Cyndy Aleo

Four Little Bees Writing & Editing

author, freelance writing, editing, and a little bit of web development, helping clients with content development, book editing, and blog set-up and customization

Things no one will probably say about the Twilight gender-swap

I know I'm supposed to tread carefully, as I work in publishing, but I'm sort of tired already of the Beyonce Book Drop. I was tired of it the first time and I'm even more tired of it now.

There are a lot of authors singing hosannahs to "What Stephenie Meyer has done for YA," but the reality is, this move wasn't about her fans, and it sure wasn't about YA books.

As I work in publishing -- and have on one side of the fence or the other for several years -- I can tell you how much work and planning goes into a book launch. It's months of planning and editing and putting together advertising and marketing plans and soliciting early reviews. It's like setting up a domino run of millions of dominoes and hoping no one knocks one over while you're setting them up.

It's coincidental that I have friends with a YA book out today, because that's not even the real book that's getting crushed today. There are certain books you know are going to be huge before they even come out: anything by John Green. Julie Murphy's Dumplin' (which I did actually preorder, devour, and love. Today should have been all about Rainbow Rowell's Carry On, an adorkably meta fan-fiction of her own book (technically speaking... if I described the various levels of fandom interplay involved in the creation and publication of Carry On, I'd lose all two of you who are going to read this post).

So you have a book that came out of a book where the heroine was a BNA (big-name author in fandom terms). And then you have an author with one of the largest fandoms on earth surprise everyone with A FANFIC OF HER OWN BOOK. REALLY?

Let's call it what it is: a self-serving cash grab. Twilight fans have waited for the completion of Midnight Sun. Fans of The Host have waited for what was supposed to be a continuation of a trilogy. And yet every last book that was planned for today has been overshadowed with an author writing a gender swap of her own work.


Please. Fandom already did this, several times over.

My favorite? Gate Light. A gender swap crackfic with cyborgs and a whole host of crazy (and very little canon).

The first I saw? Twilight Reversed. Back in 2008.

This isn't innovative. As a fan, it's not particularly exciting. It's definitely not what the fandom had hoped for. And it manages to crap on months of work by publishing people in support of other books.

So please don't tell me how amazing this is and how it makes me a bad fan to actually loathe this book, this move, and right now? This author. Because I know how hard these people work behind the scenes, and it bugs the hell out of me to see these stunts.

(Also, because Beyonce is Our Queen, notice that she didn't schedule stealth media moves for giant announcements on the perfect New Release Tuesday for maxxing out NYT juju. If this was about the fans? S. Meyer'd have done this yesterday. Or better yet, Sunday.)