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Tag: Jenny Reads After

Jenny Reads After chapters 13 – 15, “I Want (to leave this party by 12)”

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I hope you’ve got hands and thoughts about the dicey state of literature, my friends, because you’re going to have some wringing to do. After has been acquired by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuester. Yes, the written word is dying. Yes, this is the worst thing to happen to literature, forever. And so on. And so on.

Honestly, I can’t even care anymore. Whatever is going to happen in publishing, okay. Happen. If I got pissed off about what traditional publishing does, it would be like getting pissed off by a coworker I only see at the company picnic doing something that doesn’t involve me. Jeffrey is just out there, stealing staplers, nobody is stopping him, and I don’t have to care.

What I do care about is the fact that now that After belongs to someone, does it go away from WattPad? I don’t want to read the shiny, new version. I want to read the one with all the double periods and odd dialogue tags. Is that one going to go away?!

Since I don’t know at this point, I’ll just jump right into the recap and hope for the best.

Jenny Reads After chapters 10 – 12 or “Don’t Forget Where You Belong (at this party, forever)”

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You may have noticed that this is not Wednesday blogging. I got behind in a bunch of stuff, so I skipped out on that one this week. However, you can read about shitty jobs my Wednesday Blogging peeps Tess Grant, Kris Norris, Bronwyn Green, Gwendolyn Cease, and Jessica Jarman have toiled away at in the past.

Before we get into the recap, I want to discuss some bullshittery. 700 million “reads.” That’s the stat on the story’s WattPad landing page.

One assumes that when the average person– someone who doesn’t worry about things like unique page views and click-throughs and ping-backs– sees that number, they’re not going to think, “Many people have clicked on each individual chapter multiple times,” but “700 million people have read this book.”

This number, and the unspoken claim behind it (because WattPad is aware that they’re trying to make people think that 700 million individual people have read this story, or else they would be presenting a more realistic statistic) struck me as so ridiculous, I had to do some puzzling to try and put this claim into perspective.

Okay, let’s take the “700 million reads” claim in the spirit with which it was intended, and that is, to dupe you into believing 700 million people have read it, and break that number down a little. I combined the estimated populations of countries in which I knew large numbers of people spoke English. These countries were selected through the very scientific process of being countries I remembered as having significant populations of first-language English speakers without having to actually look anything else up, and they are as follows: United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. And the number I came to was 494.8 million.

Now, a note on the reason I chose populations with first-language English speakers: because I’m convinced that anyone whose secondary language skills in English are just semi-fluent wouldn’t be able to understand a flipping sentence in the grammar and spelling nightmare that is After. You’d have to have some mad proficiency skills to sift through the errors, and it’s harder to find an estimate for “mad proficiency English language” on Google. I’m an author, I work with the English language every day, it’s my first language that I have spoken for thirty-two years of my life, it was the primary language used throughout my education, yet I have difficulty figuring out what’s being said in some of these chapters.

So, let’s look at that 494.8 million figure. To reach that number, it means every single person in all of those countries would have to read After.  This would include individuals who are:

  • illiterate
  • infants
  • unable to access the internet
  • unable to access WattPad due to incompatibility with their screen reading software
  • old people who refuse to use computers
  • in comas
  • living strict religious practices forbidding the use of electricity
  • out of fucks to give for whatever the next big thing is
  • unaware of fanfic and would have no desire to seek it out
  • contrary hipsters who refuse to investigate anything popular
  • saddled with a passing regard for grammar and spelling that would normally preclude them from reading something like After

Every. single. person. But even then, even with every estimated living human being in all those countries, the number falls a little over 300 million short. Add to this the number of readers leaving comments like:

“rereading cuz I can’t wait for anna to update! haha and stop giving spoilers! I hate them”

we have to assume that at least some of these “reads” are coming from repeat offenders (who seem to believe the story might be different upon second reading, else why would they worry about spoilers?).

To put it into even more perspective, 700 million individual readers would make up 25% of estimated internet users.  Note the lack of qualifier there. Not “internet users in America” or “internet users in English speaking countries.” Internet users total, based on stats from the International Telecommunications Union.

This, friends, is basically horseshit. The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy is an international juggernaut, translated into over fifty languages, is still dominating our everyday lives with ever more outdated quips referencing its title and themes, and guess how many copies it’s sold? As of February, 100 million. It’s clear that in the bid to make “fetch” happen with After, the idea is to make its success seem not just comparable with the book it shamelessly imitates, but bigger and more important. Somehow, this tactic is convincing enough that it attracted the interest of Hollywood, who apparently believe that 700 million clicks– some by repeat readers– on three stories with approximately one-hundred separate chapters per part is going to translate into some kind of globally dominating force equivalent to seven 50 Shades of Greys.

Oh, fuck me. It probably will.

Jenny Reads After chapters 7 – 9: “Big ass party with a crowded kitchen/people talk shh but it’s actually just Tessa’s internal monologue.”

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Before we get into recapsville, I wanted to tell you that author Karen Swart is hosting a character interview with Neil Elwood today on her blog right here, as well as a really cool giveaway that’s a part of the Boss series virtual book tour. So, if you want a chance to win Sophie’s lipstick vibrator from the first book (US entries only on that prize, sorry), head over there.

Okay, we’re into chapters 7 – 9 of After, I’ve got Midnight Memories all queued up on Spotify, let’s do this:

Jenny Reads After chapters 4 – 6: “You don’t know you’re beautiful/that’s what makes you horrible”

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Good news! Tessa has been cast in the fanfiction sidebar!

Maybe she was before, but I’m almost 100% certain that there was no listing for Tessa the last time I looked at this. But whatever. The role of Tessa has been filled by Indiana Evans:

indiana evansAs some of you have pointed out in the comments, Anna Todd’s bio lists her favorite book as Fifty Shades of Grey (“No!” readers cry out in shock. “I would have never guessed!”). So I find it really fun that Tessa is someone Ana would hate: a blonde.

In other news, I can’t figure out how to make the quote feature not be all italics, all the time, so any use of italics in the fic will be represented by underlined text.