Thursday, April 26, 2018

Leaping The Fence

This week I’ve been dipping into the wonderful content from The Alliance of Indie Authors Online conference held last week. There are some really outstanding sessions so if you haven’t checked it out you must do so.

With Amazon tightening up on reviewers (throwing the baby out with the bath water) Anne R Allen has written a thoughtful post on Reviewers and the Amazon problem and why Reviewers are leaving. This post has been updated twice with new information since she wrote it earlier in the week. This is a must read.

Today was a DV pitch day on Twitter for children’s books. #DVpit is for writers who are pitching #ownvoices manuscripts to agents. Recently Bran Ayres guest posted on Jami Gold’s blog about the #ownvoices movement and what it means for authors and readers. (I learned a new word/term- catfishing.)

I try to watch or listen to a podcast a day as part of my own up-skilling in the publishing industry. Joanna Penn’s podcast this week was on The London Bookfair and what’s coming in the future... or next week. Joanna is a futurist and she has been pretty spot on over the last decade. Be aware that publishing always thinks in the long term... so you need to be thinking long term for your career too.

Someone who is definitely thinking long term is Marie Force. She is gathering together a group of Indie Authors to advocate on behalf of Indie Authors. Check out the new Indie Support Network

While we are on futurist ideas, this little video crossed my path this week. Drama audiophiles this is for you... Once you watch it... your mind will open up to all sorts of possibilities.

From voice to video, where Diana Wink recently guest posted on Joanna Penn’s blog. Diana explains how to make a book trailer like a Hollywood director. If you are thinking video is too hard- take a look... maybe the time is right.

Two authors I have huge respect for are Kris Rusch and Melinda Szymanik.

Kris recently had to move towns for her health and found herself floundering in the upheaval. That’s when she made an important discovery- schedules and how important they are to the full time writer and why.

Melinda has been thinking lately about the barriers to writing. What barriers is your brain putting up and why? She offers some solutions and some practical advice... read it and conquer!

In The Craft Section,

The destructive power of the lie- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Deepening story theme- Jami Gold- Bookmark

Emotional Shielding- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to connect with book clubs- Funds for Writers

What marketing is- Career Author

Write a Killer Amazon Bio- IndieReader- Bookmark

How to produce Book Promo Video- Writers Digest- Bookmark

To Finish,

I have recommended Canva every day this week to someone. After the third time I began to take note. All the requests were differently phrased so it wasn’t a hot new problem that needed a Canva solution but just general stuff... and Canva was the best solution. David Gaughran thinks so too. He has a great post on making killer promo graphics in Canva. If you haven’t checked it out- you should... best of all ... it’s free.


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces in a monthly newsletter. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Alan Levine

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Future Proof

It’s my eleven year blogoversary. The publishing world is very different now than when I started. I am very different... I have more grey in my hair. Writing remains the same but the way we publish has changed. The way we will publish in the future will be different again. As everyone in publishing likes to say... we live in interesting times.

This week Porter Anderson reported on a panel discussion held on the eve of the London Book Fair where publishers discussed how well the industry was able to face the competition in storytelling coming from TV, Netflix et al. The panel represented some of the biggest names in communication and the comments are really interesting. Read it and have a glimpse into the future.

Netflix is everywhere.... No seriously, they are everywhere. I was surprised when I found out they were in every country but four. Their global business is 70% of their revenue. Now think about the implications from a publishing perspective. Remember you are in the entertainment industry... Read this article for an insight into how you should be viewing your work....

Last week Google unveiled a little feature that could change book buying habits for ever.
'Talk to Books' takes the search into the realm of conversational AI. Ask the AI to search by sentence... and it will tell you all the matches. Take it further and ask the AI to buy it for you and then read it to you. Digital Book World looks at where this technology might take us.

Last month I highlighted a money laundering problem that used authors details without their knowledge. If you publish with CreateSpace you may need to go and change your passwords because hackers have started to target it.

This week Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware highlighted a problem with Publishers Weekly. PW is a respected industry magazine style resource that everybody in publishing refers to, so what are you to think when PW advertise two vanity publishers with questionable practices?

Amazon have been pulling reviews lately. This has disconcerted a lot of writers in the industry. After all reviews ensure how books get seen by potential readers... which means sales... which beget reviews.... Penny Sansevieri posted an article recently about what you need to watch for to ensure that the Zon doesn’t pull reviews on your book.

The European Union are implementing some changes that will hit everyone who gathers data from people visiting their websites. Before you think that doesn’t apply to me... it may do. Do you have newsletters or freebies on your site? If so the EU laws apply. Check out this handy FAQ about what you need to know.

This week I was talking about comparisonitis in my monthly newsletter. It is a creeping disease that overtakes you when you look at your work in progress and almost any other book that comes into your orbit. Joanna Penn has a great article on the subject. If you suffer from this or recognise the symptoms, this is the article for you.

In The Craft Section,

Subplot ideas- Now Novel- Bookmark

How should a character say nothing?- James Scott Bell- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

To Finish,

James Scott Bell is one of my Go To writing craft gurus. When I’m in the middle of a tricky scene or taking a break or... I reach for a writing craft book. This week James talked about competence, which can sabotage a writer. Are you satisfied with getting by in your writing craft or are you willing to try to be better.

Over the last eleven years I have written a blog post nearly every week, a monthly newsletter for nearly two years, ten short novels, four full length and I don’t know how many short fragments of stories that sit in a folder on my hard drive. The more I learn the more I feel I need to know. I like to think I have improved as a writer. If you were around in the beginning and are still with me now... I must be doing something right.
Thank you for sticking with me every week.


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces in a monthly newsletter. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.Don’t forget to share the blog around your writing friends and if you want to fuel a celebratory coffee you can hit the coffee tab. Thanks

Thursday, April 12, 2018

It’s All About The Author Business

London Book Fair is on.
Along with all the usual Fair news there was one item which was making waves. Publica announced that they had published the first blockchain author. I spoke about the future of publishing in an event at the end of last year, where I mentioned that blockchain publishing was on its way. The future is now.

Around the time of the London Book Fair the Alliance of Independent Authors has a free online conference. This year the schedule is packed full of goodies. If you want to partake you need to sign up so you can get the webinars. It is free and you shouldn’t miss it.

 Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Wattpad is eying up the Southeast Asian market for... film, television print and digital content. They already have a toe in the water, it looks like they are going to dive in. This could be very interesting for all the Young Adult authors. Check out what else they have in store...

Amazon is not coping with scammers very well. The Digital Reader reports that they have asked a court to confirm an arbitration... which doesn’t even go after the big guys. Meanwhile they are pulling Cassandra Clares brand new book series because they thought she would never self publish... this has caused another Amazon storm this week.

Kobo, that upstart Canadian rival to Amazon’s digital distribution model has published an interesting interview with one of the big stars in the Indie Author world, Marie Force.  How did she create her empire and what tips does she have...

Joel Friedlander has written an informative article on print distribution and discounting and all the ways you can do it. This is a good starting point if you want understand what it entails.

Anne R Allen has a fabulous article on ten tips for protecting your creative writing self as you go about the business of publishing. This is a must read!

Sacha Black has written the best article on Series bibles and keeping track of characters timelines etc for the Writers Helping Writers website. If you are neck deep in series writing this is a must read!

In The Craft Section,

10 ways to show character emotion- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Story Structure- the whole enchilada- Larry Brooks- BOOKMARK

Delaying submission to an Agent- Why you should- Mary Kole - Bookmark

Dragon Dictation for authors- Nick Stephenson- Bookmark

A story idea every day for April- Go Into The Story- Bookmark

10 typesetting rules for Indie Authors- Michelle DeFillipo- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Promo sites- Nicolas Serik-BOOKMARK

How to create pre launch buzz- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

The dollars and sense of audiobooks- what authors need to know- Deborah Jacobs

To Finish,

Joanna Penn interviewed Jane Friedman about her new book, The Business of Being A Writer. This is the latest book on understanding author business. Jane, coming from an academic background, has written this as an academic textbook aimed at the MFA students who discover that writing that bestselling book didn’t make them rich. Check out the interview- two great gurus in one place!

The Independent Book Publishers Association has started a new podcast. They have got some great speakers and great plans for their podcast. Check out their first week’s playlist. Impressive!


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces in a monthly newsletter. (This weekend I promise!) When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.
If you like the blog and want to fuel my coffee habit you can hit the coffee tab. Don’t forget to share the blog around your writing friends.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Being Authentic

April slunk in along with the Easter eggs so it took a while before anyone noticed it. 

Amazon announced it was closing down Kindle Scout. This was unexpected and as industry pundits have said it was always an experiment anyway.

What wasn’t an experiment was a Twitter thread detailing the two different conferences that authors experience when they go to RWA, the biggest writers conference around. If you are a Writer of Colour what you experience is vastly different. 

A few months ago I linked to a plea by a British Independent Bookseller to have an organisation that could have the same marketing clout as the big chains. The House of Lords said tell us more and so this week publishing executives spent a few days informing the Lords just what makes a level playing field. A literate population is essential.

Attendees at Bologna Children’s Book Fair were talking about literacy too and the rise of Audio Books for children. With the increasing popularity of in home smart speakers, the big children’s publishers are adapting books into interactive experiences that 'Alexa' or 'Siri' can use to entertain your child.

Recently Steena Holmes sent out a plea to authors about finding your authentic fans and sticking by them. This is an interesting post and one to really think about if you find yourself in a marketing daze.

Have you ever had to give a performance of your work to an audience? Yes, it can be nerve wracking. Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz has 10 tips for taking your page to the stage.

This week Amy Collins has an interesting post about One Big Don’t. It is an important read for authors who are Indie publishing. If this is you... take the time to read it... and do your research.

Also in the Don’t category was the Twitter thread where a male author decided to take issue with the #ownvoices movement saying he was quite capable of writing from a woman’s interior viewpoint. Unfortunately when excerpts of his work were posted in the comments they didn’t prove his point. Woman wrote descriptions of themselves as they thought a male writers would write... also including famous male writers turgid descriptions of women and then the New Yorker published an op-ed. This is why Point of View matters so much in writing.

In The Craft Section,

Writing romantic and fight scenes- they are the same... NowNovel- Bookmark

When is it time to say goodbye to your Work in Progress and give up on it.- Anne R Allen- Must 

In The Marketing Section,

Book Marketing Mistakes- Reedsy- Bookmark

31 Book Marketing tips- Bookthority- Bookmark

How to embed social media posts- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

How to get also boughts- Written Word Media- Bookmark

To Finish,

Nathan Bransford has been struggling with concentration. He decided to fix it once and for all and discovered some good tips.

Last week I linked to an infographic that helped you brainstorm a book idea. This week what are you going to call your new Indie Press?

So coming soon from Black Fuzzy Turtle Press- the compulsively readable thriller about a lovesick ghost’s dream to explore their eating disorder....  

somewhere in a multi-verse near you...


I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces in a monthly newsletter. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. I promise to be early this month...

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Mike Lawrence

Related Posts with Thumbnails