Kobo Writing Life Podcast

Listen in as KWL Director Mark Lefebvre interviews nonfiction author Michael Rank, whose titles include HISTORY'S WORST DICTATORS and FROM MUHAMMED TO BURJ KHALIFA: A Crash Course in 2,000 Years of Middle East History. Mark and Michael discuss Michael's podcast, History in Five Minutes, self-publishing from a nonfiction author's perspective, and the challenges and rewards of translating self-published titles. Michael shares his thoughts about:

  • His History in Five Minutes podcast, where Michael works to share stories about things that challenge our assumptions about the past, and the people who "shouldn't be there" in a moment of history, according to our idea of that era of history.
  • Utilizing the podcast to develop a readership, connect with fans, and promote his books.
  • "Think global, act local." There are many opportunities for independent authors to go broad and deep: broad, by reaching a global audience through online sales and translations; and deep, by cultivating relationships with niche and local readers.
  • Michael recommends trying Babelcube for their translation services.
  • Through Babelcube, translators earn a share of royalties, so they are invested in your success. Michael has worked with translators to get help with foreign marketing, for example, through translating reviews, Facebook posts, or tweets.
  • It is important to educate yourself about writing and self-publishing, but mistakes and failures are inevitable as you work through the process of publishing. Accept and learn from these failures, and find the opportunities that work best for you. The podcast worked well for Michael, but he tried many other things along the way that did not.
  • Similarly, find a writing schedule that works for your life and goals. As a PhD candidate, Michael knows that he can realistically only write for one to two hours per day.

Following the podcast interview, KWL US Manager Christine Munroe shares an exciting update: for the second year in a row, KWL is sponsoring NaNoWriMo! Starting November 1, hundreds of thousands of writers will endeavour to write 50,000 words within one month. Several KWL and Kobo staff members are participating this year, carrying on our KoBoWriMo tradition. We'll keep the KWL blog updated with the trials and tribulations of our fearless WriMos, the great prizes we are offering this year, and more. Stay tuned!

Direct download: 23_KWL_EP_023_-_Michael_Rank.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am PST

KWL EP 022 - Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks

Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks met in person for the first time at Kobo’s home office in Toronto in May 2014 and were interviewed by Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre about their individual works as well as the forthcoming collaborative graphic novel they are creating together and which will be coming from First Second books in 2016.

The interview includes the following:

  • ·         How these two “Twitter bro’s” just met a few minutes before the interview (at Kobo’s home office in Toronto in May 2014)
  • ·         How Landline was a return to writing adult novels for Rainbow
  • ·         The manner by which some of the travel, airport scenes and long distance phone calls to a family while traveling were somewhat predictive in Rainbow’s journey as a touring author (and what she called “having a ‘Landline’ moment.”
  • ·         The speculative fiction element of Landline and Rainbow’s love of reading science-fiction and the “geeky time travel” elements of the novel which features a “magic phone.”
  • ·         How Rainbow wrote the novel Fangirl during NaNoWriMo and how both that novel and Landline were the fastest books that Rainbow wrote
  • ·         Faith Erin Hicks sharing the fact that she is a giant library nerd
  • ·         The ARC of Fangirl that Faith rec’d from a colleague who knew that she would like it (and that it was the first book of Rainbow’s that Faith had read)
  • ·         The cross-over in writing between the two women and Faith Erin Hicks’ The Adventures of Superhero Girl comic
  • ·         Faith’s use of Canada in this 2014 Will Eisner Award winning comic – (professing to a lack of supervillains in Canada)
  • ·         The “geekiness” factor in The Adventures of Superhero Girl and the fact that Faith wrote it with a reader like her in mind (to fill a gap that she saw in the industry)
  • ·         The cameo appearance of Faith’s local neighbourhood comic book store (Strange Adventures)
  • ·         Faith’s Mom recognizing Faith as Superhero Girl and her real life “golden brother”
  • ·         Faith’s hilarious copyright notice for her work posted online and her belief that she wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for making her work available online for free
  • ·         The way that Rainbow and Faith first connected via Twitter
  • ·         The Twitter connection to First Second Books and how Rainbow and Faith’s collaborative book project came together (in a very “When Harry Met Sally” way)
  • ·         How collaboration between two creators can be like a weird marriage
  • ·         The “Sherlock” tangent that Rainbow and Faith can often follow
  • ·         The importance of giving yourself permission to do something new and, importantly, the permission to try something and fail
  • ·         The fact that there will definitely be kissing in their collaborative book (because Rainbow likes to write “kissing” and Faith wants to draw “kissing”)
  • ·         The great fan art that exists for Rainbow’s previous novels from artists such as Simini Blocker 
  • ·         The mutual admiration the two have for The X-Men (particularly the “blue” characters for Rainbow)
  • ·         Faith’s adoration of the character of Marrow from The X-Men (the least popular character of all time, according to polls)
  • ·         The addictive nature and magic that happens when collaborations work really well
  • ·         How someone at Groundwood Books tweeted (well before this project was conceived) that Rainbow and Faith we work well together
  • ·         How KWL will continue to follow the progress of their collaboration (due to come out in 2016)

Mark then talks about what can happen when writers are open, social and collaborative in nature, reflecting on how Rainbow and Faith were mutual fans of one another, had connected in an online community. Mark shares his own experiences from a recent conference in which he connected with other writers, editors, publishers, librarians and booksellers, and explains the beautiful serendipity that can happen when writers take advantage of the connections and opportunities that can arise from engaging with the community.

LINKS

Rainbow's Website

Rainbow on Twitter

Rainbow on Tumbler

Rainbow's Books at Kobo

 

Faith's Website

Faith on Twitter

Faith on Tumblr

Faith's Books at Kobo

Direct download: KWL_022_RainbowRowell_FaithErinHicks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:39pm PST

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