Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Quick and Dirty...

This is a busy time of the year so this is a quick post of things that caught my eye in the publishing blogosphere this week.

At this time of year ‘Best Of’ lists are pulled out of the drawer and dusted off. Publishers Weekly asked publishers to list their best children’s books... or the ones they wished they had published... interesting reading with a few familiar names... Go NZ.

Indiereaders also published their best of indie books for this year and that also makes interesting reading.

For all those who have e Readers a lot of these books are on sale for Christmas so your Christmas reading is sorted.   I note that in the letterbox mailers the tech stores are busily promoting mini e Readers for kids Christmas stockings... however  widespread take up of ebooks for kids are not a happening thing... yet.

Bob Mayer always takes this time of year to look at the current state of publishing and he kicks off his week with this blog post onBook sales over 2013 and the implications for publishers.

Again and again there are articles written about the state of Traditional Publishing against Self Publishing... and the perceived differences in quality and second class nature of those who self publish. Some people are still seeing it as a competition. This week Laura Kaye pointed out the bits that the Huffington Post got wrong when they tried to write about the current state of publishing.

Jacqueline Simonds talks about self publishing and distribution...this is the nut everyone hopes to crack.

In Craft this week,

10 reasons to use the proposal process before you write the book

In Marketing this week,

Jane Friedman on Reader Engagement

To Finish, 
In the weird files Writer Beware has noticed a new kind of weird. ‘The Literary Agent’ who is crowd sourcing which manuscripts she should ‘take on’ in her new venture. You've got to read it. How can people be sooo gullible that they think this is legit?

It is Christmas next week...I am taking a break for a couple of weeks and then I will be back with all those wonderful predictions for 2014.


Pic is Santa arriving in 1929 at Canberra airport. From the Flickr Commons Institutions pages. What wonderful collections of images are available here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Is It Goodwill?

This week in the international childrens publishing community everyone was talking about the genre slap that we took when Kent University (UK) decided that Childrens Writing was not literary enough to teach seriously... this followed the sacking of the Times Children’s Book reviewer, in a budget cut. The children’s writing community in the UK wrote a letter signed by 425 writers and librarians to the Times expressing their outrage at this. Childrens writers around the world are facing the continual disparagement of what they do so there was lots of agreement when Keren David wrote this blog piece. There is a beautifully put comment on it from New Zealand’s Maria Gill who summed up our feelings here pretty well.

As the fallout continues over Learning Media and the sales of back lists etc etc, anybody who has got an email with new contract terms in it please check in with NZ Society of Authors before you sign anything.
Be aware that increasingly publishing contracts are now including tricky little phrases such as ‘all rights in perpetuity’ and ‘Worldwide’ and last month Writer Beware commented on a contract that had ‘Universe wide.’ Check over this handy book contract clause explain-all.

Bob Mayer has been looking at the traits of sucessful writers these days and it comes down to the fact that they are ‘Outliers.’ This is a really interesting article.

Continuing in this vein is a great post by C J Lyons who is probably the most sucessful Hybrid author out there. How has she juggled her writing career stradling both sides of the fence...she went and built a new paddock.

Bibliocrunch has some tips if you want to look into self publishing.

Phillip Jones of FutureBook has been looking at the slap dealt to the science publishing community from a Nobel Prize winner about the elitist nature of publishing journals... The Open Access of scholarly work is the big talking point in the academic community at the moment.

DigitalBookWorld is hosting a webinar on Rights Marketing and Management. Check it out.

Author newsletters...How do you do them and what use are they. This is a nifty bookmark worthy post giving you the low down.

Publishing Perspectives is taking issue with The Best Of 2013 Book lists...which are appearing all over the web at the moment. One ofthe more comprehensive book lists I’ve seen is BookRiot’s. At least I have heard of some of the books.

In the Craft section,
Susan Kaye Quinn on Brainstorming Your Book. This is a bookmark it post.

Writersinthestorm has a How to write like the wind...

Kirsten Lamb on character duality traits.

There are three stellar articles from Jami Gold.
Fix 4 common problems with The Emotion Thesaurus (Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s amazing book)

In the Marketing section,

Julie Hedlund has been doing a kick starter for her picture book which became funded yesterday. Take a look at how she broke it down and what she offered.

6 books every marketer needs to read. I have read some of them and they are very interesting even if you are not a marketer.

To Finish,
‘Tis the season to get gifts for yourself  (or the writer in your life...) Here we have Chuck’s Ten gifts for writers updated from when he asked people to kidnap Neil Gaiman.
K M Weiland has the top 10 gifts for writers...(not as extreme...) and
Writer Unboxed has bypassed the gift list and gone straight to New Years resolutions for writers...

Spread the Goodwill!


Pic from Amazon (5* book on visual fantasy writing)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

After NaNo, The Choices Writers Make.

NaNoWriMo has finished and editors are bracing for the onslaught of manuscripts. December is Editing Month... or it should be. There are always ‘authors’ who just skip that process and upload their manuscripts straight onto the Amazon platform. And then there are some truly sharp operators out there who have an elaborate plan to defraud the reading and writing public. 
What is the hottest genre to read right now? Let’s go and create a persona and upload some books...(that we found on the internet.) AND MAKE $$$$$$. (CMOT Dibbler)*

It is Illegal and Unethical and Scuzzball Low to plagiarise.
(Romance author’s you need to check to see if these are any of your books uplifted by this lowlife.)

In other news this week Amazon announced a new delivery service... Prime Air - delivery by drone. The internet was bursting with drone jokes. Jeff Bezos made the announcement on a CBS special which Porter Anderson covered as part of his weekly look at all things publishing. Jeff has messages for the publishing/retail community including ‘Complaining is not a strategy.’

Jane Friedman hosted Angela Ackerman on her site this week. Angela was talking about business plans for writers, which has had a lot of positive press.

In another twist Jane Friedman was interviewed by ALLi The Alliance of Independent Authors on The Business of Making Money from Writingand Publishing. This is one of those Get a coffee, close the door and upskill for an hour of awesomeness. Widely talked about on Twitter yesterday.

Passive Guy this week had two call to arms posts.
Detailing misdemeanors just makes you look unprofessional. The comments on his post make insightful reading.
The other was Author Websites and the Ten Mistakes to Avoid. This was a very informative piece as over 70 comments with tips to add or avoid attested.

The FutureBook conference continues to create talking points around the web... including this article from Publishing Perspectives on the big ideas to come out of the conference. Rebecca Smart’s address on Publishing -why are we so bloody slow and what can be done about it?

Digital Book World continues their self publishing dialogue series with this sadly telling infographic on writers take home pay.

Bob Mayer continues to fly the flag for Indie Publishing... with his article - Writer’s Create Product, Reader’s Consume Product, Everybody in Between Must Provide Long Term Value.

In the Craft Section,
After NaNo ... how to use Beat Sheets. Awesome advice from Jami Gold

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
Local author, D C Grant (awesome children’s writer) participated in NaNoWriMo this year and chronicles her journey in a nifty post each line showing how her word count ebbed and flowed. Congratulations to all participants!


Pic from

* Those who read Discworld will get the reference... those who don't should!
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