Thursday, August 25, 2016

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5 Reasons to Love Graphic Novels

5 Reasons to Love Graphic Novels

Since childhood, I have always been a huge fan of written words. But as much as I believe that good authors can express almost anything merely by finding the right words and building the perfect sentence, I always really appreciated books with illustrations as well. And graphic novels. Here are five reasons, why graphic novels are a wonderful thing, and if you haven’t already, you might want to give them a try.

They can feature a unique style
In graphic novels, the visuals play a major role in the total work of art, and the clever use of design elements sometimes opens a whole new box of narrative tools. The same story could feel entirely different with a darker art style than it would with a more cartoonish look. Take Sin City for example - the style was so capturing that even the movies adapted the black-and-white color scheme of the original comic books.

They are less intimidating to read
Particularly for younger readers, it can be quite breathtaking to stare at a wall of text, page after page, without any visual features whatsoever. After all, we got used to books with loads of fantastic illustrations at a very young age. The step from the colorful bedtime stories our parents read to us, straight into the world of novels can be a tough one to make, so why not get your little ones into reading with a good graphic novel? It certainly did enhance my reading skills a bit, back in these days :)

They can express many things in one image
As the old saying goes, a picture says more than a thousand words. While writers can certainly do a proper job describing the atmosphere of the world or the beauty of a landscape, not every reader enjoys wading through all these bits of information, but would rather focus on the action. Like with acting, there are certain things a single emotionally charged look from the protagonist or the view of a bizarre alien creature can express within a second, that words simply might not be able to convey.

They inspire great movies and series
This is especially true to manga, but also western franchises have spawned many great movie adaptations. There’s a good chance even one of your favorite movies started out as a graphic novel. While this holds true to regular books as well, the already existing artwork of graphic novels tends to make it much easier for filmmakers and animators alike, to stay true to the unique look and feel of the original work, which is - you know - a good thing.

They combine two arts into one
I alway admired how cartoonists were able to breathe life into a blank page. Writing, especially storytelling, is an incredible (sometimes even dominant) art by itself, but combined with the imagery of a skilled illustrator, it becomes an impressive blend, that can lead to genuine masterpieces and, in the end, that deserves to be considered an art form of its own.
About the Author
Ben Wendtner is an Austrian author and the creator of the online writing platform Belletristica, a place to publish, enjoy and chat about written words of all kinds.

Image credits: Pixabay
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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5 Books For Kids Who Don't Like Reading

5 books for kids who don’t like reading

Reading is not merely an entertaining pastime, but also a great way for children to improve on various language skills. Aside from some kind of lesson and morale, which most children’s books have, reading them also enhances their ability to read, expands their vocabulary, kindles their love for literature and in some cases even gives them a feel for style and structure - the tools they need to craft their own stories one day. Of course, not every child loves reading. Here are some great books that might spark their interest, though:

If your child isn’t easily scared and loves stories with a creepy vibe, then Coraline by Neil Gaiman might be the right choice to get them into reading. The story revolves around young Coraline, who falls through a portal to another world, in which darker versions of her parents try to keep her. It’s one of those books that are not only suitable for children, but for their parents as well. If you enjoyed it, there is also a 2009 movie adaptation that generally received favorable reviews.

This one is ideally suited for younger kids. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle follows the life of a newly hatched caterpillar, that is, as the title suggests, constantly looking for food, until it turns into a beautiful butterfly. The many lovely illustrations and short reading part make it great for kids who don’t like to read long passages. Even I read this one as a kid, and it should be in every kindergarten’s bookshelf.

This is one of the all-time classics. A book that is so obviously a must-read that you might just miss it, hidden in plain sight. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren is one of the gems even our parents used to love, back when they were children. It follows the adventures of an unconventional young girl, who lives her crazy life exactly as she likes it. Until the present day, it has lost no part of its charm. Also, the movie adaptations are lovely.

This book can be a little gruesome at some parts, but it’s a little masterpiece nonetheless. Max and Moritz by Wilhelm Busch tells the story of two mischievous youngsters who steal, torture animals and play some genuinely evil pranks on everyone around them until they eventually have to feel the consequences. The story is told in many unique images and skillfully written rhymes.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of the big names when it comes to children’s books. It’s over 50 years old by now, and it is still a great book that many kids (and adults) enjoy today. Nowadays, this classic is available as reproduction that uses modern coloring technologies, but also stays true to the original artwork. With its unique storytelling style and fantastic creatures, this book is sure to continue inspiring children for generations to come.

About the Author
Ben Wendtner is an Austrian author and the creator of the online writing platform Belletristica, a place to publish, enjoy and chat about written words of all kinds.

Featured image via Pixabay
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Friday, August 12, 2016

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We're looking for guest writers!

Books for What is a website dedicated to books, new releases, and everything related to the literary field. If you are a beginning content writer who wants to build his or her portfolio, perhaps you'd enjoy writing and publishing an article on our platform. We have about one thousand unique visitors per month, and we expect that number to grow gradually as we publish more posts on a weekly basis. The website is promoted using channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Adwords.

If you can write something funny or smart about any book-related topic, we're interested in hearing from you. We can offer you a backlink to the website of your choice as well as full credits at the end of the article. It should be noted that we will now be accepting posts within the 300 to 800-word range. Applications should be sent via email and in a format that is universally accepted and compatible with all operating systems (rtf, doc, docx, txt).

Should you have the time and availability, we ask you to find pictures for your article as you alone know better than anyone else what it is about. All images should be in the public domain. We recommend utilizing websites such as Picjumbo or Pixabay as they are immense collections consisting of thousands of royalty-free images. What's more, the source of the picture you've used should be noted somewhere in the article or at least mentioned in the email application.

Having trouble figuring out what you can write about? We can give you some pointers. We love posts written in the style of the ones published by BuzzFeed, mainly picture-rich and clever. Whether you intend to write about several tips and tricks that can help one stick to a reading challenge or perhaps you've read a book that you can't seem to get out of your head - anything works. Unfortunately, we are unable to compensate guest bloggers at this time. Nonetheless, the work will be entirely credited to you, the author, and as previously mentioned, we will offer you a do-follow backlink to the website you're the owner of, the agency you work for, or your personal blog.

If everything sounds good, don't hesitate to drop us a note or send your article to booksforwhat at gmail dot com.

Image credits: Pixabay
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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5 Books About Online Marketing

5 Books About Online Marketing

It’s not always easy to create something that is worth sharing, but what can be even more challenging, is, in actuality, spreading the word. After you finished your novel, started your blog or founded your company, you still need to reach out to people, or all your hard work might go unnoticed. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to a few books about marketing, which can take you a long way.

Hooked by Nir Eyal is one of my favorite books about marketing, and I can honestly recommend reading it, because not only does it focus on selling your stuff, but on how to craft products that are good and engaging, to begin with. As the title suggests, this book teaches a lot about how we usually form habits, and how to use that knowledge to create addictive things. Especially if you’re running a blog or website that means a lot to you, you do not only want people to visit your site once, or occasionally – you want to make it so right, that it’s worthy of becoming part of your users' daily routine.

Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes is all about crafting excellent content. You’ll learn how to write stories that people want to read, and you’ll learn how to chose the right words to make your articles sound trustworthy, honest and entertaining. Content marketing can offer a lot that traditional marketing won’t, and if you’re serious about your business, you should undoubtedly make use of it. Everybody Writes features a lot of practical tips which are instantly applicable and contains advice that even advanced writers will find useful.

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday teaches you how to reach a broad audience effectively with just a limited marketing budget. Much like guerrilla marketing, growth hacking ditches traditional means of marketing (like TV commercials, press releases, and billboards) for more unconventional and creative methods. If you need to market something and don’t mind spending a lot of time and effort rather than money, then this book might be worth a buy.

Another book about content marketing, but a rather good one. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi features a lot of great advice and in-depth case studies of leading companies, and it has even been named as one of 5 must-read business books by Fortune Magazine. So if you want to learn some marketing, you should give it a try too.

Of course, this article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a book on Social Media. The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki offers solid advice on how to successfully navigate through Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr as a company while getting the most out of your accounts and avoiding typical traps and mistakes that could hurt your reputation. If you plan on using Social Media for marketing (which you should), you might want to check this one out.

About the Author
Ben Wendtner is an Austrian author and the creator of the online writing platform Belletristica, a place to publish, enjoy and chat about written words of all kinds.

Featured image via PicJumbo
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Monday, August 8, 2016

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Let's Celebrate World Cat Day!

In case you didn’t know, August 8th is a day for celebrating cats and kittens all around the world. We’ve collected some info about this international celebration because we were curious as to how it became so popular over the years, but we also included some fun facts about cats. We also own a cat and love it dearly, and we thought about making this post as personal as possible by including some pictures of our darling Bluezzy. All of the images are from our Instagram account, Books for What.

World Cat Day was introduced in 2002 by the International Fund of Animal Welfare, in order to raise awareness about the requirements of cats. Few people are aware of the fact that there are now over half a billion pet cats living in apartments and homes around the world. Cats have been around for many, many years, during which they’ve gathered quite a good degree of popularity. Some of the greatest fans of cats were the Ancient Egyptians who are said to have had a religion where they worshipped animals, cats included. The reason cats were critically acclaimed back then was that they were capable of keeping small communities clean and vermin-free thanks to their abilities to catch and kill cobras and rats. Although it might be hard to believe, around one hundred and eighty thousand mummified cats were sold at an auction in 1890, in Britain.
In the United States, cats are the most popular pets as there are over eighty million of them living in households, and there are just over seventy million dogs owned by Americans these days. In 2011, an Italian cat named Tommaso became the richest one ever to have lived on the planet because his 94-year old owner left him a 13 million dollar fortune. From rags to riches doesn’t get cooler than this because up to a point in his life, Tommaso was a stray cat living in the streets of Rome. When he was adopted by Maria Assunta, things changed substantially. The woman didn’t have any kids or relatives and was a widow, so she left all her money to the cat.
Many cats are lactose-intolerant, in spite of their owners’ tendency to give them milk once they adopt them. Our cat hates milk and any other milk-related product (including cream and sour cream) aside from butter, but we’ve figured that her preference for buttery dishes is probably due to the heavy fat content. Cats can’t taste sweetness, but they might love ice cream and other foods of this sort because they’re fatty, and they like the consistency. There have been cases (and our cat is not an exception) where cats have been surprised eating coconut oil.
Famous cat lovers include Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Newton, Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, T.S. Eliot, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Renoir, Monet, Lewis Carroll, Beatrix Potter, Yeats, Sir Walter Scott, Theodore Roosevelt, the Bronte sisters, and Lord Byron.

To make things a bit more fun, we’ve decided to make a short list of several gifts for cat lovers that will seriously blow them away. Some of these items are sweet and decorative whereas others are functional and useful.

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