Oh the pain and the angst in the publishing world this week when the news broke that a *reputable* author had been buying 5 star reviews for Amazon copies of his books...and not only that he had done it but that it was even possible...thus skewing the system and maybe breaking a few codes of conduct practices on the way.
This has put the spotlight onto reviewers...how much should they charge?
Now you are getting in to tricky territory...
If you said nothing...how do reviewers make a living with falling print media and newspaper layoffs? And where does that leave Kirkus who charges $425 US for a Kirkus review to Indie authors under their Kirkus Indie column. (They say it will be a Kirkus review. They don’t say it will be a good one...and it isn’t.)
Porter Anderson, critic and all around great guy, sets out the arguments in Extra Ether on Jane Friedman’s site and over 100 comments in a short space of time sees this as an important moment in publishing. What will be the status of the review in the future...He wants every reviewer to clearly put their relationship to the writer in the reviews... otherwise it is fraud!
The knives are out for authors who may have puffed up their stats with paid reviews but it does highlight a problem about review visibility to independent authors and small publishers. (and on that note the knives should be out for writers behaving badly when they solicit fan hate mail to reviewers)
While on this subject Catherine Ryan Howard takes a look at 50 Shades of Grey and wonders how you can call it a self publishing success story...
Julie Musil talks about what you do when critique partners disagree with your work.
Writer Unboxed challenges you to really know who your audience is...and how to find out.
JJ from Pub Crawl talks about what happens in her head as she has to reject a manuscript from her publishing house.
After all this gloom you need a pick me up.
The wonderful (witty) Inkygirl has written about how a rejection got her a publishing contract...A feel good story to give Illustrators hope....
This week Mike Shatzkin (publishing futurist and guru) posted an article with lots of important points to think about in the publishing future...especially in the developing world where he sees the 0 print phenomenon happening there faster because of the costs of printing and shipping print books vs ebooks. A very chewy read with lots to think about now that Amazon has opened up India!
Rachelle Gardner is also looking at the publishing future and what authors will need in their tool box.
In the craft section,
10 steps to decontructing the novel to find out how it is done...
Jane Friedman sneak previews The Plot Whisperers new workbook with an excerpt, 7 essential elements of scene and structure.
i09 has the hard hard task of telling you how to fix the plot hole in your book...Read with tongue firmly in cheek.
Writers write has a look at the 12 common archetypes...for those of you who love infographics.
Novel Rocket examines two forms of historical research and how you should combine elements of them for effective research.
and to finish
DIYMFA has a lovely post on how to get your creative muse to show up every morning. It’s psycological....
Tonight I am off to celebrate 20 years of the wonderful Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie...It’s going to be a PARTY!
CONGRATULATIONS JOHN AND RUTH McINTYRE!