Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Cakes

Yummy, yummy. I especially like the Harry Potter sorting hat one (chocolate, chocolate!), but you've got to see all of them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: Trim It

Writing tips from EC editors.

Unnecessary or Misused Words
Some suggestions on words to search for and eliminate to tighten up your writing.
  • Began: Sometimes it is correct, when describing the start of a long or multipart action. But often it is unnecessary: “She began to open the door. He began to walk across the room.” It could be just: “She opened the door. He walked across the room.” Characters in your story should do things, not begin to do them.
  • Felt: “When he kissed her, she felt her breasts tingle.” Try to be more directly active: “When he kissed her, her breasts tingled.”
  • In order to: It is usually just as clear to say merely “to”.
  • Of: It’s often unnecessary. “Inside her” reads as easily as “Inside of her”, “off him” is as descriptive as “off of him”.
  • Only or Just: It should come before the word it modifies.
          Wrong: The book just costs $7.99.
            Correct: The book costs just $7.99.

          Wrong: She only had enough money to buy one gallon of gas.
            Correct: She had only enough money to buy one gallon of gas.

  • Was: There are lots of legitimate uses for it, but often a stronger verb can be used. “Barry was shaking his head.” Try “Barry shook his head.” “Her heart was beating painfully” could be “Her heart beat painfully.”
  • If/Then: A good rule of thumb is this:
         Wrong: If the sentence flows without using the word then, then don’t use it.
    Correct: If the sentence flows without using the word then, don’t use it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Meet the Editor: Pamela Campbell

Another of our EC editors for you to get to know: Pamela Campbell

My grandfather was a local legend because of his old-time stories and tall tales. He always left the audience begging for more. I didn't inherit his talent for creating stories, but I have always loved to read, so editing seemed a perfect fit. I have been with EC since 2003, and have enjoyed every minute. It has been a great adventure, meeting so many talented authors and working on so many amazing books. I hope I have given as much to my authors as they have given to me.

I'll read just about anything, but I really love sci-fi and paranormal...and theoretical physics. Go figure. When I have down time, I grab a book, watch a favorite sci-fi movie, start an art piece or take on another DIY home project. There's always another DIY home project.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book ATM


by Raelene Gorlinsky

Have you seen the Espresso Book Machine? It has been described as "an ATM for books". Yep, push a few buttons and a print book pops out the slot!

The system accesses a massive inventory of print books: public domain books via Google plus the print backlist of a growing number of participating publishers (including EC very soon).

A customer walks into a store or library and wants a print book and can’t find it on the shelf? If that store has an EBM, and that print book is in the available catalog, the customer can just request the book, go get something to drink at the bookstore’s coffee shop, and come back in five or ten minutes to pick up their book! And the book is a very nice quality with a four-color cover.
So far there are over 80 machines in bookstores, libraries and universities around the world. Powell's, the famous ginormous used bookstore in Portland, Oregon, has one. There are several at universities in Canada. There are two in Abu Dhabi, UAE; one in China, two in Japan, two in Australia. The Library of Alexandria in Egypt has three!
It's fun to watch this thing in operation. I got to see it at the McNally Jackson Bookstore during a recent trip to New York. You can watch it on YouTube:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: All / Al

Writing tips from the EC editors

All / Al

All together:  Adverb. Used in reference to a group whose members acted or were acted upon collectively, and when "all" and "together" could be separated by other words; all at the same time.
Altogether:  Adverb. With all included or counted; entirely, completely, utterly; on the whole.

All ready: Adjective. Ready in every way.
Already:  Adjective.  Sooner than expected; previously, prior to a specified or implied time.

All right:  Adjective: Satisfactory or in satisfactory condition; in good health. Adverb: In a satifactory way; yes; without a doubt.
Alright: Adverb. Nonstandard: There is no such word as "alright" in correct English. At most and in appropriate situations, "alright" or "alrighty" might be used in slangy dialogue.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Worst Book Covers

So Bad So Good: 10 Worst Book Covers in the History of Literature

Clearly these folks did not look at romance covers (maybe they don't consider them "literature"?), where there are some really terrible doozies amongst the greatness. But do look through the ones they've selected, and be sure to read the quip above each cover. As they state, "Prepare to be stunned, baffled, confused and probably offended." My favorite godawful cover is the Tarzan comic, but the absolute worst for book concept is The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas: 30 Pages of Vaginas & Fun Activities. WTF? Coloring book = kids; fun activities with vaginas definitely not for kids.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Page Apparel

Dresses made from the pages of romance novels! You have got to see these elegant creations! (Not that I'd ever be able to afford one.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, the President...

by Raelene Gorlinsky

This week is Book Expo America in New York City. It's the largest publishing trade show in the U.S. A whole group of us from Ellora's Cave are attending. We arrived Monday to get organized and ready, and we're staying at the Waldorf Astoria on Park Ave. Whoot, very famous, very gorgeous (but an old building, funky electricity, almost no hot water at least in my room).

Ahem, but...also here at the Waldy yesterday were President Obama and former President Clinton! Ah yes, that would explain half the police officers in NYC lined up along the street, traffic periodically shut down and rerouted, guys in scary riot gear (black helmets, black bulletproof vests, big black guns, even black police dogs). When Susan and I tried to go to dinner, the whole street was blocked off with a barrier of bumper-to-bumper trash trucks - NYC trash trucks probably could indeed stop an explosion or a terrorist attack. We had to walk an extra block up in order to cross the street and walk back down to the restaurant. Susan wanted to catch a glimpse of Pres Obama, but I really would have loved to see (and meet!) Clinton. He's like fine wine - his aged maturity far outstrips what he was when he was in office. Alas, there wasn't even a second of public exposure, so we had to settle for ogling some of the buff cops.

Former U.S. President Clinton hugs U.S. President Obama in New York