Bestseller Scam | DISCUSSION

I wanted to have a chat about one of the biggest bookish scandals of the year, involving Lani Sarem’s “Handbook for Mortals”
(Open Me)

3 Geeks Network


Check out my Podcast!




bookgoddess1969 says:

Hey, you really did your homework on this. I work at a bookstore and this does happen alot. In most cases, the results aren’t as obvious as this one, though.

David Griffith says:

I don’t pay much attention to NY times best sellers, because I’m not surprised things like this go on. Think of how many publishers do this same thing and we don’t notice! Interesting news, very informative video.

MyAdultLife says:

This whole palava is just a giant face palm. Like who thought they could get away with this. As you said. Maybe if they did it on a smaller scale. Like 20 on the newyorktimes then *maybe*.
Still would be immoral but at least not stuiped!

Philip Hawkins says:

Someone should make a film about this behind the scene drama. 😀

Matthew Calero says:

Very informative video. I had heard about the situation but was unaware of how exactly they pulled it off, or the drama with the book cover.

Considering how badly the book seems from both the narrative and writing perspective and all of the sketchy stuff that happened behind the scenes hopefully all of this will be forgotten after a couple of months and will serve as a wake up call for The NYT Bestseller peeps. Although I am worried since I’ve seen some people go out and get the book to see what all the hullabaloo is about (which unless I’m wrong would be supporting Lani Sarem, right?) so even if she never writes another book again she still wins in a way.

bytheBrooke says:

Sooo weird. In my opinion, if you don’t have genuine sales what’s the fun of it all? I understand she wanted to make her book into a movie and that’s why she was shady about sales, but seeing “real” people buy your book lifts up your heart in a way that can’t be beat. I feel sorry for her.

Book Roast says:

That is the oddest way to promote the book. Why. Why why why

mmmhhm says:

I read the book and boy HOWDY, even if Lani had published this book legit, there’s no way it would’ve become popular enough to get a movie.
– Remember the love triangle? There is no love triangle. The love rival Jackson is barely in the book at all. For the last fifty pages in the book he was mentioned twice and in a single sentence. So the book doesn’t even deliver what it promised.
-You think having Carrot Top in the book is strange? The not-rival Jackson is in a band called “The Plain White Ts”. And a LOT of people are creeped out that Lani basically wrote a self-insert fanfic having a romance with real life people.
-At one point one of the characters falls off a ledge, drowns, literally dies and CPR is performed on her. And what happens afterwards? Her “friends” laugh about it, they make fun of her, saying things like, “maybe this’ll take her ego down a notch.”
– The book literally ends like this: “And then they lived happily ever after… OR DO THEY?”
(i am not fucking joking, that’s how it ends.)

and here are some of my favorite bits about the book in general.
-despite Lani claiming she sold 18,000 copies at cons, there are no fansites for the book. There’s no fan art, no fanfiction, no fan forums, nothing. Lani says this is because con-goers are probably not big book readers. (if con-goers are not readers, then why do you sell it to them…?) Hell, the folgers christmas commercial from 2006 has a bigger fanbase than she does.
– Lani has compared trying to sell her book to women’s suffrage.
– Recently Lani and the actor had a book signing at a barnes and noble and nobody came except for people who already knew about the controversy. According to those who attended, when Lani was asked about the Hate U Give, Lani responded, “It’s not MY fault Angie Thompson is black!”
(btw, there is no diversity in the book. Everybody is white despite the book is based in a highly hispanic populated state)
-and lastly, it looks like Lani is going to do the whole scam again when the second book comes out next year. So keep an eye out!

Crescent Moon Reads says:

This whole situation was so surreal to me… how can anyone be delusional enough to think this is okay??!!

Smitten For Fiction says:

How in the world did they think no one would catch on? Unbelievable.

That Bookie says:

This was a very interesting video. The sad thing is because of the fact that she had an in with big people she probably could have gotten published and gotten decent exposure but she had to take it further. Its offensive to authors whose work deserves to be on The NY Times best sellers.

The Book Pusher says:

I think the best part about this book is since she marketed it as YA she got caught. The book is actually adult romance. It’s not a teen book at all. But since she knocked off The Hate U Give and tried to slip it past a very present online community people were on it so fast. I remember watching people talk about it on twitter the day of and it was insane how fast the YA community got to the bottom of this ridiculous scam.

Jashana C says:

God this whole thing has been SUCH a dumpster fire… one that I couldn’t stop watching! LoL. It’s so bizarre that they thought this would go unnoticed… !

I’ve seen some excerpts from it… and holy god it is TERRRRIBLE.

Everything about this whole thing is just… WOW.

The Typo Central says:

Wow … That’s so disgusting. I hope the NYT will take the title down, though I’m not really sure if they can.

Books Are My Hart says:

very well researched. It was nice to see you explain it from start to finish.

Young Adult Author Show says:

When I first read about this controversy it was on Twitter and I was like how tf did this random ass book beat The Hate U Give? And then the whole her casting herself in her movie. Ugh! Disgusting. Lol

Tracey Allen says:

Wow, I hadn’t heard about this until seeing your video, and shady shit is right! Thanks for explaining it so clearly and love your straight talking approach in all your videos. It’s so refreshing.

G Luis says:

I went on 4 different videos to say this; the author of handbook for mortals claims to be the author of my immortals (the worst fan fiction ever made)

Rue I says:

I haven’t heard of this because these past months I’ve been BUSY as shit, but Oh. My. God!!! This is so horrible it’s hilarious. Why did they think that it was a good idea? And the fact that they fucked up the cover as well is just the cherry on top.

LostInTheWoods says:

This is crazy!!!

Novel Thoughts says:


 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!