Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Thursday Vibe...

Today I was stopped twice by people who said to me ‘My friend has written a book and wants to know what they should do next....’

Is it because it is Thursday and subconsciously I am sending out vibes that say I need a topic for my blog today?

I don’t think I am, as I often have 8 - 10 links already to talk about when I sit down to put it all together.

Maybe I’m sending out a vibe on super busy Thursday that says ‘stop me rushing off to the next appointment and ask me a question about writing.’  

My answer both times was ‘Tell your friend that now you must research!’ The internet is full of great sites that can point you in the right direction and the library is full of great books on the craft of writing, so you can make sense of what you have created.

So in that spirit, here are a few places to look.

Jenn an Intern at the Elaine English Literary agency this week posted a great little article on synopsis which outlines what a good synopsis should have.

A synopsis can make or break your chances. After your query has been accepted, it is your first chance to make a good (or bad) first impression. You have to find a good balance between saying enough and not saying too much.

Mary Kole of has a good article about knowing your category. This is good advice from an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

For example, and this is from my own imagination, not a recent submission: what do I do with a 5,000 word fiction picture book about world politics? Or a 5,000 word middle grade about a baby puppy who goes on a naptime adventure? Or a 300,000 word YA starring a talking salmon? Maybe a 10,000 word YA about a character’s messy divorce?
If all of those examples weren’t immediately funny to you, you need this post. When I speak at conferences, I tell people all the time that booksellers will not build you your own shelf at their stores just because you want to do something different.
Tony Eldridge has a great article this week on his Marketing Tips for Authors Blog about off line marketing specifically teaming up with a fellow author to present workshops.
 I want to suggest a different approach. Why not team up with another local author and do a free "workshop" for writers and aspiring writers? Think of the benefits of presenting a joint presentation:

He outlines some useful ideas to help you think about how to structure the workshop and make it be of use to you. (As I am in the middle of planning some workshops for later in the year, this is very timely.)

Last week I linked to Jane Friedman’s article on Writer Unboxed which discussed blog content and how much unpublished work you should put on your blog. There has been lots of talk in the writers blogosphere about Jane Friedman and Chuck Sambuchino’s different points of view on this topic.

Jeannie Ruesch looks at both arguments, boils them down to their essential points, then she offers her opinion on the topic and some good ideas to mull over.

Their posts seem to have a slightly different focus on what “your work” qualifies as, in regards to this topic.  Sambuchino focuses on your fiction summary, your high concepts as most important to keep off the web.  But ultimately, the point that both make is to establish WHY you are putting your work–whatever it is– out there for the world to see.  What is your objective?

Jeannie is right - for your blog or your website you must have a plan.  The Illinois chapter of SCBWI has a great newsletter called Prairie Wind and their contributor Margo Dill looks at three very popular blogging writers and talks to them about their blogs and their styles.

In the big wide world this week.

The Wall St Journal reported Google’s announcement of its new e-book  service  which will be ready to roll in the next few months. And so it has begun, the dividing up of the digital publishing world, which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

Google says users will be able to buy digital copies of books they discover through its book-search service. It will also allow book retailers—even independent shops—to sell Google Editions on their own sites, giving partners the bulk of the revenue.
The company would have copies on its servers for works it strikes agreements to sell. 
Personanondata a publishing industry blog has taken a look at the e-publishing world of the Now and what may become the industry norm in The Future with it’s article entitled Content Farms....yes think of all the connotations... then read this article.
Demand Media’s approach is a “combination of science and art”, in the words of Steven Kydd, who is in charge of the firm’s content production. Clever software works out what internet users are interested in and how much advertising revenue a given topic can pull in. The results are sent to an army of 7,000 freelancers, each of whom must have a college degree, writing experience and a speciality. They artfully pen articles or produce video clips to fit headlines such as “How do I paint ceramic mugs?” and “Why am I so tired in winter?”

Over on Craicerplus (Just click the amplify button on the right) 
there are links to articles on...

The cost of quoting lyrics in your book

A great article on loading first impressions of characters

Twitter – a book addicts paradise

Parent problems in Young Adult Literature

What writers really mean...

7 Reasons Why Writers Need To Start Using Video For Book Promotion

Jodi Picoult - All she wants is respect!

I feel bed vibes...



Melinda Szymanik said...

What they really wanted you to say was 'I have this friend who's an editor over at Blahdeblah Publishing who'll look at that for you' or 'why don't I read and edit that for you and then it'll be snapped up straight away.' LOL

Maureen said...

That is it in a nutshell. If they ask my advice I don't mind giving it but it is so often what they don't want to
I have noticed that those that ask rarely ask again...
One thing I will never do is sugar coat it teaching... writing...children's activities...
If you shall receive...but I'm not into stroking egos...

Jeannie Ruesch said...

Hi Maureen, Thanks for the link and mention.

One of my favorite phrases for writers: "You won't know what you don't know until you learn it."

But most people are looking for the quick fix...and hey, if they find it, let's bottle and sell that. LOL

Maureen said...

Completely agree with you Jeannie!

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