Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pressing Hot Buttons



This week the publishing blogosphere was doing some soul searching as they digested an article by Jonathan Emmett on the gender imbalance of children’s books, that The Times picked up and ran away with...causing a mini feeding frenzy from other news outlets around the world. 
The Times headline trumpeted that the majority of buying/ producing/ reviewing in the publishing industry is being run by women so it is no wonder that boys aren’t reading.
This is a hot button issue. 
There are many angles to this story. Why has publishing become dominated by women? (low paid... low status...= women) Where are the books written by men for boys? ( low paid...low status...= ?) Who are the gatekeepers and why aren’t more books for boys being promoted and reviewed? - they would review if there were books for boys being written and published (low paid...low status...)
Why is it a women’s problem if boys don’t read? (Jonathan Emmet say’s it is not our problem.)

The next hot button issue... the same arguments this week but this time over diversity in publishing... Where are the books written by and for people of colour? In this Buzzfeed article the same blocks are being questioned. The editors are white middle class women who don’t understand the issues/stories from another cultural/colour perspective.  Few books by these authors are being picked up for publishing... which equals less readers... which then becomes one of those assumptions...that people of colour don’t read.
Why is this a middle class white woman’s problem?
Who are the majority of readers?  Demographic/age group.... (answer in your own time)
How do we address the imbalance?
How do we make reading cool for everyone?
Where do the brown boy readers go when they get to high school? (our resident representative of that demographic reads Stephen King Horror (Thanks Mr King! He is still reading!)

And the next hot button issue.
Are we over being good literary citizens? Have writers had enough of supporting publishing platforms?...because it’s good form and expected by their publishing houses but costs in time and money for the writer. Where are the blogs/ reviews from the CEO’s promoting the books? Why does the writer have to promote other writers and reviewers...and bookstores and .... Jane Friedman has a nice response to the above article.

When Mike Shatzkin came out to talk positively about When Authors should Self Publish  (minor earthquake in publishing world) and then goes on to ask for submissions from everyone about the next five years in digital publishing where he predicts that Trade publishers will conduct most of their business online... then you have a lot to talk about.
We are 18 months out from the next National Children’s Writers and Illustrators conference and so Mike makes timely reading as we look to work out what issues should be on the hot button list to discuss.

Pick your button… PRESS.

In the Craft Section,

Janice Hardy – when you’ve got everything right how do you leap over the line into requested/ bought 
territory.

When the first book kills the series... Great article on the fine line of writing a first serial book.

In the Marketing Section,
Building audience with bundles... Dave Gaughran’s book bundling experiences.

Popular Tumblr’s for readers – how authors are managing Tumblr

To Finish,
This is my 300th post on the Craicer blog, my sixth year of providing a weekly look at the hot topics and trends in publishing. In six years I have seen the publishing world go through huge changes. The amalgamation of publishing houses... the collapse of bookstore chains... the rise of author publishing. Six years ago I would not have predicted the topic of this article from Porter Anderson but it does show how far the publishing pendulum has swung for the author.  Predicting where they may be heading to next will continue to be a fascinating weekly hot button on Craicer.


maureen

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Link Eggs


The royals have been and gone... the weather is getting worse... all is in train for a wet and wild Easter weekend. So what better way to use this in-house time to have a trawl through some great writing sites...read some interesting articles and make plans for the rest of your year...OR YOU COULD JUST WRITE.

The London Book Fair wrapped up and much digestion is taking place.

Jane Friedman checks in with KOBO boss at L.B.F. and finds out some interesting statistics on E sales.

Publishing Perspectives had a chat with games companies at L.B.F. about how writers can get into this field they also have a good post on Using Translators as agents for your work in other countries.

Chuck’s ramble, this week, is an exhortation to young writers... the ones who have enrolled with high hopes in Creative Writing courses.  Not for the faint hearted! But good advice!

Bibliocrunch has a post on royalty rates from all the different independent ways to publish.

Publisher’s Weekly looks at Bloombury’s new YA imprint (think upmarket babysitters club books.) If you write clean teen romance....


This week I came across two posts on writers collaborations... in partnerships and in author collectives. On Joe Konrath’s blog two authors talk about writing partnerships – Great article.

The Triskele team blog has been looking at author collectives...and profiles this one with a Kiwi writer in the forefront. This is a collective that works across the world to promote their books collaboratively and under their own brand.


Website of the week: The Alliance of Independent Authors was launched at London Book Fair 2 years ago and has gone from strength to strength. Have a look around their website and read this great interview with Catherine Ryan Howard - She who is known as Catherine Caffeinated and my first Go To when Indie publishing was in its interesting infancy. Her final advice in this interview I endorse whole heartedly. A few times a month I am contacted by someone wondering what they should do... I don’t mind but sometimes I am saying the same things as Catherine...only in my head.


If you are looking for writing tips to shake up your writing life over Easter.
In the Craft Section...






Easter Weekend could be the time look over your online presence or start one or finally get that manuscript out the door.
In the Marketing Section...
A manuscript is not a book... (primer on MS presentation)


How to get more readers for your blog – an oldie but a goodie from The Bookman as well as his best 5 fonts for books covers.








To Finish,
Jody Hedlund’s blog is one of my go to sites and her great articles often get mentioned here. However she has a Pinterest site just full of writing quotes. So if you need some writing inspiration this Easter check it out!


HAPPY EASTER 
maureen

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Surfing The Future


Everybody in publishing wants to get a handle on where the future is in publishing. 
The big changes... the new trends... the ‘Will I have a book deal / career... next year kind of questions. Analysis of what’s being discussed in the halls of the book fairs dominates Twitter along with the kitten pictures. Indie....Trad... digital...print... book sales...up graphs... down graphs, everybody is trying to grab a stake to hold onto as the floodwaters of change pull them in over their heads.

The London Book Fair is on. #LBF14 If you want to dive into the maelstrom and surf the comment wave.
Among the talking points so far...BookTubers…their presence and prominence in book discoverability. A force to be reckoned with.
Random Penguin and the new Goodreads style community My indie bookshop (still in BETA testing but getting hyped at LBF)  Readers rank their ‘best of’ book lists which have a buy button to their favourite Indie bookshop. Readers earn money as an affiliate...Independent bookshops earn money...win/win.

Porter does a round up of Day One at LBF14

Discoverability is on every publishers mind. (Reminder: If you Indie publish –you are a publisher.) How do you break through the crowded marketplace?


Is Hybrid just a phase for authors and will we ever go back to the good/bad old days (like last year.) and yet more comment on Elisabeth S Craig’s amazing post which I highlighted a couple of weeks ago.


Roz Morris reflects on what she is telling people now about publishing at LBF. Learn the business regardless of what side of the road you go down. Get better informed about all the little facets of publishing a book.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair is still being talked about.

Wipeout
Two authors have given up publishing over the constant trolling and stalking happening to them on review sites... this is a cautionary tale to all authors.
Bestselling author Shannon Hale pleas to be left alone to write books. Constant demands for engagement from fans are causing huge stress. This is the other side of success.


In the Craft Section,
How to deal with the Dreaded Sagging Middle

How to complete every writing project that you start... (rewire your brain- great post!)







In the Marketing Section







To Finish,
Among the many posts that caught my eye this week were these two.  The Importance of Community for Authors and

Seven Reasons to Join an Author Collective.  I have said all along I think that author collectives  are the future model which will work best for going forward into the future. The power of the group model can be a lifeboat in the rushing water of the publishing journey.

maureen

Pic is from Michael L. Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Believe It


April rolled in and the weather is stunning! New Zealand’s capital city perched on steep hills overlooking an almost circular harbour gets a lot of wind. We are used to it. A force 5 gale to everyone else is a gentle zepher for us... except in Autumn. 
We have no wind. Everything is calm. The sky is that perfect autumn blue. The sea is sparkling. The temperatures are balmy...and no one believes us when we say this!

This week around the publishing blogosphere... It is the season of Book Fairs with many agents hopping from Bologna to London. Mary Hoffman writes what it was like to be a children’s author at Bologna. Interesting to get the UK authors perspective on this book fair. (After you stop feeling jealous.)

Porter Anderson looks at some of the issues likely to be talked about at The London Book Fair happening next week.  It’s all about the numbers...again. He also has an Ether column looking at whether publishers are ready to have important discussions on the future of the industry. Some believe they already are...

Charlotte Jones has a post on 7 things I heard at a book festival, which has some interesting takeouts for authors.

Mashable has a must read post on when your blog is hacked and what to do. Read. Believe. Do.

Writer Beware is the blog of Victoria Strauss and she does an excellent job of shining a spotlight on unsavory practices and scams. As I was reading this one I found myself questioning whether I had read it before...it was starting to sound so familiar. And that is the problem. It is now so common for this kind of scam to take everybody in. Writer starts a hot new publishing house, everything sound fine, then things get hard, everything falls apart, founder disappears...

An interesting article caught my eye this week. Why self publishing is so good for literary culture. I think there are a lot of good points in it but you may not believe me.

Chuck has a hard time believing a pirates explanation for why he has pirated Chucks work. Take some time out to read this as it shows two points of view of a very controversial situation in digital publishing. Do you believe it’s all about 1’s and 0’s?

In the Craft Section,






What’s Love got to do with it (believe me, a brilliant article!)

In the Marketing Section,
Kris Rusch continues her remarkable series on Discoverability this week with two posts. Publicity Campaigns and Surprise.

Darcy Pattison continues her Build An Author Website from scratch series.

Digital Book World...has collected together a comprehensive list of resources for authors




To Finish,

To succeed you must set some writer goals or you can believe everything this writer advises you...(with tongue firmly in cheek.)

maureen

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