Thursday, March 23, 2017

Go Out And Conquer

This week I went into the radio studio to record my monthly podcast slot and felt depressed. The topic was writer incomes. The latest stats were out and NZ writers weren’t earning very much at all. As we were talking about the report we both were realising that we knew authors who didn’t fit the criteria and so weren’t surveyed. Then I came across a mention of the report on Passive Voice and the comments were enlightening. So all I can say in this brave new publishing world is Do Whatever Works For You and Good Luck.

Kris Rusch has got a great blog post on Taking Control back to the writer. This is important if you want to plan your career and take advantage of opportunities.

March is London Book Fair and the Indie Author Fringe which was a 24 hour blast of great content for authors. If you didn’t get a chance to watch in real time you can always go and access their great sessions from their website. I binge watch and scribble notes constantly. It’s like a private conference just for you.

Publishers Weekly reported on the London Book Fair describing it as a Keep Calm and Carry On affair. PW also asked agents heading to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which is traditionally two weeks after LBF, what they would be looking for. Mid Grade is still the holy grail and everybody wants to find the next breakout hit crossover teen....etc etc.

Meanwhile The Guardian wrote about the dubious rise in celebrity authors writing books for children because its sooo easy. (Bring me a barf bucket-stat! -is how all children’s book authors feel.) Are publishers losing out big time on these deals?

Derek Murphy of Creative Indie has set up a website where you are encouraged to do writer sprints with your friends. It is set up in 15 minute increments and you can win free stuff. Derek is hoping to write 5000 words an hour.

Kiwi Katherine Hayton writes about giving InstaFreebie a trial. She added thousands to her email list and got hundreds of preorders.

Ali Luke talks about writers having multiple streams of income and the rise of novellas. Rachel Thompson talks about Branding for Authors. All of these articles explain why and how you should be working with your author business.

Joanna Penn interviewed Mark Dawson about using Amazon ads. This podcast is packed full of great information and is a must listen. If you don’t have the time to listen, read the transcript.

If you are looking for story ideas Now Novel have got a great list of 15 easy ways to generate story ideas.

In The Craft Section,

15 tools for writers- R L Stedman- Bookmark

What should an author blog about- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

3 craft elements –Elizabeth Craig- Bookmark

How to write a sequel- K M Weiland - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to publish an ebook- Jane Friedman

Listing your books with Google Play- Elizabeth Craig – Bookmark

Managing Social Media Followers- C K Syme- Bookmark

To Finish,

Tara Sparling has a great recipe for making the modern bestseller. This is a fun read that will lift your spirits. Then you can read Chuck’s latest post on being a professional writer.
Go out and Conquer.


Every month I round up the best of my bookmarked links and put them together with some other goodies which you get if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
Shout out to the lovely people who bought me a coffee this week. It is much appreciated!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Writing Trends

What are the current trends in writing? Everybody wants to know.
Writers do know some trends. Their incomes are all over the place or dropping.
The current political situation is seeing dystopian themed books being dusted off. The South by South West film and television festival is currently full of Handmaids from The Handmaids Tale, a book by Margaret Atwood. This book freaked people out when it was first published and seems set to continue if all the articles about the festival handmaids is anything to go by.

The London Book Fair is on* and chat on the floor suggests that Brexit will hit UK publishing scene hard. Also I see on Twitter that it’s not just the Brits who are un-nerved. Several EU countries are facing Brexit calls of their own in upcoming elections.
We are in unsettled times.

The Bookseller talks about the difference between a bestseller and a profitable book. I was surprised to learn that they are not the same thing.

If you have tried to make sense of your publishers royalty statements lately, read Mike Shatzkin’s recent blog on Profit and Loss formulas and how publishers are getting them wrong. Could be some ammo in there for negotiations.

Sacha Black wonders if now is the time to go wide given the current trends of income uncertainty.
The latest Author Earnings report is out, and interesting reading it is too. Here in NZ we recently had our own version of Writer Income surveyed... which was pretty dismal reading. Data Guy has some comments on the NZ situation in English language publishing.

Mike Sahno wrote a guest post on Anne R Allen’s blog about the 5 pieces of bad advice regularly given to literary writers.

Auburn Seal of Bibliocrunch has some rock solid advice if you are spinning around with writing speed trends. Should you write faster or write slower? If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything you should do... set some solid goals.

Dan Blank has some sage advice for figuring out where you should be placing your book, marketing wise... way before you publish it. This is a must read.

Subscription curation is all the rage in children’s publishing according to Publishers Weekly. Publishers are directly helping parents choose wisely along with publishing classroom versions of popular books to get around censorship.

Elizabeth Craig was recently asked why didn’t she sell her books on Etsy. And this sparked a whole new way of looking at writing.

In The Craft Section,

Developing Themes – The midpoint- Sara Letourneau- Bookmark

Using Scrivener – Writer Unboxed

In The Marketing Section,

5 tools every Indie author should use- Frances Caballo- Bookmark!!

To Finish,

Reedsy is a great resource for writers. They often have great infographics... (I’m such a sucker...) However Ricardo has recently been putting together a huge list of writing competitions. Have a look.
And for all those people who want a publisher to look at their work... Catherine Ryan Howard’s 50 easy ways to get a publishing deal will resonate with everyone.

* Don’t forget to check out Alli’s LBF Indie Fringe 24 hour conference. You might just get a jump on some writing trends.


Every month I round up the best of my bookmarked links and put them together with some other goodies. You can join the trendy people and subscribe to my monthly newsletter.Thanks to the lovely people who shouted me a coffee. It is much appreciated.

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