Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, August 16, 2012

I hate to start one of these posts with one that’s kind of a downer, but today’s leader is too important to place elsewhere. We’ll lighten up then and finish with a chuckle or two.

  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch (@kriswrites) has posted a series of articles on deal breakers when it comes to contracts. Today’s Business Rusch post, A Tale of Two Royalty Statements, is another long one, in part because it deals first with some new–and when you think about it, pretty bizarre–language Big 6 publisher Hachette is trying to put into publishing contracts. Then Kris gets into the grubby details of royalty statements and payments. Now, if this stuff makes your eyes glaze over, it’s time to get over that, however you do it. Royalties are your income; isn’t that important? These past three posts make me wonder about my desires to have my WIP (work in progress) traditionally published but let’s be clear, the indie publishing route isn’t all wine and roses, either, and unfortunately, I haven’t come across any kind of analysis of indie-pub contracts that has had the kind of depth Kris’ have had on traditional publishing. The bottom line, it seems, is still that writing is a business as well as a craft, and if you don’t do your own due diligence to learn the business side as well as you’ve learned the craft side, if you get screwed out of money properly due you, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

OK, on to happier topics.

  • One more business piece. Jean Huffman (@huffman_jean), guest posting for Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner), offers 5 Tips for Hiring a Blog Designer. Yes, there are now people who specialize in designing blogs, not just web sites. And yes, you can get taken if you don’t do your homework on them. (Hey, wasn’t this supposed to be a happier post???) Jean’s tips, based on her own experiences, are meant to help you avoid those traps.
  • A couple of craft-related posts, now. Angela Ackerman (@AngelaAckerman) of The Bookshelf Muse guest posts on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s (@CynLeitichSmith) Cynsations blog on Writing Body Language: Moving Beyond the Basics. It’s easy enough, maybe too easy, to insert certain kinds of body language into a story to show emotion. Unfortunately, those easy gestures can become repetitive, unoriginal, cliché, or any combination thereof. Angela offers ways to discover different body-language actions to spice up your writing.
  • C. Lee McKenzie (@cleemckenzie) guest posts on The Bookshelf Muse with a piece on How to Start Your Synopsis: One Strategy. While nailing the start of a synopsis may not be as critical as nailing the start of a novel, it has its own measure of importance, and given how hard synopses are to write in the first place, any clues on making them better are bound to be valuable.

And let’s wrap today up with a couple of practical, even funny pieces on stress management: