Showing posts with label research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research. Show all posts

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paying The Piper

Oh the pain and the angst in the publishing world this week when the news broke that a  *reputable* author had been buying 5 star reviews for Amazon copies of his books...and not only that he had done it but that it was even possible...thus skewing the system and maybe breaking a few codes of conduct practices on the way. 

This has put the spotlight onto much should they charge? 

Now you are getting in to tricky territory...
If you said do reviewers make a living with falling print media and newspaper layoffs? And where does that leave Kirkus who charges $425 US for a Kirkus review to Indie authors under their Kirkus Indie column. (They say it will be a Kirkus review. They don’t say it will be a good one...and it isn’t.)

Porter Anderson, critic and all around great guy, sets out the arguments in Extra Ether on Jane Friedman’s site and over 100 comments in a short space of time sees this as an important moment in publishing. What will be the status of the review in the future...He wants every reviewer to clearly put their relationship to the writer in the reviews... otherwise it is fraud!

The knives are out for authors who may have puffed up their stats with paid reviews but it does highlight a problem about review visibility to independent authors and small publishers. (and on that note the knives should be out for writers behaving badly when they solicit fan hate mail to reviewers)

While on this subject Catherine Ryan Howard takes a look at 50 Shades of Grey and wonders how you can call it a self publishing success story...

Julie Musil talks about what you do when critique partners disagree with your work.

JJ from Pub Crawl talks about what happens in her head as she has to reject a manuscript from her publishing house.

After all this gloom you need a pick me up. 
The wonderful (witty) Inkygirl has written about how a rejection got her a publishing contract...A feel good story to give Illustrators hope....

This week Mike Shatzkin (publishing futurist and guru) posted an article with lots of important points to think about in the publishing future...especially in the developing world where he sees the 0 print phenomenon happening there faster because of the costs of printing and shipping print books vs ebooks. A very chewy read with lots to think about now that Amazon has opened up India!

Rachelle Gardner is also looking at the publishing future and what authors will need in their tool box.

In the craft section,

10 steps to decontructing the novel to find out how it is done...

Jane Friedman sneak previews The Plot Whisperers new workbook with an excerpt, 7 essential elements of scene and structure.

Writers write has a look at the 12 common archetypes...for those of you who love infographics.

Novel Rocket examines two forms of historical research and how you should combine elements of them for effective research.

and to finish

Tonight I am off to celebrate 20 years of the wonderful Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie...It’s going to be a PARTY!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rants and Research

The holidays are fast disappearing and my To Do list stays the same. This week has had some highs tho.
My family managed to all go to the movies together. It may not sound like a big deal to you but it is to me. With so many things pulling at each one of us, we can only usually manage to eat together once a week. Family events of more than the fifteen minutes to eat dinner take major planning.  We saw The Sorcerer’s Apprentice...and we all enjoyed it for various reasons...How they managed to cleverly mix physics and magic, the mop scene from the old Disney version, Nicolas Cage, and the Harry Potter trailer....

Straight after the movie I raced into The Children’s Bookshop for Diana Menefy’s little soiree to celebrate her book, The Shadow of the Boyd. This ripping yarn’s journey to publication has been long in the making. Diana has been researching this piece of tragic New Zealand History for about a decade. She has cleverly woven in many facts about shipboard life in the early 1800’s but not at the expense of a great story of tragedy and survival against the odds. When I got home after dinner out with some great writers...I started the book and kept going...finishing it in one bite. Shadow of the Boyd is the last book picked up by a publisher from the pitch session at Spinning Gold to be published and I was delighted to be able to celebrate this with Diana and some of the Spinning Gold team.

I haven’t been doing much researching on the net this week so this morning I took a look at what has caught peoples attention that might be of interest to you.

Lynn Price, Editorial Director Of Behler Publications has ripped into Christopher Pike for not only NOT researching properly but for then trying to defend the resulting mess. She does not spare the editors of his publishing house either who did such a sloppy job that they didn’t catch obvious errors which ruin the whole foundation of the story....You may think she is a bit harsh...but I don’t. Diana Menefy spent ten years getting the history right, the life and times, the names of the characters and the language right for Shadow of The Boyd. It is children’s novel but it has been meticulously done. I know how much time I spend researching...writer friends have called me on it...(stop and just write the damn book...) We have a duty to our readers after all to write a good story. Our readers are not dumb and treating them as such shows an amazing arrogance which will fast lose you credibility and readers.

While I am ranting (but not half as well as Lynn Price) Suzannah of Write It Sideways has a minor rant on her blog about being plagiarized. Suzannah has discovered that whole articles have been copied and pasted, cut up and attributed to other bloggers. She is trying to get a perspective on it that doesn’t involve wasted energy...and negative thoughts. Suzannah has posted a short list of rules for new bloggers to understand about linking to others work, and commenter’s have linked to some great sites for copyright protection.

Off on a different tack Victoria Moxon has another very fine article on How To Make Your Novel Hopelessly Addictive and Nicola Morgan has one on Dialogue Techniques. Both of these bloggers are a valuable resource if you are looking for writing help.

Chip MacGregor has posted an exhaustive list of things a good agent needs to know. As Chip is the owner of a successful literary agency he is well qualified to speak. As always I urge you read the comments of the articles I link to because they often have some great extras to add to the discussion.

Over on Craicerplus my Amplify page I have links to articles on

7 Factors For Success In Finding An Agent

Earth Like Planet Can Sustain Life (geeking no apologies)

9 Ways To Prepare For NaNoWriMo

A Writers Guide To A Successful Interview (how to use an interview to get your message across)

Writing Series-Thoughts and Resources (this is great if you find your story going on longer than one book)

Kindle Self Publishing (writers can now self publish on Kindles....)

On a slightly different facet of the writing life...Alexis Grant has a good article on Writer’s Colonies. These are amazing residential places that writers can go and just write. Someone else takes care of all the other, laundry etc etc. Some colonies will pay you to go there...It is to dream...

Guy Le Charles Gonzales has been doing a bit of that lately and has re mixed his ideas on 21st Century Publishing. Traditional print plus fan sites plus book cafe sites plus on demand printing equals a very interesting publishing model for writers.

For those of you interested in the 1000 fans idea, my friend Justin sent me a link to a photographer who is experimenting with the concept and has chronicled his two year journey...(yes he is making money...and he doesn’t have 1000 fans...)


Pic is the cover of The Shadow of The Boyd and below a little clip (you can find anything on YouTube)

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