BLOG

Whether you are an aspiring author, a published author, a publisher or one who provides services to those who publish, the purpose of this SLPA Blog is to provide information and resources on a full range of author/publishers issues and ideas.
  • Thursday, August 04, 2011 11:48 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)
    You may have missed the big all-day workshop, but not too late to sign up for the evening St. Louis Writers Workshop on Thursday, August 11. For writers of all genres, including poetry.
  • Wednesday, August 03, 2011 4:44 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)
    Yay, all kidlit publishers, printers and authors rejoice! The House and Senate finally passed a ruling exempting childrens books from the 2008 CPSIA controversial laws requiring lead testing. Novelty books and all toys will still be required to be tested and receive certification, however.
  • Friday, July 29, 2011 5:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    These are beautiful book cover ideas. Charlotte illustrates with a bold stroke. The typography is hand-drawn and is every easy to read. Check out her illustrations:
    http://thefoxisblack.com/2011/07/29/penguin-modern-classics-book-covers-by-charlotte-trounce/
  • Tuesday, July 26, 2011 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    I heard this on NPR this morning: University of Wisconsin professor Sue Fondrie won the Bulwer-Lytton Contest, which asks people to come up with terrible first lines to imaginary novels. Foudrie's winning entry works in dead sparrows and forgotten memories. The contest honors British writer Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his novel with the immortal words: "It was a dark and stormy night."

    http://www.npr.org/2011/07/26/138697098/wisconsin-professor-wins-bad-writing-contest
  • Monday, July 25, 2011 8:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Interesting! Thatcher Wine is a different kind of book designer. He’s an interiors designer who specializes in filling space with books.  Projects include themes, custom dust jackets, and art projects built out of discarded books.
    http://blog.bookcoverarchive.com/2011/01/1720/
  • Tuesday, July 12, 2011 7:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    One site I like to visit and find inspiration is The Jacket Museum. It's a collection of interesting book covers by various artists. Check out the designs at http://thejacketmuseum.wordpress.com/
  • Tuesday, July 12, 2011 10:59 AM | Linda Austin (Administrator)
    Book trailers are like movie trailers, providing a visually exciting preview to attract readers. Hopefully. While videos aren't that difficult to create using the free Windows Movie Maker or the free Movie Maker for Mac undoubtedly already installed on your computer, you do need to know how to make your video look as professional as possible with type of photos or video clips, sound, timing, etc. A badly made video is worse than no video. Of course, you could hire a professional to make one for you, if you can afford it and determine it worth the cost. TV writer, producer and novelist Lee Goldberg tells us why you shouldn't make a book trailer. He echoes SLPA president and master publicity hound Bob Baker's thoughts that simple video clips of the author or a fan talking about the book pleasantly "breaks the fourth barrier" with that up-close-and-personal touch. Don't be afraid to be you, smile, and have a short chat with your potential readers. You can upload your video to YouTube (be sure to add pertinent tags) and then upload to your website or blog. There are a couple SLPA members whose companies can help you create a polished personal video, too. 
  • Tuesday, July 12, 2011 1:10 AM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Oops, I just got caught. Amazon finally noticed that my profile signature there included a live link to my website, so I had to change the signature. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should! Amazon provides an excellent way to drive people to your book via book reviews you post there. You do read, don't you? Since I have a memoir of WWII Japan (Cherry Blossoms in Twilight), I review other memoirs, especially multicultural ones, especially those not on the bestseller lists, and post them on Amazon. You have to create an Amazon profile first to do this. You may already have a profile set up, but if you don't, when you go on the Amazon site scroll way down to the bottom to the "Your Participation" section and click on "Your Profile." There you can login (or create a login) and edit your profile.

    On your profile, use your full real name to have credibility and findability. You can add your web or blogsite url as well as list your interests and that you are the author of (xyz) book. You can also indicate a "signature" which attaches itself to your name whenever you write a review. My old signature was my website url, however, Amazon doesn't like live links to take people outside of Amazon. So now my signature is "author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight." Whenever I want to add a review, I find the book on Amazon, scroll down a little to where I can choose "Create Your Own Review" and type in a review. After saved, the review will show up attributed to Linda Austin "author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight." People can then search for that book! And, if you review other books in your genre, you've gotten an "in" with people interested in that genre. Voila! There are other ways to drive people to your book via Amazon, such as tagging, creating lists and guides, but that's another blogpost.

  • Monday, June 27, 2011 5:04 PM | Warren Martin (Administrator)
    Book trailers have been a hot topic among authors and book publishers in recent years. And for good reason. With so many people consuming video content on YouTube and many other websites -- and doing so from desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones and tablets -- it makes perfect sense to communicate with readers and potential buyers using video.

    But a lot of authors have the wrong idea when it comes to creating video clips that promote their titles.

    Some think they have to spend a ton of money on slick production to do it right. The truth: Going the expensive route might impress some people, but it isn't necessary to be effective.

    Other authors put together video clips that are simply blatant sales messages: "Just published: The new book from Joe Blowhard! Buy Now!" Reality: Unless you're Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, this type of announcement message will fall flat and lead to few sales.

    There's a better way, especially for non-fiction authors wanting to gain traction in the marketplace. This video promo for Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson is a prime example of an effective book trailer:



    Why this book trailer works:
    • It actually teaches you a small lesson based on the subject of the book. If the topic of "where ideas come from" intrigues you, there's a good chance this video will leave you feeling like you learned something. It might even inspire an "Ah-ha" moment of your own. And that's your real goal with any form of book marketing: to get a reader to think and feel something when they are exposed to your message!

      If you get to the end of this four-minute video and think, "Hey, that was pretty cool," there's a good chance that Steven Johnson and your new awareness of his book will occupy a favorable spot in your brain. And that's exactly how audiences are grown and author careers are built.

    • It uses a good combination of audio information and visual stimulation. Obviously, a lot went into creating this video and coordinating the spoken-word elements with the time-lapsed artwork. You don't have to go to that extend to be effective, but you should think of creative ways to meld audio and video to share a story or make a point related to your book.

      One low-cost option I just came across is YouTube's new feature that allows you to create animated videos, slide shows, and other clips in your web browser -- all for free. Visit www.youtube.com/create for details.
    The bottom line, when it comes to creating video book trailers for non-fiction books: Share something of real value based on a section of your book, and do it in a way that will please the eyes and the ears of anyone who takes the time to watch and listen!

    What are your thoughts on effective book trailers? I welcome your comments below.

    -Bob
  • Sunday, June 05, 2011 10:45 PM | Kevin Ericson (Administrator)
    The Summer 2011 edition of Elegant Living, the bi-annual magazine from Ladue News, devotes well over a dozen pages to the year's biggest weddings, as well as wedding tips and advertisements. Casually turning the pages, I was shocked by something on page 30, a photo of our own SLPA Board member Emily Ayala alongside Allison Hockett. The full-page article features the book they published, complete with a photo of the cover, The St. Louis Wedding Book: Two Sisters' Guide to Your Ultimate Wedding.
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