Thursday, February 23, 2017

Collaboration and Innovation

This week I was preparing for my first podcast of the year and thinking about the general themes of 2017, Collaboration and Innovation.

This week Amazon announced a new imprint. Yes another one.  But this one is their second in the German language. Translations are becoming a hot property. Amazon is also trying to figure out India with a proposed launch of Audible- the audio publishing arm of Amazon into  India. Nate Hoffelder warns that price is going to be the biggest driver of whether this will work.

John Biggs from TechCrunch asks What’s Next for Books? We all would like to know... Is it mobile reading or mini bookstores?
If it is mobile reading, Wattpad has introduced a new app that delivers stories as a conversation... A very interesting idea and built for your mobile phone. Writers could have some fun with it and grab the teen market on the way.

Elizabeth Craig has been guest posting over at Anne Allen’s blog. Her article -Yes you can make a living from writing fiction, has been shared all over the place. Elizabeth shares ten tips on how to make a living from your fiction. While you are digesting that read Rachel Thompson’s great post on why you might not be achieving your goals... and take note!

Jane Cable talks about how a group of authors can collaborate effectively in a promotional setting. Over the last few weeks I have seen a few articles and blog posts about the power of collaboration. Creatively it can be a lot of fun. The FABO team of children’s writers are starting to think about what we will do this year... only because people keep asking us to start soon.  

Jami Gold has a great post on story arcs over trilogies. If you thought plotting an arc over one book was hard try keeping the details of a trilogy together. She has a stack of useful tips for trilogy story structure.
I’m in edit mode for my ten book junior fiction series... That’s why I can’t quite bring myself to hit 100% on my target widget. I absolutely wouldn’t be without my A3 Visual diary to keep track of story arcs.

In The Craft Section,

Manuscript rejection feedback – What to heed what to ignore-WritersDigest- Bookmark

Using Text to Speech software- WritersHelpingWriters- Bookmark

Ultimate guide to a structural edit- WritersEdit- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Social Sharing Tricks – The Writelife

2 great posts From Joanna Penn Using Pinterest and Help my book isn’t selling

To Finish,

How to work magic with your writing? Everybody wants to do it and what better inspiration than the Queen of Magic herself, J K Rowling, to show the tips to keep motivated.


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Great Expectations

This week I have been thinking about expectations. This was sparked by Kris Rusch’s excellent blog post on the Indie and the Bestseller. Do you even know what questions to ask for your writing career or are you asking the wrong people? This applies to both Indies and Traditional published people.

Meanwhile Bob Mayer was also thinking along the same lines but looking at being an Introvert writer in an Extrovert world. How do we even cope?

John Scalzi takes a look at what life is like for the writer at the top of the heap. It is not all Champaign and roses.

Kelly Van Sant has an interesting blog post on Pub Crawl about what previously published means to an agent. She explains her reasons on why she doesn’t take on manuscripts from Wattpad. Read the comments for other schools of thought on this.

Do you have a media kit? What is in it? Joel Friedlander has an excellent article from Joan Stewart on what things make your media kit stand out. Dressing up your Media Kit.

Laurence O’Bryan has put together an interesting project called Author Teams. Check out what he thinks authors can do in collaboration with others.

Joanna Penn has been down under recently. While here in NZ she conducted workshops and found time to announce her new press imprint. She writes here about why she decided to go into what looks like being a Traditional publisher. Fascinating Joanna!

The Winter SCBWI conference has just wrapped up in New York and if you are interested in children’s books you need to check out the conference blog. They have a team of writers live blogging the whole event so it is chock full of interesting bits and pieces.

Tahlia Newland has been looking at audio companies. She has a comparison about who is best and why you should choose them for your audio book production.

In The Craft Section,

Writing Cues- Prolifiko

Joanna Penn interviewed on her writing and research

Top Time Savers for Writing- Elisabeth S Craig-Bookmark

Three types of character arcs- Sarah Letourneau- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Why email marketing rocks- Frances Caballo - Bookmark

5 reasons authors should blog- Anne R Allen-Bookmark

Book Cover Design- Reedsy-Bookmark!!!! (with amazing infographic)

To Finish,

Suzanne Lakin is always a great Go To when looking for inspiration for your writing. In this great post she looks at that old standby of authors... Procrastination. What might be behind it?
If you have always been a careful writer, and therefore are slow to finish writing then this article by Pamela Hodges on vomiting out the first draft and why you should could be a writing life changer.

Vigilant readers will see a new icon on the right hand side... It’s nearly ten years of weekly blogging. It would be nice if the blog bought me a cup of coffee.


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Gazing Into The Crystal Ball

Over the last week I have been watching agents trying to figure out on Twitter what kinds of books might be popular in the upcoming few years based on the political upheavals in the U.S.
If you type in #MSWL in the Twitter search bar you can get a snapshot of what they are looking for. It got me thinking about what people read in times of political upheaval. Do they read safe stories or stories about how to cope when a society is disintegrating?

Kris Rusch has a great blog post on writing in difficult times. I think it’s a must read for every author.
Tara Sparling takes a different tack and screams for Book Heroin from Publishers who are playing it safe.

Slate has an interesting post on using sensitivity readers. These are readers representing the various communities you may be writing about to give your MS a beta read. But can their wishes change the story too much.

Litreactor has decided that we all need to take a deep breath and not post on Social Media about certain things. The list is not long but it is very pointed.

Getting a book distributed is a tricky thing if you are a self publisher. Jane Friedman has written a quick guide to get you started. New distributor on the block, Pronoun, has one upped Createspace. Looks like interesting times ahead.

Jeff Goins has a few words to say about book launches and he should know... He is one of the fastest selling non fiction authors around.

Simon Owens talks about using Patreon to support various writing projects. This is an interesting alternative to crowdfunding. Build your own paying tribe... which may be what's needed as The Guardian reports that Award winning writers are forced out of full time writing.

In The Craft Section,

How to use schedules to write- Scott Myers- Bookmark

Does your character description work?- Michael Hauge- Bookmark

Conflict between protagonists- Chris Winkle - Bookmark

Story hooks- K M Weiland- Bookmark

How long should your series be- Rachel Aaron- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

7 essentials for your book launch-Keely Keith- Bookmark

Content marketing and Selling Non Fiction Books Two great posts from Joanna Penn Bookmark

DIY Marketing tools – IngramSpark

But I don’t want to blog- Indies Unlimited

Are indie authors following the music script- Interesting article from Bookbaby

To Finish

A few years ago Anne R Allen published this great blog post which is still relevant. 12 signs your novel isn’t ready to publish. This checklist is always a good wakeup call. If you can tick all the boxes you might have the next book answer to that difficult question, what to read to escape from real life.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Everything You Thought You Knew....

The Digital Book World conference is still being talked about. Ron Vitale has a great round up of important points to think about going into 2017 and DBW has a great article on the changing role of agents in 2017.

Kris Rusch has a Must Read post on the breakdowns of the Author Earnings presentation at DBW. Click through to the slide show presentation that Data Guy from Author Earnings shared at the conference- Mind Blowing.

Mike Shatzkin takes a look at Amazon’s dominance in the bookmarket and concludes that Traditional Publishers should be working with, not against, the Zon. But how should they...
(see Data Guy’s slideshow for the facts!)

Waterstones are in the black. (Booksellers cry hurrah!) Is this the beginning of Good Times Ahead for bookshops? Waterstones put in cafes but really it was children’s books that saved them...

Book Promotion- Do This Not That- This is a standout post on The Book Designer by Amy Collins. And while we’re on Book Promotion ideas check out Jane Friedman’s best of 2016 articles. WOW!

Joanna Penn interviewed John Lee Dumas and it was a jawdropper. Have you ever looked at those premium journals and thought ‘I wonder who thinks these up?’ Wonder no more! And if you ever had a hankering to make one... It’s a must watch!

Bookworks take a look at academic publishing and wonders if 2017 will be the year academics go Indie. There are some really interesting new players in this field.

In The Craft Section,

Whose head is it anyway – Omniscient P.O.V.- Janice Hardy

How do you write a book- Catherine Ryan Howard (on trying to write Bk2)

British American Speak-Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Powerful scenes- setting counts- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to do Goodreads giveaways and why you should- Catherine Ryan Howard- Bookmark

How to use a Facebook ad- Mark Dawson - Bookmark

To Finish,

Jane Friedman posted a link to a Book Marketing case study using Goodreads and Netgalley. This is an interesting and informative case study done last month.

Ruth Harris has a great post on Author Resilience- The key to reaching your writing goals. This is a thought provoking read... especially if procrastination has been your friend lately!


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Pic : Flickr Creative Commons/ Les Sachs
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