Thursday, August 28, 2014

Virtual Visiting

This is a skinny post... because I’ve been dropping into WriteOnCon which finished this afternoon our time. This year WriteOnCon had live Twitter pitch events with agents and a very active forum for attendees with great discussions.
Some of the topics under discussion...that whole age range thing in Mid Grade and Young Adult... Where is the cut off?

Writing now... the perils of getting it right in the 21st Century... The agents were calling for more contemporary MG and YA.

The classic show don’t tell advice... actually you need some tell.

And agents pet hate... starting in the middle of the scene without giving us time to be emotionally invested. Nathan Bransford gives an example and asks how do you name your characters.

Voice... Voice... Voice... It makes your writing standout... and should be in your queries.

So what else has caught my eye this week.

Joanna Penn’s interview with Bootstrapper guru Tucker on marketing books.

Battling self doubt as a writer (the writer’s curse)

To Finish.
What is the one thing your main character can’t live without? This is an interesting post which also resonates with writers. Social contact with people who understand your weird fascination with invented characters... even if it is only through the computer screen and you are visiting virtually... sometimes that is all you need to get your brain zinging. 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Spinning the Truth

What has been happening this week in the publishing blogosphere...

The open letter signed by over 900 American authors to Amazon about the ongoing dispute with Hachette has now got an international flavour with a German version springing up. Amazon is in dispute with German publishers about eBook prices... and over 1300 German language authors have signed an open letter. Porter Anderson takes a look at the two sides of this ongoing story. Which truth should we subscribe to?

Maggie Stiefvater delivered a keynote address at SCBWI that wowed people... She has published an excerpt... about writing being thievery... Excellent reading.

WriteOnCon is nearly set for takeoff... They have posted their list of agents dropping in. It promises to be a huge weekend. Take some time to check out what is on offer in this free online children’s writers’ conference.

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,
Joanna Penn continues to break new translation ground. She details how she has approached the German edition... and gets her translator to talk about the process. Fascinating reading.

Joel Friedlander has a guest post on planning your blog posts around your book.

Elisabeth S Craig has updated her database collection of editors, designers and illustrators for free lance projects.

Kris Rusch has added a new post to her discoverability series, which will shortly be turned into a book.

Self Publishing - three links

Jan Ruth (romance) on how to make the most of it.

Trevor Richardson on his journey which involved getting his rights back and starting a literary magazine.

To Finish,
The lovely Melinda Szymanik has packed a lot into her six month writing residency... if you can’t get away to another city maybe you could try organising a writing retreat when you can’t afford to go on one.  This could be handy if you want to combine it with the excellent WriteOnCon free children’s online writing conference... Or maybe you could dream about the most excellent writing studio... where you can contemplate writing your own truth.

maureen (late again…sorry. I am getting better….)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Playing Nice

Sometimes life gets in the way of getting this blog out on time every week.

This week in the writing publishing blogosphere....

The Amazon/Hachette battle doesn’t seem to be going away and Forbes is now commenting on the next battle coming up... Amazon/ HarperCollins. What are HC doing to prepare for it?

James Scott Bell is commenting on Agents... and some practices to be aware of that disadvantage the Author. This is a must read! (and follow the Clare Cook link.)

Writer Beware is a must go to site if you are researching agents etc. They have highlighted some dodgy practices in the past like Clare Cook’s saga. They have redeveloped their site and now have a special section for self publishers and the scams targeting them.

The NY Times profiled a new practice by a publisher... crowd sourcing their next Y A project. This is an interesting development from the publishers/ readers point of view... not sure about the authors tho.

With the next big Y A film The Giver by Lois Lowry coming out soon... Lois talks about the change she would have made to the ending ifshe was writing it now.

An author collective who all went to SCBWI LA share their take-aways from this event. Great round up.

In the ongoing who is better, Trad vs Self, publishing debate... The rabid parts of the self publishing community aired their views on a Lee Child interview on Passive Guy’s site and were surprised when Lee took them up on it. Worth a read for the stylish way he handled it.

Bibliocrunch has an interview with Lorna Suzuki... Lorna writes kidslit, self published it and then the film studio came calling.

In the Craft Section,

Stephen Pressfield has a great post on work habits

The plot whisperer has posted up a scene tracker... awesome post 

Writing resources... a huge list.

In the Marketing Section,

Kristine Rusch is always a recommended read... and here she is looking at the dangers of treating your book release as an Event! Read it for a fresh viewpoint.

To Finish,
Bookriot has an article looking at the bad press some  YA writers have got... you might not agree with who they are sticking up for... but should you be dissing your peers?

Ava Jae has lots of good writing and craft advice on her site. Here she tells her young readers about what Book Piracy means to an author. It is worth sharing this info around… so that we all play nice… 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Looking Ahead

This week the winners of the LIANZA’S (Librarian and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) were announced at lovely event in Wellington. I spoke to one of the judges at the event and we talked about the depth of books on offer this year. The judge said that they could have picked another 5 in each category, so I raised the issue that maybe they need a long list. After all The ManBooker has one. One of the important things about a long list is it raises the profile of up and coming authors. This is really important in a small country with a shrinking publishing market. Sales into libraries and schools make all the difference in our small publishing world. A good long list can become a first port of call for school book buyers. (here’s hoping they take it on board!)

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators 2014 annual conference wound up in LA this week. Over 1300 kids lit people in one space...WOW. This conference is usually a sellout every year. Some great keynotes and panels were on offer. Fix your self a long drink and scroll down the conference blog where they had notes on all the events.

If you are feeling in need of a conference the ever popular WriteOnCon is back in a couple of weeks. This is a free online conference over two days for Kids Lit writers. It is worth dropping into... getting up early and attending.

This week the stoush between Hachette and Amazon hits the 4th month and the online letter to Amazon from concerned writers hit 900 signatories.

Also in the news is the opening up of the Authors Guild (finally) to Indie writers. This has been loudly applauded... and the appointment of best selling Indie C J Lyon’s to the board has the blogosphere jumping with excitement. First up she called for ways to make the guild better. Joe Konrath produced a 12 point plan that was a masterpiece. Every writers organization should be taking a look at it. The discussion has been wide ranging and is still on going.

The LA Times has been talking ebook numbers...and the sometimes skewed reporting around them.

The Huffington Post has an article on how Barbara Freethy became a best seller...(Interesting post)

Eileen Goudge is a traditional best seller and she is looking at her first foray into self publishing because her publisher no longer felt she was a hot property... after 13 NYT best sellers...

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,
Lessons from 2014 RWA –tips for marketing success – Jami Gold

Social Media Platform infographic (this is a printout post!)

To Finish,

Jane Friedman has an interesting guest post about an Appcalled Episode. It allows writers to post up chapters with animation or comic book styles and have reader interaction. Perfect place to play with characters etc and the whole thing is specifically designed for mobile reading... A sign post for the future.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Up and Down

This week in the publishing’s all about Amazon going public about their dispute with Hachette. Of course then the second guessing fills social media sites and news sites as everyone tries to find an angle… because contract negotiations between mega corporations don’t get boiled down to a couple of explanatory paragraphs… do they? Bloomberg News took the objective angle. 

Mike Shatzkin looks at digitizing back lists and what publishers should be doing. This is an important post by Mike who is calling publishers to up their game.

Futurebook examines subscription services with a warning to publishers.

Writer Beware looks at some sticky agent contracts…can they take a piece of future writing if you self publish?

Huffington Post has an interesting article on whether having books free is damaging to the writer.

Jane Friedman hosts Angela Ackerman talking about writer business plans. This is a great post.

The Big Bigger Biggest Children’s writing conference kicks off this weekend in LA (SCBWI,LA14) Check in to their blog…(on the right in my blog list) which runs all weekend for a virtual taste of what’s on offer.

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
Two years ago Jane Friedman addressed a conference where she outlined what she saw coming and what publishers needed to do about it. She has just made that presentation available...How close was she to what we have today...


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