Previously in The New York Times Scammer: The Lani Sarem Story. A failed actress and screenwriter Lani Sarem turned her screenplay into a young adult novel, ‘The Handbook Mortals’ with the plan to streamline the process of the book to film adaption process.
On the advice of Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie), Geek Nation an entertainment hub owned by Claire Kramer and her husband Brian Keathley swiftly picked Lani up. ‘The Handbook for Mortals’ was to be the flagship book for Geek Nation’s new publishing arm.
Surprised, it bewildered the book community when an unknown book with zero buzz around it suddenly dethroned ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas from ‘The New York Times Best Seller’s List’ after it had been number #1 for 25 straight weeks.
Phil Stamper the author of ‘The Gravity of Us’ and Jeremy Wright (former employee of Scholastic Books) started to do some digging and quickly found out that some mystery man was going around to bookstores and bulk buying books.
New York Times investigated the claims and after only 23 hours of being on the list, they ejected her from the list and ‘The Hate U Give’ reclaimed its spot.
Lani pissed and vehemently denied all the allegations, but after a while she eventually admitted that she had bulked bought books but insisted that it was only to sell at a convention and that her rise to the top of the NYT best seller’s list was legitimate. Lani went to any magazine and news outlet that would take her, whining about how she was only taken off the list because Lani didn’t follow the rules of publishing.
Caught up? Good, let’s get right back to the fuckery.
Basic White Girl Tantrum™
There is no more satisfying to me as a black person to see a white woman throw a tantrum after they just played herself. Nothing beats this Schadenfreudes!
At this point in the story, people were just shaking their heads and laughing at her ‘Whine tour.” Then, Lani really started to *really* show her ass. It started with her Facebook post whining about the NYT decision to take off ‘The Handbook for Mortal’s’ off their bestseller’s list.
Basically, what it came down to her saying that the reason Angie Thomas had the NYT take down her book was because Angie Thomas critically acclaimed, awarding winning author was because Angie was jealous of her and pressured the NYT to remove her from the bestseller’s list. Later, Lani Sarem said (according to LibrianLydia): “It’s not my fault she’s black”
Now, again before Lani gets her lawyers after me. I will admit that there is no hard proof other than Lydia’s word. But since Lani has pretty much lied about everything else, I% 100 believe Lydia’s account of her meeting with Lani.
Angie Thomas did not flinch at this bitch’s racism. Oh no, Angie came for her big time and didn’t at all hesitate to tag Lani’s racist username in a very long thread .
Wooooow. Someone please get Lani Sarem and tell her to have several seats. The insinuation of these messages pisses me all the way off. Like, really? Okay, boo. I see you. https://t.co/vjkgJQ4SlJ
— Angie Thomas (@angiecthomas) November 27, 2017
Also another tangent, but I want to stop here to talk about Lani who wrote a book (for a movie adaptation sure but still a book) and knew absolutely nothing about how the book world worked. Lydia mentioned in her tweet thread that this bitch didn’t even know there was a thing such Library Science or hell even a course of study for librarians.
And despite her friendship Skye Turner, Lani hadn’t a clue about the publishing world works is not only her constant whining that just because she didn’t follow the rules doesn’t mean her accomplishments were a lie.
Yes, the sound you hear is me facepalming myself to death.
There is a certain audacity, a confidence that only white people, in particular WHITE WOMEN who think they can intrude a community they know nothing about it, not only tell them how to run said community but also tell the community how the rules should totes change to fit their whims.
Let them you the best part! I told you guys that Lani Sarem was adamant she wasn’t going to take this humiliation lying down and she didn’t. Shortly after the scandal dropped, Jenny Trout came for her book and did a line by line snarky review so goddamn brutal I got second hand embarrassment even reading it.
Deep into her feelings, Lani rolled up in Chapter 4 of Jenny’s Trout review of ‘The Handbook for Mortals‘ with the super inconspicuous user name “vegasperformer”. Lani, the complete fool, didn’t have the common sense to use a temporary disposal email address for a temper tantrum. So, It didn’t take long for Jenny Trout’s comment moderator to track down the email’s domain information and find out that Lani was the owner of the domain.
“Not a tear someone apart, the way you have engaged in here. All of you really. I bet most of you who are commenting and putting her and the book down have never even put out a book. I wonder what we could all say about your own book. ”
Honestly, I have heard the same ridiculous excuse used by many a butthurt fan. FYI: You don’t need to make a thing to know when the thing you are consuming sucks. It’s like telling a food critic that can’t tell if a dish sucks just because they didn’t cook themselves.
Once again, Jenny didn’t hold back at all and dragged her ass so good that Lani left Jenny’s blog with her proverbial tail between her legs. As far as I can tell, she never left a follow up comment and “vegasperformer” hasn’t been heard from since.
When the dust settled, Lani Sarem was once again a failure. She was a worldwide laughingstock. Lani continued to be unapologetic for her part in this mess and happily promoted her book through the convention circuit. In 2018, they invited Lani to speak at a panel at the Agile Writers Conference in Richmond, Virgina. Greg Smith the moderator of the panel invited Lani to conference because she and I quote:
“The reason I invited Lani was because she disrupted the publishing world. She took a different approach to marketing her book. She broke no laws or ethical standards. She only made sure that every sale counted.”
Let me stop here to say. Greg Smith you are full of fucking shit! She may not have broken a law but what Lani Sarem did was not only unethical as fuck, they based it in greed and racism.
So, at the AW conference Amanda Surowitz sat down for a calm chat (which kudos to her because I would not be able to contain my rage) and started to ask some questions. Let me just say, Lani even a year later was still playing the victim, still whining at how the publishing industry did her wrong, and if you were hoping for some remorse for what she has done, I’m sorry to tell you there was none.
Two years later, nothing changed. Initially, Lani had been open about her plans for doing a sequel for ‘The Handbook for Mortals’ in 2018 and even had an excerpt in back of the book. Lani also was open about her plans for the movie in the and turning the movie into a franchise. Yes, Lani Sarem was actually that damn delusional.
As of the time of this post, there has been no evidence that she actually ever wrote the sequel. Actually, there has been no mention of the sequel on any of Lani Sarem’s social media.
Speaking of her social media, Lani still mentions that she is a New York Times’s Best Seller. And as for her famous cousin? Well, Lani often retweets and likes JC Chasez’s tweets. Yet JC Chasez did not reciprocate at all. He’s pulled a Mariah Carey and said: “I don’t know her.”
In November 2019, Lani was down in my neck of the woods in Austin still buddy-buddy with her friend Thomas Ian Nicholas (somehow, they are still friends) hosting a Disney panel of all things for Wizard World. I kind of wish I could afford to go, because I would have love to give her some pointed questions.
As for Geek Nation, the company collapsed. To date, they gave no official statement on the Lani Sarem scandal and they took their website down and the last social media posts from them were in September 2017,
One reason for this might be because shortly after the Lani Sarem scandal, Claire Kramer filed for divorce from her husband Brian Keathley after 12 years of marriage and 4 children together. She accused Brian of being physically abusive and filed a restraining order against him.
At the beginning of tackling the Lani Sarem saga, I will admit that I was gleefully shocked and amused. Nothing delight me more than watching white entitled people get their comeuppance, but the more I digged in the more that I eventually exchanged my glee for outrage.
This is a tale of white privilege and everything wrong with the world. Angie Thomas, worked hard to get her book publish, to put in the work to make ‘The Hate U Give’ succeed. While Lani Sarem, a white mediorce author that doesn’t have a fifth of Angie’s talent could not only get an abundance of help and benefit of the doubt (even after she admitted to cheating) could still be welcomed on the convention circuit and some parts of the writing community to this very day.
The only thing that set Lani Sarem’s story for every other white privilege person who only succeed thanks to privileged and nepotism (hey Donald Trump Jr) was that it involved celebrities and Hollywood. Every marginalized person knows personally a Lani Sarem in their life. Lani Sarem thinks she special, but the truth is she sickeningly common.
This is Lawhy this story needed to be told and why The sins of Lani Sarem should never be allowed to fade away.