Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Same But Different

Another New Year... Another set of Writing Relating Goals and Publishing Predictions... reach for the last of the New Year’s party wine. 

Last year predictions were that Audio would start to take off. – This year continues that prediction- we haven’t seen the end of the beginning of the explosion in audiobook sales...  AI technology is ramping up. Chuck in publishers making audio-only deals and everyone in publishing is starting to take note of the gold in them thar hills....

Mark Coker always has an interesting perspective on what the new publishing year might bring. He’s more often right than wrong so take a look at what he considers to be the big issues going forward.

Joanna Penn dashed down under to catch up with family but still had time to make sure that her great podcasts were ticking over. Two recent ones that are well worth checking out are Creative Goal setting trends for 2019 and a great interview on 21st-century lessons for a creative mindset with Mark McGuiness.

Agent Laurie Mclean has also dipped her toe into the prediction pond for this year. Her big message – people reading (and finishing) a book is declining... we must encourage the eco system of books if we want publishing to survive. 

Kris Rusch and her husband Dean Wesley Smith have seen too many new publishing years to count. Kris is doing a great series on planning for the New Year. The longer I have been watching this industry (coming up to 11 years soon) the more I value Kris and her insights into what is going on. Start with her Boxing day post – The Current State Of Disruption... follow up with Part Two- Sales ... Part Three - on libraries and Part Four- Audio

Over The Christmas Break...when everyone was recovering from Christmas dinner Amazon changed tack again. Gone are product display ads... and in are Lockscreen ads. As everyone is commenting it’s a pay to play world out there.

Also in the news was the highlighting of a new trolling behaviour that is targeting successful sellers on Amazon.  They target the reviews and tell Amazon that you paid for 5-star reviews... The Zon comes down with their big sledgehammer... meanwhile the originator of the false claim reaps rewards... It’s a long process to get back to square one.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to get a handle on Social Media you are not alone, Fae Rowan writes about the pain she feels when she contemplates Social Media marketing. Drop into the Writers In The Storm Blog to join in the conversation.

Penny Sansevieri has decided that 2019 should be the year of the vlog. Writers need to get a handle on using digital media as search becomes increasing image driven. And it is so easy, says Penny....

Anne R Allen highlighted a tidy list of ... new writer scams for 2019. They don’t stop trolling for newbies as we hit another new year. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know who to avoid and where to go to find out more... don’t forget to tell the newbies out there that there is heaps of information if they just search for it. Google is your friend. Typing ‘to-good-to-be -true-offer and scam in a search bar is the first thing they should do. Remember anyone who wants you to pay them to publish your book... tread really really carefully!

Keren David over at an awfully big blog adventure ( children’s writer's blog) throws down the gauntlet to publishers about diversity... getting out of London and seeing what’s happening in the smaller centers etc etc. She has a list of great things she thinks they should do this year... after all, it is 2019. Has anyone in publishing heard of Skype? 

In The Craft Section.

How to get emotion on the page- Lisa Cron-Bookmark
The different types of editing- Writer Unboxed
Resources for writers- June Takey- This is an all you can eat blog post Bookmark!
8 writing tools to get the words flowing
Setting up a kanban board to reach writing goals in 90 days. Organise and win at writing...

In The Marketing Section,

What to include in your marketing strategy
Follow these steps when you publish your first book
Bookbub ads- David Gaughran- Bookmark
Using Pinterest to market children’s books- Jane Friedman- Bookmark
Amazon Advertising for KDP authors in 2019- Chris McMullen

To Finish,

Over my summer break, I had some fun trying different dictation solutions. Google came out the clear winner with almost 100% accuracy... except for the lag in voice capture which meant I lost the beginning of every sentence. All the words it caught were 100% accurate tho. At the huge Consumer Electronics Show (CES) The big tech giants were showing off their snazzy voice everything applications... including translations.
In 2019 will we be able to dictate content and have it automatically translated including social media posts to become a truly global publishing consumer and provider... 
Fasten your seatbelts...  


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 the blog and want to shout me a coffee- hit the coffee button up top. Thanks. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Davity Dave

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Epic Roundup of 2018…

This will be my last post for 2018.
I’m having a few weeks off over Christmas. And it’s a day late too…. So what exciting things can I draw your attention to…
I thought I’d look back over the year and see what happened…

In January everyone was processing all the changes of 2017 and making predictions for 2018. Let’s see how they did. Joanna Penn had a list of coming tech trends for authors. Imposter syndrome- (Warning it’s from Chuck) and layoffs at Createspace had authors wondering what’s up?
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles 
The eyes have it- A fascinating look at how people view the Amazon buy page 
Katie Weiland’s fabulous infographic on Storytelling nuts and bolts.

In February
Scandal in the Children’s Lit community, Apple and Google playing with their book store fronts and the first inklings of how big Audio was going to get this year. Author Solutions has been pinged for predatory practices on newbie authors so much that their other name is shark. But did you know how many aliases they operate under?  
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles 
Killing Writer Perfectionism and Reverse Engineering Your Editorial Calendar

March was the month of… Death. With the deaths of Stephen Hawking, Ursula Le Guin and the news about Harper Lee’s estate… How prepared is your literary estate for after your death?
Findaway voices offer serious competition to Audible and writing podcasts – a source of information and creation for the modern writer., with serial novels. Don’t forget to stretch at your writing desk.
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles 
Seven strategies and Ninety-four tools to find readers 
Anne R Allen- Plot holes and Pot Holes

April had…my eleventh-year blogversary. Reviews disappearing left, right and center around the internet. The rise and rise of AI- Get Siri or Alexa to buy the books and then read them to your child. (I wouldn’t have predicted that eleven years ago!)
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles from 
Larry Brooks- Everything you need to know about story structure and 
David Gaughran- Canva- the author Go To for graphics.

In May   
Literary Embezzlement, the demise of Kindle worlds and implications thereof and GDPR and what it means for authors were the huge talking points in May. Take control of your author business and sell direct. Responsible use of mailing lists is a must.
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles from
Jami Gold - Why head hopping is lazy writing
SFF Marketing podcast- Cultivating a rabid fan base.

June followed up with Book Stuffing scandals and the implications for writers regarding copyright that Cockygate is highlighting. Patricia Cornwall jumps to Amazon and Writers and learned helplessness. Audio publishing- The next big thing!
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles from
Jane Friedman’s guests this month.
What does it mean to write a scene that works and The psychology of Author Marketing

July… When agents are found to be crooked.#daniellesmith and other predators in publishing. Why the literature Nobel was not awarded. Author income surveys and Wattpad the new go-to source for publishers to find the next big thing.
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles 
Sell your books, not your soul
Procrastinating productively

In August Walmart and Kobo teemed up… Is there serious competition ahead for Amazon? Createspace was shut by Amazon in favour of Kindle Print – (They are still ironing out the problems of this move.) Audible, owned by Amazon, changed their contracts… not for the better. And remember Cockygate?
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles from
Anne R Allen-Troubled Characters and their personality problems
Roz Morris- Building readership – a quiet rebellion

In September Bookstores were bought and sold
Contracts were contested and explored and Amazon put up the price of their Ads.. catching everyone on the hop. How will Brexit affect publishing? The days of nice booksellers are on the wane.
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles from
Bookbub- The biggest Ad mistakes
Go Into The Story- Protagonist vs Nemesis

October saw… a global and future focus with the Future Book conference. Publishers are looking at Asia as their next big markets to tackle and you should be too. Blockchain in publishing was talked about as the next big change to negotiate. And everyone everywhere is looking into book serialisation either Audio or subscription streaming. October is also the month where you plan for NaNoWriMo.
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles from
Katie Weiland has a magical post about the power of language
Joanna Penn Interviewed Dave Chesson about keywords for Amazon ads.

November, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo…. Craft articles were the flavour of the month. In publishing news- Amazon changed their systems and glitched a whole lot of writers. Now you really need to advertise as the organic discovery writers used to be able to do has disappeared. Viral sensation The Scottish Granny elevated a children’s book from 7-year-old obscurity to marketing sensation. And China is hunting for children’s books. 
Standout Craft and Marketing Articles 
I guest posted over on Jami Gold’s blog on leveling up your craft learning.
70 plot twists and examples – Reedsy
Bookcover Zone - seriously addictive

And now we get to this week in December 
Publishers Weekly had an article on Hybrid publishers and how authors are redefining success and failure in publishing.
Nate Hoffelder comments on how often Publishing hit USA Today’s list of big job layoff’s in the last decade.
Bookmark worthy posts
Make your own book video trailers for free... 
Writing intuitively - September Fawkes
Writing beats and meaningful actions- Women on Writing

As I’ve rolled through the year’s blog posts I discovered that 2018 was the year of the book cover for me. I bought six and commissioned three. I finished Book Three in my Starlight series and discovered that I have to add another book to that series.  I launched the first two books in The Circus Quest Series. (On sale over Christmas if you need some great books for your child's new Tablet /eReader.) and I was part of the Judging team for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. (Waves Hi to the current crop of judges who will have their first onslaught of books about now!) It’s been a full 2018.

Have a safe and relaxing Christmas break filled with love, laughter, and great writerly thoughts.
I’ll see you back in mid-January 2019 with all those goal planning posts.


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 the blog and want to shout me a Christmas coffee, hit the coffee button up top or Buy a Circus Quest Book for the creative quirky kid in your life.   

pic: Flickr Creative Commons Lindsaye Eyink

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