This week in writing… show me some love edition

Fuzzy love

Agent Rachelle Gardner asks if you know what business you’re in, with good points about businesses like Kodak failing because they didn’t  respond to changes in their industry. Take note, publishers.

If you’re interested in illustrating, here’s a look at what a real illustrator does for a living. And she doesn’t even have an agent yet! For more on how illustrations make it into books, Harold Underdown has a great excerpt from his Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Publishing.

Brian Selznick talks about how his Caldecott-winning book became Scorscese’s Hugo.

Maybe it’s not Scorscese you’re after. But do you know what it takes to launch a book? Tips from publicist Arielle Ford.

So you’re done with the book, but nobody knows about it. Where oh where do you promote? Here’s a list of websites to help you.

If you’re having trouble with your story ending, or you wonder what other authors have done that works, you don’t need to go searching through the library stacks. Literary consultant, Constance Fowland has made a list of picture books by their unique endings, like twist endings, or surprise endings. The list itself almost has no end…

Despite all the sturm und drang over Amazon, there are a lot of authors who want to use their publishing arm. Of course, whether or not that’s a good thing depends on what you want out of it. One of my online writer pals had to pull copies of her book from Nook and other sources because she’s an Amazon Kindle Select author. Because she chose to release the book as a serial, she has to send the next installments to her non-Kindle customers for free. So she’s losing money there. Another author, Derek Haines did a KDP Select Experiment, and everybody’s chiming in on whether it’s a good deal or not. So head on over and check it out for yourself.

Royal love

Shelf Awareness is showing some love to one of the greats in children’s book editing: Ursula Nordstrom. The brief reminder includes my favorite quote in all of publishing: “I had to get back to my desk to publish some more good books for bad children.” I wish I could have met her.

Also via Shelf Awareness: bookstore sales fell in December last year. Is that because of all the Borders closings? Probably.

The Atlantic Wire rounds out some publishing news here. Among them, the surprising news that Barnes & Noble has a new backer: Fidelity Investments. I’m sure lots of people love that news. And while it is good news for B&N, it’s still not enough to concern Amazon. Another interesting piece in there: how to rock a pseudonym.

Are you ready to show some books a little love? World Read Aloud Day is coming on March 7th (which also happens to be my birthday).
They’re getting ready for it at Books of Wonder in Manhattan, and you can find out more about the event here.

And the always fabulous SCBWI is showing midlist authors some love with a new grant. Man, I’d love to be nominated. Not hinting. Just saying.

UPDATE: I neglected to add last week’s event in celebration of the 50th anniversary of A Wrinkle In Time, one of the greatest YA books ever written, which very nearly did not get published. Talk about love. How much do people love Wrinkle and L’Engle? Loads.

And though I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day (my husband’s a lucky guy), I could not resist the photos I pasted in this post. But the best valentine ever? The video below. It’s nominated for an Oscar in the best animated short category, and it’s spectacular. Enjoy!