Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Publishing Business- unlike any other.


This week in the publishing world


At the moment the eyes of the publishing world are fixed on the court proceedings where the U.S Department of Justice is trying to stop the sale of Simon and Schuster to Penguin Random House. The live twitter feed from observers on how the court is trying to understand the publishing industry is illuminating… So, a midlist book isn’t as important as a front list book which you paid a lot of money for. Why do you have them then?

Stephen King testified for the State over the shrinking nature of independent publishing houses. S and S are his publishers, his books are just one of the reasons why PRH would want the sale to go through.


Staying with PRH, they have just published their diversity report where they look at their business and see whether it reflects the diversity of the country. They divided the workforce into warehousing and publishing. I wonder if other publishers would put themselves under such a spotlight.


I try to keep an eye on what is happening with new digital technologies as it relates to publishing. Recently Joanna Penn had a podcast interview on the blockchain and what it means for copyright and and intellectual property. Her guest was Roanie Levy, a lawyer who specializes in copyright and IP and is working in the blockchain field. If you are unclear what blockchain is and how copyright and smart contracts are going to change in the future, check out this great interview.


While authors are coming to grips with new technologies like NFT’s (limited editions of digital products) some publishers have figured out how NFT’s can make them money. Remember back at university and the huge price of textbooks? Many students buy second-hand textbooks or thirdhand. Academic publishers have figured out they can make money with these subsequent sales if they publish their books as NFT’s. (Will the author of the textbook get a cut?)


I am reminded of the words of a retiring publisher here in NZ. The business of a publisher is to stay in business. This week Kris Rusch puts on her publishers hat and examines the ways a publisher could be making money for their business. 


PEN America has issued a press release over a Utah school board banning 52 books under a new state law allowing books to be removed because of pornography issues. But what is pornography? When you look over the list you will be scratching your head like PEN.


Oh to have books to ban. Mark Williams looks at the difficulty faced by African nations just getting books. Digital books were supposed to be the answer but not if the publisher still sticks by regional rights. It is a reading desert out there with hope centered on the Middle East publishing community. Mark is hand making books for his school and they are one of the lucky ones.


Ruth Harris takes a look at decision fatigue. Just being a writer means making many decisions in your writing, let alone anything else. Ruth has some strategies for when it gets too much. 


Bang 2 Write has a great article on 5 examples of story structure. There is more than one way to understand the steps of the plot. 


In The Craft Section,

The intersection between Plotting and Pantsing- Litreactor- Bookmark

How to structure stories with multiple main characters- K M Weiland -Bookmark

Elements of a story- Reedsy – Comprehensive

Using backward design to plan your story- Angela Ackerman

Managing point of view and distance of time- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Backcover copy formula- Sue Coletta- Bookmark

What to do instead of a writer blog- P S Hoffman

How to use Amazon to market for free- NY Book editors

Getting your work noticed- Liza Taylor- Bookmark

Author strategy for Bookbub ad bidding- Bookbub- Bookmark


To Finish,

Carmen Machado has an interesting article on taking the time to write when doing an MFA. So many writers are focused on trying to get an agent or a deal while doing their MFA that they miss the point that having time to write is the best thing you can do for your writing. One of her students forgot this and is now mired in a plagiarism scandal. Write first. Polish it until it gleams, then look for the deal. 





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links come on over and subscribe. You will also get a nifty mini book crammed 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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Sean Pollock on Unsplash

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Running Up That Hill

In Publishing News this week,

The social media platform Tiktok has changed the face of bookselling with the viral recommendations of Booktok influencers. This was accidental. However this week TikTok is starting a bookclub… with its biggest influencers. (I sense monetization in the works.)


Censorship in schools seems to be gathering momentum. It seems every week another school district is doubling down on books in school libraries. Bookriot has been looking at ways that the publishing industry is fighting back. 


Recently Dall-E, an AI image generating system, was in the news for making the first magazine cover for Cosmopolitan. Other media companies are looking at this creative use of AI. However, Techcrunch is sounding a warning over the indiscriminate use of copyrighted materials that the AI is learning on/scraping. What about the poor freelancer who has their image used by the AI?


Joann Penn was interviewed over on Author Media by Thomas Umstattd on diversifying income streams. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript. I was interested to find out that Joanna has more than 50 income streams. Joanna has recently published a long-form guide on using Scrivener writing software for fiction and nonfiction. If you want to learn tricks and tips of this powerhouse software check it out.


Kris Rusch has an interesting post on Kate Bush and the power of holding onto your copyright. Who knew that RUTH would be a number one hit 36 years later?


Kelsey Allagood has an article on Writer Unboxed on diagnosing writer’s block and then what you can do about it.


Becca Puglisi has written a great article on the Revision Roadmap as a guest post over on Anne R Allen’s blog. There are some great tips here to mull over.


In The Craft Section,

Indicating time passing in stories- Jami Gold Bookmark

Writing the dreaded synopsis- Michelle Barker- Bookmark

Why first person POV is not deep POV- Lisa Hall Wilson- Bookmark

7 tips to help you write- Writing and Wellness

4 clever tricks to transform scenes into high stakes- Zena Dell Lowe- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

What makes a book cover work- IngramSpark- Bookmark

Get better book launch results- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

5 success strategies on marketing -Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Selling books with email- Roland Denzel- Bookmark

Reach readers- podcast transcript from Joanna Penn and Becky Robinson- Bookmark


To Finish,

Recently the Writing and Wellness blog had an article on how to recognise if you have gone from amateur writer to pro writer. It’s a state of mind. As I was reading it I was wondering if the 3 open manuscripts I’m revising at the same time was too much. 

(Yes. I can hear you shouting at me.) 

Lisa Betz has an interesting article on being intentional with growing your writing craft. 

I’m being intentional, as I revise… honestly. 





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links come on over and subscribe. You will also get a nifty mini book crammed 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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Jeremy Lapak on Unsplash

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