Thursday, October 26, 2017

Motivational Carrots

Five days to go... until November and NaNoWriMo.
October is planning for the writing onslaught. If you are thinking about writing 50,000 words in a month check out the latest Spa Girls podcast where the girls have decided to have NaNo writing party. This could be your big inspiration/whip/ carrot.... (fill in motivator here.)

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have just launched their latest thesaurus and it’s been hotly anticipated. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus is out. As usual they have are great launch giveaway promotion.

Amazon has been trying to nail trolls this week. Think of a giant sledgehammer... Anne R Allen has a great post on the latest machinations in the world of Zon. This is a read it and be warned post... if you read the comments... have tissues.

Meanwhile David Gaughran tireless and fearless defender of the writer has been closely following what is happening to writers who have been rank stripped by Amazon in their crack down. It looks like the trolls are fighting back and Amazon is stumbling around looking for them in all the wrong places.

This week all over Social Media there was a campaign to show how many people had been affected by sexual harassment. The #metoo campaign even touched publishing... that bastion of good manners and correct behaviour. Hair curling stuff!

As the holiday season approaches many authors will find themselves manning stands at book fairs. Here is a little post full of tips for the hand selling authors out there.

Hallmark loves the holiday season. Christmas cards... holiday movies on its television channel... book publishing.... Book Publishing? Yes. If you have a clean holiday themed romance or mystery Hallmark wants to talk to you!

In The Craft Section,

Idea to novel workshop- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Formulaic story structure- K M Weiland – Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to make Perennial Bestsellers- Ryan Holiday- Joanna Penn podcast- Bookmark

David Gaughran looks at the two marketing systems of Amazon- Bookmark

Draft 2digital templates- Elizabeth S Craig

To Finish,

Resources and deals are always around at NaNoWriMo time.
If you haven’t checked out the NaNo Storybundle of writing craft books you should.
Jane Friedman has a chapter in a new book on Editing that looks interesting.
Judy Blume has joined the Master Class teaching website. If you write for kids this Master Class series could be just the motivator present you are looking for! I’m tempted... Are you?


In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the 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 for hitting the coffee button this week.

Pic: Flicker Creative Commons/ Jeremy Keith

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Diverse Future Of Publishing

It’s been a busy week in publishing.
The wait is over and everyone now knows who won The Man Booker. The type of book is a little eyebrow raising. The author writes in 166 different voices to tell the story. Literary writing is becoming very experimental.

While everyone was waiting for the award to be announced, that perennial favourite in publishing, diversity, was back in water cooler discussions. Has the publishing industry got any better since the last time we all said we needed more diverse voices in publishing?
Chris Jackson has an essay on Lit Hub about the need for social diversity in publishing. Are we just getting the same old stories being selected by the Ivy League grads?

Diversity in children’s publishing is also a hot topic. At the recent trade fair in the Pacific Northwest booksellers were told that the majority of American kids are not white and children’s publishing is moving to reflect that.

Also in children’s publishing Macmillan has created a new imprint and handpicked a team to lead it. It’s all about interactivity... the hot new thing in non fiction children’s books...

While Macmillan gears up to change the children’s book scene... Hyperion has launched a new digital hub for children centered around Rick Riorden. Are they copying anyone?

Createspace closed its doors on its online bookstore this week. Did you know they had a bookstore? Me neither.

Remember last week... Yes it was so long ago, when I introduced my blog saying the big talking points at Frankfurt were the rise of audio books and free speech. GQ magazine explains the history and rise ofAudible and why audio books are an addiction.

Besides the rise in audio being discussed at Frankfurt there was also a future look at a new looming disrupter to the publishing industry.Blockchains. Try and get your head around this possibility. Every item created will have its own identifier which will enable the purchaser to pay the creator instantaneously.

If you haven’t checked out the Indie fringe conference... The videos are up. Immerse yourself in a treasure trove of content all about Author Business.

Kris Rusch has a great post on author subsidiary rights. Do you know what these are and how you can earn money from them?

In The Craft Section,

How to write good endings- Roz Morris- Bookmark

Plot planners – Martha Alderson

Occupation Thesaurus- Angela Ackerman

Brainstorming  a great novel hook- Janice Hardy-Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to crush social media as an introvert- Bookmark- Frances Caballo

Selling direct from your site and other goodies from the SFF Marketing podcast team. You should 
watch it.

Writing to match genre categories- Debbie Young -Alli Blog

To Finish,

Two CEO’s were talking at Frankfurt about their industry. One was optimistic that Young People would continue to read lots of print books and that publishing was doing well. The other talked about the huge amount of customers who used to come to them but no longer do... Mike Shatzkin reflects on their speeches and what the messages might actually be.
N.B These CEO’s head up two of the biggest publishing houses in the world.
Looks like murky waters ahead...


In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the 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. Feel free to hit the coffee button. I live on the fumes of that most excellent drink.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Coming Together With Purpose

It’s Book Expo Frankfurt.
The big talking points are...
The rise and rise of audio books,
Fake News and why books are needed more than ever,
and Free Speech.

While the Frankfurt Book Fair is on the Alliance of Independent Authors have the last of their Free Online Fringe conferences this weekend. These conferences are held at the same time as the big book fairs and have a different theme for each one. This time the conference theme is Author Business. These conferences are free and the content stays online. They have live Q and A and lots of chances to get discounts on products and services. This is well worth attending from the comfort of your own chair.

Last weekend New Zealand children’s writers and illustrators got together for their biennial conference where there was much discussion over new trends in publishing. Mid Grade is where its at.... Kathryn Van Beek has a little roundup of great takeaways.

The Independent Book Publishers Association published an update to their members this week on their dialogue with Amazon over third party vendors bidding for control of the buy button on the Amazon storefront. If you missed this bit of news in May, check out their update.

The Romance Bookstore, The Ripped Bodice has released a report on the state of racial diversity in romance publishing. Over the last few years on Twitter it has been common to see MSWL tags asking for Own Voices and P.O.C. stories. This report shows what is happening in publishing in reality. Book Riot has an overview of the report, it makes for sad reading.

This week I came across a great article by Kevin Tumlinson on goal setting in your author business. Do you even make goals? This is worth a read and a good think over. What’s your Mountain is the title of the essay. If you are asked this question in New Zealand it means what landscape has shaped you and is very important in your identity. Goal setting in this context can be just as important to your writer identity.

NaNoWriMo is about to fall upon us. (National Novel Writing Month) November becomes the month of quiet as writers commit to writing a 50,000 word novel. October is prep month. December is editing month. January is agent collapse month as the books pour in. Joanna Penn has a blog post dedicated to the resources you will need if you are attempting this. Even if you are not, you should get your hands on the NaNo Storybundle collection.

In The Craft section,

Genre is world building- Jami Gold – Bookmark

Well motivated villains- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Characters misbelief drives plot- Lisa Cron – Bookmark

Are you a real writer- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Marketing Basics- Molly Greene- Bookmark

Content ideas for Book Marketing – Penny Sansevieri

Indie Publishing paths- Janice Hardy

To Finish,

Jane Friedman was recently interviewed for the Backmatter podcast by Leanpub. It was a wide ranging interview about aspects of Jane’s career and her thoughts for the future of publishing. Jane reiterated her belief in publishing collectives as a way forward for authors and small publishers. (Long time readers of this blog know what the next sentence is going to be....) I think this is a good idea and I try to highlight different models as I come across them. This week the launch of J L Pawley's new book, Air Born highlighted another publishing collective. Steampress, a funky Sci Fi /Horror press and the publisher of Air Born, has joined the Eunoia Collective of publishers. This is a group of small New Zealand publishers all doing their own publishing under the Eunoia banner where they can access International Rights selling, translations, Frankfurt Book fair visibility and Film and Television Rights selling. It is a great initiative and a good use of resources and knowhow.
Congratulations Jess!


In my monthly newsletter (I'm writing it... I'm writing it...) I round up the best of the 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.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Who Are You

What are the themes of your writing life? Do you know? Sara Letourneau explains how to find them in your writing. Will knowing about your unique themes make you a better writer? This is a great read on an interesting topic.

This week Children’s authors in the U K were not happy. Every year a range of books are made available for one pound for children. The new line up for World Book day 2018 heavily features celebrity authors. Any children’s bookseller can tell you that very few celebrities can write for children. Are we dumbing down our kids literature on purpose?

I have reported over this year Amazon’s venture into brick and mortar stores. First with their bookshops... or book showrooms as they seem to be, then buying the chain of Whole Foods shops and now they are venturing overseas. Can you see them in France?

David Gaughran has made it his mission to defend the innocent writer from Author Solutions shady practices. A S has many names and seems to be able to survive by changing names but not tactics. Lately David has been turning his crusader eyes to the shady practices of Kindle Unlimited scammers.

What is the psychology of good cover design? Is it to fit in or stand out? Damon, the man behind Damonza book covers tells all.

The next ALLi Indie Fringe conference is coming up in two weeks. If you haven’t dropped in on the other two this year don’t miss this one! It’s free. The Alli conferences are on around the time of the big Book Fairs. With Frankfurt Book Fair coming up this Indie Fringe conference is on Author Business. Check out the speakers they have lined up.

Some of the speakers at the Alli conference have writing books in this years NaNoWriMo Storybundle which is available now. Every year I point out this bundle of books going into National Novel Writing Month. October is NaNoPrepMo. This years NaNo Storybundle is stuffed full of workbooks for writers. For the cost of one book get 15 and there are some gems among them!

Chris Syme is pulling back on Facebook ads. Chris is a marketing guru whom I’ve often linked to in my roundups. She has an interesting article on why she is cutting back and the new strategy to be more effective going forward. This is a bookmark post.

Another bookmark post with warnings is Chuck’s post on saggy middles. If you have read Chuck Wendig before you will be prepared for his 25 ways to fight saggy middles. If you haven’t read a Chuck post... be warned!

In The Craft Section,

How authors can write faster- Daisy Hartwell- Bookmark

How to make your reader cry- Livia Blackburne

What is an emotional wound? – Becca Puglisi-Bookmark- This is a sneak preview into the next Emotion Thesaurus, coming soon from the Dynamic Duo!

Plot isn’t Story- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Developing Themes- The inciting incident- Sara Letorneau- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Indie Ebook promotion strategies- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Multi tiered price strategies- Martin Cavannagh - Bookmark

Book Marketing checklist- Tim Grahl- Bookmark if you haven’t already

To Finish

This week Anne R Allen decided to explore whether having a pen name was still relevant in this day and age. With Google search at everyone’s fingertips can we stay anonymous? Do we still need a pen name?


My monthly newsletter will be ready to go out soon.  I round up the best of the 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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