Wednesday, September 07, 2016

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK

Pose a Question

Alina Adams, author of The Figure Skating Mystery Series, says “the best tip I have for writing strong book descriptions is to pose a question the reader desperately wants answered – but can’t unless they read the book.”

Adams set up her question with this intriguing book description:

At the World Figure Skating Championship, the Ladies’ Gold medal goes to Russia’s dour Xenia Trubin over America’s perky Erin Simpson thanks to the vote of one judge, who then promptly turns up dead.

Who killed Silvana Potenza? A skater? A coach? A fan? An official? A parent?


Emphasize Enhanced Content

Adams’s mystery series also includes professionally made videos of The Ice Theatre of NY as part of the story. “In my book description, I make sure to highlight this unique feature, and – this part is critical – explain exactly what that feature is and how it works. Enhanced ebooks are still so new, customers don’t expect them, and don’t exactly understand what they are. It is my job to make that clear – and enticing – in the book description.”

More tips (from writers who are not me) at: Writing Effective Book Descriptions to Sell More Books.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

END OF THE (SOAP) LINE

For my last Entertainment Weekly Community post, I did a round up of the Top 10 Soap Opera final episodes - with clips!

Check it out here and join the conversation about your favorites - and which ones you think I unfairly left out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SOAP TREK


The original Lieutenant Uhura herself, actress Nichelle Nichols, will appear on the 11,000th episode of The Young & the Restless, September 1, 2016.

But turnabout (intruder; bonus points if you get the ultra-geeky reference) is fair play. Go to EW Community for a list of our top 5 favorite original Star Trek guest-starts who went on to play meaningful roles on soaps - plus classic video clips!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SOAP OPERAS & THE OLYMPICS


The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat….

No, that’s not the Olympic motto (they’re all about their Faster, Higher, Stronger…). But it is the tagline that ABC’s Wild World of Sports came up with for turning athletic competition into, well, a soap opera.

Faster, higher, stronger is awesome, but it’s the personal stories that keep viewers in front of the tube, cheering for athletes who don’t have a shot at a medal… as long as the story is a good one. Quick, name the folks who actually beat Eddie the Eagle in skiing, or the Jamaican bobsledding team. There. See?

But turnabout is fair play. If the Olympics are now just a multi-week soap-opera (that, ironically, is preempting an actual soap-opera, Days of Our Lives) with periodic bursts of running, swimming and tumbling to break up the tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting tales, why shouldn’t Olympians get the chance to periodically pop up amidst the tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting tales on soaps?

Check out our Top 5 favorite appearances at Entertainment Weekly!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

SOAP OPERA JUSTICE


On The Young & the Restless, Victor is out of prison. Well, that was a stressful ten minutes. OK, fine, it was a couple of weeks… months, tops. Definitely not the decade-long sentence he was originally saddled with.

We all know that, in the real world, justice is rarely blind – or fair. Some people get the book thrown at them, while others escape with a slap on the wrist for the same crime. In the real world, your race, gender, religion, and socio-economic class play a big part in how Lady Justice feels like treating you. This would be true on soaps, too, if there were enough racial and/or religious diversity to accumulate multiple data points. As for social-class, when even the so-called “poor people” can jet off to Europe at a moment’s notice, one starts to suspect “I do not think (that word) means what you think it means.”

Still, different people do get treated differently when it comes to crime and time-served. Check out the most grievous examples from the four soap-operas still left on the air at Entertainment Weekly!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

SOAP OPERA BAD BOYS REFORMED BY LOVE OF A GOOD WOMAN

“I thought I could change him,” whimpered pretty much every woman on daytime over the past few weeks, be it General Hospital’s Sabrina about her low-level mobster baby-daddy or Alexis over her high-level mobster one-night stand/baby-daddy turned husband. It also applied to The Young & the Restless’s Meredith who, as a prison doctor, should have known that maybe inmates are sometimes not the most straight-and-narrow of citizens, and The Bold & the Beautiful’s Katie, who’d seen Bill cheat on a multitude of women, but was shocked — shocked! - when he did it to her.

You can’t really blame the ladies. Soap operas are chock full of tales of very evil, kind of evil, and vaguely evil men reformed by the love of a good woman. If it happened once, it can happen again, right? Check out our top three favorite examples of when it worked … and when it didn’t at Entertainment Weekly!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

SOAP SISTER V. SOAP SISTER!

Remember when The Bold & the Beautiful’s Bill had that awesome idea where he and Brooke would have an affair so that Bill could be a better husband to Brooke’s sister, Katie?

Well, that didn’t work out so well. Now Katie knows, and though Bill tried to pin the blame on Katie’s recent fling with alcoholism, she preferred to hold him and her sister responsible.

B&B’s Katie and Brooke aren’t the first pair of sisters to fight over the same man. (Though is it truly fighting if neither is particularly sure they want him anymore?) Heck, Bill isn’t even the first man Brooke and Katie have in common. There was Ridge. There was Nick. (To be somewhat fair, B&B is a half-hour show with a smaller-than-average cast.)

A sister versus sister love triangle is a soap-opera staple. Read some of our favorites, past and present, at Entertainment Weekly!

WHEN NY SCHOOLS GENTRIFY

I am quoted in an article about NY schools and gentrification:

Alina Adams, the author of Getting Into NYC Kindergarten, works with many parents of color who are trying to get their children into New York City-area elementary schools; she also helps parents adjust to the schools once they’re there. According to Adams, many parents of color express concern that they won’t be listened to at the school. “[Reluctance to speak up] gets magnified when it’s someone of a different race than you or different ethnicity or different economic background,” she said. “Maybe you don’t speak English so well and you feel intimidated by that. How do I challenge this person on this issue when I know that she’s a lawyer and I [just] have a high-school diploma?”

The data bears out some of Adams’s points about disadvantaged parents’ lack of involvement. Lower educational levels are a factor in their limited engagement, as is having a lower socioeconomic status and being an underrepresented minority, a 2013 study on Parental Readiness Empowerment Programs shows. Meanwhile, a 2014 paper that analyzed black parents at an urban middle school found that perceptions of racism and hostile parent-teacher interactions were significant barriers to their engagement at school.

Read more at The Atlantichttp://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/how-marginalized-families-are-pushed-out-of-ptas/491036/

And to hear more from NYC parents about all aspects of NYC schools, listen to Secrets of NYC Schools podcast.