Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Quest For Quality Content

There has been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about ‘indie’ publishing and how many wannabe authors have jumped on the bandwagon and are happily uploading eBooks by the score. The books are badly formatted with sloppy editing and containing spelling and grammar mistakes in the hundreds. 
This plethora of dross overwhelms the Reader, who is searching for a quality read. 
The Author who has worked hard on editing, formatting and laying out a quality read, is buried in the slush. 

What To Do....
The Reader starts to look for quality filters...word of clubs and others to make navigating to the quality content easier.
The Author is stuck in the bind of having to market and promote like crazy, to get their name out there enough, so it stays in the readers consciousness long enough for the reader to click the buy button...while trying to write more quality content.

This month the Craic book project has stalled...due to unforseen family circumstances and so I have done no marketing on Craic. I have just checked the Google search on Craic and found some new bars have opened up in New Zealand with the name of my fictional rock band...hmm wonder where they got that name from.... 

What I should be doing...
Making sure I don’t commit any of the 7 worst mistakes of the indie author.
Checking out pet peeves of marketing and vowing to get better...

When I find time to write more quality content I should be looking carefully at my word choice...(warning this is a Chuck post...great... but his word images are not for the faint of heart.)

I should be reading quality craft books and practising finding my 'Aha' moment. (just bought two of James Scott Bells and am preparing to throw myself into the work as I have two manuscripts to rework, one to finish and one to start...I need more quality content to follow up Craic you see...)

In my quest for quality content to read and learn from I need to look at what others have done and how they have had the stars fall into line...
Grammar Girl springs to mind, along with this TED talk by Andrew Stanton on Storytelling. (the guy who wrote Toy Story and Finding Nemo...)

A couple of agents examine middle grade fiction and what they think authors need to be aware of.

Joel the book designer has a handy post on designing your book yourself... Lets not be sloppy out there!

The Horn Book (that august filter of quality work) has turned its sights on the picture book app and has a check list of what is a quality app and what is not!

I should be checking my author platform... finding where I should be, and BEING THERE.

Somehow I need to fit this in and stay sane enough to cope with the chaos of my home at the moment. So...if I am a little distracted beer/bear/bare/ with me and I will hopefully get it all together sometime soon when I find my Wonder Woman cape and magic bracelets.

By the way Craic is available on...
and Smashwords for ePub

It is a quality read....hehehe.


get your wonder woman costume here

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Weaving the strands

Last week was a fairly tough one in the family with a family funeral to deal with so there was no weekly blog post looking at the hot topics in the publishing blogosphere.

This week I am trying to pick up the threads and get back into the warp and weft of the publishing world.

Just when you think Amazon has every thing stitched up as the biggest book retailer in the world there is a thread ready to be yanked which could cause some unravelling...

Amazon has been negotiating (dictating) new pricing terms to book publishers this year. When the Independent Publishers Group rejected their terms all the Amazon buy buttons were disabled for all books represented by them. (Two years ago Amazon did this to Macmillan and Macmillan won. IPG are much smaller and their members risk going out of business entirely.)

The stand taken by IPG has lots of support from across the blogosphere as different ways to buy IPG books get promoted on websites and other online book retailers.
IPG Authors are stuck as they watch entire catalogues disappear...5000 authors are affected by this and there is much pessimism. When the largest book retailer on the planet refuses to stock your book...what do you do?

Seth Godin has problems with Apple refusing to carry his latest book because it has links to buy books he quotes from Amazon...He questions whether the book retailer should have such a sensitivity to book content....

Crafting a successful children’s book requires the manipulating of many strands. Marketing is one important one as you want people to want to own your creation.

Lindsay Buroker has compiled a list of links to check out to help new writers tackle the marketing questions.

In your quest to make your book glow with subtle colour and texture you need a strong cover. India Drummond continues her examination of book covers. This is a must read post as India explains the contract and price work sheet she uses with clients when she designs book covers.

Along with subtle colour you must have strong threads to hang everything off and Warrior Writer have a post on story structure using Finding Nemo...Warrior Poet has one on using a Hollywood trick to outline....(hmm lots of warriors out there)

Jody Hedlund has finally read Hunger Games and she has an interesting post on riveting readers using Death as the main theme...Death by another name as the great antagonist.

There are 10 pieces of rotten writing and don’t follow....

Liza Nowak wants to enlist the help of all writers of Boy Books out there. She has an interesting proposition for you.

Agent Kristin of Pub Rants has been experimenting with Friday video blogs and she has one examining the different levels and word counts of Mid Grade my favourite genre.

Time to tie off the ends with Publishers Weekly and their blog post on whether teens are embracing eBooks...Yup right after they address the digital divide between those who can afford e readers and those that can’t and that is where the libraries come in....


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