Thursday, November 24, 2016

Planning For Chocolate

Last week my theme was contingency planning... and knowing where the chocolate is. This week planning is still a hot topic.

Jane Friedman has a great article on checklists for authors... it’s comprehensive and covers everything you can think of and a few things you may not have thought of. Jane also has a great article on editorial control. Who has it (at what stage) and How to keep it.

Kristen Lamb has also been thinking about planning but in a different way. Do you protect yourself as a writer? She has an excellent post on ways to protect your muse and it starts by getting rid of toxic time wasters...(sometimes known as relations.)

Porter Anderson exhorts writers to think of the pain readers are in and to commit to telling great stories for them. In times of great trouble and upheaval writers can touch others by their words and ideas.

Jan O’Hara talks about exploiting your own vulnerabilities to complete your book by viewing your strengths and weakness’ in a different way. It is a shift in perception that opens up a new way of working.  A very interesting article.

Joanna Penn has a fabulous interview with Gabriela Pereira of DIYMA. This is a MUST watch/ Listen/ Read on creating your own course of study to up-skill your writing. (Your own M.A. in writing.) Gabriela has a huge library of articles and ideas as well as a very involved community.

Continuing our education up-skilling, Lindsay Buroker and the chaps at SFF Marketing podcast were talking to Tom Corson-Knowles about Amazon Ad marketing, email campaigns and effective social media. This is a masters level course in targeted marketing. Absolutely riveting stuff and a Must Watch also.

The Alliance of Independent Authors has some great resources and recently they had two standout posts.  A Kiwi author talks about marketing using Instafreebie  and the other post is on the right combination of CreateSpace and Ingram for Print On Demand books.

About five years ago I talked about Book Espresso machines. This is a book printer machine that sits inside a bookshop. Publishers Weekly recently took a look at what bookshops are doing with them. From becoming publishers to vital links in the community.

Forming communities of like minded writing buddies and doing something wonderful has long been a hobbyhorse of mine. Whether it’s to exploit Instafreebie or growing your email list or group marketing your books or producing an Annual. There is  power in harnessing collective creative brains.

In The Craft Section,

30 Minutes 30 Days- The WriteLife- Bookmark

Middle of NANO pep talk from Maggie Stiefvater

Stupid Writing Rules- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

How to write Story Descriptions- Karen Woodward- Bookmark

How to write backstory- NowNovel- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

5 Bookbinding styles- The Book Designer

Do This Not That- Book Promotion (November Edition)- The Book Designer

Blogging got you down? Try this- Frances Caballo - Bookmark

To Finish,

Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Rusch are a powerhouse couple for clear eyed advice in publishing. There is nothing that they have not done in their publishing lives. This week Dean talks about writing what you want to write and how to look at the long game in publishing. Kris talks about running a writing business in a time of uncertainty and how to plan for this.

We are still getting after shocks from last weeks earthquake. Every day brings news of another building being evacuated. We sat down and did some planning and now our Go Bag is packed by the door. I know where I’ve stashed a supply of chocolate.... 


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Contingency Planning

This week New Zealand was rocked by a 7.8 earthquake. As luck would have it, it struck two minutes after midnight on Monday morning. After we picked ourselves up we spent the night on a hill waiting for the Tsunami.
New Zealand is known as the shaky isles and we have had our fair share of big earthquakes recently. In the back of our mind we think we are prepared for just such an emergency. But when you are sitting on the side of a hill in the middle of the night waiting for the all clear it occurs to you that better planning would have meant you ate chocolate instead of the cough drops from the bottom of your coat pocket.

In publishing this week Roz Morris has been on a panel lately looking at the convergence of Self Publishing and Traditional Publishing. Roz wrote a great article looking at the spectrum of publishing.
(Read the comments.)

Publishers Weekly has an article on Horror Writers and the growing rise of Self Publishing in that genre.

This week Amazon allowed paid advertising on for ebooks. Previously you had to jump through several hoops and make sacrifices but now it seems straight forward.

Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article on the Danish Book Fair. They like to mix it up and this year had some interesting new things. They must be on to a good thing as they break records for attendence.

Lawyer and Author Susan Spann does a great Wednesday Pub Law tweet stream. This week she has been looking at spreadsheets and author finances. While we are on things legal take a look at copyright rules for settings

Keeping one eye on children’s publishing trends. Reedsy talked with an illustrator from Finland who had an idea... and went looking for a writer... and then Kickstarted a business.
If you are hankering to write your own children’s book, Writer Unboxed has a good article on the midgrade voice.

In The Craft Section,

What is the theme?- Writingforward

What is head hopping?- Bryn Donovan

10 keys to plot structure-Michael Hauge- Bookmark

Using multiple Points Of View- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Fiction email lists- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

To Finish

Is your plan for success I just want to write my books? Judith Briles wrote a kick in the pants article for The Book Designer today. In this modern time of publishing it is not enough to just write your books. You need to plan before, during and after the book.
And this is true for Earthquakes and other natural disasters....
Always know where the chocolate is!


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Pic from  Kaikoura Coast near the epicentre of the earthquake. - TVNZ

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Masks We Wear

This has been a topsy turvey old week. Chuck Wendig has written a very thoughtful post on what it means to be a writer and how writers can process the momentous event that happened this week.

Sarah Stonichava-Finch has an interesting article on embracing a pen name and an alter ego. If you ever wanted to live a different life, read this.

Reedsy looks at the rise of Literary Fiction Self Publishing. I often remind people that Literary Fiction is a genre. It has its stars just like Crime or Romance. It is building a niche in self publishing.

Jami Gold has written an excellent post on whether stories should be set in stone once they are published. If you have ever looked at a glaring error in a book and wished to fix it – should you?

Anne R Allen has an excellent post on things new writers can do right now if they want that dream writing career.

Nina Amir has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog on how to set achievable and meaningful goals. Yes, NaNoWriMo is still going on. The world is still turning.

Emily Harstone of Authors Publish has written an interesting article on the 8 trends she has seen in publishing this year. A couple of things surprised me.

In The Craft Section,

Red flags in Editing- Meg Latorre-Snyder

Two ways to use misdirection- Roz Morris-Bookmark

How to nail your inciting incident- Pamela Hodges-Bookmark

Mastering stylistic tension- September Fawkes-Bookmark

Creating powerful images- C S Lakin - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

When your book isn’t selling-Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

50 ways to kickstart publicity- Molly Greene - Bookmark

To Finish,

The election this week highlighted archetypes and caricatures. Many believed that the voting public would see through the buffoonery to the straw man beneath and so they did not prepare for the unthinkable result. There are positive archetypes to identify with. Paul Minors has 8 productivity archetypes that might help you find a way to turn dross into gold.



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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Writing Inspiration

It’s that month loved and feared by many writers around the world. The month where writers start writing with great intentions and at the end of the first week start gibbering.
If you are head down into NaNoWriMo I have some great craft and inspiration articles for you. 
If you are not doing NaNoWriMo I have some great inspiration and craft articles for you.
First up you need a pep talk from Mr Chuck Wendig. Then you will be ready to hit the creative sandbox (or possibly plant your face in the sandbox.)

Jami Gold has a stellar post on how to make NaNo work for you. This is a great post and works for every writer not just for November. What are the goals you set for yourself?

Meanwhile out beyond the NaNoSphere the publishing world was back to normal.
Publishing Perspectives reported on the Nielson kids summit- What are the challenges in Children’s publishing and what’s next on the horizon?

PubCrawl has an interesting article on the non compete clause in contracts. Oh the tricky wording and what it  all means.

Catherine Ryan Howard talks about being a hybrid author now and what’s best about both worlds.

Nathan Bransford talks about personalised queries. Sometimes too personal can be too much.

Ginger Moran talks about what to do when you have trouble getting your book written. Some self care may be required.

In The Craft Section,

NaNo Planning in 15 minutes – Jennifer Blanchard

Writing great blurbs- Ali Luke- Bookmark

Understanding inner conflict – Michael Huge- Bookmark

Making every word count- Jane Friedman

Bringing dialogue to life- Ruth Harris - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Marketing checklist-Tim Grahl- Bookmark

A business mindset- Orna Ross- Bookmark

When to start marketing- Penny Sansevieri

To Finish,

Every year around this time writing craft books get promoted. There are always good sales. I have picked up some great writing craft books in NaNoWriMo StoryBundles. This year has a great selection. Kris Rusch’s contract book with all that contract info I’ve been sharing this year is in the bundle along with some other familiar names. And it’s a great price. There are even sites that have free writing craft books.
November is also NaNoReadMo - where you promote reading and sharing great books.
Give yourself a NaNoWri Present and grab a writing craft book or a bundle of them.


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