Thursday, January 28, 2021

Bookshops and Booksales



 

This week Audible finally let creators know the changes they have decided on to address the concerns of Audiblegate. (Audible’s practice of promoting read and return audiobooks with no compensation to creators last year.) They are promising to create a new dashboard for authors to see which books have been returned and they are changing their terms of exclusivity. Publishing Perspectives asked Author groups what they thought. Not good enough was the answer. This is where the value of belonging to a strong writer’s union comes into play.

 

The Guardian recently published an article entitled Bookshops defy pandemic to record highest sales in eight years. After they published this they had to go and change the title to accurately reflect the article which was on Book Sales. Yes, bookshops were selling books but a lot of the print book sales were happening online. However, as the Society of Authors points out that’s cold comfort to a lot of writers who relied on appearances to pay the bills.

 

Publishing Perspectives interviewed the CEO of Wattpad on their merger with Korean digital publisher Naver. If you have been keeping an eye on Wattpad and how they have grown from a fanfic forum to a movie and television production powerhouse, their merger with Naver, who operates a similar model in Asia, is a good thing. The numbers are interesting. Together they will almost be as big as Netflix.

 

Big Five publishers are back in court for price fixing. Again. They are named as co- conspirators with Amazon. Publishing Perspectives looks at the case and whether it will hurt Amazon at all.

 

Kris Rusch writes this week about the rise of e-reading due to Covid-19 lockdowns and how Bertelsmann danced with the numbers trying to prove that there was a huge number of Indie publishers, so that they wouldn’t be slapped by regulators for controlling too much of the market by buying Simon and Schuster. As it is, they may have over 50% of the Trad publishers market.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has an interesting blog post on whether having your book in book shops is worth it for Indie Authors. With Trad Publishers used to getting books published in China for little cost they can use the sale or return option as a carrot for bookshops to stock their books. Indies using POD have higher costs per book which impacts on discounts to bookstores. This article breaks down the numbers and the cost benefit for Indies to use bookstores.

 

Anne R Allen has a great guest post from Joseph Perry, a literary attorney, on important clauses to take note of in a publishing contract. One thing to remember, Joseph says, is that the publishing contract is always written in favour of the publisher.

 

How often do you stare at your just completed hot mess of a manuscript and wonder how to tackle the revision aspect. Jean Grant has an interesting blog post where she breaks down the way she revises. Having a checklist of things to look out for is a good starting point.

 

In The Craft Section,

5 mistakes writers make with relationships- Bang2Write


Understanding third person omniscient POV- Tiffany Martin


Using Twin Relationships in Writing- Becca Puglisi


5 point plan on how to kill a character- WritersWrite- Bookmark


Good Storytelling- Internal and external stakes- Karen Woodward- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Heart centered Book Marketing- Beth Barany- Bookmark


Amazon Keywords 101- Penny Sansevieri


February Content ideas- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


How to get publicity for your book- Kaelyn Barron- Bookmark


What’s the deal with Amazon verified reviews- Sandra Beckwith


How to use Book Awards for publicity- Sandra Beckwith

 

To Finish,

Are you aware of time racing differently due to how engaged you are with a book? Have you struggled with narrative time? What about reader time? How does the reader experience the forward motion of your story? Writer Unboxed has a great article on Character Time and Reader Time and how you can make the most use of time in your manuscript.

 

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: The Tannery Bookshop- Christchurch

 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Magnetic Poetry



This week in publishing news…

Wattpad has been sold to Naver, a south Korean group who own other e-publishing ventures. It’s a deal that makes sense according to Techcrunch as they will probably keep it going in the same way.

 

How many of you know someone who has a digital subscription for entertainment? 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has an interesting comment on Netflix’s goal of 500 million subscribers. If digital subscription is the new way to get entertainment where are the publishers?

 

Orna Ross of The Alliance of Independent Authors, and Joanna Penn get together once a month to talk about the publishing industry and new projects they are working on. The January meeting was all about planning for the year ahead. Check out the transcript or listen to the podcast. There are some great nuggets in there on goal setting and time chunking.

 

If you like setting yourself challenges, Austin Kleon talks about the 100 days and suck less challenge he has got going. You can also do mini-challenges It’s all about creating the habit of showing up.

 

Every few years Jane Friedman updates her infographic on all the different ways to publish. With the pandemic changing the publishing landscape, Jane has updated her infographic.

 

The Write Life has rounded up their top 100 websites for writers. Take a look. There is something for everyone in this collection. For podcast lovers check out Writing Excuses.

 

This year I have decided to read more poetry. I am in awe of poets as they seem to have a hot line into creating memorable lines. If I want to get better at writing I need to learn to read and write poems. Here’s a great little instruction list for writing poems.

 

In The Craft Section,

New Year New Writing goals- Michael Hyatt


Dreamzoning-7 steps to find new ideas- K M Weiland


Getting past the blank page- James Preston


Give your characters something to die for- Karen Woodward- Bookmark


7 ways to use deep POV- Lisa Hall Wilson- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

A beginner’s guide to Amazon pre-orders- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


The shy authors guide to book promotion- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


Alternatives to Goodreads- Emily Stochi- Bookmark


8 tips for better manuscript formatting- Now Novel

 

To Finish,

Today has been an historic day for the USA. Among their ‘firsts’ on inauguration day was the first ever US National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman.

Her poem is sensational and timely. A MUST WATCH

 

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 – Steve Johnson – Magnetic fridge poetry

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

And We're Off...



 I’m Back…

Yes, this blog is one day late. It will not be a trend for the year. (Way to go, Maureen, starting 2021 with an apology… OTOH isn’t that how we feel about 2021? It is supposed to be better than 2020.)

 

Over the Southern Hemisphere Summer, I tried to take a complete media and screen break. It worked some of the time…

This week I’m back in the swing of things researching, writing, and twiddling with my current WIP. I was on a roll yesterday with Pomodoro sprint writing so didn’t stop to get the blog done.

The posts that caught my eye over summer were the usual, what will 2021 be like for writers, what can we learn from 2020, and wow, what a great idea. 

 

Written Word Media has a post on the top ten trends authors need to know about 2021.

If you have been keeping an eye on publishing news, the shrinking of the Big Publishers is on that list. Let’s buy up publishers screamed accountants. (Obviously, they know where the money is- authors backlist IP) Publishing Perspectives reports that Aussie Illustrator Robert Ingpen’s backlist of titles, owned by one publishing house has been on-sold to a new publishing house. 

In other acquisitions, over Christmas, a hedge fund bought Overdrive the Ebook library service and now there are rumours that Wattpad may be on the block. If you haven’t checked into how big Wattpad has become, Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has all the info and the rumoured price tag. (Eye-popping.) And just in, Nate Hoffelder reports that The Book Designer site has been sold to a dubious operator…. 

 

Looking back at 2020, Writer Beware had a rundown of all the scammy behaviour that popped up over 2020. Some of these scams are still ongoing. Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with the bad actors out there. Fore Warned is Fore Armed. I have just seen a reference to a new scam this week, Negative reviews on your books, which will be taken down by the reviewer… for a price. (Don’t engage… coz then they know you are a soft touch.)

 

Paula Munier has a handy roundup of writing lessons learned over 2020. These are timely reminders. Also, no idea, however weird, is too weird. Just think over the real-life plotlines of 2020 for a moment. (Or even the first two weeks of 2021…)

Nothing is to ‘out there’ anymore. 

 

Colleen Story thinks writers should take more risks this year. She has five reasons why this is a good thing. 

If you are wanting a challenge for 2021, the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge is open for the next month. Every year I vow that one day I must do this challenge. I’m in awe of my fellow writers who can write picture books... It is a special skill.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has a great roundup of Tech resources for authors for you to bookmark and investigate over the year ahead.

 

If you have been following the blog for many years. (12+) you will know I am a fan of author collectives. There is nothing like a group of authors to cheer you on. Recently Bookbub profiled a group of authors who got together to write a series set in a joint world. They are having a lot of fun. I know a couple of authors who are doing this with writer buddies- Cue writer envy- Such a cool thing to do. Check out how they make it work.

 

Alison Williams has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog. This is a must read for a great tip to get your manuscript from first draft to second draft to ready to publish. (Everybody cue your movie trailer voices.)

 

In The Craft Section,

Write yourself a bad review- K M Weiland- Bookmark


Editors share their top tips- Emma Lombard


The vital importance of your writing community- John Peregine


10 quick tips to make your writing craft better- Diane Glazman- Bookmark


Inner conflict- reflecting the inner struggle - Janice Hardy - Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

10 Smart book promotion services- Penny Sansevieri – Bookmark


How to price your self-published book


Book Promotion a marathon, not a sprint- Sharon Bially- Bookmark


How to declutter your book marketing- Pauline Wiles


How to market your Kindle book- Penny Sansevieri


Extra,

Video on marketing on YouTube- This is by musician Mary Spender- It deals with musician income, however, this could be a heads up for the future as the book industry is following the music industry- (Subscription streaming services anyone?)

 

To Finish,

The Fabulous Spa Girls are back with tips on how to set goals for your writing year. They have a series of Golden Questions to answer which then make setting goals for the coming year so much easier. Then you can drop into Michael Hyatt’s website to learn about SMARTER goals, to put them into place.

 

2021… Here we come.

 

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 – Marco Verch- Pomodoro Timer.

 

 

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