Thursday, April 26, 2012

Being In Charge

When you decide to independently publish your own work, you discover that there are many more things to think about than the simple ‘hey kids, let’s make a book’ model. You are in charge of everything...even things you never knew you needed to do....

Authors in charge of their own publishing efforts have been finding creative ways to get together and help each other cross promote or to think outside the box to find ways to publish new work.

Here are two examples which caught my eye in the last two days.

This group of writers are all self publishing their back they have got together and branded themselves and put a logo on all their books...check out how they put the concept together.

Children’s writer Kate Milford is doing something different involving a bookshop, an espresso print machine, a tied in novella to her children’s book being launched soon by a big trad publisher...and kickstarter funding...very interesting idea!

Nathan Bransford takes a look at what the bookworld might look like after the big court case on publishers possible pricing collusion.

It has been said that it takes years to become an overnight success.... Amanda Hocking tells the story about making it onto THE LIST. The list is the New York Times Best Seller list. For some authors it completely changes their lives...and for others, like Amanda, it has another effect.

Liz Castro is one of those rare US based writers who understand that there is a whole world outside the US and actively seeks ways to connect and sell to countries that don’t have Amazon....yes there are quite a few...Check out her blog post on how to sell worldwide easily....

In the craft section
There are some great links for you this week. The editing blues have been hitting different friends lately so here are some great tips. 

The wonderful K M Weiland asks, do you really need that subplot? Answers vary...but don’t be so quick to junk them, there are reasons why you should have a well crafted subplot.

Bob Mayer has an interesting article for Digital Book World where he looks at Amazon and how they are bringing efficiencies (and military professionals) into the publishing model....before you choke on your coffee just stop and think... what are Amazon good at...What are military people good at...why is Amazon putting the two choke and read the article.

I am flying to Auckland to speak about my independent publishing journey with a workshop this weekend. If you want learn a bit more about publishing eBooks and you are around Auckland this Saturday check out the programme. There are some great speakers!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

What's The Name Of That Song?

Today we have a typical New Zealand weather day...that’s the one with four seasons in one day...subject of popular songs by Kiwi bands.

When you live on a large island the one thing you know for sure is that the weather will change quickly...bit like the publishing landscape at the moment.

In the blogosphere over the last few days...another shift has taken place with Amazon acquiring the print and ebook rights to the Fleming Estate for the next ten years. Amazon has Bond...there must be a collective shiver going around the big six.

Rachelle Gardner has been wondering about the publishing landscape too. She took time out from her busy agent career to speculate on the changes and what everyone is doing now to better position themselves in the sun.

Publishing Perspectives has taken a look at who is buying print publishers...and it makes for interesting reading...the numbers are staggering and the implications for more change on the horizon very the moment Apple with cash in hand can buy the whole publishing industry and not worry about the change...

In a rare interview Larry Kirshbaum, ex CEO of Time Warner and the guy now running Amazon publishing talks about what they are doing, what they plan to do and what excites him now...Children’s Writers take note!

In the craft section...there are some goodies for you.

K M Weiland talks about talking...specifically if your characters are talking too much...

Darcy Pattison has a great post on 11 questions to ask yourself when revising.

The Editors Blog has a great post on Backstory and how and when to dribble it in...This is one of those read it and bookmark posts!

A few weeks back I posted a link to a part one of a discussion on midgrade writing between an agent and an editor...part three wraps up the discussion and it has been really insightful for those of us who love writing for this age group. If you didn’t get a chance to read parts one and two, go to it. I really recommend it!

Mary Kole of has a great post on the reality check of a critique and how many writers looking for golden prize of being discovered don’t realise the hard work that has already been put in by those who are....

Check out 25 things to sell your book and not be spamming from badredhead media...actually just check out this site!

Joanna Penn has an uplifting post on intellectual assets...of course you have them.

The wonderful Storyfix site has a great guest post on mash ups...I love mash ups...Go and get some inspiration...and creative writing prompts.

Watership Down meets Star Wars anyone?

The builders are still in...that's three blog posts written to the sound of hammers, drills and crowbars...Next week all will be quiet...the kids will be back at school...the builders will be somewhere else and the house will be mine... all mine...mwaahhaaaaahhahhhh Crazed writer takes a trip to the big smoke.....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Once More Into The Fray

Every now and then I wonder about what a quiet life might entail...especially when the builders are sawing away, the plumber is banging pipes loudly and the kids are helping Dad paint at the other end of the house....

Before I can drift into fantasy dream mode involving solitude and unlimited drinks I’m interrupted five times...

This week’s blog roundup falls heavily on the craft that was top of my eye when starting to research this week, inspired by all the crafting around here as the builders and plumbers attempt to straighten out some of the kinks in this old cottage.

First the can do this... write like Neil Gaimen.

You can get a professional mindset.

You can increase your daily word count.

You can plan for the long haul like Lee Child.

All your story needs is some attention to...

Emotional structure in your novel.

Crafting subplots that make sense.

Characters who have goals...does this mean all of them?

How to dialogue an argument between characters...

So that later you will be able to step back and take the long view of the business

with and an understanding of ...

Cover design tips.

The US Department of Justice ruling on whether the big six were acting illegally explained (wittily by Maureen Johnson) and what it means to us (writers and readers) in the long term.

Staying safe in the digital age.

Building hype on Goodreads about your book.

and if all else fails you can always try these writing prompts.

I would like to thank Janice Hardy, Bob Mayer, Joel Friedlander, Romance University, KM Weiland, Maureen Johnson, Darcy Pattison, Stephen Pressfield, Neil Gaimen, Scribblers Cove and Chip Macgregor for all inspiration found today as I attempted to escape the racket.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Counting The Cost

I am writing this as builders work on our character cottage. Unfortunately the character of our cottage is that of a Saturday night drunk, happy but lurching and having difficulty standing straight. This is fine for a person who will wake up sober the next day but not for a house. Pulling off outside walls to find crooked framing which explains the crooked walls, which means the windows don’t fit properly which means there is rot...these are the hidden costs. We were prepared for some hidden cost but now I am dreading the call of my name from the builders at the other end of the house.

In the blogosphere Writer Beware has a guest post on why small publishers fail with a few scenarios of real situations that have you wincing for all those who are involved. This post responds to comments that asking publishers hard questions about their business  seems mean and intrusive. Given what each scenario an author you’d better know the costs up front.

Sometimes this writing life costs us too much and you feel like throwing in the towel....

Miss Snarks First Victim has a great post on where the quitting decision may be coming from.

L M Preston solicits good advice for beating the blues and Ava Jae of Writability talks about writing through resistance...which echoes Stephen Pressfield's great book, The War of Art, which I bought last week...I recommend this book if you are struggling with the whole ‘what am I doing this for’ scenario.

Agent Mary Kole talks about the decisions of choosing a book to represent for love...or for the potential money...

Fiction is our way of creating a tribe for ourselves- Victoria Mixon This beautiful phrase comes from a very thought provoking post on writing that is challenging and inspirational and shows the costs to yourself as you follow this path.

Lindsay Buroker always has some interesting things to say and this post is no exception. How to improve your sales at Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and iTunes. Check out Lindsay’s previous posts on advertising while you are visiting.

Alan Rinzler has been looking at Book Publicity and he has interviewed three publicists about their work and tips that you can learn from them.

Joel Friedlander has a great rundown on blog widgets and how to get the most out of them design wise.

Jami Gold has a great tip for MS Word and Beta readers...and how to get all their comments all together in one place...tricky and the payment is a saving of your sanity.

This week the Scholastic Media president was interviewed on where Scholastic is going with eBooks enhanced apps etc etc. The interesting numbers from January 2011-January 2012 saw a 474% uptake in children’s eBooks. Scholastic predicts that 30% of all their revenue will be digital by 2015. It is a very interesting article and those of us who write for children need to be flexible in our thinking of where our audience is going.

Jody Hedlund is also concerned about audience and asks whether you really know the demographic that you are writing for. She raises some interesting points in her post eBooks vs Paper...are you taking your audience with you?

Next week hopefully the building work will be nearly finished and we will be counting the cost...and probably reaching for a bottle of solace.
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