Thursday, July 27, 2017

Caring for your Writer

We are half way through Winter and the local news is about flooding and snow storms and we are going into Election Season. It’s enough to make you depressed. So what’s happening in the Northern Hemisphere? They are in the middle of Summer and the news is just as dire and everyone is depressed.
Writer’s suck in the atmosphere around them and try to make sense of it in their writing. Their words can be the solace at a difficult time... a challenge to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes... an idea that changes a world.
The price for this can be carved out on the writer’s soul. Sometimes it’s hard to remain upbeat.
Anne R Allen has a standout post on Writers Block and Depression. This is a must read. Even if you have never suffered from Writers Block, recognising the signs might help you to care for your self better.

Self Doubt is another insidious dis-ease that writers suffer from. Cat Friesen has some practical ways to cope with this common writer ailment.

For a bracing dose of writer medicine read Chuck Wendig - So you are having a bad writing day.  Don’t beat yourself up about it!

If you are struggling to explain why sometimes this industry gets you down. Take a look at Kristen Lamb’s post from December. It’s a reminder on how much publishing has changed in a decade.

Looking at changes to the familiar, Frances Caballo has taken a close look at the changes on Twitter and Facebook. She explains how useful the new tools we’ve been given are.

Last week I linked to a post by Jami Gold. Did you notice her new website? Jami writes this week about why and how she changed her website. (This is all interesting to me as I play in a private sandbox tweaking ideas for a revamp here.)

Alli- or The Alliance of Independent Authors have a great blog. Recently Richard Bradburn shared his thoughts on the proper care and feeding of Beta Readers. (This week my Beta Readers found a critical mistake, proving that it doesn’t matter how many times you check something, another person’s eyes on your work is worth gold.)

PublishDrive has an interesting article on publishing books on Google Play. They can do it. While you are checking out the article, check out the company, who are an ebook distributor based in Europe. They now sell in over 400 online stores including all the big ones and they sell into Asia. (The next big market according to Joanna Penn.)

Joanna Penn has been promoting her new edition of How To Market a Book all over Social Media. She has an excerpt from the book about the polarities of Book Marketing. What do you do if you have no money to market...

In The Craft Section,

Two great articles from Angela Ackerman on setting. – Make your setting a character and Turn your setting into an obstacle course. Bookmark

Describing character eyes- Now Novel-Bookmark

Feedback Frenzy- Everyone’s opinion - Janice Hardy

Structuring events in sequence- September Fawkes- Bookmark

Sensory details in setting- Christina Delay

In The Marketing Section,

How to create pre launch buzz- Rachel Thompson - Bookmark

Advanced approaches to author marketing- Draft2Digital- Bookmark

To Finish,

I like to dive into a podcast over lunch or on car journeys when it’s just me. It is a way of connecting to the wider publishing world. Some podcasts are mini workshops. If you haven’t listened to a podcast take the plunge. Check out 30 outstanding podcasts for authors. Today I listened to the superb team from the SFF Marketing podcast who chatted about editing and mailing lists. I always learn something new which helps me to stay upbeat in this crazy publishing world.


I have a monthly newsletter with the best of the months craft and marketing links. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. Come and join our happy band!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Heroes and Villains

David Gaughran deserves a medal- or at least a big payday. 
David has been pointing out scammers and highlighting the rip off artists that prey on writers for years along with Writer Beware. Lately he has been trying to make Amazon aware of the click farm scammers on their websites. This is becoming a real problem. The click farm scammers take away money from the legit writers in page reads. They also skew your research. (I have been watching the children’s bestsellers... and shaking my head over number 1 and now I know why!)

Anne R Allen has an interesting post on the rise of publishing cults and cyber bullying among authors. I hear you all muttering, how could they, but when you read Anne’s article you realise how small actions turn into large hate fests targeting hapless authors. This is a must read and share.

Bad Reviews- Do you take them to heart? Tamar Sloan recently shared her psychologist knowledge on Writer Unboxed about why readers leave a bad review. It’s not about your book.

China has a new craze... reading. But not print books. Their online serial story platform numbers are heading into the stratosphere. This is a market to watch and if you can... get involved!

Jane Friedman recently interviewed two creators who have their stories on Tapas. This is a new kid on the block online reading experience that pays the creators. If you are a web comic creator or a writer check out the interview and have a poke around the website. It’s fascinating.

Jane also has an interesting article on whether authors should be using social media. Many authors struggle with the extroverted nature of social media. Jane offers some sound advice and lots of links for further learning.

Porter Anderson takes a look at the new white paper, The Business Of Books 2017, for Frankfurt Book Fair business members. Porter looks at three important points in the paper, competition, blockbusters and digital pricing. This is an interesting look at the global impact on publishing from a few brands and a heads up on what publishers will have to come to grips with going forward.

Bookbub recently polled 14 authors on how they use preorders and whether establishing a preorder was effective. Rachel Thompson has also been looking at preorder marketing and how you can create buzz around your book before it is even out.

Written Word Media has an interesting post on pricing. What is the optimum price for your book in a promotion? It depends on what you want to acheive....

Agent Jennifer Laughran has started a podcast. This will be of interest to children’s writers as she is a top agent in the field of children’s publishing. She talks to Laurel Snyder about imposter syndrome in her first episode.

In The Craft Section,

Myths on Villains and Mental Health- Sacha Black- Bookmark

Adding suspense – Roz Morris- Bookmark

Develop Character Voices- Don Fox- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to price match free on Amazon- Molly Greene – Bookmark

Creating a Book Sell Sheet- K S Brooks- Bookmark

The marketing rule you can’t forget- Ryan Holiday – Bookmark

 9 ways to get the best out of your cover designer- Damonza and Joanna Penn- Bookmark

To Finish,

Do you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? Every time you got to an exciting crossroads you had to make a choice. Now think about writing one. Got a headache yet?
into intricate plotting.


My monthly newsletter has the best of my bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. Come and join our happy band! This blog survives on coffee so a big THANK YOU to everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

Pic: Guess who?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Sabotage Backup

Today we suffered the first of the big winter storms. Half the country seems to be digging themselves out of snow or suffering power cuts because of high winds and wind blown debris. I saw a comment today from an illustrator friend who was obsessively backing up her work every 30 seconds just in case. So....
Have you saved your work today? Do you have a plan for saving your work? Mary Moore has a list of ways that you can save your writing just in case...

This week CreateSpace rolled out a new barcode policy. Things get tricky when you have a barcode generated that doesn’t fit their guidelines.  They are being very specific about where the barcode should be on the back cover. Being forewarned will save you time and money.

SCBWI summer conference just wrapped up. If you are a children's writer and dream about attending from afar... (like me) Check out their conference blog. The next best thing to being there.

Audio books are this years hot topic with ACX finally getting competition from Draft2Digital. Kevin Tumlinson explains why writers should think audio as part of their publishing strategy. Anne R Allen talks with her Audio Book narrator about producing audio books and how to choose the right narrator.

Sophie Knowles has an interesting post on Digital Book World about resources for Indie Authors. She highlights a few great sites that are worth checking out.

Kris Rusch continues her branding series with an in depth look at brand loyalty with a strategic look at the also boughts on the Amazonpage. There is a wealth of information right out in plain sight!

Molly Greene has been doing other interesting things instead of writing and publishing this year. She takes a candid look at what happens when you step away from your production treadmill.

Suzanne Lakin has a great post on self sabotage. Writers can be excellent at this. She has a must read post on how to recognise the signs and ways to deal with it. It’s all tied up with your self esteem as a writer.

James Scott Bell is a master at the craft of writing and this post shows you why. How do you stand out from the crowd with your work? How do you ride the edge of great writing. This is a must read!

In The Craft Section,

K M Weiland has got three great posts for you to Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Using Amazon's preorder to boost sales- Penny Sansevieri

2 great posts from Joanna Penn Instagram for authors and Mistakes with book promotion- Bookmark both and the link to Freebooksy

To Finish,

In the old days writers weren’t at the mercy of a power cut but they didn’t have the luxury of endless tinkering of a sentence before they printed it. The craft of writing has remained the same though. Take a look at Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 tips on how to write a good short story and ponder them deeply. And for extra homework, check out his ideas on shapes of stories which has now been backed up by a computer.


Backup Data. ;)

I round up the best of the months bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. Subscribing to my monthly newsletter also is a form of backup plus you get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes when you subscribe. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Party Details

Today I hosted an hour of an online FB Book Launch Party for a Y A thriller by Helen V Fletcher called Broken Silence (Promo: grab the ebook for 99c.)
I felt a bit nervous as I have never done anything like this before but Helen said she would hold my hand and so I jumped in. It was a blast! I started with party music and the hour just flew by. Lots of authors joined in the launch. They talked about their books and had giveaways and mini competitions for prizes. And the prizes are up for 24 hours so jump on over and join in the fun.

Helen’s book is contemporary Young Adult. Anne R Allen has a great post on her blog about writing contemporary fiction. I had no idea that the word lengths were getting shorter. Anne writes about the reasons you can’t write War and Peace anymore and expect it to sell.

If you were writing a huge novel you need time to beaver away. Where do you find it? Aha! Try this technique for working smarter, suitable for any writer.  While we are on nuts and bolts of the writer’s physical environment check out Copyhackers best practice for setting up your home office!

My lunchtime break saw me riveted to the SFF marketing podcast. Lindsay, Joe and Jeff were interviewing Joanna Penn on her new book Launch to Market 3rd edition. Joanna says that it is 60% different from the first edition, which I have so... It’s on my want list.

Cynthia Shannon has a comprehensive breakdown of all the things you need to do for planning and having a Goodreads giveaway. I have been watching the results of experiments in an author group I belong to and it seems like a good thing to try.

Kathryn Goldman has a comprehensive post on audio rights. Who actually owns them? This can get tricky when you produce your audio book. Performance rights... broadcast rights...  translation audio... All the rights you didn’t know you had... (see Joanna Penn’s interview above for more options.)

The fabulous Kris Rusch continues her excellent series on marketing and brand discovery. Her in depth attention to detail posts are like a university course. I feel she should be required reading in a Creative Writing diploma.

Writers Digest has an interview with Kristen Owens on 10 actions she has learned in her first year of professional writing.

In The Craft Section,

Avoid opening page info dump- Jami Gold – Bookmark

The power of the unlikely protagonist- Writer Unboxed – Bookmark

What is irony?- a cool post from Reedsy

How to add meaningful subplots- K M Weiland – Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Digressing slightly to shout out to Kevin Tumlinson who writes such great content for the Draft2Digital site. Here are three recent posts.

Author overheads-What you need to know.
Kevin is also the host of the Wordslinger podcast, which is one of my new great podcasting finds!

To Finish,

Today has been a day about organising... Helen organised a fun online book launch but it wouldn’t have worked without attention to detail. What were the secret schedules of the great authors... did they work the same way? Check out this article and be surprised!


It’s nearly time to schedule my monthly newsletter. (Hi to the new subscribers!) I round up the best of the months bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. Thanks everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

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