What I do on Twitter

June 6, 2009

For those who don’t know, Twitter is a social media site where folks exchange conversation, ideas, and — most importantly for me — information.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter, finding out more about publishing, writing, markets, and agents. I’ve also been sending this information to my Twitter followers.

For those who use Twitter, you can follow me at @BJMuntain. For those who’d rather not, I’ve now set up Twitter here on my blog. If you look to the right of this blog, you’ll see my 5 latest tweets, under the heading Writing and Publishing news from Twitter.

Now, not all my tweets will be about writing or publishing, but most will. I post about 20 tweets per day, so there will be a lot of information.

I will, of course, still update this blog — I’ve actually been updating it more since becoming active on Twitter. It’s a lot easier to find the types of news I like on Twitter.

I hope you find this new source of news useful!


Tangent Online

January 22, 2009

A busy day today.

Tangent Online – which has published reviews of short genre fiction for 14 years – is “closing shop permanently March 1, 2009, unless someone steps forward to host the site.” This notice was given on a SFF newsgroup.

The website itself says they are on sabbatical “while we give the site a new look”. This was posted September 2007.

So, is anyone interested in hosting Tangent Online?


Warren Lapine returns

January 22, 2009

Warren Lapine — former publisher of DNA Publications, which “at its heyday published fiction magazines Absolute Magnitude, Fantastic Stories, Weird Tales, Dreams of Decadence, and Mythic Delirium, news magazine Science Fiction Chronicle, the non-genre Whole Cat Magazine, and KISS: The Official Magazine ” — has returned. SFScope reports on the man’s past and future in their article Warren Lapine returns to sf with magazine, books, and checks By Ian Randal Strock.

Keep an eye out for his new publishing venture, Tir Na Nog, which will bring out a reconstituted Fantastic Stories.


Opportunity to promote your book – free

September 8, 2008

On her blog, Lit Soup, agent Jenny Rappaport is offering a chance to get books advertised on her blog.  Here is her offer, called Book Blocks:

“This is an open invitation for any author who has a book coming out to write up a short piece about one of the building blocks of their upcoming book. It can be about the characters, the plot, the theme, the actual writing structure, the idea behind the novel (or non-fiction work), the worldbuilding, etc.”

It looks like it could be both interesting and educational – and possibly profitable.  Let’s watch and see how it goes.  With Jenny in charge, we know there won’t be any really lame entries! I also encourage others to read Jenny’s blog, and the blogs of other agents.  You can really get an education on the writing business this way.

Thanks, Jenny!  And good for you!


Random House Survey on Book-buying habits

July 2, 2008

Cindi Myers had this in her weekly newsletter:

A survey conducted at BEA by Zogby International for Random House sought information about the book-buying habits on Americans. Pollsters surveyed 8000 adults. Among their findings:

82% said they prefer to curl up with a printed book over using the latest in reading technology. Women (85%) are more likely than men (79%) to say they prefer reading printed books. Reading printed books also has greater appeal among older respondents, although it is by far the preferred method among all age groups.

11% of respondents said they are comfortable reading books in other formats, such as online or with an e-book reader or PDA. Men (13%) are more open than women (8%) to reading books in other formats, as are 13% of those younger than age 30, compared to just 6% of those age 65 and older.

43% of respondents said they “somewhat often” head to the bookstore with a specific book in mind, while nearly as many (38%) “very often” head to a bookstore with a particular book in mind.

77% said that when they go into a bookstore for a specific book, they sometimes make additional, unplanned book purchases.

For 48%, the first thing that draws them to a book while browsing in a bookstore is the subject, followed by the author (24%) and the book’s title (11%).

When asked about their most recent book purchase, 43% said the book’s subject was the most important factor, followed by the author (29%) and a good recommendation or word of mouth (11%).

When asked what makes them want to buy a book, 60% said suggestions from friends and family members, while nearly half (49%) said they are influenced by book reviews.

You can read all about the survey at http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1513

You can sign up for Cindi Myers newsletter — lots of good market information, especially for Romance — at her web site.


Lost Specs

March 8, 2008

I really *am* behind in the business these days. I just found out today, in the latest Ansible, that Speculations is gone. According to their website now, “As of 2 March 2008, Speculations is no longer in the business of publishing market information for writers.” Their subscriptions will be continued via Cynthia Ward, the Market Maven. But with the loss of Speculations and the Rumour Mill, speculative fiction has lost an incredible resource and networking site.

They hint at returning with a format change. The Market Maven will be the first to announce their return.

We’re gonna miss you guys!

Other losses I learned of in Ansible are:

  • Dungeons & Dragons creator, E. Gary Gygax
  • Roy Scheider, of Jaws fame
  • Columnist and wordsmith William F. Buckley, Jr.

All in all, a rather sad day for the person who can’t keep up with these losses as they happen…


The Ansible

January 7, 2008

Wow. Two posts in less than a month! Could this be a new trend?

My absolute favourite SF news ‘zine is Dave Langford’s Ansible. I just received the January issue today, and had to share some bits of news:

It’s true. Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimers. However, he goes on to say, “I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as “I am not dead”. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this [is] maybe further off than you think — it’s too soon to tell.”

Robert Jordan may have felt he had 20 books left to write, but now that he’s passed away, his wife has managed to find a writer to end the series in one. Brandon Sanderson will write this novel, which Jordan called A Memory of Light.

I encourage everyone to check out the Ansible at news.ansible.co.uk. The current issue can be found here: news.ansible.co.uk/a246.html. Be sure to check out Conspiracy Corner (where Princess Di’s death is finally explained), Outraged Letters (where Brian Aldiss gets his feet examined), As We See Ourselves and As Others See Us (where science fiction fans and writers are discussed), and Thog’s Masterclass (where we see that *anyone* can get published). Enjoy!