Your Drink of Choice

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Nothing beats coming home after a long day at work and curling up in bed or in your favorite reading chair with a good book and a good drink. Today, we are changing things up a bit and having a little fun pairing what your drink of choice should be with the genre of the book you are currently reading.  As a side note, please drink responsibly!

Science Fiction & Tequila. This combination is inspired by the infamous feeling of tequila. You know… that feeling of being attacked by a monster and completely forgetting the entire night and all its surrounding events with just a few sips. Sci-fi novels tend to have a hidden monster, whether they are aliens, robots, or humans of the future. Regardless, both will have you cowering in fear by the end of the night.

Fantasy & Absinthe. If you’ve heard of the notorious side effects of absinthe, you know where this is going. With a good fantasy novel comes mystical creatures, dragons, epic fight scenes with knights adorned in fancy metal suits and wielding dangerous swords, and sometimes a wizard with a long beard and pointy hat. Old-school absinthe (containing agents that make it a hallucinogen) can transport you to the magical world of the fantasy book you are reading. I can’t imagine you’ll get much reading done, though.

Romance & Water. This pairing is obvious. Romance novels are exhausting- from the erotica side of romance to the more contemporary and hopeful, but almost unattainable, romances. What better way to replenish yourself after a night of undying, fictional love than to stick to the best drink of all: water?

Mystery & Whiskey. When I envision someone drinking whiskey, I imagine them pondering over an event in their life or their own future. A classic mystery novel will bring out your inner detective, making you wonder who committed the crime, why they did it, and how the protagonist is going to stop the antagonist. So, why not pair the drink that makes you think with the genre that does the same thing?

Horror & Gin. In this pairing, gin makes you feel fun and feisty…and yet it is a very dangerous type of alcohol. A good horror story will make you feel the opposite of fun and feisty. The point of it is to instill fear within the protagonist and yourself, the reader. It only makes sense to make up for the fun and feisty feeling you’re missing out on while reading the book with your drink choice. Opposites do attract after all. Maybe you won’t end up giving yourself those week-long nightmares either.

Thriller & Moonshine. Oh, moonshine. If you don’t know what moonshine is, it is high proof alcohol. In less than a minute, moonshine can slap you with complete drunkenness. Guess what also slaps you in the face (or brain) with a surprise? A brilliant thriller novel.

Poetry & Lattes. Poetry is such a delicate genre. You’re always thinking about the meaning behind the simple verses. The beauty of poetry varies from person to person, but what better way to enjoy it than to sit down in a coffee shop, poetry collection in hand, with a highly-caffeinated latte in the other?

Comics/Graphic Novels & Soda. First, there is a huge difference between comics and graphic novels. A comic is broken down into issues and the story is about your favorite super hero or group of kids meddling around. Meanwhile, graphic novels are exactly like your typical novel, but told with art. There is a complex and deeper meaning to the tale the author is trying to tell, and most of the time it only takes a novel or two to get the story across to the reader. We decided a carbonated pop can pair well with your favorite superhero/villain combo or a more intricate graphic novel.

Drama & Rum. Drama novels make for wonderful beach reads. And most beach reads should be paired with a mixed rum drink. Originally a Caribbean-based alcohol, rum has found its way to many beach bars across the country. Sit back in your beach chair, dig your toes in the sand, keep yourself occupied with a rum and coke, and throw yourself into a good drama or novella.

Action/Adventure & Beer. Imagine this: Tom Cruise starring in another action movie about his adventures trying to save the world…that whole concept takes approximately 120 minutes to pan out. Whenever you sit back and relax with an action/adventure movie (or in this case, a novel or two), crack open a cold one and let all the action pan out before you.

Classics & Wine. What better way to bring this post to a close than to pair a good ol’ classic read with a glass of fine wine. Everything gets better with age! But with that being said, you don’t want to wait too long or else the wine will go bad. At least you’ll still have the book!

A Reader’s Dream Fulfilled

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Imagine a world where you, the reader, don’t have to browse bookshelves pondering if you’ll enjoy the book you’ve selected. Oh, wait… there is a world like that.

Book of the Month has been in effect for 90 years. “90 years of literary heritage,” is how they like to put it. It is a monthly subscription service built to your liking. There are a handful of different packages you could pay for, varying from receiving only a month’s subscription up to a year – meaning up to 12 new books to jump into. What better life could there be?

Every month you are given five books to choose from – some are popular best sellers and others are debut books from rising authors. You get the opportunity to pick the book you wish to read with the help from the judges. Judges range from publishing professionals to popular writers. Typically there are five judges each month. Each judge picks a book and writes a brief reaction to the book of their choosing. They explain why they picked the book and why the member should read it, along with some of their favorite scenes or characters. A synopsis and preview of the book is also provided through the BotM website. Members can vote on whether they enjoyed the book as well. The website rates the books like Rotten Tomatoes, minus the green vomit image next to the percentage. What’s also fun about BotM is the exclusive branded items they have for members. If a certain amount of money is put towards the membership, a free tote is included with the package!

BotM is a great option for avid readers who try to maximize their reading options. Or to the new reader who just isn’t sure how to find their next read. \ The benefits of the service make it enticing- you read the books you want to read, you pay a lot less for a hardcover, and you can skip a month if none of the options are appealing. The power in your hands is used to create more pleasurable reading for yourself and it’s likely that you will discover a book you never would have else wise. A reader’s dream is bound to come true with access to BotM endless possibilities.

Read on.

Amazon’s Kindle in Motion

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If you haven’t heard of Kindle in Motion (KiM) yet, it’s the newest bit of technology introduced by Amazon. KiM includes art, animation, and/or video to assist in the storytelling of a book. In the select novels that have been incorporated into KiM, the art and animation have been used for the fairy tale and classical retellings while video (using actors) are used more for the contemporary books. KiM is compatible with most devices (phones, tablets, and eReaders) and there is an option to turn off the “motion.”

To grasp an idea of what Amazon has invested in, I chose to read one of the titles- The Protectors by Alison Stine. This book, based on magic realism, includes all forms of interaction incorporated with Kindle in Motion (art, animation and video). I purchased the book for my iPhone but downloaded the book onto an iPad to compare the two reading platforms. Between these two devices, the only difference was the size of the screen. With the phone edition, some of the lettering had been squeezed into the format to the slightest extent. For the tablet format, everything was spaced evenly and the quality of the motion content was better.

As a consumer, the best part about KiM is there isn’t an additional charge to activate the motion in the book. If the technology isn’t your cup of tea, switch it off and return to the basic reading format. Depending on which is purchased, there are countless images that are incorporated into the novel. In Stine’s book, the graffiti aspect of the plot is assisted with the images, adding to the aesthetic.

 

If you want to create more stimulation and interaction with your readers, an author may want to consider expanding into KiM. It’s new technology, making it appealing to readers, even some who may not enjoy reading altogether. The downfall about this new interactive technology is the fact that it is so new. With nearly a year under their belt and very few original titles incorporated, it may take some time before it becomes popular. One of the better aspects of “motion” is the “full-bleed” format. This allows for there not to be forced margins.

So, how does this all relate to you as an author? It can potentially make your book more aesthetically appealing to readers, perhaps bringing some new readers to you simply for the fact that they want to give KiM a try. It might also gain you some extra revenue from people who don’t normally read books or from people who have trouble reading. Having a visual element might make the whole reading experience easier for people who struggle with it or don’t enjoy it. It is also nice to see that the animation and video improvise the storytelling. If done right, all these elements complement each other nicely and make for a whole different experience than we are typically used to, which can be refreshing. Although both a pro and a con, KiM allows authors to utilize their own vision when picking the images they wish to portray to their readers. KiM is another tool that an author can use to effectively communicate with their readers.  At the same time, this can potentially limit the readers own imagination which is one of the best things about reading.

KiM could be a complete game changer for non-readers or a nice change of pace for avid readers. But, it’s definitely not for everyone and I can understand why someone wouldn’t like it. It has a long way to go before it becomes main stream, but I am glad I gave it a try.

Write on.

Colors Of Literature

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With Children’s/YA literature becoming increasingly popular, the integration of color within the literature presented to this target audience has slowly grown. Targeting children and young adults about cultural differences encourages open-mindedness and fosters open conversation.

Children’s and YA literature that includes topics of race and ethnicity provide a range of learning tools, such as  teaching cultural authenticity. This type of authenticity imitates the beliefs and values of a specific cultural group, including language and everyday life details. The youth’s self-concept can be improvised and self-realization is brought to light to help their young minds sense of self become more aware. It also helps them to learn about and celebrate the differences of those around them. Given that younger minds are molded far easier than developed minds, multicultural literature provides insight about other cultures that these young children might not be familiar with or might know nothing about.. It’s a way for young readers to learn the difference between culture general behaviors (the idea of broad principles) and culture specific behaviors (actions or patterns only performed by certain cultures).

In just children’s literature alone, we are seeing growth in multicultural literature and color:

2015 STATS:

American Indians/First Nations: 0.9%
Latinx: 2.4%
Asian Pacifics/Pacific Americans: 3.3%
African/African American: 7.6%
Animals/Trucks/etc.: 12.5%
White: 73.3%

We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization working to make the necessary changes in the publishing industry to help enrich the lives of all young children and to create as many learning possibilities as they can through reading.

BookExpo America 2017

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A few weeks ago, we made our way to the BookExpo of America (BEA) at the Javits Center in NYC. The book fair took place over a three-day period and there no mistaking that 2017 brought a whole new feel to the expo.

This year, BookExpo America took on smaller events, doing away with some panels (i.e. Book Bloggers’ Convention and the IDPF annual conference) and advertising their collaboration with BookCon. What’s the reasoning behind this change, some might ask?

Two potential explanations:

  • It’s becoming a more intimate setting for the behind-the-scenes publishing professionals to convene and conduct meetings about the past year and what the future holds for their company and each other.

AND/OR

  • Downsizing to entice fans to attend BookCon.

In an interview, Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle described BEA as a host for events to bring the industry together. With the publishing market changing regularly, BEA has become one big meeting amongst publishing professionals of all sorts to uncover new tactics to market their new releases, find new distribution vendors, and query upcoming projects. Professionals are attempting to become more relevant to today’s market using BookCon to incorporate pop culture as a marketing tactic. BEA advertises itself as a way for professionals to fish for their next up and coming title, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to show others what you have been working on all year and to catch-up with other publishing professionals that you might only get to see once a year. BEA has become a great place to bounce ideas off other people who are experiencing the same challenges you are to make next year even more successful.

There are many reasons why publishing professionals attend the exposition and book selling traffic is not one of them anymore. No matter what your reason for attendance is, BEA is a place for relationship building. Whether you are looking to connect with your co-workers, your authors, readers, or meet new publishing professionals like yourself cultivating an intimate setting for these relationships to bud and prosper has become a goal of the organizers behind BEA.

A prime focus has been getting authors to meet with their fans in a more intimate setting. Therefore, downsizing BEA in preparation to partner nicely with BookCon seems to make logical sense. There has been discussion about BookCon being the gateway for readers and authors to coexist together in the same space, steering away from the professional aspect of publishing. A relatively new event, BookCon capitalizes on the author/reader relationship and building more of an intimate fan base for these authors. It takes away the digital screen we all too often hide behind and promotes a more human and organic connection between authors and readers. There is a large range of authors who exhibit at the convention, bringing in a mixture of both adults and children attendees. BookCon has become a better way to market pop culture mixed with storytelling. Increasing the intimacy of BEA will flow that same intimacy into BookCon.

All in all – BEA had another successful year and BookCon will be looking to a promising future going hand-in-hand with the expo.

Write on.