Thursday, December 7, 2017

Looking For The Silver Lining

This week the Christmas music really ramped up in stores. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we have the triple threat of School Year End Madness, All Things Festive, and Summer which starts on December 1. We are in the middle of a heat wave and facing water restrictions six weeks earlier than normal. The grass is dying.

Indie Burnout is the topic of Kris Rusch’s latest blog. Are you setting yourself punishing schedules? Worrying about 60 day cliffs or writing 10K in a day. Kris is noticing more and more burn-out cases. She has some good advice for managing your career.

A must read/listen is Joanna Penn’s latest blog on estate planning for authors. Do your heirs know that they are responsible for your literary estate for 70 years after you die? Have you got everything organised? There are lots of tips in this podcast.

School Library closures are happening more and more in the UK. Cressida Cowell is sounding a warning that this trend is really hitting the already disadvantaged children who don’t own books. The National Literacy Trust’s latest report is particularly grim reading. 

Meanwhile UNESCO has released a report highlighting a real concern over boys reading ability. This week on Facebook I shared a post on why kids are turned off reading. If you assess their every page turn how do they learn to read for pleasure?

The Guardian published an article about a once respected publisher going to the wall leaving huge debts and then seemingly starting up another publishing company. Authors are crying foul...

Meanwhile Rosie Amber has a post looking at the dodgy nature of some independent presses. Are they asking for money... always a worrying sign. Know what you are getting into.

It is not all Doom and Gloom... Publish Drive a nifty little aggregator, based in Europe and distributing into China and the East has just made their service available to the US. This is great news for all those people who got stuck with Pronoun’s sudden demise.

Anne R Allen always has great advice. Here she looks at 10 tips that keep your author blog running sweetly.  Elizabeth S Craig has some great tips for productivity and To Do Lists.

How Indies can stop worrying and learn to love bookmarketing. This is an attitude change. A timely post from Belinda Griffin.

In The Craft Section,

Wounds matter- Kristen Lamb

Identity and theme in YA- Sara Letourneau- Bookmark

PB creation templates-Debbie Ohi- Bookmark

Editing your writing- NowNovel- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Review sites and Twitter lists –Bookworks- Bookmark

Finding a Literary Agent- Jane Friedman

To Finish,

It’s been an interesting time recently watching prominent people in the media fall on their swords... or get impaled by their actions over sexual harassment. You would like to think publishing is above all that.... sadly no.

To Finish on a happier note... I’ve been named as one of the five judges for the New Zealand Children’s Book Awards. This means that I will be doing what I love best over Christmas – READING!


In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. If you like what I do, feel free to hit the coffee button. Thanks.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

When To Take Advice

In the news this week Nate Hoffelder examines Amazons surprise new move that has authors mad and perplexed. Amazon owns Goodreads and Authors have been used to running giveaways of their Print books for no money at all. Now Amazon want to extend giveaways to eBooks. Before you cheer... Amazon wants to charge you a lot for the privilege.

Porter Anderson has an interesting article on Publishing Perspectives on Amazon creating a new imprint for short fiction... from famous writers.

This week there was a lively discussion over on Passive Guys blog about how Indie booksellers came to thrive in the current book market, defying expectation.

Christmas season seems to start earlier and earlier every year. This week on the blogosphere blog posts were appearing with lists of gifts for writers. If you want to get a head start on gift buying for a writer check out Chucks Gift List... (Warning it’s Chuck so be prepared.)

Hannah Holt has an interesting post on how to make a living as a children’s writer. As a children’s writer myself, we all want to know how to do it.

One of the regular discussions in the children’s writing world is how to get boys to read. Lili Wilkinson has an impassioned article that we are reinforcing that boys don’t read because we are making a big thing about it. I found myself nodding all through it. Read it and see if you agree.

If you are a writer you have to develop a thick skin. I really hate that saying but I think I hate it because I recognise it to be true. Marie McCann has an interesting blog post to help you deal with thecritics.

Ruth Harris has put together and A-Z of interesting and informative blog posts for authors... This is one of those bookmark posts full of goodies.

Chris Fox has written some great guides on the Indie Author life but this week he posted a short video about the stuff no one really talks about. The pressures that come with being a successful author.

Joanna Penn has been rounding up some great content on her blog recently. James Haight guest posted with an article on crowd funding for authors. This is a really in depth look at how to do it. Joanna recently interviewed the two Mark’s behind the Bestseller Experiment. They talk about how they wrote published and marketed a bestseller in 52 weeks using in depth analysis of what works.

September Faulkes has a great craft post on hiding what the main character knows from the reader. This is one of those posts that explains how to do that nifty surprise switch that leaves you in awe of the writer.

In The Craft Section,

6 pillars of writer education- Art Newcomb- Bookmark

Keeping your characters compelling- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

How to make every character detail count- and Successful Query Pitch-Angela Ackerman-Bookmark

How to write funny- K M Weiland- Bookmark

 In The Marketing Section,

Social Media content tips- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

To Finish,

Write to Done has compiled a handy list of writing and blogging tools. If you are looking for anything writing software related take a look at the list.
McSweeney’s humour blog has taken a stab at how authors can ask people to buy their book. This will have authors laughing... in sympathy. (Just don’t take their advice!!)


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces every month. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.  My speech is done... The feeling of relief! Thanks to all of you who hit the coffee tab during the month.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Tory
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