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37176. How much does it cost to buy a convention? $77,500

201111221721 How much does it cost to buy a convention? $77,500

Thanks to some SEC filings, you can see how much a good-sized regional convention is worth — in the case of Wizard World’s 2010 acquisition of the Mid-Ohio Con, the amount was $77,500. $60,000 was to be paid in royalties on booth sales and sponsorships only over a period of several years, with a five-year consulting fee of $3,500 to be paid out after $60k in royalties was reached. The Wizard World page doesn’t have booth costs for Mid-Ohio, but several people complained that they were raised this year, so everyone was getting their share of the till.

Wizard World has just announced its first 2012 show, January 28-29 in New Orleans, and the current line-up for next year is a modest 4 scheduled shows — with the Big Apple con and Austin still TBD.

***** SAVE THE 2012 DATES *****
January 28-29 – New Orleans Comic Con
April 14-15 – Toronto Comic Con
June 1-3 – Philadelphia Comic Con
August 9-12 – Chicago Comic Con
September 29-30 – Mid-Ohio Comic Con
TBD, 2012 – Big Apple Comic Con
TBD, 2012 – Austin Comic Con

Here’s the Mid Ohio acquisition letter of intent:

 GCX Holdings-Wizard Mid-Ohio-Con Acquisition Transaction
Overview: This letter of intent will outline the terms of a transaction in which Kicking The Can LLC and its affiliates (collectively “Wizard”) will acquire Mid-Ohio-Con from GCX Holdings LLC (“GCX”).
Acquisition: Wizard shall acquire certain assets of GCX (the “Transaction”), inclusive of the Mid-Ohio-Con and Ohio Comic-Con names along with their marks, symbols and associated rights.  GCX shall provide Wizard with all email lists and all other promotional materials necessary to assist Wizard in the marketing of Mid-Ohio-Con and said lists shall become the property of Wizard.  This agreement will refer to “Mid-Ohio-Con and that any such change will have no bearing on this agreement or either party’s obligations thereunder.  Wizard shall take no ownership interest in GCX and shall not be bound by any liabilities, if any, associated with GCX.
Consideration: Wizard will pay total consideration of $77,500 for the Transaction comprised of an Initial Purchase Price of $60,000 and a 5-year consulting agreement with GCX for $3,500 per year payable in annual installments commencing in the year after the $60,000 Initial Purchase Price has been paid in full.  The $60,000 purchase price will be paid out based on an annual royalty from Wizard’s revenue from Artist Alley/Creators’ Common tables, Exhibitor Booths, Sponsorship and related revenue streams (collectively “Exhibitor Revenue”) from Mid-Ohio-Con.  For the avoidance of doubt, GCX will not be entitled to any revenue royalty related to box office ticket sales or merchandise sales.  The GCX revenue royalty will be equal to 25% of the first $40,000 of Exhibitor Revenue and 10% on amounts in excess of $40,000 for each annual Event with a $60,000 cap on cumulative payments.  Payments shall be rendered within 30 calendar days of the Event each year via check or wire transfer.
Timing: The Transaction will occur as of the date herein.  This agreement shall have a term (the “Restricted Term”) equal to the greater of 5 years or the time necessary to pay out t

5 Comments on How much does it cost to buy a convention? $77,500, last added: 11/23/2011
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37177. Zombie In Love - Review

It's Picture Book Month and what better way to celebrate than with a review of a great new picture book? For more info on Picture Book Month, please go to the official site. Now onto the review!

Zombie in Love 
by Kelly DiPucchio (writer), Scott Campbell (illustrator)
Publication date: 23 August 2011 by Atheneum
ISBN 10/13: 1442402709 | 9781442402706

Category: Children's Picture Book
Keywords: Children's, zombies, love
Format: Hardcover, ebook

Thuy's review:

Mortimer is a lonely zombie looking for love. He tries everything he can think of to impress the ladies - from a box of delicious worms, a diamond ring fresh from the grave and even offers up a heart (newly deceased), but nothing works. What’s a ghoul supposed to do? Mortimer decides puts a personal ad in the local paper in the hopes that the perfect girl will see it. But does Mortimer’s dream girl show up at Cupid’s Ball or is Mortimer doomed to stalk the earth alone? 

I LOVE Zombie in Love! My friends will all tell you that I have a thing for zombies. I’m not sure what it is but I find them to be endlessly fascinating and zombies seem to be having a renaissance right now with the popularity of The Walking Dead and books like Warm Bodies and Ashes. However, these are all made for and older audience, leaving kids out of the zombie fun (yes, zombies are fun). Luckily for your children (and me), Kelly DiPucchio had the brilliance to write a zombie love story perfect for children and adults alike.

Zombie in Love is a sweet and funny love story full of quiet humor and visual gags and each page was a delight to read. The story is one that both children a

3 Comments on Zombie In Love - Review, last added: 11/23/2011
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37178. Gift Guide: Superman socks with mini calf capes

cgi.ebay .com 2011 11 22 17155 Gift Guide: Superman socks with mini calf capes
Although Edna Mode famously cried “No capes!” people can’t seem to get enough of them these days, with capelets and mini capes among the outerwear options for fall and beyond. But if you need capes on all your extremities, these Superman socks with attached capes will get you flying down the street. According to the seller, they are for schoolgirls, but they go up to Women’s size 9, so a variety of ages and sizes can get in on the fetish fun.

Usually, however, it is males who get socks for Christmas since there is little giftable that can be purchased for them. Maybe these are a comedy option for the BIg Bang Theory types in your household?

6 Comments on Gift Guide: Superman socks with mini calf capes, last added: 11/23/2011
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37179. Goodbye, Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey has died, at the age of 85. I am teary eyed.

Menolly and the Harper Crafthall played a huge role in shaping my young mind, and to this day, whenever I sing I remember this bit from Dragonsinger:

"She had a brief notion of showing him that he wasn't the only one who cold fill the hall with resounding tones, but some fragment of advice from Petiron came to mind, and she concentrated on singing intensely, rather than loudly."

And whenever my sister and I play our four hand piano duets, almost inevitably one of us will invoke Menolly, who doubtless never forgot to check the key signature...unlike some of us.

When Anne McCaffery was at her best, as she was with Dragonsinger, she wrote books to treasure for a lifetime, or at least to treasure until they fell apart from constant re-reading....


9 Comments on Goodbye, Anne McCaffrey, last added: 11/24/2011
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37180. Gift guide: Deluxe edition THE WALKING DEAD — RISE OF THE GOVERNOR

TheWalkingDeadROTG slipcase web Gift guide: Deluxe edition THE WALKING DEAD    RISE OF THE GOVERNOR
Shipping time is nigh and deluxe giftables are pouring into our inbox. Here’s one from Skybound at Image, a deluxe, leather bound, slipcased hardcover edition of THE WALKING DEAD – RISE OF THE GOVERNOR novel written by Robert Kirkman and co-writer Jay Bonansinga with spot illos by Charlie Adlard.

“Many have asked me whether I will ever write a prequel about the lives the character lead before,” said Kirkman in a statement. “Well, that’s basically what we’re doing with these novels. And we wanted to offer the fans a special edition before the holidays.”

The book — first in a planned trilogy or prequels based on series characters — explores the origins of the Governor, the most hated villain in the whole series.

The book ships on December 7 and retails for $74.99. A signed limited edition is also available for $124.9.

3 Comments on Gift guide: Deluxe edition THE WALKING DEAD — RISE OF THE GOVERNOR, last added: 11/23/2011
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37181. Same, Same But Different – A Giveaway!

Same, Same But Different is the new book out by children’s author/illustrator Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (you can read her 2008 IF interview here!). The story is about Elliot who lives in America and Kailash who lives in India. They are penpals and by exchanging letters and pictures, they learn they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are quite similar. Same, same. But different! The story is really fun and the artwork will really amaze you (and your kids!)… there’s so much to look at!

And, because I always like to see artists at work… you should definitely check out this blog post by Jenny Sue about her process!

You can order the book at your local independent bookstore, check it out from the library, or pick it up from Amazon.

A tiny tad more about the author: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is the author and illustrator of My Travelin’ Eye. She is a freelance illustrator who studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and The Illustration Academy. When she isn’t traveling around the world, Jenny plays and paints on a homestead in the mountains of Northern New Mexico with her family.

Now for the giveaway part!:

 Jenny Sue has graciously donated a signed copy of Same, Same But Different to one lucky IF reader! Keep it for yourself, share it with your kids, or give it away as a holiday gift! Please leave a comment below to enter.

 Winner will be announced Tuesday November 29!

17 Comments on Same, Same But Different – A Giveaway!, last added: 11/23/2011

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37182. DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2011

201111221603 DC Comics Month to Month Sales: October 2011
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

October was a first litmus test for the good “New 52″ relaunch numbers, as it was the first month that allowed retailers to react to customer feedback on DC’s “New 52″ initiative in a meaningful way.

As a result, Marvel won a little less of the market share than usual got really spanked by DC in October, which took the Top 6 spots, along with a whopping 17 out of the Top 20 (and 32 out of the Top 50, and 60 out of the Top 100), as well as 50.97 percent of the unit market share and 42.47 percent of the dollar share.

DC’s average periodical numbers were down a bit from September and are now in the exact same area as right after the line-wide “One Year Later” event in May 2006, which had been DC’s high-water mark before the current relaunch. Back then, the average new DC comic book (not counting the now-defunct WildStorm) sold an estimated 50,519 units, the average new DC Universe comic book 59,505. In October 2011, now, it’s 51,280 and 59,146, respectively. These numbers don’t suggest we need to build a new ball park quite yet, but DC certainly did a great job of filling up the old one in a way that hasn’t happened since, well, 2006.

While a slight drop-off from September was to be expected, it turns out to be very slight indeed, because 16 of the “New 52″ titles didn’t drop at all, but rather increased in sales. They’re led by Animal Man, which, on the back of good reviews, saw an impressive second-issue increase of 16 percent. And even most of the rest of the bunch displays much slighter drops than we’re used to, for that matter. Only 16 of the percentage drops are in the double digits, and only four of those — Action Comics, Men of War, Superman and Blackhawks — are in the area you’d usually suspect. As a result, the average second-issue drop for the “New 52″ is a tiny 5.2 percent — a dream figure by any standard.

(Also, it’s worth noting that many of the books with the bigger second-issue drops came out in the last week of October. Technically, this means that they were disadvantaged, because all subsequent re-orders slipped into November. On the other hand, the first issues of those titles shipped in the last week of September, too, of course, so it should have evened out. In any case, we’ll get a clearer picture of what’s going on with the November chart.)

As far as DC’s market-share dominance is concerned, massive re-orders for all debut issues except one (poor Men of War) played a big role. The leader in October re-orders was Aquaman #1, which sold an additional 28,243 units. Given that the book first shipped in the last week of September, all post-release re-orders fell into October, so it had a slight edge over runners-up Green Lantern #1 and Detective Comics #1. Still, DC’s Aquaman revamp looks like a big success, so far. Overall, the re-orders bring the average sales of the “New 52″ debut issues up to an impressive 83,474 units. (Below the individual month-to-month changes, I’ve added some extra statistics on “New 52″ re-orders, aggregate total sales of the debut issues and second-issue changes.)


17 Comments on DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2011, last added: 11/23/2011
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37183. "Pajama Girl" nominated for a Cybil

Okay, so it's up against approximately 637,921 other digital children's books, but hey, as the Botox-lipped starlets in Hollywood are so fond of saying, "It's an honor just to be nominated."

And speaking of "Pajama Girl", it looks like there will, indeed, be a sequel. Fortunately, Brett Ratner is definitely not directing. But this time around, we'll see a new character introduced. Fortunately, he will definitely not be played by Shia Labeouf. Here's a little peek...

1 Comments on "Pajama Girl" nominated for a Cybil, last added: 11/25/2011
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37184. Dave Johnson has more cover coverage

We’re not going to plagiarize ALL of Dave Johnson’s cover comments…only several of them. He’s at it again this time with some cover PICKS:

jun110546 Dave Johnson has more cover coverage

First off, this is a fun cover from Cory Walker. There’s a lot going one but it’s got great depth and priorities. The main characters stand out against the background, allowing you to discover the detail in the background as a secondary note. The way it should be. The atmospheric perspective helps out by lightening the BG as the elements gets farther away. It’s the way to do it people, take note.

Then he has at this cover, which has a teeny tiny problem

SEP110326 Dave Johnson has more cover coverage

My main problem with this is lack of credit to the original artist Frank miller. People, without a credit note to the original source of your design I’m just going to assume you’re a plagiarist. You’re better than that.

jun110979 Dave Johnson has more cover coverage
and says what we all wanted to say about Lady Death:

Ok, my issue with this cover isn’t so much that it’s a bad design, but the fact that all the Lady Death covers are basically the SAME FUCKING COVER!!! Usually a traced Victoria’s Secret photo with some random elements tossed in. Never anything about a story, although that might be on purpose. I can’t imagine that it would be that great of a read to begin with, but maybe I’m just immune to ways of Lady Death. For all I know, it could be the Watchmen of soft core titillation super hero books. If you’re a huge fan of the book and you think I’m wrong about it, let me know. But regardless, the cover designs of this title leaves me limp.

There’s more, but you will have to go to the link for that.

5 Comments on Dave Johnson has more cover coverage, last added: 11/23/2011
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37185. Many new Vertigo trades announced, including an INVISIBLES Omnibus

201111221644 Many new Vertigo trades announced, including an INVISIBLES Omnibus

Remember good old Vertigo, the imprint where all the top writers for the New 52 got discovered and DC graphic novel book store sales were practically invented? Well, they are still at it! Plucky old Vertigo. And just to prove they still have what it takes they have announced their book collections for the second half of 2012, including some truly awesome stuff, like a HUGE one volume edition of THE INVISIBLES by Grant Morrison and his all stars (Quitely, Jimenez, Thompson, Weston, Buckingham etc etc etc ) that will weigh in at a mere 1536 pages and $150. Frankly, we didn’t know they could print books that big and wide. Given that THE INVISIBLES is one of our favorite mainstream comic of the 90s, we are there. Make room, make room!

They also announced two NEW gns, including Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose and Langdon Foss, planned for June and Right State, just announced by Mat Johnson and Andrea Muti, which is described as

RIGHT STATE is a race-against-time political thriller that explodes beyond the boundaries of genre to explore the meanings of race, class and identity in America, written by Mat Johnson with art by Andrea Mutti (THE EXECUTOR). Johnson is the recipient of the United States Artist James Baldwin Fellowship, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and author of the acclaimed graphic novels INCOGNEGRO and DARK RAIN as well as the recently published novel Pym among others.

In the week leading up to a major campaign speech, the Secret Service discovers that an extremist militia group is plotting to assassinate America’s second African American President. The best chance to avert this crisis is to infiltrate the group. RIGHT STATE follows an ex Special Forces commando turned conservative media pundit, who takes the assignment and goes undercover. What follows is an adrenaline fueled race against time to stop a President from dying and a country from being ripped apart.

It seems that the Vertigo Crime Line is dead — or at least not in this list of solicitations. However there are lots of hits from the Golden Age past and recent past here. Good reading.

Coming in May 2012:

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Rafael Albuquerque and Mateo Santoluco
Collects: AMERICAN VAMPIRE #6-11
$17.99 US, 160 pg

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Warren Pleece, Richard Case, Jay Stephens and Cameron Stewart
Collects: DEADENDERS #1-16 and a story from VERTIGO: WINTER’S EDGE #3
$29.99 US, 392 pg

Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artists: Marc Hempel, Richard Case, D’Israeli, Teddy Kristiansen, Glyn Dillon, Charles Vess, Dean Ormston and Kevin Nowlan
Collects: THE SANDMAN #57-69 and a story from VERTIGO JAM #1
$19.99 US, 320 pg

Coming in June 2012:

Writer: Bill Willingham
Artists: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, David Hahn, Lan Medina and Dan Green
Collects: FABLES #34-45
$29.99 US, 304 pg

Writers: Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose
Artist: Langdon Foss
Original graphic novel
$24.99 US, 160 pg

Coming in July 2012:

Writer: Bill Willingham
Artists: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Adam Hughes, Gene Ha and K

7 Comments on Many new Vertigo trades announced, including an INVISIBLES Omnibus, last added: 11/23/2011
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37186. Don't Miss This!!!

1 Comments on Don't Miss This!!!, last added: 11/24/2011
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37187. Occupy movement graphics take inspiration from comics

A poster using an image o 002 Occupy movement graphics take inspiration from comics
While Frank Miller’s outburst against the OWS protesters might not have been the smartest PR move for him, he was right on the money about one thing: as a cartoonist, he was well qualified to comment. Graphic novels and comics have inspired a lot of the OWS protesters’ iconography.

The best known example, of course, is the use of the Guy Fawkes mask from V FOR VENDETTA by anonymous and other protest groups. But a lot of the Occupy posters and graphics are also comics-inspired, says the Guardian:

They are nostalgic in that they resemble the posters of Paris 1968, or Spain 1936. Expressionist graphics, decisive slogans and modernist wit pervade these images. Yet if the abstract design of a red tower calling on the 99% to Occupy London makes you think of Soviet revolutionary art, the really fascinating thing about the posters is not these echoes of the 20th century but their connection with today’s comics or graphic novels.

Occupy Penang 009 Occupy movement graphics take inspiration from comics

Famously, the Guy Fawkes mask used by protesters comes from the graphic novel (and subsequent bad film) V for Vendetta, and this face makes its appearance on posters too. The strong black-and-white style used against coloured backgrounds by Occupy the Streets with its striding woman, Occupy Philly with its Liberty Bell, and Occupy Portland with its face of a young woman representing the 99%, all share the aesthetics of comic book artists such as Art Spiegelman and Charles Burns.

The Guardian has a slideshow of various posters. As we’ve pointed out here before, this is nothing new: comics and politics have always gone hand in hand, and it would be more surprising if a political movement didn’t quickly tie in to the quickly-grasped symbolism that comics offer.

To bring it full circle, Sean Kleefeld found himself donating a bunch of books to the OWS library to replace those lost in the police action last week — and found a surprising author well-represented:

I don’t have a lot (any?) books that would be truly be relevant and/or poignant to the movement as a whole, but what I do have are comics. So I packed up a collection of graphic novels and TPBs to send over. It was a bit of a mixed bag of books — some Marvel, some DC, some independent. Just some things to maybe let them escape for a bit. Packed them up neatly, took them to the post office and sent them off. (With a confirmation of receipt since the post office attendant was eyeballing me a little strangely after he saw the address.)

After sending the box off, I realized I should probably remove the books from my personal collection database before

2 Comments on Occupy movement graphics take inspiration from comics, last added: 11/22/2011
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37188. NCTE/ALAN 2011

If you've seen my last two posts, you know that Carolyn Mackler and I were in Chicago for a conference. This was the National Council of Teachers of English/Assembly on Literature for Adolescents conference, which means there were a whole lot of teachers who know their grammar. Which means I was constantly saying, "Sorry! That's why I have an editor!"

It was the first time we signed hardcovers of The Future of Us together, which was a moment we'd been waiting for! Our genius publicist (I don't think she sleeps), Elyse, is standing between us in this photo.

In terms of excitement, a close second to signing books and meeting readers is getting to meet authors for the first time. And NCTE/ALAN was great for meeting authors!

Ned Vizzini

Sarah Zarr

Michelle Hodkin

Megan McCafferty

That evening, Penguin held a delicious (delicious!) dinner, with even more authors.

Jacqueline Woodson

Stephanie Perkins

The next day, Carolyn and I attended a great YA author booksigning at Anderson's Bookshop. I think we should come up with a word to describe a group of authors. Something like a gaggle or a pride of authors. Not those, but something! Any i

3 Comments on NCTE/ALAN 2011, last added: 11/24/2011
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37189. NCTE: Poetry for Paupers


Janet and I offered free copies of our new poetry e-book, Gift Tag, for all those who came early. Here they are downloading it!

Poetry for Paupers from Recitation to E-Books; Infusing Poetry into the Classroom
National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention
Chicago, IL
Sat., Nov. 19, 2011


Sylvia Vardell, Professor, Texas Woman’s University, School of Library & Information Studies
Janet Wong, Author and Poet, sponsored by Charlesbridge
Laurie Purdie Salas, Author and Poet, sponsored by Clarion Books
Stephen Young, Program Director, Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest
Youssef Biaz, Alabama, 2011 Poetry Out Loud national champion

4 Comments on NCTE: Poetry for Paupers, last added: 11/24/2011
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37190. My personal highlights from ALAN (and being on a panel)

So…after two months of worrying about me being on a panel speaking about challenged books in front of 500 people, and then two weeks of anxiety, and then a day of absolute fear right up to (and during) the panel…I “did good”! I knew I had a lot to say–Scars has been challenged at least once formally that I know of, and informally in Meghan cox Gurden’s op-ed. My abusers tried to silence me most of my life; I don’t want to be silenced any more. But actually speaking about it all in front of 500 people live felt pretty scary. I think I spoke well, though–honestly, emotionally, passionately, and intelligently. I still can’t believe I spoke well! It took a while for me to know it–but I started taking it in afterward from the many responses and from people telling me that in so many ways.

I know public speaking is hard for many people, at least at first. It is for me, too. But for me there’s also the added layers of all the abuse training–my abusers repeatedly telling me they’d kill me if I talked (and since they’d murdered other children in front of me I knew they could), and abuse that happened on raised stages (like child porn), and all the years I learned to be silent, quiet, and not speak out, except through my writing and my art. But yesterday I learned that I CAN speak publicly, even to a large group, and it can be okay and even a good experience.

Me speaking, photo taken by Sandi Walden

Some of the time before my panel I felt alone and scared and insecure as the hours stretched on, so I took a breather, and sat in the hallway against the wall. But doing that I felt like I was socially awkward and sticking out, the way I had as a teen. And then who should come by but A.S. King (Everybody Sees the Ants, Please Ignore Vera Dietz)! She sat herself down beside me so easily, and we sat, backs against the wall, talking. Amy was reassuring and understanding, and so down-to-earth. I loved hearing about her own experiences, and just…spending time. Hearing Amy talk about ALAN so enthusiastically made me want to join.

I also got to meet C.J. Bott in person–she recognized me as I passed by, and we talked briefly, and then she sat down for a bit with A.S. King and me. C. J. Bott did a lovely review of Scars, and we’d talked back and forth via email a bit, so it was cool to meet her in person. She’ll be vice president of ALAN next year!

I also talked a bit with Professor Melanie Hundley, who was an incredibly friendly, bright spot in the day, introducing me to other authors and to teachers, pointing out my handouts to others, and just being lovely.

It helped to have such friendly, caring people around!

The whole experience was also made better by my wonderful book publicist Julie Schoerke, picking me up at the airport, taking me to dinner, and then coming the next day to be with me for my panel. I was getting more and more scared the closer it got to my panel, and thankfully Julie arrived about an hour before. She sat on the floor with me i

10 Comments on My personal highlights from ALAN (and being on a panel), last added: 11/23/2011
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37191. the web turned to flesh

Back from Rendez vu de Carnet de voyage had a wonderful time, meeting a lot of former web only friends and turning them to real life ones. Here are some images from my stay (didn't manage to photo som much so I had to borrow some images. 
Why eat when you can sketch? Left to right  Roger, Miguel "Freekhand",  Monica, Nina, Joaquin, Lapin, "mr R"the only non sketcher"and Ea 
The Panel discussion with Nina Johansson far left and with Ea Ejersbo second to the right and with the male in the center as per usual.
Clermont-Ferrand from my hotel window, more or less the only view I got of the town as I spent most of my time at the conference center.
Lapin makes a second attempt trying to sketch me, Lapin found me hard to sketch (my theory is that unearthly beauty is hard to catch)
Nearly done, trying hard to keep a straight face
The end result with a crude doodle from me destroying everything.
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37192. Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat
Holly Black

Holly Black has written a novel so deep and intense, you'll find yourself hanging on the edge the whole way through. You'll have no clue as to what is about to unfold until it is brought to the table. Black has you wrapped around her finger with this one.

Cassel's life might be a little well, confusing to some. His family line are mostly all curse workers. It skips some. A hit and miss type of thing. You just have to wait it out and see if you have it. To see if you show any signs. Cassel, luckily is not. Good thing too, seeing as which it's illegal. There are many different types of curse workers. They can change your emotions, actions, objects, dreams, etc. all by the touch of a hand. Therefore, they must wear gloves. Everyone must.

Even though Cassel isn't a worker, he did kill his best friend, and love of his life, Lila. And when he did it, he had an odd sense of pleasure in it. He doesn't remember doing it, only standing over her and having a satisfied feeling and knowing it was wrong to feel that way because he loved her. He misses her. Aches for her sometimes, and now, ever since waking on the roof of his school and dreaming about this strange white cat, he can't seem to get her out of his head. He was doing so good with this too.

Trying to find the truth with the missing pieces from his brothers only leads to more secrets and more mysteries. More secrets left unanswered. More things Cassel now has to figure out. But Cassel doesn't know he is being worked. Furthermore, he is being worked by someone he trusts. 

4/5 Stars. 336 Pages. Published by Margaret K. McElderry Received in audio book form from Random House Audio.

2 Comments on Review: White Cat by Holly Black, last added: 11/25/2011
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37193. High Concept

What do editors and agents mean when they talk about "high concept?"


1 Comments on High Concept, last added: 11/23/2011
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37194. The Naysayers of Indie Publishing

So here's another brutally honest post.

The hardest thing about indie publishing or self publishing is NOT doing the cover or writing the jacket copy or even the marketing.

At least not to me, anyway.

The hardest thing is coming up against the people who look down on self publishing. The people who don't give you a chance from the very start. The people who assume you are not good enough before they even read your first page.

The uphill battle we - as self pub or even indie authors - face is just getting our work to be considered equally as other authors.

We have our books judged by its cover - and I mean that literally. That's why it is so important to do everything you can to make sure your book doesn't appear self pubbed. Because then maybe - just maybe - you can sneak by the doubters and get a Kirkus Revew :).

Last week, I had one lady at a newspaper email me for an interview. She talked about how much she loved my cover and jacket, my press release, and the sample chapter. But the minute she realized I was indie/self pubbed - she simply cut the conversation short and said, "I'm sorry we don't review self published work."

Really? Why? She loved everything I gave her! My feelings were hurt and to be frank - it just sucked. In a moment when you are doubting everything you have done and are doing - those people just make it worse. Once again, the negative stigma of self pubbing gets in the way. Every time a friend turns her back b/c my book is self pubbed or a reviewer refuses to give my writing a look - it stinks. To be honest it breaks my heart. I can't help but immediately go back to that space of "I'm not good enough". Self pubbing still gets you rejection and its just as hard.

You don't have a team of marketers, or your agent, or your editor to pump you up and have your back.

You are alone.

And for me - at least not yet - those rejections never gets easier.

I just want to be judged on my work. My writing, my story. My plot, my character development, and my voice. I don't want any favors or undeserved reviews or breaks.  I just want the same chance for my little book to shine as the author that pubs theirs with a large house. And to be frank - it sucks when it's not.

That is why I have spent the last two long months showing you everything I have done - the behind the scenes - gosh to honest truth - about how to tackle doing indie pubbing the RIGHT WAY. I am not saying my way is perfect - it is different for everyone and just as in traditional pubbing - there is no magic formula.

But you will automatically hit discrimination to a certain extent because you do your book on our own. So if there is anything you can do to avoid some - do it.

Even typos come down hard. Every book I've ever read has had some typos.  But - if you are self pubbed - those typos (along with any plot holes or underdeveloped characters) are magnified. The typos suddenly mean you are not good enough and that is why you self pubbed.

You already get shunned by those who don't think you are good enough. And you would be surprised who those people are who turn their back on you. I guess it's a moment when your true friends and blogger buddies shine through. For some reason, self pubbing divides people and you can easily see (and quick) who falls on each side of the line. You can see those who judge you not based on your merit or writing but based on a perception...a judgement...that you arent' good enough or that you sold out in some way.

To be honest, I don't blame the naysayers to a certain extent - I've seem some serious crap put out and unfortunately - we ALL get lumped together in self pubbing or even indie pubbing. And even though some books that are traditionally pubbed suck - they don't all get mixed in together. They each get a small shot to stand on their own merit. Unaffected by their predecessors.

When a big house signs an author

19 Comments on The Naysayers of Indie Publishing, last added: 11/25/2011
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37195. How the world works…

In my mini series reviewing the books shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2011 next up is How The World Works by Christiane Dorion and Beverley Young

A pop-up book covering a wealth of ground, How The World Works is a tremendous introduction to topics as diverse as the solar system, evolution, plate tectonics, the water cycle, weather systems, photosynthesis and food chains.

Each double page spread covers one theme and explores it using exciting illustrations, illuminating paper engineering and and array of both key and intriguing facts presented in inviting, bite-sized portions. The illustrations have the rich colours and boldness you often see with Barefoot Books (though this is actually published by Templar). The short sections of text make this an undaunting book for young independent readers.

As well of plenty of flaps and tabs, there are lots of instances where the paper engineering really adds to your understanding of the topic under discussion. For example the big bang explosion is a brilliantly executed bit of fold out paper – simple, but very effective as it mimics an explosion. How the continents have drifted over time is beautifully illustrated with a flip book – by flipping the pages we can actually see the continents drifting from the supercontinent Pangaea about 200 million years ago to their current location.

Again, the paper engineering is put to exceptional use to illustrate what happens at different types of plate boundary; Andy Mansfield, the brains behind the pop-up aspect of this book, has created paper tricks that are not only great fun but, but informative and meaningful.

This book contains a subtle but consistent message about how we as humans are having an impact on the earth and what the consequences of our actions will be. In the section on carbon there are tips about how we can reduce our carbon footprint, whilst the pages devoted to how plants work draw attention to the problems caused by deforestation. In the discussion of ocean currents and tides we’re introduced to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, “an area of plastic rubbish twice the size of Texas” floating in the Pacific ocean, whilst when exploring the the planets, the large quantity of space junk orbiting the earth is highlighted. Not only does this book tell us how the world works, it also makes us think about how it’s beginning to break down.

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37196. libraries responding to conflict – Penn State

We are Penn State.

Someone pointed out on MetaFilter (warning: long thread) that Penn State has created a page about the Sandusky Scandal in their research guides section. This is a great way for an institution to have a somewhat official response that is outside of the usual damage control stuff we usually see when things like this happen. I also noticed the nice bar across the top of the page (as of this writing) with an alert saying the digitized collections will be down for maintenance.

The more libraries can be responsive to what is going on within their communities and can respond with resources and facts, the more we’ll be seen as integral to our communities. Even after 5+ years of Library 2.0 discussions, this sort of thing is still so often not managed as something the library should have a central role in.

1 Comments on libraries responding to conflict – Penn State, last added: 11/23/2011
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37197. Sketchbook Scan - expressions

I've had a big project that I've been working on the last few weeks.  I've gotten a lot of practice drawing with my arm instead of my wrist, and using the side of the pencil more than the tip.  It helps with speed, fatigue, and proportion.  I can't show any of what I've done until sometime next year, so I sketched this stuff out.  Mostly wanted to play with expressions.  Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the States, and a great weekend to everyone!

4 Comments on Sketchbook Scan - expressions, last added: 11/24/2011
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37198. More Show and Tell

I just got a bunch of stuff in the mail.

1. My fourth book in the board book series.

2. This fabric swatch of a design that I just reposted for sale in my Spoonflower shop, I changed the scale on the print out of this design.

3. And my boxed Christmas cards that I did for Papyrus. They are so felt-y and sparkly.

Thanks for letting me share with  you - I hope you have a splendid holiday break - I can't wait to spend time eating with friends and family!

5 Comments on More Show and Tell, last added: 11/24/2011
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37199. November Twenty-Second

Forty-eight years ago
JFK died.
If you were living then,
You must have cried.

TV ran on and on –
Pink hat and shots;
Oswald and Ruby
Connecting the dots.

Bloodstains on Jackie,
The LBJ pledge;
All of America
Sitting on edge.

John John saluted,
The widow in black.
Innocence ended
And never came back.

Each twenty-second
The month of November,
Those moments flash back
And I pause to remember.

2 Comments on November Twenty-Second, last added: 11/23/2011
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37200. Giving Thanks

This year I'm especially thankful for a few things... My very supportive husband (this will be our first holiday season as a married couple), the wood burning stove that helps to keep our home toasty and our heating bill very, very low, my mom and dad and family, James the cat and Domino the dog, Holbein watercolor paints, snowy days, and the recent addition of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to Netflix instant streaming (Yep. I'm thankful for Star Trek). And pie. I really like pie. Especially pecan.

And I'm also very thankful to you, for visiting my blog and keeping me company on the interweb. And as a means of saying thank you, I'll soon be hosting a give away. Come back next week to find out the details. And in the meantime, I hope that you get to eat as much turkey and mashed potatoes and pie as you like. And most of all, I hope that you have a very happy Thanksgiving and that you will be reminded of all of the things that you are thankful for.

2 Comments on Giving Thanks, last added: 11/24/2011
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