Thursday, September 27, 2012

Clearing Your Head

This week has been a whirlwind of new projects to get stuck into... 

I was talking with a friend recently about the hazard of starting new projects. You know you need to get started but the detritus from the last project or the four others you have going simultaneously stop you from getting into a clear headspace.
Chuck Wendig has written his latest 25 things post on this very topic. (Warning it’s Chuck, be prepared to laugh, wince and cover your ears.)

Bob Mayer has been busy this week attending the Digital Book World Discoverability conference. He blogs about each day's speakers and takeaways for authors facing the Brave New World.
Bob also repeats his rant taking writers to task for not valuing their time and expertise. They shouldn’t appear so grateful to do something for free. His rant got lots of comment and he even has the link to Harlen Ellison's famous YouTube rant on the subject which should be required watching for all writers.

Colin Falconer has an interesting blog post on the changing attitudes of readers and what the future holds now that we have book espresso machines popping up all over the place.

Chuck Sambuchino of Writers Digest has a look at query letters and 9 FAQs about them.

The Passive Guy looks at the changing faces of Sci fi and Fantasy How can you tell the difference? The comments are really enlightening. These genres are really changing with mash ups happening all over the place, Paranormal Steampunk SpaceOpera on a Dystopian Planet anyone?

Marta Acosta has written an excellent blog post on working with Audible Amazon’s audiobook creator service...and what it means to her back list.

The craft list is dominated by tools of the trade,

Crimefiction collective has the most exhaustive list of links for authors using Kindle for publishing or 

Do you know how to find the perfect niche audience for your blog, the popular Livehacked blog tells you how.

Agent Mary Kole examines author emails; Do you need a business one?

Author PR...If you are stuck, these tips may help you out.

If you need help writing that sexy scene in your YA check out this post.

K M Weiland has another stellar post on writing craft. Why your beginning and ending must link.

To finish,
Two weeks ago I linked to the news that Harper Voyager was opening their doors to unagented subs for a heady 2 weeks. This week Carolrhoda Books is doing the same. Editor Andrew Karre outlines exactly what he wants and when he wants it....

Go on clear those desks get that new project underway... 

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spring into Marketing

Ahhh Spring!
The moment when the sun breaks through the clouds and warms your back and then disappears behind rain clouds for another three weeks.

The optimistic scheduling of road works which rely on good weather...reality huge mud holes that last for two weeks causing a hazard before it is dry enough to resume work...

The gentle spring winds...gale force with a wind chill factor of 5.

Spring has great P R.

In the blogosphere there is a marketing focus this week as Amazon Kindle Serials get discussed by it worth it? Passive Guy takes a look and then the commenter’s weigh in.

In the big picture look at the publishing world, Idealog previews what are going to be the hot topics at Frankfurt Publishers Launch conference. Among the innovators speaking will be Charlie Redmayne of Pottermore...They are keen to help any other world building author do a Pottermore....

J S McDougal is looking at publishers, their fear of piracy and DRM and how it is all tied up with disruptive technologies and the release of bright shiny hardware...MP3 and the iPod, eBook and the kindle...

Joanna Penn is using her Kindle to edit her book for print...a whole nother way to use this tech...Different formats highlight different line edits to be made...just when you thought it was all over after you published...

How much do you know about Foreign Rights? A foreign Rights agent talks about exactly what she does. It will open your eyes!

Writers Digest has 5 ways writers can get the most out of Goodreads of them is to read...

Alexis Grant has a helpful post on how to master a power user....some interesting tips in there.

There is a collection of great craft links.

L B Gale has another interesting post up on what Romance Writers can teach Sci Fi Writers....actually what Romance Writers can teach anybody really.

Carol Riggs talks about feedback feeding into your story....a great guest blog on Janice Hardy’s brilliant writer’s craft blog.

The seven rules of picking character names...and I thought it was open baby name book, close eyes, stab with pin....

To finish, 
Alan Rinzlers post on Book Marketing with 3 experts has been getting another airing around the blogosphere this week. I blogged it in April but check it out again as we are on a marketing focus today.

Terry Pratchett has a new book coming out and it is a Young Adult book...Here is Sir Terry attempting to market it.... ( you will smile...)


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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Craft Of Writing...

What do I have for you this week.
Looking over the links I have gathered for you, today’s blog is turning into the craft of writing post...with the bulk of this weeks links across the publishing blogsphere spotlighting craft issues.
It could be that writers are gearing up for NaNoWriMo...yes I know we are in September but you can’t prepare too early....

First tho some interesting articles that caught my eye.

Kristine Rusch writes about the scammers who are targeting authors...unfortunately some of them are reputable publishing houses. This is one of those writer-you-must-know-what-your-rights-are posts, especially when publishing houses try to change contracts after they are signed...and it is not an isolated incident.

The advent of Kindle Serials has got everyone talking. Back in the old days writers like Dickens published their work as a serial changing parts of the story to fit audience reaction. Check out Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson’s round up of the opinions now that Amazon are giving this model a spin...

Rachelle talks about learning to pitch your potential to agents and editors.

Jami Gold touches on a few head scratchers for authors...print vs ebook, long tail vs out of print, actual bookstores  vs backlist. How does this impact the author now?

K M Weiland has a thoughtful post on the excuses writers have for not writing and how to combat them....

Now on with the great caft list...something for everyone here.

When your characters cry –from Superheronation

Revising to raise the stakes in your story from Aimee Salter based on Janice Hardy’s advice.

If you can’t afford an editor...advice from Nicola Morgan

A must bookmark now post on scene structure from Randy Ingermanson...(The snowflake guy) Truly if you only have time to check one of the craft links today check this one...

To finish,

Every now and then I put a link to Chuck Wendig...he has a striking way of getting his point across...Here is a link to Chuck’s personal rules of writing now...(warning its Chuck! You will laugh and you will wince!)

‘Write as much as you can, as fast as you can. Finish your shit. Hit your deadlines. Try very hard not to suck.’ –Chuck Wendig

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scattered Stars....

This week I have been thinking about children’s book illustration...on many levels. We are putting together a workshop day in children’s book illustration which looks really good. I am learning about print for the print version of Craic and making changes...and I have been studying websites and learning some new tricks.

Around the publishing blogosphere the pay for review saga goes on with more unseemly author behaviour being exposed. ‘Sock Puppetry’ where authors make up an alter ego email and leave 5 star reviews on their own work and 1 star reviews on their competitors...

Anne R Allen talks about these current practices and exposes what authors really need...independent book reviewers. She tells you how to find them and how to treat them...

Recently the Oxford Society of Young Publishers asked Roz Morris to address them. Her speech - How I Self Published and How It Changed My Outlook As A Writer. Roz has posted this speech on her blog and it is very interesting with some recommendations to the publishers on what they should be looking at...partnership models like Discovery imprints...for those books they love that Accounting rejects...  

Anna DeStefano is finally able to blog about her trials and tribulations with Dorchester Press. Publishing isn’t for Sissies. This is a really interesting article with Anna talking about her ultimate goal for her writing and how this goal had her making the decisions she did as Dorchester was going through the rocky shoals of print to digital to being bought by Amazon...along the way not paying advances and pulling books after contracts were signed. It is a timely piece for authors to consider their whole career and how each publisher contract should be viewed as part of the whole career plan.

Elle Strauss (mid grade /YA writer) has written an interesting post on Why you can’t indie publish the same way as traditional and how to approach publishing after her year of discovery.

Susan Kaye Quin is doing a week of self  publishing basics...These are practical posts on where and how to do it...

Dean Wesley Smith has been getting hot under the collar with writers who give away a % of their rights over a manuscript in return for services...this is a growing problem with authors who don’t understand what rights they do have....After all would you give your gardener a share of your house? but authors are falling into some nasty traps.

Two agents this week have highlighted what they are looking for.

Jill Corcoran (mega kidslit agent) has a list of what she is looking to represent.

Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary has detailed how and what she looks for in the first five pages of a submission.

Over in Craft

Dean43 talks about his list of SCI Fi rules...for the geeks among us.

The great Larry Brooks has a post on the square one story killer. This is one of those bookmark posts of Larry’s... An effective story is ultimately about its concept. Just great advice and a new way of looking at your story.

To finish,

“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” Robert Benchley.
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