Jan 26, 2012

What's the deal with Kindlegraph?

Evan Jacobs, the creator of Kindlegraph, is a big fan of book readings, but realized after he got his ebook reader that he had nothing for authors to sign. He could go hear a favorite author speak and have a great time, but he had nothing tangible to take away from the experience. So he created Kindlegraph: a program that lets authors send personalized inscriptions and signatures directly to the electronic reading devices of their fans. And the best part is this service is free.

To date, Kindlegraph has partnered with over 2,800 authors and offers users inscriptions for over 12,000 books. And it's really user-friendly. Simply sign up (you can even sign in with your twitter account) and start requesting personalized inscriptions and signatures from your favorite authors. Authors will receive an email the day you send your request and in no time, your e-book will be one-of-kind with a note from the author.

Jacobs doesn't want the interaction between authors and readers to stop there. He's working to make it possible for authors to be able to send out sample chapters from upcoming books to fans who have signed up as part of a paid subscription service.

Two Scarletta authors have already jumped on the bandwagon because they love the idea of having another way to connect with their readers.

Pamela Cory, author of Hassie Calhoun: A Las Vegas Novel of Innocence, can be reached here.

Pendred Noyce, author of Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers and this summer's Ice Castle, can be reached here.

Jan 17, 2012

Students Add More Illustrations to Lexicon

Last November students started sending author Penny Noyce the drawings they made while their teacher read Lost in Lexicon to their class. And since we love seeing how students interact with the story we decided to share more drawings with everyone!

To the left we have a drawing of spiderwebs and the quote that inspired it:"Ivan and Daphne walked through the woods finding spiderwebs festooned with tiny droplets." (pg 16), and underneath, an image of aunt Adelaide's barn: "The barn now stood in the middle of a pond with water reaching halfway up its side." (pg 29).

To the left here, we have a drawing of Lexicon: "Just a broad expanse of rolling meadow strewn with wildflowers under a cloudless blue." (pg 29), and underneath, some of Lexicon's flowers: "On either side, purple wildflowers ducked their heads in rippling grass." (pg 33).

These pictures made our day, and we're so glad the students decided to share them with us. If your students or children have done any drawings of Lexicon, we ask that you either send us an electronic copy to info@scarlettapress.com or a hard copy to Scarletta Press 10 S. 5th Street #1105, Minneapolis, MN 55402. We'd love to add them to our collection!And if you're looking for other ways to get your students to interact with Lexicon, make sure to check out Penny's Lost in Lexicon Villages Event.

Jan 10, 2012

Libraries pick Lexicon

The Virginia Beach Public Library recently named Penny Noyce's Lost in Lexicon a VBPL Staff Pick. They weren't the first, and they certainly won't be the last because Lost in Lexicon has something in it for all kids.
In spite of its somewhat obvious goal of encouraging reluctant children to enjoy and understand the many uses of words and numbers, Lost in Lexcon is actually an enjoyable fantasy.
In the course of their travels Daphne learns to use a compass and navigate on the Cartesian plane. She has some other mathematical successes and discovers she enjoys solving these problems.
Meanwhile, Ivan discovers that he needs to use words, sometimes in critical situations. Naturally he learns to enjoy the power of words and recognize their usefulness.
Lost in Lexicon is perfect for kids who love math, as well as writing and reading. But the story isn't solely educational, kids get so swept up in the adventure to find the lost kids of Lexicon that they forget they're learning.

Jan 3, 2012

The Comeback of a Backlist Book

What happens when a book becomes a backlist title? Does it die a slow death as the last few printed books are given away to friends and family, or can it be revitalized? Or better yet, how can it be revitalized?

We all know the classics sell well with each reprint, which often coincide with the anniversary of the author's death or birth or the book's first edition. Some books even warrant a celebration, like the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird that took place last year. It was held in Monroeville, Alabama, the town Maycomb was modeled after. The anniversary lasted four days and included a marathon "Mockingbird" reading, tours of the town, and samplings of Monroeville's signature drink—a tequila mockingbird.

As great as that sounds, few books written today warrant that kind of fanfare. So the question becomes, how do authors and publishers get backlisted books back on readers' radars? Sometimes, the answer lands in your lap—like it did for Scarletta's first published book The Litigators. Lindsay Arthur published The Litigators with Scarletta in 2005. Two months ago John Grisham published his newest novel, also called The Litigators. Arthur's book has sold more in these past two months than the previous three years. That's just good luck, but Scarletta plans to capitalize on that luck.