kerfuffle, "I Love Bad Reviews," in which she notes, "The biggest enemy of our careers is not bad reviews, but obscurity."
2) Made of Fail Episode 40, "Join YA Mafia Wars [Accept/Deny]," on which I am the cohost and say, "the post by Justine--Larbalestier? I guess that's how you say it?" no less than three times, I'm pretty sure, and I feel like an ass now. Please mentally add "because I am pretty sure I know this but I hope I'm not an idiot" every time you hear it. (It was 8 AM on a Saturday morning, what can I say.) Our guests are foresthouseand ceilidh_ann, MOF's Fangirl of the Kind Native to Scotland, who has been close to the center of the discussion with the Sparkle Project. And if you didn't believe in e-cliques before, you will after you hear us say, "I was saying to Cleo on the phone..." or "Kevin and I were talking about how..." multiple times. This was my first time talking to Ceilidh in "person," however, and Kevin and I wanted to make sure we brought up some of the Sparkle Project issues--both pro and con, I hope. My basic position on the situation remains--well, listen to it and you'll hear, but "a little bit of both, and everything in moderation," mostly. Also, "Don't call the FBI on Amazon reviewers like that one writer did," because apparently this is something we have to specify now.
Meanwhile, because I'm curious--this whole thing has introduced unto my awareness, yea, thereunto, tons of writers with books that sound really interesting. And that's in addition to all the other great writers I already know of, whose books are already on my giant mental pile of Books For Which I Would Really Like More Hours in the Day and a Million Dollars with Which to Buy. In fact, that list is so huge that I am seriously considering going to the library, which is an expensive venture because I never get out of the house quite often enough to avoid paying an arm and a leg in late fees. (My current record, paid to a university library, is $163. I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS 25¢ PER BOOK PER DAY, OKAY.) My point is, there are tons of writers whose books I'd like to try, and many of them have not only multiple books, but multiple series. And sometimes the first book they ever wrote isn't the best introduction to their work as a whole. I'm particularly interested in YA at this point, but any author (including yourself) you'd like to suggest One Book for is good. #readthisfirst, if you will. So that's my question: name me writer(s) you would recommend, and tell me the first book someone should pick up. If you are the writer, obviously we will be extra-interested in which book of your own that you think we should read first. Seriously, this is your chance to promote yourself as well, even if you only have one book, it was put out by an indie publisher, and that publisher is called My Lulu Account, Inc.
No, I will not snark any of them afterwards. I might put up a few discussion posts like I have earlier this year, though--I just snagged the Wicked Lovely e-book on Amazon for 99¢ to throw onto the pile.
ETA: I woke up to dozens of new comments, as you would with an entry like this, and several of the comments apparently screened themselves? Which I wasn't even awake to see, much less do it myself? I'm unscreening rogue comments now. WTF.
ETA: @kaycadabra: "Did they have links in them? LJ's started screening links recently, 'anti spam policy' I think." That seems to be what the comments all have in common--links to the books suggested.