May 13, 2010

Sharing the Writerly Love

Location, location, location
In my world of Kindle:
There are titles published in Australia I can't access for Kindle from Amazon, not because they don't have Kindle format (they do), but because I'm located in Australia??? 

From what gossip I could gather, I take it publishers are worried that allowing Australians to buy Australian books on Kindle will affect Australian book sales (i.e. you won't go to the book shop and buy the paperback). They're right. It does affect sales. If I can't purchase it for my Kindle, even though the format is there, then I just won't purchase it. I had this trouble with Tim Winton's Cloud Street (I already have a paperback copy, but I wanted the Kindle version as well) and Dan Wells' I am Not a Serial KillerThat tactic should be about as successful as musicians choosing not to sell their songs on iTunes because it might affect CD sales. Sigh.

But the good news. Kindle sample pages have boosted sales (well, from me anyway). I've finished Hooked by Les Edgerton (and I will keep hassling you about it until you read it). The book does not just explain how to open your novel with a hook, it tells you how to introduce characters, subplots, inciting incidents and more. It also helped me to understand the power of writing by scenes. 

Kindle Samples I will now buy:
Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write by Victoria Hanley - this will be great inspiration for modelling my creative writing classes for my high school students.
Creating Characters and Plots: Secrets of a Jungian Toolbox to Guide Inspiration by Roger Burt - I'm very interested in the Jung applications to writing (you can see my post on Jung here).

But the ones I'll pass, thank you:
How to Write a Novel: 52 Tips for Developing Your First Book by Patricia Gilliam - the sample was just an introduction which didn't really tell me or promise anything special.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott - I'm sorry, but the sample section made it seem so ambiguous and boring.

Also this week:
I came across these book giveaway contests:
Book Junkie is celebrating 500 followers (wow).
Dreaming in Text is giving away a signed copy of Nathaniel Wolfe and the Bodysnatchers (great title).

I recently took part in an online writer's workshop through:
The Muse Online Writer's Conference
The one day workshop was for writing children's stories and we got to workshop our first 200 words and complete some exercises. I received some useful feedback and good e-books to help me through it. I recommend you check out what workshops they have available.


  1. Hi, Charmaine! I want a kindle so badly but will have to wait a few more weeks until we finish paying for our eldest daughter's braces.

    I left you an award at Head in the Clouds. Hope you have a wonderful Thursday! Tory

  2. Charmaine, I don't know how they made _Bird by Bird_ seem boring. I thought it was hilarious and fascinating. But different strokes for different folks...

    My post this week is dedicated to you. You'll see why when you read it. :-)

  3. How frustrating on the Kindle issue. I guess there's always a downside.

    I've heard many good things from people about Bird by Bird. I've never read it but I see others recommend it all the time.

  4. Wow - lots of good stuff here, Charmaine. I hope Kindle gets things straightened out for your Australian authors. It's an unfortunate policy. I agree with Jaydee about Bird by Bird - I have not read it, but I've heard LOTS of great reviews.

    I absolutely ADORE your daughters' blog. They are so bright! :-)

  5. I don't have a Kindle or any other ereader, but I don't understand the thinking there. You've got to provide the market what it wants!

  6. Tory - thank you for the beautiful award.

    Rosslyn - Thank you for the fun allegory. It does come down to personal style with writing craft books, I prefer non-fiction to be concise and clear and have specific 'now do this' points. This book appeared to be more of a memoir (I groan whenever I have to read memoirs).

    Jaydee - Thanks, I'm sure they'll fix the download rights for Australians eventually, it's just interesting to try and figure out their motive. Bird by Bird is very popular, so I can't say others wouldn't enjoy it.

    Shannon - If you enjoy the poetic, internal dialogue style of writing then Bird by Bird would be very inspirational. I have finally come to a place where I feel comfortable saying I didn't enjoy Stephen King on Writing either, but most other writers do. I guess I'm more a text-book junkie for non-fiction. And Thanks, I'm quite proud of the girls for persevering with their blog - they are still loving it (wow an interest that might actually last for a change) :-)

    Jemi - producers can be stubborn, they'll come around when they finally realise how much money is involved.

    Thanks for commenting everyone! :-)

  7. I think the publishers forget folk will collect the books, but read it on Kindle. They will soon learn.

  8. Well, that's annoying! And frankly silly. :P Actually, the more I talk to people, the more I find that the people who buy regular books are not very likely to buy Kindle versions and vice versa. The markets tend to be independent anyway. Sigh. I hope they work it out for you soon!

  9. Aw, cute blog!! And thanks for sharing about the online writers conference. I need to get a Kindle at some point...