Thursday, December 8, 2011

Craft, Business, Inspiration and Community

Happy to share with you the latest...


• For writers, check out best-selling author, SCBWI board member and Regional Advisor for Nevada Ellen Hopkins' advice for writers online.  It's like having a sage mentor sit down with you and lay it out about writing, writing poetry, craft, publishing and agents.  Ellen's a marvel, and it's well worth reading.

• For illustrators, take a look at Dan Santat's book trailer page at his website.  He not only explains how he makes the trailers (including technical stuff and how much time he devotes to each one) you can watch how he uses his illustrations, combined with text and music, to blow viewer's socks off.  And those viewers become readers!  Watch his trailer for his graphic novel "Sidekicks."  Wow!  (And Dan's on faculty at the upcoming Lucky 13th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City, January 27-29!)


• The New York Times reports that European E-Books are taxed at a rate much higher than print books. (In some countries at 25%!)  One e-book author from Britain, Damien Seaman, said that the value-added tax gap
“discourages traditional publishers from innovating by effectively subsidizing them not to.”

• Love your independent bookstore but read e-books?  The American Booksellers Association announces that:
"Book lovers who purchase their e-books from independent booksellers online now have their own device-based reading application – The IndieBound Reader..."
In the words of the ABA's Technology Director Matt Supko,
“A year after the launch of Google eBooks, indies have become a vital and fast-growing part of the e-book market, thanks to their creativity, marketing savvy, and knack for matching the customer with the best book for them — print or digital. The IndieBound Reader app gives independent bookstores a home on the most popular mobile devices, making it easier than ever for customers to shop local when they shop digital.”
Right now it's available on the Android operating system, and they say it will soon be available on the iOS systems as well.   I found out about this through Darcy Pattison's Fiction Notes newsletter.  (Darcy's also on faculty at the upcoming Lucky 13th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City, January 27-29!)

• Do e-books burn?  Not sure about that, but I am excited to learn that "Fahrenheit 451" by the remarkable Ray Bradbury has been released as an e-book.

• More titles, more pages, more roundups...  here's an interesting article about how the New York Times is changing its approach to covering and reviewing Children's books under Pamela Paul (their fifth Children's Books Editor).

• Neil Gaiman shares a cautionary tale about an author whose novel's audiobook didn't achieve what it might have.  It's interesting to note that the remarkable children's book author Bruce Coville also runs an audio book business, Full Cast Audio.  Famous authors helping other authors get great audio books of their novels?  That's pretty fascinating.

• Amazon Enters Children's Book Market!  Publisher's Lunch reported this week that Amazon announced a deal to acquire Marshall Cavendish Children's Book's US trade publishing list, comprising more than 450 children's books.  The company says in the announcement
"the acquisition creates the foundation for Amazon Publishing to further expand into picture books, chapter books and YA novels."


Just one of the gems I discovered through the Booklist's Quick Tips newsletter

• For a great font of inspiration for both illustrators and writers, sign up for Booklist's Quick Tips newsletter, put out by the American Library Association. In their latest issue, just one section highlighted six different virtual field trips you can take to world class museums around the USA. Did you know The Art Institute of Chicago had among their online offerings "Cleopatra: A Multimedia Guide to Ancient Art," with fully bilingual English and Spanish text, video clips, time lines, and lesson plans for grades 4–12 in five subject areas? While the newsletter's focus may be on teachers and librarians, there's lots of great information here for those of us who create children's and teen literature.


• It's the holidays, and sometimes, the best gifts are the ones you give.  Here in Los Angeles, our local SCBWI chapter joined in an industry-wide Kid Lit Drink Night Holiday Party this past weekend, with librarians, illustrators, agents and writers from all over Southern California joining in.  Everyone brought books to donate to two needy Los Angeles schools - The Knox Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles (which has a library but no librarian and no new books) and the 29 classroom Continuation High School of our Los Angeles public school district (for at-risk youth, with no centralized library and just shelves of books in each classroom that the teachers provide.)  We collected 5 boxes of picture books through middle grade titles for the elementary school kids and three overflowing bags of YA titles for the students in the Continuation High School.

Seeing how excited Ms. Ward, the Principal of Knox Elementary, was at receiving the books for her students made me feel like I was the one who got the gift.

Me being silly with the giant piles of donated books!

Our SCBWI and Kid Lit community, reaching out to our larger community?  That's an awesome thing.

Illustrate and Write On,

ps - The book pile photo is by Rita Crayon Huang.


Samantha Davis said...

I love these posts...thanks for compiling so many goodies for us!

Anonymous said...

I love the you being silly, photo. Thanks for all the great information.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

An update on the european e-book taxes - sounds like they're dropping: