Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 6, 2014

Top Picks Thursday 02-06-2014

We here at the Author Chronicles are totally ready for spring! Two storms this week and another forecast for the weekend…Enough! Still, being snowed in gives us plenty of time to cruise the Internet and find goodies to share with all of you.

This week the 2014 ALA Youth Media Award winners were announced at the ALA Midwinter meeting. You can also see a list of Caldecott winners and Honor books from 2002-2014.

It’s February, so L.Z. Marie has some great ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts for writers.

If you’re struggling with your first five pages, check out the First Five Frenzy with Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.

Here’s an infographic on why and how you should support your local libraries, and here is where New Yorkers can take action to speak out against Gov. Cuomo’s library budget cuts.

CRAFT

Writers worry about their work being stolen, in one fashion or another. Rachelle Gardner tells us why we shouldn’t worry so much about plagiarism and piracy.

Every wonder about the urban fiction genre? Kelly Jensen and Stacked Books has an urban fiction genre guide, resources, and extensive reading list.

When you finish that first novel (or any novel), do you feel at a loss for the next idea? Roz Morris shares how to keep those “next ideas” coming when you complete a novel.

How do you create complex characters? Make sure every character has these 3 character goals, and make sure the reader understands the character’s motivation.

The beginning of a story is the key to grabbing readers. K.M. Weiland helps us avoid the writing mistake of stories that begin too early, while Kathryn Craft walks us through the evolution of a first line.

Editing can make or break your book. Kathy Ide shares 10 risks you run if you don’t proofread; Elisa Ludwig tells us how to carve up manuscripts; and Carolyn Howard-Johnson reminds us that editing IS marketing, because first impressions are everything.

Victoria Grefer focuses on 3 types of repetition you’ll find in fiction; Jami Gold defines what makes a story event a turning point; and Andi Cumbo-Floyd shares 5 tips for reading as a writer.

We all can use some writing help from time to time. Christine Locke lists her top 10 writers’ resources, and Justin Sloan shares his favorite books on writing.

Orna Ross walks us through the 7 stages of creativity for a new perspective on book writing, and Jessica from Creativity’s Workshop urges us to take a moment to look back at the creative journey we’ve taken so far and discover something new about ourselves as a writer.

Finally, Hugh Howey asks us: since most books don’t sell well, why do we keep writing?

BUSINESS

In bookseller news, Poland’s second largest bookstore chain is up for sale, while here in the US Amazon is attacking Barnes & Noble in the campus bookstores.

There are a lot of publishing pathways open to authors now. That is both a blessing and a curse. How do you know which path is right for you? Jami Gold suggests taking a look at your goals: an artist-author wants something different than a professional-author. Which are you? Whichever you are Giacomo Giammatteo shares 7 things every author should do.

If you choose to self-publish, Dan Holloway reminds us to do it our way, in order to stand out from the crowd, while Chuck Wendig has a few insights about quality control in self-publishing. Nathan Bransford tells us how to choose an ebook cover, and Lindsay Buroker talks ebook pricing: worth vs. making the most money.

Jonathan Gunson opens the doorway to mass readership, Janet Reid shares tips about effective book promotion on Twitter, and Andi Cumbo-Floyd advises us to think local: local shops can be a good place to sell your books.

THE UNIQUE SHELF

For those trapped indoors with small children, a brief respite – Neil Gaiman Reading Green Eggs & Ham. And soon to come, Ringo Starr turns Octopus’ Garden into a picture book.

When Edgar Allan Poe needed to get away, he went to…the Bronx. If California is more your style, read your way up the West Coast with this book lover’s guide to road tripping up California’s coast

Check out some of the unbelievable things librarians find in returned books; take a look at Terry Border’s artwork of 14 paperbacks reenacting their own plots; and a collection of really bad Jane Eyre covers.

In the world of old manuscripts: over 15,000 images of Persian manuscripts are now online, and the Rothschild Prayerbook sold for more than $13 million in 1999. What will is sell for at auction this time around?

That’s all for us this week! Stay safe and warm, everyone!


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