Crowdfunding Creative Jam
Everyone is eligible to post prompts, which may be words or phrases, titles, images, etc. Prompters may request a specific creator, but everyone else may still use that prompt if they wish. Prompts may specify a particular character/world/etc. but creators may use the prompt for something else anyway and post the results. Prompters are still encouraged to post mostly prompts that anyone could use anywhere, as this maximizes the chance of having creators make something based on your prompt. Please title your comment "Prompt" or "Prompts" when providing inspiration so these are easy to find.
Prompt responses may also be treated as prompts and used for further inspiration. For example, a prompt may lead to a sketch which leads to a story, and so on. This kind of cascading inspiration is one of the most fun things about a collective jam session.
Everyone is eligible to use prompts, and everyone who wants to use a given prompt may do so, for maximum flexibility of creator choice in inspiration. You do not have to post a "Claim" reply when you decide to use a prompt, but this does help indicate what is going on so that other prompters can spread out their choice of prompts if they wish.
Creators are encouraged, but not required, to post at least one item free. Likewise, sharing a private copy of material with the prompter is encouraged but not required. Creative material resulting from prompts should be indicated in a reply to the prompt, with a link to the full content elsewhere on the creator's site (if desired); a brief excerpt and/or description of the material may be included in the reply (if desired). It helps to title your comment "Prompt Filled" or something like that so these are easy to identify. There is no time limit on responding to prompts. However, creators are encouraged to post replies sooner rather than later, as the attention of prompters will be highest during and shortly after the session.
Some items created from prompts may become available for sponsorship. Some creators may offer perks for donations, linkbacks, or other activity relating to this project. Check creator comments and links for their respective offerings.
Prompters, creators, and bystanders are expected to behave in a responsible and civil manner. If the moderators have to drag someone out of the sandbox for improper behavior, we will not be amused. Please respect other people's territory and intellectual property rights, and only play with someone else's characters/setting/etc. if you have permission. (Fanfic/fanart freebies are okay.) If you want to invite folks to play with something of yours, title the comment something like "Open Playground" so it's easy to spot. This can be a good way to attract new people to a shared world or open-source project, or just have some good non-canon fun.
Boost the signal! The more people who participate, the more fun this will be. Hopefully we'll see activity from a lot of folks who regularly mention their projects in this community, but new people are always welcome. You can link to this session post or to individual items created from prompts, whatever you think is awesome enough to recommend to your friends.
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Join us for an early-evening deep dive into the cutting edge of astrological and magical ontologies then, following the discussion and Q&A, congratulate yourself for being so smart by sticking around to catch up with local practitioners, chat to Gordon, Austin and Kaitlin directly, and generally just find the others.
- What fresh insights can be gleaned from putting astrology in dialogue with worldwide approaches to star lore?
- What does magical timing look like, beyond Neoplatonism and out in a living universe?
- How do we understand fate and predestination from a kinship perspective?
- Are magical correspondences and the creation of talismans Platonic or animist? And does changing this frame lead to better outcomes?
Exactly like last year's event, your ticket price covers all food and the open bar, not just entry. And we have the venue the whole night. Gonna be good times!
Tickets to this event will sell out! The website has already been quietly released to premium members and Austin's patrons and the response has already been overwhelming. Once they're gone, due to venue capacity, etc, we won't be able to add any more. So if you're interested, please, please follow this link and claim your spot.
There will also be a few members-only events around As Above while I'm there. Details in the premium member section.
Come hang out! We'll have fun!
Time for me to catch up, so this is what I need from you between now and Monday, 22 April 2019:
- Your final word count totals from February and March [and January if you never got it to me in the first place]
- Your goals for February, March, and April.
Next weekend is when I'll put up the sign-up post for May and get us back on track.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave them here or PM me.
Thanks for your patience, y'all!
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Strategies for Writers Shared by Bookstore Owners Themselves
This article was originally published in a slightly different format in the Fall, 2018 issue of Write! Magazine, the newsletter of The Writers’ Union of Canada. Booksellers wishing to print and distribute copies of this article to give to authors are welcome to contact me for permission.
More than ten years after the popularity and viability of self-publishing took off, most post-publication options available to conventionally published authors remain almost inaccessible to those to choose to publish their own books.
Very few self-published books are reviewed in traditional media, and with the exception of an agency or two, their authors remain ineligible for grants and conventional awards. But the literary world is changing. In 2015, The Writers Union of Canada – long the bastion of authors of traditionally published books – voted to admit to membership self-published writers who have “successfully demonstrate[d] commercial intent and professionalism”. Libraries in at least two Canadian cities – Vancouver and Victoria – are taking active roles in helping local self-published authors to find their audiences.
Times are changing in the bookstore sector, too. I recently contacted five independent booksellers from Nova Scotia to British Columbia to discover their current thinking about self-published books, and I found that most have at least developed some kind of store policy to help them manage the increasingly frequent requests from self-published authors to stock their books. Their responses to such requests vary widely – from reluctant to warm-hearted – but none is outright banning all self-published books, as many were doing even a few years ago.
However, the accommodation these booksellers extend to self-published books and authors remains exactly that: accommodation. When it comes to ordering, billing, and returning books, it is much easier for them to deal with traditional distribution outlets than with individual authors: the former require less “paperwork,” and involve fewer egos. In the vast majority of cases, when booksellers stock self-published books, they are doing so out of kindness more than from any anticipation of significant profit. And yet, many of them told me, far too many self-published writers approach bookstores with expectations and attitudes that range from presumptuous to rude.
Booksellers say that most authors, whether traditionally or self- published, have very little knowledge about how independent bookstores operate. Much of what I learned will be of use not only to self-published authors, but to any writer who finds they are expected to contribute significantly to the promotion of their books — which, today, is almost all of us.
Bookselling Basics for Writers
The following basics are among those of use to would-be petitioners:
- Booksellers love books. Some of them are also writers, but all of them are avid readers. Often they have actually read most of the books they stock, and they know many of their authors. They also know the likes and dislikes of their customers. Over time, their bookstores have developed a particular character that is unlike that of any other. Curation, care and attention are what distinguish independent booksellers from the mass-market outlets that treat books with the same level of affection they accord to refrigerators.
- Bookstores do not have unlimited space, which means that of all the books they would like to carry, booksellers can only stock a fraction. Since it is almost as hard to make a living from selling books as it is from writing, bookstore owners also need to consider which books will actually sell – rather than merely stocking books to make the authors happy.
- Authors whose books are considered to be of sufficient merit to be stocked by an independent bookseller are privileged to bask in the reflection of the store’s reputation. That same reputation is undermined if the authors’ books are poorly written, edited and produced.
- Booksellers who deal with self-published authors will sell their books on a consignment basis. They will typically retain 40% of the cover price of books sold, which is the same percentage they retain with traditional publishers and distributors, and the balance will go to the author. Books that do not sell are returned to the author.
- Booksellers are extraordinarily busy, and it is always of more value to them to use their time to talk to prospective customers than to prospective vendors – whether publishers’ representatives or individual self-published authors.
- Booksellers are human. If you exhibit no interest in them or their bookstore until the day you stop by, plunk down a stack of books, and explain that your title is going to sell like crazy and they’d be fools not to take it, their response may be less warm than you might like.
Booksellers’ Perspectives: A Range of Responses
Some highly curated bookstores continue to refuse approaches from self-published authors almost every time. Ben McNally at Ben McNally Books in Toronto says, “We basically say ‘No’ to self-published authors, but then we usually say ‘No’ to Simon & Schuster and Random House as well. We are in the business of selling books, not displaying them.” Any exceptions McNally makes are going to be for books that fit their very particular niche.
Michelle Berry, herself an author and also the owner of Hunter Street Books in Peterborough, ON and a widely published fiction writer herself, explains that she has set up a bookshelf specifically dedicated to the display of self-published books, and she provides their authors’ contact information to customers who are interested. She has found this a viable approach since she is the store’s sole employee and her time is so limited.
Lexicon Books in Lunenburg, N.S. – where two out of the three owners are also published writers – does stock a significant number of self-published books, mostly non-fiction, some children’s literature, primarily local. They do not accept books that have been published by Amazon’s self-publishing arm, due to Amazon’s business practices.
Co-owner and author Jo Treggiari says that Lexicon Books sees itself as a community centre, and welcomes group activities on its premises, like book discussions and readings. Staff members as a group review and select self-published books carefully, typically accepting only those by authors from the area, or ones on subjects that are so specific to the region that traditional publishers would be unlikely to accept them (e.g., a book on Nova Scotia mosses, or a memoir by a local fisherman).
Similarly, Audreys Books, a large independent bookstore in Edmonton that has been championing Canadian books and authors since 1975, also describes itself as a “cultural community centre,” and has now assigned a staff person to acquire and manage its inventory of self-published books. Deborah Hines says that half a dozen self-published authors approach the store each week, and she estimates that there are between 40 and 60 self-published books on their shelves at any given time. Authors must drop their books off along with an information sheet, and give Hines and her colleagues time to examine the book and make a decision on whether or not they will stock it. Like other bookstores, they prefer to stock self-published books by local authors, or those with a particular local slant.
“Authors should have a marketing plan,” Hines says, “so that people will come in and buy the books we stock. Otherwise, no one is going to notice them.” Audreys will also host a book launch, for a modest fee to cover costs.
Munro’s Books in Victoria, arguably Canada’s best-known independent bookstore, has also developed a list of guidelines and a questionnaire for its Consignment Program. Jessica Paul, assistant manager at Munro’s, recommends that authors not approach the store in person, but that they request the guidelines, complete the form, and then wait for a decision.
“The biggest piece of advice to self-published authors,” Paul says, “is to acknowledge and then treat their book as either a ‘vanity’ project (i.e., really of interest only to friends and family, which means that we are not likely to want to stock it), or to come at it like a publisher would, with a marketing and publicity plan. They should also keep in mind that getting a book on a bookstore shelf is not a publicity plan.”
Coming Soon: “To-Do List for Authors Who Want Booksellers to Consider Their Books”
Thanks to Doyali Islam for editing this article pre-publication in Write.
1. Did you enjoy your senior year of high school?
2. Did you have a senior trip (high school) and were you able to go on it.
3. Was graduating (from either high school or college/university) a big thing with your family or just another day?
4. What were you looking forward to the most after graduating from either high school or college/university?
5. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your graduating self?
Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.
If you'd like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so on DW or LJ. Old sets that were used have been deleted, so please feel free to suggest some more!
**Remember that we rely on you, our members, to help keep the community going. Also, please remember to play nice. We are all here to answer the questions and have fun each week. We repost the questions exactly as the original posters submitted them and request that all questions be checked for spelling and grammatical errors before they're submitted. Comments re: the spelling and grammatical nature of the questions are not necessary. Honestly, any hostile, rude, petty, or unnecessary comments need not be posted, either.**
This is where we are in the current fannish drama about "underage characters":
"aging up a character and continuing to say/commission/draw/write nsfw with them in it isn't okay, because you still looked at a MINOR, an ACTUAL CHILD, and found them attractive, and made them an adult to try and justify your attraction to them..."
(It continues. Gets worse. Is followed by comments from other people, with screencaps of other... fascinating perspectives on relationships between characters of different ages.)
Family Feud by codenamed-queenie, Batfamily, short and hilarious. Gen, no warnings.
How scantron tests are made
How To Track Anonymous Asks on Tumblr, using "view selection source" and "view page source" to find out who sent them.
Writing Tips (also tabletop RPG tips)
Estimating walking travel time (In good circumstances, "an adult can do about 30 miles (approximately 48km) in a day.")
The Sylph's Plaything
Created on 2009-04-14 16:15:38 (#59280), last updated 2019-04-04 (2 weeks ago)
8,391 comments received, 11,485 comments posted
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I did get to visit the cathedral many moons ago and got to go up one of the towers. While everyone was impressed by the rose windows and the magnificence of the architecture, this serpent's obsession was the gorgeous gargoyles. I took loads of photos of them but in those ancient days you had to go to a store to get them developed and printed. And now I realize that I have no idea where those pictures have gotten to.
But creepier than the gargoyles are the Just World conspiracy theorists who can be found in the strangest of places
If we are to believe this rabid rabbi's rants then the God he worships is not a vengeful male but a seriously sluggish SNAIL