Another round of interesting reads from across the net.
Publishing and the Industry
- The True Cost of Indie Publishing – Christine Nolfi lists her costs as a new author.
- We read (insert your name here) because… Larry Brooks at storyfix.com talks about branding, and what we write. And then provides a follow-up post Further Perspective on Author Branding — You Are Forced To Choose Who You Are worth the read.
- How to get testimonials for your self-published book – Joel Friedlander offers the steps.
- Pay it Forward – where next for MWiDP – Bestselling Author Catherine Ryan Hyde (Pay it Forward) signs up with co-author Anne R Allen for their new book to be published under the new indie MWiDP ‘Writers without Fronteirs’ imprint.
- A Number of Things I am Confused About – Dean Wesley Smith talks free, new and confused.
- What’s the Problem with FREE?– in a similar vein to DW Smith’s post, Kristen Lamb points out the repercussions of all the free ebooks. Equally poignant is her next post Here There Be Blog Trolls–How to Spot Them & What To Do in which she also brings up the subject of many blog owners not wanting to have comments which debate their own opinions, in a respectful way. Kristen has a few horror tales of some of her own trolls also.
- Real data – via DW Smith comes a readable book data study by British stat giant Neilson. The company has put together matrices comparing sales against book elements. Take a look at the sales data on reviews. And DW Smith also found new real data on e-readers and points out the resistance to reading electronically which indie writers should plan towards.
- John Betcher (@JohnBetcher) NEW POST- KPD Free Book Promo Results. Get the dish. selfpublishingcentral.blogspot.com/2012/01/kdp-fr…
- Don’t let multiple-character scenes run away with you – KM Weiland talks about differentiating characters and keeping to the point.
- Starting the second novel – what I’m doing differently – Livia Blackburne talks about things learnt. There’s some good comments to this post too.
- Leave the breadcrumbs behind – are you asking – and answering – the right story questions – Janice Hardy offers some great revision advice.
- Via SydneyWritersCentre (@SydneyWriters) 10 types of hyper-correction you can inflict on your own manuscript or a friends:bit.ly/vZvLKu
- Via Zena Shapter (@ZenaShapter) Scriptwriters! Have you got a powerful logline? Invaluable tips from @ozzywood and the crew @Circalit… fb.me/TUcdymqK
- Write Yourself a Bad Review – KM Weiland provided a guest post at The Artist’s Road suggesting sometimes it might pay to give our inner critics an outing.
- Writing on the Ether – Porter Anderson warns against knee-jerk reactions in this ever changeable writing industry. A slightly older post, but worth the read.
- 12 writing resolutions for 12 months of 2012 – KM Weiland lists 12 that I can and will actually do. Which includes putting some solid mapping behind my path to publication next month, now that I have a writing schedule in place.
- The Business Rusch – Readers – KK Rusch points out the similarities between trad. Publishers who pull books in a series and indie writers who deny their own new readers the next book. Thought provoking.
- Via Zena Shapter (@ZenaShapter) For #zombie fans: real-life medical reports on three Haitian zombies! fb.me/19yADbzYH
Topic of the Week 1 – iBooks2, Author, TextBooks and EULs
- Apple iBooks Author Re-invents Ebooks Creation – Joel Frielander provides a summary of the new iBooks Author software released last weekend. Targeting the Textbook Industry, the software is free for the Mac platform.
- iBooks Author and the EUL – controversy hit the net when Dan Wineman in this post and Ed Bott at ZDNet and others looked at the end user license from Apple on using their iBooks Author software. Any works created by this free software (ie. iBooks) can be refused by the iBooks store, and are not allowed to be sold elsewhere. (free iBooks created by iBooks Author can be). Note that this is the product created by Author, your content remains in your copyright, and if reformatted can be sold elsewhere. This is similar to products created by the Kindle Software at Amazon, although with iBooks Author, anyone downloading the software is not aware fully of this constraint unless reading the full EUL. Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware, points out all the posts.
- Will iBooks Alienate Your Reader? – Caitlin Muir at Author Media asks this question, also quoting Seth Godin on the subject. The Seth Godin article can be found at the Domino Project.
- A Professor and Author’s View on the Impact of Apple’s iBooks Textbooks – PadGadget points out the possible positive side of this movement once we can read such textbooks on other devices (or a cheaper iPad equivalent).
- An SDK for Writers – Shawn Blanc discusses the interactivity available to iBooks now (for Mac users, that is)
- Will Apple’s Author and IBooks2 Challenge Kindle Select? – Scott Bury points out some more, but also wonders of the impact on Smashwords.
- Apple’s textbook plan’s biggest flaw is that it’s tied to the iPad – The Toybox views the topic from the education and possible access limitations..
- Hands on: Apple iBook Author App Review – Mashable provides a screenshot introduction through the software.
- My Take –
- I don’t own an Apple Mac, so the free iBooks Author software can’t be used by me.
- I do own an iPad, and have downloaded the new iTunes U app, but the cheap textbooks are only available in the USA at this point in time, anyway.
- Having downloaded 2 video tutorials from iTunesU, I filled up all my iPad’s free memory – any authors creating rich media intensive textbooks will need to consider the storage limitations on our current iBooks reader devices.
- It’s all change, all the time, so keeping abreast of those changes within the industry means I can make slightly wiser decisions – I appreciate all the people who blog to keep me informed.
Topic of the Week 2 – Enhanced Ebooks
- Note that the new iBooks Author software discussed above allows for the creation of iBooks2 – enhanced ebooks which can have additional multimedia content added such as videos.
- Enhanced ebooks have previously been available as multi-media apps, combining text, oratory, film production, visuals, animations, and in-app games.
- The topic of enhanced ebooks has been around for a long time now, but this week has taken more precedence. Here’s a preview of one about to come out called ‘Chopsticks‘ via The Wall Street Journal which also states that Penguin is intending releasing 50 enhanced books this year.
- Is there a market for “enhanced” eBooks? – A guest post by Leonard Feldman discusses this topic, and quotes a heavy opinion by Seth Godin who points out the cost of producing film and animation rich ebooks. Note that Seth’s own estimation of out-of-pocket expenses for ebooks now are not accepted by some commenters. This post basically suggests that the cost of adding enhanced functions to ebooks currently is not recuperated in current sales for enhanced ebooks.
- An Interesting Case Study – Overshare. In December April L. Hamilton published an enhanced novel called Overshare. This fictional work uses screenshots of social media websites and blog posts to tell the main character’s story over the course of a year.
- Here is the original 8th December post announcing the new book.
- On January 3rd, Dan Holloway interviewed April Hamilton on His blog, concentrating on the non-narrative aspects of the book, things like creative commons images used for the screenshots.
- On January 8th Joanna Penn provided a similar post on her blog, where April Hamilton guest posted on the technical aspects of creating the ebook, including copyright considerations, and how she made the images.
- On January 16th April Hamilton posted on her own blog a post called The Challenges of New, Digital Lit. In this post she says the above interviews and guest post generated lots of reads and comments, but no sales of her book. On the 16th, April decided to try a free giveaway ofher book. It was available free from Amazon for four days. During that time, I actually downloaded the book myself, but have only just finished reading it.
- At this point in time, the book on Amazon has only had 3 reviews, 1 of which may have come during the free period. As the last commenter points out, graphic-intensive ebooks like Overshare are targeted towards Kindle Fire and other E-readers which allow for colour and graphical formats.
Topic of the Week 2 – Bestsellers (Or Anti-Bestsellers)
This year I made a New Years Writing Resolution for myself – my lofty aim was to reach the NYT best selling list in 5 years. It was an aim signifying an intention to succeed as a new writer with my fiction. I stick to that particular long-term aim, because it’s a good metaphor for some kind of reward for all the hard work. That aside, I know myself that with such a changing industry, writers need to look at our own intentions, and think about all the options and ways that might signify to ourselves that we have done good.
- Best selling Lists and Other Thoughts – Kristine Kathryn Rusch does the stats.
- The Myth of the Bestsellers – JA Konrath talks self-publishing.
- Rethinking the Bestsellers List – Seth Godin at The Domino Project talks decisions.
- Reflections on the value of the best seller list vs the long tail – Bob Mayer says that success is different for all of us.