MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

JOIN ME AT SF WRITE TO MARKET CONFERENCE JULY 29-31, 2011

… Where I will be the Keynote Speaker on July 31st.








CLICK HERE FOR CONFERENCE DETAILS


150,000 or more in this country are struggling to write first novels, thousands of manuscripts flooding agent offices, but only a few hundred at most will ever be published by a major house.

This unique writer conference was developed by the editors and authors at Algonkian Conferences to provide you, the aspiring author, with not only network connections, but comprehensive, hands-on experience utilizing the craft skills, insider advice, and hard-to-swallow facts you must possess before you can even hope to get a first novel successfully published in this tougher-than-ever market.

The WTM is a writer conference event designed to be unique, pragmatic, and productive professional evaluations of your novel or work-in-progress.

At the event you will engage in network pitch sessions and interact with top list-building agents who will be present on the final day to provide connection and advice in proportion to your needs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

JOIN ME AT SF WRITE TO MARKET CONFERENCE JULY 29-31, 2011

… Where I will be the Keynote Speaker on July 31st.








CLICK HERE FOR CONFERENCE DETAILS


150,000 or more in this country are struggling to write first novels, thousands of manuscripts flooding agent offices, but only a few hundred at most will ever be published by a major house.

This unique writer conference was developed by the editors and authors at Algonkian Conferences to provide you, the aspiring author, with not only network connections, but comprehensive, hands-on experience utilizing the craft skills, insider advice, and hard-to-swallow facts you must possess before you can even hope to get a first novel successfully published in this tougher-than-ever market.

The WTM is a writer conference event designed to be unique, pragmatic, and productive professional evaluations of your novel or work-in-progress.

At the event you will engage in network pitch sessions and interact with top list-building agents who will be present on the final day to provide connection and advice in proportion to your needs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breakthrough New York City - July 29-30th

A 3-DAY "MASTER CLASS" THAT WILL HELP YOU CRYSTALLIZE
AND STRENGTHEN YOUR BOOK, MESSAGE AND PLAN





















Are you ready to share your ideas and message with the world – in the BOLDEST way possible?


Do you have a book (or second one) in your future, but need direction in making it happen?

Editorial executive and New York publishing strategist, Janet Goldstein, and creative book marketer and AuthorTeleseminars.com founder, Elizabeth Marshall—want to help you develop the right steps for you to publish, market, and actually sell your work and create the impact you know you’re meant to achieve.

GET MORE INFORMATION HERE


Book Breakthrough NYC 2011 from Elizabeth Marshall on Vimeo.



Monday, July 25, 2011

Lisa See Talks About Flower and the Secret Fan





Saturday, July 23, 2011

JOIN ME AT SF WRITE TO MARKET CONFERENCE JULY 29-31, 2011

… Where I will be the Keynote Speaker on July 31st.








CLICK HERE FOR CONFERENCE DETAILS


150,000 or more in this country are struggling to write first novels, thousands of manuscripts flooding agent offices, but only a few hundred at most will ever be published by a major house.

This unique writer conference was developed by the editors and authors at Algonkian Conferences to provide you, the aspiring author, with not only network connections, but comprehensive, hands-on experience utilizing the craft skills, insider advice, and hard-to-swallow facts you must possess before you can even hope to get a first novel successfully published in this tougher-than-ever market.

The WTM is a writer conference event designed to be unique, pragmatic, and productive professional evaluations of your novel or work-in-progress.

At the event you will engage in network pitch sessions and interact with top list-building agents who will be present on the final day to provide connection and advice in proportion to your needs.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dr. Ken Atchity Discusses the New Frontier of Publishing and What It Means for Writers






As a literary manager, Dr. Ken Atchity has launched many illustrious careers for novelists, writers of nonfiction and screenwriters.

He’s also produced 28 films and authored 14 books, including “A Writer’s Time: Making Time to Write” and “Writing Treatments That Sell.”

With credits like these and over 40 years experience in publishing, it’s safe to say that Ken knows the business.

This is precisely why I wanted to speak with him about the radical changes in the publishing environment and what it means to today’s writers.

Here’s the interview:

There’s been drastic change in the publishing world over the last several years. What does this mean for today’s aspiring novelists?

It means that today’s novelists are living on a new frontier, and are free to seize opportunity where they find it—and take their fate into their own hands. They are no longer enslaved by a publishing paradigm that never made good business sense. In short, go Internet, young novelist!

What are your thoughts on novelists self-publishing their work in e-book form?

That is not only the way of the future, it’s the way of the present! It’s the paradigm that’s already working for hundreds of writers. Soon it will work for thousands. Be the next one on your block to publish an ebook.

Is there still a stigma tied to self-publishing? And, if so, should writers care?

Not in the least, as long as it’s done professionally with the highest artistic standards and commercial intelligence.

What kind of sales would an author have to demonstrate in order to gain interest from a traditional publishing house?

Once you’re north of 10,000 sales or so, you have a chance of the traditional publishers taking you seriously because you’ve proven there IS a market for your book.

If an independent author is making healthy sales on his own, what reasons would he have to sign with a traditional publisher?

That’s really the question. If money is your goal, you’re making more by far on the esales than you would make from a traditional publisher at that point.

If fame, then maybe you consider switching to the traditional publisher so you can say you were “published by W. W. Norton.” But you will lose control over your book if you do that.

Basically, the only reason that makes sense for going traditional at that point is the kind of irresistible advance Amanda Hocking got from St. Martin’s–$2 million!

At what point (if any), would you recommend that a new novelist who has published their book in electronic format consider publishing in paper- or hardback?

This is primarily a question of whether the new novelist has access to physical audiences that will buy her book. If he does, then go to Print on Demand (P.O.D.) and order enough books for each event you attend. Plus, you need “hard copies” to sign!

If self publishing, what are some of the tasks a writer should perform before launching their books?

(1) Make sure your book is professionally edited. Most self-published books are not, and readers get angry and stop buying them.

(2) Hire a professional designer for the cover—one who’s worked for the traditional publishing houses.

(3) Make sure you have a marketing plan, no matter how minimal—and implement it every single day. Hire a web publicist who knows what he’s doing—or a strategic career coach like myself (www.storymerchant.com).

Where do you think most writers go wrong when self-publishing their books?

They do it through organizations that add unnecessary expense to the writer’s investment instead of doing it “direct” with Kindle, I-books, Lightning Source, etc.

Now that anyone and everyone can publish themselves (& often do), what can an author with a quality product do to stand out?

Publicity and marketing. The more inventive you are, the better. That’s why it’s a new frontier—the prize goes to the most creative.

Thanks for your time, Ken! Informative interview. :)

Thanks, Jen. Keep up the good work!

To find out more about Dr. Ken Atchity, you can find him at aeionline.com and storymerchant.com.

Did you enjoy this interview? If so, share it with your friends, using one of the buttons below! You can also sign up for our free Weekly Update. You’ll receive more interviews like these as well as several of articles on the craft and business of writing!


Interview by Jennifer Minar-Jaynes. Jennifer Minar-Jaynes is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the editor-in-chief of www.WritersBreak.com.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cymascope: Music Made Visible






12 Piano notes made visible for the first time


Shannon Novak, a New Zealand-born fine artist, commissioned us to image 12 piano notes as inspiration for a series of 12 musical canvases. We decided to image the notes in video mode because when we observed the 'A1' note we discovered, surprisingly, that the energy envelope changes over time as the string's harmonics mix in the piano's wooden bridge.

Instead of the envelope being fairly stable, as we had imagined, the harmonics actually cause the CymaGlyphs to be wonderfully dynamic. Our ears can easily detect the changes in the harmonics and the CymaScope now reveals them--probably a first in acoustic physics.
Capturing the dynamics was only possible with HD video but taming the dynamics of the piano's first strike, followed by the short plateau and long decay phase, was tricky. We achieved the result with the help of a professional audio compressor operating in real time.


Shannon was delighted with the results. He commented:

"I have always been fascinated with the translation of that which is invisible, into something visible that individuals can relate to, in particular, the representation of sound through colour and geometric form. I saw the use of cymatic technology as one method of such representation and a unique and compelling way of educating individuals about the link between sound, colour, and geometric form".

Piano notes made visible on the CymaScope

For the first time in history individual piano notes have been made visible using the CymaScope instrument.


The piano notes were painstakingly recorded by Evy King and then fed into the CymaScope one by one and the results recorded in high definition video.

Play and SEE Music Notes

Music, in the absolute sense, is the invisible geometry of the cosmos, a delicate tracery of frequencies that harmonise with each other and from which all matter manifests.

The conductor of this sublime symphony is the Creative Force of the cosmos, some people prefer to say: God.

Music, as sensed by humans, is a delicate tracery of audible frequencies that harmonise with each other and generally please our emotions.

What is not commonly known is that music has the almost magical power to create form from formlessness. If the reader doubts this, click the arrow below to view water under the influence of music, revealing the invisible geometry of music.

MMV technology is still under development but as this excerpt from Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" shows, an exciting future lies ahead when all music can be transcribed to MusicMadeVisible. See Music Made Visible











Almost all audible sounds are bubble-like in nature, not wave-like as is commonly believed.

If our eyes could see music they would be bathed in scintillating kaleidoscope-like patterns.

The Cymascope is an instrument that makes sound or music visible, creating detailed 3D impressions of sound or music vibrations.

Here the rapidly expanding sphere is captured in a frozen moment. The interior reveals a beautiful and complex structure representing the rich harmonic nature of violin music.

musicmadevisible

Images can be thought of as analogs of music because the geometry they contain is a mathematical correlate of the musical pitches and intervals that caused the pattern to form on the Cymascope membrane.






Copyright Cymascope.com 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR EMMY® NOMINATED TEAM FOR THE KENNEDY DETAIL


The Kennedy Detail

Discovery Channel

Executive Producers
Ken Atchity, Brooke Runnette, Chi‑Li Wong, Jay Renfroe,
David Garfinkle

Co‑Executive Producer
Vince DiPersio

Producers
Grant Axton, Gerald Blaine, Liza Maddrey, Lisa McCubbin




“©ATAS/NATAS”

AEI Client Noire's G-Spot 2: Pride is available in Kindle format















G Spot2: The Seven Deadly Sins


Harlem's #1 Stunna is Back!

Re-enter the G-Spot with Juicy-Mo because she's hotter than ever!

G-Spot 2: Pride the 1st Deadly Sin is available in Kindle format!

No Kindle? No problem! Click here to download the FREE kindle app so you can read G-Spot 2 on your computer or phone.


Read an excerpt from Pride here!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Katz grapples with wrestling venture




Exec starts WWE rival 'Wrestling Revolution'

What started out as frustration has evolved into a business.

Jeff Katz, a former Fox and New Line exec who worked on "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "Freddy vs. Jason," will start lensing "Wrestling Revolution," a 13-episode wrestling series that Image Entertainment has come aboard to distribute via e-tailers like Apple, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix before packaging it as a DVD in North America.

After growing increasingly disgruntled with the plotlines of WWE's TV shows, Katz reached out to wrestling fans on Twitter to gauge whether they'd be willing to help raise $100,000 to fund "WR." Katz hit the mark June 22, receiving coin from 182 contributors after starting to seek pledges May 6 through Kickstarter.com.

Production on the series begins in October in Los Angeles.

Katz says skein will revolve around a group of 22 wrestlers in a storyline with a three-act structure -- something he said has been impossible for WWE to do with its two weekly series, "Monday Night Raw" on USA Network and "Friday Night SmackDown" on Syfy, given that the shows air 52 weeks a year without breaks.

"The actual storytelling and production structure of wrestling today doesn't lend itself to telling complete stories," he said. "People who are willing to sample ("WR") will get something that, at the very minimum, that will have a complete storyline, like a comicbook," said Katz, who has also created graphic novels including "Booster Gold" at DC Comics.

Katz has enlisted music composer Brian Tyler ("Fast Five," "The Expendables") to provide the soundtrack for "Wrestling Revolution," Gary Frutkof ("Shoot Em Up," "Hawaii Five-0," "Prison Break") to handle production design, and Colin Strause, co-founder of f/x shop Hydraulx ("Battle: Los Angeles," "Iron Man 2"), to assist with the visuals.

Project was born "out of my rants on Twitter," Katz said. "I realized that as a longtime wrestling fan, I was watching (WWE's shows) out of force of habit for the past several years."

With a small budget, Katz sees "WR" as more of an indie film than a TV show. The way it will be distribbed will also take advantage of newer digital methods.

"I'll never compete with WWE in terms of their cash reserves, their history or scale," Katz said. "The only way I can do this is by doing something that's creatively different," which has meant "using the tricks that I learned from 12 years in Hollywood."

"I'm not claiming I won't screw it up, but at the minimum it does offer something different from what we get 90% of the time on television."

Katz started his career at Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling, which WWE later purchased, so "anyone who knows me probably will not be surprised that I'm doing this," he said. "I owe my career to wrestling. I'm the guy that had the big Rick Flair and Hulk Hogan belt hanging next to movie posters in my office."

Katz thinks he already has an audience for "WR."

"Wrestling fans are a unique group in that they're hard to get to watch shows before or after wrestling. But if it's wrestling stuff, they're hardcore."

Contact Marc Graser at marc.graser@variety.com

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Kennedy Detail's Vince DiPersio's new Series!

Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan Trailer






Prepare to become embedded inside an elite US Military E.O.D. (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) Unit patrolling the war-torn battlegrounds of Afghanistan, in G4's new documentary series. Premieres this Fall only on G4.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

JOIN ME AT SF WRITE TO MARKET CONFERENCE JULY 29-31, 2011

… Where I will be the Keynote Speaker on July 31st.








CLICK HERE FOR CONFERENCE DETAILS


150,000 or more in this country are struggling to write first novels, thousands of manuscripts flooding agent offices, but only a few hundred at most will ever be published by a major house.

This unique writer conference was developed by the editors and authors at Algonkian Conferences to provide you, the aspiring author, with not only network connections, but comprehensive, hands-on experience utilizing the craft skills, insider advice, and hard-to-swallow facts you must possess before you can even hope to get a first novel successfully published in this tougher-than-ever market.

The WTM is a writer conference event designed to be unique, pragmatic, and productive professional evaluations of your novel or work-in-progress.

At the event you will engage in network pitch sessions and interact with top list-building agents who will be present on the final day to provide connection and advice in proportion to your needs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New York Times Reviews Renegade 83's One Man Army



War May Be Hell, but a Competition Show Awaits

http://tv.nytimes.com

The best propaganda doesn’t tip its hand. Want to make a show that engenders respect and sympathy for the armed forces without complications? Take it out of the theater of war. Afghanistan is no closed set.

“One Man Army,” a competition show that begins Wednesday on the Discovery Channel, reframes military men, hard-core law-enforcement officers and the occasional outsider as relatable heroes, fighting for a cash prize just as if they were on the soon-to-return “Fear Factor.” Sometimes they face challenges that aren’t much tougher than those on “Fear Factor,” and sometimes they have to break through a cinderblock wall with a sledgehammer while getting doused with cold water.

This show is part of the passive militarization of popular culture: not the lionizing of active-duty soldiers that would come directly from the armed services, but rather using people with military and paramilitary backgrounds as a casting pool for sympathetic characters.

These men, some decommissioned, have already been through the fire and have little at stake beyond upholding the principles they’ve imbibed over their careers. (So far, there are no plans for a “One Woman Army.”)

Hosted by Mykel Hawke (“Man, Woman, Wild”), a former Green Beret who narrates in a voice that suggests Casey Kasem as a hostage negotiator, “One Man Army” puts participants through challenges that test speed, strength and intelligence. “The most important weapon of war is the mind — battles are won or lost with that tool,” Mr. Hawke says in a sexy whisper.

But what’s more important than the challenges here are the ethics. When one contestant struggles to complete the strength challenge, the others nobly cheer him on to finish, even after Mr. Hawke tells him, “This war’s over, buddy.”

Three of the four competitors on the first episode of “One Man Army” are in their early 40s, each a little past his physical prime, though still holding on to former glory. (Each episode will feature four new participants.)

Robert is a former Air Force pararescue specialist and Delta Force member; Kevin is a United States Marshal; and James, a former undercover narcotics detective, spent time in Iraq as a private security contractor and, as he recounts, was involved in an ambush in which three colleagues were killed.

Jeffrey, a hyperactive 28-year-old weapons instructor with no combat or law-enforcement experience, is the clear outcast.

The schism between those with combat and law-enforcement experience and those who merely like to shoot guns is a problem for shows like these, which aim to uphold military values, of which tolerance does not always appear to be one.

It’s not limited to “One Man Army.” The most compelling moments on the second season of the History Channel’s “Top Shot,” which concluded in April, involved the saga of the golf instructor Jay Lim, a naturally gifted shooter and a teddy-bear-soft competitor. For weeks he was ostracized and insulted by the military men in the house, who struggled to eliminate him. The more they hazed him, the better he shot.

The skills demanded on shows like these aren’t the preserve of men in uniform. Even “Special Ops Mission,” a “Man vs. Wild” of military tactics that aired on the Military Channel in 2009 and starred a former Army Ranger and Air Force pararescue specialist undertaking mock missions, played more like a special operations fantasy camp that anyone could join.

And sometimes what television asks of soldiers has — deliberately — nothing to do with their day jobs. That’s the case with military family-reunion shows like “Coming Home” on Lifetime and “Surprise Homecoming” on TLC, which depict soldiers not as instruments of war but as family pillars resuming their rightful roles.

Maybe some of those returning soldiers will have the itch to compete on “One Man Army.” Robert, now a family man, is clearly still chasing a high.

“I spent my whole career winning,” Robert says. “Everything I’ve done, I’ve won.”

It’s not revealing too much to say that in the end it comes down to Robert and his spectacularly symmetrical body — in a movie, Tom Cruise and Jason Statham would fight for the part — and Jeffrey, who would maybe be played by Conan O’Brien. Or the guy who played Screech on “Saved by the Bell.”

Late in the episode Jeffrey is revealed to be gay.

“I’ve been asked why didn’t I join the military and the truth is, when I wanted to go in they said that they didn’t want gays,” he says. “I’m a rule follower, and I wasn’t going to be able to lie.”

That he’s on this show, and extremely competitive, is an implicit rebuke to the military that kept him at arm’s length. Maybe it’s an inconvenient truth, or maybe it’s propaganda of a different sort.


Discovery Channel, Wednesday nights at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.

Produced for the Discovery Channel by Renegade 83. David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe and Maria Baltazzi, executive producers; Anna Geddes, executive producer for the Discovery Channel; Mykel Hawke, host.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

JOIN ME AT SF WRITE TO MARKET CONFERENCE JULY 29-31, 2011

… Where I will be the Keynote Speaker on July 31st








CLICK HERE FOR CONFERENCE DETAILS


150,000 or more in this country are struggling to write first novels, thousands of manuscripts flooding agent offices, but only a few hundred at most will ever be published by a major house.

This unique writer conference was developed by the editors and authors at Algonkian Conferences to provide you, the aspiring author, with not only network connections, but comprehensive, hands-on experience utilizing the craft skills, insider advice, and hard-to-swallow facts you must possess before you can even hope to get a first novel successfully published in this tougher-than-ever market.

The WTM is a writer conference event designed to be unique, pragmatic, and productive professional evaluations of your novel or work-in-progress.

At the event you will engage in network pitch sessions and interact with top list-building agents who will be present on the final day to provide connection and advice in proportion to your needs.

Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 London Book Festival Call For Entries

The 2011 London Book Festival has issued a call for entries to its annual awards honoring the best of international publishing.

The 2011 London Book Festival will consider books in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian in the competition. The works may be published, self-published or independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, children's books, poetry, art/photgraphy, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/graphic novels, e-books, wild card (anything goes!), science fiction, romance and biography/autobiographical works. Works published after January 1, 2008 are eligible.

A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:

1) The story-telling ability of the author;

2) The potential of the work to win wider recognition from the international publishing community.

Our grand prize for the 2011 London Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 in U.S. funds and a flight from your city of entry to our awards ceremony.

ENTRIES: Please classify your book and enter it in the following categories. Multiple entries must be accompanied by a separate fee for each book.

1) General Non-fiction

2) General Fiction

3) Children's books

4) E-books

5) Comics/graphic novels

6) Wild Card

7) Teenage

8) Science fiction

9) Romance

10) Biography/Autobiography

11) Audio/spoken word

12) How-To

13) Poetry

14) Art/Photography

FESTIVAL RULES: London Book Festival submissions cannot be returned. Each entry must contain a print-out of the official entry form, including your e-mail address and contact telephone number. All shipping and handling costs must be borne by entrants.

NOTIFICATION AND DEADLINES: We will notify each entry of the receipt of their package via e-mail and will announce the winning entries at the LondonBookFestival.com web site.

Deadline submissions in each category must be postmarked by the close of business on November 25, 2011. Winners in each category will be notified by e-mail and the results posted on the site. Please note that judges read and consider submissions on an ongoing basis, comparing early entries with later submissions.

TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at http://www.londonbookfestival.com or may be faxed/e-mailed to you by calling our office at 323-665-8080. Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee via check, money order, credit card payment or PayPal online payment of $50 in U.S. dollars for each submission. Multiple submissions are permitted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee. Entry fee checks should be made payable to JM Northern Media LLC.

Entry packages should include one copy of the book; a copy of your official entry form; the entry fee or receipt from online payment; and any relevant marketing materials, i.e., press kits or other material that illuminates the background of your book. Entries should be mailed to:

JM Northern Media LLC

The London Book Festival

7095 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 864

Hollywood, CA 90028, USA

AWARDS: The London Book Festival selection committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dr. Ken Atchity Discusses the New Frontier of Publishing and What It Means for Writers






As a literary manager, Dr. Ken Atchity has launched many illustrious careers for novelists, writers of nonfiction and screenwriters.

He’s also produced 28 films and authored 14 books, including “A Writer’s Time: Making Time to Write” and “Writing Treatments That Sell.”

With credits like these and over 40 years experience in publishing, it’s safe to say that Ken knows the business.

This is precisely why I wanted to speak with him about the radical changes in the publishing environment and what it means to today’s writers.

Here’s the interview:

There’s been drastic change in the publishing world over the last several years. What does this mean for today’s aspiring novelists?

It means that today’s novelists are living on a new frontier, and are free to seize opportunity where they find it—and take their fate into their own hands. They are no longer enslaved by a publishing paradigm that never made good business sense. In short, go Internet, young novelist!

What are your thoughts on novelists self-publishing their work in e-book form?

That is not only the way of the future, it’s the way of the present! It’s the paradigm that’s already working for hundreds of writers. Soon it will work for thousands. Be the next one on your block to publish an ebook.

Is there still a stigma tied to self-publishing? And, if so, should writers care?

Not in the least, as long as it’s done professionally with the highest artistic standards and commercial intelligence.

What kind of sales would an author have to demonstrate in order to gain interest from a traditional publishing house?

Once you’re north of 10,000 sales or so, you have a chance of the traditional publishers taking you seriously because you’ve proven there IS a market for your book.

If an independent author is making healthy sales on his own, what reasons would he have to sign with a traditional publisher?

That’s really the question. If money is your goal, you’re making more by far on the esales than you would make from a traditional publisher at that point.

If fame, then maybe you consider switching to the traditional publisher so you can say you were “published by W. W. Norton.” But you will lose control over your book if you do that.

Basically, the only reason that makes sense for going traditional at that point is the kind of irresistible advance Amanda Hocking got from St. Martin’s–$2 million!

At what point (if any), would you recommend that a new novelist who has published their book in electronic format consider publishing in paper- or hardback?

This is primarily a question of whether the new novelist has access to physical audiences that will buy her book. If he does, then go to Print on Demand (P.O.D.) and order enough books for each event you attend. Plus, you need “hard copies” to sign!

If self publishing, what are some of the tasks a writer should perform before launching their books?

(1) Make sure your book is professionally edited. Most self-published books are not, and readers get angry and stop buying them.

(2) Hire a professional designer for the cover—one who’s worked for the traditional publishing houses.

(3) Make sure you have a marketing plan, no matter how minimal—and implement it every single day. Hire a web publicist who knows what he’s doing—or a strategic career coach like myself (www.storymerchant.com).

Where do you think most writers go wrong when self-publishing their books?

They do it through organizations that add unnecessary expense to the writer’s investment instead of doing it “direct” with Kindle, I-books, Lightning Source, etc.

Now that anyone and everyone can publish themselves (& often do), what can an author with a quality product do to stand out?

Publicity and marketing. The more inventive you are, the better. That’s why it’s a new frontier—the prize goes to the most creative.

Thanks for your time, Ken! Informative interview. :)

Thanks, Jen. Keep up the good work!

To find out more about Dr. Ken Atchity, you can find him at aeionline.com and storymerchant.com.

Did you enjoy this interview? If so, share it with your friends, using one of the buttons below! You can also sign up for our free Weekly Update. You’ll receive more interviews like these as well as several of articles on the craft and business of writing!


Interview by Jennifer Minar-Jaynes. Jennifer Minar-Jaynes is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the editor-in-chief of www.WritersBreak.com.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Alchemy of the Alchemist: How Paulo Coelho became the most translated living author for the same book


by
Arash Hejazi

Introduction



In April 2008, Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian author of The Alchemist, published in more than 150 countries (Sant Jordi, 2005) acquired the 2009 Guinness World Record for being the Most Translated Living Author for the same book (Sant Jordi, 2008). He also holds the Guinness Record for The Most Translations (53) of a Single Title (The Alchemist) Signed in One Sitting in an international book-signing held at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2003 (Sant Jordi, 2003).

The 2009 Guinness world record acknowledges The Alchemist as:


‘The most languages into which the same book has been translated, is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Brazil), a global best-seller, which can be read in 67 languages, including Hindi, Farsi and isiXhosa.’

The Alchemist was written in 1988 by Paulo Coelho, an unknown writer at the time, living in Brazil, a country without a prominent history of its literature being translated into other languages, a fact that makes the book eligible to be considered as a publishing phenomenon. No international bestselling author has achieved such success; being translated into so many languages and becoming a bestseller in every single country where he has been published. Furthermore, Coelho celebrated the milestone of 100 million copies sold of his books around the world in a party held on October 15th 2008 in Frankfurt (Sant Jordi, 2008). One can imagine that in a few years he might as well receive another world record certificate of being the most read living author of all times.


Read More









Arash Hejazi is an Iranian editor, novel writer and journalist.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Regional Pitching Can Leverage Big Success

Penny C. Sansevieri

With all the talk of Facebook, Twitter, blogging and other social media, we often forget how we used to promote a book: locally. Many books that hit big success did so by building a regional buzz. But regional seems a lot less sexy these days and often gets overlooked. If media is being pursued, it's often on a national level, bypassing individual markets altogether.

One of the things I've found about regional promotion is that it can often surprise you. When we worked on The Kennedy Detail last November, we had enormous success regionally, while major stations and national markets seemed to lag in interest for this exceptional title. In fact, I believe that part of the reason this book hit the bestseller list was because of the regional buzz.

If you're wondering how regional coverage can affect your success, let me tell you another story. Some years back, two women in Louisiana wrote a Cajun cookbook. Now, if any of you have been to Louisiana you know that there are hundreds of Cajun cookbooks, nothing really unique there, right? But these women figured that out and decided instead of trying to do a national push, they would focus regionally. They were everywhere: airports, drycleaners, coffee shops, grocery stores and restaurants. The result? They built exceptional buzz for this book and ended up getting the attention of a New York publisher who offered them a big deal to buy the book. Sometimes small can be big.

So, what would regional pitching look like for you? Well, my recommendation to any author is saturate your market. Make sure everyone in your city or town knows about you and what you're doing.

Additionally, you don't need to just focus on your region, you could expand this out to other parts of the country as well. If the idea of pitching regionally has piqued your interest, here are some ways to make it work:

  • Don't repurpose national pitches: This is a big one. I don't recommend that you use your national pitches for your local market. Local cares about local and even though every station will report on major national stories, it's always best if they have a regional tie-in.
  • Get to know your area: This is especially true if you're pitching outside of your market. Get to know the nuances of the market you are going after. Know their hot buttons and then decide whether your story can tie into them. But regardless, you want to understand the market you are pitching.
  • Local media varies: Local media will vary depending on the region you're in. For some markets print has the biggest voice, for others it's broadcast. By digging into your area and getting to know the region, important segments will start to become apparent. For example, in areas that have a lot of morning shows they will generally have a pretty balanced broadcast and print consumption. But other areas might surprise you. For example, I just moved from San Diego where, despite the size of the city, they only have one paper serving it: the San Diego Union Tribune. If you don't make it into that paper, you're not in great shape. Especially if your regional campaign is heavily driven to print. The flip side of this is that this city has a lot of great broadcast opportunities both in TV and radio, so your time might be better spent there.
  • Tailor, tailor, tailor: Don't forget that local matters so you'll want to make sure to position your pitch on a local angle.
  • Getting to know you: It's easier than ever to get to know a market by reading, listening, or watching online. This will help you identify reporters, journalists, and radio hosts who might have a keen interest in what you are pitching.
  • Event pitching: Regional media loves talking about events and other tie-ins. One of the best ways to get local media is by doing an event.
  • Getting into bookstores: If your goal is to get bookstores to place orders, a regional push can help there as well. If you're doing events or media locally, this will help drive readers into the stores and the numbers start adding up, which could encourage bookstores to order more copies!
  • Small is big: When we pitch regionally, we never overlook the small, local papers. Often they are the freebies you get in supermarkets. I have found that they are often very well-read in the community and can help to drive a lot of interest to your book or event. They are sometimes difficult to find, though, and don't always show up in media databases. Having someone in the area is great to help identify these local publications. If you don't have anyone locally, call the bookstore where you're doing an event, and if there isn't an event as part of this media push, call the local supermarket and ask them!

Getting focused regionally can be a great enhancement to any campaign. It's also a great way to bring longevity to a marketing push. Regional markets aren't always as hung up on book release dates as bigger, national markets are, so the window is much wider here for pitching.

Good luck!

Follow Penny C. Sansevieri on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bookgal

Monday, July 4, 2011

Story Merchant Client Lisa Cerasoli's "14 DAYS with Alzheimer's" Documentary Trailer


Based on the memoir, As Nora Jo Fades Away, this is the trailer to the documentary short about an intimate look into "14 DAYS" in the lives of Nora Jo and her caregiver and granddaughter, Lisa. ...Buckle up!




Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dr. Ken Atchity Discusses the New Frontier of Publishing and What It Means for Writers






As a literary manager, Dr. Ken Atchity has launched many illustrious careers for novelists, writers of nonfiction and screenwriters.

He’s also produced 28 films and authored 14 books, including “A Writer’s Time: Making Time to Write” and “Writing Treatments That Sell.”

With credits like these and over 40 years experience in publishing, it’s safe to say that Ken knows the business.

This is precisely why I wanted to speak with him about the radical changes in the publishing environment and what it means to today’s writers.

Here’s the interview:

There’s been drastic change in the publishing world over the last several years. What does this mean for today’s aspiring novelists?

It means that today’s novelists are living on a new frontier, and are free to seize opportunity where they find it—and take their fate into their own hands. They are no longer enslaved by a publishing paradigm that never made good business sense. In short, go Internet, young novelist!

What are your thoughts on novelists self-publishing their work in e-book form?

That is not only the way of the future, it’s the way of the present! It’s the paradigm that’s already working for hundreds of writers. Soon it will work for thousands. Be the next one on your block to publish an ebook.

Is there still a stigma tied to self-publishing? And, if so, should writers care?

Not in the least, as long as it’s done professionally with the highest artistic standards and commercial intelligence.

What kind of sales would an author have to demonstrate in order to gain interest from a traditional publishing house?

Once you’re north of 10,000 sales or so, you have a chance of the traditional publishers taking you seriously because you’ve proven there IS a market for your book.

If an independent author is making healthy sales on his own, what reasons would he have to sign with a traditional publisher?

That’s really the question. If money is your goal, you’re making more by far on the esales than you would make from a traditional publisher at that point.

If fame, then maybe you consider switching to the traditional publisher so you can say you were “published by W. W. Norton.” But you will lose control over your book if you do that.

Basically, the only reason that makes sense for going traditional at that point is the kind of irresistible advance Amanda Hocking got from St. Martin’s–$2 million!

At what point (if any), would you recommend that a new novelist who has published their book in electronic format consider publishing in paper- or hardback?

This is primarily a question of whether the new novelist has access to physical audiences that will buy her book. If he does, then go to Print on Demand (P.O.D.) and order enough books for each event you attend. Plus, you need “hard copies” to sign!

If self publishing, what are some of the tasks a writer should perform before launching their books?

(1) Make sure your book is professionally edited. Most self-published books are not, and readers get angry and stop buying them.

(2) Hire a professional designer for the cover—one who’s worked for the traditional publishing houses.

(3) Make sure you have a marketing plan, no matter how minimal—and implement it every single day. Hire a web publicist who knows what he’s doing—or a strategic career coach like myself (www.storymerchant.com).

Where do you think most writers go wrong when self-publishing their books?

They do it through organizations that add unnecessary expense to the writer’s investment instead of doing it “direct” with Kindle, I-books, Lightning Source, etc.

Now that anyone and everyone can publish themselves (& often do), what can an author with a quality product do to stand out?

Publicity and marketing. The more inventive you are, the better. That’s why it’s a new frontier—the prize goes to the most creative.

Thanks for your time, Ken! Informative interview. :)

Thanks, Jen. Keep up the good work!

To find out more about Dr. Ken Atchity, you can find him at aeionline.com and storymerchant.com.

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Interview by Jennifer Minar-Jaynes. Jennifer Minar-Jaynes is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the editor-in-chief of www.WritersBreak.com.