Showing posts with label J K Rowling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label J K Rowling. Show all posts

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Every Wednesday at 2pm (NZ time) I try to tune into the Twitterverse for a Twitterchat.

For those of you who have just been totally confused by that last sentence I will attempt to explain.
Twitter uses hashtags ( # ) to search and curate conversations.
For instance you can go to Twitter and enter in the search bar ‘#publishing’ and get all recent comments on publishing by people who added that ‘#publishing’ term to their tweet if they thought their comment might be relevant to the ongoing publishing conversation.

Twitter chats however are set at regular times and have their own hashtags for you to follow. 
My problem is that two really interesting chats are on at the same time, #indiechat and #kidlitchat. So I flit between them both trying to get the flavour of each and getting a few gems to mull about along the way.

One of the stellar people I have ‘met’ on these chats is Susan Kaye Quin who writes Y A. She recently posted a great article on her blog which crystallises for me the indie publishing journey. Indie publishing is not about one is about your voice and whole writing career. Susan takes a look at the Scarcity vs Abundance model that Kathryn Rusch talks about and identifies the indie publishing journey as being one that draws on the Abundance style of publishing. The mindset is quite different from traditional publishing. Go and get your eyes opened.

In the last week a plaintive post by Agent Jonny Geller from Curtis Brown called The Agents Manifesto highlighted some uncomfortable truths in publishing about the disconnect of publishers to authors. This has been resonating through the writing blogosphere. Roz Morris picks up the cudgels on our behalf and speaks her mind,- Why authors get treated so badly. You will cheer!

For those people who have been nodding and punching the air with last couple of are two more interesting perspectives to chat about with your friends.

Jane Friedman tackles the big question- If the book is dead why buy a zombie?

If you are looking at your bottom drawer and wondering what to do next. Gordon Burgett takes a look at turning idle copy into books, blog posts etc etc.

There’s a good post with 11 keys to self publishing success which should help you focus if you do have work ready for a new life.

Chatting about Craft
Check out these amazing posts. Is your idea novel worthy and how you can tell?

Why you should kill your darlings....practical advice from K M Weiland who shows you how to do it.

Innocent flower has an entertaining post on 6 things she wishes she had known about being a writer...first up the use of the delete key.

There is a beaut guest post from Susan Sipal on The Top Ten Tips I Learned About Writing from J K Rowling.

Over the next few weeks I am preparing resources to help me continue the chat about eBooks at a One Day ePublishing Event run by Kiwiwrite4kids in Auckland on the 28th April. 

Those people who have met me... know I love to chat....
Come along!


P.S. If you are at all interested in the ramifications of Pottermore and the release yesterday of the DRM free Harry Potter books Check out what Mike Shatzkin has to say about the game changing spell J K Rowling has just put on the future of publishing industry.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Headpottering On Kids Lit...

Yesterday at 1pm NZ time Kidlitchat had their two year anniversary. 
Kidlitchat is a real time Twitter conversation with children’s writers that happens each week. The moderators Greg Pincus and Bonnie Adamson set the topic in advance. You log on to Twitter and type #kidlitchat into search and join in the conversation. 
Yesterday the topic was, Why do you write kidlit?  As ever there were heaps of wonderful comments but these four beautifully encapsulated why I love writing and reading Children’s Literature.

I write because my brain is perpetually 12 -Raina Telgemeier

I write for the kid I was - Laurel Snyder

There’s nothing on earth more difficult to write or more strenuous- It’s magnificent -Kelly Barnhill

Why Kidlit?-because I’ve always loved reading it (then and now) because I want to make kids laugh/cry/wonder – Debbie Ohi

In 1998 I read a comment on an international authors thread about how a new book just out was getting a wonderful word of mouth reception...(there was no marketing being done.) I asked John at The Children’s Bookshop if he had heard of ‘the philosophers stone’ book and he sold me his last copy...he had bought just a few.  This book, and the six that came after it, transformed the publishing world but most of all it transported children to a magical reading place. 

I read the book in a sitting...then started it with my class. Within a week mothers were coming to me to ask where they could buy the book...especially mothers with boys. By the time I was half way through the book (and we read every day) half the class had their own copies and were reading along with me. The book caused a phenomenon in the playground with other teachers queuing up to grab my copy.

There have been many comments about how the series needed better editing or better language or was too formulaic...but nothing can take away the fact that millions of kids were turned onto reading and a 700 page book set in this magical world was too short in their opinion. I watched kids reading ability sky rocket and I am forever grateful to Joanne Rowling for the priceless gift she gave children...literacy.

So it is with a heavy heart that I prepare to go and see the last Harry Potter film. (The end of an era.) It has been a much discussed and analysed series in this house with my teen growing up with the books and my middle child (not a reader) finally discovering the book series last year and going from the bottom reading group to the top one in six months. I know that I will cry probably before the film starts...because I can see the faces of all the kids I read those books too...looking up at me, their eyes wide, hanging on every word.

And to give that gift to children, with my own words, would be the best gift I could ever that’s why I write kidslit.

In the link list today Joe Wikert (publisher) talks about J K Rowlings ground breaking decision to make her ebooks DRM free. It is a thoughtful article on where he thinks publishing should go.

Rachelle Gardner, agent extraordinaire, has put together a one stop shop on publishing information. She is always an insightful read and she doesn’t sugar coat, so it is top information.   

Laura Pauling has done the same for agents who are becoming publishers. This topic is still being discussed and debated so if you are trying to get up to speed on this very important issue have a look at Laura’s list.

Dan Elish has written a guest post on the GLA Blog that is a must bookmark. 5 tips to making a cool YouTube video to promote your book. This is a great how to do it and make it go viral.

Sort of linked but way out there...there is a new video blog in town. Ernesto Verdugo has started a videocast about links to make your website go zing...Just take a look at the topics covered in episode one! (on his overview transcript.)

In the craft section

Jenny Hanson talks about Margie Lawson and her ten best ever writing tips...this is another post to book mark. Margie Lawson is a much sought after master class teacher.

Over on Craicerplus I have links to articles on...

The New Midlist –Self Publishing...take some time to read this article.

To finish, two thought provoking articles...

Bob Mayer, as ever, is pushing writers to keep their options open and challenging publishers to start moving with the times. In this great article he looks at the recent Thriller Conference he attended and how attitudes might be changing towards self publishing.

Faith Hunter overheard the three most stupid things to come out of a wannabe authors mouth in a pitch session. She examines why these utterances will ensure that the work will never be looked at...Thank God my readers are not this dumb!

I’m off to wallow in nostalgia...


Pic is the wizard herself...
N.B. Headpottering is a term my university friends came up to describe a deep thinking session....25 years ago. (gulp)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4 Implications Of Publishing In The 'Now'

This week I presented my report on The Spinning Tales conference to my peers here in Wellington.
 As I have been writing the report over a few weeks, carefully deciphering scribbled notes up, down and sideways, I have also been looking out for articles and commentary to do with the main themes discussed at the conference.

Last week I gave you the six need to know facts about children’s publishing that were uppermost in my notes as I pulled them together for the report. This week it is the implications of some of the publishing trends of ‘now’ that authors must be aware of.

1. We are becoming a screen society. This has implications for writers, we have to be at ease writing content across all the screen mediums. (N.B. If you don’t believe me answer these questions. Do you reach for the yellow pages or access the internet? Does your child know what the yellow pages are?)

Mike Shatzkin of Ideologue discussed the furore over his reported comments that it will be hard to find a Library in fifteen years time. He makes some very good arguments...and he says we will need librarians more than ever.

2. If you are niche you are unlikely to find a publisher for your work. If your work is too short or too long you are unlikely to find a publisher. Large publishers lists are contracting and they have to have a commercial focus to survive. Small publishers are inundated with submissions. You might need to take a hard look at your publishing options and decide whether you want to stay in the game.

Roz Morris looks at what you need to decide when you keep getting positively rejected. (that is they make nice encouraging noises about your work but it is still a rejection)

3. If you are not business savvy you will be someone else’s cash cow. It happened in the music industry where mega performing stars discovered that they owned no rights to their own music and indeed owed music publishers (record companies ) millions when an album underperformed.

Check contracts for everything! Kristin Nelson talks about the rights in perpetuity clause in an agents contract.

Mike Shatzkin talks about Amazon moving to take print rights (the new subsidiary rights) from the ebooks it sells. Just flip this over and you find a big six publisher taking ebook rights off print books or no deal.

4. Independent Publishing is just as hard as traditional publishing but you own the process (and the bills and the profits.)
Bob Mayer posted a comprehensive list of things his publishing company is doing to promote his new book project. It is eye opening!

Good writing may not get noticed but you owe it yourself that anything with your name on it should stand out.

The Blake Snyder beat sheet has been retweeted all over the internet in the last week. It is excellent.
Liz has adapted it for the novel in a spreadsheet.

Erika Holt has written a must read post on standing out from the slushpile.

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

Ad supported Kindles....are they a good idea?

What Stops The Agent Reading

3 Late Blooming Writers

Em Dashes and How To Use Them.

To finish,
It is Easter...and we should celebrate...So here are two gifts for you.

The absolute comprehensive list of free tools for writers. Read it and go waaaah.

An article in the writers guild magazine written by J K Rowling...(for those still thinking about shelling out for the HP DVD this Easter.)


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