News You Can Use

45 Ways to Blog as a Novelist – Do you have blogger’s block? Here are some great tips for finding stuff to blog about.

Why You Are Receiving Rejections – Nathan Bransford weighs in and is both simple and profound.

Read Your Old Tweets – If you are an aggressive tweeter you’re stymied if you want to review your archives. The linked tool is an amazing way to pull them all into one document for your review. If you use Twitter like a diary it creates a timeline of your life.

What Should You Podcast About? – If you are thinking about adding a podcast to your marketing efforts read this article.

Find the Right Writers Group for You – A short article and a video from Joanna Penn. If you want to find out the Christian Writer’s groups in your area contact Reg Forder at American Christian Writers or ACFW (www.acfw.com).

iPhone app for 1500 Classic Books – A cool free app from Penguin Classics. Annotated descriptions of all 1500 titles in their collection and 65 quizzes for specific titles in the series.

Get the ESV Bible for Free – The English Standard Version is available for free in nearly every digital platform possible…for free.

The Ultimate Guide to Emoticons – Found at ChurchMag.com which is a really interesting place to visit.

Leave a Comment

Three Questions About Publicity

by Steve Laube

Publicity is the art of telling the world about you and your book. We recently received a few questions about publicity via the green button you see in the right hand column of our blog (yes, it really works).

1.) When should a writer hire a publicist?
I think an author should wait to see what their publisher will provide in this area. If you do hire a publicist make sure they coordinate with your publisher so as to not duplicate efforts. (Don’t aggravate your local TV station with multiple PR contacts.)

But the question was “when” not “should.” So let me re-answer.

If you are on your own with regard to your PR, you should hire that firm six to nine months prior to the release date of your book. The PR firm will be handicapped if you wait too long. They need lead time especially in the area of getting reviews for your book. Few review outlets are interested in a book after it has already been released.

Read More

Book of the Month – August 2011

by Steve Laube

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs (published by Oxford in June 2011) is this month’s “Book of the Month.” I recommend you pick up a copy and enjoy the experience for yourself.

It seems a little odd to read a book about reading. But for those of us who are in the “business” of creating books it is always interesting to read a wise person’s take on the very lifeblood of our profession.

Many people say they no longer read and yet ironically they are always “reading” their texts, emails, blogs or favorite social network hub. They are not necessarily reading books which means they are truly missing out on the experiences of a lifetime. Alan Jacobs, a professor of English at Wheaton College offers some simple, powerful, and much needed advice:

read at whim,

read what gives you delight,

and do so without shame.

Read More

Bon Voyage — or A New Adventure?

On Monday, Barbour Publishing informed the industry that they will be discontinuing their Heartsong Presents imprint. After 18 years and 1,000 titles, it will end its run in December 2011. Publishing has always been fluid. Steve Laube says that it is important to stay flexible because “A publisher can dramatically change directions after a meeting on Tuesday.”

I never thought Heartsong Presents, a line for which I proudly wrote, would collapse. Ever. But their line isn’t the first. Remember, for instance, Palisades? Or Alabaster? Both of those romance imprints were published by Multnomah but abruptly disappeared. Or the Three Rivers imprint or the Jan Dennis imprint at Thomas Nelson (both of which ended on the same day in the 80s). Many times a writer has been waylaid as these situations changed for them, sometimes in mid-contract.

If you are an author whose line has been discontinued, you must summon the courage to take the next step. This is where your agent can be invaluable. 

Read More

The Wrong Point-of-View

Last week we identified Point-of-View (POV). This week, let’s consider some common POV misteps.

What’s My Line?: When POV/voice doesn’t fit the character.

Here’s an example. The POV character is male and a construction worker. So is the following appropriate for his POV?

Read More

News You Can Use

The Publishers Who Lost the Most When Border’s Closed – The next time you criticize “traditional publishers” for their seemingly high prices and slow adoption of new technology, remember this list. Penguin/Putnam lost $41 million when Borders went bankrupt. Ouch.

Twenty-five Rejection Proof Markets – A clever article by James Watkins. I like #24. Proof that I can remain rejection free.

Author A.L. Kennedy on Book Tours – Interesting perspective from the UK.

A Library is a Wonderful Thing – Read these fun letters celebrating the opening of a new library.

What makes a Platform? – In case you missed it, recently Mike Hyatt wrote this great article about the benefits of building a platform.

20 Most Awe Inspiring Writer’s Rooms – Do you have one to rival these? (By the way, #15 would drive me crazy.)

 

 

Read More

Out of Their Minds: The basics of point-of-view

Ever been reading a novel, cooking along with the character, when you realize you’re not seeing things through that character’s eyes any longer? Somewhere along the way, something shifted and you’re inside a different character’s head. Jarring, huh? Probably jolted you out of the story, if only for a few seconds while you figured out what happened.

That, my friends, is what you want to avoid at all costs: Bumping your reader out of the story. Because once they’re out, any number of things can pull them away before they get back in.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Point of view. First, what is POV (point of view)? Anyone? Yes! That’s exactly right. (Hey, I’m a novelist too, remember? If I want to hear my imaginary class answering me, I can.”) Point of view is the “eyes” through which we’re seeing the story.

Read More

News You Can Use

Winnie the Pooh’s Cultural Dominance – A great slide show of the history of A.A. Milne’s character growing into a phenomenon. Did you know he sold the rights to Pooh in 1931 for $1,000 and a % of licensing fees? Today the licensing generates $5.6 billion in annual revenue. Wow.

Free Magazine on Writing – The July issue of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA).

Agent Andrew Wylie Stirs Things Up – Wylie capitalizes on the horrific situation at NewsCorp (parent company to HarperCollins) to toss some bombshells into their camp.

Wrestling with Writers Block? – Bob Spear provides some great advice.

Is Your Work Being Plagiarized on the Internet? – This is an excellent article with critical tools to determine if your work is being stolen.

What is the Best Time to Post Your Blog? – See this fascinating infographic. Does it match with your best practices?

The graphic can be found at Kissmetrics.

Read More