Thursday, February 22, 2018

Is This The Real You?

Facebook is changing its algorithms. So marketing on Social Media needs a rethink. Penny Sansevieri lists the bare minimum interactions andmindset that authors should be doing.  Writers Digest also has some good advice on how not to panic but take advantage of the changes... It’s all about being your authentic real self...

Hands up if anyone knows who Arnaud Nourry is? Hmmm, not many. He is the Chief Executive of Hachette Livre which is why his comments this week, on eBooks being stupid, raised eyebrows. His company makes loads of money from them.... However he thinks the future is in 3D and digital...

Another week... another scandal... Amazon started sending out Tax notices this week and one author got a nasty surprise. His account had been used as a money laundering service and he's not the only author being targeted.  Brian Krebs takes a look at what happened and how easy it is to do....

Anne R Allen always has great advice and here she looks at blogging for authors. Do you really need to do it? 8 reasons to start an author blog. It has generated a lot of comment so if you are on the fence or need to rethink your strategy go and read what she has to say.

Kris Rusch was surprised to see an editors name on the front cover of a fiction novel. Apparently this is becoming a thing... and not for the better. Kris breaks down why this is ethically and morally dubious... let alone a sales nightmare.

If you are a visual learner you will love this neat little video on Storytelling by George Saunders. ‘Get out there and do something beautiful...’

In The Writing Craft Section,

21 fun writing prompts- TED ED- Bookmark

Wrestling with tense and point of view -Writer Unboxed- Bookmark

Writing Craft master list- Jami Gold- Bookmark

Plotting- Big Picture vs Small picture- Janice Hardy – Bookmark

5 ways to deepen emotional layering- Lakota Grace- Bookmark

In The Book Marketing Section,

Using box sets and bundling- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Tips for the new Goodreads giveaways-Chris McMullen- Bookmark

Promote your books with online groups- Non Fiction writers Assoc.

5 Terrible ways to launch your book- Draft2Digital- Bookmark

To Finish,
The Digital Reader site run by Nate Hoffelder has an interesting collection of news, comment and resources. This infographic is lots of fun. How to determine your character by the fonts you use...


It is nearly time for my monthly newsletter. I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links from the last month. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.

Friday, February 16, 2018

On A Pedestal

I wondered if I should make a comment about the revelations in the children’s literature community this week. At first I thought No but as the ripples have become king tides I thought that people might wonder why there is no reference to this weeks biggest story in publishing. Children’s writers are human. They are put on a pedestal as special guiders of behaviour, decorum and models of decency for 'they influence children'. You want to know that the books they write have no hidden fish hooks and are wholesome enough to give to young developing minds. (Teachers also get these labels.) Most children’s writers are women. (SCBWI figures put it at 9 out of 10) The males often have the added burden of having to write specifically for boys to encourage them to read. This makes them more likely to speak at conferences and festivals and libraries. Women writers are working just as hard to lift boys reading rates but they are often asked to change their name or ghost write or use initials to make their stories palatable to a male audience. They don’t get the same level of invites. (As for POC, they are often invisible.) So this week to have a major news story about the sexual abuse meted out to women in the children’s literature community felt like a body blow. Publishers Weekly tried to take a calm tone... but now the stories are being confirmed and corroborated and Agents are distancing themselves or dumping clients. A good reminder to writers that everything you do is in the public eye and if you fall off your pedestal you don’t just hit the ground... you bury yourself in a huge crater of snakes and molten lava is poured on top.

In other news.
Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer has been looking at the nuts and bolts of print publishing for a long time. He is seeing a shift in the way authors are now viewing print and he has some advice about when you should consider using offset printers instead of Print On Demand.

Has Instagram saved poetry?  Publishers Weekly seems to think so. I wonder if the Poets agree?  I bet if Byron was around now he’d be on Instagram...

Anne R Allen has a guest post on her blog this week from a creative writing teacher. I had to laugh when I read it... this fits exactly what friends who are writing teachers have to contend with. Read and weep with laughter.

Joanna Penn interviewed Becca Puglisi about the latest thesaurus – Emotional Wounds This is a great interview.  You should check out the book too.
In another writing craft interview Michael Hauge and Will Smith talk about the four must haves in storytelling. (Yes, that Will Smith)

In The Craft Section,

Bookmark Both!

posts from Colleen Story and September Fawkes- Bookmark

Trusting your process- Lauren Sapala –Interesting essay

In The Marketing Section,

65 book marketing ideas- Mark Coker- Brand new FREE updated book from Smashwords founder. (Mark has been podcasting sections of this book this year.) Grab it!

Avoid Book Marketing traps –Penny Sansevieri Bookmark

To Finish,
Valentines day was this week. Have you ever thought of writing a book with your life partner? Alli interviews husband and wife team Charlotte Zang and Alex Knudson about how they make it work.

This week Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi celebrated ten years of The Emotion Thesaurus... AKA The Bookshelf Muse. Ten years and six plus books later they are the must have authors on your writing desk. Angela and Becca have a special message to all their fans. Congratulations Team! (Raising a glass for your next 10!)


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 coffee button on the top right. Thanks.

Ramesseum in Egypt. The Ozymandias Colossus:

I met a traveller from an antique land, 
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, 
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; 
And on the pedestal, these words appear: 
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; 
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare 
The lone and level sands stretch far away.” - Shelley

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What’s In A Name...

I was listening today to the Spa Girls podcast on pen names and it got me thinking about how much a name identifies the author brand. In my blog posts I use the names of the content creators I reference as my label tags. This is probably against all the blogging rules. I have a list of experts whom I see as essential to check in with on a regular basis to provide overview of the industry or smart tips or new ideas. They are among the best in the business so I know that I am passing on quality advice.

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware is someone that you should check in with if you are ever offered a ‘too good to be true,’ deal or for peace of mind. This week Writer Beware had a post about all the clones that Author Solutions spawned. It makes sobering reading. There are so many hydras in the forest of publishing.

Joanna Penn and Orna Ross get together once a month to talk about issues for experienced authors in a Q and A for Alli. This week they were talking about personal branding, the latest Author Earnings report and the controversy it has caused, and rebranding the Indie Author Fringe conferences

Along with this good advice Alli have put together a quick overview of author business models. What systems should you be thinking of putting in place for your author business?

Kris Rusch continues her look at 2017 and turns it around for 2018. Self publishing is not the new kid on the block. Indie publishers are now a force with almost 1 in 5 books sold coming out of the Indie community. Kris and her husband Dean have more than 30 years in the publishing industry doing everything you can think of. They are the Go To people for the Gurus of the Indie world.

Jane Friedman has a guest blog on her website about rocking a free promotion day. If you are trying to get the word out about your book, here are some places and tips you can try.

Last week I highlighted all the big changes that have happened in the last two weeks in publishing. It’s not over yet. Barnes and Noble, America’s biggest bricks and mortar bookstore, want you to tell them what you like about the book you just read. The Digital Reader is trying out their beta version... Competition for Goodreads anyone?

Write On Con starts tomorrow... Online free conference for children’s writers... Jump on over and check out the fun.
Bookbub have a list of suggestions if you want to sell your books overseas... and it doesn’t cost much!

Kimberly Rempel has written a guest post on perfectionism and how it can derail the author. This is a timely post as I find that reading some very fine books over the Christmas period has left me a little flat when I look at my own writing. I must follow Kimberley’s advice.

In The Craft Section,

Using indirect dialogue- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

Writing characters clothing- Now Novel-Bookmark

Pattern and Repetition- Gabriela Pereira- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Mistakes made in book promotion- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Bookstagram (Instagram tips)- Bookriot

To Finish, 

Among other groups rebranding their identities are the Self Publishing Guys who kicked down the doors of publishing and said follow us into the promised land. Jonny, Sean and Dave are pivoting... into something new.... Check out their new venture in their own typical style...

(It’s really me...)

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. This blog runs on goodwill and coffee. If you want to shout me one, just hit the coffee button on the top right. Thanks.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Taking Turns

It’s February already???
Where did the time go?
The kids went back to school this week. I tried to find all my writing projects. They are scattered around the house in folders of scribbled notes... because the kids kept taking my computer.

This week there was a semi quiet announcement, which was pounced on by industry commentators. Walmart announced a deal with Rakuten Kobo. Walmart is a very big chain of stores selling all kinds of products including grocery. Kobo started as a Canadian eBook distributor with its own hardware reader. They operate ebook stores all over the world but not in the US. This is going to make 2018 very interesting with increased competition for Amazon.

While Kobo have been making moves so has Apple. They have rebranded their ebook store. The Digital Reader has some ideas on what Apple can do next to really ramp up the competition in the ebook market place.

Next it was Google Play’s turn. They started to sell audiobooks this week. If you have been looking at the audio format and wondering whether to do a deal with Audible with a 7 year contract lock in.... Maybe it’s time to take a look at all the other players who have audio book storefronts.

Here in NZ we are lucky to get free ISBN’s for our work. It would be nice if we got free I.S.N.I. -International Standard Name Identifier. This means that the code attached to your name identifies you as the owner of a public work. If there are 500 Jane Smiths all saying they wrote a book... which one are you? YouTube has just become a registration agency for ISNI. What does it mean for creators? Publishing Perspectives takes a look

Kris Rusch has an interesting blog post on things that can be learned about the Indie Publishing business from the publishing train wrecks of 2017. A little bit of distance to think calmly is always a good thing.

Karen Meyers has an interesting opinion piece on the ALLi blog. Why do you need to learn to market? Her answer; Do you want to be in business? It all comes back to what you want from your writing career. A very interesting and thoughtful post.

Ann Kroeker has a solution to the ‘where to start’ problem of writing. Reverse engineer your editorial calendar. Start right from the end... publishing it. This post turns writing on its head... but it just might work.

Janet Reid answered a readers question about how hard it was to restart a writing career from an Agents perspective. It is not impossible but...

Jane Friedman has a guest post from Jennifer Probst on creating amazing secondary characters. I have been guilty of letting a secondary character have too much limelight. How can you manage these characters properly?

In The Craft Section,

How to use dictation for healthier writing- Passive Guy- Read the comments for great advice.

Script analysis – Coco  Scene break down- Go Into The Story- Bookmark

5 types of surprises- SeptemberFawkes- Bookmark

9 secrets to supercharge your fiction- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

Characterisation- Fear – Ruthanne Reid

In The Marketing Section,

Have you got a catalogue page- Darcy Pattison- Bookmark

To Finish,

It’s time for a bit of inspiration... Jerry Jenkins asked 41 Authors what they wished they knew when they were starting out...

For me... it’s amazing how much you can get done in sprint writing. AND get a computer the kids can’t borrow...


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. A coffee is always nice so if you want to shout me one, just hit the coffee button. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Elliott Brown - Merry Go Round at London Zoo
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