Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Year That Was



The last post of 2021.

We made it. It was supposed to be better than 2020. There was a vaccine. Now a new variant is on the march. Make no hard and fast plans for 2022.

 

This week the posts that have caught my eye 

 

Joanna Penn’s great post on productivity and finding time to write. This is a post to reflect on as you make plans for 2022. Joanna is down under and soaking up the sun. *waves Hi*

 

Anne R Allen on taking all writing rules as guidelines. This is the post that reminds you not to stress about your work.- 

 

Kris Rusch – the 3rd in her year in review posts. I was tempted to just put the link to her post in the middle of my page… and leave it at that. She says important things for you to think about for the writing publishing business going forward.- A must-read.

 

In the Craft Section,

A good article on dialogue- Writerswrite

 

In The Marketing Section, 

Bookbub posted their best articles from this year

 

In the meantime here is my rundown of the year with interesting links for you.

 

Jogging through 2021 

 

In January Wattpad was sold to South Korean company Naver and a hedge fund bought Overdrive 

The Fabulous Spa Girls had tips on how to set goals for your writing year. 

Then we dropped into Michael Hyatt’s website to learn about SMARTER goals, to put them into place.

 

In February- Audiblegate…where Audible encouraged subscribers to return their listened to audiobooks for a credit which they clawed back from the author because it was a ‘returned book.’

David Farland warned about new contract terms in an interview with Joanna Penn. David mentioned in passing seeing contracts that asked for All formats existing now and to be invented. Deal Breaker Alert.

 

News: D2D is now offering Payment splitting for collaborators!


In March, Audio is big was the theme and about to get bigger. 

Dr. Suess had some books pulled from reprinting because of racist stereotyping. 

Tom Clancy’s estate discovers that they don’t own the rights to Jack Reacher due to a shocking contract signed early in Tom’s career. 

 

10 questions to help you set the stage- C S Lakin


How to market a book with smart planning- Penny Sansevieri


April- to be renamed Rest In Peace

Harper Collins bought Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Beverly Cleary died aged 104 

Amazon Vella launched

#Disneymust pay launched- (who knew that buying companies also meant buying their assets and if it is royalties, also their obligations?)

 

Tips for dividing your story into chapters- 10 minute novelists


30 days of Social Media content Infographic- Barb Drozdowich

 

In May, The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander died (but his excellent templates live on.) 

Storytel partnered with Spotify- That’s the audio ears of Europe wrapped up and a warning that Spotify was on the audio hunt- price no object.

 Amazon responded and bought MGM- The Backlist of films is there to be exploited. (Just remember your backlist has value even if your publishers don’t exploit it. Get limited terms of use and get your rights back)

Joanna Penn interviewed Gail Carriger on the heroine’s journey and how it differs from the hero’s journey. This is a deep dive into craft and fascinating reading /listening.


June

Some second-hand book dealers felt sorry for writers and launched a scheme to get some of them paid when their books were on-sold. 

The Pandemic began the rise of the online bookstore, now everybody has one.

Japan jailed Book pirates.

What is an NFT? Joanna Penn took a deep dive to find out. 

Christie's auctioned an NFT from Tim Berners Lee of the original source code from his invention of the internet. It was for events like this that publishing contracts now contain legal clauses like ‘universal rights in all formats existing and to be invented.’ 

 

In July Amazon introduced A+ 

Overdrive bought Kanopy , a video streaming service for public and academic libraries.

And publishers paid eye-watering sums to grab books about the Trump presidency from the insiders.

 

Understanding the mirror moment- September Fawkes

 

A brilliant article on SEO for indie authors- Alliance of Independent Authors. 

 

August 

Subscription became the new go-to for academic publishers. 

Scammers discovered audiobooks. What you can do about it.


Authors behaved badly. – N.B. Remember nothing is ever off the record so if you don’t want it reported don’t say it.

 

Dave Chesson examined the A+ content blocks and has written a comprehensive article on how to get the best out of the new bells and whistles.


 

In September, the constant news item was the future of Bookfairs… will they ever be face to face again?

Scammers cloning author Facebook pages and destroying their social media.

Amazon offers Hardback format

AI voices start getting taken seriously. 

Netflix bought the Roald Dahl estate for $500M 

Supply chain woes start to bite. (A Local bookshop has just posted they got their September orders today, 3 days before Christmas)

 

Deanna Cabinian writes on the Time vs Productivity paradox for authors.

 

Should you sell your books from your website? Sandra Beckwith 



AudiO-ctober

Paul Simon released an audiobiography Like a documentary but audio-only. (Earlier in the year, I reported that Dolly Parton is working with James Patterson on a fiction book with a companion album.) 

Ireland is trialing a Guaranteed Basic Income for artists.

The American Department of Justice began suing Penguin Random House over acquiring Simon and Schuster citing their outsized influence on publishing and writers compensation if the deal goes ahead


Sacha Black on How to kill your side characters.


Joanna Penn’s primer on understanding Intellectual Property and the ways that authors need to use and exploit what they create to make money.

 

November

What is an NFT? The question was on everyone’s lips as they tried to make sense of it for writers. 

Kobo expanded its subscription service to Oz and NZ. 

Spotify bought Findaway (and life changed in the publishing audio sphere forever.)


Anne R Allen wrote a superb post on creativity wounds. The wounds you might not know you have. 


The literary calendar of 2022-  Sandra Beckwith


  

December

Where did the time go…  End-of-year reports show publishing is still making money but only in certain formats.

Viacom CBS partners with Wattpad and Webtoon.

Publishers paid out silly money to celebrities for books and watched those books tank badly.



 

And now I’m staggering gently to the couch for a lie-down and a cool drink. 

Have a safe and blessed Christmas season. I’m off until mid-January 

It’s summer…

 

Maureen

@craicer

  

The last newsletter for the year is going out soon with the best of, the best of my bookmarked links of the year and other goodies. 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  Christmas cheer hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate all virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Marco Verch

 

Drinks by Aperol Spritz

 

 

 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Remember When…

 


 

This week in publishing,


When you get to a certain age you notice that nostalgia becomes big entertainment business. *coughMarvelcomicsCough* Sometimes the reason for the reboot of these older entertainment properties is that the new executives are mining their childhood fads. The 90’s generation is getting its turn now. This week Vulture reports that Sweet Valley High is getting a TV show. The SVH books were written by ghostwriters back in the day. A popular choice for publishers who found a formula and pumped books out using a stable of writers to do it. This is why a backlist is so important. What if that small hit spawns a cult phenomenon?

 

Mark Williams at The New Publishing Standard has been looking at the Wattpad Webtoon moves as they partner with ViacomCBS and Paramount. Intellectual Property generated by Indie authors are up for grabs for new video streaming services as all the big entertainment companies try to copy Netflix. Soon everyone will be subscribed to an entertainment streaming service.

 

Meanwhile, Kickstarter sent out a press release this week announcing their move onto the blockchain to decentralise their operation.

 “As a first step, we’re supporting the development of an open-source protocol that will essentially create a decentralized version of Kickstarter’s core functionality. This will live on a public blockchain, and be available for collaborators, independent contributors, and even Kickstarter competitors, from all over the world to build upon, connect to, or use.

This looks like bringing the blockchain more mainstream. Interesting times ahead for the creative and collaborative community.

 

Last week I mentioned the New York Times article on Publishers and their unrealistic expectations of profits from celebrity books. This week Passive Guy dived into the article and shared all the numbers. There are eye-watering hits that publishers are taking on these celebrities. However, getting the publishing deal could be just part of the merchandise income stream for these celebrities who might not be making much money from their main source of creativity. 

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has published their Year in Review. January seems so long ago. The publishing industry has grown despite Covid and supply issues. 

 

Kris Rusch continues her close look at the implications of various events in the publishing industry. She is now watching the widening of the ways between Traditional and Indie publishing. They are almost two completely different models now.

 

Tara Sparling is back on Anne R Allen’s blog with her annual funny Christmas story which pokes fun at the writer's life. This year visit Mr McGuffin’s Plot Device and Writer Unblocking Emporium where stirring events are taking place as characters complain about their stereotypes.

 

Writer Unboxed has a large group of great writers who contribute excellent articles on the craft of writing. This week Barbara Linn Probst has an excellent article on Trusting The Reader.

 

In The Craft Section,

How to make your character choices more difficult- Angela Ackerman – Bookmark


Common mistakes that pull readers out of stories Elizabeth Craig - Bookmark


How to develop a story idea- Now Novel- Bookmark


The future in stories- Jim Dempsey


8 scintillating rules for writing romance- Dana Isaacson-Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to build a platform when you have no idea what it means- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


3 ways to learn what your readers want- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


Authors – Tiktok promo ideas- Bookbub- Bookmark


How will sharing book recommendations help me sell books- Shepherd for Authors


10 social media design tips – Infographic

 

To Finish,

We are moving into the last week before Christmas. The Writers Advent Calendar, organised by The Dream Team AKA Angela and Becca is on the last few days. If you haven’t checked it out – you can still put your name in the giveaways for some great prizes. 

 

Next week is the last blog post for the year. I’m ready to wave goodbye to 2021.

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter to go out, with the bumper edition of great links from the year. If you want to 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 eggnog for Christmas, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate all the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons –  Julian Povey 

 

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