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


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.





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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.



Thursday, December 17, 2020

Take A Deep Breath



It’s nearly the end.


This is the last blog post for 2020. What can I say… I will be glad to see the back of it. Summer (down under) A time to relax and recharge while dodging sunburn.


With New Year just around the corner, it can be a fun planning time for the year ahead.

Joanna Penn has a new book out on Author Business Plans so check out her latest podcast then pair those ideas with this article from LegalZoom on how to write one.


The Dream team Angela and Becca have unlocked all their Advent Contest Giveaways which are still available until the 19th so check out what’s on offer.


Scott Myers has a new post in his Writing goals for 2021 series. This one is on time management. This is a good series and something to bookmark for craft goals next year.


If you missed the AudibleGate scandal – Alliance of Independent Authors has a run down on what has been happening this year. Audible aren’t making changes until next year. If you were thinking of getting into audiobooks in 2021- Check out all the distributors before going with any of them. This is a fast changing sector. There are better players out there.


Remember Publishing Conferences? Germany has their FutureBook conference online in January. For a look at the state of publishing check out the titles of the keynote speeches.


Penny Sansevieri has a roundup of what she thinks will be the marketing trends to watch out for in 2021. Check out her comprehensive list and do some future planning. 


Joel Friedlander has his Book Templates on sale so if you are looking for an interior template to format your book in, check them out. I use them and they are brilliant!


In The Craft Section,

25 things you should know about Antagonists- (Chuck Wendig- an oldie but a goodie. Usual Chuck warnings apply.)

2 great posts from C S Lakin- Metaphor and imagery and Evoke Reader Emotions- Bookmark

What is the motif literary device? - Sherry Howard

7 tips for creating tension- Hannah Green- Bookmark

Keys to start your mystery novel- Zara Altair


In The Marketing Section,

Will your novel solve a problem?-Janice Hardy

Two great posts from Penny Sansevieri- How to choose keywords for Amazon Ads and 10 

Design tips for a Buy Now Book Cover- Bookmark

5 Nonfiction lead magnet ideas- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

How to pick a best selling title- Barbara Delinsky


To Finish

Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted a new addition to the sidebar. Yes, finally after twenty years, the first in series is out and it is on sale until January. 


Let’s finish the year with a reminder on the 5 things every writer needs.

May you have a peaceful, blessed, and safe Christmas break. I will be back halfway through January.





It’s time for the last newsletter of the year. So if you want to get the bumper roundup of links for Christmas- Go on and subscribe.

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: Line Edit of a Christmas Carol… when 2020 becomes ridiculous.

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