Thursday, January 25, 2018

Looking After Ourselves

This week after a long time away Author Earnings came back with a roar. They have sharpened up their spider bots and have delved deep into the data and have found more interesting things about all things publishing with Amazon... and they are sharing some interesting data finds with authors.
Because they are so much better at combing the data, Passive Guy was moved to sound a warning that they have to be careful as they know more about the industry of publishing than some big publishers do and this might open themselves up for lawsuits.

Mike Shatzkin has also been looking at the publishing business and he checked in with Data Guy about some key things in the book selling industry. Data Guy backs up most of what Mike has been pointing out over the last few years. There are some interesting points about Romance books and bestseller lists. (If you want a sneak preview about where we all might be heading with retail stores check out Amazon Go – Its newest bricks and mortar store.)

Agent Laurie McClean has been crystal ball gazing about what is going to be hot around the publishing offices. (If you want to get a quick glance at what agents are calling for type #MSWL in theTwitter search bar.)

Have you checked out the sexism in children’s books lately? The Guardian has and made a special study of it too. I was surprised to see such high figures of gender imbalance. Did you know that most main character animals are male?

Publishers Weekly has a great post by Jane Friedman on the value of free content... no, it’s not valueless, It is all in how you use it.

The book industry got together recently in Tunisia to look at finally doing something about piracy. Publishing Perspectives reports on the conference and the piracy discussion. It might be a case of too late...

WriteOnCon is back! The free online 3 day children’s writing conference starts in a few  weeks. Check out the schedule and book some time to soak up the great posts on your calendar. (If you write for children you really should check it out!)

Are you a healthy writer? I’m not at the moment. Moving anywhere in this heat wave is exhausting. However over the years I have been looking at standing desks and dictation. I finally got my computer to accept dictation... Unfortunately that computer is heading problems with my excellent stop it doesn’t speak clearly- (Translation; Unfortunately the computer is having problems with my accent. It doesn’t speak kiwi.) Joanna Penn has a great excerpt from her latest book on the healthy writer on dictation.

Joanna has also interviewed Alex Anders on writing diverse characters. Are you doing this correctly or are they all cardboard cutout cliches...?

In The Craft Section,

Writing a Novella- Mythic Scribes- Bookmark

7 steps to plotting a novel- Martha Alderson- Bookmark

Learn How to write as you read- Now Novel - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Promotion tips – The Book Designer- Bookmark

How to rock a free day promotion- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

Facebook changes their news feed... what does it means for authors? A must read on how the changes affect you.

To Finish,

With all the planning for the year underway... Writers need to take care of themselves too. Sometimes we find it hard and we wonder why. Lauren Sapala has a great article on mental attitudes that trip us up, and how we can trick our brains out of sabotaging us.


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. If you want to shout me a coffee just hit the hit the coffee button. I’m nose deep in iced coffee to cope with the heatwave...Thanks.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Counting Down The Year

January continues to be....
Scorching.... Bitterly cold.... Heat wave.... Blizzard.... Torrential rain.... Amazing....
All of the above....

In publishing news this week... A ‘mistake’ on Amazon royalty pages had the Indie publishing world wildly speculating whether there were moves afoot from the biggest player in the market. When it comes to Amazon, a sniffle... could mean the Black Death for authors.
While authors nervously await royalty changes Kindle haschanged their publishing guidelines on cover images. Now that Kindle is unrolling its print option... every move is being analysed by the industry. Sadly that includes the layoff of over 50 editorial CreateSpace staff this week.

Author services companies continue to improve and change. Book Funnel is unrolling a service that will add selling direct from your website to the impressive list of things they also do for authors. They have also started a nifty blog.

Ingram Spark have started a podcast for indie authors... They promise 15 minute episodes filled with tips among other new things that they will be unrolling this year.

Kris Rusch has written the second part of her 2017 year inreview... and its another knockout post. There is lots to think about as you make your goals for 2018.

I’m always interested in what is coming down the track for writers in the future that is why I fell on Joanna Penn’s latest podcast with cries of ... “Really! OMG.” So If you want to know what got a lot of people thinking about future tech check out Publishing Tech trends for authors 2018.

I was recently asked about imposter syndrome... this can be a very real problem for authors. Here Chuck talks about it and ways to combat it. (Warnings on language... but that is half the fun of Chuck, images you can’t forget...)

Have you ever looked at a chain bookseller and wonder how they can get those deals with publishers that indie bookshops can’t? An Indie bookshop owner has come up with a way to get many Indies to collaborate for bargains. If you know any booksellers... send the link along.

Judith Briles has an interesting post on The Book Designer about Author inner circles. These are people who are trusted by the author, who understand the publishing world. How many and who should be in your inner circle?

Children’s writers in New Zealand are thrilled that one of our own is shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award... Joy Cowley has been a huge supporter of children’s writers in New Zealand over the years and her books are adored the world over. The HCH Award is also known as the Little Nobel Prize... so we’re all crossing our fingers... (Coming on the heels of NZ’s highest honour- Joy is having a fantastic year and it’s only half way through January.

K M Weiland has a great post on Why We Write- Have you ever stopped to think about it. Katie has four possible reasons why we can’t help but scribble words down...

In The Craft Section,
How to goose the muse- James Scott Bell- Bookmark

How to write a memoir- Reedsy-Bookmark

How to harness creative momentum- Gabriel Pereira- Bookmark

How to kill book sales with 10 mistakes –Anne R Allen - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,
Preorder strategies- Bookbub – Bookmark

The eyes have it- Michael Alvear- A fascinating look at how people view the Amazon  buy page- BOOKMARK

How to get Book reviews without begging. – Dave Chesson- Bookmark

To Finish,
I’m a sucker for infographics... and K M Weiland has put together a series of great infographics from all over the place to show storytelling nuts and bolts... Go on print them out and plaster your office with them.
Then take this little quiz to see what kind of storyteller you are...


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. Coffee always welcome.  Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons/ Bill Ward

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Predicting 2018

Down Under the turn of the numbers to a New Year is clouded by the fact that we are all on our Summer holidays and we don’t want to think about work... let alone make goals for the year. However Back To School sales in stationery stores get the writer brain ticking. How can I justify getting that shiny new journal? 2018 Goals... that’s how!

So now you have the shiny journal, the cool pen and you’ve eaten all your Christmas chocolate. Time to make some goals. Jo Eberhardt over at Writer Unboxed has a great article on making SMART goals. This is the advice you need for making goals that are achievable. A must read.

My Twitter feed has been filling up with crystal ball gazing for the coming publishing year. Along with pleas for submissions to stop as Agents and Editors get the NaNoWriMo onslaught of manuscripts that January always brings.
To start planning for 2018 it is wise to look back at 2017 and see what worked and make plans for more of the same. Kris Rusch has a great wrap up article on what the big five publishers did last year and how this will impact publishing going forward. This is well worth a read and a think about especially if you are or have been Traditionally published.

Mark Coker has compiled his list of what he thinks will happen in 2018... more of 2017. However he does make a few points that seem to be echoed everywhere. Audio still hasn’t hit its limit.... It is the fastest growing format and now there are some real competitors in this market. Audible, who did a lot to grow the market by hooking listeners into hearing free audio books, may need to change their T.O.S to remain top of the heap. (If you think that last sentence sounded familiar think Kindle and free eBooks and that Amazon owns Audible.) Mark has plenty of other nuggets to get you thinking.I’ve finally checked out his new podcast- Smart Author- and its chock full of great information.

Written Word Media have written a very full article on what they see coming in 2018 and how writers should be positioning themselves to take advantage of it.

Orna Ross from the Alliance of Independent Authors has been crystal ball gazing as well. Orna has turned her focus on how technically savvy authors are going to have to be to take advantage of new technologies and trends if they want a career that sustains them in the long haul.

These are the best of the roundups that I have seen in the last two weeks so grab a cool drink and think about new things to learn or new goals to make.

Joanna Penn has a great blog on productivity tips that can give you a few new tools to try in 2018. These are all common sense goals but maybe they can help you stop procrastinating and get those words down.

Anne R Allen has started the new year with a great post on 8 things more important than writing talent. This started a great conversation in her blog comments. It is not enough to want to be a writer... you have to do the work!

In The Craft Section,

Best free resources roundup for writing-Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Secrets of good storytelling- K M Weiland- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Selling truckloads of books - Penny Sansevieri-Bookmark

Embedding social media in your posts- The Book Designer- Bookmark

Street teams and how to use them- Draft2Digital-Bookmark

To Finish,

Setting goals can sometimes create stress. There is the immediate self doubt stress... along with the-big-obstacle-course-that- life-likes-to-throw-at-you-when-you-thought-it-was-going-to-be-a-smooth-path stress.

As you start into the New Year you need some inspiration along with all the goal setting. Orna Ross talks about creativity with Joanna Penn. Are you filling yourself up on creative projects that don’t feel like work?

Here’s to a fabulous start to the writing year...


In my monthly newsletter, coming 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. If you want to shout me a coffee just hit the hit the coffee button. Thanks.


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