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David Chen and Joanna Robinson have raised more than $1,900 on Kickstarter for the “A Cast of Kings” podcast. With the money, they will be able to continue producing a podcast to re-cap the forthcoming new episodes of the Game of Thrones HBO series.
Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: “It’s only because of your generosity and support in the past that we’ve grown this podcast to the point where people are interested in sponsoring us on a large-scale level. We are eternally grateful to you, our listeners, for getting us here and look forward to an awesome season of Game of Thrones discussion ahead!”
Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.
What if Hermione Granger had been named The Chosen One? BuzzFeed has created a video (embedded above) called “If Hermione Were The Main Character In Harry Potter”—it has drawn more than 680,000 views on YouTube.
Many of the characters within the Harry Potter universe enjoy a fiercely loving loyal fan base including the sharp-tongued matriarch Molly Weasley, the surprisingly brave Neville Longbottom, and the greatly misunderstood Severus Snape. Who’s your favorite character from J.K. Rowling’s beloved book series?
What are your favorite love poems?
The Hobbit actor Richard Armitage serves as the narrator for the Classic Love Poems audiobook. BuzzFeed reports that this 22-minute long compilation features 15 different pieces written by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more.
The SoundCloud clip embedded above features Armitage performing a recitation of “I Carry Your Heart” by e. e. cummings. Follow this link to download the unabridged audiobook for free.
Yo, Marsala, I’m happy for you, I’ma let you finish — but Eggplant is the real Color of the Year. At least according to this entire shelf of purple-jacketed books.
The post Reading rainbow? Not quite appeared first on The Horn Book.
Alba Garcia, a filmmaker and the director of Fantasiation studio, has launched a crowdfunding venture on Indiegogo. She hopes to raise $42,000 to create a stop-motion animated film based on the title, Dangerously Ever After.
Penguin Young Readers Group released the picture book, written by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Valeria Docampo, back in September 2012. We’ve embedded a video about the campaign above—what do you think?
Here’s more about the project: “We need money to print all the 3-D faces for all the characters of the film, get a camera rig for amazing cinematic movement, a new set of lights to illuminate the HUGE garden and castle set, plus pay our 19 phenomenal artists from all over the world. If we surpass the goal we will use the money to hire more animators, and post-production artists and to apply to even more festivals.”
What does it take to create a book sculpture? In a presentation delivered at TEDYouth 2014 (embedded above), artist Brian Dettmer talks about the creative process to transform old encyclopedias into modern art pieces.
To work on his projects, Dettmer keeps a supply of X-Acto knives, tweezers and surgical devices in his tool box. He makes it his mission to discover and develop new meanings for each book.
Here’s more from the TED blog: “Like a DJ, he remixes the knowledge found inside. Like an archeologist, he excavates the potential of their wisdom. He believes that the book will never die, but will and must adapt to hold its place in the new digital information age.”
Melissa Rivers, a TV personality and daughter of the late Joan Rivers, has landed a deal with Crown Archetype.
People magazine reports that Melissa plans write a book entitled The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation. The publisher has scheduled a release date for May 5th.
Rivers posted a picture of the cover on her Facebook page. She also revealed that this project is “a collection of funny, poignant, and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised me.” (via TIME)
Oprah Winfrey revealed her fourth Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection, Ruby by Cynthia Bond. According to The Associated Press, Winfrey revealed that she fell in love with the novel after reading the first sentence.
Published by Hogarth (a Penguin Random House imprint), the story follows “a worldly, beautiful black woman, Ruby Bell, and her struggle not to be destroyed by her home community of Liberty Township.” Bond was influenced by the work she has done in the past with at-risk-youth and a traumatic event in her family’s history.
The paperback edition was released today. Winfrey has interviewed Bond and the full conversation will appear in the March 2015 issue of O magazine. Click here to view a video that features Winfrey’s announcement.
In recent years, young adult books have driven a surge in sales for publishers. Besides increasing the revenue streams of these companies, it also seems to have uplifted the popularity of short fiction. The YA authors who have contributed to this trend tend to set their short fiction pieces within the universe of a popular book series.
For instance, Beth Revis recently concluded the Across the Universe trilogy and celebrated by inviting her fans to download a free novella called “As They Slip Away.” Ally Carter incorporated characters from two teen series, Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls, for “Double-Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Novella.”
As we previously reported, HarperCollins established HarperTeen Impulse as a digital imprint dedicated to solely publishing short fiction. But, even before this venture came along, Divergent series author Veronica Roth penned a short story called “Free Four” and Delirium trilogy author Lauren Oliver wrote a piece called “Hana.” What do you think?
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There is so much involved in designing. One must be up on the trends for color and pattern and more. I always have my eyes open to finding things I love to look at!
Here are the Pantone color trends for 2013.
I had to take a close look at them. . . some of them bore me unless they are paired with an “eye-catching” color. Color is so amazing! It can make your day! It can bring a smile to your face, and warm your heart. It can also bring you down. Why else do people get depressed when they experience too many gray rainy days? All that because of color? Yes! Think of the feeling you get when you take a walk and come upon a beautiful scene. Do you ever “OOOOoooh and Aaaaaahhhh?” Do colors grab you?
Colors can calm the soul. One of my favorite movies is Miss Potter. I like her spunk, I LOVE that she talks to her cartoons, and I also love the scenes of her beautiful English countryside. The colors speak peace and tranquility.
One might want calm and peaceful and serene colors for the baby nursery. So why did I decorate my first child’s nursery in bright sunshine yellow with brown and Kelly Green accents? ha! Because I crave bold colors! All I could think of was that my baby would wake up and want to be inspired by what she saw. The room had to be warm and happy and that is was!!
As the room progressed to fit two more daughters into it, we moved to pinks and browns. I loved it, but the girls were not really drawn to it. Interesting. In my house, you will find that colors change often. If I could, I would paint my house every year! My husband jokes about our bathroom being smaller because of the many times I have painted it! I am thinking of a new color as I type!!! I am leaning towards a beautiful blue with just the right amount of purple in it! Baby blue is okay, but I always want something with a little PUNCH in it! I like to walk into a room and hear my heart sing! La la! Wall colors can be muted but if that is the case, in my house, the paintings must sing! Oh how I love a noisy house filled with color.
So what am I to do? Follow the trends? Or start my own trends? Am I brave? These are the questions every designer must face. I always lean towards being a renegade trend setter! ha!
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…but is this cover
reminiscent of this cover?
In his March/April 2014 article “What Makes a Good Book Cover?” Thom Barthelmess praises the Grasshopper Jungle cover’s “iconic simplicity,” which “piques our curiosity” with its compelling minimalism. The same can certainly be said of Woman‘s cover art…but for a different reason!
The post Maybe it’s just me… appeared first on The Horn Book.
Roar roar ROAR! When it comes to destruction, dinosaurs win! Check out these two brand-new titles about dinosaurs on rampages:
The post Dinosaur versus… everything appeared first on The Horn Book.
Love this quote.
Millennials tend to get a bum rap. Remember that Time magazine cover that painted them as “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents?”
They’re the ME ME ME generation, the cover reads, but then boldly proclaims “why they’ll save us all.”
Yes the cover girl may have been pictured with an iPhone in her hand, but chances are she had a library card in her back pocket.
Could libraries be among the first of the Millennials heroic conquests?
According to a new report from the Pew Research Center Internet Project the answer is a hopeful perhaps. (more…)
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
We’ve noticed a welcome trend lately: excellent graphic novel memoirs (or fiction that feels an awful lot like) written by women about their adolescence. Here are a few to enjoy. (Thanks, Marjane Satrapi, for breaking ground with Persepolis, and to the Tamaki cousins for Skim and This One Summer! Also Katie’s girl-crush Lucy Knisley, who has a new book out — An Age of License — described by the publisher as “an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.”
The November/December 2014 Horn Book Magazine
includes three graphic novel memoirs by women. At the age of four, in 1975, author Cece Bell contracted meningitis, leaving her severely to profoundly deaf. The wonderful El Deafo
is a characterful, vivid, often amusing graphic novel memoir that recaptures the experiences of her childhood — adapting to deafness, to others’ attitudes toward it, and to the technology of the Phonic Ear, a cumbersome assistive device. At the heart of her story is an experience relevant to most children: the finding of the “True Friend,” a falling out, and a reunion. Bell combines great humor and charm (her characters are all anthropomorphic bunnies) with emotional complexity and seriousness.
Fans of Raina Telgemeier’s 2010 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book Smile will be smiling all the way through this companion book — Sisters — an often bittersweet but amusingly told story about Raina’s relationship with her younger sister, Amara. The summer before Raina starts high school, she and Amara, their younger brother, and their mom take a road trip from California to Colorado for a family reunion. As in Smile, sepia-toned pages mark the frequent flashbacks, which fill readers in on the evolution of this battle of the sisters. The story ends with a solidly believable truce between the warring siblings, who, one suspects, will continue to both annoy and support each other.
I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached (companion to her 2012 book A Game for Swallows, is the author’s memories of the Lebanese civil war, in a loosely connected series of sobering vignettes and impressions, each beginning with the phrase “I remember.” Black-and-white geometric illustrations capture both the enormous scale of the war (with motifs of falling bombs, helicopters, and stranded cars) and its personal repercussions.
Two new ones that recently came into the office:
Tomboy by Liz Prince: “A memoir about friendship, gender, bullies, growth, punk rock, and the power of the perfect outfit” [from flap copy].
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (roller derby name “Winnie the Pow”), a graphic novel (fiction) about a teen derby grrl.
Have you noticed a trend? Do you have other books to recommend?
The post Mini-trend: Grrrl power grrraphic novels appeared first on The Horn Book.
Ron Barrett for the New York Times
“Cultivating Thought” is a series of captivating short pieces written by ten noted authors, from Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison to Malcolm Gladwell, printed on Chipolte cups and bags and meant to be read in two minutes. They were the brainchild of Everything is Illuminated writer Jonathan Safran Foer.
In the New York Times, Teddy Wayne looks at “the branding of literature,” companies turning to “literary luminaries to form a collective ‘spokescribe’” as the perfect pitchmen. It can work well for the writers, too. According to Wayne, Moneyball author Michael Lewis told Conan O’Brien on “Conan,” “It pays very well to write a Chipolte cup.”
Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of eyewear company Warby Parker–two names picked from Jack Kerouac’s unpublished journals–told the Times, “We wanted to build a brand that stood for fun, creativity and doing good in the world, and we thought writers best represented that.”
It’s not a match made in corporate heaven for all authors. “Not everyone is willing to be the face (or prose) of a brand,” writes Wayne. Elliott Holt saw her first novel You are One of Them pubbed last year. When a company sought her out to endorse an e-cig (vape, anyone?), she declined.
“‘I felt like being the face of some product would somehow cheapen me as a writer,’ she said, also expressing her reservations about the merchandise’s potential health risks. The offer of $30,000 still gnaws at her, though.”
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Google has analyzed the searches that took place during 2014. The company has unveiled the ten books that were trending throughout this year.
Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird claimed the top spot on this list. The other nine titles come from a variety of different genres; almost all of them have become hit bestsellers and award winners.
We’ve collected free samples of all the books on the list for your reading pleasure after the jump. What do you think?
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
A book trailer for Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome has been posted on the SoulPancake YouTube channel. The video embedded above has drawn more than 20,000 views—what do you think?
YouTube star Kid President (real name Robby Novak) and his brother-in-law Brad Montague collaborated together on this project. HarperCollins has scheduled the publication date to take place on February 3rd.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made his second selection for the “A Year of Books” book club. Zuckerberg has chosen The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker.
Zuckerberg’s announcement has attracted more than 43,000 “likes.” Participants have one month to complete this reading assignment.
Here’s an excerpt from Zuckerberg’s post: “It’s a timely book about how and why violence has steadily decreased throughout our history, and how we can continue this trend. Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it’s worth understanding that all violence — even terrorism — is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace.” (via The Guardian)
Today is our first Ask a Pub Pro response post! This is the first of a monthly feature where writers can ask specific craft questions regarding their work in progress and get a response from a publishing professional.
Joining us today to answer your questions is Lisa Colozza Cocca, author of Providence, a YA novel from Merit Press/F&W Media plus almost a dozen nonfiction titles. We appreciate Lisa guiding us through our first post as she takes your questions and answers them with her warmth and insight. Plus, she's giving away a copy of her book! Check the Rafflecopter at the end!
Remember to get your questions in for next month's Ask a Pub Pro column. Just send an email to me, Susan Sipal, at AYAPLit AT gmail and put "Ask a Pub Pro Question" in your subject line. And thank you, Lisa!
Ask a Pub Pro - Lisa Colozza Cocca Responds to Questions on POV and Trends
Question: POV in YA:
I've written my first three YA\MG novels in first person past and first person present tense. While I enjoy first person, I'd still like to switch to third person with multiple POVs. Does the average YA reader insist on first person? I'm sure there are third person YAs out there, but I can't recall the last time I've read one.
-- Ron Estrada, author of: Now I Knew You, contemporary YA with a touch of the supernatural -- What if you visited heaven and everything you thought important turned out to be meaningless? And that you've ignored all that truly is important.
Since you’ve been thinking about exploring new-to-you POVs, you’ve probably Googled the topic and found thousands of posts on the subject. Most advocate first person for YA, because of the intimacy it builds between the reader and the character telling the story. This is a good reason to use first person, but by no means are you limited to that point of view. I think the only thing YA readers insist upon is a story they can connect with.
One advantage of third person over first person is it gives readers a broader view. This can be especially important if you’re writing fantasy and building a new world. Are there things in your story you want your readers to see or know that your main character does not notice or know? Third person narration can fill in the gaps. Have you read Ann Brashere’s Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
? It’s been quite a while since I read it, but if I remember correctly it is written in third person with multiple viewpoints. There are plenty of teens who read the Harry Potter
series too. That series is another example of third person point of view.
I do think though you have to start with the story. Let the story you want to tell determine the point of view. Don’t pick a point of view and then shape a story around it. Story always comes first.
Of course, knowing how that story wants to be told isn’t always easy, is it? Try writing the first 1-3 chapters in first person. Then go back and write the same chapters in first person alternating viewpoints. Make a third run through the same story points, but from third person alternating viewpoints. Finally, try it with third person omniscient. Read through all versions several times. With the omniscient version, note how many times you ask your reader to flip from one character’s head to another. Is there time for the reader to develop a sense of loyalty to any one character?
If you’re just looking to explore POV, you could do the above exercise with an existing YA written by someone else. Rewrite the first chapters from different points of view and compare them.
Good luck with your next novel and with discovering how your story wants to be told.
Question: Trends & Originality:
As I've been writing my story, so many of the plot points that I thought were fairly original have come to the public consciousness recently in other ways: controlling ones dreams (Inception), ley lines (The Librarians), Scotland (Outlander, and other books/shows set there). My question has to do with "riding the wave of popularity." I'm worried that by the time my WIP is polished and sent to an agent, the answer I'll get back is "it's too derivative, we need something fresher." What do you suggest?
-- Suzanne Lucero, her WIP: In Dreams Unbidden, a YA novel. When an American teen visits Scotland for the first time she starts catching glimpses of the future in her dreams, some harmless, some deadly.
I suggest you finish writing and polishing your story. What you’re experiencing is pretty common – that feeling of ‘that’s my idea!’ while reading another book or watching a show. I understand your concerns. If an agent or editor has already received fifty queries for books on Celtic trails will she even consider query 51? Maybe not, but maybe she will if it is a really well-written query. Maybe she will because even though you imagine she has received countless queries on the topic, in reality she hasn’t. There are so many ‘maybes.’
The point I’m trying to make is you can’t predict what an agent or editor will be looking for at some point in the future. I think that can be a good thing. It gives you the freedom to write the story inside of you. As writers, we have to let go of the things we have no control over – like shifting markets. We have to focus on what we do control. So push those little doubtful voices out of your head. Make your manuscript the best story you can write and then send it out into the world. Once you have, start writing your next great story. Take each hurdle as it comes and don’t give up until you’ve reached your goal.
About the Author:
Lisa works full-time as a freelance writer and editor of curriculum materials. She is also the author of a dozen books for the school and library market. Her personal goal at the moment is to have three days in a row where everything on her to-do list actually gets done. PROVIDENCE is her first trade novel. Website
About the Book:
– Sometimes you have to run away from home to find it.
Teen runaway Becky is hiding out with a baby who isn’t hers. Although she found newborn Georgia in a duffle bag in a train car, Becky is as fiercely protective of her as if she were her own.
In the small town where she passes for a teen mom, she finally happy. Then, people start to ask questions, and Becky doesn’t know whether to stay and fight, or run toward an unknown future. Amazon
GIVEAWAY! WIN A COPY OF THE BOOKa Rafflecopter giveaway
The New York Times has launched a new monthly book club on their health and wellness blog, “Well.”
Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives has been picked as the selection for March. Ron Lieber’s The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money was chosen as the title to be read in February. Lieber sat for an interview with the “Well” blog.
As a personal finance columnist, Lieber feels that money can be used as a teaching tool. He explains: “What is the opposite of spoiled? I came up with a list of values and character traits — curiosity, patience, thrift, modesty, generosity, perseverance, perspective. You can use money to teach every single one of those things. Rather than thinking that money subverts these values, what if we embraced conversations about money to teach our kids?”
I read a lot of supernatural romance YA — for the Mag, for the Guide, and for fun — and I’ve been noticing how many dreamy guys in recent series are named either Jared or Cole. Bonus points for a Jared/Cole in a love triangle with the female protagonist, or if the protagonist and said Jared/Cole have a heartbreaking misunderstanding. For your consideration:
In Kami Garcia’s The Legion series, protagonist Kennedy must choose between Jared and his twin Lukas as they bust ghosts and come up against the demon Andras.
Kami is torn between Jared Lynburn and his half-brother Ash — both of whom she’s been connected to telepathically — in Sarah Rees Brennan
‘s Lynburn Legacy
trilogy. Complicating their love lives further is the boys’ seriously dysfunctional, magic-using family.
Nikki, protagonist of Brodi Ashton’s Everneath
series, is in true-love-always with boyfriend Jack, but finds herself drawn to dangerous (read: life-sucking) immortal Cole after she thinks Jack has cheated on her.
Ali, zombie-slaying protagonist of Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles
, is on-again, off-again with fellow slayer (and soulmate) Cole.
This one is cheating a little… Cole St. Clair, rockstar/werewolf, is one of several narrators (including his
love interest, Isabel) in Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls
trilogy. Cole gets his own story in spin-off Sinner
Interestingly enough, the data from this small sample indicates that Jareds tend to be love-of-your-life types, while Coles tend to be bad boys with hearts of gold. Occasionally Cole is both the love of your life and
the bad boy with a heart of gold.
Any Coles or Jareds I missed? Thoughts on what (or who) might have inspired the trend?
The post Most popular boys’ names 2025? appeared first on The Horn Book.
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Some time last year, Erica Wagner, Publisher at Allen and Unwin, is reported as having said that there was a lot to be gained by having a text already illustrated [not that Allen & Unwin published picture books]. This is seemingly a change in direction.
Some writers/illustrators I know have recently signed contracts for ‘print ready’ books. This is not self-publishing, but submission to a royalty paying publisher of a book that is ‘ready to go’ in publishing terms.
What constitutes a ‘print ready’ book? It is a book that has been -
- professionally edited,
- proofread, has been
- designed to industry standards,
- professionally designed cover and,
- if illustrated, has all images appropriately set.
This is a great way to go for authors who are able to pay illustrators and book designers up front. Most authors are not able to do this. This then means all creators involved in a book project agreeing to royalty share and working between paid projects to collaborate on their book.
What have I gleaned about such ‘print ready’ deals? One company, smaller and reasonably new, offered a small advance and a good contract, by industry standards, with higher than regular royalty share for creators. An offer of help with promotion was also part of the deal. Another company, medium sized and established, offered no advance but better than average royalty shares for creators and help with promotion and marketing of the book.
How does this stack up against what is generally on offer now?
- Small and middle range publishers, in general, do not offer advances.
- Larger publishers offer advances depending on the book, depending on the author, and depending on the agent involved.
- Smaller and middle range publishers often [there are exceptions] expect the author to do it all in relation to promotion, even requiring the submission of a marketing plan.
- Larger publishers vary greatly as to how much promotion they will give a book.
- Generally, publishers will submit copies of their publishing output for major awards, such as the CBCA, and to a selection of leading review outlets.
What’s the down side for author, illustrator, book designer, [often the illustrator], to go down the ‘print ready’ publishing path?
- It IS a lot of extra work for all creators involved to ensure the book is ‘professional’ standard even before it is submitted.
- There is no money upfront.
Are the rewards worth the effort?
- If you love collaborative work, it is a big plus.
- Creators have much more project control to create the book they have collaboratively envisaged.
- A quality product, ‘print ready’, is a major bargaining point for creators/agents. ‘Print ready’ saves the publisher heaps!
The first company mentioned does small print runs, sells out their print runs, reprints and even sells out reprints and so it seems to be gradually snowballing.
It is too early to know in the second instance. [I’ll keep you posted!]
My feeling is that, if Erica Wagner was sensing a ‘trend’ and if these companies make a success of it, we will see more such deals. It’s something to think about!
To be launched end of June – “Toofs!” a collaboration between J.R. and Estelle A.Poulter an illustrators Monica Rondino and Andrea Pucci. More to come on what was a ‘print ready’ deal.
TOOFS by J.R.Poulter & Estelle A. Poulter, illustrated by Monica Rondino & Andrea Pucci