Showing posts with label Susan Kaye Quin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Susan Kaye Quin. Show all posts

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Long Haul Writing Career

Today I was reflecting on my online home. It’s part of the spring cleaning happening here. Over ten years I hadn’t changed much on the blog. Now that I have a little bit of energy and because I have a book coming out in a few months, I’m getting more creative and adding new things like a new books website. What will my writing life look like going forward? I’m in re-launch mode of my writing career.
Jane Friedman wrote an interesting article this week on whether authors should concentrate on Social Media or their Author Websites. Note: it is now assumed that all authors will have a website. (and if not... why not?)

Kris Rusch has also been looking at author career longevity. How are the mid-listers faring at their respective publishing houses? Do they still have a career? Are publishers thinking about their business in terms of the long haul?

Joanna Penn has just celebrated her sixth year as an author entrepreneur. She breaks down all the things she has learned on her journey and why she has a long term mentality for her writing career. It’s all about the pension plan...

Susan Kaye Quinn has written an interesting article on the Alli blog about going wide – selling on multiple online platforms instead of just Amazon.  Susan is a powerhouse of great information. (As we head into the next national children’s writers conference, I am reminded that I interviewed SKQ for a keynote speech at the last conference. She knocked it out of the park!)

If you are thinking about a long career you need to keep your eye on the international markets. Diana Urban takes a look at seven things you can do to get more international exposure.

Book Marketing Tools has an in depth look at how to attract and engage more readers. After all that is what makes a career in the long term. This is a great read and a bookmark post.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing podcast team interviewed Brian McClellan on the state of epic fantasy in traditional publishing. It is a very interesting interview and some of the things Brian talks about were surprising. A must watch if you are into epic fantasy.

Screenwriters have to be able to characterise quickly in their writing. Knowing common archetypes is a must in their business. Take a look at this list of ninety nine archetypes and stock characters.

In The Craft Section,

10 dialogue errors to avoid- Writers Writer- Bookmark

How to write without filtering- Ava Jae- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Marketing in person- Maria Dismondy

Daily deal services- 18 promo sites- Writer Unboxed-Bookmark

Changes in Social Media – Frances Caballo- Bookmark

To Finish,

I am revisiting a great post by Jane Friedman on the importance of author collectives. This has been on my mind this week as I wrapped up the judging for my stint hosting the FABO Story Writing competition for kids. Fabo Story has been going since 2011- with a few new faces but the same core cast from way back then. That’s a long haul as a collective.


It’s time for my monthly newsletter to go out. I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get my nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.  The blog runs on coffee. If you want to shout me one, please hit the coffee tab. Thanks.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hand Wringing

This week was a turbulent one in the blogosphere.
There was angst about the U.S elections, Angst about Author Solutions, Angst about Mike Shatzkin’s blog.

General Angst everywhere.

Phillip Jones of the Bookseller, finally got Andrew Phillips of Penguin Random House to talk about Author Solutions. Andrew laid out one side of the story where PRH thought Author Solutions was a good idea. 'Unfortunately a few authors have disagreed.' 
‘A few,’ spluttered the leading commenter’s. With class actions happening, every major writer organisation’s complaints ignored and a long list of complaints from writers who have lost large sums of money there was an outpouring of disgust over the article. If you weren’t sure about Author Solutions and their imprints for big publishers this is required reading.

Staying on the subject of assisted publishing Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware tried to contact author Steve Alten. She was concerned about the look of his new publishing venture to help other authors, but had no success until Chuck Wendig wrote a blog about it.  What is the definition of a vanity press? Chuck laid it out and then there was the response from Steve. The tennis match of eyeballs on the responses from each side played out all over social media.

Mike Shatzkin, publishing futurist, published a blog this week where he talked about changing his mind on what is happening with Agency and print sales. Porter wrote a piece discussing this. It is all very murky. Has Amazon put one over the publishers by getting them to agree to Agency conditions where they set the prices? Have publishers’ tactic of inflating eBook prices until they were more expensive than buying a print copy helped print sales and booksellers or is it all an elaborate lie. Are adult Colouring In books skewing what is really happening in print sales?

If you wanted to try your hand at publishing a colouring in book Joanna Penn has a comprehensive interview with Meg Cowly on how to do it.

Novel Approach, a book review blog, discovered that Amazon has pulled all their reviews and they are legit. They can’t get them back and Amazon won’t talk to them.

We need some good news!
Susan Kaye Quinn breezed in with a great post on finding joy in our writing. This saved us from being overcome with despair.

In the Craft Section,
Why scripts are rejected- Becca Puglisi

In the Marketing Section,

How to make eBook design count- comprehensive by DBW- Bookmark

To Finish,
Nosy Crow Publishers wrote about how they select books to publish. They are a nimble bunch in London.
Top Agent Kristen Nelson wrote about her first year under the new request regime of asking for the first 10 pages up front. If the authors were sweating over the query letter- Kristen was finding that the first ten pages really showed if authors knew their craft. Angst in a good way over this blog.


Tweet from Victoria this afternoon... scary.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Talking Across The Room

This week ahead of the Futurebook conference, a day was organised in London where authors and publishers got together and talked to each other. This is unusual in the book business as generally the dialogue is one sided. If you do a Twitter search on #authorday it will bring up some pithy quotes that were said throughout the day to authors and publishers by authors and publishers. The first report of #authorday is up on The Bookseller – Can we trust each other? It is a must read.

Among the discussions at Author Day was the continued lack of illustrator credit in the book business. Sarah McIntyre has made this a special campaign and after Author Day updated her website to reflect this. Pictures Do Mean Business For Illustrators. Authors need to read this!

Also discussed at Author Day – Assisted Publishing and Agents as Publishers. Jane Friedman has an interview with an agent that does this... Is it ethical?

The Author Earnings team of Hugh Howey and Data Guy have turned their sights on Amazon UK. Are the results the same as the US? Some interesting takeaways here... especially for global bestsellers.

Roz Morris has been taking a close look at pseudonyms especially in this digital world where a Google search can haul up stuff you may not want associated with your pseudonym.

21 ways to turn your book into a business - this is great advice for Non Fiction writers.

If you are juggling a writing life with full time work you need to read Darcy Pattison’s excellent blog post on ways to make your life a little easier along with the 10 must have qualities for the Indie author.

In the Craft Section,

7 easy ways to research – K M Weiland

The biggest problem in beginnings - Agent Sarah Davies

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
I will wrap up the year next week... in the mean time if you have a project ready to go Pit Mad will be taking over Twitter on December 4th (US time.) Have fun!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Flagging Down Karma

This week the power of group/mob behaviour was in full view around the blogosphere.
And it wasn’t pretty!

E L James had a torrid time on an ‘Ask E L James’ Twitter chat that her PR people should never have enabled. Mob behaviour was in evidence when she was publically vilified at a live event. You can hate the stories... just don’t read them, but don’t attack the author. They are a human being. Porter reports on the fallout and how Chuck Wendig coped with it.
For the anonymous haters who hide behind computer screens and avatars to say hate speech- there will be KARMA.

This week Apple’s appeal against their sentence of collusion with the big publishers got thrown out. (See Karma...) Fortune magazine details just our cozy the deals Apple and the publishers made. It is not pretty reading.

Scribd, the ebook subscription company, has come up against the voracious romance reader and decided that limiting their subscription is the way to go. There are howls of protest from readers who are instantly penalised for reading too much and from writers who find their books have just disappeared. The Bookseller looks at the issue and what might be a solution.

Writers trying to get their head around the new Amazon subscription service pay per page read would do well to check out Susan Kaye Quinn’s comparison breakdown. Susan’s straight forward analysis clearly shows the writer just what a pay per page means as opposed to a borrow. Math wins and so do some writers.

Fake online reviews are still happening and some authors are being burned by negative review campaigns. Amazon is rolling out some new algorithms to clean this up. Porter talks about what can be done, should be done, is being done about sock puppetry.

In the Craft Section,

The writers skill- Stephen Pressfield

Truth and Fiction- Girl Cliques- Becca Puglisi (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

Book marketing checklist –Tim Grahl (Comprehensive)

Book marketing plans – (Bookmark)

Book Market results- Nicholas Rossis (Fascinating! Bookmark)

Website of the Week
Grammar – You can’t ignore it. There are some great websites out there to help you write more better (spot the deliberate grammar mangling.) Check out the Grammarly blog for nifty tips and great articles.

To Finish,
Jane Friedman has an interview with Nathan Bransford on her blog. Nathan has been it all... an agent, a writer, a reviewer.... He is in a unique position to comment on today’s publishing industry.


Pic: From Grammarly blog on writing retreats.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Challenging Contracts

This week my Twitter feed is still full of the Kindle Unlimited pay per page write ups from media... So much angst out there.
What does it mean? Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service- like a library. Authors who have their book in KU (which is exclusive) used to be paid per borrow. Now they will be paid per page read. If you write short stories- great. If you write page turning epic fantasies of encyclopedia proportions- great. If you write boring rip offs of turgid junk - not so great. This comment seems to sum it up - They are paying us to write well.

 The Authors Guild fair contract campaign is gathering momentum. Take a look at what the Authors Guild are asking for... Are you shocked that authors don’t get these rights in their contracts? After years of reading Writer Beware posts... I think its about time Publishers were being called on this.

This week Taylor Swift called out Apple for not paying artists on free trials of their music streaming service... and Apple backed down. Phillip Jones from The Bookseller notes what Taylor has done for the music industry and asks do we need Taylor to come over to publishing because there are a few things...

Molly Greene has an interesting post on estate planning forthe self published writer. Even if you are traditionally published you need to think about your literary estate. Have you got any ideas on what might happen to your work? If you have a shonky contract your publisher may be able to do anything....

 Anne R Allen writes some good solid advice. Here she outlines the six bad reasons to write a novel and also the six good reasons.

James Scott Bell has the ten things you need to know about the writing life. This is a print it out and stick it on your wall kind of post!

Janice Hardy has an Indie Author business series happening on her blog. This week Marcy Kennedy is looking at competitive analysis in the business plan. This is a fascinating dig deep look at your genre and what works…. (Bookmark)

Recently Susan Kaye Quinn was interviewed by Lindsay Buroker for the SFF Marketing podcast. This was a wide ranging interview just stuffed with great questions and answers about what works and what doesn’t for marketing online. This is well worth a watch! It is long so set some time aside. I’m really looking forward to chatting with Susan at our conference in October.

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
All writers go through the feeling like a fraud syndrome, sometimes every day. Bob Mayer has some questions for you to ponder about how far into The Imposter Syndrome you are and tips for getting over it.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Either … Or

This week the theme of my weekly roundup seems to be which ever path you choose... choose wisely. 

Jane’s Friedman has a great post on whether self publishing will get you a traditional deal. This has become a bit of a Cinderella story in the last year and a lot of people seem to be racing to self publish because they can... but whether they should is another story.  Porter Anderson takes a close look at the overselling of self publishing.

Kris Rusch has a great blog and is well worth reading frequently. This week she comments on writing by committee. It is a great read and I found myself nodding, having experienced it in the educational publishing world. Some times the ‘team’ can kill the storytelling aspect of the story. Kris then lists what you need to do to succeed as a writer. First get a reader, not a writer, to read the finished draft.

Joanna Penn has been at a crime writer’s conference and she was asked about the pro’s and con’s of self publishing. Joanna outlines honestly what she is thinks is the good and the bad and has advice for those people trying to make up their minds.

Jane Friedman has a post up on her blog about literary self publishing. Can you even do this? It seems to be accepted that the literary genre is steeped in the traditional publishing model. But really literary is just a genre and you can self publish it if you are careful about it.

James Scott Bell continues his series - Is our writing culture in mortal danger? This week he looks at whether it is a good time to be a writer. He says yes and then tells you why. Long live storytelling.

A great storyteller, Susan Kaye Quinn has a nifty post on the 5 tips for success as a self publisher. Susan has straight forward advice which can also apply to traditional publishing. Susan will be a Keynote speaker at Tinderbox 2015 and I’m looking forward to talking with her on her publishing career. Check out the webinar at the end of her post. (hint: It’s another keynote theme.)

This week Google pulled books out of Google Play because of the pirating issues. But how come it took a huge Dutch collective to make them do something about it.

The Passive Guy has an interesting discussion this week on whether you should respond to negative reviews. Should you even respond to the good reviews? The comments are always where the discussion is.

In the Craft Section,

Story descriptions and depth in stories from the incomparable K M Weiland

How to develop your theme – Janice Hardy

Staying in character – the convergence of POV and voice – C S Lakin

Fun writing exercise – Joe Bunting- Bookmark

How to justify your writing time – Julie Duffy (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

10 tips for choosing the right book title –Anne R Allen This is a Bookmark post!

Email marketing for authors- Tim Grahl (Bookmark)

If you are really serious about writing for the market, check out this piece of software.

Website of the Week
Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi started a little website (The Bookshelf Muse) exploring words that described emotion. Then the Emotion Thesaurus was born followed by The Positive Trait Thesaurus and then The Negative Trait Thesaurus. These books are fast becoming the go to indispensible books on the writer’s desk, right next to the dictionary. Angela and Becca have just launched their fourth book The Emotional Wounds Thesaurus... and it looks just as great as their other books.

To Finish,
A few weeks ago I had a link to standing desks... these are designed to help the writer be less sedentary and healthier. Writer Bruce Brady asks whether writers really know what a good back support system is. He gives examples. Today on Twitter this exercise regime was being passed around. Either you take care of yourself OR you face the consequences.


Pic: Flickr /Creative Commons – Dave Lenker

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Productivity and Risk

Last week the writing blogosphere was up in arms about that MFA dude and his comments about students doing MFA’s and their talent or lack of it. When people calmed down there was some great writing about talent. Do you need it? Is hard work enough? Melinda Szymanik has a great comment on this.

Kristen Lamb looks at the evolution of the writer from Neophyte to Master and all the stages in between.

Cathy Yardley looks at the publishing cycle... What happens when you get the next big thing? With the publishing lag to bookstore sometimes taking two years how will you know if your genre will still be hot? She has also got a great post on how to prevent publishing agony.

Publishing perspectives has an interesting article on whether US and UK publishing is getting stale. Is this why they are mining the Asian and European market for stories they can translate?

Over the last year Mike Shatzkin (publishing futurist) has had a straight up learning curve on the disruption of the publishing industry. Here he identifies the ways publishers need to change their ideas about marketing.

Victoria Mixon has an interesting article about copyright.Yes it applies to blogs. Self publishers need to be very aware of the risks of copying content.

In the Craft Section,

If you have ever wished for writing prompts Reedsy is for you. Every hour a new one.

World building and the freedom, or not to do this in speculative fiction.

In the Marketing section.
Joel Friedlander takes a look at the different ways to publish now.

Website of the Week
Joel Friedlander is The Book Designer but if you trawl around his site you find out so much more... from interesting articles on fonts to his amazing Book Design Templates.

To Finish
Jane Friedman has put together a survey for Authors about how they are feeling about their publishers... early indicators are in. It might surprise you. Do you want to risk not knowing?


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Cost Of Writing

What are the odds that a reclusive writer who wrote one book that has topped best seller lists for nearly 60 years would suddenly decide that the time is right at age 88 with severe medical issues (deaf and nearly blind) to bring out the first book she ever wrote.  (insert dead fish smell here.) 

This has been the main topic of conversation this week in the publishing blogosphere.

Once the usual literary crowd finished celebrating that Harper Lee was releasing a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird then saner heads started asking why and the story becomes increasingly unlikely. Is it a rights grab by a lawyer who took over Harper’s sister, Alice's, law firm after her death a few months ago. Is HarperCollins behaving ethically in this whole affair? Is the lawyer to be trusted or have they played a very long game? There are lots of questions around this. Where is Atticus Finch when his creator needs him?

Staying with things legal... Tess Gerritson talks about what is happening with her landmark legal battle with Warner Brothers who bought out New Line who had the option on her book Gravity 15 years ago... and it makes for some nervous reading for writers selling film options.

So the first two items this week are after the book has been written, Chuck Wendig looks at the emotional rollercoaster of writing the book with his handy guide.

Susan Kaye Quinn talks about the need to create... and how that jumbly mixed up feeling is telling you something important.

That something important could be the startling finding from last weeks author earnings report about that 30% of books being published without ISBN’s. Here in NZ we are in a relatively fortunate position of getting free ISBN’s. But in the rest of the world it is a different story. It is a real cost. Porter looks at the issues raised by the author earnings report and then discussion over ISBN’s and their value get a hammering in the comments.

If you have a toe in the academic publishing world these five predictions for 2015 are for you.

Seth Godin amplifies his call to publishers that if you aren’t selling direct to consumer you are....

In the Craft Section,
Kristen Nelson on what is uneven writing

Susan Kaye Quinn on not rushing to publish

Writing exercises - changing the tail.

In the Marketing Section,
The big story this week is Bookbaby beginning Print On Demand. This is big news for those who don’t want all their stuff in the Amazon basket. Canny marketers have also discovered how you can play both sides...

Jami Gold on branding 101

Odd Stuff

To Finish

It is possible that Harper Lee stared at each of the 5 reasons why writers avoid writing in the face and took them on board or she didn’t know how to follow up the first book (first book syndrome) or, as everybody suspects, the phenomenal success frightened her to reclusiveness. But if this is a rights grab... it will be a landmark in publishing... as the day when some publishers lost all moral credibility.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Eclectic Gifts

It is an eclectic mix of links for you all today (a day late, SORRY)

In The News,
Hachette is working with Gumroad using Twitter to sell selected books.  (No prizes for guessing why after their recent experience with Amazon.) This is really interesting and may change the face of online buying. Gumroad enables creative people to sell work directly using social media.Their first test (today), Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking sold out in 20 minutes. 

Bookbaby ends its free distribution of eBooks. Indie Pub Magazine looks at what this might mean for authors.

Zoe Sugg, author of best selling book Girl Online, reveals they had a ghostwriter help.

People are still finding ways that Kindle Unlimited subscriptions are not necessarily helping the author. Go in with Eyes Wide Open.

Anne R Allen talks about how to craft a blog for the long haul.

Two wonderful writers who produce a lot of work look back on 2014 and examine where they went wrong. These are two very good articles on production and marketing schedules and organization. Kris Rusch - Business Musing and Popcorn Kittens and Johnny B Truant – 15 Self-publishing lessonsin 2014

With NaNoWriMo over, thoughts are turning to revision checklists.As any writer will tell you the work is in the rewriting!

In the Craft Section,

10 thoughts about writing sex in YA (good stuff in this article)

In the Marketing Section,

What are agents, editors and art directors looking for when they search you online -InkyGirl

Joanna Penn - Interview with Reedsy. Another of Joanna’s amazing info packed interviews. (Reedsy is an author concierge service with a difference)

Looming up on the horizon, Christmas! I am constantly being asked what do I want for Christmas. That’s tough because the asker can’t actually deliver the tropical island with the dedicated time to write and cocktails. Some good pens, kids!

In the Christmas Gifts Section,
Gifts for Writers – Chuck Wendig (usual warnings)

To Finish,
Some Charts...
The Periodic Table... yes but its figures of speech
Do you have Writing Talent? –Jane Friedman

The mad mad mad world of End of School Year and Christmas has overtaken. If you are lucky you may get one more post this year.


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