Showing posts with label johanna knox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label johanna knox. Show all posts

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This week I have been contemplating the future of the modern book launch. 

A book launch is a celebration and a promotional opportunity for the author, bookseller and publisher to highlight a creative achievement and to get the printed story into the hands of readers. Pre the book launch the reviewers would have been given advance copies to review, hopefully favourably, to generate interest. People would be awaiting the launches are great affairs where the writing community gets out in support. A good book launch can propel a book onto the best seller list which then gets it noticed more....

I have attended many fabulous Book Launches at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie where John and Ruth McIntyre have been proud Godparents (and sometimes midwives) of some very special books... They were wonderful Godparents at my own book launch 3 years ago and have been encouraging and commiserating with me as my midgrade novel Craic repeatedly gets so close to the acceptance bar. Today it was announced that they have been awarded the Betty Gilderdale award for Services To New Zealand Children’s Literature and they are worthy recipients! As the current Convenor of the Wellington Children’s Book Association I am proud to announce our co hosting of the Award ceremony for them at Turnbull House on the 21st of November. (it’s nice that I can now blab this secret as well.)

With Amazon commenting last week that they were selling 2 eBooks for every 1 Print Book...the future of the book launch, the count down to the day you hold the book in your hands, has changed.
An eBook launch is a different beast altogether. You can still have the party but the signing table will be empty...the cash register won’t be ringing in the background.

Melinda Szymanik was telling me that the launch of her eBook, The Half Life Of Ryan Davis, was an email from her publisher with an Amazon gift certificate for the book attached and a celebratory glass of wine with the publisher. There will be a party when the print book comes out later in the year tho!

Three years ago the printed book would have been launched with a splash then later in the year, unheralded, the audio book and the eBook. Now the eBook comes first with the book trailer then the audio book and, if you want, you can have a print book...either P.O.D. or traditionally.

Reviewers slot in all along this process so the three months or so of new book publicity can be dragged out to a year if you are a canny marketer....A quick look at a new publisher on the New Zealand block, Pear Jam Books, shows that they understand this very well. (Great acronym use of the word PEAR! )

So here are some more great writers who are launching eBooks this week and how they are doing it.

Jane Friedman has a great guest blog from Roz Morris on her experiment of the serialisation of her novel on Kindle. Roz talks about what works and what didn’t. This model of publicity made Dickens famous...

Victoria Mixons second book on The Art and Craft Of Story is getting great reviews around the blogosphere. You can check out free samples of the practitioner’s manual here on a bookbuzzr widget or over on Storyfix where she has a chapter up on science and story in a great guest post.

Victoria also has a fantastic interview with Joanna Penn about her very successful ePublishing career and why she chose to publish this way.

The Huffington Post has spotlighted Self Publishing this week with an interesting guest post from Felicia Ricci entitled How to self publish (and seem like you’re not.) If you are looking for a step by step guide check this out!

In marketing the eBook you need to be just as careful in your planning as you were in formatting it. Tony Eldridge has a revisited a link to an article about how not to use Print On Demand (worth rereading for the tips on how to do it better.)

Tony also has a popular resource of the week series. Check out YouTube creators for help with that book trailer and Paypal tips for getting the money flowing into your account from your website.

Of course you will have a website to promote your book, eBook or trad...Bookmarketingmaven has a punchy post that reminds writers of what should be on their website...(hint; it begins with B)

Publisher’s Weekly has put the spotlight on Children’s publishing this week with an indepth article on YA publishing and where it is at. There are great quotes from agents and editors in here.
I received my copy of the 2012 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market book this week and this article backed up all the agent interviews in the book.

Chuck Sambuchino, who edited this years CWIM, has a great interview on his blog where an agent pulls apart a successful query letter and shows why the novel got picked up which subsequently launched a successful career.

Another great interview to catch my eye was Johanna Knox’s interview with Mandy Hager on Tim Jones’ blog. Mandy is an accomplished writer and here she talks about how her Blood of the Lamb trilogy has unsettled Americans and how her scriptwriting skills came in useful...

Over in the Craft section,

Agent Mary Kole has some timely advice on how not to use Social Media when looking for agents and editors.

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

Konraths E predictions in 2009...This was Joe talking about what he thought would happen in the future...check out the comments about where we might be heading to now!

Writer Beware – Bad Publishing Clause series...ouch!!!

Make Books Easily for the iPad

To finish,

As I have been writing this blogpost, news has come in of the passing of Steve Jobs, one month after he stepped down as Apple’s CEO. He was a visionary and an extraordinary man. He could polarize a room and inspire it the same time. His commencement speech for Stanford University, just after he was diagnosed with the cancer that killed him today, is one of the most viewed speeches on YouTube and a superb testament to the power of one man who changed the world.


P.S. From time to time I put up a video as a Thank You for someone who has sent quite a few Readers over to Craicer. Melinda the following video is for you... 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Committed To Publishing

Last night as I was racing to a friends book launch I was thinking about the commitment my friend had made to following a dream and the hard work and sacrifices it entailed. 

My friend has been around the publishing industry in one way or another all her working life. She is married to a book designer. As a reviewer and writer she knows how hard it is to get a book in print and that is the easy job compared to getting marketing, reviews and ultimately sales for that book. 

Last night John McIntyre of The Children’s Bookshop correctly stated that all those present at the book launch must become the publicists for the wonderful book Johanna and Walter have created. The Fly Trap Snaps. (book one)

The book is beautifully produced as befits a couple of very hands on creative types and is very funny. It rockets along with the hero, Spencer Fogle, outwitting wrestlers and wrestling with genetically engineered carnivorous plants, feckless parents and a Mr Nice Guy former child star who is not very nice at all. The illustrations Sabrina Malcolm has provided sprinkled throughout the book add the finishing touch to a mystery thriller just right for confident readers 8 thru to 12.

I take my hat off to The Hinterland Press Team, Johanna and Walter, for their courage and tenacity in following their dream to bring us a new midgrade hero...(heroes...Dion the talking Venus Fly Trap has my vote as well.) I wish them well and may they have many sales!

Roni Loren has written a great list of ten things she would do differently (and why) if she was starting out to build an author platform now.

Joel Friedlander has written an interesting post about authors getting into video blogging.  He has some compelling arguments about why we should and lays out step by step how to do it. It opens up a whole new world for the children’s writer....I was recently talking with a school librarian who told me that Book Trailers were one of the biggest selling points for a books popularity in her school library...just let your mind dwell on that for a moment and then go read what Joel has to say.

Jami Gold has written another thought provoking post on whether children’s books should have a rating system. I sit on the fence mostly on this one. However there are some books that eight year olds, no matter how advanced their reading is, should not be delving into because they lack the life experience to make sense of what they read....and usually they find this out pretty quickly. I wish parents would think about this before they encourage their very bright reader to tackle a young adult book because they can read it!

The Great Jane has another good post looking at ebooks. 5 things beginners need to know about epublishing. Jane has written a quick overview of terms and how to’s.

The SCBWI LA conference has wrapped up and again the conference bloggers did a marvelous job of blogging the whole conference. For a wonderful conference experience drop over to their conference blog go down to the bottom and work your way up. If you are an illustrator make sure you look at all the illustration links....there are some superb illo’s and interviews with the best in the business. If you are a writer, check out the in depth interviews.

A  key note speech I wish I had been there for was the great Bruce Colville...Check out this wonderful report where Bruce talks about the Ha Waah Yikes method of story crafting and what makes a good story.

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

Agents As Publishers- Mike Shatzkin has taken a close look at this issue....he says they have no choice....

5 Simple Steps To Create An Audio Book...this is a great resource.

Building Conflict One Cruelty at A Time- Chuck Wendig....this is a great list of how to’s (Warning...Content but you knew that when I said Chuck...) 

4 Steps To Unlocking Your Creativity...Step one unplug yourself....

In the Craft Corner,
Time to examine your fears people....

To Finish,
Helen Lowe is having a Thornspell contest on her website. You get to suggest one of her characters and why they should have a stand alone story written about them...three judges get to pick the best one...and she has to write it. Winners get a copy of Thornspell...It’s a great book too...think sleeping beauty then tell it from the princes point of view but add some twists!

Helen is living through the constant earthquakes in Christchurch and although times are tough down there she is hanging in there writing and publishing from the very shaky city....That’s commitment!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Warning! Links can be addictive....

In my quest to find interesting materiel for my blog...I follow links on others blogs...I’m thinking of you that’s why I do it. (yeah right) and tripping over to Tania Hutleys blog, I was caught by a link and followed it to the Book Publicity Blog.

When to schedule a bookstore event and when not to...and this blog was written with the help of tweeps ...people on twitter who post one line comments back. to the blogger. There were some good points to consider but lovers of Neil Gaiman will appreciate the comment on this post about an event he has just appeared at in Dublin’s Chapters Bookstore.

One of the first things that struck me after I read the good post on book store events was the huge list of book related blogs that Yodiwan has linked to on their own site. Bookgasm, bookninja, books and booze, books and you name it the list goes on and on and on.

Johanna Knox is about to start another blog as if the three she has got going isn’t enough. This one,tho, will be about books. She is already lining up guest bloggers....good marketing Johanna....(thanks for asking me....shameless self promotion.)

So book blogging is the topic toujour....

There have been various attempts to use the internet and writing in real time in creative ways.

Some writers are posting chapters on line and building up an audience for their work...One author I have heard of (not children’s) in NZ is having fans pay her to write the next thrilling instalment....

Publishers are starting to ask for extra content especially in the YA market. This sort of thing is becoming more prevalent in contracts overseas. The publisher writes a clause into the contract about adding content on their websites in character voices....or supporting full blogs in character voices....

Imagine the take up if you had to write a blog for Edward Cullen from the tween community....I note that P J Hoover has got lots of comments after she posted on the ages reading the Twilight books and they are young (about 9 and 10 yrs old) which is quite scary...because they often still believe that the fantasy world is real...

I have a book blog for Bones (clic on the pic)which has chapters that were cut out on the final edit and extras such as how I came to write the book etc. I always write the blog address for kids when I’m they can see the extra content.

That book is finished but what about book blogs from writers who are still writing...

The lovely Tania Roxborough is getting quite a lot of interest in her book blog and the book isn’t even published yet.

Banquo’s Son is a sequel to Macbeth....and who better to write it than Tania or TK Roxborough. How she fits it in with full time teaching secondary English as well as a full on family life is amazing!

Check out her blog and the cool template for it and read some of the juicy excerpts in what I know will be a great book.

and lastly tho not quite on the book blogs topic....Tim Jones has the press release up for

The Cuba Street Garret writers colony.....

If you are in Wellington looking for writing space....this could be for you. Doug Wilkins (on the NZSA Wgtn committee) has previously set one up in San Francisco and there could be a chance for a writers exchange.

Go have a look!

Warning! Following links can be addictive. Where have you been taken to lately...?

Chain link pic is from (Spot the new links in my sidebar)

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