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Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

I went to the library yesterday to borrow some books and found a section on the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. There were bookmarks in this section so I picked one up and apart from showing the shortlist of  nominations, it didn’t really have much information on it but I am interested in what it is about.

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP) is awarded by The Book Trust and honours the best work of fiction by a living author, which has been translated into English from any other language and subsequently publishing in the United Kingdom.

I am definitely interested in reading some of the books that have been shortlisted for this prize but am surprised that I had not previously heard of this before. It seems that it is only really advertised in this area in the library and only in a very small section at that.

The Art of Illustration

I’ve been posting a lot of videos that I have found on Youtube on this blog recently but I think that watching videos are a great way to find out a lot of information straight from the illustrators that make the videos.

I really enjoyed this video and found that the information given on the evolution of the illustration industry that I found really interesting. I learnt how photography has influenced where illustrators now work and how illustrators can now branch out a lot more.

Publishing and Social Media

This video sums up a lot of my thoughts from recent months about publishing and social media. Over recent years, authors and readers have become more connected through social media, and in turn, readers, reviewers and people interested in publishing into closer contact with publishers. Social media can be a tool for fun but also I think it is an important tool in the publishing industry and book industry in general.

Danny Popovici and ‘World on a String’

I downloaded a children’s picture book from Net Galley today, mostly because of the cover I have to admit, but after writing a short review to send to the publisher on my other blog, I felt like I should look into the artist’s work in more detail.

This book was published in 2012, was written by Larry Phifer and illustrated by Danny Popovici.

[Popovici, D. (2012). World on a String. Available: Last accessed 3rd April 2013]

I really liked the layout of the book and the writing, but the stand out thing for me was the illustrations. I have been trawling through Popovici’s blog and I absolutely love his illustration style; Danny Popvici Art.

The way that Popovici designs characters really intrigues me, as in a way, it reminds me of Will Terry’s work in that he seems to create characters that aren’t the shape they are in reality but are still obviously what they are supposed to be.

World on a String was published by Storytime Works (which are part of the IBPA which I have just done a post about here) and they are currently working on a new book with Danny Popovici called U.T.

I like the diversity between all of these bird characters is really interesting as they all seem to have completely different personalities.

Independent Book Publisher’s Association

As a user of Net Galley, which I spoke about in a recent post, I have been approved to receive books automatically from publisher’s within the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA), instead of having to request publications and having to get them approved.

After being approved, I started to look into the association. The IBPA offer support to small publishing companies and self-published authors. Through reading into the association I have become more informed on how associations like this help small publishers and independent authors, and I will definitely be supporting this in my own way by reading and reviewing more of the books that are part of the IBPA’s collection.

‘Untimed’ by Andy Gavin is one of the books that I have already read that is part of the IBPA’s catalogue on Net Galley, and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed. It was well-written and I absolutely love the illustrations, especially the cover. I like the complementary colours of blue and orange, with the steampunk look of the typography and character.

My full review is on my book blog, Ramblings of an Elfpire.


Here are some of the covers of some of the other IBPA books that I am interested in reading:-


I think that the range of genres and authors that the IBPA support it very extensive and I really like the idea of the association on the whole.

Will Terry Character Design

I have been working on my ‘Which way’ brief all through the Easter holidays and have been trying to develop the characters and locations for my adaptation of the Pied Piper story. I found this video extremely useful in that Will Terry emphasises the importance of using reference images as well as picking out the main characteristics of the character, in order to adapt the animal/person’s shape to make it more interesting and to give it more personality.

I really liked Will Terry’s style of illustration and it is interesting to watch his videos as it gives a strong insight into how a professional illustrator approaches a job. This illustrator, who I found through his Youtube videos, mostly uses Photoshop and digital techniques, but sometimes also uses painting methods.

I have implemented some of the techniques for character design that I saw in the video above in my own work and have found the tips on this way of working extremely effective for my style of illustration and working.

Net Galley

I recently discovered Net Galley and as an avid reader and an illustration student interested in publishing, I found the idea of this fascinating.

Net Galley is basically a review service that publishers use to send books to reviewers for free in exchange from reviews. I signed up to the website as I have a book blog (Ramblings of an Elfpire) where I review books, I watch a lots of book related videos on Youtube and also, when I saw the range of books that are available to request on Net Galley, there were quite a lot that I was instantly interested in reading and reviewing.

Apart from my personal interest, I find the idea behind Net Galley really interesting as someone who one day hopes to publish my own books. I feel that it gives publishers the opportunity to contact reviewers, and more importantly, their readers directly. It gives reviewers and people who are really avid readers the opportunity to read books ahead of their release date, and ultimately, it gives the author the opportunity to market their book in a unique way, reaching a wide range of people, and also, as the publishers select specific reviewers from the requests they get, they can choose exactly their target audience.

Overall, I really love this service and find that as well as it helping me to find new fiction books that I love, it also allows me to request and read illustrated children’s books that are not yet available to purchase.


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