Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ranting On

This week I have been working hard on a funding application for our national conference to our national arts funder, Creative New Zealand.
When you work on a funding application, it gets you thinking about what you really really wish for and how limited the funds actually are out there in the arts world.
While I was finalising the last bit of number crunching our Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton was being interviewed live on Indian TV. She was voicing some of my thoughts about arts funding... we could do with more of it here. Unfortunately her comments annoyed a talkback radio host here and suddenly he was off on a rant calling her a traitor... to New Zealand. 
I found this very hard to swallow coming less than two weeks after the Paris attacks on free speech. Yes I disagreed with a lot of the religious attacks in the Charlie Hebdo comics but we live in a free speech democracy. The radio host has his right to free speech too. But can’t we be grown up and debate the issue of whether our arts funding is adequate. Of course, we in the arts community will say it isn’t. It would be nice to have the forum where we could show the rest of New Zealand exactly why we think it isn’t adequate and not be penalised for speaking our minds. We need to have a healthy forum for debate instead of having the whole thing reduced to competing soundbytes, as our NZ Society of Authors president Kyle Mewburn so ably said this morning on Breakfast TV.

The cartoonists have had a great time this morning illustrating the backlash.

Due to my week being spent crunching numbers... I haven’t got my usual 30ish links or so.
This morning Author Earnings released another report... and it makes interesting reading. Passive Guy highlights main points but a stunning revelation is the high percentage of books that don’t have ISBNs. These ‘shadow’ books aren’t counted in any official book statistics.

Jane Friedman comments on stats from DBW conference (which may be in doubt now that the new Author Earnings report is out) and she lists the best bits of Seth Godin’s session. This makes interesting reading for authors about where you should be aiming for in marketing.

The wonderful Kris Rusch was interviewed on her new book –Discoverability, This is all about passive marketing which authors need to understand. Worth taking the time to listen!

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing section,

Daily Dahlia has a post on Agent red flags... with examples... must read if you are looking for one.

Jane Friedman on platform building for authors. This one is a must read/listen. I am always saying that groups of authors getting together to market themselves, and talk about writing, is the way forward. And here Jane is saying the same. Can’t argue with that!

To Finish,
One of my illustrator friends commented that she was sick of ignorant writers thinking that illustrators would illustrate their manuscripts for royalty splits when they hadn’t even got a publishing contract. Illustrators have to pay mortgages too. Picture Book illustrations can take up to a years full time work. Publishers pick the illustrators and most are paid flat fee and/or royalty. Please share this information around with your writing friends or you might encounter illustrators going off in Wendig inspired rants.

and on another note...
Terri Ponce has a nice little article on success and failure... worth printing and sticking above your writing desk  (especially this week...)


P.S. When I have more details to share with you about the National Conference of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (A.K.A Tinderbox 2015 - Wellington October 2-5) I will share them.

(hugs self and chuckles gleefully)

pic from Todays New Zealand Herald

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Number Crunching

Another week of hot weather and crunching numbers... here in my house. 
I’m doing budgets for our National Conference and pulling my hair out over funding requirements. 

Over on the other side of the world Publishers and Commentators are kicking through the snow and crunching numbers trying to make sense of the latest Neilson figures to get a snapshot of the health of the Publishing industry.

So far this week I’ve seen statements like Adult Fiction is dead. Ebooks are dead. YA is being read by Adults. Children’s publishing is growing. Where is fiction for Grown Ups?
Depending on where you live inside the publishing world... You are in a time of great opportunity or 
famine or change or growth or decline or flux or... business as usual.

After the Digital Book World conference last week, where the Neilson figures were discussed, people are still trying to figure out whether they should be happy or sad.
Porter Anderson takes a close look at the figures for print and ebook and what sells... and a nice surprising figure came out... the growth of Juvenile Non Fiction (print). Makes recent NZ publishing house closures look premature.

Publishing Technology breaks down some Neilson figures and finds that ebook success and adult fiction success are intertwined.

Philip Jones of The Bookseller compares the UK and US figures and looks at the main conclusions, one of which is that the book industry is not dependent on the e-reader being sold at Christmas, it is now an everyday item... not a game changer.

Moving away from number crunching these great posts caught my eye.

Rachelle Gardner on the Imposter Syndrome- yes every writer suffers this.

Why writers don’t write sometimes... This post highlights the writer’s life now.

Publishers Weekly has a breakdown on Self Publishing success in 2015 (I thinks this makes Self Publishers legit now.)

Porter Anderson takes a look at the annual author survey DBW always releases at their conference. Last year was full of controversy...this year was all about Author ROI (Return On Investment) Is it worth it? (great comments!)

Joanna Penn has another brilliant interview and learns a great tip for Email lists and newsletters.

Over on Copyblogger Johnny and Sean do a quick breakdown of a publishing funnel (Get their Book!)

12 x 12 is open (1 month only) for all those people interested in writing Picture Books. Such is the popularity that Julie's site broke after the first day... Every year I say to myself I must have a go... alas I’m still trying to take back 2014.

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,

Website Of The Week.
The One Hundred Best Websites for Writers has been announced.
Regular readers will see many sites that I often refer to...Congratulations to Janice and Katherine and Rachelle and Dean and Joanna and Elizabeth and Debi and Jami and James and Angela and Becca and Jane and Joanna and Kristen and Casey and Michael and Joel and Chuck and....

To Finish,

Chuck has a new ramble about making Art in 2015 (definitely comes with warnings...) It strikes a chord with me as I wrestle with conference timetables and budgets. Every two years we get a chance to throw ourselves wholesale into this creative art business, try to understand it, up skill in it and get inspired at our National Conference. I’m doing my best to make it worthwhile coming to.


Related Posts with Thumbnails