Showing posts with label BEA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BEA. Show all posts

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Fantasy and Karma

This week the arrest of a literary agency accountant for embezzlement had many authors checking their records. For 17 years the agency accountant was skimming money to his personal use. This has resulted in one famous author being close to bankrupt. As you can imagine Kris Rusch has a few timely things to say, including what happens to the other authors at the literary agency. I had no idea that they lose the rights to their books if the agency bankrupts.

How to spot self publishing scams –Bookbaby’s CEO Steven Spatz has written a quick guide to help you spot the scammers out there. Scammers are active in all parts of our industry. They prey on the dreams of budding authors. Share the article around to help others be vigilant.

Book Expo (America), one of the biggest book fairs in the world, is on now. Every year the question gets asked... Where are the readers? Publishing Perspectives interviewed Austrian book consultant Rudiger Wischenbart about the panels he is chairing and the wild ride he is predicting for publishers. BEA always has an active Twitter stream with comments from all the keynote speakers being discussed. This caught my eye this morning -1 in every 3 teen girls in the U.S are on Wattpad. No wonder Wattpad is moving into TV and film. Are publishers even aware of this, asks Rudiger.

The Publishers Association in the U.K. are calling for their government to follow the E.U’s move and abolish the 20% VAT on eBooks. This makes interesting reading because they are quoting stats of 80% of children needing to read digitally because they can’t afford print.

Aussie children’s author Jacqueline Harvey has written a plea for the labeling of books for boys and books for girls to stop. She is bringing out a new series with covers that are neutral. Take a look.

Dan Holloway puts together a weekly roundup of news for the Alliance of Independent Authors. This week he updates Cockygate. (The anthology he talks about hit the USA bestseller list this morning.) GDPR also gets a revisit with non compliance suits being taken against some of the biggest digital names out there.

I enjoy dropping into the SFF Marketing podcast every week. The team recently interviewed Damon Courtney from Bookfunnel on selling direct from your website, cultivating a rabid fan base and other timely topics. This is one of those brain exploding episodes that if you are an Indie publisher is a must watch/listen.

Long time readers of the blog will know that I am a fan of author collaboration and always look out for new ways to do this. J J Toner has an interesting article on the Alli blog about a successful marketing collaboration.

In The Craft Section,

The ultimate checklist for Chapter One- K M Weiland – Bookmark

Resurrecting a shelved manuscript- Writer Unboxed- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to make a good author website – Nathan Bransford

How to create a compelling bookcover-Joanna Penn- Bookmmark

How to get free book reviews- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to grow your author platform- Catherine Bigwharfe- Bookmark

To Finish,

Some could say that the happenings in the blogosphere I have listed this week are a sort of karma on the unworthy. They might not have sacrificed to the right writing deities or have let greed trump common sense. To get back on the right path your writing office needs to have good Feng Shui.

Anne R Allen has a great post on fantasy and reality in a writers life. How the fantasy keeps us going. May all your writing fantasies come true... off to find fairy dust now.


It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter where I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. Get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes free, when you subscribe! 

Pic: Flicker Creative Commons- Fredkatvox

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


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Breaking Down The System

Are we all sick of Amazon vs Hachette in the publishing blogosphere? As the issue between them drags on... a lot of authors feel compelled to voice their support for one side or the other and it is starting to get very ugly. Huffington Post reports on the standoff... that one of them may have blinked.

Publishing pundit Mike Shatzkin finally came out and voiced his opinion this week. I was surprised at his tone usually he is more measured in his response. Passive Guy highlighted the problems with Mike’s assessment and the comments are going thick and fast between the blogs.

If you are still interested in how this is all playing out, Barry Eisler has an opinion piece in The Guardian and Stephen Colbert weighs in on Comedy Central.

Earlier this week in London there was a Literary Festival featuring Australian and New Zealand writers.
The New Zealand Listener covered it for Kiwi’s as more of an underwhelming experience.
I wonder if they weren’t just giving in to the cultural cringe factor. We have some great writers here who should be ‘world famous in New Zealand,’ and promoted like All Blacks. Let’s celebrate them and not give into cultural cringe.

The lovely Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware highlights a new scam targeting indie authors. Editors who highlight ‘errors’ and offer to fix them.... After she wrote her blog post she was contacted by an editor....

On a lighter note... This week (prominent Sci Fi publishers) got together with a couple of great writers, Maureen Johnson and John Scalzi, to talk about Social Media advice for writers. Much hilarity ensued. Be entertained. If you don’t know anything about these great writers...go out and read their books! Just don’t take their social media advice.

B.E.A (America’s biggest Book Expo) has just wrapped up. And Author Hub seems to be the biggest winner at the Expo. This was a new initiative where Authors were given an area to conduct business on their own account.  Bob Mayer talks about the ten things that he learned at BEA this year.

In the Craft Section,

15 secrets to writing from George R R Martin

Lessons from James Scott Bell – Excellent post from Angela 

Catalyst and Catharsis – Donald Maass

In the Marketing Section,
Marketing Lessons from Mad Men

What to do when sales slow- Great post from Roz Morris

from Elisabeth S Craig.

The Myths that Printers are Distributors... One of Dean Wesley Smith’s excellent posts.

Publishers Weekly is integrating reviews- good news for Indie Authors

To Finish,
Two publishing interns, who walked away from publishing, talk about why they feel the system is broken. This is a close up look at the lack of diversity in publishing. If it is all white bread making the decisions...then white bread is what you will get.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Conference Challenges

Conferences have been in my mind lately, specifically Book Expo America (BEA) and Golden Yarns (GY) here in New Zealand. 
BEA brings people from all over the publishing spectrum together for a packed 3 day conference. This is where new research is shared, trends predicted and deals are made. It isn’t much about the writers of the content but more about how the content is managed, packaged, delivered and distributed to the global marketplace. 

Golden Yarns was the latest conference for the Children’s Literature community in New Zealand. This community has now had 3 stellar conferences two years apart. The Golden Yarns conference focussed on best practice writing and illustration workshops with keynotes being delivered by leaders in the NZ Children’s Literature field on their personal heroes. There were many opportunities for the group to share ideas, hash out issues and drink wine. (The wine bill paid for by a NZ Children’s Writing Icon...gob smacking and a lovely gesture as she wasn’t there to drink it.)

Two very different conferences in focus but both valuable to the writing and illustration practitioner.

Breaking down B.E.A.
Bob Mayer gives an entertaining overview of what was going down in old New York Town. His main concern the lack of digital focus by the organisers (who seemed to believe the talk from publishers that ebooks sales have plateaued....) A report to show this was released at BEA.

Sam Missingham examined that report on ebook sales facts and figures, and blew that idea out of the water. Sam $40% BEA 0

Shelf Awareness took a look at a BEA first, Power Readers, who were invited to participate at BEA. Who are they and Why do they matter... they also checked out Neil Gaimen’s talk on why fiction is dangerous.

Inspiring and Challenging
Here in New Zealand everyone who attended GY is coming down off their high. Melinda Szymanik has written an overview of the first part of the weekend.

Over in the UK the Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson stepped down after her two year stint with a great broadside at the lack of reviews for children’s books. The wonderful Malorie Blackman takes over.... 
This sparked a debate in NZ within the KidLit community for our own Children’s Laureate...after all we have a Poet Laureate. If you would like to add your voice to this and are on Facebook, check out this page.

Chuck Wendig has written another 25 things post.... this time on YA Lit. Be’s Chuck.

Jane Friedman has another of her Best Business Advice List For Writers

In Craft,
Jami Gold on Can ThisStory Be to figure out what’s wrong. and What Soap Opera’s CanTeach You...

In Marketing,

The Book Designer has a great blog and his guest blogger Joan Stewart has a take note article on Business Opportunities That Even Savvy Writers Are Missing Out On.

 To Finish,
 A good conference should allow time to network with your peers, should inspire you, educate you and give you tools to move forward in the ever changing world of publishing.
Suw Charman Anderson has written a Forbes article on what she thinks needs to happen next. Why Publishers Should Invest In Authors Not In Books.... could this be the model for the future?

Below the animation announcing Malorie Blackmans appointment...and no that rap was not written for the announcement it’s been out for a few years now.
(Such street cred with her readers!)
pic from Flickr/

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shaking The Publishing Tree

It is Book Expo America time in the US and Golden Yarns time in NZ.

BEA is the biggest trade fair conference expo for the American publishing industry. This year in a bold move a group of Indie Authors are representing themselves and have a stand at BEA. 
The comments and takeaways have been coming thick and fast all over Twitter today from BEA so the wonderful Jane Friedman has helpfully collated her day’s tweets.

There is definitely movement in digital publishing, distribution and sales. Publishers are finally getting to grips with what they should be doing...
Mobile is really shaking up publishing and here is a slideshow showing this, which was presented at BEA earlier today. Food For Thought!

Here in NZ the mergers of the big publishers are beginning to bite.
Harper Collins announced yesterday that they were moving a lot of their operations out of NZ. This coming on top of the news that Pearson Education was also downsizing meant that it has been a bad week for New Zealand authors. As we are still waiting on news of what the Random Penguin merger will mean to NZ, which will be announced in July, it just adds to the depression about lean times for writers here in NZ.

Hybrid... Indie... Self Publishing the words are on everyone’s lips now.

The rise of the small Indie Press movement with a niche focus happening in the northern hemisphere is beginning to gain momentum here in NZ.
Dean Wesley Smith has a great take on Indie Print Runs...yes Indies are getting into Print!

However the key to all of this is distribution. Kristine Rusch has an excellent post on how the distribution models have shifted without anyone noticing and the change is really profound!

Last week I posted a link to John Green's Radio NZ interview. John has posted a nice article on writing YA for those of you interested in his work...and why he thinks he got so much success. Maureen Johnson is the next to be interviewed by Radio NZ sometime this week. I had to laugh when she tweeted that she had to record the whole interview under a blanket to muffle noise....
*UPDATE Maureen Johnson’s interview on the coverflip project, which I covered in an earlier post, will be on National Radio after 11am, Queen’s Birthday Monday.

Jane Friedman has 2 excellent posts to mull over. 2 Strategic Reasons To Keep Blogging and Why Google+ is Better Than Facebook for Authors. Kristen Lamb takes it a step further looking at Facebook for Authors and what many are doing wrong.

In Craft,

Ava Jae on When Not ToSubmit

Chuck Wendig on Killing Your Darlings...(warning it’s will be witty and profane)

In Marketing,

Pubslush...the Kickstarter site for Books

Why Pick Up a DebutWriters Book?- nice article by Jody Hedlund on how to make readers care.

To Finish,
Short fiction...there is gold in them thar stories...
Two articles to get you thinking. Short Is The New Long- The superb Anne R Allen

Lots of NZ children’s writers will be heading to Christchurch for the Golden Yarns conference this weekend. It will be a great time to look at our industry, what is moving and shaking it and where the opportunities may lie for the nimble writer in the fast changing publishing future.


Pic from Flickr/sammydavisdog

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flagging The Craft

When I sat down to review the list of links I have made for your perusal this week I found that there is a strong craft element showing through. This is probably unconscious on my part as I have been back in the Martian landscape trying to move my characters from their unintentional holiday spot.... 
I own some great craft books on writing and I find myself obsessively reading them when I need to tackle my manuscript...this flows into my internet reading. Hence the collection of good links for you along with my usual foray into current trending topics, springing up from BEA and enlightened or thought provoking comments from writers in the trenches.

In the New Zealand blogosphere this week the comment has been all about The Frankfurt Book Fair. With New Zealand being a Guest of Honour and Children’s Literature being the focus genre, Kidlit writers here had high hopes. Unfortunately our government saw a Book Trade Fair as a place to promote New Zealand and wine and forgot about waving the flag for the BOOK aspect. We waited with bated breath to see who was on the list and now the kidlit community feels badly let down. They are worthy people but there aren’t many writers in the total group of 160 going. Melinda sums up what we are all feeling...and talking about.

Mike Shatzkin, publishing futurist, rounds up what he learned at Book Expo America this year and as usual it makes interesting reading. He flags MetaData Mess, Digital Rights Databases and the slow down of ebooks as the main concerns going forward. Picture Books will stay printed...but what about enhanced books?

The Gurdian highlights some research showing that enhanced ebooks actually harm children’s reading ability.

For those of us who dream about going to BEA... Publishers Launch has made available 5 keynote slideshow presentations...however they stress if you have limited time check out the presentation by Bowker on Global Sales...of course to us in the Southern Hemisphere we are firmly fixed on global but it does highlight what formats are doing well in what countries.

Goodreads has published an interesting article where they flagged what makes a book take off. There are some interesting comparisons and author agility is a must.

Writer Unboxed has a guest blog from the writer of Scrivener for Dummies. If you haven’t checked out this post...Many writers say they will never go back to word processing software again. Scrivener is especially targeted at writers.

Kristine Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith are great at putting the finger on the pulse of changing attitudes in publishing and these posts are no exception.
Kristine has been looking at the whole Indie vs Trad publishing debate and she has an interesting article on the long tail of each of these ways to publish...add to this 77 thoughtful comments. You need to take some time out to digest this great article and ongoing conversation.

This great article on how to do an author interview can be flipped on its head for authors...and if you add in this Fabulous post from the Midgrade writers site The Mixed Up Files Of... on tips to help create a memorable author visit to schools then you are on to some marketing gold.

In the craft section,

From guiding the readers emotions, you are the puppet master.

From the incomparable Larry Brooks...when you get told that your structure is off and what does that mean...just brilliant.

From K M Weiland, 25 ways to blow your book.

How to find weak verbs...just change your tense.

In the US, Print On Demand Book Espresso Machines seem to be taking off...Check out how authors are using this creatively and Joanna Penn has a list of 7 networking ideas for authors.

It is tax time here in NZ and I must really get down and carve out some time to get this in....

This week this post, responding to a letter about how downloading pirated music is ok, went viral...I flagged it on FB expecting to see comments and got zilch...maybe writers are too busy or have their head in the sand thinking that this attitude will never happen to books...As someone commented on the original happens to all artists. I’d be interested in your thoughts... 
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