This week’s roundup is a potpourri of writing advice, self-publishing tips, an introduction to MiniBuks (fascinating!) and the continuing saga on Goodreads. Why should we as authors care about the alleged censorship happening on Goodreads? Because there are 20 million readers there and it’s the largest book-sharing social scene on the Web. BookLikes is gaining popularity and LibraryThing is great, but until they ramp up, Goodreads is a must for authors trying to reach readers. I’m not suggesting that writers simply hawk their goods on Goodreads; instead, be the reader that you are by listing your favorite books, reviewing books, joining groups, and engaging with other users. Here’s this week’s scoop:
Write Where the Juice Is from The Heart and Craft of Life Writing: When I read this advice recently in Vanessa Talbot’s ebook, 101 Ways to Live Extraordinarily, I thought of one of my great-great-grandmothers. Family legend has it that she opened the first brothel in the Yukon. The topic certainly does give us plenty of food for talk.
How to Go Places That Scare You In Your Writing by Charlotte Rains Dixon: Whatever it is that scares you, it is important to go there. Why? For a number of reasons. Because once you get it out on the page, it won’t scare you anymore. Because there’s fabulous gold to be mined in the scary places (stories are nothing without conflict). Because if you’re not going there, you’re probably not putting your true self on the page.
To “Self”-Publish, You Need a Team from The Passive Voice: Bob Mayer asserts that to “self”-publish, you need a team. He explains that seeming contradiction thusly: Thus, I believe the term “self”-publishing primarily means that the author retains most of the rights to his or her work (most particularly electronic) but teams with others in order to bring a story to market, including sometimes selling rights to print, foreign and audio (although we are big fans of Audiobook Creation Exchange). And this last bit is key: Authors create product, which is story (not book), and readers consume product through a variety of mediums. Everyone else is in between. Authors need people of value in between in order to get story to reader.
Answers to the 7 Biggest Questions About MiniBüks from The Book Designer by Joel Friedlander: I met David and Kathy Seid this spring at Author U in Denver, Colorado. They were there to show authors and self-publishers their line of small, pocketable books that fill a unique spot in book retailing. They call these books—and their company—MiniBük. They are nicely-printed 3.5″ x 5″ books that can be used in many ways. Tracy R. Atkins interviewed David and Kathy to find out what exactly a MiniBük is, and how authors can use them.
How Amazon and Goodreads could lose their best readers from Salon: With 20 million members (a number some have noted is close to the population of Australia) and a reputation as a place where readers meet to trade information and share their excitement about books, the social networking site Goodreads has always appeared to be one of the more idyllic corners of the Internet. The site sold to Amazon for an estimated $190 million this spring, and Goodreads recommendations and data have been integrated into the new Kindle Paperwhite devices, introducing a whole new group of readers to the bookish community.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.