Thursday, August 6, 2020

Sunshine In The Gloom

This week there were two podcasting milestones. Joanna Penn reached 500 episodes of her podcast (11 years) and The SPA Girls reached 250 episodes of theirs, (5 years) These podcasts are super informative about publishing craft and marketing. They are must listens every week. If you haven’t checked them out at least once you are seriously missing out. They both have an extensive backlist of episodes… they have pretty much answered every question in publishing. Congratulations Joanna and Trudi, Cheryl, Wendy, and Shar.


Jane Friedman looked at the publishing stats from the U.S. Is there some silver linings in the gloom? Yes, print and ebook sales are up. We’ll take every ray of sunshine we can…


What is courage? Writers moaning about how hard it is to publish now, pushed Kristine Rusch’s buttons this week. If you are moaning instead of doing- This is a nice wakeup call to check your privilege credentials.


WorldCon is over. The first virtual event of its kind had some teething troubles. There was a huge commitment behind the scenes to getting it up and running. Hats off to the NZ Sci-Fi community for slogging through. However, the virtual community was left wondering where the NZ content was…. It was there but not prominent… or as this article says how NZ’s best sci-fi and fantasy writers got shafted on the world stage.


The New Publishing Standard published an interesting news story on its blog today. They were taking a look at why video can be streamed in subscription packages almost globally but books can’t. With Africa pretty much online through mobile phones, the ability to get subscription books is pretty low. What are publishers doing wrong? (I write this as Disney announces the new Mulan movie release streaming on their channel.)


This week many authors winced when the news that a reference to a dye recipe in an historical novel was uplifted from a google search that was a fake recipe. John Boyne’s new historical novel has now had loads of extra publicity but is it the right publicity?


Scott Myers has a great post on Deep work vs Shallow work. How often do you sit down to write and have about five tabs open on your browser at the same time? Clear the decks first.


In The Craft Section,

How to create tension in writing- Now Novel- Bookmark

Dumb little writing tricks that work- Scott Myers

2 great posts from Mythcreants- How do I describe fat characters respectfully and Introducing otherworldly elements.

When you have extra POV characters- K M Weiland- Bookmark

A quick reminder on Transitions-Elizabeth Spann Craig- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

What should go on your Copyright page- Bookbaby

Book proposals – what should they have- Jody Hedlund

Two interesting posts on Book Titles- Good story titles from Ride The Pen and Picking a bestselling title from Barbara Delinsky- Bookmark

Email newsletter for authors- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

3 reasons authors need a content strategy- Abbie Mood


To Finish,

Next week is the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. I was privileged to be a judge two years ago. It is a big night in the small world of New Zealand Children’s publishing. However, this year it will be a virtual ceremony. This decision was made some time ago before we came out of lockdown. We still need to celebrate so I’ve been part of a team organizing a local bookstore live streaming party. The next best thing to joining with your tribe and celebrating altogether in a big venue. Angela Ackerman pulled out of the archives a post on the 6 smart ways authors can collaborate for marketing. This type of advice is gold in 2020 when there are so many virtual book events in the present COVID-19 publishing world. Go and gather your author friends… let’s get innovative in our celebrations.


Kia Kaha Beirut- Stay Strong-


Hiroshima- 75 Years- When will we ever learn…





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Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Mark Lee


Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Future Of Book Marketing

This week in publishing…
Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors came out in droves to condemn Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the Science Fiction convention. Their main problem was that the restrictive nature of the Saudi society would be against the spirit of the genre.  Meanwhile, CoNZealand is happening online with overseas authors skyping into New Zealand instead of the usual extravaganza that is this year's World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. 

Staying with science fiction for a moment. The Verge is reporting that AI Podcast editor Descript is releasing its voice double from Beta. I know that Joanna Penn has been playing around with this. Think about narrating your books with your favourite actor’s voice or your own without having to sit in a booth for 10 hours… If you are interested in more about creativity and AI check out Joanna Penn’s recent podcast.

The New Publishing Standard reports that Big Bad Wolf, the huge Asian bookseller of remaindered English language books, is also going online. They have partnered with an online marketplace and will be selling their physical books in their usual 10-day 24-hour sale marathon. Check out how many books they intend to move- eyewatering!!! This could also be a sign of things to come.

Mike Shatzkin has been taking a look at how the publishing industry is coping with the pandemic. What is happening to the supply chain? Are they changing their practices…? thinking about changing how they operate…? still have their head in the sand?
Maybe they should be reading Penny Sansevieri’s article on the best book marketing ideas during a pandemic. 

Kris Rusch is still diving deep into the implications of Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter. Have you thought about all the different types of licensing in a contract? Brandon is exploiting one tiny one. With one week to go Brandon is closing in on $6 million. Kris talks about what you need to think about in your own Kickstarter campaigns.

Ruth Harris has another great article looking at the problem of how to write what you know when you can’t write what you know. Sound convoluted? It’s all about what you can change. This is another excellent article on the craft of writing.

In The Craft Section,

Plot development questions- Now Novel- Bookmark

Developing a coherent story- Jael Bakari- Bookmark

How to finish writing your book- Kevin Tumlinson- Bookmark

How to outline a novel- Roz Morris - Bookmark

Line editing tips- Jocelyn Pruemer- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

5 ways to use video to promote books- Cristian Stanciu- Bookmark

August Unique content ideas – Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

To Finish,

The psychology of making a sale. How do you get people to buy what you have to sell? 
I was interested to see this marketing article try to link book marketing to the 5 principles of human behavior. How do you buy books? This week a bookseller I know called me out on deliberately not looking at the books when I was talking to her. ‘I know why you are doing that,’ she said. I had to confess that she was right. I was trying not to buy any more books. I bought new books last week and I haven’t even cracked the spine on them. 
Selling to a bibliophile is just putting the new shiny book object in front of them in a trail of book crumbs to the cash register.


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If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

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