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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Illustrator category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26,701 - 26,725 of 149,085
26701. Sky

Not being one to rest her fate in a pair of sparkly shoes, Dorothy takes matters into her own hands!

Girl Power!

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26702. Circus Train sketching

3 Comments on Circus Train sketching, last added: 11/12/2012
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26703. Mom's Pumpkin Pie Recipe

My mom's pumpkin pie recipe is in my recent interview on Jama's Alphabet Soup blog, but I thought I'd copy it here too, since it's the time of year to eat, eat, eat pumpkin pie. Pumpkins play a role in the picture book I illustrated called THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN, and pumpkin pie is one of my all-time favorite foods. Not just any pumpkin pie, though. It has to be my mom’s recipe. The spices are just perfect in hers, and seem off to me when I try other pumpkin pies. I may be a bit biased, but try this recipe and see.
1-1/3 cup sifted regular flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Crisco shortening
3 tablespoons water
Spoon the flour lightly into measuring cup. Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Add Crisco. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in Crisco until uniform; mixture should be coarse. Sprinkle with water, a tablespoon at a time; toss with fork. Work dough into a firm ball with your hands.
On a floured surface, roll dough to a circle about 1.5” larger than inverted pie plate (9-inch deep-dish for pumpkin pie). Gently ease dough into pie plate without stretching. Fold under the top edge to make it double thickness around the rim and flute it with your fingers.
“Pie pumpkins” are sweeter and less grainy than the usual jack-o-lantern type pumpkins. Grocery stores or your farmer’s market should carry them during pumpkin season. One pie pumpkin yields more than enough for one pie; I’ve gotten over 5 cups of pumpkin out of a bigger one.

Cut the pumpkin in half. I’ve found the best tool for this is a cheap, little, jack-o-lantern carving knife. Scrape the insides out using an ice cream scoop. If you’d like, save the seeds and roast them in the oven with a bit of salt, oil, and/or cinnamon or any spices. Mmmm…
You can cook the pumpkin several different ways: steaming, baking, pressure cooker, or microwave. I stuck mine in a microwave bowl on high for 15 minutes or until it’s soft enough to scoop out easily.
Scoop it into a blender or blend it using a stick blender until it’s smooth. Use 15 oz for the pumpkin pie recipe below. It comes to about 1 2/3 cup if you don’t have a kitchen scale.
15 oz puréed pumpkin (you can use fresh or canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix well sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl. Beat eggs briefly in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake 40 minutes or until butter knife inserted near center comes out clean. Sometimes it takes a lot longer to bake if you use fresh pumpkin. Refrigerate leftovers. Yum…

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26704. Acorn Emergency!

This illustration is currently appearing in this month's issue of Ladybug magazine.  Can you find all the acorns?

2 Comments on Acorn Emergency!, last added: 10/25/2012
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26705. Book Tour, Day 4

On The Road, Day 4

Back in my hotel after being gone from 8:45 AM until 8:15 PM.

We crossed the bridge from Cincinnati to Kentucky this morning and went to Newport.  Very economically challenged area.  The facility felt like a high school but it was Elementary.  I saw Kindergarten and 1stgrade.  The most racially diverse group of children I have seen since being on this trip.  The teachers hadn’t read my books to the kids but it really didn’t matter.  The kids were delightful.  Very responsive and present.  My favorite question at the end of the session was from a little girl who asked, “How come you don’t have a boss?”  Very astute!  I mentioned that I still had to answer to an editor but that authors who wrote books worked for themselves, but we still had to run things by our editors. 

Left there, bought some sweats (since I forgot mine) from Target.  Targets are Targets.  I could have been in LA or Richmond.  Pretty crazy.

I had two hours to explore the Underground Railroad Museum which honors and documents the slaves who were moved into hiding and ultimately to freedom.  VERY moving!!!!!  I honestly needed a lot more time to explore.

Was picked up and brought to another school in Ft. Wayne, Kentucky.  I met with pre-K and Kindergarten.  The older ones had just visited a pumpkin patch on a Friday.  Talk about pumped up…. I couldn’t read a book without the kids shouting out what the next word was.  It was wild and fun.  Tearing the page off a large pad on an easel, a large piece hung from the top of the page as it tore.  I drew an elephant and used the hanging paper as a trunk.  The kids were giggling and lovely…

Off to a beautiful, homey, intimate bookstore on the bottom floor of a house.  The Blue Marble.  The first signing I have ever had where nobody showed up….. Humbling at the least.  6:00 on a rainy Friday night, I wasn’t expecting much.  The good news is, I loved the owner of the store and we had a wonderful afternoon together!!!  Amazing and inspiring to see real picture book lovers!!!!!!  They even have a room which is decorated like the bedroom in Goodnight Moon.

Left there and went to an upscale neighborhood and visited the Blue Manatte bookstore.  Really beautiful store with a little café attached.  ALL picture books.   The walls were covered with drawings and signatures from picture book authors.  I was honored to sign the wall and join the group.  Small group of kids and parents, but LOVELY kids and parents.  LOTS of fun!!!!!! 

I have had the privilege to have my media driver, Cathy, shlep me around.   She is a ‘fiscal’ Republican and someone who believes in God and occasionally goes to Church.  Needless to say, we have had some wonderful political and religious conversations.  I have so enjoyed our time together.

On to a book conference tomorrow called Books by the Banks near the river and them I zoom off to the airport to fly to Minnesota.  Sunday is a free day and then more schools and bookstores before flying to Florida on Tuesday night. 

That’s enough for now! 


More random shots from today.....  The quilted images are from the Underground Railroad Museum.  Tornado sign is from a school today.  Not a sign I have ever seen before!!!!  

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26706. Stone and Spear

Walking the fine line between design, illustration and collage, is Stone and Spear, aka Simon Cook. His pairing bright colored shapes with simple allusions to photomontage, he creates intricate compositions that are slightly crazy but really entertaining. I am most drawn to the intense color schemes and how he designs each piece with a graphic designer’s eye, which makes his work quite unique.

Simon is also part of the British illustration collective (& friends of Grain Edit!) Many Hands—a community of young artists that work out of a great studio space in London. For more from Simon, check out his shop at Many Hands, & be sure to follow him on twitter for his latest news!


Also worth viewing:
The Everywhere Project
Mansi Shah
Daniel Frost

Not signed up for the Grain Edit RSS Feed yet? Give it a try. Its free and yummy.


A Huge thanks to Depositphotos for sponsoring this week’s RSS Feed!

©2012 Grain Edit - catch us on Pinterest , Facebook and twitter

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26707. Dinosaur Hunter book 1 Roughs-Austalovenator

Australovenators it is! Our hero's close encounters with the banjo kind.

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26708. hoggy-hoggy HOGWARTS!

COPYRIGHT©2011, beedlebuggiebooks, ltd. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. library mural project. :-)

3 Comments on hoggy-hoggy HOGWARTS!, last added: 11/2/2012
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26709. Big or small competitions - It's all exposure

I entered a Sketchaholic contest in September for a bit of fun and won the most votes. These things are good to keep you sketching. I did use an image from The Sketchbook Project for this competition (Little Red Riding Hood) but the next competition (Create an awesome panda fairy) I created the illustration for the competition. It is a beautiful bear who wants to fly. Feel free join up yourself

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26710. Little Girl with Kitty

©Lesley Breen Withrow

...and here's the art in color. My daughter loves this kitty because it looks like her favorite stuffed animal 'Tito' (pronounced Tee-toe - that's how she said kitty when she was just learning to talk) that she's had since she was a baby. Happy Friday!

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26711. Illustration Friday topic is Sky

I thought hmm sky and October. What would work for that? Ah yes a friendly witch flying with her trusty purple bats against a cyan sky. I love doing Halloween images and this one was really fun. I did this painting in oils on board, but recently went into photoshop and added a few touches. Happy Halloween all!

2 Comments on Illustration Friday topic is Sky, last added: 10/25/2012
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26712. Modus operandi

The working place

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26713. A Child’s Guide to Ennui, part 1

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26714. The monsters that live under my desk

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26715. I never handed any of these books to her and said, “You should read this,”

Illustration by Hope Larson 

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26716. Before Classics Were Classics

Here's a article that will get you thinking. Many books considered masterpieces today, received brutal reviews when they first came out. The list in this article mainly has novels, but you will find a few children's books. One being a book that is now a classic example of the best in illustrated picture books...Where the Wild Things Are.

Publisher's Weekly, 1963

“The plan and technique of the illustrations are superb. … But they may well prove frightening, accompanied as they are by a pointless and confusing story.” — Publisher’s Weekly, 1963

One year later...

In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Mr. Sendak the Caldecott Medal, considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s book illustration, for Where the Wild Things Are. "In simple, incantatory language, the book told the story of Max, a naughty boy who rages at his mother and is sent to his room without supper. A pocket Odysseus, Max promptly sets sail...There, Max leads the creatures in a frenzied rumpus before sailing home, anger spent, to find his supper waiting." 

 nearly 50 years later...

“Each word has been carefully chosen and the simplicity of the language is quite deceptive.”

#1 Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963) "Arguably the single greatest picture book ever created." – Hotspur Closser — Top 100 Picture Books #1: Where the Wild Things Are 

 and 19 million copies, and counting, later...

"A signed first edition of "Where the Wild Things Are," the classic children's book by late author Maurice Sendak, has fetched an eyebrow-raising $25,000 on online book retailer abebooks.com, thus making it one of the most expensive children’s books sold in recent memory." 
 New York Daily News

"Abe Books spokesman... Richard Davies told the Daily News that for "Where the Wild Things Are" in particular, it was rare for these books to go for so much because a lot of the 1960s editions were mass published. To date, 19 million copies of the Caldecott Medal-winning book have been sold."
CBS News June 1, 2012

1 Comments on Before Classics Were Classics, last added: 10/25/2012
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26717. Willow Smith's Hair

I could honestly care less about celebrities. The only time I read celebrity magazines is when I am getting a pedicure. The other day while getting a pedi I learned that Jennie Garth lost 30lbs and was loving life and Adele was hiding away and preggers...see what I am missing out on.

I ran across this tonight I don't even know how but I really like what Jada Pinkett Smith had to say about her daughter's hair. Apparently people make a big deal about it's length and color. 

"We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it's like how can you teach her that you're in control of her body? If I teach her that I'm in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she's going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can't cut my hair but that's her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she's going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives."

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26718. Your pet suitcase

I can't imagine there's much room left for clothes, but this suitcase (called the Hop!) would definitely turn a few heads (and sucurity's perhaps). Cuteness aside, I LOVE the idea of being able to track your suitcase from your smart phone. Heck, maybe you could even give it a call when it ends up in the Bahamas without you?

Click here to read more about it.
Thanks to SwissMiss for the heads up.

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26719. PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest

Earlier this fall, I was honored to serve as a judge for the PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest for young writers. It was certainly a difficult task to choose from the selections, they were all so amazing! Fortunately, I didn't go it alone. Buddies and neighbors Tony DiTerlizzi and Mo Willems also served as judges, as well as an amazing cast of folks like Lisa Henson and Jewel.

The winning books have been posted to PBS's website here. Definitely give them a read! I found them all so inspiring.

When I was reading all of the entries, I couldn't help but think of the first book that I ever wrote back when I was on the 3rd grade.

Congratulations to all of the winners and to all who entered! I look forward to reading future books of yours!

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26720. Book Trailer Survey Results: What Works & What Doesn't

A couple of weeks ago I posted a survey (as part of my ongoing series of surveys) about book trailers and whether people thought they worked. 

I've included some data details and a selection of comments at the end of the post, but here's a summary: 104 people responded. 85% of them said they had never bought a book solely because of a book trailer. 46% said a book trailer did have an influence on their buying decision, usually when they were already considering buying a particular book but were on the fence. 60% thought that book trailer sometimes helps sell books, depending on the trailer.

Overall, it doesn't seem clear that book trailers have a direct influence on book sales. However, they do make people aware that the book exists. Also, a number of teachers and librarians said that trailers for children's books were useful for showing students in schools.

What makes a good book trailer, according to most respondents who commented on the topic:

- Accurately conveys the mood of the book. The key is "accurately" - comments included complaints about trailers that were better or significantly different in feel from the book.

- Short and simple, and doesn't give away too many specifics of the book. ("The best book trailers are more like flap copy—setting the scene and the story, but not literally "showing" it to me. And they should be short. 2 minutes tops. 1.5 is better.")

- Rather than trying to reproduce scenes from the book in low-budget live action, good trailers instead focus on the essence of the book (mood, atmosphere). If you have the budget & expertise for high quality production & editing, then there's more leeway.

- For nonfiction books and picture books, show some interior pages (content not easily found elsewhere online).

Main criticisms of bad book trailers:

- Cheesy, melodramatic and amateurish-looking.

- Misleading - doesn't reflect what the book is going like, either in mood or content.

- Too long. Suggestions for max length: 30 sec-1.5 minutes. Max 2 minutes, though some said that even 2 minutes was too long.

- Illegal use of images or music.

Related online resources:

Why Flashy Book Trailers Don't Work - by Catherine Ryan Howard

Eight Million Viral Views Later: In Search of the Ultimate Children’s and YA Book Trailer on Publishing Perspectives

Why Book Trailers Are Now Essential to the Publishing Industry - Mashable

How To Make A Book Trailer - by teacher-librarian Michelle Harclerode

How To Make A Book Trailer by Myrlin A. Hermes

5 Free Tools for Creating Book Trailer Videos - by Richard Byrne

How To Make Your Own Book Trailer by Julie Cantrell


Some places where you can find kidlit/YA book trailers:

Mr. Schu Reads: Exploring Children's Literature Through Book Trailers

Book Trailers For All

Also, many publishers have channels on YouTube where they will post book trailers.



104 people responded as follows:

1. Have you ever made a book purchase SOLELY because of a book trailer?

15.5% said YES, 84.6% said NO.


2. Have you ever purchased a book PARTLY because of a book trailer? (e.g. you were already considering buying the book anyway, but the book trailer helped convince you)

45.2% said YES, 54.8% said NO.


3. Do you believe that book trailers can help sell books?

27.9% said YES, 59.6% said SOMETIMES/DEPENDS and 12.5% said NO.


Selection of comments and comment excerpts:

"A book trailer can flop if the maker "Tries too hard." For me, someone tries too hard when it's too "shiny." There's too much going on. Background music along with a voice over and too much movement on the screen. Some really good book trailers I've seen have been almost minimalist. A few words on the screen, with a voice over. Ending with an image of the cover and date of release, or somesuch."

"Unless a book trailer is as professional-looking as a movie trailer, it is still going to look amateur-ish in my opinion. Better to let the book cover and description tell the story than to cheapen it with a trailer. Besides that, it takes either a lot of time or a lot of money on the part of the author, which could probably be better spent."

"I don't tend to do the "oh, I need to run out and buy that" unless I already know the author, and even then they're more likely to go onto a queue. However, there *have* been some book trailers which have called my attention to authors I didn't know, on the level of "Interesting concept. If the trailer's accurate, that's worth keeping an eye out for." On the other hand... Trailers are essentially equivalent to back-cover blurbs or equivalent-size print ads. We already know how misleading those sometimes are. On the other other hand, one _hopes_ that the author has more opportunity to review the trailer than the blurb. All of which boils down to: It's probably more effective than a typical small print ad, for me. But I'm honestly not sure how much bang for the buck it actually delivers. And I'm atypical, both in being a sf geek and in being the son of an ad man."

"Trailers full of illegal images grabbed off google search, or with equally illegal use of music, ensure that I will never read the book. Ever. It shows that not only is the book self-pubbed, but self-pubbed by someone who has no artistic integrity and no sense of professionalism. Trailers that work as movies are hard to do, and risk being too long and too cheesy. Image trailers need to be professional and respective of other artist's rights. The images need to match in type, whether they be photos vs illustrations etc. Video trailers need to be short, SHORT, and with a strong hook. The trailer for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, for instance, was better than the actual book it advertised. Personally, I liked the trailer for Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Visually simple, legal stock images, nice voice-over, and a great hook."

"Book trailers need to be more professional, made properly like a film trailer. Just using screenshots of text set to copyright-free music isn't really enough. We need to see imagery and hear realistic voice-overs... the book trailer needs to accurately capture the feel of the book. Done properly, book trailers can be as exciting as film trailers, and play a key marketing role."

"I usually turn off the radio or change the channel when I see book trailers. For the most part, they're too cheesy and don't really portray the "feel" of the book itself or what the reader can expect from it."

"For me as a market target (I buy and read a LOT of books), a trailer is most effective when it's 1) short 2) has great music 3) expresses the high concept of the book only (I can click through to a synopsis) 4) doesn't attempt production values it can't afford (I'd rather see something simple that's well done)"

"I've watched trailers for books I'd have never heard of without someone linking to the video as being entertaining or worth watching. With those books, I decided that the book wasn't for me, but raising awareness can't hurt."

"They need to be done professionally, have either simple text to read or a narrator. I hate amateur videos with scrolling text and terrible blurry photos set to music"

"Answer to number 3 is actually "not to me". I know some people are fascinated by video and might be thus lured to a book - I am bored or uninterested (you could have given me that info a lot faster/clearer in text!), so avoid trailers. And when I can't avoid them, I glaze over pretty fast. I have enjoyed some trailers, I think, in and of themselves - which usually means they have good music and/or enjoyable graphics - but as a lure for a book? No."

"Book trailers assume somebody's going to watch them, and that somebody is going to get their ideas of which books to buy through watching book trailers. I'm not sure that particular audience exists. I think they're more useful as an educational tool to start classroom discussions about books, or maybe to be used by librarians/teachers as booktalks for getting them to read the book."

"It has to be noted that book trailers are advertising vehicles, not sales-promotional tools. There must be a clear set of objectives defined before the trailer can be created. Otherwise, you end up with a slide show that is not truely representative of the book. Too many trailers fail, and are far too long. Have a look at mine and tell me what you think. Cheers! Gerry"

"Don't have the book's characters in the trailer. Books are often sold based on the author's name (why the type is always the same size or bigger than the title, I wager), so sell me the author. ... Children's books are quick bursts of entertainment, and I don't need to be sold on Patricia Storms the author, I'd actually prefer to see a pirate and a penguin do a little dance. Whatever you do, though, hire me to shoot and edit it :P Just remembered, one of my first video gigs was a book trailer of sorts! https://vimeo.com/23288627 … I'm a lot better now than I was then, heh."

"I bought Leviathan 95% because it had an awesome trailer, but it's also the only trailer I've ever loved that much. I've enjoyed a few since then (the Born Wicked trailer comes to mind, along with Shiver), but with those I'd already planned on buying the book. For me, a good trailer is one that doesn't look amateur, that makes use of good costuming (if using actors) and lighting, that is careful with the details."

"Like a good cover for a book or a good song on an album, a trailer can create an atmosphere, evoke a feeling or mood that might snag some readers. Frankly, I don't see a lot of book trailers because I don't go looking for them. They are not necessarily right in front of the consumer the way a tv ad is."

"Sometimes they're great as little 'shorts' in their own right but like with movies, the more 'teasing' and 'mysterious' a book trailer is, and the less information it gives, the less inclined I am to bother following it up. The "This Is Not My Hat" trailer for Jon Klassen's upcoming book is a great example of a trailer (for a children's book, at least) done absolutely right."

"But then again, I make them. For my own book, as well as for others. http://224pages.com"

"Adding various media to your marketing strategy is usually a good idea, though it seems that few people probably buy based solely on the trailer (hopefully this survey will say for sure!)"

"I would rather read back cover copy than watch a trailer."

"Hi, I enjoy making trailers for my own books. So far I have made three, but before I even started I watched many, many trailers in order to find out what I did and didn't like about them. While there was much I admired about the ones I've seen (and yes, I did buy books because of them!), there were quite a few that had the following problems: a) they were too long, b) they could be very repetitive (same action or pictures repeated several times in the same trailer, c) the music was overwhelming, too dramatic, and didn't match the story, d) the same music had been used too many times on other trailers, e) the voice-over was muffled, too fast, or had a tone/quality that I then didn't want to read, and f) the trailer was SO professionally produced, acted, etc. that there was no way it could ever match the book, i.e., it really seemed like the trailer to a film, not a book, and I felt like I had seen too much already. I've now presented several seminars on making trailers, and these are the main points I do my best to help others avoid."

"I have books with trailers but is it impossible to tell if they are creating sales, so will be interested to see what your find."

"I loved The Chicken Problem book trailer. I also loved the I'm Bored song trailer thing. I'd like to see book trailers for graphic novels. Usually when I see book trailers they are posted with reviews or comments, so it's hard to say that I've ever purchased a book solely based on a book trailer."

"Hello, The example below is just the beginning and the end of the trailer, but are the parts that really hooked me. "The Red Garden introduces us to the luminous and haunting world of Blackwell, Massachusetts, capturing the unexpected turns in its history and in our own lives. In exquisite prose, Hoffman offers a transforming glimpse of small-town America, presenting us with some three hundred years of passion, dark secrets, loyalty, and redemption in a web of tales where characters' lives are intertwined by fate and by their own actions. . . . . . . . Beautifully crafted, shimmering with magic, The Red Garden is as unforgettable as it is moving." This trailer really made the book seem rich and deep, but Alice Hoffman is not a hard sale anyway. Thank you, Ann"

"I guess I'm too old school i.e. book trailers are too flash for me. I saw a few and I was put off. I tend to stick to my favorite authors who don't need to create trailers to sell books. If I hear about a good book (outside of my favorite authors) I'll research it further to see if I'll like it. if so I'll buy it."

"Don't give away too much. It's just like with movie trailers. If I feel like I've practically read the book by watching the trailer, I won't read the book."

"Most book trailers are just so cheesy, that they do more harm than good sometimes."

"I think some teachers use mine in schools but I'm not sure they really sell books."

"A book trailer needs to give me something I can't get from looking at the cover and reading the back cover copy. It needs to portray a sense of emotion and tone. I don't want to see the authors vision of a low budget film based on their book. Makers of book trailers would do well to study successful television and radio commercials. Keep them short (30seconds), match your music to the tone of the product (book) but remember it's background music and not the star of the show. Grab me with something shocking, funny, or unusual in the first 5 seconds if you want me to keep watching."

"I think trailers have not quite caught on yet - personally, I haven't bought a book because of one. But I do say sometimes, as I think they will become more and more important as book buyers become aware of them. I am an author - and I have begun work on a book trailer. So, I'll see what happens."

"I think that a decent, fun book trailer gets shared around the internet, so I think that's the main reason to make one. I like book trailers that show the inside and outside of the book, especially for picture books and art books. I like to see the physical-ness of the book. Too many sites don't show what the insides look like. I wanna know what I'm buying!"

"Book trailers totally grab my grade 3-5 students. Books that have a trailer fly off the shelf after I have book talked them using the trailer as a supplement."

"I use them in the media center. When I show one to my students they line up to check the book out."

"The best book trailers (to me,) focus on the book and not on dramatizing scenes from the book. When I see a trailer that looks like a movie, I always think: "Wow—I'd see that movie." But I never think: "I want to read that book." They feel counter- productive to me. Also, I don't always like seeing actors as the characters—it interferes with what I see in my head. The best book trailers are more like flap copy—setting the scene and the story, but not literally "showing" it to me. And they should be short. 2 minutes tops. 1.5 is better."

"Goals for a good trailer: -Set the tone -Inform the reader about the book -be entertaining -market towards target audience in imaginative ways (e.g. If the book is about how to take care of your dog, try to have links with pet stores, grooming stores, etc. and not just book trailer sites)"

"Isn't a book trailer just a commercial for a book? If done well it can help, if done poorly it can hurt."

"I think if a trailer is done right it can boost readership. I have never decided not to read a book based on the trailer, but I have chosen to read one I'm borderline on after seeing a good trailer for it."

"I am answering as a librarian. I can say that professionally created BTs of 30 seconds in length are an invaluable tool in spotlighting books on our middle school morning news show which reaches 1000 students per day. Longer trailers can generate interest but can only be shown to the class I'm working with."

"I don't know if there is a solid venue for book trailers? I think there needs to be more awareness of them."

"Most book trailers I have seen are cheesy and melodramatic. I usually avoid them."

"As an illustrator, I find the thumbnail of the trailer video important. It makes me decide to play it or not. Sneak peek pages could be more effective than trailers."

"Don't like live action book trailers. Prefer artsy ones that hint at the themes in the books. (See Maggie Stiefvater's trailer for The Raven Boys or Laini Taylor's trailer for Daughter of Smoke and Bone) Must have appropriate music. Badly done book trailers can do more damage than good. Those by self-pubbed authors tend to be generic and poorly produced. Spelling/grammar mistakes in a book trailer will make me not buy the book. This is a deal breaker."

"I don't understand book trailers at all. I don't get why people make them or watch them. They never tell you anything. Unlike movie trailers they can't even tell you if the movie will be well shot or well acted because books have no cinematography or acting. A book trailer is just a really self indulgent commercial. This book is sooo awesome, let me show you show pictures and clips relevant to the storyline while someone tells you how awesome it is. You should buy it. I have strong opinions on book trailers but maybe I'm in the minority."

"If the trailer is good, I think it helps. (Well I hope so or my trailer is a waste of time) I have seen some really bad trailers that made me decide not to buy a book."

"It seems like book trailers are getting shorter, which I think is a good thing. 2:00 is a lonnnnng trailer to me."

"Book trailers can be intriguing and build up higher interest in the book. But only if done professionally. Many, many book trailers I've seen are clearly not the author's forte, nor properly funded by the publisher. A cheap-looking trailer (for me) often makes me skeptical of buying the book because then I'm left wondering where else they cut corners."

"I don't see many book trailers. Every once in a while one will pop up, but without them being prevalent, it's hard for them to work. Also, since book trailers are a somewhat recent advertising scheme, a book trailer feels like a ploy to sell a book that wouldn't sell based on the quality of writing."

"My cousin uses them in her English class and I used them in my teen book club."

"I love movie-like book trailers, but they're expensive to get right. So unless writers have a big budget or an extremely talented friend, it's best if they just go with an amazing photo/words slideshow (and put the money into great music) or use the low-budget aspects as part of the story (character relating things to his own webcam, jostled smartphone video, etc.)."

"For me I don't really see the point. But some trailers are cute, I guess"

"Book trailers need to be more like a hook, a why-to-read pitch, not an overview or summary of plot points. Bad ones can really turn me off."

"Some very good trailers have lead me to take the books out of the library and recommend the trailer to others who may have purchased the book. As well, I have a couple of books on my to-read list because of a trailer. A lot of trailers are crap. Slow. Long. BORING! Look homemade. Uck. They are a couple of slides and photos in PowerPoint and (sadly) look it. They lack originality and don't pull the reader in. They have to, have to have to. And if you can entertain--please do! Bobbie Faye's Very, Very, Very Bad Day is AWESOME. As well I love the Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. So funny. Love the humour!"

"Twice now I've bought a book because I liked the trailer, but after I read the book I usually felt let down, because the trailer was better, or significantly different in feel, from the book."

"ONLY IN NON-FICTION. I cannot stress this enough. The only time I have ever bought a book from a trailer, it was a quilting book that I bought because the trailer showed all the quilts and patterns and I couldn't find interior pictures of the book elsewhere."

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26721. Figure Friday -

Life drawing was filled to the brim today, so I sat in a corner and sketched a bit in my Moleskine...

In the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee....

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26722. Writing & Sketching

Over the years, I've resisted writing my own stories. Writing is hard! I see how much time I spend improving my artwork, so the idea of working on an equally difficult craft at the same time seemed too overwhelming. But the Universe has other ideas for me. I've been getting so many signs that I need to write lately. It's like there's a crowd of people outside with signs that say 'Write already!'. I still ignored them, but then the stories just started coming. I'm keeping them safe in a little notebook. Taking them out one by one & working on them. Some come as pictures, some as words. Here's a little snippet from one of those stories. I'm really hoping I can turn one or two into actual books.

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26723. Frankendave

Just messing around with the Cintiq again. Getting in the mood for Halloween I guess.

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26724. Sketchbook Creature

Here's a subterranean doodle I did about a week ago. I like to imagine this guy under the house in little tunnels running through the suburbs. Speaking of underground I'm really burying myself in work these days and am offline for long stretches. Reading books and listening to music in my down time. And doing lots of sketching. I think it's good to get some balance now and then.

I'm reading The Rest is Noise by Alex ross about 20th century classical music and it's just amazing. I'll do a post about it when I'm finished. I've got a whole new respect and understanding of the last hundred years of music.

Also, it's my son Henry's birthday! He's officially a big boy. We're going to a farm for his birthday and I'll take lots of photos.

I'm mostly working on Maddy Kettle right now but am taking some time to work on a Christmas print, which I posted about earlier this week. More on that soon. 

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26725. Skycar

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