Thursday, October 27, 2016

Who Do You Write For?

As I look over my Twitter feed this week I have the distinct impression that many writers will be hitting NaNoWriMo with relief to get away from the media storms over the US Presidential elections. Vote Early and switch off all media to write the novel.
Kris Rusch has a nice comment on the value of writing fiction when the world is in turmoil.

This week Amazon changed a few rules on publishing ebooks. The Digital Reader has a link with all the new hoops you have to jump through.

Joanna Penn has an interview with Chris Fox on using data science to sell books. This is a fascinating interview because once you identify your ideal reader, data science can help you market your book without you doing any work.

Looking after your international audience is the subject of Elizabeth S Craig’s blog post and it is full of ideas for marketing across all the different countries Amazon has presence. She also goes into great detail on Print distribution.

Chris Syme has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about running short Social Media campaigns to market your book. This comprehensive article is an excerpt from Chris Syme’s new book.

Shannon Gibney has penned a thoughtful article - 7 things I have learned so far as a writer. This is a great roundup of advice... always say yes if you can... be prepared and deadlines are your friend. Shannon also explains why.

What happens when you get Book Apathy? How do you overcome it? Is something wrong with you or the book? Ginny Carter has an interesting article on remedies for this malaise that strikes every author.

The Three Pillars of The Author Platform and how to build them is the subject of The Verbs latest thought piece. Every writer should take time to read this and think about it.
Who are you? and Who are you writing for? are questions we all need to answer if we want a successful writing career.

In The Craft Section,

The best advice on plotting- Janice Hardy-Bookmark

3 tips to increase writing output- Jody Hedlund- Bookmark

Writing sad scenes- Ryan Casey

Finding plot holes – Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Finding your way into the story – Becca Puglisi-Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

9 tips for building your book cover- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

Visual marketing for authors- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

Making a living – Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark!

To Finish

Orna Ross is the director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi )They have run three very successful online free one day conferences coinciding with the three major Book Fairs in the Northern Hemisphere. With the Frankfurt Book Fair just wrapping up the theme of their last conference was Writers and Business. 24 hours of amazing content for writers at all stages of the writing profession. Check out what’s on offer and enjoy a feast of quality content.
Orna also has an excellent vlog on setting good creative writing habits. Just in time for NaNoWriMo

Good Luck To Everyone attempting NaNoWriMo (It’s not too late to sign up.)


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Facing Your Fear

It’s ten days until November. For many writers around the world November is when they take a deep breath and plunge into NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month.) 
The aim is to write 50,000 words by the 30th.
50,000 words seems like a huge mountain to climb. Fear of the task can paralyse you so that you don’t get started at all. Rachel Thompson has 4 tips to overcome your fear of writing.

Joanna Penn has a great interview with Grant Faulkner where he talks about how NaNoWriMo got started and the origins of the 100 word story site.
You can sign up for NaNoWriMo and find your local group to support you or just beaver away at home.

Roz Morris has an excellent post on pace and structure to help with your NaNo planning and Bookworks has one on Time Management strategies for authors.

October is often called NaNoPrepMo. It is much easier to write 50,000 words if you know what you are going to write first. Jami Gold has her brilliant worksheets for authors available to download so you are all prepared for NaNoWriMo. 

Out in the world Mike Shatzkin has been taking a look at the latest Author Earnings data. He concludes that Bob Mayer was right with his post everything old is new again. Traditional publishers have now figured out how to use the new world of ebook publishing but there are differences in approach.

Kristine Rusch has an interesting post on  how writers can be overwhelmed. The solution is to define exactly what you want to be and or achieve.

Anne R Allen has a great post on the latest twists and turns of the Amazon review policy. This post is getting widely shared. Anne is a treasure trove of useful information and this post lays out what you can and can’t do regarding the new rules of reviews on Amazon.

Susan Spann writes about the intricacies of the advance in contracts. If you have ever wondered how it all works? What earning out means? How advances are calculated? This is the post for you.

In The Craft Section,

Fixing fatal flaws- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Story and Structure love- James Scott Bell

3 ways to spot telling- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Synopsising your way to revision success-Writer Unboxed - Bookmark

Finding your character special hook and Pacing- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Act 2 The dark night of the soul -Sara Letourneau - Bookmark

Where does your drama come from- Lisa Cron - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Launching A Series- Great podcast with Lindsay Buroker

Push marketing or Pull marketing- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

To Finish,

John Green has been acknowledged as a Y A writing superstar. While other writers may envy him his success has not come easy. In a very candid interview he discusses his battle with Writers Block and mental health. Sometimes all you can do is feel the fear and keep going.


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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Publishing Diagnosis

It’s that time of the year again when the quarterly Author Earnings report comes out. After 27 months of the data arrows for indie publishing going only up... this quarter they didn’t. 
Is this the beginning of the end? Are there earthquakes in publishing on the horizon?
Publishing Perspectives has a measured examination of the data. There are some interesting takeaways, especially if you are a traditionally published print based author.

James Scott Bell has been thinking about the publishing industry recently too. He wrote a great article on what authors need to know about the publishing industry today.

Porter Anderson talks to UK publisher Rebecca Smart about the need for flexibility in publishing. She was being interviewed ahead of the Frankfurt Book fair on the health of pre Brexit UK publishing.

This week Alli founder Orna Ross published an article telling Indies not to pay for Book Marketing services until they knew what the reality was. Orna was highlighting a real problem in the new author world, that of knowledge. You don’t know what you don’t know. Along with this there are some predatory firms out there targeting new authors helping to part them from their money. Alli have some good news on that front.

Beth Hill talks about getting ready for NaNoWriMo. October is prep month and Beth has some ideas for you to try to get ready. A successful month depends on planning well first.

Angela Ackerman has a great roundup of resources for writers looking to elevate their craft. Long time readers of this blog will recognise quite a few names as they have featured in my weekly roundups from time to time. There are some great writing craft books in there as well.

In The Craft Section,

Series beginnings- Mary Kole- Bookmark

Working backwards to define the plot- Janice Hardy Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Writing career business plan- Janalyn Voigt - Bookmark

Jane Friedman has a guest post on Facebook ads- Bookmark!

To Finish,

Joanna Penn has a great article on creativity. How to find and capture ideas for a novel. The best thing for a writer is to be curious. You have to exercise the idea muscle often. Start small and then one day you will discover ideas hitting you from all over the place. Capturing them is the best medicine.

Maureen Crisp

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Self Examination

This week there have been some interesting posts by writers looking critically at their success or lack of it. A thread runs through all these articles of perseverance or maybe it’s  just mule like stupidity (paraphrasing Terry Gilliam here.)

Lisa Cohen has written an entertaining article on Writer Unboxed about the lessons learned over five years and six books. There are some great takeaways in here.

Taking the theme of challenging yourself... Paul Searles writes on the Save The Cat website about how he won the midnight challenge in screenwriting. The whole competition is about challenging yourself as a writer...

Fear of success is just as debilitating as fear of failure. Anne R Allen has written a blog post that is resonating across the publishing blogosphere. This is a follow on from articles I have highlighted in the last couple of weeks. An excellent read!

Roz Morris writes about moving from being a ghost writer to a writer with her own name on the cover of the book. Reviews hit harder... Accolades make you cry. This is a great article about the unexpected experiences of having your name on the book.

Joanna Penn has a great interview with David Wood on how to have bestselling series and running a small press. He publishes other Indie authors and has an interesting idea on the publishing future landscape.

Joanna Penn is coming to Auckland in February 2017. She is offering a one day seminar on self publishing. If you are dipping your toe in... or thinking about it, you probably need to go to this.

Publishing Perspectives has an interesting interview with Jason Cooper of Unbound, a crowd-funding publishing house. This model is becoming quite attractive to authors who have projects that are unusual. This comprehensive interviews talks about the crowd funding model and the future of this style of publishing.

In The Craft Section,

Roz Morris- How to write emotions and feelings- Bookmark

Kaizen Writing- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Tips for making yourself more promotable- Writers in the Storm Bookmark

How to create a box set bundle- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

DIY Print On Demand- The Who Is Doing What List and How Much It Costs.

Publicity for authors- Joel Friedlander interviews Dana Kaye

A case study in covers- Interesting read!

In the Print It Out and Post It On A Wall Section,

April Brown and Becca Puglisi have compiled the most exhaustive checklist of actions for publishing a novel. I think everything is covered here! (Of course you have to write it first!)

To Finish,

What Kind Of A Writer Are You? Stephen Pressfield asks the question of himself but this self examination throws up some truths about your own motivations for writing. An excellent and thought provoking read.


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