From Written to Spoken Word – Part Three: The Business of Audiobooks

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by Amy Rubinate

Photo Credit: Ron Butler and Erin Bennett

Many authors use audiobooks to enhance their readership and increase sales. To confirm why a writer would want to ensure that their book is made into an audiobook, I went straight to the source. I asked the executive director of the Audiobook Publishers Association (APA) Michele Cobb for her thoughts. She replied, “By giving the consumer all the format options, you maximize their ability to connect with your title. With eight years of double-digit growth, audiobooks have proven their value again and again.”

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#KTWriteOn with Author Elana K. Arnold: Before Revising Work, Consider Re-Visioning Your Core Beliefs

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Welcome to the Kite Tales Writing Challenge: #KTWriteOn. Each writing challenge is crafted by a kid-lit publishing professional to help spark ideas, renew creative energy, and get your work moving out into the world.

This exercise was created by Elana K. Arnold, author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat and its sequels. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets. Today she’s challenging us to revise our work by first taking a look at what we believe about ourselves.

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Interview with Author Rucker Moses

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Rucker Moses is the pen name of Los Angeles authors Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr. Together, they have been nominated for three Emmys for writing in a children’s program. Along with Theo Gangi, Rucker Moses are co-authors of the middle grade book Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found (book one of two, Penguin, February 2021).

CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to Kite Tales! Your new book has three authors. Wow! How did two of you work together, and then how did your Rucker Moses portion coordinate with the sections Theo Gangi wrote?

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Let Twitter Be Part of Your Writing Life

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by Jean Lizotte Grabow, SCBWI-L.A. Social Media Manager  

Social Media is an opportunity for us as writers and artists to become part of the larger publishing community, create a brand for ourselves, and promote our work. 

Today we are focusing on Twitter as a tool for all book creators, particularly writers, to support our careers. The platform has an amazing publishing community and many opportunities to participate, including our very own SCBWI-L.A. Kite Tales #KTChat contest (more on this below).  

Here are some tips for maximizing your time on Twitter to enhance your writing life.  

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#KTChat with Kitty Felde: Want to Sell More Books? Try a Podcast

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by Kitty Felde

Editor’s Note: Host of the award-winning Book Club for Kids podcast Kitty Felde adapted her middle grade novel Welcome to Washington Fina Mendoza to a podcast. The second book in her Fina Mendoza Mysteries series will be out later this year in the summer and she will be available to chat with you on Twitter on Friday, March 26, 2021, from 12PM to 1PM (Pacific Time).

Keep on reading to learn the benefits of adapting your book to a podcast, and some of her tips and tricks for when you do…

Credit: Imelda Hinojosa

Podcasts are everywhere — a record 1.8 million podcasts, according to Edison Research. So why not turn your book into a podcast?

I’m not talking about an audiobook where one actor reads your manuscript word for word. I’m talking about an audio play, like an old-time radio drama, that takes your readers on a literary journey through their ears.

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Need a Writing Boost? Enter the 2021 Writers Day Contest!

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by Brenda Scott Royce, SCBWI-L.A. Contest Coordinator

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” — novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

While our annual SCBWI-L.A. Writers Day will look somewhat different this year (we’ll be meeting virtually!), one thing that hasn’t changed is the contest. As usual, the manuscript contest is open to all who register for the event, and there’s no additional fee to enter. Submissions will be accepted in four categories: Picture Book, Middle Grade novel, Young Adult novel, and Other (which includes non-fiction and poetry). Winners receive a free written critique from one of the Writers Day faculty members PLUS free tuition to Writers Day 2022 (or equivalent). Winners and runners-up will be acknowledged in Kite Tales

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From Written to Spoken Word—Part Two: Writing for Audio

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by Amy Rubinate

Photo Credit: Ron Butler and Erin Bennett

Audiobooks are an increasingly important part of the literary marketplace, and there is a high likelihood that every book will become an audiobook sooner or later. In light of this shift in the market, authors may wonder if they need to keep the audio version in mind when writing, and adjust their writing style to accommodate this medium. I would suggest that the answer is yes, even if the changes are subtle or few. But let’s start with the easiest adjustment: using audiobook techniques to your advantage as part of the writing process.

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#KTIllustrates 2021 Contest Winner: Sienna Kim

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In SCBWI-L.A.’s first #KTIllustrates contest, illustrators were given a few lines from an old nursery rhyme to inspire them: “If your heels are nimble and light, you may get there by candle-light.” The entries could be in any form (spot, spread or cover design) and in any medium. The winner receives a gift certificate to ArtSupply Warehouse and is featured on the Los Angeles Region’s social media pages.

Congratulations goes to Sienna Youngsun Kim, our winner of the #KTIllustrates 2021 contest! Read on to learn more about Sienna and to view her wonderful work, filled with whimsy and delight.

Sienna Kim’s Winning Illustration

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Attention PAL Nonfiction Authors: Be an SCBWI Mentor in 2021!

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by Nicole Maggi  

Last June, I handed in a major rewrite on a write-for-hire project, took a deep breath, and turned my attention to a new venture: the SCBWI-L.A. Mentorship. I had spent several weeks earlier in the spring selecting the recipient of the Mentorship, and I was excited to get to work with my mentee, pre-published author Edward Underhill. 

2020 mentor Nicole Maggi.

Over the course of the summer, as the pandemic grew worse and the world darkened, and my own creative spark began to dim, working with Ed was a beautiful bright spot, like a brilliant star in a moonless sky. His novel, a joyous trans coming-of-age rom-com, was a true escape every time I opened the manuscript.  

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Toot Your Horn!

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SCBWI members’ publishing news is something to celebrate here at Kite Tales! Check out whose book is coming to a platform near you or around the world. Horn-tooting and digital hi-fives welcome in the comments!

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