A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – September 2013

Posted September 18, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Hodgepodge Newsletter

In the TOC (to the right), posts that share a common theme—Bookstores, Kids, Social Media, etc.—are in ALL CAPS.

Okay, I’m moved (but not unpacked, arghhh!), so I’ll be catching up with the Hodgepodge. The first October edition should be back up to snuff. Be sure to set that date aside as it will probably be a l-o-o-o-ong newsletter… *grin*…

In General

How to Deal With Street Harassment in Foreign Countries

Yeah, I know this article, “How to Deal With Street Harassment in Foreign Countries“, by David Joshua Jennings at BootsnAll doesn’t seem book-related post, and I have mentioned traveling as a way to do research for a book.

Security issues can plague women no matter where they are—and it wouldn’t hurt men and children to learn how to respond to problems using these techniques.

Just for Fun



Patrick Sawer with the Telegraph notes that yet another venerable bookstore has been wiped out by the Internet and online sales: The Lion and Unicorn in Richmond, southwest London, has closed its doors.

It is just one of more than 500 independent book shops put out of business in the last eight years by economic forces and shopping habits beyond their control.

North Carolina

Scuppernong Books, a wine bar/bookstore will open February 2014 in Greensboro with “long-time bookseller Brian Lampkin and Greg Grieve, a religious studies professor at UNC Greensboro, as owners.


“Amazon has launched a new Kindle store for Mexican customers, with over 2 million e-books available for purchase with Mexican pesos, including most Spanish language bestsellers, more than 1,500 free books, and exclusive titles from authors such as José Emilio Pacheco and Elena Poniatowska. The store will also include over 70,000 Spanish-language e-books.”

They’re Starting a Library

Josie Leavitt at Publishers Weekly has a great post about two young ladies who are starting an in-house library. It’s such a sweet story…ya just gotta read this!


2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize

Iona McLaren at the Telegraph reports on the “2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize winners“:

2012 RONE Awards

This is a fairly new award: Reward of Novel Excellence. The 2012 winners include:


Desperate Want? Or Regular Want?

I love Elizabeth Bluemle’s post on “Desperate Want? Or Regular Want?“, and parents searching for a way to help their kids make choices may want to read this one!

Children’s Books and Beyond Exhibit

Matia Burnett at Publishers Weekly notifies us of a fun-looking exhibit with her informative post, “Children’s Books and Beyond: A New Exhibit Draws Unexpected Connections” taking place at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building through March 23, 2014.

Picture Books are Not Just for Kids!

Minh Le’s post at the Atlantic Wire, “Not Just Childs Play: A Fall 2013 Picture Book Preview“, provides a heads-up for a slew of fascinating looking books! Ostensibly for kids…hah! Right off, I want to read Aaron Becker’s Journey, Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett’s Battle Bunny sounds like a hoot, Thyra Heder’s Fraidyzoo sounds amazing! And the list keeps on going!

Tips for Shopping at Indies

Josie Leavitt at Publishers Weekly‘s blog offers up “Tips for Customers on Shopping at Indies“. There are some good ones in here, and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that patience is a virtue.

50 of the Best Books You Haven’t Read by Authors You Already Love

Emily Temple at Flavorwire writes of “50 of the Best Books You Havent Read by Authors You Already Love“. An intriguing list of known authors with unknown (by me!) titles.



Elmore Leonard, Dead at 87

Jenni, in the Mysteries & Crime Thrillers group at Goodreads, has a respectful post about Leonard. His son, Peter, will be finishing off that last novel, Blue Dreams.

Ian Rankin Taking the Year Off

Brian Ferguson reports from The Scotsman that Ian Rankin is taking the year off after his next Rebus novel due to a nasty wake-up call. As much as I hate having to wait, I’d rather keep my favorite authors alive!

Librarian Slams 9-Year-Old for Reading Too Much

Margaret Eby at the New York Daily News reports that “the director of the Hudson Falls Public Library” has asked Tyler Weaver to quit participating in their summer reading program as he keeps winning. She claims it discourages the other kids. Which is a reasonable statement, however Lita “Casey argues that the competition is fair because every reader has the same stop and start date”. Works for me…

Why an Indie Can Be a Better Bet

Josie Leavitt writes a compelling post, “Why She Chose Us and Not Amazon“, pointing out a number of VERY practical considerations for schools, teachers, and US, the readers to choose to support our independent LOCAL, ahem, bookstores! Check it out…

Every indie is firmly entrenched in their community. I have lost count of how much money in the form of gift cards, books and our time we’ve given away in 17 years. Amazon fights every state for the right to not collect sales tax. I not only collect sales tax, I give to the Little League, the library, the schools, the football boosters, the senior center, etc.

Obama Response to Criticism

Publishers Weekly prints Obama’s response to criticism about his visit to the hate-paying-sales-tax entity known throughout the world as Amazon.com. I’m still tryin’ to figure out if the real letter got switched??? ‘Cause this one certainly doesn’t address the issue.

Writing Tips

Filmdom Scores with YA Genre

Steve Bennett with My SA notes the magic of YA that brings audiences in. A number of people from different walks of life sound off on what attracts them or on why they believe it’s such a successful genre. If you’re hunting for an angle, you may want to check this out.

Writers take note: “The Young Adult book genre, or simply YA, is perhaps the fastest-growing segment of the publishing industry. According to the Association of American Publishers, hardcover sales grew 11 percent to $829 million from 2011 to 2012, while ebook sales jumped to $232.8 million, up a whopping 121 percent from the previous year.”

Rules for YA Writing?

This post by Drew Taylor at The Playlist on “5 Rules For Making A Successful Young Adult Adaptation” seems to fit right in with the above on the YA genre noting that star-crossed lovers, retaining the story’s essence, edgy is cool although don’t expect in-depth knowledge of the book’s storyline, and don’t assume there’ll be a second flick…

Adults Who Love YA Fantasy

Marie Rutkowski at io9 discusses “The Real Reason Why Grown-Ups Love Young-Adult Fantasy Books“, and she believes that it’s the transformation we love. Others have their own ideas including “that readers are drawn to stories about first experiences, and YA literature is rich with it”. Of course, there are also a number of opinions that are more derogatory, and those can be found about any genre.

I find YA, whatever the genre, as fascinating as anything written for adults. Yes, there are any number of poorly written stories out there—and they can be found in YA AND adult. So that argument holds no water with me. Although, I think that some of those more poorly written stories are a result of the author thinking they have to “dumb” their writing down so the kids will “get it”. Load of codswallop if that’s true…

Losing Sight of Your Goal

Try a different look at those moments when you’re frustrated with how your book is going and read Stacey Peterson’s post, “Keep Your Eyes on the Trail“. At worst, you’ll know you are not alone, that writers are not alone…

Yes, I know this is a post for artists, but ya gotta admit that the topic is timely for writers as well. And it may be a help if you read it from a different perspective—it still works when you substitute writing, novel, and author…

The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues

Kristen Lamb’s post, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues” lists the whys and why-nots of the prologue—yes, there are two virtues! Lamb does crack me up with her reason for doing that massive character background—and she’s right.

Elmore Leonard Wrote Great Opening Lines. Here Are All Of Them

Alex Belth from The Stacks notes Elmore Leonard wrote great opening lines.

Upcoming Writing Conferences

I’m not endorsing these, I’m simply relating the information.

Date Location Conference/Workshop About
Oct 9-11
ticket prices
Frankfurt, Germany Frankfurt Book Fair Ideas, topics, stages, books, pictures, data, contacts, conversations, opportunities, deals, trends, experiences, stories.

Marketing Ideas

Publisher Provides Free Books to Hotel Chain

Lisa Campbell at The Bookseller notes that “Publisher Egmont Press has partnered with hotel chain Jury’s Inn to provide 10 titles children can borrow [for free] over the summer month. Interesting idea…

Publisher Angry Robot Bundles Free Ebook With Physical Copies And Triples Sales

Tim Cushing at Tech Dirt discusses bundling eBooks with print in “Publisher Angry Robot Bundles Free Ebook With Physical Copies And Triples Sales” and states that Mostly Books found their sales had trebled. You may want to check this out.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, do me a favor and share it with friends by tweeting it.

One response to “A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – September 2013

  1. When the Lion Feeds (Courtney Family, Book 1) | WWW.GETONBOARDBC.COM

    […] A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – September 2013 | KD DID … […]