Hispanic Heritage Month

amor.jpg

From September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month takes over. A general inclusion of staple Hispanic foods, music, and basic history are taught to children and events based on different Hispanic cultures fill up community boards (although pride parades happen throughout the rest of the year). One part of Hispanic Heritage Month we would like to focus on here at HRM are some Latinx writers who have made their mark on the publishing industry.

Thanks to the Library of Congress and the interviews conducted with each author included on this list, we hope you can indulge in the works of these talented individuals not only this month but throughout the entire year:

  • Gina Franco
  • William Archila
  • Juan Felipe Herrera
  • Laurie Ann Guerrero
  • Tim Z. Hernandez
  • Diana Garcia
  • Brenda Cardenas
  • Rigoberto Gonzalez
  • Valerie Martinez
  • Richard Blanco
  • Carmen Gimenez Smith
  • Eduardo C. Corral
  • Fred Arroyo
  • Maria Melendez

Can We Go Thrift Shopping?

Keep Calm.jpgIf you haven’t heard of Thriftbooks.com, then you’re missing out on one of the best ways to feed your book addiction. I recently did a little binge shopping and purchased three books I was hoping to read for a while now. With no shipping costs (on regular shipping- get your wallets ready for expedited shipping!), my check-out total was $10.00. That’s right, you read that correctly. For two paperbacks and a hardcover: $10.00.

But does this prove to be an issue for publishers and authors?

Publishers sell mass market books for a reason: to schools and libraries. Mass markets also come into play when there are new editions re-printed. Essentially, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Thriftbooks.com takes those titles which have already been utilized and re-sells them at a cheaper cost. The website even has collector items, such as first or second editions of classic novels, or even Game of Thrones items which you can’t find on Amazon anymore. So, publishers aren’t really missing out on anything. In fact, it’s another way for them to sell-off products that might be a hard sell for them anywhere else.

And authors? They’ll get more exposure this way. For example, you could read their first novel from 2006 through Thriftbooks and fall in love with their writing. You then might discover the author is releasing a new title in the Fall, therefore you can go ahead and pre-order it because you just can’t wait any longer than you need to- a new favorite author for you and a new reader for the author.). With paperbacks and hardcovers rising in price, cheaper prices are always appealing to book lovers. Newer authors won’t appear on Thriftbooks right away either, so you may be forced to take that $15 hit to the bank account for debut authors. At the end of the day, we should still really consider buying from bookstores and helping authors receive their well-deserved paychecks from their publishers. But, Thriftbooks.com just makes it easier to not feel guilty about large book binges, especially if you aren’t really sure if you are going to like the book or author in the first place.

Coming To A Bookshelf Near You!

on computer.jpg

Let’s talk about movie trailers. They are utilized to get viewers to come and see a movie which has yet to be released. There is usually a tease of action or a jump scare here or there, a little bit of the plot is explained, and sometimes the main character(s) is introduced. It makes people want to watch the movie and anticipate its release.

That same idea can be put towards book trailers.

If you’re a self-published author, you should consider making your way into book trailers for anticipated books in your series, or maybe a new series for your readers. Just like the movies, book trailers entice potential readers to go out and buy your book. The art of creating a book trailer is a newer platform to use to market your book and there are many reasons you might want to consider giving it a try.

First, we are in a time where visuals have become much more appealing to people and video has a strong influence too. 92.6% reported that visuals are the most influential factor in their decision-making. If the trailer does its job, the viewer is more likely to buy your book.

Another great part about creating a book trailer for your novel is how shareable it becomes. This makes mass exposure more feasible. Even better: it’s easy to share on multiple platforms, so if you’re not tech-saavy – you only have to press a single button and write a quick blurb to share with hundreds of people.

Just like those 92.6% of people had reported earlier, the decision to buy the book or not is made in a matter of seconds if the trailer is captivating enough. A good trailer does the decision-making for you.

Here are some key ingredients to keep in mind when creating your book trailers:

  • Keep it short and sweet (60-75 seconds).
  • “Professional” quality is better than low quality.
  • Include the information about release and where to buy.
  • You don’t have to break the bank.

Go ahead now, be the next Stephen Spielberg of book trailers and get on it!

Enjoy this audiobook trailer from Audible UK for the thriller of the year: SILENT CHILD by Sarah A. Denzil!



 

Lifestyles Of The Rich & The Famous

hollywood.jpg

While browsing through the latest publishing news on Twitter, I came across Cara Delevingne’s cover reveal for her debut novel, Mirror Mirror. I do enjoy her work in modeling and the few films I have watched her act in, but the track record for celebrities and book-writing has always been iffy.

Just like Good Charlotte sang, “always see it on T.V. / or read in the magazines / celebrities want sympathy,” we are constantly shrouded with the latest celebrity gossip in some way, shape, or form. In more recent times, many celebrities have taken to writing novels, or hiring a ghost writer to fulfill their dream of writing a book. Unfortunately, some of those works don’t end up becoming literary moguls.

When reading an autobiography, like the late Carrie Fischer’s The Princess Diarist, there’s always a sense of closeness to the author which is what makes it appealing to consumers. Carrie took down walls, made me laugh, and even published her own diary entries to show how lovesick she was during the production of the famous “Star Wars” series. Or comedian Amy Schumer and her debut practically reiterating all her stand-up in word format. I imagined her standing on a stage in front of me, reading from her book and acting out the stories she told about how she came to be a successful comedian. You even have actors and actresses who executed creatively executed novel-writing, such as Steve Martin and B.J. Novak. Successful books like these, make us want more and get us excited for the next big celebrity book.

Then, you have the work that should not have made it past the editor’s desk…

We all know them, and in some cases, we might love them too.  The ones we need to be most wary of are the celebrities known for being TV personalities and singers who write a novel (or two). Fabio, Tyra Banks, David Duchovny, James Franco, Farrah Abraham, and even Snooki made it onto a list of “cringeworthy” novels written by themselves. And I must say: I agree. I didn’t get the chance to read the full-length novels, but reading the summaries made me cross my legs twice, eyes bulging out of my head with my jaw stuck to the ground.

Like most readers, I take pleasure in reading the creativity produced by authors. Sometimes, it becomes too much and in this case, it has become way too much. Most stories are fictional representations of the celebrity’s life, something we don’t care to know about since we already have probably watched multiple documentaries of their life on E!. Even with the use of a ghostwriter, celebrities have come out with crazy ideas for novels – most of them not making any sense. Just read the summary for Modelland by Tyra Banks and tell me what you think.

But who knows, maybe Cara Delevingne has produced a coming-of-age novel worth the read.

We will give her the benefit of the doubt for now.

I Know What You Read Last Summer

beach-read.jpg

It’s the middle of August and the summer season is almost over. Goodbye to having your toes in the sand; goodbye to having your hands on the beach bar ordering a fishbowl from the bronze bartender; goodbye playing volleyball on the beach; goodbye to the summer sun making sure your skin isn’t pale. This is a tough time of year, but enjoy it while it lasts.

Before you move back to school or start staying in on the weekends, enjoy the rest of the summertime on the beach (or in your backyard) with a last minute summer read to keep you dreaming of the sun!

  • Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
    Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence,
    Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian Jetset; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
  • The Island, by Victoria Hislop
    A richly enchanting novel of lives and loves unfolding against the backdrop of the Mediterranean during World War II, The Island is an enthralling story of dreams and desires, of secrets desperately hidden, and or leprosy’s touch on an unforgettable family.
  • Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty
    In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations [of] our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.
  • The Girls, by Emma Cline
    Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.
  • The Strings of Murder, by Oscar de Muriel
    1888: a violinist is brutally murdered in his Edinburgh home. Fearing a national panic over a copycat Jack the Ripper, Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Frey. Frey reports to Detective “Nine-Nails” McGray, local legend and exact opposite of the foppish English inspector. McGray’s tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond belief…
  • The Fireman, by Joe Hill
    In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.