Showing posts with label elisabeth s craig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elisabeth s craig. Show all posts

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spinning the Truth

What has been happening this week in the publishing blogosphere...

The open letter signed by over 900 American authors to Amazon about the ongoing dispute with Hachette has now got an international flavour with a German version springing up. Amazon is in dispute with German publishers about eBook prices... and over 1300 German language authors have signed an open letter. Porter Anderson takes a look at the two sides of this ongoing story. Which truth should we subscribe to?

Maggie Stiefvater delivered a keynote address at SCBWI that wowed people... She has published an excerpt... about writing being thievery... Excellent reading.

WriteOnCon is nearly set for takeoff... They have posted their list of agents dropping in. It promises to be a huge weekend. Take some time to check out what is on offer in this free online children’s writers’ conference.

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,
Joanna Penn continues to break new translation ground. She details how she has approached the German edition... and gets her translator to talk about the process. Fascinating reading.

Joel Friedlander has a guest post on planning your blog posts around your book.

Elisabeth S Craig has updated her database collection of editors, designers and illustrators for free lance projects.

Kris Rusch has added a new post to her discoverability series, which will shortly be turned into a book.

Self Publishing - three links

Jan Ruth (romance) on how to make the most of it.

Trevor Richardson on his journey which involved getting his rights back and starting a literary magazine.

To Finish,
The lovely Melinda Szymanik has packed a lot into her six month writing residency... if you can’t get away to another city maybe you could try organising a writing retreat when you can’t afford to go on one.  This could be handy if you want to combine it with the excellent WriteOnCon free children’s online writing conference... Or maybe you could dream about the most excellent writing studio... where you can contemplate writing your own truth.

maureen (late again…sorry. I am getting better….)

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Each week I look over my collected links to see what an over arching theme for the blog might be. Sometimes it’s a stretch to link up the content but this week everyday there was something about writers being connected with readers and the disconnect from publishers and distributors with writers.  This is nothing new. I have been observing this for the last five years. However it is interesting to look at this within the context of this week’s headlines around the publishing blogosphere...

Libraries are where the readers are.

Last year two ebook library subscription services models kicked off, Scribd and Oyster. For a flat monthly fee subscribers had unlimited access to ebooks across formats. The big publishers sat back and watched developments and are now jumping on board. Today Simon and Schuster added their 10,000 book backlist to the services, following HarperCollins earlier this month. This is a bid for reader’s affections. All You Can Read buffet for $8:99/month. The publisher gets a cut when a book is lent... Mike Shatzkin is predicting that the biggest publisher of them all, Random Penguin, will start their own global library. (Or will there be a nice buy out in the future...)

Smashwords has just partnered with OverDrive the biggest library database system in the US to make all their books available. This model is interesting. If the one copy of the ebook is checked out customers have the option to buy their copy through the library...a win/win for libraries. And what about the chance for celebrity curated lists of books just for librarians to recommend.

The Amazon vs Hachette fight doesn’t look like it is winding down... Mike Shatzkin looks at the power play and how publishing has been flipped over with the power now belonging to the retailer who has the customers.
If you are an author in the middle of all this what can you do? Take control where you can of your own reader engagement. (get in the libraries...sell from your website.. reader fan email databases...)

Hugh Howey brought out another Author Earnings report this week. The howls that once greeted these one day snapshots of where the money is going in the publishing world have become muted... Everybody is scratching their can this be... the same figures again... Is Hugh right? If you are traditionally published this could be a game changer for you.

Joe Konrath has practical advice for how you navigate this changing world...(a bookmark post!)

Bob Mayer also tells you to take responsibility for your own work. Complaining is not a business strategy!  Change your mindset!

In the Craft Section,

Chuck on Writers Block (Trigger warning for your ears)

Stealing from other writers (it is not a bad thing....)

Elisabeth S Craig on developing thematic ideas

In the Marketing Section,
How to create the perfect trailer. (useful for book trailers)

Slideshare book marketing from Joanna Penn

How to Make WOW blog images with Pic Monkey (from the amazing Jami Gold)

Dave Gaughran has discovered a new site, Noisetrade, which aims to build your fan base. They have just branched out into books from Indie Music.

Website of the Week: August Wainwright has collected the 50 best Indie resource sites around. Many of these are on my regular check list. (one stop shop)

To Finish,
How are the successful authors out there navigating on the publishing sea. Russell Blake a publishing phenomenon is interviewed on how he has gone from 0 to 500,000 sales in a couple of years. (you may hate him after reading but you can't ignore him…) MindBodyGreen checks out 10 things successful writers do differently.

Engage the reader... Make it easy for them to find and buy your next book... SIMPLE. (DUCKS…)
(There are lots of links in the Craft and Marketing sections to help you.)


Friday, May 16, 2014

After The End, What’s Next?

Sorry for the day delay in posting... There are some big articles in my round up this week, so grab a large drink and settle down for a brain expanding session.

‘Which leads me to, as my final point, the only real prediction I have made today. It’s one I made earlier: I think most existing publishers will disappear over the next decade or two.’

The quote is from Baldur Bjarnason who had a keynote address at Publishers Forum last week in London. As you can imagine the above comment coming towards the end of his address would be pretty novel given his audience. However as you read through his speech published on Publishing Perspectives, you find yourself nodding. For Authors, it is life as we know it. For Publishers it may be too late.

In the wider publishing world...News Corp buys Harlequin for not much over Harlequins annual revenue. How could it be so low? (another tick from Baldur’s speech)

Amazon and Hachette are having a fight... and low and behold Hachette’s books are delayed in shipping. We have seen it all before. Who gets hurt? The author.

After these three hit my brain I was on a mission to find some good news.
Blogger Middle Grade Ninja who has a nice blog interviewing Agents (mostly for children’s books) revealed his disquiet over some agents practices which have been disturbing him and that he hoped were one off’s until they became too frequent to be ignored. (part two)

Scarlett Johansson is suing a French author claiming he stole her image when the novel is about a look-alike getting into a mess. Implications for authors who reference pop culture in their books could be alarming.

Dave Gaughran, on how to increase piracy... which explains why it is happening and what we can do about it.

Author Solutions which was supposed to be cleaned up after Penguin bought it...ummm This is a read and share...

By now you may be feeling punch drunk. (time for a refill.)

Where is the good news!?

Agent Jonny Geller on his top 10 tips for being a literary agent. (yes, there are some good ones out there.)

The amazing interview with Jane Friedman on Money, Writing and Life by Joanna Penn. Take your time. Transcript under the podcast. This one just fills your heart with zing. (possibilities are endless.)

Hugh Howey once a month talks about how he is running his mythical publishing house NewHarperCollins. Prepare to have your mind blown. Here he looks at IP and worldbuilding. I watched Cassandra Clare do this with her YA author buddies in the last year.  She grabbed a few friends, went on a writing boot camp holiday where they all wrote short back stories featuring one character from her Mortal Instruments series. Then they released these stories, one a month, digitally. By the fourth month they were hitting best seller lists. (so it is being authors!)

In the Craft section,

Ava Jae on Twitter chats. I tune into a couple every week #kidlitchat and #indiechat

Excellent article from Jami Gold on Character Internal Journey.

In the Marketing section,

How to create a self paced email course...this is really interesting!

Website of the week.
Gigaom. This tech/ publishing/ catch-all magazine website always has interesting articles and is run by very savvy people. Laura Hazard Owen looks at publishing startups and how they go head to head with Amazon and Apple. These startups change the face of publishing... until they get bought and incorporated. Check out what’s next on the block.

To Finish,
Last week I referenced a project that Mark Coker was involved with e-publishing kids stories with teachers and librarians.
This week I see that High School teachers are making up their own text books using iBooksAuthor to directly support their students.
Everyone has the potential to be a publisher... Baldur just pointed out current reality to the publishers.


Pic is from the cartoonist/illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi (AKA Inkyelbows) whose cartoons on the writing life are so funny.  Love seeing them pop up in my Twitter feed.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Surfing The Future

Everybody in publishing wants to get a handle on where the future is in publishing. 
The big changes... the new trends... the ‘Will I have a book deal / career... next year kind of questions. Analysis of what’s being discussed in the halls of the book fairs dominates Twitter along with the kitten pictures. Indie....Trad... digital...print... book sales...up graphs... down graphs, everybody is trying to grab a stake to hold onto as the floodwaters of change pull them in over their heads.

The London Book Fair is on. #LBF14 If you want to dive into the maelstrom and surf the comment wave.
Among the talking points so far...BookTubers…their presence and prominence in book discoverability. A force to be reckoned with.
Random Penguin and the new Goodreads style community My indie bookshop (still in BETA testing but getting hyped at LBF)  Readers rank their ‘best of’ book lists which have a buy button to their favourite Indie bookshop. Readers earn money as an affiliate...Independent bookshops earn

Porter does a round up of Day One at LBF14

Discoverability is on every publishers mind. (Reminder: If you Indie publish –you are a publisher.) How do you break through the crowded marketplace?

Is Hybrid just a phase for authors and will we ever go back to the good/bad old days (like last year.) and yet more comment on Elisabeth S Craig’s amazing post which I highlighted a couple of weeks ago.

Roz Morris reflects on what she is telling people now about publishing at LBF. Learn the business regardless of what side of the road you go down. Get better informed about all the little facets of publishing a book.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair is still being talked about.

Two authors have given up publishing over the constant trolling and stalking happening to them on review sites... this is a cautionary tale to all authors.
Bestselling author Shannon Hale pleas to be left alone to write books. Constant demands for engagement from fans are causing huge stress. This is the other side of success.

In the Craft Section,
How to deal with the Dreaded Sagging Middle

How to complete every writing project that you start... (rewire your brain- great post!)

In the Marketing Section

To Finish,
Among the many posts that caught my eye this week were these two.  The Importance of Community for Authors and

Seven Reasons to Join an Author Collective.  I have said all along I think that author collectives  are the future model which will work best for going forward into the future. The power of the group model can be a lifeboat in the rushing water of the publishing journey.


Pic is from Michael L. Baird,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What You Should Be Doing

This week in the publishing blogosphere the news has been about what everyone should be doing...

because the publishing world has shifted again,

because the next big thing is right around the corner,

because the Bologna Book Fair is on,

because the world has changed.

In my Twitter feed this morning was an announcement that Diesel e-books was shutting down after 10 years of indie publishing however new startups are happening all the time and another to hit the starting blocks tomorrow is this new subscription model.

While this is happening Digital Book World is talking up that Apple is now the second largest book store...what does that mean in reality?

Passive Guy shares a rant that got everyone talking this week about what Penguin Random (or Random Penguin) isn’t doing and what they should be...Read the comments they are all entertaining.

Mike Shatzkin followed this up with his very pointed summary of what the Big Publishers should be doing and aren’t (this could be helpful with your own promotion...once you get over the comment of don’t read the book to find the metadata tags...)

This must read post from Elisabeth Spann Craig looks at her experiments with hybrid publishing and the very real questions she has about continuing down that road. Elisabeth has been blogging about her journey over the last year and it is a very honest look at the realities of publishing now for a writer with a traditional back list.

That happy block quote at the top came from Agent Ginger Clark who hit the Bologna ground running, her appointment book already full before she got there.
Publishers Weekly gives the low down on what are the biggest sellers... ups at the Worlds largest Children’s Book Fair.

Book Fairs are tricky beasts for authors... It is all about deals...principally foreign rights and authors don’t usually negotiate is where Agents earn their money. However if you were thinking about translating...Susan Kaye Quinn has just done it in an interesting Indie move and she has a great post about how she did it.

Because the world is changing and writers have to hang in there,

Chuck has a rant on his answers to common writing questions... (pro writers will laugh)- usual warnings apply.

Meg Rosoff also has a heartfelt post on what keeps you from writing, which can also fuel you... (especially good post for those of you who juggle many things before writing.)

The wonderful Catherine Ryan Howard has a rant about contact details on writer’s websites...coz she just may have a deal for you and how can she get hold of you...(this reminds me to check my writing email inbox.) and Fastcompany shares the best PR advice, which writers should think about.

In the Craft section, you should be doing...
Y A High Fantasy – How to do it (only if it’s your thing) and How to create names for it.

Writing fast – How you can do it faster and The tools you need to help you get there. (great post on Scrivener)

In the Marketing Section, You should be....

To Finish,
In the end all the writer has is their own creativity and a willingness to get out there and just create, so here is the 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently because that’s what writers do.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Debating The Issues.

My daughter has been wandering the house singing ‘Happy Birthday New Zealand’ loudly as I try to collect my thoughts to put together this weeks roundup of opinion tips tricks and trends in publishing.

The collecting my thoughts bit has been haphazard over the last year with different things happening in this very busy... occasionally chaotic... household. My elder daughter back from Uni observed...Mum you don’t have a dedicated writing space anymore and put her finger on something that has been niggling me. So this week I got the chance to join a writing friend for four hours a day and just write...well write and plan a new children’s writing project that is as light as I can make it and a great challenge if I can pull it off. 
Writing with another person in the room is interesting... there is a mental whip hanging over you... the other person will see if I don’t keep at it. When we take a break for lunch we talk over something frustrating us in our project and bang the answer seems to be crystal clear coming from the other writing head, who is finishing a memoir project.
Another interesting side arriving ready to work. The twenty minute journey on a good day down the motorway...has me shedding, with each kilometer, household concerns. When they are all gone I can begin to think of my writing project and in pops something that I really need to take notice of.
Russell Blake puts it well with his great 3 D’s blog post onwriting.

Rebecca Smart wrote in her opinion piece for The Bookseller an interesting observation about publishing in Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. Publishing must become flexible and agile to stay afloat. This post has been resonating through the blogosphere as it comes from a publisher. 

Porter Anderson looks at the continuing debate over Mike and Chucks opinion pieces, that I profiled last week and how the debate has widened and almost polarised people into two different nations.

Bob Mayer has looked at the debates around self publishing over the last few weeks and written his perspective about being agile as a publisher. How he is walking the talk and bridging the gap between both sides.

Last week I mentioned the #EtherIssue debate on giving percentages to all collaborators in a self publishing project. Porter Anderson published an excellent roundup of the Twitter debate and has set the topic for the new debate. (5am our time tho)

News making waves across the blogosphere Hugh Howey has re-signed with Random House (UK) to bring out his print books. ( They are more agile than US publishers…)

Yesterday Icelandic author Baldur Bjarnason wrote a great piece on ethics in publishing. This is a great observation on what many commentators are seeing as the great divide between the two different publishing communities. (Traditional and Self Publishing)

Elisabeth Spann Craig has written a great post on her self publishing mistakes that have her readers saying Bookmark this!

Dean Wesley Smith has written a great post on publishing schedules. Always something to learn from Dean!

Publishers Weekly has highlighted the 6 best blogs to read if you want to keep up on what is happening  in publishing.

In Craft,

Rachel Gardner on thinking of your muse as a puppy that needs training and Good first drafts.

Writers Workout looks at divorcing the draft.

In Marketing,

Bibliocrunch on using Dropbox to review epub files and what your epub file size should be for each outlet.

To Finish,

Today is Waitangi Day, or the day we commemorate the signing of a ‘mutual respect’ treaty between two nations which began the ‘establishment’ of our country 174 years ago. Our biggest selling newspaper shot itself in the foot in my opinion by using a stupid fist raised logo to advertise there were no pictures of protests in today’s coverage of the annual commemoration ceremonies. Waitangi Day should be a day when we, as a nation, look at ourselves critically. 174 years ago Maori Chiefs sat down and debated among themselves for three days about whether they would sign a treaty. There were protests and arguments and very pointed questions aimed at the British about what was in it for them. Protest and debate shine a spotlight on what is not working well in a partnership. In the last forty years the watershed moments in our nation’s history (Land Marches, Nuclear Free ... ) were all aired at Waitangi. Denying that there is protest is not responsible or ethical journalism.

PS This post was supposed to be up last night…the computer ate my homework….

Pic from Dylan Horrocks…His Logo Fix for the NZ Herald.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Becoming A Phenomenon

Today I am one day late in posting this roundup. 
The end of January creeps up and suddenly the family realises that the summer holiday is over and school is nearly upon them. Cue plaintive cries for new stationery... uniforms... and other essential items that earlier in the year they denied they needed. How did they grow so fast over the last week? Why has one child lost their school pens before they even got to school? And whoever invented book covering plastic adhedsive should have a special hell reserved for them with a stack of schoolbooks, a tearful child and book coverings that never go on smoothly!

This week in the publishing blogosphere, Chuck and Mike ruffled feathers over their different takes of the self publishing phenomenon and the future of bookstores and publishing.

Mike Shatzkin started the week with a blog post on the future of bookstores and the decreasing shelf space for print books. Bookstores are increasingly going into non-book ‘things’, how will this impact on publishers and writers in the future. This is interesting reading and there was a lot of discussion about ebooks and whether selfpublishing print was sustainable...cue impassioned posts. Mike continued his examination of bookstores and the loss leader of selling cheap books to get consumers into the store...can this be sustained?

Chuck Wendig was in the gun for daring to state that selfpublishers should do the best writing they can as a service to the readers. He sees the increasing avalanche of badly published books as bringing down the status of the industry. He has had an avalanche of comments but some interesting ideas have come out of it. There was a mini thread looking at author collectives and the buying power of a group employing editing, cover and marketing services.

Andrea Phillips wrote a great follow up blog looking at different models of author collectives. Have a read then take a trawl around her website...WOW
I think an author collective model is where we may be heading in the future. (I’ve been saying it for years.) It maybe time for the best parts of the Bloomsbury model to be ressurected...

Porter Anderson has expanded the Ether to a live Twitter chat called #EtherIssue and this weeks topic was on self publishing where everyone has a % stake in the book. A lively chat ensued with all sorts of ideas and facts springing out. This was springboarded from the winning essay in December on the future of Bookselling. It is a brilliant read and was anonymously done by a publisher from Faber and Faber... a must read.

Another writer springboarding off Chucks blog posts this week is Ian Rodgers, a music critic, who looked at all the comments comparing the music industry and the publishing industry and decided to set the record straight. This is also a pointer to the way things also might be heading. A thought provoking read.

The phenomenon, Joanna Penn, was interviewed on her writing life balance and what she would do now if she were just starting out. It makes interesting reading.

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are a phenomenal twosome. Angela is interviewed on how to co write with another author, across countries...

In the Craft Section,
Revision is on everyones mind...

Kate Walker from Romance University on cutting for pace...this is a bookmark post.

In the Marketing Section,

Publishing Perspectives has an interesting discussion on Book trailers. Do you need them?

Website of the week.
Life Hacker and Google tips for the student...Some great tips in here for the writer!

To Finish,
Leaving a literacy legacy... This is an important issue and one that is not really talked about but what happens to your literary work after you are dead. Do you have a literary Power of Attorney? This is a timely read because your work hopefully will last longer than you will. How do you want your writing to be treated... and that means your good name as well.

My publishing advice - Do your homework in all facets of the game. Weigh up which path is right for you and your energy levels. Work on your writing to make it the best you can. Get it edited by a professional editor. Whichever publishing path you choose make sure your work is as good as it can be. Your name is on it and it is your legacy.

Writing is a Craft. Storytelling is an Art. Publishing is a Business. –Chuck Wendig

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