Thursday, November 28, 2013

Counting Down To Breaking Point

This week the news that young adults preferred printed books brought a cheer throughout the publishing blogosphere. There has been a lot of talk about the rise and rise of ebooks so the reading survey made interesting reading. 
Secretly most writers prefer the printed page because they are bibliophiles. This morning I did a funny online survey which asked how many books I read a week and gave a small sample up to 3 (I scoffed, only 3?) 

Along with the survey the other big discussion topic is Mike Shatzkin’s interview about the future of publishing. He is a publishing futurist guru and I have been following him for the last five years and so far he has predicted right an astonishing amount of times. This time he has had to write a disclaimer blog saying he is not predicting publishing is going down the drain. Take the time to read the initial interview which is short, sharp and to the point and then settle in for his blog disclaimer which amplifies hispredictions and puts things in context. The publishers job is getting harder but they have some good aces up their sleeve...the ability to help build brand is one of them.

The FutureBook 2013 conference happened last week and some of Mike Shatzkin’s comments are echoed in the takeouts from the Bookseller’s roundup.  This is an interesting list of short articles on what the presenters said.

Jill Corcoran has been getting high fives this week on her blog post about the devaluing of writers by writers. In your race to find the sweet spot in ebook pricing are you driving down the ability of all writers to achieve a fair price.
DigitalBookWorld has followed this up with an article on the digital pricing middle.

Kody Keplinger has a blog on disability in Kids Lit. How do you portray someone with disabilities? Are they the noble sufferer or does their disability limit their character growth? This week she shares her own experiences of disability and the reality that is often glossed over in Kids Lit. She is an award winning Kids Lit writer and a very good read. This should be widely shared around.

Penny Sanseveri alerts writers to Amazon changing theirkeyword use policies.

Bob Mayer looks at a day in the life of an Indie Publisher... this shows you why his concierge writing service is doing so well.

In the Craft Section,

Janet Reid on do you know enough to send a query? (This is a quick survey for you to do before you send the query to an agent...)

In the Marketing Section,
Ruth Harris has been doing a writers toolkit series and this weeks installment is on promo and advertising ideas.

Website to check out,
LiveHacked has listed what they think are the top 100 blogs for writers. They cover all facets of the business. You will see some familiar names among them as I am a regular visitor to quite a few of them.

To Finish,
Gift giving seems to be on peoples minds so several writers have got lists of popular gifts for writers. From 12 fun holiday gifts to 10 concentration apps for writers or you could check out Chucks list of 25 gifts to give a writer. Neil Gaiman checked it out today and broke Chucks site after tweeting about it. Of course he was apologetic...but I wonder if it was deliberate as Chuck wanted someone to steal Neil’s writing gazebo with him in it so Chuck could have a personal muse slave....hehehehehe.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Being Conflicted...

This week the blogosphere is trying to digest the news that Google won the lawsuit taken against them for scanning books under copyright and uploading them to Google books. Feelings are’s been an 8 year battle. Authors are annoyed but the tech geeks see it as a victory.
Will there be an appeal? As the Author’s Guild have taken this case... can their membership sustain this fight?

This week Rachel Gardner talked about the conflicted nature of needing Amazon while it also is your biggest rival.

Joanna Penn and her agent parted ways ... it was bittersweet and a business decision... and definitely shows how the business has changed.

The news is out... The market you want to get into is the German one if you are self publishing... The Passive Guy checks out why and Publishing Perspectives examines how 50% of authors there are self published. How to feel conflicted about your own countries practice.

Young Adult (YA) has always been the subject of conflicting emotions (probably because it is about conflicting emotions.) However these two articles will probably push your writer buttons. What books to give YA(reading) virgins and New trends in YA literature from the agents perspective.

If YA is not your thing...authors and agents are participating in 30 ideas for a picture book?

In the Craft section,
Publishing Perspectives on how to spot a good editor

Writer Unboxed on Creating a Masterpiece...lots of juicy comments here.

The Plot Whisperer on pre-plotting a series.

K M Weiland on the top 25 ways to write an awesome book

In Marketing,

To Finish,
Charlie Redmayne (he of Pottermore and now poached back to HarperCollins) has laid out the warnings to the publishing industry. Take back content! Spend money on building the brand.  Author’s will be conflicted about the implications...especially in light of new contracts with nice phrases like...  universe rights and in perpetuity.

O what a tangled web we weave...

If you know the author of that line and can finish the are PrDmBrll.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Change In The Climate

Almost every month I find myself wondering if there are any climate change skeptics still around. The weather will get more extreme. Storms will be bigger.... and in the last week we have seen a Super Typhoon slam into the Philippines.
Candy Gourlay has quickly put together a kidlit author initiative and asked her fellow kidlitters to donate prizes for an online auction fundraiser. So far 125 authors have responded and there are some very cool writers and items to be picked up.

This week in the publishing blogosphere Porter Anderson was waxing lyrical about the self publishers who originally eschewed gate keepers now banding together to differentiate themselves from the mass of self published work out there and setting up gate-keeping awards as a badge of honour. This discussion is being had in NZ with various bodies including the NZ Society of Authors.

Writer Beware has an alert out on an outfit from Germany offering to blog your book. I treated this as spam when it showed up in my inbox but some people have been caught.

Roz Morris has reposted her comprehensive blog post on what to do before you spend money on publishing. If you missed this when I posted it before its well worth a re-read.

Larry, James and Randy got together to talk storytelling craft. This is a great article and really they don’t need any other introduction than their last names. Brooks, Scott Bell, Ingermanson, authors of some of the best writing craft guides out there.

In Craft,

Anti Villains...great article

This week’s Marketing Links,

Creative Book Launches from the Writers Helping Writers team

To Finish,
The Toast had an interesting article from Sarah Rees Brennan which explores sexism and self promotion. It is a thought provoking article and echoes some of the conversations NZ has been having in the last week. I think we are ready for a ‘climate’ change.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Do We Have A Roadmap?

So the first week of NaNoWriMo is over and strangely the publishing blogosphere is mostly quiet...
There are a few conversations happening over Mike Shatzkin’s analysis of Amazon and where they are heading to now...will they lose interest in the book business altogether? This is a great article which gives a good snapshot of what is happening now and where we may be heading in the next couple of years. This is worth a read for anyone in the book business!

One of the other discussion pieces is a report released this week that 98 UK publishers went out of business in 2012, a huge increase from the year before. However independent booksellers may be making a comeback... Do they have a secret map?

Rachel Gardner talks about privacy...and being off the map. Do you seriously think you can have privacy if you are a writer?

FutureBook talks to Peter Hudson of BitLit who is inventing a map for readers to bundle print and ebooks... with a cell phone picture.

Publishers Weekly has an interesting article on the changes to digital printing in offset books and how this is changing how publishers manage their stock which previously would be out of print. They are redrawing their map.

Great articles abound in Craft for writers struggling with NaNoWriMo 

Janice Hardy has guest author, Michael Kinn, blogging on Genre Angst

In Marketing... for when the novel is finished

Price pulsing and increasing visibility (a very interesting article)

The Book Designer has the 10 commandments....

Website to check out...
TheWriteLife ... a great little site with some very handy tips

To Finish,


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