Thursday, January 31, 2019

Are There Icebergs Ahead?

I sent out my newsletter yesterday, where I complained about the heat.
Sorry Northern Hemisphere writers. But while you are getting polar blasts we are getting
record breaking heat waves.- A sign of things to come.

Kris Rusch has been musing on signs of things to come and they make unhappy reading.
Based on Simon and Schuster’s end of year report from their happy CEO,
writers had better be understanding all the contracts that they sign.
THIS IS A MUST READ. (cue sirens, hooters and bells… if you don’t understand IP
then you really really need to read this.)

In news around the publishing blogosphere....
The Man group are pulling out of the MAN Booker Prize.
Hints and rumours are already suggesting they have a replacement sponsor.

Events on the near horizon… WriteOnCon!
Next weekend be prepared for the 3 day online Kidlit writers conference.
Every year I wonder how I can get away from the house and dive into all the goodies on offer
in an exclusive writing cave where I can binge watch presentations. Check out the schedule
and the price is sooooooo  Cheeap!

Meanwhile in happier author news- Draft2Digital has rolled out a schedules promotion tool for authors.
If you drop the price on all outlets and then have to race round manually requesting a price drop this is for you.
You can check out the link here on The SPA Girls podcast page.
(This is a cracking good podcast for Indie authors.) Dan Wood of Draft2Digital was their guest this week.

Reedsy has a nifty blog with interesting articles.  If you are thinking about your 2019 goals take a look
at How To Start A Publishing Company then read Joanna Penn’s guest Bonnie Baguley on
Why authors should throw out their timeline to success. 

Harper Glenn has an interesting post on Writer Unboxed- Are you tethered to the wrong story?
This is one of those posts that make sense of that niggly feeling when you open your word doc and frown.

Bang 2 Write has a great website on all things script for authors. This week they had a great article
on why lack of structure is killing your characters and a recent nifty one on Productivity.

Jami Gold has a great article on How Pantsers Develop Characters. If this is you- it’s a must read…

In The Craft Section,

Writing for an audiobook- Writer Unboxed- Juliet Marillier

Check out the Character motivations as well.

5 essentials for opening scenes- Mythcrants- Bookmark

Story Planning - which way is best -Jane Friedman- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section

Using Microsoft Sway - WordDreams

12 Book marketing tips- Marketing for Writers- Bookmark

To Finish

If you are looking at your Manuscript and wondering if it is an iceberg on which your writer boat might hit.
A few words of wisdom from Stephen King via Ruth Harris on Anne R Allen’s excellent blog
might be your life saver. The 10% rule and the secret power of …..


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 like the blog and want to shout me a coffee- hit the coffee button up top. Thanks.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Crimes or Opportunities

Down Under it is Summer and everyone is hunting shade or staring at unusual weather phenomena. This week in the publishing blogosphere many authors in the Northern Hemisphere were getting hot and bothered for a different reason.

Author Sherilyn Kenyon was in the news for all the wrong reasons this week. Reading like a plot from a novel, poor Sherilyn was in court as the victim of poisoning... in a crime of passion. Many writers wouldn’t have used this plot device because of the cliche nature... but in real life...

What do you call it when someone scans your book, creates a PDF, and shares it around?
What if that someone was a library?  Do the same rules apply? The library says no. They are sharing information. The Authors Guild and the Society of Authors (UK) say... Cease and desist or we bring in the lawyers. Who is in the right? This is an interesting case given that author incomes have been falling lately.

Hot on the heels of this story comes a timely post on Jane Friedman’s site from author and intellectual property lawyer, Brad Frazer about the Public Domain. Every year on January 1st new works enter the public domain... If you are hazy on what it means... read this very interesting post. (I’m off to find my Kahlil Gibran... there are some merch opportunities...)

Longtime readers will know how interested I am in co-operative publishing. I keep saying that the model is a smart way of working. Sri Lankan data science author, Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, has a fascinating post on this popular publishing model (think James Patterson) and the increasing dominance of Indies in this area lately.

Two fabulous podcasts caught my ear this week. No surprises one of them was Joanna Penn interviewing Paul Jarvis on how to effectively be a Company of One. This is a great interview on being in business by yourself. The other was the latest episode from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marking podcast. If you haven’t caught any of their shows you are missing out. The team interviews great guests about real marketing ideas every week. This week they chatted among themselves about all the different tools they use (and why) to conduct their various author empires.

Jami Gold has a great post on the aftermath of the move to KDP from Createspace. If you were waiting for the dust to settle to find out what the problems are this is the post for you!

Kris Ruch continues her excellent series on what to watch out for in 2019. This week she turns her laser eyes onto all the recent mergers in publishing. There were a few that slipped in over the Christmas break that will be quietly unsettling the industry in the next few months.

Mike Shatzkin has been down under recently... (he wandered through my home town this week.) While down under he popped into Lightning Spark – Ingram's print on demand printer arm, to see what they were doing. Eyes were opened. Mike is a publishing futurist commentator. He has a few things to say about where publishing and POD might head in 2019 especially for Aussie and Kiwi publishers.

Rachel Thompson has a list of ten excellent books for writers... there are a few I haven’t heard of which look very interesting- however one book she missed was The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. (The book that started their publishing empire...) They have updated it. This is a great writing craft resource book. Jami Gold got her hands on an ARC and she is wowed with all the new updates!

In The Craft Section,

All about subplots!- Elizabeth Spann Craig – Bookmark!

What does your hero want? Michael Hauge- Bookmark

How do I get the main character involved with the plot?- Mythcrants

What to do when there is no bad guy- Janice Hardy

Courting the modern muse with Tarot- Writers In the Storm

In The Marketing Section,

7 steps to build your brand from scratch- KevinTumlinson- Bookmark

10 great strategies to monetise an author event- Janice Hardy-Bookmark

How to get going with mailchimp and email marketing and Pinterest for writers- Frances Caballo

Are you losing money on KDP Delivery fees- Bookmark

To Finish

Katie Davis has a guest post over on Anne R Allen’s blog about that terrible writer syndrome... Procrastination. This afflicts many writers and there are many causes of this terrible disease. Katie outlines some of the reasons why you might be suffering this and what to do about it. (Summer holidays anyone?)


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 like the blog and want to shout me a coffee- hit the coffee button up top. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Benny 457

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Same But Different

Another New Year... Another set of Writing Relating Goals and Publishing Predictions... reach for the last of the New Year’s party wine. 

Last year predictions were that Audio would start to take off. – This year continues that prediction- we haven’t seen the end of the beginning of the explosion in audiobook sales...  AI technology is ramping up. Chuck in publishers making audio-only deals and everyone in publishing is starting to take note of the gold in them thar hills....

Mark Coker always has an interesting perspective on what the new publishing year might bring. He’s more often right than wrong so take a look at what he considers to be the big issues going forward.

Joanna Penn dashed down under to catch up with family but still had time to make sure that her great podcasts were ticking over. Two recent ones that are well worth checking out are Creative Goal setting trends for 2019 and a great interview on 21st-century lessons for a creative mindset with Mark McGuiness.

Agent Laurie Mclean has also dipped her toe into the prediction pond for this year. Her big message – people reading (and finishing) a book is declining... we must encourage the eco system of books if we want publishing to survive. 

Kris Rusch and her husband Dean Wesley Smith have seen too many new publishing years to count. Kris is doing a great series on planning for the New Year. The longer I have been watching this industry (coming up to 11 years soon) the more I value Kris and her insights into what is going on. Start with her Boxing day post – The Current State Of Disruption... follow up with Part Two- Sales ... Part Three - on libraries and Part Four- Audio

Over The Christmas Break...when everyone was recovering from Christmas dinner Amazon changed tack again. Gone are product display ads... and in are Lockscreen ads. As everyone is commenting it’s a pay to play world out there.

Also in the news was the highlighting of a new trolling behaviour that is targeting successful sellers on Amazon.  They target the reviews and tell Amazon that you paid for 5-star reviews... The Zon comes down with their big sledgehammer... meanwhile the originator of the false claim reaps rewards... It’s a long process to get back to square one.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to get a handle on Social Media you are not alone, Fae Rowan writes about the pain she feels when she contemplates Social Media marketing. Drop into the Writers In The Storm Blog to join in the conversation.

Penny Sansevieri has decided that 2019 should be the year of the vlog. Writers need to get a handle on using digital media as search becomes increasing image driven. And it is so easy, says Penny....

Anne R Allen highlighted a tidy list of ... new writer scams for 2019. They don’t stop trolling for newbies as we hit another new year. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know who to avoid and where to go to find out more... don’t forget to tell the newbies out there that there is heaps of information if they just search for it. Google is your friend. Typing ‘to-good-to-be -true-offer and scam in a search bar is the first thing they should do. Remember anyone who wants you to pay them to publish your book... tread really really carefully!

Keren David over at an awfully big blog adventure ( children’s writer's blog) throws down the gauntlet to publishers about diversity... getting out of London and seeing what’s happening in the smaller centers etc etc. She has a list of great things she thinks they should do this year... after all, it is 2019. Has anyone in publishing heard of Skype? 

In The Craft Section.

How to get emotion on the page- Lisa Cron-Bookmark
The different types of editing- Writer Unboxed
Resources for writers- June Takey- This is an all you can eat blog post Bookmark!
8 writing tools to get the words flowing
Setting up a kanban board to reach writing goals in 90 days. Organise and win at writing...

In The Marketing Section,

What to include in your marketing strategy
Follow these steps when you publish your first book
Bookbub ads- David Gaughran- Bookmark
Using Pinterest to market children’s books- Jane Friedman- Bookmark
Amazon Advertising for KDP authors in 2019- Chris McMullen

To Finish,

Over my summer break, I had some fun trying different dictation solutions. Google came out the clear winner with almost 100% accuracy... except for the lag in voice capture which meant I lost the beginning of every sentence. All the words it caught were 100% accurate tho. At the huge Consumer Electronics Show (CES) The big tech giants were showing off their snazzy voice everything applications... including translations.
In 2019 will we be able to dictate content and have it automatically translated including social media posts to become a truly global publishing consumer and provider... 
Fasten your seatbelts...  


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 like the blog and want to shout me a coffee- hit the coffee button up top. Thanks. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Davity Dave

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