May

8

2012

News You Can Use – May 8, 2012

Traditional Advertising is Truly Dead – Not sure I agree with the over the top headline, but the article does make some excellent points. A quote from the article:

“The equation used to be: money x media = business.

The new equation is: time x media = business.

In other words, every company is a media company.”

Microsoft has invested in Barnes & Noble’s Nook - But before everyone gets excited, remember that Microsoft also invested in Yahoo in 2009 (in order to enhance the Bing search engine).

Ten Rules for Writing Suspense Fiction – In 1994 John Grisham credited this article for giving him the tools he needed to write The Firm. Save this one and refer to it often!

On Fiction and Literature – a great interview with Russell Moore. A quick quote from the interview:

“…good fiction isn’t a “waste of time” for the same reason good music and good art aren’t wastes of time. They are rooted in an endlessly creative God who has chosen to be imaged by human beings who create. Culture isn’t irrelevant. It’s part of what God commanded us to do in the beginning, and that he declares to be good. When you enjoy truth and beauty, when you are blessed by gifts God has given to a human being, you are enjoying a universe that, though fallen, God delights in as “very good.”

Why Men Should Read More Fiction! – a fascinating article. What do you think? Agree or disagree?

Design the Ultimate Home Page for your Blog – an extensive article with visual examples.

4 Ways to Grow a Twitter Following that Matters – an extensive article with numerous resources. Well done.

The top 10 most read books of the last 50 years (found on the First Things blog). Take heart, the Bible by itself was read more than the other top nine books combined:

 

 

 

May

7

2012

Write a Fan Letter Today

by Steve Laube

Everyone likes being appreciated. It is as simple as receiving a “thank you.” For the writer it is like a cold drink of water in the middle of a desert wasteland. The writing life is a bit like placing your words into a bottle and tossing it into an endless ocean, hoping that it doesn’t sink, and simultaneously hoping that someone somewhere will find those words and be touched by them.

Today, instead of waiting for someone else to tell you what a great writer you are, write your favorite author(s) a note of appreciation.  Because no one understands the anguish and crushing weight of the writing life better than another writer.

In Austin Kleon’s new book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative he has a section titled “Write Fan Letters.” He writes, “The most important thing is that you show your appreciation without expecting anything in return, and that you get new work out of the appreciation.” 

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May

4

2012

Fun Fridays – May 4, 2012

Enjoy this clever three minute book trailer for the new prequel to The Godfather releasing next week (titled The Family Corleone).

No editors were harmed in the filming of this video. At least that we know of.

Watch past the credits.

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May

3

2012

What Is the Agent Doing While I Wait?

by Tamela Hancock Murray

You submit a great manuscript to an agent. Then you wait. And wait. And wait.

What could she possibly be doing?

Let’s say your baby jumped most of the hurdles and is near the top of the slush pile. (See the previous post on the Mystery of the Slush Pile) Why can’t the agent make up her mind? Might I offer a few ideas:

1.) Market changes can mean a shift in priorities. An agent may receive an email at five in the afternoon on any given Friday that opens up a new market or closes an old one. The agent may need to reevaluate and reassess her strategy. This does not mean agents chase the market. What it does mean is that, for example, if markets are trending away from a certain type of novel (Remember hen lit?) the agent may realize she’d better focus on the writers she already has rather than risking taking on a new client writing that type of book, no matter how wonderful. Or if a huge market opens up, the agent might focus on that category for awhile, shunting your wonderful retelling of Genesis to the side, if only temporarily.

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May

2

2012

Wordle Anyone?

by Karen Ball Some days you just have to take a break and do something fun. That’s what we’re doing today with Wordle. Just hop over to the website (www.wordle.net) and have at it! Below is a Wordle for one of Steve’s keynote speeches:

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May

1

2012

Christian Book Awards

Congratulations to our client Mesu Andrews (represented by Karen Ball) for winning the 2012 Christian Book Award for best New Author!

Here is the list of winners:

CHRISTIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • Nearing Home, Billy Graham (Thomas Nelson)

Category: BIBLES

  • ESV Student Study Bible (Crossway)

Category: BIBLE REFERENCE

  • Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, Glen G. Scorgie (Zondervan)

Category: CHILDREN

  • The Story for Children, A Storybook Bible, Max Lucado, Randy Frazee, and Karen Davis Hill (Zonderkidz)

Category: FICTION

  • The Queen, Steven James (Revell/ Baker Publishing Group)

Category: INSPIRATION

  • The Law of Happiness, Dr. Henry Cloud (Howard Books)

Category: NEW AUTHOR

  • Love Amid the Ashes, Mesu Andrews (Revell/ Baker Publishing Group)

Category: NON-FICTION

Close Enough to Hear God Breathe, Greg Paul (Thomas Nelson)

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May

1

2012

News You Can Use – May 1, 2012

Amanda Hocking is Happy with her Publisher – An update from the woman whose self-published ebooks garnered a monster traditional deal.

10 Best First Lines in Fiction – Chosen by editors at the Guardian (UK). Do you agree or disagree?

How We Will Read in the Future – An excellent interview with Maria Popova, the curator for the great BrainPickings blog. (The article is about 2,500 words long so take your time to absorb her thoughts.)

The Return of the Novella – “The Atlantic” article things this art form will have a resurgence. I contend it has been around, but not in a sizeable way. Try presenting one to a publisher and then talk about how easy they will eventually sell to the public.

How Do You Know You’ve Made it as a Writer? - Steve Ulfelder attempts to answer the question right after being nominated for an award for his first novel.

Market Your Book Through Google Ads – Ever wondered if this is a good use of your money? And if so, how you would go about it? Vikram Narayan does an excellent job introducing the idea. If it works, let us know!

The Most “Kindled” City in the U.S. - The answer may surprise you. The analysis of the whole article is fascinating.

Four Best Twitter Tools – Agree? Any you want to add?

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Apr

30

2012

Blood, Guts and Peanuts: What it’s Like Writing with Ted Dekker

Guest blog by Tosca Lee

Our guest today is Tosca Lee, author of Demon: A Memoir and Havah: The Story of Eve. She is also the co-author with Ted Dekker of the NYTimes bestseller Forbidden. The next book in that series will be out this Summer. A sought-after speaker and former Mrs. Nebraska, Tosca was a senior consultant for a global consulting firm until turning to writing full-time. She holds a degree in English and International Relations from Smith College and also studied at Oxford University. Please visit her web site at www.toscalee.com.

__________

People ask me often what it’s like writing with Ted. “Is he weird?” they say. “Does he really paint his nails/eat small children/write from a dungeon?”

Of course he’s weird. As weird as anyone else who grew up with cannibals. As strange as your average seven million bookselling novelist who lives mostly on peanuts and barbeque in Texas and, you know, speaks an obscure language known only to remote tribes in Papua New Guinea.

Or as weird as you and me.

And yet, the questions persist. “He scares me,” author friends confess in low tones.

He scares me, too. Because, you know, it’s just not healthy to eat that many peanuts.

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Apr

27

2012

Fun Fridays – April 27, 2012

How many book characters do you count in this short video? And what are their names?

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Apr

26

2012

On Reading the Classics

by Tamela Hancock Murray

“A classic is a book which people praise and don’t read.” 

This quote attributed to Mark Twain made me think of classics I didn’t enjoy, but also those I did. I have a lifelong habit of choosing classics for my leisure reading.

When I was in the seventh grade, I enjoyed Gone with the Wind so much I read it a second time. Unfortunately, this intense involvement in the full story caused me to be very disappointed in the movie when I saw it for the first time in college because time constraints meant they had to leave out too much of the 1200-page plot.

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