Showing posts with label kidlitchat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kidlitchat. Show all posts

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Headpottering On Kids Lit...

Yesterday at 1pm NZ time Kidlitchat had their two year anniversary. 
Kidlitchat is a real time Twitter conversation with children’s writers that happens each week. The moderators Greg Pincus and Bonnie Adamson set the topic in advance. You log on to Twitter and type #kidlitchat into search and join in the conversation. 
Yesterday the topic was, Why do you write kidlit?  As ever there were heaps of wonderful comments but these four beautifully encapsulated why I love writing and reading Children’s Literature.

I write because my brain is perpetually 12 -Raina Telgemeier

I write for the kid I was - Laurel Snyder

There’s nothing on earth more difficult to write or more strenuous- It’s magnificent -Kelly Barnhill

Why Kidlit?-because I’ve always loved reading it (then and now) because I want to make kids laugh/cry/wonder – Debbie Ohi

In 1998 I read a comment on an international authors thread about how a new book just out was getting a wonderful word of mouth reception...(there was no marketing being done.) I asked John at The Children’s Bookshop if he had heard of ‘the philosophers stone’ book and he sold me his last copy...he had bought just a few.  This book, and the six that came after it, transformed the publishing world but most of all it transported children to a magical reading place. 

I read the book in a sitting...then started it with my class. Within a week mothers were coming to me to ask where they could buy the book...especially mothers with boys. By the time I was half way through the book (and we read every day) half the class had their own copies and were reading along with me. The book caused a phenomenon in the playground with other teachers queuing up to grab my copy.

There have been many comments about how the series needed better editing or better language or was too formulaic...but nothing can take away the fact that millions of kids were turned onto reading and a 700 page book set in this magical world was too short in their opinion. I watched kids reading ability sky rocket and I am forever grateful to Joanne Rowling for the priceless gift she gave children...literacy.

So it is with a heavy heart that I prepare to go and see the last Harry Potter film. (The end of an era.) It has been a much discussed and analysed series in this house with my teen growing up with the books and my middle child (not a reader) finally discovering the book series last year and going from the bottom reading group to the top one in six months. I know that I will cry probably before the film starts...because I can see the faces of all the kids I read those books too...looking up at me, their eyes wide, hanging on every word.

And to give that gift to children, with my own words, would be the best gift I could ever that’s why I write kidslit.

In the link list today Joe Wikert (publisher) talks about J K Rowlings ground breaking decision to make her ebooks DRM free. It is a thoughtful article on where he thinks publishing should go.

Rachelle Gardner, agent extraordinaire, has put together a one stop shop on publishing information. She is always an insightful read and she doesn’t sugar coat, so it is top information.   

Laura Pauling has done the same for agents who are becoming publishers. This topic is still being discussed and debated so if you are trying to get up to speed on this very important issue have a look at Laura’s list.

Dan Elish has written a guest post on the GLA Blog that is a must bookmark. 5 tips to making a cool YouTube video to promote your book. This is a great how to do it and make it go viral.

Sort of linked but way out there...there is a new video blog in town. Ernesto Verdugo has started a videocast about links to make your website go zing...Just take a look at the topics covered in episode one! (on his overview transcript.)

In the craft section

Jenny Hanson talks about Margie Lawson and her ten best ever writing tips...this is another post to book mark. Margie Lawson is a much sought after master class teacher.

Over on Craicerplus I have links to articles on...

The New Midlist –Self Publishing...take some time to read this article.

To finish, two thought provoking articles...

Bob Mayer, as ever, is pushing writers to keep their options open and challenging publishers to start moving with the times. In this great article he looks at the recent Thriller Conference he attended and how attitudes might be changing towards self publishing.

Faith Hunter overheard the three most stupid things to come out of a wannabe authors mouth in a pitch session. She examines why these utterances will ensure that the work will never be looked at...Thank God my readers are not this dumb!

I’m off to wallow in nostalgia...


Pic is the wizard herself...
N.B. Headpottering is a term my university friends came up to describe a deep thinking session....25 years ago. (gulp)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thoughts Over Coffee....

I’m back home. 
The holiday is over. 
The kids are still on holiday tho. This means that large cleaning projects get tackled piecemeal...because just as you think you have finished, you turn around to see the kids have been quietly trashing another part of the house. The lawn is overgrown, the indoor plants are dead and you promised that before the new bed gets delivered you will redecorate the yeah...Its 30 hours since we came home...I need a holiday!

So what is hot and happening in the blogosphere.

Yesterday I managed to catch a little bit of Kidlitchat on Twitter. This real time twitter chat session happens every Wednesday at 3pm for me which is a rotten time as I’m usually on the school run and I only catch the last five minutes of it...But there was, as usual, some meaty thoughts.

The teachers on the chat session were commenting that they show their kids Book them on class websites etc etc . There was some talk about the trailers inspiring kids to read the book. This was welcome news to the writers on the chat as there was a lot of discussion on whether it was worth it to produce a book trailer. 
Greg Pincus who organises KidLit Chat had asked this question in his blog post a couple of weeks ago. Writers are still thinking this is in the too hard basket...but those that are getting into it think it’s a great idea. If you are thinking along these lines...check out the post and read the comments.

In the chat session, I asked the question would you have a book trailer for an ebook? This was seen as a good idea by some and others had never connected the two before...time will tell whether we see book trailers for ebooks. I remember thinking how weird when I saw the back of a bus advertising a book...and now this kind of advertising is everywhere. There is no hard and fast rule on marketing your book only in book stores.

Michael Hyatt CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers has written about what he sees happening in ebooks this year in his six trends article. This article is being heavily commented upon and there are lots of conversations happening around it. As one commenter writes If Starbucks can sell music CDs can McDonalds sell downloadable ebooks as part of their advertising?(An enhanced happy meal experience anyone?)

There has been some discussion about where the new gate keepers for ebooks will come from? Who will become the ebook reviewers? The filters of what is a good or worthwhile ebook to read, will it be print reviewers? Or will some 'body' jump into the void and become the guru ebook reviewer? These and other interesting questions have been percolating in my holiday mind...I will be interested in who picks up the baton.

Outside of ebooks...

The awesome Victoria Mixon has written a guest blog on Write to Done about the seven secrets of being an independent editor. This is a great post to read before you get hung up on how bad your writing is....

Janet Reid is preparing to go to the huge Writers Digest conference and she gives a great run down on the difference between queries and if you always wanted to know go on over and take a look.

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to articles on

Making Books Do Things Ebooks Cant and Vice Versa. (this is an amazing article on hand made artefact 
books and enhanced books and ebooks...and the blurring of the lines between them...something for everyone here) Go here for the latest comment on authors enhanced content and contracts....)

How Authors Move Their Own Merchandise...(get some innovative ideas...)

I leave you with an inspiring story of an author blogger who started like we all did not really sure of what she should be doing and ended up with an agent and a book deal because of it...
There is hope for us all.


Check out this GREAT page of mugs for authors. I want them all! (the pic is one of the mugs featured. Yay Elspeth Antonelli !)
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