Showing posts with label videos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label videos. Show all posts

Monday, August 14, 2017

WITMonth Day 14 | Almost-halfway vlog!

First vlog of WITMonth 2017! In which I mostly gush about how wonderful the first half of the month has been, and tease a little bit of the next half.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ways to participate in WITMonth 2015 | Video

Hi everyone! I thought it might be nice to organize some ideas for the August 2015 Women in Translation Month! Reminder: There are ZERO requirements or expectations. Even sharing the information or thinking about the issue is a lot. It would be amazing to see more readers, bloggers, vloggers, booksellers, publishers, translators and everyone involved in WITMonth. So please SHARE the video and the stats, and let's make WITMonth 2015 an event for the ages! :)

Check out other useful WITMonth resources here on the blog, under the "women in translation" tag! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Women in translation database and request

Please contact me if you're interested in helping or if you have any possible resources! Your help has made the current work-in-progress database as large as it is (over 1200 titles, and growing!), and will continue to make it the best possible resource for readers seeking women writers in translation.

Thank you!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WITMonth 2015?

I'm going to put up a full post-WITMonth post sometime later this week, but for now I present my half-baked ideas for WITMonth 2015, as per a few requests. This is a process and a group project, so please, if you have ideas or thoughts or disagreements, discuss in the comments or privately (by email). As I've said before - this is a long-term thing, and would not exist without your involvement. So once again: thank you!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hello, my name is...

Hello! My name is Meytal. It's nice to finally meet you all.

As some of you will know, I've been anonymous for a long time - since the advent of this blog, actually. I've gotten a lot of interesting theories over the years as to my "true identity", some fairly accurate and others wildly off-base. In recent months, I've started to open up a bit more about my age, and many of you have also guessed my gender as well (largely, I think, because it's still considered weird for men to directly address feminist causes?). And yet I've received some unpleasant comments for remaining anonymous, and it forced me to ask the tough questions: Why was I still anonymous? What was I afraid of?

Questions which are answered in my introductory video below. I'm going to be making more of these videos - about women in translation month, about books I read that I don't feel like reviewing in print, about random book-related issues that I think are particularly interesting - but will by no means be abandoning this blog. These videos are a supplement, and an easy way to start moving past my hesitance in sharing about myself online.

Friday, December 23, 2011

On book trailers and the visual medium paradox

I just finished reading this post over at Ripple Effects from a couple weeks back about book trailers. Arti writes a few seriously thought-provoking passages:
Will you go and buy this book to read after watching the trailer, or, are you more likely to just add another view count to the video and a click on 'like'?
Book trailers are, at the end of the day, trailers. They're meant as a preview, not as a review. They might make something seem particularly impressive (or particularly unappealing), but that's because they're meant to. They don't aim to summarize the book, but rather present it in a particularly visual form to hook readers. Sometimes they work more effectively than others. For example, despite long believing that Lauren Oliver's romance-looking young adult novel Before I Fall was definitely not the book for me (not the style, genre or approach I typically enjoy), after watching the very sleek, very well-done book trailer, I want to read the book.

This is the rarer outcome. In my experience with book trailers, I find them to be supplements to books about which I've already made up my mind. They don't succeed in convincing me to a read a book previously disregarded... usually, only a very good review will do that.

Then there's the question of the "visual medium paradox", as I call it.
In this eWorld of ours, we need a real hardcover book to explain to children what a book is… or used to be, if you take the apocalyptic view.  We’re told a book isn’t something you scroll, tweet, or text, and no need to charge up. But the fact is, those are the very functions you do to view and share the trailer. And it’s a book trailer, with all its visual images and special effects, uploaded and viewed online and hopefully gone viral, that helps boost book sales. Another mash? Or simply an inevitable paradox nowadays?
In modern literary culture, the use of a visual medium to present a story is considered an upgrade. A book is deemed successful if adapted into a movie, and the other way around: a popular book will inevitably make it to the big screen (or even to the small screen - look at A Song of Ice and Fire). This is nothing new, obviously (look at the sheer amount of movies based on plays and books from sixty, even seventy and eighty years ago), but it still serves as an indicator.

I digress. The point of the visual medium paradox is that, well, it doesn't really exist. It's a conceptual thing. A book trailer isn't a paradox. It's just a use of a visual medium to blurb a book. Perhaps it's one that better captures a potential reader's attention, one that can give them tools to imagine the characters and the setting, and one that can use visual effects to enhance the image of the book. It's not like a movie, it's like a movie poster - a quick visual glimpse into the story, presented in a way that attempts to catch the reader's attention. But this is all - again - as a supplement. There's no need for the trailer - a reader can pick up the book, read it, enjoy it, and set it aside all without knowing that the trailer exists. The trailers may help boost sales, yes, but they are not the single factor determining the popularity of a book. The written word is much stronger than that.

On the other end of the visual medium paradox scale, I find myself thinking again about movie adaptations. Movie adaptations are reworkings. Much in the same way an adaptation of a play isn't exactly the same as the original, a movie or TV adaptation of a book takes advantage of its medium to tell the story differently. Yes, our culture views the visual medium to be more accessible to a wider range of people, but this doesn't actually mean that the adaptation is an upgrade.

And here I admit something I'm loathe to admit under any circumstance: I was wrong.

The book is not weakened by such visual reworkings, not by movie adaptations and not by book trailers. If use of the visual medium to supplement the written word is a paradox, so is a movie review that is not done in the visual format. Modern technology allows us to explore different mediums to express ourselves. I don't think it's necessarily ironic to use different mediums as supplements. It's inevitable.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My new favorite Oscar winner

Acceptance speech
I'd like to offer my enthusiastic, hearty congratulations to Shaun Tan of The Arrival fame and Andrew Ruhemann for winning the Oscar for best animated short film. It's not every day I get to see an author I really really admire accepting a prestigious award for something that is not at all literary (or even something in the "best screenplay" realm).

Back when I first read The Arrival, I found myself repeatedly comparing it to a silent film. It would appear that Mr Tan is just as adept at animating actual films as he is at drawing wonderful, wordless books. I very much look forward to seeing "The Lost Thing".

Once more, congratulations!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Nobody who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free."

Neil Gaiman is not my favorite author. He's good, he's someone I like to read and though I know of many readers who like him a great deal, I don't follow him consistently. Still, when he goes out and says some wonderfully apt, eloquent words about books, free books and the internet, I really have nothing but respect for the guy (via A Momentary Taste of Being - thanks!).

Gaiman's message, other than being in tune with a lot of what I've claimed over the past few years, is ultimately that offering free material on the internet does not hurt publishing and book sales (as we're led to believe - "piracy is evil!"), but does so much for getting the author's name out there and getting his/her writing into the readers' hands.
"I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question. I say: okay, do you have a favorite author? And they say: yes. And I say: good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book, put up your hand. And then anybody who discovered your favorite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book, raise your hand. And it's probably about 5-10%, if that. [...] They were lent [the book], the were given it, they did not pay for it. And that's how they found their favorite author."
It's more than just a calm realization of the nature of favorite authors (though it's certainly a lovely image). Gaiman nails the fact that profit - real literary profit, the clean and honest kind that we all would like to believe in - comes from returning readers. Readers want to support authors they like. When I read a book from the library (I obviously have not paid for it) and really like it, I very well may buy it. Why? 1. To have the book in my collection, and 2. To support the author. As a reader, the very best thing I can do to show an author that I like him/her is to buy his/her books. A new book comes out? I'll get it. I'll write reviews recommending their works. I'll lend the books out to my friends so that they might buy them too.

How can I be certain that this will work through the internet? Downloading a book isn't like borrowing a book. It's permanent, right? But I've done it. I've stumbled across promotions that offered free eBooks, read them, liked them and gone out to find more by the author. Gaiman is dead-on in this video. Offering your writing freely gets you readers and fans, increases your exposure and boosts sales. I hope more authors and publishers take note.

For an additional video Neil Gaiman made for the Open Rights Group, here's the link to his own journal post.