Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
By Sara Easterly
Nearly 50 PAL (published and listed) members attended the second quarterly Published Pro Think Tank, held Monday, July 11, 2011. Gauging by the incredible interest, the topic, eBooks and Self-Publishing for Traditionally Published Authors, was timely and resonated.
Today’s publishing landscape is changing quickly, and the stigma that once loomed over e-books and self-publishing is being lifted. In fact, many authors who’ve already hit the big time with traditional book publishers are turning to self-publishing.
Earlier this year, for instance, New York Times best-selling thriller author Barry Eisler turned down a $500,000 publishing deal from a mainstream publisher in order to self-publish his next book. Last fall, acclaimed writer Seth Godin, author of about a dozen books including PURPLE COW, told the Wall Street Journal that he “now has so many direct customer relationships, largely via his blog, that he no longer needs a traditional publisher.”
Janet Wong, Kevin Emerson, Chris Eboch, and P.J. Hoover are a few of the pioneers following suit in the children’s book industry. Together with Milos Vasic (Vasic Books) and Laura Rennert (Andrea Brown Literary Agency), they joined the Think Tank from four U.S. time zones—in person or via Skype—to share their personal paths into ebooks or self-publishing. They dished about things like doing the math to make profits work… the logistics of selling e-books through online bookstores… when it makes sense to self-publish and when it doesn’t… and how and when to talk about it with your agent.
Janet Wong has published 21 books through traditional publishers, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and spoken at the White House, but says her proudest accomplishments are two ebooks that she published herself this year: ONCE UPON A TIGER and POETRY TAG TIME. Her move into the ebook arena was driven by a desire to respond to teacher requests for more affordable poetry books—definitely possible when priced as an ebook at $0.99 or $2.99.
Janet was joined by Milos Vasic, her book designer, who shared details about the technical side of things, such as which programs to use and how to upload .mobi files for the Kindle store or .epub files for the Nook store.
Kevin Emerson has published seven novels for middle grade readers: CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT with Arthur A. Levine Books, and six books in the OLIVER NOCTURNE SERIES, the first five published by Scholastic. Kevin recently self-published the final book in his OLIVER NOCTURNE series after Scholastic changed editors—and course—on him, wanting to meet his fans’ desire to see the series to completion. With the help of his author friends in town, Kevin produced a final novel— written, designed, and printed entirely in Seattle, the place he and his supernatural universe call home. The result is the final Oliver book, THE TRIAD OF FINITY. Kevin said he sometimes feels nervous and apologetic when talking about his foray into self-publishing, but has found the experience liberating and fun.
Author Chris Eboch began her children’s writing career with successes such as THE WELL OF SACRIFICE (still in print from 1999) and writing for the Nancy Drew series. But after her editor was fired, she decided to self-publish the last book of her HAUNTED series as well as a middle-grade manuscript set in Egypt. Chris’s agent thought it was a wise idea and was very supportive, and continues to pitch other manuscripts to traditional publishers. As it turns out, the HAUNTED book may be published traditionally after all, but Chris has EYES OF THE PHAROAH and an adult romance in the self-published market now.
Middle-grade author P.J. Hoover decided to self-publish her first YA, SOLSTICE, after her agent, Laura Rennert with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, suggested it and out of a sheer desire to get the book into the hands of readers. After all, she reasoned, she’d worked on the book for three years and felt it would be a shame to let it sit in a drawer when there are so many other options these days. In addition, the topic and themes of SOLSTICE were so timely they were afraid that, after some early attempts at traditional publishing didn’t result in a deal, the traditional timeframe would be too long and she’d miss the market.
P.J.’s agent, Laura Rennert, discussed her agency’s experimental role in helping to bring an ebook or self-published book to market, which she sees as just another way the agency can help authors bring books to readers. Laura is heading up her agency’s digital and independent publishing initiative. Following the model used with P.J.’s book, the agency would likely handle everything from positioning and packaging, editorial and copyediting, formatting and conversion, cover design and jacket copy, photography, proofreading, and uploading to all retailers and distributors—with standard agency commissions, as with books printed traditionally, to ensure there’s no conflict of interest. Laura talked about segments where ebooks have penetrated farther than paper books and some of the advantages and disadvantages of publishing options.
All panelists echoed Laura’s belief that this is a great time for authors, with more opportunities than ever before. Attendees were energized and chatty after the event ended, lingering to network, gab, and discuss their possible interest in ebooks and self-publishing. “It was very informative and really worth attending,” said Elizabeth Blake.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
For anyone interested in writing for children, this class will give you tools and tangible steps to help launch your stories.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Hedgebrook is joining forces with the Power of Hope, The Whidbey Institute and The Partnership for Youth Empowerment Global to offer a week long summer camp for aspiring young female writers. Program participants will be mentored by published Hedgebrook alumnae who will inspire new ways of thinking and delivering the written word.
Within a supportive and safe community of women; writers will have the opportunity to explore issues and themes that are meaningful to their lives. Through working with narrative, fiction, poetry, spoken word, and playwriting, students can explore the genre that speaks to them. A week of diverse workshops, classes and "one on one" sessions allow participants to build new skills, confidence and self esteem.
The Date: August 16-23, 2011
Location: Whidbey Institute, in Clinton, Washington.
Cost: $695 includes meals, lodging, and all activities. Transportation is additional.
Need-based scholarship funds available.
Visit Power of Hope's website for more information or to download the application.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I want to let Chinook readers know about Young Adult Washington, a new website for writers, readers, librarians and anyone who loves YA fiction. We have an interactive map listing YA authors in WA state as well as YA books with WA state locals.This month's featured author is Patrick Carman with an interview about his new interactive book DARK EDEN. Featured bookstore is Queen Anne Books. Explore and see what's happening in YA Washington.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Coming soon: August 20: Save the date for the SCBWI Summer Picnic! It will be a potluck affair in Woodinville from 3-7 p.m. More details to follow soon.
Questions: contact Molly Hall, incoming SCBWI Social Coordinator at email@example.com
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
We are looking specifically for stories for both middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12-18) readers. (We are not looking for picture books, chapter books, or short stories. Please do not send submissions in these formats.)
For more information on how to submit, please see our submission guidelines here. We are not accepting unagented email submissions at this time.
What I'm particularly interested in seeing lately: Asian steampunk, any African culture, Latino/a stories, First Nations/Native American/Aboriginal fantasy or science fiction written by tribal members, original postapocalyptic worlds, historical fantasy or mystery set in a non-Western setting.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Marriott Redmond Town Center
7401 164th Avenue NW
Redmond, WA 98052
If you've RSVP'd for this event, you should soon receive an email reminder with the new location, address, carpooling opportunities, and other information.
If you haven't RSVP'd, be aware that advance registration is free but required; contact Published Member Liaison Sara Easterly at sara (at) saraeasterly (dot) com to check whether there are still seats available.
The instructor, John Sturtevant, is offering a big discount to friends of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar ($275 instead of the regular $425 price).
And naturally, any friend of the SCBWI is a friend of SPOGG.
Here's info about the event:
Get the confidence and skills you need to think clearly and write what you mean.
Information is plentiful in every organization. But how you communicate that information is critical. You must continually turn information into knowledge to help your managers, colleagues, and customers understand often complex ideas, and make educated decisions.
Clear writing starts with clear thinking.
John Sturtevant's Business Writing Seminar is an energetic, fun, challenging, and thought-provoking day packed with new ideas and practical techniques – all designed to give you the confidence to master what people struggle with the most – how to think clearly and write what you mean.
What you’ll learn:
- The most important goal in writing (it’s not what you think).
- The #1 question on every reader’s mind (you’re thinking it right now).
- Why thinking about tomatoes will make you a better writer (it really works!)
- 4 ways to define your objective and expected outcome.
- Listening skills that help you identify your reader’s perspective.
- How to understand, and answer, your reader’s expectations.
- Why format, style, and organization contribute to clear writing.
- Persuasive-writing structure and techniques that produce results.
- Dozens of other practical ideas you can use immediately!
Managers, technical professionals, business analysts, sales and marketing pros, administrative staff – everyone who has to communicate their ideas throughout the work day.
In this interactive full-day session, you will collaborate on problem-solving exercises, write and revise assignments, and learn from others through peer critiques.
You’ll also learn and practice the principles of analysis and argument. In business, you most often write to convince others to do something – approve a budget, change a process, support a project, and dozens of other kinds of decisions. You’ll learn how to think analytically and form a logical, persuasive argument.
For more information or to register, click here. (Be sure to click the Friend of SPOGG option.)
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Happiest Birthday wishes to Wendy Wahman's A CAT LIKE THAT, which celebrated it's book birthday June 21! Click any of the links below to find out more information!
“Striking illustrations and a pitch-perfect portrait of an unnamed pet’s personality combine to showcase charming (and practical) advice on how to make friends with a feline.” – Kirkus Reviews
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Do you have a children's picture book idea just waiting to be discovered? This class will give you creative tools to help with visual storytelling, character development, and making story boards and book dummies. Learn how to find your place in the children's book market and create original art for a professional portfolio. Lectures, discussions, and exercises to help you develop your story and your style. Prerequisite: the desire to create for children.