Thursday, November 26, 2015

Premature Babbling

This morning my Twitter feed filled up with reaction to a new kid on the YA publishing block and his attitude. Normally a new kid on the block would be welcomed and included but when the new kid talks down about the very genre they are writing in and then writes some dubious blog posts, the YA community will not ignore you. Chuck explains it best with his witty no-holds-barred post on not spitting on the legacy of the writers that have gone before you.

The Guardian also has a pertinent article on literature writers who deny that their work is actually genre... they wouldn’t lower themselves. SIGH! Read it and cheer.

This week there have been a few posts celebrating pre orders and warnings about pre orders.
Publishers Weekly has an interesting article by Mark Coker of Smashwords on using pre orders to ramp up your first day sales. You need to have preorders across the bookselling sites to get on the bestseller lists.
If you are contemplating using pre orders in your marketing strategy, Carefully reading both these articles will give you the full picture.

November looks like the month I mention Asia every week. Mark Williams has a very detailed post looking at the global publishing industry using mobile phones. If you are looking into the future of publishing, check out what he has to say... grab a beverage of your choice, as it will take a while but it is worth it. Time to think GLOBAL!

Anne R Allen has a blog post that is being mentioned a lot around Twitter. If you are still trying to get your head around the changes in Amazon’s review policy, Anne has carefully laid all the do’s and don’t out for you.

Joann Penn has a very interesting interview up with LiteraryEstate lawyer, Kathryn Goldman. There are lots of things to think about in this interview. If you haven’t given a thought to what might happen to your Intellectual Property in the future... you need to read or listen to this interview.

Future Book has a section on Future Book Tech.  As we are in the middle of exam season here this post caught my eye. Here is a profile of a young man who saw a need to provide mobile exam preparation courses. He is now partnering with some of the worlds biggest educational publishers.

In the Craft Section,

Expand deepen and create – September Fawkes Bookmark!

In the Marketing Section,

Rachel Thompsons book marketing tips part two (Part one was in last weeks blog)

Marketing plans- Jessica West

To Finish,
Last week I had Kristine Rusch as my website of the week. This week she wrote a great post on the journey of one writer, Marie Force. Often we hear we should write to the market... or we shouldn’t write to the market or we should write contemporary or we should write genre.... Read Kris- (take it to heart) and Write what you love!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Speaking Our Fears

The week the world has been shaken up and now everybody is thinking about mortality. 
We are not invulnerable. 
In the writing world Tech Crunch analysed the publishing industry and came to the conclusion that there is a new parallel publishing universe happening. Welcome To The Dark Side.

Catherine Ryan Hyde has written an amazing post onrejection. This tells the story of Pay It Forward. Catherine has some great advice for writers struggling with the lows of the publishing world.

Dean Wesley Smith talks about the times that the writer becomes overwhelmed by the critical voice in their head saying ‘What’s the point?’ This is a great post about reconnecting with the joy of writing.

Jane Friedman recently wrote about the myths of writing and then linked to an interesting article on writers and addictions by Douglas Millikin.

Jody Hedlund has a post on How To Drive Yourself Crazy As AWriter. Jody gives great advice so make sure you drop in and read what not to do.

By now you may be reaching for a stiff drink!

On the good news front. China needs more books. Publishers Weekly has just covered the Shanghai Children’s Book Fair and the news is allpositive... and great opportunities are opening up.

Rick Riordan has managed to get his foreign publishers to stop white washing his characters on the cover of his books. This is great news. I wondered if it was a language translation problem but sometimes that is not the case... Marketing can make the wrong decisions! I was thinking about my own characters this week and realised that all the characters in my head were biracial... but I don’t describe them by skin tone. Something to work on maybe...

In the Craft Section,
Molly Greene has a great novel outlining method

How to decide how many POV characters to have.- Angela Ackerman/ Marcy Kennedy

How to create a memorable setting- Pat Verducci-Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

Book Marketing tips- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

Website of the Week
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has been on fire this week with some excellent posts on the publishing industry. She is a multi talented writer/ editor across many genres and is much respected. She doesn’t pull any punches or suffer fools. She will give it to you straight... Read Her!

To Finish

This week I’ve been thinking about talking.  I’m comfortable with chatting to people one on one, small groups etc. Then at our recent National Conference I had to Skype interview in front of 100 people, the lectern was shaking I clutched it so hard. A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed on radio for a new magazine style programme being developed. That microphone looked like an interrogation spotlight! 
Talking in public is important for writers to master. Elizabeth S Craig has a great post on public speaking for writers.

The Podcast for Writers Island is in the sidebar if you want to listen to some cool Indie Music and Writer Tidbits and me. I guess I should probably tell you that a version of this blog is up on Bibliocrunch every week. Talking isn't so bad… when you are writing.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Celebrity Writing

Many writers cringe when they read reports of celebrities writing a book,* children’s writers especially. We all know that writing a children’s book is hard. Every word has to be chosen with care. They may look easy because there are fewer words but they aren’t! The ‘celebrity’ who thinks their brand needs a book, an instant best seller with publisher or ghost writer doing all the work, just makes us all grit our teeth.
Gwyneth Paltrow has decided to launch a publishing company... an extension of her website where she will memorialise her thoughts for the world.
Gary Oldman is about to publish his debut novel about Vampire Cowboys which he hopes will become a series.
What can authors to do in the face of these wonderful additions to the publishing oeuvre?  Mike Shatzkin looks at brand and merch and vertical publishing with publishers selling author experiences in seminars and events.

Poetry is becoming the new hot thing on Instagram and Tumblr. Three of the top ten poetry books have all come from poets posting their work online. It’s an accidental form of celebrity and an interesting twist on publishing and promotion. Become a poetry phenomenon on Instagram and the deals will follow.

James Scott Bell has a Bookmark post on how to be a prolific writer. James talks about the structure of your day and the goals you need to set yourself.

Neil Gaiman was asked about writers block recently. He doesn’t believe in it but he does have some advice to get through a creative block.

Last week I linked to Anne R Allen’s excellent post on 5 delusions that block writers from succeeding. This week Anne followed up that viral post 5 more delusions blocking writers.

Robin Black has a great post on 21 things she wished she had known before she started this writing journey.

In the Craft Section,

Tips to tighten up writing- Sue Coletta – Bookmark

NaNoWriMo Triage center - Angela Ackerman

7 ways your characters can screw up their decisions to make a better plot.- Janice Hardy - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,
Demystifying Amazon categories and keywords - Penny Sansevieri - Bookmark

Website of the Week
Three nifty little ideas for you this week.
Karen Marston had a website malfunction which prompted her to write a post on backing up. Here she talks about all the ways to back up your website.

Did you know Google has added a record feature to Google Docs? You can dictate your manuscript now.

After you have twisted yourself into a pretzel getting your NaNoWriMo word count up You may need this handy Infographic Yoga for Writers chart.

To Finish,
A few years ago the FABO team wrote a story collaboratively and had great fun doing it- but it was hard work. Joanna Penn has been writing a horror thriller with J Thorn, who has worked collaboratively with many writers. This is a great interview if you are thinking about how to do it without killing your writing partner.
Or you could always work with a celebrity….

*I'm sorry about that link - it is vile isn't it?  How the publishers could keep straight faces when faced with this prose….


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Genre Bashing

This week I have been reflecting on the idiocy still perpetuated that somehow literary genres read by a majority of women are inferior to other literary genres.
Romance novelists were taken aback by a snarky article on plagiarism at the Washington Post this week. Instead of talking about the plagiarism that had been discovered the journalist went for the who-can- tell-because-it’s-not-real-writing angle.
Jenny Trout writes an excellent rebuttal and if you want to further enjoy the smack down read the comments following her post about Shakespeare.

Amazon has changed its Kindle Unlimited payouts again. At the same time as doing this it has finally (after twenty years of business) taken the plunge and opened a bookstore in Seattle. Just one... with 6000 books, a lot of them face out on the shelf....

If you are diving into NaNoWriMo and have popped your head up for air, check out Chuck Wendig’s post on surviving it...
November besides being the month of insane novel writing is also Non Fiction month. Nicola Morgan had a passionate post on the lack of recognition to our Non Fiction children’s writers.

Anne R Allen has written a post that has been passed around the blogosphere - 5 delusions that block writers from succeeding. The speed of the sharing showed that many writers found some truths in this excellent post.

Jane Friedman takes a look at literary journals... the struggles of writers to get published echo the struggles of these journals to publish.

In the Craft Section,
Two great posts on dialogue tags- Actions speak louder from C S Lakin and 10 dialogue mistakes from Marcy Kennedy - Bookmark both!

5 smart tips to write a draft at speed- Roz Morris – Bookmark

Planning a Character Arc – Angela Ackerman

In the Marketing Section,

Author marketing –ways to support your writer friends without compromising your own platform.

To Finish,
Stephen Pressfield and Black Irish books have a great series of videos on The Story Grid which you should check out for NaNoWriMo. Darcy Pattison has some tips to help you carve out a writing life.

If you are a fan of popular podcast serial Night Vale... Then look out for the book. It is 2015 and publishing has changed. Now we can take podcasts and get big publishing deals.

The new Canadian Prime Minister was sworn in today. Three words have echoed around Twitter following the swearing in ceremony. It’s a reflection on long it has taken and that we still have a way to go.

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