Going boldly into the unknown...a weekly roundup of writing tips and trends from a NZ children's writer.
Comments always welcome. (Image is of two galaxies colliding. Images Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.)
The weather scientists this week said that Winter has been
so warm that Spring has come a month early. And this is a symptom of climate
change. At the moment we have a late blast of winter going through and it is
bleak and wet out there. (So breaking Elmore’s sacred rule never start with the
In the publishing blogosphere this week...
KOBO KOBO KOBO KOBO...
Kobo launched three new e-reading devices this week in NewYork...and got the publishing blogosphere talking...because along with the
hardware...Kobo has new content to go on the hardware. Kobo Kids a dedicated
e-bookstore for children...Beyond The Book for all stuff beyond the book
including a special Font for dyslexics... and other nifty things. So another
shift in the publishing world has happened.
Long Time readers of this blog will know that I have a bit
of a geek thing with space etc etc and that this year the prominent writers in
the SFF Geek community have been calling out misogynist and threatening
behaviour towards women in the community. John Scalzi (just stepped down as
Pres. SFF) has been targeted for his very vocal support by troll lowlifes. This
week around Social Media a picture of John in a dress went viral calling John a
feminist. John’s beautiful reply will have you chuckling. Way To Go John...also
if you haven’t read any of his work...you are really missing something, he is a
Roz Morris runs a few blogs which I have referred to over
the years in this blog...however I haven’t ever profiled her Undercover Soundtrack blog. Writers who write with soundtracks in their ears, talk about
why they write to music and what sort of soundtracks they use.
If you write Midgrade...Check out Emblazoners. This is
another example of an author collective that niche market themselves. Roam
around and get a feel for what they are doing and read the excellent article on
writing midgrade series.
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ancillary uses thereof, and including the unfettered right to sublicense such
rights, in perpetuity throughout the universe.
Are you shaking your head and wondering why anyone would
sign a contract with this in?
Well lots of writers have....it could be in .4 in your
latest contract. However this little excerpt comes from a Random House contract
where they invite writers to contribute blog posts to their online blogging
universe. FOR FREE.
Publishers Weekly has been looking at where our audience has gone...The latest YouTube meetup had nearly 7000 vloggers...with teens to the
forefront. Some of these teens have over 2 million subscribers to their
channels....Where are the publishers? Can authors tap into this underground
movement... or are we a dying artform...
brilliant initiative of some savvy KidLit authors is in its 4th year
of awesomeness. A free online conference for Kid Lit authors who can’t get to a
conference...and believe me when you are on the other side of the world, in a
small country, you salivate at the conference schedules. WriteOnCon has just
wrapped up and you can go onto the site and see some of the keynotes and
videos. I got lost today in watching the live pitch hangout, which wasn’t live
for me but had heaps of information in it. I will be dipping into all the archived sessions for the next few weeks and I confidently predict that the keynotes
will continue to be blogged about all year, like last years WriteOnCon.
Porter Anderson covers the other top watercooler topic...The
Bowker Annual Report just out and if you want the complete report which many
publishers subscribe to, hand over $799 or take a look at the articles Porter highlights, where they break down and explain the significance of the figures.In-store awareness is slowly giving way
to increased importance of author Web sites, product placement on a
e-reader or tablet app and review and recommendations.
Who is buying what, and this may surprise you, men bought
more hardback format last year. Porter gives a comprehensive run down on all
the discussions happening as a result of the report.
Kristine Rusch, as usual, delivers a comprehensive article
on the publishing industry now. This week she looks at markers of success for writers. Kris has a wealth of experience and lays it out for writers...and then
she talks about Indie publishing and how success markers here may be quite
This last week I’ve been meeting up with writers in various
venues discussing writery things.... Sometimes it was what we thought the
librarians would pick as their top books for 2012 in the Librarian and
Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa or the LIANZA’s as they are most commonly referred to. The awards are out...and I have great pleasure in
saying to various writers.... including award winners...I told you so!
In other publishing blogosphere news... LA SCBWI conference
wrapped up this week. This conference is the one everyone in children’s writing
wants to go to, (or the NY Winter conference.) A few years ago they got a team
of writer bloggers together who blog the conference for all of us who live
around the world and can’t get to LA. Go to the blog and scroll down on the right for all the topics covered... Take your time and dip into the conference
panels, keynotes, interviews....aaaaah. There is even a sampling of fabulous tweets from #LA13SCBWI throughout the four days.
When you finish that...breathe deeply. Squash down that
green imp of jealousy and register for WriteOnCon...a free two day online
conference for children’s writers, now in its fourth year, happening next week. With another brilliant
line up of speakers again. WriteOnCon 2012 is still being referenced around the blogosphere now. IT WAS THAT
If you are interested in gatekeepers...(you want more of
them) copyright protections...(you want less of it) then you need to take a
look at Porter’s Ether for the week and that will bring you up to speed on what
has been talked about this week around the water coolers in New York.
I have been following the misogynist pull up in Sci Fi for
the last month. It is Con season in the states...and the trolls are out in
force. Sci Fi writers are often at Con’s as part of their publishing contracts
and it has been sad to see them having to defend their right to be there if
they are women. However there are quite a few male Sci Fi writers pushing the misogynists
right back, as John Scalzi beautifully says in ‘A Creator’s Note To Gatekeepers’
it’s an economic argument. Women read and play these cool games too.
So around the blogosphere there has been general high fives
when one writer called the police over the 50 rape and murder threats she
received in two hours...ongoing. And there was an arrest. When a writer
commented on this in her BBC radio programme she was inundated with the same
kind of troll calls. So she asked to talk to a couple of trolls. It was
enlightening for everybody!
Along with this was Cassandra Clare’s experience as a YA
novelist at Comic Con this week with the City Of Bones movie set to come out
very soon. Interviewers questions were inane because they saw the movie as being
for teenage girls and they weren’t worth wasting time on.
Over the last week I have been wandering up and down the
country avoiding the earthquakes in my home city...they were waiting for me
when I came back...another three today...It’s like being on a moored boat every
now and then the floor rocks.
Jami Gold has discovered new and horrible ways that authors are being pirated...and scraped by lowlifes and you will need to hang on to a
table while you read this. It involves mash ups...fan fiction...scraping and
Amazon...actually mixing that lot up and it could be some sort of new adult stuff
which is the target of pirates at the moment. Wouldn’t it be simpler to write
your own book?
Every now and again there is a publishing blogosphere story
that won’t lie down...and the RandomPenguin washing of Author Solutions is one
of them...Porter devoted a whole Ether post to it last week...I flagged it for
you in my last post but since then it has got bigger and murkier....
Since I started writing this...we had another three
quakes...mostly they are little but every now and again Mother Earth likes to
wake us up...which is why you need Resilience if you are a writer (Rachel Gardner) or just live in an earthquake zone....