super tight little thumbnail
full size sketch
super tight little thumbnail
full size sketch
Our SCBWI Carolinas Challenge will be four postcard submissions in 2015. But are they worth it. All the prep work, designing, creating, ordering and then of course- add stamps and address them.
But Deb Johnson, a wonderful artist and one of our SCBWI C Working Illustrators Network [WIN] Coordinators found and posted this great article from Giuseppe Castellano, designer and Art Director at Penguin Random House. Ten percent, yes I needed that, oh how I needed that. I'll get right on it.
What actually happens when your agent says your book is "on submission."
Crowdfunding is becoming a popular way for writers to raise money to make books. In fact, Kickstarter funded 2,064 publishing projects and 158 journalism endeavors in 2014.
To help guide writers learn more about how to use Kickstarter, the crowdfunding company is hosting a series of educational events at their headquarters in Brooklyn, NY next month.
Events include: Kickstarter for Journalists 101 on February 3rd; Talking Shop: How to Pay Your Writers on February 17th; and Talking Shop: Getting Started in Podcasting on February 24th. Follow this link for more details.Add a Comment
If you arrived here from our seminar Debunking Social Media Myths, welcome! Thanks for being there for our lil’ ol’ seminar, we appreciate it.
If you found this by any other means, get out. Just kidding. You may have missed the seminar, but we’ll share the PowerPoint slide show online, along with the audio from the event. If you want to be updated with the link when it’s live, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we promised during the seminar, here is a short list of social media sites we use and how we use them. We acknowledge that our way is not THE way. You’ll find that things that work for us won’t work for you and vice versa. We think that’s just fine and dandy. Use this as a guideline and sally forth into Social Media Experiment Land.
From here on out I’m going to start abbreviating Social Media as SM. Cheese and crackers, that gets tiring to type.
Let’s start with the most popular SM network out here right now. Jenni and I both use Facebook personally, Jenni being the more active one. Frankly, FB makes me crazy but Jenni has a super force field that allows her to peruse without clenched teeth and nightmares.
That said, so many people we know use FB regularly that we created a Sparky Firepants fan page (right here). We’ve been using it for several years, but our activity has tapered off in the past six months or so. The reason is that because of FB’s new algorithms, our customers just aren’t seeing our fan page posts in their feeds as well as they used to. The interaction was declining and we found we were working very hard to push those fan page posts in our FB friends’ faces. It just wasn’t effective anymore. If you were at our seminar, you remember how we talked about being where your customers are. For us, it’s not our fan page.
So, we post here and there to keep things active for those who really enjoy seeing us on FB. That’s about it.
This is my personal favorite. I’ve been active on twitter since 2007. For Sparky Firepants customers, we’ve found that Twitter is the numero uno place where our people hang out.
For the uninitiated, Twitter looks like a hugely random stream of meaningless thoughts and way too many links to click on. It looks daunting. It’s like a loud cocktail party where you don’t know anyone.
Take a deep breath. Very little of what you see in your twitter stream matters. Here’s a great tutorial of how to use Twitter.
Now, if you’re already tweeting like an eagle, here’s how we use Twitter. In two words, building relationships. Just like in the real world, it’s about making a real connection with your customers. Sparky Firepants has about 2,800 followers. It took about seven years to get that many. We estimate that we connect personally with about 10-20% of our followers over the course of a year. Some more than others, some not at all. The numbers are not the most important factor. What’s important.is how well you connect with real people on twitter.
Do we want more followers? Sure. We prefer to build that number organically. When you pay SM experts to “get you thousands of followers instantly!,“ it will probably work. What you’ll get is a giant list of people who don’t know you or care about what you do, which is a waste of your tweeting time and marketing efforts.
Fancy online resume. That’s how most people see LinkedIn. While your user profile is essentially your resume, there’s private messaging, articles, and groups you can be involved in.
I’m very protective of my LinkedIn network. The only people you’ll see in my network (if we’re connected, that is) are people I’ve either worked with or know personally (and would recommend them for work in their field). While on Twitter I may connect with a lot of people I don’t even know, I keep my LinkedIn connections very tight.
LinkedIn groups are key for your business. Participating in a group that’s relevant to what you do makes you more visible than just putting up a profile. I’ve met a lot of great people, made new customers and learned from others in my career field through groups.
Why eat when you just scroll through photos of what everyone else is eating? Instagrammers get a lot of flack for posting pics of every meal and multiple selfies a day, but it can really boost your online presence.
It’s the easiest marketing you’ll ever do. Hosting an event or just attending an event? Take photos, post to Instagram, add a hash tag that’s relevant to your business or event. Just one example.
Beyond posting your own stuff, you really need to be active in other people’s accounts. Favorite things you like, comment on posts, and share others’ posts with friends. That’s how you organically build a following. Like all SM and personal relationships, it’s not all about you.
So much more. There are new SM networks popping up almost every day. Like we covered in the seminar, we don’t think every network is right for us and one network could be perfect for you that we just don’t use.
I’m a tech geek and I like to experiment with new apps and networks all the time. That’s me. If that’s not you, then let it go. However, I will say that if you find your customers are talking about a new SM network, it’s probably in your best interest to at least check it out. Remember our social media marketing slogan:
Be where your customers are.
Add a Comment
Literary superagent Bill Clegg labored over his debut novel Did You Ever Have a Family for seven years, unsure anyone would bid on or buy it.
As he told the New York Times, he’s secured mega-deals on behalf of other writers, but gauging reaction to his own novel was difficult.
\"It doesn’t make you any more confident — if anything, it makes you less confident. I represent great writers, and I couldn’t carry their glove on the field. When the bar is set that high, it’s daunting.\"
According to Alexandra Alter at the Times, four publishers bid on his book, and one–Gallery Books’ Jennifer Bergstrom–was so sold on it she offered a two-book deal. She also approached Carolyn Reidy, who is president and chief executive of Gallery’s parent company, Simon & Schuster, asking to create a new literary fiction imprint. Reidy agreed and Clegg’s will be the lead fall title for the imprint, Scout Press.
Bergstrom said, \"Because Bill’s book was the impetus for the imprint, it’s also the epitome of what we want to publish. It’s literary but very accessible, not precious, not fussy, not esoteric.\"
Clegg’s novel centers on a woman whose family was killed and home destroyed in an accidental explosion.
\"So much of my day job is occupying the ambitions of other people’s writing,\" Clegg told the Times. \"To just occupy my own feels almost brazenly selfish.\"Add a Comment
If you don’t care much for football but want to do a crash course before this weekend’s Superbowl party, Ninja Essays has an infographic for you.
The NFL Reads graphic outlines a number of influential books written about football, any of which could help increase your understanding of the game. Check it out:
You want to impress your friends with your insight and interest in the game? The first thing you need to do is understand the rules. No one likes people who interrupt the fun with silly questions. Once you learn the basics, you can research the history of different teams and impress everyone with random facts.
Add a Comment
So in my renewed determination to keep up with my blogging, I am back today with a Waiting on Wednesday post. Yay!
About the Book (copy from Goodreads.com): "Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.
When Sarah's mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.
Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast...unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever."So unless you couldn't tell from the description, I'm pretty sure this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. And you know I love fairy tale retellings. But I like the way this one has scrambled it around a bit with the girl turning into the beast. Sounds like it will be good. :)
Add a Comment
Graham became well-known for collaborating with Gene Zion, a writer and her husband, on the Harry the Dirty Dog picture book series. She went on to work on projects with other writers and author her own books. Altogether, she earned two Caldecott Honors for All Falling Down and The Storm Book.
Here’s more from School Library Journal: “Though Harry remains Graham’s most well-known collaboration, it was far from her only one. Her illustrations for legendary children’s book author Charlotte Zolotow’s The Storm Book (Harper, 1951), a gentle look at a child’s first thunderstorm, won her a Caldecott Honor. A versatile artist, she also provided the illustrations for renowned poet Jack Prelutsky’s humor collection Pack Rat’s Day (Macmillan, 1974), while in the 1980s, she collaborated with longtime friend and Little Bear author Else Holmelund Minarik on What If? (1987) and It’s Spring (1989, both Greenwillow).”Add a Comment
There’s a CAF (comic arts festival) born every minute! Here’s a new one, the New South Fest in Austin. They have a tumblr and a FB page, and some art…and exhibitor applications are now open. The plan is an outdoor books and comics event to be held June 6th, 2015 at the French Legation Museum in Austin, Texas. “Our goal is to celebrate independent literature, alternative comics, small presses, and print culture. New South will be highly curated, focused, fresh, and irreverent.”
UPDATE: Oops should have dug a little more. This event seems to be run by Danithan Mejia of the Foxing Review, website under construction. And more information is available in this Kickstarter that didn’t make it.
Here’s the three Ws:
WHAT: New South Festival of Literary Arts & Cartooning is seeking exhibitors for its inaugural year. Its goal is to celebrate the best in independent literature, alternative comics, small presses, and print culture. New South is seeking individual illustrators/cartoonists, writers, indie book publishers, alternative comics publishers, literary magazines, and more! To apply, please visit newsouthfest.tumblr.com/apply
New South is a curated event. Due to space limitations, New South’s 2015 exhibitor list will be decided by a committee of organizers. More information for potential exhibitors:
Exhibitor applications will be open from February 2, 2015 – March 2, 2015.
Accepted exhibitors will be notified no later than March 16, 2015.
Remaining applicants will be put on a waiting list for possible dropouts.
Exhibitor Tables are $80 for a half-table (3’) and $120 for a full table (6’).
WHEN: Exhibitor applications will be open from February 2, 2015 – March 2, 2015.
WHERE: Applications can be submitted at newsouthfest.tumblr.com/apply
The website doesn’t indicate who’se behind this fest, but the logo indicates a little bit of a SXSW feel, and the art by Jim Rugg and someone whose style i don’t recognize suggest that it is already well on its way.
Austin is currently the home of a Wizard World in October and STAPLE, which is coming up on March 6-8. Staple has good indie cred, and hopefully Austin’s strong maker and literary scene can support two shows.
More to come!Add a Comment
Rumors have been flying around for the past couple of years–is Emma going to play a princess on screen, or is she not? The question has been up in the air for quite a while. Yesterday, the question was answered. Emma Watson tweeted a couple of lyrics from from the opening song to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as the news broke: Emma Watson will be playing the role of Belle in Disney’s new live-action movie of it’s hit cartoon classic. The studio announced yesterday that filming is anticipated to begin later this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal wrote:
Watson has been cast as Belle, the studio announced yesterday, the book-loving prisoner of the titular Beast’s castle in the tale as old as time. Production on the film is anticipated to begin later this year, and it is set to be directed by Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls,” “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Parts 1 and 2?).
Disney’s original 1991 animated version of the French fairy tale, which was first spun off into a Broadway musical in 1994, featured three Academy Award-nominated songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (“Beauty and the Beast” took home the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1992). Upon posting the news of her casting on her Facebook page, Watson said she couldn’t wait to start singing Menken and Ashman’s famous tunes.
Emma Watson wrote:
Add a Comment
I’m finally able to tell you… that I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast! It was such a big part of my growing up, it almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ and sing ‘Something There’. My six year old self is on the ceiling – heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons. I can’t wait for you to see it. Emma xx
Warren Ellis is having a crack at reimagining the Project Superpowers universe, and Blackcross #1 hits in March. We’ve had an advance peek and it’s not what might be expected, with a strong horror bent. Here’s some brand new pages of Colton Worley’s art to give you a taste, as well as variant covers by Jae Lee, Gabriel Hardman, Declan Shalvey and Tula Lotay.
All small towns have secrets. All small towns have ghosts. Blackcross, in the Pacific North West of America, has more secrets than most. And it is being haunted by something impossible. BLACKCROSS, a supernatural extension of the PROJECT SUPERPOWERS mythos, is a ghost story about something reaching out from the other side of the night, through the forest and mist of this remote town, to grasp at the hearts of a handful of people who may not find out that they’re the targets of a strange killer until it’s much, much too late.
Add a Comment
New site + work to boot from grain edit favorite Mike Lemanski.
——————–Jot Form's Theme Marketplace + Form Builder
Hello and Happy New Year! I took a much needed two-week vacation at the beginning of the month. Yay! I went horseback riding, diving, and even did some cave exploration. It was an inspiring trip, just what I needed to get my creative juices flowing for the New Year. I'm happy to be back in Brooklyn though. I'm gearing up for an AMAZING year full exciting creative projects, which may require me to step outside of my comfort zone.... kinda scary and awesome at the same time!
Here's a little gift for you... My illustration group, We Love To Illustrate Studio, is starting the year with some FREE Greeting Card Downloads in honor of Valentine's Day. Here's my design. Enjoy!
Reality star Jaime Primak Sullivan has landed a memoir deal with Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint. Sullivan (pictured, via) has become well-known for starring in the Jersey Belle Bravo TV series and the “Cawfeetawk” digital series.
Author Eve Adamson will collaborate with Sullivan on this project. The publisher will release the book, entitled Saved by the Belles: The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl, in Fall 2015.
Sullivan gave this statement in the press release: “Growing up in Springsteen’s New Jersey, I thought I had life and love all figured out. It wasn’t until I fell in love with a Southern gentleman and moved my life to the Deep South that I learned the most important lesson of all: real women are a work in progress.”Add a Comment
Anne Lamott writes about faith, family, and community in essays that are both wise and irreverent. It’s an approach that has become her trademark. Now in Small Victories, Lamott offers a new message of hope that celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness in our lives. Our victories over hardship and pain may seem small, she writes, but they change us—our perceptions, our perspectives, and our lives. Lamott writes of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation, how we can turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations, how we find the joy in getting lost and our amazement in finally being found.Writing
Profound and hilarious, honest and unexpected, the stories in Small Victories are proof that the human spirit is irrepressible.
Speaking of AdHouse, a second printing of Jim Rugg’s classic Street Angel is out today, the story of a homeless girl who fights crime while riding around on her skateboard. It was action packed, sad and beautiful. Originally appearing in 2004, this book was, along with Scott Pilgrim, an early adapter of the “new mainstream” esthetic whereby comics broke out of both superhero and autobiographical tropes to reach a new, younger audience growing out of the manga boom. Originally published by Slave Labor the book had a cult following beforei being released by AdHouse last year. And now its in its second printing. Rachel Edidin has an overview of the book here.
The new edition has a pink pages and purple ink, making it perhaps the most perfect Street Angel edition of all. And just because I can here’s a preview:Add a Comment
Continuing on my quest to find books for my soon to be nine-year old niece, I read Karen Harrington's Sure Signs of Crazy last week. While I enjoyed the book a lot and recommend it for the over ten crowd, I think I'm going to hold off my girl until she's a wee bit older.
Protagonist Sarah is 12 and new in town. She and her father move around a lot as Sarah's mother was the object of a notorious trial and is now committed to a mental hospital. Her father was also tried but found innocent; he still struggles a decade later to cope and while a loving father, definitely self-medicates with alcohol.
In the course of one summer, Sarah fulfills an English assignment by writing letters to Atticus Finch, crushes on the college boy across the street (we've all been there) and builds up her courage to challenge the family secrets. She's smart and funny and determined which makes for a great protagonist. Most interestingly though, considering her family drama, Sarah is also very easy to identify with and I'm sure many young readers will like her a lot.
For my purposes though, I think the alcohol and the reasons behind her mother's trial, are just too much for my particular nine-year old. At least a year, maybe two and she will be ready. I'll be keeping Sure Signs of Crazy for the future.Add a Comment
The palm fronds on this tree were created with a double art brush technique in Adobe Illustrator. I posted a video for you to see what I mean. Go to: Feathery Palm Fronds
By Davey Nieves
The hour glass containing the remaining days of the Marvel Universe as we know it continued to drip grains of information today as the company announced the first of the books to be under the Secret Wars : Battleworld tie-in banner. Ultimate End #1 with the creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley will be the first to enter the fray. It’s only fitting that the duo who began the Ultimate universe way back in Ultimate Spider-Man #1 would be there for the end.
In additon to the Battleworld news, it was also revealed that April’s Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man 12 would be branded under the current Time Runs Out and Secret Wars Banners. The issue was solicited as the end of the series and many speculated that it would be a lead in to Secret Wars.
This lovely David Marquez variant cover for Ultimate End #1 was also shown off today.
We’ll have more info as it comes out of today’s call…
Here’s what we know from today’s call with the creative team:
Marvel as usual kept everything as close to the chest as they could, so no major story details about the series were revealed. We’ll talk later today about the reflections Bendis, Bagley, current editor Mark Paniccia, and former Ultimate editor Ralph Macchio had on the coming end and the legacy of the Ultimate universe.
Add a Comment
CCS just keeps turning out interesting new cartoonists. Sophie Goldstein is a recent grad whose works defies easy categorization, except to say that she’s got a great line and a keen eye, she writes stories and anything can happen. And now AdHouse is bringing out The Oven by Goldstein in April. It’s set in a totalitarian future where “dwindling resources have driven the human race into domed cities where population controls are strictly enforced. When a young couple goes looking for an anti-government paradise in the desert they may have found more than they bargained for.”
80 2C pages 5.5″ x 7.5″ SC $12.95 US funds ISBN 978-1-935233-33-6 Shipping April 2015 Diamond Order Code: FEB15 0903
And here’s a preview, AND a link to Goldstein’s 20 thumbnails for the cover image.
Add a Comment