Smugglers Stash

Smugglers’ Stash and News

Hello everybody, and a good Sunday to all!

Ana here, reporting from our Cambridge HQ:

Giveaway winners:

The winner of a signed copy of On The Prowl by Patricia Briggs is…


Congratulations! You know the drill – send an email to contact AT thebooksmugglers DOT com with your snail mail address and we will send your winnings out to you as soon as possible!

Coverage of Women on SF/F Blogs:

Our good blogging friend Renay, one of the masterminds behind Lady Business has written a most interesting article on “Coverage of Women on SF/F Blogs”. Starting with the backstory and the methodology, she then proceeds to post the results of her study. Examining 21 blogs (including ours) and counting how many books by female authors these blogs reviewed in 2011, the results demonstrated what she had already suspected: men reading mostly male writers and only 19% of female authors, women reading all the things. Of course, the point of the article is not to point fingers at anyone but to invite everybody to think critically about what we are reviewing:

Reading diversity is a complicated subject and book selection often a process that we’re not conscious of. We’re impacted on all sides by a myriad of things influencing our decisions. But reviewing and talking about titles on public blogs and journals is an active decision that we’re making every time we put a book down and go, “I’m going to write 1000 words about that and share it with the Internet!”


What are we saying to those who trust our reading choices? What are we saying to the publishers who send us materials to review about the books that deserve that kind of virtual hand-selling? Does it impact what they think is relevant and sellable? What does it mean when we review that book by a man, and that one, and that other one and pass over the women writing the same kind of story? There’s worth in examining the reviewing choices we’re making. There’s worth in thinking about what messages we’re sending when our promotional energies favor the dominant gender without letting ourselves get mired in arguments grounded in gender essentialism.

Diverse voices in literature we celebrate is incredibly important. I encourage everyone to look at their SF/F review statistics. It’s not an easy task if the results are uneven, but it’s a worthwhile one.

The post and the (very civil) comments are well worth a read. Go check it out HERE.

Interestingly enough, there was a second wave of posts surfacing last week about the Hugos and about nominating Blogs for the award. The majority of posts focused on mentioning male-run blogs for most part until Kristen of Fantasy Cafe brought the issue up:

As I’ve seen this topic come up, there has been one thing that has sort of bothered me about it. I’ve seen a few lists of book bloggers worthy of nomination, and they are all very heavily dominated by men. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen even one blog run by a woman mentioned. It’s not like I’ve seen a huge number of people post lists of their recommended blogs for Hugo nominations, and all the blogs I’ve seen mentioned are wonderful blogs that are worthy of recognition. However, I find it a worrying trend that just like female authors, female book bloggers are also being overlooked.

I too, find this a worrying trend – and I love that we are starting to talk about this more and more.

BEA Bloggers Conference:

In case you didn’t already know, the BBC – Book Bloggers Conference – has been bought (and renamed) by BEA and is now an official part of Book Expo America. The conference will take place on June 4 and both Thea and I will be there. The point of this announcement is to say that the sessions have been announced this week and include a keynote speech by Jennifer Weiner, a networking luncheon and several panels on Critical Reviews (I will so going to be there, this interests me A LOT), Creating Community and more. Although some of these sound very similar to what we’ve already seen in previous years, we are very excited about it. Now we just want to know who the panelists are.

This week on The Book Smugglers:

On Monday, Ana reviews A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton, the sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.

On Tuesday, Ana is back with a review of Witch Hill by new favourite author Marcus Sedgwick…

Then, on Wednesday, Thea reviews the Fantasy novel A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith…

…and on Thursday she is back again with a review of the Dystopian YA Starters by Lissa Price…

Finally on Friday, it is our turn to take part on the Scavenger Hunt Book Tour with Dom Testa for the sci-fi space adventure The Galahad Legacy. Thea will be reviewing the first book in the series, The Comet’s Curse.

And that’s it from us today!

I will just leave you with this FABULOUS mini-documentary about the story of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster.

~ Your Friendly Neighborhood Book Smugglers


  • Charlotte
    March 11, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I checked my own blog a few weeks ago to see what my own gender balance was–I review women authors slightly more than twice as much, which is in large part because women seem to have written more books that appeal to me.

    I’ll look forward to seeing what you have to say about Posse–I enjoyed it myself, despite the lamentable cover!

  • Ashleigh
    March 11, 2012 at 6:10 am

    …Well, I know what I want for my high school graduation gift, since I graduate June first. A trip to New York for BEA Bloggers sounds perfect.

    I wish. It’s so expensive (we’ll need that money to prepare me for being sent off to college) and my blog is still so small that I could never. Maybe I’ll be able to go there one day, whether it’s as an author or as a blogger.

    I ended up buying both Darkness Becomes Her and A Beautiful Evil together a few weeks ago and I still remember Ana’s review for the first book, so I’m looking forward to the review of A Beautiful Evil too.

  • Maria (BearMountainBooks)
    March 11, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I follow one blog written by a guy (that I know of. I didn’t really pay attention until I saw this article and had to go check to see who was who!) But I do not follow a lot of book blogs. Really the ones I visit on a regular basis is about 5. The other four bookblogs are all written by women, including this one.

  • AnimeJune
    March 11, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I’m SO excited to meet you guys at BEA Book Bloggers! This is my first time going.

  • Diana Peterfreund
    March 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Did you guys see Ellen Oh’s recent blog post about diversity in YA covers? Thought it was up your alley.

  • JamesY
    March 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    The “Keep Calm and Carry On” mini-doc is great. If you are ever in the north east of England you should check out Barter Books – its great!

  • Angie
    March 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    You’ll both be at BEA? Yay! I’ll be there this year, too. 🙂

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