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Posts Tagged ‘Nathan Bransford’

Cover of "The Curious Garden"

Cover of The Curious Garden

So I had the opportunity to meet author/ illustrator Peter Brown at the Tulsa County Library in Tulsa, OK.  I have liked his work since I first seen the book “The Curious Garden” several years ago.  I was searching for an illustrator and came across this book and fell in love with the idea and imagery in it.  It is about a boy who changes his world with just a simple idea.

One of Peter Brown’s other books (and I think I have blogged about it before), Creepy Carrots, received the 2013 Caldecott Honor.  It was a beautifully fun picture book.  My children have enjoyed it immensely.

So while getting myself hyped up for days about what to say  to him I asked someone for advice.  Nathan Bransford told me to “just be myself and have fun!”  This is exactly what I did.  I waited in line with my daughter and our four books, to be signed by Peter Brown, for more than thirty minutes.  As I got closer I realized that I will have to say something cool.

What came out was something bordering blubbering idiot and stalker fan.  I said, “I have loved your books for years.”  He made a joke about one of my child’s names and then it was over.  We were moved aside and left the library with our freshly signed books.

Okay I didn’t get him to look at my picture book manuscript and he didn’t ask me if I was a writer either.  But I enjoyed myself.  I realized that this is what I wanted.  I don’t want to work a job everyday in sales.  I want to visit schools and libraries talking about my books.  I want to sign my books till my fingers bleed.  (Maybe till they are sore anyways)  I know now that I need to follow my dream and keep trying until I finally become published.

 

Books to Treasure 2013 Featuring Peter Brown

Books to Treasure 2013 Featuring Peter Brown (Photo credit: Tulsa City-County Library)

 

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I present to you, Olan Rogers

I present to you, Olan Rogers (Photo credit: ryan.nagelmann)

How to Know You’re a Writer (In GIF Form) | Nathan Bransford, Author.

You know when someone is pretty darn awesome when they also think that Olan Rogers is hilarious.  I just loved this blog post by Nathan.  He made me laugh and wonder how the heck did he know the websites I visit all the time.  So funny and true!

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Cover of "The Awakening: And Other Storie...

Cover via Amazon

Nathan Bransford, Author.

I agree with this article but there is a big misconception about authors.  There are good authors who are not recognized because their work is not mainstream popular reading.  The decisions to read and study certain literature in a canon is determined, in my opinion, by political and cultural preferences.  Whatever is popular now is what people want to read about.  There were books held back from the public (like Kate Chopin‘s The Awakening) because of people in power found their work offensive.  Literature is a fickle thing.  I don’t know a lot of people that can actually agree about what should be studied in college literature classes or read as entertainment.  As a society we are like a leaf apt to go where the wind blows us.

The new writers and authors are flooding the market with self-published books and e-books.  There are all kinds of writers.    Sure we don’t have a lot of Mark Twains or Edgar Allen Poes’ anymore.  But shouldn’t we find some that are still worthy to quote?  Obviously the Noble Prize in Literature is still finding candidates to hand out the award to.  Even the Newberry Award is given out every year.  So there is still some talent out there.

Mark Twain statue

Mark Twain statue (Photo credit: stevebkennedy)

People will read what they want to read.  As writers we just need to write what we feel.  Whether it will make it into a canon or not is up to those who select it.

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English: This is a picture of bookshelves in a...

English: This is a picture of bookshelves in a tiny library in upper New York State. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Role Should Libraries Have in an Electronic World? | Nathan Bransford, Author.

I have said this before about libraries.  But I like how Nathan Bransford puts it.  That libraries could be going the way of the dinosaurs.

The only issue I have is that if I don’t want to buy a book but I have to read it then I want to borrow it from the library.  I would hate to lose an institution that provides a big service to those of us who just wants to read a book and give it back.

Only time will tell what will happen to the libraries in the world. What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you support your local library? Do you use a library to check out an author’s books before deciding on buying?

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If you ever felt that the world is full of people giving advice, then you might be right.  A lot of people do know a lot of different things.  One of my favorite places to get advice is from Nathan Bransford‘s blog.  He gives great advice on how to write a novel, to how to write a query letter.  Here is one of my favorite posts by Nathan which is the best query letter examples written:  Good Query Letter

There are many different formulas out there.  But just follow the one that is repeated and accepted by the publishing companies.  Bransford gives a good formula for creating a query letter.  But maybe you don’t want to take this guy’s word for it.  Here is some other sources from some credible authors and agents: How not to get an agent  and Before you query

I love to use Writers Digest books.  Their newest addition is 2013 Children’s Writer‘s & Illustrators Market.  You can buy it on Amazon: Writers Digest 2013 .  This book gives writers advice on how to write a query letter to what publishing company is actively accepting query letters.  There is a helpful section from authors.  Their advice for new authors and how they received their big break is worth the read.  I know I just want to skip to the back and start making my list of potential companies and individuals I want to query.  But the sections on writing are very helpful.  From the editor he says, “If you flip through this book’s pages, the first thing you may notice is a whole ton of upfront instructional articles.” – Chuck Samuchino, editor of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market/ Guide to Literary Agents

There are a lot of writers in my own critique group who says this is “the time to become published”.  I know I have also heard this at writers conferences sponsored by SCBWI.  Agents, editors and authors all agree this is the time to become self-published with either an e-book format or paper.  The e-books are hot right now.  And if you Google which publishing company has the most e-books out then you would find Random House at the top of the list.  They have a lot of e-books that are selling like hot-cakes.  Take a look at their new reformated website and see: Random House .  There is advice given from different publishers who want to see books only through agents.  But there are a lot of authors/agents that are saying that you can do it yourself.  You don’t need an agent.  Take it from Maria Lamba who said:

“For a LONG time we have plodded along with certainties. And the main truth was that a big publisher = big success.  Signing with big publishers meant contracts with great advances, reviews in prominent publications, your book would appear in all bookstores, you’d have tons of publicity and promotion, and you were well on your way to a long CAREER as an author.

Then this “given” started to erode as all the publishing models began to shift.  A large number of editors were laid off in 2008. Authors were suddenly expected to do more of their own promotions. Book reviews in many print publications began to disappear. There was no guarantee that your book would appear in the major chains or indies (even before the demise of Borders). And now we hear a lot from authors about low advances, or no contracts being offered on a next book.

Yes, the economy has a ton to do with all of this. And Ebooks have come in at an especially crazy time.  We fear they may pose a threat to print books. The pricing of Ebooks is a huge issue.  Brick and mortar stores feel threatened by Ebook sales.

And let’s pile onto this, indie publishing, which is on the rise.

All these factors together add to an overall sense of instability in what was once a fairly predictable business model for publishers, booksellers and authors.”

The only thing a writer needs to take away from the overwhelming advice from so many different venues is: “Does it matter to me?”  We are all in charge of our fate and we decide if we want our careers to soar like an eagle or fall like a lead balloon.  There is always going to be someone out there who will have some great advice.  But do you really care?  And if so, are you willing to follow that advice?

As for me, I just want to keep on writing. Teddy%20Bear%20Reading01

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