Thursday, March 27, 2014

What You Should Be Doing

This week in the publishing blogosphere the news has been about what everyone should be doing...

because the publishing world has shifted again,

because the next big thing is right around the corner,

because the Bologna Book Fair is on,

because the world has changed.

In my Twitter feed this morning was an announcement that Diesel e-books was shutting down after 10 years of indie publishing however new startups are happening all the time and another to hit the starting blocks tomorrow is this new subscription model.

While this is happening Digital Book World is talking up that Apple is now the second largest book store...what does that mean in reality?

Passive Guy shares a rant that got everyone talking this week about what Penguin Random (or Random Penguin) isn’t doing and what they should be...Read the comments they are all entertaining.

Mike Shatzkin followed this up with his very pointed summary of what the Big Publishers should be doing and aren’t (this could be helpful with your own promotion...once you get over the comment of don’t read the book to find the metadata tags...)

This must read post from Elisabeth Spann Craig looks at her experiments with hybrid publishing and the very real questions she has about continuing down that road. Elisabeth has been blogging about her journey over the last year and it is a very honest look at the realities of publishing now for a writer with a traditional back list.

That happy block quote at the top came from Agent Ginger Clark who hit the Bologna ground running, her appointment book already full before she got there.
Publishers Weekly gives the low down on what are the biggest sellers... ups at the Worlds largest Children’s Book Fair.

Book Fairs are tricky beasts for authors... It is all about deals...principally foreign rights and authors don’t usually negotiate is where Agents earn their money. However if you were thinking about translating...Susan Kaye Quinn has just done it in an interesting Indie move and she has a great post about how she did it.

Because the world is changing and writers have to hang in there,

Chuck has a rant on his answers to common writing questions... (pro writers will laugh)- usual warnings apply.

Meg Rosoff also has a heartfelt post on what keeps you from writing, which can also fuel you... (especially good post for those of you who juggle many things before writing.)

The wonderful Catherine Ryan Howard has a rant about contact details on writer’s websites...coz she just may have a deal for you and how can she get hold of you...(this reminds me to check my writing email inbox.) and Fastcompany shares the best PR advice, which writers should think about.

In the Craft section, you should be doing...
Y A High Fantasy – How to do it (only if it’s your thing) and How to create names for it.

Writing fast – How you can do it faster and The tools you need to help you get there. (great post on Scrivener)

In the Marketing Section, You should be....

To Finish,
In the end all the writer has is their own creativity and a willingness to get out there and just create, so here is the 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently because that’s what writers do.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Drinking The Water

What’s been the talking point around the virtual publishing water cooler this week.

If you are into children’s books then the Publisher’s Weekly article on the shifting sands of children’s book selling and the inroads being made by digital into this category is for you. There are some interesting numbers on what genres in children’s are selling well.
(Little Sips)

In the general category... The Mighty Zon is expanding. Publishers Weekly reports they are hiring and expanding their already impressive imprint range. This has raised some disquiet around the water cooler... how big can they get... and already close to half the books on the Amazon bestseller lists come from AmaZon imprints.

In a surprise move the Judge has finally ruled in the Julie And the Wolves e-book case (HarperCollins suing Open Road Media and Jean Craighead George, Author,) that HarperCollins were within their rights to publish the book as an ebook because the original contract for the book signed in 1971 had this clause.
Specifically, paragraph 20 of the 1971 contract states that HarperCollins “shall grant no license without the prior written consent of the Author… including uses in storage and retrieval and information systems, and/or whether through computer, computer-stored, mechanical or other electronic means now known or hereafter invented…”
This is going to affect authors and their backlists...
Open Road are appealing but it’s going to be difficult as while this case has been disputed (from 2011) the author and the agent have died.
(Maybe Something Stronger) 

Mike Shatzkin published an article this morning that is almost a How To Be A Publisher Now 101 course. It is a very interesting read and echoes other things I have been reading around the blogosphere this week that author/publishers are starting to take note of. Use those readers well…Engage, Engage, Engage.
(On to Coffee)

Dean Wesley Smith has another great post in his series on publishing. Getting into Bookshops. Dean shows how it is done if you are publishing on a shoestring. One of those bookmark it posts.
(Slurp It Up)

Jane Friedman has another interesting article from her Scratch magazine and it takes a further look at serialisation… writing and uploading on a new platform called Leanpub in chunks where you get feedback and money…
(Drink It Down)

Porter and Publishing Perspectives Ether issue (at 3am our time this morning) was on the issues that were brought up in Joanna Penn’s interview with KOBO guy Mark Lefebre on pricing of ebooks. Porter gathered up the main points from the audio into an interesting article - Have Authors LowBalled Themselves? This was used as the springboard for the #Ether talk. Check out the article, which links back to Joanna’s article that I linked to last week.
(Look for Something Stronger)

Joanna Penn has a great article this week on how she used promotion and collaborative team work to achieve her goal. Which is to get on the USA bestseller list...this entitles her to splash that title all over her books in future...and she has just done it!
(Pour The Wine)

In the Craft Section,
Ten Dialogue Tips - One of the better articles on dialogue I have read. Bookmark it!

Novel Revision Strategy – retype the draft. (Interesting idea here.)

Defending Your Antagonist - first you have to like them....

Middle Grade Vs Young Adult – the differences between them.

Are you guilty of being didactic? Melinda Szymanik has some thoughts about didacticism and how to spot it in your own writing. Great writing!

Jami Gold has THE post on using keystroke Macros inrevision. (I didn’t know you could do this...whole new world just opened up.)

In the Marketing Section,
Susan Kaye Quinn on Four Ways To Discoverability and a stellar post on Not Rushing To Publish.

Best Ways To Look at Crowd Sourcing projects. This is a really interesting article.

Agent Janet Reid talks about idiot agents... Great article on platforms and web presences.

Indie ReCon keeps on giving and this fabulous post by Angela Ackerman is no exception.  6 SmartWays authors can collaborate. This week Angela was the special guest at a weekly live Twitter chat  #indiechat and was her usual awesome self with a great discussion on marketing and promotion. (Just type #indiechat in the search bar and scroll down to the start and work up.)

To Finish,
We always like to know how the Pro’s do their writing stuff. Here is a couple of nifty articles where writers describe their daily routines.

First get a coffee….

Pic from Flickr Creative Commons/elitatt
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