Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fire Up Your Imagination...


Once in a while you come across an article that sets your imagination on fire. 

This week that happened to me when I read Dean Wesley Smith’s article on selling ebooks. I have sent the link to indie bookstore owners that I know...small publishers that I know... and tertiary writing course instructors. 
Dean sets out, step by step, an innovative way to market ebooks. It is stunning in its simplicity and very very do-able. Even if you have no interest in ebooks, read this article it will change the way you think about ebooks and marketing. 
If you know any indie booksellers pass the link on to everyone...It might save some jobs!

This week BEA is happening. BEA is Book Expo America...one of the biggest book industry events in the world. 

Why am I interested? Generally what is talked about at BEA or unveiled at BEA changes the publishing industry in some way. Keeping an eye on BEA means you are keeping up with new publishing trends. 

Publishing Perspectives is posting a whole series of articles on what is happening at BEA while it is happening. Think of it as a Daily Newspaper with new editions coming out through the day...Here are two I have picked out for you but there are plenty more...

International rights in a changing world...This is a report from a panel of rights experts talking about what is selling around the world and why...For instance Japan wants self help books...don’t bother trying to sell crime and disaster books there.

Ten tips for producing videos...this link from Publishing Perspectives includes a great promotional video...You will learn stuff!!!

Janet Reid talks about the big news at BEA -  Barry Eisler cutting a print publishing deal with....Amazon.  Check out the advance and then stop and think about how Amazon is now moving into the print publishing business...first the e storefront then the ebook  and ereader and now PRINT...(traditional publishing anyone?)

Jane Friedman this week wrote about 3 publishing trends that writers must be aware of. If you read this blog often you will be able to pick some...Go on, have a bet with yourself and see if you are right.

Scott Young has written a great article on writing. Do you focus on your weakness and strive to master it or just keep writing and learn by osmosis?

The Blood Red Pencil is a source of great articles for writers. Here is a pertinent one for me which might help you as well, How To Earn Your Info Dump. Have you done heaps of research and are now trying to fit it into the book while trying to avoid having a character sound like a textbook....Read this article.

Over on Craicerplus( My Amplify Page) I have links to articles on

Agents As Publishers- Writer Beware. (this is an important post on an increasing trend)

Rethinking The Authors Career Path

Fiction Uncovered- Get Noticed By The Bookstore. (This is a great article on a UK Arts council initiative to expose readers to writers who are flying under the radar...)  On the same theme here is an extra link for you -Romancing the Bookstore.

Seek A Genre-The Path Ahead is Lit ( a very funny take on genre writing)

To Finish,

From time to time, people contact me and ask my advice about something to do with the publishing industry...or the main themes of my blog... or do I know where they can get information on.....

This week I had two different requests...one to do with social media and one to do with which publishing track would be the right fit for a particular project.

I am flattered to be asked...(you think I know something????) I then spend a few hours thinking my way around and through the question before I put together a response...I don’t tell anyone what they should do...but I will help, if I am able, with being a sounding board.

So two links pertaining to those questions which popped up today that readers might be interested in.


FaBo Story 2- Planet FaBo is nearly set for lift off. If you know any kids who want to be part of it feel free to direct them to the Fabo Story site...where once again Kiwi Kids Writers pit themselves against Kiwi Kids.... 
Oh the pressure!

enjoy,
maureen

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rockstars and Writers


Last night I sat glued to my cell phone and the computer and vicariously shared in the excitement of attending the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Melinda texted me the winners and Johanna Knox and I got them onto our WCBA blog in close to real time. As each text from Melinda came in I cheered the winners. 

The text announcing Fleur Beale’s win had me jumping up and down with excitement.

Fleur is the great heroine of Children’s Writing in New Zealand. Since 2005 she has been a finalist every year. Her work has consistently made the top five in all the big awards for children’s writing here in NZ but she has never won until Last Night!

Absolutely Well Deserved – A Long Time Coming and Oh So Sweet! Congratulations Fleur!

So what do I have for you this week...

Gabriela Pereira has blogged beautifully about why writers need writer friends...and for me Fleur has been every one of the main points listed here.

Business Insider has a great post about the four hour work day...and I know that Fleur in her new writing studio does this which is why she is a winner...

YA Highway has a great reference post about the differences between MG and YA . Fleur writes both and she is very good at both...

Around about now Fleur is probably reaching for a stick to beat me over the head so I’ll stop....
(Gotcha, Fleur xx).

Seth Godin  and Michael Stackpole have been busy rattling cages this week.

Seth has written an interesting and very thought provoking post on the future of libraries. I’ve passed it on to my librarian friends and hopefully they are still speaking to me. What do you think the library of the future will look like...I think there are some positives here for librarians....

Michael Stackpole has a post looking at House Slaves vs Spartacus....This is an examination of writers who are traditionally published and Independently published. Michael is in both camps but which one is better...?


If you like contests this one is a doozy.

The wonderful PJ Hoover has a great contest happening on her blog to celebrate the ebook launch of Solstice. 
I referred you to P J Hoover last week when I mentioned that P J’s Agent was bringing out Solstice and she was being interviewed on The Spectacle blog about this new move in publishing. P J has a 20 book giveaway happening...Go and Check It Out!

Janice Hardy has written a wonderful clear description of the difference between Show and Tell. This is one of those posts you bookmark and refer to again and again.

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to articles on

Children’s Writing and Cross Promotion

Boys Don’t Read -Except They Do

Why Writers Drink (warning content, hic)

To Finish,


Access your inner rock star, people!

For all the finalists at the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and for all those cheering them on...
The pen is mightier than the sword...



and The Solstice ebook trailer By P J Hoover



Enjoy,


maureen



Pic is the cover of Fierce September by Fleur Beale. NZ Post Children’s Book Awards -Young Adult Winner 2011.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Into The Light...


So we had a week of rain then the washing machine breakdown then the beginning of mice season then good news on the friend front and then the sun came out.

There has been heaps of research about how weather affects moods and depression. I know from experience that a week of rainy weather sinks me into the pit of despair. 

There is something wonderful about sunlight. 
Humans must have it. It is hard wired into our DNA. 
So why am I writing about it as the ultimate killer....Hmmmm The strange stuff that gets into a writers brain...tip the world on its head...be mean to your characters...

‘It is all good therapy,’ I said to my friend’s Neuro Psychiatrist ....The more she spoke about how she works to understand a paralysed patients mindset, the more I was thinking... sounds like a children’s writer to me...

So stepping out from the twisted world of ‘what-more-can-I-throw-at-my-main-characters’...and into the light.... What wonderful gems do I have for you this week?

The theme of this week seems to be marketing...

Mediabistro has a great link list 10 Non Traditional ways to promote your book, which they gathered from Amazon  discussion boards.


Jon Bard links to a very nifty marketing idea where a writer asks people to come up the title of his book...You get to read part of the manuscript, sub a possible name and....Go Check It Out It’s a cunning plan.

Elisabeth S Craig has a good article looking at Promo Time vs Writing Time. She shares some good tips to make sense of your week.

For those of us still inside the novel making the main characters miserable...

The Bookshelf Muse has been doing a series on the Seven Deadly Sins of Novel Writing...This is a great site to visit especially if you are looking for the Emotion Thesaurus or the Colour Thesaurus or the Weather....

GLA Blog has a guest post from Traci Borum...on Whether Your Novel Has A Hook Or A Gimmick and how to tell...

For those of us in between the marketing and writing, wondering what now in the publishing world...

The Spectacle Blog has a great interview with P J Hoover about how her Literary Agency made the decision to publish her novel instead of waiting for a publishing company. There are some interesting points to think about in this model and the whole project will be talked about at BEA.

Jennifer Laughran (Agent) has a great post on what is in an agency agreement and what you should make sure is in there. This was in response to Kristin Nelsons article on the perpetuity clause which I referred to a few weeks ago.

Laura E Kelly of the Huffington Post has put forward her recommendations for Bookish. 
Bookish is a new (Big 3) publisher initiative website which will feature and promote books. This looks like being a challenge to Amazon. Laura has a great title and hopefully the publishers will listen and take on board 5 Ways Not To Screw Up Bookish!

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to articles on

10 Best Books For Writers

5 Ways To Ruin A Good Story

The Breakdown Of The 6 Figure Book Deal

To finish,

Jon Bard and Cory Doctorow have got together to make available, for free, an Ebook featuring Cory’s thoughts and experiences on making all his books free online... His print sales are soaring... 

It’s all about coming into the light from obscurity...

Enjoy,

maureen

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Better Than Gold...


This last week has made me stop and think about friend relationships and how precious they are. 

When one of your friends is fighting for their life in hospital, you do stop and reflect on how much that friendship means to you and why. You do want to know that you have done everything in your power to help and support them because frankly you are not ready to deal with the hole in your life should they not be there.

This thinking leads on to an examination of your own life, (nothing like ICU with all the waiting around with other families facing similar or worse scenarios to get you thinking.) Am I doing what I should be doing with my life?

I have to say Yes. I love researching for this blog. I love all my writer friends. (Online/offline) I love the weird questions we ask each other, the laughter, tears, and shared wine, coffee and agony of waiting on the manuscript outcome.

I want to say Thanks Fifi, for getting me into this blogging game... Thanks all of you for reading and sharing writery thoughts with me via facebook, twitter or commenting or blogging or emailing or ringing me up or seeing me at book events...The value of friends outstrips the value of gold.

So what do I have for my friends today....

For those of you who are looking at independent publishing, How not to publish your print on demand book and How to get your ebook noticed, are great articles to read and get ideas from. Bob Mayer also has a great article on what it takes to succeed...

For those looking at the craft of writing, staring at your latest Manuscript and thinking there must be a better way to tell this...


For those friends who have to get their head around self promotion and marketing, Kristen Lamb has a great post on helping you to understand that You are the brand, not the book...and why some marketers get author branding so wrong.

If you are interested, and I am, in what other children’s writers are doing to collectively share the self promotion load have a look at Kidslitauthorsclub. (NB.The FaBo team is about to get underway again soon...)

If you are feeling like a possum caught gazing into the headlights of the publishing change train...mesmerised by the possibilities...Take a look at a new phone app that has you writing and publishing online...from your phone. And there is a great audio interview with Seth Godin on the new face of publishing up on Litopia.

Over on Craicerplus (my Amplify page) I have links to articles on

Publishers Obsessions with IPads Elitist?

Bookstore Events- Hints for Success.

Adverts in Books- Watch This Space...(Ads in ebooks are being discussed...who will get the income? Can the author control the ads?....because it will happen, the publishers are trying to stay afloat by any means.)

Where Are The Male Writers?

E publishing Success - How Do They Do It?

To Finish,

Children’s writer, Neil Gaiman, was called “a pencil necked weasel thief”, this week, by a Republican Senator in the House of Representatives (USA) for accepting a cheque for a speaking engagement of $45,000 last year in Minnesota. 

Anybody who knows about Gaiman’s huge charity work and this event in particular knows the Senator made a very bad call...It is all over the internet...Neil blogged about it this morning in an effort to deflect the press from constantly interrupting him asking for comment.

All the money was donated to charity as Neil always does. The huge speaking fee is an attempt by Neil to stem the massive flood of requests to speak at events...so when an organisation fronts up with the cash...Neil donates it. The Library System in Minnesota had to use the remaining cash in their budget for writers to rural libraries or lose it back to the government and get their budget cut for next year. Neil lives in the area...perfect sense really.

The senators server has crashed...

Moral of the story;
Check your facts and don’t try to bully someone with 1,556,000 followers on Twitter.  

Happy things on the horizon...
Cassandra Clare is visiting Wellington on her Mortal Instruments tour. (Auckland is in for a great treat at the festival.)

My friend may go into a ward soon.

maureen

pic Neil Gaiman's poster for a Parkinson's awareness charity project.

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