Thursday, October 11, 2018

Cracking Nuts...




In publishing news or rumours this week... Barnes and Noble might have a possible sale. The potential buyer has raised some eyebrows tho.

Last week I linked to Publish Drive's article on Asian markets and how we should keep an eye on them. This week Penguin Random announced that they were opening a branch in South East Asia. Watch the new Asian scramble for voices and deals begin...

While Penguin Random are setting up shop... with deep pockets, Publishing Perspectives had an opinion piece from a new publisher about how not to start a publishing company. This is a timely read if you are thinking about doing the same.

Fearless champion of the Indie and scourge of scammers David Gaughran has a post this week warning of new ploys from the scammers who were thrown out of KU. This is a must read if you are advertising or selling on Amazon. 

Anne R Allen also has a warning post on how to distinguish the good guys from the bad in publishing. The game is always the same... fleece the vulnerable... the ploys are always changing. Read it and share with others.

Aeon has a long form essay on Translators. Are they the servant of the text or are they originators? This is interesting as AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Do we want a straight translation or do we want a sense of the original lyrical expression?

Jane Friedman links to two great essay on avoiding exoticism when you write immigrant characters. There is much food for thought in this post. The quote from Rudine Sims Bishop certainly brought me up short. “When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.
 As a children’s writer and teacher this is engraved on my bones... I wonder sometimes how some adult writers get away with casual stereotyping in characters. 

In The Craft Section,

The brilliance of backstory slip ins- Margie Lawson -Bookmark



Story Twist and Shout -  Janice Hardy - Bookmark


Making your book memorable- Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

The anatomy of a book cover – Writers Digest- Bookmark




20 podcasts for Authors- Diana Urban - Bookmark

A really good book with an ill advised cover.- Publishers Weekly (FYI- what would you do?)

Why your best marketer is you- Alli blog – Bookmark

To Finish,

It is World Mental Health day as I write this. Two great posts caught my eye this week. Kris Rusch on When to stop writing and Chuck Wendig on When writers block is actually depression. This is a very real problem among the writing community. It is alright to take breaks from writing. Both Kris and Chuck have really good advice for anyone who has writers block.
Maureen
@craicer

 In my monthly newsletter, coming soon, 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. The kofi button is up top if you want to say thanks for the blog. I appreciate the virtual coffee love!



Thursday, October 4, 2018

Are you ready for the bookfuture?


As I write this the Digital Book World conference is just wrapping up. DBW is a conference firmly focussed on innovation and change in the publishing world. Many old hands in the digital publishing space attend along with a hot new startups. Big news is always unveiled at DBW so ... 
Kobo announced a new 8 inch E-Reader tablet- Forma. Amazon demonstrated their new Amazon Dot tech, which can sync with any device and continue reading your book where ever you are.
New kids on the block Novel Effect have an app that provides background music and sound effects using voice recognition to storytimes. Reading with your kids has just dramatically changed. 
Blockchain is continuing to advance into publishing with a new tech startup Bookchain from Canada - a digital publishing platform using Blockchain technology. 
There is lots to think about in the future of publishing.

Along with things future a huge reader survey was published. It makes interesting reading about who is reading and what they are reading and what on... I was surprised to see that a lot of readers between 30 and 50 were reading on their phones.

Wattpad is about to Beta test paying authors. This is big news if you publish on Wattpad. You will get paid real dollars too instead of cryptocurrency. Readers can buy wattpad tokens which they can use to unlock next chapters or whole books... sounds like an interesting income stream for popular authors on the platform.

Publish Drive has looked at comparison pricing of books in Asia. This is useful data as not much is known about buying habits there. With India having the second largest English speaking population...we should all be keeping an eye on global markets.

The global big prize in literature – The Nobel was not awarded this year due to a sex scandal. Quartz magazine writes about the cost of this to the publishing community.

This week Joanna Penn Interviewed Dave Chesson. Two fab podcasters in the one session. Dave took a deep dive into keywords which is his special interest. This is a must read/listen podcast if you use Amazon Ads.

In The Craft Section,

Tips for writing rough drafts- Now Novel- Bookmark




Genre mashups- Write Practice


Nailing your one sentence story concept - Suzanne Lakin- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Hot tips for conferences- Rachelle Gardner

Captivate an event audience- Build Book Buzz - Bookmark



Improve your Facebook reach- Frances Caballo- Bookmark


What separates authors who make an income full time from writing- Not what you think. – Amy Collins- Bookmark

To Finish,

Spare a thought for the second hand bookseller.  Authors love/hate relationship - a source of cheap books for struggling writers and of 'no income' to authors of these books. 
Bookriot has a guest post from a second hand bookseller about the books that they are drowning in. I am often surprised by books that end up in second hand bookstores. (Maybe because I hardly ever only read a book once.) 
 Just a thought... If you read a book through Bookchain you can onsell it and the author will get a little slice of the pie too. Just a little glimpse into a happier book future for writers.

Maureen
@craicer

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 would like to shout me a coffee hit the button up top. Thanks everyone!



Thursday, September 27, 2018

Are you ready to leave a legacy?



How important is your copyright to you? Is it more important to your heirs? 
This week, Australian professor Rebecca Giblin wrote an interesting article on copyright. It needs to change. The accepted practice of rights reverting back 70 years after an author dies is outdated. Singer Bryan Adams testified to this last week in Canada. He wants a small but significant word change in contracts.

Kris Rusch talks Intellectual Property and the problems faced by heirs if there is no will. This is a timely reminder that we are all mortal and the creations we make have a life after we die. Are your heirs trained and ready?

Anne R Allen takes a look at publishing fiction sucessfully now. She has 9 great tips to follow. Every one of these tips is gold and comes from experience. 
Anne also links to The New Publishing Standard (1 year old this week and read in 180 countries,) which has a focus on the global publishing industry worth $143 billion of which the US market is only $29 billion. If you are managing your own author business you have to think global.

Chuck Wendig has an interesting idea about writing careers. They are basically weird RPG’s. Writers are always looking to level up and what about the monsters they battle on the way? 

Join Wattpad and you might just have the worlds biggest Literary Agent batting for you. Forbes highlights the power of Wattpad and its business model for writers. They are now brokering film and TV deals for their writers, cutting out agents.

Janice Hardy has a great post on character careers. The type of career your main character has directly informs the plot. She offers 5 things to think about when choosing fictional careers.

Have you ever read an historical novel and wondered if the author got something wildly wrong in the research? Accuracy vs Authenticity 5 tips for writing immersive historical fiction.

In The Craft Section,


12 common archetypes- Reedsy- Bookmark


Write more in 15 minutes- Elizabeth Spann Craig


Writing a story better than its flaws- K M Weiland - Bookmark

Even villains need affection- Writescape- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,


Getting the most out of events- Damon Suade - Bookmark

Book Description Generator- Kindlepreneur= Bookmark






To Finish,

Freewrite recently came up with their top 50 writing blogs. I endorse many on this list and some of the names will be very familiar to you. If you are looking for new blogs to follow take a look.

Maureen
@craicer

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 want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. Thanks. I appreciate the virtual coffee love!


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Surviving Career Custard Pies





In the publishing blogosphere this week....
K-boards is a well known chat forum for authors who publish on Amazon. This week the news that K -boards was sold from the deceased estate of its founder to a tech company caused hardly a ripple in the smooth working of the forum until participants noticed changes in the terms of service that were unusual and upsetting. It could get very messy. The Passive Guy brought his lawyer eye to figure out what was what.

Apple has quietly changed its bookstore. No more iBooks... Apple books are here to stay. Apple have some nifty new revamps to the bookstore.

The rising cost of Amazon ads has caught authors on the hop. The suggested price to start bidding has risen by 25%. The Alliance of Independent Authors great blog highlights and examines this situation. This has been a big topic of conversation around the indie publishing blogosphere.

It’s Book Launch week for me. Do you know any quirky confident beginning readers? I have a great book series launching now based in a traveling circus... add in some codes... and you get custard pies thrown... Um No. Ricardo Fayet of Reedsy has a list of unconventional book launch ideas...

Agent Janet Reid has an interesting answer to a reader question on what happens when you have fired your agent but they still have an interest in the books that they submitted on your behalf. How long do they have their claws in me?

Kris Rusch comments of the hits an authors career takes when a publisher makes a stupid decision... The latest stupid decision - Tor stopping libraries from accessing their new releases. 

Chuck Wendig has an interesting post on his blog today about writing careers being a series of cliff mitigation exercises. This is a super read. It is thought provoking especially when joined with Kris Rusch’s blog. 

I flicked this link on Book Covers to my fabulous Cover Designer Adele Jackson. This is a fascinating roundup of the cover designers on Instagram. If Typography and pretty colours are your thing - take a look!

3 writing techniques adapted from the visual arts- This is a great post by Tess Callahan on Writers Digest. 

In The Craft Section,

Mythcreants have two great posts that you should Bookmark- 5 Reasons not to write a persecution flip story and How do I avoid endorsing my protagonists actions

How to write exceptional endings- September Fawkes- Bookmark



What’s at stake- Michael Hauge- Bookmark

Sweeter than tea- Writing tips

In The Marketing Section,

Biggest Bookbub ad mistakes- Bookbub- Bookmark!!


The Ins and Outs of Contests- Writers on the move





David Gaughran has a fascinating guest post from Nicholas Erik. This is a MUST READ if you are advertising on FB or Amazon.

To Finish,

Anne R Allen has put together a handy list of books to help writers when they feel discouraged, blocked or feeling like they are not a real writer. This is EVERYONE. We all feel like this at times. Her list has been extensively added to in the comments so make sure you read them.

Maureen
@craicer

It’s nearly time for 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 want to say thanks for all the blog posts you can hit the coffee button and help fuel my week. It’s Circus Quest book launch time! I’m up to my eyes in custard pies…If you know a quirky confident beginning reader then check out my Circus Quest series. 

Pic; Atlas Obscura- The Perils 1947 Custard Pies

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Are the barricades being breached yet?



In Publishing News this week...
The UK publishing scene is feeling a little nervous. The Waterstones chain of Bookshops has bought the Foyles chain of independent bookshops from the Foyle family. It could be a good thing... or ... time will tell. (Already commentators are saying the goodwill of all parties may last only as long as the Waterstones CEO stays in his job.)

The EU parliament has voted to progress a controversial Internet copyright law. Free Speech may now not be so free. Publishers are cautiously optimistic. Internet watchdogs are not.

This of course has no bearing on Brexit at the moment. However Tara Sparling has raised some interesting questions about what happens to authors and publishers who publish into the UK after Brexit? Royalties... Contracts... Agents... Markets... At the moment she notes there is a big silence from the publishing community and there shouldn’t be. How will Brexit affect anyone publishing into the UK?

In wider news Audible has tweaked their offerings and are now giving two audio books away each month as well as selections from Bestsellers... Do they finally see some competition on the horizon?

I keep one eye on the academic publishing sector which has been very resistant to change in the digital publishing space. The Guardian’s top journalist George Monbiot shines the spotlight on the rip off that is the academic journal. I have heard rumblings about this for a few years now but things are about to change. (I hear the cheering from the students and the screams from the publishers...)

Kris Rusch has another interesting post on negotiations. She examines the perils of the Hollywood verbal contract. As she explains Johnny Depp’s lawsuits are going to be setting precidents in contract law that are long overdue. Hollywood is not above the law despite what they might tell you. This is a must read about contract negotiation.

Joanna Penn has reached her 7th anniversay milestone of freedom from the day job and she takes stock of all that she has learned. It’s a nice roundup and offer pointers for other creative authorpreneurs.

Jane Friedman has updated her evergreen post on 10 ways to build traffic to your website... How many are you doing?

In The Craft Section,

Start me up- Janice Hardy






4 tips for stronger writing- Kathy Stinemann- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,


12 effortless marketing tips- Bookbuzzr- Bookmark

Big Book Marketing blunders- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Marketing uncovered- David Gaughran- Bookmark




Print On Demand books- a nice little comparison from Reedsy- Bookmark

To Finish,

Have you ever fallen out of love with your book?
Sarah Letourneau has written a great post When the fire goes out, what to do when this happens. Sometimes that book you were dying to write just remains dead no matter what you try to do to resusitate it. Sarah has some helpful strategies. Chuck Wendig has also been musing on this topic and as usual he has talked about trusting the process in his own special style.

Maureen
@craicer

It’s nearly time for 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 want to say thanks for all the blog posts you can hit the coffee button and help fuel my week. 


It’s nearly Circus Quest book launch time and there is soo much to do. If you know a quirky confident beginning reader then check out my Circus Quest series. Custard Pies at your own risk….
 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Opportunity Knocks


In Publishing News...
Anybody want to buy a bookstore? How about a chain of bookstores? The continuing saga of the struggling Barnes and Noble bookselling chain has many in the publishing industry worried. 

How open are you to opportunities? Will you say yes to everything? Or do you lock yourself away in your writing garret? Wendy Jones talks about the power of saying yes to everything and what that has done for her writing career.

Nick Stephenson has an article on whether authors should still blog. Blogging goes in and out of favour all the time. If you are a fiction writer it can be problematical thinking up what to blog about. Nick has some great ideas on this.  Check out the top 50 writing craft blogs .

Tara Sparling asks an interesting question this week.Is your book good looking enough for  the internet? Is viewing books in thumbnail sizes changing the way cover designers approach the book cover?

Jane Friedman has an interesting guest post from Betsy Fasbinder about public speaking for authors. For many writers this is a side of the business that is the least liked. Betsy has some great tips.
Staying with the business side of writing, Joe Solari has an interesting article on managing cash flow in your writer business.
How to legally use quotations in your book. This question comes up again and again. Helen Sedwick gives you the legal lowdown.

I came across this article- Microtargeting with Facebook ads- and had to think carefully about the Brave New World we are living in. On one hand, as authors, wouldn’t it be great to have our dream reader profiled and targeted so that they always saw our books. On the other hand...  

In The Craft Section,


Protagonist vs Nemesis Key to conflict- Go into the story-Bookmark

Should you outline backwards- K M Weiland- Bookmark



2 fantastic posts from Jami Gold Showing vs telling in context and

In The Marketing Section,

(In NZ you can get free ISBN’s from National Library)

Self publishing 101- Nick Stephenson

Amazon Author Central – book discovery- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark



Updating your author bio- Alli blog- Bookmark


3 Book Promotion myths- Build Book Buzz

The easy opt in gift- Writetodone- Bookmark

To Finish,

Being a writer is so much more than just being the typer of words. It is to be a marketer, a cheer leader, a critic, a business owner, an editor, a muse wrangler...
Greer Macallister has put togther 25 truths about writing over on Writer Unboxed. You will smile and agree with most of them.

Maureen
@craicer

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. Thanks everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Taking Care Of Business


This week in publishing...

The publishing world is watching carefully to see how the Walmart Kobo ebook store will change things. Kobo, a Canadian company, is making a strategic move against Amazon in the US by partnering with the largest bricks and mortar chain. Forbes business magazine asked the CEO of Scribd what he thought of the move. His answer surprised them.

It has happened... CreateSpace is now officially closing. Moving all your titles over is now mandatory unless you publish in Chinese. For some reason Kindle Print does not support this which is a blow for translators.

Beijing Book Fair is on the hunt for children’s books. Publishing Perspectives takes a look at the biggest Asian bookfair and why they want educational materials. 

The Guardian recently shone a spotlight on the evolution of writers festivals and the way authors are treated at them. Take your average insecure introvert writer and stand them up in front of a festival crowd and say Entertain Us... Hmmm. Are they asking too much from writers? How about appearing nude? Yes, this is happening...

TechCrunch reports that Amazon is ramping up a book subscription model for children’s books, Prime members only. Can this work? Other subscription models have fallen by the wayside. Will children’s books be any different?

I saw a reference late last week to a courtcase in Australia between an agent and a writer with the nub of the dispute- What is in a verbal contract? Kris Rusch takes a look and has some recommendations to authors. This is a must read! .

Anne R Allen has an interesting article about Ian Fleming. The Bond author was completely involved in the production of his books. This is a fascinating insight into what made these novels successful. 

I’m in the middle of writing a series... well two actually. I was interested to see Chuck Wendig recently posted an article on his blog about how hard it is to write a series. I found my self nodding along and stifling laughter. (Warning it is Chuck.)

In The Craft Section,

How to use the thesaurus properly- Useful guide fro authors-September Fawkes


Reedsy have two great posts 20 + writing strategies and a video on First Person Point of View- Bookmark




In The Marketing Section,


How to market poetry- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark




How to win at the game of Book marketing – Charli Mills- Bookmark

To Finish,

Roz Morris stepped back and looked at her desk and then her office and mused about the importance of having the right things around you to write. This is a kind of a love letter to the writers desk. Stop and take a moment to look at your writers desk. Is it inspirational?

Maureen
@craicer

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. Thanks everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Seattle Municipal Archives- Mayor John Dore 1936
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