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1. #689 – Dress Me! by Sarah Frances Hardy

CBW-email-childrens_2015

 

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Dress Me!

Written by Sarah Frances Hardy
Illustrated by Sarah Frances Hardy
Sky Pony Press           5/05/2015
978-1-63220-823-3
20 pages               Age 3—7
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“This little girl can be a lawyer, doctor, superhero, or plumber. She can be graceful, creative, brave, caring, silly, and even scary. She can wear braids or glasses, a crown or a beret. There are infinite, limitless possibilities, and this little girl gets to choose who and what she wants to be. And there’s always the option for her to be ‘just me.’ From the author/illustrator of Paint Me! comes a delightful, imaginative story about a little girl with some incredible aspirations.” [book jacket]

Review
The nameless young girl, along with her loyal puppy, take readers through part of their day as they move from room-to-room, outfit-to-outfit, and activity-to-activity. They start their day deciding what to wear. Deciding to start with some exercise, the girl pulls down her pink tutu, matching top, a violet sash, and . . . wait, what about her feet? No worries, pup has fetched the girl’s pink ballet slippers, dutifully waiting for his friend to slip them on her feet. With a high twirl and a long leap the pair dance, never out of step. The young girl and her dog take on a gamut of outfits (tutu, smock, scrubs, dresses, and masks), and identities (artist, teacher, lawyer, diva, builder, or plumber), as they dance, paint, fly through the air, and take lunch orders.

Dress Me! interior 1pass JAM_page19_image17

Older children have books such as WIGU Publishing’s When I Grow Up I Want to be a . . . series to help them decide what they might like to become. Dress Me does the same for younger children, in terms they y understand. More than that, Dress Me is about being yourself while enjoying who you are, right now. The illustrations tell the majority of the story. I like that Dress Me leaves much of the narration to the reader—or he young listener. While the young girl teaches a couch full of attentive stuffed animals (and one real puppy), the text reads,

“Teacher me.”

I like that kids can decide why the girl is teaching, what she is teaching, and to whom she, dong a great job of blending in to the scene. Pup does the same in this scene. Dress Me will appeal to young girls more than boys, even though Hardy includes male-oriented careers and activities boys enjoy. The illustrations are delightful. Each spread is loaded with detail, adding continuity by carrying items from one spread to the next. For example, the puppy pulls a blue-striped tie from the laundry basket. In the next image he wears the tie while pretending to be in court, on the wrong side of the young girl’s law. She has pushed a pair of glasses atop her head while waitressing and worn correctly as a teacher.

Dress Me is the perfect book for preschoolers beginning to self-explore their world and their place in it. Parents will appreciate the creativity Dress Me can inspire in young girls, who will begin to think out of their prescribed female roles. More importantly, Dress Me encourages young girls to enthusiastically be themselves.

Dress Me! interior 1pass JAM_page19_image14

A final note: the illustrations are the best yet from Hardy who improves with each book. Dress Me! is Hardy’s third book. Her others are Paint Me! and Puzzled by Pink (reviewed HERE).

DRESS ME! Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Sarah Frances Hardy. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Sky Pony Press, New York, NY.

Purchase Dress Me! at AmazonBook DepositorySky Pony Press.

Learn more about Dress Me! HERE.
Meet the author/illustrator, Sarah Frances Hardy:
Website:  http://www.sfhardy.com/
Blog:  http://sfhardy.blogspot.com/
Facebook:  http://bit.ly/SarahFrancesHardyFacebook
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sfhardy2
Find more picture books at the Sky Pony Press website:  http://www.skyponypress.com/

Sky Pony Press is an imprint of Sky Horse Publishing

Also by Sarah Frances Hardy

Paint Me!

Paint Me!

Puzzled by Pink

Puzzled by Pink

 

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Review word count = 455

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews.

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dress me ftc


Filed under: 4stars, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book Tagged: aspirations, be yourself, Dress Me!, enjoy being yourself, inspiration, little girls books, make-believe, puppies, Sarah Frances Hardy, self esteem, Sky Pony Press

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2. Proko's Skelly App

Stan Prokopenko and his team have just released a new app called "Skelly." 

It's named after the virtual skeleton character from Prokopenko's anatomy instruction videos on YouTube

The Skelly app lets you put the human skeleton into any pose and to see it from any angle. Tapping on a joint brings up a spherical overlay with directional arrows that let you drag the joint in the desired plane of movement.

It’s a useful tool for art students or professionals wondering what the skeleton is really doing beneath a life pose or for anyone wanting to visualize a pose from scratch. 


The interface is intuitive and easy to use without sacrificing any of the nuances of the human body’s complex range of movement. 

I tried it on my iPad, which is big enough to really see all the small bones, but it will also work on other mobile devices.

A control in the lower left of the screen lets you switch between a detailed skeleton model and a more simplified blocky skeleton, which Proko calls "RoboSkelly." Two other controls change the background and the light source.


Proko made this promo trailer with his characteristic wit and sense of fun.

I recommend the Skelly app for animators, storyboarders, comic artists, illustrators, and figure painters.
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3. On the Scene: 4 (AWESOME) Comics Locations in Europe

IMG_1986

I didn’t think London would be a particularly (hip hop) happening place for comics, alas I was wrong. In many instances I was pleasantly surprised at what was going on in the comics world overseas. During a leisurely excursion into the land of royalty and great pub food and drink, I was treated to a variety of specialty shops complete with a wonderful sense of style and tone all their own. These places had Free Comic Book Day events, special bundles and sales, exclusive art prints and more. One of the only downsides period; was the exchange rate on each sale. There is no sales tax on books in the United Kingdom (I’m pretty sure,) which lessened the blow of getting hit with the currency dilemma. Without further ado, here’s an assessment of my trip so far:

1) Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet is a well documented dose of nerd surprises. What struck me is the sheer amount of toys waiting on the first floor. The comics were hidden in the basement below, allowing me to believe that the retailer makes most their income based on the amount of toys they sell in front. The comic book selection was still completely overwhelming. With the high prices, I was searching for something that would be out of print, or on the small press side of the industry. With a limited knowledge of small press and knowing what was in print at the moment, I chickened out of buying anything. The Death of Captain Marvel was the only thing tempting me ­­ but it was in a weird hardcover format that would have probably been heavy in a suitcase. This is a side note, but I still would like to say that DC has done an extraordinary job with their newest set of packaging for their figures. All of the packages contain a simple and clean white background with some comics panels lurking in the background ­­ now it’s time for Marvel to catch up.

Forbidden_Planet_London_January_2012

Picture via Wikipedia

1.1) Harrods

Harrods (think black tie Costco) was mostly devoid of comics content. Even their bookstore contained no comics. Still, I was determined to find something ­­ and I did…eventually. I found a painting by Roy Lichtenstein for over £30,000. Not exactly comics, but something that the comics community feels strongly about.

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1.2) Stonehenge

You know…comics can be found in some funny places ­­even the Stonehenge museum? Inside the museum lie a couple of comics inside bearing the representation of the signature landmark. Recently London has spent a considerable amount of capital updating the landmark with an expanded lobby area. As seen in the image below, representations of the figure in comics work can be seen in Thor, Rip Hunter, Action Comics and more.

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2) American Dreams Comics

Bath, close to Stonehenge is a truly lovely City ­­and one place that also contained some hidden comic book treasures. Hidden may not be the correct word, because Batwoman and Captain America cosplay teams were handing out DC and Marvel issues for Free Comic Book Day and leading foreigners towards their shop known as American Dreams Comics. I was ecstatic because I was able to get everything I wanted from FCBD without having to wait in the lines of Forbidden Planet on the way back home. The cashier had instructed me to look out for long lines, but told me that they did have a lot of product in store at Forbidden Planet. This was a perfect solution and convenient for the people that I was traveling with. A healthy amount of youth were enjoying themselves in the store scouting out some of the posters that the retailer probably had leftover. It’s really cool that Secret Wars #0 took a spotlight on the Future Foundation for the duration of the comic. This makes the tale much more accessible for the youth that may have populated this shop.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Picture via americandreamcomicsbath.wordpress.com

2.1) Doctor Who Experience

I Really quick just wanted to mention that the Doctor Who Experience had a few of the loose Doctor Who issues in the store. Unfortunately, they were all way ahead of what I’ve read ­­ as the first trade of Al Ewing’s Matt Smith Who title has been really good so far. That’s it! No more Doctor Who. Promise!

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3) Blackwell’s Art & Poster Shop

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Oxford was home to a lovely art store entitled Blackwell’s Art & Poster Shop. The store had everything from posters, books, and fine art as well. Everything in the store had a mostly independent vibe (making it a very Beat friendly store.) Speaking of friendly, the staff was more than willing to help out customers. I saw one of the employees actively evangelizing Maus (which I still haven’t read) and burst into an immediate smile. My haul was once again fruitless, but the temptation for me here was the Boxers & Saints slipcase edition that I haven’t seen before. Lately I have seen the comics split in two (not sure what that is about?)

4) Mega City Comics

Last but not least in my time in London was Mega City Comics. This store (which had a logo from Shaky Kane) had some incredible bundles. Even my jaded comic book heart couldn’t deny the fine assortment of deals here. My traveling companions had to talk me off the cliff off buying issues #6-68 of X­-O Manowar (the first series from the original Valiant.) they talked me off of that cliff…eventually. I did end up sealing my fate (and suitcase space) with the full #38 issues of Marc Andreyko’s Manhunter. I made out of the store like bandit paying less than a dollar an issue.

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Here’s a tiny picture of a tiny dog;
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You’re welcome.

Next week: Scotland!

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4. Guest Post & Giveaway: Claire Legrand Announces Some Kind of Happiness

Follow @clairelegrand
By Claire Legrand
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

I will always remember the first time I had a panic attack.

I was in fifth grade, in the middle of a math lesson, and I don’t remember what triggered the attack, although I assume it had something to do with the fact that I was in the middle of a math lesson. Numbers never came easily to me, and even at a young age, I was hyper-aware of that fact, and embarrassed by it.

So I asked to be excused and hurried to the restroom. I hid in a stall and sat on the toilet, shaking. I was flushed all over, sweating like you do when you wake up from a nightmare. My skin crawled, and I couldn’t stop scratching it. I couldn’t breathe.

I thought maybe I just had to throw up and then these feelings would go away, but I couldn’t, and they didn’t.

With no idea what was happening, I huddled there, terrified and alone, for as long as I felt I could get away with it. I thought I was going to burst out of my skin.

That was the first time, but it wouldn’t be the last.

I will always remember playing in the woods behind my grandma’s house. Now, the trees aren’t quite as tall as they once were, the woods not as deep. Now, I can see reality through the leaves—other houses and other streets, power lines. But growing up, it was an endless wonderland, a neverland, a paradise for me and my cousins.

"My cousins and I hung this sign at the entrance to our clubhouse."
We explored it for hours and days, months and years. We grew up there, shaping it to fit our games of runaways and witches, Peter Pan and Robin Hood.

We built a clubhouse and gathered moss to make potions. We crawled into the green hollows beneath bushes and whispered about where we would go next—other kingdoms, other forests. We stayed out past sundown, the windows of my grandparents’ house glowing with lamplight.

We were never afraid of the dark, not in that place. It was ours, after all. We had made it.

To us, that world seemed full of magic.

I have always wanted to write a story about that place, as I remember it. To capture it forever in the pages of a book.

I’ve always wished that my scared, ten-year-old self could have found a book on the library shelves that told the story of a girl like me. Who got scared like I did, and sad like I did, for no particular reason. A book that could have helped me understand what was going on inside me.

I hope that, through my next book, Some Kind of Happiness, I’ve accomplished both of these things. It’s the story of eleven-year-old Finley Hart, who knows she should be happy. She has a good life, a loving family. Some days she is happy. Some days, though, she’s not. She gets scared for no reason she can pinpoint, and sad, too. She feels tired and heavy. She loses herself to inexplicable panic.

"The tree named 'Mother Octopus'"
Whatever is wrong with her, she wants to hide it from the world, and especially from her parents. They have their own problems to deal with, and she won’t be another one.

To cope, she creates the forest kingdom of the Everwood and writes about it in her beloved notebook. Only in the Everwood does she feel in control. Only there does she feel safe.

While spending the summer at her estranged grandparents’ house, Finley draws her cousins and the wild boys next door into the world of the Everwood—but when the days spent exploring in the nearby forest reveal buried family secrets, the lines between fantasy and reality start to blur, and Finley must find the courage to bring darkness into the light—both her own darkness and that of the family she has come to love.

I’m so excited to announce that Some Kind of Happiness is set to release May 2016 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. This is my third middle grade novel, and perhaps my most personal one. It’s a story about secrets, family, and friendship, adventure and summertime, mental illness and the power of imagination.

I hope you love it as much as I love it—and even more than that, I hope it finds its way into the hands of kids who, like me, struggled with anxiety and depression but didn't yet know how to describe what they were feeling. Like me, maybe they only know it as a nameless, lonely weight on their shoulders. Maybe it scares them, or embarrasses them. Maybe they try desperately to hide it.

I just hope that maybe, as they go on this adventure with Finley, they’ll find words to articulate those feelings, and that weight will start to feel a little bit lighter.

For more on the look and feel of Some Kind of Happiness, be sure to check out the book’s Pinterest board—and for a brief, exclusive excerpt from the book itself, read on!

Excerpt

Once there was a great, sprawling forest called the Everwood.

It was not the kind of forest children played in.

It was the kind of forest most people stayed far away from, for it was said to hold many secrets, and not all of them kind.

According to rumor, the Everwood could be both beautiful and foul, vicious and gentle.

"We were in our own special world."
It was home to astonishing creatures and strange, solitary people—some of whom were born in the Everwood, and some of whom wandered inside, whether they meant to or not. No one in the Everwood got along, for they had no ruler to bind them together, no neighborhoods or cities. They lived like wild things and kept to themselves.

Or so the rumors said.

Most people were afraid to enter the Everwood, but some brave souls made the journey anyway: Adventurers, witches, explorers.

They never returned.

Perhaps the wild creatures who lived in the forest had trapped them there. Or maybe the Everwood’s secrets were so enchanting that those who made it inside did not care to leave.

Everyone who lived near the Everwood knew it was protected by two guardians, who were as ancient as the Everwood itself. Throughout their long lives, the guardians had learned how to read certain signs—the wind in the trees, the chatter of the Everwood creatures.

One summer, not so long ago, something happened that would change the Everwood forever.

The ancient guardians determined that soon, a terrible Everwood secret—one they had kept hidden for years—would come to light. And if this happened, the guardians read in their signs, the Everwood would fall. They would no longer be able to protect it. Its secrets and treasures would be laid bare. Its people would be turned out into the cold, wide world.

There was hope, however. A small, cautious hope.

The guardians could read this hope, slight as it was, in their signs. It was as clear to them as though it were a page in a book:

The Everwood, if it were to be saved, would need a queen.

Cynsational Giveaway


Enter to win a signed set of books by Claire Legrand: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (Simon & Schuster, 2012), The Year of Shadows (Simon & Schuster, 2013), The Cabinet of Curiosities (Greenwillow, 2014), and Winterspell (Simon & Schuster, 2014). U.S. only. Author sponsored.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5. Hurry Up, Ilua! - a bookwrap



Scurry Squirrel
Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Scurry squirrels and don't be slow 
Winter's coming, don't you know 
Scamper, scamper all around 
Bury treasures in the ground 
Scurry squirrels and don't be slow 
Winter's coming, don't you know! 



Unwrapping today's book...





Written and illustrated by;

Nola Helen Hicks

Ages 3-8







Unwrapping the illustrations...






Look at  how bold and colourful these are and the detail.





I love the surreal approach in this picture.






Look how Nola captured the expression on the wolf's face causing anxiety and tension to both Ilua and the reader.  Will Ilua and her little sister be the wolf's next meal? 




A picture's worth a thousand words and wraps up the story perfectly... perfect peace and rest.







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6. Review: Her Knight in the Outback by Nikki Logan

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I borrowed Her Knight in the Outback because I have enjoyed several Nikki Logan titles in the past.  I enjoyed this one, too, but I wasn’t convinced that the protagonists will have a HEA.  Eve is just so damaged and heart broken that it was difficult for me to believe that she would be able to successfully put all of her emotional distress in the past and give Marshall all of the attention he deserves.

Eve’s younger brother disappeared almost a year ago.  After waiting unsuccessfully for the police to actually do something, like find him, she quits her job, sells her house, and purchases a converted bus so she can go look for him.  She feels guilty for not seeing the warning signs before he took off, and she can’t believe that he would just leave her and her father.  Armed with missing person posters, she intends to search every single town and city for Travis, and she has no intention of quitting until she finds him.

She comes across an injured motorcyclist on a deserted road, and even though she wants to keep on trucking by, she stops to see if she can assist him.  What if Travis needed help, and no one stopped for him?  When motorcycle dude approaches the bus, Eve is momentarily taken aback.  His bushy beard and tattoo alarm her.  What if he’s part of a motorcycle club?  What if he tries to hurt her in the middle of nowhere, where not even a cell signal is available?

It turns out that Marshall is the one who saves Eve.  After a not so memorable introduction, they cross paths again, and after clearing the air, they agree to travel together for a few days, until Marshall’s route diverges from Eve’s.  Marshall sees how hurt and emotionally vulnerable Eve is, and all he wants to do is help her forget about Travis for a little while and remember the joy of living her own life.  The only problem is that Eve’s guilt keeps getting in the way, and after being on the road for eight months, she has forgotten how to enjoy another’s company.

While the conflict was interesting, I’m not sure I bought the resolution.  Eve learns that Marshall pulled a disappearing act of his own, and she keeps throwing it in his face.  Every time they make some progress in their relationship, Eve is overcome with guilt for enjoying herself while Travis might be dead or worse.  Travis is the sum total of her existence, and she resents Marshall for getting in the way of her self-appointed mission of finding her brother.  Her inability to consider that Travis left of his own free will became tiring, and maybe that’s why the story was such a mixed bag for me.  I had a hard time connecting with Eve, which made it difficult to sympathize with her.

Grade:  C+ / B-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

She didn’t know she needed rescuing! 

Eve Read doesn’t need help from anyone. She’s searching for her missing brother and doesn’t want any distractions. Yet sharing her burden with mysterious leather-clad biker Marshall Sullivan is a relief, and soon Eve can’t resist the sparks igniting between them! 

Meteorologist Marshall spends his life on the road, but there’s something about Eve that makes him want to stay put… 

Has Eve finally found what she’s been searching for all along?

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7. Way Back Wednesday Essential Classic for SPRING!

A Prayer in Spring

Robert Frost and Grandma Moses

 

There are plenty of prayers going skyward from farmers and growers of all types as spring, and the growing season, are off to a slow start. Mother Nature packed quite a wallop this winter; then add on Punxsutawney Phil’s prognostication of six more weeks of winter on February 2nd and planting is in a holding pattern.

Yet when I spied this picture book, I felt lighter. The words of Robert Frost’s springtime celebration poetry, coupled with Anna Mary Robertson aka Grandma Moses and her sublime scenes of spring, and you can spur your young reader to get out and revel in the beauty that is awakening from long winter slumbers.

I believe in acquainting young readers with classic picture book reads. That is not to say these books are the sole sanctuaries in picture book reading of what is meaningful and important to children, but they are very special for a reason. And that great leveler is time; and that is why great picture book art and narrative can still, years after its publication, continue to speak to a child’s heart.

And here, in “A Prayer in Spring” two very American masters of art and poetry combine to bring the newness of spring from their quite original perspectives.

In Frost’s evocative poem of springtime sights, sounds and scenery, Grandma Moses matches his words with her very identifiable technique in a depiction of the flowers, foliage, bees, and rolling countryside that mimics Mother Earth’s slow reawakening.

I love these next few lines because they expressly capture the look of apple orchard blossoms at bud break that I have marveled at in our own orchard. It’s a creamy white haze of petals, amassed in row upon row, that all seems to meld together:

 

   “Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts at night;”

 

And the book’s lines of poetry and art even seem to speak to the farmer’s nervousness; as nothing about planting is ever guaranteed:

 

 “Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;

   And give us not to think so far away

 

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.”

 

 

In a world of 24/7 news cycles, where families scramble to fulfill work and play obligations that are still more scheduled than ever, why not take some timeout with two titans? Robert Frost and Grandma Moses will have you and your child immersed during a picture book spring sitdown, poring over pages of art bursting with green newness and renewal of possibilities.

It’s very catching, because this picture book has spurred me on to take a walk in the apple orchard and see the blossoms – now!

New life – new earth – new beginnings – all found with the turn of a page!

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8. Martin Freeman Cast in Captain America: Civil War Movie

Bilbo Baggins (GalleyCat)Martin Freeman has joined the cast for Captain America: Civil War.

Freeman (pictured, via) has become well-known for his work in two book based adaptations: The Hobbit film trilogy and the Sherlock TV series. Marvel Entertainment has not revealed the role that Freeman will be taking on for this movie.

Anthony and Joe Russo, two brothers and the directors behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will return to helm this project. Captain America: Civil War is set to hit theaters on May 06, 2016. (via Deadline.com)

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9. Recent work for Wingspan Magazine

Here's some more of my regular monthly cut illustrations for Wingspan, ANA's inflight magazine on their international flights.

A story about a wild boar in Australia that went on a rampage after swigging 18 cans of beer.

Nepal's Bird man Gautam Sapkota, world record holder for his ability to mimic 151 species of bird

Dracula's Castle goes on sale
In Dresden a moose became stuck in an office building for six hours

More to come!

I've been shamefully behind with my blog this year, chiefly because I've been pretty well overwhelmed by some very involved book deadlines, things have been extremely hectic! It's not over yet, things are still very busy, but I'll post again when things get easier.



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10. Iron Sharpens Iron

val

Saying there is one true path to writing a polished work is folly. There are lots of paths and we create them as we walk. – Linda Urban

So grateful to have finally met Valerie Geary, a friend who has helped me find so many paths and walked with me along the way.

The post Iron Sharpens Iron appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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11. Wednesday Writing Workout: Celebrate Children's Book Week!




Happy Children’s Book Week!

Since 1919, this national literacy initiative, the longest-running in our history and co-anchored by the Children’s Book Counciland Every Child A Reader, has celebrated books for young people and the joy of reading.

Visit the website to learn the bounty of events and activities that commemorate this once-a-year week and to read more about this  year’s poster creator, Grace Lee.

Book Week’s goal? To make sure every child is a reader!

But today is Wednesday, yes? – which means it’s time for a TeachingAuthors Wednesday Writing Workout, one that will give every child, both current and former, the opportunity to write.

Enjoy!

Esther Hershenhorn

P.S.
Don’t forget to enter our Book Giveaway to win a copy of Stefanie Lyons’ YA novel in verse DATING DOWN (Flux). The deadline to enter is midnight May 15.

                                                        . . . . . . . . 


Let’s tweak the Children’s Book Week goal a tad to read…. make sure every child – current and former (!) – is a reader who writes!

Click HERE to download these children’s book week story starters and create your own ending!


What I Did begun by National Ambassador Katherine Paterson (New!)
BLAM! begun by Mo Willems (2009 Children's Choice Book Award winner) (New!) 
The Night Visitor begun by Dinah Williams (2009 Children's Choice Book Award winner) (New!) 
And Then... begun by National Ambassador Emeritus Jon Scieszka
The Unexpected Blast begun by Elaine Landau (2008 Children’s Choice Book Award winner)
Surprise On the Mat begun by Lola Schaefer (2008 Children’s Choice Book Award winner)
One Morning... begun by Mary Pope Osborne

One Evening... begun by Lemony Snicket

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12. Social Media Traffic and the Power of Google+

I’ve decided to make Wednesdays TIPS days. The posts may not be too long, but they will be packed with actionable tidbits of content writing and content marketing tips. Today is about the power of GooglePlus. I do marketing research every day and a littler earlier today, I was looking for GetResponse’s blog page. Instead of going to the site, I thought it’d be quicker to do a Google search

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13. Query Question: prioritizing agent choice by publishers sales

I've been checking where agents have gotten their clients published. Should I be concerned if I don't see any larger publishers or publishers on my wish list? I wonder if maybe the books the agents were shopping weren't of interest to the larger ones or maybe the agents didn't have the right contacts with them. Is it advisable to still query them, then if I get 'the call' inquire about such things and make a decisions from there?
You're operating from an incomplete data base, no matter how carefully you research agents.

Not all deals are reported. Not all books have acknowledgements. Not all agents list all deals on their website or blog.  (I myself am WOEFULLY behind on posting deals for example.)


You're also operating from a limited knowledge base about publishers.  There is a lot of information about publishers you'll never see in public forum, and I wouldn't tell you unless you were a client and we were reviewing the submission data base.

In other words, you don't know enough to start culling agents at this point.

Query widely.

When you get an offer of representation, be forthright with your agent about what you want and then LISTEN to her/him when she gives you some info that might change your mind.


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14. the airport


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15. Terrific - an audiobook review

Below is my review of Jon Agee's Terrific as it appeared in the April 1, 2015 issue of School Library Journal.  The review was slightly edited from my original.  I didn't refer to Eugene as "the boy."  Eugene is definitely not a boy, as you can see by the cover illustration.  ;)

AGEE, JON. Terrific. 1 CD. 7 min. Dreamscape. 2014. $14.99. ISBN

9781633795112.

PreK-Gr 2--Eugene's life follows Murphy's Law--if something can go wrong, it will. And when inevitable misfortune falls, Eugene's favorite expression is a sarcastic, "Terrific." So, it's no surprise that when the boy's Eugene's cruise ship sinks, all the passengers (except Eugene) are rescued, and he finds himself on a deserted island with a talking parrot. "Terrific," says Eugene. Narrator Kirby Heyborne plays the resigned, older, and long-suffering Eugene perfectly with a mix of sarcasm and fatigue, and creates a suitably squawking voice for the take-charge parrot who will change his attitude. Sound effects including boat horns, construction din, and ocean waves complement the story. Though listeners will miss Agee's humorous illustrations, the CD includes a fun musical version of "Terrific," sung by Heyborne with music by the Promise Makers. The lyrics are slightly modified from the text to fit the upbeat rhythm and rhyme scheme of the song, but stay true to the original story. VERDICT Purchase this one for sharing with school or storytime groups, one with a copy of the print book.--


Copyright © 2015 Library Journals, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.
Reprinted with permission.


Listen to an excerpt from Terrific here.

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16. Review: Secret Wars #1 is an Omelet of Marvel Warfare

Secret Wars #1

SCWARSCOV2015001_DC11

 

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Esad Ribic

Color:Ive Svorcina

Letters: Chris Eliopoulous

Publisher: Marvel Comics

 

 

The time for talking and teasing is over, Marvel’s “mega game changing” event Secret Wars is upon us. Now, it’s time to see if the real thing can possibly live up to the hype. Free Comic Book Day gave readers a zero issue that served as a primer for anyone not caught up on current events in Avengers titles. Issue one of Secret Wars marks the real kickoff of the collision between the Marvel universe we’ve known for more than 75 years and the Ultimate universe launched back in 2000. With a lot of ground to cover we’ll keep it short and major spoiler free.

The opening chapter isn’t so much about the Battleworld or fighting Beyonders as it is a reckoning of the cataclysmic incursion between Earth-616 (regular universe) and Earth-1610 (ultimate universe). Before Secret Wars, writer Jonathan Hickman had set a chain of events in motion during his Avengers run where alternate universes could only survive annihilation by destroying other universes. It all gets extremely lightly touched upon in the opening through the dialogue of the evil Reed Richards from the Ultimate universe, but doesn’t explain all the events leading up to the end of the worlds. Hickman instead made this first issue a massive Marvel fight between Ultimate Nick Fury’s forces and the Avengers of the regular Marvel U. In the midst of battle, the good Reed Richards (616) attempts a last ditch effort to gather essential people on Earth to his life raft (that’s literally what they called it) in order to continue the human race once doomsday obliterates everything. The end of issue one is where the meat of Secret Wars battle for reality begins, but we’ll have to wait till issue two to see how things really take shape.

SW_001_2

An action packed story relies heavily on an artist who can cinematically capture it all. Esad Ribic’s work in the book is solid. The scale of the lens readers witness events through is massive and his panel layout choices move everything along at a break-neck pace. He does sacrifice fine detail in the drawings, but fortunately doesn’t skimp on the small details in the panels particularly the impact moments. Where the visual really pops is in the color work of Ive Svorcina. It brings out such a distinction in the contrast of the 616 and Ultimate universe that adds the much-needed definition between the sides in battle. Marvel’s AR app also gets a really great workout from the art in the book, if you haven’t used it, make sure you download it for this series.

SW_001_1

Overall, enjoyment of Secret Wars #1 is fragmented and where you find yourself depends on how closely you follow Marvel books. If you’ve been following Hickman’s Avengers titles then this series is a can’t miss payoff for your loyal reading. However, Marvel’s ambitions for Secret Wars went far beyond that audience. The publisher didn’t spend a year bombarding us with –teaser after teaser– and –press announcement after announcement– just to solely reward Hickman’s core audience. A highly touted PR campaigned combined with the timing of releasing right after the Avengers: Age of Ultron film hit theaters meant Marvel wanted to bring in everyone who’s ever read or even thought about picking up a comic book to buy this book. In this regard they didn’t make issue one as new-reader friendly as it should have been. If you haven’t been reading Avengers routinely then your level of indulgence from reading Secret Wars will depend on if you can accept the premise of this book without knowing the intricate moves that initiated it.

Having not finished the most recent issues of Avengers, I found myself scratching my head at some of the exposition all the different factions represented here are having in their conversations. However it didn’t dramatically hinder my enjoyment of the action and tension Secret Wars #1 was filled with. When you compare Secret Wars to DC’s Under the Dome; Marvel is making up serious ground. Though DC’s Convergence had more emotion in their opening; the current slow pace isn’t doing it any favors. While Secret Wars doesn’t quite live up to the hype, Marvel opened it with action movie like entertainment, and sometimes that’s all you really need to get hooked.

Note: Though we can’t talk about the tie-in series just yet. It’s important to note that after reading some of those #1s, Marvel is so far keeping to their promise of keeping Secret Wars main series as the only one you need to read. Check back later today and we’ll post a code for a digital copy of Secret Wars #1

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17. Article- Hit n run

Hit n run case

सलमान खान की खबर चल रही थी. घर पर कुछ मेहमान आए हुए थे और वो बात कर रहे थे कि इतनी बडी हस्ती है सलमान खान उसने ले दे कर केस रफा दफा क्यू नही किया. वही साथ ही साथ पल पल की खबरे चल रही थी कि सलमान किससे गले मिले किसे टाटा किया. कितने बज कर कितने मिनट पर कोर्ट पंहुचे.

5 साल सजा की बात सुनते ही बेल पर वार्तालाप चालू हो गया.बेशक बहुत लोगों को दुखी भी हुए. भले ही वो दो चार दिन मे छूट भी जाएगें(जैसाकि सुनने मे आया है) पर आम आदमी का न्याय पर विश्वास बना रहा एक बात अच्छी यह हुई चाहे कोई कितना बडा और रसूखदार क्यों न हो उसे कटघरे में आना ही पडता है. बडी हस्तियां जो आम आदमी को कीडे मकौडा समझती हैं इस धटना से सबक जरुर लेगी और भले ही थोडे समय के लिए पर एक डर तो सभी के मन मे बैठ ही गया होगा…सत्यमेव जयते… कानून जिंदा है

पलडा कानून का भारी रहा … cartoon- being human

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18. Children’s Book Week and a Quickie Lesson on Slow Reading Time

Children’s Book Week is this week, May 4-10, 2015!

Children's Book Week

Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of children’s books and reading. Established in 1919, it is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. The program is administered by Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the anchor sponsor.

In 2014, Official Events — which give kids the opportunity to connect with their favorite authors and illustrators in person — were hosted in all 50 states for the first time in the initiative’s history.

Here is the official 2015 Children’s Book Week Poster by Grace Lee! Grab your copy HERE.

2015_poster

The official poster commemorates the 96th annual celebration of Children’s Book Week (May 4-10, 2015), the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.

Reading is a daily journey, a ritual to spend time with our favorite authors and with each other. A time to go to places imagined, to meet characters who have become friends or shortly will be. As the book is passed between us, our rolls change from listener to reader and back to listener again.

Family story time should be an illumined hour when the sun is gone and the stars have come out of hiding. It’s not about how quickly we can get through a book or how many accelerated reader points its worth or how well the kids will do on their exams, it’s all about us, the happily ever after reading family.

Creating a Slow Family Reading Moment:

  • Try and choose the same time of day for your family reading session. It doesn’t have to be the exact hour just around the same time of day.
  • Unplug. No cell phones, TV, instant messages, beepers, buzzers or alarm clocks. Basically anything which makes noise must be off.
  • Be comfortable. Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Make a cozy environment. Bring out your favorite blankets and pillows. Many people like to have beverages such as hot herbal teas, cider, lemonade etc. For ourselves we also add the element of sitting by the fireplace or fire pit in Autumn through the end of spring and then out onto the screen porch in the summer.
  • Choose a book that everyone in the family can understand and enjoy.
  • Create a system for choosing who will read next. Sometimes my husband or I will start the reading session and then quietly pass the book onto the next child. At first as your family is young, you will be the primary reader.By slowing down and reading from a place of timelessness and expectations, we create connections to each other. We are enraptured by books that inspire us and our creativity. Though not explicitly, children learn that the love of reading is an enjoyment we all share. There is an old proverb which says :”A fig tree, looking on a fig tree, becomes fruitful.” Children, by participating with their families in reading will grow to love reading for the adventures and insights it holds.

Let’s celebrate Children’s Book Week with a Super Spring Sale! I have two of my most popular books on a super special sale until May18th!

booksalemay3

The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until May18, 2015 ! http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

book sale may1

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19. Entertainment Round-Up: New Spider-Man Director shortlist, Martin Freeman joins Civil War, Machinima developing new DC properties for the web, Days of Future Past “Rogue Cut”

Freeman_2963057b

On this New Comic Book Day, here are some of the non-Joss Whedon related headlines that are making waves today:

– Not long ago, after the Marvel-Sony deal was struck over the usage of Spider-Man, it seemed a surety that Sony would hang onto Drew Goddard to helm the newest entry. Not so, reports Deadline, as they’ve uncovered what is reportedly Sony’s director shortlist for the film:

Jonathan LevineWarm Bodies, 50/50

Ted MelfiSt. Vincent

Jason MoorePitch Perfect

John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. GoldsteinVacation

Jared HessNapoleon Dynamite

From this list, it seems like Sony is still aiming for the comedic-slanted mindset that brought us the Marc Webb entries. We all saw how that turned out. Hopefully this is an incomplete list and Goddard is still in contention. With a 2017 release date, a decision will have to be made by January at the very least, if not much sooner.

– Following in the footsteps of Peter Serafinowicz and Chris O’Dowd, British actor Martin Freeman (The Hobbit Trilogy) is stepping into the Marvel Universe, as he’s joined the cast of Captain America: Civil War in an undisclosed role. Considering the cast is already fit to burst at this point, I have a hard time imagining he’s playing anything beyond a utility player (like the above two actors). Your guess is as good as mine.

– Machinima, the online network that is already producing the animated DC series Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, set to debut next month, announced this week two more DC related programs that will go into production in the near future along with a second season of Gods and Monsters Chronicles. The two new series include #4Hero, a modern adaptation of Dial H For Hero (this time it’s based out of a smart-phone app) and The DC Hero Project, a contest show where eight competitors must battle it out in elimination challenges to develop a short video based on their own interpretation of characters from the 90’s Starman series.

– For those thirsting for more X-Men: Days of Future Past, you’re in luck! The “Rogue Cut” that restores all of Anna Paquin‘s cut scenes from the feature, and adds 17 minutes to the film, will hit stores on July 14th. That date is also the 15th anniversary of the release of the first X-Men film. Now, don’t we all feel terribly old?

 

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20. कार्टून – आर्डर आर्डर

cartoon-salman-courtआर्डर आर्डर…. सत्यमेव जयते …

13 साल तक लम्बा चला केस आज फैसले में तबदील हो गया और सलमान खान को 5 साल की सजा सुना दी ..

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21. App of the Week: Kong

Title:  Kong
Cost:  Free
Platform:  iOS and Android

Kong iconWhen stories about Kong, a social media app devoted to selfie GIFs, started popping up in my news feed, I had some questions. Mostly of the "why?" and "really?" variety. I couldn't see how a network of moving selfies could possibly be interesting or worthwhile. But I'm here to tell you I was wrong. This thing is super fun.

Set up an account and you're introduced to the app through your home page, which starts as a grid of brightly colored boxes that are empty except for the top left square -- a live feed from your front-facing camera (the only camera Kong allows you to use at this time.) The other boxes will eventually fill up with the feeds of friends you add through your phone's contact lists or by following other users.

Kong

When you click the search box at the top of the screen, you're taken to the channels page, where you can search by hashtag for channels of interest or click on the featured channels listed below, such as #coffee, #highfive, #doubletake, or whichever channel is feeling the love at the moment.

Once you find a channel that you like, swipe left or right on your live feed (still at the top left of the screen) to access filters and special effects, or double tap your feed to add words, then shoot a short video of yourself by pressing and holding the shutter button at the bottom of the screen.  Tapping the arrow button adds your GIF to the channel and opens a box of saving and sharing options, of which there are plenty. The result is a collection of GIFs on a single topic, with a fun, Brady-Bunch-Opening-Credits sort of feel.

Kong's appeal is due in large part to some smart choices made by the developers, including the decision to allow only one GIF per person, per channel -- if you post another GIF to the same channel, your original post disappears. This keeps the channels fresh and free of spammers. They also made it easy to create your own channels, both public and private, by simply creating a hashtag no one else is using.

It may seem like a selfie social media app wouldn't necessarily lend itself to Library programs or services, but 15 minutes after introducing it to my Teen Advisory Board they were already devising ways to incorporate it into our After-Hours Party scavenger hunt and brainstorming ways we could use it with our book club. Thus definitively answering my initial, knee-jerk questions of "why?" (Because it's quick, original, fun, and surprisingly useful) and "really?" (YES!)

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22. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip



There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 


An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
 

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule
http://www.wattpad.com/story/29486760-irresistible-mistake-new-adult-romantic-suspense


Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 
 

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23. AICL's Best Books of 2015

In December of 2014, I made a list of books that I'd recommended in 2014. It was a list of books that were published in that year.

This year I'm starting the Best Books of 2015 list today (May 6) and will update it as the year progresses. If you're looking over the list and want me to consider a book, do let me know!

BOOKS BY NATIVE WRITERS

Comics and Graphic Novels:




  • The Blue Raven written by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Steven Keewatin Sanderson, published by Pearson.

Picture Books:

For Middle Grades:


For High School:

  • Feral Pride written by Cynthia Leitich Smith, published by HarperCollins.


NON-NATIVE WRITERS

Comics and Graphic Novels:

Picture Books:

For Middle Grades:

For High School:

  • Shadowshaper written by Daniel Jose Older, published in 2015 by Arthur A. Levine (imprint of Scholastic). 

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24. Manuscript Read Times

The other day I received an email from an author checking on a manuscript that was submitted two weeks prior. Two weeks. I'm lucky if I get to the pressing things on my to-do list in two weeks, but submissions? Doubtful.

Anyone submitting to me can clearly see on our website that it takes me 12 weeks to respond to partial and full requests. I know that's a long time, but we discussed it in detail at BookEnds and decided we'd rather list the longer end of our response times to eliminate disgruntled authors after 8 weeks. That being said, as of this writing, I'm backed up on requested material to the beginning of the year. I have one or two from last year, but that's because they are going through some second reads.

I'm slow. I'm not going to lie about that. I also have an incredibly full client list, one that keeps me very busy, so when I do sit down to read and offer representation it's because I'm really, really, really excited about the book.

When submitting I can't stress enough how important it is to pay attention to reading times posted on an agent's website. Most agents will tell you, via their websites, that it takes a certain amount of time to read queries and an even longer amount of time to read requested material. Unless you have an offer of any sort there's no reason to contact the agent before that read time is up and, even then, I would suggested buffering it by a week or two.

If an agent doesn't have reading times posted I would assume 8-12 weeks for everything you send. While I suspect some agents are faster, and most are faster than me, 8-12 weeks is probably the standard rule.

--jhf


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25. The Rules of Author Club by Holly Bodger

You all are in for a real treat today! Not only do we have an incredibly original upcoming book to highlight -- 5 To 1, a half-verse dystopian set in futuristic India -- but I dare you to read this post by the author Holly Bodger without laughing like crazy. I sure did.

Holly is also one of our newest mentors for First Five Pages Workshop, so you'll be seeing her a lot around here. Please make her welcome!

The Rules of Author Club: a WOW-Wednesday Post by Holly Bodger


The first rule in being an author is YOU DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS.

The second rule of being an author is YOU DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS.

Did you get that? Perhaps I should say it again. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, READ ANY REVIEWS OF YOUR BOOK NO MATTER HOW TEMPTED YOU ARE! No, it is not okay if you only read part of the review. No, it is not okay if you get your mom or your dog to read it. Seriously, the moment you get published, you need to forget that Goodreads and Amazon and Twitter and YouTube and pretty much the whole internet exists. Got it?



Okay, now that we have that clear, I’m going to answer the following question from the audience:

Do I read my reviews?

Of course I read my reviews! I just wrote a half-verse, near futuristic dystopian book set in a former part of India. Do I look like the kind of person who follows rules???



Seriously, I really really really try not to read my reviews. In fact, every morning, I follow these precise steps in order to ensure I don’t:
  1. Get out of bed. Have shower. Turn on laptop. Open Twitter. Check notifications. If there is a review link, click on it.
  2. Scan review. Close browser and promise self not to read any more reviews.
  3. Turn on kettle. Remove tea bags from pantry. Return to Twitter. Search for name mentions without @. Click on link to review.
  4. Scan to bottom to see if rating is scary. If not, read review. If so, read anyway.
  5. Close browser. Close Twitter. Pour water in mug.
  6. Open Goodreads. Check overall rating. Attempt to ascertain how number could have gone down by .01. DO NOT LOOK AT LATEST REVIEWS IN ORDER TO FIND OUT. READING REVIEWS ON GOODREADS IS ABOUT AS SMART AS CLOSING YOUR HAND IN A CAR DOOR. EVEN I KNOW THAT!
  7. Add honey to tea. Go to Google. Search for book name. Scan for new reviews. Click on link.
  8. Scan page for nice words in bold. If found, read review. Spend 5-7 minutes Googling name of reviewer. Considering nominating said reviewer for Nobel Peace Prize. Remember that Nobel committee blocked you after first 12 nominations. Close browser again.
  9. Remove tea bag from tea. Add milk. Text writing partner quotes from bad reviews. Be sure to add at least 4 exclamation marks.
  10. Eat cookie while waiting for response.
  11. Read return text from writing partner. Count number of exclamation marks after “YOU PROMISED NOT TO READ YOUR REVIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (17, in case you’re wondering.)
  12. Promise writing partner that you will never ever ever read reviews again. Well, not today, at least.
  13. Eat another cookie. Or three.
In all seriousness, the reason you are not supposed to read reviews is because they might hurt and hurt will not help you move forward as a writer. For some people, hurt is debilitating. Hurt makes them think they are a bad writer and should not bother to ever write again. Hurt makes them want to lock themselves in their closet with a soup spoon and a container of Cherry Garcia.

The thing that people often forget about reviews is that they are a) personal, and b) personal. Just because one person does not like your book does not mean that another won’t love it. It does not mean you should stop writing. It does not mean that you are bound to never sell another book again. It simply means that you cannot please everyone. Also? You shouldn’t even try to.

So why do I find myself reading some of my reviews even though I know I should not? Well, in addition to the problem I have with rules, there’s also the fact that some of them say really nice things like BRILLIANT and BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN and WHY ISN’T THIS A MOVIE STARRING SOMEONE REALLY FAMOUS YET? And this is exactly what I need to hear when I’m feeling like this:



(Not an exact replica of my head. Or my laptop.)

Of course, searching for my good reviews means I am going to come across the bad ones, too. These ones may put mean words in bold like NO ROMANCE and MAKES NO SENSE and WHAT A WASTE OF PAPER! I ACTUALLY THREW IT AGAINST A WALL!!!!! (5 exclamation marks.)

But the real reason I read some of my reviews is because of the ones that offer constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is good. Constructive criticism helps writers improve their writing and I know I need to do that as much as anyone else. None of us are perfect and none of us are ever going to even approach perfection if we don’t continue to work harder and harder every single day.

And so, unless something changes, I am going to continue to pretend I don’t read my reviews. But only after I do this:



About the Book:


http://www.amazon.com/5-1-Holly-Bodger/dp/0385391536/
In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, Koyanagar–a country severed from India–now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, and women are an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of wedding their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife. But after fighting so hard for freedom against the old ways of gender selection, these women have become just as deluded as their male predecessors.

Sudasa Singh doesn’t want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy competing to be her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Kiran’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, each thwarts the other until they slowly realize that they might want the same thing.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

About the Author:


A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, Holly has been working in publishing since she graduated with an English degree from the University of Ottawa. 5 TO 1 is Holly’s debut novel.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads






-- posted by Susan Sipal, @HP4Writers



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