Windows into the Imagination

Monday, July 25, 2011

In the Ether: News from BookNet Canada

The hits just keep coming for the print industry. According to BookNet Canada, which is the national book sales tracking system, the market for physical books was down 10.9% in units sold and down 10.8% in terms of dollar sales. Fiction suffered the biggest drop at 16.9% in units and 15.4% in dollar value, while nonfiction was down 7.6% in units and 9.9% in value.

BookNet CEO Noah Genner contributes the drop to various factors, including the tough economic conditions, the inroad of ebook sales and no on has yet found the next big blockbuster hits. He couldn't say how much of an impact ebooks have had on sales figures. They're forming a panel to measure digital sales and estimates it will take a few years.

My suggestion to them...they'd better make it quicker because, at the speed at which things are changing, by the time they're ready, it may already be too late.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Great Empire Giveaway Contest on Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Empire by Elizabeth Lang

The Empire

by Elizabeth Lang

Giveaway ends August 06, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Status of the Empire: Writing Follies

Have you ever had the feeling that you've forgotten something? You're packing for a long trip and something nibbles at the back of your mind, some tiny something that you know you've missed?

I have been working on chapter 1 of The Rebels. For the last three weeks.

Don't get me wrong. I haven't been suffering from writer's block. The amount of effort I've put into it has been as much as I would in a normal writing week. Which is quite a lot.

I've written, revised, edited, moved around like puzzle pieces in search of a home, and each version smells sweeter than the last, but that little niggling goblin was still hacking pieces out of my brain, trying to get my attention.

The action was explosive. Like a rollercoaster ride complete with minor ordinance. The heart; Adrian's heart finally shone through in glorious color.

Descriptions, usually the bane of my writing existence, were splashed with artistic, if not brilliance, but at least acceptably recognizable shapes.

But there was still something missing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (...Image via Wikipedia
When we reached the final episode of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, it felt like an imminent parting with old friends was just around the corner. It was sad, bittersweet, full of tears and yet a feeling of satisfaction. This was storytelling and movie adaptation at its best, capturing the spirit of the tale and splashing it on the screen in brilliant, heart-lifting and heart-wrenching Technicolor.
That's the expectation I brought into "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2." High expectations, lots of questions and a need for fulfillment and closure. Perhaps it was unfair, but after 7 movies, they should know what their audience wants.

Monday, July 18, 2011

In the Ether: Polaris Rising

Adam Baldwin at Dragon Con (Atlanta) 2005Image via Wikipedia
I went to my second sci-fi convention this past weekend, Polaris in Richmond Hill. Three days of fan fun. This was quite a different gathering than my first one a couple of months ago at Ad-Astra. That one was a writer's con and geared towards the business of publishing and writing. Polaris is truly a fan convention, a gathering of fans of sci-fi/fantasy in all forms. It's the kind of con that is parodied by the popular media.
Is it as strange and fanatical as the media portrays them? Or are these the people who are healthy because they have found an outlet for the stresses of life?

Friday, July 15, 2011

In the Ether: Of Publishing and Cabbages and Kings

As an author trying to break into the business, sales tracking is an important activity and one that can be encouraging or, I'm afraid in most cases, extremely depressing.

Face it, for every published writer out there, there are very few who even make a part-time living out of it. Most of us give up and satisfy ourselves that we, at least, are (that magical word) 'published.' To be fair, even being published is a gargantuan feat, and I'm not talking about being self-published.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Science Fact or Fiction: Make Me Invisible

In fantasy, we have the invisibility cloak. In science fiction, we have the cloaking device. In superhero mythology, we have the invisible man or woman. In James Bond, we have the invisible car.
At one time or other, everyone seems to want to be invisible. But is it possible?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Book Review: Die Laughing by Louis K. Lowy

What do you get when you cross a stand-up comic and aliens who look like they stepped out from your TV screen, of the fifties?

You get a delightful tale that begins with laughs galore, courtesy of resident funny man, Sam E, and brings you on a roller-coaster adventure ride of the sublime and the ridiculous, expertly weaved into a tale of heroism and finding peace with the past.

Die Laughing is a brilliant first novel that will have you clamoring for more.

Check out the trailer and read the review below.


Interview with Author Louis K. Lowy

My guest today is Louis K. Lowy, a new author whose delightfully funny and wacky sci-fi comedy, "Die Laughing", is coming out this month in eBook versions, and in August for the dead tree version. It's witty and nostalgic. The action can be brutal at times but is handled with a light comedic touch. A brilliant first novel. If you want something fun and exciting, check out "Die Laughing."

Monday, July 4, 2011

In the Ether: Being Writer, Part 3 - One Writer's Journey into Marketing and Publicity

Well, as promised, here is my convoluted journey through the marketing and publicity jungle.
What works and what does not work?
I just finished reading John Locke's book. Yes, I'm one of the hopeful fools who added to his success story. Do I feel gyped? Well, like all things, it depends on your point of view.

There isn't anything in the book that people don't already know, that is if you've taken the time to explore on your own and understand the tools available. It does give a validation, of sorts, that all of this commonsense advice is worth a damn. And in the end, that's the rub. It's fine to be given theories, but we want concrete examples of someone who actually went and did it in this brave new world of social media and publishing. Well, John Locke did.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Science Fact or Fiction: Solar Power - Or Plugging in My Sweater

I took out my cell phone the other day to call someone while I was...not on the road. Definitely not. Actually, I was about to go into a theatre to watch Green Lantern, when I noticed that little message...Low Battery... I look around frantically... Okay, it's not the end of the world, there must be a pay phone somewhere. One of those old fashioned ones attached to the wall.

Plug it into your sweater.

Say what?