Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brain Gymnastics...

This week the weather in New Zealand has been extreme. 
A polar blast hit the country bringing with it major dumps of snow to places that don’t see snow in fifty to one hundred years. At the same time it is the last planning week for Wellington Storylines. The 3 day weather chaos resulted in cancelled meetings due to extreme weather conditions and ongoing worry about how family members were going to make it home with cancelled trains and buses, disrupted school and power cuts. My week has been a busy, fractured, distracted, topsy turvey, COLD exercise in adaption to unforeseen circumstance.

So...This week’s blog post will be a short look at what caught my eye amongst all the drama of other events.

Jane Friedman talked with Amy Stolls on how book marketing had changed since 2005 when Amy brought out her first book and now. Amy has some interesting things to say on how her publisher guided her on marketing then and now. Now it is essential to generate word of mouth. Check out Amy’s journey and then compare it to what her publishers told her in 2005.

Justine Musk has written a marvellous blog post on compelling branding. In it she details what the author should be doing...It all boils down to your secret word...

Forbes explores who the world’s highest paid authors are and why and looks at the rise of ebook sales which have tipped the scales in this years income.

Mike Shatzkin has written two very compelling posts this week. The first looks at the irony of being a publisher today. He explores the agency pricing model and examines the implications of Apples move into publishing and how it will impact on the big 6 publishers and Amazon the 7th and biggest player.

The second post this week from Mike is the analysis of Tim Ferriss and his Hardcover deal with Amazon which was announced yesterday. The game changes...along with Amazon giving a seven figure advance to Tim for a non fiction book. Mike has done the math and Tim Ferriss stands to make 105% royalties....This has serious implications for the rest of the publishing industry...Can they compete?

Writeoncon 2011 has been sucking my eyes these last two days (when it has been freezing.) This is a free online writing conference for children’s writers. It is global... it is brilliant... and there are many great things to take away. If you are registered you can take part in the live chat events with agents editors etc. Or you can lurk and suck up heaps of knowledge. Sometimes the time difference works for us...and sometimes not...but as the transcripts from all sessions stay up in the forums set aside some uninterrupted time and be prepared to stretch your brain to take in all the learning you will be doing.

To finish,
A nice roundup of the ten commandments for the happy writer....and a plug for a huge event that a dedicated team of Children’s Literature enthusiasts have spent months preparing.

Storylines National Festival kicks off this Sunday in Wellington at the Town Hall. This is a free family event celebrating literacy with some of New Zealand’s finest writers and illustrators. There will be live performances of loved books, crafts to make, talks by celebrated authors, book demonstrations (we have chefs and gardeners getting hands on...) and how to draw comics with some of NZ’s finest graphic novelists. It’s a mad crazy day and we love it.

Every year the festival seems touch more places in New Zealand so check out the website to see where your nearest full day event is happening. Chris Morphew, of Zac Power and Phoenix Files fame, is our international guest and he will be speaking at an evening event on Tuesday in Wellington. All details on the Storylines website.

See you there.  

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