Thursday, September 9, 2010

Future Creativity...

This week I have been thinking about creativity and the future. 
This came about because I was at the Storylines committee wind-up dinner (being an email member qualified me...yippee) and Adele Jackson fab co-ordinator and all round creative ideas professional started talking to me about Creativity and the impact on the classroom of the news that creativity is falling away as we focus on assessment.

Of course the teacher in me takes notice. Adele is in touch with some very classy educationalists whom we invited to The Spinning Gold conference to give us a perspective of writing and illustrating for the classroom in the future. Derek Wenmouth of CORE had posted an article on his blog about creativity which featured an excellent video address by John Cleese on the subject. If we don’t block out sustained quiet time we will not have any creative ideas. We must work at it...carve out time!!!

So of course after those stirring words I looked at my to do list and carved out time. Yes I got some big projects done but unfortunately some more got added to the list...Oh well I know what I need to do. Unplug the internet! (yep I hear you all laughing) I am resisting all efforts by the family to make this a wireless household...too easy I think to get sucked in into checking facebook when I am supposed to be writing. Fleur Beale has a good system, every morning she goes to an office in town without internet and writes...which is why we are all going to the launch of her new book Fierce September tonight....(a great launch and Fleur is going all techy with added content on linked blogs to the book. Check out the Fierce September website.) 

 Looking into the future is what the sci fi pop culture site i09 is all about. It has some great articles abut what is current, analysis, reviews etc...geek stuff including ask a physicist... I was interested in an article this week about the rise of Science Fiction lit. novels and how writers who previously were known for ‘literature’ were now moving into Science Fiction....(making it legit? Guess my reaction...)

E books are on their way to Australia and  New Zealand with news this week that major publishers are about to sign deals that will enable their lists to be published as e-books. As the readers start to make their way into this part of the world it would be good to have local content available to read on them.

Sydney Salter, one of the 30 mid grade authors running the midgrade site From The Mixed Up Files has a great blog post looking at her reaction to her child who saved up and bought herself an e-reader. So is this what kids of the future want to spend their money on? Sydney was sceptical but her non reader is now reading...

So how to get that content picked up so you can be part of the publishing lists of the future....

Mary Kole of has been interviewed on several blogs about being a young agent and she has written a thought provoking post on how she acquires authors. Here in NZ we don’t have many we do more ourselves but overseas getting the agent can be the hardest part of the whole publishing process.

Sunny Frazier has written a no nonsense straight talking guest post on being an acquisitions editor...she doesn’t bother with the query letter but goes straight to google search to find out how web savvy the author is...go read is eye opening!

 If you are now in a state of shock about your publishing and the future you might want to check out this collection of tips from authors who are using social media for marketing... and Chris Brogan has a good post on blogging and websites if you need to do something concrete...(Thanks to Justin, for the link.)

Over on Craicerplus (my Amplify page...which is getting a following of its own)
I have links to articles on

Finally Someone Admits To What The Print On Demand Business Model Really Is

Genreality- Self Publishing Realities

Ten Ways To Improve Your Writing

13 Wonderful Truths About Publishing

Dear Dan Brown...(you will laugh)

Ten Tropes you Will Find In Science Fiction Over and Over Again...(geeking over the video clips)

How To Effectively Manage Your On Line Reputation

How To Read A Publishing Contract

In the good news corner Debbie Redpath Ohi,  whose cartoons I have enjoyed over the last few years, got some well deserved recognition purely by accident and through a rejection picked up a publishing contract and a new career...nice one! She carved out time in her hotel room in a frantic rush but the payoff was oh so sweet.
So how do YOU carve out time for writing? All tips appreciated...


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Niche Learning

Do you have a niche?
How do you get one if you don’t have one? 
Does a writer need a niche?

Tony Eldridge has a great article on niche and what it means to an author when it comes to marketing yourself and your books.

As part of looking into niche and branding, these ideas had me thinking about Author websites and blogging.

Alexander Chee has written a great post on Author blogging. Why should an author have a blog? Should you blog if you have been pressured to do it? 

This is thought provoking stuff to all the author bloggers out there.

I was encouraged (strongly) to blog by a friend. As you can see my blog is not about my writing...(if I didn’t have the link to my book blog you wouldn’t even know.) 

This blog is about my learning. 

Since I have been blogging (just over two years, once a week) I have learned an amazing amount. I have found new friends that share some of my ideas (or humour me:) I have been challenged, stretched and energised by the blogs of others I have read and the discussions that I have participated in. The discipline to write an article once a week about my learning has hopefully made me a sharper fiction writer.... I hope that my learning discoveries have helped others.

Alexander also has part two of this article which is even better about the story that sells the story. He takes a look at James Kaelan and the Zero Emissions Book Tour and how James got corporate sponsorship and ended up bare chested on the cover of Poets and Writers magazine.

Seth Godin and his decision to abandon traditional publishing has been a hot topic across a niche blogosphere that I read this week. The decision has angered some and dismayed others. Seth’s ideas on marketing and his innovative way of publishing has given him a huge following. Linchpin was an instant bestseller and will be the last book he traditionally publishes. (i.e. paper and ink)

Mike Shatzkin has talked about Seth’s decision and what it may mean for authors and publishers now and in the future. As Mike says 'not everyone is a Seth Godin...'some of us need traditional publishing but for how long...

Two best selling authors have taken their book into social media and mixed it up. Today Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear announced that they have partnered with Subutai Corporation to deliver the worlds first digital novel on a social book platform. They are publishing a chapter a week with lots of supplementary material, all their research etc all on the ipad, iphone and ipod touch. This is story telling into the future. Of course it would be two speculative fiction guys who would do this....

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify page) I have linked to articles on

Tension = Conflicting Emotion Article by  Donald Maass.

Beware The Eyes That March-What Eyes Can And Cannot Do In Fiction

Words To Think About from A to V from the Blood Red Pencil

Two Items Needed In Every Authors Toolbox (Melinda linked to this from her blog)

Mr Rochester Is A Creep...(those weird Bronte sisters)

Making The Most Of Criticism...( a good post for those critique-ing out there)

So there you have it... a round up of my learning and reading this week. As I ask my kids every day... what have you learned...anyone want to share what they have learned this week?


pic from niche market
Related Posts with Thumbnails