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1. Nobody Knows Anything

Confused“Nobody knows anything…… Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.” ― William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade
I’ve always liked this quote, because it’s so true—and it applies to publishing, too. We don’t know how a book will do until it goes on sale, or sometimes, until it’s been on sale several months or even years.
Publishing companies and Hollywood studios routinely produce works they predict will sell based on past success of similar works. It’s a flawed method of decision making, but it’s the best we’ve got.
Besides analyzing past experience, what can we do to predict future success of a book or movie? We watch the market; we pay attention to the cultural zeitgeist; we look at what’s going on in the world and think about how that might affect people’s choices in how to spend their leisure time; we look at what people are enjoying in the other arts.
But predicting the future based on the past is an inexact science. Not really a science, even, but an art. Anytime we’re trying to project future success of an individual project, we are making an educated guess, no more.
A corollary to “nobody knows anything” is Billy Wilder’s famous tip: The audience is fickle. Sure, last year they may have gone crazy over vampire novels, but will they still be so enthralled next year? Nobody knows.
It takes just as much effort, time, and money to create a movie or a book that’s going to bomb as one that’s going to do well. This underscores the truth of “nobody knows anything” because if we knew—if we were able to make accurate predictions—then perhaps in the pursuit of the bottom line, only bestsellers would be published and only blockbuster movies would be made.
Instead, we have thousands of non-bestselling books published every year so that there are many, many great choices for those of us who like to read. The fact that nobody knows anything works in your favor if you’re a writer, and even if you’re a reader.
Anytime you ask an industry professional a question that has to do with predicting the future (Will Amish fiction ever go away? Is paranormal going out of style or will it still be hot next year?) just remember that the answer they give you is not gospel, it is simply their informed opinion based on what they see around them. It could be completely accurate… or dead wrong.
Only time will tell.
Need a publishing coachBased on what’s happening in books and movies today, what predictions can YOU make about the future?

Can we predict the future success of a book? Click to Tweet.
Nobody in publishing knows what’s going to work. It’s a guess, every time. Click to Tweet.

Image copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo

The post Nobody Knows Anything appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

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2. Preview: Lola XOXO Wasteland Madam #4

LOLA-WM-04b-HansonAspen Comics relased a preview ahead of this Wednesday’s finale of their second Lola XoXo series. Wasteland Madam began as a holdover until the launch of the official Volume 2 by creator Siya Oum. The book became a welcome chapter to Lola’s still in infancy universe filled with the same fast paced action as the […]

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3. The 2015 Devastator/Beat convention survey is here: maybe it’s time to get a table?

With more and more comics shows popping up around the world, which are the ones worth going to? How much money do people make? And is it worth springing for a full booth or just half a table in artists alley?

4 Comments on The 2015 Devastator/Beat convention survey is here: maybe it’s time to get a table?, last added: 2/10/2016
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4. TAAFI: Eric Goldberg, Michel Gagné, Michael Rianda Confirmed As Guests

Hanna-Barbera legends Willie Ito, Jerry Eisenberg, and Tony Benedict will also be guests in Toronto this spring.

The post TAAFI: Eric Goldberg, Michel Gagné, Michael Rianda Confirmed As Guests appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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5. Certain Songs #446: Fishbone – “Everyday Sunshine”

Fishbone Reality Album: The Reality of My Surroundings
Year: 1991

What a pure blast of unfettered energy.

As one of the greatest singles in my favorite year for music, “Everyday Sunshine” should have been as big of a single as the Sly & The Family Stone songs that it proudly steals from.

In retrospect, it was probably inevitable that Fishbone would attempt a song like “Everyday Sunshine,” as they turned out to be as hard to pigeonhole into any single style as The Clash or Sly & The Family Stone ever were.

“Everday Sunshine” starts out with a huge blast of joyful horns over funky bass & keyboards and almost issues its thesis statement:

I wish everyday the sun would shine
Take me to another place in my mind
Where everything is beautiful
And no wants or needs
Nor sign of greed
Could rule our soul

As they progress, trading off vocals and harmonizing on the chorus, “Everyday Sunshine” doesn’t even show a hit of being sarcastic or ironic or anything but a full-out plea for, well, everyday sunshine.

And of course, they eventually double-down on that by exploding into a double-time, ecstatically trading off “Everyday, everyday, everyday” until the song finally screeches to its end.

“Everyday Sunshine”

“Everyday Sunshine” performed live in 1991

The post Certain Songs #446: Fishbone – “Everyday Sunshine” appeared first on Booksquare.

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6. A Magical Extra Day

It’s February and do you know what that means? An extra day for reading! It’s Leap Year y’all! Twenty-nine days this month instead of twenty-eight. I almost said I wish every year were Leap Year but then it would just come to be a regular year and the joy of an extra day of reading would get washed away. Any plans for cramming in some extra reading? It is unfortunate that the extra day falls on a Monday but we’ll just have to make the best of it.

The piles on my reading table are shrinking and it’s not because I am reading the books on there that I own. Nope, it is shrinking because I am working my way through the library books that got added to the table. It feels good to have my library reading under control. At the moment I have only four books checked out, two of which came today, The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli and All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Anders. Also out from the library is a book of poetry by Joseph Massey called To Keep Time. It is most excellent. And then there is Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho with which I am just about finished. It too is good.

I have six outstanding hold requests at the library, for two I am up next, for the rest I am in the nebulous who knows when my turn will come, probably all at once realm. Only six outstanding requests is pretty darn good though given my profligate ways of late. I can even see several of the non-library books on my reading table and I am eyeing them and thinking , oh, I forgot you were there! Looking forward to reading you! I am quite proud of myself and if I am not careful I will cause harm to my shoulder and arm from patting myself on the back so much. That or my inflated sense of self-worth will be too large for me to fit through my door.

Other books on the go at the moment include Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. This is my slow, meditative read of the moment. Very much enjoying it. Then I am still working my way through The Art of Slow Writing by Louise DeSalvo. She writes in short chapters and it is the perfect book for the spare ten minutes here and there. While it is quite good, I don’t want to try reading it in bigger chunks, it would lose its umph and quickly become boring.

And finally, I just began reading a review copy of a new biography of Charlotte Bronte that will be out in March. Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman is pretty good. It is advertised as being groundbreaking but since I haven’t read any other Bronte biography I can’t say whether it is or not. At the moment Charlotte is still a young girl and the family has just moved to Haworth. There are a good many more siblings than I knew about which means bad events ahead.

There are a couple other books I am in the midst of that have been moved to the back burner and not worth mentioning at the moment since I haven’t picked them up in a few weeks. I will get back to them, just probably not this month! Or perhaps the extra day will grant me the chance to get them in front of my eyes again. Ha! The odds in Vegas don’t seem to be leaning in my favor. Imagine that!

Filed under: Books, In Progress Tagged: Read the Table

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7. DEADPOOL sequel already being planned

deadpool_still_4Big estimates have allowed Fox to turn on the green-light

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8. Stella Prize longlist

       The Stella Prize is an Australian prize for the best book -- fiction or non -- by an Australian author who is a woman, and they've now announced the sixteen-title-strong longlist, selected from 170 entries (which, unfortunately, they apparently do not make public).
       The shortlist will be announced 10 March, and the winner on 19 April.

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9. Verdi’s Nabucco at the Lyric Opera



Photo by: Ariel Uribe for the Chicago Maroon.

Full of “blood and thunder“—words for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s staging of Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco, an amalgamation of quasi-stories from the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Daniel coalesced around a love triangle, here revived for the first time since 1998. On the heels of its opening—the full run is from January 23 to February 12—UCP hosted a talk and dinner featuring a lecture “Nabucco and the Verdi Edition” by Francesco Ives. That Verdi Edition, The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, is the most comprehensive critical edition of the composer’s works. In addition to publishing its many volumes, the University of Chicago Press also hosts a website devoted to all aspects of the project, which you can visit here; to do justice to the scope and necessity of the Verdi Edition, here’s an excerpt from “Why a Critical Edition?” on that same site:

The need for a new edition of Verdi’s works is intimately tied to the history of earlier publications of the operas and other compositions. When Verdi completed the autograph orchestral manuscript of an opera, manuscript copies were made by the theater that commissioned the work or by his publisher (usually Casa Ricordi). These copies were used in performance, and most of the autograph scores became part of the Ricordi archives. Copies of the copies were made, and orchestral materials were extracted for performances. With the possible exception of his last operas, Otello and Falstaff, Verdi played no part whatever in preparing the printed scores: almost all printed editions of his works were prepared by Ricordi after Verdi’s death in 1901.

Predictably, these copying and printing practices have yielded vocal and orchestral parts that differ drastically from the autograph scores. Indeed, the problem of operas performed using unreliable parts and scores dates to Verdi’s own lifetime. After the premieres of Rigoletto, Il trovatore, and La traviata, for example, Verdi wrote to Ricordi on 24 October 1855: “I complain bitterly of the editions of my last operas, made with such little care, and filled with an infinite number of errors.”

Copyists and musicians who prepared these errant printed editions were not consciously falsifying Verdi’s text. They merely glossed over particularities of Verdi’s notation (e.g., the simultaneous use of different dynamic levels—“p” and “pp”, for instance) and altered details of his orchestration, which differed considerably from the style of Puccini, whose music dominated Italian opera when the printed editions of Verdi’s works were prepared. These editions, which in certain details drastically compromise the composer’s original text, are the scores that are used today, except where the critical edition has made reliable scores available.

The critical edition of the complete works of Verdi undertaken jointly by the University of Chicago Press and Casa Ricordi is finally correcting this situation.

To read more about The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, click here.

To visit the project’s website, click here.

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10. The Case of the Girl in Grey review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the second in Jordan Stratford's The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency-series, The Case of the Girl in Grey -- yes, juvenile fiction (though what I still have the most trouble getting over with are the liberties Stratford takes with historical dates/figures).

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11. My tweets

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12. Me Before You Leads iBooks Bestsellers List

cover225x225-1Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has joined the iBooks Bestsellers List this week at No. 1.

Apple has released the list of Bestselling iBooks from the week of 2/7/16. January by Audrey Carlan is No. 2 on the list and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks held the No. 3 position.

We have the entire list for you after the jump.

iBooks US Bestseller List – Paid Books 02/7/16

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – 9781101606377 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
2. January by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
3. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks – 9780446401319 – (Grand Central Publishing)
4. Brotherhood in Death by J. D. Robb – 9780698161481 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
5. Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman – 9780345541413 – (Random House Publishing Group)
6. When Breath Becomes Air by Abraham Verghese & Paul Kalanithi – 9780812988413 – (Random House Publishing Group)
7. April by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
8. NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp – 9780316288729 – (Little, Brown and Company)
9. July by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
10. August by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
11. February by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
12. September by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
13. Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell – 9780062325426 – (William Morrow)
14. October by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
15. November by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
16. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press)
17. December by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
18. Blue by Danielle Steel – 9780804179652 – (Random House Publishing Group)
19. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
20. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – 9780812989076 – (Random House Publishing Group)

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13. Humans in Danger in the Superstition Mountains.

by Sparkin

Hi Friends of Dragons,

Okay, we have a dangerous situation going on. My Da was out on a fly around today, and saw a disturbing sight.  Goblins and several Cyclops had rounded up some human hikers and were herding them into a cavern in the Superstition Mountains.

Da alerted the rest of the Danchun and the Ancient Ones. I will update you as soon as I find out what they are going to do about it.

In the meantime, I think I will sneak out and do my own fly around. I want to make sure the humans are safe.

Wish me dragon luck!

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14. The CW’s RIVERDALE has found its Jughead and Betty

archie-riverdale-cwThe first pair of Riverdale stars have been cast

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15. Tip of the Tongue

What’s her name again? That actress
In that movie we just saw?
Is she English, maybe? Ooh, her name
Is stuck inside my craw.

Yes, the one we saw on Sunday.
I forgot the movie’s title.
I know it’s not so important
But right now it seems so vital.

The director also did a film
We both enjoyed a lot.
It had many famous people
But I can’t recall the plot.

I could Google it, but really
It’s up in my brain among
All the other miscellanea
That’s gathered on my tongue.

If I’m lucky and I’m patient,
Sometimes what I need will slip
To the place where I can reach it
Just an inch out from the tip.

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16. Lisa Charleyboy on Winning the American Indian Library Association's 2016 Middle Grade Honor Award for DREAMING IN INDIAN

I'm pleased to share Lisa Charleyboy's response to the news that Dreaming in Indian was named as the American Indian Library Association's 2016 Honor Book in the Middle Grade category: 

I am truly honoured to have 'Dreaming in Indian' recognized in the Middle School Category in the 2016 American Indian Youth Literature Awards. It has been an absolute dream for me to have worked with my co-editor Mary Beth Leatherdale in creating this anthology so that more youth across Turtle Island would be able to learn about the Indigenous experience.
It was truly our goal to use this book to enlighten and empower and being recognized in prestigious awards such as this allows the book to reach more people which is truly a blessing! 

Do take time to watch this video. In it, Lisa and her co-editor, Mary Beth Leatherdale, talk about the ideas, development, and reception to their book. In personal conversations with librarians, I can say that it is a big hit in their libraries.

Dreaming in Indian was reviewed on AICL on September 8 of 2014. Click on over to the review to get a peek of what is inside this terrific book. Congratulations, Lisa and Mary Beth! This book is a feast.

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17. International Prize for Arabic Fiction shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (and revealed the names of the judges -- kept secret until now).
       The winner will be announced 26 April.

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18. Review: The Red Drip Of Courage distills Stephen Crane to a cartoon essence

You can go for years reading comics and come upon plenty of bizarre works, but at least understand where these are coming from. It’s more rare to hit on one that are more confounding, the ones that make you ask questions like “Where did this come from?” and “Who would do this?” So it is […]

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19. Little Chef: Watcha Cooking?, by Suzanne Rothman | Dedicated Review

Author Suzanne Rothman has crafted an interesting way to deliver the message of being positive no matter what happens through her main character, Little Chef.

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20. Grandma Groom’s caramel fudge icing always goes on a bit...

Grandma Groom’s caramel fudge icing always goes on a bit craggy, but, man, is it yummy. #dons birthday

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21. Fablehaven

Recommend me!Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Have you ever heard stories where mythical creatures help the hero save the day? Well, the creatures at Fablehaven aren’t that nice. Fablehaven is a preserve for magical creatures, but dangerous creatures that are on the brink of extinction. The creatures usually stay in their territories, but on the equinox and solstice, the creatures run wild through Fablehaven. The caretakers, Stan Sorenson and his wife, Ruth, can usually defend themselves, but as Midsummer’s Eve nears (a.k.a. the summer solstice), Stan and Ruth’s grandchildren stay with them. Kendra and Seth have no clue when they arrive at their grandparents’ house that it is a magical preserve. Piece by piece, as Midsummer’s Eve draws near, Seth and Kendra learn more about Fablehaven and its secrets.

On Midsummer’s Eve, Kendra and Seth are instructed by Stan to go to bed immediately at sundown, and NEVER, under ANY circumstances, open the window. But of course, that rule gets broken. And bad things happen. Very bad things happen.

I think that Fablehaven is a really good book series and all of you should read it. It is a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to read the other four books in the series. Happy reading!

Alex, Scholastic Kids Council

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22. Chapter Endings

We all know how it's nice to have a cliffhanger at chapter's end, but how do you go about doing that?


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23. TruthRider Tour & Giveaway #Truthwitch #Riders

To help kick off the exciting "TruthRider" tour featuring TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard and RIDERS by Veronica Rossi, we have a great swag giveaway (Including that awesome Truthwitch map-poster!) I'm planning on being at the Bethesda stop representing YADC. Will I see you there? Truthwitch/Riders Swag package: Signed "Riders" poster Signed "Truthwitch" bookplate A "Riders" bracelet  A "

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24. Cinesite’s New Montreal Mega-Animation Studio Will Employ 500 and Produce 9 Features, Including ‘Klaus’

The studio's first project will be "Klaus" directed by Sergio Pablos.

The post Cinesite’s New Montreal Mega-Animation Studio Will Employ 500 and Produce 9 Features, Including ‘Klaus’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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25. WATCH: Oscar-Nominated ‘We Can’t Live Without Cosmos’ Premieres Online

Watch Konstantin Bronzit's film, which also won the top prize at Annecy last year.

The post WATCH: Oscar-Nominated ‘We Can’t Live Without Cosmos’ Premieres Online appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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