Thursday, November 30, 2017

When To Take Advice

In the news this week Nate Hoffelder examines Amazons surprise new move that has authors mad and perplexed. Amazon owns Goodreads and Authors have been used to running giveaways of their Print books for no money at all. Now Amazon want to extend giveaways to eBooks. Before you cheer... Amazon wants to charge you a lot for the privilege.

Porter Anderson has an interesting article on Publishing Perspectives on Amazon creating a new imprint for short fiction... from famous writers.

This week there was a lively discussion over on Passive Guys blog about how Indie booksellers came to thrive in the current book market, defying expectation.

Christmas season seems to start earlier and earlier every year. This week on the blogosphere blog posts were appearing with lists of gifts for writers. If you want to get a head start on gift buying for a writer check out Chucks Gift List... (Warning it’s Chuck so be prepared.)

Hannah Holt has an interesting post on how to make a living as a children’s writer. As a children’s writer myself, we all want to know how to do it.

One of the regular discussions in the children’s writing world is how to get boys to read. Lili Wilkinson has an impassioned article that we are reinforcing that boys don’t read because we are making a big thing about it. I found myself nodding all through it. Read it and see if you agree.

If you are a writer you have to develop a thick skin. I really hate that saying but I think I hate it because I recognise it to be true. Marie McCann has an interesting blog post to help you deal with thecritics.

Ruth Harris has put together and A-Z of interesting and informative blog posts for authors... This is one of those bookmark posts full of goodies.

Chris Fox has written some great guides on the Indie Author life but this week he posted a short video about the stuff no one really talks about. The pressures that come with being a successful author.

Joanna Penn has been rounding up some great content on her blog recently. James Haight guest posted with an article on crowd funding for authors. This is a really in depth look at how to do it. Joanna recently interviewed the two Mark’s behind the Bestseller Experiment. They talk about how they wrote published and marketed a bestseller in 52 weeks using in depth analysis of what works.

September Faulkes has a great craft post on hiding what the main character knows from the reader. This is one of those posts that explains how to do that nifty surprise switch that leaves you in awe of the writer.

In The Craft Section,

6 pillars of writer education- Art Newcomb- Bookmark

Keeping your characters compelling- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

How to make every character detail count- and Successful Query Pitch-Angela Ackerman-Bookmark

How to write funny- K M Weiland- Bookmark

 In The Marketing Section,

Social Media content tips- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

To Finish,

Write to Done has compiled a handy list of writing and blogging tools. If you are looking for anything writing software related take a look at the list.
McSweeney’s humour blog has taken a stab at how authors can ask people to buy their book. This will have authors laughing... in sympathy. (Just don’t take their advice!!)


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.  My speech is done... The feeling of relief! Thanks to all of you who hit the coffee tab during the month.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Tory

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Deadlines Deadlines

This week I have been putting all my energy into another project... that has a deadline like an approaching iceberg. Far away it doesn’t look daunting...

While I was flailing, Kris Rusch published this little gem on her blog- It’s not about us. This gives me hope that my ideas will come across even though I feel my writing might get in the way.

I was also struggling with not-being-a-superhero syndrome. At the beginning of the month... I thought sure I can do this big speech and write my NaNo novel. Ummm something has to give... Then I came across this wonderful post and it put this month into perspective. A must read!

Nate Hoffelder always has his fingers on the publishing pulse. This week he looks at how Amazon is rank stripping authors ... for the crime of being... successful?
Nate also looks at KDP print who have upped their cheap author copies. It could be handy if you are selling at Christmas fairs.

Kristen Tsetsi has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about the choices one has to make to get published.

Publishing Perspectives has an interesting blog on the ASEAN summit in publishing. People down under should be keeping an eye on this emerging market.

Janet Reid answered a letter from an author whose day job company owns everything they create. A lively discussion ensued about how much of your time a company can own... Can they really take ownership of your novels...

A few weeks ago I had to have an author photo taken... I looked at all the different shots and decided they weren’t really me. I was trying to be serious and author-ly.-It didn’t work. It’s Murphy’s law that after you do something the universe will send you the right information.

Along with the picture, I had to write a bio.  Again The Universe provided after the fact, with a great post by Anne R Allen.

Reedsy has a nifty little blog of what should be going in an author media kit...  got that in time!

In The Craft Section,

Details in writing- Bookbaby- Bookmark

The conflict box- Bob Mayer- Bookmark

Choose the right sentences- K M Weiland – Bookmark

Rhythm and pacing – Jennie Nash- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section.

The reason branding confuses you- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

How to get on bestseller lists- Alicia Rades. Bookmark

Indie Author Mistakes- Write to Done- Bookmark

To Finish,

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have a comprehensive list of writing tools on their website... You should check it out.
The NaNo Storybundle of writing craft books is still available... this is the last week you can get this. I have been enjoying delving into the great books on offer.
 Christmas decorations are going up in the shops... so if you are thinking about gifts for writers check these out.
See you next week when I will be sane, the deadline will have been met and it will all be over....


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. Feel free to hit the coffee tab. I need another cup....

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Catching Our Breath

November Halfway...
I told myself this year I would do it... and I started with good intentions... and I have over 10,000 words done... but it has been a struggle. Anne R Allen’s blog post on Why NaNoWriMo is liberating for some writers and dangerous for others was a welcome breath of sanity this week.

The Traditional Publishing Industry is also breathing a sigh of relief. They have had an increase in sales over the last quarter and there is still Christmas gift giving to come.

Nate Hoffelder mentioned on Twitter today that to combat scammers Google went to manually up loading books. This shut out new authors from selling their books through Google Play but there is a small light shining amongst the angst of Pronoun shutting down...

Joanna Penn has had an amazing run of great content on her podcast this month. But her latest podcast demands serious attention... She detailed the discussion topics at the Oregon Coast Business for Authorsworkshop. Indie publishing has stabilised but the next disruption is coming down the track...

Belinda Griffin has a guest post on Joanna’s Blog that takes an in depth look at Author Brand. If you have ever wondered exactly what it is and why authors need to understand it ... this is the post for you.

Agent Kristin Nelson wrote this week about the perils of the Hollywood buy in on your book... because Hollywood wants to own the novelisation rights... um

Kris Ruch has written a knockout post on letting other voices into your head to screw with your writing... namely fame and fans. This is a must read post for every writer but especially for those writing series.

The 7 Secrets of Power Persuasion Writing for writers. Are you using the right emotional hooks in your writing?

In The Craft Section,

Make characters distinct- Michael Hauge – Bookmark

How to pick the right editor- Lisa Polisso- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section

Gumroad for authors- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Ways authors can cross promote- Bookbub- Bookmark

Authentic Personal Brands for Authors- Writelife

SFF Marketing Podcast- Newsletters- A Serious Must Watch!

How to talk about your book – Paul Geiger- Bookmark

To Finish,

In my list of One-day-I-want-to-own-these-books... is a book on Writing Imaginative Fiction – Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer. I was excited to see the lecture notes of a workshop by Jeff on the Electric Literature site.  This is one of those Read, think about, read again posts... and the illustrations are just wonderful!
A nice pick me up in the middle of November.


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. Feel free to hit the coffee tab. I’m living on it this month!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Greatest Author Fears

Authors on the Pronoun distributor website were left scrambling this week. A notice appeared on the Pronoun website saying Goodbye. There was a flurry of comment around the publishing blogosphere. The sages were out in force.
Macmillan’s eBook distribution model of gave a great deal to authors but they were not making any money. If it looks too good to be true it’s about to go belly up!

Sighs of relief all round.

Did/Do you read pulp writers? They were the prolific writers of the early part of the Twentieth Century. Zane Grey, Doc Savage, Leslie Charteris, Louis L’Amour. They were machines for story and they were paid by the word. James Scott Bell takes a look at what made the pulp writers so good.

Chris Syme has a great post on Anne R Allen’s blog TamingThe Social Media Beast. If you are looking at your social media engagement and saying too hard... drop in and read  this excellent article. Don’t forget to read the comments too.

Last week I linked to a post from Maggie Stiefvater on how book piracy was threatening her. This week The Guardian talked to some other authors about their experiences... sobering stuff.

Susan Spann has a post about bad contracts... as she is a publishing lawyer as well as a published author she knows whereof she speaks, Don’t be afraid to walk away from a publishing deal.

I came across this great post today on what you should do if you fail NaNoWriMo. It is one of those sensible posts that put things into perspective and is a nice little island among the treacherous weeds of NaNo uncertainty.

Backlinko has an amazingly in depth post on SEO. Now before you immediately dismiss this article as being in the too hard basket... Take a look. They explain how Google are using new search algorithms and what that means for content... key words... Titles... etc etc.

LitHub talked to 150 writers and asked their advice. And then they compiled that advice into one comprehensive article of 8 important pieces of author knowhow.

In The Craft Section,

Character turning points- Mary Kole- Bookmark

Hinting at emotional wounds- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

What is a high concept- Danielle Burby

Movie Scene by Scene breakdown- Go In To The Story- Scriptwriter Bookmark

The most important rule of backstory- Andrea Lungren- Bookmark

Masterful Character description- CS Lakin- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Facebook ads in 2018- CK Syme- Bookmark

How to write a Query Letter- Reedsy- Bookmark

To Finish,

The 7 greatest fears of Horror Writers explores not just fears of Horror writers but the fears of all writers who have faced these situations.

Are you guilty of writing purple prose? Is there a place for purple prose in your writing? Do you need a purple prose self help group? K MWeiland has all the answers.

My monthly newsletter is due soon. *Hi new subscribers* 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. NaNo is killing me- not to mention my presentation-If you want to feed my caffeine habit feel free to hit the coffee tab. I’m living on fumes this month!


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Newtown Grafitti- Purple prose

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November Madness

Hello November,
It’s NaNoWriMo! The twitter feed fills up with great posts on craft and motivation and freaked out writers. This year, I told myself, will be the year I finally manage to complete the challenge. Day One – Tick, Day Two- gulp. My husband thinks I’m crazy because I’ve got to write a 40 minute presentation for an award ceremony at the end of the month.* I thought about using NaNo for the presentation but writing non fiction is HARD! So I’m cracking into Book 3 of my Space series... yeah.... um...
Elizabeth Spann Craig has a great post on being a NaNoWriMo Rebel. This is when you use the tools and do some other writing... (hmmm maybe I can add up all the words I write each day....)
Now Novel has an excellent breakdown on planning your NaNo project. It’s so good it should be put away to use for every book project.

This week Stealing From The Author was the topic of the week. Maggie Stiefvater wrote a candid look at how piracy has affected her booksales and the implications for the writer. This is a must read so you can use the arguments to educate young people who don’t see anything wrong with book piracy.

Passive Guy, who is a lawyer in his day job, wrote about a young Internet entrepreneur’s reaction when a photographer sued him forcopyright breach. If it’s on the Internet it must be free to use....
(shakes head sadly...)

Kris Rusch has detailed some very shady dealings practiced by TV and film companies when negotiating rights to film your work. This was eye opening to me. If you hope to be in the position to sell these rights for your own work you MUST read this. (Stops to think grand thoughts about NaNoWriMo project.)

This week I got an email from a content provider. This isn’t unusual, most weeks I get these fishing emails that tell me they read something on my blog... and they want to guest post. I usually delete them... because they haven’t read my blog but this one was different. First they said they had come across an article I had linked to...(ho hum I thought) but then they went on to say it had given them the idea to do a new and expanded version. I took a look and WOW. This is a comprehensive collection of tools to write, research, automate, produce... anything creative!

Publishing perspectives has an interview with Maks Giordano who was speaking at the Frankfurt Book fair on hyperinnovation. He talks about the changes that publishing companies will have to make in the very near future... that agile indie publishers are already doing.

Jane Friedman has an interview with Jay Swanson, a writer that has been V-logging his daily life. He uses this as his promotion for his books. It is an interesting marketing idea. (If you think my life is awesome then check out my books...) He also uses Patreon. If you live in exotic locales this could be an interesting marketing tactic for you...

Ruth Harris has a great post on using authentic historical detail to enrich your writing. She details some of the things you should be adding into your writing... this can apply to all genres. A must read!

In The Craft Section,

4 ways to launch a scene- Jordan Rosenfeld- Bookmark

Villainous struggles-writing villains- Y A topia

Mastering deep POV.- Writer Unboxed Bookmark

Character Archetypes- Now Novel – Bookmark

NaNoWriMo success- Chuck Wendig (usual warnings) – Must Read- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Checklist on book listing- Nate Hoffelder- Bookmark

Advice on query letters- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

Promo sites- Nicolas Erik- Bookmark

How to get book reviews- Joel Friedlander- Bookmark

To Finish,

WriteOnCon is having a kickstarter. This is a virtual online writing conference for Children’s and YA writers. They have some amazing perks up for grabs... Take a scroll down the list. WriteOnCon is next year and costs $5. (not a typo... ) If you want to treat yourself for achieving the first day of NaNoWriMo...

* I was humbled/gobsmacked to receive the Betty Gilderdale Award announced this week. (Am still in a state of shock...)


In 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. If you want to feed my caffeine habit feel free to hit the coffee tab. I’ll need it this month!

Pic: Flickr  CreativeCommons – J E Theriot- Who remembers this happening in typing class?
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