Jul

17

2012

News You Can Use – July 17, 2012

The Top 10 Things That Have to be Edited in a Non-fiction Manuscript – Written to the academic market but I think it has universal applications. Check your manuscript today for these ten things.

What is the Future of Publishing? – a well done article for “Forbes” magazine.

Behind the Scenes of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature – Michael Cunningham reveals why a winner was not chosen this year. Part Two of this article can be found here.

Titles are Everything! – a link to an 11 part series on how to read great headlines. Study it to learn how to title your book or your article or even your blog post.

Amazon Moving to Same-Day Service? – Since they lost the sales tax battle Amazon can freely open shipping locations in every Metro area and offer same day delivery. Imagine placing an order for that DVD, book, dress, or lawnmower and it is delivered within hours. And at a price lower than your local retailer. Wow.

In light of the previous entry I provide a picture with the possible caption: “What Amazon.com looks like to a local retailer.” (or to a Publisher for that matter!)

Jul

16

2012

To Comma or not to Comma?

by Steve Laube

I came across this entry in the Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynn Truss. The book is a classic on punctuation (although based on British English usage it is still a great book). Read the story below and then answer the questions in the comment section.

On his deathbed in April 1991, Graham Green corrected and signed a typed document which restricts access to his papers at Georgetown University. Or does it? The document, before correction, stated: “I, Graham Greene, grant permission to Norman Sherry, my authorised biographer, excluding any other to quote from my copyright material published or unpublished.” Being a chap who had corrected proofs all his life, Greene automatically aded a comma after “excluding any other” and died the next day without explaining what he meant by it. A great ambiguity was thereby created. Are all other researchers excluded from quoting the material? Or only other biographers?

Which do you think he meant?

What other ambiguities with commas have you seen or written with your own hand?

Why should it matter? It is just punctuation.

Is punctuation important in book contracts?

[ Read More → ]

Jul

13

2012

Fun Fridays – July 13, 2012

Cookie Monster sings “Share it Maybe!” (You guessed it, a Sesame Street parody of the Summer’s biggest pop hit sensation “Call Me Maybe”.)

I vote we request that Animal do his version.

[ Read More → ]

Jul

12

2012

Getting Our Books Into the Hands of Readers

Guest blog by Debby Mayne

Our guest today is Debby Mayne, an accomplished novelist with over 30 books and novellas published since 2000! She has also publshed over 400 short stories and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For many years she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition.

You can visit her web site at www.debbymayne.com.

__________

Before I sold my first novel, I dreamed that once I wrote a book good enough to publish, an editor would call me immediately, tell me how brilliant my book was, offer to buy it, and maybe request a few revisions that’d I’d joyfully do (after I deposited my humongous advance that would cover hiring a publicist and purchasing a big house on the water). Then the publisher would print the book, and the marketing team would make sure it was available for people to purchase. I envisioned full window displays of my book at my favorite stores with people lining up to buy them…and of course I was sitting at a table signing my books as quickly as possible to keep the crowd moving.

I know, but remember this was a dream.

Eventually, an editor did call and say she loved my story, but I needed to address a few issues—and we talked for almost an hour before she sent pages of revisions.

[ Read More → ]

Jul

11

2012

It’s Official – Thomas Nelson is Now Owned by HarperCollins

The sale of Thomas Nelson is now official.

From the press release:
“Thomas Nelson will continue to operate as an independent company with its unique editorial focus on inspirational and Christian content. Details, such as how Thomas Nelson will benefit from HarperCollins global print and digital platform, will be forthcoming.”

And if you were not aware, Zondervan Publisher is also owned by HarperCollins (purchased in 1988). This means two of the largest Christian publishers in the world are under the same corporate roof.

Last year I wrote some thoughts on the sale of Thomas Nelson to HarperCollins. Read those again to refresh your memory. www.stevelaube.com/perspective_sale_thomas_nelson_publishers

In other recent news, the parent company of HarperCollins, News Corp., said it was seriously exploring the idea of splitting into two different companies, one an entertainment business (TV, etc.) and the other a publishing business (newspapers, books, etc.).

[ Read More → ]

Jul

11

2012

Does God need a Makeover?

by Karen Ball

I have had some interesting conversations over the last few weeks with several different authors about the fact that God often doesn’t do things the way we expect. In fact, there are times when God’s ways—and the ways of those He used–seem…

Strange.

Unfair.

Even–dare I say it?–wrong.

Think about it.

The person who came to work in the field just before the day ended got paid the same as the folks who’d worked all day.

God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he wouldn’t let the Israelites go.

God promised Abram and Isaac that their descendants would be more than the sands on the beach…and gave them wives who were barren.

God gave a prophecy to Rebekah about Jacob, which she “helped along” by some of the most blatant favoritism found in Scripture.

[ Read More → ]

Jul

10

2012

News You Can Use – July 10, 2012

Publishing on the Cloud is the Next Big Thing! – Mike Shatzkin writes yet another brilliant analysis of our industry.

Give Your Work Away for Free – Derek Webb makes an argument that “free” will end up making you money. Seth Godin used the same principle in some of his promotions. The difference is that Webb is talking about music. However, the music business and the book business are not equal. Do you agree or disagree?

Do Christian Bookstores Have too Much Power Over Content? – Rachel Held Evans expresses her opinion that they do. The topic is guaranteed to generate visceral reactions against the Christian bookstores. Be careful not to lump all stores into one generality.

The Rumors of the Death of Publishing Have Been Greatly Exaggerated – Vicki Hartley presented a sunnier picture. I happen to agree with her.

16 Tips on How to Survive and Thrive as a Writer – Brian Feinblum provides some sage advice.

The “God Particle” – Joe Carter posts an invaluable explanation of this new scientific discovery. And if it still beyond comprehension watch the seven minute tutorial at the end of his post.

Top 10 Zombie Scenes in the Bible – Bet that headline will make you click through to see what Michael Gilmour came up with!

[ Read More → ]

Jul

9

2012

Can You Plagiarize Yourself?

by Steve Laube

Recently John Lehrer of “The New Yorker” was discovered to have reused past material for his articles and his bestselling book Imagine: How Creativity Works.  Here are links to the articles unveiling the controversy. From Jim Romenesko, Jacob Silverman, and Edward Champion. There has been considerable outrage and a genuine apology from John Lehrer.

This incident begs the question, “Can you plagiarize yourself?”

First you have to define plagiarism. The traditional definition is copying someone else’s words word-for-word without acknowledged of some kind, intentionally or not. In the United States this is actually illegal.

But what if the words are your own?

[ Read More → ]

Jul

6

2012

Fun Fridays – July 6, 2012

Where in the World is Matt – 2012 Edition

This five minute world tour is guaranteed to make you smile. Don’t skip to it, but wait for the 4:08 mark for something special.

And if you missed the original, here is the 2008 Edition:

[ Read More → ]

Jul

5

2012

A Few Tips on Social Media

by Tamela Hancock Murray

This may seem like an interruption to my series on writing proposals, but it is not. I plan to address the Marketing section of a proposal in the near future. However, before writers can think about marketing in general, they need to understand social media because an author who has mastered social media will be more attractive to a publisher. They want to partner with savvy authors. Thomas Umstattd addressed some of these in a blog in February called “Seven Ways Agents Measure Social Media.”  So the tips below may be a quick review for many, but it bears repeating since it has become such an important piece of the marketing puzzle.

Google

Find out how you look on Google. Do a Google search on your name on a regular basis to see what appears. You won’t be able to control everything that comes up under your name, but work with your webmaster to be sure your web site appears at the top. This is especially helpful if you had to purchase a domain that’s not entirely obvious such as, “ImaWriterWrites” because your name alone was already taken. A regular search will also help you identify anything slanderous, libelous, or (more likely) just plain inaccurate so you can take action to have those links removed. Searching your name should also reveal if there is another author with a name similar to yours. If you find this is true, I recommend simply mentioning the fact in your proposal to make the agent aware so the two of you can decide whether or not to choose a pen name.

It’s a good idea to set up Google Alerts on your name (instructions here). Google will send you an email anytime a new page on the Internet mentions you or your books.

[ Read More → ]