Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Around the Publishing World in Four Articles

Here are just a few pieces my fellow writers will probably enjoy and might have missed.

How Writers Can Find Meaning in Nonsense
The Atlantic is doing a feature asking writers to discuss their favorite passages of literature. In this article author Jesse Ball talks about Lewis Carroll's Jaberwocky and why he finds it a good example of writers embracing nonsense words. A short excerpt...
There’s a question of what master are you serving when you write something. If you want to tell someone that they have to go unplug the toilet, that's a very specific sentiment: Go, and unplug the toilet. It can succeed, or not. But what if the master you want to serve is to somehow communicate the entirety of your experience of Anglo-Saxon poetry, in a single poem? That’s when something like nonsense comes into its own. The wonder of it is not that it makes something out of nothing, or that it is without sense—but actually that it’s exploding with sense. It's not for when you have nothing to say, but when you have many things to say at once.

The Ideal Length For Blogposts
Most writers maintain a blog to stay in touch with their readers and promote their work. But it's one thing to write a blog, and another to attract readers to it. This piece by Orbit Media has facts and figures backed up by research.  We will warn you in advance. The ideal blog length for SEO purposes is much longer than you'd think. A short excerpt...
Think about it this way: Google is a research tool. Longer pages have more opportunities to indicate their relevance. Google sees longer pages as more likely to contain the answer to the searcher’s question.

Another reason is links. When MOZ analyzed 3,800 posts on their own blog, they found that the longer posts get linked to more often. Longer pages generally attract more links, and these links support a higher rank.

The ideal length for a search optimized blog post is 1,500 words.

Social Media Grammar Tips for Authors
My kids mock me because even my texts include proper punctuation. But when you're writing in 140 characters or less, that can really hold you back. This piece gives you seven grammar rules that you need to keep in mind when you're writing on social media. Shortcuts are OK, but mistakes in these seven areas make you look like a lousy writer. Here's one example...
If you have two sentences, please put a period between them. If you like semicolons and your sentences are closely related, use a semicolon. If you are using a conjunction like and or but, you can use a comma. What I am telling you is don’t use a comma alone to separate sentences

How ‘Lady Authors’ Were Told to Promote Their Books in the 1960s
This is a great piece in Time Magazine that shows how the times have changed for female authors. There are some great photos to illustrate it. Here's a short excerpt from the text...
In a LIFE photo essay called “What it takes to be a lady author anymore,” Rejaunier posed for shots that demonstrated how a woman should promote her literary work. A successful lady author, the captions suggested, must “swim a little,” “exercise in a bikini” and be “photographed in bed.” The essay attributed the success of her book, a novel based on the dark side of the modeling world, to Rejaunier’s beauty rather than her literary talents: “Just possibly because she smiles so prettily on the book jacket (the back and the front of the book) The Beauty Trap is now in its fourth printing.”