Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Revolving Door of Publishing

This week the hot topic around Twitter was that self published sleep book for kids written by a sleep psychologist which raced to number one on Amazon and is now in a 7 figure publishing deal. Hugh Howey looks at all the changes in publishing in this story.

Germany announced this week that they are scrapping DRM on Ebooks. Predictions that the English language will be next could be far fetched. Mike Shatzkin looks at DRM free implications and reading books on phones. Surveys just out say the number is up to 1 in 7 people mainly reading on their phone but which apps are the best for this.

Writer Beware reports that the Author Solutions case has been dismissed as they settled out of court... that’s one class action down... (PRH has deep pockets...)

Can data dictate publishing decisions? That’s the topic for Futurechat this week. With data being mined by Kindle Unlimited who know exactly when a reader stops reading to phone companies who know where and when a reader is reading.... What are the implications for publishers?

Anne R Allen looks at author blogs. How can you do better?

Writer Unboxed revisits the ten things not to say to a writer in light of some dubious comments being said to writers very recently.

Larry Brooks is writing for the Killzone blog and he has a few wise words to say about authors letting rip on their manuscripts before they have learned some fundamentals of the craft... (for a less measured approach see Chucks rant.)

Author Chronicles takes issue with those annoying pop up adds.

In the Craft Section,

Chuck has a no holds barred post on rookie mistakes that new writers make. (You may never look at dialogue tags the same way again.)

Janice Hardy has two guest writers writing some great posts. 

Bonnie Randall on killing your darlings unless you can give them goals and Amy Christine Parker on writing outside of your comfort zone. (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
The Queen’s bookstore in London has turned hand selling into a high end art and a global enterprise... so now they are mixing it up by having a bookseller in Asia. Yes... I mean A Bookseller NOT A Bookstore...

Just when you think you know what is coming next in publishing...

Pic from Inkyelbows… Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Maintaining A Positive Face

This week I have been thinking about all sorts of eclectic things to do with the life of an author.

Headshots... This is an awful necessity when you write... at some point some one is going to ask for a headshot. Writer Unboxed has a great article on this. I have heard of conferences arranging photographers who specialise in this... (hmmm must explore this.)

Being a nicer person because I am a writer. Book Trib had an interesting article on this.
Jody Hedlund looks at the other side of niceness when you feel you are the worst writer in the world... How can you dig yourself out of the hole?

Keeping a positive attitude helps when you are visualising your goals. If you are Indie Publishing 5 tips on how you can measure success.

This week Publishers Weekly had a column from Kristan Higgins asking the literary world to grow up when it comes to Romance writing.They are among the savviest writers I know and Kristan has a point. Read the Genre before you criticise it.

The New York Times has changed the way they will be reporting Children’s Best Sellers... There was jubilation all over my Twitter Feed. Now finally we will find out the best selling junior fiction books... When the list jumped from Picture Book to Young Adult best sellers... something had to give.

Sticking with big companies making changes… HarperCollins is shutting down Authonomy, their website where aspiring authors could post stories. It was an interesting experiment.

Joanna Penn has answered a bunch of questions about her writing business. She is a postive force when it comes to finding out about marketing. Here she has lots of tips.

In the Craft Section,
Killing your darlings – 5 writers talk about the cutting room floor

How to find an editor – Jane Friedman

In the Marketing Section,
Mastering Radio Interviews - Anne R Allen (Bookmark)

6 types of Copyright disclaimers – The Book Designer (Bookmark)

What makes your story unique –The Art of the Blurb – Jami Gold

Website of the Week
Writers in the Storm have a great website with all sorts of great craft and marketing tips. Here are two recent Bookmark posts, 5 easy SEO techniques and How actions determine character arc. There are four writers contributing and they manage to cover all facets of the business. A great Go To Website

To Finish,

Chuck Wendig has a new book out soon. It is his 13th and by now he should be used to the feelings of gut wrenching fear, nervousness and excitement... It only gets worse… He tries to maintain a positive face… (Positive warnings on language apply.)


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Writing Costs

This week two critiques of James Patterson’s Master class in writing bounced around my Twitter feed. One was from The Observer and the other from Writer Unboxed.
James Patterson is a prolific bestseller who has a team at his publishers devoted only to his work. This year he started a fund for booksellers to encourage reading. Our local children’s bookseller was a lucky recipient. So a master class from him was always going to be interesting. It’s a huge bang for your buck. ($90US) I can’t help thinking that other writing craft gurus will have to lift their game.

The other topic to get bounced around this week was the cost of publishing.
Joanna Penn has a critical analysis of her own writing business and six figure income. Kate Flora has a critical analysis of how much it costs to write traditionally. (i.e. with a Trade publisher.)

Nick Stephenson is also talking about the cost of self publishing but he sees it as a value....

Last week I linked to Steve Hamilton's fight with St Martin's press Kristine Rusch has an excellent post on this and the fact that had he done it in 2005 his career would be over… but authors who have done it have some tricks up their sleeves…. 

Porter Anderson takes a look at balancing Trad and Indie publishing interests. Whether you come in on one side or the other or are firmly hybrid, there is a lot of discussion in what way a writing career can go now. Porter mentions Deborah Cooke’s recent essay, What I miss about Traditional publishing, (very interesting) as he compares the two camps. Jaye Manus takes issue with some of Deborah’s ideas especially where she says that Indie publishers need someone to say NO that is not a good idea.

Elizabeth S Craig has a great post on publishing podcasts... She talks about her favourites and finds a few more from her readers.

Anne R Allen has an excellent post on social media... she is not a fan of email newsletters. She talks about the best way you can promote.

In the Craft Section,

Revision techniques- Janet Fox (Bookmark)

Planning your plotting – Janice Hardy

In the Marketing Section,

Looking good on a web cam – Rachelle Gardner

Molly Greene has two great posts- 45 ways to sabotage your social media success and

To Finish,

Whether you are Trad or Indie inclined you still need to write a ripping good yarn. So here is the word from Bob Mayer – Finding the shiver effect!

Pic From The Fabulous InkyElbows

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Villains and Heroes

This week doing the publishing rounds....
That RITA book.
That Watchman book refund.
That guy who yanked his book from St Martin’s Press.

There are plenty of sides to each story... tho the RITA saga has left me scratching my head on how it even got published. (The RITA’s are the Oscar’s of the Romance world.) This book was nominated and finalled in two categories. Just dodgy on so many levels...

Then we have an Indie bookstore giving refunds for the latest Harper Lee book to disappointed readers. OK readers you were warned about the hype around it. You were told it was an untouched early MS... (possibly a money grab by the publishers.) The Guardian let off some steam around this.

This week’s epic marketing fail.
So you think you have a pretty solid career with your big NY publisher. You’ve won awards, earned out etcetc. Then your latest book (with starred reviews already) gets yanked before publication. Heard it all before... but this time it is the author that has yanked the book because the publisher lied about the marketing campaign. (Takes writer guts to do it.)

Brooke Warner has written a piece about the lengths some Traditional publishers are going to control their writer's marketing lives. Stopping writers giving endorsements to other writers being one of them. Isn’t it supposed to be a win/win marketing strategy?

Catherine Nicholls decided to try a little experiment and sent her novel out under a man’s name. The comments on this one are very interesting. When you know that there are more women in the publishing industry but a male name means the project gets looked at faster... um ?

The annual SCBWI LA conference wrapped up this week. Children’s writers who can’t get there drop into the official conference blog where a team of dedicated writers live blog the sessions. It’s always interesting. Grab a coffee scroll down to the bottom and live vicariously.

Publishing Futurist Mike Shatzkin has an interesting post today about the changing nature of publishing. He makes a comment about not seeing any of the big writers jumping from Traditional publishing which a couple of years ago everyone expected. And when are we going to see the United Artists model of publishing? (I’ve been saying for years that the Indie future is in the Bloomsbury model.) I wonder when we will get to say I told you so...

In the Craft Section,
4 steps for organising plot ideas- Jody Hedlund (Bookmark)

Emotional wounds- when you accidently kill someone- Angela Ackerman

Killing your darlings- Janice Hardy

In the Marketing Section,

Online Marketing strategy for authors – Mike Shatzkin (Bookmark)

When to use pre orders- Lindsay Buroker (Bookmark)

Website of the Week.
I drop into Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog pretty much every week. Elizabeth is writing about her learning journey as she becomes a hybrid author. This week she had an interesting article about what Traditional publishing needs to get the Hybrids back.

To Finish,
Writers need their own personal heroes Why? Check out these 7 reasons.
(now go and make your list!)


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