Morning Cuppa – 05/20/13 – BookLikes! Branding yourself! Game of Thrones!


  • There’s a new social network for books that has just come out of beta called BookLikes. From the description, it combines short form book reviews and ties it into bookseller websites. Could it be an effective replacement for Goodreads, now that Amazon owns them?
  • One of the things that authors neglect so much in their careers is that they are a business. And for good reason, who wants to be a business, I want to make art, right? But, if you have any designs on making money with your art, you probably need to consider what it means to be a business. You need something that the public relates to, that communicates who you are and what you do effectively. You need a brand, and Writer Unboxed shares some ideas about what that means and how to execute it.
  • I’ve wondered how this was going to play out… considering how quickly the Game of Thrones tv show is plowing through the action in the books, will they reveal the ending before George RR Martin is able to write the last two books? He’s not the fastest writer in the world to begin with and with HBO saying that there is a definite date that they’re ending the show by, it would seem the show may spoil the book.

Morning Cuppa – 02/22/13 – Start your novel right! Amazon sued! Game of Thrones prequel!

Today is ALL books ALL day. Happy Friday

  • Bad news for self-published authors, it seems that half of all book purchases on Amazon are pre-planned. This means that the purchases come from people who have browsed elsewhere, likely a bookstore and then made a purchase on the site, rather than using Amazon’s algorithm for discovery. (credit Passive Voice)
  • A new lawsuit from independent bookstores accuses Amazon’s Kindle DRM of creating a de facto monopoly that gives them over 60% market share with dwindling competition. It’s an uphill battle for them but I hope for the sake of the industry that they are able to claim some victory.
  • George RR Martin is talking Game of Thrones prequels now, possibly to air on HBO.
  • Author Janice Hardy shares three ways to ground readers in your world. As I embark on my next project, these little tidbits shared by successful writers have proven invaluable.
  • Another great set of tips that I’ve been reading and re-reading came from the Writer’s Digest email where they give five great tips for starting a novel right.
  • And of course, my February offer to authors… if you’re an author who would like me to read your book, please leave a comment below.

Morning Cuppa – 02/07/13 – Space Marines vs. Games Workshop!

Big space marine news this morning my fellow space marine buddies! Let’s space marine right into it!

  • Games Workshop is now claiming that they own the trade mark to the term, “space marine” and have asked Amazon to remove a book by M.C.A. HogarthSpots the Space Marine, which they promptly did (but weren’t legally obligated to do so). Not to mention that the term space marine existed long before Game Workshop (Robert Heinlein anyone?), this is just one instance of a long history of trademark bullying of their most avid fans, the height of stupidity.
    • This Boing Boing article makes a great point: “Trademarks only apply to commercial works. You can and should use “space marine” in your everyday speech, fanfic, tweets and so on. For one thing, it will undermine Games Workshop’s attempts to homestead our common language.” Anyone want to come over to my house to play space marines while we eat some space marine sandwiches in our space marine vehicles? Space marine.
    • UPDATE: M.C.A. Hogarth reports that she is now talking to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She can’t legally say more than that but she did say that the response from fans and supporters has been overwhelming. Particularly touching, “When Neil Gaiman retweeted the post I put my head down on my desk and cried.” So show your support for her, it’s a huge (and expensive) uphill battle against such a juggernaut. Make a donation to the EFF or buy the book in question which is still available from Smashwords!
  • Naturally, everyone is talking about how HBO has hired George R.R. Martin, extending his production role with Game of Thrones for two more years. In addition he will be tasked with creating new content for the network.
  • chrispbaconThis has nothing to do with writing or genre fiction or geekiness of any stripe. It will just make you squee, overcome with cute. This is Chris P. Bacon, a disabled piglet with a specially made K’nex wheelchair.
  • More articles written about Barnes & Noble’s plans to shut down stores, this time from the LA Times. Apparently Angelinos are experiencing a renaissance of small bookstores springing up while the giant chain struggles. That’s great for them but for the places in the US where B&N is an oasis among cultural blight, I don’t see the same thing happening.
  • And finally, if you’ve made it this far, don’t forget my February offer, if you’re an author and would like me to purchase a copy of your book, leave a comment on this blog post.