In Praise of Brave Authors


I love when hard-awesome things like this take place.
Writers supporting one another while expecting nothing in return. Just for the sheer joy of encouraging & celebrating.

In that vein, I hope you keep spreading the love.

This is the Book I Can't Stop Thinking About

I’m in awe of authors. All authors. People who work hard to create a rich and textured story, and then work harder. And then even harder. And then do that about a billion more times.

And then they show it to the world. That scares the crap out of me.

A few months ago, it came to light that a writer friend of mine was thinking of releasing a book that sounded so freaking good that I couldn’t help but squee all over the place (which is to say all over twitter). It’s a novel that was really close to her heart, she said, but she was concerned. It wasn’t like the young adult novels she usually writes, the ones she’s known for.

Falling From the SkyIt’s about two boys who fall in love. It’s called FALLING FROM THE SKY by the very talented Nikki Godwin.

It’s a book that needs to be…

View original post 467 more words

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What Are the Chances of a Book Becoming a Movie?


theatre

Confession: I have imagined my novel as a movie.

Now, don’t leave me standing here all alone, kiddos… This is pretty much a prerequisite for writers, right? Don’t blush or try to deny it. I’ve seen your Tweets. And your Pinterest boards. We’ve had conversations. You’re as guilty as I am.

I’m an extremely visual dude. When I write, the scenes play in my mind like a movie. I direct the characters in a sense, but the buggers improv A LOT.

Okay, eff it, I’ll even admit this: my friends and I sit around dream-casting my Phreak Show characters. And a few of you have even volunteered [okay…demanded] to help out on the casting call for Niko. Your amorous intentions are duly noted. [And he’s flashing his crooked smile at you right now.]

Yesterday, a non-writer friend I haven’t spoken to in a while checked in. Curious about where Phreak Show is in the process, the convo went something like this:

Dude: So what’s going on with your book deal?
Me: Not to that part of the process yet. Finishing edits with my agent and then we’ll move to the next stage.
Dude: Awesome! When do you get the book tour and 3 movie deal?
Me: [internal cackling] It’s super rare for books to actually become movies.
Dude: Then how are all these books becoming movies all of a sudden?
Me: [internal sigh] The % of books being made into movies is probably, like, 2%. Max.
Dude: Well those 2% are really getting lucky these days.
Me: [reminds self dude is a rube] No more than usual, I don’t think. And that still leaves 98% of authors dreaming about their books becoming movies, but it never happens.
Dude: Ahhhh, I see.

This kind of conversation happens all the time. So, obviously, we writers aren’t alone. It seems most folks naturally have this ingrained perception that book = movie. So I started wondering how close my random estimate of 2% really is. Enter: THE MAGIC OF GOOGLE

I submit for your enjoyment and education, the interesting [and perhaps sobering] info I stumbled upon.

First off, some hard-awesome checkpoints we can all keep in mind when writing our next novel or assessing existing ones. John Robert Marlow offers this list of:

10 things Hollywood looks for in any story:

  1. Cinematic concept that can be communicated in ten seconds
  2. Hero that a large segment of the movie-going public can relate to
  3. Strong visual potential
  4. Three-act structure
  5. Two-hour limit
  6. Reasonable budget
  7. Low fat (no unnecessary scenes)
  8. Franchise potential
  9. Four-quadrant (young and old, male and female) appeal
  10. Merchandising potential.

http://andyrossagency.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/books-into-movies-everything-you-need-to-know-almost-part-1/

This first stat sounds really promising. It’s estimated that:

85% of all movies are adapted from books

http://www.kgbanswers.com/what-percentage-of-all-movies-made-in-the-usa-are-based-on-books/22949183

But how many books does that translate to? This poster doesn’t cite a source, so the accuracy is suspect, but states:

In 2006, over 50 books were made into movies

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_movies_are_made_from_books?#slide=2

I have no idea how accurate this stat for 2014 is either. I found numbers ranging from 10 to 35, but CNN reports these as “all the books becoming movies in 2014”:

2014 [estimate #1]: 12 book to film adaptions for 2014

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/31/showbiz/movies/books-to-movies/

2014 [estimate #2]: 35 book to film adaptations for 2014

http://www.buzzsugar.com/2014-Movies-Based-Books-30889382#photo-33260882

So how does a book ascend to the coveted heights of filmdom? This great behind-the-scenes mechanics post explains:

Books are almost always optioned, not bought outright

http://andyrossagency.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/books-into-movies-everything-you-need-to-know-part-2/

But even if a book is optioned, there’s still no promise our friends, family, and fans can check out our stories on the big screen. Author Joseph Finder says:

Maybe as many as 90% of optioned/sold movies never get made.

http://www.josephfinder.com/blog/201101/26/how-a-book-becomes-a-movie-revisiting-high-crimes

And if you scroll down to Lesson 28 in this post, you’ll find this statement putting that estimated percentage even higher:

Thousands of books are optioned every year, but 98% will never be made into films

http://www.ian-irvine.com/publishing.html

Using IMDB & U.S. Census Bureau stats, this random gent [quite non-scientifically] calculates:

Only 1.77343% of books become movies or TV series

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100818233541AA29WXH

Feels like a snowball’s chance, right? But, hey, we can’t resist hoping. Perhaps the most important thing in this entire post is something you already know:

Writers are dreamers.

That’s part of the how and the why we create characters, build worlds, and invent delicious plots in the first place. Our dreams refuse to die.

I guess, at our core, writers are optimists. And, for those of us who are really optimistic, we don’t stop at just dreaming. We finish manuscripts. We revise the hell out of them. We send query after query until an agent falls madly in love with our words. We revise again. Even when it hurts. We suffer with impatience during the submission process. We revise those words again with an editor. We do all these things because we are ridiculously optimistic.

We hope. And we dream.

So, honestly, we can’t stop dreaming about our books becoming movies. Even if we try uber-hard. It’s just not who we are as a species. And as long as our expectations are realistic, it doesn’t hurt a thing.

Besides, being dreamers, we always have that 2% or 1.77343% to hang on to. Even if the true number is only .00001% of books becoming movies, that’s more than enough to birth a dream inside us.

Q: What are the chances of your book becoming a movie?
A: Are you a dreamer or aren’t you?

[FTR, my answer to the question-posing-as-an-answer is: Incurably so.]

This vid inserted thanks to the genius inspiration from @EsherHogan

How To Send Word Docs to Your Kindle


kindle2

Once upon a time, I wanted to check out what my words would look like on a Kindle screen. I hunted down the process and created my own little cheat sheet. Since that time, I’ve seen others ask if it’s possible, and have forwarded these instructions to a dozen, thankful peeps. [Maybe you’re another one waiting to happen.]

So, should you want or need this capability, here she is.

How to Send Word Docs to Your Kindle

Step 1: You should have an email associated with your Amazon account. If not, you’ll have to do that first. If so – go to Step 2

Step 2: Send an email to your kindle address. It will be the same as the email in #1, only with the @kindle.com extension [e.g. your.regular.email@kindle.com]

Step 3: The subject must be “convert”

Step 4: Attach your Word doc [You can attach MULTIPLE docs]

Step 5: Send that baby!

Step 6: Log into your Amazon account. Click “Personal Documents” on the left-hand sidebar

Step 7: It usually takes 2 – 15 mins of refreshing for the file to appear.

Step 8: Once it does, click on the “Actions” dropdown next to the file name.

Step 9: Select “Deliver to my…Kindle”

Step 10: On your Kindle – “Sync & Check for Items.”

VOILA!

Useful for:
– Personal encouragement. Just seeing your created words in that format can give you a dreamy, little boost.
– Handy access to your own words on-the-go. [You know, just like any other e-book.]
– I find errors that somehow remain invisible on both the hardcopy & computer screen.
– It keeps you from editing as you go. So you can just read. [If I find something major to change later, I scribble a key phrase on a notepad & later do a search for that phrase in the Word file.]
– [Insert your own amazing reason here]

Other tips:
– Insert an image on the first page of the file & it will display as the book’s cover.
– Others, such as beta readers, can forward the file to their own Kindles. [You know, once you pass these instructions on.]
– If your betas/CPs are comfortable with it, they can even authorize your email on their Kindle account & you can send it directly to them. They just have to pick up at Step 6 above.

I’m curious about those of you who use programs other than Word or have different readers/apps.
Do you ever use a similar process? Know of a quick cheat sheet to help others do the same?

Phreak Show Ink – Mantis & Lil Diva


Lil Diva & Her BFF Mantis

Mantis the Giantess & Lil Diva the Human Puppet

Weezie Williams & Lily White - BFFs

Lily White & Weezie Williams

Mantis & Lily 3

OH NO! Not only has it been 500 years since I posted (actually only like 2 weeks), but I’m also out of tat appointments for awhile.

This is a tragedy.

Still remaining:
– The name banner for Mantis & Lil Diva
– Jules a.k.a Shim the Gender Enigma
– Aaron James a.k.a. Gemini the Two-Headed Boy
– Background aether
– Touch-ups

My artist is booked forever in advance, but we’re squeezing more ink in when he gets cancelled appointments.
Which happen to fall on Saturdays…
If I’m also available…

Hopefully the phreak-sleeve will be completed & healed by summer? We’ll see if the planets align to make that happen.

In the meantime, I’m in the thick of hot and heavy edits on the manuscript.
Challenging, fun, brain-juggly (totally a word).
At this point, the hard work feels totally worth it. But then there’s the variable of feedback once the edits are submitted.

Once again, doing my part, but I guess I have to leave the outcome to celestial alignment, literary luck fairies, and the like.

UPDATE on the feedback: !!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 ALL CAPS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂