Monday Links

Well, you know what’s on my mind this morning, and aren’t those baby dragons gorgeous? I’ve been waiting all season for this. I guarantee that last night’s season ender led to a big jump in sales of Book Two of the series. I know I grabbed my Kindle and bought it (only had Book One). There’s no way I’m waiting until April, 2012 to find out what happens next!

Setting aside my Game of Thrones obsession, I have a ton of links to get through today. So let’s get to it.

• Let’s start with some numbers. Techcrunch reports that a Citigroup analyst predicts that Kindles and Kindle ebooks will account for 10% of Amazon’s sales next year. And Amazon sells a lot of stuff, so that number is impressive. It’s also very encouraging for those of us dipping into ebook publishing, as the market for our work continues to grow.

• It does seem that ebook publishing is better for some kinds of books than others. Sourcebooks crunches some numbers and finds that while adult non-fiction makes up 42% of physical books, for ebooks it’s a different market, at least so far. The 42% figure comes from Bookscan data. Using the best info they can find, which is imperfect at this point, Sourcebooks estimates adult non-fiction only accounts for 20% of ebook sales, while adult fiction titles are by far the majority of ebooks sold. So the growing ebook market may be better for some writers than for others.

• Speaking of markets, most writers know the internal dance we have to do between being introspective artists while also marketing ourselves and crafting a public persona. No one writes better about these issues than Thaisa Frank, and in her blog post Of Voyeurism, Exhibitionism–and Websites for Writers, she weaves practical advice for getting your site online with a deep understanding of how artists wrestle with their public/private selves.

• More on marketing from Victoria Strauss at Writers Beware, as she points out the types of marketing that don’t work, and that could waste your money as well as your time. Another timely reminder of the scams that surround the publishing world.

• A couple of useful short pieces on the craft of writing: Dave Farland at the Daily Kick gives some pointers about how to write male characters. (Hint: they don’t necessarily think or act like women). As someone who writes almost exclusively female protagonists, this is the kind of information I need to think about. I don’t find it easy to get inside the minds of my male characters.

• Nothing is more important to a finished book than editing. Publetariat reprints Virginia Ripple’s Eleven Resources to Make Editing Your Book Easier, a list of blogs, books, and videos to help you ensure that your work is the best it can be.

• Does all intellectual property want to be free? Seth Godin muses on issues of free work, paid addons, and discoverability. How do artists make a living in a digital world, where most artistic goods are easily pirated? As someone whose only self-published work is, at the moment, being downloaded for free regularly but not selling many paying copies, I am still pondering this article.


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