Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Friday, December 30, 2011

HybridBooks & Ginger Nuts Junk Food--Zesty!

In the last couple of days I've come across two intriguing articles on ePublishing. One talks about a hybrid of the traditional and the eBook, the other speaks to the new ability (or nightmare), with the proliferation of digital text, to incessantly revise and update your work. Shades of Winston Smith's rewriting of history in 1984?
Read for yourself:
From The Wall Street Journal
Books That Are Never Done Being Written
By Nicholas Carr

From the New York Times
The Book Beyond the Book by David Streitfeld

Streifeld speaks of Melville House, an innovative publisher that advocates a sort of hybrid between eReaders and traditional books: "On the physical side, the hybrids are attractive, stripped down paperbacks... the electronic element comes in with the ancillary material at the end. The last page directs readers to a website."

These links enable the full experience to go on after the reading is done. For instance, a Melville story leads to a website that shows an 1852 map of lower Manhattan and a recipe for Ginger Nuts, all elements in the actual story. The publisher learned after the fact that Ginger Nuts were considered America's first junk food!

HybridBooks, eReaders, paperbacks, it's all good!
As for me, I'm thrilled with my brand new Kindle Fire.

What's your fave holiday gift?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thankful for the blog community, blinking holiday lights and...

 Hi all,

It's that holiday time again, Christmas eve, Chanukah, almost the year of the dragon, the winter solstice just past, Kwanza, and, no doubt other festivities too. It's that time to be thankful.
Here's some of what I'm thankful for right now.

This blogging community! I want to personally thank Angel Snyder, Jenny Phresh, PK Hrezo, Sarah Ahiers, Helen Mallon, Kelly Hashway, David Powers KingLizzy Ford, Susan Kaye Quinn for her tweets and Livia Blackburne, and, in advance, Katja Weinert for doing smashup jobs in helping my book launch. Not to mention all of you other folks who posted kudos. What a cool community!

I'm thankful for family, for blinking Christmas tree lights that mesmerize, for one-eyed snowmen and my jolly, fat egg-king tree decoration, for the pretty red candles that we saw in a temple in China last New Years, for the ability to imagine and create, for friends, colleagues and my students, who inspire me.

For Polish smoked ham, Swiss chard and sweet potatoes; cherry pie and caramel cake. For good DVDs to watch while it snows outside.
What are you thankful for this holiday?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fireseed One Launch Extended! Kelly joined the party!!

Welcome to the Launch Party!

Fireseed One is my new YA futuristic thriller. It's a journey into a tricked-out near-future earth where 18 year-old Varik has just inherited a vast ocean farm, following the suspicious drowning of his Marine biologist father. When Marisa, a beautiful and devious terrorist, destroys the world's food source, Varik is forced to travel down to a lethal hotzone, teeming with dangerous nomads and a strange cult to search for a magical hybrid plant that may not even exist. The catch? He must take Marisa along, the only person who seems to know key information.

Settle in and have a virtual drink. We're serving SeaGrape sodas, Snowflake Cocktails and Polar Ice Caps. Oh, and have some Flyfish puffs and Pastel Agar Pastries, specialty of SnowAngel Island. These delicacies are all served in Fireseed One.

I'm thrilled to have some of my favorite bloggers here
to help celebrate!

Kelly Hashway's YA and Middle Grade Blog
Sarah Ahiers at Falen Formulates Fiction
Angel Snyder at 909 Reviews Never Lies
Jenny Phresh at The Party Pony
PK Hrezo's My Fiction Addiction
David Powers King's Cosmic Laire of Sci Fi and Fantasy
Lizzy Ford's Guerilla Wordfare
Helen Mallon's WritingNurture: WritingNurture: Work. Balance. sAnItY?

They're ALL amazing so check out their launch posts, Fireseed giveaways, and follow them! They are also posting Fireseed excerpts and more about the characters. But first, mingle, and leave a comment. Consider a paperback copy of Fireseed for yourself or for a holiday gift. Indulge in its banquet of art: Jay's wraparound color, Taili's awesome world map, and my quirky pen and airbrush drawings. And of course, enjoy its breakneck twists. To purchase the collectable paperback: click here.

Or an eBook for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch: click here.

On Kindle!

On Nook!

For a little extra effort, want to win a free Fireseed One eBook? Leave me a comment saying why you should win, tweet or post on FB about this launch party, follow me here and please write a review on Amazon or Goodreads when you're done reading. I'll need your email, and let me know whether you want the Nook, iPad or Kindle version, okay?

Great to see you! Please consider "liking" the facebook Fireseed One page on your way out: here. Thanks so much for coming! Catherine

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Launch Party Jitters

My launch party for Fireseed One, is this Tuesday on my blog. And I've got the launch jitters. I feel like I'm waiting for my graduation day, my wedding, a long speech that I had to give in high school in front of the class. You get it, right? In a way, it's silly. I've survived through four solo painting openings, that wedding, and well, not so much that long memorized Shakespeare speech, which I promptly forgot the words to as I stood in front of my entire class.

A note to those who use upstart formatters for their indie projects. I used Bookbaby, a great place with friendly people who actually answer the phone when you have a question. Problem is, that I published the paperback on CS, and apparently, they got confused that I wasn't publishing the eBook version through Kindle direct. I waited, and waited, and waited for the eBook to go live. Finally I asked what was happening. Glad I did. Apparently, amazon needed to get "authority to publish" from Bookbaby, because they are such a new publishing entity. You are forewarned!

So, you see, I have at least one rational reason to be anxious. The eBook is supposedly going to be expedited live by Monday, in order to be available for the launch. Send some positive energy to the good Kindle people.

I hope you'll all stop by on Tuesday, DEC 20th, and that I have all my virtual ducks in a row. Oh, and I'll be serving virtual snacks, all concoctions straight from the pages of Fireseed One!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Writerly and Artsy Holiday Gift Ideas!

It's that time again when we all need to wrack our brains for creative holiday gift ideas. What can you get for the writer in your life, or your artist sibling? Something creative and fabulous, that's what! Here are some out-of-the-box ideas to start with:

How about a New York Times crossword puzzle dish set? Nothing more quirky than serving that holiday stuffing while you're figuring out what a 6-four word down is, starting with Z.

Or, for that graphic designer you love, how about a set of Pantone coffee or espresso cups? Pantone, for the uninitiated, is the standardized system of printing colors. Photoshop contains Pantone, as do printing houses, for syncing up a perfect color palette. I bought my book designer a Pantone 286 C, and a Pantone 2583 C coffee mug (FYI, that's a royal blue and a lilac). Hey, they even make Pantone mobile phone cases!

What about a pretty Scrabble pendant, or old typewriter pendant from Etsy?

Or a naughty "Bad Muse" T-shirt?

How about gifting scrivener software? That's the awesome writing program many swear by. I use it for outlining, as it has a virtual cork board where you can post index cards with plot elements and move them around at will.

For even more gift ideas, check out Open Minds author, Susan Kaye Quinn's recent gifting post.

Have you found other cool writers' gifts that you want to share? Gifts for arty folks?