Here you will find a selection of the best of the blogsphere from the past week. Grab your coffee, straighten the glasses or spritz those contacts and above all – enjoy.
Shelf Awareness: Amazon Buying Goodreads: Industry Reactions
Excerpt: “Amazon is buying the popular book-focused social networking site Goodreads, which was founded in 2007 and now has more than 16 million members. The acquisition is expected to close by July. Goodreads’ headquarters will remain in San Francisco, and its management is expected to stay in place.”
Note: If the link is not working please let me know and I’ll endeavor to fix it as soon as possible, or, go to: Shelf Awareness Home Page, click Previous Issues in the bar at the top – this story appeared in the Pro Edition: March 29th issue.
For those wanting a broader view of Amazon’s purchase of Goodreads here are two more posts of recommended interest:
David Gaughran: Why Amazon’s Purchase of Goodreads Is A Good Thing.
Jeremy Greenfield on Digital Book World: Amazon Acquires Goodreads.
Inform & Inspire
Kristen Lamb: How Boxing Can Make Us Better Writers. Highly Recommended Read! Excerpt: “Toughen Your Soft Underbelly. Our profession, by its very nature, is delicate and connected to our soft underbelly (our ego and feelings). Our soft underbelly is exactly where critics will seek to strike. Think of this job like boxing. We’re in the ring. Outside (and even internal) critics are going to seek to gut-punch and knock the wind out of us. Their objective is to drop us to our knees and make us give up.” First in a three part series – the other two parts can be accessed from this post.
Jess Witkins: Interpreting Your Dreams: What Your Drawings Can Teach You. Excerpt: “Our dreams can be symbolic or pure release of our subconscious minds. But sometimes our dreams have a reoccurring symbol and that could have meaning. The following exercise is from Sylvia Browne’s Book of Dreams and I found it really fun and interesting. Here are the directions: Grab…”
Chuck Wendig: 25 Ways To Be A Happy Writer (Or, At Least, Happier). Beyond carrying a boatload of sage wisdom, this post includes a cool poster that will make a great addition to any writers work space.
Jenny Hansen: Why Do The Simplest Skills Take the Longest to Learn? Excerpt: “As kids, it’s pretty understandable that learning takes awhile — they have a TON to learn in a short amount of time. But what about us adults? Does it really take a while to learn all the adult skills, or does it simply take a while to feel confident about them?”
Jeff Goins: A Surprisingly Satisfying Alternative to Self-promotion. Discover the power of generosity in this incredible post.
Chuck Wendig: 25 Turns, Pivots, And Twists To Complicate Your Story. Excerpt: “1. The Heinous Fuckery Is Revealed. This is the “first turn” of the story: something happens that disrupts the status quo and this event pushes the protagonist (and perhaps the world around him) into the tale. The king dies! Terrorists attack! My beloved pony has been pony-napped! A vampire just joined your Little League team!” …the gems of wisdom in this post fill a over-sized semi *smile*
Kristen Lamb: Start in the Action—The Trouble with In Medias Res. Does every book have to start with an exploding bomb? Kristen takes an in-depth look at Media Res and a few ways starting somewhere else may be a powerful idea.
Elizabeth S. Craig: When to Start or Stop a Series. Elizabeth, who writes three on-going series, gives her tips on the elements that make up a great series and when it might be time to step away from one.
Ava Jae: Why I Keep Every Draft of My WIP. Excerpt: “Not too long ago, Katie Axelson wrote a fantastic post on The Write Practice on why you should never delete your writing. She makes a great point, and the following discussion online made me think about my editing and revision habits and how I handle sections cut from my WIPs.”
Don McNair: 2 Steps to Streamlining Your Dialogue. Excerpt: “People love to read dialogue. It is, after all, human interaction, and we are all humans. It carries knowledge, emotion, humor—the whole gamut of what one’s mind can produce. But newer, unpublished writers often get carried away. I’d estimate that, in half the manuscripts I’ve edited for others, dialogue passages are at least twice as long as they should be.”
Melissa Donovan: The Art of Using Literary Devices and Techniques. Great post on finding and utilizing the writer’s most powerful tools.
Editing / Revision
Bess Weatherby: The Rewrite Rules! Excerpt: “E.B. White once said, “The best writing is rewriting.” It’s a phrase that ranks up there with “Kill your darlings” and “Write what you know.” And, like most cliches, it’s a cliche because it’s true. I was setting myself up for frustration and failure by not making a realistic plan for re-writing. If I had, the process would have been quicker and more fruitful. Here’s a few ways you can make the most out of your re-write by giving it the respect it deserves.”
Indie Publishing / Self-Publishing
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Logic Behind Self Publishing. Excerpt: “Every morning, I read two or three newspapers on my iPad. One of those papers, The Los Angeles Times, has continued to showcase an editorial about the “death” of the self-published author. The stupid piece claims that because e-book growth has slowed in the last few months, self-published authors will never reach the pinnacle of success that they all dreamed about a short year ago. It’s like comparing apples and farts.”
Elizabeth S. Craig: How Ebook Sales Affect Traditional Sales. Learn how Elizabeth brought a once traditionally-published and abandoned series back to life with surprisingly strong results.
Melissa Foster: Agent-Assisted Self-Publishing and the Amazon White Glove Program. Excerpt: “With independent author success on the rise, the role of agents has taken a precarious turn for the unknown. Many agents are seeing fewer sales and lower advances (which equates to lower income), and are looking for ways to keep their heads above water. One path that some have taken is agent-assisted self-publishing.”
Kristen Lamb: Successful Author Presence—Do You Have It? Excerpt: “All of us (writers) balance this fine line of complete narcissism, and profound insecurity/self-loathing. We have to believe that our ideas, opinions, stories are something others want to pay money to read in order to be successful. Yet, we are constantly plagued with self-doubt. Chronic doubt is possibly a built-in mechanism to bring balance to The Force.”
Ava Jae: How (Not) to Win a Twitter Pitch Fest. Excerpt: “Naturally many of you are probably antsy about Friday’s Twitter fest, and so I thought it only appropriate to share ten easy steps to making every agent and editor who trolls the #PitMad feed instantly want to request your full manuscript.”
Jami Gold: Why Is Your Hosting Company Integral To the Success of Your Website or Blog? Excerpt: “Some writers decide they’d rather have more control over their site. They want to “own” their site, they want to use plugins for more functionality, they want to sell things, or they want more customization. …on a self-hosted site. Self-hosted? Does that mean we’re running our site from a server in the corner of our office? Nope. This is where hosting companies come in.”
Jay Donovan: Is Your Site Secure? Tips from a Tech Guy. Highly Recommended Read! Excerpt: “Today we’ll discuss how a web hosting company can help keep your site running securely. Or sometimes, not keep your site running securely. For the sake of simplicity and to keep the author in the back row from nodding off, I’ll limit the conversation to WordPress.org sites and the core software required to run it.”
Joel Friedlander: Author Blogging 101: Creating Income by Recommending Resources. An in-depth look at adding affiliate marketing to your blogging repertoire.
Kristin Nelson: New Buzz Word: The Hybrid. Excerpt: “According to stats presented at January’s Digital Book World, hybrid authors make 15% to 20% more than their traditionally published counterparts. In other words, it pays to be a hybrid author. But now this phrase is starting to be kicked around when it comes to agents and agenting. So what does it mean in that context?”
Susan Spann: Author Estate Planning: Who Will You Trust? Excerpt: “Today, we’ll look at the second common estate planning device: the trust. In many places, having a trust allows your estate to bypass probate. This, in turn, usually means a shorter administration period and lower costs. Trusts also allow for greater flexibility in distribution of the author’s assets, including intellectual property rights like copyright.”
Porter Anderson: Publishing’s Masks Need To Come Off. In this issue of Porter’s popular bi-weekly industry digest you’ll find information on “query-by-tweet,” and upcoming conferences. Always a top read for writers.
The Associated Press: Arizona Legislature looking to add protections for ebook readers under existing library privacy law. While Arizona is not typically known for its forward-facing legislation, this is one time they be ahead of the curve. Worth the two minute read.
Lindsay Buroker: Where Can Authors Advertise for the B&N, Apple, and Kobo Stores? Excerpt: “If you’ve decided you’re tired of relying on Amazon for your sole source of e-publishing income (or maybe you’re not doing well at Amazon, and you’re hoping the other stores might take off for you), then you may have looked at Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and wondered how the heck you can get your books noticed over there.”
Joanna Penn: 9 Activities to Boost Your Author Career. Excerpt: “You know you’re supposed to write a blog and be active on social media. You’re following all the tips you’ve ever heard for marketing your books through these channels — even trying the ones that contradict each other — but you always wonder if you could do more. If you feel stuck in a rut and searching for new ways to build your platform and promote your books, here are nine ideas to add to your arsenal.”
Shelley Sturgeon: E-books For Real: E-book Gift Cards from Livrada and Enthrill. Here is a low-cost method to promote and raise excitement for your latest release.
Dianna Dilworth: The State of Digital Content: INFOGRAPHIC. A cool graphic compiled by Uberflip showing the rise of content use by mobile users and what they are using to find said content.
K.B. Owen: Happy Easter, Brigham Young University Style. Excerpt: “Last year, a group of college girls had a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny – and he brought his friends, in the form of live chicks and baby bunnies. It all started with a Nelson Mandela air freshener.”
Dianna Dilworth: The Bad Girl’s Journal: The App. Excerpt: “The $.99 app, is a virtual journal where bad girls can save their stories and color code them based on the topic and their mood.” An interesting idea, put out there by a fellow author. Smart and fun!
Ryan L. Waterman: 12 Most Interesting Things to Do When Avoiding Writing. Excerpt: “I think most writers will sympathize with this: when you have to write, the last thing in the world you want to do is write. I spend a whole lot of time thinking that I should be writing but not actually doing it. These are the 12 most interesting things to do when avoiding writing.”