Showing posts with label youtube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label youtube. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Life Is A Story

This week I had to come to terms with the mortality of one of my favourite writers. He slipped away into the next great adventure. I was asked to provide one of a series of public tributes and I found it quite hard and moving at the same time to reflect on a time and place that we both lived in and that feels like another country in today's world. The world is so fast-paced compared to my childhood which felt like a long summer of outdoor experiences. I look at my own children and wonder what their memories will be. Will it be wrapped up in technology? It got me thinking about literary estates and longevity of storytelling lives and the sheer breadth and depth of all the storied lives that have gone before us.

This week Ruth Harris looked at the seduction of the New Book idea. When you are tired of the old book idea... or the writing is dragging... isn’t it wonderful to play with the new shiny idea that makes writing fun again? Is there a danger in chasing after the new?

I’m always interested in book cover designs. Today I saw a fabulous cover of a book that will be out next year. But what was really interesting is that there are different book covers for the US market, the UK market, and the Aus/NZ market. What makes different countries prefer different motifs? IngramSpark has a roundup of the design trends they have noticed so far.

Statistics, love ‘em or hate ‘em, sometimes you just need to wrap your head around them. So this week Sandra Beckwith of BuildBookbuzz put together some publishing statistics for authors to help them understand and plan their careers. Take a look.

Branding is another subject authors love to hate. Yes, you are a brand but you can be a brand in a good way. Why branding confuses you and how to fix this in a good way written by Rachel Thompson especially for authors. 

Kobo has an eye on the fastest-growing format in publishing. This week they have launched an easy way to upload your audio files and you are not locked into anything. Another company entering the Audio publishing space.

Joanna Penn is always a fount of interesting wisdom and content. This week she had a great post on collaborative writing with  David Mark Brown who got together with his writing group to write stories... with fifty authors! Joanna also has a great interview with Blaire Palmer on transitioning to a creative career. 

Are you in danger of succumbing to the new cult of the first sentence? Do you need an intervention? Does the first sentence really matter? Scott McCormick takes issue with the cult and offers ways to get free.

In The Craft Section,

5 quick questions to help you write awesome characters- Bang to Write 

What are the traits of an espionage hero?- Piper Bayard- Bookmark

Give your readers someone to hate- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

How to identify Second Draft Writer Blues- Lucy Mitchell

When literary devices become tangled- Peter Selgin

In The Marketing Section,

Q and A with Literary Agent on identifying trends- Bookmark

How to spice up your boring author interview- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark

Pinterest and Instagram for writers- Frances Caballo

4 ways Publisher Rocket helps authors- Dave Chesson

Bookbub Author profile examples- Bookbub

How to launch a book with more preorders- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

To Finish, 

A neat little video from author Jenna Moreci on the ten tips for writing your first chapter. Just when you thought you knew what to do... laugh out loud funny.


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Pic: Creative Commons – John Lustig- Light reading

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, July 14, 2011

Headpottering On Kids Lit...

Yesterday at 1pm NZ time Kidlitchat had their two year anniversary. 
Kidlitchat is a real time Twitter conversation with children’s writers that happens each week. The moderators Greg Pincus and Bonnie Adamson set the topic in advance. You log on to Twitter and type #kidlitchat into search and join in the conversation. 
Yesterday the topic was, Why do you write kidlit?  As ever there were heaps of wonderful comments but these four beautifully encapsulated why I love writing and reading Children’s Literature.

I write because my brain is perpetually 12 -Raina Telgemeier

I write for the kid I was - Laurel Snyder

There’s nothing on earth more difficult to write or more strenuous- It’s magnificent -Kelly Barnhill

Why Kidlit?-because I’ve always loved reading it (then and now) because I want to make kids laugh/cry/wonder – Debbie Ohi

In 1998 I read a comment on an international authors thread about how a new book just out was getting a wonderful word of mouth reception...(there was no marketing being done.) I asked John at The Children’s Bookshop if he had heard of ‘the philosophers stone’ book and he sold me his last copy...he had bought just a few.  This book, and the six that came after it, transformed the publishing world but most of all it transported children to a magical reading place. 

I read the book in a sitting...then started it with my class. Within a week mothers were coming to me to ask where they could buy the book...especially mothers with boys. By the time I was half way through the book (and we read every day) half the class had their own copies and were reading along with me. The book caused a phenomenon in the playground with other teachers queuing up to grab my copy.

There have been many comments about how the series needed better editing or better language or was too formulaic...but nothing can take away the fact that millions of kids were turned onto reading and a 700 page book set in this magical world was too short in their opinion. I watched kids reading ability sky rocket and I am forever grateful to Joanne Rowling for the priceless gift she gave children...literacy.

So it is with a heavy heart that I prepare to go and see the last Harry Potter film. (The end of an era.) It has been a much discussed and analysed series in this house with my teen growing up with the books and my middle child (not a reader) finally discovering the book series last year and going from the bottom reading group to the top one in six months. I know that I will cry probably before the film starts...because I can see the faces of all the kids I read those books too...looking up at me, their eyes wide, hanging on every word.

And to give that gift to children, with my own words, would be the best gift I could ever that’s why I write kidslit.

In the link list today Joe Wikert (publisher) talks about J K Rowlings ground breaking decision to make her ebooks DRM free. It is a thoughtful article on where he thinks publishing should go.

Rachelle Gardner, agent extraordinaire, has put together a one stop shop on publishing information. She is always an insightful read and she doesn’t sugar coat, so it is top information.   

Laura Pauling has done the same for agents who are becoming publishers. This topic is still being discussed and debated so if you are trying to get up to speed on this very important issue have a look at Laura’s list.

Dan Elish has written a guest post on the GLA Blog that is a must bookmark. 5 tips to making a cool YouTube video to promote your book. This is a great how to do it and make it go viral.

Sort of linked but way out there...there is a new video blog in town. Ernesto Verdugo has started a videocast about links to make your website go zing...Just take a look at the topics covered in episode one! (on his overview transcript.)

In the craft section

Jenny Hanson talks about Margie Lawson and her ten best ever writing tips...this is another post to book mark. Margie Lawson is a much sought after master class teacher.

Over on Craicerplus I have links to articles on...

The New Midlist –Self Publishing...take some time to read this article.

To finish, two thought provoking articles...

Bob Mayer, as ever, is pushing writers to keep their options open and challenging publishers to start moving with the times. In this great article he looks at the recent Thriller Conference he attended and how attitudes might be changing towards self publishing.

Faith Hunter overheard the three most stupid things to come out of a wannabe authors mouth in a pitch session. She examines why these utterances will ensure that the work will never be looked at...Thank God my readers are not this dumb!

I’m off to wallow in nostalgia...


Pic is the wizard herself...
N.B. Headpottering is a term my university friends came up to describe a deep thinking session....25 years ago. (gulp)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quick...It's Thursday...

The day started with the realization that it was Thursday. I’m still on holiday, now in another city from last week. Things are much busier here, more distractions. Then I also realized that I had not touched a computer since I got here.
What was the blog post going to be about? Still being on holiday? How wrinkly a child can get when water sliding? The Tennis on TV?

So a quick look into Twitter…to look for items of interest.

Rachelle has tale of woe about what happens when a publisher has a preconceived notion of a book and before reading it plans the marketing of it.

If you are looking for a chewy article to help you understand new media and how our habits are changing around the web and what it means to you, the author, read this article, The Web Is A Customer Service Medium.

Bookbuzzr is posting a great series of articles about book marketing mistakes. This one is on Tag lines. This is a very good article.

Still on this topic….

Richard Curtis has been looking at Whether Authors Make Good Publishers…
Richard and JA Konrath are going head to head over this…go on be a spectator and read the comments on this article. This is probably going to be a big issue of 2011. Publish yourself or stay with the traditional model…..

If you are thinking about book trailers this year here is a YouTube resource list for you.

I'll be back home next week...Keep an eye on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) for new content.

Off to watch the Tennis....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

news, views and Booklaunch 2.0

Well this week had it's highs and lows....the high at the beginning was one of the kids doing well in a competition...all the practice does pay off...not to mention the endless trips in the car ferrying said child to practice three times a week.....60k round trips....

Creative New Zealand felt that professional development for Children's Writers and Illustrators wasn't worth funding....but we are still going ahead....pull out Plan money, virtual speakers....WE CAN DO IT....

But the Creative New Zealand decision was such a cruel blow. As an industry we are struggling to remain upbeat and focussed as the opportunities dry up here.

In the end...New Zealand has to ask itself... Do you want New Zealand children growing up on a diet of books from overseas...Support your Writers and Illustrators!

I heard this week of an illustrator who had a contract job with a north american publisher. They were asked to illustrate an aboriginal story. So the illustrator researched as they do and put together a series of pictures of aboriginal children and parents for the project and was told
'could you make them less dark...sort of more latte coloured.'
What message is that sending to the children who will be reading this book...?

There is a video by Dennis Cass being shared around authors and editors in the US.
It perfectly illustrates what is facing authors in the digital world.
It is very funny but as many authors is scary too as we all see ourselves in the hapless authors position.

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