This week I had to come to terms with the mortality of one of my favourite writers. He slipped away into the next great adventure. I was asked to provide one of a series of public tributes and I found it quite hard and moving at the same time to reflect on a time and place that we both lived in and that feels like another country in today's world. The world is so fast-paced compared to my childhood which felt like a long summer of outdoor experiences. I look at my own children and wonder what their memories will be. Will it be wrapped up in technology? It got me thinking about literary estates and longevity of storytelling lives and the sheer breadth and depth of all the storied lives that have gone before us.
This week Ruth Harris looked at the seduction of the New Book idea. When you are tired of the old book idea... or the writing is dragging... isn’t it wonderful to play with the new shiny idea that makes writing fun again? Is there a danger in chasing after the new?
I’m always interested in book cover designs. Today I saw a fabulous cover of a book that will be out next year. But what was really interesting is that there are different book covers for the US market, the UK market, and the Aus/NZ market. What makes different countries prefer different motifs? IngramSpark has a roundup of the design trends they have noticed so far.
Statistics, love ‘em or hate ‘em, sometimes you just need to wrap your head around them. So this week Sandra Beckwith of BuildBookbuzz put together some publishing statistics for authors to help them understand and plan their careers. Take a look.
Branding is another subject authors love to hate. Yes, you are a brand but you can be a brand in a good way. Why branding confuses you and how to fix this in a good way written by Rachel Thompson especially for authors.
Kobo has an eye on the fastest-growing format in publishing. This week they have launched an easy way to upload your audio files and you are not locked into anything. Another company entering the Audio publishing space.
Joanna Penn is always a fount of interesting wisdom and content. This week she had a great post on collaborative writing with David Mark Brown who got together with his writing group to write stories... with fifty authors! Joanna also has a great interview with Blaire Palmer on transitioning to a creative career.
Are you in danger of succumbing to the new cult of the first sentence? Do you need an intervention? Does the first sentence really matter? Scott McCormick takes issue with the cult and offers ways to get free.
In The Craft Section,5 quick questions to help you write awesome characters- Bang to Write
What are the traits of an espionage hero?- Piper Bayard- Bookmark
Give your readers someone to hate- Janice Hardy- Bookmark
How to identify Second Draft Writer Blues- Lucy Mitchell
When literary devices become tangled- Peter Selgin
In The Marketing Section,Q and A with Literary Agent on identifying trends- Bookmark
How to spice up your boring author interview- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark
Pinterest and Instagram for writers- Frances Caballo
4 ways Publisher Rocket helps authors- Dave Chesson
Bookbub Author profile examples- Bookbub
How to launch a book with more preorders- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark
To Finish,A neat little video from author Jenna Moreci on the ten tips for writing your first chapter. Just when you thought you knew what to do... laugh out loud funny.
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Pic: Creative Commons – John Lustig- Light reading