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Did the Mayan 2012 apocalypse refer to traditional publishing? Or not?

Joe Konrath blogs at A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. He’s been predicting the downfall of traditional publishing for a while. But recently he wrote one called,

The End is Nigh. Read it, if you haven’t already.

Honestly, I don’t know what to think. I feel like the whole issue is a merry-go-round. Some, like Konrath, adamantly proclaim why traditional will fail. While others say publishing is alive and well. Agents are selling books. People are buying books.

But this post was different. John Locke recently signed a print deal with Simon and Schuster but he kept all his erights. From there, Konrath predicts other big authors will demand the same thing and then the Big Six won’t be able to recover. It’s just a matter of time.

I hear the stats about more ebooks selling. But I don’t think that holds true for kidlit. I don’t think the majority of kidlit books being bought are ebooks.

This post is not about whether self-publishing is the way to go or not. I’m not going to pretend I can predict the future. Some say the writing is on the wall. Yet many, many people are silent, not saying anything.

What do you think about this? The only sure thing I know is that we need to be informed. We need to hear the worst prediction and the best. And we need to focus more than anything on our writing.

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It’s raining and pouring…books.

(The winner of Laura Josephsen’s book is Eileen Astel! Please email me! Congrats.)

I received the email that the books at Borders were 50-70% off. So I made one last journey and brought my kids. I had no idea what to expect.

But I was looking for some deals.

The middle grade section was completely wiped out. Completely.

Most of the YA but not all was gone. Borders had brought out a lot of warehouse books. Nothing I wanted to buy though. Lots of vampire books. I guess vampires don’t live forever after all. #finally

I did purchase two books. DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver. And WITHER by Lauren DeStefano. Honestly, even at 50% it wasn’t much cheaper than Amazon. And we wonder why bookstores are crumbling. Srsly. #not-ebooks

I also just received a shipment from Amazon. I have a major theme going. I just finished IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma. And I can’t wait to read HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire. BETWEEN by Jessica Warman. And HEREAFTER by Tara Hudson.

Can you say paranormal? Ghostly? Time travel?

Yes that’s a big part of what I read and love to write. #can’thelpit

But the covers are gorgeous. The writing drew me in from page one.

And I absolutely love that I have the hard covers and they aren’t on my Kindle.

Why did I purchase those? A combination of buzz and cover love and genre. But I didn’t buy any of them until I’d read the opening pages.

How do you decide which books to buy? Any last purchases from Borders?

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Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld – a giveaway!

I opened to page one of…

CONFESSIONS FROM THE REALM OF THE UNDERWORLD (OTHER WISE KNOWN AS HIGH SCHOOL) by Laura Josephsen.

And found…

Okay. I found crazy voice all over the place.

Here’s an example from the chapter titles:

A Prologue of Sorts

In Which Sephie Tries to Explain How Her Crazy English Teacher Finagled Her into This Mess.

The main character Persephone (all her sisters are named after characters in Greek mythology-loved it) enters her senior year and everything changes. Her grandfather is losing his house. One of her sisters plays a starring role in the local high school scandal. Even things with her best friend Joey aren’t the same.

Sephie must deal with all the changes in her life while figuring out who and what she wants to be.

I’ll be honest. As I was reading the first quarter, I kept waiting for Sephie to figure out she was really Athena, her boyfriend was Zeus, and her teacher was Hades and they’d fall in love in some kind of weird triangle.

So not what happened. But in a wonderful and sweet way.

Laura’s natural writing style, Sephie’s voice and her complicated but real family (all present and accounted for – no mysterious disappearances or deaths – ) all drew me into this three-dimensional story. I was in tears on and off through the whole entire second half. Maybe because it was so realistic. The character could’ve been me. It could’ve been my sister. It could’ve been my friend.

I just know I loved it. And I want you to have the chance to read it too.

Comment on this post and retweet, and I’ll choose a random winner to receive the paperback from the author.

Never fear, click here to purchase from Amazon. You won’t regret it.

Head over to Laura’s website and check her out.

Have you read any good epublished books lately? Or traditionally pubbed?

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Is blogging effective? Or are we wasting our time?

A week or so ago I wrote a post – To blog or not to blog about writing. I left off that post wondering if it really matters what we blog about. How effective are blogs?

DGLM posted: Is blogging worth it? In it they reference Livia Blackburne ‘s posts where she compliments John Locke on his system. That more of us should be reaching our readers like that. Truly, his methods are genius. (But I don’t think genius can be copied and have the same outcomes.) So…

I say yes. Blogging is effective.

And no. Blogging is not effective.

Because, well, we have to know why we started blogging in the first place. You can only judge the success and failure of something based on pre-set measurable goals.

Possible reasons to blog:

  • We are extremely passionate about, let’s say, making snowmen out of marshmallows. Or about writing.
  • We want to appear professional to the publishing industry when they Google us, maybe, possibly, at some point in our journey. Hopefully, right?
  • All writers do it so we should too. (Okay, probably not the best reason.)
  • We want to tap in and connect to the writing community.
  • We want to support our fellow authors by promoting their books.
  • We want to reach our potential readers and sell zillions of books.

Okay, blogging is much bigger and about a lot more than just reaching potential readers outside of the writing world. (Feel free to disagree.)

And I heard to be effective in reaching readers and making a real impact in sales, then thousands of people should be reading your blog. Or a blog post needs to go viral and reach thousands of people who then buy your book. But will an active blog help show an acquisitions editor that you have a platform? Yes. That you are willing to promote your book and put yourself out there? Yes. And that might make a difference – if they love your writing.

Have I ever bought a book based on someone’s blog? (Outside of friendship.)

Yes and no. In most cases I “knew” the blogger first or just loved the premise and cover of their book.

Have I bought a book based on buzz through the blogosphere but not necessarily because of the author’s blog or website?

Yes. Almost every book I purchase is from online buzz – usually through friends of the author. But it is almost always something I would want to read anyways.

Have non-writers bought books because of an author’s website or super-emotionally charged blog post?

Probably. But I’m going to say that’s more likely to happen in the world of adult literature.

So, what should you do? Should you even be blogging?

That’s totally up to you. I’ve connected to other writers. Found beta readers. Learned about agents and editors and the industry. Processed what I’m learning through blogging. Found encouragement and inspiration. And the list goes on. It has been an extremely beneficial experience for me.

Blogging is not a guarantee that you will connect with an agent or sell lots of books.

Blogging is not a guarantee that you will connect with zillions of readers – no matter what you blog about.

Writing a page-turning fantastic story full of depth and heart will sell lots of books. And that magic thing called word of mouth? We can’t control. And that, my friends, has nothing to do with blogging.

So all I can say for sure is that you should be spending the majority of your time writing and learning the craft of writing – not blogging or on Twitter.

Has blogging been effective for you? Any thoughts?

(I’m not an expert nor claim to be. The opinions in this blog post are based on my observations. I see writers hit the bestseller list because they got a huge promotional push from their publishers, because they had a great high concept idea that hit the market at the right time. And they knew how to write. And not all of them started with a butt-kicking blog first. You do the math.)

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Friday 5 – My highlights from WriteOnCon

1. In the Myths and Misconceptions vlog with Agent Holly Root and Editors Molly O’neil and Martha Mihalick, Holly talked about confidence. Really, the whole vlog was worth watching.

Confidence doesn’t mean your work or writing doesn’t need strengthening. It’s okay to wait for publication.

Take away: I need to be confident in whatever stage I’m at. (Really this topic could be a whole blog post.)

2. Jay Asher’s post on Author Collaboration. But his topic wasn’t what made this stick out to me. He intended to write humorous MG and then went out of his comfort zone to write his bestselling novel, Thirteen Reasons Why.

Take away: Be willing to go out of my comfort zone! (That means you too!)

3. Beth Revis’s incredibly inspiring vlog: Never Give Up. Watch it and be encouraged!

Takeaway: Treat each manuscript as if it’s the one, even if it’s not.

4. Live chat with Michelle Andelman, Emily Meehan, Annette Pollert, and Jim McCarthy. Annette touched briefly on revisions. I scribbled this down in my note book.

Why are you telling me this? (relevance)

Why are you telling me this now? (placement)

Yeah, I know. Heavy. Let it sink in and think about it for a while.

Takeaway: Ask these questions every scene, every paragraph, every line.

5. Lisa Schroeder vlogged about openings.

Be intentional with your opening.

Start with a moment of significance.

Take away: Never open my story in any old spot even if it’s hilarious or brilliant prose.

There were so many brilliants posts. The live chats and Questions and Answer times were all helpful.

And one more since I’ve covered the self publishing topic this summer.

Agent Sara Megibow answered questions about self publishing. Check it out!

Thanks to the founders, agents, editors and participants for an incredible conference!

If you followed the conference, what was one of your highlights?

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