Friday, July 20, 2012

There Be Ice Bergs Ahead....

Today I had an email interview with a reporter on the subject of FaBo Story. One of the questions asked was how did Fabostory get started. This got me thinking about the power of Facebook for writers. Facebook can be a timesuck, a waste of time, a time waster, and sometimes it can be a catalyst for a really cool project.
On my second day on Facebook, Kyle Mewburn (cool Kiwi kids writer) said ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to have an online kids story which lots of writers can contribute to.’ A bunch of us started talking about how it could be done and before long it had morphed into an online writing challenge involving children’s writers, illustrators and kiwi kids all writing against each other in an hilarious mad story, which lasted for 18weeks! 
We did it again last year trying out one off stories, in different genre’s on another planet. 
This year there is a huge sporting event happening...What could go wrong at the Titanic games?....well we are about to  find out! FaBostory3 launches next week!

Around the blogosphere there has been lots of talk about the excellent piece on creative writing courses by Kristine Rusch. I posted it up on Facebook where it got picked up and discussed by tutors in creative writing around the country. Judging from the huge pile of comments it has struck a real chord in the online community. I know some of the sentiments struck home personally. At a writers lunch I attended last week, there was first hand description from a writer who was a student on a masters course in creative writing. The description of how a University Tutor (and name writer) conducted this course was hair raising!  Read the Kris Rusch's article and all the comments...It is worth the $5000 the poor writer, at lunch last week, paid.

Ploughshares Literary Magazine has published a piece on Plagiarism as Pedagogy from a creative writing tutor...who confessed they taught a student to plagiarise unintentionally and then thought about it and gave them an A. Their arguments make for interesting reading and so do the comments!

 They say a week is long in the moment it is the same in publishing. David Gaughran turns the spotlight on Authors Guild...who seem to have completely lost the plot in their recent diatribes against Amazon. He questions whether they are really serving their members well when they direct them to go to Publish America (a vanity publishing firm with eye watering tactics and prices, read Writer Beware.)

This morning I turned on my computer to see the news that Penguin have bought Author Solutions, a sister ship to Publish America operating on the same lines. And the comments are flying on Twitter! Will they do a Harlequin and offer rejected authors a  ‘but if you pay us $000’s we will publish your manuscript in our ‘boutique’ self publishing operation...’solution. This will be a big story to watch! (And watch out for the ice berg underneath,Writer Beware comments.)

Another blog to get a lot of comment was Porter Anderson asking whether publishers are doing any R&D? The comments about how self publishers are doing R&D are very enlightening...(marketing 301)

The Atlantic Monthly has an opinion piece on why the new books coming out are all looking the same. Does it have anything to do with e readers? Check out this crop of covers.

The Stats are out....and are getting commented on all over the place (yesterday in my car the local rock station DJ commented on them!) Ebooks are now 31% of the total publishing market and have doubled in sales to $2 Billion. Children and Young Adult books are the fastest growing category.

Joel (the Book Designer) has gathered up a collection on resources for you on the best book fonts to use that will warm all designers hearts.

Bestseller Labs has a fabulous interview with Lorna Suzuki about being a bestselling indie author and how she did it. Reading about Lorna is an inspiration in itself never mind that she writes as well!

In the craft section,

K M Weiland is so brilliant that others have taken her words and examples and made them into beautiful notes cards to print out and post on your wall.  Check out this set on story structure.

In the marketing section,
Kevin Franco lets slip some more details over his Enthrill system...ebook cards in retail stores...some great innovations happening here.

It’s conference season in North America.
Bob Mayer and Jen Talty reports on Thrillerfest and the new moves ahead there.
Both of these reports are interesting for new tech but also new ways of looking at the industry.

To finish,
I have been chatting to long time industry participants about Agent Rachelle Gardner's blog on why contracts are taking longer to negotiate. Contract language is changing and there are many hidden icebergs being slipped in that writers should be wary of. Passive Guy is always a good resource so I have linked to an article he wrote a few months ago to alert you to the tip of what is a very scary iceberg, especially if you negotiate your own contracts. (As always I urge you to read the comments so you can get a fuller picture.)

NZ Authors and Illustrators take note...perpetuity rights, rights reversion, length of copywrite, ebook publication, it is all being tweaked and not for the creators benefit. 


Jami Gold said...

Great links, Maureen! Thanks for including my post. :)

Maureen said...

Always a pleasure to read your blog Jami!

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