Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Trials Of Growing Up

In publishing news this week...
The news is filtering through about mega selling YA Author Cassandra Clare being taken to court over plagiarism by another big selling YA author Sherilyn Kenyon. This is an interesting case as it hinges on whether you can plagiarise an idea. 
While authors digest that one- if you were thinking of translating into German you need to understand that titles are copyright protected in Germany. Joanna Penn talks to Rebecca Cantrell about this and other meaty topics in the hybrid world of publishing.

A new Author Earnings survey is out. For the first time they included print books. The numbers make interesting reading. Traditional publishing still holds up Print... but the Indies are not far behind.

This week Nielson announced that they have decided to track ebooks. This is slightly after the fact as ebooks have been around for a few years now. However the data may be useful in the future.

Publishing will be rubbing their hands at the news that an 8th Harry Potter book is about to be launched on July 31st in print and ebook. This is the book of the script of the play which also opens in July. With over 70,000 fully illustrated books of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (retailing in NZ at $70) sold in the last three months, I’m going to predict that there will be a market for this book featuring a grown up Harry Potter. Add to that a new expanded version of Fantastic Beasts and all things Potter will be the publishing saviour of 2016.

Outside the phenomenon of Harry Potter, Children’s Books receive very little review space in print media. A UK author has launched a campaign to try and redress this. This has been picked up by The Bookseller magazine with an article about why these reviews are so important.

Janice Hardy has an interesting article by Marcy Kennedy on the single biggest mistake authors make... and its important... BACKUP. Marcy details the ways you can fix this!

Jane Friedman has a guest post by Ursula Wong on writer groups and co ops. This is a comprehensive how to article on what types of groups are around, what they do and how they can be set up. 
I have long been an advocate of writer groups... of all kinds. They can be a great support individually and can morph into small publishing companies.
After all that’s how Bloomsbury started and look who they first published... J K Rowling

In the Craft Section,

Kathryn Goldman-When and when not to use Trademarks- Bookmark!

K M Weiland - 5 reasons a book is re readable- Bookmark

Anne R Allen- How to hook the reader- Bookmark

Kristine Rusch on The Serious Writer Voice- Bookmark!

Jane Friedman on Creating Audiobooks

In the Marketing Section,
Writeitsideways has a nifty post on 4 steps to take forAuthor Branding.

Jane Friedman looks at whether paid book reviews are worth it- Bookmark

Writers in the Storm has a great post on helping your readers to write good reviews

Lindsay Buroker has a great post on Amazon adverts for authors- read the comments!

Joel Friedlander has a post on the importance of keywords for Amazon

If you still need help with websites and ideas check out FirstSiteGuide. Lots of interesting articles.

Passive Guy links to an excellent article on going exclusive or going everywhere with your book

To Finish,

If you are thinking about productivity apps- here is a full on one- Flowstate... keep typing or lose all the words you have written. No time for musing or looking at kitten pictures... I wonder if J K Rowling uses this.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Diverse Publishing

This week I have been thinking about Diversity and the representation of diversity in publishing. Some of this was sparked by the campaign of an 11 year old girl who was searching for books that showed people of her race as the main characters in books.

I was talking with my writing buddy recently over my characters and I made the comment that none of my main characters were the same colour as me. I always saw them as mixed race though I never made a point of describing them as such. As my writing buddy hears and critiques my writing first... the fact that the characters were mixed race was news to her. This sparked a conversation about whether to info dump character information. (NO)

Info dumping statistics this week was Lee and Low, children’s publishers, with their report on Diversity in Publishing. We all know that publishing is White Skin dominant... It is also female gender dominant...
Here in very multi cultural NZ, the loss of many of our NZ publishing offices to Australia has always concerned writers here. It widens the ditch that our distinctive Maori/Pasifica stories have to hurdle over to get published.

Today I was watching #Pit2Pub on Twitter. It was interesting to see the number of pitches that used diversity hash tags. A new kid on the Twitter pitch block is Pitch Match. – this is a 3 hour pitch fest broker party happening on the 11th.

A brief Twitter storm happened with the reporting that Amazon was opening bricks and mortar bookstores across the U.S. This was quickly shut down on Twitter but it still raises questions...

Bob Mayer has been rallying the writing troops this week with two great posts on ambushing writing fear and what is becoming his annual exhortation to writers to face up to the harsh truths of this writing business. Go in with your eyes open...

This has been echoed by Agent Jennifer Laughran when she answered a question about sham agents and how you can tell who they are. (Especially important for people doing Twitter pitches)

You’ve dodged the sham agent and got your diverse story polished, what can you do next on your publishing journey?
You need an Author Business plan. This one is a comprehensive lists of things to think about on your way to establishing your author business.

Joel has put together a workflow checklist for book designing and publishing your project.

When it comes to selling this discussion on Ingram’s acquisition of, a turn key bookstore that can be dropped into an author website, by Bookworks has some interesting opinions.

In the Craft Section,

Using a scene template- C S Lakin Bookmark

Drafting in layers- Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

Rethinking book cover design – Dave Bricker

Book Marketing ideas -Bookbub- Bookmark

To Finish,
The last memory I have of the late, great Dame Katerina Mataira (Ngati Porou) was the speech where she didn’t mince any words to the publishing establishment. ‘Where are our Maori books? ‘The market is too small’ they said. So I have to do it myself.’ She went on to write, publish and sell in all genres across the board at over 70 years of age. “You have a niche product. No one will publish you. Get out there and do it yourself.”

The Pic is the cast of the new Harry Potter play. Yes, that is the Golden Trio. J K Rowling has said she never mentioned skin colour in the books for Hermione. Score for Diversity!



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