Showing posts with label jenny crusie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jenny crusie. Show all posts

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Saints and Sinners

The publishing world woke up yesterday to the news that Mal Peet had died suddenly. There was a collective Whaaat Noooo gasp around Wellington. Mal and Elspeth had stayed here two years ago when Mal was Writer in Residence at Victoria University. He made an impact from the first day and was always affable and approachable, charming us and being charmed by us. He teased us... gently. He was a brilliant Young Adult writer  and the sadness over his passing is for ourselves and the world because there will be no more Mal Peet books. Our thoughts are with Elspeth. (What a wonderful team those two made...)

Earlier this week my Twitter feed was being burned up by responses to an article written about MFA programs by an ex MFA teacher who decided it was time to write his feelings about being a teacher of an MFA program. As Chuck Wendig (usual warnings) exploded over the dismissive tone he used in his article... I was thinking, yes but he did have a point here or there, which Chuck concedes. (However his rant is more entertaining than the original article.)

Anybody venturing into the wonderful world of publishing should always find out as much as possible. Yes Book People are wonderful people but there are sharks out there, like any other industry and regularly dropping in to Writer Beware is a good habit to get into.
This week Victoria shines a light on contract clauses that make your hair curl and the latest news about Author Solutions.

If you are a newbie you won’t know that Author Solutions is the subject of a class action suit. As this outfit has a wonderful chameleon reputation running ‘concierge’ services for some of the biggest publishers out there, they look bone fide and their tactics are anything but. Dave Gaughran has the latest twist in the plot of who is the next big publisher to swim with the sharks.

Chris McVeigh has written a heart felt post about the disconnect between publishing industry professionals and authors and the state of publishing industry today after a recent trip to London. Chris has his own solutions to fixing this disconnect, which is very real and what I hear on an almost daily basis.

One author who has stepped into the disconnect and carved out a different model is Bob Mayer. He is interviewed by Reedsy about his work and his publishing house Cool Gus. Bob and his team (Jen) work with other authors to publish their books under a collaborative model. He has a really interesting publishing model and he’s a great writer.

If you write for children you will know that print is still king but there are different e-book
/app models being trialed all the time. Jane Friedman has a magnificent interview with two children’s book agents where they talk about e-books for children. Is it going to be like the adult take up?

In the Craft section,
Oh the goodness of Jami Gold who has some brilliant worksheets for writers on her website...

And a halo goes to Janice Hardy who has started a month long series of story structure analysis posts.

The awesome Jenny Crusie has a next level post on ‘agency’ something that Chuck is very in to. That's when you unleash your characters.

The Crimson League has a post on killing your characters needlessly...or how not to do this.

How to write productively – sometimes it’s the simple things.

In the Marketing Section,
Jane Friedman and Christina Katz on building better author bio’s and making use of them.

If you are thinking about book trailers Joanna Penn has interviewed a book trailer making expert so this is chock full of tips and then talks to Debbie Young about getting your book into bookstores and libraries.

Making the most of your publicity – tips from the agent.

The art of ARC-ing. What to do with those Advance Reader Copies...

Website of the week
It’s more of an infographic.... but this is THE infographic of Book Genre’s.  Any genre with examples...Check it out.

To Finish,
This week we launched the first news about Tinderbox2015 - The National Conference of NZ Children’s Writers and Illustrators. It’s happening October 2-5th in Wellington this year. It aims to ignite sparks, shed light on new practices, and nourish and energise authors and illustrators. Tinderbox 2015 will be a hands-on conference, with workshops and panels, both experiential and inspirational, it's not to be missed.  We are thrilled with the enthusiastic response already and hugging ourselves because we know what is coming... tho we are still working out some details... hehehehehe. You can go on to our exclusive mailing list at 2015tinderbox at gmail dot com or head on over to our Facebook page, Tinderbox 2015. Our website will be up and doing soon.
In the meantime you can speculate as to what this might mean... and an innovative real-time, collaborative project that will run alongside other sessions....


Thursday, July 3, 2014

For and Against

This week the publishing blogosphere has been watching the ‘dialogue’ between Hugh Howey and Mike Shatzkin about Hugh’s opinion piece, The State of Self Publishing. The Amazon Hachette saga seems to have been taken over by a morphing of The Traditional publishing route defenders and the Self / Indie publishing defenders. Each side sniping their opinions with increasing vitriol.
Hugh and Mike have important things to say on how both publishers and writers are finding the current publishing climate and I found myself nodding in agreement with both of them. Publishing is diverging. Porter endeavours to walk the middle line as he examines their arguments.

Passive Guy is known for his measured objective lawyer opinion on publishing. He was invited by the NY Public Library to be a self publishing representative on a high powered panel involving James Patterson and a bunch of lawyers on the state of publishing. Amazon: Business as usual? It does not sound like a happy experience but it was an illuminating one.

Val McDermid was recently interviewed by The Telegraph and she stated that if she was starting out now her career would be over. Her career took off after the fourth book. These days if your first book hasn’t taken off or you haven’t won awards... you are dropped.  This is a sobering interview worth reading. Hugh Howey commented today about it and implications for writers on the flipping of the publishing model that is becoming increasingly apparent.

For children’s writers it still seems that Traditional is still the top model at the moment as it is very print based. It will be interesting to see if this model changes in the next few years.

In the UK a bunch of publishers and editors were asked if publishing was still cool. Publishing Perspectives talks about their answers.

Joanna Penn interviews Bob Mayer on author mindset...great article. (transcript below the video)

Yvette Carol has written a nice blog post on how authors would like to get paid.

Writer Unboxed has an article on Author Attitude.

Killzone and Craft of Writing Guru, James Scott Bell has a fab post – Is it Plagiarism to steal a plot.

Why Self Publishers should go it alone together... this is taking the author collective model to the next step...

The wonderful Jennie Crusie on managing your writing time.

In the Craft Section,

Writing prompts – exercises

Roz Morris on writing to an outline.

K M Weiland on Character Reactions

In the Marketing Section,
Two great posts from Seeley James 5 Marketing tips and Display Ads marketing tips

Trim size (great article from Aussie kid lit author on POD publishing)

Jane Friedman on Author Taxes – this is US orientated but some good tips in there for everyone.

To Finish,
Brain Pickings recently celebrated seven years of providing brilliant internet content. One of their supporters decided to make their Seven Things I’ve Learned post into a great graphic poster. Check it out.

I will be away for a couple of weeks. So you can take your time reading through all the links in this big post. My predictions for the news while I am away ...  Amazon and Hachette will still be arguing and Self publishers and Trad publishers will still be at each others throats…For the writers it will be business as usual.

pic from Flickr/ Creative Commons/ abhi ryan 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Her Majesty's Voice

I’ve been thinking about Voice lately. 

Voice is that ‘something’ that informs the reader about the style and motivations of the characters without actually being visible on the page.

There is nothing superficial, however, about voice when used in the context of writing. Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.

This is the ‘something’ that writers struggle with. 
Do they have the same voice for every protagonist? Is every book they write in some way autobiographical from their deepest being?  
Ah the big questions. 
If somehow this is come nobody picked the distinctive voice of J K Rowling...after all we have been told by literary critics that she is not much of a writer, using all those adjectives and not writing tightly enough...or did the fact that she had a male pseudonym fudge the fact that it was quite a good story...moved along ok... did everything a detective novel should. The cynics are out saying great PR by her team and now you can only buy the hardcover on eBay at hugely inflated prices. The Passive Guy has a look at the Robert Galbraith (aka JKR)saga.

Porter Anderson has been looking at agent relationships this week. In two articles for Publishing Perspectives he examines the agent/writer relationship now in this Hybrid/Indie revolution. How close can it be? The Agents who have cannily enrolled best selling Indies to manage print deals and the Agents who-have-become -Publishers...He takes a close look at Rogue Reader...and very interesting it is too. 

David Gaughran has sharply criticized particular the RandomPenguin washing of Author Solutions. Author Solutions began as a vanity press that did everything for you at a huge cost. They are facing a class action lawsuit because of some of their questionable practices and you would think that maybe they would pull back...but no. This is a Writer Beware story that will make your writer heart shrivel a little.

The New Yorker has an opinion piece on the decline and fall of the book cover...and Bibliocrunch checks out virtual writing group hangouts using Google and Skype

Chuck Wendig has a distinctive voice...and a distinctive turn of phrase that occasionally makes your hair curl up and spontaneously combust. His latest 25 things post looks at Story Stakes...very good. And a superb little post on ten stupid writer tricks that might actually work.

In Craft,
The character therapist examines an archetype on the therapists couch. These are always interesting.

In Marketing,
From The Book Designer, two great articles, 7 strategies of Blog Marketing and

Amazon Algorithms (this is all the latest on metadata Amazon style - a must read.)

Another Must Read is what this author is doing right across the tech spectrum...his character has taken this the future?

Website to check out,
This list has a solid helpful link for every creative you know...There is literally something for everyone working in the publishing industry here.

To Finish,
One of my favourite adult fiction authors Jenny Crusie (who has a fantastic voice) has written a great post on Sharknado. This film, shown on US cable this week, had my twitter feed fill up with writer reactions. The premise is so off the wall that there are very jealous writers out there wishing they had thought of a tornado that sucks up sharks and dumps them on a town in a hungry and vengeful mood. Jenny writes about high concept, going with your gut, ideas that are so off the wall and the courage a writer has to have to grab something like this and make it work.

I’m out and about around the country next there won’t be a blog post...but by then Twitter will be filled with Royal Baby news and the cynics who don’t just as well I’m taking a break...heheheheh.


Tweet from Agent Jennifer Laughran...talking about MG this week on Twitter. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

Two Great Links for Authors

Ah so missed the blog day again....I’m busy! (crunching numbers in my sleep...) Everybody in the house has colds...I hate spring, the pollen, the up and down temperatures...all designed to make me feel lousy as my body protests...

So what do I have for you this week.

As I am way behind my deadline of evicting current WIP I thought I would share with you a piece on revision by Jenny Crusie from her presentation at the Romance Writers of America national conference.

Mother in law says this conference has to be experienced to be believed.

They book venues 5 years in advance...coz they can have up to 20.000 delegates. Yes, you did read that right...

Jenny is a popular speaker and a brilliant writer. So if you have never read anything by her GO and Check her out! Her dialogue is brilliant. Her plots, are fast paced. Her characters are amazing...

Ok Enough said.

Jenny writes about turning points in your script. Where should they come? and why...

Here is a snippit

So what are turning points?

They’re events in the action of the plot where something happens that turns the story around in a new direction, raising the stakes and creating a new, more difficult struggle for the protagonist and, in turn, for the antagonist.

You can diagram a story in five turning points:

Yep, it makes you want to

The next thing that I want to share with you is a video heads up I received from the owner of the Children’s Book Insider Clubhouse which I am a member of.

Jon wanted to let authors know of a cool new website that is particularly relevant to authors and new technology...

It’s about reading books but in a whole new way which gets the authors royalties every time...heeheeheehee

Now you have to view it! But seriously this is a very interesting development.


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