Friday, June 26, 2015

Challenging Contracts

This week my Twitter feed is still full of the Kindle Unlimited pay per page write ups from media... So much angst out there.
What does it mean? Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service- like a library. Authors who have their book in KU (which is exclusive) used to be paid per borrow. Now they will be paid per page read. If you write short stories- great. If you write page turning epic fantasies of encyclopedia proportions- great. If you write boring rip offs of turgid junk - not so great. This comment seems to sum it up - They are paying us to write well.

 The Authors Guild fair contract campaign is gathering momentum. Take a look at what the Authors Guild are asking for... Are you shocked that authors don’t get these rights in their contracts? After years of reading Writer Beware posts... I think its about time Publishers were being called on this.

This week Taylor Swift called out Apple for not paying artists on free trials of their music streaming service... and Apple backed down. Phillip Jones from The Bookseller notes what Taylor has done for the music industry and asks do we need Taylor to come over to publishing because there are a few things...

Molly Greene has an interesting post on estate planning forthe self published writer. Even if you are traditionally published you need to think about your literary estate. Have you got any ideas on what might happen to your work? If you have a shonky contract your publisher may be able to do anything....

 Anne R Allen writes some good solid advice. Here she outlines the six bad reasons to write a novel and also the six good reasons.

James Scott Bell has the ten things you need to know about the writing life. This is a print it out and stick it on your wall kind of post!

Janice Hardy has an Indie Author business series happening on her blog. This week Marcy Kennedy is looking at competitive analysis in the business plan. This is a fascinating dig deep look at your genre and what works…. (Bookmark)

Recently Susan Kaye Quinn was interviewed by Lindsay Buroker for the SFF Marketing podcast. This was a wide ranging interview just stuffed with great questions and answers about what works and what doesn’t for marketing online. This is well worth a watch! It is long so set some time aside. I’m really looking forward to chatting with Susan at our conference in October.

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
All writers go through the feeling like a fraud syndrome, sometimes every day. Bob Mayer has some questions for you to ponder about how far into The Imposter Syndrome you are and tips for getting over it.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Week Of It

Such a busy week, Monday started with the  NZ National Librarians Children’s Book Awards. A great night with some expected and unexpected wins. The Hells Pizza chain committed to another year of sponsorship. These are the only book awards left in NZ with sponsorship.

Then Tuesday night our Tinderbox conference opened for registrations. The team gathered to toast the opening and watch the screen fill up. Some workshops are close to full already less than 48 hours later. It looks like we got the mix right with hands on workshops on writing and illustrating, marketing, tax, contracts, editing, presenting, school visits, self publishing, copyright and translation. Phew. After adding in various dinner and wine events, we all needed a lie down before we opened for registrations. Don’t leave it too late to register we might be fully subscribed in less than a week.   

This week Amazon changed their Kindle Unlimited pay per borrow rules. Now it is pay per page read... The sky is falling ran the comments on Social Media. Hugh Howey shook his head and launched into finger waving as he called out the worst nay sayers. Hugh doesn’t think there is a problem at all. Porter took a more measured approach with comment from lots of sources... Do you want one entity to know so much about your reading habits?

This week the Authors Guild launched their fair contracts for writers campaign. Its time to let the public know just what can be stuffed into a writers contract. Porter talks to the new guild president and finds out why they are calling on readers to back the authors. Frankly the increasing prevalence of harsh non compete clauses deserve to be exposed as unethical and unreasonable bullying.

The lovely Janice Hardy has a great post on can we know too much about the publishing industry. here she outlines three mindsets and encourages everyone to find what inspired them most to start writing. Sometimes you need to block out the publishing world.

Today Smashwords launched a nifty addition- pre orders across the board to all their outlets... and you don’t need the product ready.  You can use your pre order date as your writing deadline. Mark Coker explains all in his blog today.

In the Craft Section,

K M Weiland on Character goals

Complex Book Plotting – Great Post

Joanna Penn interviews Jen Blood on Editing (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

E tools for freelancers (comprehensive list)

Website of The Week
Writers In The Storm have a great website with interesting resources and articles. This article by Susan Spann is from earlier in the year on protecting your copyrights online.  Always relevant!

To Finish,
Joanna Penn interviews Nathan Meunier about gaming and writing and some very exciting software that allows you to write a choose your own adventure book and turn it into a game...

And the week isn’t finished yet!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

This Diverse Business

This week the NZ children and Young Adult Book Awards finalists were announced and in a new move The Children’s Choice finalists, voted on by NZ kids, were added. The kids choice and the official judges marched in step for about half the time and then diverged so altogether there is a much wider sampling of books. This is great because it shows the depth and the breadth of the amazing writers and illustrators in our country. They are still looking for sponsors. So if you know of anyone....

Publishers Weekly have taken a close look at the figures from AAP and sales were ... up. Leading the charge, Kids books at a wopping 20%. Yes they could be said to be saving the publishers bacon.

This year there have been several campaigns about publishing diverse books. Leading Agent Sarah Davis talks about what books are crossing her desk and how the publishers are now calling for diverse books.

Porter Anderson follows along on this theme with a look at gender in publishing. What’s fairness got to do with it. There seems to be a lot of women in publishing until you get to the board room.

Kristen Nelson talks about whether subscription services are good for authors ... and the rise of the author space in offices. (Fantasy... the New York office loft with some writing buddies.)

Which brings me to... Author collaboration. How to go about it. Triskele books has a tool kit you need to Bookmark! I’ve said it for years, Authors need to look at this model to make an impact!

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are going from strength to strength. Here they announce their new venture to go with all those cool writing thesauri ... Software. They are such cool and savvy writers!

Kris Rusch has a new project- Women in Sci Fi especially the forgotten women. I fell in love with Sci Fi when I was a teen and discovered Andre Norton. And it blew my mind to find out she was a woman. Kris looks at her legacy and the history of how these writers became forgotten. This is an amazing post!

In the Craft Section,

7 mistakes to avoid when writing about the military.-2 Navy guys (Military mistakes always causes the book to be thrown out in my family.)

Theme and Intent- getting these right. –Bob Mayer

Fun literary devices- Janice Hardy

In the Marketing Section,
Are you using pinned tweets- (this opened up a whole new world for me.)

Molly Greene has two great posts- collaboration with authors on boxed sets and
How to make an author video. (Bookmark both)

The Creative Penn interviews Mark Dawson- On writing fast. This is a great interview.

How to find the right critique group-Jane Friedman (Bookmark)

Website of the Week
Chuck Wendig has made the occasional appearance on my blog for a few years now. He is a best selling children’s and adult Sci Fi writer. He is NSFW and some of his metaphors will stay with you all day. He is entertaining but also tells important truths on writing. Here are his most frequently asked writing questions and his very truthful answers-Be Warned.

To Finish,
Planning conferences is hard work. I’m happy to say we have finally reached the important programme day a week after we wanted to. It’s tricky juggling the right speakers who will inspire, challenge, teach, and up-skill writers and illustrators across all stages of the profession. I think our team have done a fantastic job. I wish I could split myself into three because I want to attend everything.



Pic: The Grand Dame of Sci Fi- Andre Norton 1912-2005

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Business Choices

It is cold and wet. June blasts from Antarctica have ensured that we know Winter has arrived. I spent a hopeful five minutes today looking at this publishing mini conference on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. It is in the northern hemisphere winter... and as I turn up the heating and work on the Tinderbox conference I’m wishing I could just transfer the whole thing onto a cruise ship.

This week Book Expo America (BEA) has been on. Online discussions have been on the business of publishing and reaction to Scalzi's $3.4m publishing deal. There are a whole lot of green eyed authors out there who have let their vitriol get away on them. Then there are the calm reasoned authors who talk about the business and what Scalzi’s deal might mean to authors going forward. Kris Rusch has an excellent analysis and I urge you to read the comments for the great discussion on contracts. Then there is John Scalzi himself who lays out what the deal means to him for the next decade.  This is a very generous set of posts for an author to do. Read and Learn and raise a glass to him. By the way he is a fantastic author!

The Nielson figures came out this week on e-book sales last year and Futurebook has a handy analytical break down of the figures. Overall the sales were down 6% but as Nielson was doing a five year comparison, in 2010 the number of e-books sold were 68 million and last year it was 240 million, I don’t think anyone is too worried. Among lots of interesting data was this nugget, juvenile fiction is on the rise.

Publishing Perspectives reported on BEA and the global rise of... adult colouring books. Invest now in Faber Castell.  Porter Anderson reported on the digital conference held at BEA. With the huge amount of books now we need curators more than ever... and that is where the reader has to step up. Interesting article.

Jane Friedman is one of the Go To people for a perspective on the publishing industry and here in her latest interview I think she nails how the publishing industry is now and where it might be going in the future. This is a bookmark post.

In the Craft Section,

How to write a brief synopsis- Janet Reid- (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

A quick lesson on creating imprints- Joel Friedlander (Bookmark)

Formatting to print from MS Word – Jami Gold (Bookmark)

5 top apps for writers – Wendy Jones

To Finish,
Who can resist an Infographic? Here is a great one looking at the publishing process. Two years to a print book.
Choices abound in publishing 2015 but you can’t get away from this pithy piece of advice.

Writing is an Art and Publishing is a Business – Chuck Wendig


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