Entries Tagged 'Marketing' ↓
July 23rd, 2012 — Digital Publishing, Marketing, Self-Publishing
In a world where big brands frequently misunderstand the internet, it’s refreshing to see one of the worlds most polite cease and desist letters sent to US author Patrick Wensink regarding the similarities between his book cover (above) and the Jack Daniels whiskey label. In a situation where the could have come accross looking like a bully, the corporate entity behind Jack Daniels comes off looking classy:
“We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand, but while we can appreciate the pop culture appeal of Jack Daniel’s, we also have to be diligent to ensure that the Jack Daniel’s trademarks are used correctly. Given the brands popularity, it will probably come as no surprise that we come across designs like this on a regular basis. What may not be so apparent, however, is that if we allow uses like this one, we run the very real risk that our trademark will be weakened. As a fan of the brand, I’m sure that is not something you intended or would want to see happen.
“As an author, you can certainly understand our position and the need to contact you. You may even have run into similar problems with your own intellectual property…”
The letter then goes on to ask that Wesnick change the cover of his book on subsequent reprints, and even offers to contribute to the cost of doing so (Wesnick and his publisher, Lazy Fascist Press, have agreed to do so but refused the offer to contribute funds). Wesnick’s also posted a copy of the full cease and desist letter to his website, and it’s truly worth reading as an example of internet diplomacy handled well. The story has already been picked up by Mashable, where we first came across it, and looks to be generating positive results for both Jack Daniels and the author in question.
Positive though the outcomes may be, this story can also serve as an object lesson for writers getting involved in the design process. There’s certainly an increasing number of designers offering cover design services listing in the Australian Writer’s Marketplace, and the hows and whys of establishing an ebook cover are a recurring question among writers interested in self-publishing.
In the past writer’s have been free to ignore design altogether, leaving it up to their publisher to determine a books look and feel. Now, as more authors opt for independent publishing routes, it’s a smart move for any new writer to have at least a passing understanding of effective design.
We recommend checking out 10 Tips for Effective Book Covers that covers the basic mistakes, and one of our favourite resources for understanding ebook cover design is the monthly eBook Cover Design Awards over at thebookdesigner.com. Every months the awards display the winners, runners up, and other submissions along with some commentary from the judges about what works, and what doesn’t.
Beyond that? Writers and ebook designers need to learn the importance of a design that looks good when reduced to thumbnail size to ensure the book isn’t lost in digital marketplaces, know where to source art and how to create a unified look for their work, and the importance of contrast and colour in the design. Even if you’re not planning on designing the cover yourself, it’s worth getting a grounding in the basics to ensure you getting what you need when paying a professional.
We’ve touched on some of the great advice out there, but there’s bound to be more. What book covers really tickle your fancy? What cover tips have you come across? Any hard-earned lessons you’d care to share?
July 20th, 2012 — Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Editors, Friday Fry-Up, Marketing, poetry
Ever wondered how readers find books? It’s certainly one of those topics that’s of interest to publishers everywhere, and to the folks behind the Goodread’s website. They’ve recently posted an Anatomy of Book Discovery: A Case Study using Charles Duhigg’s nonfiction book, The Power of Habit that makes for interesting reading
If you’ve ever found yourself wishing for something akin to movie review aggregator Rottentomatoes.com for books, you may have gotten your wish. The recently announced iDreambooks aggregates book reviews from “professional critics”, which translates as reviews from many of the major American newspapers and magazines. They’re hoping to fill a niche that isn’t serviced by either traditional print reviews or massive online review sites such as bookslut.com or The Millions.
Alan Rinzler has a great post on What should you expect from a developmental editor?
Install your own website or use an established service such as blogger or wordpress.com? Blogging: Self-Hosted or Not? addresses one of the core questions writers face when they decide to initiate their online presence, and presents Pros and Cons from writers on both sides of the argument.
Chris Flynn has a great post about Pathways to Publication over on the Meanjin blog, outlining some of the paths available to Australian novelists seeking publication.
It may not be open for submissions, but poets might be interested in the possibilities that come with Wearable Poetry and its ability to bring an unexpected burst of poetry into public spaces.
Booklife.com has a great post that suggests Success is Like Lightning, complete with the ways in which you can prepare before you’re struck.
Mary Robinette Kowal has been running a series of Debut Author Lessons on her blog, which encompasses topics from book launches to signing bookstore stock to signing up for a frequent flyer program.
There’s plenty of advice about long term goal setting for writers, but is this doing more harm than good? A recent study examining the psychology of goal-setting suggests that focusing on the results, rather than the practice, could be doing more harm than good.
Those are the links that caught our attention here at AWM this week. How about you? What posts, opportunities, and rants caught your eye? Let us know in the comments.
May 25th, 2012 — Editors, Marketing, Self-Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing Resources, social media
We open our Fry-Up with the news that the Spunc (the Small Press Underground Networking Community) has announced its Inaugural Independent Publishers Conference and a new prize for small publishers, The Most Underrated Book Award. The conference is set to take place at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, in November of this year.
Writer’s Beware has a great post about Vetting an Independent Editor, and another dedicated to the editing clauses you should look for in your publishing contracts.
There’s been some great advice about promoting books come our way this week. Jane Friedman offers 4 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Book Marketing Efforts, covering the best ways to leverage social media and more in four quick steps. If you’re struggling to identify the gatekeepers Friedman mentions in her article, the advice on offer in Livehacked’s How to find the perfect audience for your book, and sell it to them may help you when you’re brainstorming.
There are always days when social media doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort, but Australian Author Jody Hedland offers up 8 Reasons Not to Quit Social Media When You’re Burned Out. Meanwhile, ReadWriteWeb offers up a great post about the history and use of twitter #Hashtags.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a great post about Traditional publishing, DIY, and finding the right balance between Time and the Writer.
WorkingWriters has a great post with 10 Crucial Proofreading Tips that can help you put together a rigorous proofing routine. I find their third suggestion - Create a customized proofreading list that is particular to the writer’s habits – is particularly useful.
Those are the links that caught our attention at the AWM offices this week. As usual, we’re keen to hear about your favourite links in the comments.
May 18th, 2012 — Craft of Writing, Digital Publishing, Marketing, Self-Publishing, Uncategorized, e-Publishing, social media
According to the New York Times the rise of the ebook market has come with one indelible truth for writers: One Book a Year is Slacking Off. It seems writers in every genre are being asked to produce that little bit faster – whether it’s an extra story or novella, or a whole new series of books.
This isn’t the first time such things have been posted either – the publishing world is undergoing upheaval and the long-term tactics that make a successful writer seem to be changing with them. It’s easy to turn yourself into a nervous wreck when this kind of news comes out, which is why we’re coupling it with Monica Valentinelli’s response to the Times article, Where Author Insecurity Comes From.
Another follow up – albeit with a slightly different tone – is Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s response taking issue with the Times articles characterisation of 2,000 words of fiction a day as a “brutal” writing schedule. Her response moves from examining the double standard being applied, given the author of the times article wrote four additional articles that week that were easily a thousand words long, then looks at some of the elements of genre and publisher expectations prevalent in the original article.
When Self-Publishing is More Useful as a Marketing Tool is a great post about one of the core things that’s overlooked when it comes to successful self-publishing – shifting your mindset from writer to creative entrepreneur – and why self-published ebooks can still be useful even if you aren’t interested in being a small business. Joanna Penn’s Self Publishing and the Definition of an Indie Author covers similar territory, and it’s a great post for anyone interested in the difference between Indie and Self-Published.
The April e-Book Cover Design Awards have been posted over on Bookdesigner.com. The commentary is a great resource for any writer wanting to learn the basics of ebook cover design.
Mashable offers up a Beginners Guide to Facebook – a great primer for anyone who’s just starting to dabble in the social media field and build their online platform. Already a Facebook fan? Mashable also has a post containing 10 Facebook Tips for Power Users that can help you fine-tune your engagement with the social media site.
Over on The Idea Logical Company Mike Shatzkin puts forward the argument that Everyone In Hollywood Needs an eBook Strategy. It’s a brilliant essay in and of itself, but it also name-checks a couple of projects I hadn’t heard of prior, such as the recent move by Warner Brothers to release over 300 classic film scripts in digital formats.
Those are the links that caught our attention at the AWM offices this week. As usual, we’re keen to hear about your favourite links in the comments.
March 23rd, 2012 — Digital Publishing, Marketing, Uncategorized, Writing Resources, e-Publishing
It’s Friday, and once again we celebrate with a fry-up of useful links.
Pinterest is the hot new social network of the moment, and in If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put a Pin On It Tasmanian writer Tansy Rayner Roberts starts looking for ways it can be used as a promotional vehicles for writers. If you’re feeling a little more old-school, this list of 40 Twitter Hashtags for Writers may come in handy.
10 Ways to Create Digital Magazines includes a number of interesting digital tools for producing digital content aimed at tablets and mobile phones.
Need some help getting into the habit of writing every day? It may be time to sign up to 750words.com, a free website that exists solely to encourage people to write 750 words every day. Once you set up your account you can set automated reminder emails, earn badges for writing streaks, and get detailed feedback on how long it takes you to reach your word-count (and how many breaks you take along the way).
The link to James Scott Campbell’s Listen to the Book appeared on our AWM twitter feed (thanks to @porteranderson). It’s a short post, but a useful one. And Speakeasy reader Bonnee recommended the Writer Unboxed blog in the comments last week (being a fan of food and fiction, I was naturally drawn to their post about Treating Readers Like Fine Diners).
What about you? What writing and publishing links have whet your taste-buds this week? Let us know in the comments.
March 2nd, 2012 — Books and Publishing, Craft of Writing, Digital Publishing, Marketing, Self-Publishing, Writers
March is one of my favourite parts of the year, often because news starts to filter through from literary festivals and writers conferences that take place around the country. Which is why we start this Friday Fry-Up with news that the National Young Writers Festival will take taking proposals now from people who want to be involved when the Festival takes place in September.
Registrations are also open for the Romance Writers of Australia’s 21st Annual Conference . It takes place on the Gold Coast from the 16-19 of August and their featured guests include Eloisa James, Alexandra Sokoloff, Monique Patterson, and Helen Breitwieser.
From the writers events coming to the future we move to one going on right now – the Adelaide Writers Festival is in full swing at the moment and there’s a dedicated team of attendees live-tweeting the sessions for those of us who can’t make it.
If you need a little help getting into a writing mood this weekend, try checking out John Steinbeck’s thoughts on The Art of Fiction over at the Paris Review. Even if you’re not familiar with Steinbeck’s work, his Six Rules for Getting Started are some inspirational reading.
If you’re in a more practical mood, Jane Friedman’s advice for Building a More Effective Author Site is a great way of giving your online presence a quick check-up. Run down the list of five things Friedman believes every site should have, and ensure you’re not making one of the five most common mistakes.
Finally, UK writer Kerry Wilkinson’s Misadventures in Publishing post over on Futurebook traces his journey from best-selling self-published writer to his recent deal with Pan Macmillan. Wilkinson comes off as a very smart, passionate writer who looks at both traditional and e-publishing with an eye towards building the career he wants to have, rather than the career others are expecting him to have.
That’s the news and blog-posts that’s had our interest this week – how about you? Post your favourite writing, publishing, and freelancing links in the comments and let us know what we missed.
April 5th, 2011 — AWM, AWM Forums, Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Craft of Writing, Industry News, Marketing, Opportunities, Writers, Writers Groups, Writing Races, Writing Resources
March 30th, 2011 — AWM, AWM Forums, Books and Publishing, Business In The Industry, Marketing, Writers, Writing Races, Writing Resources
Benjamin Law, author of The Family Law, was our special Writing Race guest last night.
Ben shared some incredible insights into his writing career that we simply had to pass on to you!
Firstly, Ben introduces himself and his writing:
‘I’m a Brisbane-based writer, and I mainly work in non-fiction. My bread-and-butter work is writing stories for publications like frankie, The Monthly and Qweekend, and I’ve also written for The Big Issue, Sunday Life, Crikey, New Matilda and others. Last year, I released a black comedy memoir called The Family Law, which was a collection of real-life stories about growing up gay, Asian in a sprawling (and slightly dysfunctional) family in Coastal Queensland in the ’80s and ’90s.
‘Right now, I’m working on a book of journalism, sort of a travel adventure book that looks at queer communities in Asia. So far, I’ve been backstage with the world’s biggest transsexual beauty pageant in Thailand, looking at sham-marriages between gays and lesbians in China, stalking queer celebrities in Japan and just got back from India’s queer pride parade, where they’ve just decriminalised homosexuality.’
Ben on using Facebook and Twitter as promotional tools:
‘I use Facebook and Twitter a lot mainly because I work from home, and I really don’t have any social interaction that people get in normal workplaces. There’s great back-and-forth chatter and Twitter’s a wonderful news/information filter. But it also becomes a useful marketing tool. I link to things that interest or amuse me, and then people continue to follow me, only to discover I’ve written a book, buy it, read it, and tell me they enjoyed it on Twitter. It’s a great way of connecting/discovering new people.
‘Susan Orlean—one of my favourite writers—is a prolific and excellent tweeter. She was recently featured on the New Yorker’s Out Loud podcast talking about Twitter and had some excellent insights: www.newyorker.com/online/2010/02/22/100222on_audio_packer.’
For more information on Benjamin, visit www.benjamin-law.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @mrbenjaminlaw
September 3rd, 2010 — Agents, Marketing, Self-Publishing
A fantastic day of professional development for writers today at Brisbane Writers Festival. As promised to delegates, Emma Rusher has provided a fantastic Q&A guide for authors to develop a strong and effective pitch for their manuscript.
July 14th, 2010 — Craft of Writing, Marketing, Uncategorized, poetry
Cory Doctorow denies that blogging is dead; killed off by newer forms of social media:
I still blog 10-15 items a day, just as I’ve done for 10 years now on Boing Boing. But I also tweet and retweet 30-50 times a day…. the more media I have at my disposal, the more ways there are for me to work out my own ideas.
Nearly 70 tweets and blogs every day? Truly, Doctorow is a man for the times.
Proving that blogging is alive and well is Queensland Poet-in-Residence, Emily XYZ. When fighting the writers’ demons – the doubts and distractions that plague us all – Emily convinces us that action brings answers! (And she proved it at the recent Speed Poets gig).
Emily XYZ in action at Speed Poets
And have you seen Tom Cho’s beautiful blog? Full of writerly wisdoms, like the ones he offered at last night’s Writing Race:
- "We who write live in a kaleidoscopic world of ever-shifting assessments and judgments, unable to determine whether it is revelation or supreme self-delusion that fuels our most crucial efforts" – Joyce Carol Oates
- "Ask yourself ‘What am I too lazy or afraid to write?”’ – Gerald Murnane (Tom’s former fiction teacher).
You can catch Tom at the upcoming Byron Bay Writers Festival.