Thursday, August 17, 2017

Winning At Productivity


Earlier this week I attended the New Zealand National Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Every year I try to pick the winners and end up with about a 50% strike rate.  Book Awards are subjective. What might be your jam could be the judge’s tripe stew. I often think that just making the short list is a major cause for celebration. However it was great to catch up with old friends, celebrate their success in being shortlisted and catch up on gossip.

In the writing blogosphere this week Smashwords introduced a special deals extra for their online store and revamped their coupon codes.

David Gaughran tells a cautionary tale of marketing gone wrong at Amazon because of a rogue publishers mistake. If you advertise on Amazon you need to read this.

With the melt down in international politics Anne R Allen helps everyone out with a timely reminder of good online author etiquette.

Joanna Penn has an interesting post from Zsofia Macho of Publish Drive on publishing in other countries. PublishDrive are a service like Draft2Digital but based in Hungary and cover Asia and Europe.

How do prolific writers stay productive? Check out these writing strategies. This is a fascinating insight into the world of the master writer.

If you are a traveling writer... Daniel Smith has some productivity tips to help you enjoy your travels and still do the work.

Kris Rusch talks about negotiating TV and movie deals. It helps if you know exactly what you want. A very interesting post on this market.

Johnny B Truant has an interesting post on Book Covers. Yes they go out of fashion and yes you need expert design help. Johnny shows his cover progression and why they were mistakes.

Since I figured out how to listen to podcasts in the car. I have been dipping into some interesting writing ones. Jennifer Laughran is going from strength to strength with her new podcast on kidslit publishing. Check out this one on publicity.
Lorna Faith has an interesting podcast interview on marketing plans with Nick Thacker and four part story structure.

In The Craft Section,

Two great posts from Go Into The Story- The 3E’s of scene description and


When you lose the desire to finish- Jane Friedman- Bookmark


Character motivation- Rescue a loved one- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,


Book Design Chapter Openers- Joel Friedlander


4 social media productivity tips – Frances Caballo - Bookmark



16000 preorders in 6 months- A case study- Gwynn White

To Finish,

It’s been a week of highs and lows. Productivity has taken a beating. Sometimes you just need to stare at cat gifs... or you can get creative and come up with a Periodic Table for Villains.

Maureen
@craicer


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Rob Schofield

I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces every month. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. I went down a rabbit hole this week but I promise the newsletter will go out this weekend... with pictures...



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Navigating Writing in the Whirlwind


This week politics filled the news channels. Domestic and foreign policy was under the spotlight. Writers went around in circles trying to make sense of the narratives or gave up and wondered if we had crossed over into a parallel dystopian universe.

I have regularly struggled with the notion of where should I be marketing my books given that I am a children’s writer... Publishing Trends takes an in depth look at this problem that children’s writers face and has some solutions.

Spare a kind thought for Kat Rosenfield who wrote a Vulture article this week on The Toxic Drama of YA Twitter. Readers criticising a manuscript before it is even finished seems to be at the far end of acceptable behaviour. I’m not surprised that Y A authors might be playing it safe after reading this.

So if children’s writers have to play it safe what do they do on Social Media?
Anne R Allen has a great article on her blog on why blogging should be where an author is.

Agent Janet Reid talks about the contact page on your author website and how important it is. It’s not about whether you can be contacted. It’s the way you say it!

Jane Friedman has been hosting some great guest authors on her blog lately. Recently she has a case study by literary fiction author Nicole Dieker who self published her book. This is a fascinating ‘how to’ for a difficult niche.

Also in the case study file Jennie Nash has a terrific article on Why Writers Should Conduct A Performance Review. And you should download her review template. Call it professional development!

Startup Indie Author has gathered together a list of resources of great books, podcasts and articles on launching a new book. I can endorse this list because I have half the books and they are really good. (If you are looking for more information on this subscribe to my monthly newsletter and get my Book Marketing Summit notes for free.)

Kris Rusch has her final post on discoverability and it’s a must read. Kris looks at aggressive growth strategies – No it is not scary... it’s about timing.

Angela Ackerman’s post on authors working collaboratively is still making the rounds and getting comments. If you missed it from last week’s roundup- Check it out!

Tabitha Lord has an excellent article on Writers Digest about editorial calendars and how to use them to juggle the writing life.


In The Craft Section,

Two Bookmark posts from James Scott Bell


Writing all around your MS- Susan Dennard- Save the Cat-Bookmark


Write yourself into a corner- Janice Hardy – Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Unique swag ideas- Kate Tilton


Increase book sales – Ryan Holiday


Effective lead magnets- Meera Kothand- Bookmark


Market to grow your platform- Matt Aird- Bookmark


To Finish,

Chuck Wendig is always a sure bet for making sense of the turmoil of writing. This week he looked at writing as an act of resource management. This is entertaining and relevant as we all try to find our way through the politics and back to the page.

Maureen
@craicer

My monthly newsletter will be going out this weekend. I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. I appreciate the virtual coffee love so a big THANKS to everyone who hit the coffee button this week.



Pic: Flickr/ Creative Commons - Jon Aslund


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ch Ch Change


Changes are afoot.

Those three words can encourage anticipation or dread depending on your past experience with change.
The publishing industry has been on a roller coaster ride since 2007 and the introduction of the Kindle, the marker for huge change in the industry.
Among the changes being rolled out this week are changes to the Kindle Unlimited page read payout. Check out the new version 3.0 rules.

Facebook is turning their attention to Groups. If you are still annoyed by the changes to Author pages... be prepared. This doesn’t bode well. Groups are popular among authors for fan communities and networking groups. Boosted posts in groups will not be welcomed.

An interesting piece of news caught my eye from Harper Collins. They are actively seeking out young writers on Wattpad and offering them print deals.
This week I’ve read two publishing commentators on the death of the Traditional or Legacy midlist publishing career. Publishers are throwing money at the big writers or the debut writers. The pressure is on debut writers to have a hit right out of the box and they have no say in their contract terms. I’m hoping that the HC/Wattpad deal protects these young authors.

Passive Guy takes a look at a recent Mike Shatzkin post on the future of Barnes and Nobel, the largest book retail chain in USA. It is looking shaky with shareholders calling for it to be sold. What does it have to do to survive? Is the future bookstore Amazon showrooms?

U K Society of Authors president, Phillip Pullman called this week for a return to fixed prices for books. This took publishing people by surprise. Can you really turn back the clock?

Kris Rusch has another fantastic blog post on Branding. Expanding your audience with slow growth. After you read her very wise words jump on over to Joanna Penn’s interview with Dean Wesley Smith on understanding copyright, intellectual property and how to license it. Dean and Kris are mentors to a whole lot of high flying authors. They are the best teachers of the business of writing around.

Ruth Harris has a brilliant post on the writers discomfort zone and how to survive and thrive in it. How do you turn anxiety into creativity?

Jane Friedman has a great post on using Amazon Ads and Joanna Penn has another standout chapter from her new Marketing Book. If you are thinking about publishing these are must read articles!

In The Craft Section,

3 ways to show not tell- Darcy Pattison


Story Tropes – Lazy or helpful- Jami Gold- Bookmark


Writing cliff hangers- Now Novel - Bookmark

Character motivation- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Two rules to write by- Print Posse

The Blueprint for writing a novel- Martina Boone- Bookmark!!! (print out)

In The Marketing Section,

Building relationships with readers- Rachel Thompson - Bookmark



Book Cover Design fundamentals- Joanna Penn- Bookmark





The importance of categories and keywords- Indies Unlimited- Bookmark

10 tips on working with illustrators- Kelly Mc Morris-Bookmark

To Finish,

If you are a long time reader of the blog you will know that I believe that authors need to work together collaboratively. It’s good for moral. It’s good for marketing. It’s good for accountability. It’s just good. Angela Ackerman has another six ways that working collaboratively eases the load and helps you weather the publishing changes.

Maureen
@craicer

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. This blog runs on coffee fumes. If you want to shout me a coffee, hit the green Kofi button in the sidebar. Thanks.


Related Posts with Thumbnails