Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hashing Around





Social Media can be an addicting drug to writers. You are trapped in your home office (or laundry) your MS is not doing what you want (constant daily struggle) and you go the writers water cooler for a few minutes on Social Media and down the hole of addiction you go.
But its fun! This week I have been giggling at the hashtags on Twitter.  #tenthingsnottosatoawriter 
It got so much notice, newspapers were writing articles about it.

While writers are struggling with the things people say... they are also in business. This week Angie Hodapp of The Nelson Agency talked about royalty statements and how often they are chasing money that is owed contractually to the writers... its all in the percentages.

Kris Rusch has been musing on promotions... how she hates them and how they are necessary to a writers business  and then she realised that there was another way to look at them.

Mike Shatzin (publishing futurist) has taken a long look at the tweaks Amazon are doing this week including adding notifications of new books for readers to Amazon author pages. He comments that publishers need to sharpen up their A game. As usual whenever he mentions Amazon the comments pile up.

The Bookseller reports on Ender’s Analysis of the future ofthe book trade. If you thought publishing had been disrupted enough with eBooks it is only the beginning of the change. The high street bookseller remains critical to discovery...

A great use of hashtags is #MSWL Porter Anderson interviewsthe team who maintain the MSWL website and run the very popular MS Wish Listdays. Agents and editors use this to let everyone know what they are looking for. Always interesting reading.

In the Craft Section,

Speech tags- (are evil) -James R Tuck

Query Tracker – Best writing advice


In the Marketing Section,

Negotiating contracts- Susan Spann

Website of the Week
Take a look at LitReactor They have interesting online writing magazine with columns on all sorts of topics.  This weeks great articles, The Art of the Pitch and Synopsis and Writing Productivity Tips.

To Finish,
This hashtag conversation had me snorting my coffee. If you have ever read regency romances or researched the regency time period you will love these clickbait articles that might have been found in a lifestyle magazine for men.

Maureen
@craicer



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Market Your Name


This week one of my friends posted an interesting article from Sarah McIntyre about crediting illustrators. Illustrators are often overlooked by authors and award judges when it comes to promotion. It is time that we remembered that a great picture book has an author and an illustrator working in collaboration and so they both should be equally credited when it comes to promotion. Sarah came up with the #picturesmeanbusiness campaign.

Darcy Pattison has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about the promotion of children’s books and how she is using Pinterest as an experiment because children’s books are about the visual. 

Anne R Allen has a great resource blog for writers. This week she writes about the care and feeding of THE MUSE for writers. There is lots of great advice in here.

Going to conferences can inspire you to new projects. Joanna Penn talks about attending the ThrillerFest conference and what she learned there. This is a really fascinating article as Joanna is exploring the hybrid author position here. She also has a great interview with a publishing futurist…what might be around the corner and coming soon to an author near you... 

Following along on this theme is Porter’s think piece - finding and building fans of books is the most important thing an author can do ... here he reports on some big thinkers in the publishing game on this kind of marketing.

Jane Friedman has been getting serious of late with email marketing. She has written two excellent blog posts on email newsletters for authors and how to improve the newsletter to make it relevant. I’m interested in exploring this from a children’s writer point of view. Who do we send newsletters to...

I don’t subscribe to many newsletters but one I do and try to read frequently is Larry Brooks. His Storyfix website is great. His newsletters are direct and punchy on the craft of writing. Larry recently had a melt down moment which is worth reading. Writers you need to study your craft... figure out some stuff then apply it. If you write then you should read this.

Four important questions that agents ask writers in the pitch session... and yes you should be able to answer them...

In the Craft section,
Goals Conflict Stakes- Janice Hardy (Bookmark)

Copyediting –it’s not rocket surgery- The Book Designer (Bookmark)


Fishing out your manuscript hook- Kate Moretti (Bookmark)

How to write a synopsis- sorta- Ava Jae (Bookmark)


4 Revision Goals- Darcy Pattison (Bookmark!)


In the Marketing section,

The unexpected effect of perma free- M Louisa Locke- Bookmark








Website of The Week
Every now and then you come across a web comic that exactly illustrates the writing life. Chances are you have seen an Inkygirl comic. So you really need to check out her awesome website where she has other great helpful tips. Inkygirl is also promoting the #picturesmeanbusiness campaign to recognise picture book illustrators on metadata and awards.

To Finish,

Mark Coker of Smashwords recently put up his Slideshare deck ... 6 hours of concentrated workshopping on publishing ebooks. You don’t have to wade through all of it. Just look at the transcript and scroll down to the section that interests you. This is like a Master class in eBook marketing.

Maureen
@craicer
Pics From the fabulous Inkygirl



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Transparency and The Muse


Last week I was writing my blog from my writing retreat where I wrestled with The Muse... the Manuscript and the madness of Editing while writing while analysing three books. Next time I will schedule my time better...  (cue manic laughter.)
This week back inside the madness of school holidays, I’ve finally wrestled the computer out of the kids hands and can concentrate on getting back up to speed with what is happening in the publishing world.

Today Harper Lee broke some records on First Day sales of a book. Her sequel, Go Set A Watchman which was really her first book which was then rewritten to be How To Kill A Mockingbird has got writers thinking about their own literary estates... should bad first books see the light of day even when you are famous... publishers just after the money... or this great post from Stephen Pressfield on the amazingness of Lee’s editor and Lee herself that she could flip this book on its head and write HTKAM from it.

Writers are beginning to report on what hit (if any) they are taking with the Amazon pay per page read.  Molly Greene talks about her stats and what has changed. It is a great service to the writing community to show the money side of your business... and I appreciate the willingness of authors who do this. We all learn and it contributes to understanding and the need for the industry to be transparent....

Which leads to a timely and thoughtfilled post from Kristine Rusch on Transparency and the battles on the horizon. Take the time to read this. She covers the Authors Guild call for the DOJ to investigate Amazon (again????) understanding the writing business and how the music industry battles are preparing the way ahead of us...

This week, The Bookseller’s weekly chat looked at the reports from UK and US that author incomes are falling and the calls for fairer author contracts. One traditional publisher has moved to ebook royalties of 50% and 5 year contracts... is this a sniff of change?

Last week, The Bookseller was looking at why you should charge schools for author visits... something that has been exercising the thoughts of children’s writers here in NZ.

The Guardian thinks the pseudonyms are on their way out... we should be able to stand or fall with our own names. I find myself automatically thinking that initials mean a female author.

Paul Dale Anderson explores how you can tell what sort of writer you are... kinesthetic... audio…etc  and how you can use these traits to make yourself a better writer...which leads right into Joanna Penn’s great post on writing habits and productivity...

Book Riot has written a great blog post on the overuse and abuse of The Love Triangle. This device seems to be exclusive to the Young Adult market. Book Riot calls it out as sloppy unrealistic plotting (the teen in this house was agreeing... Not Real Life)

And so to Criticism - should you read those 1star reviews?  Catherine McKenzie has written an interesting post for Writer Unboxed on why you should.

In the Craft Section,


7 tips for balancing backstory- Shannon Donnelly (Bookmark)

Edits vs Revisions – one on one death- Janice Hardy



In the Marketing Section,


Publishing Perspectives on Contracts and how you should compare them (From UK Soc of Authors)

Website of the Week
Digital Book World is a website that looks at the big picture of digital publishing. Authors often forget that Digital Publishing covers the whole spectrum of words online. This week DBW have been running a series on the future of publishing. Yes it is aimed at publishers but authors should run their eyes over these sorts of articles to keep themselves informed of what might be coming up behind them.

To Finish,
Chuck Wendig has written a neat post on writing and the power of failure... and there are no warnings on this... just great advice.

And Maggie Stiefvater echoes this with a punchy talk about how much you should want to write.

maureen
@craicer

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hailstorm


I’m sitting in a warm house listening to classic jazz and being completely distracted by the hail hitting the windows. I am supposed to be on a writing retreat. That’s where you run away to a distraction free zone and wrestle with your manuscript. As I write this Stormy Weather is playing on the stereo… and out the window. Honestly you would think I was writing fiction.

It has been a little bit stormy out in the publishing blogosphere this week.

There have been storms of internet bad behaviour over at Goodreads… which follows the Twitter storm over E L James last week.
Anne R Allen has a great blog piece where she talks about the rise of the bullying culture among readers, authors and reviewers and what we can do about it. She quotes Anne Rice, who this week declared she ‘was fed up with censorship by troll.’

The Alliance of Independent Authors is promoting their ethical author manifesto and it has a clause about not engaging in troll behaviour along with other good acts of authorship.

Writer Beware has an interesting post on Amazon reviews. Amazon has been tightening up the reviews it posts because of sock puppetry and one star bullying behaviour but they may have gone too far in the zealousness. It all hinges on their data mining… and boy do they know a lot about you.

(Sorry just had to take a break to dance around to Louis Armstrong’s Aint Misbehaving.)  

Mike Shatzkin takes a pot shot at the WSJ and the Guardian. This week they will both be publishing the first chapter from Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set A Watchman. Aside from the 1950’s era of journalism involved, Mike thinks they and Lee’s publishers have completely missed the point in getting readers for this book.

Nathan Hull of The Bookseller is lamenting the way the rest of the world is looking to the US subscription model woes as a reason not to go the subscription way. Subscriptions can work for authors and publishers if they realise that Europe is not the US which is still operating on a paper and print mentality.

Jane Friedman  always has interesting things to say. Here she looks at the P and L sheet publishers have to fill in before they decide to publish. Authors should also be aware of the Profit and Loss Sheet and how it impacts them.

In the Craft Section,







In the Marketing Section,
If you are thinking about audiobooks in your writing future check out this interview by Joanna Penn with Jeffrey Kafer.

If you are interested in the latest cover designs, Shelftalker has rounded up this year’s trends in Y A. Hands are in…

For the design types… a discussion on the latest typography offerings for digital books.

Molly Greene on the 99c ebook sale.

How authors can use Mailchimp and the best ways to use Goodreads.

When your cover gets copied – what you can do about it. (Writers helping Writers)

Website of the Week.
Bob Mayer always has interesting things to say. This week he has a great post on outlining your novel. And for those people thinking about going to a conference in the near future here is his slideshow on how to get the most out of a conference.

To Finish,

Wimbledon is on this week. They are sweltering in the heat. Publishing Perspectives has an entertaining look at what it might be like if publishing was like Wimbledon.  

Back to wrestling with the manuscript...
Maureen
@craicer

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Flagging Down Karma




This week the power of group/mob behaviour was in full view around the blogosphere.
And it wasn’t pretty!

E L James had a torrid time on an ‘Ask E L James’ Twitter chat that her PR people should never have enabled. Mob behaviour was in evidence when she was publically vilified at a live event. You can hate the stories... just don’t read them, but don’t attack the author. They are a human being. Porter reports on the fallout and how Chuck Wendig coped with it.
For the anonymous haters who hide behind computer screens and avatars to say hate speech- there will be KARMA.

This week Apple’s appeal against their sentence of collusion with the big publishers got thrown out. (See Karma...) Fortune magazine details just our cozy the deals Apple and the publishers made. It is not pretty reading.

Scribd, the ebook subscription company, has come up against the voracious romance reader and decided that limiting their subscription is the way to go. There are howls of protest from readers who are instantly penalised for reading too much and from writers who find their books have just disappeared. The Bookseller looks at the issue and what might be a solution.

Writers trying to get their head around the new Amazon subscription service pay per page read would do well to check out Susan Kaye Quinn’s comparison breakdown. Susan’s straight forward analysis clearly shows the writer just what a pay per page means as opposed to a borrow. Math wins and so do some writers.

Fake online reviews are still happening and some authors are being burned by negative review campaigns. Amazon is rolling out some new algorithms to clean this up. Porter talks about what can be done, should be done, is being done about sock puppetry.

In the Craft Section,

The writers skill- Stephen Pressfield

Truth and Fiction- Girl Cliques- Becca Puglisi (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

Book marketing checklist –Tim Grahl (Comprehensive)

Book marketing plans – (Bookmark)

Book Market results- Nicholas Rossis (Fascinating! Bookmark)

Website of the Week
Grammar – You can’t ignore it. There are some great websites out there to help you write more better (spot the deliberate grammar mangling.) Check out the Grammarly blog for nifty tips and great articles.

To Finish,
Jane Friedman has an interview with Nathan Bransford on her blog. Nathan has been it all... an agent, a writer, a reviewer.... He is in a unique position to comment on today’s publishing industry.

maureen
@craicer


Pic: From Grammarly blog on writing retreats.

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