Ryan Colucci's Blog

June 30, 2014

I’m copying this from a newsletter I receive from Author Marketing Experts, which always has great tips for authors.


Four Tips on What NOT to Say (or Pitch or Do) to Get Your Book Reviewed


If you want guarantees, you won’t find them in book reviews. Death and taxes, yes – but the book review process is a sea of unknowns, from how many review requests you’ll get to who’ll actually post a review to whether they’ll even like your book at all.


When you’ve got people reviewing books mostly as a labor of love, the reality is, that review you expected this month may be delayed by a couple of months. Or, they may not love your book and be pretty blunt about it. Life happens. It’s fine to check back with a reviewer if you haven’t heard anything and had been given a review timeframe. It’s fine to correct a factual error in a review, but it’s not appropriate to start a fight with someone who has fairly reviewed your book and just decided it didn’t work for them.


What else should you keep in mind during the review process?


Be a Pro. It probably seems unnecessary to state that being professional at all times is important, but there have been so many author-initiated blog brouhahas online that we can’t take anything for granted. Ask nicely when requesting a review; be gracious if the answer is no. It’s not personal. If you’ve done your homework you may know going in that a particular blogger – who you’ve identified as a key blogger for your book – is overwhelmed with a review backlog. Perhaps the blogger is up for a guest post, and if you see the blog often includes them, be prepared to pitch some ideas. Maybe it’s a good site for contests – again, be ready to suggest a contest and terms. Pay attention to what the blogger does on his or her blog – it’s most definitely not all reviews, all the time – and see if there is anything you can contribute to either complement a review or in place of a review.


Be appreciative. I can count on both hands, with fingers left over, the number of authors we’ve worked with who have bothered to thank reviewers. Do it. The authors who do take the time to email the blogger to say thanks are usually rewarded by developing relationships with the bloggers they thank. If that blogger enjoyed the author’s book they usually ask if they can review the author’s next book, and so on. What was originally a one-time situation now becomes an ongoing relationship in which the reviewer follows the author’s career and the author has additional opportunities for book reviews, interviews and more – and not only with that blogger; chances are the blogger’s peers who like the same kind of books are going to take notice.


Never burn bridges. Even if a review you receive is unfair, or not the quality you expected, there is only so much you can do. If there is a factual error, by all means alert the blogger immediately with the correction. Otherwise, if you just don’t like the review, let it go. Just remember that whatever the review says, you never know how readers will react and I’ve seen many cases in which the lukewarm review caused others to say they wanted to read the book for themselves. You’re getting free publicity and you have to realize that everyone may take away a different perspective from one review. And you should still thank them, nicely, for taking the time to review your book.


Take the long view. Also understand that the Internet has brought together hundreds of book lovers (aka book bloggers) as never before, and not only do they share their love of books, they also discuss problems, issues and more. Angry authors have gotten plenty of bad coverage this way, with the result being that a multitude of reviewers have sworn they will never review any work by that author. Ever. There’s an adage about never getting into a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel – a reference to newspapers and magazines – but the reality now is you don’t want to get into a fight with someone who has a blog with hundreds (or more) of followers, plus Twitter and Facebook accounts and the ability to broadcast bad news far and wide. Don’t let that be you!


 


Filed under: Graphic Novel
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Published on June 30, 2014 09:00 • 11 views

June 5, 2014

I was reading an article in Filmmaker Magazine recently and came across this quote, from Nick Daschul. I’m not sure who he is or what he does, but this struck a nerve… at least with me.


“I’ve been reminded of why movies were so important to me back when I was a teenager. It wasn’t the cool camera move, or the heartbeat crush sugar rush romance moment, or the suave magnetic matinee idol glances, or the dolly, or the pop track, or the cigarette flame, or the eyeliner. I guess really what I was looking for, all alone in the dark, far from home, was that rarest of rare things — a friend.”


 


Filed under: Filmmaking, Movies
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Published on June 05, 2014 09:00 • 13 views

May 19, 2014

I just got home from Portland, Maine… home of the Maine Comic Arts Festival (MeCAF). The day long art/comic show is run by Rick Lowell over at Casablanca Comics and I have to tell you, it is an awesome show.  I missed the opening night reception for my godson’s Christening… but seeing as how I really liked Portland I’m sure it was a great time.


It was held at the Portland Company Complex, which is right on the water and had the feel of an old shipyard building. It was the perfect size (or so it seemed) for the event. I’m a little leery about local shows because they are generally geared towards kids, and this was no exception. If you are familiar with my books, at least until Bulderlyns comes out, then you know why I’m leery. However, within the first ten minutes I had a great talk with an aspiring artist and he just opened the floodgates. It didn’t stop until about a half hour or so before the show closed. Everyone of the guests was really nice, obviously loved comics or art and was great to talk to.


It’s hard for me to leave my table, especially when I’m by myself, so pictures of the event itself are at a minimum. And I don’t get to speak to as many creators as I’d like – usually just my neighbors. I did have a few good talks with other creators who didn’t have tables at the show, but were there supporting.


I went down the street to what I guess is downtown Portland for dinner with a mission – lobster. I chose a place on the water that wasn’t too fancy, because in my experience these places always have better food. It was my first lobster roll and it was awesome. Can’t wait to head back…


IMG_1930 IMG_1926 IMG_1928 IMG_1934 IMG_1936 IMG_1935 IMG_1940 IMG_1938


Filed under: Bulderlyns, Graphic Novel, Harbor Moon, Orange Life, R.E.M.
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Published on May 19, 2014 17:00 • 8 views

May 9, 2014

After an epic road trip, Zsombor and I finally made it to Chicago for C2E2. We stayed right on the lake, at Michigan and Harrison, so we had the pleasure of seeing a bit of Chicago at night. And, other than the let down of deep dish pizza, I have to say that I was very impressed with the entire show and the city. Because of the space of the hall, I think I would have to give it the nod over NYCC as my favorite con. The people are great at both, interested and knowledgeable about comics (not just pop culture – which is what a lot of these cons have become). NYCC will always take a hit because the main hall is divided in two and artist alley is in a completely separate corridor. C2E2 doesn’t have this problem, at all.  The layout is almost perfect. And Zsombor and I got a great table in Artist Alley… across from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmioti (great and talented people), the SpeciMen guys (awesome guys) and the folks at Yeti Press (another good group of dudes) – all of whom actually do comics, not nonsensical pop culture art.


We even got to meet a bunch of Kickstarter backers for R.E.M. as well as more than a handful of new faces.  It was a fun show and I can’t wait to go back.


2014.04.26-C2E2-1 2014.04.26-C2E2-2 2014.04.25-C2E2 Table


Zsombor with BumbleBee

Zsombor with BumbleBee


Ryan with Jigsaw

Ryan with Jigsaw


with Decapitated Dan, the most prolific comics journalist out there.

with Decapitated Dan, the most prolific comics journalist out there.


Utah - make it two.

Utah – make it two.


2014.04.28-C2E2-Ryan.Zsombor


Zsombor with the lamest quote ever

Zsombor with the lamest quote ever


 


 


Filed under: Bulderlyns, Chasing Rabbits, Graphic Novel, Harbor Moon, Orange Life, Penny Black, R.E.M.
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Published on May 09, 2014 09:00 • 12 views

May 8, 2014

After a few months on the road, to Los Angeles to produce a film, then to AwesomeCon in D.C., C2E2 in Chicago and a bachelor party in Vegas – I am finally back on my home turf of New York.  Since I was actually working most of the time, I don’t have a tremendous amount of photos from the conventions… but I do have some.


Below are a few from AwesomeCon, which was held in Washington, D.C.  It was fun, but ultimately this convention was more of a pop culture thing than a comics convention. And we didn’t have the best table – stuck right next to a guy selling grumpy cat artwork. If you weren’t familiar with the type of books I create, they couldn’t be further from pop culture humor and anyone that would walk past a grumpy cat booth and cackle.


2014.04.18-Awesome-ConventionHall 2014.04.25-Awesome-HallZsombor 2014.04.18-Awesome-Zsombor 2014.04.18-Awesome-Ryan.R2


This guy had a simple, but great costume.

This guy had a simple, but great costume.


The saddest con pic ever taken?

The saddest con pic ever taken?


Filed under: Bulderlyns, Chasing Rabbits, Graphic Novel, Harbor Moon, Orange Life, Penny Black, R.E.M.
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Published on May 08, 2014 10:09 • 11 views

April 16, 2014

If you’re in the Washington, DC area this weekend, swing by Awesome Con and say hello to myself and Zsombor Huszka.  We’ll be in Artist Alley at Table M8 all weekend.  We’ll have copies of R.E.M., Harbor Moon, promo issues of Chasing Rabbits, art prints and t-shirts.  Treat yourself to some good times!


Awesome Con takes place April 18 – 20, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.


Friday: 3pm – 8pm

Saturday: 10am – 7pm

Sunday: 10am – 5pm

ACDC_Wordpress_Header_150


Filed under: Bulderlyns, Chasing Rabbits, Graphic Novel, Harbor Moon, Orange Life, R.E.M.
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Published on April 16, 2014 08:04 • 18 views

March 24, 2014

I’ve been in LA for over two months and it’s about time I head back to NY. I miss my family and I need to spend some quality time with my brand new nephew. However, I will be out here another two weeks overseeing the edit and post. I found out that a storm is coming through the east coast that is supposed to dump snow everywhere. We are almost in April. That’s absurd. So… Maybe I shouldn’t be in such a rush to get back there.


I also found out that I will be the Godfather to my nephew. Pretty exciting stuff. Can’t wait to take him to a cage and work on some lax skills. And then the mats to teach him to fight. He needs to be well rounded, ya know?


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Published on March 24, 2014 20:36 • 17 views

January 31, 2014

Please help pressure Governor Cuomo in funding the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP). As someone with a friend who is paralyzed, there are some amazing advances being made – and until you’re faced with such an ordeal you have no idea how limited the resources are for this type of research in America.  New York, particularly Bloomberg, was making a massive push to bring New York to the forefront of medical/tech research.  That effort is still ongoing and I believe we were neck-in-neck with Boston in second.


I have already written a letter, you can change the name and date and shoot it off – I know there are a lot of people that would be truly grateful to you. Below is the template for the letter I wrote if you are so inclined to help out. It takes all of five minutes to copy, paste and change some information. Thanks all.


The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo


Governor of New York State


NYS Capitol Building


Albany, NY 12224


Dear Governor Cuomo:


I am writing you today to request your consideration of including $8.5 million in your 2014 Executive Budget to fully fund the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP). As you may know, the SCIRP supports New York researchers, hospitals and academic center in their quest to find cures for spinal cord injury. It helps to leverage federal and private sector funds, while at the same time providing well paying, high-tech jobs to New Yorkers. It’s funding will no doubt attract scientists and doctors to our great state.


According to state law, the SCIRP is funded through a surcharge on moving violation traffic tickets.  The law states that these funds are to be used to fully fund the SCIRP at $8.5 million annually. Unfortunately, SCIRP funds were eliminated in 2010 and used to fill state budget gaps. This cut has resulted in terminations and disruptions in research programs. Since then, advocates such as myself have been successful in getting a partial restoration of $2 million in 2013.


Since 1998, SCIRP has provided over $71 million of much needed dollars in research dollars to advance treatments for spinal cord injury. Under your leadership, our state is in better fiscal health and can afford to fully fund this modest program. Let’s not leave it to other states to be at the forefront of this research. New York has been inching closer and closer to Northern California as the place to be for medical research – help us take the lead with this program that provides real benefits to real individuals.


Thank your for your consideration and I will be following up with your staff soon.


Best,


Ryan Colucci


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Published on January 31, 2014 11:22 • 24 views

December 30, 2013

As the weather has turned, so have things in my life.


Recently, I have a close friend who found himself on the wrong side of the law. He is now looking at ten years or more for his actions. Left behind is a bag of shit that he left other people to carry. He was greedy and selfish and the people who are paying the price are the people who actually cared about this kid. I feel bad that he is about to lose a major chunk of his life and stare at four walls all day – but we all make choices in life.


On Christmas Eve, a friend of mine and college lacrosse teammate passed away.  This is a 36 year old who recently got married and by all definitions was in great health. He went home for the holidays in MA, took a nap and never woke up. And no one knew until this week – but his wife is twelve weeks pregnant. Today was the funeral and the whole thing felt surreal. Like it wasn’t really happening. That there was no way my friend was inside that casket. I don’t know what the point of this post is.  Just that I had to face some hard truths today. Truths about my worries and fears. Financial concerns and producing/writing a hit film/book. They always seem so trivial when put into perspective. My heart ached for his family and his wife… and his unborn child. I felt utterly useless and like I was a tourist at this funeral. I would go home. I would move on with life. And this is something they will have to deal with everyday. And in nine months a baby will be born without a father. And their struggle could just be beginning.


He wore #5.  But right now he is #1 in my heart, along with his family and all my other friends touched by this tragedy.


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Published on December 30, 2013 18:19 • 22 views

November 21, 2013

I ask this question somewhat facetiously… because I obviously work in comics (and have two books in production).  Everyone wants to lament how the business is dying and complain about how hard it is to make money. The latter may be all too true, but the statistics don’t actually back the former up.


In fact, 2012 was the best comics sales year of the millenium.



Overall, sales of digital comics are growing nicely.  Digital sales tripled last year, to $70 million.
The print side saw sales gains of 15%, to $750 million.

One of the reasons comics are doing well is because of digital distribution. In the world of ebooks, there are only a few players in the game: Amazon, Apple, and (barely) Barnes & Noble. The diverse range of comics distributors — both third-party organizations and publishers themselves — mean that users can pick and choose where they shop without sacrificing title availability. This fragmentation also allows for comics companies to pick and choose the way their comics are sold.


Comixology is leading the charge for digital comic distributors. The digital comics distributor was the third-highest grossing iPad app of 2012 and is closing in on 200 million downloads.


Exciting things are happening in digital comics and users get markedly different experiences between print and their devices — creating a separate realm for digital comics that doesn’t cannibalize print. So don’t give up the fight.


Comixology-A


Filed under: Graphic Novel
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Published on November 21, 2013 05:55 • 26 views