Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Cost Of Being Vocal.

This week in the publishing blogosphere...The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers published their magazine with a chain mail bikini clad women on the front and an interesting article which had a line promoting  Barbie being a role model for her quiet dignity. Women members of the association objected to the tone of the articles and were immediately inundated with abusive emails...comments on their blogs...twitter feeds...from their peers.
When they published some of these responses...and detailed what it was like to be a women writing in this genre... the response was shock. How could writers do this to other writers...? And then it went viral.

Chuck Wendig wrote a great article about sexism and misogyny in writing and publishing. The next day he had to write another dealing with the comments on the first. Then today he had to follow that up, Why Men Should Speak Up About Sexism and Misogyny. The issues of the first article have spilled over into the gaming community, which has the worst instances of abuse to women working in this field. The abuse on Twitter coming to Chuck is miniscule compared to the  women writers who have lifted their heads above the parapet to say what their experience is like from other writers, convention fans and general male population who find out that they write Sci Fi.

I write Sci Fi. I read Sci Fi. I enjoy Science and Researching ideas and thinking of possibilities. I have friends who are scientists whom I talk geek with. I have never been abused as some of these writers have been...however I have had the disparaging comments on how ‘I’ (a woman/mother...) would know anything about that tech subject.... I ignore it and delete that person from my, consider-this-person’s-opinions-on-anything-valid, mental list. I quietly treasure the time a Male Scientist put a disparaging idiot in his place by agreeing with me. The look on that idiots face was something to behold.  The abuse to these women writers, coders and gamers is sustained, vitriolic and pervasive as trolls follow them across all social media. The level of abuse is scary with death threats often the least of the hate messages that spew out across the internet.  It is an important issue. It is nice to see male writers standing up to call out their peers who perpetuate these sexist, misogynistic attitudes. (If you are a Male writer reading this and you think this issue is over the top then read Ann’s Post and the first emails she got in response...Think about getting this level of abuse all the time....)

And so onto the other rants happening in publishing. The tendency of writers to not do their research before writing big articles in which they name other writers has annoyed a few people this week. Porter Anderson takes a look at the other big publishing firefight.

Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article on Why Publishing Needs to Foster a Startup Economy. (I’m sometimes wondering if we aren’t time warping to the 1880’s with the beginnings of modern publishing houses.)

With the speed of the publishing industry changes and the announcements in the last weeks of publishers pulling out of NZ, The League Of Shattered Authors makes timely reading. I have always promoted the idea of writer collectives...I think this is the future. Time to start banding together folks.

With the ongoing focus on book covers Chuck asks what works...what doesn’t.... An interesting discussion ensued...and a link to a Lousy Book Covers site.

In Craft,
Some GREAT links this week.

Plotting made easy...This from is one of the websites to keep an eye on.

Victoria Mixon on Revising Wrong

Why Editors Focus On Page One...a great post on Jane Friedman’s site.

The fabulous K M Weiland on the 15 steps she uses to revise her MS’s

In Marketing,

The BookShelfMuse team on Foreign Rights Agents... Everything You Need To Know...This is interesting as Emotional Thesaurus starts to go Global.

Top 5 Errors In Layout from Joel Friedlander. (I am studying this carefully as I work on interior layout tweaking on a print book.)

To Finish,
How does a blog post go viral? The anatomy of a viral blog post tells you one example that worked. And for all you budding filmmakers...Amazon has a new free app for you, Storyteller. It takes your MS and storyboards it.
So you can go viral, Be a Force For Good and Change The World!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Conference Challenges

Conferences have been in my mind lately, specifically Book Expo America (BEA) and Golden Yarns (GY) here in New Zealand. 
BEA brings people from all over the publishing spectrum together for a packed 3 day conference. This is where new research is shared, trends predicted and deals are made. It isn’t much about the writers of the content but more about how the content is managed, packaged, delivered and distributed to the global marketplace. 

Golden Yarns was the latest conference for the Children’s Literature community in New Zealand. This community has now had 3 stellar conferences two years apart. The Golden Yarns conference focussed on best practice writing and illustration workshops with keynotes being delivered by leaders in the NZ Children’s Literature field on their personal heroes. There were many opportunities for the group to share ideas, hash out issues and drink wine. (The wine bill paid for by a NZ Children’s Writing Icon...gob smacking and a lovely gesture as she wasn’t there to drink it.)

Two very different conferences in focus but both valuable to the writing and illustration practitioner.

Breaking down B.E.A.
Bob Mayer gives an entertaining overview of what was going down in old New York Town. His main concern the lack of digital focus by the organisers (who seemed to believe the talk from publishers that ebooks sales have plateaued....) A report to show this was released at BEA.

Sam Missingham examined that report on ebook sales facts and figures, and blew that idea out of the water. Sam $40% BEA 0

Shelf Awareness took a look at a BEA first, Power Readers, who were invited to participate at BEA. Who are they and Why do they matter... they also checked out Neil Gaimen’s talk on why fiction is dangerous.

Inspiring and Challenging
Here in New Zealand everyone who attended GY is coming down off their high. Melinda Szymanik has written an overview of the first part of the weekend.

Over in the UK the Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson stepped down after her two year stint with a great broadside at the lack of reviews for children’s books. The wonderful Malorie Blackman takes over.... 
This sparked a debate in NZ within the KidLit community for our own Children’s Laureate...after all we have a Poet Laureate. If you would like to add your voice to this and are on Facebook, check out this page.

Chuck Wendig has written another 25 things post.... this time on YA Lit. Be’s Chuck.

Jane Friedman has another of her Best Business Advice List For Writers

In Craft,
Jami Gold on Can ThisStory Be to figure out what’s wrong. and What Soap Opera’s CanTeach You...

In Marketing,

The Book Designer has a great blog and his guest blogger Joan Stewart has a take note article on Business Opportunities That Even Savvy Writers Are Missing Out On.

 To Finish,
 A good conference should allow time to network with your peers, should inspire you, educate you and give you tools to move forward in the ever changing world of publishing.
Suw Charman Anderson has written a Forbes article on what she thinks needs to happen next. Why Publishers Should Invest In Authors Not In Books.... could this be the model for the future?

Below the animation announcing Malorie Blackmans appointment...and no that rap was not written for the announcement it’s been out for a few years now.
(Such street cred with her readers!)
pic from Flickr/
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