Thursday, May 14, 2015

Great Communities

This week I have been thinking about writing communities. There is the small community of writers that you meet with regularly, then the larger community of writers that you know of in your genre that you see occasionally at events. The engage-with-only-online community and the global community of writers. There is a wealth of online information for writers but make sure you meet up with other writers for face to face interaction. It is an important part of feeling that you belong in the community.

Jane Friedman posted an interesting article on her website on the importance of community to an author. You cannot promote into a vacuum. 

The UK publishing community got together recently for their association AGM and heard some straight talking from their guest panel on changing publisher perceptions. Publishing Perspectives reports on the speeches that must have made uncomfortable hearing while any author in the room would have been silently cheering.

Claude Nougat has a blog post saying that Newbies should not be self publishing. The game has changed so much it is a waste of time. It is an interesting point of view and she makes some good points. All communities need robust voices.

Zetta Elliott has an article in the School Library Journal that makes the call to change the publishing community from the 89% white to a more diverse lineup because surely this would result in more diverse publishing. She has to self publish to get important black stories out there for children. It is an amazing article and echoes indigenous issues in publishing here in NZ.

An interesting comparison was recently examined in the Huffington Post on book launches.
A self published author and a traditional published author compared notes. It is an eye opening read. I keep thinking that authors grouping together to tackle this would be the way to go.

Over on Twitter there is a Twitter Fiction festival contest happening. A J Walkley talks about how to participate and how Twitter helps writers. #TwitterFiction

In the Craft Section,

Joanna Penn talks screenwriting with Lucy Hay and how it can help authors.

In the Marketing Section,

Do you have a publishing plan- Jami Gold (Bookmark)

Website of the Week
If you haven’t checked out Alli (Alliance of independent authors) you should. There is a ton of information on their website and blog including this gem for how to make pre orders available on CreateSpace books... and how you need a good writers retreat. A great example of a writing community.

To Finish,
Chuck Wendig (warnings on language) is master of the descriptive sentence that explains a writing truism. Here he explains the writing journey for experienced writers to a newbie writer in his Chuck style... a nice example of community. (choking with laughter warnings)

As I have been writing this my region has been undergoing flooding and roads have been cut off all around. People have been opening up homes to stranded commuters all across the city. Half of my family are sleeping in a strangers home tonight. A great community celebrates its members and also reaches out and supports its members in times of crisis.
Thank you Wellington.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Content Collaboration

I’ve been thinking about content lately. 
Content is the new word for story. Container is the new word for form that the story comes in. It could be digital or print or images or audio or interactive game… 
A creative project I’m involved in is creating a found artifact which takes the form of a journal. This is to be part of a larger art project looking at different ways artists and writers collaborate together. I seem to be coming across content collaboration everywhere.

Porter Anderson reports on an opening keynote speaker at the recent Publishers Forum held in Berlin. Author Kathrin Passig gently told the publishers that they were using outmoded technology when they worked with authors. Had they ever heard of collaboration?

Joe Wikert has been thinking about content too. Specifically how he thinks publishers could improve the e-book sample and be better at converting samplers into buyers by working with authors.

Joanna Campbell Slan talks about serialising a novel on her website and what she has learned. Is this controlling your content or letting it go? I know of other authors who do this in other canny ways.  (If you can’t wait for the next installment you can go buy the whole book...)

The latest Author Earnings snapshot is out. You may have heard that e-book sales are declining. Author Earnings gurus Hugh and Data Guy have discovered that this is happening only to Trad publishers who raised their prices after negotiating new deals with Amazon. Check out the Author Earnings website for other interesting news from the 6th snapshot.

Joel Friedlander has an interesting guest post up. Short is the new black- your shrinking reader attention span. This is spinning your content in another way.

Mandy Hager recently had to give a lecture on Dystopian Fiction so she posted it on her blog. What does an author have to think about when constructing a dystopian world.

With the suspension of NZ Book Month... A group of writers have taken to Twitter to promote NZ Books. #NZBookMonthMay A lot of us are posting a NZ book a day so check in for your next great read.

Tinderbox 2015 has a website. We are getting ready to post delicious tidbits about the conference.

In the Craft Section,

2 great posts from the Emotion Thesaurus team. Moving Beyond 

Screenwriting tricks has a story elements checklist.

Why you should put your book on Wattpad (this is a quick intro to Wattpad.)

In the Marketing Section,
Making a living from your writing – Joanna Penn (Bookmark)

Kameron Hurley (popular sci fi author) has posted an in depth article on why Patreon is better than Kickstarter for writers. If you are interested in crowd funding this is a must read!

Website of the Week
Last week I linked to Dave Gaughran talking about Author Solutions. Indie Publishing Magazine has a link to the class action depositions (testimony from the other side) and what I read had my eyebrows achieving liftoff. I am honestly amazed that Random Penguin would be associated with this outfit.
SFWA, who sponsor Author Beware, have a link to the list of DISREPUTABLE publishers out there.

To Finish,
Brian Pickings always has interesting long form articles. This week they look at Delacroix’s journal notes about the need for writing in solitude. If you had to go away to collaborate on content, how about going to a castle which is a dedicated library and hotel...


Pic from Flickr/ Creative Commons- Butch Delisay

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