June Roundup: Hot Tweetables at #WU

Uncaged-Writer-Unboxed-1024x465Big changes hit publishing the month of June. Amazon opened their first retail store–and it was promptly robbed, the Penguin Random House merger continues to make waves, and there is talk that indie bookstores are finally safe. Other highlighted news is below, but please check out the dozens of other big stories this month using our hashtags on Twitter.

#WUPrint

#WUDigital

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About Heather Webb

Heather grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time writing and freelance editing. Her debut historical, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, will release as lead title in January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. As an editor, Heather spends oodles of time helping writers find their voice and hone their skills--something she adores. She may often be found twittering helpful links, sharing writing advice and author interviews on her blog Between the Sheets, or teaching novel writing and publishing classes at a local college in her community. Another favorite haunt is the popular, award-winning site RomanceUniversity.org where she contributes to the Editor's Posts. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills and chases her young children. You may even catch her gobbling the odd bonbon.

As Writers, What Are We Worth?

http://www.newlywedsonabudget.com/
http://www.newlywedsonabudget.com/

Lately I’ve had a lot of discussions with writers about the shifting book market and our place within the publishing infrastructure. It’s the Wild West out there—every man for himself and plenty of dangerous pitfalls. In some ways, that’s a terrific thing for authors as we have more choices. In others, the influx of new publishers and the mentality of “everyone can publish” has brought a whole new rash of problems. Discoverability is one of them. But the biggest issue is one that will be difficult for us to recover from should it continue—the degradation of our worth as creatives.

Here are a few things I’ve learned that concern me:

Giveaways and price slashing is the most common method of generating buzz for books. Thing is, it works, to a point…But the industry has reached a whole new low when random people start emailing you asking for free copies of your book to help “promote” you and you’ve never heard of them or seen them in active book circles. Apparently authors should not only write the book, but pay for them to give away. Or there’s the other variety of leech that literally hops from one giveaway to the next and NEVER BUYS A BOOK, never writes reviews for them, and takes them straight to Ebay. True story.

Lower Advances:  I can’t quote a percentage here as I don’t have the exact numbers but some astronomical percentage of authors never earn out their advances. That’s caused a bit of a backlash (along with plenty of other issues), and now publishers are less willing to take risks. They want their money back. In any event, that novel that took you three years to write just may earn you $5,000, which, after commission and taxes and book events and promotion will actually soak up every dime of that, and COST you money. Heh. Don’t quit your day job.

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About Heather Webb

Heather grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time writing and freelance editing. Her debut historical, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, will release as lead title in January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. As an editor, Heather spends oodles of time helping writers find their voice and hone their skills--something she adores. She may often be found twittering helpful links, sharing writing advice and author interviews on her blog Between the Sheets, or teaching novel writing and publishing classes at a local college in her community. Another favorite haunt is the popular, award-winning site RomanceUniversity.org where she contributes to the Editor's Posts. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills and chases her young children. You may even catch her gobbling the odd bonbon.

March Roundup: Hot Tweetables at #WU

Uncaged-Writer-Unboxed-1024x465

 

March came in like a lion and went out…like a lion. Was your writing month similar? (I know mine was, but then, I seem to be wrestling with lions all the time.) As for publishing, the hot topics swirling around this spring are BIG industry questions. How do readers discover books, or new writers for that matter? How can publishers fine-tune their marketing efforts? What drives an author to abandon their current publishing methods (whatever they may be) to seek greener pastures? Browse the answers below and be sure to check out our hashtags on Twitter, where the pub news and writing inspiration comes fast and furious each day. Also, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments!

 

 

#WUPrint

 

#WUCraft

#WUAgent

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About Heather Webb

Heather grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time writing and freelance editing. Her debut historical, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, will release as lead title in January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. As an editor, Heather spends oodles of time helping writers find their voice and hone their skills--something she adores. She may often be found twittering helpful links, sharing writing advice and author interviews on her blog Between the Sheets, or teaching novel writing and publishing classes at a local college in her community. Another favorite haunt is the popular, award-winning site RomanceUniversity.org where she contributes to the Editor's Posts. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills and chases her young children. You may even catch her gobbling the odd bonbon.

The Science of Creating Authentic Characters

http://nfpatoday.blog.nfpa.org/
http://nfpatoday.blog.nfpa.org/

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Meg Rosoff (one of our contributors here at Writer Unboxed) in Salem at the un-con. I was intrigued by her discussion about hot and cold spots in the brain, the emotional poignancy that resides in those zones, and how to access them. Throughness, she called it; an opening of pathways between the conscious and subconscious mind. As writers, we need to tap into these centers to channel authentic emotion into our characters on the page. An interesting concept. But while I think tapping into our own emotional wells and developing our emotional IQ is a good start, I’d like to take it a step further.

We must expand our understanding of human behavior to create authentic characters.

It’s what I like to call the “science of character writing.” Writers are scientists of human nature. We observe behavior patterns and body language, and often the nearly undetectable movements that reflect what happens just below the surface or deep within our minds and hearts. Without this understanding of human nature, our characters come off as stereotypical, flat, and unbelievable. Some of us are born with an innate ability to read others, to magically peel back the layers of defenses and quirks to see what is really brewing in someone’s mind. Some of us live more in our own heads and struggle with this ability. But we can all hone this inclination to create authentic characters. [Read more…]

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About Heather Webb

Heather grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time writing and freelance editing. Her debut historical, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, will release as lead title in January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. As an editor, Heather spends oodles of time helping writers find their voice and hone their skills--something she adores. She may often be found twittering helpful links, sharing writing advice and author interviews on her blog Between the Sheets, or teaching novel writing and publishing classes at a local college in her community. Another favorite haunt is the popular, award-winning site RomanceUniversity.org where she contributes to the Editor's Posts. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills and chases her young children. You may even catch her gobbling the odd bonbon.

January Roundup: Hot Tweetables at #WU

Uncaged-Writer-Unboxed-1024x465

January has come and gone in a whirlwind of resolutions, goals, and motivation. How many of us have stuck by them? I hope you’ve all given it the college try! If not, February is right around the corner, bringing more sunlight and longer days, and plenty of time to write, write, write. Meanwhile, take a look at a few of our most tweetable links.

#WUPrint

 

#WUDigital

#WUAgent

[Read more…]

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About Heather Webb

Heather grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time writing and freelance editing. Her debut historical, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, will release as lead title in January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. As an editor, Heather spends oodles of time helping writers find their voice and hone their skills--something she adores. She may often be found twittering helpful links, sharing writing advice and author interviews on her blog Between the Sheets, or teaching novel writing and publishing classes at a local college in her community. Another favorite haunt is the popular, award-winning site RomanceUniversity.org where she contributes to the Editor's Posts. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills and chases her young children. You may even catch her gobbling the odd bonbon.