Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Social Media's Selling Teens Old Books

cute old couple reading
These two aren't in the age range I'm talking about below.
But they are quite adorable. And reading.
Photo by zorilla.

An Article From a Bookseller

This weekend, between learning far more than I ever wished to know about Days of Inventory and the cash-to-cash cycle, I read this article with the very click-batey title "I Liked Hurting Girls: A Bookseller on Diary of an Oxygen Thief, Milk and Honey, Young People and the Internet."

The woman who wrote this article owns a book shop, and she noticed a few unusual trends in teens coming in to ask about specific books that weren't actually new or popular at the time. One of those books happened to start with the line, "I liked hurting girls ..."

Juneau, Alaska, gorgeous mountains
Juneau, Alaska (see below for semi-relevance).
Really chosen for my obsession with mountains.
Photo by Ian D. Keating

This Just in: Teens Like Social Media

However, others books she mentions include Looking for Alaska, which become popular after John Green's YouTube channel took off, and Milk and Honey, which is apparently an illustrated book of poems that deals with topics ranging from abuse to survival to sex. She describes the book as "explicit, emotional and very social media friendly."

cool bookstore
Photo by Per Gosche.

In other Breaking News: Teens Won't Explain Themselves

It was also rather entertaining to me that every time this bookseller asked her teen customer what made them want to purchase this book, they'd answer, "I don't know. I it's really good," rather than actually explain to an adult where they'd heard about the book.

And it is really interesting how social media can help people rediscover books. We tend to think of books in two categories: new books and classic books, or at least that's how it seems to me. I'm glad that sometimes books that are neither of these two things get brought back into the light and "re-discovered" by a new audience.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Travel Wistfulness

new zealand mountains

Just like I predicted, these classes have me hopping. I forgot to post this morning.

new zealand, icy mountains
Photo by Mazzali

Have I mentioned that I really want to go back to New Zealand? Because I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I put it down to escapism, but boy was that place gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Writing Update plus Cool Chapels

little Greek chapel
A chapel on Mykonos
Photo by Jaume Escofet

For today's images, I went to the Creative Commons and put in the word "chapel". I'm not particularly religious, but people do create some amazing, religious spaces. We all get our inspiration from somewhere, and sometimes its fun to appreciate others' artistic endeavors wherever they are.

chapel interior, Tower of London
Chapel at the Tower of London
Photo by Lachlan O'Dea

A Book Nearing Retirement

I got a little over thirty rejections on my MG fantasy The Storm Summoner. After I didn't make it into Pitch Wars, I was considering retiring the book and moving onto the next contender. I've been querying for almost a year, and I thought it might be time.

However, one of my critique partners read the latest version of my book and re-energized me. I re-wrote my second chapter, streamlined my third chapter and took yet another wack at revising my query letter. The funny thing is that I think the query is finally getting pretty good. . . if only it'd been this good when I actually started querying.

I'm also set to attend a small literary conference this upcoming Saturday where I might get a query critique.

Once I've got everything polished yet again, I am going to send out a few more query letters. I might retire the book soon, but I do want to give it another shot.

chapel, nunhead cemetery, London
Chapel at Nunhead Cemetery, London
Photo by Richard Fisher

A Book Coming Into Being

I always try to do it this way. When I'm getting incredibly sad that I need to give up on yet another book, I try to have something new to look forward to. A New Hope, if you will. I have a finished first draft of my YA sci fi. It needs some serious editing, so I won't be ready to query it for quite some time, but it's nice to get a break from querying.

And it's fun to be back into this stage - the stage where I'm still imagining a new world and big changes (re-writes) can happen. With my MG, I've been in the polishing phase for a while now. Some of those changes felt big, but the world's pretty solidly in place. In my new book, it's still a world in flux. (For example, I'm thinking about adding a mob undercurrent to the book.)

So, that's where I am right now.