Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas wishes

Today I was braving the hordes with my kids as they did their Christmas Shopping. This is a once a year activity where the kids get to budget and think creatively. (Sounds like publishing.) While they were engaging in creative accounting to make their dollars go further, I was wondering what I was going to write for the last blog post of the year. This was not a year I planned. I was going to have a go at writing a small series of junior fiction books because I wanted to challenge myself. I was going to finish tidying up my Mars book and send it out!

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

I ended up spending way too much time this year staring at hospital food and wondering how anyone was supposed to get well while eating it or whether it was all a psychological experiment to make you get well faster. (If so, it didn’t work as I kept going back.)
So next year... (God and Surgeon willing.) I will restart...

Joanna Penn was in Auckland recently and wowed authors at a meet-up. She was sponsored by Kiwi tech guys Booktrack. They’re the guys behind soundtracks for books. Joanna interviewed them to find out all about this nifty idea.

Chuck is curious about everybody’s experience with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Is it worth it to the author?

The Verge took a trip into the ‘Zon to find out what might be coming in 2015.

John Scalzi has called out a couple of digital magazines about their rights grab… and they listened. Always check the copyright clauses!

I’m in conference planning mode with a bunch of excellent, talented, goodlooking and creative Children’s Writers and Illustrators for the New Zealand National Conference of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. October 2-5 2015 Wellington. (Start looking for those cheap flights.) Janice Hardy writes about the benefits of a small writers’ conference. She is right on the money with her thoughts. (and we have some interesting things planned...*grin* )

One of the tricky things about planning a conference is trying to predict what will be relevant in publishing a year into the future. The Bookseller is doing just that by asking a bunch of publishing tech people what they think will happen in 2015.

In the Craft Section,

How to become a better writer – Rachelle Gardiner

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
I would like to thank all the writers and readers of this blog, the writing communities on Facebook and Twitter, and the Wellington writers who have had my back all year. Although most of you didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes your comments and thoughts encouraged me to keep going even when the going was tough.
Wishing you all a Happy and Safe Christmas. See you in 2015.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Eclectic Gifts

It is an eclectic mix of links for you all today (a day late, SORRY)

In The News,
Hachette is working with Gumroad using Twitter to sell selected books.  (No prizes for guessing why after their recent experience with Amazon.) This is really interesting and may change the face of online buying. Gumroad enables creative people to sell work directly using social media.Their first test (today), Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking sold out in 20 minutes. 

Bookbaby ends its free distribution of eBooks. Indie Pub Magazine looks at what this might mean for authors.

Zoe Sugg, author of best selling book Girl Online, reveals they had a ghostwriter help.

People are still finding ways that Kindle Unlimited subscriptions are not necessarily helping the author. Go in with Eyes Wide Open.

Anne R Allen talks about how to craft a blog for the long haul.

Two wonderful writers who produce a lot of work look back on 2014 and examine where they went wrong. These are two very good articles on production and marketing schedules and organization. Kris Rusch - Business Musing and Popcorn Kittens and Johnny B Truant – 15 Self-publishing lessonsin 2014

With NaNoWriMo over, thoughts are turning to revision checklists.As any writer will tell you the work is in the rewriting!

In the Craft Section,

10 thoughts about writing sex in YA (good stuff in this article)

In the Marketing Section,

What are agents, editors and art directors looking for when they search you online -InkyGirl

Joanna Penn - Interview with Reedsy. Another of Joanna’s amazing info packed interviews. (Reedsy is an author concierge service with a difference)

Looming up on the horizon, Christmas! I am constantly being asked what do I want for Christmas. That’s tough because the asker can’t actually deliver the tropical island with the dedicated time to write and cocktails. Some good pens, kids!

In the Christmas Gifts Section,
Gifts for Writers – Chuck Wendig (usual warnings)

To Finish,
Some Charts...
The Periodic Table... yes but its figures of speech
Do you have Writing Talent? –Jane Friedman

The mad mad mad world of End of School Year and Christmas has overtaken. If you are lucky you may get one more post this year.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breaking The Container

This week in the publishing blogosphere...
If you have any interest in the global publishing world you will be aware of the new VAT rules coming into the EU. This is where the governments of the EU finally get tax off Amazon... or rather Amazon tells all authors who publish with them that they will add the tax on.

The ongoing saga of Maurice Sendak’s estate is back in the news. He had collected some amazing paintings folios and first editions. Then the executors pulled 10,000 original items from the Sendak collection held at a Philadelphia library. Is it in accordance with his wishes? There is quite a debate on as the executors are not writers...

Boy books.... Girl books.... Book books!
A seven year old girls complaint about a non-fiction book being promoted as a boys book has prompted a change in policy from a publisher.

The news that over 60,000 UK boys have failed in their literacy by age 11 has galvanized a children’s writer. But he has an interesting way of going about it. Build some free gaming apps to go alongside his novels. Is there buy in from his publishers... YES. (This reminds me of a proposed idea along these lines here - No publisher buy in.) This is all interesting in light of a recent study on the use of tablets in schools.

Where are the books exploring conflict for children and teens from the other side. One writer is appalled that they are the only one writing with middle eastern protagonists.

New Zealand writers have been reeling lately with a string of publishing houses closing their NZ offices. Writer Beware has posted a warning, that writers taking their own rights back after disputes with publishers have to be very careful.

Jane Friedman has a guest on her blog sounding a note of caution on signing up for Kindle Unlimited.

Rachel Gardner details the kinds of rejections from editors she gets as an agent. (These are for books that went on to do well –we are not alone)

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,

Juggling multiple projects – Elisabeth S Craig

Update on the ACX alternative in audio books. (I linked to this a few months ago, so the update makes interesting reading.)

To Finish,
Two big projects that made the news this week.
One of the biggest YouTube sensations in recent years is a teenage girl blogging about her life. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg was released as a book this week and broke all sorts of records for a first book. How did this happen?

Serial, a podcast sensation, finished its first season... and asked its listeners for donations to do a second. How can publishing learn from this success? The Bookseller asks.

The power of the storytelling transcends the container it is delivered in.

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