Thursday, October 6, 2011
This week I have been contemplating the future of the modern book launch.
A book launch is a celebration and a promotional opportunity for the author, bookseller and publisher to highlight a creative achievement and to get the printed story into the hands of readers. Pre the book launch the reviewers would have been given advance copies to review, hopefully favourably, to generate interest. People would be awaiting the party...book launches are great affairs where the writing community gets out in support. A good book launch can propel a book onto the best seller list which then gets it noticed more....
I have attended many fabulous Book Launches at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie where John and Ruth McIntyre have been proud Godparents (and sometimes midwives) of some very special books... They were wonderful Godparents at my own book launch 3 years ago and have been encouraging and commiserating with me as my midgrade novel Craic repeatedly gets so close to the acceptance bar. Today it was announced that they have been awarded the Betty Gilderdale award for Services To New Zealand Children’s Literature and they are worthy recipients! As the current Convenor of the Wellington Children’s Book Association I am proud to announce our co hosting of the Award ceremony for them at Turnbull House on the 21st of November. (it’s nice that I can now blab this secret as well.)
With Amazon commenting last week that they were selling 2 eBooks for every 1 Print Book...the future of the book launch, the count down to the day you hold the book in your hands, has changed.
An eBook launch is a different beast altogether. You can still have the party but the signing table will be empty...the cash register won’t be ringing in the background.
Melinda Szymanik was telling me that the launch of her eBook, The Half Life Of Ryan Davis, was an email from her publisher with an Amazon gift certificate for the book attached and a celebratory glass of wine with the publisher. There will be a party when the print book comes out later in the year tho!
Three years ago the printed book would have been launched with a splash then later in the year, unheralded, the audio book and the eBook. Now the eBook comes first with the book trailer then the audio book and, if you want, you can have a print book...either P.O.D. or traditionally.
Reviewers slot in all along this process so the three months or so of new book publicity can be dragged out to a year if you are a canny marketer....A quick look at a new publisher on the New Zealand block, Pear Jam Books, shows that they understand this very well. (Great acronym use of the word PEAR! )
So here are some more great writers who are launching eBooks this week and how they are doing it.
Jane Friedman has a great guest blog from Roz Morris on her experiment of the serialisation of her novel on Kindle. Roz talks about what works and what didn’t. This model of publicity made Dickens famous...
Victoria Mixons second book on The Art and Craft Of Story is getting great reviews around the blogosphere. You can check out free samples of the practitioner’s manual here on a bookbuzzr widget or over on Storyfix where she has a chapter up on science and story in a great guest post.
Victoria also has a fantastic interview with Joanna Penn about her very successful ePublishing career and why she chose to publish this way.
The Huffington Post has spotlighted Self Publishing this week with an interesting guest post from Felicia Ricci entitled How to self publish (and seem like you’re not.) If you are looking for a step by step guide check this out!
Greg Pincus has highlighted an interesting post by a successful picture book writer who is trying to get an intriguing historical non fiction story picked up by a publisher. Think about trying this idea out!
In marketing the eBook you need to be just as careful in your planning as you were in formatting it. Tony Eldridge has a revisited a link to an article about how not to use Print On Demand (worth rereading for the tips on how to do it better.)
Tony also has a popular resource of the week series. Check out YouTube creators for help with that book trailer and Paypal tips for getting the money flowing into your account from your website.
Of course you will have a website to promote your book, eBook or trad...Bookmarketingmaven has a punchy post that reminds writers of what should be on their website...(hint; it begins with B)
Publisher’s Weekly has put the spotlight on Children’s publishing this week with an indepth article on YA publishing and where it is at. There are great quotes from agents and editors in here.
I received my copy of the 2012 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market book this week and this article backed up all the agent interviews in the book.
Chuck Sambuchino, who edited this years CWIM, has a great interview on his blog where an agent pulls apart a successful query letter and shows why the novel got picked up which subsequently launched a successful career.
Another great interview to catch my eye was Johanna Knox’s interview with Mandy Hager on Tim Jones’ blog. Mandy is an accomplished writer and here she talks about how her Blood of the Lamb trilogy has unsettled Americans and how her scriptwriting skills came in useful...
Over in the Craft section,
Janice Hardy talks about script writing a scene that is not working to find out how to fix it.
Agent Mary Kole has some timely advice on how not to use Social Media when looking for agents and editors.
Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to
Konraths E predictions in 2009...This was Joe talking about what he thought would happen in the future...check out the comments about where we might be heading to now!
Writer Beware – Bad Publishing Clause series...ouch!!!
Make Books Easily for the iPad
This week Mike Shatzkin examined the Amazon/ Apple, clash of the behemoths, with the launch of the Kindle Fire. Is it about the device or the content....
As I have been writing this blogpost, news has come in of the passing of Steve Jobs, one month after he stepped down as Apple’s CEO. He was a visionary and an extraordinary man. He could polarize a room and inspire it the same time. His commencement speech for Stanford University, just after he was diagnosed with the cancer that killed him today, is one of the most viewed speeches on YouTube and a superb testament to the power of one man who changed the world.
P.S. From time to time I put up a video as a Thank You for someone who has sent quite a few Readers over to Craicer. Melinda the following video is for you...
Thursday, July 15, 2010
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....)
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...
Friday, March 20, 2009
The great Jane Friedman posts such useful information on her blog.
Last week I tweaked my blog in response to a comment made by John McIntyre about having difficulty following the links on a black background....So I changed the background and tweaked colours and generally played around with the site. I am not ditching my space photos...but I did check that they still look ok on the background. As I was doing all these changes I noticed the Great Jane had posted a list of red flags that editors look for, as a result of a webinar that Jane and Alice Pope (Editor of Children’s Writers and Illustrators Marketplace)ran that day on her site. I made a mental note to go back when I had time and post a link....ah the killer words in that last sentence -when I had time-
So belatedly I post this for you to peruse and then you can all go over to Jane’s blog and look at the other great things she has posted since then.
For my blog readers, here are the common problems that we identified during the webinar:
• Flashback on first page
• Too much backstory or explanation, slowing story down
• Waiting for the protagonist to appear (or unclear protagonist)
• Starting with an alarm clock or ringing phone
• Lots of characters introduced on first page
• Ordinary day stuff (getting out of bed, walking to kitchen, etc)
• Ordinary crisis moment without distinct voice or twist
• Too much telling about the story, not enough showing
• Nothing happens -- no action or problem
• Interior monologue: in character's head, just lots of thinking, no acting or interaction with anyone else
• Predictable story start or story line without a unique take
• More of a journal entry (stream of consciousness), and not a story
• Wrong starting point; not starting at a point of change
• Too confusing, not enough reason or motivation to figure out what's happening
Ahh so... I had a nagging feeling about one of my novels and this helps to put it in perspective. Thank You Jane!
However the novel will have to wait for, When I Have Time. The big words...Today I had two must reply emails, a funding form to investigate and my blog to write, in the time the baby is asleep, which is the only time I get uninterrupted. So of course I answered four must reply emails, sent five urgent ones, followed up the funding app and am now just attacking the blog....countdown to baby wakeup is on...
Conference is morphing all over the place....we are in the middle of confirming speakers and making arrangements and waiting on funding...and and and...It is just going crazy but in a good way I hasten to add....I know you are all waiting....some not so patiently...we are working hard...the next time I blithely say ‘oh lets hold a conference....” Hold me down...wash out my mouth... So if you know you want to come to Wellington around the 18-20 September you might start looking at flights....
yikes baby awake....
pic is of The planet... (the novel feels so far away at the moment...)