Thursday, January 17, 2013

Going Into Battle

Last week the blog post you would have got didn’t happen because I was traveling unexpectedly for most of a day. Arriving back to where we were staying at 10:30 pm was not a great time to start writing you got a week off.
I have finished traveling up and down the country and so there are no excuses this week.

January continues to be the month of setting writing goals for the coming year in publishing along with planning or attending conferences to beat the Winter blues in the Northern Hemiphere.

Here in the Southern Hemisphere the weather is changeable from wet to frying. The kids are still on holiday and for me getting stuck into writing, battles with, finding air conditioning or towels to mop up the sweat or the rain or the puddles from the kids tracking through the house and sorting out the fights from overheated kids or bored kids or manuscripts that won’t play nice!

The battle for predicting a clear direction for writers to follow in 2013 continues with commentator Brett Sandusky on how this is the year that publishing must address the elephants in the room. Brett names seven elephants. Among them Agents and Amazon.

Social Media Examiner has the Social Media predictions for 2013... the ongoing battle for your attention...

Victoria Mixon has decided to repost her last years rant because she still feels strongly about the non artistic people running publishing who over the last 30 years published work of low artistic quality (because it brings in money quickly) and what that means for the rest of us. This is an interesting read and you will find yourself saying ‘so that’s why....’

Jane Friedman touched a few sore spots as she examined self publishing and the rush for genre commodity over literary quality. This is a great essay which weighs up both sides and their future. Will epublishing help one over the other...118 people have an opinion so far. Jane also asks the question, How long should you (battle) keep trying to get published?

Once you are published it is only the start of the uphill slog to stay relevant and in the game. Melinda Szymanik tells the honest truth about being a children’s writer in New Zealand and how much it costs. Hats off to Melinda for telling everyone just what it takes to stay in the battle for hearts and minds and damn good writing!

Who are your writing stakeholders? Kate Gale suggests you won’t succeed unless you have some of these on your side.

Have you tried a stand up writing desk?...this could be the solution for all those niggling pains writers get...

In Craft,
Tami Cowden has the 16 Villain Archtypes....(after all you need someone to battle against)

In Marketing,

Unexpected battle moves in publishing ...
Variety reports that a film media company has moved to get an exclusive first look at all new titles from an epublishing only publishing house. This is a new move for acquisitions and film rights and something authors and agents should take note of.

Agent Mary Kole becomes one of the first children’s publishing agents to offer a few other extra services in addition to agenting. This is a move that some see as a logical response to the current state of publishing and others as the thin edge of the legitimate Agent wedge. Take sides now.

The figures are out for 2012 and children reading ebooks. Passive Voice takes a look at what it all means as the numbers are higher than predicted...and Scholastic releases their own ebook reader numbers.

The battle for children’s electronic eyes is upon us.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Raise A Glass to 2013

Predictions for 2013 have been circulating the publishing blogosphere over the last week.

Will we be down to 3 mega publishers by years end?

Will Amazon drop free?

Tablets over e-readers over print?

What kind of gatekeepers will be around for the new new new publishing order?

With the publishing business going through a revolution every other week...most predictors have thrown up their hands saying we can’t predict anything!

One person who has stuck his neck out is Mark Coker of Smashwords. Mark has a unique position to comment from. As an author and Bright Guy behind Smashwords he straddles not only the publishing distribution side but also the trenches of the content providers bearing the flag for small publishers and indie authors. He has 21 predictions and an in depth analysis of why he thinks each one will happen. (grab a big coffee)

Kristen Lamb has also stuck her sword into the ground and put together some interesting comments on what is coming in 2013. She has some great ideas on how you can use different ratings on different editions too. Great food for thought in 2013. Kristen had a huge 2012 establishing the international WANA Tribe community along with a busy writing and speaking schedule...(Raise a glass to her)

What will happen to literary agents in 2013...their role is changing as rapidly as publishing.

For other writers...the emphasis is not on what they think will happen outside the walls of their study but what they should be focusing on inside.
Dean Wesley Smith is always a quality read...he has his list of what writers should be thinking about going into 2013. This is GOOD ADVICE. (take with a nice boutique beer)

For those that want Chucks take on 2013 and writing....take a deep breath and plunge in. (warning it’s Chuck! You could need a stiff drink!)

The NY Times has even started their year with a look at publishing...but of a different sort. A book designer fed up crappy covers on classic books has taken books he loves but can’t find new editions of and is redesigning them and publishing them himself under the Whisky Priest label. (cool label!)

e Singles burst onto the publishing scene last year. PaidContent looks at why and what this year may hold for eSingle writers.

Passive Guy has an IP lawyer talk about legal issues in much can you quote? (share out the rest of the Christmas cake)

Catherine Ryan Howard has written a great article on ebook pricing and why she is moving all over the place with it...(too much espresso? LOL)
Catherine uses Gumroad on her website to sell her books and this intrigued me so I investigated. Pretty nifty outfit similar to PayPal but it means buyers don’t need to belong to PayPal to use it and sellers can get shortened links to embed directly into websites.

In Craft,
The brilliant K M Weiland has been continuing her examination of scene structure. Take a look at story scene structure part three and four and it will be completely obvious why a major publisher has asked her to take some classics and apply her magnifying glass to their construction this year.

Editor Lyn Price has a close look at the multifunctional life of dialog tags used right.

In Marketing,
It’s time to look at author websites...Have you cleaned up your website?

To finish,
Joanna Penn also had a huge 2012...She looks back at her achievements and how she is working on a refined plan for this year. Plan A: indie career, working with her agent, continuing her series, starting another one, audio books, podcasts, her online courses, speaking schedule...
(Pass out in envy overload.)

photo from Flicker/ Dinner series. (Mojitos...yum!)
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