Friday, December 18, 2009

Finish the year with a pen name...

This post will be the last one for the year.

Yes, 2009 is drawing to a close and there is no way that I will have time to write a post on Christmas eve or through January...what with all the travelling we are doing...Auckland, Whangarei, Dargaville, Hamilton. (contact me in sidebar if you want to catch up.)

Looking back at this year it has been packed, eventful and interesting on the Fiction front. I wish that I could have got more writing done...but the learning I have done around blogs, conferences, marketing...have generated lots of interesting side trips...and some ideas to follow up in 2010.

Over summer I hope to get reacquainted with the characters I have abandoned and finish their story. There are a few other stories pushing to get out too.

I hope to get a handle on social media and organise my time/life better as well. (news years resolution...vain hope, as I never keep them...)

And I have a pile of Christmas reading...especially all the books I have bought for the family before I wrap them...(well you have to check they are suitable, heeheeheehee.)

Over Summer if you are looking for some extra reading. Check out Procrastinating Writer. She has published a list (43) of the best articles of 2009 and there are some great posts in there.

And if you want to have some fun thinking up pen names check out Nathan Bransfords blog he has a great discussion going on the pros and cons of pen names...take your middle name and the street you grew up on...

Merry Christmas

Ann Statehiwaytwo

pic is from

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Branding with coffee and gin...

This week’s blog post looks at some of the latest comments on branding being talked about in the fiction writing world.

Jane at Dear Author has been looking at book branding. She has posted an interesting article on publisher brands and author brands....with a host of spot the difference visuals...She asks the question

With an increasing number of books on the market, the biggest challenge a reader has is finding a good book to read. Do you rely on Author branding? Do you look to see who the publisher is? Does it matter to you? How long does it take you to associate something (either negative or positive) to a book brand, whether it be author or publisher (i.e., 1 book, 2 books, etc.)?

And the comments came thick and fast...there is much food for thought in our own sphere of children’s books. I know authors who grab each new Gecko Press book released by Julia Marshall. We don’t know the authors but the expectation that the standard will be high is the pick up factor. Great publisher branding!

Guy LeCharles Gozalez of Loudpoet predicts that the publishers are going to increase their publisher brands...i.e. become more visual on the cover (think orange and white penguin classics)

Guy has an interesting discussion going after his post about book publishing being a business decision verses an artistic decision.

Something I’m sure all authors must mull over...Am I an arteest or am I in it for the money?

If you are in it for the money(ha.ha.), Coree Silvera has a post on her blog - marketlikeachick on marketing yourself as your main product...this post has been tweeted all over the place....(ahhh new verbs... )

Personal branding is now more important than ever in communities. People are buying you. If I don’t like you, I’m not only NOT going to from you, but I am blocking you and telling all my friends what I think of you too. (Hmmph!) That’s the power of social networking. We all talk and word of mouth can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Editorial Ass (aka Moonrat) has done a fabulous series of posts on The Perfect Author, the Dream Editor and she has just finished up with the Absolute Agent. Moonrat is ‘a tell it like it is’ writer. Her blog is one of the gems out there.

I love her description of herself in the About Me and gin survivalist...that’s me going into the last week of school...various end of year shows to get kids to rehearsals and performances, Christmas present angst and my heart is sinking just thinking about Christmas music practice...I might locate my spouse by Christmas...I think he lives here? (Year End projects mean he works late... leaves early...hopes his washing is done and there is food in the fridge...)

Yup... what I want for Christmas is a wife!


pic is called Bombay Gin!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A trailer of Christmas presents...

Now we are in December, with the countdown to the end of school, I feel it is now time to look towards the Christmas busy season.
After all it is December...I was annoyed when I saw some shops putting up Christmas decorations in October....surely they could have waited or was the recession recovery (?) spurring them on to wring the dollars out of cash strapped pockets....

So Christmas....what does the busy author need at Christmas?

More time to write, Someone to look after the you don’t have to spend ages to prepare.... a holiday...A book contract or even two.....

As this is supposed to be an author marketing blog I will make you a present of a few links that have interested me this week.

Alan Rinzler has posted a great article on 9 tips for successful author readings. He covers tips and tricks to do a presentation successfully ever, I love reading peoples responses to the posts because they can add so much more to the commenter said she had a great response to her reading by putting a sign up in the mall carpark! Another said giving away chocolate always helps....

Alan has linked to The Book Trailer Blog which specialises in the nuts and bolts of book trailers....If you dare... scroll down and view the Sense and Sensibility and Sea monsters book trailer from the same person who brought you Jane Austen and Zombies...or skip it to see what Neil Gaiman is doing with book trailers...he is coming to the New Zealand International Arts Festival. I must must get my ticket for his event!

Zombies are everywhere...... Recently I was on the judging team for the Jack Lasenby Writing Award that we founded when I was convenor of the Wellington Children’s Book Association. (judges report on the blog.)
We had our biggest group to date this year with 149 entries ... and so many of them featured Zombies. However the winner didn’t. I had the pleasure of attending with Jack Lasenby and Louise Davies, our current convenor, the prize giving ceremony at Scots College, where we presented Raphael Kidman with his award and if you think the name is familiar you are right! Dame Fiona was there to witness her grandson’s success. We had five highly commended and two of these also received their certificates from Jack at Scots.

Tonight is the Wellington Children’s Book Association Christmas Quiz. We hold it at the Southern Cross pub in Wellington in the back room...If you are in Wellington tonight come along and test your knowledge of children’s books in a fun evening.

Yesterday I grabbed the NZ Listener for the big review on the must read children’s books of 2009 and wished that David Larsen had picked a few more Kiwi books...however almost all of Gecko Press' list made it into the top 50 and Maria Gill (Spinning Gold alumni) also made it with her super book on Rangitoto.

The judges for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book awards have been announced and they are Rosemary Tisdale, Trevor Agnew, and Ruth McIntyre....lots of Christmas reading for them all.

For those of you on Facebook the following video is for you.

Happy Advent

pic is from a book trailer website
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