Showing posts with label kate tilton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kate tilton. Show all posts

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Navigating Writing in the Whirlwind

This week politics filled the news channels. Domestic and foreign policy was under the spotlight. Writers went around in circles trying to make sense of the narratives or gave up and wondered if we had crossed over into a parallel dystopian universe.

I have regularly struggled with the notion of where should I be marketing my books given that I am a children’s writer... Publishing Trends takes an in depth look at this problem that children’s writers face and has some solutions.

Spare a kind thought for Kat Rosenfield who wrote a Vulture article this week on The Toxic Drama of YA Twitter. Readers criticising a manuscript before it is even finished seems to be at the far end of acceptable behaviour. I’m not surprised that Y A authors might be playing it safe after reading this.

So if children’s writers have to play it safe what do they do on Social Media?
Anne R Allen has a great article on her blog on why blogging should be where an author is.

Agent Janet Reid talks about the contact page on your author website and how important it is. It’s not about whether you can be contacted. It’s the way you say it!

Jane Friedman has been hosting some great guest authors on her blog lately. Recently she has a case study by literary fiction author Nicole Dieker who self published her book. This is a fascinating ‘how to’ for a difficult niche.

Also in the case study file Jennie Nash has a terrific article on Why Writers Should Conduct A Performance Review. And you should download her review template. Call it professional development!

Startup Indie Author has gathered together a list of resources of great books, podcasts and articles on launching a new book. I can endorse this list because I have half the books and they are really good. (If you are looking for more information on this subscribe to my monthly newsletter and get my Book Marketing Summit notes for free.)

Kris Rusch has her final post on discoverability and it’s a must read. Kris looks at aggressive growth strategies – No it is not scary... it’s about timing.

Angela Ackerman’s post on authors working collaboratively is still making the rounds and getting comments. If you missed it from last week’s roundup- Check it out!

Tabitha Lord has an excellent article on Writers Digest about editorial calendars and how to use them to juggle the writing life.

In The Craft Section,

Two Bookmark posts from James Scott Bell

Writing all around your MS- Susan Dennard- Save the Cat-Bookmark

Write yourself into a corner- Janice Hardy – Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Unique swag ideas- Kate Tilton

Increase book sales – Ryan Holiday

Effective lead magnets- Meera Kothand- Bookmark

Market to grow your platform- Matt Aird- Bookmark

To Finish,

Chuck Wendig is always a sure bet for making sense of the turmoil of writing. This week he looked at writing as an act of resource management. This is entertaining and relevant as we all try to find our way through the politics and back to the page.


My monthly newsletter will be going out this weekend. I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. I appreciate the virtual coffee love so a big THANKS to everyone who hit the coffee button this week.

Pic: Flickr/ Creative Commons - Jon Aslund

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Act Of Writing

I was reflecting this week on the dark night of the soul. That’s the part of the book at the end of act 2 when the protagonist has to make a choice and carry on....
This week I was coming across articles that could have come from the dark night of the writers soul.

The Book Designer had an article about another publisher who went belly up owing millions in law suits. He did some quick author life saving. Recognise the signs and Beware Sharks!

Ruth Harris had an article on how to recognise overload in writers. Is it stress or burnout?

March McCarron had one on data loss and what to do when it strikes you.

Book works has a comprehensive article on estate planning for authors.

Tara Sparling asks if there is a slush pile on our Kindles?

And then there were the glimmers of dawn...

Heather Webb kicked off a great discussion on Writer Unboxed on what fiction trends say about us.

Joanna Penn added a list of great writing books everyone should read.

Elizabeth Craig had a great article on organisation. How do you organise your life around your writing...

The moments when the dawn shadows revealed rocks that looked like dragons...

Roz Morris on whether you are showing off or sharing your writing. Should you be killing your darlings? A great read. What is your motivation...

Fine Art Views on the depth of your fan growth. Is it quantity over quality? How can you engage them better in what you produce?

Kris Rusch on Writer finances in a paycheck world. What you should be doing with that unexpected windfall of cash.

Now the sun is up and you can see what lies in the shadows... and just when you think the way seems clear news comes out that a large bookstore chain is secretly opening up independent shops in a trojan horse play....

You need to arm yourself with the best apps for writers going into the third act.

In The Craft Section,

Zero Draft 30- An interesting writing challenge.

The dark night of the soul- Sara Letourneau – Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Optimising the back cover-Bookworks- Bookmark

Social Media Checklist- Caitlin Burgess

Is expecting help to market your books lazy?- Excellent discussion from Rachel Thompson

Newsletter surveys- Kate Tilton – Bookmark

To Finish,

Chuck Wendig has put together his vital list of writing advice that you cannot ignore as you head out into the third act salt mines and to the eventual glory of writing the words... The End.


The latest Writers Island podcast is up. Just click the link in the sidebar. Thank you to the wonderful people who have bought me a coffee using the Kofi button.

If you want to get my best of the month roundup and other goodies you can subscribe to my newsletter.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Business of Writing

The above is the whole reason I started this blog in the first place (coming up on 9 years).

Over the last two days I have been following the #DBW16 on Twitter. DBW is Digital Book World and they have conferences on... Book publishing now and in the future.
All the usual suspects were there but what is always interesting at DBW is you often get a glimpse into what’s going to hit in a years time. Tech startups that suddenly get big... etc
Porter and Jane Friedman were both there doing live tweeting... and some interesting ideas were being talked about. Porter has a wrap up of day one and The Bookseller (UK) has their own perspective on it. Next week I’ll link to day two but if you are interested put #DBW16 in the search bar in Twitter (click live) and get some gems.

Ros Barber’s blog post about telling the truth about what writing is really like now is getting talked about all over the place. It’s a brave writer that actually tells it like it is... because we can be seen as biting the hand that drops the crumbs....

Joanna Penn talked with Orna Ross this week on her podcast about Rights Selling and a fascinating chat it was too. This is a sit down with a beverage of your choice and take it all in. It is compelling listen.

Bran Lindy Ayres has a great post on writing diversity. It is thought provoking and lays out how a writer should approach telling a story when they don’t identify with the race, gender or sexuality of their characters.

We are all told we need to have email subscribers etc etc but what do we actually do with them once we’ve got some. Will Hoekenga wrote an interesting blog post – 7 emails you should send to your subscribers but probably don’t. This opens up a whole new world... and now you have to read Jami Gold’s great post -What is your reader retention plan...- Masterclass!

Recently an email came across my inbox with a pointer to a new US based website. Formswift combines a nice website with a whole lot of legal forms for free lancers and their business. Basic contracts, cease and desist orders... There is a huge range all downloadable, all free, that you can use as a basis for what you need.

Anne R Allen and Ruth Harris make a potent team for authors. They are always writing insightful helpful blog posts. Ruth has a wonderful post of 7 ways to rekindle joy in your writing. This is a print it out and stick it on the wall mantra for writers!

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,
5 steps to great cover art- This is in the great 5 question series by Jane Friedman. Bookmark. (Today’s 5 questions to Henry Baum is also interesting)

2 literary agents have great posts this week. Mistakes writers make in query letters- Steve Laube and Oops it happened again by Marisa Corvisiero. These are Bookmark reading if you are going to query!

How to number your series books for Amazon- (it’s trickier than you think) Bookmark

Website of the Week
Kate Tilton has a great website with all sorts of resources for writers. She hosts #K8chat on Twitter and generally is a fund of all sorts of useful information. Here she has put together her list of Book Review bloggers. Bookmark

To Finish,

Hands up those who noticed the new thing in my side bar. I have been wondering how to put a progress bar on my blog for a while. (I’m treating my series as one whole project.) So up pops this handy guide from J Abram Barneck.  It is excellent! Of course I could go crazy and add the 2 finished books in the drawer... 2 books plotted... 6 books still to go all from different projects – Beta readers saying my Mars book needs a sequel...  but I won’t bore you about my business.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thoughts in Translation

This week Amazon announced they were cracking down on fake reviewers. GULP went all the authors. Authors always think the worst. So what does it mean? Passive Guy takes a look at why Amazon has tweaked the review system. It’s all about trust.

The Frankfurt Book Fair has been happening and suddenly everyone is talking about translations. Germany just happens to be a huge market for translations. The Bookseller talks about the move to global authorship.

Amazon is in the translation business (of course) and Publishing Perspectives this week talked about the huge injection of cash into Amazon Crossing and sounded a note of caution to the translators who make it all happen.

Joanne Harris delivered a speech this week at the Manchester Literary Festival which is getting shared all around the internet. Why do people expect authors to work for free? Do readers ever ask what does the author wants from them? This is a fabulous read!

Jami Gold asks authors - What is your long term plan? This is one of those posts that have you thinking for a long time after you read it. Every author should read this.

This author life has its ups and downs, Lance Rubin wrote a great post on blocking out the noise and just creating.

Sometimes you come across a piece of writing that turns you on your ear and that you just have to share with someone. That happened to me this week when I heard a podcast interview with Paul Bishop on Authorbiz. I listened to it in the car and then couldn’t wait to share the ideas with my writing partner. Just WOW.

In the Craft Section,
Now Novel has two great articles- What is good writing and Guide to Writing a Romance novel

The secret power of Voice – James Scott Bell

Tips for Queriers- query, synopsis, first page

Brainstorming the hero – Angela Ackerman

Letting go of the practice novel- Writer Unboxed- Bookmark!

Turning a unique phrase - Joanna Penn

In the Marketing Section,

5 basic elements of an Author website – The Book Designer - Bookmark

Website of the Week.
Larry Brooks has an excellent website full to bursting with great content on writing. Here are just two recent stand out posts. The unspoken pinch point – climax and How to plan your novel in 6 weeks. Both are bookmark posts!

To Finish,
Infographics... Translating lots of information into handy charts.
And now you know everything.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Negativity or Reality

This week people in the publishing world were trying to make sense of different reports and breathing deeply. Roz Morris wrote a heart felt plea on self publishing and how hard it is... especially if you are writing literary fiction. Many writers commented and bared their souls over the dropping pay rates and sales. Their comments are interesting and enlightening.

Porter Anderson then picked up the baton and examined the general tone of despair in his column for Writer Unboxed, Looking For Truth In A Time Of Hype. We are so used to sounding chipper about our sales and our writing when in private we are holding our heads and wailing 'is it just me….' This is a great post with very insightful comments.

This week Hugh Howey and Data Guy tried to raise author spirits by publishing the next Author Earnings snapshot. Amazon Imprints have doubled their sales and Trad publishers have taken a dive. Are the Trad doom and gloom forecasts really indicative of the publishing world reality? (Hugh Howey investigated and found out differently.)

Porter still very much wondering about hype took the boys to task and pointed out that there were other very interesting gems to come out of the Author Earnings report that they hadn’t reported on. (Read them both.)

Rachelle Gardner wrote an article on Negativity. The single worst thing an author can do for their career. So if you complain make sure it’s in private... to trusted friends... in a dark room with hoods, passwords and false names.

Today Nielson had their one day kids book summit. Twitter raged when marketers on a panel started speculating that YA needed to be rebranded as 80% of its readers were adults. It was not a pretty sight. But there were other interesting take aways from the day so check out the Twitter stream.

Justine Larbalesteir wrote a wonderful piece comparing YA published today with that published 30 years ago. If Flowers In The Attic were published now it would probably be YA...

In The Craft Section,
Jane Friedman on The Novel Synopsis (Bookmark)

Darcy Pattison on 29 Plots

Janice Hardy on First pass editing

Kate Tilton - Villains are the real stars (Bookmark)

The rule of 3 –Copyblogger

Writer’s essential tools (I’ve reference quite a few on this blog)

In The Marketing Section,

Joanna Penn talking with Mark Coker on the Indie state of play now (Porter references this podcast in his Looking for Truth post)

Anne R Allen on group think red flags in critique groups (Bookmark)

Website Of The Week
Last week I brought you a review of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s new project. This week Angela shows off some screen captures of the Very Classy software.  One Stop Shop for Authors....

To Finish,
Pick yourself up... dust yourself off ... Put on that cheerful face and go back out to fight the publishing world again.

It’s three weeks until the Tinderbox Conference... There seems to be piles of little details to sort out (how much chocolate is too much chocolate... is there a sale on hair dye?) However I’m looking forward to meeting up with the wider writer support network, making new friends and learning new and exciting stuff. It's all positive!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What Are The Odds?

It is a funny old world...
This morning I read a Salon article on the echoes of the film Mockingjay with the real life events happening in Ferguson. The use of propaganda today to shape public opinion is held up as a mirror while scenes from the movie echo scenes from videos by extremist groups.

On Facebook, children’s authors are telling of publishers pulling out of signed publishing contracts. Projects, sometimes years in the production, just scrapped leaving the authors and illustrators frustrated and wondering what to do next. I look on Twitter and suddenly I’m seeing articles about self-publishing picture books and what it takes... Hugh Howey has dipped his toe into kids book publishing  and writes about it in his lucid way.

The guru Jane Friedman has also written about self-publishing kids books and the perils therein. Kids books are still firmly in the realm of print but with Amazon ramping up their sales of Kids Kindles and software to create kids books, you can see where they think the market is going.

Porter Anderson writes about the question he got asked at a London conference two weeks ago. Can I reasonably expect to succeed? The questioner was talking about both print and digital publishing. With digital publishing you are competing with every book that has every been published...

Kate Tilton is running a giveaway for Joel’s Friedlander’s book design templates (well worth looking at with 40% off, especially the new children’s book designs.)

This Saturday loads of authors in the US are heading to their local independent booksellers to sell books... in a sharing the love event. Great idea to take up here.

It’s getting towards the end of the year and thoughts of Christmas shopping fill everyone with dread. Jami Gold has updated her gifts for writers list.

In the Craft Section,

A NaNo timetable (remember you can use this on any month)

Stealing Without Shame – Stephen Pressfield

In the Marketing Section,
Timing for book launches (interesting article)

To Finish,

Next year will the odds be in our favor?


Pic from Hunger Games movie
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