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Every April, when the robins sing and the trees erupt in leaves, I think of Brad â of the curtain wafting through his open window, of the sounds of his iron lung from within, of the heartache of his family. Brad and I grew up at a time when worried mothers barred their children from swimming pools, the circus, and the Fourth of July parade for fear of paralysis. It was constantly on everyoneâs minds, cast a shadow over all summertime activities. In spite of the caution, Brad got polio — bad polio, which further terrorized our mothers. It still haunts me. If, somehow, he had managed to avoid the virus for a couple years until the Salk vaccine arrived, none of that â the iron lung, the shriveled limbs, the sling to hold up his head â would have happened.
In 1954, many children in my town, myself included, became âPolio Pioneersâ because our parents made us participate in the massive clinical trial of the Salk vaccine. Some of us received the shot of killed virus, others received a placebo. We were proud, albeit scared, to get those jabs, to be part of a big, important experiment. Our moms and dads would have done anything to rid the country of that dreaded disease.
Because the vaccine is so effective, mothers today arenât terrified of polio. Children in our neighborhoods arenât growing up in iron lungs or shuffling to school in leg braces. We seem so safe. But our world is smaller than it used to be. The oceans along our coasts canât stop a pestilence from reaching us from abroad. A polio virus infecting a child in Pakistan, Nigeria, or Afghanistan can hop a plane to New York or Los Angeles or Frankfurt or London, find an unimmunized child, and spread to other unimmunized people. Our earth is not yet free of polio.
Germs are like things that go bump in the night. They canât been seen, they lurk in familiar places, they are sometimes very harmful, and they instill great fearâsome justified, some not.
Fear of measles, like fear of polio, is justified. In the old days, one in twenty children with measles developed pneumonia, one or two in a thousand died. The vaccine changed all that in the developed world. But, measles continues to rage in underdeveloped countries. In a race for very high contagiousness, the measles virus ties the chickenpox virus (which causes another vaccine-preventable childhood infection). Both viruses can catch a breeze and fly. Or they may linger in still air for over an hour. They, too, ride airplanes. This year alone, outbreaks of measles started by imported cases have occurred in New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington, Texas, British Columbia, Italy, Germany, and Netherlands.
Fear of whooping cough (aka pertussis) is also justified. In the pediatric hospital where I work, two young children have died of this infection in the past several years and many others have suffered from the disease, which used to be called “the one-hundred day cough.â It lasts a long time and antibiotic treatment does nothing to shorten the course. Young children with pertussis may quit breathing, have seizures, or bleed into their eyes. It spreads like invisible smoke around high schools and places where people gather âŠ and cough on each other.
On the other hand, fear of vaccines â immunizations against measles, polio, chickenpox, or whooping cough â is hard to understand. In the grand scheme of things, any of these serious infections is a much greater threat than the minimal side effects of a vaccine to prevent them. Just ask the mothers of the children who died of pertussis in my hospital. Itâs true that the absolute risk of these infections in resource rich areas is small. But, for even rare infections, a 0.01% risk of disease translates into hundreds of healthy children who donât have to be sick, or worse yet die, of a preventable infection.
In spite of the great success of vaccines, they arenât perfect. Perfection is a tall order. Still we can do better. Fortunately, because of the work of my medical and scientific colleagues, new vaccines under development hold promise to be more effective with fewer doses, to provide increased durability of vaccine-induced immunity, and to be even freer of their already rare side effects. And, weâre creating vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus, Staphylococcus aureus, group A Streptococcus, herpes virus, and HIV, to name a few.
Brad would be proud of how far we have come in protecting our children from the horrible affliction that crippled him. Heâd also be furious at our failure to vaccinate all our children. Every single one of them. Heâd tell us that no child should ever be sacrificed to the ravages of polio or measles or chicken pox or whooping cough.
Janet R. Gilsdorf, MD is the Robert P. Kelch Research Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School and pediatric infectious diseases physician at C. S. Mott Childrenâs Hospital, Ann Arbor. She is also professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan and President-elect of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. Her research focuses on developing new vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium that causes ear infections in children and bronchitis in older adults. She is the author of Inside/Outside: A Physicianâs Journey with Breast Cancer and the novel Ten Days.
To raise awareness of World Immunization Week, the editors of Clinical Infectious Diseases, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, and Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society have highlighted recent, topical articles, which have been made freely available throughout the observance week in a World Immunization Week Virtual Issue. Oxford University Press publishes The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and Open Forum Infectious Diseases on behalf of the HIV Medicine Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society on behalf of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS).
The Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (JPIDS), the official journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, is dedicated to perinatal, childhood, and adolescent infectious diseases. The journal is a high-quality source of original research articles, clinical trial reports, guidelines, and topical reviews, with particular attention to the interests and needs of the global pediatric infectious diseases communities.
Mark Coker, the founder of the self-publishing site Smashwords, believes that indie authors should be proud of self-publishing their work. To help encourage these writers, he has created the ‘Indie Author Manifesto.’
In the post, Coker discusses how the perception of self-publishing has evolved over the last six years. He identifies the 10 dominant beliefs and values that characterize the indie author movement in a move to explain the philosophical mindset behind the rise in self-publishing.
Check it out: “Where once self publishing was viewed as the option of last resort – the option for failed writers and an option marked by stigma and shame – self publishing is increasingly viewed as the option of first choice for many writers.Â Over the next couple years I think we’ll reach a point where more first-time writers aspire to indie-publish than traditionally publish.Â Indie authors are the cool kids club.”
New Adult fiction (novels featuring protagonists ages 18-25) has swiftly become the hottest thing in both self-publishing and traditional publishing. New authors are making astonishing strides in this category and making great deals with the big traditional houses. Recent success stories include Molly McAdams, whose new adult book Taking Chances has sold more than 200,000 copies so far. And then there’s Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster, a new adult novel that caught the attention of Warner Brothers and had its film rights optioned. Other bestselling NA novelists include Coleen Hoover, Cora Carmack and Tamara Webber.
In this new boot camp starting May 8 (sign up here), the agents at Foreword Literary will help you understand New Adult fully from all aspects of the business. Whether you need to know the rules of the category, how to pitch it to agents, or how authors are hitting the bestselling lists with modern marketing techniques, Foreword has the answers for you.
The rise of New Adult has introduced questions, such as: How many agents are seeking it? How do you define it? How is it different from YA? Despite all the questions around this growing genre, New Adult manuscripts have been selling remarkably well, no matter how it is published. The readers want it, it is here to stay, and Foreword is among many agencies actively looking for it.
Once you register for this May 8 One-on-One Agent Boot Camp, you’ll be assigned your own personal agent for the event. He or she will review the first 1,200 words and 1-page synopsis of your work-in-progress. You’ll get personalized feedback on the quality of your writing, as well as insights into how to generate the most revenue in today’s market. At the end of the boot camp, you’ll have a greater understanding of which publishing options to pursue and how to make the most of them.
Here’s how it works:
On Thursday, May 8, you’ll gain access to a special one-hour presentation by agents Gordon Warnock, Laurie McLean, and Pam van Hylckama Vlieg. Together, they’ll explore the New Adult category and teach you how to reach key readers and bloggers, and how to market your title. You’ll also receive an email detailing your assigned agent for the boot camp.
Each New Adult agent brings something unique to the table: Pam is also a popular book blogger (Bookalicious.org) and will explain how blogging and using social media will help you expand readership. Laurie was also a 20-year high-tech marketing CEO before becoming an agent and will discuss how branding is essential to every writer. Gordon has edited and sold New Adult memoir and will explain the rules and the tropes to make sure you manuscript will sing to the readers.
On Friday, May 9, from 2-4 PM Eastern time (11-1 PM Pacific), your assigned agent will be available to answer questions in an exclusive discussion session for boot camp participants.
By 10 a.m., Sunday, May 11, you will submit the first 1,200 words and synopsis of your book for review. The presenters will carefully read your materials and will return their feedback no later than end of day, May 21.
*Please note that all attendees should have the first 1,200 words and synopsis of their piece finished and ready to submit to the agent prior to the beginning of the event.
RECAP ON DATES:
Thursday, May 8: Online Tutorial
Friday, May 9: Agent Blackboard Q&A 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Sunday, May 11: Submit Materials for Critique
Wednesday, May 21: Agent Critiques Due
Only registered students can access the blackboards. You’ll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers. Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.
In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive: 1-year subscription to the WritersMarket.com literary agent database
If attendees have a preferred agent, they want to work with, please notify WD. Though not guaranteed, we will try to link attendees with a preferred agent if they have one. Sign up for the boot camp here.
ABOUT THE AGENTS:
Laurie McLean spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent then senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco, plus completed three manuscripts, before forming Foreword Literary with Gordon and Pam. At Foreword, Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.) plus middle-grade, young adult and new adult fiction. She does not handle non-fiction, or commercial, literary or women’s fiction, nor does she handle children’s picture books or graphic novels. For more on Laurie, check out her blog at agentsavant.com, follow her on Twitter @agentsavant, and visit her Facebook page at Facebook.com/laurie.mclean.
Gordon Warnock brings years of experience as a senior literary agent, marketing director and editor for independent publishers, freelance publishing consultant, and college-level writing tutor to Foreword Literary. He frequently teaches workshops and gives keynote speeches at conferences and MFA programs nationwide. He is an honors graduate of CSUS with a B.A. in Creative and Professional Writing. With a zest for fresh, new voices and a deep love of the classics, Gordon actively seeks out both the timely and the timeless. In that spirit, he establishes involved, long-term working relationships with talented and dedicated authors of many genres. While he does seek out a small amount of quality fiction, Gordon primarily seeks non-fiction in the following areas: Memoir (Adult, New Adult, YA, Graphic), Cookbooks and Food Studies, Political and Current Events, Pop-Science, Pop-Culture, Self-Help, How-To, Humor, Pets, and Business. You can find him on Twitter @gordonwarnock.
Pam van Hylckama Vlieg started her literary career as assistant to Laurie McLean in early 2012. Within three months Pam was promoted to Associate Agent at Larsen Pomada. After selling twenty-one books in her first year of agenting, Pam was promoted to Agent. When Laurie mentioned creating Foreword, Pam jumped at the chance to follow her mentor and create a new agency together. Pam blogs at Bookalicio.us, Bookalicious.org, and Brazen Reads. She partners her blogs with her local bookseller Hicklebee’s where magic happens daily. Pam grew up on a sleepy little Podunk town in Virginia. She’s lived in the UK, several US states, and now resides in the Bay Area of California. She has two kids, three dogs, two hedgehogs, but only one husband. You can find her mostly on Twitter where she wastes copious amounts of time. Pam seeks both fiction and non-fiction (specific genres are listed at the Foreword Literary website).
This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy went home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
This little piggy went wee! wee! wee! wee! wee!
All the way home.
You know the story, right? But, did you ever wonder if those little piggies might want to do something moreâŠinteresting? Like fly planes? Or have a costume party? Or race a go-kart? Or change into Super Toe, the worldâs greatest superhero!? In Tim Harringtonâs book, This Little Piggy, adorable little toes do all these things and more. The bright, colorful digital illustrations of smiling toes performing amazing feats will make readers giggle, and parents and kids will be inspired to play along and send their own little piggies on wild adventures. Debut author Tim Harrington is also the front man of rock band Les Savy Fav, and heâs created an equally fun and quirky song to go with the book. Itâs available for free at the publisher’s website. Two big piggies up for This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington!
The book industry is like any other in the sense that selling and marketing your product — and, in essence, yourself — can often be the toughest part.
If you’re a unknown author working with a small publishing house (or self-publishing), partnering up with a brand that has a large following could help boost sales and get your name in the press.Â We got the scoop from several branding experts on how to choose the right partner:
Think outside the box and team up with a brand, retailer or expert who supplements your area of expertise. If you just wrote a book about the benefits of Pilates and the barre method, [Beth Feldman, co-founder of BeyondPR Group]Â suggests teaming up with Lululemon to do a book signing at their store or build a 10-city tour to appear in their stores and then promote yourself to local media.Â This begins with concocting a well-crafted strategy to share why you would add value to them via media exposure.
The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If youâre not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.
PubSmart is a new conference for writers â but before you sigh and say ânot another writerâs conference,â take a closer look. PubSmart was created to bridge the gap between publishing routes. PubSmart is about learning how to publish smarter no matter how you publish â indie, self-publishing, or traditional. Finally.
I was honored to be able to attend the first annual convention. I went in with the expectation of meeting connections and friends, and hoping to learn more about publishing. And PubSmart delivered more than expected.
Instead of focusing on the differences between publishing methods, the sessions were on topics every author needs to know about. Master classes were held to give authors an in-depth look at topics such as metadata and social media. Authors and professionals from all publishing backgrounds held sessions on authorpreneurship, getting reviews, editors, and more. PubSmart is the first conference I have ever known to focus on the business of writing.
Now that you have an idea of the concept behind PubSmart, let me give you a sneak peek at some of the sessions and keynote highlights. Due to the wealth of information at PubSmart this will be the first of six posts featuring different events from the conference, so sit back and enjoy!
IBPAâs Mini Publishing University: Publishing Smart in the Modern Age Speaker: Angela Bole, executive director of the Independent Book Publishers Association
This was a two-hour mini version of IBPAâs publishing class. The session focused on the great democratization of content and how authors can stick out of the crowd of free content online now that anyone can publish.
Tips for authors:
Create a code of ethics. This is something IBPA has done and it is a good practice for all professionals.
Pay attention to your brand as an AUTHOR; your brand is who you are as an artist.
Whatever you publish, find others who are publishing the same and learn from them.
Be generous and it will come back to you.
There are two kinds of digital content, reflowable content (ebooks) and fixed layout/static content (print books, pdfs). Therefore your ebook does not need to look like your print book.
Metadata is king! Correct metadata is vital to success as an author. Learn about metadata and how to use it. Many authors skip this step.
A detailed subtitle can help your book be found, but remember you cannot use an authorâs name in your subtitle (tip via Hugh Howey).
For textual descriptions of your book, put the most important things first. Avoid complex styling, and do not copy and paste from Word.
Subject headings are NOT keywords. Use only two to three subjects from the industry approved list.
Avoid using âgeneral.â The more specific you can be, the more your book will stand out.
For your cover, the longest side of your digital image should be 1,000 pixels or more.
We must promote publishing smarter instead of the idea that anything we write is automatically worth publishing. (It isnât.)
ebooks is still a growing market; donât let the âstatisticsâ fool you.
Romance/erotic fiction is still the top selling genre in ebooks while cookbooks are last.
The competition between ebook distributors is good. If one controlled the whole market they would make the rules instead of the authors.
There has been a shift from ereaders to tablets for reading, so authors now have to compete with other forms of media as well.
Angela Bole is the executive director of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). For more information about IBPA check out there website, https://www.ibpa-online.org. If you have any questions about this article, publishing, or social media I would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below or connect with me on my website, katetilton.com.
Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. You will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10pm Eastern.
...which sets out to be a love story, a ghost story, a story about abuse, and a story about family. Of the four, the ghost story comes the closest to being successful. The idea of a ghost that can travel via and control water is scary in and of itself, and Ward really makes great, cinematic* use of it, sometimes with powerful, gushing torrents, sometimes with insidious, creeping mold. Ghost Robâs growing strength is rivaled only by his malevolence, and Carlâs deteriorating mental stateâdespite clear signs of an actual haunting, at times I wondered if it really might all be in Carlâs headâadds to the tension.
As it sadly didn't do a whole lot for me, I went ahead and recommended some OTHER books that I enjoyed much more...
INCLUDING A CERTAIN SERIES STARRING MISS SHIRAZ BAILEY WOOD.
And also one that I haven't read yet, but that LOOKS really super.
Sidenote: Due to the water and the palette, this cover is pretty ambiguous... but if the girl on the cover is supposed to be Neisha Gupta, with her "big brown eyes" and skin with "honey tones", then it looks like the UK cover has been whitewashed.
For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Tell It to the (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “Tell It to the Hand,” “Tell It to the Judge,” “Tell It to the Six-Foot Bunny Rabbit,” and so on.
Free up your poetry with constraints!
Learn how putting constraints on your poetry through poetic forms, blank verse, and other tricks can actually free up your poetry writing skills and enhance your creativity in Writerâs Digestâs first ever Poetry Boot Camp. It will include a one-hour tutorial, personalized Q&A on a secure âattendees-onlyâ message board, feedback on three original poems, and more. Click to continue.
Here’s my attempt at a Tell It to the Blank poem:
“Tell It to the Search Engine”
Prepare for the blood moon
7 dead babies found in home
Bear drags woman from garage
Hundreds fall ill on cruise ship
Weird new trend in plastic surgery
Naked exercise scandal
What ’80s really looked like
Bus crash kills 36 in Mexico
Gun kills people in Kansas City
Kid killed playing video game
Politicians track poll numbers
4 ways to cheat on sestinas
9 creatures that shouldn’t exist
DIY fashion ideas
When the world will end
Poll: Nobody cares anymore
Today’s guest judge is…
Kristina Marie Darling
Kristina Marie Darling
Kristina is the author of 17 books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014).
Check out her collaboration, Music For Another Life, with Max Avi Kaplan (BlazeVOX Books) by clicking here.
Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.
Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!
Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If youâd like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.
He treats every human he meets as their own planet, rather than simply one of his moons. He sees people with curiosity, compassion, grace and excitement. And heâs encouraging a huge community of followers to do the same.
Scribd has created an infographic called, “Reading Around the World,” which explores the reading habits of readers around the globe.
According to the graphic, the fastest readers in the world are in Germany and religion in the most popular genre in Mexico.Â Check it out: “Thanks to our growing international community, we now have quite a few fun facts to share with you. So, weâve created an international infographic so we could easily share some of our favorite figures: Popular Books By Country; Reading Speed By Country; Most Likely to Finish a Book; and Most Popular Book Genres.”
We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump. continued…
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, honoring an original American art form. Across the United States and the world, jazz lovers are introducing people to the history and heritage of jazz as well as extraordinary contemporary acts. To celebrate, here are eight songs from renowned jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Armstrong‘s catalog, along with some lesser-known facts about the artist.
Heebie Jeebies (1926)
One of Armstrongâs first recordings as bandleader was a series of singles released under the name Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, which were later regarded as a watershed moment in the history of jazz. âHeebie Jeebiesâ in particular gained fame, and historical importance, for its improvised âscatâ chorus; according to legend, this off-the-cuff vocal part was the result of Armstrong dropping his sheet music during the recording.
Struttinâ With Some Barbecue (1927)
Armstrongâs second wife, Lil Hardin Armstrong, was instrumental in orchestrating his rise to prominence. Hardin was also an accomplished jazz pianist and composer, frequently collaborating with Armstrong; âStruttinâ With Some Barbecueâ is one of her most-beloved contributions to the jazz canon.
Long before J.K. Rowling transformed the word, âmugglesâ was a slang term for marijuana, a drug of which Armstrong was a lifelong enthusiast. This highly-esteemed composition by Armstrong was recorded with a group of the dayâs foremost jazz talents, among them the legendary pianist Earl âFathaâ Hines.
Ainât Misbehavinâ (1929)
Although Armstrong had achieved renown among black listeners through his work in the â20s, it was this song, performed between acts during the Broadway musical Hot Chocolates, which arguably gained him his first crossover success. Originally written as an excuse to have Armstrong sing from the orchestra pit, its success led the producers to rewrite the script in order to bring him onstage, then send him to the studio to record the productionâs hits.
Where The Blues Were Born In New Orleans (1947)
The film New Orleans featured Armstrong alongside Billie Holiday, in her only film role; the pair portrayed musicians who develop a romantic relationship. This track includes a lengthy section in which Armstrong introduces his ensemble, featured in the film, which was loaded with the dayâs biggest names: Kid Ory, Zutty Singleton, Bud Scott, and more.
Mack the Knife (1955)
In the later decades of his career, Armstrongâs lip muscles no longer allowed him to perform the same kind of trumpet pyrotechnics heâd become known for earlier in his career. As a result, he began to rely more on pop vocal performances, such as this, one of his best-known songs of all time. Taken from The Threepenny Opera, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weillâs anticapitalist stage drama, âMackâ became a major pop success (although it did not achieve the same recognition as the white singer Bobby Darinâs #1 version, released four years later).
Hello, Dolly (1964)
Probably the biggest hit of Armstrongâs career, this song, taken from the eponymous musical, took the #1 spot on the pop charts from the Beatles during the height of Beatlemania.
What a Wonderful World (1967)
Perhaps surprisingly, this song — perhaps the tune most closely associated with Armstrong — was not a hit in America upon its release, selling only about 1000 copies. Over time, owing to its frequent use in films and numerous cover versions, the song would eclipse all others in Armstrongâs discography to become his signature recording, but not until long after his death in 1971.
Grove Music Online has made several articles available freely to the public, including its lengthy entry on the renowned jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Oxford Music Online is the gateway offering users the ability to access and cross-search multiple music reference resources in one location. With Grove Music Online as its cornerstone, Oxford Music Online also contains The Oxford Companion to Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Encyclopedia of Popular Music.
Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
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Image credit: Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter, 1953. World-Telegram staff photographer. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
TheÂ âRight to E-readâ campaign is dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges involved in getting eBooks in libraries in the EU. Check it out: “The campaign, initiated by EBLIDA, is being carried out inÂ all European countries. The idea for a campaign poster with a logo and slogans was developed by theÂ e-books task forceÂ headedÂ by Gerald Leitner.Â At the European level,Â EBLIDA is coordinating the campaign. EBLIDA provides information and material for its members for download and use.”
Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association (ALA) congratulated EBLIDA for the campaign. “We understand that many libraries in European countries have faced challenges in obtaining and lending best-selling ebooks from major book publishers,” she stated. “In fact, surveys suggest that more than 50 percent of the latest ebook titles are not available to public libraries in Europe. Today, we applaud EBLIDA for demanding that the European Commission change copyright law to require publishers to sell to libraries.”
Now that I have a year of experience with YALSA finances, itâs become obvious to me that there is sometimes confusion in the minds of members about our dues, requests for donations, and books and other products that we sell. Why does YALSA need to do all this?
When I first became active in YALSA in the fall of 1985, we were considered a small division because we had about 2000 members (today we have over 5,100) and we were only able to cover about 50% of our operating expenses. Because of YALSAâs inability to cover all of the costs of providing member services and support, ALA gave YALSA what is called the âsmall division subsidy,â which covered the rest of our expenses. While ALA generously provided the financial support to meet the basic needs of members, YALSA wasnât able to offer new selection or award committee opportunities or take on large national projects as we just did with the IMLS grant and the report that was generated. Not only that, the division had only a deputy director and 2.3 other staff positions (today we have an executive director and 4.5 other positions).
All this changed in the early 2000s when YALSA worked out a plan with ALA to gradually increase revenues and move off of the small division subsidy.Â Today, revenue from dues makes up about a third of YALSAâs total revenue.Â However, additional funds are needed by our division to continue with our dozen award and selection committees, the webinars and tool kits that enable library workers to be well prepared to serve their teens, the various events at conference where we all have a chance to rub elbows with noted YA authors and experts in the field, and more. Our strategic committees form the heartbeat of our organization and funds are needed to ensure their work is made available to aid library workers and teens. Our member awards and scholarships require a minimum of $16,000every year, hence we have the Friends of YALSA society whose donations help ensure that we are able to recognize members for their achievements and support them in their professional growth.
The other two thirds of YALSAâs revenue comes from key sources, like the sale of books and e-learning, the YA Literature Symposium, ticketed events at ALA conferences, grants, individual donations, corporate sponsorships and interest from YALSAâs endowments.Â All of the revenues that come into YALSA, from whatever source, are used to provide members with services and support.
Although finding room in your budget to pay for things like association dues can sometimes be a challenge, YALSA really does give you a lot of bang for your buck.Â The highest dues category for membership in ALA/YALSA is $193 per year (the lowest is $59).Â Some of the key benefits of membership add up to well over $193.Â For example, all of these things come free with membership:
$35 subscription to YALSA E-News
$70 subscription to Young Adult Library Services
$760 worth of webinars on-demand
$588 in live monthly webinars
And those are just a few of the freebies and discounts members get from ALA and YALSA.Â So, with an investment of $59 – $193, members get a minimum of $1,453 worth of resources â resources that help make your daily work easier and position you to advance your career.Â Are you making the most of these perks that YALSA has to offer?Â If not, you should be!Â Check out this free 30 minute webinar about making the most of your membership: http://connectpro87048468.adobeconnect.com/p34esi7r6xh/.Â And donât forget one of the best values from your YALSA membership: the opportunity to be part of a group of like-minded librarians, educators and teen supporters who care about library services to teens. Now, that opportunity is priceless.
I hope this post helps explain a bit about how YALSA finds the funds to support member services and programs, as well as where dues fit into the picture.Â Please donât hesitate toÂ get in touch with meÂ (email@example.com) if I can answer any questions you may have.
ONE DAY, in my early 20's, I was visiting a friend who worked in a pub. It was mid-day - there were a few customers eating sandwiches and having beers, but no other employees. Suddenly, her phone rang. It was a family emergency - she had to leave! She looked around - realized there was nobody to cover her. She tossed me the keys - showed me how to ring the register - and left me to cover the rest of her shift. Well.
This was a beautiful day in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Bars there don't just stand empty - soon enough some tourists came in, and some regulars - a couple of people I kinda knew, but mostly strangers. I'd never worked in a bar or a restaurant, but there I was, suddenly in charge - so what could I do? I had been to theatre school. . . so I acted like a bartender. I chatted. I poured beer. I mixed drinks. The thing is - mostly people ask for either beer, or for things with two ingredients - Jack and Coke. Gin and Tonic. Easy peasy! If something came up I didn't know, I'd turn my back for a minute and cheat with the Mr Boston's book.
When a tap ran out, I called that one "out of order." When the ice ran low, I filled a bucket. When the lemons ran low, I chopped up some more. When somebody asked about food, I scurried back to the kitchen to tell the (surprised, but not easily ruffled) cook.
You've heard the phrase "fake it til you make it" -- well, that applies here. Nobody KNEW I had no clue what I was doing. So I pretended I DID know what I was doing. Not only did I pretend I knew what I was doing - I pretended I was GOOD at what I was doing. And guess what? NOBODY FIGURED IT OUT.
They gave me a job. Somewhere along the way, I actually did learn not only what I was doing, but also, how to be pretty good at it. Soon enough, I was training new bartenders. And I taught them my trick: POUR WITH CONFIDENCE.
The biggest mistake that most brand-new, totally un-trained bartenders make is . . . they are hesitant. They touch the bottles like they are about to break, and pour like they are pouring into a dainty dolly cup at a children's tea party. When they do that, customers totally pick up on it, even if it is subconsciously. When customers feel like they aren't in good hands, they get skittish. A hesitant or weak bartender will get fewer or lower tips, and they'll certainly have less fun on the job.
So even if you ARE new, pretend like you know what you're doing. Stand up straight. Look customers in the eye and smile. Actively listen to what they are asking for. Grasp the bottle firmly, and pour like you mean it. Give them what they want with a minimum of fluster and a bit of flourish.
I hear what you're asking. "OK well, thanks for the trip down memory lane, weirdo, but what does this have to do with ME?" Well, my little chickadees, the same principle applies to approaching agents.
If you were a bartender, you probably wouldn't introduce yourself to a new patron by crumpling up an old dishrag and throwing it at them, or by creeping up to them and bursting into tears. Those would be BAD INTRODUCTIONS. So. Begin as you mean to go on. When you are approaching an agent - DON'T say "I don't really know how to write a query" or "I don't know how to be a writer" or "I'm not really a writer" or anything of the kind. I get this all the time. Daily. But I mean - hello, this query letter is all I know about you.
If you treat the query letter like a professional introduction that it is, I'll accept it. If you tell me you're a writer, I'll believe you. If you tell me you're "bad at queries" or "not really a writer" or "a clueless newb". . . well, I'll believe that. Is that really what you want me to believe?
Obviously there is such a thing as going overboard. If you say "this book will make your dreams come true!" or "I'm the second coming and a rock star rolled into one!" or "you'll be making a huge mistake if you pass THIS up" or similar . . . well that's just being a big-headed jerk-slash-crazyperson.
Don't be over the top -- but DO be confident and professional, even if you don't exactly FEEL those things. If you can do the wordy equivalent of standing up straight, looking the agent directly in the eyes, smiling, and giving them what they're asking for with a minimum of fluster and a bit of flourish. . . well, you may or may not get an agent this time, but you will both project and get respect.
Today's guest post is by Karen Blumenthalâauthor of YALSA Nonfiction Award finalists Bootleg and Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Differentâand a committed researcher. Or, maybe, a researcher who should be committed? Read her post and decide for yourself!
One evening during a research trip to Washington, D.C., I missed the hotelâs revolving-door entry and slammed into a glass wall schnoz first.
While I reeled in pain, the guests in the lobby eyed me as if I'd enjoyed the happy hour a little too much. Embarrassingly, I was suffering instead from a wicked case of microfilm myopia. I had only been researching drinking, not actually doing it.
In writing nonfiction for young people, I know the quality of the research drives the story. But that all-important work, I've concluded, may be dangerous to your health.
Other afflictions from recent research were less painful, but almost as embarrassing:
Quarter hoarding:My obsession wonât make great reality TV, but I have stashed quarters everywhere, in pockets, wallets, and tote bags, and I wonât share them with you, even for a desperately needed soft drink. Theyâre crucial for parking meters, copiers and lockers for stashing your stuff while you research Al Capone at the Chicago History Museum.
Research fog: An ailment closely related to microfilm myopia, this dense stupor sets in around the fifth hour of reading, especially if you skip lunch to squeeze in more work during a research library's limited hours. As you emerge from the fluorescent-lit haze, jabbering about what you have learned, it slowly becomes apparent that no one you know cares that Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and Penney founder James Cash Penney had similar backgrounds.
Library breath: What is it about libraries that makes your mouth feels like a herd of camels just ambled across your tongue? Spend too much of the day inside one of these important (and low-humidity) places of knowledge and you'll find that your newfound trivia isn't all that will knock people out.
Chronic nerditis: Finding some new gem online can lead to mysteriously intense, heart-pounding excitement that will surely bore your family to death. You mean you can read 1920s magazines online? Find newspapers stories back to the 1850s? Look at a database instead of those fat green Reader's Guides to Periodicals?
Waitâwhat? You've never heard of the Reader's Guide to Periodicals?
âJust one moreâ syndrome: Now this is when things get really ugly. Researching is fun; writing, for me, is difficult. So why in the world should I want to stop searching for good stuff? What if thereâs a better anecdote out there? What if Iâve missed a great example? If only the deadline wasnât approaching!
Of course, the paper cuts and smudges on my clothes from newspapers and fresh photocopies are all worth the trouble when I finally sit down at the computer. Having great stories and specific detail is crucial to writing for young people because the story must crackle and pop, and every idea must be crystal clear for readers who have little experience or context to bring to a subject.
Just try not to get behind me when I take a break at the coffee shop. I may be paying with quarters.
There is a subtle shift occurring in the examination of the history of the book and publishing. Historians are moving away from a history of individuals towards a new perspective grounded in social and corporate history. From A History of Cambridge University Press to The Stationers’ Company: A History to the new History of Oxford University Press, the development of material texts is set in a new context of institutions.
The University processes in fron of the Sheldonian Theatre and Clarendon Printing House, 1733 (William Williams, Oxonia depicta, plate 6).
Recently, Dr Adam Smyth, Oxford University Lecturer in the History of the Book, spoke with Ian Gadd, Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University and the editor of Volume I: From its beginnings to 1780 of the History of Oxford University Press, about the early modern history of the book. They discuss the evolution of university presses, the relationship between Oxford and the London book trade, navigating the division of learned and scholarly publishing and commercial work, and some new insights into the history of the Press, such as setting William Laud’s vision of the Press in the context of university reform and the role of the University’s legal court in settling trade disputes.
Alloy Entertainment plans to create a film adaptation of Sisterhood EverlastingÂ by Ann Brashares.Â The Hollywood Reporter reports that Ken Kwapis, the director behind the first Sisterhood movie, will helm this project.
Liz Garcia has been hired to pen the script. Thus far, no casting decisions have been announced so it is unclear whether or not Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Amber Tamblyn will return to reprise their roles as Bridget, Lena, Carmen, and Tibby.
I'm sure you all know the story of Hansel and Gretel, but this vintage version told in rhyme is a little different. The witch living at Toffee House is a kind and gentle soul. When Jack and his twin sister stumble across her home in the forest, the kindly witch takes them in feeds them and offers them a bed for the night.
Jack and his twin sister set out one day, into the woods they went to play, running about amongst the trees they lost their way now, if you please. So off they both ran hand in hand, but suddenly came to a stand, and neither of them spoke a word, was this the house of which they'd heard?
"Come on." said Jack "Let's go quite near." "Oh, goodness," Kate cried, "Do look here." They crept quite close up to the door, and then what do you think they saw? A witch in such a tall black hat, upon her shoulders a black cat, with eyes that turned from red to green. Oh! Such a sight you've never seen.
and turning round to run away, they heard a kind voice call out "Stay, if you run away in the wood like that, you never will find the right way back!" "Inside my house you both shall see, if you just come along with me, how everything is warm and bright and cats to guard me day and night."
She opened then a cupboard door and oh! what sweets she had in store, the children clapped their hands in glee.
The witch said, "eat anything you see and if you're thirsty after that, well just you follow my black cat, a Toffee Well not far away is full of sherbet every day."
"I really think we ought to go, but the way home,"said Jack "I do not know." The witch who heard said, "that's alright, why don't you stay with me to-night?" Oh! what a darling little bed, with softest pillow for your head, and in the morning with a sigh, they kissed this kind old witch good-bye.
She stroked her cat and said, "be good, take them both safely through the wood." And pussy right before their eyes grew into a much bigger size! Down paths they turned from left to right, till Jack cried "there's our house in sight." But the cat with it's funny red green eyes had vanished now to their surprise.
Nanny came running, "what a scare you've given us, I do declare. Oh never will I let you stray into those horrid woods to play." They told her all their story through "and every word," said Jack, "is true, and if you will not make a fuss one day we'll take you too with us."
But soon they gave their nurse the slip into the woods they both did skip. But though they searched, 'twas all in vain the witch's house to find again.
So perhaps when you have read this book you'll all go out and have a look, and if the cat you meet one day then ask him please to show the way.
Toffee House - No author, artist or publishing details given. The only identifying mark is the number 831 printed on the back cover.
The front cover reminds me of toffee tins from long ago Christmases. Maybe the artist had the same thought when he/she came to do the illustrations.
Nursery Rhyme toffee tin produced for Blue Bird confectionery by Harry Vincent.
The ârainâ behind the cottage in the previous picture is a small square of fabric purchased from Barrington Patchwork. Collecting pieces of fabric is just another of my hobbies. I can never resist even though I have no idea what they will be used for. These are two of my latest purchases;
We visited Barrington Court (and the patchwork shop) last week. It's one of our favourite National Trust Properties, the gardens are beautiful at this time of the year.
Come Tip Toe Thru the Tulips with me!
I wish you all sunshine and happiness in the coming week...
Only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder's sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters.
When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lilâs worst fears are realized.
With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak--her journalist father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey--Lilâs town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread fatal illness. With friends and neighbors dying around her, Lil does everything she can to survive.
Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door.
Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.
How did you approach the research process for your story? What resources did you turn to? What roadblocks did you run into? How did you overcome them? What was your greatest coup, and how did it inform your manuscript?
The premise of Pandemic is that a deadly, contagious bird flu strikes the U.S. and an emotionally traumatized teen needs to survive on her own. Most of my research focused on the logistics of a pandemic and its consequences.
The deadliest influenza that Americans have experienced occurred in 1918, so I started my pandemic research in that era, with books like The Great Influenza by John M. Barry (Penguin Books, 2005) and Influenza 1918 by Lynette Iezzoni (TV Books, 1999).
Many people donât realize that weâve lived through a recent pandemic that was highly contagious, but fortunately not exceedingly deadly. The H1N1 (Swine Flu) pandemic of 2009 is well-documented on the www.flu.gov website, so I started with that illness as a rough model for some aspects of my fictional disease.
Next, I needed to figure out how a pandemic experience today would differ from one a century ago. Because of airplane travel, for instance, diseases today spread much faster than 1918 when a rural town could try to isolate itself. I made a list of realistic complications that could occur and I worked many of those into the story. For example, what happens if we lose our electricity and all the service people are too sick to make repairs?
The story is set in New Jersey, and another source of information was government preparedness documents. I was surprised to find some plans online, like the stateâs âAntiviral Distribution Plan.â I also found a 2005 Homeland Security Document, âNational Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.â
Based on their planning assumptions, I tried to think about other complications. For example, many people think it is most likely that a pandemic would start someplace else, like Asia, and as a result the U.S. would have a warning period. What if that turned out to be untrue and we had little or no time to prepare?
I didnât experience any roadblocks but had to fight the tendency to over-research. For example, I spent a lot of time checking the spring migratory flyways of waterfowl when I should have been writing instead. I have a whole folder on âBirdsâ research which I didnât really use.
One of my best resources was an interview I did with a local health officer. I generally prefer to interview people by email or phone, but I met him in person in 2011. He spoke frankly about the H1N1 experience and gave me insight into what problems could potentially occur if a more deadly pandemic struck.
He also shared some local planning documents that were in the process of being updated based on what they learned from the H1N1 pandemic. It was educational and also inspired some ideas, like the news story Lil (the main character) sees about who should receive the antiviral first if supplies were limited.
Besides books, online searches, and interviews, Iâm a big fan of automated news alerts through email. I used Google Alerts and Talkwalker (both free) to keep me updated on newsworthy items that I might have been able to incorporate into Pandemic.
As a result of all my research, I tend to wash my hands more than the average person.
How have you approached the task of promoting your debut book? What online or real-space efforts are you making? Where did you get your ideas? To whom did you turn for support? Are you enjoying the process, or does it feel like a chore? What advice do you have on this front for your fellow debut authors and for those in the years to come?
Yvonne's promotional files
Iâve always been fascinated with the idea of how to promote a book and reach readers. As I waited (with cautious optimism) to hear back from my editor about the acquisition of Pandemic, I started reading marketing books and articles. (I had been saving articles since 2005!)
One of my favorite marketing books is Everyday Book Marketing by Midge Raymond (Ashland Creek Press, 2013). From my research, I made a list of possible ideas, some of which I ultimately discarded, but many of which Iâm using. I think of this debut book period as the time of saying âyes.â
As in, yes I will visit that library in the town Iâve never heard of to speak about Pandemic. Yes, I will submit proposals to be on faculty at SCBWI (Society of Childrenâs Book Writers and Illustrators) conferences. And yes, I will bowl at an event with teen readers even though my bowling skills are non-existent.
I decided early in the process to hire a freelance publicist (Rebecca Grose of SoCal Public Relations) to work with Sky Ponyâs team to help promote the book. Itâs been great to have her to help with the process, and sheâs been an excellent source of knowledge and support. Sheâs been able to supplement Sky Ponyâs efforts with activities like creating a press kit and reaching out to additional reviewers.
Iâve also joined an online group (UncommonYA) to support each otherâs books, and a regional group (Kidlit Authorâs Club) to do appearances together. Itâs helpful to go through the promotion-journey with other writers.
In terms of concrete actions, Iâve developed postcards and bookmarks and swag. I created a mailing list of target libraries to let them know about Pandemic. Twitter (@YvonneVentresca) is my favorite social media, and Iâll be teaching twitter to writers at the New England SCBWI conference later in the spring.
Iâve stepped up my social media presence in general, and began blogging twice a week, with one post always geared toward teen writers. Revamping my website was gratifying as it evolved.
My other activities include guest blogging, planning my launch party, and participating in a few upcoming festivals.
My advice to other debut authors is to figure out what others are doing (through books, articles, or researching online), then do what is comfortable for you. If you like a certain form of social media better than others, focus on the one that doesnât feel like a burden.
You should experiment, but donât feel like you have to give the same level of commitment to every idea you try.
Overall, the promotion phase has been an enjoyable one for me. I like to think of it as a big experiment (although itâs hard to tell exactly what the results will be). Iâve created two lists to keep me sane: one of accomplishments, to keep track of what I get done each month, and one of acts of kindness, so Iâll remember all the wonderful things people have done to help me throughout this process.
Rocky and Luna in Yvonne's office--they keep her company and bark out the window.
Housing Works and WORD Bookstore have teamed up to host the launch event for David Sedaris’ new paperback.
The nonprofit will host a reading with the author, along with a Q&A and a book signing on Tuesday June 3rd at The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. The event will commemorate the publication of the paperback edition of the bestsellerÂ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.
To buy a ticket for the event, you must preorder the book from WORD. The preorder will serve as a ticket. After the reading, Q&A and book signing, the store will open up the book signing to the general public. Follow this link for more details.
Random House’s online community TasteBook has launched a new e-commerce site dedicated to cookbooks and books about food.
The BookshopÂ has more thanÂ 10,000 titles for sale from many different publishers. Readers can shop the site inÂ 18 different categories including: celebrity chefs, entertaining, and memoir. Recipes featured on TasteBook and the TasteBook Blog will include links to cookbooks that they come from on The Bookshop. TasteBook community members can also use the store to build their own cookbooks. The site has a tool for creating custom recipe books which allows users to add their own personal recipes as well as recipes from the site for $34.95.
“We know that TasteBookâs half-a-million members are avid cookbook collectors who heavily relyÂ on print cookbooks as tools and for inspiration,” stated Lilly Kim, Associate Director, Digital Channel Development, who has spearheaded TasteBook efforts at Random House. “The Bookshop provides cooking enthusiasts an easy way to discover and purchase new cookbooks. Itâs a great resource for frequent and occasional cooks who seek out new flavors and inspiration for everyday meals and entertaining.”