This just in: A debuting author named Lani Sarem is the hot topic among bookish netizens since yesterday.

Starting with the introductions, Lani wrote her first ever young-adult fantasy novel ‘Handbook for Mortals’ about a girl named Zade Holder with magic abilities and a free spirit. Add in the mix a journey to discover herself, two charming guys and a magic show à la cirque du soleil, and you got yourself a page-turner.

However, the thing that gears the netizens into frenzy is that this book which was only released on August 15th landed the top spot on the New York Times Best Sellers List, which is a truly mind-boggling feat.

Phil Stamper, a YA writer and publisher first brought attention to it on Twitter.

 

Handbook for Mortals

Credits: Phil Stamper @stampepk

 

He explains how it’s impossible for a book, which no one has heard of, to generate this much sales in its first week. It beat The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas which has held the number one spot for 24 weeks straight.

He claims that the author “bought” her way to the top spot, saying

“You shouldn’t be able to buy your way onto the @nytimes list.”

For a book that is number one, it has surprisingly low ratings on Amazon and Goodreads (with just 300 people added) and is currently out-of-stock.

 

Handbook for Mortals

Source: Amazon.com

 

 

Handbook for Mortals

Source: Goodreads.com

 

 

According to Phil Stamper, at least 5000 physical copies of a book must be sold to get into the bestseller’s list. The question is if there’s no physical stock anywhere, where are the sales coming from?

Phil put his detective cap on and alongside another writer Jeremy West, worked to get to the bottom of this.

 

 

 

An anonymous stepped forward to reveal that an order came to the book store he works at from someone claiming they were making a film adaptation. Apparently if the book hits the best seller list, an adaption would be possible.

 

 

 

Funnily enough, out of the few all 5-star ratings the book currently has on Goodreads reviews, one is from the author, four are duplicates.

 

Handbook for Mortals

 

 

Another netizen, Sarah Dvojak, pointed out an uncanny resemblance between the cover of the Handbook for Mortals and another book.

 

Handbook for Mortals

 

The publisher GeekNation has already broken the news, according to Hollywood Reporter, of a Hollywood movie production. According to an article on Syfy, “The site also plans to turn the book into a film franchise, with Thomas Ian Nicholas (of American Pie fame) on board to produce. He may also have a role in the movie.”

There’s already an IMDb page for the movie and if you check out the “Cast”, you’d be surprised to see the author listed under the Main Character.

 

Handbook for Mortals

 

 

Many people have voiced their anger on the internet on major platforms like Twitter and Goodreads. Several articles have been published regarding the scandal this has caused.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famous authors in the field came forward to voice their opinion on the matter.

 

Handbook for Mortals

 

 

UPDATE:

The book has been taken down from the NYT list and ‘The Hate U Give’ is back to #1. 

 

Handbook for Mortals

 

Handbook for Mortals

 

 

#JusticeServed #MorePowerToMedia

 

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