Showing posts with label FaBo project. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FaBo project. Show all posts

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, July 12, 2012

Looking Sideways

This week I have spent a lot of time staring out through car windows as we have traveled the length of the North Island. We don’t usually travel this trip in mid winter and the familiar summer landscape morphed into unfamiliar with ice and snow touches which generated lots of interest inside the car. The volcanoes looked spectacular and we detoured to give the kids an hour playing in the snow.

My reward for driving the tricky mountain icy road and taking lots of pictures of my snow loving family was to spend a good hour chatting with my fellow FaBo writing team member Kathy White as we plotted dastardly twists that we could put into the next FaBo story...heheheheh.

Fabo 3 gets underway next week, so tell a child near you to check it out. Nine writers...a story that twists and turns...and a challenge to KIWI KIDS to try an outwrite us every week for prizes and fame...and coz we might need some ringers when we need a break....

Today I have been thinking about the marketing options writers have with movies....I hear you all saying WELL DUH! but it is bigger than that. Popular teen authors have this whole movie buy in sorted. They get their fans to come up with dream casting of their favourite characters... promote and discuss these...and if they have a film option generate hype for every little piece of news...this of course feeds into the books...with competitions for best fan book cover, best fan book cover for movie tie poster art with your dream cast...etcetc. What makes this a marketing mania tour de force is that the books titles are constantly being talked about in a sort of sideways move.

Today Cassandra Clare, having a keen finger on the fan pulse, had a pivotal piece of news to share with her fans on the casting of a major character in the City Of Bones movie. She told her fans she wouldn’t reveal it until they made it a trending topic in Twitter. One hour later it was the worldwide trending topic and she had to spill the beans. Cassandra is generating huge hype for the movie but at the same time those books are getting pushed in front of everyone. Not bad when she has two more books to go to wrap up two series and launch a third.

Catherine Ryan Hyde, she of Pay It Forward fame, talks about what happens when Hollywood gets hold of your book and then rewrites does an author cope...

Both of these posts look at author marketing in a slightly different way. The next two links help you to understand what is going on. Betty Ming Liu teaches social media in her journalism class and she has put together the guide to the best way to use Twitter. This is how I use Twitter and how I tell others to use this tool.

Catherine Ryan Howard talks Google and SEO which is something that authors need to understand...especially Metadata. How does a search engine even find your book?

LJN Dawson reminds us that this whole book explosion thing is recent and nobody has a handle on Metadata...but we should.

Chuck takes a look at 25 Bad writing behaviours....(warning It’s be prepared to have your hair stand up! You will nod and laugh sheepishly at the same time tho.)

Laura Hazard Owen talks about the new publishing kid on the block for women pay but they interesting model that may well point to the way of the future!

Agent Rachelle Gardner talks about 7 ways that writers give up their power and why this is not a good thing.

For the illustrators out there Debbie Ridpath Ohi has the most magnificent helpful collection of blogs for writers...but she is a talented kids book illustrator. She has started a blog just for kids book illustrators...which you should check out!

In the craft section
K M Weiland talks about you struggle with it?

Janice Hardy talks about filtering...that is words that distance the reader from the POV character.

Agent Mary Kole talks about a common problem she sees often in manuscripts...when the problem is too difficult...the characters become unbelievable...

Writer Unboxed has a stand out post on the curse of the middle book..that is the one in the middle of a trilogy...How do you get it to stand on its own when everybody knows it’s the middle book!!!

To finish,
Ollin Morales always has an interesting blog and this piece on the ten rules of grammar all writers need is an inspiring reminder to look at rules sideways.

pic is from this cool tee shirt on line shop

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Promote Inspiration....

This week the FaBo team were thrilled when we received an email from an ecstatic teacher telling us how the first week’s challenge had inspired the whole school.

All the senior classes and most of the middle school are doing it for writing now and hopefully they will all enter.  My breaktime FaBo group has stopped because they are all doing it in class.  Teachers have been using what they wrote in the in staff meeting as models for their children...  A couple of classes have been planning menus for your hamburger competition.  When I was on lunch duty today I could hear kids talking about Sher Lock while they were eating and a group of kids were in the library redrafting their stories at lunchtime.  I have put together a group of gifted and talented senior children to work with and have been given 90minutes release time a fortnight to do it.  I have never seen the staff so excited about writing! 

It is great to receive such positive feedback and to know that in our small way we have made an impact. 
Actually all the FaBo team did a happy dance and we have silly grin’s on our faces. Any author will tell you that an enthusiastic response from a reader (especially kids coz they are tough critics) is worth the sleepless nights and the hair pulling when we were crafting the story.

FaBo is an interesting experiment for us all. It is a chance to directly engage with the kids who read our books and stretch ourselves at the same time. We are learning about group blogging and marketing and the ‘keep at it, the rewards will come’ style of putting something new out there. (it’s a bit like writing really. It gets better.)  It is inspiring and challenging and fabbo. (sorry team couldn’t resist.)

Elizabeth Spann Craig has a guest post on Spunk On A Stick about promotion traditional and 21st century style. There are some good tips here so take a look.

How many books should you have written before you think of indie publishing? What kind of benchmarks do you need? Bob Mayer has written another thought provoking post which has generated much comment in the writing blogosphere.

Seth Godin’s Domino project has had a lot of attention in the past few months but this link is in the Holy Wow category. Seth links to Jenny Blake’s Spreadsheet for Book Promotion. It is a jaw dropping one stop shop from planning the cover to the book tour and everything in between. Click on the links and be amazed.

Jody Hedlund has taken the 'steady as she goes,' way to work out how much time you should spend  marketing your book.

Justine Musk has a brilliant post on the necessity to market yourself and how to keep your brand consistent. Are there lines and logos that you regularly use? (Hmm spot mine which I didn’t realise until I read Justine’s Post.)

In the craft corner,

What can Star Trek teach us about great writing. This is a comprehensive look at storytelling in the J J Abrams style.

Following on from last week... here is a link to creating QR Codes.

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to articles about

When Women Write Male Charaters

Would You Apply For This Job?.....( great job, pity about the pay.)

Thinking About Publishing On A Kindle....

On a new job note...The wonderful Storytime bookshop is for sale! (if you always wanted a specialist children’s bookshop...) We all hope the new owner will be just as great as Malcolm.

Chris Guillebeau writes one of the most inspiring blogs out there. I am a regular reader. This week he has written a great post about making money online. Many of his thousands of followers think it will rank in the all time top ten...what do you think?  

To finish,
When you get bunches of Children’s Writers and Illustrators together something wonderful always happens...From FaBo and the wacky writing challenge to our Inspiring Colleagues promoting this great message in the following video.
It Get’s Better!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fire Up Your Imagination...

Once in a while you come across an article that sets your imagination on fire. 

This week that happened to me when I read Dean Wesley Smith’s article on selling ebooks. I have sent the link to indie bookstore owners that I know...small publishers that I know... and tertiary writing course instructors. 
Dean sets out, step by step, an innovative way to market ebooks. It is stunning in its simplicity and very very do-able. Even if you have no interest in ebooks, read this article it will change the way you think about ebooks and marketing. 
If you know any indie booksellers pass the link on to everyone...It might save some jobs!

This week BEA is happening. BEA is Book Expo of the biggest book industry events in the world. 

Why am I interested? Generally what is talked about at BEA or unveiled at BEA changes the publishing industry in some way. Keeping an eye on BEA means you are keeping up with new publishing trends. 

Publishing Perspectives is posting a whole series of articles on what is happening at BEA while it is happening. Think of it as a Daily Newspaper with new editions coming out through the day...Here are two I have picked out for you but there are plenty more...

International rights in a changing world...This is a report from a panel of rights experts talking about what is selling around the world and why...For instance Japan wants self help books...don’t bother trying to sell crime and disaster books there.

Ten tips for producing videos...this link from Publishing Perspectives includes a great promotional video...You will learn stuff!!!

Janet Reid talks about the big news at BEA -  Barry Eisler cutting a print publishing deal with....Amazon.  Check out the advance and then stop and think about how Amazon is now moving into the print publishing business...first the e storefront then the ebook  and ereader and now PRINT...(traditional publishing anyone?)

Jane Friedman this week wrote about 3 publishing trends that writers must be aware of. If you read this blog often you will be able to pick some...Go on, have a bet with yourself and see if you are right.

Scott Young has written a great article on writing. Do you focus on your weakness and strive to master it or just keep writing and learn by osmosis?

The Blood Red Pencil is a source of great articles for writers. Here is a pertinent one for me which might help you as well, How To Earn Your Info Dump. Have you done heaps of research and are now trying to fit it into the book while trying to avoid having a character sound like a textbook....Read this article.

Over on Craicerplus( My Amplify Page) I have links to articles on

Agents As Publishers- Writer Beware. (this is an important post on an increasing trend)

Rethinking The Authors Career Path

Fiction Uncovered- Get Noticed By The Bookstore. (This is a great article on a UK Arts council initiative to expose readers to writers who are flying under the radar...)  On the same theme here is an extra link for you -Romancing the Bookstore.

Seek A Genre-The Path Ahead is Lit ( a very funny take on genre writing)

To Finish,

From time to time, people contact me and ask my advice about something to do with the publishing industry...or the main themes of my blog... or do I know where they can get information on.....

This week I had two different to do with social media and one to do with which publishing track would be the right fit for a particular project.

I am flattered to be asked...(you think I know something????) I then spend a few hours thinking my way around and through the question before I put together a response...I don’t tell anyone what they should do...but I will help, if I am able, with being a sounding board.

So two links pertaining to those questions which popped up today that readers might be interested in.

FaBo Story 2- Planet FaBo is nearly set for lift off. If you know any kids who want to be part of it feel free to direct them to the Fabo Story site...where once again Kiwi Kids Writers pit themselves against Kiwi Kids.... 
Oh the pressure!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Children's Publishing Business...

It has been a big week in Children’s Publishing! 
First up Tools of Change Bologna followed by the Bologna  Children's Book Fair and then Spinning Tales....

Where, oh where, to begin.

I’ll go backwards.

Spinning Tales brought together over 115 Children’s writers and Illustrators from around the country to Auckland for the second National Conference of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators. This was a great learning and networking time for all of us. 

If you didn’t make it to the conference you must try to make the next one in two years time. The opportunity to spend time with others in the field is invaluable.  Learning from the speakers and the chance to talk with publishers is also worth gold. Each speaker was carefully selected to add value for the conference attender and any opportunities where you can sit down and pitch an idea to a an amazing plus.

The FaBo Team met for the first time. This was an historic occasion. We have been working together for a year on our online story and we finally met the whole team...except for Brian but we’ll forgive him being in Australia. Plans were made for FaBo 2. New members... new secrets to keep.

My personal take aways...The literary feast...and the art work it inspired. Gosh we have talented Illustrators who can draw and incorporate food in their drawing in new and innovative ways, not to mention the wonderfully entertaining stand up writers.

The wonderful, amazing, Katerina Mataira who challenged us all with her statement at the Kaumatua Panel. ‘I am nearly 80....I am publishing ebooks and selling my work online and on websites...If you have a niche, forget Traditional Publishers and do it yourself!’

And that is what Tools Of Change, Bologna was about. 
How can we continue to tell stories in today’s world? Read this excellent post by Bridget Strevans, an Illustrator, who attended TOC. It is an overview, a challenge and a guide to helping us navigate our way through the changes in publishing.

Bookman Beattie linked to the Bookseller overview of the Bologna Children's Book Fair. It is a must read as it quickly encapsulates the state of Publishing Worldwide right now. Vampires are sucked dry, Dystopian is still in and heading towards us...Time Travel is about to be HOT.
If you want to spend a little more time on getting a sense of Bologna, Nosy Crow has two excellent posts on Tools Of Change and the Book Fair. Well worth a read!

In the tips and tricks basket this week,
Mediabistro has linked to a great page on understanding Story Arc by Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt used these grids in his lectures to explain how a story should grab you emotionally.

The great Larry Brooks of Storyfix has a wonderful post on story architecture. How and when you should build in those plot points.

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to articles on

Making Money On Author Websites

Pitch Week with MG/YA Agent

Words Of Wisdom From Famous Authors

In the news this week is the speculation about the price of the eBook rights for Harry Potter. This is being negotiated  at the moment and reminds me of comments made by the publishers at Spinning Tales about eBook rights being non negotiable or deal breakers here in NZ. 
The margins are so slim here at the bottom of the world that eBook rights and world rights are the only way they can make money and if they don’t get both they may as well pass the project.... This is a good reminder to Writers and Illustrators...They are in a business and they need to know all the ramifications of the contract.


The pic is the golden moments of going to a Kid's Lit conference... Every encounter is gold....

The following video is 60 seconds of Bologna....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The 12 Links of Christmas...

School is out today and I’m eating juicy summer strawberries trying not to look at my very very long 'To Do' list that has to be done before we head away for the Christmas holidays on Sunday. 
No rest for the they say...I think ‘they’ have got it wrong coz I’ve been good all year...honestly!

Looking back over the year online...I expanded my online presence....

I joined Facebook on a Tuesday and two days later got swept up into the amazing  FaBo Story Project. I had a blast with my fellow writers as we developed a children’s online story. I was in awe of the kids who chose to get involved and am looking forward to FaBo 2...which has started, and will ramp up into another way out story next year. The first chapter being written by our winning child author. (Can’t really call him a child author he writes absolutely wonderfully-check out the final winning chapter.)

Twitter has taken over as my first Go To Research Tool. I am constantly amazed at how much people use twitter in real time emergency situations. I was following some of the up to the minute requests on twitter from the rescuers at the Pike River Mine. I knew that it was a powerful resource when my husband came back from the office saying that one of his colleagues had started a twitter English Spanish translation service for the worldwide aid community to deal with the huge aid requests coming out of Haiti last year. It would be interesting to know how quickly Kiwis have taken up tweeting.

On my blog, the search box has got a work out and Craicerplus (my Amplify page) has got its own followers. 
I was surprised and touched to find so many of you take the time to read my weekly blog post when I discovered that I was closing in on my 2000th reader this year. That is quite staggering when you think about it....Thank you everyone!  And a big THANK YOU to all those who took the time to comment on the blog or started Facebook discussions about what interested you.

So onwards to this weeks interesting links.

Seth Godin is about to turn publishing on its head, again, with the launch of The Domino Project. As one of the biggest influencers on the web, where Seth goes today, will be the norm by this time next year....

Scholastic issued their top ten trends in Children’s writing this year and many commentators are lining their own lists up and comparing them. Things we know...paranormal is still huge...things we should be aware of, Humour is coming back....was it ever away???

Larry Brooks (yes he is that Larry Brooks) has a great post on his Storyfix website. 8 moments you absolutely need to deliver to your readers and 1 that you should hope for.

For all the small business owners who read the blog...(writers, that’s you too) Marketing Experiments Blog has a great article on Facebook marketing...when you read it, substitute the word facebook for website and the same things apply. Great Advice!

If you are looking for a great Christmas present, Don Miller has listed the 7 best books to read, to make you a better writer. I have read (or own) most of the list. I would add two more... Story by Robert McKee and How To Tell A Story, by Gary Provost and Peter Rubie.

The amazing has a great post for all the author/illustrators out there...How agents rep author/illustrators.

Over on Craicerplus ( my Amplify page.) I have links to articles on

Get Your Opinions Off My Stuff -Why Not All Critique Is Equal...(excellent rant!)

The Worst Mistake A Writer Can Make....(good advice)

Facebook Tips For Writers...(read with pinch of salt)

10 Tasty iPad Apps For Writers

6 Questions NOT to Ask A Writer

The Pie In The Face Writing Method.

And now we come to the link presents...

The Twelve Days Of Christmas For Writers and Famous Inboxes. (my geek self loved Captain Kirks inbox but Elizabeth Bennets is the best!!)

and the Christmas video...


P.S. I will be back in the New Year...You can catch up with me on facebook and twitter and I will drop in from time to time with interesting links.
pic is Pukeko In A Ponga Tree by Kingi Ihaka. Illustrated by the great Dick Frizzell

Friday, November 19, 2010

Making Like A Professional...

Tonight I had the privilege of being in a room full of children’s authors at a function hosted by The Children’s Book Shop and the Wellington Children’s Book Association. 
Christmas Book Buying Night, where the authors are on hand to talk about their books and sign them along with wine and nibbles and a 10% discount. 
A glass of wine helps any author to stand up and talk about their books and, for those of us there, the questions were really interesting. We talked about the publication process, the waiting for acceptance, the make or breaks for a book, and our current projects. 
One author showed off her book which has been made into an iPad application. For some guests it was the first time they had seen an iPad let alone a children’s book that could be played with, coloured in,  record your own voice reading the story.....

With new technology there are so many ways to get your message across.

Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer blog has listed 17 ways for writers to publish content. The comments on this article list a few more to think about especially repackaging content.

The writing blogosphere has been up in arms this week over a publisher who has been targeting MFA programmes to find young and hungry writers who know nothing about the industry and signing them up to punishing contracts which take away all their future earnings....  
John Scalzi has published an open letter to MFA programmes urging them to make available classes in publishing business practice and telling them they have a duty after taking all that money to make sure that their students don’t get caught in some very bad situations like this one...because students who think that having an MFA from a respected institution will protect them because they 'know all about the industry'...are being sucked in... 
If you haven’t heard about this (scam) Please take the time to read John's Letter and tell others to read it as well. We should all be aware that if it looks to good to be true...Read and Understand the Fine Print... (It is part of being professional!)

If you are thinking about reading some more industry blogs (in the spirit of being a professional) pop over to Writetodone. Leo Babauta, one of the top bloggers in the entire blogosphere, is hosting the 5th annual top ten blogs for writers contest. Already nominated are many of the blogs I refer to or have referenced in my blog over the last two years. But don’t take my word for it, go and have a look at what other bloggers are saying about the best blogs out there for writers.

Among the best blogs for writers out there is Angela Ackerman’s fabulous Bookshelf Muse. Angela’s project to compile thesaurus for writers on Emotions, Settings, Symbolism etc. Debbie Maxwell Allen has given a quick run down of Angela’s site...if you can’t take it all in at once, it is such a huge project! 
Congratulations Angela on making 300.000 hits to the site. Yes it really is worth a look! (I first referenced Angela back in May and look where the blog is now-talk about growth!)

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to Articles on

What Happened To Down Time- The Extinction Of Deep Thinking And Sacred Space. (This is one of those thought provoking articles that change your life)

Should I Tweet?- An Agents Perspective On Marketing...(This article has made best of the week lists all over 
the writing blogosphere.)

Kristin Lambs 3rd structure article- (Really good stuff!)

Is Contemporary YA A Difficult Market?...(comments on facebook and twitter about this one...)

A New Imprint Is Launched -YaYa- teen authors writing for teens.....

Deescribe has a great guest post on marketing by Aussie Tania McCartney. Tania has self published a series of popular books and she shares tips on how to market. This is comprehensive and full of good advice. After all that is what tonight was all about we were marketing....and we were having a great time doing it too.

FaBo is winding to a triumphant conclusion. The team has had a ball. The kids writing into us have stretched us and challenged us and astounded us with their brilliance. It has been a fabulous ride. Go over and check out the penultimate chapter....


pic is the cover of the movie.....yup that's us... children's writers....maybe the Fabo team....hehehehehehe

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Conference Connections....

It is conference season for Children’s Writers and Illustrators. 

WriteOnCon starts next week. It’s Free and Online and close to 500 people have signed up for it. (Click on forums to sign up.)

SCBWI LA Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators  L A summer conference has just finished and they had a record breaking crowd of over 1100 attendees this year.

Alice Pope and her team blogged their way through it again this year. You need a team to blog a conference of this magnitude. Last year was the first time that they did it and it was a stupendous undertaking. This year they surpassed themselves. For us who can only dream about one day making it over there to just experience it, or in our case having to put on our own conference so we could get the opportunity to learn, upskill, and network  in our craft, the SCBWI Team Blog is the way to go.

Just a warning there is so much information about what’s new, what editors are looking for, trends, multimedia, master class information, tips, learning,....Set aside time to really study what has been posted. And it is a lot! I clicked older posts 8 times before I got to the start of the four day conference. Along the way the information coming at me was incredible.

If you are in this business you would be a fool not to check out the blog.   

Michelle from The Y A Highway blog posted her impressions as an attendee and soundbites  of what she took away from the conference. It is a great little roundup of highpoints.

A couple or three  sites caught my eye this week to share with you before I got snowed by the conference blog.

The Book Doctor has an article up on organising your days on a weekly basis. It is timely as life gets pretty busy around here and fitting in time to write and not feel guilty is very tricky. So check out the advice from The Book Doctor Team.

Pimp My Novel has reposted an article from last year about 12 easy steps to help market your new novel. This is a good wake up call from the sales director of a publishing firm. Especially lead in times...websites etc...and Book Trailers.

As an aside Christopher Cheng from Australia/New Zealand SCBWI got an award In L A last week for most helpful  Regional Advisor and he did a session on creating book trailers...yes the authors HAVE TO DO IT and his session showed how you could do it in 30 minutes. You have to read SCBWI TEAM BLOG!

As I have said in earlier posts, the futurists are predicting that publishers will only survive if they become more niche so it is useful for authors to look at this form of marketing as well. This week I have been delving into marketing books again and the new buzz word coming out is fusion marketing. Teaming up with other industries and marketing together.
Alan looks at some of these ideas and shows examples of book campaigns that are doing this.

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page)

What Writers Wish They Had Known Before Pitching

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far (a satire...very funny but thought provoking too)

Open Sky Website lets Authors Sell Directly To Consumers  (On Fusion Marketing )

Writing Vs Storytelling (Nathan Bransford writes a brilliant article on looking closely at why we love or don’t 
love best sellers and what we can learn from them)

How A Sticky Note Can Change Your Life

Some Tips For Writing A Series.

And in other news
The FABO Story project is off with a hiss and a roar and we are getting some great stories from the kids. Go and check out Chapter Two and the winning kids chapter two version. Kids can join in at any time as a new chapter is posted each week. New Zealand Illustrators have joined in with a team of their own getting together to illustrate each chapter for us...

If you are dreaming of book trailers....and going global....check out how you can run a TV Ad in the States  for very little money. Is this where FABO will end up?...heheheheh If you read the SCBWI TEAM BLOG you will find out that it’s not  such a silly idea....


pic is from Christopher Cheng...his view of the 1100 attendees at SCBWI LA.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Memorable ideas

We came back from holiday late on Tuesday and I opened my in box on Wednesday and it spilleth over with emails...
It is funny when you take a break from the internet. You might be going through minor withdrawal symptoms...but it is not! Working my way through the inbox has taken a few hours and I don’t get anywhere near the amount my husband gets at work on a daily basis. Needless to say he is not looking forward to opening up his inbox when he gets back.

The holiday had some memorable moments...
The major car breakdown on the way up the country. Ending up in a motel which did not have chocolates on the pillows...(Mum! Fifi Colston said in her book, Glory, that motels have chocolates on the pillows...Thanks Fi! Beer and chips are Taihape’s chocolates...not the same!)
Seeing the whole family altogether (first time in 6 years and very new niece)
Having coffee with Melinda Szymanik. This was interesting as Melinda and I know each other primarily through blogging. At Spinning Gold I talked with her for about 30 seconds and wished ever after that I had had more time...(actually I wished that all the time at Spinning Gold, not enough hours in the day...) Melinda is as engaging in person as she is on her blog.
The snowball fight on the desert road on the way back down country. The impossible perfectness of the weather and the scenery, blue, blue sky, warm sun and snow right to the bottom of Ruapehu.

Enough rambling, onto the blog post for the week.

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Fifth birthday of Gecko Press. Julia Marshall has done wonders with her crazy idea of starting a publishing company with no money and one book about two geriatric donkeys with relationship problems written in German. John McIntyre beautifully illustrated his speech about Gecko’s five years in successful business with the plot lines of Julia’s publishing triumphs.

A couple of times I have linked to posts by Mike Shatzkin on where he feels the future of publishing lies. As a publishing futurist who doesn’t pull his punches, Mike is a widely followed commentator on the industry. His message of niche will survive over chain is an important one in children’s publishing.  Children’s publishers and the independent children’s bookstores are the best placed to follow up on his advice. John and Ruth McIntyre of The Children’s Bookshop and Julia Marshall of Gecko Press are doing all the right things according to Mike.

This week Mike posted an article on the future of the brick and mortar store as it applies to ebooks, which has had over a hundred comments, including many from children’s bookstore owners and publishers. It is well worth a read.

Stroppy Author has a no nonsense article up on her blog today. The publishing world has changed...get over it!

The L A Times has posted a fabulous article about Janet Fitches 10 Rules for writers. This is great advice. 10 pithy rules that will sharpen up your writing and your attitude, (I like number 10 even tho I have a hard time doing it...I may be too nice....)

 On Marketing

Hope Clarke has reprinted Chris Brogan’s should do social media list if you are an author. It is good to have a look down it and see how you are doing and maybe jog some ideas loose about things you could do.

Harold Underdown one of the leading lights in American Children’s publishing is doing something new in Social Media. He is tweeting parts of the 3rd Edition of his book The Complete Idiots Guide to Publishing Children’s Books. Greg Pincus interviews Harold about the ongoing project.

Often I come across marketing strategies that are just perfect for the non fiction writer. Some can be adapted for the fiction writer, even fewer for the children’s writer. Today I found a great article on what one fiction writer did to market her book by Author Marketing Experts, who have some great ideas about getting noticed.

Our FaBo project is also getting noticed which is gratifying. The general comments from teachers seem to be 'what a great idea...'
It all starts next week...We’re nearly ready! We have some great prizes and giveaways lined up....oooooooooh.

Over on Craicerplus (my Amplify page) I have articles on

The Art Of Query Wars...(the rules of engagement)

Nathan Bransford - You Tell Me Why Is It So Hard To Tell If Our Writing Is Any Good?

Rachelle Gardener-How Do Agents And Publishers Make Decisions (what you always wanted to know)

Twitters #dearpublisher  hashtag takes off...(a very interesting idea)

 I am a sucker for creativity sites and I found one today listing five sites that are tops in sparking creativity. After all I have to get in training for the FaBo project. Only 1 week to go....


Gecko Press have put together a cute little video about themselves...

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