Thursday, November 17, 2011

Learning to Play With New Toys

This week has been one of huge technological change in our house. My camera failed during my column assignment and I had to get a new one, learn how to use it and reshoot the subjects in a very short space of time.
In this disposable age the shelf life of some technology is over before you take it out of the box so it pays to do as much research as you can and buy the best you can for the long haul. Our old camera had done a great job and was pretty nifty when we bought it six years ago…and we borrowed money to buy it. The camera’s available today almost make you a coffee as well…and all manuals are online…this is tricky if you are also learning to use a new computer. Talk about a steep learning curve with a three hour deadline.

The new computer was essential as the old one had the screen constantly failing and the keyboard wearing out. (Oh joy…) Researching for big buys are essential and also giving yourself time to learn to navigate the new really saves on stress.

This week there has been stress bouncing around the blogosphere as authors get a good look at the Amazon lending programme and don’t like what they see.

We all like to support libraries but Amazon may have taken this a bit far with their one buy, lend 1000 times, no due back date, model…the authors miss out on revenue and it is their livelihood.

Independent authors have been called names and traditional path authors have been pointing fingers, sometimes in rude ways.
This diatribe, which I won’t link to, caused a lot of anger in the indie author community. It follows on from a conversation I linked to last week about when to successfully go it alone as a self pubbed author. Bob Mayer has an excellent response to the diatribe and I urge you to read the comments to get the fuller picture.   

The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators have taken issue with the publishing industry in an open letter addressing the response length of time. This issue is dear to my heart as I have been caught by publishers hanging on to my manuscript for up to a year and then sending it back with a positive rejection. Unfortunately with one particular manuscript it has happened five times…It’s a great story, we nearly published it…Ah well I’ll publish it myself and move on!

Jane Friedman has a new feature on her popular blog…Ask Jane. First up a brilliant article on how to spend money wisely on book promotion. Frankly following Jane is the best move you could make!

The wonderful Elisabeth Spann Craig has a great article on talking to readers. She has a huge list of questions readers ask which you can build talks around. This is really helpful when you are put on the spot to do a presentation.

It is half way through NaNoWriMo and there are heaps of tips out there on writing for those who are hitting the keyboards. Media Bistro has a link to a cliché calculator. 
Victoria Mixon is guest blogging on Jami Golds blog with a killer post on story climax. This is a wonderful two for one deal with two great guru’s in the one place.

For a change of pace check out Christopher Hitchens advice to an 8 year old…(hmmm) and for a creative jolt in the arm Lateral Action’s video’s and website.  

To finish,
I was roaming around the library the other day and saw a pile of books in the YA section that had adult authors by lines on them…yes writing YA is the new trend for those established authors looking to jump on the YA sales bandwagon. The Boston Globe has just confirmed my suspicion.

On steep learning curve with new computer.... 


Melinda Szymanik said...

So writing for children and young adults can be looked down upon by adult writers, but is worth deigning to write because they sell better?

Maureen said...

My Thoughts Exactly! Some of them unprintable...when you you see some adult writers efforts for the YA community.....

Melinda Szymanik said...

and the ones who do it cos they genuinely have a YA in them are tarred with the brush of those who don't. This new trend doesn't serve anyone :( grrrr...

Jami Gold said...

Thanks for the link! And wow, I hadn't heard that bad YA books were getting through the system just because of the name attached. Not surprising, but still...

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