Showing posts with label WriteOnCon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WriteOnCon. Show all posts

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Bad Actors

Today I was perusing Twitter for interesting writing links and I noticed that there was an online chat with Victoria Strauss from Writer Beware. What a super site. Victoria mentioned that it was started in 1998 with the late Ann Crispin. If you put #bookmarketingchat in the Twitter search box you can get a great rundown on the shonky clauses and bad hat operators out there in publishing land from today’s chat.

Chuck Wendig published a thoughtful piece on a trend he is seeing that he is NOT OK with. The soliciting of blurbs from authors for unpublished novels or novels on submission or before they have been edited. Blurbs for editors to take to acquisitions meetings??? So they’ll only publish if you’ve got fancy writer friends? (Not to mention shady opportunities.)

Agent Janet Reid has also highlighted a problem with agent persona theft that is happening.
If an agent is contacting you first… check up! Are they bona fide?

While we’re on bad ideas… Hugh Howey recently published a blog article where he describes the inertia of bad ideas in the writer’s room. He is taking part in a writer’s room for screenwriters at the moment and watching what happens when a writer gets an idea that proves to be bad and how everybody can get carried away trying to make it fit.

Kris Rusch has an interesting article this week on learning from watching horrible performances. What worked? What didn’t? Where was the point that the audience was lost? Now, how could you apply lessons learned in your manuscript?

Apparently, Google Play have made it easier to publish on their platform. After making it really hard last year that many aggregators gave up on them. I went hunting for an explanation and found this article by Publish Drive on how to get yourself into Google Play.

Meanwhile over in Sweden, The New Publishing Standard has a remarkable post today on the tipping point of digital versus print in their publishing landscape. The subscription model in the Nordic countries might be breathing life into the backlist but what about the printers…This makes the recent meeting of printers and publishers in the US have a lot more meaning for the future of print publishing.

Scribendi has put together their list of the 30 best writer’s websites in 2020. Take a look. There are some tried and true sites that have featured here over the years and some new ones you might like to explore.

Written Word Media has published a list of the top ten trends that 2020 will bring to publishing so be prepared. 

Have you heard of a Mary Sue? Do you know what it means? Are they the kiss of death in your novel? Litreactor takes a look at this writer/superhero stand in.

James Scott Bell is one of the better writing craft gurus around. This week he looks at the themes of The Kings Speech and what writers can learn from the way the beats were used to mine emotion in the film.

In The Craft Section,

Mapping story settings – Sara Letourneau

The a-z of novel writing- Writers Digest- (very creative)

In The Marketing Section,

Author websites- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

The perils of also boughts – Penny Sansevieri

A marketing roadmap – Insecure writers Support group – Bookmark

To Finish,

Write On Con is on this weekend! If you are interested in writing for children you need to check out this online conference. It is affordable… $10 and the range of presenters is top notch. The all you can eat feast of craft, workshops, pitching opportunities, marketing, illustrators, writers, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all schedule is here. (US eastern time)


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Pic: Salvador Dali- Not a Bad Actor but I couldn't resist that moustache! (photographer Phillippe Halsman 1942)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Are There Icebergs Ahead?

I sent out my newsletter yesterday, where I complained about the heat.
Sorry Northern Hemisphere writers. But while you are getting polar blasts we are getting
record breaking heat waves.- A sign of things to come.

Kris Rusch has been musing on signs of things to come and they make unhappy reading.
Based on Simon and Schuster’s end of year report from their happy CEO,
writers had better be understanding all the contracts that they sign.
THIS IS A MUST READ. (cue sirens, hooters and bells… if you don’t understand IP
then you really really need to read this.)

In news around the publishing blogosphere....
The Man group are pulling out of the MAN Booker Prize.
Hints and rumours are already suggesting they have a replacement sponsor.

Events on the near horizon… WriteOnCon!
Next weekend be prepared for the 3 day online Kidlit writers conference.
Every year I wonder how I can get away from the house and dive into all the goodies on offer
in an exclusive writing cave where I can binge watch presentations. Check out the schedule
and the price is sooooooo  Cheeap!

Meanwhile in happier author news- Draft2Digital has rolled out a schedules promotion tool for authors.
If you drop the price on all outlets and then have to race round manually requesting a price drop this is for you.
You can check out the link here on The SPA Girls podcast page.
(This is a cracking good podcast for Indie authors.) Dan Wood of Draft2Digital was their guest this week.

Reedsy has a nifty blog with interesting articles.  If you are thinking about your 2019 goals take a look
at How To Start A Publishing Company then read Joanna Penn’s guest Bonnie Baguley on
Why authors should throw out their timeline to success. 

Harper Glenn has an interesting post on Writer Unboxed- Are you tethered to the wrong story?
This is one of those posts that make sense of that niggly feeling when you open your word doc and frown.

Bang 2 Write has a great website on all things script for authors. This week they had a great article
on why lack of structure is killing your characters and a recent nifty one on Productivity.

Jami Gold has a great article on How Pantsers Develop Characters. If this is you- it’s a must read…

In The Craft Section,

Writing for an audiobook- Writer Unboxed- Juliet Marillier

Check out the Character motivations as well.

5 essentials for opening scenes- Mythcrants- Bookmark

Story Planning - which way is best -Jane Friedman- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section

Using Microsoft Sway - WordDreams

12 Book marketing tips- Marketing for Writers- Bookmark

To Finish

If you are looking at your Manuscript and wondering if it is an iceberg on which your writer boat might hit.
A few words of wisdom from Stephen King via Ruth Harris on Anne R Allen’s excellent blog
might be your life saver. The 10% rule and the secret power of …..


In my monthly newsletter, coming soon, 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 a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee- hit the coffee button up top. Thanks.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What’s In A Name...

I was listening today to the Spa Girls podcast on pen names and it got me thinking about how much a name identifies the author brand. In my blog posts I use the names of the content creators I reference as my label tags. This is probably against all the blogging rules. I have a list of experts whom I see as essential to check in with on a regular basis to provide overview of the industry or smart tips or new ideas. They are among the best in the business so I know that I am passing on quality advice.

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware is someone that you should check in with if you are ever offered a ‘too good to be true,’ deal or for peace of mind. This week Writer Beware had a post about all the clones that Author Solutions spawned. It makes sobering reading. There are so many hydras in the forest of publishing.

Joanna Penn and Orna Ross get together once a month to talk about issues for experienced authors in a Q and A for Alli. This week they were talking about personal branding, the latest Author Earnings report and the controversy it has caused, and rebranding the Indie Author Fringe conferences

Along with this good advice Alli have put together a quick overview of author business models. What systems should you be thinking of putting in place for your author business?

Kris Rusch continues her look at 2017 and turns it around for 2018. Self publishing is not the new kid on the block. Indie publishers are now a force with almost 1 in 5 books sold coming out of the Indie community. Kris and her husband Dean have more than 30 years in the publishing industry doing everything you can think of. They are the Go To people for the Gurus of the Indie world.

Jane Friedman has a guest blog on her website about rocking a free promotion day. If you are trying to get the word out about your book, here are some places and tips you can try.

Last week I highlighted all the big changes that have happened in the last two weeks in publishing. It’s not over yet. Barnes and Noble, America’s biggest bricks and mortar bookstore, want you to tell them what you like about the book you just read. The Digital Reader is trying out their beta version... Competition for Goodreads anyone?

Write On Con starts tomorrow... Online free conference for children’s writers... Jump on over and check out the fun.
Bookbub have a list of suggestions if you want to sell your books overseas... and it doesn’t cost much!

Kimberly Rempel has written a guest post on perfectionism and how it can derail the author. This is a timely post as I find that reading some very fine books over the Christmas period has left me a little flat when I look at my own writing. I must follow Kimberley’s advice.

In The Craft Section,

Using indirect dialogue- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

Writing characters clothing- Now Novel-Bookmark

Pattern and Repetition- Gabriela Pereira- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Mistakes made in book promotion- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Bookstagram (Instagram tips)- Bookriot

To Finish, 

Among other groups rebranding their identities are the Self Publishing Guys who kicked down the doors of publishing and said follow us into the promised land. Jonny, Sean and Dave are pivoting... into something new.... Check out their new venture in their own typical style...

(It’s really me...)

In my monthly newsletter 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 a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. This blog runs on goodwill and coffee. If you want to shout me one, just hit the coffee button on the top right. Thanks.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Looking After Ourselves

This week after a long time away Author Earnings came back with a roar. They have sharpened up their spider bots and have delved deep into the data and have found more interesting things about all things publishing with Amazon... and they are sharing some interesting data finds with authors.
Because they are so much better at combing the data, Passive Guy was moved to sound a warning that they have to be careful as they know more about the industry of publishing than some big publishers do and this might open themselves up for lawsuits.

Mike Shatzkin has also been looking at the publishing business and he checked in with Data Guy about some key things in the book selling industry. Data Guy backs up most of what Mike has been pointing out over the last few years. There are some interesting points about Romance books and bestseller lists. (If you want a sneak preview about where we all might be heading with retail stores check out Amazon Go – Its newest bricks and mortar store.)

Agent Laurie McClean has been crystal ball gazing about what is going to be hot around the publishing offices. (If you want to get a quick glance at what agents are calling for type #MSWL in theTwitter search bar.)

Have you checked out the sexism in children’s books lately? The Guardian has and made a special study of it too. I was surprised to see such high figures of gender imbalance. Did you know that most main character animals are male?

Publishers Weekly has a great post by Jane Friedman on the value of free content... no, it’s not valueless, It is all in how you use it.

The book industry got together recently in Tunisia to look at finally doing something about piracy. Publishing Perspectives reports on the conference and the piracy discussion. It might be a case of too late...

WriteOnCon is back! The free online 3 day children’s writing conference starts in a few  weeks. Check out the schedule and book some time to soak up the great posts on your calendar. (If you write for children you really should check it out!)

Are you a healthy writer? I’m not at the moment. Moving anywhere in this heat wave is exhausting. However over the years I have been looking at standing desks and dictation. I finally got my computer to accept dictation... Unfortunately that computer is heading problems with my excellent stop it doesn’t speak clearly- (Translation; Unfortunately the computer is having problems with my accent. It doesn’t speak kiwi.) Joanna Penn has a great excerpt from her latest book on the healthy writer on dictation.

Joanna has also interviewed Alex Anders on writing diverse characters. Are you doing this correctly or are they all cardboard cutout cliches...?

In The Craft Section,

Writing a Novella- Mythic Scribes- Bookmark

7 steps to plotting a novel- Martha Alderson- Bookmark

Learn How to write as you read- Now Novel - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Promotion tips – The Book Designer- Bookmark

How to rock a free day promotion- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

Facebook changes their news feed... what does it means for authors? A must read on how the changes affect you.

To Finish,

With all the planning for the year underway... Writers need to take care of themselves too. Sometimes we find it hard and we wonder why. Lauren Sapala has a great article on mental attitudes that trip us up, and how we can trick our brains out of sabotaging us.


In my monthly newsletter 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 a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. If you want to shout me a coffee just hit the hit the coffee button. I’m nose deep in iced coffee to cope with the heatwave...Thanks.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November Madness

Hello November,
It’s NaNoWriMo! The twitter feed fills up with great posts on craft and motivation and freaked out writers. This year, I told myself, will be the year I finally manage to complete the challenge. Day One – Tick, Day Two- gulp. My husband thinks I’m crazy because I’ve got to write a 40 minute presentation for an award ceremony at the end of the month.* I thought about using NaNo for the presentation but writing non fiction is HARD! So I’m cracking into Book 3 of my Space series... yeah.... um...
Elizabeth Spann Craig has a great post on being a NaNoWriMo Rebel. This is when you use the tools and do some other writing... (hmmm maybe I can add up all the words I write each day....)
Now Novel has an excellent breakdown on planning your NaNo project. It’s so good it should be put away to use for every book project.

This week Stealing From The Author was the topic of the week. Maggie Stiefvater wrote a candid look at how piracy has affected her booksales and the implications for the writer. This is a must read so you can use the arguments to educate young people who don’t see anything wrong with book piracy.

Passive Guy, who is a lawyer in his day job, wrote about a young Internet entrepreneur’s reaction when a photographer sued him forcopyright breach. If it’s on the Internet it must be free to use....
(shakes head sadly...)

Kris Rusch has detailed some very shady dealings practiced by TV and film companies when negotiating rights to film your work. This was eye opening to me. If you hope to be in the position to sell these rights for your own work you MUST read this. (Stops to think grand thoughts about NaNoWriMo project.)

This week I got an email from a content provider. This isn’t unusual, most weeks I get these fishing emails that tell me they read something on my blog... and they want to guest post. I usually delete them... because they haven’t read my blog but this one was different. First they said they had come across an article I had linked to...(ho hum I thought) but then they went on to say it had given them the idea to do a new and expanded version. I took a look and WOW. This is a comprehensive collection of tools to write, research, automate, produce... anything creative!

Publishing perspectives has an interview with Maks Giordano who was speaking at the Frankfurt Book fair on hyperinnovation. He talks about the changes that publishing companies will have to make in the very near future... that agile indie publishers are already doing.

Jane Friedman has an interview with Jay Swanson, a writer that has been V-logging his daily life. He uses this as his promotion for his books. It is an interesting marketing idea. (If you think my life is awesome then check out my books...) He also uses Patreon. If you live in exotic locales this could be an interesting marketing tactic for you...

Ruth Harris has a great post on using authentic historical detail to enrich your writing. She details some of the things you should be adding into your writing... this can apply to all genres. A must read!

In The Craft Section,

4 ways to launch a scene- Jordan Rosenfeld- Bookmark

Villainous struggles-writing villains- Y A topia

Mastering deep POV.- Writer Unboxed Bookmark

Character Archetypes- Now Novel – Bookmark

NaNoWriMo success- Chuck Wendig (usual warnings) – Must Read- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Checklist on book listing- Nate Hoffelder- Bookmark

Advice on query letters- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

Promo sites- Nicolas Erik- Bookmark

How to get book reviews- Joel Friedlander- Bookmark

To Finish,

WriteOnCon is having a kickstarter. This is a virtual online writing conference for Children’s and YA writers. They have some amazing perks up for grabs... Take a scroll down the list. WriteOnCon is next year and costs $5. (not a typo... ) If you want to treat yourself for achieving the first day of NaNoWriMo...

* I was humbled/gobsmacked to receive the Betty Gilderdale Award announced this week. (Am still in a state of shock...)


In my monthly newsletter 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 a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. If you want to feed my caffeine habit feel free to hit the coffee tab. I’ll need it this month!

Pic: Flickr  CreativeCommons – J E Theriot- Who remembers this happening in typing class?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Merry Go Round

As I write this, news is filtering out from agents and publishers on Twitter about changes to the New York Times Bestsellers List. In 2015 The NY Times added a lot of categories that were seen as good news for publishers and authors in the diverse and children’s markets. Not any more. It seems that most of the children’s books categories have been pulled leaving only MG and YA Hardcover and Picture Books and Series. Mass Market Paperback and Graphic Novel bestseller lists have been pulled. Print and Ebooks have been combined.
I haven’t been able to find an official report on this but I expect it will come soon. (Edit Update, Now out from Publishers Weekly
Publishers and Agents are already flagging that unless you have a lot of marketing dollars to go hardcover, chances will be slim to get on the list in future.
In other news George Orwell’s 1984 is topping the Bestseller lists... I wonder why?

In the decline and fall category, but in a good way... Writer Beware points to the latest Bowker statistics. The drop in ISBNS issued to Author Solutions companies...

Now that the Digital Book World Conference is finished, people are reporting on all the great ideas to take forward into 2017. Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson have a comprehensive roundup of ideas, themes and tips discussed. And Goodreads gets specific with their 7 Savvy Insights for Book Marketing from DBW17.
Take some time to look at what everyone was talking about.

Publishing Perspectives took a look at New Zealand’s Storylines Festival changes. If you haven’t caught up with the news... coming to a small town somewhere in the provinces this year...

Joanna Penn has a guest post from Rachel Amphlett on her popular site about getting into libraries. However if you are in Auckland on February 11th you can see Joanna Penn in person and learn lots of tips about Self Publishing and Marketing books in person. Joanna also talks about 5 ways to make money from your books in 2017.

Elizabeth Craig has a great post on preorders. She has been trialing them and she writes about what impacts they have on her writing and sales.

Larry Brooks has an interesting post on the bottom line explanation of why authors fail. This is a must read and a soul search.

Roni Loren has an inspirational post on choosing a word that will encapsulate your writing year.

The 12 by 12 Picturebook challenge is on. Every year I say this year will be the year to do it... and then I get sidetracked. Go and have a look. It is awesome!
Reminder also Write On Con is coming soon...

In The Craft Section,

Reverse Outlining- Purdue University

An authors guide to Book Subtitles-Ingram Spark  Bookmark

Writing Memoir- Think outside the book- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

How to make a good story in 9 steps – Now Novel- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,


Sell sheets – Judith Briales- on The Book Designer- Bookmark

Podcasting for authors -Sean Platt-Bookmark

To Finish,

The SFF Marketing podcast is well worth your time. The team of Lindsay Buroker, Joe Lallo and Jeff Poole have great guests and the marketing discussions are universal. Their latest podcast is on the 80/20 marketing ruleand tips learned in 2016. 

And if you are looking for more resources check out this list of Apps for the Serious Writer.

Everyone is heading back to school and work this week. Get your writing plans locked in and jump on the Merry Go Round again.


If you want to catch up on the best of my bookmarked links every month make sure you subscribe to my newsletter.    

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