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Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Literature IQ: Test Your Knowledge with These Quizzes - PWxyz

Do you know your literature? Here's your chance to test yourself in the privacy of your own home.

 

Urban Writing Myths and the New Renaissance - Let's Get Digital

How solitary is writing for a living? Sometimes it takes a village to write a bestseller.                   

 

Film

 

Rob Spence Implants a Bionic Camcorder in His Eye - Videomaker

This filmmaker is taking a tragedy and turning it into innovative, voyeuristic filmmaking.                            

 

Time Lapse of a Television Editor - Filmmaker IQ

How to edit a one-hour TV show - a 25-day process in a three-minute video  

 

Music

 

How to Sell & License Cover Songs, YouTube, Pomplamoose & More - Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Bob Baker looks at the issue of recording and posting videos of cover songs on YouTube.     

 

VIDEO: Pink Floyd: Journey To The Dark Side Of The Moon - Mojo

A video history of one of the most commercially successful bands of all time. What was their secret to success?

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Tuesday's Blog Roundup - August 30, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - August 23, 2011 Edition

869 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, editing, editing, writers, writers, writing, writing, literature, literature, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers
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Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Science Fiction/Fantasy Books Expected to Grow 3.4% in 2011 - Book Publishing News

The Harry Potter affect continues to influence the publishing industry. Looks like it's time to dust off that idea about aliens taking on witches and warlocks in a galactic war of awesomeness.

 

If "We Can't Teach Students to Love Reading," What Can We Teach? - big think

A thought-provoking piece on whether loving to read is something you're born with or something that can be taught.

 

Film

 

Dancing with the Devil - ABC North Coast NSW

It's the fear of every pure artist. How do you make it without selling out?

 

360 Degree Film - Projector Films

Move over 3-D films, there's a more mind-blowing technology on the way: 360-degree films.

 

Music

 

Do You Name Your Recording Studio? - wire to the ear

Oliver Chesler asks a pretty good question: if you're just going to be producing your own music, do you name your studio?

 

3 Tips for Better Social Music Video Marketing - Hypebot.com

It's more important to engage your audience than to push a product.

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Tuesday's Blog Roundup - August 23, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - August 16, 2011 Edition

1,664 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, sci-fi, sci-fi, recording, recording, reading, reading, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers
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The Future is Bright for Publishing

The naysayers have been nay-saying about the fall of the publishing industry for some time now. They said a multitude of factors were to blame for declining book sales over the past number of years. But a funny thing happened while they were proofreading the obituaries for the publishing industry: book sales picked up. Turns out the "glass-half-empty" view on this topic really didn't hold much water. 

 

"We're seeing a resurgence, and we're seeing it across all markets - trade, academic, professional," said Tina Jordan, the vice president of the Association of American Publishers. "In each category we're seeing growth. The printed word is alive and well whether it takes a paper delivery or digital delivery." Higher education was especially strong, selling $4.55 billion in 2010, up 18.7 percent in three years, a trend that Ms. Jordan suggested could be traced to the expansion of two-year and community colleges and the inclination to return to school during a rough economy. Sales of trade books grew 5.8 percent to $13.9 billion, fueled partly by e-books, the report said. Juvenile books, which include the current young-adult craze for paranormal and dystopian fiction, grew 6.6 percent over three years. One of the strongest growth areas was adult fiction, which had a revenue increase of 8.8 percent over three years.

 

You can read the entire article on The New York Times' website: Publishing Gives Hints of Revival, Data Show

 

Talk About an Independent Filmmaker

There are independent filmmakers who don't wish to be shackled by the restraints of a studio deal, so they set out on their own with very little money and make the movie they want to make. Then there's Evan Glodell. It wasn't the constraints of the studio system that bothered him so much; it was the limitations of the camera. His solution? He built his own camera to shoot his independent film.                

 

Mr. Glodell said he wasn't satisfied with the images that could be produced from a traditional camera, so he built his own, using bits and pieces from other cameras. He added sections powered by AA batteries and held the parts together with nuts and bolts. The result was the Coatwolf Model II (named after Mr. Glodell's production company), one of two models he built for the movie. This large-format camera made it easier to manipulate the look of a scene, creating skewed moments that seem simultaneously washed out and color saturated and convey a heightened state, especially in the more surreal final scenes. Rather than create effects in postproduction, Mr. Glodell and his cinematographer, Joel Hodge, relied on in-camera adjustments.

 

You can read the entire article on The New York Times' website: Build the Apocalypse Inside Your Garage

 

 

If Country Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

Okay, so that's not exactly the line from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, but according to some (namely Los Angeles' Independent Shakespeare Company), it might as well be. They decided Hamlet needed a little good ol' boy charm, so they inserted a dash of country music to the Bard's work. It's not a total mismatch, as some may think. Shakespeare and country music both dabble in tragedy and humor and a colorful twisting of the English language.

 

 

Indeed, the country music great (Hank Williams) was often referred to as "the hillbilly Shakespeare," and this use prompts the question: Why haven't Shakespeare and country music come together more often? "Country music deals so unabashedly with big feelings - just like tragedy," Chalsma said. "I thought the audience would connect to the song." Country music has long been a place where songwriters explore romantic tragedy using language as compact and colorful as the Bard of Avon's. Clever couplets, vivid imagery and unexpected turns of phrase are the stock in trade of both.

 

 

You can read the entire article on The Los Angeles Times' website: 'Hamlet,' Hank and the Bard

 

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - August 12, 2011

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - August 5, 2011

1,366 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, indie, indie, publishing, publishing, filmmakers, filmmakers, shakespeare, shakespeare
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I have a new grammar pet peeve: the use of a possessive apostrophe to denote a plural. In just the past few weeks, I've seen the following on signs, menus and posters around New York City:

 

  • Great gift idea for teacher's
  • Open Sunday's and Monday's
  • We print on tank top's!
  • Banana's and mango's on sale this week

 

I have no idea why this has become so popular, but it's everywhere I go, and it drives me nuts. I even saw it in a self-published book last week, in which the narrator mentioned how she had consulted with various doctor's. Yes, doctor's. I was annoyed but kept reading, only to be distracted by countless other grammatical blunders throughout the book. The storyline was interesting, but it was completely overshadowed by the errors that popped up on every page. Every single page. Because of that, I will not be recommending the book to anyone, which is a lost opportunity for the author because I love to talk about books.

 

If you're going to put your work out into the world, make sure the grammar is perfect. If grammar isn't your thing, hire an editor! Actually, you should hire an editor anyway, because we all need multiple sets of eyes to help catch what ours can no longer see after staring at the computer screen for so long.

 

In a future blog post, I'll go over the most common grammatical errors I see. For now, see if you notice the apostrophe overload. Maybe together we can stop the madness!

 

-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Solving the Mystery of Lie vs. Lay

Grab Readers' Attention with Your Hook

3,239 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, writers, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, writing, craft, craft, craft, craft, grammar, grammar, grammar, grammar, apostrophe, apostrophe, apostrophe, apostrophe
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I may have enjoyed writing my last book too much. It was an exercise in pure escapism that featured bad times, bad guys, and bad behavior. One character in particular sucked me into the story as I was writing, and I grew to like him more and more as the weeks passed. He was not a nice guy, but he was on the right side, and the other characters felt safe when he was around. When I typed "The End," something terrible happened. I couldn't stop thinking about that one character, Abel. He was a guy who had all the answers (even if they were undeniably brutal), and I felt lost without him.

 

This has never happened to me before, and I was worried about my sanity. It seems crazy to grow attached to a fictional character. It became a bit of a problem when I sat down to write my next book and Abel kept popping up in my head. What is an author to do? I did my job. I got to know a character from the inside out. The guy became so real that I half expected him to knock on my door and punch me in the nose for what I eventually did to him in the book (I can't give details, but let's just say a sequel would be very difficult).

 

Eventually, I was able to let go enough so that I could plow headfirst into other projects, and I realized that the effect Abel had on me wasn't a bad thing for a writer. I've decided that connecting with your characters in such a way is positive. As long as I don't make dinner reservations for two so Abel and I can have a long talk about our lives, I'm not insane. The more realistic my fictional world is to me, the more realistic it will be for my readers. The more I care about my characters, the more likely it is readers will make that same connection. It's an unavoidable consequence of immersing yourself into a story.

 

So what about you? Have you had similar experiences with characters you've created?

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Start a Dialogue with Your Characters

Your Characters, Warts and All

1,145 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, writers, writing, characters, fiction, craft
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Are you struggling to find something to blog about? Blogs are more than personal journals; they are platforms for experts to spread their expertise. What is your expertise? Well, you're an author with a book on the market, right? That probably means you're a fan of reading. So why aren't you blogging about books?

 

I'm not just talking about writing book reviews, although that could be your primary type of post. I'm talking about anything book-related. I rifle through my memory banks from time to time to write about the books I feel have had the most influence on me as a writer. I've written posts about a book's cover. I've written posts about what I'm currently reading. I once even wrote about how heavy Stephen King's Under the Dome was (for the record, it's the heaviest book I've owned).

 

Publishing is another topic you can blog about. You're involved in it, so you should study it to figure how to maneuver through the landscape. Maybe it's just me, but I find the publishing industry to be fascinating. We're currently witnessing incredible changes in publishing that have a lot of people wondering what to do. You should be a conduit of information for those people. Your blog is your opportunity to showcase your skills as a writer and a critical thinker in the industry.

 

The object here is to associate your personal brand with the world of books and publishing. The more you write thoughtfully on these topics, the more readers and industry professionals you'll draw to your blog. It won't happen overnight. It's a numbers game. Write the posts and keep writing the posts. Eventually, your personal brand will build the kind of literary gravitas that will help you sell books.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Resources to Help You Blog Daily

Need to Blog, but Short on Time?

2,046 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, blogging, blogging, blogging, publishing, publishing, publishing, industry, industry, industry, branding, branding, branding
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In last week's post, I talked about the importance of creating a brief, compelling description of your book as you begin your marketing efforts. In addition to your hook, I also recommend creating a longer description - a paragraph or so - that provides a bit more detail.

 

Just don't tell me how amazing your book is!

 

People don't like to be told what to think. We like to be presented with the facts so that we may form our own opinions from there. If you tell readers how great your book is, why should they believe you? You're much better off telling them what your book is about and letting other people do the praising for you through reviews or testimonials. That's called third-party endorsement, and it helps to establish credibility.

 

To give a few examples, I'm of the mind that the following adjectives should not be a part of your book description:

 

  • Page-turner
  • Suspenseful
  • Laugh-out-loud
  • Tear-jerker
  • Exquisitely written

 

It's perfectly fine for other people like reviewers or fans to use those types of words to describe your book. In fact, it's great! But if you do it, it can come off as tooting your own horn, and no one likes a braggart (especially one who doesn't have the goods to back it up). We've all seen the American Idol auditions. Yikes.

 

If you're still not convinced, pull out today's newspaper and read the articles on the front page. All you see are facts. Opinions are left to the editorial pages, and the same should apply to your book description. Be engaging without going overboard, and let your readers form their own opinions.

 

Once the positive reviews start flowing in, you can incorporate them into the description - with attribution. For example, you could begin your description with "Described by (name of publication) as 'an exquisitely written tear-jerker' and by (name of other publication) as 'a possible breakthrough novel of 2011...'"

 

Now what person who likes tear-jerkers wouldn't want to read that?

 

-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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So You've Published Your Book - Now What?

Grab Readers' Attention with Your Hook

3,345 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, review, description, book_description
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If a complete stranger walked up to you on the street and said, "I've written a scary novel that is a real page turner...You should totally buy it," chances are you'd nod politely and quickly walk away. However, if that same person pointed across the street and said, "Is that George Clooney?" I'm willing to bet you'd turn and look. Am I right?

 

The same principle applies to book marketing. Whether your work is fiction or nonfiction, to get people to pay attention you need to come up with a brief, compelling description. In industry jargon, this is called a "hook," and a good one will encourage your target audience to pick up a copy of your book and start reading. Now.

 

Here are some excellent examples I've seen:

 

·         Easy-to-follow financial advice for young professionals just getting started

·         A thriller set in a small town where the women have mysteriously stopped having children

·         A step-by-step guide for women looking to reenter the workforce after raising kids

·         A must-read for anyone who has ever run into an ex looking like crap (full disclosure alert: this is for one of my novels, Perfect on Paper)

 

As you begin your marketing efforts, the first thing everyone is going to ask you is "What is your book about?" so it's important to get this down early. You can tweak and refine as you learn what resonates with readers, but you should have something ready from the get-go. And even if you do zero marketing (which I don't recommend!), people in your life are inevitably going to ask you this question as well, so it's worth taking the time to prepare an answer.

 

Remember: the description doesn't have to appeal to everyone, but it should pique the interest of those who would most enjoy your book.

 

- Maria

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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So You've Published Your Book - Now What?

New Blogger on the Block!

12,114 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, description, description, description, description, description, description, description, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions, hook, hook, hook, hook, hook, hook, hook
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Poor Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Despite all that he accomplished as a writer and statesman during his lifetime, he is known in his afterlife as the man who penned what many consider the worst - albeit popular - opening line to a novel in the history of the written word. You know the one: "It was a dark and stormy night."

 

 

I have to be honest with you. I have seen much worse. I've most likely written much worse. I've studied the debate over this line for some time now, and while the line is hated by many, a lot of people don't understand why it's so bad. Lest you think that Bulwer-Lytton was a hack, the man was quite adroit at turning a phrase. He also originated "the pen is mightier than the sword" and "the almighty dollar," among others. He was a prolific best-selling novelist during his day.

 

 

So why is "It was a dark and stormy night" reviled in literary circles? Because that's not all there is to it. "It was a dark and stormy night" is just shorthand for the entire first line. It goes on and on, and that's what gets Bulwer-Lytton in trouble. See for yourself:

 

 

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

 

 

As you can see, it is a bit verbose. The sad thing is that Bulwer-Lytton worked with an editor. He was even friends with Charles Dickens and often critiqued his work before publication. One of Bulwer-Lytton's stories, "The Haunted and the Haunter," was lauded by H.P. Lovecraft as "one of the best short haunted house tales ever written." So he knew good writing. One wonders how he let this one slip through the cracks.

 

 

Here is a fun challenge for you writers: Try rewriting the line in your style. Make it better. In other words, edit poor Edward Bulwer-Lytton to create a first line that would keep today's readers reading!

 

 

-Richard

 

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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Your First Line Can Help You Sell Books

 

The Importance of Endings

1,979 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, editing, writers
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Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.

 

Books/Publishing

 

The 5 Most Stolen Books - PWxyz

Oh, to be so revered as an author that your books have to be placed behind the counter for fear of thievery...

 

Put Your Personality at the Center of Your Brand - We Grow Media

Here is the endless loop of personal brands: You are your brand. Your brand is you. Repeat.            

 

Film

 

Filmmaking on the Run: What Books and Film Schools Can't Teach You - BZ Film

An interesting article on one filmmaker's struggles to learn the craft of filmmaking outside of the United States. 

 

The Most Difficult Part of Independent Filmmaking - Addovolt Productions

I have to admit I have never given this element of filmmaking a lot of thought. Is it because it's not glamorous enough?

 

Music

 

Dissertation on Digital Music - eleet music

Digital music marketing guru Kevin English discusses his thoughts and experiences in the industry.         

 

The Internet versus Book Publishing: A Lesson for Musicians - Pampelmoose

The parallels are often drawn between the way the internet changed the music business and way it's changing the publishing business. What can the two industries learn from each other?

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Tuesday's Blog Roundup - July 19, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - July 12, 2011 Edition

833 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, indie, indie, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers, branding, branding
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You've done it! You've written, rewritten, polished, proofread, and published your book. Congratulations!

 

Now what?

 

If you've independently published, your book is available online for anyone in the world to buy. That is a significant accomplishment, but the unfortunate reality is that you have a LOT of competition - I'm talking tens of millions of other titles. That makes the chances of a reader randomly stumbling upon your title extremely slim. Many independent authors have no idea how to get the word out about their books, which is one reason they may not sell as many copies.

 

If you want your book to stand out, you have to be creative, and you have to work hard. There are many things you can do to promote an independently published title, but before you do anything, I strongly recommend creating the following basic materials:

 

  • One-line description of your book - In industry jargon, this is called "the hook." It should answer the question "What is your book about?" AND grab a potential reader's attention, so make it compelling!
  • One-paragraph description of your book - Here you can provide a bit more detail. The goal is to explain what your book is about in a way that makes the target audience want to read it.
  • Brief author bio, including something interesting about you
  • High-resolution headshot and cover art

 

When you begin your marketing efforts, you'll be asked for these materials over and over, so it's best to have them prepared from the get-go. You can tweak and refine as necessary, but creating templates will save you a lot of time and energy.

 

Starting next week, I'll begin to dig deeper into how to prepare and use each of the above materials!

 

- Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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New Blogger on the Block!

The Author Bio is an Important (and Often Overlooked) Marketing Tool

5,578 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, indie, indie, indie, indie
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We live in an era where the term "out of print" has become less and less relevant. Print on-demand started the perpetually "in print" revolution by making a book something you could store digitally. The need for physical storage space was, and is, no longer an issue. Added to that is the e-book movement, which made books conveniently available to read digitally. With these digital advancements in place, the books you publish today can be on the market and in print for as long as you want them to be.

 

This being the case, I urge you not to rest on the laurels of publishing a single title. By having multiple titles that include your author brand, you have greater potential to sell your first title. Call it the power of multiples. The more well-written books you have on the market, the more copies you sell of each. People have a greater chance of discovering you at an accelerated rate. Part of Amanda Hocking's success has to do with the fact that she has several books available for sale. Her readership grew at an exponential rate because she had multiple offerings.

 

What gives the power of multiples its power? There are a lot of things at play here. The more quality books you have with your name on them, the more seasoned and polished you appear. The more books you have available for sale, the more points of discovery you've made available for readers. The more books you publish, the more offerings you serve up for your word-of-mouth army. You're giving your fans a reason to talk about you and your books.

 

Today, more than ever, authors have the opportunity to build off the momentum from previous publications. Whether you choose print on-demand, e-book publishing, or both, the digital realm is your chance to harness the power of multiples. Take advantage of it!

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Plotting a Book Series

You Have More Than One Book Inside of You

1,863 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, promotion, series, craft
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Love Him or Hate Him, Hemingway Wouldn't Care Either Way

The only thing studied more than Ernest Hemingway's work is the man himself. There is an air of boldness about the man that transcends the typical arrogance of a brilliant writer. He gobbled up life like many of us tear into a rare steak. He was feared, admired, loved and hated, and one gets the very real sense that none of it mattered to him. The only thing that seemed to matter to him was his writing. Author Marty Beckerman explores Hemingway in his new book The Heming Way.

 

"I think there's a lot of lessons that Hemingway taught that definitely could apply to modern guys," Beckerman says. "I think that guys today aren't really living on our own terms and have lost a certain passion. Everything we know comes from Wikipedia, and everything Hemingway knew came from adventure. Get off your iPad and get off your smartphone and go slaughter some bulls and some lions!"

 

You can read the entire article on The Los Angeles Times' website: Rethinking Hemingway 50 years after his death

 

Is 3-D a Creative or Commercial Choice?

Los Angeles Times' film critic Betsy Sharkey has had it with 3-D films. The rise of 3-D offerings has gone from five in 2008 to 40 by the end of this year, and she's not happy. Her biggest beef isn't really with the technology itself, but with the way it's being used. She doesn't feel like filmmakers are using it as a creative tool, but as a commercial tool.              

 

What's troubling in the move from unusual to ubiquitous is that the choice to go 3-D has increasingly become a commercial rather than a creative one. We all realize that making movies is a for-profit business. Instead, let's talk about the fear factor. There is the worry that a studio saying no to 3-D might offend a filmmaker it seriously can't afford to offend. But more often, it's fear that "we the audience" want, desire, even demand 3-D in this technocentric age. So does that mean it's up to us to somehow stop the madness? Or are studios simply not listening to the actual word on the street?

 

You can read the entire article on the Los Angeles Times' website: 3-D in the movies: Getting in too deep

 

When Life Imitates Art that Imitates Life

Justin Timberlake played Facebook kingpin Sean Parker to some acclaim in the award winning movie The Social Network. He apparently enjoyed the role so much that he's now the proud minority owner of his own social network, MySpace. The site that put the social in social network has fallen on hard times as of late, and Timberlake joined a group of investors to buy the site for a bargain. What are his plans for MySpace? 

 

Justin Timberlake's longtime manager Johnny Wright has said that the singer is considering a talent contest as one way of reviving MySpace. Timberlake took an ownership stake in the declining social media site after the advertising network Specific Media bought the company for $35 million from News Corp last week.

 

You can read the entire article on Rolling Stone's website: Justin Timberlake May Revive MySpace With Talent Competition

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - July 8, 2011

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - July 1, 2011

1,623 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, filmmaking, filmmaking, film, film, myspace, myspace, musicians, musicians, 3d, 3d
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Hello CreateSpace authors! I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself, as I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to write a new weekly guest blog for CreateSpace. Why? Because while my book is traditionally published now, I started off going the indie route. My novel, a romantic comedy called Perfect on Paper, was initially turned down by several major publishing houses, and I was crushed. Crushed! But rather than give up on my dream, I independently published through CreateSpace and implemented a creative, grassroots marketing campaign in an effort to prove the big houses wrong. And it worked! Within a year, my book was picked up by AmazonEncore. Since then, Perfect on Paper has also been published by Random House in Germany and Cor Leonis in Hungary, and I've signed on with the same Hollywood film rights agency that represents the authors of Capote and Legend of the Guardians! My next book, a sequel called It's a Waverly Life, is scheduled for release by Amazon Publishing in November 2011, and I've recently begun writing a third novel in the series.

 

While I've certainly worked hard, NONE of the above would have happened without independent publishing. My novel would still be languishing in obscurity on my laptop as a Word document, gathering e-dust. Instead, I have thousands of fans clamoring for my next book, and I'm excited to be working on my third! Along the way I've learned a tremendous amount that I'm eager to share in this blog, including tips for completing that first manuscript, self-publishing mistakes to avoid, and creative ideas for getting the word out. If you have any specific topics you'd like to see me address, please include them in the comments below. I'm writing this to help YOU get to where YOU want to be as an author based on my own experiences, so your input is extremely important to me. I can't wait to get started - watch for my next post next week!

 

- Maria

 

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Maria Murnane writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Ingredients for a List: Pen, Paper, and the Oxford Comma

So, you've created a list. You've checked it twice. You're just making sure if you really need that comma after the second to last item on your list that comes before the "and." You know the one. It looks something like this: "I need avocados, cilantro, tomatoes, lime, and jalapenos to make my world-famous guacamole." Some have argued that the serial comma is not only unnecessary, but it actually creates an unintended pause in the sentence structure. Reports were rampant recently that the comma, known as the Oxford comma, was deemed unnecessary by none other than Oxford University Press. It seems the reports were not entirely accurate.

 

Yesterday, Mediabistro's GalleyCat ran a post that made it seem like Oxford University Press was dropping the use of its eponymous comma, also known as the serial comma. The story took off and became a Twitter meme so big that by today it had its own Associated Press story. But unfortunately for GalleyCat (or maybe fortunately, because it seems to be getting them a lot of clicks), it wasn't exactly true. The instruction to do away with the comma, which follows the last word in a series, appeared not in the OUP style guide, but rather the guide issued for the University of Oxford Public Affairs Directorate.

 

You can read the entire article on Atlantic Wire's website: Oxford Comma's Non-Demise Brings Twitter Comma Creation Fest

 

Microbudget Filmmaking Can Be Tough

At one time, when filmmakers didn't have a lot of money to make their films, they turned to low-budget filmmaking. But a funny thing happened on the way to low-budget filmmaking: it got really expensive. So, as creative people often do, cash-strapped filmmakers invented a new concept and gave it a label that will help keep the cost down: microbudget filmmaking. It's an affordable, but difficult approach. Todd Looby describes the process.        

 

Now, let me make sure I'm clear in my views that I respect microfilmmakers more than any other filmmaker, simply because it's more difficult. I also tend to like the first films by many directors more than their subsequent studio efforts, simply because you see the inventiveness and the brilliant ways they worked around constraints, pushing the boundaries of the medium and brilliantly transforming the subtle and ordinary to the profound.

 

You can read the entire article on the Filmmaker Magazine's website: THE MICROBUDGET CONVERSATION: A FILMMAKING TOOL

 

A Song That Wouldn't Exist Without Social Media

Technology changes music in more ways than the production and delivery. Technology inspires lyrics. Where would Lionel Richie be without the telephone? Where would The Buggles be without video, or the radio for that matter? Songwriters write about their lives and today's songwriters' lives include social media. Enter Greyson Chance, a 13-year-old pop sensation that makes Justin Bieber look like a social security recipient, and his new song Unfriend You.

 

As for why the YouTube phenomenon felt the heartbreak tune was fitting as the lead single off his debut album Hold On 'Til the Night, Chance explained, "I think 'Unfriend You' is an amazing record because, one, it's a breakup song, which breakup songs are always fun, and two, it's referencing social media, especially in this day and age, I think it's very important to reference social media in music."

 

You can read the entire article on MTV's website: Greyson Chance Gets Revenge In 'Unfriend You' Video

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - July 1, 2011

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - June 24, 2011

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