Thursday, May 24, 2018

Inside Your Writer Tribe

Today I met some writer friends for coffee. This is a monthly ritual where we leave our writing caves or hectic lives and check in with each other. There is the usual round robin of what are you working on... advice sought or freely given and stories told. I have been thinking about writer tribes and how important they are. Joanna Penn has an excerpt from her Healthy Writer Book where she explains the health benefits of a writer tribe.

Earlier this month Jami Gold had a standout post on the cockygate saga. Her conclusion was the author didn’t have a writer tribe. Anne R Allen looks at the fall out of this and examines the author brand and 10 things that will tank it. This should be required reading for all new authors.

What happens to author rights when a publisher changes to a subscription model? In a surprise move, education publisher, Cengage is moving to a subscription model for students. It’s business as usual says Cengage. Not so says authors, How come our royalties have become non-existent? Publishing Perspectives reports on two authors who are going to court in a test case to get legal scrutiny on the changes. If you write for the academic or education markets this article is a must read.

Amazon is giving money away... if you want to design Apps to play with Alexa. One company has secured funding from Amazon for an Alexa App that adds sound effects to children’s books. In April I linked to a little video doing something similar. Writers might like to think about the whole audio production of stories when they are writing to take advantage of these the robot apps.

The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander has been doing some nifty things lately like designing the ultimate writing journal but he also has an interesting blog with lots of guest posts. This one caught my eye. Selling out: Going wide or going exclusive to Amazon by David Kudler

Critique groups... Do you love them or hate them? Litreactor has an interesting article about the 3 things they are good for and the 3 things they really aren’t. Does your critique group stack up?

Janice Hardy has two great posts on questions to ask when you are writing scenes and the difference between a revision, a rewrite and a redraft. These are Bookmark posts.

In The Craft Section,

Writing prompts- Writepractice

Self editing- Merry Writer

How to deal with the passage of time- Jennie Nash- Bookmark

How to read a screenplay- Go into the story- Bookmark

Deep dive with emotion- Christina Delay- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Createspace vs KDP Print Interesting breakdown.

Does a fiction author need a blog- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

Elevator pitches- Standout books

To Finish,

Kris Rusch muses on the books we want to write but others have written before us. Do we still write them? After all everyone’s tale is unique or do we nod and move on? This is a great article on the influences of writers... sometimes they are other writers. Does our tribe subliminally influence what we write?


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces in my monthly newsletter. Get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes free, when you subscribe!

Pic: Flicker Creative Commons- David Rosen

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Author = Expert

There were rumblings earlier in the week and then the emails from Amazon started coming out. The Zon bots were on the rampage and no one seemed safe. Reviewers lost reviews and accounts. Authors got pinged for too many sales- Amazon accusing them of sabotage – and then the hammer fell on Kindle Worlds.
Yesterday the notices went out to all the writers who wrote sanctioned fan fiction that gave the original creators some money as well as the fan fiction writers and Amazon. It’s been an interesting experiment and no one is quite sure why they’ve shut it down. Copyright of the stories remains in the authors hands but then the world and the characters are under the ownership of the originator. 
I foresee a scramble as writers try to figure out what the contract rights reversions will look like.

The many niggles of a less than satisfactory experience with the worlds biggest eBook publisher have triggered many authors to review their marketing strategy going forward.
Kindle Select authors (publish exclusively with Amazon with page reads also counting towards sales) are starting to pull out and go wide. That means establishing a presence on Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Publish Drive etc. Some are even thinking of going back to Traditional publishing. The author has more choices now. A great article from Eldonna Edwards puts it into perspective.

Middle Grade and Young Adult writing agents were recently asked what they saw as new trends and what they want to see more of...

Amy Collins was recently at a conference and watched some train wrecks in motion... Know your genre... know what is selling... research is the difference between an author and a writer.

Joan Stewart talks about Author experts. You might be an expert and not even know it. Check out her great article.

Jane Friedman recently wrote an article on the modern website - A smarter author platform for the digital age. This is an info rich article on what works and why - from one of the experts in the field.

Where do you get your ideas from...? I don’t know any author that hasn’t been asked this... Here is a possible answer tho - from old newspapers! Check out this article on a great treasure trove of ideas.

In The Craft Section,

Two great posts-Good character flaws and Novel in a month- Now Novel- Bookmark

Punching up your prose- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Give your hero a hard time- Writer Unboxed-Bookmark

Story development-Writepractice

In The Marketing Section,

Nates big list of analytic tools- Nate Hoffelder- Bookmark

How to sell a series on Amazon- Alli Blog- Bookmark

To Finish,

Jami Gold has an interesting post this week that really struck a chord with me. How do you know your writing is any good? This is particularly interesting as I am getting into the sharp end of book judging and these questions have been haunting my sleep.
I know that I have more expertise now judging my own projects than I did before...


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces in my monthly newsletter. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.
 If you appreciate the blog, you can hit the coffee button up top. Thanks.

Pic: Flicker Creative Commons- Alan Cleaver
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