Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's All In The Story

This week one region in NZ was declared a drought zone and a few others are staring down the barrel. On the official last day of summer with the temperatures climbing again...anybody want to predict a wet autumn? What happens if the Rain Gods don’t come back? If we stay forever in a stuck weather zone...

Ok enough scary story starters.

In the publishing blogosphere...Everyone was talking about what they learned at Indie ReCon. If you didn’t check it out last week DO IT NOW. The advice...the posts...the how to’s...the why’s....
A writing conference that promised lots...and gave HEAPS...all free. Just scroll down the posts over three days (19-21 on the left.)

Publishing Perspectives had a guest post with NZ company Vangelizer. Three Epiphanies on Social Media Marketing of Books. They are offering some very cool products to writers out there...but one of their comments intrigued me. “Make it easy for people to buy your book once you generate interest.” As a bare minimum, you should have a link embedded in every tweet and post that takes people to a mobile-optimized site with a range of global buying options.

This reminded me of Gumroad...the outfit I told you about in January. They do just that for one off things from ‘content’ creators. I clicked on over to check out new offerings and there was a video with Gary Vaynerchuk about storytelling being the way to create empathy which you can convert to a sale...(and before you go aaaargh...You are in the business of selling your stories aren’t you?)

Jane Friedman has interviewed C J Lyons who is a Hybrid star. This is one of those must read articles to see how to navigate the Hybrid world successfully.

Another big conversation this week on the blogosphere, besides Indie ReCon, was Joel Friedlander AKA The Book Designer. Joel has reached out to all the Indie/ Hybrid people out there and designed a collection of Book Templates you can buy to drop your novel into that saves you the hassle of converting from Word to POD format...People are raving! The guy is a genius! Joel talks about how astounded he was at the sheer number of downloads in the first few days along with FAQ’s on his new offering.

In England the talk is all about the Beanstalk Literacy Charter...with the Children’s Laureate getting behind the ‘fund a reading teacher in every well as a library.’ I did not realise that in England a school library was optional! I got a shiver down my spine!

Hilary Mantel has been in the news lately...mainly for the inept reporting from tabloid journalists who did not check what she actually said. Here she gives her Ten Rules for Writing and Jolly Good They Are Too!

Chuck’s recent blog has been getting a lot of comment too. This is the bit where you gasp and say “he actually said that about editing a novel!”

If you remember when iTunes hit the music industry...Mixtus Media has a look at Five Things Book Publishers should be prepared for.

Writer Beware checks out scammers that tell you to register copyright...let them do it for you...

Biting your readers in the buttocks...The Forest Gump Guide To Writing.

In Craft,

Edittorrent puts ambiguity under the spotlight with examples...her pet hate as an agent and something everybody could sharpen up on.

The BookshelfMuse talks to the Plot Whisperer...One of those gotta read interviews, along with What and How to Revise by Darcy Pattison

The Query Letter...Chuck Sambuchino tells you how to craft it if your MS doesn’t fit the expected box...

In Marketing,
Google authorship and SEO...Did you know you may not be the author of those blog posts according to Google?

Susan Kaye Quin talks formatting for iTunes. (How to do it without buying a MAC)

Writersinthestorm take a look at setting timelines in your business plan.

Passive Guy looks at Indie Authors and gift cards...I have done this and it is quite a good idea.

To finish, 
Sadly we must come to the end...with this thought provoking post from one of our top writers of Y A about what it means to write for children. 


Special thanks go to the Pulp-O-Mizer website...I had sooo much fun creating this on the neat website! (tho I'll stick to writing...)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Independent Thinking

As I write this Indie ReCon is hitting midpoint (19-21 US time). 

This conference, like WriteonCon, is free, online and chock full of great content. Indie ReCon is for writers who are thinking about or doing their OWN publishing. Three days of other writers giving their time and expertise to help empower others.
Even if you are not ready to step into the Indie world there are topics covered that are of use to the traditional author.

Bob Mayer kicked IndieRecon off with his keynote on the Future of Digital Publishing.

Jessie Harrell looks at the Pro’s and Con’s of going Indie...and she lays it out honestly.

Marketing plans made easy with Shelli Johannes. Shelli is a great blogger, source of inspiration and advice.

Denise Grover Swank looks at Business plans...and spells out what you need to focus on...because if you go Indie You Are A Business... (Kris and Dean have been saying this for years!!!)

Alicia Kat Dilman takes a look at 10 ways to make your cover stand out.

These are just 5 presentations from 17 on the first day...Check out Indie ReCon and scroll down the left sidebar...give yourself heaps of time!!

Writer Beware has a warning post to Christian Writers about an outfit targeting them who solicits the author first...then ties them up into contracts with little gems like this...
It's an exclusive life-of-copyright world rights grant term with no provision whatever for rights reversion other than the publisher's discretion in discontinuing publication if sales fall below 50 copies in a year. In other words, the publisher can hold onto your rights for as long as it chooses, and you have no recourse for getting them back.
Check out Writer Beware for other hidden contract bombs that Blessed Hope Publishing hope you don’t see.

Around the Publishing Blogosphere discussion over the Future of Foyles workshops held this week in London where the massive Foyles Bookstore invited the public to tell them what they wanted in a future bookstore over two days of workshops. Ideas abound as Porter Anderson covers what came out of it. Lots of Independent Bookstores are taking a look at the ideas for their own selves.

The bookstores are doing this on behalf of all independent Bricks and Mortar bookstores.

Anne R Allen has 5 blogging rules that Authors can ignore and 5 they can’t. As usual great content from Anne.

Joanna Penn has a great guest blog from a children’s writer who podcasts and uses animation software in her marketing. The free animation software is the next great thing to play with...

WanaCon an international online writing conference is coming up if you want to check it out. (The brainchild of the WANA team and Kristen Lamb.)

 A Film Character Has Become An Editor At A Big Name Publishing House...Check out this breaking news from The Onion.

In Craft,
Give your stories depth by having a ghost plot running through them...A nice little post on how to set this up...when you read it you will get an AHA moment.

In the same theme...Set up more payoffs in your story. This is the bit where the readers think ...OH You Clever Writer....

The Script Lab has got the scene questionnaire...and it is a good focus for writers as well as scriptwriters.

To finish,
I leave you with Chucks Exhortation to just follow his simple writing plan...which is being retweeted all over the place.

On FB I'm asking what Children's writers would put in their Writers Bug Out response to this from Writers Digest.... Feel free to leave a comment.
If you had to leave the  house in a hurry, what would you have in your writing bag? 


Pic from Flickr Creative commons/Cyron
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