Publishing Frontiers and Fundamentals and Other Take-Aways from TAP2013

Technologically Advanced Publishing (TAP2013) Conference: Digital publishing, e-publihing, electronic publishing, and more.

NAIWE was a media sponsor of TAP2013 in Orlando.

I’m just back from the Technologically Advanced Publishing (TAP) Conference with a light sunburn and a head full of ideas for using what I learned.

For this event, I focused on learning in a completely new-to-me area– the publication of apps for iPad and iPhone, but absorbed information about many other aspects of the business of electronic publishing in workshops such as:

  • How to Start and Finish Writing Your Book – Richard Harrington (“Use the sticky note program on your computer to do informal mind-mapping before you start to write. You can drag notes around until you have an outline.” JPC note: I do the same thing in the slideshow view of Keynote.)
  • Design & Digital Publishing Essentials – Terry White (“When creating an app, be sure to indicate navigation points– tap, swipe arrows, etc.”)
  • Establishing Your Brand and Visual Identity Across Multiple Social Media Platforms – Rod Harlan (“Be consistent in how you present your brand. Coca-Cola has done a great job of telling its history through its Facebook timeline.”)
  • Copyright Still Means Something for Digital Publishers – Jeff Heninger
  • iBooks Author Fast Start – Richard Harrington (“An iBook is a container. It can include media widgets with slide shows, tutorials, etc. Short is good.”)
  • ePub, pPDF, or DPS: Which Format to Choose? – Colin Fleming (“The format– print book, ebook, app– is simply the container for information or story. Choose which will best fit your audience and content.”)
  • Hypersyndication: How to Deliver Your Content to Multiple Platforms – Richard Harrington (“I am one of the laziest but most productive people on the planet.” and “Give away 25% of everything you do.”)
  • User-Generated Content is Great (and full of Legal Problems) – Jeff Heninger (“In social media you’re one click away from forever.”)
  • Creating a Video Trailer for Your eBook or App Using Photoshop – Rod Harlan
  • Getting Started with Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) – Colin Fleming
  • Creating ePUB files with Adobe InDesign – Colin Fleming

In addition, there were five memorable keynotes:

  • Guy Kawasaki – Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur
  • Scott Kelby – View from the Inside (“You self-publish to take control your content. Do it because you want to change the world, not because you think it’s the next big thing.”)
  • Skip Cohen – It All Starts with a Blog (Your blog is your home on the web. Build it and develop an audience now.)
  • Debbie Bates Schrott – Digital or Die: The Case for Captivating UX & Design to Bring Your Content to LIfe (“Use a flow chart to space out interactive elements such as slideshows, video or audio elements, quizzes, feedback forms, etc., when planning an app.”)
  • Jessica Meher – Inbound Marketing: The Secret to Your Success (“The businesses that the best educators will most successful.”)

And finally, there was an exceptionally creative idea implemented one afternoon– an UnConference with short, 15-30 minute presentations on a single, narrow topic. I presented “Write Your Way to Multiple Streams of Income: The 15-Minute, Five-Stage Business Plan,” and attended:

  • Creating Synergy Between Blogs, Books, and Workshops – Syl Arena
  • The Marines Magazine App: How We Did It – Debbie Bates Scrhott & Darrly Sebro
  • TAP into Actual Returns from Social Networking – Levi Sim (“Be a person; be a good one. Ask “what would grandma do?”)
  • Digital Sustainability – Alan Brusky

APE: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch - Author, Publisher, EntrepreneurIn addition to a pocketful of business cards, I brought home a copy of APE: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. It’s not only practical, straightforward, and well-written, but it also gets specific about the technology and services you will need. With a copy of APE at your elbow, you’ll be able to transform the manuscript in your desk drawer to a new stream of income. I recommend it.

Do I remember everything I learned? Not a chance. But I took lots of notes and plan to visit many of the links and websites that were referenced. You’ll find those links, along with a selection of other resources I think are essential for learning more about digital publishing, electronic publishing, or whatever you want to call it, in the next post. Enjoy!

Lucky Freelancer 7-Week Intensive Scheduled

It's time to become who you want to be.Do you have a project you need to finish? Perhaps it’s a book proposal, a career map, a first draft, or a final chapter, or maybe you just need to get clear on where you want to go in your freelance career. I offer the 7-Week Intensive to help you get those things done.

You can read more about Lucky Freelancer Coaching and all that the 7-Week program includes by clicking on the pages in the right column. I recommend beginning with the LF Coaching page, then reading the Intensive page. Be sure to note that members of NAIWE (National Association of Independent Writers and Editors) receive a $100 discount on tuition for this event.

Registration for the spring edition of the Lucky Freelancer 7-Week Intensive will close on Monday, April 19, and calls will begin on April 20. For this session, group training calls will be scheduled on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. EDT. The next session doesn’t begin until October, so if you need to make 2010 a super-productive year, join us. I think you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with someone to guide and encourage you.

Freedom is not in doing what you want to do, but in becoming what you want to be.

Ardis Whitman

Final Thoughts on the SCBWI Winter Conference 2010

I enjoyed my first national SCBWI conference in NYC a couple of weeks ago. It was exhilarating to be in the same room with so many creative people–writers, illustrators, publishers, agents, editors, and other children’s book enthusiasts (Jane Yolen!!!). While there, I was conscious of the fact that just being there conferred an advantage on each hopeful writer or editor in attendance. There’s nothing quite like the synergy of being present, networking in person, and hearing first-hand from others in the field.

I tweeted many of the tidbits I picked up during the conference, but several things have lingered with me. Here are a few of them: Read more…

Google Wave- I Finally Got It (and Some Invitations to Share)

But I’m not sure what I want to use it for (other than to tantalize friends who don’t have it yet–I’m not above a bit of crowing!). I’ve watched the introductory video, and have a few ideas. However, I need to poke around a bit more, as I have a few questions that need to be answered before I decide on the best use of Google Wave.

If I start a Wave, is it visible to all my contacts, or only the ones I select? The inability to direct conversations to a particular group or subset of contacts is one of the weaknesses of Facebook’s news feed, in my opinion, so if Wave addresses this– as it appears to, it would be helpful.

Can people invited to a Wave invite anyone else, or does the person who initiates the Wave have some control over who can participate? I’m specifically thinking of the possibility of using Wave to host regular follow-up Q&A sessions for my Book Workshops. I like the live/interactive feature, but these sessions would need to be limited to people who have already gone through one of the live or online Workshops and are in the process of writing their book.

I’d like to hear from other people who have been using Google Wave: What is the best, most interesting use you’ve found for it so far?

Finally, if you haven’t gotten an invitation and really, really need or want it, write a post on your blog telling why you must have Google Wave. Leave a comment here with a link to your post,  and I’ll pick up to five people and share my invitations (have to keep a couple for family and friends!).

Don’t miss NAIWE’s Annual Thanksgiving Membership Drive!
Use Coupon Code 9A4DEC0 to get $20 off dues when you join before November 30, 2009.

Gearing Up For NaNoWriMo: Here Are 3 Useful Resources

NaNoWriMoIt’s just a few more days until National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins. Have you signed up? I have, though I confess that I’m halfway planning to be subversive and write on the non-fiction project that is currently haunting my waking hours. Just think how much I’d get done if I wrote 1800 words a day!

However, it’s Practical Me that is suggesting that idea, and Practical Me tends to get nudged out of the way by Idea-Generating Me. I really want to start writing that mystery I’ve outlined. The characters keep shuffling in the background, pushing each other out of line, and edging forward, thinking that surely it’s their turn by now. They’re getting a bit unruly, and I’d love to let them out to play. But honestly–how practical is that?

Whatever I end up creating, I hope you’ll join me for a radical month of writing. There’s something so freeing about throwing words on paper, knowing that you can return to smooth out the wrinkles later. For those of you who struggle to silence Eddy, your inner editor, this is a perfect excuse to box him up for an entire month and ignore the screams. You’ll end up 50,000 words closer to your completed novel, and when you let out Eddy, he just might realize that you mean business when you tell him to be quiet!

If you don’t have a project in process and are going to dream up one from scratch, here are three helpful books that can help you through the process:

No Plot, No Problem: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty

You’ll know by the end of the month whether Baty is a genius, or well, just batty. His user-friendly little guide offers a realistic look at what it takes to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and offers helpful hints for getting it done, and a week-by-week overview of what is likely to be going on in your head as you work through the process. Unlike the authors below, Baty skips elaborate planning and advocates putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and just getting it written. If you want to “just do it,” Baty’s guide is for you.

Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

If you like structure and organization, Schmidt’s ring-bound system will make your heart go pitty-pat. I like the way she approaches the process, presenting how-to information, optional worksheets, and a calendar overview of what to do on each day. During normal months, it’s unlikely that you’d follow the calendar exactly– you probably have a life, after all. However, during NaNoWriMo, the calendar format is ideal. It will tell you exactly what to do with your aching fingers when you drag yourself to the keyboard on day 17. Even if you feel dry of inspiration, you’ll be able to keep writing, because the groundwork has been carefully laid, and you don’t have to be at creative peak every minute of the process (remember, Eddy’s supposed to be boxed and in the attic!).

First Draft in 30 Days: A Novel Writer’s System for Building a Complete and Cohesive Manuscript by Karen S. Wiesner

Here’s another system for the super-planner. Wiesner offers a comprehensive set of worksheets and instructions that help you create a hyper-detailed outline. Once it’s created, the writing process can be just a matter of filling in details and dialogue.  If you want to use this system for NaNoWriMo, you’ll need to condense the outline-creation step in order to leave time for the actual writing.

Wiesner goes beyond the basics to provide additional worksheets for outlining your career. If you have discovered the power of setting concrete goals, you’ll find these sheets extremely valuable. I particularly like her advice on “Getting Ahead and Staying There” through use of carefully structured planning and organized writing. The only danger is in getting too busy filling in worksheets and never actually writing the story. I’m telling you now– use and enjoy the worksheets if that’s your style, but make it quick. You’ve got writing to do!

Happy National Punctuation Day!

Writers and editors, put on your party hats! It’s time to celebrate the not-so-lowly punctuation mark. We’re a little late to join the baking contest planned as part of the celebration, but there nothing stopping us from using commas, periods, apostrophes, and semi-colons to our hearts content.

Imagine a worldundefinedwithout punctuation a world in which wed have to guess at meanings and try to read smoothly without the aid of those handy little signals imagine how silly wed sound stumbling through Dickens or trying to skim through Hamlets soliloquy to be or not to be that is the question whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them to die to sleep no more and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to making sense of that without punctuation could be quite a nightmare especially for 10th graders if they are allowed to read Shakespeare anymore

Jeff Rubin, the founder of National Punctuation Day offers tongue-in-cheek suggestions for how to celebrate the holiday, including:

  • Sleep late.
  • Go out for coffee and a bagel (or two).
  • Take a leisurely stroll, paying close attention to store signs with incorrectly punctuated words.
  • Stop in those stores to correct the owners.
  • If the owners are not there, leave notes.

Rubin has graciously provided a page of horrifyingly funny pictures of errors spotted in public places (and instructions for how you can submit your own photos) . TIP: If you don’t find all the photos on this page hilarious, find a grammatically-correct friend to explain the joke. They’re too funny to miss!

P.S. The fact that I find these common errors funny doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally overlook things in my own writing. It also doesn’t mean that I check incoming e-mails for typos. I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect you to be. I’m always writing under deadline, and I expect that you are too, so don’t worry about having your comments or e-mails perfectly proofread. I don’t have the time or inclination. I just like to hear from you–with or without typos!