Showing posts with label jody hedlund. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jody hedlund. Show all posts

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Who Do You Write For?

As I look over my Twitter feed this week I have the distinct impression that many writers will be hitting NaNoWriMo with relief to get away from the media storms over the US Presidential elections. Vote Early and switch off all media to write the novel.
Kris Rusch has a nice comment on the value of writing fiction when the world is in turmoil.

This week Amazon changed a few rules on publishing ebooks. The Digital Reader has a link with all the new hoops you have to jump through.

Joanna Penn has an interview with Chris Fox on using data science to sell books. This is a fascinating interview because once you identify your ideal reader, data science can help you market your book without you doing any work.

Looking after your international audience is the subject of Elizabeth S Craig’s blog post and it is full of ideas for marketing across all the different countries Amazon has presence. She also goes into great detail on Print distribution.

Chris Syme has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about running short Social Media campaigns to market your book. This comprehensive article is an excerpt from Chris Syme’s new book.

Shannon Gibney has penned a thoughtful article - 7 things I have learned so far as a writer. This is a great roundup of advice... always say yes if you can... be prepared and deadlines are your friend. Shannon also explains why.

What happens when you get Book Apathy? How do you overcome it? Is something wrong with you or the book? Ginny Carter has an interesting article on remedies for this malaise that strikes every author.

The Three Pillars of The Author Platform and how to build them is the subject of The Verbs latest thought piece. Every writer should take time to read this and think about it.
Who are you? and Who are you writing for? are questions we all need to answer if we want a successful writing career.

In The Craft Section,

The best advice on plotting- Janice Hardy-Bookmark

3 tips to increase writing output- Jody Hedlund- Bookmark

Writing sad scenes- Ryan Casey

Finding plot holes – Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Finding your way into the story – Becca Puglisi-Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

9 tips for building your book cover- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

Visual marketing for authors- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

Making a living – Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark!

To Finish

Orna Ross is the director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi )They have run three very successful online free one day conferences coinciding with the three major Book Fairs in the Northern Hemisphere. With the Frankfurt Book Fair just wrapping up the theme of their last conference was Writers and Business. 24 hours of amazing content for writers at all stages of the writing profession. Check out what’s on offer and enjoy a feast of quality content.
Orna also has an excellent vlog on setting good creative writing habits. Just in time for NaNoWriMo

Good Luck To Everyone attempting NaNoWriMo (It’s not too late to sign up.)


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Friday, March 25, 2016

Genre Journeys

This week seemed to be genre week with interesting  articles from across the genre spectrum.
Children’s Publishing day at Digital Book World had some interesting takeaways. A few years ago it was widely speculated that with all these smart phones the early adopters would be teenagers. But they aren’t. They still want a physical book with printed pages.
But the genre could be slowly changing.

Over in the Romance field the HEA (happily ever after) ending is being questioned... do modern romances need this? It isn’t reflected in real life... is it? Some interesting thoughts in this blog post and comments.

James Patterson, who is his own genre, has been making waves this week with the revelation that there is a whole publishing arm devoted to just him... and he is employing them through his publishers, which would make him a Self Publisher with a traditional publishing house or a traditional publishing house with a self publishing imprint devoted to one person. No one can decide but it makes fascinating reading especially as he is publishing across age groups.

Leo Hartas, an illustrator, makes a plea for writers to understand how to commission an illustrator. If you are in the market for having illustrations for your project... read this first. I know illustrators who say these words often.

One of the most heart felt posts on Social Media came from Anne R Allen this week. This follows on from Jami Gold’s post last week. Anne talks about the increasing pressure on writers to be everywhere... You don’t need to be. She makes absolute sense and this is a must read for every author out there.

Catherine Ryan Howard who is a Go To Guru on how to self publish has an agent and a traditional publishing deal. This is an interesting journey... and one a lot of writers are taking as Hybrid is seen as a good career move.

This week publishing futurist Mike Shatzkin has been thinking about the need for publishers to use critical data research in the acquisitions process. These days research and data profiles are becoming easier to find and use so why aren’t publishers using them? As always read the comments for the robust discussion points.

Today while traveling on an errand a character, whom I had put on hold for a few years, popped into my mind demanding that now was the time to tell his story... never mind I’m in the middle of something big... somewhere else. Some characters are so rude! This got me thinking about Story Structure and this led me to one of Larry Brooks latest posts on structure versus pantsing. There is no opposition. There is subliminal understanding that every story should have a beginning and an end. This is a one of those A-HA posts that you will print out!

In The Craft Section,

How to write a love scene- Jane Friedman Bookmark

2 Bookmark posts from  K M Weiland 5 ways to trim your word count and 11 killer chapter breaks.

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have compiled a popular posts list.

In The Marketing Section,

How authors can find readers- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

To Finish,

Y A Highway is an interesting site where YA authors hang out. They have an interesting infographic (very Jasper Ffordish) with lots of clickable links on all sorts of interesting posts. This is well worth a trawl. Children’s writers cover all genres the good and the bad...


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Premature Babbling

This morning my Twitter feed filled up with reaction to a new kid on the YA publishing block and his attitude. Normally a new kid on the block would be welcomed and included but when the new kid talks down about the very genre they are writing in and then writes some dubious blog posts, the YA community will not ignore you. Chuck explains it best with his witty no-holds-barred post on not spitting on the legacy of the writers that have gone before you.

The Guardian also has a pertinent article on literature writers who deny that their work is actually genre... they wouldn’t lower themselves. SIGH! Read it and cheer.

This week there have been a few posts celebrating pre orders and warnings about pre orders.
Publishers Weekly has an interesting article by Mark Coker of Smashwords on using pre orders to ramp up your first day sales. You need to have preorders across the bookselling sites to get on the bestseller lists.
If you are contemplating using pre orders in your marketing strategy, Carefully reading both these articles will give you the full picture.

November looks like the month I mention Asia every week. Mark Williams has a very detailed post looking at the global publishing industry using mobile phones. If you are looking into the future of publishing, check out what he has to say... grab a beverage of your choice, as it will take a while but it is worth it. Time to think GLOBAL!

Anne R Allen has a blog post that is being mentioned a lot around Twitter. If you are still trying to get your head around the changes in Amazon’s review policy, Anne has carefully laid all the do’s and don’t out for you.

Joann Penn has a very interesting interview up with LiteraryEstate lawyer, Kathryn Goldman. There are lots of things to think about in this interview. If you haven’t given a thought to what might happen to your Intellectual Property in the future... you need to read or listen to this interview.

Future Book has a section on Future Book Tech.  As we are in the middle of exam season here this post caught my eye. Here is a profile of a young man who saw a need to provide mobile exam preparation courses. He is now partnering with some of the worlds biggest educational publishers.

In the Craft Section,

Expand deepen and create – September Fawkes Bookmark!

In the Marketing Section,

Rachel Thompsons book marketing tips part two (Part one was in last weeks blog)

Marketing plans- Jessica West

To Finish,
Last week I had Kristine Rusch as my website of the week. This week she wrote a great post on the journey of one writer, Marie Force. Often we hear we should write to the market... or we shouldn’t write to the market or we should write contemporary or we should write genre.... Read Kris- (take it to heart) and Write what you love!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Speaking Our Fears

The week the world has been shaken up and now everybody is thinking about mortality. 
We are not invulnerable. 
In the writing world Tech Crunch analysed the publishing industry and came to the conclusion that there is a new parallel publishing universe happening. Welcome To The Dark Side.

Catherine Ryan Hyde has written an amazing post onrejection. This tells the story of Pay It Forward. Catherine has some great advice for writers struggling with the lows of the publishing world.

Dean Wesley Smith talks about the times that the writer becomes overwhelmed by the critical voice in their head saying ‘What’s the point?’ This is a great post about reconnecting with the joy of writing.

Jane Friedman recently wrote about the myths of writing and then linked to an interesting article on writers and addictions by Douglas Millikin.

Jody Hedlund has a post on How To Drive Yourself Crazy As AWriter. Jody gives great advice so make sure you drop in and read what not to do.

By now you may be reaching for a stiff drink!

On the good news front. China needs more books. Publishers Weekly has just covered the Shanghai Children’s Book Fair and the news is allpositive... and great opportunities are opening up.

Rick Riordan has managed to get his foreign publishers to stop white washing his characters on the cover of his books. This is great news. I wondered if it was a language translation problem but sometimes that is not the case... Marketing can make the wrong decisions! I was thinking about my own characters this week and realised that all the characters in my head were biracial... but I don’t describe them by skin tone. Something to work on maybe...

In the Craft Section,
Molly Greene has a great novel outlining method

How to decide how many POV characters to have.- Angela Ackerman/ Marcy Kennedy

How to create a memorable setting- Pat Verducci-Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

Book Marketing tips- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

Website of the Week
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has been on fire this week with some excellent posts on the publishing industry. She is a multi talented writer/ editor across many genres and is much respected. She doesn’t pull any punches or suffer fools. She will give it to you straight... Read Her!

To Finish

This week I’ve been thinking about talking.  I’m comfortable with chatting to people one on one, small groups etc. Then at our recent National Conference I had to Skype interview in front of 100 people, the lectern was shaking I clutched it so hard. A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed on radio for a new magazine style programme being developed. That microphone looked like an interrogation spotlight! 
Talking in public is important for writers to master. Elizabeth S Craig has a great post on public speaking for writers.

The Podcast for Writers Island is in the sidebar if you want to listen to some cool Indie Music and Writer Tidbits and me. I guess I should probably tell you that a version of this blog is up on Bibliocrunch every week. Talking isn't so bad… when you are writing.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Celebrity Writing

Many writers cringe when they read reports of celebrities writing a book,* children’s writers especially. We all know that writing a children’s book is hard. Every word has to be chosen with care. They may look easy because there are fewer words but they aren’t! The ‘celebrity’ who thinks their brand needs a book, an instant best seller with publisher or ghost writer doing all the work, just makes us all grit our teeth.
Gwyneth Paltrow has decided to launch a publishing company... an extension of her website where she will memorialise her thoughts for the world.
Gary Oldman is about to publish his debut novel about Vampire Cowboys which he hopes will become a series.
What can authors to do in the face of these wonderful additions to the publishing oeuvre?  Mike Shatzkin looks at brand and merch and vertical publishing with publishers selling author experiences in seminars and events.

Poetry is becoming the new hot thing on Instagram and Tumblr. Three of the top ten poetry books have all come from poets posting their work online. It’s an accidental form of celebrity and an interesting twist on publishing and promotion. Become a poetry phenomenon on Instagram and the deals will follow.

James Scott Bell has a Bookmark post on how to be a prolific writer. James talks about the structure of your day and the goals you need to set yourself.

Neil Gaiman was asked about writers block recently. He doesn’t believe in it but he does have some advice to get through a creative block.

Last week I linked to Anne R Allen’s excellent post on 5 delusions that block writers from succeeding. This week Anne followed up that viral post 5 more delusions blocking writers.

Robin Black has a great post on 21 things she wished she had known before she started this writing journey.

In the Craft Section,

Tips to tighten up writing- Sue Coletta – Bookmark

NaNoWriMo Triage center - Angela Ackerman

7 ways your characters can screw up their decisions to make a better plot.- Janice Hardy - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,
Demystifying Amazon categories and keywords - Penny Sansevieri - Bookmark

Website of the Week
Three nifty little ideas for you this week.
Karen Marston had a website malfunction which prompted her to write a post on backing up. Here she talks about all the ways to back up your website.

Did you know Google has added a record feature to Google Docs? You can dictate your manuscript now.

After you have twisted yourself into a pretzel getting your NaNoWriMo word count up You may need this handy Infographic Yoga for Writers chart.

To Finish,
A few years ago the FABO team wrote a story collaboratively and had great fun doing it- but it was hard work. Joanna Penn has been writing a horror thriller with J Thorn, who has worked collaboratively with many writers. This is a great interview if you are thinking about how to do it without killing your writing partner.
Or you could always work with a celebrity….

*I'm sorry about that link - it is vile isn't it?  How the publishers could keep straight faces when faced with this prose….


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Subscribing To NaNoWriMo

This week Amazon review policies and translations are still topics of interest at the publishing water cooler AKA Twitter.

Selfpublishing Review has written a blog post about the new Amazon review policy detailing what you can and can’t do. A must read!

Roz Morris always has interesting posts and this week she adds her thoughts to the Translation discussion. It is always good to check out the comment stream where the discussion continues.

Porter Anderson has been looking at the Society of Authors call for fairer contracts. The Society is the UK authors collective. The Society is joining with The American Authors Guild and momentum is growing to change publishing contracts. Take the time to read this.

Subscription services may be making a come back if the latest Disney deal is anything to go by.

Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant have a popular writing blog but they are branching out into subscription too. They have been working on an App called Story Shop. They have a Kickstarter for it. Check out what they are offering, The App almost writes the stories for you!

This week a spotlight was put on organisations behaving badly.
Wil Wheton called out Huffington Post for not paying authors and then went on to expand that call to other creatives who should be paid for their work. Exposure doesn’t pay the mortgage you know.

Agent Natalie Lakosil helped by Jen Laughran shone a light on agents. Yes, agents have other jobs, they are just as poorly paid as writers... but be wary of Schmagents!

It’s the last week of October and writers around the world are holding their heads and thinking why did I say I would do NaNoWriMo.
Chuck Wendig asks the same question and adds his own particular spin to why you should/shouldn’t do it. (Usual Chuck warnings!)

Anne R Allen has a great post from Ruth Harris on the joy of writing and how to keep it going during NaNoWriMo. Ruth shares inspirational words from other authors about how to keep the momentum going.

Here is an interesting post on when to design your bookcover... If you said before you write the book... you would be right.

In the Craft Section,
Help for Pantsers and Plotters- Stephen Pressfield

Janice Hardy has two great posts, How to tighten the MS and How to polish the MS

Jane Friedman talks to Larry Brooks about compelling concepts Bookmark!

Critique Circle has 3 essential tips for NaNoWriMo

In the Marketing Section,

Molly Greene has the website essentials
Penny Sansevieri has the essential book selling how to

Novel pitching with Chuck Sambuchino

To Finish,
The people behind the Stop Procrastinating App have put together a tell all infographic on NaNoWriMo... How to survive it... How to achieve it... How to do it.

For all those attempting NaNoWriMo... Good luck


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting The Facts Right

Yes the round up is up early! 
It’s a small one because I’m a bit busy at the moment. Friday is the first day of our National Conference of Children’s Writers and Illustrators, which has been eighteen months in the planning. We are like ducks, looking like we have it together on top and paddling furiously below the surface!

In News this week, best selling children’s author Cornelia Funke parted ways with her publisher over a disagreement in editing. She is going to self publish the last book in her best selling series.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the Nielson kids book summit and the angry responses from writers about some panelists comments. Porter breaks down what happened, what went wrong and why people should just get their facts right before screaming all over Twitter. Very Good Advice!

Joanna Penn has a fabulous interview with James Scott Bell on his latest writing craft book. He talks about his daily goals, writing discipline and the joy of writing. It’s a must listen/read.

Writers at all stages of their careers will understand the struggling writer syndrome. Writers Digest has an article with four pieces of advice to take to heart.

In The Craft Section,
Seven dialogue basics- Jody Hedlund

Hidden enablers that make your story work.-Roz Morris on her Venice Masterclass. (Bookmark)

What is Theme? (Bookmark)

In The Marketing Section,

To Finish,
Creativity... We all have it but how do we use it? Seven of the worst tropes about creativity from Jon Westenburg. This is an interesting read over a beverage of your choice…

And in Karma Land… Ted Dawe's banned book has been picked up by a US publisher.

I’m off to do last minute organising for Tinderbox2015. See you all on the other side!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Villains and Heroes

This week doing the publishing rounds....
That RITA book.
That Watchman book refund.
That guy who yanked his book from St Martin’s Press.

There are plenty of sides to each story... tho the RITA saga has left me scratching my head on how it even got published. (The RITA’s are the Oscar’s of the Romance world.) This book was nominated and finalled in two categories. Just dodgy on so many levels...

Then we have an Indie bookstore giving refunds for the latest Harper Lee book to disappointed readers. OK readers you were warned about the hype around it. You were told it was an untouched early MS... (possibly a money grab by the publishers.) The Guardian let off some steam around this.

This week’s epic marketing fail.
So you think you have a pretty solid career with your big NY publisher. You’ve won awards, earned out etcetc. Then your latest book (with starred reviews already) gets yanked before publication. Heard it all before... but this time it is the author that has yanked the book because the publisher lied about the marketing campaign. (Takes writer guts to do it.)

Brooke Warner has written a piece about the lengths some Traditional publishers are going to control their writer's marketing lives. Stopping writers giving endorsements to other writers being one of them. Isn’t it supposed to be a win/win marketing strategy?

Catherine Nicholls decided to try a little experiment and sent her novel out under a man’s name. The comments on this one are very interesting. When you know that there are more women in the publishing industry but a male name means the project gets looked at faster... um ?

The annual SCBWI LA conference wrapped up this week. Children’s writers who can’t get there drop into the official conference blog where a team of dedicated writers live blog the sessions. It’s always interesting. Grab a coffee scroll down to the bottom and live vicariously.

Publishing Futurist Mike Shatzkin has an interesting post today about the changing nature of publishing. He makes a comment about not seeing any of the big writers jumping from Traditional publishing which a couple of years ago everyone expected. And when are we going to see the United Artists model of publishing? (I’ve been saying for years that the Indie future is in the Bloomsbury model.) I wonder when we will get to say I told you so...

In the Craft Section,
4 steps for organising plot ideas- Jody Hedlund (Bookmark)

Emotional wounds- when you accidently kill someone- Angela Ackerman

Killing your darlings- Janice Hardy

In the Marketing Section,

Online Marketing strategy for authors – Mike Shatzkin (Bookmark)

When to use pre orders- Lindsay Buroker (Bookmark)

Website of the Week.
I drop into Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog pretty much every week. Elizabeth is writing about her learning journey as she becomes a hybrid author. This week she had an interesting article about what Traditional publishing needs to get the Hybrids back.

To Finish,
Writers need their own personal heroes Why? Check out these 7 reasons.
(now go and make your list!)


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