Showing posts with label inkygirl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inkygirl. Show all posts

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sparking Ideas

My brain is still buzzing from Tinderbox – that and I’m finding myself falling asleep at odd times. Some of this, I’m told, is body readjustment after a long campaign of heightened stress levels. I put it down to operating on about 3 hours sleep a night for a week.

For those of you who have never been on a committee putting a big event together... there are many behind the scenes details to organise. We started planning Tinderbox 18 months ago, scoping out what we wanted to have at our conference and researching who would be the best fit to deliver it. We had to do all this with one eye on the changing publishing marketplace. With themes established then it was booking presenters in and finding a suitable venue. Booking your presenters early is key! Along with the quality of the presenters the following list can make or break a conference, food, wifi, room size, assessments, hands on workshops, goodie bags and transport. All of this needs to be tied down early so that if anything falls over you have time to fix it.

Tinderbox was fantastic! The presenters were inspiring, the food was amazing and the high creative energy of the delegates was encouraging. My team were called Goddesses and I bow down before them. And the Wifi stayed on, with a little help.

Meanwhile in the outside world....

Stephanie Meyer sent the publishing world into the Twilight zone... with a gender bent version of Twilight.

Waterstones – the biggest bookshop chain in the UK decided that they would cease to sell the Kindle, apparently because e-publishing is failing.

Yup everybody is still mixed up.

Stephan Pinker, Linguistics Professor and International Grammar Guru, declared that writing rules were only superstitions.

Macquarie University published their findings on authors in Australia which makes fascinating reading. Your average Aussie author is a woman, writing genre fiction, earning twelve grand.

In Florida the Novelists Inc (NINC) conference wrapped up. This conference is for novelists who have had two or more books published. Elizabeth S Craig has a round up of what was discussed at the conference. Very interesting takeaways here...

In The Craft Section,
NaNoWriMo is coming up so here are 7 ways to keep it going throughout the year.

How to hook readers - Setting the stage and Puzzle Pieces

Style Sheets and Guides -Ruth Harris (Bookmark)

In The Marketing Section,
Can serials be profitable in Kindle Unlimited?- Lindsay Buroker (Bookmark)

How to Twitter tips- Molly Greene (Bookmark)

Website Of The Week
Inky Girl has a newsletter. This is a great resource for all those artists out there. 

To Finish,
The Ten commandments of Indie Publishing is a very good pep talk for writers as is Jane Friedman’s Author Business models, a must read!

As I was putting together this roundup I was struck by the fact that many these links were ideas discussed at Tinderbox. Just add coffee and an enthusiastic crowd soundtrack. Or make plans to go to the next National conference in two years time.

To bed to bed….

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Revolving Door of Publishing

This week the hot topic around Twitter was that self published sleep book for kids written by a sleep psychologist which raced to number one on Amazon and is now in a 7 figure publishing deal. Hugh Howey looks at all the changes in publishing in this story.

Germany announced this week that they are scrapping DRM on Ebooks. Predictions that the English language will be next could be far fetched. Mike Shatzkin looks at DRM free implications and reading books on phones. Surveys just out say the number is up to 1 in 7 people mainly reading on their phone but which apps are the best for this.

Writer Beware reports that the Author Solutions case has been dismissed as they settled out of court... that’s one class action down... (PRH has deep pockets...)

Can data dictate publishing decisions? That’s the topic for Futurechat this week. With data being mined by Kindle Unlimited who know exactly when a reader stops reading to phone companies who know where and when a reader is reading.... What are the implications for publishers?

Anne R Allen looks at author blogs. How can you do better?

Writer Unboxed revisits the ten things not to say to a writer in light of some dubious comments being said to writers very recently.

Larry Brooks is writing for the Killzone blog and he has a few wise words to say about authors letting rip on their manuscripts before they have learned some fundamentals of the craft... (for a less measured approach see Chucks rant.)

Author Chronicles takes issue with those annoying pop up adds.

In the Craft Section,

Chuck has a no holds barred post on rookie mistakes that new writers make. (You may never look at dialogue tags the same way again.)

Janice Hardy has two guest writers writing some great posts. 

Bonnie Randall on killing your darlings unless you can give them goals and Amy Christine Parker on writing outside of your comfort zone. (Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
The Queen’s bookstore in London has turned hand selling into a high end art and a global enterprise... so now they are mixing it up by having a bookseller in Asia. Yes... I mean A Bookseller NOT A Bookstore...

Just when you think you know what is coming next in publishing...

Pic from Inkyelbows… Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Writing Costs

This week two critiques of James Patterson’s Master class in writing bounced around my Twitter feed. One was from The Observer and the other from Writer Unboxed.
James Patterson is a prolific bestseller who has a team at his publishers devoted only to his work. This year he started a fund for booksellers to encourage reading. Our local children’s bookseller was a lucky recipient. So a master class from him was always going to be interesting. It’s a huge bang for your buck. ($90US) I can’t help thinking that other writing craft gurus will have to lift their game.

The other topic to get bounced around this week was the cost of publishing.
Joanna Penn has a critical analysis of her own writing business and six figure income. Kate Flora has a critical analysis of how much it costs to write traditionally. (i.e. with a Trade publisher.)

Nick Stephenson is also talking about the cost of self publishing but he sees it as a value....

Last week I linked to Steve Hamilton's fight with St Martin's press Kristine Rusch has an excellent post on this and the fact that had he done it in 2005 his career would be over… but authors who have done it have some tricks up their sleeves…. 

Porter Anderson takes a look at balancing Trad and Indie publishing interests. Whether you come in on one side or the other or are firmly hybrid, there is a lot of discussion in what way a writing career can go now. Porter mentions Deborah Cooke’s recent essay, What I miss about Traditional publishing, (very interesting) as he compares the two camps. Jaye Manus takes issue with some of Deborah’s ideas especially where she says that Indie publishers need someone to say NO that is not a good idea.

Elizabeth S Craig has a great post on publishing podcasts... She talks about her favourites and finds a few more from her readers.

Anne R Allen has an excellent post on social media... she is not a fan of email newsletters. She talks about the best way you can promote.

In the Craft Section,

Revision techniques- Janet Fox (Bookmark)

Planning your plotting – Janice Hardy

In the Marketing Section,

Looking good on a web cam – Rachelle Gardner

Molly Greene has two great posts- 45 ways to sabotage your social media success and

To Finish,

Whether you are Trad or Indie inclined you still need to write a ripping good yarn. So here is the word from Bob Mayer – Finding the shiver effect!

Pic From The Fabulous InkyElbows

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Market Your Name

This week one of my friends posted an interesting article from Sarah McIntyre about crediting illustrators. Illustrators are often overlooked by authors and award judges when it comes to promotion. It is time that we remembered that a great picture book has an author and an illustrator working in collaboration and so they both should be equally credited when it comes to promotion. Sarah came up with the #picturesmeanbusiness campaign.

Darcy Pattison has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about the promotion of children’s books and how she is using Pinterest as an experiment because children’s books are about the visual. 

Anne R Allen has a great resource blog for writers. This week she writes about the care and feeding of THE MUSE for writers. There is lots of great advice in here.

Going to conferences can inspire you to new projects. Joanna Penn talks about attending the ThrillerFest conference and what she learned there. This is a really fascinating article as Joanna is exploring the hybrid author position here. She also has a great interview with a publishing futurist…what might be around the corner and coming soon to an author near you... 

Following along on this theme is Porter’s think piece - finding and building fans of books is the most important thing an author can do ... here he reports on some big thinkers in the publishing game on this kind of marketing.

Jane Friedman has been getting serious of late with email marketing. She has written two excellent blog posts on email newsletters for authors and how to improve the newsletter to make it relevant. I’m interested in exploring this from a children’s writer point of view. Who do we send newsletters to...

I don’t subscribe to many newsletters but one I do and try to read frequently is Larry Brooks. His Storyfix website is great. His newsletters are direct and punchy on the craft of writing. Larry recently had a melt down moment which is worth reading. Writers you need to study your craft... figure out some stuff then apply it. If you write then you should read this.

Four important questions that agents ask writers in the pitch session... and yes you should be able to answer them...

In the Craft section,
Goals Conflict Stakes- Janice Hardy (Bookmark)

Copyediting –it’s not rocket surgery- The Book Designer (Bookmark)

Fishing out your manuscript hook- Kate Moretti (Bookmark)

How to write a synopsis- sorta- Ava Jae (Bookmark)

4 Revision Goals- Darcy Pattison (Bookmark!)

In the Marketing section,

The unexpected effect of perma free- M Louisa Locke- Bookmark

Website of The Week
Every now and then you come across a web comic that exactly illustrates the writing life. Chances are you have seen an Inkygirl comic. So you really need to check out her awesome website where she has other great helpful tips. Inkygirl is also promoting the #picturesmeanbusiness campaign to recognise picture book illustrators on metadata and awards.

To Finish,

Mark Coker of Smashwords recently put up his Slideshare deck ... 6 hours of concentrated workshopping on publishing ebooks. You don’t have to wade through all of it. Just look at the transcript and scroll down to the section that interests you. This is like a Master class in eBook marketing.

Pics From the fabulous Inkygirl

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tripping Around The World

Today the Twitter feed is full of what people are talking about at Storyworld, the big conference in Hollywood (happening as I write this) which is a mix of writers, gamers and publishers...directly taking aim at the transmedia market. If you want to follow the conversation...everything from Disney’s new grant program for storytellers to whether transmedia is a Noun or a Verb...(It’s a verb!) Follow along using #SWC12 in the Twitter search box.

Also just appearing in blogs is the roundup of Frankfurt Book Fair and what came out of it. Laura Hazard Owen of Paid Content rolls over the new startups that got the buzz as well as the HUGE market in books on mobile phones...and the publishers cashing in on self pubbed authors.

Mike Shatzkin commented that Frankfurt opened his the use of ‘Platform’ in children’s publishing by Gatekeepers and the immense power this has for sales and the future in publishing. There is so much to ponder in this post... take some time to absorb it.

New Zealand was guest of Honour at Frankfurt this year and our contribution was to send NZ’s *literary* platform of Chefs, Winemakers, Film Producers along with Poets and some great Kiwi authors. The Fair Special Focus of Children and Young Adult literature featured a *small* stellar group of NZ Children’s Authors. Authors had to compete on the other side of a curtain with the multimedia experience in the guest pavilion hall, where the unwary could fall into the pools of water while staring at the reflected stars. We have great writers here...wish they all could have been there....

Coming up in the next few weeks... Halloween and NaNoWriMo....

Last year there was discussion among YA authors about handing out scary books to kids who come trick or treating...and a lot of authors went to the second hand bookshops and stocked up on Goosebumps. This year the campaign is more organised and Neil Gaiman is fronting it. Check out this great video on the All Hallows Read website. (Neil Gaiman thinks the fact that I sing in graveyards is pretty cool...however no one is getting murdered while I do it...not like this video...heheheh)

Scrivener is coming to the halloween party in time for NaNoWriMo with a free trial of their writing software. There are authors who swear by this programme so if you are interested or gearing up for NaNoWriMo this year check it out.

The Amazing team behind Emotional Thesaurus have written a breakdown of how they took a blog idea into a non fiction book for writers and then out to the world to sell over 10,000 copies in few short months. This is a great meaty read with what they learned this year. Angela and Becky have always impressed me (they live in two different countries) and after reading this breakdown...they are now up there with GODDESSES!

Copyblogger has a great post on negotiations and how to do them for freelance writers...this is one of those print it out and stick it on the wall by the telephone posts.

Joanna Penn, in London, offers the definitive breakdown to why your books aren’t selling and what to do about it. This is great information...and a handy checklist.

Jane Friedman (now in Virginia) has been busy this week with two great posts on Author website checklists and a very detailed Q and A with a copyright you need to register your MS in the US if you live outside it?

VQR has a thought provoking post on Small Press and Self Publishers...are they enemies or half siblings...among the ideas in here is whether it is legit for small presses to ask authors for money to publish...Sean says yes.

In the craft list of great links...

Dialogue spacing and why you need to pay attention to it! (Agent Mary Kole hot on the warpath)

Writing to music? thewritepractice says you should and why...(nifty article to have your characters singing into the hairbrush...)

In the interesting tech ideas...

Inkygirl has been trying out a $4.99 App for the iPad that makes animated book trailers...easily.

Joel Friedman (The Book Designer) has 3 ways to use google search more will never look at the search box the same way...brilliant.
If you love to get into typefaces...Joel also has a look at a new typeface  for dyslexics.

To Finish,
Derek Haines has published a blog post on why he is going back to Smashwords from being a KDP Select programme for the last year. He weighs up the benefits and the costs of both distributors. This is a good snapshot of the indie industry today.

In Breaking News the latest stats on publishing first half of 2012...Children's pub stats up 41%...and it's digital...

I’ll be out and about over the next few weeks in a different hemisphere so I’m cooking up some special focus posts for you...they will be chock full of links as per usual... to pack bags...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Passing The Hat

This morning I have been thinking about Creative Tribes and their power.  
When the tribe idea was first being kicked around I blogged about it ...yes way back then...and this grew into a series of posts around the 1000 fans concept that same year. Just type 1000 fans into my search box.

This week I have been struck by the power of the Tribe in funding creative projects. 
Amanda Palmer is having a block party in New York as I write this, because she raised over $1 million in her Kickstarter campaign for her creative project. She didn’t set out to do this. All she wanted was $100,000 but her Tribe got the word out and all through the month of May she has broken every Kickstarter record.

Yesterday my friend Fifi Colston put up her request for funding an Art Exhibition of her work here in Wellington on the New Zealand site Pledge Me. Within 24 hours she had reached her modest target. 

The reward system that Kickstarter and Pledge Me use is interesting. Think of it as buying the product or experience before it is made. I don’t know if anyone has bought Fifi’s offer for a personal portrait of themselves but that would be worth having...she is so talented.
Fifi’s comment when she reached her target...
Whatever I earn goes straight back into the business of being a freelance creative. I am currently trying to have some money in reserve to enable me to work on my next book project. It will be months of writing, illustration and photography to get it done. And it will be a stunner. So thanks for all your support to me and everyone in the arts...

Around the blogosphere this week there was a lot of comment on The New York Times article on writers slacking if they ony write one book a year.... Most of the comment was on the ‘brutal’ regime of writing 2000 words a day but there were lots of other red flags being waved at writers through publishers comments in the article.
Kristine Rusch examines this article and some of the flags raised, including the current publisher asks of short form novella ebooks effectively for love as a marketing tool for publishers and what it means to a writers career. This is a great and timely article and a good heads up for people.

Elizabeth S Craig has another take on the N Y Times article about being a writer who puts out 3-4 books a year and what it means for her.

As always, I urge you to read the comments of both these posts...for extra information and insights.

Writer Unboxed had two posts this week that got everybody talking.
The Bandit Creek series is written by a writers collective, who write stories based on the fictional town of Bandit Creek, as a cool self publishing experiment for themselves outside of their traditional published roles. 
You all know how interested I am in writer collectives, this is a really interesting model and with FaBo 3 in the planning could morph (just kidding Fabo team....)

Catherine Ryan Howard finishes up her month of blog posts on self publishing by looking at the best way to use Amazon.

In the Craft section
James Killick has a post on why writing a treatment before you write the novel is a good idea.

There is a great post on storytelling the Pixar way

A group taking storytelling into the business world is doing some great stuff - take a look.

And for those who like pretty pictures, here is the periodic table of Storytelling!

For those of you into numbers...

Galley Cat has an info graphic on how many kids are reading on electronic devices.

Rachelle Gardner takes a look at what a publishing contract should contain.

This week I have been finalising details for a group doing a writing course at Karaveer Writing Retreat.
Writing retreats are great for an all out focus on your work. I get huge hunks of work done when I am on a writing retreat because there are no interruptions from kids, phone, internet, kids.... You get the picture.
If you can’t get away to Karaveer you could look down this list of inexpensive ideas for a writing retreat for yourself. Of course if you want to take a trip up North...and get some hands on tutoring from one of the best romance writers in the world, well Karaveer could be just the place.

I leave you with a fun comic on critiques by Inkygirl who’s website is well worth a look around.


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....

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