Love this quote.
DebbieAdd a Comment
Love this quote.
DebbieAdd a Comment
Roar roar ROAR! When it comes to destruction, dinosaurs win! Check out these two brand-new titles about dinosaurs on rampages:
Add a Comment
…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!Add a Comment
The new headless torsos could also be this.
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!
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?
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
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 -
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?
What’s the down side for author, illustrator, book designer, [often the illustrator], to go down the ‘print ready’ publishing path?
Are the rewards worth the effort?
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.
STATUS: Just finished our first Pub Rants Video Webinar. I had a blast. We definitely need to tweak some things for next one though. If you were there, thank you for being our first guinea pigs!
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? SHOW ME THE MEANING OF BEING LONELY by Backstreet Boys
While on the train to Venice (and boy do I like saying a statement like that--makes me sound so cosmopolitan) Simone Elkeles's friend Nanci had a copy of 50 Shades of Grey.
You'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard about this title. But just in case you have been, here is a link to get you up to speed. It's been in all the publishing news as of late. It's an erotica novel that started life as Twilight fan fiction and then went viral a couple of weeks ago. So there was a big publishing deal and then the movie rights sold just this week.
If something is getting that much attention, it's probably worth an hour of my time to give it a look so I asked Nanci if I could borrow her copy. I read several chapters and I have to admit, I'm not getting it. To be honest, if it had come in via our slush pile, I would have passed on it without requesting a full. I didn't connect with the characters or find myself enmeshed in the writing. Now granted, this genre is not my bailiwick so that's going to be a factor.
Still, it's obviously tapping into some cultural zeitgeist and on that point, I'm curious. It obviously works for a lot of other people so I'd like to know why.
So blog readers, if you read and liked it, share with me because I'm genuinely curious to know.
STATUS: Popped in on a Saturday to finish up a few things. This afternoon Chutney and I are heading into the mountains for a nice long hike.
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? THE MORE I SEE YOU by Michael Buble
Kudos to blog reader and commenter Elizabeth who manned up and explained the appeal of 50 Shades of Grey. Just in case you didn't catch her comment in that section, I'm including Elizabeth's post in its entirety.
I'll man up. I read the hell out of it. All three installments in two and a half days. 800,000 words. BOOM. Just like that. I think I gave it four stars on Goodreads or something.
And here's why: I couldn't put it down.
True, it's technically a mess. It's randomly punctuated. The dialogue is all over the place. The characters are bipolar. The sex is vanilla. Typos abound (at one point Christian stared at Ana like "a bacon in the night" which made a weird sort of sense, actually). Ana has this really weird habit of doing figure skating jumps off gymnastics apparatuses. And it started out as fanfic, which I get the impression I'm supposed to be all up in arms about. But holy cow. Do you know the last time I read that many words in such a short period of time? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Here's what I think people don't understand: Good hardly ever factors into popular or entertaining. People aren't going to youtube, for example, to watch someone do something meaningful or profound. They're going to watch some guy stick a lit firecracker up his bum. I would rather see Sharktopus than The English Patient. That's just how I roll.
So there's something to be said for things that are a little bit campy. I'm a little bit campy. So are my friends. When I got to the point in the book where I realized it was going to be one THOSE stories (I didn't see a lot of Twilight in 50 Shades, but it totally read like "crack-fic" fan-fiction), the first thing I did was go on Facebook and tell two of my friends, "Hey, you have to read this." Because it was absolutely the kind of book they would love. And they did love it.
Nine copies sold between the three of us. We all felt like we got our money's worth. Not because it was good, remember, but because it spoke that little spot in our hearts that loves those kinds of stories. The fact that it was kind of poorly written just made it that much better.
And I can't explain why that is. I don't know why this book, with its myriad of flaws, the least of which being its word count, held me captive in a way that other, arguably "better" books didn't.
I loved that she was willing to simply be honest and put her reaction to the book out there. For me, I'm thinking this book is kind of like trends that happen in other mediums. There's no easy or clear explanation. It just happens and something becomes wildly popular. For example, the phenom of Ugg Boots (which are not particularly attractive) or croc shoes for that matter. The youtube phenom for Randall's narration of National Geographic footage: The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger.
There's a spark. It taps into some zeitgeist. There's no explaining it and quite frankly, I don't think we have to. It is what it is.
For me, I'm not sure I would recognize it under all the flaws. I couldn't get past the writing and a lot of groan worthy dialogue. But in the end, who cares what I think. The public has spoken and in the end, that's the opinion that matters.
Here at the Horn Book we’ve gotten used to publishers sending us off-the-wall books. But this week even we were taken aback when we lifted the flap of a box and found this volume sitting on top of the stack:
As Bertha Mahony Miller might have said: WTF?
Was this a sequel to our newly-crowned Newbery? If so, how come we’d never heard any advance word about it? The confusion continued when we lifted out the next book:
Fortunately, we then found the paperwork that accompanied these books, sent by a new publisher, Hexwood Books. According to their press release:
Critics, librarians, and teachers love them.
Kids? Not so much.
As demonstrated by the popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilght” series, kids today want to read stories about sexy vampires…stories about fangs poised above the neck of a young innocent…stories about blood slowly seeping into the bodice of a white ruffled nightgown. Our new series, “Vamped-up Newberys” will satisfy both young people and their teachers – featuring the plots and characters of your favorite award-winning novels, slightly altered to include today’s most popular subject matter among young people: vampires!
The first five volumes in the series are based on the 2012 winner DEAD END IN NORVELT, last year’s winner MOON OVER MANIFEST, 2007’s THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY, JACOB HAVE I LOVED (1981) and that classic from 1945, JOHNNY TREMAIN.
Take a look at this series. Share the novels with a kid you love. Then tell us what you think. We’d love to hear from you!
Passing the volumes around the office, we began to compare the “Vamped-up” editions with the original books. Although a good 80% of the content – prose, characters, dialogue – is virtually identical between original and “altered” versions, each of the Hexwood Books has been modified to somehow include vampires.
Remember the sibling rivalry between Sara Louise and Caroline in Jacob Have I Loved? It’s still there, but now the sisters are feuding vampires:
Johnny Tremain is now a Revolutionary War lad with iron-enriched blood being fought over by two covens of beautiful and sexy vampires:
AndAdd a Comment
STATUS: I feel like I'm being pulled in 10 different directions. I'm here at the RT Convention. On Tuesday, I offered rep to a potential new client. Wednesday I did an hour phone conference with a film producer for another client. Yesterday, I reviewed 5 different offers for a UK auction going down. Today let's talk about romance. It's almost time for Pitch-a-Palooza!
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? IF IT'S LOVE by Train
But writers can't help themselves. They still ask this question anyway.
At best, this question is unhelpful. If you start writing for the "next hot trend" by the time you finish your project, that particularly trend is on the way out.
Not to mention, if you ask me the question, "What are you looking for?" I can ramble on about something I'd love to see (such as a completely charming, witty, and fun historical romance a la Julia Quinn) but what I offered rep for just this week would never have landed on my "This is what I'm looking for" list.
I'm constantly taken by surprise by what I fall in love with.
After being here at RT, certainly I can tell you that editors are weary of paranormal romance. That everyone is talking about erotica because of 50 Shades (by the way, I don't rep erotica so please don't query me for that.)
That "hook-y" women's fiction novels (i.e. hooks like a knitting club or cupcake club) are still on editors' wish lists (which by the way, are topics that don't ring my bell much).
I can tell you that a lot of the romance editors also rep YA and they might be moved to violence if just one more YA paranormal romance lands in their submission inbox.
I can tell you all these things and then I can also tell you that the minute the "right" project lands in that same inbox--even if it contains any of the above--but it blows them away, they'll offer for it.
So I can't tell you what I'm looking for as an agent. I can only say that I'm going to know it when I see it and this: I haven't taken on a romance author in over the year. I'm opening my universe up to that possibility as I'd love to read an awesome romance right now.
I've been in my "dark" phase for the last 7 months by taking on dark and gritty SF.
First there was The Queen of Kentucky (by Alecia Whitaker, Little/Poppy, January). Look what popped up yesterday at our offices: The Princesses of Iowa (by M. Molly Backes, Candlewick, May).
Could this be a new trend? Regal YA? I hope the royals aren’t limited to the Midwest though—I, for one, wouldn’t mind The Prince of Boston, starring Prince Harry of Wales, to come into the offices…Add a Comment
STATUS: Started out the week with 354 emails in the inbox after being out for RT. Only 203 to go. Progress!
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? TUFF ENUF by Fabulous Thunderbirds
Does it say anything about trends? Probably not but just in case you are curious, here are the types of projects I requested.
2 paranormal adult romances
1 contemporary adult romance
3 women's fiction projects
1 SF romance (haven't seen one of these in a while--kind of excited!)
1 SF (but not a romance)
2 contemporary YA
2 paranormal romance YA (I have to be honest, this genre is getting to be a tough sell to editors who have seen nothing but this for the last two years.)
And my sincere apologies to anyone that I had to turned down during the Palooza. When it's a speed dating format like that, I do have to say no to projects that don't grab me immediately to reduce the amount of material we receive and have to review. We requested 12 projects but I had over 25 pitches that day. That's a lot in 90 minutes.
STATUS: The appointment schedule is firming up! Get ready for some posts on what editors will be looking for in 2012.
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? THIS IS IT by Kenny Loggins
It's pretty simple. We agents go to conferences and really drive home the fact that writers need to master their craft. Wow us with masterfully written opening pages. Stop butchering the English language.
Then a work comes along and blows that advice out of the water.
Readers have called 50 Shades of Grey any number of things: campy, fun, spirited, hilarious, worth the money, a fast read.
But well written has not been one of them.
So what do we say when a novel inexplicably becomes wildly popular, sells like crazy, and part of the cultural lexicon?
You got me. Maybe I can say this is a one-in-a-million happenstance of all stars aligning.
But I can say it does make our jobs harder. There will be any number of writers who will be convinced they can do same. Gosh I hope my query inbox doesn't become inundated. No matter what 50 Shades is, I would not have been the agent to spot its "genius."
Plain and simple.
STATUS: From the blog silence, you can imagine how hectic this trip as been. Meetings all day. Catching up on emails in the evening, and you have to fit a little bit of fun in there too!
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? CALL ME MAYBE by Carly Rae Jepsen
I've been in New York for the past 3 weeks doing meetings with a lot of different editors at all the different houses. I started off with the editors who acquire young adult and middle grade.
Of course I ask, "What have you been seeing lately?"
Imagine my surprise when no less than three editors (all from different houses) responded with, "crap."
At first, I wasn't quite certain how to reply. That wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting! I opted for, "would you care to define 'crap.'
And they did. They mentioned recently that they've seen a whole slew of submissions that weren't really ready for an editor to see. By the way, these were submissions from agents.
I asked why they thought that was so. I got three main reasons:
1) They were seeing hot genre stuff, such as dystopian, that they felt like the agents were not vetting as thoroughly as they should.
In other words, in any hot genre, the market gets crowded yet those submitting hope that because the genre is hot, it will sell.
2) There were some agents submitting young adult projects that don't traditionally rep it and to be blunt, it's different than repping fiction in the adult realm.
3) A lot of submissions could have benefited from a solid edit and revision before submitting. In other words, they were not in strong shape even if the concept or idea was solid.
Some agents don't edit before submitting. Some do.
So interesting. I'm definitely looking to avoid submitting crap.
I think I can do that!
STATUS: I have often said on this blog, Thank God It's Friday. Today, I really really mean it. What a crazy week. But all good stuff.
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? IF YOU DON'T KNOW ME BY NOW by Simply Red
So editors have been seeing a lot of crap but they've also been buying stuff. So instead of answering the question: What is an editor looking for? I thought I'd delve into what they've bought recently.
Here you go!
1) A young adult thriller
2) Gothic retelling of a classic--in this case, The Island of Dr. Moreau
3 young adult straight fantasy (as opposed to a bent one! *grin* In other words, a traditional not contemporary fantasy)
4) a time travel young adult novel
5) realistic contemporary young adult
6) animal character middle grade fantasy
Editors have not seen a lot in middle grade (it's the hardest content to find) but what they have seen included science fiction for the younger reader and Aliens in space or similar that target boy readers.
I'm out. Literally. Like I'm now going to sleep….
STATUS: It's BEA time! Oh crazy schedule
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? Nothing at the moment.
Obviously I'm not just talking to children's editors while in New York. So here's a little snippet of what editors have been buying in the adult realm:
1) Literary novels with some sort of magical element (i.e The Night Circus)
2) Multi-cultural literary novels by non-American writers
3) Voice-driven literary novels that shed light on the contemporary modern landscape for protagonists in their 20s or 30s.
In women's fiction and romance
1) contemporary stories with small town settings
2) southern contemporary women's fix
3) looking or romantic comedies in romance (haven't heard that desire in a while!)
Off to the Javits Center!
Scholastic editors said:
In a survey, 64 percent of teens confessed that they used “techspeak” from texting or online communication in writing assignments at school.
Will text messaging and social networking harm our writing skills? Social Times has more in a detailed infographic:
A recent study suggests that the more kids text, the less they learn about proper grammar. Widespread use of social media sites and text messaging tools has given rise to a hybrid language called “techspeak” that’s riddled with acronyms and abbreviations instead of words and numbers instead of letters. This, we knew. But because students between the ages of 13 and 17 send twice as many messages as people in any other age group, “techspeak” is more likely to creep into their school assignments and give others the wrong impression about their communication skills.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
I’ve been writing a lot lately about craft and bravery in writing. If you’re in that head space and need to stay there, skip this post, this one is gonna be about…
*cue dramatic music*
I recently listened to Publisher’s Weekly’s webinar Building the Next Generation of YA Stars. It was moderated by John A. Sellers, the children’s review editor at Publisher’s Weekly, and featured guests Emily Meehan (Disney-Hyperion Editorial Director) and Natashya Wilson (Harlequin Teen Executive Editor). They discussed trends, how they market their authors, and what new and established authors can do to get in the game and stay on top.
These are my notes on the topics they discussed:
How are you working to keep established authors on top?
How do you market a debut author who doesn’t have an established audience?
What is it about the YA readership that allows you to be more adventurous in your marketing?
Emily & Natashya:
Are in-person library or bookstore events still relevant?
Emily & Natashya:
How has technology changed the marketing game?
Tell us about some of the books you’ve got coming out this year that you’re excited about:
Emily & Natashya:
Costume Dramas & Historical Fiction:
Fantasy & Paranormal:
What do you think about this “New Adult” Trend?
Is the market overloaded with Dystopian and Paranormal books?
Emily & Natashya:
Are there taboo topics in YA?
Emily & Natashya:
How do you find new authors?
Do you have anything to say about diversity in YA?
What is on your submissions wish list?
An archive of this webinar is available at: Publisher’s Weekly Webcasts
Emily Meehan is the Editorial Director at Disney-Hyperion. She has worked in almost every aspect of trade publishing for children: picture books, middle grade, young adult, original paperback series, and in most every genre, from general interest fiction to nonfiction, to fantasy, romance, religious, and historical.
Natashya Wilson is the Executive Editor at Harlequin TEEN. She began working at Harlequin Books in 1996, when she became an editorial assistant for the Harlequin American Romance and Intrigue series. She worked as an associate editor for McGraw-Hill and Rosen Publishing Group, where she edited children’s nonfiction books. She returned to Harlequin in 2004 and later became the senior editor for Harlequin TEEN.
Photos by Andrew Rich and Vanessa Paxton.
Forbes has joined a group of 30 publishers using Narrative Science software to write computer-generated stories.
Here’s more about the program, used in one corner of Forbes‘ website: “Narrative Science has developed a technology solution that creates rich narrative content from data. Narratives are seamlessly created from structured data sources and can be fully customized to fit a customer’s voice, style and tone. Stories are created in multiple formats, including long form stories, headlines, Tweets and industry reports with graphical visualizations.”
The New York Times revealed last year that trade publisher Hanley Wood and sports journalism site The Big Ten Network also use the tool. In all, 30 clients use the software–but Narrative Science did not reveal the complete client list.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
I can’t believe that I’m already sorting through mounds of July and August galleys for the Spring 2013 Guide issue. I’m also floored that heart-shaped glasses are apparently this summer’s hottest trend. Don’t believe it either? These two nearly identical summer ARC covers might convince you:
School LIbrary Journal interviewed the editorial director of the Junior Library Guild (JLG) (which just picked The Night She Disappeared for their spring list - yay!) about what she’s seeing in new releases of books for kids and teens.
”Dystopian novels are a continuing trend. After the Snow (Feiwel & Friends) by S. D. Crockett stands out. Paranormal books are everywhere. There are lots of protagonists who are half-mermaid, half-angel, or half-fairy. Memory loss and mistaken identity are big. Another popular theme that I'm seeing is someone, somehow, occupying a body other than his or her original one. The Alchemy of Forever (S & S) by Avery Williams is highly enjoyable.
I’ve heard good things about After the Snow. It’s been a while since I read a paranormal, although I loved Ashes by Ilsa Bick, and there are some aspects that could be considered paranormal, right? Mermaids makes me think of Lisa Madigan’s book, The Mermaid’s Mirror. And for memory loss, there’s my 2013 book, Finish Her Off. As for people in someone else’s body, you’ve got to read Martyn Bedford’s Flip.
Read about trends in books for kids and teens.
We hear a lot about what’s trending in YA lit (can you say DYSTOPIA?) but what’s trending when it comes to books with POC as main characters or books written by authors of color? What are you seeing that you haven’t read before? What seems to be repeating?
This is what I’m noticing, please feel free to add to the discussing because I know there are things going on that I’m not seeing.
I have a few questions with regards to trends that I think really address the literacy skills we want to develop in our YAs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this including anecdotal evidence or more questions.