Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, June 22, 2012

Happy Friday, everyone, and thanks to all of you who are tweeting, retweeting, Facebooking, or otherwise sharing this Great Stuff with others. That, too, is Great Stuff.

And there’s lots of Great Stuff out there today. To wit:

  • Gabriela Pereira (@DIYMFA) ponders, in a guest post on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing, whether To MFA or Not To MFA. It’s a good question and one which her post and my comment both demonstrate that it’s not an easy one to answer.
  • Sharon A Lavy (@SharonALavy) asks on WordServe Water Cooler Does Reading Fiction Affect Your Brain? In the past the answer has tended to be couched in religious (it’s sinful, unless you’re reading what we approve of), social (it’s corrupting, unless you’re reading what we approve of), or political (it’s evil, unless you’re reading what we approve of) terms. Sharon’s piece, fortunately, is none of that. Instead, she reports on studies that show how our brains react–physically–to what we read. But I’ll bet you won’t be surprised by that at all.
  • Two more entries today in the self-/indie- versus traditional-publishing “discussion” actually have some convergence while still taking somewhat divergent paths. Both John Gilstrap (@JohnGilstrap) and Harvey Stanbrough (@hstanbrough) agree that writers shouldn’t avoid the self-/indie-publishing route. Beyond that, though,
    • Harvey argues in On Self-Imposed Limits that a writer’s “unreadiness” to self-publish is needlessly self-limiting and denies the author the opportunity for those higher-percentage royalties that self-pub venues offer.
    • John, on the other hand, argues in My Unsettling View on Self-Publishing on The Kill Zone that there are so many dangers and half-truths floating around out there about self-pubbing that far too many writers are deluded into going that route when they’re not skilled enough, not business-savvy enough, or too focused on the wrong things (e.g. money), and as a result (a) get burned, (b) produce something that (to be kind) shouldn’t have seen e-print.
    • James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) chimes in in a comment to Gilstrap’s piece to warn about the excessive emotions on both sides of this argument and to agree that there are both dangers and opportunities.
    • FWIW, my own view hews most closely to JSB’s. For my own WIP, I plan to seek traditional publishing, with e-pubbing as part of the package. If that doesn’t work, I know I’ve got the e-pub option, which is Great Stuff.
  • Let’s move to happier but related material, like making good use of social media.
    • Douglas Lim (@duggiel) offers practical ways to Set Up Social Media to Give You Great Post Ideas on @ProBlogger. Sure, that looks like it’s focused on blogging, but with just a little turn, Lim’s ideas can be helpful for both publicizing your own work and generating ideas for more work (as if you really need the help, huh?).
    • Meanwhile, over at The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander (@jfbookman) provides Keyword Basics, tools which can help not only increase blog traffic but also, again, generate ideas.
  • And if discussions of self-publishing and social media aren’t proof enough that times are changing, today there were two announcements of changes on the blogosphere. In the same post discussed above, John Gilstrap announced he’s about to leave The Kill Zone (one more post to go), and Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) announced on Writer Unboxed, I Have No More Advice Left to Give. Whatever their reasons for moving on (Jane’s are new-job related, John’s haven’t been announced), I wish them the best. They’ll be missed.

Have a great weekend!


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