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"Lead Guitar From The Inside Out" Now Available on iBooks Store

Our newest interactive iBook is now on iTunes shelves for the taking, reading, watching and whatnot... If you want to go from guitar novice to full-fledged musician, this is a darn good step. Grab your iPad, download Lead Guitar From The Inside Out >>here<< and let us know what you think!

Aside from the iPad basically being a perfect how-to platform (with videos/multimedia beyond just text), Lead Guitar From The Inside Out takes a drastically different approach to teaching guitar than most anything out there. The content focuses on putting what you already know in action, not on memorizing chords and tabs. 

The author has been playing and teaching guitar for 30+ years, and throughout the book, he explains simple, specific tactics that can be applied to any song, style or genre of music. There are over an hour of instructional videos, 6 backing tracks for practice jams, and 40 pages of lead guitar technique/tips.

Let's be frank... You could easily spend hundreds of dollars for this in guitar lessons, but now you don't need to. Because it's in an interactive eBook, on your iPad.

What Makes a Good Story? Seven Tips for Storytellers

There is no one way to answer such an absurdly vague question. Or is there?

You could ask twenty different people and you'd get twenty different responses. You could try segmenting a bit... Fiction versus nonfiction, reporter or editor's view on storytelling, versus a children's book author, or a teenager on the phone with friends. Telling stories is part of who we are as humans, and it differs from story to story, generation to generation. 

But at the core, isn't storytelling the same beast across all platforms, formats, genres, audiences and motivations? Whether you're sharing true facts or fictional fairytales, a story is still a story, after all.

We're working on a whole section of "reading, redefined" topics for the Twistframe blog, but this particular post didn't originate from research or content creation on the business of writing, books or the publishing industry. Typically, that would be a fair and accurate assumption. Not this time.  It is true; I've had storytelling on the brain for the past several months (more than ever), so my dot-connecting tendencies pulled this post together, but it came from a more personal place. This is important to note, because as I've already stated, storytelling is storytelling, no matter the venue.

Moving to a new city, launching a new company, meeting new people... Life changes push people to seek new friendships, or at the very least, interact more meaningfully with strangers. Meaningfully, mostly in the sense that, when you're in a new place, you pay more attention to what's being said around you, to you, or at you, as often the case may be. I've held conversations with a whole new gamut of individuals recently, and I'm here to report -- storytelling suffers sometimes.

I don't expect every Jane, Dick and Sally to be the next Dr. Seuss or EL James. But if everyone can (and should) tell stories, let's make them better, shall we? We all have interesting things to say, but when we put them together as long, winding, pointless pieces of poorly constructed explanation, or provide little to no justification for telling said story by its end... We're doing ourselves and our audiences a disservice.  

Why are you telling me this? What does it have to do with me? Your point is...? Sometimes storytellers, in the not-getting-paid-to-tell-stories realm, leave out crucial tidbits, or include way too many. They presume every personal anecdote is worthwhile. They neglect to take hints when their audience gets lost. I'm guilty, too, on occasion, so instead of pointing fingers, let's solve problems.

Storytelling isn't just for professional writers like reporters, authors and movie makers. It's part of our everyday human life. Being a bad writer isn't an excuse, because telling stories happens off the page just as much as on it. Stop languishing in mediocrity already - this affects us all! With that in mind, I'd like to generalize a few criteria - tips, if you will - for the masses.

Here are seven things that make a good story, whatever story you're telling, wherever and however you're telling it. They are followed by questions you can expect your audience to ask otherwise. Tell great stories and they won't have to ask.

1) Relate -- the story to your audience, up front, at the end and everywhere in between. "What does this have to do with me?"

2) Summarize -- key players, places, times and themes. Give your audience a chance to decline the full story if it's not up their alley, and don't be offended. "What's the gist?"

3) Have a point -- a moral, a joke or some good reason for telling the story. Otherwise, let's be honest, it's not a story, it's a reason to hear yourself speak outloud. "What is the point?"

4) Have a conclusion -- that explains, in brief, what happened. "What does it mean?"

5) Stay on track -- or at least note when you digress. Weed out which sidenotes matter and which details aren't worthwhile for effectively telling your story. "Wait, what?"

6) Don't expect too much -- if your audience isn't familiar with all the background, you should be prepared to explain further as needed. People, places, proper nouns, acronyms, lingo and slang can kill a great story if your audience doesn't know what you're talking about. "What are you talking about?"

7) Be entertaining -- or funny, informative, heartwarming, sad... something! Stories move people. They explain things. That's powerful! Use it! "Why are you telling me this?"

My list is far from comprehensive and maybe you disagree, so please -- add, argue and rebut at will below.

Game Development Expats Announce Twistframe, an Interactive eBook Publishing Startup

DENVER - Aug. 7, 2012 - Chris Sherland and Peter Grundy, former LEGO video game developers of MMOG studio NetDevil, today officially announced a new interactive eBook development and publishing company, Twistframe LLC. Following a soft launch in March 2012, the co-founders teamed up with established children’s book author, Sara Pinto, who was ready to make the jump from traditional books to the interactive realm. The team quietly released The Color Closet, a dynamic and functionally delightful digital coloring book on the iBooks App Store in June. Highlighting excellent storytelling with smart technology is Twistframe’s mission.

“The way books are written and read is changing; we are putting ourselves at the forefront of this movement.” said Chris Sherland, Twistframe co-founder and COO. “The emerging eBook industry is putting power back where it belongs—in the hands of the storyteller. Now authors and publishers can not only use the narrative, but new levels of interactivity to communicate and enhance the reading experience.”

Twistframe is currently focused on the Apple iBook platform but will be developing for other leading eReaders in the near future. The traditional book publishing industry faces a huge shift ahead, with software technology becoming a crucial factor in development and distribution. Twistframe is approaching this challenge with an alternative mindset, skillset and arsenal of connections.

In moving from gaming to eBook technology, the scrappy start-up aims to redefine what a book is and how it should be read. “Twistframe is committed to packaging quality content with easy-to-use interactivity that deepens reader engagement,” said Peter Grundy, Twistframe co-founder and creative director. “It’s an exciting time for artistic content creators as these tools and devices begin to open up richer experiences to new audiences.”

Twistframe may just be getting started, but it is no slacker. The new pub on the block is on track to release the next interactive eBook from Sara Pinto in Q4 2012. The company is also in negotiations with other independent authors and traditional publishers to define more near-future titles.

About Twistframe LLC

Twistframe develops, publishes and distributes interactive literature for iPads and eReaders. We enhance eBooks while keeping the story center stage. Founded in March 2012 by ex game developers, Twistframe amps up everything you know about reading. http://twistframe.com

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Media Contact

Kate Lollar

Twistframe PR

kate@twistframe.com

901.674.6443

Chapter One

We've got a couple eBooks under our belt , a fancy new website and a sweet little team... Making the move from gaming to eBooks is exciting and a bit scary, but we're ready to show the world what we've been quietly chipping away at for so many months now. 

Next week we'll make an "official" announcement, but we can't help saying HELLO INTERNET in the meantime. Twistframe is here and ready to play. 

We'll share more soon, but please - come on in, make yourself at home! Check out our latest release (The Color Closet), learn more about Twistframe, and get ahead of the cool kids while the gettin's good. We love comments, so do that too, if you feel so inclined.

Whatever you do, please excuse any mess around the blog while we bring things up to date. 

You Can't Do it Alone

Question: "What do you need to finish development on your project and get things in motion to launch?"

Answer: "Well, I could give you the technical/usual answer, like backend coding, money etc. OR I could be honest... What I really need to launch my project, above all else, is motivation."

This conversation happened, in real life, just a few weeks ago. It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last.

There is a big chunk of  entrepreneurism that you have to do on your own. You have to want to, have the skills to, and decide to do it. Whatever "it" is. For that matter, you have to decide what it is in the first place - what to do. You have to make the switch from onlooker/hopeful/wannabe to active participant. One day, you wake up and say, "I'm going to do this." And after that moment, you speak differently about business and about your beloved project. You feel authoritative, and as a result, you are.

But that mindset shift is only the first step. Everything before it takes varying amounts of time. The entrepreneurial, creative spirit bubbles up progressively over time - it can take weeks or decades.

When the Twistframe team was formed, everyone involved was full of all the prerequisite passion and drive. It had boiled over. Each person had started taking the first steps that they deemed important, based on prior experience, talents and capabilities. That's just what you do.

But being "rogue", while full of benefits and freedom, has major hurdles. Self-publishing is a perfect example of the most important one - motivation. You can find people to proofread, you can find people to help when you're on your own and you get stuck, but the one thing you're likely not to find is someone to stand beside you and cheer you along. 

Whether you're a start-up or an aspiring author, you need help. You need cheerleaders and you need backend support. You can get pretty far along your path, but eventually you'll realize that you can't do it alone.