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Best Links for Writers and Publishers (July, 15)

15 Jul 2011 in international | questo post è lungo 1234 parole

Change in Publishing: links you may have missed in the last days. Follow us on Twitter_ to get frequent updates. [Previous]._

THE TIMES, THEY CHANGE (IS PUBLISHING DEAD?)

"My largest hesitation remains with unpublished writers putting their work up on Amazon and thinking they’ll sell millions and get a book deal. Sure, it’s happened to a few people. But, mostly, what’s up there is crap. Oh, I know, everyone is going to say that what’s coming out of NY publishers is crap, too. However, that stuff is readable in the English language. People just don’t like the content. There’s a big difference. I’m also concerned that writers won’t continue to grow. They’ve made a couple hundred dollars selling their novel at 99 cents and think they don’t need to learn more. They hire editors that have no real experience or, worse, who confuse being rejected by several publishing houses as experience. They think editing means line editing and checking for typos and missing words. They don’t understand how to maintain conflict, develop characterization through dialogue, and maintain a gripping story. Some learn. A lot don’t." Krista D. Ball | @kristadb1

DIGITAL SKILLS IN PUBLISHING

"So in a world where the Kindle, the iPad and phrases like ‘multi-platform publishing’ are bandied about by those in the know, the age of digital has clearly hit the publishing world - hard. But then how has this resulted in the industry lamenting its lack of digital skills in the workplace? A report compiled by Skillset has found that employers are finding a shortage of key digital skills amongst their current workforce, so the SYP invited four industry professionals with expertise and lively opinions on the world of digital to fill us in on what’s lacking, why, and what we can do to fill in the gaps." InDigital | the 4 panelists: @sashers @pressfuturist @TheLitPlatform @OrnaRoss

NEW READS ON READING

"In the wired world, Nash believes, reading has become ever more like writing—readers can increasingly comment on what they read, rate it, rank it, re-mix it into fan-fiction or rewrite it entirely and post it online or even self-publish it. With so many other, and more participatory options, readers are less willing to sacrifice the money and time required of them in a traditional publishing model. But rather than balk at this, Nash suggests, publishers ought to find new ways to fold these writer-readers into the publishing process, flattening the distance between producer and consumer—and, yes, discovering new ways to monetize the process." The New Yorker

SCIENCE FICTION OPENS UP THE UNIVERSE

"SF does more than popularise the natural sciences: it does the same for the similarly subversive discoveries of anthropology and psychology, teaching cultural relativism as much as physical relativity. For a readership mainly – though no longer exclusively – among the colonisers rather than the colonised, it compels at least some recognition of what it would be like for the boot to be on the other foot, or to encounter a completely different set of moral and religious beliefs among people you could hardly dismiss as "primitive" (eg because they have starships, and you have not). Imaginary alien theologies may not trouble sophisticated theologians, but I still remember how, as a nominally devout teenager, they troubled me." The Guardian

WRITING URBAN FANTASY VS. STEAMPUNK

"I’m writing two very different series right now. One is urban fantasy and one is steampunk set in the American west. Both of these genres are the kind that people ask me to define. I try. Really, I do. But there is so much crossover in urban fantasy (we know it must have a fantasy or “paranormal” element, but is it mostly a mystery? Romance? Noir? Comedy? Fantasy? Science fiction? Horror? Crime story?) that it is difficult to give a single description that fits all urban fantasy. Plus writers are creative little critters and they like to mess with stuff. So it’s pretty safe to say that urban fantasy pulls from the tropes of at least a dozen genres. Then we have steampunk. I can’t keep track of how many people have asked me what steampunk really is. Heck, I’ve asked what it is too–and I write the stuff! I’ve heard some good definitions, but steampunk is another one of those genres that has massive cross-over appeal. Is steampunk adventure fiction? Alternate history? Romance? Fantasy? Science fiction? Horror? Humor? Scientific romance? Yes, yes! And more." Bordersblog.com

16 WAYS FICTION IS USUALLY DIFFERENT THAN REALITY

"Two psychologists independently argue that romance novels are unrealistic and set their readers up for unhealthy relationships. Take Twilight, for instance. Bella falls for Edward because he’s preposterously good-looking (as she reminds us incessantly), tough (abusively so) and more exciting/unpredictable than the nice guys she knows. If Bella were your friend in real life, you’d probably beg her to stay away from this unhealthy relationship even if Edward weren’t 50+ years older. Do you think she’ll have the guts to walk away when Edward starts (keeps) abusing her? Hell no–she wasn’t even tough enough to walk away when he told her to." Superhero Nation

WHY SMALL EBOOK PRESSES ARE THRIVING AND HOW YOU COULD JOIN THEM

"If you read the news, you might despair of ever getting your novel published. The book industry is undergoing a huge upheaval, with high street chains – like Borders – closing down. Big publishers are focusing on established authors, rather than taking risks on anything new. Ebooks, though, are taking off. You might have been eyeing stories about Amanda Hocking, J. A. Konrath and Stephen Leather – and wondering whether you’ve got the time, skills and energy to publish your own ebooks." The Creative Penn | @thecreativepenn

BOOK MARKETING 101: GETTING INTO THE RIGHT SHELF CATEGORY

"This all applies to shelf-space, not to on-line stores, of course -- on-line, you're dealing with search algorithms and trying to SEO the title of your book. (Don't laugh: we've been doing that in nonfiction for ages now, and a lot of category fiction has titles that look suspiciously keyword-driven now, too.) It's outside the scope of today's post, but I'll just say this one last thing -- sure, online a book can be in three categories, or ten, or fifty. But if it's not showing up in the first page of search results for that category -- and it probably isn't, if every book is in three or ten or fifty categories -- it's effectively invisible, even more so than it was on just one shelf in a bookstore. And ebooks will always, inevitably, be driven by search and SEO considerations, since they don't exist in any physical form." The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. | @Hornswoggler

CAN THE SUBSCRIPTION MODEL WORK FOR TRADE PUBLISHERS?

"Much like Gamefly and O'Reilly's Safari Books Online, major publishers could offer a monthly, flat-fee subscription service for book-at-a-time access to all their ebook titles in various ereader formats. Note that I said access, not ownership. It would be a rental-type paradigm, and like Gamefly and Netflix could be offered at various pricing tiers according to how many titles the consumer is allowed to have checked out at any given time. Such a plan would enable publishers to maintain steady, ongoing revenue streams in addition to their existing sales channels, and would allow publishers to do an end-run around Amazon, B&N;'s Nook store, and Apple's iBookstore, too." Indie Author | @indieauthor

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