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Results 26 - 50 of 129,115
26. Book Sales Down 5.8% Jan-May: AAP

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27. Meet the New Griffin Teen!

 

Contributed by the Griffin Teen Team!

 

The new school year means a whole new wardrobe.  Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Griffin Teen got a brand new look!

Newly updated, we now have a beautiful website featuring some of our favorite and up-and-coming titles and a very convenient way to sign up for the Griffin Teen Newsletter!

 

   

 

Check out the Griffin Teen Griffin Ten Sweepstakes for a chance to win books from Rainbow Rowell, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, R.L. Stine, Amanda Hocking and more!

 

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As always, you can still find us on TwitterTumblr, and Facebook with the Griffin Teen handle.

Thanks for your continuous support and we hope you like the new Griffin Teen as much as we do!

Cheers,

The Griffin Teen Team

 

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28. HarperCollins Reveals Schedule for Pop Up in N.Y.

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29. BBC Two to Adapt ‘The City and The City’ for TV

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30. Harry is alive

I’m on vacation as I write this. On September 1, students returned to Hogwarts, boarding that scarlet train from Platform 9 3/4.  They’d been to Diagon Alley for new robes, cauldrons, chocolate frogs, and spellbooks. The professors were probably already at the castle, getting ready for another school year.

The Harry Shelf (photo by A. Reynolds)

The Harry Shelf (photo by A. Reynolds)

Lest you think I’ve lost my mind, please note. I. Am. On. Vacation. And I am re-reading all the Harry Potter books, because that is my summer book tradition. They are like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. Comfort food. Yes, I am a 50-something Potterhead. I am admitting it here in a public forum. But, look, folks, I am not the only one. I have at least one Twitter friend that is re-reading Harry Potter this summer, and she’s a responsible adult. I know of two Harry Potter parties that happened in the last few days. Several friends are now reading Harry aloud to their children (they’ve been waiting for their kids to get old enough for this). Harry Potter is alive and well in the hearts and minds of so many of us.

Sybill & Sirius (photo by A. Reynolds)

Sybill & Sirius (photo by A. Reynolds)

How many of you celebrated on July 31? Who watches the Harry Potter movies when you are feeling a little sad or have the flu? Do you have pets (or maybe even children) named for characters in the books? How many of you are planning to take extra vacation days before or after the ALA Conference next summer and make the pilgrimage? Raise your hand if you, too, relish days off, in the most comfy spot in your house, or at the beach, with a Harry Potter book tucked firmly in hand. And now, I need to return to Hogwarts. The Goblet of Fire is calling.

The post Harry is alive appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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31. Literary Events This Week: Jennifer E. Smith and Sarah J. Maas

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32. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Nirvana by J.R. Stewart + Giveaway (US/Canada)

Happy September, YABC!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for NIRVANA by J.R. Stewart, releasing November 10, 2015 from Blue Moon Publishers. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from J.R.:

 
Testing 1-2-3. Ha, tech-joke. Welcome! I’m author and virtual reality expert J.R. Stewart and I’m pleased to present the cover for my upcoming dystopian novel, Nirvana.
 
A few days ago, I was told that I was going to be doing a “reveal” and I nearly had a stroke. I do not believe in revealing anything as I am still working on a number of secret corporate and government virtual reality projects - my true identity could be compromised and we wouldn’t want that, would we? However, doing a cover reveal for my debut book, Nirvana, is something I can get behind. I begin writing this book nearly 5 years ago and I knew it needed a special cover – something that would grab a reader’s attention – because the story presented in this book is closer to reality than some may think. When I first saw the cover, I nearly cried. It’s everything an author could have hoped for. I want to thank the talented staff at Blue Moon Publishers and my marketing team at DigiWriting for collaborating on this masterpiece.
 
~ J.R. Stewart (NIRVANA, Blue Moon Publishers)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

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*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter J.R.'s giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

NIRVANA

by J.R. Stewart
Release date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers
ISBN: 9780993639777
 
 
About the Book
 
When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?
 
Larissa lives in a world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the supposed death of her soul mate, Andrew, Larissa is able to find solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world where anything is possible – even visits with Andrew. Although Larissa knows that these meetings are not real, she cannot shake her suspicion that Andrew is indeed alive. When she begins an investigation of the Hexagon, the very institution that she has been taught to trust, Larissa uncovers much more than she ever expected. Her biggest challenge, however, remains determining what is real – and what is virtual.
 
Nirvana is a fast-paced page-turning young adult novel combining elements of the romance, mystery, and science fiction genres. Part of a three-part series, this book introduces readers to a heroine who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so. As the lines between the real and virtual worlds begin to blur, Larissa and the reader realize that all is not as it seems, and the complex mystery only deepens.
 

About the Author

J.R. Stewart has worked on many government and corporate projects throughout a prolific IT academic and consulting career and has become one of North America's foremost experts on virtual reality. After having worked on advanced "VR" technologies for over a decade, Stewart grew concerned about the implications of this work and the possible psychological effects that it may have on its users. In 2010, Stewart considered publishing a revealing account of the advances being made regarding this technology, but was concerned about the implications that a tell-all book may have on career prospects. The next year, writing under a protective pseudonym, Stewart began work on the speculative "Nirvana" series instead. Finally ready for publication, these novels present a story that is closer to reality than you may assume.
 

Twitter | Web | Facebook | Goodreads | Pre-order Amazon

 

Giveaway Details

Five winners will each receive a signed copy of NIRVANA. 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:

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33. App of the Week: Giphy Cam

Giphy Cam LogoTitle: Giphy Cam
Platform: iOS
Cost: Free

GIFs are a fun part of online communication. Whether shared through a text message or on your Tumblr, GIFs can help to share your emotional state or just make the reader laugh. But, most GIF fans just find their GIFs online, they don’t create them. Giphy Cam is an app that can change all of that. From the team at Giphy, a platform for finding and sharing GIFs, this iOS app uses your device’s camera to let you create your own GIFs.

With the app, you can opt to either film a short looping GIF by holding your finger on the red button or a five frame “burst” for a shorter GIF by tapping the button. When you choose either option, you can also select from a range of special features that can be added to your GIF. These features include filters, backgrounds, animations, overlays, and what may be the creepiest rabbit mask I have ever seen. All of them help to add additional meaning and personality to your videos to make for a more dynamic GIF.

Once you are happy with your GIF creation, Giphy Cam makes it easy to share the GIF. The app includes integration with messaging features on your device, Twitter, Instagram, email, and other apps on your device. You can also decide to instead save your GIF to your device for later use. Overall, Giphy Cam makes it just as easy to create a GIF as it is to take a selfie. That makes this app a great tool for your library’s outreach efforts or for teens at your library who love to use their devices to take and share photos and videos.

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34. Giveaway: Tammy & the Declaration of Independence (The Wutherington Diaries #2) US Only

Tammy and the Declaration of Independence ( The Wurtherington Diary Book #2) 

Illustrated by Duy Trung, Nour Hassan, Jesse Ty 

Release Date: October 1, 2015

 

About the Book


Follow alongside of ten-year-old Tammy Wurtherington, the little doll girl from River Falls, Ohio in this exciting new adventure that is sure to delight any youngster. Her cute associates, Cedric the Mongoose, Zeke the orphaned opossum, and Alfred the mouse accompany her in this trip through history in which they must see that the space-time continuum is maintained and the Declaration of Independence is signed on July Fourth, 1776. The emphasis is on telling a spell binding story that will leave any reader with a firm understanding of the events that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the reasons for the Revolutionary War.


The reader will be alongside of the leaders of the Revolutionary War as they reach the decisions that will make them true heroes in the minds of historians. Tammy becomes a part of the rebel minutemen and joins the spy network that led to Paul Revere's famous ride in which he declared, "The British Coming!" Ride along with Tammy and Paul Revere and then witness her account of "The Shot Heard Around the World?" in Lexington. Historians have long argued as to exactly who fired that first shot that began the Revolution War and Tammy's accounting settles the issue for all time.


You will be there on a hot summer day in Independence Hall when the Committee of Five, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston are nominated to write the Declaration of Independence. Take part in the discussions during the three weeks in which they created what many believe to be the most important words in the history of the English language. The reader will be see how Tammy assisted Betsy Ross and George Washington in creating the first American flag. And exactly how did that crack in the Liberty Bell occur?


Whether you are a young reader or a parent/educator, everyone will enjoy this remarkable tale of a wonderful little girl who became a legend in her efforts to "nudge" history and see that the American Revolution began with out a hitch.

On a final note, Reynold Jay brought in an international team of restoration artists to restore the beautiful illustrations that were found in the Diary. In that there was a flood, the Diary and the art were nearly lost forever. Reynold Jay says, "It has been a two year journey and I can only hope that we find readers for it. Whether there is any interest in the private thoughts of a little girl living in 1883 will be of any interest to today's modern readers is yet to be seen."


Progress and updated news on the series may be found at the writer's web site.


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Picture-7.jpgAbout the Author


Reynold Jay is the leader of a team dedicated to publishing the fascinating  1883 Wurtherington Diary. He has authored a dozen books and co-authored a non-fiction book with Amara, "Eternal Defilement." Once a Special Education teacher--now an author/publisher/restoration professional,  he hopes to inspire his readers with this series meant for young and old alike.

Learn more Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
 


Giveaway Details


1 winner will receive a signed book. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: How many British soldiers do Tammy and Mark see marching through River Falls as they walk to school? Check out Reynold Jay's web site.

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

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35. Don’t wait for your Muse. Be there every day & eventually she'll start showing up.

 

I love what Stephen King said about not waiting for one's Muse to show up.

“Don't wait for the muse. As I've said, he's a hardheaded guy who's not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering. This isn't the Ouija board or the spirit-world we're talking about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you're going to be every day from nine 'til noon. or seven 'til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he'll start showing up.”

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

The comic above is also available as an Unhappy Muse greeting card in my online card shop.

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36. Everyday Advocacy Challenge: Meet the Inaugural Cohort!

Creating a Better Future Button

Image courtesy of ALSC

Who’s ready to take the inaugural Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC)? Eighteen bold and daring Everyday Advocates are—and we hope you are, too!

From September 1 through October 20, our cohort of intrepid volunteers has agreed to do the following:

  • Commit to completing eight consecutive Take Action Tuesday challenges on a back-to-school theme;
  • Collaborate with their EAC cohort members over the eight-week period, sharing successes and troubleshooting issues via e-mail and online documents;
  • Write posts for the ALSC blog about their EAC experiences; and
  • Nominate colleagues to participate in the next EAC.

As the first-ever EAC gets underway today, we’d like to introduce each of our cohort members and their reasons for taking the eight-week challenge. Watch for their sure-to-inspire blog posts beginning next Tuesday, September 8!

Sue Abrahamson, Librarian and Supervisor, Waupaca (Wisc.) Area Public Library
“I want to participate in the challenge so that I take action rather than just thinking about taking action; to show my teammates how easy it is; and to recognize the benefits of telling the story of our work.”

Ashley Burkett, Library Assistant, Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library
“I want to learn, share, and make a difference!”

Natasha Forrester Campbell, Librarian
“I’d like to become a better advocate for libraries, reading, and literacy in general.”

Olga Cardenas, Librarian, Stanislaus County (Calif.) Library
“[I want to participate in the challenge] in order to grow as a professional because the challenge will force me to step out of my comfort zone. I also want to take the EAC in order to become an active member of the librarianship community; I’ve been an inactive member for almost 2 years!”

Pam Carlton, Librarian

Samantha Cote, Librarian, Winslow (Maine) Public Library
“I participated in an advocacy course, Turning the Page, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ALA, and I loved it. Sadly, I’m not doing as much with it as I’d like. I’ve enjoyed doing the advocacy challenges so far and would love to bring my advocacy skills up to the next level.”

Africa Hands, Executive Assistant

Andi Jackson-Darling, Administrator, Supervisor and Librarian, Falmouth (Maine) Memorial Library
“I am immersed in library administration on a day-to-day level. We are working on a large expansion of our library, and I’ve realized how little I am involved with a large part of our community and our patronage—our children! Challenges are great ways to reconnect and make what is important on my radar and will make me more engaged with our community.”

Kendra Jones, Librarian, Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library
“I see Take Action Tuesdays and always say I’ll do them, but then things happen and they don’t get done. By taking this challenge, I’ll actually do them! I need to work more on advocacy professionally, and this is the perfect thing to help me build some advocacy skills. Plus, working with others makes the tasks more enjoyable and adds a level of accountability that wasn’t there before. I’m excited!”

Eileen Makoff, Librarian, P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School (N.Y.)
“I am a member of the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee. Plus, I feel strongly that libraries save lives (Little Rock Public saved mine). I’ll do what I have to do protect them.”

Kelli McDaniel, Administrator, Supervisor and Librarian, Piedmont Regional (Ga.) Library System
“As a newly hired Assistant Director, I am responsible for inspiring and steering children’s services in our 10-library system. Learning to be an Everyday Advocate would help me boost the wonderful programmers in our region who are always looking for a fresh approach to serving our communities. I also look forward to working with a cohort to share best practices and hear different perspectives on our important role as librarians for children.”

Matthew John McLain, Supervisor, Salt Lake County (Utah) Public Library
“I’m the co-chair of the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee, and this looks like an awesome opportunity to get started.”

Lynda Salem-Poling, Librarian and Supervisor, El Dorado (Calif.) Neighborhood Library
“I would like to strengthen my advocacy skills and my connection to local schools. I am new to this library and see that as an opportunity to make new bonds with the community and local representatives.”

Megan Schliesman, Librarian, Cooperative Children’s Book Center (Wis.)
“[I want to participate in the challenge] first and foremost to support the Everyday Advocacy effort.”

JoAnna Schofield, Librarian, Akron-Summit County (Ohio) Public Library
“What libraries and librarians do for children and their families on a day-to-day basis is important work, and one of the best ways to showcase our value to our communities is to share our work. Many Tuesdays I eagerly open the Everyday Advocacy Take-Action activity and make plans to engage on behalf of the intentional and sometimes inspiring work happening at my library, but some weeks I simply fall short. I am excited about the Everyday Advocacy Challenge and eager to participate because it will give me that extra push I need to follow-through on advocacy challenge and connect me with other like-minded individuals to share experiences and encouragement.”

Brittany Staszak, Supervisor and Librarian
“It’s so easy to get sucked into the everyday flow of library life and habitual users where everyone knows the value of the library and its services. I strive to take my advocacy home with me and make it a part of my out-of-library life and conversations, showing all I interact with exactly what makes libraries so valuable. Being a part of the challenge would be a perfect way to kick-start a new habit of Everyday Advocacy—all day, every day.”

Mira Tanna
“I am new to ALSC and would like to get involved!”

Lise Tewes, Supervisor and Librarian, Kenton County (Ky.) Public Library
“My library and several other library systems in northern Kentucky have spent the last three years fighting a lawsuit that was filed by the Tea Party and which threatened to eliminate our tax-based funding. That would have effectively closed my library system as well as four others in our state. Fortunately, the district court ruled in favor of the library, but these last three years have opened my eyes to the need to advocate for libraries and make sure the public is aware of the tremendous return on their tax investment that public libraries provide.”


Jenna Nemec-Loise is Member Content Editor of the ALSC Everyday Advocacy Website and Electronic Newsletter. E-mail her at everyday-advocacy@hotmail.com and follow her on Twitter: @ALAJenna

The post Everyday Advocacy Challenge: Meet the Inaugural Cohort! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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37. The Girl in the Spider’s Web Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

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38. Travis Jonker and Colby Sharp Launch The Yarn Podcast Series

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39. Illustrator Cristina de Lera

ALBERTSARA-final-portafoli_670 santjordi-nom womensday2015-quadrat_1139_c_670

Cristina de Lera Website >>

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40. YALSA Core Professional Values: What They Mean to You!

YALSA core professional values coverWhat do accountability, excellence, innovation, and social responsibility have to do with the teen services profession? The quick and easy answer is a lot. However, a more specific answer is that these 4 ideas are a few of the Core Values listed in YALSA's new Core Professional Values for the Teen Services Profession. This Professional Values document was published by YALSA last month after a year-long development process by the association's Professional Values Task Force. The Task Force began their work after discussions by the YALSA Board of Directors during their 2013 Annual Conference meetings The Board wanted to develop and support the professional development of library staff serving teens and to help others in the library profession understand the value of what library staff working with and for teens work towards every single day of the year.

The document, a one of its kind in the area of library teen services, is an excellent framework for the values that all those working with teens in libraries should embrace. Not only does it list the Core Values but it includes ways of demonstrating those values. For example, if you demonstrate Innovation, which is defined in the document as:

Approaches projects and challenges with a creative, innovative mindset

Then you demonstrate that by:

  • Recognizes that learning comes from failure and experimentation
  • Demonstrates a willingness to take calculated risks to improve teen services

It is important for all staff working with and for teens in libraries to go through the Core Values and assess strengths and weaknesses in demonstrating each value. Weaknesses aren't a bad thing as knowing where you are weak gives you the chance to find out what to improve on in order to serve teens even more successfully. Actually, the Excellence Core Value includes continuous learning as an area to focus on:

"Engages in acquisition of new knowledge throughout one’s career" as a demonstration of that value.

Along with assessing your own personal strengths and weaknesses related to the YALSA Core Professional Values, it can also be really useful to use the document as a way to help colleagues, administrators, trustees, principals, superintendents, community members, funders, and more understand what you do and why you do it. You can go over the document with them or make it a point to highlight different sections of the document for them over several months. You can talk with them about how you already achieve the values and what you are working on in order to do an even better job to support the needs of teens in the community. You can give those you talk with ideas about how they can support the Core Values by demonstrating at least some of the practices outlined in their own interactions with and for teens.

The Core Values are a core tool for you to use as you continue to work with and for teens in your community. Use it professionally as a way to make sure you are doing what you need to do and as a way to inform and advocate for the value of teen services in the library and the community at-large.

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41. Fusenews: Anagnorisis, Masks of the Oculate Being, and More . . .

  • DearMrPotterMorning, folks. I’ve been looking to expand my knowledge beyond just children’s literature, so I figured a good podcast would be the best way to go.  After reading Bustle’s 11 literary podcasts to get your bookish fix throughout the day I settled on Books on the Nightstand as the closest thing out there to a Pop Culture Happy Hour of books alone.  Yet even at that moment I couldn’t escape the world of kidlit.  The aforementioned Bustle piece also recommended a podcast called Dear Mr. Potter, described as “an extremely close read of J. K. Rowling’s series, starting with book number one. Host Alistair invites comments and thoughts from readers as he dissects each chapter, (there are live YouTube and Twitter chats before the audio is archived for the podcast) and is able to do some bang-up accents of beloved characters like Professor McGonagall and Hagrid.”  Well, shoot.  That sounds good too.
  • Speaking of podcasts, you heard about The Yarn, right?  That would be the podcast started by Travis Jonker and Colby Sharp that follows a single book through its creators and helpers.  Having finished Season One, our intrepid heroes had a Kickstarter, met their goal, and are now soliciting ideas for Season Two.  Might want to toss in your two cents or so.  Such an opportunity may not arise again.
  • So I say “Proust Questionnaire: Kidlit Edition“, and you say, “Come again?” And I repeat, “Proust Questionnaire: Kidlit Edition”, and you say, “I’m sorry, but you’re just putting a bunch of random words and names together higglety-pigglety.” At which point I direct you to Marc Tyler Nobleman and his interview series. The questions are not too dissimilar from the 7-Impossible Things interview questions, which in turn were cribbed from Inside the Actor’s Studio, (though I forget where they got them before that). For my part, I read the ones up so far and I am now entranced by Jonathan Auxier’s use of the word, “anagnorisis”. Proust would approve.
  • The Bloggess likes us, we the librarians.  We could have guessed that but it’s nice to have your suspicions confirmed from time to time.
  • Kidlit TV: It’s not just videos!  Case in point, a recent interview with my beloved co-author Jules Danielson in which she says very kind things about myself and my fellow Niblings.  She is a bit too kind when she says that, “Betsy never whines or feels sorry for herself.”  This is the advantage, dear children, of co-writing a book with someone in another state.  They will not see you whine or kvetch in person, thereby leading them to believe that you are better than you are.  Learn from my example.
  • As ever, Pop Goes the Page takes the concept of activities in a children’s library (or, in some cases, a museum) to an entirely new level.  Good for getting the creative juices flowing.
  • And now it’s time for another edition of Cool Stuff on the Internet You Didn’t Know and Weren’t Likely to Find By Browsing.  Today, the Kerlan Collection!  You may have heard of it.  It’s that enormously cool children’s book collection hosted by the University of Minnesota.  Cool, right?  You may even have known that the doyenne of the collection is Lisa Von Drasek, who cut her teeth at the Bank Street College of Education’s children’s library for years n’ years.  Now she’s given us a pretty dang cool online exhibit series tie-in and if you happen to know a teacher in need of, oh say, primary sources and picture book nonfiction titles, direct them to the Balloons Over Broadway site.  Explore the links on the left-hand side of the page.  You won’t regret the decision.
  • Here in Evanston, October will bring The First Annual Storytelling Festival.  A too little lauded art that can be sublime or painful beyond belief, the festival will be quite a bit of the former, and very little of the latter.  If you’re in the area, come by!
  • We all know from Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle that it’s the daddy seahorses that shoulders the bulk of the parenting responsibilities in the wild.  Now travel with me over to Portland, Oregon where the husband of a buddy of mine just started Seahorses, “Portland’s first dad and baby store.”  I helped them come up with some of the good daddy/kid picture books they’re selling there.  If you’re an author in the area with a daddy/child title to your name, consider contacting them.  They’re good people.
  • Lucky, Baltimorians.  You get to host Kidlitcon this year.  I would go but my October is pure insanity, travel-wise.  You go and write it up for me, so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.  I don’t mind.  Really.
  •  Daily Image:

And finally, this is precisely what you think it is.

GoodnightConstructionPJs

Yep. Goodnight Goodnight, Construction Site PJs.  Awesome?  You betcha.

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42. SIX by M.M. Vaughan

I cannot resist a middle grade novel with unique/cool technology as a hook, so was intrigued by the basic synopsis of SIX by M. M. Vaughan (Margaret K. McElderry, 2015): Parker and his sister Emma, with the help of secret advanced technology, can communicate between themselves through their thoughts. When their father is kidnapped a few years after their mom's death, Parker and his sister are determined to find him.

Loved the mystery and action in SIX, the unexpected plots twists, and especially liked Parker's sister Emma. While Emma's deafness plays a role in their mystery-solving (she's very good at lipreading, for instance), it's not an Issue. Also loved the humor.

I'd like a SEQUEL, please!

You can find M.M. Vaughan (a.k.a. Monica Meira Vaughan) at http://www.mmvaughan.com/, on Facebook and on Twitter at @NoSleepNeeded.

Monica shared some excellent advice in Chuck Sambuchino's "7 Things I've Learned So Far" blog series, including:

No news means...absolutely nothing.

Don't send your manuscript out to every agent at once.

Use your time well while you're waiting to hear back. Read the article to find out more.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

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43. What You Can Learn About Business from a Stingy Irish Dance Teacher

My 6-year-old son is a dancer: He takes several ballet classes and a jazz class every week, and has done tap as well. (That’s him at the Nutcracker rehearsal last year…sorry, I couldn’t resist!) So when a local Irish dance studio did a demo at T’s school and he asked to take lessons, I raced to sign him up. Encouraging his passions, and all that.

A weekly class costs $45 per month, but one month I had a brain fart and dropped off a check for $40. The next day, I got a polite reminder from the studio owner that I had sent in the wrong amount — fair enough — and I responded that I would drop off the $5 at T’s next lesson.

But at that very point, T decided Irish dance wasn’t for him. (I have to say I was relieved…driving T to dance five days a week and then sitting in a waiting room with 3-year-old copies of Dance Magazine is not my idea of a good time.) He had taken only one session at the beginning of the month, and after that I just stopped taking him.

A few weeks later, the studio owner emailed to ask where T had been, and I said he decided to stop taking classes, but perhaps one day he would change his mind.

She responded, “Okay, we hope to see him again…and by the way, you still owe me $5.”

I was taken aback: We had paid $40 and T had taken one lesson that month. I responded, “I think the $40 I paid covers the one 30-minute class T took!”

To which she replied: “Sorry, we don’t prorate for classes not attended.”

Now, of course, she was right. In fact, I’m sure I signed a contract agreeing to this very thing. But…seriously?

My husband and I joked for a while about sending the dance school a box of 500 pennies, or mailing five one-dollar bills a week apart, but finally I said, “Just send her a check for the five dollars and be done with it. I never want to deal with this school again.”

So the business owner got her five dollars — win! — but she lost potential future business, not to mention word of mouth. Because if anyone ever asks me to recommend a good place for dance classes, you can be certain I won’t be suggesting that school.

Penny Wise…

Ever hear the expression “penny wise but pound foolish”? This usually refers to people who cut costs unwisely and end up paying more in the long run. But it also applies to writers who are SO invested in coming off as professional, and so hyper-vigilant about not getting ripped off, that they turn off clients.

For example, one student of mine who had been attempting unsuccessfully to get good-paying clients for over a year asked, “A prospect wants me to come in for a meeting. My time costs money! So how much should I charge them?”

Wha-wha-whaaaaa?

I understand the thought behind this: You want to look like a hard-bitten pro, and it’s true — your time IS worth money.

But is it really smart, when you’re desperate for work and someone shows an interest in hiring you, to go all hardcore and demand payment for an exploratory get-to-know-you meeting?

The same goes for writers who go into a frenzy when a client asks for a revise, or when an editor asks for 200 more words or a photo caption that wasn’t included in the contract. You need to consider whether it’s worth doing a bit of extra work for free to keep a good client.

(Of course, if this is an abusive client, one who pays pennies, or one who consistently asks for extra goodies with no compensation — you’re well within your rights to put your foot down…and hopefully ditch the client for good.)

Think about the last time you were at a café and you dropped your drink. (This happened to me just last week!) In 100% of the cases this happens, the barista will offer to replace the drink for free.

Now, the café owner is certainly justified in making you pay for the new drink. After all, is it HIS fault you had case of butterfingers? And drinks cost money, so he’s losing five bucks by offering you a free replacement!

But if he’s smart, the business owner understands that the cost of the free replacement drink is eclipsed by the goodwill created when he offers it to you. You’ll keep coming back and ordering more coffees, ad you’ll tell your friends about it too. That’s five bucks well spant.

Give to Get

Not only should you think hard about demanding money when a good client asks for a little extra here and there — but you should make it a point to offer little freebies even when the client doesn’t ask:

  • An extra sidebar you create with research you couldn’t fit into the article.
  • An introduction to someone who can help your client.
  • Some tweets and Facebook posts to promote an article or blog post you wrote for a client.
  • The occasional little gift just to say “Thank you,” such as an e-book or a box of candy.
  • Ten minutes of consulting time to help the client with a question or problem you happen to have the expertise to solve.

Yes, you’re spending your valuable time, and sometimes your hard-earned cash as well — but it’s worth it to foster loyalty in your good clients. As they say in Big Business, it costs much more to get a new client than it does to keep an old one.

Don’t Be a Sucker

I know you don’t want to be taken advantage of — and you definitely don’t want to come across as a doormat.

The trick is, when you agree to do free work, convey how much it’s worth and that you’re doing the client a favor.

For example: “I had some extra materials I couldn’t fit into the article, so I created an extra sidebar, no charge. I hope you can use it!”

Or: “I normally charge $X for that kind of work, but you’re such a good client I’d like to offer it to you gratis.”

This way, you graciously offer something of value to your client — but you also get across the concept that there is indeed worth to your offering, making the favor even more valuable in your client’s eyes.

At the same time, you keep the requests for freebies to a minimum because you’ve made it clear that these are things you normally charge for. And if the client DOES ask for more, they won’t be shocked when you say, “Sure, I can do that — how does $X sound?”

Remember, don’t be a stingy Irish dance teacher…you may get your five dollars, but you’ll lose a client. [LF]

P.S.Two new (awesome!) classes coming up that you can register for now: (1) Write Big: A Fear-Busting Bootcamp Experience: Practical exercises, live coaching, a challenge, and bonus goodies to help you overcome the fears that are keeping you from writing, pitching—and succeeding. (2) Freelance Writer’s Pitch Clinic: A class on how to write killer queries & LOIs. Your homework will be critiqued, and your questions answered, by editors from Redbook, Forbes, and Writer’s Digest/Print Magazine. And…you have the chance to get a full refund on the course fee!

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44. Get To Know the Red Light Green Light Winning Entries

Our Red Light Green Light competition has been going on for weeks now, and it's finally come time to announce our winners! After voting closed on Monday night, we tallied the votes from our judges and you, our fabulous community, and pulled out our Top 10. The entries below had the highest score overall, and will all receive a critique from a published (or soon to be published) author, or an agent.


Our overall winner and two runners up will be revealed next week. The runners up will be receiving critiques from some of the industry's most sought after agents, and our overall winner will receive a partial request from the amazing Ammi-Joan Paquette.

Congratulations to our finalists (in alphabetical order) below! 

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0 Comments on Get To Know the Red Light Green Light Winning Entries as of 9/2/2015 7:39:00 AM
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45. Raising Dion Book Trailer Goes Viral

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46. Michael Fassbender Seizes the Crown in the New Macbeth Trailer

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47. Kamil Szybalski Talks Shelfie Rebrand

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48. James Patterson Author Interview

iFunnyJames Patterson Talks About His Life as an Author!

Q: How many books have you written?
Patterson: I lost count. A little over 100. I write a lot of kids’ books. I write a lot of things that are different — that’s what keeps me excited. The kids’ books range from Maximum Ride, about kids who can fly to I Funny, about a kid who wants to be a stand-up comedian but he can never be a stand-up comedian because he’s in a wheelchair.

Q: Which ones would you like to see as movies on screen?
Patterson: All of them! Maximum Ride is very visual, these flying kids. I hope that will get made. We are shooting Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life at the end of the summer. It’s a cool story about how kids get lost in the education process. This kid in it is bright, brilliant as an artist, but there’s no way for him to express himself in school so he’s looked at as a dummy.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s block?
Patterson: 
No, I don’t. I’m always working on more than one thing. I have a big imagination and I’ll just go to another project. I have a folder this thick of ideas for novels. Writing stories comes very easily to me.

Q: What first inspired you to write?
Patterson: 
I was working my way through school at a mental hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I had a lot of free time so I started reading like crazy and then I started scribbling stories. Somebody once told me, you’re lucky if you find something you like to do and it’s a miracle if someone will pay you to do it. I love doing it. I love writing stories. As a kid, I grew up in the woods. I used to wander around the woods and make up stories in my head. I think that talent was there, I just wasn’t aware of it.

Q: You often write with co-authors. Why?
Patterson: 
It allows me to combine strength with strength. I’m a very good storyteller; I’m a little lazy as a stylist. So it allows me to work with a better stylist. Collaboration is OK!

Are you a fan of James Patterson’s books? Tell us which is your favorite in the Comments!

 

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49. Hachette Book Group Will Lead Sales for U.K. Division

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50. Publishing Jobs: Penguin Random House, Amazon

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