Well, I’ve had quite a week. I would say my feet have hardly hit the ground, but as you’ll know from last week that would hardly be true. My feet have done a lot of hitting the ground, as I was honoured to take part in the 100 kilometre Race to the Stones Ultramarathon on Saturday. I mused last week on the similarities of writing and endurance sport, and evidently there’s something to it because I wasn’t the only ALLi face in the race – you can read Joanna Penn’s reflections of her race here. What’s interesting is that she composed most of those thoughts during the race itself. I think a lot of us find our greatest inspiration when we are furthest form our laptops, and up till now our saviour has been our notebook or the record button on our phone/dictaphone. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could sit down as inspiration struck us and go for it, direct to our manuscript?
Scrivener for iOS
That’s exactly what writers can now do, thanks to the news (here) that Scrivener is now available for iOS. By all accounts the app for iPads and iPhones will feel familiar to existing Scrivener users who can now take a kind of ambivalent reassurance in the fact that even when they’re out in the wilderness they can’t escape the work in progress.
We talk a lot about copyright here, because it always seems to be in the news somewhere, and this week it (and, of course, the associated issue of plagiarism) has been right to the fore again. A bill has been introduced in the US, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, that would give authors the right to settle copyright cases in a small claims court. The bill has been welcomed by the Authors Guild of America, but already some voices are raising concerns, including Passive Guy (here). The original story is here, and an interesting follow-up here. One to watch.
Digital Book World 2017
Digital Book World brands itself as the world’s leading event for anyone in digital publishing. For a while now, there have been lots of us indies who, er, thought we were in digital publishing who haven’t really felt the love. Well, this is the chance to speak up – DBW has just opened its call for speakers and panel topics, so get nominating all things indie! The conference homepage is here, with the form for nominating speakers here and session topics here.
The Romance of Author Earnings
It’s always exciting when there’s something new from Author Earnings, and the latest offering (here) is REALLY interesting. It focuses specifically on the holy grail of indie sales – Romance, and tackles the question posed in the slide shown here – why are romance sales so underreported – with the answer not really coming as a surprise to anyone here – because it’s a market indies dominate. You can, as always, download the pdf of the fabulous presentation from the site.
This very interesting update from Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware highlights one of the reasons many writers choose to go indie – the struggle to get your rights back once you’ve signed on the dotted line. Under particular scrutiny here is the subject of termination fees. Rather like early payment penalties for your mortgage, these awkward little clauses essentially mean sure, you can have your rights back before they are due to revert – but you pay. This report looks at a specific case, but it includes the contractual text in question – so if you are presented with an offer and aren’t sure whether to take it or go indie, this is something to look out for.
Two related articles of interest to finish. The first, here, is a fascinating discussion of whether an algorithm can parse a manuscript and predict whether it will become a hit. We can be as sceptical as we like, but as an author fascinated by what turns a plot from plodding to pure page-turning mind-crack I have to say that’s an algorithm I want to reverse engineer. Interestingly, this comes the same week as a rather more analogue infographic (here) that gives a fascinating insight into the “anatomy of a bestseller”.
Upcoming conferences and events
Writer’s Digest Conference, Aug. 12–14 [ New York City]
Historical Novelists’ Association Annual Conference Sept 2-4 [Oxford, UK]
Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Sept. 16–17 [Lexington]
Word on the Street, Sept. 25 [Toronto, Canada]
RomCon, Sept. 30–Oct. 1 [Denver]
Chicago Writers Conference, Sept. 23-25 [Chicago]
(The above list may not include all the major events; please feel free to email us with any important ones we’ve missed out, or include in comments below.)All the week's top news for indie & #selfpub authors Click To Tweet