Show, don’t tell: the illustrated approach. The new film posters for Anna Karenina are cheesy because they combine an image that “shows” with obviously explicating text that “tells”. The posters would be far stronger without the additional text, argues the author of the post.
On the “Booker Effect”, and how winning/being shortlisted for the prize can increase sales to an extraordinary degree. What’s not the most fascinating about this is the huge jump in sales that Booker recognition awards, but the fact that so many of these authors sell in such small quantities in the first place. Andre Brink’s novel has sold fewer than 1,000 copies, for example; Will Self’s Umbrella has sold just over 5,000, which seems very low for such a well-known figure. It’s interesting how some authors (Self, for example) can be so widely recognised and be perceived to have such huge influence, and yet sell in such small quantities.
Maurice Sendak and his editor Ursula Nordstrom A fascinating look at the working relationship between the two, and also at Nordstrum’s own personal ideologies and writing habits. I loved this quote, from a note that she sent to a school librarian: “Should not those of us who stand between the creative artist and the child be very careful not to sift our reactions to such books through our own adult prejudices and neuroses?”
On reading aloud and having other people read to you The author of the article talks about reading books aloud with her partner, and how doing so can be so very enjoyable–a lost art, she thinks, given that it’s something that people tend to see as something that’s “outgrown” during childhood.
Oyster receives $3m to become the Spotify/Netflix of books The company is putting together an app that will allow users to subscribe on a monthly basis to an unlimited library. The app will aid both discovery and access–readers can receive recommendations and begin reading recommended books right away on their mobile devices.
The alchemy of writing historical fiction by Mary Osborne Osborne talks about how writing YA historical fiction was new to her: she’d been previously writing semi-autobiographical litfic. After reading plenty of Jung, she found that she began referencing certain aspects of his work in her own, and an author friend told her to pick up on it. I love Osborne’s discussion of art, place, and literature all coming together around her.
Hilary Davidson on how your social media efforts probably won’t increase book sales A great post in which Davidson says that social media is unlikely to increase your sales–and that you shouldn’t be using it with that in mind in the first place. Social media is, first and foremost, about being social. No one wants to be sold to on an account that they’re using to talk to their friends or keep up with the news. Awareness, sure, but marketing and PR can very quickly turn into what feels like spam, and can leave a bad taste in readers’ mouths. So often, writing more and better books is the best type of marketing.
…author Melissa Landers agrees: “Get off the internet—after you read this interview, of course—and write more books! I see too many aspiring authors throw all their time and effort into tweeting, networking, blogging, building a platform, etc. You can’t tweet your way into a publishing deal. You *must* keep your forward momentum going and always have a WIP. Did you just finish your first manuscript? Your fifth? Great, congrats! Now get to work on the next one. You never know which book will result in getting your foot in the door. Once you accomplish that, it’ll be easier to sell the others.”