Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My favourite things I learnt last week from the writing bloggerverse... aka weekly mashup

I have a list saved to My Favourites in my browser called the Daily Clicks. As the name suggests, every day I go through the daily clicks and see what's new. Most people would use a feed reader to do this, but I prefer to actually go to the blog or web page and see all the pretty shiny things that the creator has put there.

So I thought I'd do a post on my favourite things learnt this week in my exploration of the writing webs.

1.  Janet Reid and Writer Beware both posted on the dangers of competition clauses, and one competition in particular. Long story short, if you are considering entering any sort of writing comp, read the fine print in full. And if you see anything like this:
By submitting an entry, all entrants grant Sponsor the absolute and unconditional right and authority to copy, edit, publish, promote, broadcast, or otherwise use, in whole or in part, their entries, in perpetuity, in any manner without further permission, notice or compensation.
Run. Run away fast and far. And don't part with your hard earned dollars to enter a competition that basically means you've granted the competition holder the right to use your work in any way without notifying or compensating you. Not. Good.

2.   Shallee McArthur came up with the idea to do a What's Your Writing Process Blogfest. In her words:
...blog about ANY part of your writing process-- how you create characters, how you plot your novel, how you organize your rewrites, your whole writing process from start to finish, anything.
The blogfest is scheduled for Tuesday the 18th, which for me is now, but for most of the participants is tomorrow, so I thought I'd compromise by posting tonight.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up. Share your process so we can learn from you.

Aplogies to the guys,
couldn't help myself.

3.   The discovery of Kristen Lamb's blog. She's a writer and social media guru, and blogs about both. I only came across her blog a couple of days ago (via Twitter) and I've already discovered so much good information. My favourite so far is how to take on the Procrastination Pixie. Excellent advice. I've been practicing using the word 'No' every time my mouse wanders toward the facebook/twitter/gratuitous pictures of Ben Barnes button when writing, and so far with good results.

If you're a blogger she also has this awesome series of posts on getting started and staying in the game. More great advice and worth checking out. And yes I'm trying to take that advice. I will blog more regularly. Promise.

4.   Ok, this one's on a more serious note. I've been meaning to blog about this all week, so now's as good a time as any. Author Saundra Mitchell tackles the topic of illegal ebook downloads in her post '"Free" Books Aren't Free'. A quick quote:
I’ve told you before that I made a $15,000 advance on SHADOWED SUMMER. In two years, I’ve managed to earn back $12,000 of that.
It’s going out of print in hardcover because demand for it has dwindled to 10 or so copies a month. This means I will never get a royalty check for this book. By all appearances, nobody wants it anymore.
But those appearances are deceiving. According to one download site’s stats, people are downloading SHADOWED SUMMER at a rate of 800 copies a week. When the book first came out, it topped out at 3000+ downloads a week.
If even HALF of those people who downloaded my book that week had bought it, I would have hit the New York Times Bestseller list.
If the 800+ downloads a week of my book were only HALF converted into sales, I would earn out in one more month. But I’m never going to earn out.
I would recommend reading the whole thing. It really.. sucks (for want of a better word) reading stuff like this. I know no one reading this post would download an ebook, because we're all writers, but we can all help to educate. There are plenty of people out there who don't realise the damage they're doing by downloading an ebook, and they could be our friends or family. So let them know. I'm sure they'll be want to spend a few dollars on books in future.

5.   Not really blogging, but favourite Twitter hashtags this week: #YALitChat, #AskAgent and #AmWriting. Great places for advice, encouragement, and finding like-minded people. Twitter is an invaluable resource for writers, so if you're not there, go to it.

And that's that. My list of favourite (and not so favourite in some cases) things learned and heard this week.

What have you learnt this week? What gems have made a difference to your writing day? Or just your day in general?


  1. I read that post on downloads and found it absolutely heartbreaking. Stealing is always stealing, but stealing from writers is just downright mean. There aren't many people who work harder for less. :/

  2. I know, it was a real eye opener for me. I mean I knew all the stats about advances and royalties and stuff but I didn't realise the number of books illegally downloaded until I read that. I wish there was more people could do to stop it happening.

  3. Wow, those download stats are crazy. Sad.

    And on a happier note, I just had to go check out that post about the procrastination pixie--oh man. I need to take that advice.

    (And also, I had to go check out Ben Barnes. Hel-lo. You know who he should totally play in the movie version? Dimitri from Vampire Academy. Wow. He's perfect.)

  4. I never thought of that, but now that you've said it there is no one else. He has to be Dimitri!

    Haha yes the procrastination pixie post is great :). It's already helping me.