Showing posts with label christchurch earthquake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christchurch earthquake. Show all posts

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Going With Your Gut...

The speed of modern publishing varies. 

Recently I was trying to explain to my mother why I haven’t heard anything about my manuscript from a publisher. But they just don’t read it and say yes straightaway Mum. They have to consider whether it will make them any money. They have to get second opinions. Convince marketing, etc etc. Sometimes they take manuscripts out to bookshops and say read this, should we publish. Do you think it will sell?

And sometimes they hang onto manuscripts for a long time...None of my manuscripts have been less than 6 months sitting on an Editors desk. Bones spent a year being considered before I got a voice message saying they would take it.

I get accused of giving publishers too much leniency. I play fair by them as I expect they would play fair with me.

So yesterday when a prominent member of the Wellington Kidlit Community emailed me to tell me of a book that was conceived, written, illustrated, designed, published in print and ebook with a  dedicated website and youtube trailer in three weeks. It completely blew my mind.

The team involved have publishing cred. They have hit the market with a picture book that draws on the recent Christchurch earthquake experience. They decided to see if they could get this project out the door and available within a month of the event. And they succeeded. Everyone donated their time and skills. All proceeds to the Red Cross.

To do this they had to duck the Traditional Publishing way of submitting the project and waiting on decisions and they just went with their gut! They set up a publishing company and whammo. Curly from Shirley is out.

In the writing blogosphere the news in the last two days has been about the astonishing decision of Barry Eisler to reject a $500,000 Traditional publisher two book deal in favour of going it Indie. And Indie ebook phenomenon Amanda Hocking is taking part in a $1million deal for a trilogy with a Traditional publisher.

These two decisions have rocked the publishing world....

Booksquare compares the two decisions and comes out in favour of Eisler...much to their surprise. This is a superb overview on the Trad vs Indie debate.

The great Jane Friedman has a wonderful article summarising the main points of Eisler’s decision and referencing some very informed comment from Mike Shatzkin who called it an 'earthquake in publishing.' The comments following these blog posts are a must read. Commenter’s (and there are some big blog names in there) are posting information on numbers of page hits that equate with a big enough audience to sustain this decision. It is all fascinating and illuminating reading.

Agent Mary Kole takes a look at the decision from an agents point of view and discusses how agents are still relevant in the Indie world.

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

Screenwriting Tips For Novelists- because it is useful!

5 Ways To Strengthen Scenes- Brilliant advice I have been working hard on this all week.

Rolling Around in Text- this is for those who compulsively write in books...can you do it with ebooks...

Over Plotting and How To Tackle this!

To finish,
The wonderful Inkygirl fell foul of Warner Bros this week when her cool 4 Things You Should Never Ask A Writer Tee Shirt was pinged because it had a reference to the boy-who-must-not-be-named.
The printer pulled the tee shirt which is annoying because I want to get one right now...we have all had these questions!!!

Every now and again I check my Blog stats and fall faintly back in my chair as I see the amount of people who read my blog every week. Thanks Everyone. The following video is for T K Roxborogh and her students who have been frequent visitors lately. Something for all of us to enjoy....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Standing on shaky ground....

Tuesday started off with excitement in the New Zealand children’s writing community and then the day turned into horror.

At 6am the finalists in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards were announced. These awards are keenly followed by the community. There were familiar names and quite a few new names which is wonderful for showcasing the depth and quality of our children’s writers. Of course there were big surprises that established previous award winner’s latest books weren’t in the shortlist but that is the nature of awards.

The excitement and the hope that National Media might notice the Awards this year faded quickly as the news that a major earthquake aftershock hit Christchurch at 12:51pm (the middle of a busy day) came through. 

Christchurch is one of our biggest cities, situated in the South Island, it is very historic and often packed with tourists as it is the main gateway to the alps, glaciers, and our biggest scenic tourist attractions.

We are now in a National State of Emergency with over 98 confirmed dead and the toll is rising. We have over 200 people missing. As I commented in my November blog post, New Zealand is small and there are only 3 degree’s of separation here.

People are desperate for news of friends and family in Christchurch including the New Zealand Children’s Writing community. Some of our most prominent writers and illustrators are based in Christchurch including finalists in this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. In a week when the New Zealand children’s writing community should be celebrating, we are sad and anxious for our colleagues, friends and fellow kiwis.

Life in the rest of the country goes on but with a sense of the surreal...the picture postcard perfection of one of our most scenic cities in ruins.

Our most famous Christchurch landmark last week and this week.

So a shorter list of links to look at this week.

In the blogosphere the 2010 Cybills were announced.  This is an award for children’s books nominated by anyone but judged by bloggers in the Children’s Literature community.

Bob Mayer has a great post on the seven keys to unforgettable characters, this is part of his return to the basics series.

Bubblecow has a good post on finding the essence of your book. If you are looking for how to write tag lines or elevator lines this is a good resource.

The Great Jane Friedman has an interesting post on commenting on if you have always wondered whether you should and what you could say...Jane has the answer for you.

Over on Craicerplus I have links to articles on

Offering Value For Book Buyers and Bookstores

Indie Publishing- the Problems With Book Distribution (became an ‘Aha- now I understand’ post on 
facebook this week 

How To Make A Quick Video For The Internet


Pic Catholic Cathedral Christchurch
In the video, South Island landscape and the Canterbury plain not far from Christchurch, famous courtesy of Lord Of The Rings
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