Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ranting On

This week I have been working hard on a funding application for our national conference to our national arts funder, Creative New Zealand.
When you work on a funding application, it gets you thinking about what you really really wish for and how limited the funds actually are out there in the arts world.
While I was finalising the last bit of number crunching our Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton was being interviewed live on Indian TV. She was voicing some of my thoughts about arts funding... we could do with more of it here. Unfortunately her comments annoyed a talkback radio host here and suddenly he was off on a rant calling her a traitor... to New Zealand. 
I found this very hard to swallow coming less than two weeks after the Paris attacks on free speech. Yes I disagreed with a lot of the religious attacks in the Charlie Hebdo comics but we live in a free speech democracy. The radio host has his right to free speech too. But can’t we be grown up and debate the issue of whether our arts funding is adequate. Of course, we in the arts community will say it isn’t. It would be nice to have the forum where we could show the rest of New Zealand exactly why we think it isn’t adequate and not be penalised for speaking our minds. We need to have a healthy forum for debate instead of having the whole thing reduced to competing soundbytes, as our NZ Society of Authors president Kyle Mewburn so ably said this morning on Breakfast TV.

The cartoonists have had a great time this morning illustrating the backlash.

Due to my week being spent crunching numbers... I haven’t got my usual 30ish links or so.
This morning Author Earnings released another report... and it makes interesting reading. Passive Guy highlights main points but a stunning revelation is the high percentage of books that don’t have ISBNs. These ‘shadow’ books aren’t counted in any official book statistics.

Jane Friedman comments on stats from DBW conference (which may be in doubt now that the new Author Earnings report is out) and she lists the best bits of Seth Godin’s session. This makes interesting reading for authors about where you should be aiming for in marketing.

The wonderful Kris Rusch was interviewed on her new book –Discoverability, This is all about passive marketing which authors need to understand. Worth taking the time to listen!

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing section,

Daily Dahlia has a post on Agent red flags... with examples... must read if you are looking for one.

Jane Friedman on platform building for authors. This one is a must read/listen. I am always saying that groups of authors getting together to market themselves, and talk about writing, is the way forward. And here Jane is saying the same. Can’t argue with that!

To Finish,
One of my illustrator friends commented that she was sick of ignorant writers thinking that illustrators would illustrate their manuscripts for royalty splits when they hadn’t even got a publishing contract. Illustrators have to pay mortgages too. Picture Book illustrations can take up to a years full time work. Publishers pick the illustrators and most are paid flat fee and/or royalty. Please share this information around with your writing friends or you might encounter illustrators going off in Wendig inspired rants.

and on another note...
Terri Ponce has a nice little article on success and failure... worth printing and sticking above your writing desk  (especially this week...)


P.S. When I have more details to share with you about the National Conference of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (A.K.A Tinderbox 2015 - Wellington October 2-5) I will share them.

(hugs self and chuckles gleefully)

pic from Todays New Zealand Herald

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Number Crunching

Another week of hot weather and crunching numbers... here in my house. 
I’m doing budgets for our National Conference and pulling my hair out over funding requirements. 

Over on the other side of the world Publishers and Commentators are kicking through the snow and crunching numbers trying to make sense of the latest Neilson figures to get a snapshot of the health of the Publishing industry.

So far this week I’ve seen statements like Adult Fiction is dead. Ebooks are dead. YA is being read by Adults. Children’s publishing is growing. Where is fiction for Grown Ups?
Depending on where you live inside the publishing world... You are in a time of great opportunity or 
famine or change or growth or decline or flux or... business as usual.

After the Digital Book World conference last week, where the Neilson figures were discussed, people are still trying to figure out whether they should be happy or sad.
Porter Anderson takes a close look at the figures for print and ebook and what sells... and a nice surprising figure came out... the growth of Juvenile Non Fiction (print). Makes recent NZ publishing house closures look premature.

Publishing Technology breaks down some Neilson figures and finds that ebook success and adult fiction success are intertwined.

Philip Jones of The Bookseller compares the UK and US figures and looks at the main conclusions, one of which is that the book industry is not dependent on the e-reader being sold at Christmas, it is now an everyday item... not a game changer.

Moving away from number crunching these great posts caught my eye.

Rachelle Gardner on the Imposter Syndrome- yes every writer suffers this.

Why writers don’t write sometimes... This post highlights the writer’s life now.

Publishers Weekly has a breakdown on Self Publishing success in 2015 (I thinks this makes Self Publishers legit now.)

Porter Anderson takes a look at the annual author survey DBW always releases at their conference. Last year was full of controversy...this year was all about Author ROI (Return On Investment) Is it worth it? (great comments!)

Joanna Penn has another brilliant interview and learns a great tip for Email lists and newsletters.

Over on Copyblogger Johnny and Sean do a quick breakdown of a publishing funnel (Get their Book!)

12 x 12 is open (1 month only) for all those people interested in writing Picture Books. Such is the popularity that Julie's site broke after the first day... Every year I say to myself I must have a go... alas I’m still trying to take back 2014.

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,

Website Of The Week.
The One Hundred Best Websites for Writers has been announced.
Regular readers will see many sites that I often refer to...Congratulations to Janice and Katherine and Rachelle and Dean and Joanna and Elizabeth and Debi and Jami and James and Angela and Becca and Jane and Joanna and Kristen and Casey and Michael and Joel and Chuck and....

To Finish,

Chuck has a new ramble about making Art in 2015 (definitely comes with warnings...) It strikes a chord with me as I wrestle with conference timetables and budgets. Every two years we get a chance to throw ourselves wholesale into this creative art business, try to understand it, up skill in it and get inspired at our National Conference. I’m doing my best to make it worthwhile coming to.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gazing into 2015

The sun has been beating down and we have been traveling through the North Island on our annual family pilgrimage. I tried hard not to think of all the projects I wanted to start/complete this year (they are all from last years Annus Interrumpi.) My family thought I was taking a complete wellness break... I was sleeping ... honestly! So now I’m back with first post of the year.

As 2015 rolls in... writers take stock of where they are and where they want to be next year and what the publishing world is going to throw at them. Everyone who has spent any time in this business knows that change is constant!

Over the last five years I have read Bob Mayer’s New Year predictions and he usually is on the money. So here is his take for 2015.
Mark Coker of Smashwords is taking a similar line and getting quoted all over the place in the last week.

With book publishing stats for last year being digested and comments about the drop in e-book sales from publishers... does this spell the beginning of the end of the e-book phenomenon. NO. Killzone notes the sky is not falling and Hugh Howey is busy gazing into the sky of 2015.

Chuck Wendig takes his usual hilarious (profane) ramble on 2015 writing resolutions and what he would like to see happening in publishing in 2015. Chuck cautions everyone about subscription models like Kindle Unlimited. It might be good for the reader...but.

This week Oyster enrolled the Macmillan group into their model, which means they have a significant number of the top ten publishers. Subscription wars may be about to start.

The Digital Book World conference is happening as I write. (#DBW15) They kicked off the conference looking at Children’s Publishing. Jane Friedman has links to all the slide presentations and a nifty infographic about the demands on children’s reading time. Porter Anderson looks at Children’s Publishing figures... 25% of all print publishing and the growing take up of e- books in this sector. Where to next?

Writer Beware takes a close look at Publishing contracts- Are you sabotaging yourself?

Are we all over crowdfunding publishing or is there a better way… Futurebook chat roundup makes interesting reading.

If you need a lie down after all those resolutions Writer Unboxed has a post on Tolerating Uncertainty.

In the Craft Section,

The Smelling Post- or writing about this sense...

Graphic post on whether your main character can survivemultiple assailants (definitely for thriller writers!)

In the Marketing Section

Website of the Week
Agent Janet Reid has a great site where she answers authors questions about agents... here she looks at what happens when an agent quits the business but still wants to rep you.

To Finish,
If you have teenagers in the house... chances are you have heard a lot of Taylor Swift. Have you ever noticed how her songs are plots of YA novels....

Pic from Flickr/Creative Commons Su Bo An
Related Posts with Thumbnails