Thursday, February 27, 2020

Tricky Questions. Big Consequences.

This week everyone in publishing has been talking about whether the Book Fairs are on or off or postponed or delayed or canceled altogether.
With restrictions on movement and fears about Covid19 and a potential pandemic, the Book Fair season is looking shaky.
London is going ahead but organisers are noting there will be restrictions in place and a smaller fair. There are still going to be plenty of good discussion along with lots of hand sanitiser. LBF are warning about shaking hands. 
With the postponement of major book fairs, there is a knock-on effect happening. May looks like it will be very busy with make-up book fairs. Already publishers are delaying publication because they can’t get books printed in China in time as restrictions on movement slows down the industry.

Ingram Spark are tightening up the rules on what gets printed through them. In their sights are Indie Publishers with badly copied PDF’s, journals with blank pages and anything they think looks dodgy like workbooks. This could catch writers on the hop especially those who publish reading copies and workbooks to go with their books

Jami Gold has a quick rundown on the RWA where we are now report which was just released. Can something rise from the ashes? The bulk of Jami’s post is on how to cope with disappointment. Do you use it to spur yourself on or wallow with chocolate cake?

Kris Rusch has a great post on challenging your comfort zone. Have you been writing the same old thing, book after book? When did you last live on the edge creatively?

Ruth Harris has an excellent post on the five mental traps that the writer can get caught up in. Yes, your writing brain is out to sabotage you. How can you recognize the signs? 

Fae Rowen sat down and wrote a list of things she wanted to achieve in her writing in the next decade. They all have to do with craft. This is a great list to mull over and steal from.

In The Craft Section,

How To Rewrite Your Whole Darn Book- P J Parrish – Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Unique marketing ideas for March – Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Professional Writing Resources- K M Weiland – Bookmark

To Finish,

During the Christmas/Summer break I went to the movies. I was keen to see Knives Out for various reasons. The cast, and the premise. An old fashioned whodunnit mystery. It seemed so fresh again to be in an audience that were treated as intelligent. After I got used to Daniel Craig’s accent, I enjoyed being surprised by the twists and turns. Excellent storytelling. Is this genre making a come back? How are your sleuthing skills?

Pic: Angela Lansbury- Murder She Wrote- TV Series 1984-96


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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Bad Actors

Today I was perusing Twitter for interesting writing links and I noticed that there was an online chat with Victoria Strauss from Writer Beware. What a super site. Victoria mentioned that it was started in 1998 with the late Ann Crispin. If you put #bookmarketingchat in the Twitter search box you can get a great rundown on the shonky clauses and bad hat operators out there in publishing land from today’s chat.

Chuck Wendig published a thoughtful piece on a trend he is seeing that he is NOT OK with. The soliciting of blurbs from authors for unpublished novels or novels on submission or before they have been edited. Blurbs for editors to take to acquisitions meetings??? So they’ll only publish if you’ve got fancy writer friends? (Not to mention shady opportunities.)

Agent Janet Reid has also highlighted a problem with agent persona theft that is happening.
If an agent is contacting you first… check up! Are they bona fide?

While we’re on bad ideas… Hugh Howey recently published a blog article where he describes the inertia of bad ideas in the writer’s room. He is taking part in a writer’s room for screenwriters at the moment and watching what happens when a writer gets an idea that proves to be bad and how everybody can get carried away trying to make it fit.

Kris Rusch has an interesting article this week on learning from watching horrible performances. What worked? What didn’t? Where was the point that the audience was lost? Now, how could you apply lessons learned in your manuscript?

Apparently, Google Play have made it easier to publish on their platform. After making it really hard last year that many aggregators gave up on them. I went hunting for an explanation and found this article by Publish Drive on how to get yourself into Google Play.

Meanwhile over in Sweden, The New Publishing Standard has a remarkable post today on the tipping point of digital versus print in their publishing landscape. The subscription model in the Nordic countries might be breathing life into the backlist but what about the printers…This makes the recent meeting of printers and publishers in the US have a lot more meaning for the future of print publishing.

Scribendi has put together their list of the 30 best writer’s websites in 2020. Take a look. There are some tried and true sites that have featured here over the years and some new ones you might like to explore.

Written Word Media has published a list of the top ten trends that 2020 will bring to publishing so be prepared. 

Have you heard of a Mary Sue? Do you know what it means? Are they the kiss of death in your novel? Litreactor takes a look at this writer/superhero stand in.

James Scott Bell is one of the better writing craft gurus around. This week he looks at the themes of The Kings Speech and what writers can learn from the way the beats were used to mine emotion in the film.

In The Craft Section,

Mapping story settings – Sara Letourneau

The a-z of novel writing- Writers Digest- (very creative)

In The Marketing Section,

Author websites- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

The perils of also boughts – Penny Sansevieri

A marketing roadmap – Insecure writers Support group – Bookmark

To Finish,

Write On Con is on this weekend! If you are interested in writing for children you need to check out this online conference. It is affordable… $10 and the range of presenters is top notch. The all you can eat feast of craft, workshops, pitching opportunities, marketing, illustrators, writers, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all schedule is here. (US eastern time)


If you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter, why don't you SUBSCRIBE and you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. The first newsletter of the year is going out soon.
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.

Pic: Salvador Dali- Not a Bad Actor but I couldn't resist that moustache! (photographer Phillippe Halsman 1942)

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