Thursday, May 16, 2019

Positive Learning


Today as I was researching good articles for you I kept feeling like I was witnessing a slow-motion car wreck. I like Twitter but there are days when the good people of the Twitter world that I follow are in meltdown fatigue over the incessant bad news coming out of the US. But it is important to still keep an eye on what’s happening over there. If you start opting out because the news is not good, big changes that you should be vocal about will be slipped in when you are not looking. This is democracy. You participate in it or lose it.

Anne R Allen had an interesting post on Author persona. Who are you really? This is a good post if you are struggling with the whole online identity thing. This goes together nicely with DIYMFA’s article on building a good author brand. How far do you go being authentic online?  Bill Nye decided to break his whole nice scientist guy brand this week by swearing about how bad Climate Change is and demanding the world take it seriously. And yes the media ignored the message to talk about Bill using the F word. Was there any other way it was going to go?

When is your image not your image? When a photographer takes a picture. If you think this is messed up, author lawyer Passive Guy explores the problem of celebrities getting sued for using pictures of themselves on Instagram. It’s a copyright violation. Image use and consent are important. However in good news... Creative Commons has made a search engine to help everyone find the right picture in the public domain. 

Kris Rusch has an interesting post on Kickstarter stress.  First, you have the stress of putting a Kickstarter together then you have the stress of the outcome. Kickstarter success can be just as stressful as a failure. If you are looking for ways to make some money for your writing project check out these 9 inexpensive revenue streams for broke writers.

Publishers Weekly had an article this week on the rise of chapbooks. These are little giveaway books that publishers make available to retailers and reviewers to stimulate word of mouth. It’s an interesting marketing tool. Penny Sansevieri has a great post on the importance of having a marketing plan which ties in nicely with Createifwritings one on how to get reviews.

Emmanuel Nataf, a founder of Reedsy, has an interesting post on why speculative fiction is needed now more than ever. The ability to tell a story for people and show them what bad choices can cause to the world may be the only way we get through to humanity. The Handmaids Tale is a case in point.

In The Craft Section,
Emotional writing- Joslyn Chase

How to write effective action scenes- Writepractice-Bookmark

Sensory detail and emotional depth- Lisa Hall Wilson

Story Structure in a flash- September Fawkes- Bookmark

Fight, Flight or Freeze- Psyche 101 for writers – Becca Puglisi- Bookmark 


In The Marketing Section,
Growing newsletters from zero- Christina McDonald- Bookmark

9 reasons authors need newsletters- Nate Hoffelder -new series on The Book Designer- Bookmark

3d photo’s for Book cover ads- John Doppler

Small business marketing best practice

4 effective book marketing strategies- Badredhead media

Make your book marketing plan a success- MJ Connolly- Bookmark

To Finish,
I’m a sucker for learning. I love learning and new ideas and ways of doing things. So Reedsy publishing a list of podcasts about books and writing was especially welcome. I already listen to a few podcasts on the list regularly. TCK Publishing put together this super list of TED talks for writers. That’s my viewing sorted for the week.

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 mini book crammed full with marketing notes. If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Pic; Flickr Creative Commons –  Alan Levine

Thursday, May 9, 2019

For Sale; Creativity


With the screenwriters on strike from their agents, there has been a shuffle in Hollywood surrounding how projects get writers attached. Some interesting developments... Word of mouth, writers lifting up other writers, and some innovative websites that have sprung up have resulted in studios suddenly seeing more and varied kinds of projects. Will it last? Should the agencies be worried?

Ruth Harris writing on Anne R Allen’s blog recently had an interesting blog post on creativity. How do you go from a mediocre idea to a brilliant one? There is new research out that says all you need is a little frustration.

Many authors use Patreon to reward their fans. The idea is a good one... A monthly ongoing payment to support the writers' work. However, Kris Rusch looked at the small print and saw a rights grab in the first sentence. So... what do we do when we love the service but it has a fish hook? This is a great post on understanding copyright and what is your own bottom line.

I was interested to read that Findaway, the new kid on the Audio block disrupting Audible, is introducing hardware. They have developed the Wonderbook. A Playaway audio player designed for the school and library market. Back in my teaching days, we had Listening Post which the children loved. Earphones on, storybook in hand, and read along with the narrator. One of my plays was produced in this format. I was thrilled because I knew kids loved listening to stories. This old technology (cutting edge when I was a child) has largely disappeared but now every child seems to own headphones and we have a boom in audiobooks....

Yesterday I listened to a mammoth post by Joanna Penn on Exclusivity versus Wide- the conundrum that faces the Indie author. Joanna broke down the arguments for each side by format, Ebook, Print, and Audio. Joanna posts a transcript of her podcasts... if you want to quickly scan for the main points but if you have the time to listen, it's well worth it.
Staying with Joanna, She recently interviewed Ruth Ware on self-editing and contracts. This is also a must listen/read for a quick primer on best practice.

While you are contemplating selling your own books... spare a thought for your website. Career Author has an interesting article on viewing your author website as a hub and the spokes going out always bring your reader back...


One of the things that struck me recently is how many people seem to think it is OK to wander into a bookshop, look at a book and then search it up and buy the book online, sometimes while standing in the store. When you know how the margins are squeezed for bookshop owners, the showrooming model that Amazon has adopted for their brick and mortar stores is not a great customer model for the Indie bookstore owner. If you want to get your books into stores you also need to support them. A bunch of children’s bookstore owners hilariously turned this on its head this week to make a point.

How productive are you when it comes to writing? Could you do it better? All authors will be nodding because it’s always a guilt trip for us. Joanna Penn has an excerpt from her recent book on productivity which has some great tips.


In The Craft Section,

3 act arc for showing shame in fiction- Writers in the storm

What will you sacrifice to be better- Beth Cadman

The circle theory of story- Go Into The Story- Bookmark

Tricks and tips for catching errors Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Writing prompts- a waste of time? Savannah Cordova

How to end the story, questions- Writepractice- Bookmark

World building is for every story- Jami Gold


In The Marketing Section,

5 ways to stand out as an author on social media- Eevi Jones- Bookmark

A tool to format book descriptions- Kindlepreneur- Bookmark

Twitter for authors – Bookbub

Author engagement-build brand and fans- Bookworks

Cheatsheet on how to write a logline- Bang2write- Bookmark


To Finish,

The act of writing is the act of creation. Sharing your creation is the tricky bit. If you are tempted to  Indie publish you need to understand how to be an Entrepreneur. Some might say that writing and entrepreneurship are opposites. But they both need a passion for the project. Jami Gold has an excellent post on looking at entrepreneurship from a writers point of view.

I have some Advance Reader Copies of my middle-grade novel, How To Lose A Rockstar to give away on my Facebook page. Drop in and take a look.


Maureen
@craicer


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 mini book crammed full with marketing notes. If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic; Flickr Creative Commons – Studio Sarah Lou

Thursday, May 2, 2019

What is your goal?



Around the publishing blogosphere this week...
What is the biggest threat to the print industry at the moment? Ho hum you think... another article about digital or audiobooks... NO. The lack of paper for printing is starting to make itself felt.  Publisher's Weekly reports that at the recent BISG conference, it was the number one topic.

Somebody hasn’t told Wattpad that there is a shortage of paper... They are steaming ahead with their print publishing arm. Their first offerings are off to a great start after being chosen by an AI.

Amazon this week trumpeted that you could contact them and talk to a human... They meant Alexa... who isn’t human. However, this raised an interesting point. What happens to copyright if an AI writes the book? Passive Guy took a look at what’s happening in the music world with AI scores.

If you have parted ways with your agent, how much should you disclose about the relationship to another agent? Bookends Literary talks about agent baggage.

Meanwhile, in the print distribution business... the only US competitor for Ingram has just thrown in the towel with their retail wholesale division. The industry pushed back when Ingram wanted to buy Barker &Taylor last year, because of the power one distributor would have in the marketplace. Who is laughing now? Not the publishers.

If you are wondering how Bookstores are doing this year check out this comprehensive article by Nancy Herther for Against The Grain- a blog site for bookstores, libraries, and publishers. If indie bookstores are struggling why is Amazon opening up more bricks and mortar stores? Are Indie bookstores really taking a hit? 

Every time I turn around Streelib seems to be doing something interesting... (Hmmm their  goal could be world domination outside the US/ UK.) They are getting into Apps. Their press release this week announced they had partnered with Stary which has over one million users in the 10 months it’s been operating. Stary is just like Wattpad and we know what happened there... 

Jami Gold has a great article on The Power of Character Arcs. If you were one of the many who saw Endgame this week. This discussion on drive and focus is the article for you. (There are no spoilers.)

In The Craft Section,

Making a big revision- Jami Gold- Bookmark

How to treat your setting like a character- Kyle Massa- Bookmark

7 tips to make your monsters meaty

Stay on target - Janice Hardy

7 thoughts about collaboration- Dan Brotzel- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to reduce marketing anxiety- Booklife

Author publicity for the camera shy- Bookworks- Bookmark


Ten reasons to run your writing like a business- Leigh Shulman- Bookmark

An informal guide to understanding facebook ad jargon- Digitalgal

No one is born famous- Penny Sansevieri

How to write effective facebook sponsored posts- Social Media Examiner- Bookmark 

To Finish,

Kristine Rusch has a very interesting post on goal setting this week. How often do you set little goals? This is a mindset shift which may end up changing your work life completely. My To Do list has To Do Lists on it... I’m off to break it all up.

Maureen
@craicer

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?
When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you.
If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic; Flickr Creative Commons - Jesper Sehested and PlusLexia.com

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