Sunday, July 10, 2011

Digital Media With Emma Dryden, Rubin Pfeffer, and Loreen Leedy

In the Digital Media Track at SCBWI Orlando, Emma Dryden reminded us the iPhone and the Kindle were first introduced in 2007, only four years ago.

Rubin Pfeffer added the prediction that by 2014 consumers would own 250,000,000 tablets.

Emma Dryden told us Laura Rennert, an agent at Andrea Brown Literary, has helped her client P.J. Hoover self-publish!

Even Kirkus has started reviewing apps.

I am left with the feeling we are tettering on the brink of a revolution almost as mind blowing as when the printing press replaced the handwritten book. Since we can't stop the coming changes, the best strategy is to adapt.

Luckily, Loreen Leedy is a wealth of knowledge for authors. The following notes are from her talk:

Why Should An Author Develop an App?

1. As a companion to a print book.

2. To reissue an out-of-print title.

3. To explore a niche market that a traditional publisher may not be interested in.

4. To create something impossible any other way.

What Are The Differences Between A Picture Book And A Picture Book App?

1. A printed book's format is static, but an app can be designed so that a reader chooses what happens next.

2. A picture book usually has 32 pages. The number of pages is optional with an app.

3. A picture book has double page spreads. An app has a single one-sized page.

4. An app has features that a picture book doesn't (e.g. narration/sound, games/activities).

5. An app is much easier to update than waiting on the next print run.

When Designing An App Think Movement

1. Flowers bloom.

2. Birds eat worms

3. Wheels go around and around.

4. Puzzles are assembled.

5. Bikes are taken apart...and put back together.

6. Autumn leaves change colors.

For savvy content creators, the possibilities are endless!

For much more information about picture book apps check out the following links:

Loreen Leedy<

E is for Book<

Plus there's a chat about apps on Twitter Sunday evenings at 9:00 #storyappchat.

What are your experiences with digital media? Have your feelings changed about self-publishing? Do you own an e-reader? Have you purchased a picture book app?

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I took lots of random notes during the novel intensive at SCBWI Orlando. Here's a quick summary:

1. If your main character wouldn't see or notice something don't describe it.

2. Readers want to live in the moment with the character - show don't tell.

3. Give your character two to three lenses through which he/she sees the world. (e.g. In CATALYST by Laurie Halse Anderson the protagonist sees the world through a scientific lens. "Toby and I are the proton and neutron of our atomic family unit.") The language develops because of the lens.


5. Interview your characters. Ask them, "Are you alright?" Though it sounds weird, Kathleen Duey swears by this.

I'd love to hear additional novel writing tips. So leave a comment and let's discuss.