Writing 2.0 Changemaker Series: Focus on Melissa Foster

Fostering Success

Fostering Success

This is the first installment in a series I have entitled the Writing 2.0 Changemaker Series. In each interview, I will bring you the trendsetters in the new age of publishing for both traditional and self-published authors. My goal is to bring you those who are paving the way to educate authors in all sectors of the writing process from blank page to marketing.  Our focus today is on New York Times & USA Today bestselling  & award-winning author, Melissa Foster.

 

I had the distinct pleasure of discussing a number of issues that fall on writers these days with Melissa Foster via email. She has somehow managed to keep her fiction writing up, form an incredible support group called World Literary Cafe (renowned and respected), written her non-fiction book Fostering Success and pulled together a cadre of trusted format experts, editors and designers. She is also a delight to know.

Here is her philosophy and moral compass underlying all her enterprises:

My goal is always to help as many authors as I am able–and I take no compensation from either of my businesses, this is my way of giving back to the literary world. We are so very lucky to have the opportunity to bring our books to readers, but if we don’t understand how to publish, or the layers and processes behind book marketing, the gift we’ve been given will be meaningless.
The methodology she has developed helps authors from first draft to publishing and marketing:
I am asked on a daily basis basic, as well as complex, questions about all aspects of the self-publishing and book marketing arena. While I’ve tried to help authors with one-on-one consulting, I found that my window of writing time was becoming smaller and smaller, and I wasn’t able to help as many authors as were requesting my time. Fostering Success offers effective, easy to understand, answers along with real life, immediately usable solutions for self-publishing newbies to experienced traditional and non-traditional authors through self-guided courses that are available 24/7 with downloadable transcripts and multitudes of bonus materials that can be used over and over again–to breathe new life into old titles and to launch new titles as well. What pleases me the most, is that authors no longer have to flounder about in the industry. Between Fostering Success and the World Literary Cafe, authors are guided from pre-publication down their marketing path, so they can find their book’s success
About learning to compile your book:
My take on formatting a book -both paperback and ebooks, is that while you can learn them, the ease of doing so depends entirely on how computer savvy you are, and how much you value your writing and marketing time vs spending time formatting. I know how to format ebooks and paperbacks, but I have my staff do that for me (and I pay the same rate as everyone else to do so), because for me, writing and running my businesses are essential, and I believe in letting experts do their jobs. I can rely on my formatter and my cover designers, therefore, they save me money, and surely save me headaches of both time and money from improperly formatted files. Everyone has an opinion on this topic, of course.
After years and years of learning the “old system” of publishing, I took a year out to learn the new approach which is now de rigueur. That research has taken me away from my writing, and I’m sure you can relate to that frustration. Melissa has set up all of these options for other authors while continuing to publish. We all need to take a page from her book:
Author Melissa Foster
You can also chat with her here:

The Women’s Nest

forum

And please like her Fanpage on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @Melissa_Foster.

As always, commenting is free on this site. Sign up for newsletters and follow me on Twitter @LeeJTyler.

Writing on the Brain: The Writer’s Read

writing on the brain

writing on the brain the writers readBrain function and the writing process are my passion and my life’s work.

I have studied the brain for years. I researched head injuries and the effects of neurotransmitters in arthritis, not knowing, as I kept my head down in the research building plugging in neurotransmitter formulas to aid in an answer, that I would be contracting R.A. and Lupus s.l.e. in my thirties. Life is ironic.

But finding this amazing infographic from Apple Copywriting (a site you must visit), was like coming home. The occipital, parietal and frontal lobes and their workings are infused into my memory. Broca’s and Wernick’s areas are my areas of study; like old friends.

In the Wayback Machine, here is a story on conquering procrastination that I wrote some time ago. The research I cited and the tools provided seemed to help many writers. Hopefully, you can find some benefit to apply to your writing.

This, kids, is why we must use evocative words for all of the senses. It’s why Jesus spoke to us in parables. These stories have been with us for over two thousand years. We are Wired for Story, as Lisa Cron, the author of this great craft book has famously said. I will share with you soon the mapping software I use to highlight the areas I need to hit more and the processes I make habit in order to add content to my story that comes up in the course of the day. I am always writing, even if not actively. The fleeting thoughts that tie the plot points together or help make that secondary character come to life in one sentence, that’s the writing life. That is what I live for, and I’m sure you feel the same way.

I do all of this so I don’t forget. So my story will be memorable.

In fact, Margo Fritz, writing from Cornell happily recounts “the first time [she] realized how beautifully science and creative writing can merge”.

Stranger than fiction

In Block 3 I took Stranger than Fiction: Creative Non-Fiction Writing About the Sciences. It was taught by Sandra Beasley, a visiting professor and author of a memoir and cultural history of food allergies called “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl,” as well as two collections of poetry.

This was the first time I realized how beautifully science and creative writing can merge.

Some tools of the trade.

To help in that area, I head to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. You can see within the link that I was working on an evocative analogy for the time needed for reflection and the growth leading to a freer and more beautiful existence. The process I was looking for is in the link and is now one of my favorite words.

There are quizzes and brain training games that you can play to keep your mind sharp. For instance, if I am feeling too sluggish at the beginning of a writing session, I will play one of these games to drill down to the core of my brain and get the ‘plasticity going’ as I phrase it and the neurons firing.

Some of these tools require a paid membership and lose many of their best features after the trial period. And how much extra cash do writers have on their persons? Um hmm. Unless you are born into or married a duke or duchess than it is the free tools that are left.  Frankly, my imagination and the free thesaurus are enough to get words, phrases and even whole sentences on the page. I’m sure you can do much better.

What tools do you use to aid in your writing life?

To complement any reading you have finished this perfect reading day, here are some wonderful articles to help you along in your writing path.

Hints of Elain e’s in The Writing Room

Collection Highlights at the Library of Congress

Free Samples of The New York Times’ Top Ten Books of the Year

Did you catch Angela Clarke’s One Minute Critique

Jane Friedman and Orna Ross discuss how to make money from your writing

Lifehack has an immense collection of articles on the Writing Life that we lead:

How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life

Ten Simple Rules for Good Writing This isn’t just the usual list. We “know” these, but we need to be reminded of them every  once in a while.

And this one is stellar: 20 Free Resources to Create a Simple Ebook

I use a lot of these already, but it is wonderful to have all of them tied up in a neat little bow. ;p

This one fits my research and writing life if you’ve ever wondered How Does Writing Affect Us?

NPR has the Best Books of 2013

Stephen King famously and wisely said,

Among the forty writing books I have, I prize my copy of Stephen King’s On Writing. However, there is a quote I came across on Goodreads from Mr. King’s Different Seasons that is one of the most poignant thoughts I have come across, and I’d like to share it with you. You, as a writer, will understand this.

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”

Lynne Neary–back at NPR–discusses how all writers rework their favorite  stories.

Do you find you agree with her?

 

 

The New and Exciting Way to Increase Your Writing Profile

searching database

Imagine taking a few minutes out of your day to increase your author platform and your profile visibility. Imagine that this one site is optimized for search engines and helps your writing profile appear in all types of search engines, without you having to lift a finger.

Now imagine that such a database existed and was right at your fingertips.

No, this isn’t a fairy tale.

You have found it.

database found

You are no doubt familiar with the database for movies and actors.

Now there is one for writers and authors as well! It is called, appropriately, AuthorsDB and was started by a man named Jason Matthews.

 

This is an award-winning site with an easy-to-use interface: And it’s free!

As of August 17, 2013 we have over 2880 Registered Members & Growing Daily

At AUTHORSdB, it is easy to sign up and get started right away. All you need to do is:

1. Create an account using your facebook, google or windows live account or sign up with your personal email.
2. Log in and add your bio, photos and book images
3. Add all your social media contact information
4. Add your ‘Buy Here’ links to Amazon, B&N, etc
5. Share Share Share

If you are not a writer but have a service for writers such as editing, and promotions, you may add your business to this site for a great way to get found! What a fantastic idea!

This site also covers all of the major formats:

Don’t wait as every minute counts to increase your visibility whether you are already published or are currently working on your novel.

Hint: see how fast this website loads the minute you hit the connection. With all that it provides, that shows you what a powerful website they have; reinforcing their search engine capabilities.

Head over to AuthorDB now to check out even more great ideas.

(Images courtesy of Hubspot.)

Showing, Not Telling in Africa

Africa writing research

Burchell Zebra via Lee Ouzman’s Library

Word Geek Monday is Lead Astray

Well, it was bound to happen. This word geek found the World’s Greatest Site for Unusual and Interesting Words: Jacana.

But all writers should use this for research as it’s not just the word geeks that are being helped out.

Is your character working with an antagonist in a lab? Need to know what to call the “whatchamacallits”? Jacana has it. And if you aren’t sure what your antagonist is working on in his lab, this is a great spot for brain storming. Much better than Google as the possibilities are offered up to you on a virtual silver tray.

Flesh Out That Outline

Through osmosis, you can outline your next five scenes if not more by skimming for information close to you research inquiries. The setup of this site is what makes it so thought provoking.

Watch Your Characters Act Out the Scenes

We all know Google is the best, but you need to know what you are looking for to search for it. Jacana has subjects from Technology with sub-categories, Leatherman is listed with a wide array of self-defense tools for your hero. Safari sites and maps are all included in addition to pictures, GPS coordinates, and Safari clothing; just when you need to find the right word for what your characters are wearing as they start on a great adventure. Certainly you must include the specific Rogue hats they need to keep the sun out of their face and add that certain swagger and character trait to reveal a mood or emotion to your readers. Hats are great for “showing, not telling”. Certainly, that wasn’t just my secret, right?

Binoculars, knives, torches; all named and pictured for your imagination. I suggest that you start with the main page and dig deeper as you choose which way to go since this will bring you to your most fruitful sites for your novel. Who is the interesting pilot that your MC hires to charter them to their first scene in their adventure? The outline isn’t there, of course, but the ideas are if you look for them.

And, of course, there is a site for Unusual and Interesting Words. I won’t geek out on this post, but I linked to it for fellow word nerds (sobriquet used in the best possible light).

One of your characters specializes in zoology, I am certain. If so, she will need these words in her vocabulary: Zoological Glossary. She would pull up BioOne when she got back to base, of course.

Need translation tools, synonyms; Reverso is the new cool tool to use.

As for those that are interested in the self-publishing posts, I have enough information and book references, editors, formatting tools, etc. that this series will run long. Great book marketing tools coming up. And speaking of, I would follow what Jeff Goins is doing with his new book, The In-Between as news of it has been bubbling to the surface in all areas of the Inter-Webs. He has his tribe in full gear. Are you gathering your tribe?

I appreciate all of the shares. Please share with this link:http://bit.ly/1c4glfz

As always, please leave comments below and let me know what you are working on and any help you might need. This site is all about writers helping writers. I am here to help you.

As I’ve said since 2010: Stay Strong and Write On

Closet Word Geek’s Predictions Come True

I am a closet word geek. I have a Google Drive Document with predictions on common usage words, and when they will become official; in other words, inked into a dictionary. This announcement is not earth shattering news but the following is quite shocking in the annuals of lexiconic rules.
oxford english disctionary

GalleyCat has just announced in an article by Jason Boog that the Oxford English Dictionary has added “tweet’ and ‘crowdsourcing’ to its lexicon.

OED Chief Editor, John Simpson (pictured above), wrote an article about the two new additions. The source of the words is always something a geek is interested in, and Mr. Simpson understands this. He attributed ‘crowdsourcing’ to the author of a WIRED article by Jeff Howe which was published in 2006.

Concerning other words that would be relegated to the Urban Dictionary, the OED has already adopted words that, are far less used than ‘tweet’, in my opinion. As Jason Boog notes in GalleyCat:

AllTwitter has more about the Twitter additions to the dictionary:

The OED added the word “tweetable” to its listing in February 2013, and “retweet” in August 2011. Other tech terms in this round of 1,200 newly revised and updated words, bringing the OED’s total number of entries to more than 823,000

As a sidenote, I worked with the man who brought the well-known word ‘blogosphere’ to our English lexicon. Brad Graham was his name and sadly he is no longer with us, passing at a young age. But he will always be remembered for his wit and his word-usage. Wikipedia will always have him in its archives.

History [edit]

The term was coined on September 10, 1999 by Brad L. Graham, as a joke.[1][2] It was re-coined in 2002 by William Quick,[3] and was quickly adopted and propagated by the warblog community. The term resembles the older word logosphere (from Greek logos meaning word, and sphere, interpreted as world), “the world of words”, the universe of discourse.[4][5]

Despite the term’s humorous intent, CNN, the BBC, and National Public Radio‘s programs Morning EditionDay To Day, and All Things Considered have used it several times to discuss public opinion. A number of media outlets in recent years have started treating the blogosphere as a gauge of public opinion, and it has been cited in both academic and non-academic work as evidence of rising or falling resistance to globalizationvoter fatigue, and many other phenomena,[6] and also in reference to identifying influential bloggers[7] and “familiar strangers” in the blogosphere.[8][9]

 

Displays interconnections throughout the all blogsThe Blogoshere, Image cred: Wikipedia

The Wikipedia article is full of great information for word geeks and tech geeks, of which I fall into both groups. Please say a silent hello to Brad when you read it. You would have loved his sense of humor. He saved many a staff meeting from lack of levity.

I can only hope that the spellcheckers are updated accordingly as I am tired of convincing the apps that crowdsourcing is indeed a word.

What word do you wish would finally be moved into the Oxford English Dictionary? Leave your comments below.

Is One Writing Software Able to Truly Go from Draft to Published?

writing software

writing softwareIf you are like me, you have tested every available tool for the various stages of your novel creation; outlining with mindmaps or Excel, using yWriter5 for outlining and then Word for writing the draft, the list goes on and on.Thanks to our friends across the pond we have an all in one software package. But is it really able to help writers compile their manuscripts into the formats they need?

 

I tested out Scrivener and compared it to all of the other writing software available on the market. Finally, this skeptic was convinced that for my hard earned money, this was the software I wanted on my laptop to hold my drafts and refashion them at each pass.  Do you see my writers tip to the right of this post? It is no longer necessary, as of last year, for me to open a different program as this software allows me to mark up my document and refer to the notes later.

 

The compiling functions and breadth of formats are amazing. Each person that I have read, reviewed a video for, or talked to uses Scrivener in a unique way. That shows you how powerful this tool is for writers. Some writers use mindmaps to outline and then import them into Scrivener. Mindmaps have been a large component of my writing life since they first appeared. But Scrivener does one better in providing you a live document for an outline within the program itself.

 

See the video from writer Karen Price to understand more how one writer uses the software and just how powerful this program is.

 

Scrivener is available now for Mac or Windows. I was able to get it with a $10 discount and use it for a month prior to paying to make sure I was satisfied with it. Literature and Latte is the website and people behind the development of this program. There is a very active forum for anyone who needs help with a specific question, and the tutorial you get is both extremely helpful and prompts you to start writing once you see the ability of the tool before you. In fact, I  started outlining writing one of my books before I was done with the tutorial; I just could not wait. Now that is a writer’s block solution.In addition, there are thorough videos for both Mac and Windows on the Literature and Latte page. Scrivener has templates for essays, novels and screenwriting. You can also download templates for all types of projects from the press page.

 

binder and research

Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want—so you can forget wrestling with one long document. Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.

With access to a powerful underlying text engine, you can add tables, bullet points, images and mark up your text with comments and footnotes. Format as you go using the format bar at the top of the page, or use any font you want for the writing and let Scrivener reformat your manuscript after you’re done—allowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.

 

 

Note; You can find the Kindle preview tool. You can find that for free here .

 

Julie Kenner has a many terrific videos on her YouTube channel. This one on Scrivener which is one of the best out there as it is to the point and shows how Scrivener can be more powerful than Word when working with your live draft. I highly recommend subscribing to her YouTube page.

 

My favorite area of Scrivener is the corkboard. This is where the  magic and power of the software is keenly felt and seen.

 

powerful writing tool

The cork notice-board is one of the writer’s most familiar organisational tools. Before Scrivener, though, the index cards were not connected to anything; any alterations made to the sequence of cards on the corkboard would have to be replicated manually in the draft. In Scrivener, every document is attached to a virtual index card onto which you can jot a synopsis; moving the cards on Scrivener’s corkboard rearranges their associated text in your draft. Mark common themes or content using labels, or stack cards, grouping related documents together. Scrivener’s corkboard gives you the flexibility of a real notice-board while automatically reflecting any changes you make in your manuscript.

 

(I also suppose that since I started writing using 3×5 cards, this is the virtual equivalent…but certainly not as powerful!)

 

The Outliner Tool as well is more right brain to my way of thinking:

writing tools

 

So why the funny name? Well, this goes to the key of what the software is about.

Scrivener’s innovative “Scrivenings” mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole. It’s up to you how small—or large—you want to make the individual sections of your manuscript: novelists can write each scene in a separate document or whole chapters as one; scriptwriters can work scene-by-scene or act-by-act; academics can break down their ideas into individual arguments. However finely you break up your work, Scrivenings mode allows you to collect the constituent components into a single editor, so that you can edit them as though they were all part of one document: in Scrivener, you’re only ever a click away from seeing the forest or the trees.

 

Hope you try it if it’s not on your computer already. It beats the quill. 😉

Are You a Self-Published Author? Can Your Readers Find Your Book?

72/365 - And Your Point Is?

Helga Weber via Compfight

 

First, I am working on a multi-part series on self-publishing concentrating on the marketing of your book.

I can tell you from authors I know, this is still a topic they are learning, even after going through the process themselves.

The series I’m working on is just the best of the marketing articles for self-published authors. This alone takes days and days to compile. For instance, the first day, I began at seven a.m. and, minus phone interruptions, didn’t stop until two a.m. I am fast with my research methods so that tells you how much material is out there.

An email I received today from Digital Book World, however, couldn’t wait.

DBW is running a webinar on the tools to make your e-book stand out in a very crowded marketplace. The webinar is summarized:

Finding Books Without Borders: Discoverability in a Digital and Social World

There has never been a shortage of books published. Digital is leading to an explosion in titles available as books no longer go out of print and as the barriers to getting published are coming down leading to a much greater output of new titles.

The challenge? Finding that perfect book, that book that grips and entertains us, that books we put down with a sense of satisfaction when we have reached the last page.

Online presents new opportunities for discovering books, but also challenges for a book to get discovered, for it to get picked out of the millions of other titles available. At the moment, online discovery is probably far more challenging than the discovery paths we are used to in the physical world, be it a book shop or library.

Join Digital Book World for a webcast exploring how readers find what to read next and how authors find an audience in the digital and social world.

The webcast runs on May 14th and information can be found on this page.

Please look for updates included in the post http://thepointofthequill.com/bring-your-writing-to-life-closer-to-publishing/

Bring Your Writing to Life & Closer to Publishing

antique books - Praga

Andrea Costa via Compfight

 

The following is a compilation of resources for writers. You can find the subject that is on your radar by looking at the hashtags.

[Update: May 2nd, 2013 This is an update from the previous release date of this article. Please see the hyperlinked article on Editing: Knowing When To Stop from Writer’s Digest which is under the There Are No Rules banner.

 

#Research

Are you in the  research phase of your book? Most of the links in this resource

are tailored to the non-fiction writer but do be aware that inspiration for your fiction

characters can be found be reading about people in our history; especially if it is a

well-written biography.

 

Let’s say you want to know more about Edmund Spencer, who wrote for Elizabeth I in

varied poetry and prose. The Bio Website can help you with loads of info. Officially, it is

called Biography as it is taken from the much-lauded Biography Channel. Play

around in the sandbox of all of the information in various formats they have

gathered for your perusal. You can have fun and fill in your weekly research

goals at the same time.

 

#Publishing

Anyone in the book business should read Publishing Perspectives everyday

along with their morning cup of coffee. Packed with information that you

can use and should be ‘up on’.

 

#Character Development

There are several great sites that help with character development  Also,

as writers, we tend to pass around our own cheat sheets on questions that

we have worked up for our characters.

There are a few that I would like to highlight: The first is Critiques Circle which is an

online writing workshop. You will need to sign up to be a member. They have free

and premium version. It is a great community and the tools that

they give the author are incredible.

At J.P. Sloan’s Fistful of Fiction, he has created many workbooks and

cheat-sheets to help you flesh out your characters.

 

Creative Writing Now has a wonderful site with a character questionnaire

for your characters to which I am very partial.

Hope this helps in your efforts on three-dimensional characters that will

jump off the 2 dimensional page. Let me know!

 #Editing

We all need this article on self-editing.This is an article from Anna Lewis

who is a co-founder of VoxBox and a pretty incredible person. Do yourself

a favor and check out this webpage.

Writers Digest has just a new article on editing your manuscript entitled, “Editing: Knowing When To Stop” which you may find at Writer’s Digest Online. This is under the There Are No Rules banner.

 

#Platform

In my efforts to find you the best assistance with your author platform,

I have put together some resources for you. All of these are built from the

ground up by writers who have the networks necessary for word-of-mouth

and have gone through the trenches themselves. For instance, check out this

wonderful font of information at The Writing Platform.

 

 Melissa Foster fits perfectly under the rubric of authors who have been through

the  publishing and marketing process and have the contacts and knowledge to

help others beyond writing and editing. She has just written a wonderful book

called Fostering SuccessThe tag-line for the book is “You’ve written a book.

Now What?” I think this will hit home to a great deal of authors, if not all, who

are in need of guidance with publishing and book marketing. You can find

massive amounts of  helpful author platform information on the book here

 

If you need help in promoting your book, the Shameless Promoter  has a

wealth of experience under her belt and is there for you with the tools,

connections and coaching you need to help guide you through the necessary

steps.

 

Best-selling and self-published author Hugh Howey who authored the Wool

series has a great piece at MediaBistro about what he does for self-promotion.

You would be surprised! This piece was based on the Ask Me Anything interview

he did at Reddit.

 

Also at the Galley Cat are several more articles on your platform and promotion.

You can find them listed right under Hugh’s article or below:

Author take 6 spots on self-publishing via Media Bistro

Barnes & Noble launch E-Pub for Nook Authors

E-Books for .99 Hit Top Seller List

If you are looking for a well-qualified coach and well as book marketer and social media expert to increase your sales and profile of you and your book? Susan Gilbert is the person to contact. Check out her site which shows just how many media outlets she has ‘ins’ with and book her stat. (No pun intended.)

 

 #Social Media for Writers

Kristen Lamb’s blog always has great content with a friendly manner attached

to her writing voice. This week, she has a great piece on social media (of which,

she wrote the book We Are Not Alone) and disasters; specifically the automation

of tweets during the Boston bombing. I have her book, by the way, and highly

recommend it. Check out her blog.

 

#News 

Porter Anderson in his characteristic character, has written an amazing

Amazon buys Goodreads post including all reactions from all perspectives

and all social media at Publishing Perspectives in his Ether for Authors.

As I have always said; Keep Calm and Write On.

 

Sign up for the blog or follow me @LeeJTyler and thanks for commenting!

Which Two Industry Giants That You Use Every Day Are Ready To Rumble?

I Win

 

Google Ranks Publishing Over Reading

 

Everyone is talking about the Google Reader, but what about Google Publishing?

Throughout the internet and on all social media sites, the talk has been all about what to do when Google stops their Reader service by this summer.

But that’s not the big story…

As I mentioned, everyone was surprised to hear the ‘buried’ news announcement at Google’s roundup of announcements. It will no longer be supporting the Google Reader as of July 1st. Even Porter Anderson admitted on Twitter that he was shocked at the Google Reader announcement. He is not one to be taken aback. So, as everyone is talking about what to do with their RSS feeds before July 1st, Google has been planning a shock and awe maneuver.

 

Publisher’s Lunch just came out with the news that Google is in fact getting into the publishing industry.

 

A division within Google–Niantic Labs–is readying the first in a potentially extensive line of ebooks and books, in conjunction with author and co-publisher Thomas Greanias and his @tlantis books. It’s known as the ALIGNMENT series and the first ebook novella, the 150-page THE ALIGNMENT: INGRESS, is set for publication on April 2 in the Google Play Store, but also on all other major ebook platforms, either simultaneously or shortly thereafter. (Pricing for the title has yet to be finalized.) The books tie-in to Niantic’s hot alternate/augmented reality MMOG Ingress that Google has been rolling out in closed beta over the past few months.

 

I found a clue at the website of Thomas Greanias, publisher and author. On his website, in the “About” page, you can find the following:

Thomas Greanias is the New York Times bestselling author of the Raising Atlantis and Dominium Dei trilogies.  He is a widely recognized leader in digital lit with multiple No. 1 bestselling eBooks and Audiobooks through @lantis Books.  His bestselling books in print from Simon & Schuster have been translated into a dozen languages and sold in 75 countries worldwide.

Washingtonople was the original name for Washington, D.C.  The site plan for the new American capital was drawn up by French architect and Freemason Pierre L’Enfant under the personal direction of George Washington, also a Freemason.  The site plan for America’s capital city—and the meaning of its alignment to the stars—first grabbed Greanias’s attention as an on-air reporter for NBC affiliates in D.C., where he had the rare experience of exploring tunnels beneath the Capitol that are older than the republic.  He’s been back recently, and they’ve all been sealed off.

Well, most of them. A new tunnel has been discovered and will be explored in The Alignment: Federal City, one of the series in conjunction with the Niantic Project as well as Ingress. As an update, I checked Greanias’s page again today and if I hadn’t been unavoidably detained, I would have been able to come right on the heels of Publishers Lunch. As stated on another Updated (& fictionalized) news page of the author, “So Michael Cader scoops in this weekend’s Publishers Lunch dated March 15.”

Ingress is in beta by invitation only, but in scrounging around on the site, I can see why there are reportedly “another million or so” on the waiting list desperate to play.

Niantic Project uses maps, coordinates, video, chat screen grabs, full gaming options that are incredibly realistic; putting you in map view with the characters of today-the one that just passed you on Broadway texting on his iPhone 5.

On a personal note, this takes one of my current WIP (work in progress) and wipes it off the map, so to speak. Or it might be the best thing for it. I will watch the landscape.

But in the meantime there are over 500,000 active players in the beta version of Ingress.

Amazon might have anticipated this by launching its new publishing arm in addition to Amazon Publishing, With its myriad of imprints, Amazon has just announced a new publishing imprint named Little A (though some have reported L’il A or simply “a”). One of the stars in the new publishing house is The Magic Circle by Jenny Davidson. “[A] literary thriller about the culture of gaming”.

This past Thanksgiving, as Barnes & Noble was still struggling, there was apocalyptic anxiety running through the book world. That anxiety seems from the long distant past, doesn’t it, when it was just five months ago.

So why would Amazon want to spread its back-end so thin with yet another imprint? I believe, especially with the inclusion of the above mentioned novel, that Amazon anticipated it and is trying to hold all of the cards. However, as much as Jeff Bezos and Amazon spread fear throughout the book selling land, the answer seems to add up to a justifiable “yes”.

Yet in this high stakes poker game, Amazon might have bet high without the cards to show for it.

Google has the means and the infrastructure to knock down the digital footprint that Bezos is standing on. There is, however, a greater chip they can throw into the bidding war in the digital publishing poker game; the infrastructure for Google Play is ready to plug-and-play for this new enterprise and there are far more programmers and computer scientists at Google than at Amazon. YouTube; owned by Google. Google maps are in play across the globe. They have every GPS coordinate known to man, not to mention all of the information and framing at their fingertips  We can go into Google Books and Google Scholar along with a very long list of other resources, but you get the idea.

They are ready to roll out on all formats; not just Kindle, not just ePub-all of them.

I’m all about the story. I’ve just wanted to use the tools at our disposal to enrich the story. Google is about to do just that and has laid the ground work to become a powerhouse in the publishing business.

The big G is always ahead of the game. And I predict there are big changes ahead in digital publishing. It is a natural trend with the technology of today. For instance, even  Business Wire is sending out multimedia press releases with pictures and videos. Not interactive, but it highlights the move in general away from drab news releases on company letterhead into the digital age. I was invited a few days ago to try a beta test of a digital software bundle to work in conjunction with Adobe’s Creative Suite; quite similar to what Google is currently doing. This march of technology and innovation is sure to leave lasting scars on the publishing industry more than any other industry; beyond what it has already done.

What do you think about these developments? Share your thoughts below. And consider signing up for updates at right. Please do share this as this is sure to be knock-down drag-out fight to the finish coming to an augmented reality near you. More drama on and off the page coming your way!

Image: Kevin Labianco via Compfight

Update: Now I admit, the latest video, if you click on the links, is a bit cheesy. But Google has the game played out in all sectors, even with characters tweeting as the characters. If you accidentally hit the wrong key, you get a very abrupt tweet that warns you to leave certain things alone. It is being played out over social media, across maps, videos, you name it. And the book that is still soon to be released hasn’t even been price-pointed yet. Can you imagine the stampede to the bookstore-or more likely  Google Play-when it gets released? Talk about an author platform. They have changed the rules for Author Platforms. And Author Media (creme of the crop for building your author platform) needs to get onto this as this is the epitome of digital media at its finest and building your ‘fan-base’ before you even release!

Update: Check out the trailer for the book alone:

Here is the Facebook page.

The Ingress Google+ Page.

Publisher’s Lunch Page for The Alignment.

And if you check out the feeds of Google Plus pages the world over in real time, the augmented reality game has become a real-time action game played out throughout cities across the globe as well as all social media channels. Can you imagine a book launch before the book launch? Well, they have managed to do just that; and the marketing after the launch is amazing. Imagine your book in this scenario:

 

 

The Writers’ Read

Writers read

Day 106 - I am a librarian Cindi via Compfight

Let me guess, you are so busy you have too many things to do, let alone keep up with the publishing changes going on.

Sound familiar?

You have your own writing to do let alone reading about other people writing; right?

Well, never fear as that is what I am here to do. I separate the wheat from the chaff and bring you some of the best reads to date in the book world for you to scan at your leisure. So let’s get started.

First, Shelf Awareness is an incredible resource for the best of literary fiction. Visit this page or sign up for their newsletter to find your zen in the writing life. Articles of just released literary fiction in all genres are fascinating, and the glimpse into the lives of the authors is not to be missed. Their BookTrade page is a must visit, and the Maximum Shelf has an incredible article on The Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. Find out how this novel is linked to Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad. See all their book articles here and all of Maximum Shelf Wednesday editions here.

Are you a freelance writer or journalist? Well then you are most likely keeping an eye on changes to your field.

We are all watching the pay rates change in both the economy for freelancers and the upheaval in the current digital and publishing world of magazines and newspapers. Two links that you will be interested in reading are from Reuters and Forbes. The latter is an article about one of my heroes, Warren Buffet. I fell for him long ago when he was advising at The Washington Post and have followed him in his continual rise; applauding him when he gave away half of his wealth to charity.

It is also worth watching the price of best seller e-book fluctuations at Digital Book World.

And speaking of book selling, for all authors looking for new ways to promote your book, there is an interesting new book club that Real Simple has with interviews of the authors, including Jodi Picoult among others. The question and answer with the readers sections are not to be missed.. It is called The No-Obligation Book Club and you can find it here.

And for all things publishing, I subscribe to and eat up The Publishers Lunch. There is news of a new agency being formed; you’ll want to check that out. The PEN/Faulkner Finalists have been announced. There are abrupt departures and not so abrupt partnerships. There always is a lot on this menu.

To be connected to many of the writers and editors at the Writer’s Digest, visit the Writers Digest Blogs. Also, take a peak at the Writer’s Digest Forums and their Competitions for Writers. To find a wealth of knowledge about writing and the business of writing, visit The Writer’s Digest Workshops The Writer’s Digest Writers Market. You can also become a VIP which bundles a subscription with access and discounts to their complete database and connections to people at the forefront of the writing life, craft, business and community. It is a box of golden opportunities wrapped up for you and just waiting for you to open.

And there is always Hope at Funds for Writers!

I have been writing furiously, or rather, happily on two books, backing up my Scrivener every chance I get. I hope your muse is keeping you active. If you need a break or some inspiration, enjoy the reading and insights!

Don’t forget to read The Writer’s Tool-kit. There is a vast amount of resources and information for you. Just look for it at the top of the page.

And if you enjoyed this article or think it would be useful to others, please tweet and share it!

Websites and Resources for Writers

 

websites for writers extensive listing an updated daily

 

 

 

 

 

Mardi Gras or not, let’s not hide behind any masks, agreed? Make me a happy reveler and check out the Websites for Writers Toolkit. You’ll be surprised to find some pretty colorful links there.