Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Week that was: 21 August 2014

The Squidlets after the Ak Independent Book Festival
This last weekend I had the privilege of taking the Squidlets to the first Auckland Independent Book Festival over in Devonport. We made a great day of it, taking the bus into the city and the ferry across the harbour. The kids loved the ferry trip, but I have to admit, I really enjoyed the event more. It was such an inspiration seeing so many independent authors and self-publishers. I was told there were over 90 exhibitors at the event and I do not doubt that next year is going to be even bigger and better.

Louise de Varga organised the event and what an amazing job she did!

I made my way round both halls that were filled with displays of books and author's wares. It was so neat seeing the 15 plus authors I knew and it was fantastic meeting new friends as well.

I came home with contacts for many more editors and professional proofreaders and will share their contact details in another post this coming week.

Last week's achievements:
* Visited the Auckland Independent Book Festival
* Added progress bar to my blog
* Edit 'Pinnacchia' and 'Snow' (FINALLY!)
* Read Cress by Melissa Meyers and watch Hansel and Gretle: Witch Hunter but I really wished I hadn't – lets not go there.

What I hope to achieve this week:

* Write first five chapters for 'Briar' – my Sleeping Beauty adaptation
* Update Wattpad with new chapters
* Write 'Copy editor' post
* Catch up with writery friends
* Write beat script for first chapter of 'Hero story'

So that last goal is all about a new story idea I have a-brewing. I love the story, have really enjoyed telling it to many people, but I am not so sure it would make money in the traditional sense – I can't see it getting into the right hands if I just try to sell the book. So I have been thinking of new ways to tell a story as essentially that is all I really want to do with this Hero Story.

I've been in contact with a few mates who are in the TV & film industry and wondered how adapt it into a story for the screen – but which screen is yet to be decided. I'll keep you posted, but if you are keen to learn more, feel free to drop me a line.

Just quickly, a few interesting links to check out this week:

Scientists believe reading on a device is harder than on paper – I wonder who paid for that research?

Crap someone should have told us writers by now – love it!

What is a Beta Reader and how do you find them?

Great value placed on reading to kids – not rocket science.

How would lower ebook prices by the big 5 ruin marketability for self-publishers? Digital book world discuss this here:

Chch is hosting the Writers & Readers Festival for 2014. Definately worth going along if you are in the region, more information here:

And I love this: 27 Awesome Australian Books Every YA Fan Should Read – how many have you read?

That's all for now, I'll post more information on where to find an editor in NZ.

Over and out,

Joy Findlay

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week that was: 11 August 2014

Auckland City at dusk.
Hey everyone! Hope this week sees you all enjoying the warmer weather. We've had a busy week and a super crazy weekend – we moved downstairs but it felt like we moved down-the-line!

I have enjoyed 'researching' many different fairy tale adaptations this last week, and I've pick up a few Steampunk stories as well. I don't know when I will get sick of the cross-genre but for now I still have many more authors to read through.

It has been an interesting week nation wide and world wide in the area of publishing. Amazon and Hachette are still at each other's throats over ebook pricing and I'm not truly sure who is in the wrong but both sides are making much of the controversial situation blaming each as a money hungry, author stomping, power manipulative, bad guy.

NZ is still adjusting to changes as well with the withdrawal of four major publishing firms early last year. It has seen a pretty significant drop in book sales nationwide in the last few years. But at the same time, ebooks are becoming more and more popular.

This has lead publishers and writers to figure out new ways of selling their books, and many of these new ways are quite innovative. Some are writing music to go with their books – not a new thing but when you marry ebooks and sound/music audio files it becomes an exciting new read. 

Other publishing houses are now using Google search hits as a tool for marketing – they are writing books to meet the popular Google search terms. It is interesting to see how technology is forcing change and how that change is forcing how technology is used.

But I love how self-published authors are getting together to find new ways of cross promoting and marketing. They are even setting up book fairs which I totally support. One of the reasons for this is that existing book festivals don't really cater to self-publishers, sometimes charging huge amounts for little reward.

I'm hoping to head over to Devonport this weekend to support some fellow Kiwi authors at the first Auckland Independent Book Festival. They have over 90 exhbits at the festival - 90! That is amazing! We are going to make a day of it and hopefully meet some new friends in the NZ writery world!

It is being held this Sat, 16th August at the St Paul's Chess Centre, 100 Victoria St, Devonport from 10am until 4pm. More info here: 

OK, so my last week was super busy, and I didn't get much writing or editing done. But there is always this week!

Last week's achievements:
* I set myself up on Wattpad. You can find and support me here:
* I read The third of the UnEnchanted series, Fable (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 3) by Chanda Hahn:
* I read Snow White Sorrow (Book #1 in the Grimm Diaries) by Cameron Jace. It was an interesting Vampire take on the Snow White fairy tale but not one I really enjoyed.

What I hope to achieve this week:
* Go and visit the Auckland Independent Book Festival on this coming weekend, yeah!
* Set up a mailing list for my Steampunk Fairytales
* Add progress bar to my blog
* Print off goals for Steampunk Fairytales
* Write first five chapters for 'Briar' – my Sleeping Beauty adaptation
* Edit 'Pinnacchia' and 'Snow'

Here are some links for you to check out this week:

Why mailing lists are important for authors: David Gaughran:

How to build a killer mailing list: Nick Stephenso:

Amazon Vs Hachette debate: The Plot thickens as 900 authors battle Amazon:

The NZ Post Book Awards are open for the People's Choice Award, vote here:

NZ Herald published an article on 'Online search key to publishing blockbusters':

And I found a Disney Princess CGI make-over – not book related but very cute!

The Word Meter Builder - will be adding this to my blog once my Technical Advisor - aka hubby - shows me how! :)

What a busy week I have in store, I am really looking forward to it!

That's all for now, over and out.

~ Joy Findlay

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekly Links: 6 Aug 2014

Hey, here are some links that I found really worth reading this week. Hope you find them as interesting as I did.

I know I probably want see my new book covers here but it is a great place to go for cover art inspiration.

3 TED talks that uncover the secrets of storytelling - really worth reading and watching!

Discoverability - nothing new here but definately worth reading anything by Hugh Howey - thanks Zee.

A business plan for writers - again thanks Zee.

Are our kids getting worse at creative writing - 6 sci-fi and fantast books to share with the App generation.

July earnings reports for self-publishers and publishers alike - again from Hugh Howey

A very interesting and humourous Slashdot interview with Neil Stephenson.

When I started researching YA two years ago these weren't cliches so much back then - can definately agree that they are now.

What I'm reading this week: Fairy Tale retellings

The third of the UnEnchanted series, of which the first is free:

'Cress' by Melissa Meyers - again the third in the series of the Lunar Chronicles:

'Snow White Sorrow' by - A darker retelling of Snow White, I'm not sure about this one, but I'm giving it a go - will let you know how it goes next week.

And of course the tried and true, fairy tale compilations by Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm's Household Tales.

Have a great week being a self-publisher - I know I am!

Over and out,
~ Joy Findlay

The Week that Was: 5th August 2014

Steampunk Fairytales 'Sleeping Beauty' by Joy Findlay

Well, what an exciting week I've had this last week. I started out the last week with a fresh creative streak and ended up with two drafts for my first of 10 Steampunk Fairytales and covers for all of these new books. I am so looking forward to writing the rest that it has had me at the local library again researching the origins of each fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm's household tales. So exciting!

I've posted a few more covers below, would love some feedback!
I'm also looking for beta readers for this series please. Once my Hubby has edited them a bit for me then I would love to share them. Please email me if you are interested!

Last week's achievements:
* Tax in the post - finally!
* Two drafts read and editing started - yay.
* 10 cover designs for Steampunk Fairytales
* Five new fairy tale story structures - been a very busy writer!
* Read 8 novels, one of which was Alex Flynn's 'Towering' - not her best story...
* KOLL Free Promos - heaps of kids books up for grabs on Amazon

What I hope to achieve this week:
* Check out Wattpad - again, yeah I know, should have done this last week
* Read final of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles 'Cress'
* Print out all 10 Steampunk story structures and plan their completion for next six months
* Go on date with Hubby - what - that's important too you know! :D

Hope you all have a fantastic week and remember, keep dreaming!