Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reality Bites


January is full of predictions and goal setting for the coming year. Writers enjoy marking off their new wall planners with book goals and organising their writing desks. Then reality sinks in as they note the first deadline is coming up fast. Productivity tool posts start filling up the internet. Writers In The Storm have a good blog post for the writer’s greatest challenge- Time Management. You may need to select from one of these useful collections of tools and tricks.
No Cost tools for writers- Publication Coach
Five Writing Apps from DIYMFA

Every year The Write Life blog collects their 100 best websites for writers. Regular readers of my blog will see familiar names in the list. However their are some nifty new names in the different categories. (They also have a great post on writing residencies – in case you were thinking if it is worth it.)

Victoria Strauss has collected a list of Writer Beware posts from 2015. Writers should be regularly dropping into this site and getting familiar with the scams and dodgy contract language that is directed at them. Writer Beware has direct support from many writer associations.

Susan Spann is doing guest posts on what to watch out for in Contract Clauses- This month is the Out Of Print Clause.

Passive Guy takes a look at Kameron Hurley’s post on Non Compete and Rights Grab Clauses (PG is a lawyer so he has an eye for this.)

Today Kris Rusch warned about Anthology Contracts by new independent publishers. They have the best intentions and their contracts are the worst! Kris has seen some absolute nightmares in the last few weeks. Last week she wrote a great post - Whining is not a business model! Writers you must carefully look at your contracts. This is your work, your future earnings... you need to read the small print and walk away if it is not fair.

In the Craft Section,

Building Empathy- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark.

Sara Letourneau – Character evolution- Bookmark.



In the Marketing Section,
Authors often struggle with Book Marketing. It is out of the comfort zone of the introverted garret dweller who talks to imaginary people. 

This week there were helpful posts on author blogs from Joanna Penn - Author blog mistakes, Molly Greene – What authors can blog about, Veronica Sicoe – building relationships with readers and Angela Ackerman- Social Media - why I don’t follow the rules.

Penny Sansevieri has a good post on Amazon reviews.

Lindsay Buroker has one on tips for getting a Bookbub advert.


Silas Payton has a guest post on Joe Konrath’s blog on collaborative marketing.

To Finish,
Digital Book World has an interesting post today from Jason Illian on the real future of digital publishing. Jason looks at a few company results which journalists didn’t cover and then started asking questions. This is a must read! In the comments SCBWI blogger Lee Wind referred to Enthrill (a company I have been watching for a few years.) They are about to ramp up their eBook gift cards after a long time developing and testing. I have a feeling that 2016 will be an interesting year in the digital book world.

Maureen Crisp
@craicer

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Taking Good Advice


This week in the publishing blogosphere writers were cheering when Philip Pullman took a stand on writers having to do festival appearances for free, when everybody else was paid.
Phillip is the current head of UK Society of Authors. They are campaigning on this issue, so he saw it as only logical. Others didn’t see it quite that way and a lively debate happened over Twitter. However there has been a change in attitude from the festival in question and a nice wake up call to all to the wider Lit community.

As Penguin and Random House draw ever closer lots of change has been happening recently. My first post of the year looked at Author Solutions being sold off... but while authors may be cheering that move, the closing of some imprints is not so good.

Mike Shatzkin (publishing futurist) has been sounding a wake up call to publishers for a few years now and recently he had two long posts that make interesting reading if you are a publisher- (Self publishers should scan these.) The importance of Author SEO to a publisher and playing on a theme coming through on what 2016 trends might be, Global, Mobile and Author Backlist and how publishers ignore these at the peril of the bottom line.

Kris Rusch has taken issue with the Author Guilds letter on Contracts. She questions the letters bone fides as the AG membership is not only authors... so their call for better contracts is suspicious. Great Rant!

January is the month where many make plans and goals for the coming year. Roz Morris has a great blog post on this with advice to the 2016 writer.

Hugh Howey also offers his opinions on writing now... (great new website- I wasted time looking at his new boat video.)

Joanna Penn interviewed Jane Friedman on trends to watch in 2016 – this is a podcast with a transcript. Grab a drink and find some quiet space to absorb this.

The Smashwords 2015 survey is out. It makes interesting reading... what worked last year and what you should keep in mind for this year.

Joel Friedlander talks about the new edition of the Self Publishers Resource Guide.

If you suffer from sore wrists and hands after writing, here are the best hand and wrist exercises.

In the Craft Section,
Two great posts from James Scott Bell - Lifting the middle of the Thriller plot and how to avoid writing paralysis due to over analysis (guilty) Bookmark!

10 things that flag newbie writers- Anne R Allen. Bookmark

Make your hero suffer – Stephen Pressfield- Bookmark


In the Marketing Section,

5 Book Marketing models- Jane Friedman. Bookmark

6 tips for author newsletters – Jami Gold. Bookmark

7 tips for platform building – Anne R Allen. Bookmark

Book Marketing tips you need to know- Rachel Thompson. Bookmark


Website Of The Week
I have linked to Katie Weiland’s posts in my craft section so often I should have her on a shortcut link button. I have her great book on structure. Her website is a great resource on craft questions that come up but she also offers some free downloadable resources that are just special!

To Finish
In the writing business it pays to keep an eye on what the Romance writers are doing – they are so savvy. Today I came across an article on a new Romance App that had my eyebrows lifting right off my head. I never even suspected this was a thing. I’m still not sure what to think about it... it could be a virtual reality step too far... OTOH if you love your book heroes enough to have a text relationship...

Chuck Wendig decided to do some thinking about mid career writers. This is his ramble on what you should be doing. It echoes others that I have linked to in today’s post but with the Wendig spin on the Good Advice.


Maureen
@craicer


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Questioning Karma


This week I have been thinking about Karma. (As we sow, so shall we reap.)

Jami Gold has an excellent post which generated lots of comments on Writer Sanity and Recognising Takers. This follows on from last weeks excellent post on what do you do for others in the writing community. 

Jami always has really interesting articles about all things writing. Her name comes up a lot in my blog along with Anne R Allen, K M Weiland, Janice Hardy, Jane Friedman, E S Craig, Angela Ackerman and Kris Rusch. Along with many others they GIVE an enormous amount to the writing community. But some people don't understand that this takes time away from their own writing. Takers expect answers to their specific questions and feel entitled to get an answer right away- They can be pushy, and demanding of your time. They usually don’t bother with thanks either. I have experienced many of the situations Jami’s commenter’s have. I shrug it off and wish Karma back on that person in such a way that they learn. My Karma is to teach and remain positive, (tho in this game it is sometimes harrrrrd- pours wine.)

All of us Paying It Forward to the writing community would just like to say... before you ask your question...
1. Can you Google your question and then read at least the top two pages of links first. (We all did- that is how we learned!)
2. Find an expert in the field and then read everything they write on the subject. (Again, it’s a learning thing.) A lot of blogs have search functions. Read the comments as well. There is usually a ton more information in the discussions
3. Check out a curated blog (like this one) for links to lots of experts. Read them for a while, chances are your question will be answered somewhere.

I always have to laugh when someone asks me a question- about 90% of the time the answer was in one of my roundups within the previous month.

David Gaughran (an all round stellar person) has had his Karma moments on Twitter.
David has a great book, Let’s Get Visible, on author digital visibility. He posted a chapter quite a while back as a promo on the Alli blog. This was ripped off along with other peoples work and posted in an elaborate software scam. As David and Writer Bewares’ Victoria Strauss work through the implications... it gets murkier and murkier. Other writers have been taken in. There are arrest warrants out there.

Julie Hyzy has an interesting tale to tell about a work forhire situation. This is a glimpse into the world of book packaging, which can be lucrative for writers but perils await when the editors move on.

Roz Morris has taken a good hard look at what it means for Ingram Spark to own Aer.io. And it means that she is about to change her marketing strategy. This is Ingram expanding their book distribution service into storefronts for authors. (In the battle for P.O.D. Ingram may have scored a coup over Createspace.)

In the Craft Section,

Dictating a Book – tips for editing- The Book Designer

How to write loglines- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark!


In the Marketing Section, (Bookmark All of Them)
Molly Greene has a great post on low cost ebook givaway hosting.

Jane Friedman has two excellent posts - Optimizing Amazon descriptions and an interview with Patrick Walsh, a book publicist.

Carolyn Howard Johnson has a post on altering a published book – Do you need a new ISBN


Website of The Week,
Anne R Allen has a very informative blog. There are great articles on writing and publishing and guest posts from industry insiders. This week she has a great guest post, looking into the future, from Laurie McLean, a Fuse Literary Agent.  Recently she had a post on what to do with social media accounts in the event of your death. Very interesting stuff and a must read.

To Finish,
Often signing up for webinars is problematic because of our Time Zone but I try to attend various ones that have content available after the event. Joel Friedman and Joanna Penn have put together a great one on Self Publishing in 2016 this week and added some cool extras. Find a quiet space to meditate on Karma and thank these two for a great 90 min video.


Maureen
@craicer

Friday, January 8, 2016

Publishing Mobility and Catfish



I have been reading a lot of publishing industry 2015 reviews and 2016 predictions with Mobile, Global, Audio, and Change, the most common themes being discussed.
Jane Friedman has an excellent eye for these trends, her article is well worth a read.
In the self publishing world Bookworks has an excellent roundup of predictions from industry leaders.
Porter Anderson has been looking at the changing relationships between editors and authors. This is an excellent piece to share with your editor over a drink.

The call for realistic publishing contracts is gathering momentum with take up from Writers Guilds around the world.

While Authors are globally mobilising forces for change in contracts, the news that PRH has dropped Author Solutions was welcomed by authors. BUT as David Gaughran points out All Is Not What It Seems. Please read and share around to all those Newbie Authors out there. This is Vanity Publishing with Shark Bites taken out of Clueless Authors.

However even savvy authors can get burned. This week the publishing blogosphere was catfished. (When someone pretends to be someone they are not.) This elaborate scheme targeted writer reviewers and was pretty audacious.

This week news that GRR Martin will not be publishing the next book anytime soon had the blogosphere hopping with agitation. Bookriot published an excellent article about leaving authors to get on with writing in their own time.

Chuck Wendig took this a step further and delivered his first 2016 thought piece on writing. It is timely advice especially for 2016 writing resolutions....

Kris Rusch has also started 2016 with an excellent post on the publishing industry. If you ever wondered why publishers seem to publish the same sort of book... this explains it!
On the same theme Stephen Pressfield looks back in time to how Random House came to give all their employees a $5000 bonus.

You have made your writer resolutions for 2016 and you have vowed to commit to writing x amount of words every day (oooh look shiny distraction...) You are going to be faster, better, stronger... (Olympic theme tune.) You are going to rule this writing gig!
So below is the reason you drop in to my blog every week.... (Thanks for coming over!)

In the Craft Section,



Helena Helme on 5 ways to learn your craft! (Ahhh Casablanca!) Bookmark!




In the Marketing Section,

Secrets to Self publishing success in 2016 – Lindsay Buroker- Bookmark!

How to nail your Author SEO- Miral Satter- Bookmark!


Digital Book World – Ingredients of a successful marketingplan – Bookmark!

To Finish,
Smart readers will realise that my first blog of 2016 is a day late. Excuses: I’m still in holiday mode... I’ve got lots of books still to be read on the holiday reading pile... I should be plotting Book Four in my series... I’m recovering from Christmas/ New Year... still... I’ve got to master all these Book Nerd resolutions!


Onwards to a successful 2016!

Maureen
@craicer

Pic from Flickr/Creative Commons- Missouri State Archives

Related Posts with Thumbnails