Around the country Children’s Writers and Illustrators are getting together to celebrate Margaret Mahy’s life by going to their local library and reading Margaret Mahy stories at 11am on the 11th of August.
This is happening at public libraries up and down the land and overseas....If you want to find out more check out this great website especially put together for the event.
This whole event has snowballed from comments, made on social media among a bunch of children's writers, to become a National Event, getting press coverage around the country, in under 10 days.
In the blogosphere this week a lot of comment was devoted to Ewan Morrison’s piece in the Guardian about the (non) value of Social Media for authors.
Morrison often stirs the pot of controversy just before a speaking engagement and he is in fine form...however he took some flak for his blanket statements and figure analysis of the 80/20 rule of social media.
(You know it’s important if Shatzkin comments.)
Part of Morrison’s piece was to focus on Joanna Penn, who this week made a stir with her blog post on why she, a successful self published author, has just signed with an agent. It is all about putting the right team together. It is a good read and very timely as agents are re-examing their role in the changing marketplace...along with legacy publishers who seem to be chasing after the indie authors.
SelfPublishingAdvice has a timely post on how Indie authors can work with traditional publishers.
Books and Such Literary agents have an interesting blog this week on Why Agents Blog.
Staying on the Social Networking topic, Writers Funzone looks at adding value in your social networking....and no, its not the 80/20 rule.
Publishers Weekly looked at the supposed Long Tail of publishing and wondered where it was...Their commenters put them straight! (you wonder if some publishing execs have been buried in sand for the last three years...)
It is conference season....and last weekend was the SCBWI summer conference.
I try to drop in, during the conference, to their live blog and get a feel for what people are talking about, hot trends, changes in the industry, things that will filter down here.
The running conference blog is a wonderful idea for those of us who can’t make the Los Angeles Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference...(tho over 1300 people did.)
Drop into the blog and scroll down the links to keynotes, panels etc. There is heaps of information just a click away.
However if you do feel like a conference experience...Check out WRITEONCON.
This is a free online children’s writers and illustrators conference which is getting bigger by the year. There are over 4000 members. I ‘attended’ last year...squashing in some online panels during the afternoon (NZ time). The big bonus tho for attendees is that everything is recorded online so those of us living in different time zones or having to work can drop in anytime and get up to date or post questions before panels and it is FREE. If you want to register go to forums. (if you registered at a previous writeoncon just log in) WRITEONCON goes live for forum and agent questions on Monday and conference live 14th and 15th August.
Dee, from I Write For Apples, has ten tips that will make WRITEONCON sooo much better for you.
In the Craft section,
The fabulous K M Weiland strikes again with her great common mistakes series This week Tension....
Joanna Penn has a great post on How To Create An Audio Book and why you should consider it.
Chuck Sambuchino has made public his Pitch Sheet Template...fill this in and you have your pitch sorted.
Jodie Renner is guest posting on Elisabeth Spann Craig’s popular blog looking at how to name characters...and where to find their names....
Passive Guy takes a good look at which Creative Commons License is best.
Two links I just had to include for you... (the everything you want to know group of links.)
Inspired to Writes 25 helpful websites for writers
I am a fan of author collectives and their power to do good out there in the marketing world. Joanna Penn has a post on the 7 Benefits Of An Author Collective and how one such collective works specifically. If you don’t know much about them, Read It... it will open your eyes!
I’m off to practice my Margaret Mahy story and work out which WRITEONCON sessions I can make...after all the power of Social Media to connect with others is what it is all about.
Mmmm - I'm still doubting the extent to which social media can lift an author's book sales. How many authors self or conventionally pubbed spend how long on social media for how many units sold? I don't think the average result would be that great - there are still too many 'mights' in the rationale of the reader coming across your pages, and liking them enough to buy your books
I think an author needs a clear goal for social media.
I don't think you are going to get readers engaging with you in social media unless you hang out where your readers hang out and offer them an extra experience of some sort. For instance many YA authors hold twitter or FB contests to generate buzz.
or You can drip feed exclusive content the readers can't get like back story...
Many commentators look at the adding value aspect of social media. This is marketing and yes it takes time. I'm reminded of a YA Writer here whose publisher asked her to provide content for a blog that supported her books with extra content...it was a big time suck but was a marketing ploy by the publisher...I don't know if it resulted in any more sales.(interestingly this kind of extra content to be provided is being written into contracts...some agents and writers are arguing that there should be a payment for this...) roll your eyes now about whether they get it....
In the end you have to decide whether the personal approach with author tours and events gets you in front of your audience or some sort of virtual presence does the trick. And the big thing to think about is how genuine do you want to be...because if it is taking away from your writing...and you find it a grind, a bore, a waste of time, then this will probably show through.
There is lots of comment around the blogs on this issue...you can spend a lot of time reading fors and againsts...It is what you feel comfortable doing.
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