Thursday, March 22, 2018

Keeping Up With Book Trends

I have a confession... I’m getting addicted to podcasts.
I started out with just one... then I added another and now I have eight podcasts I try to listen to regularly. I thought I could give them up. When I accidently put my phone in the washing machine and had to replace it I told myself not to load any podcasts on my phone. I lasted one week. 
This all leads me to the Spa Girls. They have been sharing some great podcasts from The Smarter Artist Summit. Trudi Jaye interviewed some great thought leaders in publishing. Tune in while driving, or doing the dishes, making a meal, having time out...

DiAnn Mills recently published a guest post on Suzanne Lakin’s blog about writer courage. Did you even know that you have to be courageous to write? 15 ways to strengthan your courage to write.

Rejection- Every writer will deal with it at some time. What makes rejection worse is that writing is such a personal act it feels like we have been rejected as a person. It is hard to distance yourself from the writing. Mona Lisa Foster has a great series on rejection. Rejection is an opinion not a death sentence.

In publishing news this week... Smashwords announced that they have partnered with Findaway voices audio platform.  Findaway is getting bigger. Audible may start losing customers especially as Findaway doesn’t lock audio book contracts  for seven years....
The other book aggregator, Draft2Digital, has been adding some new features as well. Author Pages and Book Tabs are their latest tweaks to a website that is getting lots of praise in the Indie publishing marketplace.
Bookbub is also making changes. You can now recommend books to your followers or groups... sharing the book love of your author friends.

Sam Missingham is a London based book marketer who has quite a following in the UK book scene, She recently started a marketing service for authors and one of the first things she did was to ask Traditionally Published authors if they paid for book marketing. A surprising number did. Is this the way of the future? Sam writes about the responses from the traditionally published authors- why they are picking up the ball from the publishers.

This week I was asked if I had heard anything regarding Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I went for a hunt and found the regular roundup of Agents discussing what they predict will be big trends. Bologna is a rights fair. Will we see another breakout hit? Nothing has come along lately... Agents are wondering whether Young Adult is on the wain...

In The Craft Section,

Word count guidelines by genre- Anne R Allen -  Bookmark

Show don’t tell- podcast – Joanna Penn, (always good!)

Creating a fantasy race- fantasy fiction

The magic fix it scene- Manuscript Shredder- Bookmark

Have you chosen the right main character- Kristen Kieffer- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

A primer on book reviews- Joel Friedlander- Bookmark

4 ways to make time to blog- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

How to lower FB ads costs- Amanda Bond - Bookmark

To Finish,

Book Covers. The most important marketing tool you have. But book covers are subjective, they go in and out of fashion. It is always wise to keep an eye on what is trending in your genre. Calvin Emerson of 99 Book Designs, a book cover designer, talks about what is trending in book covers this year.


My monthly newsletter is coming soon, I’ve been busy reading... If you want a round up  of the best of the months bookmarked craft and marketing links then subscribe. You will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.
If you enjoy this blog share it to your writing friends, or you can shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top. Thanks


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Writing Under The Spotlight

The UK Society of Authors have been asking questions, pointed questions, about where the profits are going in the big publishing houses and why the royalty rate is so low. Porter examines the arguments and chats to those in the middle about what they can do about it.

I have been thinking about serialised novels lately. Dickens made a killing with them and they have gained popularity amongst time poor people. The serial podcast along with the episodic audio book are transforming people’s commutes. The Guardian opinion piece looks at the rise and rise of this form of writing.

Jane Friedman is publishing a new book On The Business of Being A Writer. She gathered some writers together and sent them to the Association of Writers and Writing programmes – the biggest literary conference of the year. They reported back on a variety of interesting keynotes on tips and advice for the writing business.

The Alliance of Independent Authors have been shining a spotlight on various members and this week it was Elizabeth S Craig’s turn. I often refer to her great blog. If you have ever wondered who she is and why she is so successful check out this interview.

Successful publishing depends on writing the best book you can and getting the word out about it. Digital Pub has 7 strategies and 94 tools that writers can use to get the word out and Michelle from Random Writing Rants has the ten key ingredients for writing an effective blurb. These are both BOOKMARK posts.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi is a great illustrator. She is also a stellar human being who creates and shares many resources with the writing and illustrating community. She has been working on PB templates which are available Free from her website.

Do you consciously write to a reading level? Randy Ingermanson (the Snowflake Guy) recently blogged about the ideal reading level of novels. Did you know that bestsellers are written with a 10 year olds reading level? Randy shares other interesting facts about novel readability.

What actually matters to your reading audience? Are you missing the point completely when you write those indulgent scenes? Cathy Yardly of Writer Unboxed examines what are the most important things that readers look for in a novel.

In The Craft Section,

Foreshadowing sentence examples- Now Novel – Bookmark

Garlic breath for writers AKA bad first pages- James Scott Bell- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

5 website mistakes- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

How to create pre launch buzz- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

To Finish,

How do you know what kind of writer you are? Gretchen Rubin developed a test that divided people into four tendencies. Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels. Where your greatest tendency is, there you will find your biggest challenge as a writer.

The world lost a towering figure today. Stephen Hawking opened up new ways of seeing the cosmos and the future of technology and space. He defied the odds and a crippling disease and showed that nothing should get in the way of ideas. His mind and sense of humour were sharp right up to the last day. This quote was on the front of Cambridge’s Daily Paper. ‘ However difficult life may seem there is always something you can do and succeed at. Where there’s life, there’s hope.’ 

Stephen Hawking 1942-2018 RIP


My monthly newsletter is 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. If you enjoy this blog share it to your writing friends or you can shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top. Thanks


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Independent Unique Individuals

How often this week have you wondered about the motivations of people?

Shannon Hale is a top notch children’s author. She recently wrote a post on her experiences with school visits where she was introduced as a girls writer. She has some interesting strategies to challenge this opening but she raises an interesting question- Are we unconsciously limiting boys reading due to gender bias?

This week The NY Times launched a new best seller list.Audio. This will be interesting as Audible (owned by Amazon) has 90% of the market and they never share data...

Draft2Digital, ebook aggregator, has introduced a new nifty feature, book formatting for print books. You can use this feature for free.

Nick Stephenson has an interesting blog for Indie publishers. This week he profiled an author who amassed 3000 rabid fans before the book was out by creating the world the book is set in. It is a fascinating story... if you are into world building check it out.

When was the last time you walked into a bookstore? Was it an Indie bookstore? Did you feel the difference? Julie Rosenberg on Writer Unboxed has a post on how important Indie bookstores are becoming.

Penny Sansevieri has written a great post on Amazon ads. If you have wondered about how they work this is the post to read and Bookmark.

Roz Morris has a great post on the five stages of book production and why Indie publishers should follow them in strict order. Not only will it save you heartache it will also save you money!

Anne R Allen has a great post on choosing character names. For me the story doesn’t start until I have the character name sorted. It is so important. If you have ever struggled with getting the right name check this out.

In The Craft Section,

Creating editorial maps- Marcy Kennedy

Writing a perfect first chapter- Writer Unboxed Bookmark

Is your novel premise and no plot?- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

What is a Mary Sue? This is a must read post! TCK publishing- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

9 types of pitches for promoting- Joan Stewart - Bookmark

5 unique strategies to market on Goodreads- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

To Finish,

What’s the opposite of a dystopian world... If you said utopian you would be nearly right. There is a new Sci Fi kid on the block... Solar Punk and its mission is to promote an alternative future within reach... oooh Shiny!

Hands up if you’ve stretched today while sitting at your computer.  Here are 5 tips to get that author body moving so you can invent more independent and unique characters.


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 enjoyed this blog you can shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top or share the blog with your writing friends. Thanks

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Losing The Plot

Last week when it was February and I was still thinking it was early February... (which caused me to miss an important birthday and completely screw up my calendar,) I mentioned a scandal that was just beginning to be noticed about Scammers stealing writer credentials and money laundering through Amazon. So now that this is becoming more widely known is anyone going to do anything about it....

Romance authors are spitting tacks about the pathetic royalties being offered by Amazon Audible Romance Subscription- think Kindle Unlimited but for Audio. They promised only good times ahead for authors who wanted to offer Audio books. The first Royalty payment is in... and it is shocking! Not only that but it is split with the Narrator and tied up for seven years. There is gold in them thar audiobooks...

I love my Book Cover Designer... They are truly important in the visibility of your book, regardless of which way you publish. So Terry Goodkind (famous SFF writer) really caused shock when he came out to diss his latest novel cover. Things got out of hand... Unless you are Indie publishing then you have little to no say over what the publisher chooses for the cover. If you have a problem take it up with the publisher.... Lets play Good and Kind out there people!

It has been two years since Harper Lee’s death and the feelings of disquiet felt amongst the author community at how her estate was being handled. So this week when a court ordered that the will be made public there was considerable interest. As one commenter noted... the person who drew up the will benefits from the will... is that legal? Warnings to all writers out there... Know what you want to do with your literary estate!

From time to time I post articles about what is happening in the educational publishing landscape. They are the last bastions of the $150 cheap print textbook. McGraw Hill has plans... big plans... and it just might be that the last barricade will be over run by cheering students.

Teachers in Canada are not cheering... They are taking the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency to court in a bitter battle about what isfair use... demanding repayment of tariffs. This is a case to keep an eye on.

The lovely Ursula K Le Guin died last month and many people have been digging into her work and mourning the loss. Karen Fowler wrote about the ten writing lessons she learned from Ursula...

In The Writing Craft Section,

2 great posts from Bridget. Villain motivations- make it real- and Foreshadowing examples- Now Novel- Bookmark Both!

2 Bookmark worthy posts from Anne R Allen 9 secrets to supercharge your fiction- and Plot holes and pot holes- Bookmark BOTH!

Showing vs Telling from the fabulous Jami Gold- Bookmark

In The Book Marketing Section,

Are you ready for video? Help for the author.

Formatting using MS Word Styles- Joel Friedlander- Bookmark

To Finish,

Who writes to music? Film scores are the go to for lots of writers but have you ever consciously listened to pop songs about writing... hmmm
Lit Hub dug up a list of 11 and I was surprised... among the list was Devo’s Whip It...
March Madness starts now!


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links from the last month. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. Come and join our happy band.

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