Thursday, February 3, 2011

The I AM NUMBER FOUR Ethical Debate [You're The Expert]

You guys know we did a Read Along with I Am Number Four.  A few of you have asked via Springform, and one of you in-person, if I knew what was going on with the whole deal.  The answer is, "Yes, my lovelies, I do know what's going on with this debaucle."  Allow me to elaborate, but in as concise a manner as possible.

James Frey and Jobie Hughes worked on I AM NUMBER FOUR together.  They published together as Pittacus Lore.  Long story short, Jobie Hughes signed a contract with Frey and he got super-screwed in the deal.  Lesson for us all?  Don't sign contracts that give you squat just so you can get published under an alien pseudonym.  The movie rights for the novel sold before the publishing rights, so that should be our first clue about the motivations behind its writing, right?  Wanna know more?  I'll refer you to this article over at New York Magazine called James Frey's Fiction Factory.

I'll admit that after that news came out (like one day after we concluded the Read Along) I felt dirty.  Super dirty.  I promoted this book on my site!  I chose it to encourage people to read!  What the heck was wrong with me?  But I've come to the point now where I'm back to being comfortable with my decision.  The movie is huge, let's face it.  It's everywhere.  We are all going to read the book, and we wanted to read it before we saw the movie, so the Read Along was still a great thing, not to mention fun.  And, now, after much pondering and struggling within my psyche, I've decided that there's really no reason not to promote the movie.  The actors didn't have anything to do with what James Frey did.  Disney didn't either.  Sure, Frey is going to make more $$ off of the movie, but then again, hopefully Hughes will too?

So where does the You're The Expert part come in this time?  I want to know what you think about this whole thing.  Even the movie trailer I posted.  O_o  Ready?  Go.

For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, please share the link.


Rabid Fox said...

I'm a person who listed I Am Number Four on my Wish List Wednesday meme a few months back. But before I ever got a chance to read it, I read the article you linked to--and a couple others that are out there. Had I been aware of the shady business practices being used, and the cynical, cheap methods by which this book was churned out, I never would have given it the time of day. And I never will. Authors get screwed from time to time, it's the nature of the business, but to prey on the young, eager, and desperate in order to manufacture "blockbusters" is disgusting, in my opinion.

As for the movie, I'm a fan of Timothy Olyphant, but this is one film in which he stars I won't be watching. The trailer makes it all the more obvious this story is a rip-off of Roswell and Superman. Pass.

Wrighty said...

Wow! I wasn't aware of any of that. To quote the article “It’s a crappy deal but a great opportunity”. How slimy.

I haven't read this book yet but I do have the ARC and I will read it eventually. I don't care much about the movie and not at all about any merchandising. I realize that people have to make a buck but Frey seems so... cold. He doesn't hide it though does he?

You did nothing wrong. Promoting and encouraging others to read is always a good thing and the Read Along was a fun way to do it. I always appreciate the info you provide on your blog and it's obvious you work hard at it. I've found many good books here because of you and I look forward to many more!

Alexa said...

At this point the deal that was made was shady and it does suck for anyone who is trying to get published, anyone who wrote a story they were proud of that got dragged through the mud. All in all I think that as long as the movie and the book get people and teens into reading then at least it did something good for society.

Vampires and Tofu said...

From The Wall Street Journal...

"They are promised 30% to 49% of all revenue whether it comes from videogames or publications rights."

Hughes was promised at least thirty percent of revenue? He stands to become a very rich man then. He wrote a book and didn't have to worry about getting an agent, querying, or finding a big name to back him. I don't personally think he was taken advantage of, I think he knew exactly what he was doing when he signed the contract. So while we may not agree with Frey's methods, from what I have read I don't think feeling bad for Hughes is reason enough to not read the book or see the movie. Of course I may be wrong in my understanding of what transpired, but do any of us really know without a doubt what truly happened in their business dealings?? And that article appears to have been written by a woman who wanted to be part of Frey's group but was turned down so of course she's not going to paint it all in a positive light.
Guess what I'm getting at is we don't know. Just like we don't really know the details of the contracts of other books we read, right??? So I'm not going to let any of this affect whether I read the book or see the movie.

I Heart Monster said...

Both Alexa and Vampires & Tofu - great points. Seriously great points. You're making me feel better about myself already. Thanks, dudes.

Vampires and Tofu said...

No problem, I don't think you did anything to feel bad about =)

Laina said...

I will not read the book. But I'll probably see the movie because I like Alex and Dianna. I figure that supposed James Frey less. :P