Thursday, October 23, 2014

Deals and Demigods

This week around the publishing blogosphere the news was all Simon and Shuster. While Hachette and Amazon are still embroiled in their contract war, Simon and Shuster quietly went about negotiating new contract terms with Amazon. And everyone wants to know just what those contract terms are.... Hugh Howey has a pretty good idea... it is probably very close to what the Indie authors are getting.

Hugh has been busy this week. His latest quarterly report Author Earnings is out. And it is the first one that looks at the impact of Kindle Unlimited on author income. Porter Anderson has a very detailed look at what Hugh found out. Subscription models look here to stay and authors need to keep a weather eye on their impact.

Australian Author Patty Jansen has been looking at her Indie income with a fine toothcomb. A very interesting analysis.

Articles about the Frankfurt Book Fair are still coming out. Reedsy has one looking at a panel discussion on when publishers get it right... with sales and content. Great read!

In our neck of the woods Walker seems to be going through a tough time. A long time popular editor has been let go and some Picture Book contracts have been cancelled. This is devastating news to the authors concerned as the illustrations were nearly finished. Picture Books can be anywhere from 18 months to four years in production and to pull them at such a late stage in the process sends alarm bells. Time to pour over those contracts... with a lawyer.

The huge success of the Percy Jackson series has the New Yorker looking hard at the quality of the books children choose to read. They draw on Neil Gaiman’s famous address which was in the “Just–so-long-as-they-are–reading” camp and contrast it with Tim Parks essay on reading habits where he suggests there is little evidence of reading upwards from Pulp to Proust. Having a Percy Jackson fan in my house I was treated to a diatribe this week about the important characters in the Greek demigod world. I don’t have a problem with that at all. Where else is the average Kiwi kid going to find out about thirty centuries old myth and legends?

In the news this week Disney has turned its sights on the South Pacific and their newest ‘Princess’ movie is in the works. Moana... ably supported by the demigod Maui. (Please Disney, don’t make it a white bread yawn!) Taika Waititi has written the original screenplay.

In the Craft Section,

How to get around using Trademark in novels from a Trademark lawyer. This is a Must Read post!

In the Marketing Section,

Julie Muesil has a list of podcasts that are required viewing/listening. In the list are two people whom I have referred to before, Joanna Penn and Sean Platt. This week Joanna interviewed Sean so it’s a two for one deal in excellence!

K M Wieland has a guest post on Book Cover design.

To Finish,

Every year Scrivener writing software do a free trial for the month… Go here to find out about it.

The Book Designer has a wonderful bundle discount on book interior designs. Well worth a visit and to grab an absolute bargain!

Huge Congratulations to Jack Lasenby who is receiving a Prime Ministers Award for literature tonight. Jack is one of New Zealand's finest writers for children. I am lucky to be attending this event… where we celebrate NZ demigods of literature.

Unleash your Demigod!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Big Ideas...

Two weeks to go before NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which has become a rallying cry for the would be novelist mostly in the U.S. 
Of course come December all the agents and publishers then wade through tonnes of unedited manuscripts. Last year Editors were calling for December to become NaNoEdMo.
If you are contemplating transferring your big idea into a novel ... read this very good piece by writing guru Larry Brooks on how to decide if your concept is good enough.

A lady who has concepts that are mega bestsellers, Barbara Freethy, stunned the publishing world this week with a new deal announcement.
Barbara, an Indie author, has sold nearly 5 million eBooks. She has just partnered with Ingram for a print only deal.
For those of you who don’t know, Ingram are the biggest distributor of books in the U.S. They do print and distribution for the big 5/4/3 plus a host of smaller publishers. Now just contemplate the ramifications of this deal. Then go and read Porter Anderson for some details.

Occasionally people ask me what I think of the whole Self Publishing/Indie movement... I mostly reply that when the Indie authors can crack print distribution the landscape will be forever changed. (This is that moment!)

Yesterday Hugh Howey wrote a plea to the whole writing community that it was time to stop arguing with each other and just get along. Everybody is sick of the Them vs Us rants between Trad and SP. It’s a very well reasoned argument and as you read it... some parallels are immediately evident with our own political landscape.

Frankfurt is over for another year... what was the main talking point in the literary world? Subscriptions and their impact on publishers. The success of this model for those publishers who have bought in to it is fueling the idea that maybe they can do it on their own.

Translators in Germany are getting a raw deal… Publishing Perspectives takes a look at what it’s like for them.

In this neck of the woods an Australian editor got a grant to spend 10 weeks researching
Y A trends with publishers and agents in New York and Bologna. Her report is fascinating. It’s a big read so make yourself comfortable. I was very interested in the way books were marketed as either Block Busters OR Award Winners.

Catherine Ryan Howard, one of my go to gurus about Self Publishing has just updated the tax section in her helpful blog. Maybe you won’t need a US tax number after all.

Another guru Susan Kaye Quinn also has updated information on using Amazon pre order buttons... this is gold advice for those people who have a series in the works.

In the Craft Section,

Editing your own writing – K M Weiland

James Scott Bell pulls out 10 essential plot and structure tips from his phenomenal book Plot and Structure.

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
After your big idea session... you need to relax… Check out this handy infographic on Yoga positions for writers...
I would add a good stretch for the wine bottle to it.


Pic: Cool use of keyboards.... Shawn DeWolfe

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