Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, June 7, 2010

The Winner(s)!!! (And Last Week in Publishing) 6/7/10

After more than 500 entries in The ROCK PAPER TIGER Chase/Action Writing Contest Extravaganza and many many votes..... WE HAVE OUR FIRST EVER CONTEST TIE.

Yup - it's a tie between Josin L. McQuein and Bane of Anubis. While I considered disqualifying Bane on the grounds that he is a Lakers fan, I figured he suffered enough last night during the Lakers' loss to the Celtics, so I am hereby declaring them both winners!

Congratulations!!! Winners and finalists, please e-mail to discuss prizes.

Meanwhile, there was a week, um, last week and many publishing-related happenings.

Amazon is hard at work on a new Kindle that will release in August, according to Bloomberg. It will be thinner and sharper picture but will not, per Bloomberg's sources, have a touch screen or color.

And speaking of e-books, the Wall Street Journal looked at the impact of e-books on the self-publishing landscape, and notes that while most big authors are still published by publishers, the idea of going it alone (or with an e-book-focused company) is beginning to take shape.

The Hobbitses are once again on their own amid news that Guillermo del Toro can't quite swing spending six years on the two planned movies based on Tolkien's THE HOBBIT and will be departing the project. io9 held a survey on who should replace del Toro.

Also on io9, author Beth Revis added three more important elements to my recent post on making a setting come alive, specifically for dystopian worlds: an antagonist, history, and a stage for the character.

In writing advice news, agent Rachelle Gardner has some great advice for one sentence pitches, Cynthia Lord has excellent words of wisdom about school visits, and Bryan Russell/Ink takes a look at Orwell and info dumps.

Also, Bryan/Ink is accepting submissions for Flash Fiction, so if you want to be featured on a terrific blog, head on over!

Bookstores aren't dead and neither are novellas! One of the greatest bookstores in the world, Paris' Shakespeare & Company, is starting a magazine and a biannual prize for the best novella from 20,000-30,000 words.

"Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams had an interesting take on the landscape of media content and how the Internet is putting enormous downward pressure on the perception of value. He looks ahead to a world when the idea of an author making a living goes the way of the blacksmith as the value of content goes down to zero. Agree? Disagree? (via Bridget McBride)

There was a controversial article in Salon last week, which examines the outsourcing of book printing amid a study that suggests that many children's books published in the United States contain paper derived from Indonesia's disappearing rainforests, though the article notes the vagueness of the study on which books and publishers were found to be sourced in this fashion. (via the Book Bench)

Last week in the Forums, how bad is your first draft, how to handle flashbacks, how to distinguish between procrastination and writer's block, and if you're not watching Friday Night Lights, you are sorely missing out!

Comment! of! the! Week! Since it was a contest week that honor naturally goes to the contest winners: Josin L. McQuein and Bane of Anubis!

And finally, via The Forums, I've heard a lot of book promotion ideas, but this one may win for general hilarity. According to the NY Post, an author hired 40 actresses to read her book in public and laugh hysterically. That's certainly one way to do it!

Hope you had a great weekend!






51 comments:

Sarah Scotti-Einstein said...

Congratulations to both winners! Well deserved!

Anonymous said...

Good job guys!

Bane of Anubis said...

Double wow (and thanks for overlooking my purple and gold bias :)

And many thanks to everyone who voted for my piece or commented on it. It gave me a nice warm feeling to which I'm still not accustomed.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Wow! A tie! What are the odds, I wonder?

So much to go read from this last! week! in! publishing! Looking forward to reading about setting and novellas.

beth said...

Congrats to the winners!!!

...And thanks for linking to my io9 post, Nathan--and for writing the original blog post that sparked the idea! :)

Marilyn Peake said...

Congratulations to Josin and Bane! And thanks for so many interesting "Last Week in Publishing" links.

mary said...

Congratulations on a well-deserved victory! Woohoo!

And thanks for the news updates, Nathan. I'm shaking my head at The Hobbit info though... Why, oh why can't they simply bow to our desires and just. make. the. movie. already. (As awesomely as possible, of course.)

T. Anne said...

Congrats to Josin and Bane! And Bane, I feel your Laker pain.

Ty said...

Congrats to both of you!

Maybe the Lakers/Celtics can end in a tie too??

Francis said...

Congrats to the winners!

L. T. Host said...

YAY BANE!!!

And Josin, of course. But I know Bane better. No offense Josin. Congrats to both :)

Marjorie said...

Good Job! Congrats! I am looking forward to "On the Road," the film. This has been too long a wait. Kerouac, sigh.

Remilda Graystone said...

Congratulations to the winners! And that is an odd way to promote your book.

Thanks for the links!

Mira said...

Yay Bane and Josin - congratulations!

Very happy for you both!

And great links - thank you!

Natalie Whipple said...

Yay winners! Yay publishing news I don't have to look up myself!

Down the well said...

Congratulations Josin and Bane! Excellent job!

And thank you to everyone who took the time to read over the entries and leave a comment. As Bane said, it does give you an unaccustomed warm feeling to know others enjoyed what you wrote.

Though I have to say, after seeing a section of my work posted online, I've since revised the scene three times! It will never be done, I swear.

LG Smith

Magdalena Munro said...

I'm especially glad Bane won since he's a fellow Laker fan.

You would not be so cavalier (umm...no NBA pun intended) if you had seen my household in mourning last night Nathan.

Congratulations to both winners for great entries!

Anonymous said...

Wow congrats to the winners and finalists all!

I couldn't vote as an anon so didn't but I was between the two winners anyway! Yeah!

I re-Wordle-ed the finalists and found the result to be an even more powerful grouping of strong words. Try it and see for yourself. Whew!

I also noted that the entries included two to four ly adverbs each and enjoyed seeing the usage in a spare and selective way in winning entries.

I also saw that this was more a male protagonist's (not necessarily writer's) world of action, suspense, violence, war, etc.

I'm with Mira on the forums wondering what are the absolutes of good suspense.

D. G. Hudson said...

Congrats to both Bane and Josin!

Thanks also for all the links. Have checked out INK's site before, but will look again.

Renae said...

Congrats to the winners!

Other Lisa said...

Many congratulations to Josin and Bane!

Ryan Z Nock said...

Nathan, I didn't realize finalists would be getting prizes. I wanted to make sure I wasn't misreading your message before I sent you an email asking for a prize.

Also, thanks everybody who submitted and voted.

(By the way, the way I heard it, The Hobbit's on hiatus because the company that owns the rights is not financially stable enough.)

Nicole said...

Congrats Bane and Josin!

Nathan, I noticed that most of the finalists (4 of 5, I think) were written in first person, present. Any thoughts on that trend?

Clearly, we all seem to agree it produces great tension. I'm curious about your advice for carrying that same action into a different type of voice though.

kathrynjankowski said...

Double winners, totally fitting for June, the month of the Gemini twins.
Congrats to both.
;-)

Nathan Bransford said...

nicole-

I think it's a coincidence, any tense/perspective can be done well, it's more about what suits the story rather than making that determination ahead of time.

Kelly Wittmann said...

Thanks for the links, Nathan, even though that Dilbert guy's post made me want to jump off a bridge.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Wow! Thanks Nathan, and everyone who voted. You made me feel much better than I did earlier (and no, it's not just the cold medicine kicking in this time;-) )


Anon,

FWIW, mine's action oriented, but not a male POV. The MC is a girl.

Carolyn V. said...

A tie! Sweet! Congrats guys!

Rollie Raleigh said...

Bane, you are providential. As one who voted for your writing (and in a tie - the KEY voter), I would have been hard-pressed to bolster any form of Laker-lover. C'est la vie - Enjoy your triumph even if due in part to Nathan's forgiving nature. But be forewarned that your clouded taste in BB teams might skew the future literary judgment of some.

Bane of Anubis said...

Rollie, LOL (and thank you for your deciding vote :) I'm allowed a flaw or two, right? At least I hate the Yankees and Duke.

Ryan Z Nock said...

Anonymous, thanks for mentioning Wordle. Out of curiosity, I wordled my novel manuscript. The word 'back' is fourth most common, after just, like, and the name of the female love interest.

Intriguing, though now I'm self conscious.

Laura Martone said...

Ooh, congrats to both winners! (but mostly to Bane 'cause he's such a cool cat, Lakers fan notwithstanding)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kelly Wittmann--the Adams view of the future is extremely depressing. In his view, there would be no more professional writers or editors; everyone would be an amateur and have to make their actual living some other way.
I hope that instead, there will be some click-to-pay model where thousands of people are each paying a small amount to view or download, thus generating income for the content producers. Or that the old TV/radio model applies: for decades (pre-cable), people got TV and radio content for "free," but it was paid for by advertisers, and the people who worked in TV and radio certainly got paid.

rachelcapps said...

A *bow* to both winners, CONGRATS!! Seize your opportunity :)

Wow, Nathan, heaps of great links this week. Thanks!

Clever idea, Anon, to wordle the winners. And Ryan for trying your MS. I'm off to do both!

Amanda Sablan said...

Congratulations to both of you! And keep on writing!

Kristi Helvig said...

Congrats to the winners and thanks for the links!

Donna Hole said...

I am so pleased that these two tied. I follow both blogs - not as faithfully as I should - and delight in both of their writing styles. I liked each so much I couldn't decide which to vote for, so I didn't.

All the finalists displayed excellent writing skills in their excerpts. Each submission peaked my interest to read more. What a daunting task it would be to read through so many fantastic entries and have to pick only a few, and then one.

My hat's off to everyone who even submitted. Good luck in your further writing adventures Bane and Josin (listing alphabetically of course), and congratulations on your mutual win.

.........dhole

Terri said...

Congrats to Josie and Bane, two of my AW brethren!

And a big shout out to all the finalists, there was some great stuff offered up for this contest.

Finally, a huge thanks to Nathan for sponsoring the contests and judging them.

Terri
www.whyifearclowns.com

Ishta Mercurio said...

Congratulations to both winners! It is very well-deserved.

And did you say that Guillermo del Toro isn't doing the HOBBIT movies?!?!? (headthud) What is there to look forward to?

Krista V. said...

Congratulations, Josin and Bane!

JDuncan said...

Congrats to the winnners. I feel better now that I didn't vote, since two got to win. As for that Scott Adams piece on value of content approaching zero, I will optimistically disagree with him, at least when it comes to books. For one, if the expected sell price of digital books got to zero, you'd likely lose about 90% of writers publishing stuff. Which to some, may actually be a good thing. It might also generate a rise in the crap factor, as fewer and fewer writers who put their stuff out there will care about the cover/formatting and so on because there will be no return for the investment. People will pay for quality. It's been proven in just about every business.

There's also the perception issue of free content as being less than paid content. Whether accurate or not, I think folks will still gravitate toward places where content is curated and thus costs at least some amount of money to purchase. Personally, I'll pay every time if it means I can be reasonably assured of getting worthwhile reading as opposed to sifting through endless databases trying to find what I want. People like free, but only to a point. Downloading free songs to check out is more convenient than doing the same with books. Readers will get tired very quickly of free content that sucks most of the time.

Anyway, I think Mr. Adams is being overly pessimistic when it comes to free content, at least regarding books.

treeoflife said...

First off, congrats to both winners. Two very good excerpts!

Second, I disagree with Scott Adams...

Piracy and electronic distribution won't push everything to zero. That's not an equilibrium. One day it won't be so easy to just google a simple illegal source for whatever. Copyright laws will catch up to technology.

I'm sure people made the same arguments about the printing press and photocopiers...

wendy said...

Congratulations, Josin and Bane! It's been a great two weeks for you, Josin. :)

CMR said...

Congratulations to Josin and Bane! How awesome--not just a tie, but the blog's first tie! :) We should make note of it in a The-Big-Post-of-NB-Blog-Memorable-Moments forum thread, or somesuch thing. For posterity ;)

Scott said...

Congrats to the winners!

Also, I found Scott Adams article interesting if not extremely doomy. I do agree that revenue streams will switch from material-based to auxiliary products. Music artists will sell more merch and, hopefully, tickets to their shows thanks to increased exposure, which means they will receive a higher % of the money from their work. At the moment, a great deal is taken by record companies, who are the ones in real trouble.

For authors, content value protection is indeed problematic. Words are just too easy to share. I'm focusing on Indie booksellers, and that niche of consumers who are looking for something the big pubs have missed. They like to go to bookstores and pay for books. Those are my people, and while my audience may shrink among the masses, I'm more than happy to receive a greater % of profit for my work and have it contribute to those who want me to continue writing.

In many ways, value has dropped because quality has dropped. Consumers are getting their revenge. Give them something of higher quality, and that may engage their conscience. It may not stop thievery for all, but it may slow it down until technology gets a conscience of its own.

ryan field said...

Congrats to both winners...and to the others who contributed some very nice work.

out-totheblack said...

Congrats two you both! I wish I could have voted, but life didn't go along with that.

You guys rock!

You too, Nathan.

Chuck H. said...

I knew that dragon named Baby would find its way into the winners circle.

Congrats to both winners. Great contest.

Tansy said...

Adams' view of the future - just plain wrong. There ARE still both blacksmiths and cowboys, and there were authors back when there wasn't big money to be made from writing.

swampfox said...

Good Job, everyone.

Leila said...

Congratulations to both winners!

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