Thursday, June 4, 2020

Promoting Good Ideas

This week has felt like a year. The protest marches in solidarity with the BLM movement have gone around the world. Again, questions are being asked of the publishing industry about how diverse they really are? Author Celeste Ng is sponsoring publishing internships to help address the lack of diversity in publishing and is calling on other authors to speak up.
Meanwhile, Frances Caballo has written a great blog post on using a variety of races in your social media posts. Have you taken a look at your default colour perspective? Can you lead by example?

Here in New Zealand, the news today was the announcing of the shortlist for the New Zealand Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards. It was a great moment when I counted up that our biggest Maori Language publisher had scooped the most finalists. As a former judge, I know how hard it is to get our indigenous language books published at all. I am happy to see so many great stories getting their moment in the sun. It is also neat to see the new breadth of Indie publishing houses popping up. Now we just need to promote them!

Kristine Rusch looks at the background of book promotion and muses about the death of the traditional book promotion. What do we do now? 
Dean Wesley Smith, (Kris Rusch’s other half) goes further and takes a critical look at whether Traditional Publishing has moved on at all.

In global publishing news, The New Publishing Standard is taking a critical look at the Frankfurt Bookfair. The big publishers are running away- Can the book fair really carry on?
Publishing Perspectives have got the numbers for what happened in publishing in Europe over the last four months or so. Who knew that reading habits formed during lockdown are still continuing as everybody struggles out the other side? Non-Fiction is a winner in the reading stakes.

Joanna Penn has added another article on the basics of an author presence. This is turning into a nice little series of solid practical advice.
If you are struggling with distractions that get in the way of writing take a look at the fabulous tactics from the Prolifico writing coaches. 

Ruth Harris has a must read post on patience and persistence being the key to the writing life. This post is resonating with a lot of writers. Take a look and inhale the goodness.

In The Craft Section,

100 questions to evaluate your manuscript- September Fawkes- Bookmark!

Ask yourself WHY- Terry Odell- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Grow a more fertile author platform- Eldred Bird- Bookmark

Using keywords in your kindle description – Dave Chesson – Bookmark

Who knew there was a national mud day? Unique content ideas for June – Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

To Finish,

I was thinking a few days ago about how often authors have to perform for marketing purposes. Children’s authors are particularly saddled with this. They are invited to Book Fairs only to entertain children, not really to talk about their work or process. It is hard to switch on the performer when for most of the year you are in your own head. Scott Myers has a great post on Pitching- which is about finding your in-public persona that can take over and pitch the story. Find the courage to step out of the comfort zone and act the performer to promote your ideas. Be Like Bowie! 

A note about the picture above. 
This was taken at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis over the death of Eric Garner in 2014. Eric’s last words as he was held down by police in an arm lock around the throat- ‘I can’t breathe’. Sadly, six years and many more deaths later the story repeats again. Same actions. Same words. This time George Floyd died in Minneapolis. There are worldwide protests this time. It is past time for a change in the treatment and value of the lives of all people of colour.


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Friday, May 29, 2020

What Lies On The Other Side?

I’m sorry this blog is late… One of those times when the computer wouldn’t play nicely. Hopefully, it’s all fixed now.

This week I have been listening to commentators talking about how the world of work might change post Covid 19
A lot of people have discovered working from home has some benefits. Many report being more productive. With no commute time to the office, the day has a smoother start and finish. Of course, there have been people feeling the opposite. This morning I heard that central city businesses were desperate to have the office workers back as their cafes and shops had hardly any customers. How will publishing change in the post Covid 19 world?  

The New Publishing Standard reported a Canadian publishers lament that they were facing a deluge of returned books. This highlighted how broken the returns system in publishing is. Would it really be bad if there was no returns system? I can think of a benefit straight away. Less wastage in the system. The ability for Indie Bookstores to source books instead of waiting and waiting until big chains return the books so they can get access to them. We’ve got the ability to Print on Demand with many printers doing short runs. You can even use a Book Expresso machine in a book store to print single copies. I first linked to this technology back in 2012. If you aren’t sure what a Book Espresso machine is check out this video.

Publishing Perspectives have taken a good hard look at Publishing in the U.S. going forward. Will publishers need those fancy New York offices now that everybody can work from home? Will the rents fall for bookstores now that so many businesses have gone to the wall? How has having a supply chain of printers in Asia impacted the book industry? What will be the next best thing to publish? It all gets a look in this big article.

White Fox Publishing gathered five experts together to talk about how they see the publishing world post Covid. This is a great post and has some important things to think about. They cover publishers, agents, editors, bloggers, and marketing for their thoughts.

Meanwhile, the Romance Writers of America have done away with their flagship romance awards. They are introducing another set of awards. ( hopefully without the baggage from the causes of RWA meltdown) Time will tell if they can reinvent themselves successfully.

Nate Hoffelder has a nifty little project for anyone who is interested. He is designing an author website in a box. It’s free if you want to take a look.

It is the last day for grabbing the Story writing bundle of craft books. Check out what’s on offer but move fast we are in the last day to get this great collection.

In The Craft Section,

What do readers want from a POV- Jami Gold Bookmark

2 great posts from Anne R Allen’s blog- Improve the action in your story and 15 keys to writing dialogue- Bookmark.

In the Marketing Section,

5 easy ways to increase your book sales – Dave Chesson- 
Bookmark and check out Dave’s Amazon book description 
generator- Bookmark it too

Setting up amazon author pages- Tony Riches- Bookmark

To Finish,

Recently Joanna Penn and Orna Ross of the Alliance of Independent Authors got together to talk productivity tools.
They referenced a wide range of tools that they are using or have used- Check out the list and while you are at it listen to the podcast. 


If you want the best of my bookmarked links in a monthly newsletter go on and subscribe. You will get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. 
If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate virtual coffee love. Thanks.

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