Thursday, April 16, 2015

Having Words!



Seven years ago I published my first blog post. It was a couple of paragraphs. I was learning how to get to grips with blogging technology. I didn’t know anything. (How do you do a hyperlink?) 
Each week I would educate myself a little more about the publishing industry and what was happening overseas. 
Things really changed for me a year later when I was part of a team putting together the first big National Conference of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. I discovered that some of our speakers (industry professionals) didn’t know what was happening overseas and how it might impact us here in NZ. (I was shocked to find I knew more than they did.) 
I increased the amount of publishing news and began to comment on a new type of publishing called e-books. Since then the publishing world has changed drastically. DBW has an opinion piece, looking back on a decade of change.

I’m heading up the planning team for the fourth National Conference (Oct 2-5). From seven legacy publishers of children’s books represented in the first conference only two remain.  The rise of small press and author publishers in NZ has become a real force because of necessity.

Right Now The Indie ReCon Conference Is On. (Free online. 3 days of awesome info.) The speakers are excellent. (A total dream team for a conference planner.) I’m heartened that a lot of the topics being touched upon will also be themes of focus at Tinderbox2015.

Jane Friedman  (a speaker at Indie ReCon) has posted a great conversation with two agents on Self Publishing children’s books. Don’t forget to read the comments.)

In other conference news WorldCon, which awards the Hugo’s each year, is on. And the news is not good. A cabal have block voted and are holding the Hugo’s to ransom. The Hugo’s are Sci Fi  fans biggest awards. It is not pretty. A Grand Master speaks out about the damage to the genre with these tactics. (breaking news; two authors have withdrawn their books from the awards.)

Jo Castle Millar wrote an interesting piece on Jon Ronson’s book, So You Have Been Publically Shamed. Jon’s book ARC went out for comment and two lines were taken out of context. The most dangerous job in the world… having an opinion.

The full Author Say survey results are out. They make interesting reading.  Authors are nodding their heads saying yep... all true. Everyone is interested in the publishers reaction. It is pretty damning. Will we finally see a change in how they treat authors?(Not holding my breath.)

Delilah Dawson, has a new book out (HIT) and I’m seeing the amazing cover everywhere. She also has an interesting blog post which has struck a chord with authors. Social Media and promotion.  Publishers see it as an author necessity. Engage with your public. But what is good engagement and what about if you just don’t want to.  

In the Craft Section,


Editing behind the scenes – The Book Designer


Viewpoint changes and what to do about it




In the Marketing Section,






Promoting your book on Facebook. –Romance University

Website of the Week
Get thee to a quiet room and soak up the awesomeness! ( It’s free and mostly recorded so even tho we are in the Southern Hemisphere we can still attend!) Absolutely Bookmark!

To Finish,
If anything demonstrates how much this industry we are in has changed it is this blog post, written for The Bookseller today on the London Book Fair (on now.) For the newbies reading this... All the advice at the bottom is essential!
For the old hands... an author at a book fair? Yes, Times Have Changed!

 Maureen
@craicer

Pic Flickr /Creative Commons – Stephan Mosel


Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Visibility Fog


As I write this I am sitting in a car looking out on Cook Strait. On a good day you can see the South Island. Today I just see an empty expanse of white coming down on the rolling sea about 500 meters away. Visibility limited.

Somewhere out in the white are big inter–island ferries coming through the strait, along with smaller fishing boats and huge cargo ships. Modern boats have radar so there won’t be collisions.

Book visibility seems to be a theme running through my roundup today. Somewhere in the white noise of Amazon your book is floundering around. How can you make the book visible so it has less chance of sinking without a trace.

Book Radar

Your Cover. 
The Book Designer (AKA Joel Friedlander) has a good post on what a cover should have. Alan Rinzler also has talked to one of the best cover artists in the business about what is iconic and important.

Metadata. 
This is how your book is described on any digital platform. Penny Sansevieri describes in detail how to do this for Amazon. You will learn things about search that will blow your mind.

Getting Endorsements and Reviews.
All book marketing comes down to word of mouth in the end. Either the book is being hand sold in the bookstore, Indie bookstores do this amazingly well, or you found a great book because someone told you about it.
Writer platform goes into fine detail about how to target and get reviews. Training Authors has an interesting post on getting endorsements. These are cover pull quotes.
Joanna Penn talks about little tweaks that increase your email subscriber list which increases your reader reach and your visibility.

Small publishers are just as keen on visibility. BAP books is shaking things up with a pay what you want publishing model for a poetry book. They have had great success. It is daring... innovative... would it work for any book? Not sure... but I’m talking about it on my blog at the bottom of the Southern Hemisphere so it’s definitely visible.

In The Craft Section,

Writing to gaming music. (This is really interesting.)


How do you know if your concept is right? Larry Brooks with two video tutorials on nailing your concept. (Bookmark)


In The Marketing Section,






Marketing your series- Lindsay Buroker (bookmark)


Website of the Week
Actually it is a roundup of websites… on self publishing some of which will be familiar. But you may find a new one to try out.

To Finish,
Ryan Holiday has an interesting article on Growth Hacking for Creatives... This is thinking outside the box for visibility.

Maureen
@craicer
Pic: Cook Strait... what you see on a good day.

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