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1. The fifth wheel

Great horned owls have been hooting outside my bedroom window this fall. Amy Huntington. http://amysfieldnotes.wordpress.com

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2. getting busy

My new business cards have arrived, I'm so excited! Take a look at these babies:


Did I really need to order 500(!) ? Um, no.
But they look great, and I'm sure I will use them. You may notice that I did not include a phone #. My other exciting news is that my family is getting ready to spend six months in France, so I need to be as portable (and mysterious) as possible.
I haven't really had anything printed before, so these are part of an experiment with different services. I will order postcards (and maybe bookmarks?) from a different service to compare. Do you have a favorite printing place to work with?

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3.


Hello Fellow Bloggers, Here is my little contribution to #inktober! He's got a story, but I can't share now. He's locked me in the closet and taken over my computer. HELP!

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4. Bloomsbury UK to Publish Neil Gaiman Short Story as a Book

The Sleeper & The SpindleBloomsbury UK will publish Neil Gaiman’s short story, The Sleeper and the Spindle, as a book.

Gaiman drew inspiration for this piece from the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale. It was originally published in a 2013 anthology entitled Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales.

Artist Chris Riddell created illustrations for this project. The publication date has been scheduled for October 23, 2014. Earlier this year, HarperCollins released its own version of The Sleeper and the Spindle in the U.S.A. to celebrate California Bookstore Day. What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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5. TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS: THE LIFE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT by Doreen Rappaport - GIVEAWAY!

One of my relatives was a Rough Rider for Teddy Roosevelt, so I've always been fascinated by him from that point of view. Add to that our National Parks system was his doing, and he's just a fascinating guy. Then came Doreen Rappaport's TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS: THE LIFE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT beautifully illustrated by C.F. Payne. I'm so hooked! And I'm happy to have Doreen here today to answer some questions about it!

Q. Doreen, Congratulations on this beautiful achievement! What was your initial draw to Teddy Roosevelt?
A.
My husband who collected political presidential memorabilia, has been after me to do Teddy as he was such an interesting, astounding man.

Q. You obviously did a ton of research to write TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS. Did you find it especially challenging to gather such in depth information?
A.
The research in some sense is the easiest part of doing a book. The hard part is finding the "hook" on which to tell the story. There are many important major biographies on Teddy. I started with them and then went to their "footnotes" to get to primary sources. I also ready Teddy's books and visited his home on Long Island.

Q. Did you learn anything that surprised you?
A.
I don't think I realized before I did the research what a fearless person he was. I don't necessarily agree with everything he did, but he stuck to what he believed in was best for the country and pursued it. He's one of the great founders of the conservation movement As much as he loved "the hunt," when he realized that hunting was destroying the Dakota territory, he jumped right in to do something about it.

Q. I love the way you structured the story with facts and quotes throughout. How did you come up with that?
A.
My first book which combined quotes and my narrative was Martin's Big Words and that gave me the idea to combine words by the people I decided to write about to give children a close, firsthand look and feel of what these people were really about.

Q. Indeed, MARTIN’S BIG WORDS blew away the children’s kid lit world and won several awards including the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, a Caldecott honor, a Coretta Scott King honor, and an ALA Notable Children’s Book Award - among others. I don’t think there was enough room on the cover for all the stickers it earned! What was it like when all those awards started coming in?
A.
It's wonderful to win awards, but the real award is to write a book that YOU think is a good book and contributes to children's literature.

Q. The story itself is written so beautifully - not at all like one might expect from a non-fiction story. How did you keep it sounding so fresh and lyrical?
A.
I work very hard on it.
Me: :)

Q. What was your reaction when you saw the luscious illustrations by C.F. Payne?
A.
I was bowled over by C. F. Payne's art and still am.

Q. One of the most interesting design decisions on this book is the lack of a title on the front cover - just that big close up of Roosevelt. (The title is on the back cover.) Did you love that straight out or did it have to grow on you?
A.
This idea came again from Martin's Big Words. The cover of that book is Dr. King with an enormous smile on his face--an unusual way to see Dr. King, to think about Dr. King, to gain another perspective about him, and so we decided as the books progressed to put only a face on the cover and the title of the book on the other side.

Q. There's a whole series of these now, yes? You must be so proud of these beautiful books!
A.
I am.

Q. I hope the books are being used like crazy in schools. How do you choose which ones to focus on when you do a school visit?
A.
I focus on all of them.

Q. So many people who dream of creating picture books, never think of non-fiction. Yet, that's your specialty. What are your thoughts about non-fiction?
A.
I absolutely adore fiction, but the amazing thing about real life is that it's as exciting and dramatic as ANY fiction writer could dream up.

Q. Doreen, thanks so much for stopping by and I look forward to more lovely books from you!

GIVEAWAY!
Disney has kindly agreed to offer a free copy of TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS: THE LIFE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT to one of my lucky winners. Must live in the US/Canada to win. Enter below:

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6. Alison Bechdel to Create Third Graphic Novel Memoir

Alison BechdelCartoonist Alison Bechdel has become well-known for her graphic novel memoirs. Her first, Fun Home, came out in 2006 and her second, Are You My Mother?, followed in 2012.

Bechdel plans to create a third entitled The Secret to Superhuman Strength. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will release the finished book in 2017.

According to The New York Times, this project “chronicles her decades long obsession with various fitness and exercise fads, including downhill skiing, uphill skiing, rollerblading, martial arts, running, hiking, weight lifting and home workout videos and currently, yoga. The book will also explore the history of American fitness fads, and Ms. Bechdel’s efforts to rekindle her creativity through exercise, and it is shot through with her signature darkness.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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7. Totally Washi! - a book fun review



Quote of the day:

"What word in the English language has three consecutive double letters?"   -  BOOKKEEPER!




Today's featured book:










Title:  Totally Washi!
            More than 45 Super Cute
            Washi Tape Crafts *For Kids*

Author:  Ashley Ann Laz










About the book:

Every child loves to craft.  These easy - to - do projects will have kids sticking Washi tape all over their world, their family's world and their friend's world too.  The sky's the limit, and yes, if they could reach that high, Washi tape would be covering the stars, the planets and even give the sun a new, trendy make-over.


This book instructs your child how to utilize colourful, fun Japanese crafting tape and create magnificent, unique designs and creations that will have everyone oooohhhing and awwwwwing.  Included are 45 Washi tape "recipes" that will need a dash of imagination, a pinch of determination and a polite "burp" at the end when the project is completed to convey total happiness and contentment as the taste of "well done" lingers on.  The fun thing is that when you want to change things up again you simply remove the present tape and .... begin again.  No fuss, no muss, just a brand new ideas to create and to explore.

Your child can craft: a cloud and raindrop bookmark, a beautiful bobby pin flower, a coveted braided friendship bracelet, amazing cutout art or even an exclusive, unique cover for her phone, just to name a few.  These crafty adventures are made easy by step-by-step instructions and colourful how-to photos.  What are you waiting for?  Don't be a stickler.... go head....Washi your world!  Wheeeeeeee!!!!


About the book's creator:


Book




Ashley Ann Laz is the creator of the PaperPastels YouTube channel and HelloAshleyAnn.com. Ashley is a lifelong crafter pursuing an art degree. PaperPastels has been featured by NewMediaRockStars and was named one of YouTube's Next Up Channels in 2013.




Book Review Rating:  8 (fantastic!)

Read on and read always!   Have an amazing day everyone.  

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8. 5 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVEN'T HEARD BACK FROM AN EDITOR OR AGENT:

THE ART OF FOLLOWING UP

https://elizabeth-law.squarespace.com/blog/2014/9/30/the-art-of-following-up-5-things-to-do-when-you-havent-heard-back-from-an-editor-or-agent

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9. Love Wire Necklace

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10. Newsletter Hamelin 2 ottobre 2014

bilbolbul
NEWSLETTER del 2/10/2014

LA SOTTILE LINEA SCURA
È andata benissimo, ci pare. Grazie a tutti per la grande partecipazione, davvero sorprendente. Contiamo di proseguire insieme il percorso iniziato.

Qui le foto della giornata.

Qui scaricabili gratuitamente materiali di approfondimento su lettura e adolescenza.

Stiamo lavorando agli atti del convegno, in uscita sul prossimo numero della rivista.

NUOVO XANADU
Da oggi, uno alla volta, gli 11 nuovi percorsi Xanadu, con i libri "titolari".
Il primo: le storie d'amore.
Romanzo di riferimento sarà Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë.
E da lì partiranno due strade, ognuna con altri libri, fumetti, film: il rapporto tra amore e morte e l'importanza del corpo.
Seguiteci su Facebook per scoprire gli altri percorsi nei prossimi giorni.

HAMELIN FA PARTE DI IBBY ITALIA
International Board on Books for Young People è una rete internazionale di persone, che provengono da 77 paesi e promuove la cooperazione internazionale attraverso i libri per bambini, creando ovunque per l'infanzia l'opportunità di avere accesso a libri di alto livello letterario e artistico e incoraggiando la pubblicazione e la distribuzione di libri di qualità per bambini specialmente nei Paesi in via di sviluppo.
www.bibliotecasalaborsa.it/ragazzi/ibby/

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11. A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck

Long Way From ChicagoWe are excited to invite all children and their caregivers in Park Ridge to read A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck during the month of October as part of our community-wide reading event, Park Ridge Reads. Set in a rural Illinois town in the late 1920’s and 1930’s, this books features vignettes that recount two children’s annual summer visit to their larger than life Grandmother’s home.

Joey and Mary Alice are reluctant to leave their home in “Al Capone’s” Chicago at first, but by their third summer they have concluded that Grandma is not a good influence and their reluctance to visit wanes. Of course, they keep dragging their heels so as not to let their parents in their secret enjoyment of Grandma Dowdel.

The book is told from Joey’s perspective, as an adult “older than Grandma” looking back on his and Mary Alice’s summers visiting Grandma. The book reads like a series of tall tales; as one might expect from a man looking back and sharing his family’s legends. Grandma’s disdain for her small town’s gossip, prohibition and the law in general create laugh-out-loud scenarios each summer for Joey and Mary Alice as Grandma pulls pranks, creates schemes to catch local hooligans and discreetly wreaks havoc in her hometown with her grandkids in tow.

The author, Richard Peck is from Decatur, Illinois and the fictional and unnamed small town in this story is very much based on Peck’s remembering of Decatur as a young man. In fact, many of Richard Peck’s books are set in Illinois, including two companion titles to A Long Way from Chicago that feature more escapades with Grandma Dowdel.

We hope you will join the community in reading A Long Way from Chicago, start a conversation with your neighbors and classmates about the book and join us at the Library for a culminating event on Sunday, October 26. For more information on Park Ridge Reads for Kids, visit our website.

Adults, you can also be a part of the adult Park Ridge Reads by reading Michael Hainey’s After Visiting Friends and participating in a variety of events including book discussions and a culminating event at the Pickwick Theater on October 27. For more information on After Visiting Friends and Park Ridge Reads events for adults, visit our website.

Posted by: Kelly


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12. My tweets

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13. Guest Post: P.J. Hoover on Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life

Cynthia & P.J. at Texas Book Festival
By P.J. Hoover
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life (Starscape/Macmillan, 2014) is my fifth novel, but given how long the publication road has been, it’s possibly the one I am the most excited about.

Tut follows the adventures of an immortal King Tut who is stuck at the age of thirteen and has to repeat eighth grade over and over again (talk about perpetual puberty!).

The first couple chapters are set in the past, in ancient Egypt, as we find out how and why Tut is immortal, but after that, we switch to present day Washington, D.C. where the remainder of the book takes place.

My last published novel was Solstice (Tor, 2013), a book solidly planted in the young adult market.

With Tut, I’ve gone back to the middle grade market. The book is aimed at those Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fans out there, third-to-eighth-grade kids, people who adore King Tut, or anyone who enjoys fun fantasy.

It’s been a four years since my last middle grade title, and one thing I’ve discovered more than anything else is that marketing to this age group has changed!

Not only are kids online more, librarians and educators are, too.

I admit it. I love spending time online and playing computer games.

And maybe it makes me a slacker parent, but I often let my kids play longer on their games so I can play, too. (I’m a firm believer that one of the best family time activities is Mario Kart.) My kids never complain. And seeing how much time my kids want to spend on the computer or game consoles, I wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between gaming and reading.

There are a few exciting things I managed to pull together for Tut.

Why are they exciting? Because they are exactly the kind of book extras that I would have wanted if I were a kid. Heck, I’m an adult, and I am loving them. So get your gamer thumbs ready and read on!



MINECRAFT Server

The first thing I came up with (with the help of my kids and their friends) is a MINECRAFT server for Tut. If you don't know what MINECRAFT is, ask any later elementary school or middle school kid, and they will enthusiastically tell you.

The server for Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life has many locations used in the book. Not only can kids visit the world of Tut, they can interact in the same ways that Tut does. They can escape from his tomb. They can find secret tunnels under Washington, D.C. There is also be a place on my website where kids can “apply” to become builders on the server.

In addition, there is a MINECRAFT scavenger hunt. Kids can warp around from place to place on the server piecing out hidden words that can then be strung together to reveal a secret message.

Just a note: MINECRAFT is also starting to get more traction in the educational market. My daughter’s third grade class used it to learn about perimeter and area. You can read more about the educational version of MINECRAFT and the regular version.

Learn more about the TUT MINECRAFT WORLD.


Video Game (using SCRATCH)

The second thing I came up with is a video game for Tut. The video game itself is pretty cool (with ten levels, codes to decipher, patterns to recognize), but what really makes it exceptional is the platform where I designed it.

I used SCRATCH which is a website designed by MIT and used widely in schools to teach and encourage kids to computer program and write video games. Kids can play games written by others (such as my TUT game), they can remix games, or they can write games of their own.

SCRATCH has millions of users worldwide.

Learn more about the TUT SCRATCH video game.

Pick Your Own Quest

I have to mention first that my favorite books in elementary school (besides Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden) were those Choose Your Own Adventure books.

So the third thing I came up with for Tut is a Pick Your Own Quest adventure (which is similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure except done up King Tut style and on the computer).

The Pick Your Own Quest TUT adventure is a fun way for kids to immerse themselves in the world of TUT online and to try their hand at being pharaoh while seeing how their choices will affect their fate.

For starters . . .

You are about to embark on a great adventure as King Tut, Pharaoh of Egypt. Whatever you do, don't turn back. Once you make a choice, it cannot be changed! One path may lead to you saving the world. Another may lead to your end. Choose Wisely.

Learn more about the TUT Pick Your Own Quest adventure.

Yes, it’s all about gaming, but my goal is to encourage educators to get kids excited about reading by relating to things they know and love. I would love to see educators assign video game programming or MINECRAFT world development as possibly curriculum tie-ins when reading books in addition to (or instead of) traditional book reports.

I adore the idea of kids writing video games based on books they love. And I believe that encouraging creative writing in a fun form such as a Pick Your Own Quest adventure is a great thing for reluctant writers!

I leave you with the book trailer for Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life which pulls it all together.



Now it’s time for reading, writing, and gaming!

About P.J. Hoover

At Comic Con
After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer, P. J. Hoover started writing books for kids and teens.

When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.

Her middle grade novel, Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life (Starscape/Macmillan, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat.

Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own.

About Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life

From the promotional copy:
You’d think it would be great being an Egyptian demigod, but if King Tut has to sit through eighth grade one more time, he’ll mummify himself.

Granted the gift of immortality by the gods—or is it a curse?—Tut has been stuck in middle school for ages.

Even worse, evil General Horemheb, the man who killed Tut’s father and whom Tut imprisoned in a tomb for three thousand years, is out and after him.

The general is in league with the Cult of Set, a bunch of guys who worship one of the scariest gods of the Egyptian pantheon—Set, the god of Chaos.

The General and the Cult of Set have plans for Tut… and if Tut doesn’t find a way to keep out of their clutches, he’ll never make it to the afterworld alive.

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14. Rant: can agents be replaced by a service like Submittable



I've conquered the query hurdle and secured representation only to find that being on submission is ten times worse! After years of hard work, research, diligence, and above all, patience, I have to think there must be a better way for writers to find publishers that would be less frustrating and more transparent. It feels like the open waters out there and lots of talented writers are getting eaten alive! You've been very disparaging of some of the referral services that have popped up, perhaps rightfully so, but it seems to me that a service like Submittable could eventually replace the job of an agent.

So my question to you is, do you think the current agenting model is the pinnacle of publishing or is there a better way? What would that way look like?





You'll pardon me please if I get a little hot under the collar about the idea that you think I can be replaced by an Excel spread sheet.

For starters, even asking the question tells me you don't have a clue what an agent really does. The question implies that all we do is send manuscripts and wait for replies.

Here's a brief list of some of the OTHER things I do:

1. Make sure the author knows where to meet his editor at ComicCon to get his badge.  I do this because my author has never been to ComicCon, and never been to the Javits Center and didn't know that "I'll meet you there" is the same thing as saying "I'll meet you in Seattle."

2. Edit proposals

3. Re-edit proposals

4. Review books in a new category to prepare for submission of a project in 2015.

5. Review royalty statements.

6. Call royalty departments to get information on line items that are unclear.

7. Explain royalty statements to authors.

8. Call editor to nudge about getting publication date in a particular month because of client's career commitments.

9. Call editor to nudge about timely payment

10.  Call editor to follow up on manuscripts.

11. Call client to update on manuscript submission.

12. Reply to a "good news" email from client with suggestions on how to leverage that good news.

13. Consult with colleagues about contract language that isn't in author's best interest and determine strategy for negotiating.

14.  Nudge editor for information missing from royalty statement.

15. Update author on information missing from royalty statement.

16. Facilitate lunch meeting with client and colleague who solicits his work for anthologies.

17. Attend reading with client.

18. Answer email from fan about how to purchase client's books.

19. Follow up with client about expired website domain name.

20. Send submissions to editors.


And gentle readers, that's just what I can remember from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  And you'll notice that doesn't including writing this, or any other, blog post. Or reading submissions from queriers.


I'm not sure why you find the process of being on submission "frustrating" or why you think  it isn't "transparent."  I've said this before, I'll say it again now: you should be able to get a list of where your project is on submission from your agent in five minutes.  Ten if she's busy. A day if she's in the middle of follow ups.

And what's frustrating? The wait? Trust me, sending your work to someone via Submittable doesn't cut the wait time. I'm very familiar with Submittable because many of the lit mags I send my clients short stories to use it to manage submissions.

Do I think think the agenting model is perfect? No, of course not. Nothing but Our Risen Lord is perfect, and He doesn't work in publishing. Trust me, we've called for him enough.

Do I think it works pretty well? Yes I do. Not every agent is good at his/her job, and not every good agent is a good fit for every writer.

But if you think for one tiny second that what I can do can be replaced by some fucking spread sheet, well,  think again.

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15. Author Diane Fanning, Baxter County Library

True crime author and crime novelist Diane Fanning, will be at the Donald W. Reynolds Library Saturday, October 11, 10:30. Fanning website http://dianefanning.com and http://baxlib.org. Join us.

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16. Eric Price Moves to Melville House

melville house logoEric Price has been named vice president of new business development at Melville House.

Price will be responsible for overseeing the growth of the publishing house. Prior to this move, he served as director of sales and marketing at Quercus and COO at Grove Atlantic.

Price had this statement in the press release: “I’m thrilled to work with Dennis, Valerie, and the entire Melville House staff. As the publishing landscape consolidates, it is exciting to be able to work for a publisher that continues to have a strong independent voice and has a growth strategy that is committed to publishing books that add to our cultural discourse.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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17. NaNoWriMo Prep Work: How to Fit Writing Into Your Busy Schedule

nanowrimoBY ABBY SCHREIBER Everyone has a different take on the writing process, from the classic rhythm of “Write, edit, revise, and repeat” to the scramble of mismatched scenes that eventually come together. As a young author, I find the writing process to be something stretchable, and easy to bend. The writer is the one who truly creates their own writing process out of the twenty-six letters that make up their basic materials.

At some point, though, you in your busy life might wonder, “How the heck am I going to fit this writing into my schedule?”

Well, there are two simple answers. The first is to become a hermit. The second, and possibly more effective solution, is proactive time management. NaNoWriMo, and its Camp NaNoWriMo events are all about managing time. How else could so many people write 50,000 words, or even more, in only a month? (For more great tips on National Novel Writing Month [NaNoWriMo], download the November/December issue of Writer’s Digest now!)

First of all: absolutely do not become a hermit, or remove yourself in any way from friends and family! They will play a major part in the things you achieve. Instead, daydream and seek inspiration whenever you have a moment where getting lost in your ideas won’t be a hazard (because planning a novel in your head during brain surgery doesn’t sound like a good idea, does it?).

Plan beforehand. Whether you write on your own, or solely during events like NaNoWriMo, planning makes things incredibly easier. I’ve found that planning can take many routes, too, but it boils down to this: you wrestle with what needs to happen to fulfill your story, then take note. Perhaps you are like me and string index cards all over your work area, or maybe you make a map of the world you have created.

T1255Get prepared to write an entire novel in November with
a little help for our October 9 webinar: How to Pre-Plot & Complete
a Novel or Memoir in a Month (comes with a bonus ebook).
Register here
.

When it comes to making the most of your writing time, there are ways to improve the amount you write, and still have time for your life. You sit down in your free time at your favorite place to write. Let’s say there is only one hour for you to get as much as you can done. What do you do?

First, shut off distractions. Tumblr, Facebook, it all has to go. Turn off the phone, hide away the book you’re reading (I know, it is hard). Once these things can’t be of distraction, you can get started, but with what? You have the characters and the world they belong to planned out, but where do you begin?

Well, with one word, followed by another. You begin writing with the words that may become the ending to the mystery or the introduction of a character. Steps turn to leaps. You leave this world behind to spend a small time somewhere else.

When it is time to get back to work, school, sleep, or whatever else you have to do, remember to never forget whatever it is you write with. Bring a notebook to continue in every spare moment, or your laptop to type during a lunch break. Wherever you go, inspiration follows, even if in the smallest ways.

Don’t write too long. Allow time to get snacks, and to give your mind a break. Writing, like anything, is a process that takes time to learn and improve upon.

nano_14_writers_digest_abby_schreiberDoing NaNo or anything similar is like entering a different world. Set the times when you can immerse yourself in the story that you have created. No one else can write the things you can. Even if you aren’t a writer, there are things that will never exist if you are not the one to create them. Embrace your ideas, establish goals to get where you want to go, and set off!

-
Abigail is a thirteen-year-old writer in Lafayette, Colorado, who has been told that she was practically an adult from birth. Over the past year, she’s written three novels, and hopes to eventually get at least one of them traditionally published. Most day she can be found tucked away in her room, watching Doctor Who, listening to her favorite music, and planning new books. Her first book, Millennium can be found here. Follow her on Twitter at @epikowl.

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18. Brain Activity During Eye Movements

French philosopher Henri Bergson once said: "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." Psychologist Martin Rolfs has studied what happens in the brain when the eyes jump from one subject to another in the rapid eye movements called saccades.

Martin Rolfs et al, from Nature
These saccades happen largely unconsciously, about three times each second. Before each saccade, our visual system anticipates where it's going to jump next. A small part of our attention is distributed to possible future targets. 

The act of anticipation helps stabilize the image when it appears after the jump. During the moment of anticipation, the brain is beginning to form "theories" of what it's going to see.


Artists creating optical illusions enjoy experimenting with this dynamic of our perception, playing our fovea (the detailed center of visual attention) against our peripheral retina. 

How does this affect us as picture makers? It's important to know that the viewer is interpreting your image not only with their fovea , but also with their peripheral attention, which responds to broader cues. That's why it's so important to step back, squint, look in the mirror, and try to regard your composition from a distance, so that it will read well peripherally, too.

Science Friday video about Martin Rolfs' work



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19. Are You Ready for the YA Scavenger Hunt?! Plus Get Tiger's Promise for $0.99! #YASH

 

Guys! Today is the start of the YA Scavenger Hunt, hosted and led by the amazing Colleen Houck! Are you prepared to scavenge like you've never scavenged before? We know we are! 

 

So... What is the YA Scavenger Hunt? 

In essence, the YA Scavenger Hunt is an online event dedicated to promoting collaboration between young adult authors from a variety of publishing houses. Past scavenger hunts have been a fun and effective way of offering fans the opportunity to see some of the best in YA literature and discover new books. Throughout the hunt, participating authors will release exclusive bonus material, provide readers access to top-secret information and host a number of giveaways.

More details on this year’s scavenger hunt are available here.

For step-by-step instructions on how to participate, please direct newbies here. We are especially excited to disclose that this year’s hunt will feature 125 different YA authors organized into six color-coded teams.

The fun only lasts a few days, October 2nd through the 5th, so readers, prepare to scavenge!!

 

Special Tiger's Promise Price Promotion!

Starting today, October 2, readers can purchase Colleen Houck's TIGER’S PROMISE for just $0.99 for a limited time on the following e-tailers! We are beyond thrilled about this!
 
·         Amazon
·         B&N
·         Kobo
·         iBooks 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_TIGE.jpg


About Tiger's Promise

Before the curse, there was a promise. A prequel to the bestselling Tiger’s Curse series, this much anticipated novella recalls the beginning of Ren and Kishan’s story. Before Kelsey there was a girl, raised by a villain, whose love for a hero changed the course of history.
 
Trapped under the thumb of her abusive and powerful father Lokesh, Yesubai struggles to keep her own magical abilities secret while evading his dark powers. When Lokesh promises Yesubai to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, she becomes the central pawn in his plot to destroy the ruling family and take power for himself. Yesubai is trapped by her father's threats and desperate to protect the man she comes to love, but she knows that any decision she makes will have dire consequences. As dark forces gather around her, Yesubai must decide if she's willing to reveal that somewhere deep within her she has the power to change everything.
 
4.5/5 Stars from IndieReader
 
"Houck’s flowing, storytelling style offers a fast-paced and intriguing adventure, that as a stand alone might be somewhat perplexing... but as a quick prequel will no doubt offer some insight to the next book. TIGER’S PROMISE is a spellbinding story about a young girl’s struggle against evil personified—in her father."
 
—Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader
 
Released on June 1, 2014


b2ap3_thumbnail_Colleen-Houck_Author-Image.jpgAbout Colleen

New York Times Bestselling Author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Her first four novels, Tiger’s Curse, Tiger’s Quest, Tiger’s Voyage, and Tiger’s Destiny were New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.

Connect with Colleen here:  Facebook | Web | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

 

Have you participated in the YA Scavenger Hunt before? Tell us about it in the comments!

 

 


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20. Un-Retirement

After a month of what other people have been calling my "retirement" and I have been calling my transition to life as a full-time writer, I just made the decision to un-retire. I've accepted an offer to return to my visiting professorship at DePauw University for the spring semester.

When I set foot in Greencastle last week, I fell back in love, so hard, so fast. I kept thinking of the Dolly Parton song I used to listen to back when I had a complicated love life, many decades ago: "Here you come again, looking better than a body has a right to. And shaking me up so, that all I really know, is here you come again - and here I go...." The little town of Greencastle (pop. 10,000), the idyllic campus of DePauw (even under construction), the walk through the Nature Park to the pristine and peaceful Prindle Institute, hugs from colleagues, late night talks with my former housemate Julia. . . . it all looked better than any place on earth has a right to. It shook me up so, the intensity of the longing to be there again.

It all happened so fast. I went so quickly from "Gee, it's great to be back here," to "Wow, I really would like to teach here again some time," to "Do you think you might ever have a use for me in the future?" to "Next spring? Let me think for a second or two. . . why, YES!"

I'll be teaching children's literature in the English department, Rousseau in the philosophy department, and throwing myself once again into all Prindle Institute for Ethics activities. I'll reside with Julia and her darling kindergartner, Alex. And I'll be living in the same state as my sister for the first time since our childhood.

I already have pangs at the thought of leaving my sweet Boulder life yet again - my family, my friends, my church, my world. But I'll come back for Kataleya's first birthday in February, for spring break in March, for Gregory's graduation in May.

And I have to admit that so far I haven't liked being a full-time writer as much as I thought I would. A lifelong pattern of writing for only an hour a day (a pattern which allowed me to write and publish 50 books) is hard to break. I thought I might be able to make myself write at least two hours a day, but I just didn't seem to be able to. I wasn't completing any more pages than when I worked full time. And while I did fill the rest of my days with considerable fun, I had just as much fun before. It turns out that I'm happier when I'm busy.

Maybe a month wasn't a fair try of my new life. That's hardly time to get the opening scenes of Act III to be playing out as they should. In any case, I've said yes to DePauw, and I feel excited. I'll still need to figure out the full-time writing life someday, but I'll tackle that later.

For now, my new mantra for myself is: "Do not go gentle into that good pasture." With this decision to return to teaching for one last (?) semester, I'm feeling my oats.

I'm feeling downright frisky.



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21. ALSC Institute … Recap Online!

2014 Institute LogoIt was a mere two weeks ago that many of us gathered in Oakland CA for the 2014 ALSC Institute.  And thank goodness you all blogged about it! For those that couldn’t come, or missed a crucial session, here’s your chance to catch up online.

Amy "The Show Me Librarian" Koester at Children's Fairyland

Amy “The Show Me Librarian” Koester at Children’s Fairyland (photo by Kendra Jones)

From the Guerilla Storytime to the closing session, our live bloggers posted throughout the conference from different sessions, and many of you tweeted at #alsc14 …thanks to S. Bryce Kozla for this Storify version.

Many of you have provided wrap-ups at your own blogs: Penny Peck reports on the Institute at BayViews, Marge Loch-Wouters gives the low-down on the Instiute vs. ALA Conferences, and you can find reports on their programs from Amy Commers, Sylvia Vardell, Claudia Haines, and Amy Koester.  Who did I miss?  Tell us in the comments below.

There’s more to come, as our two Friends of ALSC-sponsored ALSC Institute Scholarship winners will be posting their thoughts soon: Gesse Stark-Smith on October 14th and Nicole Martin on October 21st. Stay tuned.

Nina Lindsay introducing Daniel Handler, Jenni Holm, and Mac Barnett at Children's Fairyland (photo by MaryAnn Scheuer)

Nina Lindsay introducing Daniel Handler, Jenni Holm, and Mac Barnett at Children’s Fairyland (photo by MaryAnn Scheuer)

Many of you have reported on the value of this conference in your surveys:

“I brought back wonderful program ideas, and a renewed passion for my profession.”

“I thought the Institute was excellent. The sessions were all very helpful and the speakers were great too. The best part was hearing about what other Children’s librarians are doing, and being given a space to hear about and share ideas.”

I hope you all made new connections, sparked new ideas, and are putting them into play with a renewed sense of purpose and fun.  The 2016 ALSC Institute will be held September 15-17, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  See you there!

Nina Lindsay was the chair for the 2014 ALSC Institute, and is the Children’s Services Coordinator for the Oakland Public Library, CA.

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22. The Poetry World A-Z

Poets, save this post! It just may be the most incredible, informational, controversial, and blah-blah-blah poetry-related post you ever read! Ever!!!!

After saving the post, be sure to share it with everyone–whether they like poetry or not. Because this post is about uncover the wide world of poetry by using the…wait for it…alphabet! Spectacular, I know, and yes, I’m being silly right now.

But let’s get serious for a moment: When I first started writing poetry, I knew nothing about the world I was entering. I didn’t know the big players, the little players, any players. So one of the things I try to accomplish with this blog is to at least connect people and ideas. While I know this list is not comprehensive and more than a little U.S.-centric, I think it’s a good starting point for poets who want to know more about what’s happening.

This list includes poets, events, publishers, and more. Any and all omissions were either made intentionally (because I’m a snob) or more likely through pure ignorance (because I don’t know everything–that’s why blog posts have comments). If you see any glaring omissions, please don’t keep it all to yourself; share in the comments below.

The Poetry World A-E

A is for AWP (or Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference, an annual event that drew 13,000+ writers and readers in 2014. It’s also for AIPF (Austin International Poetry Festival–or largest non-juried international poetry festival in the world), Academy of American Poets, Amazon (yes, the online retailer), and Ashbery, John.

B is for BAP (or Best American Poetry) anthology, which always sparks a debate over whether poets should be recognized by a small group of writers and readers or be completely ignored by everyone (in case you’re wondering, my vote is for BAP). B is also for Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop (the only all-poetry bookstore in NYC), Bowery Poetry Club (also in NYC), Broadsided Press (putting lit & art on the streets), Boston Review (great sounding board for poets and poetry), and Bly, Robert.

C is for Collins, Billy, the poet so many readers love and so many poets wish they could be, though many wouldn’t admit it. While Cookie Monster might claim C is for cookie (and it is!), C is also for Coldfront (a great poetry-related website), Cowboy Poetry, and Copper Canyon Press.

D is for Dodge Poetry Festival, which has drawn more than 150,000 folks to its 14 total events–all for poetry! D is also for Decatur Book Festival (the ginormous book festival outside Atlanta, GA) and poets Dove, Rita, and Doty, Mark.

E is for Ecco (the HarperCollins imprint that publishes poetry). It’s also for Elegy Owed, by Bob Hicok. Okay, okay; E was a lean letter for me and this list.

*****

Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25 poems.

The deadline is October 31.

Click here to learn more.

*****

The Poetry World F-K

F is for Finishing Line Press, the chapbook publisher who every poet seems to have published a chapbook with (except me–cue Charlie Brown music). F is also for Favorite Poem Project, FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, Flarf, and Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. And just to rile people up: Franco, James.

G is for Genius Grants, those beautiful $625,000 over the course of 5 years grants awarded to poets and other geniuses. It’s also for Graywolf Press (the publisher of James Franco and other poets) and Gluck, Louise.

H is for Haiku Society of America, because the haiku contingent is fierce and motivated. Beyond those tiny gems, H is also for Hayes, Terrance, Hass, Robert, Hall, Donald, and Hejinian, Lyn–an “H-bomb” of poets (haha, why am I the only one laughing at that bad joke?). One more “H-bomb”: Hickory, as in Hickory, North Carolina, site of the monthly Poetry Hickory event hosted by Scott Owens.

I is for Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe, a poetry-only bookstore in Boulder, Colorado.

J is for Alice James Books (there’s a “J” in there somewhere, right?)–publishing poetry since 1973.

K is for Kooser, Ted (former Poet Laureate), and Keillor, Garrison, who supports poetry in his own little (big) ways.

*****

blog_your_way_to_successBlog Your Way to Success!

Blogging is a powerful way to develop ideas, share ideas, and find an audience that cares about your ideas. If you’re new to blogging, learn how easy it is to get started. If you’ve been blogging but not getting the results you’d like, learn how easy it is to take your efforts to a whole new level with the Blog Your Way to Success bundle.

Whether your goal is to blog a book, increase blog traffic, build an author platform, or just express yourself, learn how to do it and do it right here.

Click to continue.

*****

The Poetry World L-P

L is for Linebreak, the online poetry journal. Two more big names Levine, Philip, and Lehman, David (series editor of BAP).

M is for Motionpoems, which puts poetry into motion with animation. M is also for Merwin, W.S., McClatchy, J.D., and McHugh, Heather. I guess MFAs would fit under here too, though I’m not going to single out any particular programs.

N is for New Directions, which is one of the most important poetry presses out there. But N is a big letter in the world of poetry that includes National Endowment for the Arts, National Book Award, Nobel Prize in Literature (a poet doesn’t always win, but it’s cool when it happens), National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Norton, and even the New Yorker.

O is for Open Books, one more poetry-only bookstore (based in Seattle) that sells books by big-time poets Olds, Sharon, and Oliver, Mary–maybe the two most popular poets in the country. O is also for Outlaw Poets.

P is for Poet’s Market, which is like this list–only so much more involved. Actually, P has so much to offer that it could be a list all its own, so I went with the book that I personally edit to kick things off. P is also for The Poetry Foundation (and Poetry magazine), Poetry Society of America, Pulitzer, Poets & Writers, Pushcart Prize, The Paris Review, Pedestal, and Pinsky, Robert.

*****

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Get your poetry published!

Poet’s Market really is a special guide to the poetry universe that is updated every single year with hundreds of poetry publishing opportunities for book and chapbook publishers, journals and magazines, contests and awards, grants, and so much more!

Plus, there are new poet interviews, new poems by contemporary poets, articles on the craft of poetry, articles on the business of poetry, articles on the promotion of poetry, and an exclusive webinar. It’s the most power-packed resource for poets on the planet!

Click to continue.

*****

The Poetry World Q-Z

Q is for Queyras, Sina, aka Lemon Hound.

R is for Rattle, which is one of the top poetry-only publications today. R is also for Red Hen Press, Ryan, Kay, and “Rape Joke,” by Patricia Lockwood, which is not the only poem to ever go viral, but an important one nonetheless.

S is for Silliman’s blog, which is run by Ron Silliman; it’s a daily must visit. S can also be for Simic, Charles, Strand, Mark, Smith, William Jay, and a whole gang of Slam Poets.

T is for Trethewey, Natasha, former Poet Laureate and author of Native Guard and Thrall.

U is for University of Pittsburgh Press, which is one of the top poetry presses around, publishing books by the likes of Bob Hicok, Denise Duhamel, Dean Young, and more.

V is for VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, which has helped open up a dialogue about the place of women in the literary arts. V also stands for Verse Daily, “Vowels,” by Christian Bok, and Valentine, Jean.

W is forWhat Teachers Make,” by Taylor Mali (just click the link and watch if you haven’t before). It’s also for Writer’s Digest (which hosts this blog), Wright, Charles, and Wilbur, Richard.

X is for X.J. Kennedy. I know, I know; this totally breaks the alphabetical rules I’ve established up to this point (he should be under “K,” you may say), but what the hey; since when do poets NOT bend the rules?!?

Y is for Young–both Dean Young and Kevin Young.

Z is for Zapruder, Matthew. And so ends the greatest A-Z post ever!

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He does not claim to know everything about poetry. In fact, I’m sure if you stick around and read the comments, you’ll find that he’s omitted quite a bit. But his ignorance aside, Robert does love poetry, the whole poetry season, which never ends for him. He loves discovering new (to him) poets, poetic forms, poems, books, and so on–and then, sharing all that on this blog!

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find recent poetic posts here:

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23. Do you have a vulgar tongue?

Slang is in a constant state of reinvention. The evolution of language is a testament to our world’s vast and complex history; words and their meanings undergo transformations that reflect a changing environment such as urbanization. In The Vulgar Tongue: Green’s History of Slang, Jonathon Green extensively explores the history of English language slang from the early British beggar books and traces it through to modernity. He defends the importance of a versatile vocabulary and convinces us that there is dose of history in every syllable of slang and that it is a necessary part of contemporary English, no matter how explicit or offensive the content may be. Test your knowledge…how well do you know your history of slang?

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

Headline image credit: Explosion. CC0 via Pixabay.

The post Do you have a vulgar tongue? appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. Working For The Small Press -What's It Worth?

 I was thinking how things have changed over the years. Back in the 1980s/1990s, if I had a zine that was short of 3-4 pages I'd knock out a letter and send it off to other zine publishers/creators.  Within a week I could guarantee having enough material to fill 2-3 zines.  And, if contacted by other zine publishers looking for material, well, yes, I'd send something to them.

At no point did anyone ask "How much are you paying?"  It was simple fun -contributors got a copy of the zine their work was in. Again, no one asked: "If you make anything out of this what's my cut?"

We were selling our "end product" for 25 pence.  50 pence.  75 pence or, and, I tried and succeeded in never crossing this particular price barrier myself, £1.00.  Yes, £1.00 which back then was 50 cents? So, buy my zines and you got a lot of pages for little money.  I try to keep doing that still.

Although, via Zine Zone mail order or marts you could sell quite a few zines -in fact, it's odd but you would guarantee at least doing fairly well sales-wise back then where as now the attitude and expectation is that selling one or two books is a good day! In fact, zine publishers reported that they did far better sales-wise with Zine Zone than they did with Fast Fiction (which saw ZZ as a competitor though we never considered there to be any rivalry).

"Hey -I made £2.00!" Not bad -snicker-  now to divide that up between 10 contributors! Seriously, no one expected to make big money because it was all for fun. Also, a lot of the creators of the 1980s who made it into comics as writers or artists all started in the Small Press -it was seen as a place where you could hone your skills. It is interesting to note that a few of these creators when asked how they got started in comics tend to gloss over any mention of the Small Press!  It all seems to be "I started writing/drawing and used every opportunity to hone that skill and then DC/Marvel saw my work" I think that is actually shameful.

People ask me how I got started I'll tell them.  Putting together a school magazine (Greenway Boys School, Bristol, 1972) titled Starkers -The Magazine That Tells The Naked Truth which was a title suggested by our Deputy Head, Mr Wright. Getting everything together, drawing, typing on the stencils for the Gestetner copier and then....getting banned by the Head because one of the secretaries complained about the title (yes, there was more to it because I was seen as an "H-dropping" pain-in-the-ass by the snobbish head and his school kid cronies).

Then I got work with a printer.  I then started working with the early photocopiers.  I wrote articles on everything from nature to astronomy and history and then I decided I wanted to get into publishing so I got friendly with those folk as well as editors and distributors and even stupidly spent money buying rights to certain characters/publications (see one of my previous big posts -they are there somewhere).

Putting all of this together helped in making dummy copies of proposed titles to submit to publishers.  Some of those titles, such as Preview Comic got a few people into permanent comics work both in the UK and US.  Then there were scripts for London Editions, Fleetway/Egmont, Marvel UK and so on.  And even while doing my comic work (and the officially unofficial other job) I was writing comic articles for publications such as Comics FX and other publications promoting comics and particularly the Small Press which has never gotten even 2% of the publicity 'real comics' do.

Today, obviously and I never ever do this any other way, all art is (c) the artist. If the contributor wrote and drew something then it is all (c) the creator. Even if I lost out I made sure contributors got something.  But then you hit the big problems.

You learn, quite by accident, that an artist you have written a script  for and who then with no explanation break all contact, are actually trying to sell the strip with a couple of character name changes.  When found out and contacted over this there is either silence or "Oh, I thought you'd left comics" -right.  Then you have the artist who wants to have full control over the end product which includes changes made "to make it better" and believe me I have had artists change characters names, sex and even whole chunks of story because they feel they know better.  That just is not on.  The writer writes and the artist draws -perhaps making an odd change to make action flow.

I have had one artist ask me to draw character sketches because he just could not understand what I meant by stating the right hand side of a characters body was all robot while the left was wholly human.  Another had to have a sketch when I described a central tower in a city had, at the very top,  a clock face on each of the four sides...?

Then you get an email out of the blue "I don't want this published unless I get a 60% royalty deal, a page fee and creative rights"  hmmm.  Or, you publish after putting a lot of work into a book and the artist then says he doesn't want to be associated with it because it might affect his work prospects with Marvel or DC???

You will also get artists who email every single week asking about sales.  "You can't be doing enough to promote the book!" And then there are the artists who complete books and simply vanish.  They no longer answer emails and so the book HAS to be withdrawn.  Or the families of people you have worked with....don't even get me started on that.

There are no huge profits in Small Press publishing and Independent comics will not make you rich!  So, as a publisher you have to make decisions that affect your output.  Books are withdrawn. Decisions are made so that you no longer have to rely on other creators and all the problems associated with them.

Black Tower no longer accepts proposals from creators.  Everything is in-house and there are only two creators...and a very large selection of books to buy.  No distractions or problems other than those you get normally as the UK largest Independent comics publisher.

The small Press rely far less on collaborations these days.  There are some but more and more it's an individual thing with the creator writing, drawing and publishing the book.  No profit no problem. A profit -nice.

I think the anthology titles of old with any number of contributors will eventually vanish because unlike the doing -it -for- fun days where publishing was smooth and creators did not scream out "I'm a star! Pay me!" 

If you ask what money you are going to get out of the Small Press as an artist or writer then the true answer is that you'll be lucky to make any.  And the proof is there if you don't believe me: publish yourself and see all the 'joys' first hand!

So if you go to this weekends Small Press event remember: no one there is getting rich!

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25. My tweets

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