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Steampunk Emporium
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/13/2014 09:10:17
Steampunk Emporium offers five main themes for jewelry-making: Atlantis Expedition, Zeppelin Pirate Attack!, Absinthe Fairy Interlude, Jurassic Valley Exploration, and Clockwork Tea Party. Within each of these categories, there are four or five projects ranging from mixed media designs to wirework. The skills required to make each piece also vary. For example, the Azure Cog Earrings employ simpler wireworking techniques than the Adventurer’s Fob Watch, which definitely necessitates a familiarity with polymer clay.

Anyone who's a fan of steampunk or is involved in costuming would benefit from this book. For the average beader, however, the projects are a little more involved and the components required are not inexpensive. The plus side is that every piece is unique and each step is outlined with a photo. The resources are great as well. Just keep in mind that the digital functionality of the PDF isn’t optimal; the bookmarks are on the chapter level which makes navigation a little challenging.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Steampunk Emporium
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Mastering Type: The Essential Guide to Typography for Print and Web Design
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/03/2013 12:07:35
A fascinating read in its own right, but also a useful resource for anyone interested in typography whether in 'dead tree' or on the web, or indeed in design in general.

The first chapter gives a brief but absorbing history of the written word from Babylonic cuniform through illuminated manuscripts right up to the invention of moveable type and on to present-day computer-based typesetting.

Following chapters look at individual letter forms, and then at how they can be put together for effect. At times this gets extremely technical, but it is easy to pick out the bits that are of use... and ALL of it is interesting!

This is something to flip through, to study in detail, to come back to again and again.

Recommended to anyone who wants to make their work look really, really good on page or on screen.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mastering Type: The Essential Guide to Typography for Print and Web Design
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Voices from the World of Jane Austen
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/10/2013 11:22:07
Whether it is the period (early 1800s) or the works of Jane Austen themselves which interest you, this is a fascinating glimpse of the life and times as depicted in her novels.

It's wide-ranging, looking at customs and daily life as well as wider issues of the times. Contemporary sources are blended skillfully with excepts from Austen novels and other works of fiction to give a comprehensive impression of the era.

Topics include marriage, etiquette, domestic life, education, fashion, health, and the rhythm of the year; as well as wider issues of industry, politics and war.

For the role-player: Essential reading if you are playing a historical game set in these times!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Voices from the World of Jane Austen
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Horror Movie Freak
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/25/2013 10:59:21
If you like horror movies or are interested in the academic study of genre movies this is quite a treat, scanning through general topics like 'Why do we like horror movies?' before delving into a survey of landmark examples...

Role-players will find inspiration here, both in the discussion of what makes good horror and in suggestions of good films to watch for ideas on how to create the atmosphere that they want, be it a horror game or an aim to introduce horror elements into a game of another genre.

Grab the popcorn and settle down for a good read, and approach your next horror movie session better informed about what you intend to watch.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Horror Movie Freak
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102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/10/2013 12:11:19
This eBook is an overview of the types of markets you can tap into as a freelance writer. Filled with generalities, this compilation is really good for those who are new to professional freelance writing -- and who haven't chosen a specialty. While the book is formatted perfectly, there aren't a ton of resources for leads, and many of the
suggested places either require a word-of-mouth connection or a copy of Writer's Market.

If you are an experienced freelancer or writer who has already figured out your specialty, I would give this eBook a pass. If, however, you're new and just figuring out your career path, this is a good way to figure out not only what you want to do, but what the market is like (generally-speaking) for that particular aspect of the field -- minus the financials.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less
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2013 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
by Monica V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2013 11:30:35
I've had physical copies of the Writer's Market books in the past, so I went into this product with certain expectations. I wanted a digital copy that I could use when researching markets for my work, and I was pleased that the file was formatted well and everything (including chapter headings, publisher/agent websites, etc.) was hyperlinked. Having said that, I do believe that *how* you read this file is as important as the content. I used the free Readium app for Chrome and the formatting is excellent.

The market information is very useful; additionally, there are some essays on writer's advice from professionals. It does have a more literary bent in some places, so this is meant to be more of an all-purpose market book as opposed to just focusing on one type of (e.g. commercial/mass market) fiction.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2013 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
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2012 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/01/2012 09:33:16
If you are interested in children's books - even if you do not write or illustrate yourself or have ambitions to do so - this makes for a fascinating read, a real sneak peek into this particular niche market.

It's a lot more than a mere listing of potential outlets for your stories or illustrations, you see. There are articles about all aspects of the craft and trade of producting children's books, not just the actual writing or drawing bits that you creatives do, but a fair bit about the rest of the process that happens between the idea first striking you and the final product on the bookshelves. It all makes for fascinating reading, and will make you look at children's books in a new light... even if it doesn't inspire you to sieze that idea that's been kicking around somewhere at the back of your mind ever since you thought 'I could do better than THAT!' as you looked at something in the bookshop or on a child's shelf. Naturally, it might well provide you with not just a boost to your enthusiasm but the tools you need to progress that idea closer to reality.

Maybe my next review will be YOUR book!

On the other hand, if your interest is more academic, there's a lot to ponder here as well. Writing, illustration, promoting, publishing... all fascinating crafts that are often enhanced by greater understanding even if you do not actually have the inclination to practise them yourself. Explore ideas about how to make that story or illustration more appealing to the marketplace, see how its necessary to catch the attention of an agent or publisher long before there are children's noses pressed to the bookshop window to catch a glimpse of the latest work... anyone who cares about children getting the 'book habit' early and sticking with it will also find food for thought here.

Even if you are the 'core' target market of the actual or aspiring children's book author or illustrator, you will find a wealth of material above and beyond contact details within the industry. For a start, there are useful hints and tips about how to use the listings to best effect. Then there are quick tips to get you started: places to go and contacts to make (physically or via the web). There's even advice on the best way to format your manuscript to meet industry standards, and make even your first attempt at breaking into the market look professional from the outset.

If you have ever thought about the children's book market, read this. You won't regret it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2012 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
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On Writing Horror
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2012 12:55:03
"On Writing Horror" is an excellent book for aspiring horror writers and/or those curious about the "horrific" world of writing and publishing horror. The publishing industry has changed quite a bit through the years and horror has always filled a peculiar niche which shares a lot of overlap with other genres. Elements of horror are found throughout literature making this the kind of book that any writer could benefit from reading.

Piece by piece this book examines the state of the industry, advice and tips on writing horror and how to go about getting published in a genre which runs the length and breadth of literature. Each topic is well organized, explored and suitably inspires those with interest in the genre. I found a great deal of the advice to be helpful to me as a writer in general and especially as an explorer of horror.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
On Writing Horror
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On Writing Horror
by Lorcano H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2012 04:55:48
Although I enjoyed this book I would have got more from it had I been better versed in the genere. It is a very comrehensive guide to understanding and writing HORROR Fiction. It is VERY well laid out, with an excellent 'literature review'. The tips on writing style are thoughtful and have worked in my re-writes. The finsl chapters are on publishing, as I write for pleasure these were of little interest. Saying that they were logical, well laid out and were informative, to a non-interested person. Overall well worth the money, even more so if you are well versed in the topic.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Writing Fiction Step by Step
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2012 17:52:46
There are a lot of books written about writing books. For the most part each of them says the same thing so if you are looking at this book you are probably asking yourself, "What makes Writing Fiction Step by Step by Josip Novakovich different?" Or at least, "Why should I buy this one?" Those are great questions. Let me help you answer them.

Writing Fiction Step by Step breaks down the writing process into a step by step process which writers can use to develop their craft. I know what you are saying, "Well duh Mike! It says that in the title." I know it does but it needed to be said so I can point out that Josip emphasizes that step by step process with over 200 clever exercises. Each exercise asks you to write something and to focus on a particular kind of character, dialogue, plot or theme (among others). Through these exercises writers will find themselves developing their skill by actually using it. As many writers have said before, "If you want to be a writer you need to write." Each chapter and exercise builds on the ones which came before them. As you work your way through this book you will find yourself developing a cohesive tool set with which to produce interesting fiction. In fact, you will find you have already written a great deal of interesting fiction. All you need to do after that is keep writing.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Writing Fiction Step by Step
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2012 Writer's Market
by Monica V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2011 16:00:40
I have purchased Writer's Market books in the past, so I had some expectations when I downloaded this version. The PDF is fully linked with bookmarks to relevant sections and many of the listings that I expected to be there. The fiction portion leans more toward literary fiction and journals than on popular or genre fiction, but there's a healthy amount to balance the numerous nonfiction listings.

What impressed me the most were the articles to help writers. The information that spans approximately thirty articles is not only timely and relevant but useful. I consider myself to be well-read and have done loads of research on the business of writing. Yet, I found I still had something to either learn or remind myself about.

Highly recommended!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2012 Writer's Market
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DragonArt
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/30/2009 10:04:46
A Flames Rising Review:

DragonArt covers all the nuts and bolts of basic critter illustration from what is functionally a stick figure, to basic shapes like cylinders/ tubes, boxes, etc. It gets in to anatomy in comparison to real animals (which is crucial in “selling” the image to viewers) as well as perspective and scale. Basic shading (stippling, hatching, cross-hatching, etc) as well as Ink and Color are touched on.

Not only is the basic “western dragon” covered from almost every angle, but so are other varieties. A sizeable portion is given to “other fantasy creatures” such as gargoyles, gryphons, pegasi and unicorns, etc. All of the foundations used previously apply here as well…stick figures, shapes, detailing, pencils, ink, and color.

Overall it’s a fun book with a wealth of good info for new as well as experienced illustrators who are interested in drawing fantasy critters. It definitely has a place on my shelf. The writing is solid and clear. Layout nice and crisp. Artwork is also good.

This isn’t Todd Lockwood-style illustration…it’s not that sort of book. I say the word “Basic” here a lot and it applies. This is a basic book geared for the young adult and beginner artist…and as such it does a perfect job at nailing down the subject matter in a clear, concise manner.

Review by Jeff Preston

Read the complete review at FlamesRising.com: http://www.flamesrising.com/dragonart-review

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DragonArt
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