Thursday, May 25, 2017
What more can Amazon come up with to change the publishing landscape?
(I hear you whimpering.) The Kindle, Subscription reading, CreateSpace, Audible, GoodReads... Taaa Daa.... Amazon Charts.
No more wondering what book is the biggest seller... No more wondering if anybody has even read the bestseller or if the publisher bought the slot. Now every Wednesday you can find out... and that’s not all everyone in publishing is talking about. Porter Anderson takes a look at the first list.
Reedsy has published a white paper where they examine the take up of editorial freelancers to Traditional Publishers. With everyone outsourcing for editing, design, formatting, proofing etc, in publishing, is everyone on a level playing field?
Scribd has finally ‘fessed up to how big their subscriber base is... and they have added newspaper subscriptions... so is this where we are headed? Instead of subscribing individually to news outlets we subscribe to a service and have a buffet from everyone?
Digital Book World takes a close look at why audiobook growth is soaring.
Along with The Creative Penn podcast I like to drop in to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing podcast. This week, the team were the interviewees. This was a great listen on what they are all individually doing to market their work. (After all they’ve learned from their guests....)
Kris Rusch continues her branding series of posts with a meaty article on the first things to define when you are sorting out your brand. This is a writer must read. Even if you think you know what you are doing, take the time to read this.
Jane Friedman has an interesting post on how mainstream media outlets sometimes highlight the wrong thing in a publishing story... She uses the latest publishing news about Amazon changing the buy buttons on their site as an example. Are 3rd party operators really that bad if they bid for and get control of the buy button on your book?
If you are wondering about how you can get the word out about your book... Check out The Book Blogger List... It is an amazing resource of who’s who in the Book Blog review world.
How to form an Indie Collective (There she goes again... Seriously, why wouldn’t you?) Take a look at all the different ways you can use each others expertise.
Choosing the right protagonist- K M Weiland- Bookmark
How to write better endings- Writers On The Move
Writing subtext- Forever Writers- Bookmark
Creating believable characters- Grace Rankin
Romantic Subplots- Writers Write
How to write an author bio- Anne R Allen- Bookmark
Amazon ads for indies-Frances Caballo
Using Statistics to find your ideal reader- Bookworks
Children’s Book covers-Penny Sansevieri
Creating a successful email campaign- Bibliocrunch
Optimizing your back cover- Bookworks- Bookmark
Content marketing for authors- WritetoDone
Go local in your publicity first- The Book Designer
Using Goodreads effectively- Barb Drozdowich- Bookmark
Jami Gold has rounded up some interesting resources for the cash strapped author. Oooh Shiny Shiny... and I’m not just talking about the way to put glitter animation on your book cover...
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Brand seems to be the flavour of the month.
Everywhere I look I see a reference to author brand.... Some writers think that branding is a dirty word. (A marketing term that they shouldn’t sully themselves with.) But there are some astute writers who are taking a second look at author branding.
Kris Rusch is dedicating a series of articles to it and the importance in a writers life of getting the branding right.
Anne R Allen has a great guest article from Carmen Amato on 3 mini strategies to jumpstart your career. Branding is at the top of the list. This is a must read. Do you know your one true reader?
How do you know when you are getting the wrong advice? Jami Gold has a great post on how to recognise advice you should ignore.
Susan Spann takes this a step further in her guest post looking at publishing contracts. Do you know when to walk away from a publishing deal?
Recently Becca Puglisi (one half of The Emotion Thesaurus Team) wrote a guest blog on a writers business plan. I found it really interesting as I am trying to organise my thoughts around what I want for my own writing. Take a look at this excellent article.
Chuck Wendig has the perfect brand of wise advice wrapped up in irreverent and word vomit humor. Once you get used to his style of wordplay you can focus on the message and see the gems at the core of the molten lava facade. Here are his thoughts on the business of writing.
This week The Guardian decided to look at the rise of Indie writers and how they are starting to be noticed by the movie studios. The Indie brand – cool... fresh... exciting... new...
Of course that is how all of us see ourselves. Or Not. William Kenower talks about a writers worst fear.
Penny Sansevieri has a great post on Amazon keywords. How do you find the right keywords for your metadata... and should you use keyword strings?
This week I read an interesting article about reading being something that now happens on phones. Surely not I thought. I didn’t make the connection to myself until I realised that I had just read a podcast transcript on my phone. Prerna Gupta, one of the founders of Hooked, talks about how she got ten million teens to read on their phones. This is a fascinating look into a reading future near you.
In The Craft Section,
A cheats guide to writing a synopsis- Sarah Juckes- Bookmark
How to use cause and effect in stories- Martha Alderson- Bookmark
Fiction Critique checklist- C S Lakin- Bookmark
Pulling weeds from the writing garden- Laural Zimmerman
When to listen to your critique group-Roz Morris- Bookmark
In The Marketing Section,
2 interesting posts from the Bookbug blog- Reasons books are rejected from Bookbub and Ideas for more Bookbub followers.
How to get endorsements for your book- Shelly Hitz
Marketing with your next book- Janice Hardy
A recipe for a non traditional marketing plan- Writer Unboxed
Creating a box set bundle- Joanna Penn
Getting book reviews- Reedsy - Bookmark
How to build your author brand from scratch- The Book Designer- Bookmark
Once in a while you come across someone who has such a passion for life that you stand back in awe of their energy and drive. They live a life of not compromising on what they love. Every meeting is a joy of laughter, robust opinions and new ideas. When you think their name, scenes from past meetings fill your mind and you find yourself grinning.
One of the champions of the New Zealand Children’s Writing Community left us last night. We are all feeling a little lost today. Barbara lived a life filled with story. She wrote, she reviewed, she assessed, she collected children’s books. Her knowledge of books and writers careers was second to none. A librarian, a mentor, a lover of children’s books, to the very last month of a life, well lived.
R.I.P. Barbara Murison.
Pic: From Barbara's blog. A treasure trove of book reviews and events.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Just before I wrote this I was watching a YouTube clip about a teen who was on Britain’s Got Talent with an amazing voice. Simon Cowell hit the golden button and she was showered with golden tickets... It was her dream come true.
Here in writing land we all secretly wish for The Phonecall or The Surprise Party from the Movie Studio... or even that someone else makes dinner so you can stay in your imaginary world.
Living in your writing dream world can be a great escape from the real world at the moment. But it is always wise to keep one eye on what is happening in publishing outside your study door.
So did you hear about Amazon changing the Buy Button links on their book pages? Any 3rd party vendor can bid for that link. The publisher doesn’t necessarily get the sale. The Independent Book Publishers Association is not happy. Does this open the door to pirates?
The Outline talked with a few publishing exec’s about what effects cutting some of the best seller lists from The New York Times would have on publishing overall. It was a bit grim for debut authors. Consolidated and Conservative is not what you want to hear.
Kobo has a nifty new feature starting up called Kobo Plus. And it looks just like... Kindle Unlimited except without the exclusivity.... Is it a dream come true for authors?
Molly Greene had a reader contact her about her books. After a conversation Molly asked the reader to write a blog post for her about what readers want. This is a fascinating glimpse into the power reader mindset.
David Gaughran is a sharp cookie and he has a standout post on data. How does the ‘also boughts’ on your book page affect your sales. Who is Amazon pointing to your book? Sometimes it’s not your dream audience.
Anne R Allen has a great post on career mistakes. She’s made them so you don’t have to. It’s always wise to find out what not to do before you jump in to what looks like the dream pool.
Jane Friedman has a great post on how a book can become a bestseller and a post on Author Collectives... I keep saying this is the way to go... Get your writing friends together, you might be the next Bloomsbury!
Kristen Lamb touches on a topic that has been worrying some authors. There are many predators out there wanting to sell you a course promising great things for your writing career. How do you tell the good ones from the bad ones? Before you flick out your wallet check out what she has to say.
Alli – The Alliance of Independent Authors, has another excellent Indie Fringe online conference event coming up. Check out Orna’s talk with Porter Anderson on why Book Expo America has changed its name and dumped its successful Indie hub.
You have found the most amazing song that fits your book so well... BUT what is the thinking around using song lyrics. Check out this post before you unleash a nightmare with your book.
Angela Ackerman, besides researching her great Emotion Thesaurus line of books, often finds other cool reference sites for authors. Here she lists her favourites and they are awesome.
In The Craft Section,
5 steps to building a plot outline- Casey Griffin-Bookmark
10 writing prompts to help unstick your first draft- 10 minute novelist
Who owns the scene- Storydoctor- Bookmark
One dimensional characters- K M Weiland
Writing Blurbs- Rayne Hall-Bookmark
In The Marketing Section,
5 tips for using swag- Jesikah Sundin- Bookmark
KDP rules roundup- Bookmark
How to determine your price point- Nathan Bransford
Two Great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Common pitfalls for Indies and
Hot New Amazon keywords – Bookmark Both!
Darcy Pattison an Indie Children’s Book author recently had a guest post on The Highlights Foundation Blog. In her article she listed the 50 things Indie Publishers had to do for each book. You will need a lie down... but like all dreams they can come true with hard work, perseverance, knowledge, whiskey...
In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. To say Thank You for subscribing you get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. Make sure you subscribe to check out the book.Thanks everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
There are two words that describe the weather at the moment in my home town. Balmy and Barmy. You never know what you are going to get when you step outside the door.
The news around the publishing world is similar.
Are the screenwriters going on strike? (You would think the studios learned from the last time.)
Are there less eBooks being published? (Is everybody copying fake news?)
What’s happening with the bestseller lists? Penny Sansevieri has some hard truths about them.
Who had the bright idea of adding eBooks into the PLR in Britain... (I can hear the cheers from down here –yippee.)
Who knew that everyone would be listening to podcasts on their phones... which has fueled the podcast market and now audio books are going gangbusters. Joanna talks to J Daniel Sawyer about all the changes in audio. (balmy)
Written Word surveyed 1000 Kindle readers and found out some startling facts that authors need to be aware of. This is a must read!
Some things stay the same. You need author friends. Joanna Penn talks about how to find these valuable guides on the writing path. (balmy)
You need to keep learning the craft. Michael Hauge has a fantastic post on how to change your critique group so everyone is learning and growing in the craft.
The Rocking Self Publishing podcast had an exceptional episode with Kevin Tumlinson who talked about the ways to use a UBL – Unique Book Link available from Draft2Digital- free
Robin Bennis has a great post on productivity and exploding dogs.- (barmy)
Darcy Pattison has a must read post on Amazon ads... (go on... dip your toe in...)
Ruth Harris has a stand out post on rejection and failure and how to put them into perspective. (We must be barmy to do this writing thing...)
In The Craft Section,
How to format a book. Bookmark
When good characters go bad- Writer Unboxed
Why novellas are making a comeback- Ali Luke- Bookmark
Two great posts from K M Weiland Don’t write expository dialogue and
Overly complex plots -Bookmark Both!
5 unrealistic character traits- Mythcreants
Making your characters jump off the page- Angela Ackerman and James Scott Bell. (I have this book and it is awesome!)
How not to start a novel!- Anne R Allen- Bookmark
7 tips to deal with back story-Pat Verducci
In The Marketing Section,
Get better at pitching- Write Life
Writing a series as a marketing strategy- Peter Mulraney
4 steps to generate sales with keywords- Beth Bacon- Bookmark!
Creating author business plans- Marcy Kennedy
3 ways you are wasting social media time- Jonathan Chan
8 ways to grow your Facebook author page- Frances Caballo
Promoting series books- Daniel Arenson- Bookmark
Sometimes you just can’t find the right title no matter how hard you try. Tara Sparling has the answer. She has a collection of nifty title generators for the struggling author. You would have to be barmy not to check it out....
It’s nearly time to write my monthly newsletter. I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. If you want to want to check it out and join our merry band of virtual coffee drinkers, make sure you subscribe. Coffee is the fuel for the blog so I’m thanking all the people who hit the coffee button this week.
Pic : Flickr Creative Commons/ Chenelle J- When the weather can’t make up its mind...