Thursday, August 22, 2019

Storytellers – The Future You


At one point this week I thought that my weekly blog would just be full of Book Marketing advice. I kept seeing great articles that I thought you might be interested in. And then I wondered if I was seeing them because it is nearly the end of Summer (on the calendar, not in temperature) in the Northern Hemisphere. The Autumn push of new titles ready for the new school year and the Christmas market is about to begin. The (Northern Hemisphere focussed) twice-yearly push of new titles in Spring and Autumn dominates the International publishing calendar.
So check out 
31 ways to promote your Facebook page
5 ways to maximise audience engagement
And a great post on Book Promotion from The Book Designer blog.

Then all the craft articles started appearing in my Inbox. A great infographic on story ideas from Chloe Twist. Roz Morris had a great article on back story description and point of view hacks and Elizabeth Craig had a great tip on saving your outlines.

This week’s news in publishing- Google Play is now renting books from Open Road Media… like a library. I’m not sure where this is going and nobody else seems to know either.

David Gaughran has an informative post on the changes coming to Facebook Ads.

Lit Hub finally caught up with moves that Artificial Intelligence is making into the publishing world and wondered about Author Avatars. Your author avatar can now read your book in your voice to the reader.
If you want to know where all this technology is heading check out the AI and the author interview with Orna Ross and Joanna Penn from The Alliance of Independent Authors podcast. I have been fascinated with where this might lead in the next five years. 
(If you are shaking your head in disbelief just think about the take up of voice-related search with Alexia, Siri, and Google Assistant predicted to top 50% next year.)
Parents are limiting screen time but have no problem getting Alexia to read stories to their kids.

What can an author do but get ready to face the future with some ideas of what may be important for their careers? That is where you should be keeping an eye on what Kris Rusch is talking about with Licensing. Her latest post looks at all the different types of licenses authors can take advantage of. 

Jami Gold has an interesting guest post from Augustina Van Hoven on dealing with Author overwhelm… It’s all in how you plan. (Try not to be overwhelmed with all the planning tips…)

Anne R Allen has a great post on kicking the whole lot to the curb and focussing on what your reader wants. Do they really need an intimate view of your life or just the news that a new book is coming…

In The Craft Section,

2 great posts from Now Novel 5 uses for minor roles and How to start a chapter- Bookmark

Story fundamentals- Bookbaby

Evoke reader emotions- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Dialogue tips to captivate readers- Roz Morris Bookmark

How to avoid melodrama- Mythcreants-Bookmark

Understanding conflict- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

2 great posts on book marketing planning- Book marketing timelines  and planning book marketing for holidays - Bookmark

Book promotion as a public service- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

Email marketing secret weapon- David Gaughran- Bookmark

Using Lyrics in your book- Everybody always asks about this.

What is Book metadata-(If you don’t know, you MUST read this.)

Tales from the book promotion road trip… (what not to do)

To Finish,

Scott Myers has a useful poster on character types to help you with spicing up your stories, or just printing out and decorating your office and Squibler has the 17 best websites to check out for advice on writing and lifting your writing game. 
In the end, all we can do, as writers, is tell our stories as best we can in the right format for the most impact and entertainment. We are the storytellers.

Maureen
@craicer

My monthly newsletter is due out this weekend. I round up the best of the best links.When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. I’m living on coffee at the moment as I juggle a few projects. If you want to shout me a coffee as thanks for the blog feel free to hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate all the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Mr Bean as Avatar

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Feed your Mind


This week in the publishing blogosphere The New Publishing Standard was looking at the Beijing Book Fair which kicks off next week. It is looking bigger than any other book fair at the moment. This is a really interesting read. Book sales are on the up in China, with the English language now being taught in state schools. The next decade promises interesting book publishing times outside of America. 
Edit: Late addition, the impact the America China trade war on publishing from Publishing Perspectives

Leapfrog nations are also embracing reading- on mobile phones. Cape Verde shows what the future hold for Book Publishers. The world is moving a lot faster than your print technology.

Somebody poked Google and it woke up. With everyone wondering if any of the other big tech companies would take on Amazon Publishing… Google decided to join the party and fix its royalty rates for Google Play. (However, if they really wanted to play big… as Jim Kukral from The Sell More Books Podcast says... Google needs to offer 100% royalties for a while – That will be the game changer!)

Google might be too late to take on Amazon. The Atlantic published an essay this week on how Amazon wants to conquer the world of publishing. It’s all about subscriptions… and how much they can tie you into their marketplace.

Meanwhile, Wattpad and Penguin Random House have been talking. Wattpad Books has inked a publishing deal with PRH. Their books are due to hit next month. Out of the gate first, are Young Adult titles.

Cory Doctorow has an interesting article on whether James Daunt can turn around Barnes and Noble. First, treat your stores like Indies… (How about giving the workers a living wage?)

Kris Rusch continues her look at licensing and this week’s post is another great one on mindset. Do we as writers expect success or rejection? Our mindset will control whether we take advantage of new learning or we don’t. This is a must-read post.

The fabulous Anne R Allen has a guest post from Sue McGinty about Book Marketing at home. How are you making sure that the people in your home town know about your books? As always, read the comments for some more great ideas for bookselling at home.


In The Craft Section,

The three-act sequence- Shaunta Grimes- Bookmark

What is external conflict?- Kristen Kieffer

4 ways to write a better novel- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Masterful Character description – C S Lakin

How to cure mid-novel sag- James Scott Bell

Conflict- taking advice from the wrong person- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Editing tips- The Write Life- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Two great posts from The Creative Penn Blog- How to sell more at author events and 5 ways to stand out as an author on social media – Bookmark Both!

Two great posts from Bookbub Insights- Book launch checklist and Promote your book before it’s published- Bookmark Both!

17 Book marketing tips- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

A simple trick to find your target audience- Writers Digest


To Finish,

When you are bootstrapping your author business – you always have an eye out for tips and tricks that might save you time and money. Written Word Media, besides operating some nifty book promo lists, have also got a list of free tools that you might want to check out. I use some of these… especially Canva. 
If you write for children you should dip into the SCBWI Conference blog. The big LA gathering finished this week and they live blog their conference. Run your eye down the list of keynotes and panels on the right-hand side to feast your brain on.

Maureen
@craicer


My monthly newsletter is coming soon, where I round up the best of the best links.
When you subscribe you will also 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 the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Foodista- Berries

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Finding Your Tribe


This week the publishing world paid tribute to one of the outstanding writers of the last century, Toni Morrison. Toni’s work inspired many writers and readers. Her spirit lives on in her words and the way she became a touchstone inspiring a new generation of writers to tell their stories. R.I.P. TONI MORRISON. 

The Jabberwork, Sarah McIntyre, is often asked by aspiring illustrators about how to find a style and how to begin to be an illustrator. This week she decided to write a full blog post answering these questions. If you know an aspiring illustrator pass this very good instructional post along.

This week Passive Guy (who is a lawyer and a writer) took a look at morality clauses. 
Morality clauses never used to be in contracts. Recently writers have been caught out with publishers enforcing morality clauses and killing careers. Passive Guy notes that wording is very loose… even if there is no evidence but hearsay it can be enough to kill your contract.

This week Anne R Allen wrote a much-shared and talked about post on the decline of mainstream fiction. Since the 1980s mainstream fiction has started to disappear. Where has it gone? Into genres. Book Club Fiction anyone?

Kris Rusch continues her deep dive into all things licensing this week. This is a fascinating series of posts. This week Kris talks about Taylor Swifts licensing woes and what she may or may not be able to do about them.

Joanna Penn has been on a journey exploring content marketing. If you know Joanna’s site all the work she does is content marketing. She has a fascinating interview on content marketing with Pamela Wilson. Joanna is exploring content marketing for fiction… a whole ‘nother ball game.
One of the other strings to Joanna’s content marketing bow is audiobook narration. Joanna has a great article on making an audio booth at home. 

This week Elizabeth Spann Craig wrote an interesting post on the practice of writing. How often do you practice writing? Do you find it hard to get back in the groove after a break? Elizabeth talks about ways to manage your practice. 

In The Craft Section,
Depicting characters held back by fear- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

4 ways to write gripping internal narrative- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Can common writing advice be wrong- Jami Gold Bookmark

Improve your writing with plot threads -Bookmark

7 rules for picking character names- Elizabeth Sims

In The Marketing Section,
Before you market, set objectives- Boni Wagner-Stafford- Bookmark

Seven mistakes to avoid when recording audiobooks- Alli Blog

Navigating book promo with effective strategies and

125 Book promo ideas- Penny Sansevieri- BOOKMARK!!

Top book advertising tips from RWA2019- Bookbub - Bookmark

To Finish,
Last night I attended the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It was a fabulous night. I got to catch up with lots of writer friends and have interesting discussions with publishing industry people as well as celebrate the fabulous books. On my way home, late, I was reflecting on the children’s book community and how supportive they are to each other. Many times the winners of the awards said how much they had enjoyed their fellow finalist's books and couldn’t believe their book had been picked over others. It is a great thing when you find your tribe and feel that you truly belong.

Maureen
@craicer

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?
When you subscribe you will also 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 the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Pic: Toni Morrison - Getty Images BBC Obituary

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Book Battles


In publishing news this week …
Oh, the excitement… Dean Koontz has taken a deal with Amazon Publishing. Industry pundits are interested in Mr Koontz comments about the new and exciting times ahead for him. They are also interested to see whether the bookseller chains who would not stock any books from Amazon are now going to change their tune.

Also in bookseller news is the Green Manifesto created by the UK Booksellers Association which seems to be getting traction in other countries. The booksellers are to commit to recycled paper and less wasteful packaging and returns. The big word in that sentence is RETURNS. Booksellers have always sent back stock to the publishers. Is this the end of the Return system?

While Booksellers are wrestling with these questions, Macmillan has fired a shot at libraries with a change in their ebook lending terms. They join other big publishers who are upping the ebook price, delaying the availability and limiting how many borrows before the library has to buy another copy. I can’t help thinking that we are supposed to nurture our readers in this multimedia entertainment marketplace. I‘m not sure if the publishers have thought this through.

Kris Rusch continues her look into licensing options for authors. This week she realises that art that is commissioned for books can also be licensed. This opens up another potential marketing stream. Interior art branded products… cover pictures… posters.

Ruth Harris has a great blog post on the art and craft of the elevator pitch. That moment when you have to say what your book is about. Give them the old razzle-dazzle… Ruth points out how to construct a good pitch. This is a must-read.

How is your self-care as a writer? Could it be better? Are you looking after yourself? Elizabeth Spann Craig has a good post on keeping on top of your writer health.

Jami Gold has the quintessential master publishing plan. This was published on Janice Hardy’s blog two years ago and is still relevant so take a look.
While you are thinking about master publishing plans take a look at this excellent post on the Alli blog on Book Metadata. All the things you should know about your book. Grab this useful template to help you understand it. Great Resource!

David Gaughran has a great post on understanding how to craft a Bookbub ad. David has written a book on the subject but here he shares some great tips. (His book is great too.)


In The Craft Section,

Story Tropes- make them resonate – Jami Gold- Bookmark

So-called screenwriting rules – Scott Myers – Bookmark

7 tips to write funnier fiction- The Creative Penn blog

Writing captivating characters- Shaunta Grimes- Bookmark

Three lesser-known archetypes- Angela Ackerman


In The Marketing Section,

How authors use Instagram- Bookbub- Bookmark

Convert readers to subscribers- Bookworks- Bookmark

Book launch- party if you want to- 

3 ways to use language to sell more books-Rob Eagar- Bookmark

How to reach influencers- Jane Friedman


To Finish,

The Guardian books page recently had an article on the top ten fictional libraries… and I was shocked that Unseen University library did not make the list. Hmmm. The librarian must be jumping up and down with rage. The omission is as bad as calling him a monkey. Check out which libraries did make the list…

If you want to travel the literary tube in London check out this version of the famous London Underground Map

And finally, feast your eyes on the top 5000 bestselling book covers…. You can filter the search by genre, gender, mood…. Go down that rabbit hole… into L space.

Maureen
@craicer


Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?When you subscribe you will also 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 the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Ook by Paul Kidby – Discworld Librarian.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Conquering The Mountain


A couple of news items caught my eye this week in publishing. 
First, a shot across the Audible bows from the big four publishers over Audibles new speech to text captions on its audiobooks. Audible is claiming it's an AI message service. The publishers are saying it is equivalent to ebook publishing. So how does Amazon, who owns Audible see this? They tried something similar in 2009 and backed down from the publisher's wrath back then... but ten years on and who is the biggest player in town?

Last weekend I hosted a day-long mini-conference on publishing and one of the sessions I programmed was collaboration. This is becoming more of a thing in the Indie world and anything that encourages groups of people to work together must be a good thing... Publish Drive has just launched a new service that helps collaborators. Abacus. It splits the money at source and so one person doesn’t get lumbered with all the tricky maths on royalty payments to a group. 

Mike Shatzkin took a look at the last ten years of the book publishing industry and notes the major turning points on the way. Ipads... Borders... and the growth of Amazon from 5th in book sales to over 50% of the book sales.

While the publishing eyes focussed on the West it is wise to keep an eye out on the East. This is where The New Publishing Standard is so valuable. Who knew there was such a book hungry market out there... not the regular publishers. The latest figures out say that Nigeria has eclipsed Japan to be the 6th largest online nation. Paper books have always been the standard in Nigeria, I wonder what will happen when they find out they can read on their phones. TNPS is launching a new newsletter just looking at the rise of African readers. While they are doing that they are also examining the subscription model. They only see good things ahead for subscription. It’s all about discovery.

Jane Friedman has a guest post from David Woghan on why self-publishers should consider their own imprint. I like to use the term Indie publishers. If you are contracting editors, cover designers, proofreaders, etc then you are acting like a traditional publisher. You are managing the production process. Traditional Publishers outsource much of their editing and design work so you can find the exact same people that traditional publishers use.  Maybe you should be thinking about imprints a lot earlier on. David talks a lot about Bowker rules. 
(If you are in NZ you can get free ISBN’s and you should.)

Anne R Allen has a great post this week on the 8 reasons why your manuscripts are getting rejected. It is not personal. You may be guilty of presenting a manuscript with a few of these errors. 


In The Craft Section,

Why editing matters- WriterUnboxed

Letting your antagonist drive the plot- Writers Digest- Bookmark

Layering characters for believable fiction- Victoria Mixon- Bookmark

On Core Story- Donna Macmeans- Bookmark

3 reasons to use timestamps in your novel

5 popular tropes writers struggle with – Mythcreants- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

3 secrets to effective landing pages- Nate Hoffelder- Bookmark

2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri 10 Bookcover rules- and Securing Amazon Reviews- Bookmark

Custom books cards- Bookbrush- Bookmark

Booklaunch for maximum sales- Bookbub- Bookmark


To Finish

Elizabeth Spann Craig always brings a note of sanity to the publishing process. It must be because she is a cozy mystery writer. This week she has a great post on author overwhelm. What can you do when your To-Do List looks and feels like a mountain. How do you tackle the writing life then? Break it down. A mountain is only climbed one step at a time. 

Maureen
@craicer


Hmm, I thought I would get the newsletter out this week… This weekend for sure! So if you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter Go on and Subscribe. You will also 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. 

Or you can head over to Smashwords and pick up my books which are on sale at the moment. Just go to my books website. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Paxson Woelber

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Saving Money



This week seems to be all about saving money. It started with the fantastic article by Anne R Allen on Self Publishing money wasters. This is a great article and a real heads up on what not to spend your money on. As always with articles like this read the comments because there are a few more tips in the conversations.

Saving money seems to be the theme with the publishers. This week The Guardian reported that Pearson is switching to a Netflix style rental option for its academic textbooks. Is this a good idea? I saw one horror story, this week where a parent copped a $3000 fine for a student's overdue textbook.

Every week I try to drop in on the Twitter chat that Rachel Thompson hosts around Book Marketing. Often her fellow co-host is an Author Virtual Assistant- The Rural VA.  This is not an AI but a real human person whom authors can employ to do tedious work for you. Here is a guest article about working with an author assistant.

Last month I mentioned that libraries were being stung by the new policies around library copies of ebooks that the publishers were imposing. Libraries pay for very expensive digital copies that have kill codes embedded in them, which activate after so many borrows. Some publishers are now changing the terms and it’s biting libraries and their wallets. Publishers Weekly explores that brick wall that libraries are up against. This week a librarian about to retire decided to vent her feeling about the disenfranchisement that these lending policies are causing communities.

The DIYMFA ( Do it Yourself Master of Fine Arts) site has loads of great articles. Have a trawl around the site. There is an article for every writer there. One recent article from Helen Darling was on Indie publishing budgets. How to think about them and prepare yourself for business. 

This week Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware rounded up the seven publishers that she has the most complaints about. It’s a sad list as their ads are everywhere and they make themselves look so legit. Please take the time to look at the list so you can advise newbies to stay away from their fishing hooks. 

Kris Rusch is on week four of her licensing journey. This week she talks about inventory. Do you have a comprehensive master sheet of your inventory anywhere? Most of us don’t. A few files in various hard drives or filing cabinets. This is an important and overlooked document. There is money in knowing what you own, what rights you haven’t signed away.


In the Craft Section,

In search of a moral compass- Writer Unboxed- READ THIS! Bookmark

Character descriptions, avoid boring stuff- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

4 tips to get unstuck with hard emotion- Lisa Hall Wilson

Story Climax- The Write Practice

Exploring nonlinear narrative- Art of Narrative


In The Marketing Section,

4 dirty secrets about author social media marketing- Frances Caballo

Ten business models for Indie Authors – Orna Ross

Mailchimp or Mailerlite -which one for budget-conscious authors- Rachel McCollin

10 reasons you aren’t getting book reviews and how to fix this- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to write good jacket copy – Nathan Bransford- Bookmark

12 SEO tips to drive traffic and sell books – The Book Designer- Bookmark


To Finish

Saving money is what the lean Indie Publisher is all about, so with that in mind, Nate Hoffelder has a list of ten free online graphic and image manipulation tools. This is a BOOKMARK resource. Take a look at all that is possible for ... ZERO dollars. 

Maureen
@craicer


My newsletter is due out soon so if you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter Why not subscribe and you will also 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 the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Got Credit

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Decluttering Ownership


This week Microsoft readers woke up to discover that Microsoft was shutting its e-library down. Unfortunately, that meant that all their books disappeared. After nearly twenty years of ebooks, there are still people out there who think that once they have bought an ebook it is theirs. No, it isn’t. You have bought a license to read the book on a proprietary software. That is what DRM (Digital Rights Management) means. If you have a DRM free copy you can put it on other devices and so keep the copy. 
This is why Kris Rusch is so interested in potentials available for authors in the licensing business. Do you really know what you have created and what it is worth?

While Microsoft was decluttering their library... Anne R Allen was looking at decluttering novels. This is a great post on how to streamline your work.

Streamlining. Become an author. What every teen overachiever has on their bucket list of things to do before they turn 20.  Jane Friedman has an interesting post on the rise of Teen Authors hiring ghostwriters. 

Reedsy has a post on free book cover makers which is chock full of tools. BUT YOU MUST OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE IMAGES YOU USE. I put that important sentence in caps because Book Riot reported this week on the plagiarism of the image that was used to make the iconic book cover for Elizabeth Acevedo’s multi-award-winning book, The Poet X. So is this a case of Steal Like An Artist?

Reedsy also has a great post on Bookbub ads for anyone who wants to get a grip on these. 

Passive Guy reports on a court case where Amazon was found to be liable for third party sales. This might not seem big just yet but... if your book is pirated then sold on Amazon... then Amazon could be liable. ( cue pirate cleanup)

Every year around this time Joanna Penn writes her version of Author Earnings when she does a deep dive into her business and looks at how it is doing. She even makes pretty graphs and does data analysis. Have a look at this years report. This is what we can all aspire to. 

In The Craft Section,

The importance of character names- Scott Myers

Trim the fat from your fiction- Utopian Editing

8 quick tips on Show not Tell- K M Weiland

Writing your novels blurb- Staci Troilo- Bookmark

How to see the holes in your stories ending-Roz Morris - Bookmark

Planning your opening passages- Mythcreants- Bookmark

How to slash your word count by 20%- Jodi Renner

In The Marketing Section,

How to test Bookbub ads- Bookbub- Bookmark

20 Quick book marketing ideas- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

10 things to update every time you release a book- Deborah Jay

Reader Targeting influences everything- David Gaughran- Bookmark

Production calendars- DIYMFA

How to use book content to reach more readers

25 newsletter incentives for fiction authors- Mixtusmedia- Bookmark

To Finish,

It’s been a book cover week. I’ve relaxed looking at Bookcoverzone. ( No I haven’t bought any more covers for nonexistent books this year...Yet.) Design Wizard sent me a link to their selection of the most creative book covers. Go and be inspired.

Maureen
@craicer

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?
When you subscribe you will also 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 the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Phil Hearing


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Rich Writers (and their bot slaves)


In the publishing blogosphere, it has been a week of big ideas. 
I have been mulling over the article from Kris Rusch, in last weeks blog, about the licensing expo and the implications for writers. If you haven’t read it... Please do. It gives a whole ‘nother perspective on the writing business. Then read Part Two which came out today. Imagine a merchandising line based around your characters. What would it take to set up... 
This is writing as a business with its big boots on. 

Meanwhile over in the UK Joanna Penn is rattling my brain with her mega podcast episode on 9 ways AI will disrupt publishing- (it’s happening now.)
I am always interested in the future. I’m absolutely jealous of the kids just born as they will be setting foot on other planets. I have been interested in AI for a while but strangely have never thought of the implications for publishing. My teen heard part of this podcast and she was disturbed. (Her word.) The potentials for good and bad are very stark. Joanna transcribes her podcasts but if you can, listen, because she adds in extras, not in the transcription. Prepare to have your mind blown. (and not in a bad way...)

Findaway Voices – rival audio distributor to Audible has announced a new royalty rate from Google Play. And it’s bigger than before. Is this the first salvo in dragging content off other sites?

We love libraries... wonderful portals to exciting worlds... Jane Friedman has an interesting article on how libraries increase book discoverability but you need to know how to get their attention.

Rachel Thompson has a great article on author networking. Here are five ways to conquer your self-doubt and reach out to others who are just like you.

Have you ever thought about writing to market? Do you think it is a bit mercenary? Do you only write what the muse tells you to write? Jeff Elkins has an interesting post on reframing this writing to market as writing what readers want to read. Of course, then you have the problem how do you find that out? Luckily Jeff shares some ideas.

Every few months there is an article about the death of the novel. The sky is falling- book sales go down, claim the newspapers. The Guardian recently tried to spin this but at the same time they had to say that there were no big blockbusters published this year so maybe that was why the publishers reported a fall. 


In The Craft Section,

The psychology of a layered story- Tamar Sloan- Bookmark

Two fabulous must-read posts from Jami Gold - Does every scene need a goal and Character goals 
Can there be too many?

Gaslighting and writing villains- Carla Hoch- Bookmark

Writing Rogue characters- Ruth Harris - Bookmark


In the Marketing Section,

9 Query mistakes for instant rejection- Writers Relief

Tips for Author interviews – Ingram Spark

Is your website protected- and Are You?- Judith Briles – Bookmark

Top 10 FAQs about book publicity – Joan Stewart- Bookmark

2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri- How to realign your book marketing strategies and Goodreads giveaways, a solid marketing strategy


To Finish,

Recently I saw a discussion on the reactions that people mostly have when they find out you are a writer. It was funny and tragic at the same time. 
Have I read anything you’ve written? 
You must be rich like J K Rowling
Do you write stuff like 50 shades ... (cue inappropriate joke) 
I want to write a book. I’ll give you the idea and we’ll split the profits...
And don’t get me started on the stupid things people say when they find out you write for children. 
Ashleigh Young wrote an article addressing this common writer pitfall. What to say when someone asks how you make your living as a writer. 

What do you say? How will you be making your living in the future?

Maureen
@craicer


Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?
When you subscribe you will also 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 the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Barbie Fantasies

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Where’s The Money?



In the publishing blogosphere this week...

The New Publishing Standard (TNPS) keeps an eye on the global news of publishing. Sometimes we forget that there is a whole world out there in publishing not just the UK or the US. This week they highlighted that many EU countries are dropping the high VAT taxes on ebooks. Good news for authors and readers. However, there is always a holdout. (Quick, guess who?) 
TNPS also reports that Big Bad Wolf has set up their tenth market in South Korea with 2 million English language books in an 11-day sale. (If you haven’t caught up with BBW they sell remaindered books from publishers, often reported as pulped.) 

A bookstore owner in New York wrote a plaintive open letter to the New York City Hall asking for assistance to stay in business. It is in the cities best interests to have bookstores because of the value to the community... therefore the city should subsidise them? Agree? Disagree? 

Meanwhile, over in the UK, the Guardian reports that print sales are down...but Audio Books are a runaway success. Of course, publishers are ready and able to take advantage of the new surge in the popularity of audio. (cue contract rights grabs...)

Anne R Allen has been blogging for ten years. Yes, it was a surprise to me too. Her fabulous blog is always a must read. She shares her ten takeaways over ten years
Colleen Story has an interesting blog. Recently she took a look at imposter syndrome. Do you feel you are a real writer?
I’m a regular listener of podcasts, Rose Ernst has rounded up the 29 best Indie publishing episodes of all time. All my favourite podcasts are in there and a few new ones I must check out. *Waves to the SPA girls- NZ’s popular publishing podcast who made the list!*

Kris Rusch continues her series of blog posts examining all the opportunities for authors at the recent licensing expo. This blog post is a must-read for authors. Please read it and think about the implications. I remember many years ago hearing a romance writer explain to me that she was in the entertainment industry. This blog post absolutely explains how writers have never understood what assets they actually have.

Kathleen McCleary often bases her characters on real people. Many writers shy away from doing this. Kathleen shares how you can do this successfully with her blog post-  Be Careful or You’ll End Up In My Novel.


In The Craft Section,

The most common mistakes- Nathan Bransford

Six mistakes that can kill a plot-Mythcreants- Bookmark

What does plot reveal character mean? Jami Gold Bookmark

Briefing your beta readers

Writing characters with personality- Writer Unboxed

Subplots – Scott Myers - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

5 ways to increase sales with Instagram

How to conquer Linkedin- Frances Caballo

Author websites with stellar designs- Bookbub- Bookmark for ideas!

How I helped this author grow her platform from scratch- Dan Blank

Bookmarketing- nonstore events- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark



To Finish,

The Creative Penn is always a resource of interesting ideas. Lately, Joanna has been turning her blog over to some great guest posters. This weeks guest post is all about creative writing tools... and no it is not the fancy pen.
Another must-look-at tool is the Beginners guide to Indie jargon for Book Marketing. This is not just a glossary but is a fabulous link list to the best articles explaining what each jargon term means. If you have always wondered what a CTA is... 

Maureen
@craicer


My monthly newsletter got delayed. I promise it is coming! If you want to get the best of my bookmarked links you can subscribe here. You will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you.
If you’re feeling generous and you like the blog, shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top.
Thanks.


Pic : Flickr Creative Commons-reynermedia

Thursday, June 20, 2019

New Lamps for Old


This week as the news of Barnes and Nobles purchase dribbled out, there was a taking stock over whether their saving was a good thing. On the whole, it was seen as positive but pundits are still taking a wait and see approach. The news that Waterstones staff felt their wages were too low even in the face of their CEO saying they got a ‘stimulating job’ to make up for it went over as well as you could expect.

News of another screw-over arrived from the Digital Reader. Libraries are smarting. Publishers have been changing the terms of access to ebooks by libraries. In the past six months, three publishers have changed access from perpetual access (at way over hardback prices) to access for two years (at way over hardback prices.) One way to kill ebook lending.

Remember when Audible annoyed the romance writers over the horrible terms of their subscription offering and writers left the service in droves. After all, getting pennies when it had cost you thousands to record an audiobook wasn’t very fair. We’ll do better said Audible. They relaunched their audio subscription with a new name... but it could be the same old... 

The New Publishing Standard is expanding its offering. They are backed by Streetlib who operate out of Italy. Streetlib are keen to open up the rest of the world to digital publishing.  They have committed to Africa where they see the next big market for books. (Just remember all the Commonwealth countries in there...) So a dedicated newsletter for the African publishing market is about to be launched.

Marketing is always a tricky subject for authors. It is hard to put on your marketing hat when you’ve just spent ages with the creative hat on. Two interesting blog posts caught my eye this week for authors wrestling with email marketing. How to improve your email marketing and 14 content ideas for emails. Go forth and improve.

I try to get up and move around every half hour or so when I’m writing. But when you are in the flow sometimes you can forget to do this. Here is a timely reminder from one writer about what could happen if you don’t pay attention. Read it, it could save your life!

How often do you think outside the book? Are you thinking print, ebook, hardback, audio, gaming, movie, voice search, streaming, podcast... If your eyebrows lifted, check out Kris Rusch’s blog post on the licensing expo she has just attended. Joanna Penn’s guest, Makoto Takudome, shows how easy it is to get Amazon Polly to make your book into a podcast. 
Voice search and audio content are here to stay. How can authors use them to tell stories? There’s a new outfit making bite-sized stories for Alexa to read out. They need writers. 


In The Craft Section,

10 writing blogs to check out

Writing the anti-villain- Reedsy- Bookmark

Conflicts and goals in romance- Jami Gold- Bookmark

Goal orientated storytelling tension- Chris Winkle

5 ways to keep readers glued-  H R D’Costa- Bookmark

Two punctuation blunders – Anne R Allen- Upskill Here!


In The Marketing Section

How to get easy author publicity-Rachel Thompson

Getting paid to talk- Events after publication -Emma Darwin

Ten business models for Indie authors- Orna Ross

5 Book marketing strategies- Barbara Freethy- Bookmark!

7 ways to Make more money from your books- Leslie Millar- Bookmark


To Finish,

Jillyanne Hamilton has put together 20 super writing and publishing resources to help you make your book shine. Some of the resources will be familiar to you as I mention some people frequently but there are some new ones in the mix you might like to check out. 
Collaboration is the way of the future. Think artists collectives, Indie publishing houses, or just getting some like-minded friends together to take on the world. 

Maureen
@craicer


My monthly newsletter will be going out soon. If you want to get the best of my bookmarked links why don’t you subscribe? You will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you.
If you like the blog, you can shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top.
This blog runs on coffee and love so I really appreciate all the virtual coffee love. Thanks.



Thursday, June 13, 2019

Publishing By Numbers


The Big Big News in the publishing world was the sale of Barnes and Noble this week to Elliot Advisors hedge fund.
After five CEO’s in four years the lifeboat may have arrived in the nick of time for the troubled bookseller. Publishers have been holding their breath as the demise of the largest bookshop chain in the United States would decimate their bottom lines. 
Last year Elliot Hedge Fund bought Waterstones, a large UK chain of bookstores. James Daunt, who had his own branded chain of bookstores, continued as CEO. Waterstones went through a massive rebranding to make each of their bookstores act and feel like an Indie bookstore, thanks to James leading from the front, since 2011. 
So now that they are on the up, Elliot Hedge Fund must be betting that James Daunt can pull it off again as he has been named as the new CEO. (No pressure James.) Barnes and Noble came cheap. Only two years of Waterstones profits to buy one of the largest bookstore chains in the world. 
So how did Barnes and Noble get it so wrong? Author Kristen Lamb shines the spotlight on how the publishing companies could have done something and didn’t. After all, this was their biggest showroom and they effectively gave it to Amazon.

Staying with our global focus on bookselling, Sharjah Emirate has been making waves in the International Book World. They have built Publishing City, a purpose-built complex of over 400 offices for the worlds publishing community. ALL TAX-FREE. This week Ingram signed a large contract to bring Print on Demand services into Publishing City. Porter Anderson takes a look at how this might challenge and change publishing globally.

Amazon has been running a large literary prize for a few years now. This year entries are open to any book published in the English language. The prize is a wad of cash and a translation deal because translations may be the next big thing.

Anne R Allen has an interesting blog post on the lure of the writing template. Are all novels beginning to feel like more of the same? Are writers playing it safe with form and format and copying down the same format time after time or is this just the essence of storytelling.

Jami Gold has a great folder of templates to help writers on her website. She recently came up with another good one to add to her resources for Authors. A truthful to the Author priority list. If you flail around looking for all your to-do lists and get overwhelmed at setting goals and priorities for your writing, this is the template for you. A step by step breakdown of how to prioritize.

While you are thinking of goal setting  Katelyn Knox has figured out a way to track your daily writing and focus goals on a google form. This is really interesting. I never thought of using a google form in this way.

Another tool in the Indie Arsenal is this great website. Creative Law centre. This is a lawyer specialising in authors and their contract needs. Check out this great template for audiobook narrators and then fossick around and find other useful stuff.

Writer’s Digest has a roundup of twenty new agents and what they are looking for... If you want to get a feel for what may be coming in the next few years, go into Twitter (Agents love Twitter) and type #MSWL (manuscript wishlist) for a comprehensive list of agent wants.

Reedsy has put together a collection of solutions for Writer’s Block. Just in case you still need help to figure out what to write next, who to send it to, what your contract could mean. after you’ve used the right template, set your goals and tracked them before heading to Sharjah and appearing in a huge book tour through Waterstones and Barnes and Noble.
It’s all in the little details that add up to the big numbers of dollars... (WriterDreams)


In The Craft Section,

Writing scene endings – Now Novel

How to hint at emotional wounds- Angela Ackerman

Writing tone and voice- Dana Sitar-Bookmark

Internal conflict types- Lonerwolf

2 basic rules of editing- Allegra Huston

Overwriting- How to reduce your word count- Tara East- Bookmark

Story goals are they slowing your pace- Jami Gold - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,



11 steps to stellar Instagram- The Digital Reader

The new look KDP reports- Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark

How to build an author platform- David Gaughran- Bookmark

To Finish,

Suzanne Lakin has a handy blog that I have linked to for quite a few years. Today she posted that she was involved in a huge story bundle. Over $5000 worth of courses, books, and templates for only $49. I was intrigued. It looks pretty impressive. It’s only available for a week so check it out. ( Tip: Go to the learn more page and scroll down the list of goodies.)

Maureen
@craicer


It’s nearly time to for my monthly newsletter. If you want to get the best of my bookmarked links why don’t you subscribe? You will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you.
If you’re feeling generous and you like the blog, shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top. This blog runs on coffee so I appreciate all the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Rafael Matsunaga- That was supposed to be going up, wasn’t it?

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