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Results 26 - 50 of 132,933
26. Google Experiments With “Unprintable” E-Books

Google Creative Lab in Australia has teamed up with London-based publishing company Visual Editions to create Editions at Play, a new digital bookstore featuring “books that cannot be printed.”

These experimental new titles are designed for mobile phones. Here is more from the Visual Editions website:

Editions At Play is a website aimed at book lovers, tech geeks and design peeps. We sell unprintable books that you can read on your phone. It’s a response to the world of digital books, e-books, enhanced e-books, and online PDFs. Because quite frankly we believe readers deserve more. So why not make digital books that are more bookish. And more delightful. And even magical.

The store launches with two new titles: Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen which is set inside Google Street View; and The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Joe Dunthorne and Sam Riviere.

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27. Fans Petition For a Permanent Terry Pratchett Statue in England

terry pratchettEmily Brand, a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett, has launched a Change.org petition. She hopes to encourage the city council of Salisbury to install a permanent statue of the late fantasy fiction author.

Prior to his passing, Pratchett resided in this English town for more than two decades. So far, the petition has drawn more than 7,000 signatures.

Some of the supporters behind this project include Pratchett’s family and Pratchett’s longtime friend Neil GaimanBBC News reports that “a spokeswoman for the family said he would ‘undoubtedly’ have found the amusement ‘in almost any statue.'” Gaiman wrote a post about this venture on Facebook and encouraged his followers to sign the petition.

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28. Happy Blogiversary Indeed!

It's been eleven years of blogging for Tanita and me. Can you believe it? I went diving into our archives and found a few fun tidbits from our blogging past, in honor of our Feb. 24th blogversaryThree years in, I posted a cartoon of THE TWO OF US in... Read the rest of this post

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29. N.Y. School Encourages Kids to Buy Books at School Store

Maspeth High School in Queens, NY is reportedly pushing students to buy books from its in-house bookstore, a practice that goes against state and city rules.

According to a report in The New York Post, the school encourages kids to buy specific editions of books and suggests that they buy them from the school book stores. The Post has the scoop:

New York Maspeth sells 45 different books, mostly for English, plus several for other classes such as social studies and chemistry. Prices start at $2 for Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and $3 for Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities.” Six books cost $10 each, including “Brave New World,” “Black Boy,” and “The Great Gatsby.”

A spokesperson for the school claims that students are not required to shop in the school’s store.

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30. Buzzworthy Books - Winter 2016

There are SO MANY amazing books hitting the shelves this winter. Which 25 are we buzzing about? Check out our list and be sure to enter to win one of the 8 books we're giving away! 1. THE SHADOW QUEEN by C.J. Redwine - 2/16/16  A dark epic fantasy inspired by the...

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31. New Legend of Zelda Manga to be Digitally Published

Link 200 (GalleyCat)A Japanese manga series based on the The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess video game will be released later this month. Readers will only be able to access this work through Shogakukan’s MangaOne app.

According to PolygonAkira Himekawa, the pseudonym of two creatives who choose to remain anonymous, has been credited as the writer and artist behind this project. In the past, this duo has produced manga based on three other Zelda games: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and A Link to the Past.

Here’s more from Tech Times: “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an action-adventure game from Nintendo that originally released in 2006 for the GameCube and Wii. The story follows the hero Link as he tries to save Hyrule from an evil parallel dimension. Many Zelda fans and critics often consider Twilight Princess as one of the best Zelda games ever made.” (via ComicBook.com)

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32. Bella Heathcote Lands Role in Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker Book Cover (GalleyCat)Bella Heathcote has been cast in the Fifty Shades Darker film adaptation. In the past, this actress has taken on literary-themed projects such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Curse of Downers Grove.

International Business Times reports that Heathcote will play Leila Williams; this character is the “former and mentally unstable submissive” of Christian Grey. E.L. James, the author of the Fifty Shades book trilogy, confirmed on the news on Twitter.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “this casting follows the announcement that Kim Basinger will play Grey’s Mrs. Robinson-esque first lover.” Both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have agreed to return to step into the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. (via E! Online)

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33. Certain Songs #445: Fishbone – “Party At Ground Zero”

Fishbone EP Album: Fishbone EP
Year: 1985

As I’ve written before, if you were a young person in the mid-1980s, you kept one eye permanently on the sky, expecting that at any moment nuclear hellfire would rain down from out of nowhere.

This naturally let to a lot of great songs, from The Clash’s “Stop The World” to XTC’s “This World Over,” but of all of the songs written about nuclear annihilation, none was more fun than Fishbone’s epic “Party At Ground Zero.”

Like a lot of the greatest Fishbone songs, “Party at Ground Zero” has a ton of moving parts, so it starts out with a long reggae instrumental that kinda meanders here and there, before exploding into lightspeed ska, which almost instantly gives away to the brilliant almost acapella group chorus:

Party at ground zero
A “B” movie starring you
And the world will turn to flowing
Pink vapor stew

Of course, it wasn’t until I looked up the lyrics on the internet that I discovered that the lyric that I’d always thought was “Every movie star and you” was actually “A ‘B’ movie starring you”. And assuming the internet has it right (which is a huge assumption with the lyric sites) I still like my interpretation better, because it meant that not even the privilege of being a movie star was going help folks with the Big One dropped.

Either way, after that intro, it’s a joyous horn section and enough energy to deflect a nuclear blast as Fishbone sing about how fucked we’d all be in case of that nuclear blast. For one thing, getting blown up would mean that we couldn’t dance to this song anymore!

And of course, my favorite part back in 1985 was when somebody interjected “Play it, Boy Wonder!” just before a particularly hot trombone solo. Actually, it’s still pretty cool.

“Party at Ground Zero” Music Video

The post Certain Songs #445: Fishbone – “Party At Ground Zero” appeared first on Booksquare.

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34. Cover Reveal & Author Snapshot: The Alarming Career of Sir Richard Blackstone by Lisa Doan

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Check out the cover for The Alarming Career of Sir Richard Blackstone by Lisa Doan (Sky Pony, 2017). From the promotional copy:

A funny middle grade mystery adventure complete with an unconventional knight, a science experiment gone awry, a giant spider, and a boy to save the day!

Twelve-year-old Henry Hewitt has been living by his wits on the streets of London, dodging his parents, who are determined to sell him as an apprentice. 

Searching for a way out of the city, Henry lands a position in Hampshire as an assistant to Sir Richard Blackstone, an aristocratic scientist who performs unorthodox experiments in his country manor. 

The manor house is comfortable, and the cook is delighted to feed Henry as much as he can eat. Sir Richard is also kind, and Henry knows he has finally found a place where he belongs.

But everything changes when one of Sir Richard’s experiments accidentally transforms a normal-sized tarantula into a colossal beast that escapes and roams the neighborhood. 

After a man goes missing and Sir Richard is accused of witchcraft, it is left to young Henry to find an antidote for the oversize arachnid. Things are not as they seem, and in saving Sir Richard from the gallows, Henry also unravels a mystery about his own identity.

Congratulations on your upcoming release! What do you think of your new cover?

I love it! Huge thanks to Sky Pony and my editor, Adrienne Szpyrka, for capturing the humor of the book while at the same time working in two prominent elements – the giant tarantula and a journal detailing a trip to South America.

The tarantula is Henry Hewitt’s problem and the journal is the key to figuring out what to do about it, which he must do to save his friend and protector, Sir Richard Blackstone.

More specifically, how does the art evoke the nuances of your book?

We wanted the journal to feel Old World, hence the faded brown, as this story takes place in the late 1700’s English countryside.

Sky Pony’s designers had the genius idea of having the tarantula holding the journal to tie it all together. The red and yellow lettering really pop and signal the lighthearted tone.

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Isn’t it every middle-grade writer’s dream to have a cover with a tarantula on it?

I know it has always been one of mine!

Cynsational Notes

Lisa Doan has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the author of the award-winning series The Berenson Schemes (Lerner).

Operating under the idea that life is short, her occupations have included: master scuba diving instructor; New York City headhunter; owner-chef of a restaurant in the Caribbean; television show set medic; and deputy prothonotary of a county court. She currently works in social services and lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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35. Blue planet blues

The Earth we live on was formed from a cloud of dust and ice, heated by a massive ball of compressed hydrogen that was the early Sun. Somewhere along the four billion year journey to where we are today, our planet acquired life, and some of that became us. Our modern brains ask how it all came together and progressed, and what shaped the pathways it followed.

The post Blue planet blues appeared first on OUPblog.

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36. First Part of Gotham Stories Motion Comic Series Released

FOX, Warner Bros. TV, and DC Entertainment plan to release a motion comic series called Gotham Stories. According to Comic Book Resources, the creators behind this project intend to use this original story to connect “both halves of Gotham season two.”

IGN reports that the first installment, entitled Penguin’s Cold Surprise, introduces fans of this TV show to a new antagonist: Mr. Freeze. The video embedded above also features two more of the Dark Knight’s most memorable archenemies: Selina Kyle and The Penguin.

Gotham will return with a new episode set to air on Feb. 29. Who’s your favorite villain from the Batman universe? (via ComicBook.com)

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37. Review of the Day: The Sandwich Thief by Andre Marios

SandwichThiefThe Sandwich Thief
By Andre Marois
By Patrick Doyon
Chronicle Books
$14.99
ISBN: 978-1-4521-4659-1
Ages 7-9
On shelves March 1st

Injustice, that sweet universal quality, makes for great children’s books. Whether it’s a picture book or a young adult novel, if you can tap into a reader’s sense of unfairness you have yourself some children’s book gold. It’s the instantaneous gateway to identification. Adults too often forget how painful those early lessons about how the world is an unfair place feel. Children’s books tap into that feeling, while also giving kids a sense of hope. Yes, the world is a mad, bad place sometimes. But there are times when things work out for the best. And if its takes disgusting flavor balls in delicious sandwiches to reach that cathartic ending, so much the better. I wouldn’t argue that Andre Marois’s The Sandwich Thief is the greatest book on this subject I’ve ever seen (it could use a little work in the empathy department), but when it comes to tapping into that feeling of unbridled rage in the face of a cold, calculating world, this title definitely knows its audience.

There are upsides and downsides to having foodies for parents. On the one hand, they can seriously embarrass you when they overdo your school lunches. On the other hand, delicious sandwiches galore! Marin’s a big time fan of his mom’s sandwich constructions, particularly when graced with her homemade mayonnaise, but then one day the unthinkable occurs. Marin goes to take his sandwich to the lunchroom only to find it is gone! When it happens a second time on a second day Marin is convinced that a thief is in his midst. But who could it be? A classmate? A teacher? Everyone is suspect but it’s Marin’s clever mama who knows how to use her mad genius skills to out the culprit, and in a very public way!

SandwichThief2Writing a good early chapter book takes some daring. The form is so incredibly limited. It’s best to have a story that can be read in a single sitting by a parent, or over the course of several attempts by a child just getting used to longer sentences. In this book Marois sets up his mystery with care. There are lots of red herrings, but the author also plays fair, including the true villain amongst the innocuous innocents. The adults made for particularly interesting reading. For example, I loved the portrait of Marin’s principal Mr. Geiger, a man so rumpled and ill-fed you wonder for quite some time how he got his current position (he redeems himself at the end, though).

I like to tell folks that we are currently in a new Golden Age of children’s literature. This is, admittedly, a fairly ridiculous statement to make since few people can be aware of a Golden Age, even if they are already waist deep in it. Still, the evidence is striking. Never before have authors or illustrators had so much freedom to play around with forms, construction, colors, art styles, etc. It’s not a free-for-all or anything (unless you’re self-publishing) but ideas that publishers might have balked at twenty years ago are almost commonplace today. Take The Sandwich Thief as one such example. Here you have an early chapter book that draws heavily on the classic comic tradition. But speech balloons aside, artist Patrick Doyon makes every single page an eclectic experience. A French-Canadian editorial illustrator who had never made a children’s book prior to this one, in this book Doyon moves effortlessly between two-page spreads, borderless panels, sequential art, the works. You might be so wrapped up in the form that you’d miss how limited his palette is. Working entirely in orange, red, and black, Doyon’s talents are such that you never even notice the missing colors during your reading experience.

SandwichThief3Sadly, there are some aspects to this brand new book that feel like they were written twenty or thirty years ago (and not in a good way). When identifying the potential thieves in his classroom, Marin falls back onto some pretty broad stereotypes. We’re in an era when body acceptance makes old-fashioned fat shaming feel downright archaic. With that in mind, the identification of one student as “Big Bobby” whose “main hobby is eating” is particularly unfortunate. Add in “Poor Marie” whose mom lost her job and can’t afford to eat, and you’ve got yourself an odd avoidance of sympathy. Another reader of this book mentioned that the villains is of a similar lower-socioeconomic level, which is questionable. There are also a couple insults like “Numbnuts” floating about the text that will pass without comment in some households and be a major source of contention in others. FYI.

Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustrated Children’s Literature, French Language, Marois and Doyon’s first collaboration is for any kid that comes in looking for a fun read with a mystery component. With its classy format and striking cover it may even appeal to the Wimpy Kid contingent. Hey, stranger things have happened. It’s a true bummer that the book dumps on so many people along the way but it may still appeal to any kid who craves a little justice in the world. Particularly if that justice comes with the taste of chalk-textured cat pee.

On shelves March 1st.

Source: Final copy sent from publisher for review

Like This? Then Try:

Professional Reviews: Kirkus

Other Jackets:

It can’t really compare to the English language version, but the original French cover is pretty cute too:

SandwichThiefFrench

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38. Winners Announced for the 2016 NAACP Image Awards

Image Awards (GalleyCat)The winners have been announced for this year’s NAACP Image Awards. The organization honored entertainers, filmmakers, movies, television shows, music, writers and works of literature.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the winners were revealed during a ceremony hosted by actor Anthony Anderson. We’ve posted the full list of winning book titles below. (via The Wrap)

2016 NAACP Image Award Winners (Literature Categories)

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction: Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murrary (Touchstone)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction: Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk (HarperCollins/Amistad)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author: The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Little, Brown & Company)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/ Auto-Biography: Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional: Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by Alice Randall & Caroline Randall Williams (Clarkson Potter)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry: How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books / Penguin Random House)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children: Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jamey Christoph (Albert Whitman & Company)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens: X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon (Candlewick Press)

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39. Author Margaret Forster Has Died

Author Margaret Forster has died at the age of 77, according to a report on BBC.com.

The award-winning novelist, known for Hidden Lives, Georgy Girl, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, and a biography about Daphne du Maurier, succumbed to cancer on Monday in London. BBC has more:

Forster died on Monday morning at the Marie Curie Hospice in north London.

Confirming her death, the couple’s daughter Caitlin Davies wrote on Twitter: “Our lovely mum Margaret Forster died this morning. Her books will live on.”

Born in 1938, Forster attended the Carlisle and County High School for Girls and then won an Open Scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford.

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40. Using Media Literacy to Examine Diversity In Literature

Guest BloggerIn this guest post, author and media literacy expert Tina L. Peterson, Ph.D., demonstrates how media literacy skills can help readers think deeply about diversity in books.

When I was a kid, I rarely paid attention to the ethnicities of characters in my favorite books. I probably assumed that, because I related to them, they were like me – white, suburban, and middle class. Despite the fact that many of my classmates and close friends were Latino and Asian, it didn’t occur to me that the characters in most books I read didn’t represent the mix of people in my life.

It was only when I got hooked on The Baby-Sitters Club series that I began to notice book characters’ ethnicities. Author Ann M. Martin incorporated characters of color in a way that gave each person a voice, rather than making non-white characters part of the backdrop to a white protagonist’s experience. The character Jessi Ramsey felt like my first black friend.

As I grew up I began reading in a more critical way, and questioning the stories and characters I encountered. In college I learned that the skills I was developing had a name: media literacy. This type of literacy can encourage young people to think about the representations they see in books, and identify perspectives that are emphasized as well as those that may be missing. It can help young readers (and the adults who guide them) appreciate the value of diversity in children’s literature.

Media literacy is an approach to education that encourages active reading/viewing and critical evaluation of media messages of all types including books, TV shows, video games, movies, music, and social media. Three of the five key questions of media literacy can guide discussions of children’s books:

DIVERSITY through the MEDIA LITERACY LENSWho created this message?

All too often, an author is just a name on a cover, and readers don’t think about the people who write the stories they enjoy. Encouraging young people to learn about their favorite authors can help them understand whose perspectives they are seeing. How many are black, or Latino, or Asian? How many are men, and how many are women?

This discussion doesn’t have to lead to tokenism in a reading list, but rather to an awareness of who tells the stories they enjoy. It’s also useful for children to learn that they can relate to an author who might seem different from them.

What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

The answer to this question varies widely in books for children as well as adults. For example, the points of view represented in a Nancy Drew novel (white, female, affluent) are in stark contrast to those in one of Matt de la Peña’s books (Latino, male, working class).

Encouraging students to identify perspectives that are emphasized or missing from the books they read can help them expand their horizons and imagine other world-views. In addition, seeking out books that include points of view they don’t usually encounter can cultivate empathy.

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

As Hamlet suggests to Horatio, ‘there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ Young readers should be encouraged to share with their peers the meanings they make of books, and the knowledge that informs those meanings.

Many may be surprised that another’s interpretation differs from their own. A book that incorporates Spanish or Arabic words may be understood differently by a child who speaks one of those languages at home. A black child who has heard about racial discrimination or experienced it firsthand might read a story about Rosa Parks differently than a white child would.

Media literacy education encourages critical reading and consideration of diverse points of view. It’s a productive and useful approach given the increasingly global everyday culture of the 21st century, when young people may encounter difference in their peers more than any generation did before them. Media literacy and intentional diversity in children’s literature can ensure that difference is treated as an opportunity for learning.


Tina PetersonTina L. Peterson, Ph.D. is the author of Oscar and the Amazing Gravity Repellent (Capstone) and serves on the leadership council of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. More information is available at tinalpeterson.com

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41. The CISG: a fair balance of interests around the globe

The CISG may be called a true story of worldwide success which is not only proven by the ever increasing number of member states around the world but also by the fact that during the last 20 years the CISG has served as a decisive blueprint for law-making in the area of contract law on the international as well as on the domestic level.

The post The CISG: a fair balance of interests around the globe appeared first on OUPblog.

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42. Psylocke Brandishes Her Katana in the New X-Men: Apocalypse Teaser

A new teaser was unveiled for the X-Men: Apocalypse movie during the Super Bowl. The video embedded above offers glimpses of Oscar Isaac as the primary antagonist and Olivia Munn as Psylocke.

Entertainment Weekly reports that other members of the cast include Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and Alexandra Shipp as Storm. Bryan Singer served as the director for this adaptation project.

USA Today reports that the theatrical release date has been scheduled for May 27. Click here to watch the first teaser video. (via Maxim)

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43. Book Valentine Would You Rather

heart4Be Mine, Book Valentine!

Cupid’s arrow is about to strike again on February 14th  — Valentine’s Day. To put you in a sweet mood, we are delivering a special Valentine’s book-based Would You Rather.

Would you rather . . .

  1. Have a Love Spell (so your crush falls in love with you) OR a Flying Spell so you can fly (away from crazy boys/girls who chase you)?
  2. Get a box of Bertie Bott’s earwax flavor jellybeans OR a box of chocolate frogs (from Harry Potter)?
  3. Marry a cyclops from Percy Jackson OR get stuck in a ship full of monsters?
  4. Kiss Slappy the Evil Dummy (from Goosebumps) OR The Vampire Chicken?
  5. Go on a romantic date with Fregley OR Patty (from Diary of a Wimpy Kid)?
  6. Survive a hurricane OR a shark attack on Valentine’s Day?
  7. Have your secret admirer turn out to be Voldemort (from Harry Potter) OR Darth Vader (from Star Wars)?
  8. Have your crush read your diary OR your teacher read your diary (from Dear Dumb Diary)?

Leave your answers in the Comments below, and let us know which book character you’d like to be YOUR valentine!

-Ratha

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44. Chai Lights--February 8, 2016

  Shalom (that's "hello" in Hebrew) and welcome to YABC's newest column, Chai­Lights! In this column, we'll explore the best of contemporary Jewish­themed books for young children, middle graders, and teens.   The name of this column infuses the word "highlights" with a uniquely Jewish pun. Chai is the Hebrew word...

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45. Adolescents and adolescence: the glass really is half-full

Recently I was invited to be the guest clinician for a school district’s new young men’s choral festival. The original composition of the festival changed over the course of planning and, long story short, I ended up with a group of 79 fourth- through ninth-grade male singers.

The post Adolescents and adolescence: the glass really is half-full appeared first on OUPblog.

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46. Giveaway: The Defiance Trilogy by CJ Redwine (US Only)

Defiance, Deception, and Deliverance by  C.J. Redwine Release Dates: 8/28/12, 8/27/13, 8/26/14   About the Books Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to...

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47. YABC Book Haul - February 2016


This month the publishers of the world sent us ALL THE BOOKS! Enjoy the book haul. What are some of the titles you are looking forward to reading soon? 

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48. The Importance of Writing Clips

A lot of writers hear the well-meaning advice that, in order to break in more easily, they should have some writing clips and credits to their resume. It’s good advice, and I especially don’t want to disenfranchise the many writers who have been actively pursuing this strategy with my answer, because it is a very worthwhile strategy.

In case you haven’t thought about this issue before, I’ll summarize here: When you’re an aspiring writer, you have a lot of ambition to write, but not a lot of platform. People aren’t buying what you want to sell, basically. Or, if they are, they aren’t really paying you for it. You’re probably getting opportunities to showcase your work on blogs and at other web-based venues that don’t have a budget to compensate contributors. Or maybe you start your own blog, like this ol’ hack did! This is how a lot of people get going.

Then you think that there has to be more out there that’s, well, more noteworthy to a potential publishing gatekeeper. So maybe you explore other avenues to showcase your work. Whether it’s in the children’s writing realm, say, Highlights Magazine, or in an unrelated area, like an op-ed for the local newspaper, or a poem in a general fiction literary journal, you start to set your sights higher.

Whether you try to gather clips in print journalism, the literary community, scientific or medical magazines (a lot of writers have done a lot of technical writing for their day jobs), etc., you’re basically writing and racking up pieces that someone else has vetted and decided are good enough to publish.

This all makes a lot of sense, right? If you want to write, write, and maybe the momentum of all your writing will speed up your efforts on the book publishing front. Being published is being published, no matter what you’re publishing. And writing professionals love to see writing credits. Right? Weeeeeeeeeell…

It’s not often that clear-cut. Publishing an op-ed in your local paper in Portland is not the magic ticket to calling attention to yourself with a children’s book editor in New York, unless, of course, your op-ed or Huffpo article causes such a stir that it goes “viral” and attracts a lot of attention or controversy. In fact, under my original name (a much longer version of “Kole”), I published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, which is a notable newspaper that people have heard of. And I thought, for sure, this was my golden ticket. The day it ran, I waited for the phone to ring. Aaaaand…my mother was very proud of me. Then one man from Idaho took offense at my sense of humor. That’s about it.

The fact of the matter is, if you can say in your query that you’ve published with a top-tier publication that most casual readers have heard of, that’s going to be an amazing feather in your cap. And agents and editors might take notice. But it’s likely not going to get you a book publishing contract.

And outside of that, if you’re publishing on blogs, or in smaller literary magazines, or in venues that have nothing whatsoever to do with publishing novels, then your clips are going to tell a potential agent or editor one positive thing, but one positive thing only: That you’ve hustled a little and know a little bit about the process. And that’s a positive thing, because that might indicate that you’re at least somewhat easy to work with during the publishing process. But it’s not a guarantee of anything.

My main objection to splitting your focus and concentrating on amassing clips if your primary goal is to publish a book can be expressed in this recent post. The truth of the matter is, some journalists spend years trying to crack the New York Times for their own resumes. It’s an entirely new skillset. First, there’s learning how to write well enough that the Times would take interest. Then it’s cultivating contacts and editor relationships that will get you prime consideration. Then it’s learning the culture of the publication (and every publication has one, no matter how small they are) and learning how to work within it successfully. After a lot of effort, you may finally get published in the Times. But then you’re published in the Times, not in the book realm.

What’s missing from this picture of all the effort you’ve put in? Oh yeah, honing your novel craft, which is why you’re doing any of this to begin with. So gathering clips is phenomenal, but it doesn’t help you accomplish your primary goal directly. And there’s no guarantee that it will help you accomplish your primary goal indirectly, either. You may sink a few years into pitching freelance articles to magazines, distract yourself, and maybe emerge with one well-regarded piece in Real Simple…that has nothing to do with your novel.

Is that payoff worth it? Only you can decide. This strategy only seems to work well when you’re a journalist in your day job, and a novelist by night. Then you possess both skillsets already, and you can jump back and forth more easily. Otherwise, it’s like going through all the work and trouble of growing a new arm, just so you can give your primary hands better manicures. It seems like a lot more effort than it’s worth.

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49. #STBAblogtour16 DAY ONE

Today kicks off the 2016 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour, a virtual book tour for authors and illustrators of this year's gold and silver medalists. Check back each day for new interviews, or wait until the end and read all the interviews at once! Find the entire blog tour schedule here.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016



Ketzel the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Amy June Bates
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
At Ann Koffsky's Blog

Author Interview
Illustrator Interview



Serendipity's Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
At Bildungsroman
Author Interview


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50. Morena Baccarin to Narrate the Lady Midnight Audiobook

Morena Baccarin (GalleyCat)Morena Baccarin will serve as a narrator for the Lady Midnight audiobook. This actress (pictured, via) has become well-known for taking on roles in literary-themed projects such as the Gotham TV series and the Deadpool film adaptation.

Lady Midnight will be the first installment of Cassandra Clare’s newest young adult trilogy, The Dark Artifices. The story will be set in the Shadowhunters universe. Clare intends for this project to be a sequel to the six-part Mortal Instruments series. She announced on Twitter that the audiobook will be released on March 8.

Here’s more from USA Today: “It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…” (via The Fandom)

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