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We were sweating. Thank God for the tunnels. They had been a product of forethought by Canadians of the 2010's. The way we had cut down trees, maybe President Reagan had been wrong, they figured. The desert sands were endless. We could only survive underground. There was the odd palm tree but they were few and far between. The Star of the East shone brightly. The cow jumped over the moon. All was quiet. The air had to be pumped in. We didn’t know how or whence, we were just glad of it. If we could make it to the oasis, we’d be ok. There’d be water there. It was like a Frank Herbert experience except that we didn’t read much science fiction. Didn’t have time to. The digging took days and nights. Christmas season was still celebrated. Ersatz boughs of holly, but we retained some of the rituals. The prairies had been a desert for years. There was an impenetrable dome over Alberta. Toward the Dawn was what the powers that be had decided and Toward the Dawn was where we were digging. Toward the Sunset was another matter. It was about this time that I became separated from the main party. I don’t know how it happened. I couldn’t help myself. Down the gleaming crystal hallways I was drawn. It was like deja vu all over again and it was over as soon as it started. I found myself in a vast meadow of flowers. Butterflies were flitting past; colourful trees swaying in the blue sky. A dusty oil lamp of foreign origin lay in the grass at my feet. I bent over, picked it up, rubbed some dirt from its side. I felt it jump. The lamp seemed to move of its own volition. I rubbed dirt from the other side. A Genie popped out. He was dressed in traditional Genie garb, sat crosslegged on the grass. He brushed dust from his voluminous sleeves, coughed a little. A strong smell of mothballs accompanied his presence. “Well” he said, “You have set me free so I owe you a wish” He looked up at me with impatient eyes that had been too long in the lamp. I couldn’t think of anything at that moment except for getting to the oasis. I blurted it out and watched him run, the lamp in hot pursuit. He zigged and zagged, disappeared into the forest. The crystal hallways drew me back to the diggers in the main party. They were asleep at their posts on the assembly line. When I woke them up by banging the new shovel the Genie had thrown in out of the goodness of his heart, they looked around in wonder. I looked around in wonder, too. The tunnel was finished. We started walking toward the oasis. There’d be water there.Add a Comment
Anime – it is a term that I have learned makes many librarians cringe. As soon as the subject is broached, they immediately pawn it off on a younger clerk or page who knows about such things. And you can't really blame them! The titles can be nearly impossible to spell and that's assuming the patron says it right. Between “seasons”, “collections”, and “OVAs” (Original Video Animation; basically straight to DVD without a theater or television release), each series has multiple versions. To top it off, since they aren't rated by the Motion Picture Association of America, it is hard to figure out what is appropriate for whom.
So when it comes time to do the collection development, this portion of the collection can be neglected and dated. Beyond this, librarians may be ignoring it as a useful programming tool to bring in one of our hardest demographics, the teens!
The good news is, you don't need to know much about anime to get started. In my job interview, I was asked what kind of programs I would like to implement for teens. I dug back into my days interning in grad school and helping their teen librarian host their wildly popular anime club. At the time of the interview, I had seen maybe 2 or 3 anime films. Suddenly, now I was “the anime guy” at my new job. I was asked to order all the anime movies for 10 branches.
First lets talk about what expectations you have with ordering this genre. Anime refers specifically to Japanese animation. For the most part, it is the same as any other movie or television show. You are still going to look at cost. You are still going to have to pick what format works best for your library. You are still going to be making judgment calls on what will circulate and what won't.
Unfortunately, quite a few titles are only available on Blu-ray right now, so if your library doesn't offer that you are just out of luck. Many of them come as Blu-ray/DVD combos. One possible problem with these, at least that I've noticed with our vendor, Midwest Tapes, is that they include the DVD “while supplies last”. I have not yet encountered a situation where they only sent me a Blu-ray and not the DVD, but they post it is a possibility.
Also, with these, if you don't normally circulate Blu-rays, you are paying Blu-ray price for just the DVD. You have to decide if that is worth it for your collection. I will skip over many of the Blu-ray/DVD combo packs unless it is an incredibly popular title. For example, Attack on Titan came like this. Based on its popularity, I knew the library had to add it, so I bit the bullet and paid the price for it.
If your library is just starting to develop its collection, another factor to consider is how to display it. Are you going to interfile it with your other titles or is it going to have its own display? We recently decided to make our shelf locations uniform across all branches. At the time, some of our branches had an anime section and some did not. We debated briefly whether or not to interfile them with the other DVDs.
Here's my argument for anime having its own shelf location: People looking for anime typically just want anime and maybe manga (Japanese graphic novels). Not having that shelf location eliminates the browsing potential for them. At my branch, we have about 25,000 DVDs. Of those about 500 are anime. I don't think people picking up Sleepless In Seattle are going to think, “Oh and here's Sailor Moon! I've been meaning to watch that!” But if they have that dedicated shelf location, they very well may think, “While I've got Attack on Titan, I might as well get some Dragon Ball Z, oh and Fairy Tail too!”
Interfiling anime creates some problems of its own. Many of them are television shows, many are movies, so that further spreads them out. Also, most of them are in Japanese. So do you put it with your foreign collection?
That should give you some ideas to think about when ordering your anime collection. In the next part, I will talk about language selection, how to judge whether a title is appropriate for your teens, and give you a few helpful resources to help make title selection easier.
Jonathan Davis is the assistant branch manager and teen librarian at a large Indiana public library system (Lake County Public Library). He has ordered anime DVDs for 10 branches for nearly two years and has been running a successful teen anime club for most of this time. He received his MLS at Indiana University.
These articles are written in conjunction with a seminar on anime collection development and programming that were certified by the Indiana State Library that he presented in conjunction with his fellow teen librarian at Lake County Public Library, Jennifer Billingsley. This seminar will be presented again at the Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference in Indianapolis this November.
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Yesterday I got to be a RAILHEAD AMBASSADOR at a special early-preview event for Philip Reeve's upcoming novel, Railhead. (Look at me, being all railway and ambassadorial in gold braid and hat. Also slightly overheated.)
Funnily enough, I used to go to lots of ambassadorial events when I first met my husband, when he was working for the British Embassy in Moscow. Back then, I was very studenty and didn't really have any dress-up clothes, so I pretty much wore black jeans, a velvet shirt and Doc Martens everywhere. All the foreign service wives had perfect English-bought clothes for every occasion and I always felt a bit awkward and gauche. So it was nice to be going to an ambassador event when I'd stopped caring about not blending in and could look like a twit with the greatest of joy, ha ha.
Anyway, back to the book, and I'm really excited about this one. Here's a snapshot of one of the posters on display at the event:
'Gentlemen Take Polaroids' is definitely my favourite train name. And here are the other assembled Railhead Ambassadors! Some of them had won a competition to attend, and others were young reviewers for the Guardian Children's Books website.
Here are a few of the tweets from Philip's first Railhead reading:
After the reading and Philip's answers to some very well-thought-out questions from the audience, we had drinks upstairs with Darren Hartwell from BookZone, Caleb Woodbridge and Laura Heath of the aforementioned tweets.
Here's Guardian Chidren's Book website editor Emily Drabble (who, incidentally, commissioned our Seawigs Comics Jam, my How to draw a hungry T-Rex, How to Draw Jampires and How to Draw a Silly Unicorn.)
Then I got to meet some more of the ambassadors while Philip signed advance review copies for the guests. (This version isn't quite finished - there will be a few more tweaks and editions in the final version - but it's ready enough to show to reviewers, to give them an early jumpstart before the book comes out in the autumn.)
These guys made me laugh. They're like, 'REEVE? We are going to CRUSH HIS VERY BONES.'
I'll look forward to reading their reviews! And I'll post a review here nearer to the publication date. But I CAN say that Railhead is ace.
And here's a good showing from the Oxford University Press Railhead publicity team: Keo Baxendine, Liz Scott and Alesha Bonser. You can check out what people are saying over on the #RAILHEAD hash tag.
Funnily enough, on my way to meet Philip, I met a REAL train driver! In fact, I'd met James Bacon before at a comics convention, but I had no idea he drove the Heathrow Express. (How cool is that?)
One more thing: Railhead is Philip's solo book (I'm not a co-author), but there's been a lovely review of our joint book, Oliver and the Seawigs by Stephen Holland of the excellent Page 45 comics shop in Nottingham. Stephen's a legendary reviewer, so I was hugely flattered to see that he'd taken time to focus on Seawigs, which isn't even a comic! I love reading his reviews: they're so exuberant, and he comes up with the most original descriptions and observations. And it's wonderful to see a review that talks so much about the illustrations. Thanks, Stephen! You can read the whole review here (scroll down a bit).
I’ll be talking about my next novel, ZEROES, at San Diego Comic Con next week, in company with my co-authors, Deb Biancotti and Margo Lanagan. We have our own panel to discuss the book!
We’ll have swag and chapter samplers there as well. The details:
“From Zeroes to Heroes”
Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deb Biancotti
Thursday, July 9, Noon
Horton Grand Theater
444 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA
Please share this graphic with ALL YOUR SDCC-GOING FRIENDS!
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Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison has debuted on the iBooks bestsellers list this week at No. 2.
Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for the week ending on July 1, 2015. Grey by E. L. James is No. 1 on the list and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is No. 3.
We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump.
iBooks U.S. Bestseller List – Paid Books 7/1/151. Grey by E L James – 9781101946350 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 2. Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison – 9780062372123 – (Dey Street Books) 3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 4. Paper Towns by John Green – 9781101010938 – (Penguin Young Readers Group) 5. The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand – 9780316334501 – (Little, Brown and Company) 6. Truth or Die by Howard Roughan & James Patterson – 9780316408738 – (Little, Brown and Company) 7. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – 9781476789651 – (Simon & Schuster) 8. The Martian by Andy Weir – 9780804139038 – (Crown/Archetype) 9. Fifty Shades Darker by E L James – 9781612130590 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 9781476746609 – (Scribner) 11. Fifty Shades Freed by E L James – 9781612130613 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 12. The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark – 9781476749136 – (Simon & Schuster) 13. The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer – 9780446553957 – (Grand Central Publishing) 14. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press) 15. Tom Clancy Under Fire by Grant Blackwood – 9780698404861 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 16. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James – 9781612130293 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 17. Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton – 9780553392722 – (Random House Publishing Group) 18. Finders Keepers by Stephen King – 9781501100130 – (Scribner) 19. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – 9780307459923 – (Crown/Archetype) 20. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume – 9781101875056 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) Add a Comment
As writers and illustrators of children’s books, we have the cutest fantasies. Who else dreams that their work will someday be decorated by a sticker?
And then there’s the conference fantasy, where the agent or editor of your dreams holds your manuscript overhead and says, “This is brilliant!” and she just happens to have a contract in her pocket, which you sign on the spot. It’s almost better than the sticker.
But here’s the thing. People are sometimes asked to send off stories or art, and there are similarly wonderful career-transforming moments. Usually, though, nothing quite so dramatic happens.
And yet… conferences are magic. Truly. Every picture book I’ve ever sold has come directly from my time at an SCBWI conference, specifically the one in Los Angeles. I’ve sold four picture books and have interest in a fifth; each one sprang from an idea or conversation I had at that summer conference, starting with my first one in 2008.
My future editor, Arthur A. Levine, had been in Seattle that spring for a conference, and through a happy accident of seating, we’d chatted through the evening, and he invited me to submit something to him someday. At the time, I was writing an epic novel about a pirate in part because I’d given up on picture books, and in part because, well, I can’t really remember why, which was ultimately the problem with that novel.
At our local spring conference, Arthur had offered sage advice from his then four-year-old son. “When in doubt, write about dinosaurs.” At the time, this didn’t strike me as anything other than adorable. (Who was I to write about dinosaurs, anyway? At the time, I was merely thirty-seven.)
When registration opened for the summer conference in Los Angeles, I really wanted to go. But I couldn’t. We had a family reunion that weekend. And what kind of jerk puts anything in front of family? As it turns out, I am that kind of jerk.
In Los Angeles, Arthur reassured us about the picture book market, which at the time was feeling kind of battered. On the flight home, I resolved to send him a thank-you note for being so encouraging. I looked out the window, and I thought about dinosaurs, and specifically their teeth, and even more fantastically, about who might love their teeth most of all.
Arthur ended up publishing the answer to that question—The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy—five years later. A year or two after I sold The DTF, I mentioned to Arthur at another Los Angeles conference a letter I’d written to my daughter when she asked for the truth about Santa. He said he thought it sounded like a picture book as well. A dear friend I’d met at the Los Angeles conference, Samantha Berger, gave me an idea for how it might be done. I wrote it. Arthur bought it.
Last summer, Samantha and I came up with an idea at the conference while we were eating pizza poolside. So far that has turned into a two picture book deal with Arthur.
These aren’t the sort of things you can predict when you’re thinking about going to a conference. The standard fantasy—that someone might love your work and buy it on the spot—pales in comparison to what really can happen. You go to these conferences and meet people who inspire you. You make friends. You hear words you didn’t know you needed to hear, things that make you laugh and cry, things that feed your mind in ways your everyday routine might not. All of this becomes the fuel of story.
I’d never thought to dream about what comes from inspiration and connection and friendship. And yet this combination is so much better than any contract, and why I’ll go to every SCBWI conference I can.
Fantasies are great and all. But real life? It’s better.
Martha Brockenbrough is the author of the YA novels The Game of Love and Death and Devine Intervention, and The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy, a picture book. Both are with Arthur A. Levine at Scholastic, as is her forthcoming picture book, Love, Santa, as well as two Bigfoot picture books written jointly with Samantha Berger. Martha also wrote the nonfiction middle grade Finding Bigfoot for Feiwel & Friends. In addition to her work on SCBWI's Team Blog, she is the founder of National Grammar Day and author of Things That Make Us [Sic]. Visit www.marthabrockenbrough.squarespace.com and on Twitter @mbrockenbrough.Add a Comment
When I first left my day job and was scrambling a bit for money, I taught an 8-week mystery-writing class at my local bookstore, Annie Blooms Books. I've also taught one-off classes here and there for a long time, more as a way to give back than to make money.
Sometimes i don't even make any money. For example, on July 18th I'm teaching a class on plotting as a fundraiser for Write Around Portland. It costs $35 and all the money goes to the organization.
This year, I've also taught that class for Left Coast Crime and for Oregon Literary Arts. A few years ago, I taught a class on how to start a series.
Well, one of the guys who was in that class, Curtis C. Chen, came up to me after my signing at Powells, and told me he had just made a two-book deal and had been going over the old notes from my series class to help him approach his series.
And then today, I saw that another one of my old students, Lisa Alber, had also made a deal:
And last year, Cindy Brown, a woman from one of my original classes who went on to be my friend, made a three-book deal. The first book, MacDeath, is laugh-out-loud funny (a rare thing) and I'm in the middle of reading an advance copy of her second, The Sound of Murder, which is even funnier.
I had originally planned to write this post some time last month, and make it an analogue to the one I made when the Hugo voting period open--more information than commentary. But then the seemingly impossible happened, and this year's Hugo clusterfuck managed to throw up yet more sound and fury. I was so angry about this latest iteration that I couldn't really bear to talk about it until I'dAdd a Comment
Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List this week.
To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.
If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.
If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups.
Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of July 1, 2015
1. Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams: “Arizona Turner has been my best friend since fourth grade, even when we \"hated\" each other. We’ve been there for one another through first kisses, first \"times,\" and we’ve been each other’s constant when good relationships turned bad. (We even went to colleges that were minutes away from each other…).”
2. Dare to Touch (Dare to Love Book 5) by Carly Phillips: “Olivia Dare, executive director of the Miami Thunder, and team travel director, Dylan Rhodes share more than just a passion for football–their chemistry is explosive and their feelings for each other are intense.”
3. Destined Dragons: BBW Paranormal Romance by Terry Bolryder: “Roxy is just a normal girl working hard to achieve her dreams. Until she saves someone’s life, gets on the news, and winds up kidnapped by a group of mysterious men targeting brave-hearted women. Just when she’s about to give up hope, two gorgeous men appear, rescue her and whisk her away to their castle-like mansion to keep her safe.”
4. The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey: “Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT’s “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.”
5. Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren Blakely: “Ten years ago, Brent Nichols let the love of his life slip through his fingers. It’s his greatest regret, especially since she’s all but disappeared. But when the gorgeous and captivating woman walks into his life unexpectedly, he’s determined to win her back. Whatever it takes, he won’t make the same mistake twice.”
6. Night with a SEAL by Cat Johnson: “A team of sexy SEALs, a terrorist threat, and an attraction that can’t be denied…Ten years of dedication to the Navy taught SEAL Jon Rudnick one thing—he’s not afraid to risk life and limb for his country. But when navigating military red tape begins to present more challenges than the enemy it makes Jon question his future.”
7. Desired by Dragons: BBW Paranormal Romance by Terry Bolryder: “Drake and Quill are dragon shifters, the big bad protectors of the shifter world, tasked with missions no one else can handle. Though hot, rich and capable, their partnership is held back by their sometimes clashing personalities. When they save a curvy woman named Tara from drowning, they may have just found the one thing they can agree on. They want her. Forever.”
8. Double Dragons: BBW Paranormal Romance by Terry Bolryder: “Draven and Ran are dragon shifters, the fire-breathing enforcers of the shifter world. The ones they call when things go wrong. Strong, sexy and wealthy, the only thing the two partners are missing is a mate to share it all with. But that’s tricky in the dragon world and after years of searching, the dragons have basically given up. That is, until a sexy, reckless human librarian lands in their path during a mission.”
9. Priest: A Love Story by Sierra Simone: “There are many rules a priest can’t break. A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God. I’ve always been good at following rules.”
10. The Island of Alphas: A BBW Paranormal Romance by Amira Rain: “Fertility Doctor Liz Fowler is not having the best of times in life. Her fiance has left her, she is in debt and now she is unemployed. So she cannot believe her luck when she is approached by a handsome and very mysterious man named Eric who offers her a job. A job he describes as being very, very important.”
Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of July 1, 2015Add a Comment
J.K. Rowling has announced (via Twitter) that Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm has been shortlisted for the The Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award. J.K. Rowling also previously tweeted that the second Cormoran Strike novel had been nominated for the Gold Dagger Award, just a couple weeks ago. It appears that poor Robert has mislaid his twitter password. According to the The Crime Writers’ Association’s twitter, the winners of the Gold Dagger (among others) awards will be presented on September 29, at a special event. We expect both J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith to be in attendance at the special event. These tweets can be seen below.
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The theme of this program will center on Sparking The Revolution: “No Taxation Without Representation.” The items chosen for this display include Benjamin Franklin’s annotated copy of a pro-Stamp Act pamphlet, an engraving of the Boston Massacre, a copy of the Continental Congress’s Olive Branch Petition, and a rare copy of the first New York printing of the Declaration of Independence.
According to the press release, visitors will see items that that spotlight on “key historic moments surrounding the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. A key focus of the display is the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act, a wildly unpopular British tax on all paper used by the American colonists, and one of the critical sparks that launched the fight for American independence.”Add a Comment
When you're asked to submit another manuscript, don't feel like you have to wait a long time before doing so.
It's time for our annual co-author summer vacation. But wait, we have lots to keep you going in the meantime!Add a Comment
Netflix's aggressive expansion into children's TV continues with the announcement of 3 new series.Add a Comment
There's no official "Samurai Jack" film coming anytime soon, but that's not stopping fans from creating their own work.Add a Comment
Can you believe it’s July already? I can’t. I was just getting used to June, just starting to feel like I was in the June groove, and now it’s time to move on. I am not ready. Can we turn the calendar back to June 15th please? That should be enough for me to get my fill of June and then when July 1st rolls around again I will be ready. Not going to happen you say? Where’s Marty McFly or the TARDIS when you need them?
Well, let’s barrel into July then. What will the month hold for reading? I get a 3-day holiday weekend coming up for Independence Day. Groovy, some extra reading time.
Even though I have been (mostly) good about keeping my library hold requests down to a manageable number, two books I have been looking forward to reading that have long waiting lines have, of course, both arrived for me at once. I now have to either a) rush through The Buried Giant and Get in Trouble in three weeks, or b) choose one to focus on and not worry about the other and get in line for it again if I run out of time. Choice “b” seems the most likely one I will go with which means Ishiguro’s Buried Giant will get my attention first. I am looking forward to it.
Carried over from last month, I am still reading Elif Shafak’s The Architect’s Apprentice. I am enjoying it much more than I was before even though I am making my way through it rather slowly.
In June I began reading Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and The Martian by Andy Weir. Two very different books and I am enjoying each of them quite a lot. James manages to be funny and ironic and ominous and can he ever write! I know people make fun of his long sentences but I get so involved in the reading I don’t even notice the length of the sentences. I do notice sometimes the paragraphs are very long, but that is only when I am nearing my train stop or the end of my lunch break and I am looking for a place to stop reading. And The Martian, is it ever a funny book. The book itself isn’t funny I guess, there is nothing very funny about being left for dead on Mars, the character, Mark Watney is funny; humor as survival tool. Weir, I must say, does a most excellent job of writing about complex science in such a way that is compelling and interesting and makes me feel smart.
I have a review copy of a new book called Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor on its way to me. The Emily in question is Emily Dickinson. It’s a novel from Penguin Random House and they are kindly going to provide a second copy for a giveaway. Something to look forward to!
I will also begin reading Elizabeth Bishop this month. I’m still reading Keats letters and biography and poetry but he will get a bit less attention as I start to focus on Bishop. Much as I wanted to like Keats, it seems I like the idea of Keats more than the actuality; enjoy his letters more than his poetry. Not that his poetry isn’t very good, it is, at least some of it because there is quite a bit of mediocre stuff he wrote to/for friends that makes me wonder why I decided to read the collected rather than the selected. Hindsight and all that. But even the really good Keats poetry left me with mixed feelings. I mean, I appreciate it and sometimes I have a wow moment, but it generally doesn’t give me poetry stomach (the stomach flutters I get when I read a poem I really connect with). We’ll see how it goes with Bishop. I have her collected as well as her letters to work my way through over the coming months.
Without a doubt there will be other books that pop up through the month, there always are! The unexpected is all part of the fun.
If you use Trello to manage your writing projects, you might find it useful to create cards that you can use for multiple cards.