Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thinking Crafty Links...


I’m out and about visiting the other hemisphere...while I’m away from my usual haunts I thought you might like to take a look at good links on different subjects.


Ten links to get you thinking on CRAFT


So now you know I can’t count...hehehe

Hot of the press links for you

Craft - Another look at the heroes journey in time for NaNoWriMo



Enjoy,
Maureen

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tripping Around The World



Today the Twitter feed is full of what people are talking about at Storyworld, the big conference in Hollywood (happening as I write this) which is a mix of writers, gamers and publishers...directly taking aim at the transmedia market. If you want to follow the conversation...everything from Disney’s new grant program for storytellers to whether transmedia is a Noun or a Verb...(It’s a verb!) Follow along using #SWC12 in the Twitter search box.

Also just appearing in blogs is the roundup of Frankfurt Book Fair and what came out of it. Laura Hazard Owen of Paid Content rolls over the new startups that got the buzz as well as the HUGE market in books on mobile phones...and the publishers cashing in on self pubbed authors.

Mike Shatzkin commented that Frankfurt opened his eyes...to the use of ‘Platform’ in children’s publishing by Gatekeepers and the immense power this has for sales and the future in publishing. There is so much to ponder in this post... take some time to absorb it.

New Zealand was guest of Honour at Frankfurt this year and our contribution was to send NZ’s *literary* platform of Chefs, Winemakers, Film Producers along with Poets and some great Kiwi authors. The Fair Special Focus of Children and Young Adult literature featured a *small* stellar group of NZ Children’s Authors. Authors had to compete on the other side of a curtain with the multimedia experience in the guest pavilion hall, where the unwary could fall into the pools of water while staring at the reflected stars. We have great writers here...wish they all could have been there....

Coming up in the next few weeks... Halloween and NaNoWriMo....

Last year there was discussion among YA authors about handing out scary books to kids who come trick or treating...and a lot of authors went to the second hand bookshops and stocked up on Goosebumps. This year the campaign is more organised and Neil Gaiman is fronting it. Check out this great video on the All Hallows Read website. (Neil Gaiman thinks the fact that I sing in graveyards is pretty cool...however no one is getting murdered while I do it...not like this video...heheheh)

Scrivener is coming to the halloween party in time for NaNoWriMo with a free trial of their writing software. There are authors who swear by this programme so if you are interested or gearing up for NaNoWriMo this year check it out.

The Amazing team behind Emotional Thesaurus have written a breakdown of how they took a blog idea into a non fiction book for writers and then out to the world to sell over 10,000 copies in few short months. This is a great meaty read with what they learned this year. Angela and Becky have always impressed me (they live in two different countries) and after reading this breakdown...they are now up there with GODDESSES!

Copyblogger has a great post on negotiations and how to do them for freelance writers...this is one of those print it out and stick it on the wall by the telephone posts.

Joanna Penn, in London, offers the definitive breakdown to why your books aren’t selling and what to do about it. This is great information...and a handy checklist.

Jane Friedman (now in Virginia) has been busy this week with two great posts on Author website checklists and a very detailed Q and A with a copyright attorney...do you need to register your MS in the US if you live outside it?

VQR has a thought provoking post on Small Press and Self Publishers...are they enemies or half siblings...among the ideas in here is whether it is legit for small presses to ask authors for money to publish...Sean says yes.

In the craft list of great links...



Dialogue spacing and why you need to pay attention to it! (Agent Mary Kole hot on the warpath)



Writing to music? thewritepractice says you should and why...(nifty article to have your characters singing into the hairbrush...)

In the interesting tech ideas...

Inkygirl has been trying out a $4.99 App for the iPad that makes animated book trailers...easily.

Joel Friedman (The Book Designer) has 3 ways to use google search more effectively...you will never look at the search box the same way...brilliant.
If you love to get into typefaces...Joel also has a look at a new typeface  for dyslexics.

To Finish,
Derek Haines has published a blog post on why he is going back to Smashwords from being a KDP Select programme for the last year. He weighs up the benefits and the costs of both distributors. This is a good snapshot of the indie industry today.

In Breaking News the latest stats on publishing first half of 2012...Children's pub stats up 41%...and it's digital...

I’ll be out and about over the next few weeks in a different hemisphere so I’m cooking up some special focus posts for you...they will be chock full of links as per usual...

maureen....off to pack bags...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Feeling The Bat...



This morning an Artist friend posted that a UK choreographer had contacted her about  creating a dance piece based around a piece of art she had done a while ago. ‘I feel like a real artist,’ she said...and my reply ‘Can I slap you upside the head YOU ARE A REAL ARTIST!

There has been a lot of head slapping this week  in the blogosphere.

First up, Amazon is now posting Author’s ranking. 
Where are you in the list in your genre etc etc...Do you care? Are you obsessed?...
John Scalzi takes a hard look at what’s going on in Amazon land and slaps authors upside the head. Get over it. It’s marketing and here is what you do....Great article from John (and if you haven’t read his stuff, I recommend it!)

Jody Hedlund took a look at blogging authors... and promotes a voice of reason...this discussion is going all over the blogosphere and there are some very good comments in there.

Susan Kaye Quinn is all fired up about Denise Swanks business plan for writing...something that every writer should have.

Joanna Penn explains what she would do now if she was starting out (creating her mega impact on the publishing writing blogosphere) knowing what she knows. Great Advice! (must find the timer!)

Problogger has 8 non writing apps for writers....some good ones in here....

Larry Brooks sits down and shares what he has just learned in the last 6 months analysing 100 books for his new project. He calls it a bat upside the head....


Over in the craft section,


Adventures in CYA publishing has 6 tests of solid story premises. (great post referencing Larry Brooks.)

LiveWriteThrive show how to make your plots bigger! (bat upside your characters head)

Elisabeth Spann Craig explains to a writer how you choose what to read in the genre you write...(some people need that bat....)

Mark Nicol of Daily Writing tips is on the warpath, with the bat, over the inability of people to use an apostrophe...in the write place!
and Catherine Ryan Howard tells you how to proof your Createspace paperback...without resorting to violence.

Ava Jae wants writers to explore different universes when they get stuck creatively in their work...(use the bat as a crutch)

To finish,
If you are looking to turn the writing world on its head...Follow the Will Smith model. Duolit, (great team) tells you how to do it.


or a hospital bed!

maureen

pic fromhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/christinestephens/3845778137/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Marking With An X



It’s Banned Books Week and some top writers have been interviewed on how they feel about having their books banned. I remember a NZ writers comment about having his children’s book banned in the US. Sales went through the roof!
A challenged book, placed on a list gets noticed. This in the hands of a canny publicity team can ensure that these books get a huge profile. A children’s book on the banned list is usually pointing to society expectations that we protect children from reality. Is it what the characters say that is upsetting or what the book asks children to consider...or the setting of these books?
The NY Times interviewed Lois Lowry, author of The Giver, one of the most banned books in the last 30 years. Tamora Pierce adds her insightful comments at the end. Katherine Paterson is also interviewed on the risks of great literature. Her books regularly turn up on banned book lists.  Take a look at Amazon’s list of banned children’s books, it is a who’s who of famous children’s authors.

This week Nicola Morgan has been talking about copywrite education. Try to explain to kids that downloading pirated books and movies actually benefit big corporations and not the creators...It is a great article and should be passed around...let’s get some education out there...

The UK children’s booksellers conference has just wrapped up and there was a digital focus as gaming companies addressed publishers about unlocking the rights and getting together to exploit all the storytelling opportunities...

Author Platform is getting another airing with Rachelle Gardner commenting on author collectives and platforms. Everybody shares, everybody reaps benefits...

For those flirting with indie publishing
Joel Friedman has a great post on mono typefaces...and Shannon of the mega helpful Duolit girls has 3 common mistakes to avoid when indie publishing.

Does your novel have rising tension...how can you tell? Publishing Crawl has the answer...drop your story plot points into this graph...(for those writers that love info graphics.)

If you are looking at your finished manuscript and wondering what next, check it over for these common editing mistakes and what to do about them.
Last weekend Karaveer Writing School had their first rewriting and editing course and it was a great success. So another popular course gets added to the portfolio. There is an advanced course coming up in November for published novel writers, a master class tune up which has a couple of places left.

In the craft list,
Ten ways to barf a book...just get that first draft out there and on a simila theme Jane Friedman says Kitchen sink it!
Martina from Adventures in Children’s and YA publishing has the Go To post on Concept...It all begins in line one!
Seekerville has the best post on keeping reader empathy and I know my writing mentors will be waving it at me....

How is your productivity? Could it use a little tune up?
Dana Sita has got a productivity routine that works for her...maybe you should try it or you can immerse yourself in Chuck Wendigs 25 ways to get your creative groove back...(warning it is Chuck!)

To finish,
and to refresh your memory...the following video is on basic plots....and everyone of them has shown up on the banned books list...



maureen

pic from pic from http://www.flickr.com/photos/takomabibelot/2875992647/

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