Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting The Facts Right

Yes the round up is up early! 
It’s a small one because I’m a bit busy at the moment. Friday is the first day of our National Conference of Children’s Writers and Illustrators, which has been eighteen months in the planning. We are like ducks, looking like we have it together on top and paddling furiously below the surface!

In News this week, best selling children’s author Cornelia Funke parted ways with her publisher over a disagreement in editing. She is going to self publish the last book in her best selling series.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the Nielson kids book summit and the angry responses from writers about some panelists comments. Porter breaks down what happened, what went wrong and why people should just get their facts right before screaming all over Twitter. Very Good Advice!

Joanna Penn has a fabulous interview with James Scott Bell on his latest writing craft book. He talks about his daily goals, writing discipline and the joy of writing. It’s a must listen/read.

Writers at all stages of their careers will understand the struggling writer syndrome. Writers Digest has an article with four pieces of advice to take to heart.

In The Craft Section,
Seven dialogue basics- Jody Hedlund

Hidden enablers that make your story work.-Roz Morris on her Venice Masterclass. (Bookmark)

What is Theme? (Bookmark)

In The Marketing Section,

To Finish,
Creativity... We all have it but how do we use it? Seven of the worst tropes about creativity from Jon Westenburg. This is an interesting read over a beverage of your choice…

And in Karma Land… Ted Dawe's banned book has been picked up by a US publisher.

I’m off to do last minute organising for Tinderbox2015. See you all on the other side!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Can you afford Oysters?

Every few months there seems to be another revolution in the publishing industry. Startups come and game change for a while and then a Big Fish snaps them up.
This week Oyster – the subscription reading service, got snapped up by Google.
Laura Hazard Own has a good analysis of recent history and a pointer to where next it could all go.

With Scribed the only other subscription service outside of Kindle Unlimited providing competition, is Google finally making a play? Mike Shatzkin uses this week’s news to look at the viability of ebook subscription models and what about Apple...

Oyster’s team were very good at Mobile Reading Apps and none of the Big Fish have made a move in this direction so far... So Google has ‘acquihired’ Oyster and their mobile reading technology. There may be big moves in mobile digital publishing ahead. But the subscription ebook model may be going bad...

In amongst the dredging for Oyster news... The Author Earning team of Hugh Howey and Data Guy did some analysis of their own on author incomes. After seven quarters they have enough data on what individual big authors may have been earning... It makes fascinating reading.

Jane Friedman has put together a great series of charts on the publishing industry and an eye opening interview with Richard Nash. He is in demand to talk to conferences about the future of the book. This is a must read for authors! In the future all your income could well come from personal appearances, the wine you select... the endorsements you have... not from your book.

In the Craft Section,

Fast writers and slow writers.- Eizabeth S Craig

Writing Prompts- (Bookmark)

Essentials of Pitching – Ava Jae (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

How to get your Indie book translated – Anne R Allen (Bookmark)

Connecting to readers -C Hope Clark

Website of the Week
K M Weiland is one of those go to writing craft bloggers. This week she shared her publishing year breakdown. This is a great snapshot of what Indie Authors need to do.

To Finish,
This week in the Ask Polly section of The New York Times was a plaintive letter asking Polly if the author should just give up on writing. The reply was quoted all around the blogosphere. Go on and read the pearls of wisdom in this wonderful piece.

Tinderbox is about to strike! Lots of crazy last minute conference details to do until it goes BOOM. I wish I could clone myself... then I could get everything done and attend every workshop!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Negativity or Reality

This week people in the publishing world were trying to make sense of different reports and breathing deeply. Roz Morris wrote a heart felt plea on self publishing and how hard it is... especially if you are writing literary fiction. Many writers commented and bared their souls over the dropping pay rates and sales. Their comments are interesting and enlightening.

Porter Anderson then picked up the baton and examined the general tone of despair in his column for Writer Unboxed, Looking For Truth In A Time Of Hype. We are so used to sounding chipper about our sales and our writing when in private we are holding our heads and wailing 'is it just me….' This is a great post with very insightful comments.

This week Hugh Howey and Data Guy tried to raise author spirits by publishing the next Author Earnings snapshot. Amazon Imprints have doubled their sales and Trad publishers have taken a dive. Are the Trad doom and gloom forecasts really indicative of the publishing world reality? (Hugh Howey investigated and found out differently.)

Porter still very much wondering about hype took the boys to task and pointed out that there were other very interesting gems to come out of the Author Earnings report that they hadn’t reported on. (Read them both.)

Rachelle Gardner wrote an article on Negativity. The single worst thing an author can do for their career. So if you complain make sure it’s in private... to trusted friends... in a dark room with hoods, passwords and false names.

Today Nielson had their one day kids book summit. Twitter raged when marketers on a panel started speculating that YA needed to be rebranded as 80% of its readers were adults. It was not a pretty sight. But there were other interesting take aways from the day so check out the Twitter stream.

Justine Larbalesteir wrote a wonderful piece comparing YA published today with that published 30 years ago. If Flowers In The Attic were published now it would probably be YA...

In The Craft Section,
Jane Friedman on The Novel Synopsis (Bookmark)

Darcy Pattison on 29 Plots

Janice Hardy on First pass editing

Kate Tilton - Villains are the real stars (Bookmark)

The rule of 3 –Copyblogger

Writer’s essential tools (I’ve reference quite a few on this blog)

In The Marketing Section,

Joanna Penn talking with Mark Coker on the Indie state of play now (Porter references this podcast in his Looking for Truth post)

Anne R Allen on group think red flags in critique groups (Bookmark)

Website Of The Week
Last week I brought you a review of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s new project. This week Angela shows off some screen captures of the Very Classy software.  One Stop Shop for Authors....

To Finish,
Pick yourself up... dust yourself off ... Put on that cheerful face and go back out to fight the publishing world again.

It’s three weeks until the Tinderbox Conference... There seems to be piles of little details to sort out (how much chocolate is too much chocolate... is there a sale on hair dye?) However I’m looking forward to meeting up with the wider writer support network, making new friends and learning new and exciting stuff. It's all positive!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Obsessed with Writer Activism

This week the New Zealand book world was rocked when there was a decision to ban an award winning Young Adult book pending a fourth review of it’s classification. (They have been arguing whether its 14+ or not for two years.) New Zealand has never had a novel banned in this way before and certainly not a Young Adult novel. As of Tuesday this week it is forbidden to share the book, have it on a library bookshelf or sell it in a bookshop. Today there was a silent reading protest throughout the country as writers and booksellers, librarians and teachers gathered in groups to publically read Into The River by Ted Dawe.
The chief judge who awarded this book the NZ Book of the Year in 2013 has written of his reasons to support the book. The book community is left shaking its head over the decision and the damage it has done to our international reputation. We wish Ted many happy sales as this decision has raised the profile of the book and now everybody will want to read the two small sex scenes and 17 f-words for themselves and wonder as we do... how something so trivial could be blown out of proportion and obscure the real message that racial intolerance and bullying can permanently damage a boys self esteem.

Another Author standing up for injustice this week was Patrick Ness. He started a small fundraising campaign for refugees. He just asked a few children’s writer friends to join him... and raise £10, 000 and then it snowballed....

Maggie Stiefvater has been having a tough week. This week she made a plea on Tumblr about being misreported and taken out of context and she also explained about her inclusion on a panel that she didn’t know was on writing about race. Can white writers write about POC in their books? Can we represent the world as it is? Maggie asks these important questions and makes some decisions.

Kristine Rusch has a great article on Obsession, Delusion and writing. Are you obsessed enough about writing to keep learning.

Porter Anderson comments on the Author Guild campaign of revising publishing contracts especially where it relates to back lists. The Novelists group report that two of their 900 members have been stopped in their tracks trying to get their back list back with over 150 titles between them..

In the Craft Section.
Quick and Dirty editing tips – Pub Hub(Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

Website of The Week
Feather Stone reviews One Stop For Writers software, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s latest project. This new software is coming soon.

To Finish,
Chuck has some pertinent things to say about authors being on Social Media. (warning it is Chuck!)

Social Media can be used as a force for good. Todays protest was organised on Social Media in under two days...

Maureen Crisp

Pics taken by me today at the protest when I wasn’t reading...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Looking After Number One

This week I have been reflecting on the way the Amazon rankings of Indie authored books have become a de facto filtered slush pile for big Traditional publishers. This week Penguin Random House offered a 7 figure deal to that rabbit book which stormed up the Amazon charts last week to number one.

Porter Anderson has an interesting article on crowd sourcing publishing platform Pubslush and publisher Colbourne Communications joining forces. Porter looks at these new models of publishing. This is high end collaboration, an interesting way forward in the modern publishing world.

Dean Wesley Smith has some pointed comments on the publishing business. What other industry has English Majors negotiating contracts.

M Louisa Locke has carefully examined her marketing strategy and compared it with the previous year. The results surprised her. Here she explains what she found out. The unexpected effects of a perma free strategy.

Jami Gold has a great post on Author Self Esteem. Why don’t we value what we do? Why do we feel a fraud for putting work out there? This is a bookmark post... and you must read the post that inspired it!

In the Craft Section,

In The Marketing Section,

To Finish,
Glimmer Train Journal recently published an opinion piece by Carmiel Banasky. Do we become better people as we become better writers? It is an interesting article on writer self care and how we should be looking after Number One.


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