Thursday, June 27, 2019

Where’s The Money?

In the publishing blogosphere this week...

The New Publishing Standard (TNPS) keeps an eye on the global news of publishing. Sometimes we forget that there is a whole world out there in publishing not just the UK or the US. This week they highlighted that many EU countries are dropping the high VAT taxes on ebooks. Good news for authors and readers. However, there is always a holdout. (Quick, guess who?) 
TNPS also reports that Big Bad Wolf has set up their tenth market in South Korea with 2 million English language books in an 11-day sale. (If you haven’t caught up with BBW they sell remaindered books from publishers, often reported as pulped.) 

A bookstore owner in New York wrote a plaintive open letter to the New York City Hall asking for assistance to stay in business. It is in the cities best interests to have bookstores because of the value to the community... therefore the city should subsidise them? Agree? Disagree? 

Meanwhile, over in the UK, the Guardian reports that print sales are down...but Audio Books are a runaway success. Of course, publishers are ready and able to take advantage of the new surge in the popularity of audio. (cue contract rights grabs...)

Anne R Allen has been blogging for ten years. Yes, it was a surprise to me too. Her fabulous blog is always a must read. She shares her ten takeaways over ten years
Colleen Story has an interesting blog. Recently she took a look at imposter syndrome. Do you feel you are a real writer?
I’m a regular listener of podcasts, Rose Ernst has rounded up the 29 best Indie publishing episodes of all time. All my favourite podcasts are in there and a few new ones I must check out. *Waves to the SPA girls- NZ’s popular publishing podcast who made the list!*

Kris Rusch continues her series of blog posts examining all the opportunities for authors at the recent licensing expo. This blog post is a must-read for authors. Please read it and think about the implications. I remember many years ago hearing a romance writer explain to me that she was in the entertainment industry. This blog post absolutely explains how writers have never understood what assets they actually have.

Kathleen McCleary often bases her characters on real people. Many writers shy away from doing this. Kathleen shares how you can do this successfully with her blog post-  Be Careful or You’ll End Up In My Novel.

In The Craft Section,

The most common mistakes- Nathan Bransford

Six mistakes that can kill a plot-Mythcreants- Bookmark

What does plot reveal character mean? Jami Gold Bookmark

Briefing your beta readers

Writing characters with personality- Writer Unboxed

Subplots – Scott Myers - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

5 ways to increase sales with Instagram

How to conquer Linkedin- Frances Caballo

Author websites with stellar designs- Bookbub- Bookmark for ideas!

How I helped this author grow her platform from scratch- Dan Blank

Bookmarketing- nonstore events- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

To Finish,

The Creative Penn is always a resource of interesting ideas. Lately, Joanna has been turning her blog over to some great guest posters. This weeks guest post is all about creative writing tools... and no it is not the fancy pen.
Another must-look-at tool is the Beginners guide to Indie jargon for Book Marketing. This is not just a glossary but is a fabulous link list to the best articles explaining what each jargon term means. If you have always wondered what a CTA is... 


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Thursday, June 20, 2019

New Lamps for Old

This week as the news of Barnes and Nobles purchase dribbled out, there was a taking stock over whether their saving was a good thing. On the whole, it was seen as positive but pundits are still taking a wait and see approach. The news that Waterstones staff felt their wages were too low even in the face of their CEO saying they got a ‘stimulating job’ to make up for it went over as well as you could expect.

News of another screw-over arrived from the Digital Reader. Libraries are smarting. Publishers have been changing the terms of access to ebooks by libraries. In the past six months, three publishers have changed access from perpetual access (at way over hardback prices) to access for two years (at way over hardback prices.) One way to kill ebook lending.

Remember when Audible annoyed the romance writers over the horrible terms of their subscription offering and writers left the service in droves. After all, getting pennies when it had cost you thousands to record an audiobook wasn’t very fair. We’ll do better said Audible. They relaunched their audio subscription with a new name... but it could be the same old... 

The New Publishing Standard is expanding its offering. They are backed by Streetlib who operate out of Italy. Streetlib are keen to open up the rest of the world to digital publishing.  They have committed to Africa where they see the next big market for books. (Just remember all the Commonwealth countries in there...) So a dedicated newsletter for the African publishing market is about to be launched.

Marketing is always a tricky subject for authors. It is hard to put on your marketing hat when you’ve just spent ages with the creative hat on. Two interesting blog posts caught my eye this week for authors wrestling with email marketing. How to improve your email marketing and 14 content ideas for emails. Go forth and improve.

I try to get up and move around every half hour or so when I’m writing. But when you are in the flow sometimes you can forget to do this. Here is a timely reminder from one writer about what could happen if you don’t pay attention. Read it, it could save your life!

How often do you think outside the book? Are you thinking print, ebook, hardback, audio, gaming, movie, voice search, streaming, podcast... If your eyebrows lifted, check out Kris Rusch’s blog post on the licensing expo she has just attended. Joanna Penn’s guest, Makoto Takudome, shows how easy it is to get Amazon Polly to make your book into a podcast. 
Voice search and audio content are here to stay. How can authors use them to tell stories? There’s a new outfit making bite-sized stories for Alexa to read out. They need writers. 

In The Craft Section,

10 writing blogs to check out

Writing the anti-villain- Reedsy- Bookmark

Conflicts and goals in romance- Jami Gold- Bookmark

Goal orientated storytelling tension- Chris Winkle

5 ways to keep readers glued-  H R D’Costa- Bookmark

Two punctuation blunders – Anne R Allen- Upskill Here!

In The Marketing Section

How to get easy author publicity-Rachel Thompson

Getting paid to talk- Events after publication -Emma Darwin

Ten business models for Indie authors- Orna Ross

5 Book marketing strategies- Barbara Freethy- Bookmark!

7 ways to Make more money from your books- Leslie Millar- Bookmark

To Finish,

Jillyanne Hamilton has put together 20 super writing and publishing resources to help you make your book shine. Some of the resources will be familiar to you as I mention some people frequently but there are some new ones in the mix you might like to check out. 
Collaboration is the way of the future. Think artists collectives, Indie publishing houses, or just getting some like-minded friends together to take on the world. 


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This blog runs on coffee and love so I really appreciate all the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Publishing By Numbers

The Big Big News in the publishing world was the sale of Barnes and Noble this week to Elliot Advisors hedge fund.
After five CEO’s in four years the lifeboat may have arrived in the nick of time for the troubled bookseller. Publishers have been holding their breath as the demise of the largest bookshop chain in the United States would decimate their bottom lines. 
Last year Elliot Hedge Fund bought Waterstones, a large UK chain of bookstores. James Daunt, who had his own branded chain of bookstores, continued as CEO. Waterstones went through a massive rebranding to make each of their bookstores act and feel like an Indie bookstore, thanks to James leading from the front, since 2011. 
So now that they are on the up, Elliot Hedge Fund must be betting that James Daunt can pull it off again as he has been named as the new CEO. (No pressure James.) Barnes and Noble came cheap. Only two years of Waterstones profits to buy one of the largest bookstore chains in the world. 
So how did Barnes and Noble get it so wrong? Author Kristen Lamb shines the spotlight on how the publishing companies could have done something and didn’t. After all, this was their biggest showroom and they effectively gave it to Amazon.

Staying with our global focus on bookselling, Sharjah Emirate has been making waves in the International Book World. They have built Publishing City, a purpose-built complex of over 400 offices for the worlds publishing community. ALL TAX-FREE. This week Ingram signed a large contract to bring Print on Demand services into Publishing City. Porter Anderson takes a look at how this might challenge and change publishing globally.

Amazon has been running a large literary prize for a few years now. This year entries are open to any book published in the English language. The prize is a wad of cash and a translation deal because translations may be the next big thing.

Anne R Allen has an interesting blog post on the lure of the writing template. Are all novels beginning to feel like more of the same? Are writers playing it safe with form and format and copying down the same format time after time or is this just the essence of storytelling.

Jami Gold has a great folder of templates to help writers on her website. She recently came up with another good one to add to her resources for Authors. A truthful to the Author priority list. If you flail around looking for all your to-do lists and get overwhelmed at setting goals and priorities for your writing, this is the template for you. A step by step breakdown of how to prioritize.

While you are thinking of goal setting  Katelyn Knox has figured out a way to track your daily writing and focus goals on a google form. This is really interesting. I never thought of using a google form in this way.

Another tool in the Indie Arsenal is this great website. Creative Law centre. This is a lawyer specialising in authors and their contract needs. Check out this great template for audiobook narrators and then fossick around and find other useful stuff.

Writer’s Digest has a roundup of twenty new agents and what they are looking for... If you want to get a feel for what may be coming in the next few years, go into Twitter (Agents love Twitter) and type #MSWL (manuscript wishlist) for a comprehensive list of agent wants.

Reedsy has put together a collection of solutions for Writer’s Block. Just in case you still need help to figure out what to write next, who to send it to, what your contract could mean. after you’ve used the right template, set your goals and tracked them before heading to Sharjah and appearing in a huge book tour through Waterstones and Barnes and Noble.
It’s all in the little details that add up to the big numbers of dollars... (WriterDreams)

In The Craft Section,

Writing scene endings – Now Novel

How to hint at emotional wounds- Angela Ackerman

Writing tone and voice- Dana Sitar-Bookmark

Internal conflict types- Lonerwolf

2 basic rules of editing- Allegra Huston

Overwriting- How to reduce your word count- Tara East- Bookmark

Story goals are they slowing your pace- Jami Gold - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

11 steps to stellar Instagram- The Digital Reader

The new look KDP reports- Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark

How to build an author platform- David Gaughran- Bookmark

To Finish,

Suzanne Lakin has a handy blog that I have linked to for quite a few years. Today she posted that she was involved in a huge story bundle. Over $5000 worth of courses, books, and templates for only $49. I was intrigued. It looks pretty impressive. It’s only available for a week so check it out. ( Tip: Go to the learn more page and scroll down the list of goodies.)


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If you’re feeling generous and you like the blog, shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top. This blog runs on coffee so I appreciate all the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Rafael Matsunaga- That was supposed to be going up, wasn’t it?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Write Your Own Empire

Recently Danielle Steele was interviewed about her writing day and her answer shocked a lot of writers. No 9-5 for Ms. Steele often 22 hour working days. Aerogramme Studio decided to ask four fiction writers about Danielle's typical working day and what they thought of it. 
Is this what it takes to build an empire?

Anne R Allen is always a voice of sanity around the publishing blogosphere. This week she looked at the psychology of how book scammers work. This is a must share article. There are so many book scammers that prey on the book vulnerable. They are building huge scammy money making empires from the clueless.

Book Expo America ... or the PR room for Book Publishing empires. Bookbub gathered together the hottest trends in promotion at BEA 2019 to share.

Joanna Penn is working on making her name as well known as Jon Snow’s but with a better outcome. She details the steps she went through on her Arc of the Indie Author. Empire awaits.

Celedon Publishing is a new kid on the Trad publishing block in America. However, this didn’t stop them from running a savvy campaign to generate word of mouth for their first book. The Silent Patient launched at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Bookbub took a look at how Celedon achieved this. 

Orna Ross recently wrote on the Alli blog an interesting article on the psychology of success for authors. Do you think self-publishing is second best? It is a fascinating article on growth mindset versus a fixed mindset and got some interesting comments.

Kristine Rusch is at the big licensing fair this week and in her prep for it, she came across an interesting article on the Led Zepplin empire. What does that have to do with writers you wonder? Changes in the music industry hit before changes in the book industry. In many ways, we are following behind the music industry. So when a music publisher suddenly pivots and exploits the backlist of a band... what does that say about where there will be future changes in the book industry? Read this article, especially if you have Trad contracts.

Jami Gold has an interesting post this week on story planning. How tightly do we hold onto our plot details? Is there room for spontaneity? How do TV scriptwriters do it? This is a great craft article to get you thinking.

In The Craft Section,

Stay Thirsty- secret to storytelling- James Scott Bell

Gameify your writing life- Rochelle Melander- Bookmark

When should you stop revising- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Giving writing feedback- Now Novel

Extended metaphors- Reedsy

In The Marketing Section,

How to get free book reviews- Penny Sansevieri

How to use Google Data Studio to analyse Facebook ads- Karley Ice Bookmark

Identify your reader – Chris Well

The most nonsensical terms used in book blurbs- Be Aware- Litreactor- Bookmark

Should you crowdsource your cover design?- Publishers Weekly

To Finish,

Who would be a bookseller? The Guardian recently went in search of booksellers and found quite a few who wouldn’t do anything else. The Indie booksellers had great tales to tell of community building but the fringe bar takes bookselling to another level. Buy a book and receive a complimentary alcoholic drink... My vision instantly leaps to a chain of book bars... An empire in the making.


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Pic: Iron Throne from Bytesdaily

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