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Hi all! Stacey here with my buddy and fellow PubCrawler Stephanie Garber. There may come a time in your life where you will be asked to moderate a panel or facilitate a discussion. Here are our ten hot tips for moderating success.
1) Read the panelists’ books. The best panels in my opinion are the ones in which the moderator asks questions tailored to the author’s works. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but at least be familiar with the book’s main ideas and stand out points. Don’t be afraid to ask your panelists’ publicists for books. It’s in the publishers’ interests for you to be informed about their author’s works. My secret weapon is to listen to the panelists’ audiobooks, when available. You can make your commute go by faster, and you can listen to them at 3x speed.
2) Send questions ahead of time. Some panelists can answer questions easily on the fly; others would rather visit the dentist than be unprepared. The more you can make your panelists comfortable, the easier time you will have facilitating a conversation.
3) Introduce your authors using the same tone and length. Often moderators will simply read an author’s bio for the introduction, but this invites problems. I recently participated in a panel where the moderator relied on our bios. My own is short and humorous, and doesn’t mention awards or distinctions, whereas the bio of the woman next to me mentioned every degree and award she had received. By contrast, I couldn’t help feeling like the village idiot. This might take a little work on your part to make your intros ‘match,’ but you’ll come across as more polished, and your authors will thank you.
(Note: I have encountered diva/divo panelists who want to be introduced a certain way. I tell them I will do my best, but make no promises. I firmly believe in treating every panelist with dignity and respect, and that means not putting one above the other).
I have spoken on panels where the moderator asks each author to introduce herself, which I find awkward and painful. Not everyone is comfortable talking about herself, and on the flip side, some authors can run at the mouth, viewing the intro as a way to self promote. You can avoid potential awkwardness by doing the honors.
4) Help your audience distinguish between panelists by presenting them as individuals. I have used labels such as, “a rising star,” “a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction,” “a living legend,” “a NYT bestselling author.” Obviously, make sure your descriptions are complimentary.
5) Go with the flow. A recent panel I moderated featured two authors who were good friends and pros at public speaking. They had great chemistry, and meandered from topic to topic without much prompting from me. I had prepared questions in advance, but found myself needing to replace them with ones that were more natural to the conversation at hand. An additional challenge was to include the third panelist in the discussion as much as possible. This is where a good working knowledge of the authors and their books is essential, because sometimes you have to improvise, and the best way to improvise is to come prepared.
6) Resist letting authors read from their books. I personally find this a waste of time. The audience is there to learn something they can’t learn by merely picking up the book. Plus, not every author is good at, or comfortable with, reading out loud.
7) Remember, it’s not about you. As the moderator, your job is to guide conversations so that the panelists shine. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t bring yourself into the discussion by using examples from your own life to illustrate a particular question. And if you’re asking panelists individual questions, they love it when you’re able to sincerely mention how much something in their writing resonated with you.
8) The moderator sets the tone for the panel, so be personable and engaging. Think of yourself as the first sentence of a novel, the thing that pulls readers into the story. It’s the job of the moderator to engage the attention of every guest in the room.
9) Repeat questions asked by the audience. Just because you can hear a question doesn’t mean the entire room can hear it. Repeating the question also gives your panelists a little more time to think about their answers.
10) Try to have a little fun! Everyone appreciates humor, so if at all possible, weave some into your questions and your introductions—as long as your humor is respectful to the panelists.
Swati Avasthi does a brilliant job moderating a panel at the Multnomah Library that includes myself, Tess Sharpe and Isabel Quintero.
In the comments, let us know if you’ve seen a good moderator recently. Why was s/he good? What things could the moderator have improved upon?
With the Warcraft film opening this weekend, it is getting a comics prequel, namely Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood that takes place about 30 years before the events of the movie. In it we meet young Llane, Lothar and Medivh and their first alliance is chronicled.
“Barnes & Noble, Inc., the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced that it will host a month-long celebration in advance of the publication of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two. The events will kick off on Friday, June 24, at 7 PM when all stores nationwide will feature activities designed to give participants of all ages the opportunity to relive the magic of Harry Potter, and enter the Barnes & Noble exclusive Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints Sweepstakes for a chance to win a set of 7 Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints, available exclusively at Barnes & Noble, up until the July 30 Countdown to Midnight Party. On Saturday, July 30, starting at 8PM, customers can visit their local Barnes & Noble for the fan-favorite Countdown to Midnight Party leading up to the midnight release of the epic eighth story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two. At the Countdown to Midnight Party, two customers from each store who entered the sweepstakes will be chosen at random. Then, on Sunday, July 31, customers can return to their local store to share their perspectives on the new book and participate in additional Harry Potter-themed events, with activities and giveaways.”
Customers can enter sweepstakes (once entry per store, per day) up to the midnight release party, where two winners per store will be chosen at random. If you fancy entering the sweepstakes, just ask a local Barnes & Noble bookseller to find out more details, Official Rules and information on events and activities taking place at nearby stores:
“At the June 24 event, Barnes & Noble stores across the country will set up a coloring station where participants will have the opportunity to color various Harry Potter-themed materials including the 4 House Crests (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin) and a special Owl Post Postcard exclusive to Barnes & Noble that they can send to friends to invite them to the Countdown to Midnight Party. In addition to trivia and activities for Harry Potter fans to enjoy, many giveaways will also be available at the event while supplies last, including Harry Potter vintage posters, bookmarks and more. Stores will also host a robust Harry Potter trivia event. In addition, the Barnes & Noble Café will be offering special Harry Potter-themed treats including The Cheesecake Factory Bakery’s® fun and delicious Chocolate Witchout Cupcake (a Barnes & Noble Café exclusive), The Decorated Cookie Company’s delightful Witch Hat and Cauldron Decorated Shortbread Cookies, and the Passion Potion Iced Tea, a bewitching shaken blend of brewed passion tea, raspberry and vanilla flavors.
All stores nationwide will also host a Wrebbit 3D™ Harry Potter™ event, in celebration of Harry Potter’s arrival at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which Harry Potter fans of all ages are invited to participate in the assembly of Wrebbit 3D™ Hogwarts™ Astronomy Tower, an 875-piece 3D puzzle. In addition, Barnes & Noble will put on display a fully-built, first-to-market Wrebbit 3D™ Hogwarts Express™ 3D puzzle in all stores for customers to marvel in and enjoy.”
Business Wire also report on the midnight release schedules:
“Harry Potter is back, and on Saturday, July 30, at 8PM, Barnes & Noble stores nationwide will host a special Countdown to Midnight Party leading up to the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two, a special rehearsal edition script book, which goes on sale July 31 at midnight. The party will feature a special Muggle Wall where customers can share their favorite memories of Harry Potter as well as several amazing giveaways. On Sunday, July 31, customers can return to their local store to discuss the new book and participate in special Harry Potter-themed events and activities, as a follow-up to the Countdown to Midnight Party the night before.”
It’s set to be an exciting month, coinciding with preview performances of Cursed Child in London!
Find out more and pre-order the Cursed Child scriptbook over at the Barnes & Noble website (here), and read the full Business Wire article here.
If you can make it to Florida and you want to join a night of old-school Potter book release festivities for only $20 (which includes a ball, costume contents, sorting, quid ditch, wizard chess, special guest appearances and more), find out more about GeekyCon’s midnight release party here!
Writer Dan Abnett (Aquaman) has just been announced for an exclusive deal over at DC. The creator, best known for reimagining Guardians of the Galaxy with his writing partner Andy Lanning has already been announced as the writer of DC’s upcoming Aquaman series during Rebirth. Rebirth is the publisher’s brand new superhero line-wide initiative that […]
While readers tip-toe over spoilers from the DC Universe: Rebirth #1 special launching in T-minus eight(ish) hours in New York, author and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has offered to write checks to anyone who wasn’t satisfied with their reading experience. In an interview with ComicBook.com today, Johns urged readers who weren’t satisfied with […]
Author, musician and occasional illustrator Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) is finally getting a chance to take on comics in a bigger role than ever before with DC’s Young Animal imprint. The line includes the following titles: Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye written by Way and Jon Rivera with art from Michael Avon Oeming (Powers), […]
Author Cullen Bunn (Sinestro) has a few holes in his schedule thanks to his landmark title, Sinestro coming to an end along with his other DC work. While the writer moved onto X-Men as part of Marvel’s All-New, All-Different line of books, the author still has the time for a Battlestar Galactica ongoing at Dynamite […]
The Task Force X, also known as the Suicide Squad, first appeared in a DC Entertainment comic book called The Brave and The Bold written by Robert Kanigher (The Metal Men) and drawn by Ross Andru (The Amazing Spider-Man) in 1959. A revamped version debuted again in Legends #3 and spun off into an ongoing comic book […]
DC has been combining all sorts of strange characters from old television shows with the Batman ’66 Adam West in the publisher’s digital-first offerings on Comixology and later on in print. In the tradition of Green Hornet and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. comes a pairing with The Avengers. No, not those Avengers, Steed and Mrs. Peel […]
Remember those Archie announced for release in the Kickstarter from last May? The publisher is finally making good on the promise to roll out one those titles with the upcoming launch of Betty & Veronica #1. Artist and comics veteran Adam Hughes (Justice League) is writing and drawing the series. The new comic premieres July 20th. The story […]
While many remember The Death of Superman story line at DC, I remember the death of Superman’s red trunks in during The New 52 with more anger– it seems as though the publisher is trying to leave behind a key element of the character’s design. Artist Tom Derenick (Batman/Superman) has posted a better look at Jim Lee’s […]
Yesterday, G. Willow Wilson won the Second Annual Dwayne McDuffie Awards for Diversity in Comics for her work with artist Adrian Alphona on Ms. Marvel. The ceremony was held at Long Beach Comic Expo and began with a speech by Khary Payton (Teen Titans), host of the awards and long time collaborator with the late Dwayne McDuffie (Static Shock). He recounted […]
DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio appeared in an online Q&A with ComicVine. Didio teased a controversial moment taking place in the DC Universe: Rebirth #1 one-shot which kicks off the brand new slate of titles for DC dubbed “Rebirth.” The comic is written by Geoff Johns (Justice League) with art from Ethan Van Sciver (Green […]
There’s a few items I expect from CBS’ multi-cam sitcom Two Broke Girls and an outlet for comics isn’t among such items. Let’s face it, the show is what it is. However, as a nerd, I generally expect the show to look down on people working or reading comics, carrying some of that same pessimistic attitude tinged […]
Author D.J. Kirkbride (Amelia Cole) had a chance to explore subversive cosmic humor in the pages of The Bigger Bang from IDW in 2014. Kirkbride alongside Vassilis Gogtzilas (The Adventures of Augusta Wind) has gotten the chance to explore that same brand of absurdist cosmic comic book humor once again in 2016 with The Biggest Bang, […]
Hellboy in Hell marked the return of creator Mike Mignola‘s interior art to the Hellboy Universe. The character has been in Hell since 2012, but the mini-series concludes with issue #10 four years later. EW has reported that Mignola doesn’t have an immediate follow-up to the present day version of the character. Mignola previously revealed […]
Unlike the eponymous NBC TV show, Marvel’s new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comic isn’t bound by budgets, cameos or contracts. Series writer and Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim is using that freedom to tell an expansive, grandiose story that seeks to transform the way you experience the Marvel Universe. Following a recent editorial, Comics Beat reporter […]
By Nicholas Eskey During the tail end of last year’s Wonder Con, it was announced that the convention which had spent the last three years in Anaheim would instead next be hosted by the city of Los Angeles. The change was for a simple reason; the Anaheim convention center already had another event booked for […]
Following last week’s announcement of the publishing partners assisting with the creation and distribution of Fantastic Beasts merchandise and companion books, press releases from the publishers are circulating, giving us little hints at what to expect.
The CEO of Insight Editions, Raoul Goff, said of the announcement:
“Insight is thrilled to continue working with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, extending our current line of Harry Potter film-related products to include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Fantastic Beasts line will have a little something for everybody and will feature all of the hallmarks of quality and creativity that fans have come to expect from the Harry Potter film publishing program.”
Their press release reminds us of their great merchandise, and the amazing works partnerships like this can produce on a global scale:
“For the last seven years, Insight Editions has published a wide range of books and collectible products for the Harry Potter franchise, including the Monster Book of Monsters prop replica (featuring a limited edition of Harry Potter: The Creature Vault), Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book, and several other titles and formats released in over twenty-five languages worldwide.
In addition to products they have published themselves, Insight Editions has created multiple books for the Harry Potter film franchise that have been published in the US through HarperCollins and Scholastic—including the New York Times bestsellers Harry Potter: Film Wizardry, Harry Potter: Page to Screen, and Harry Potter Coloring Book.
“Our partnerships, both in the US and internationally, have become a cornerstone of the success of our Harry Potter film publishing,” said Goff. “We look forward to creating an equally strong global program for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for years to come.”
Ellie Berger – President of Scholastic Trade – commented on the partnership:
“As the U.S. publisher that introduced Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to American readers in 1998, we are thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to complement the expansion of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. We look forward to bringing the world of these amazing movies to existing fans and a new generation of readers.”
Catherine Bell, Scholastic UK’s Co. Group Managing Director, said:
“We are delighted to be publishing the tie-in programmes for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the original Harry Potter movies. With a range of exciting formats, we look forward to bringing the world of these amazing movies to existing fans and a new generation of readers.”
Iole Lucchese, President of Scholastic Canada, commented:
“We are absolutely delighted to partner with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create products complementing the broadening scope of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. This publishing program for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, marks the start of an exciting year for J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, generating a magical publishing moment for Canadian fans and readers.”
Chief Executive of HarperCollins UK, Charlie Redmayne, commented:
“We are delighted to be publishing the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tie-in books. The film promises to be a spectacular rendering of the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling, and the books will be the perfect companions for fans everywhere.”
President and CEO of HarperCollins Worldwide, Brian Murray, said:
“For the first time we are able to seamlessly plan, coordinate and integrate book publication of film tie-in editions across multiple languages and markets with Warner Bros. Consumer Products in North America and internationally to ensure the widest possible readership and awareness of the books and the film.
You can read the full press releases over at Mugglenet, here, and our coverage of the original announcement here!
Are Dan Slott (Silver Surfer) and the risk-takers at Marvel bringing a supporting Spider-Character back from the dead in the comics? Will jaded Spider-Man fans contribute enough interest to the resurrection to warrant a teaser and marketing campaign? Let’s face it, watching heroes die is just more interesting than finding a way to bring them back. While Spider-Man: Dead […]
According to a report from TVline, Arrow’s Echo Kellum (You’re the Worst) has been promoted to a series regular as of season five. The actor plays Curtis Holt on the show, a character that fans might identify as Mr. Terrific. Holt first appeared on the second episode of this most recent season as a Palmer Technologies […]
Comics are so expensive– the amount of commitment required to follow a few series cash-wise can abuse the wallet peaking into hundreds of dollars a month easily– which is why those reading a lot of books in print love Discount Comic Book Service, a website that allows comics fans to purchase titles at a steep discount […]
By Nicholas Eskey San Diego publisher IDW have grown steadily beyond their beginnings of comics. Though comics are still their main focus, the company in recent years has expanded beyond that and into other forms of entertainment. At this year’s Wondercon, IDW Entertainment represented by Dirk Wood, Vice Present of Marketing, David Hedgecock, Managing Editor, […]