Thursday, November 28, 2019
Thursday, November 21, 2019
This week was 'the after week' of one of Indie Publishings biggest conferences, 20 Books Vegas. Nearly 1000 indie authors and publishers got together to look at best practice and share thoughts about publishing. Already the plan is to significantly ramp up the conference for November 2020 with news today that it will expand to 1500 attendees. After 20 Books, attendees go home heads stuffed with learning and plans, they share their thoughts and takeaways on social media. To give you a little sample- here is a link to Dean Wesley Smith's keynote on having a sustainable writing career. Absolutely must watch!
The Returns system is often called flawed because it can encourage waste of epic proportions. Publishers are locked into big publishing runs and then Booksellers get locked into taking huge amounts of books, which they can’t sell so they get returned for a credit at the publishers. Often those books are in such a poor state they need to be dumped or pulped... a scheme ripe for graft as one enterprising bookseller, now in court, found out.
If by lucky chance the books are returned in good condition they can be on sold quietly to Big Bad Wolf- A book retailer in Asia known for the huge discount booksales fairs. BBW have just celebrated 10 years in the business with the startling prediction that in the next 5 years they WILL be selling 1 billion books.
The New Publishing Standard have been trying to find out just how big the book market is in China. All indications are that the market is seriously underrated. If you take Amazon and their bookselling dominance and then look at Alibaba- the eastern equivalent- they must sell books as well. The fact that Alibaba recently clocked up 1 billion dollars in sales in 68 seconds-( yes, that is not a typo,) indicates that if the book market was proportionally as big as Amazon’s then it must be huge!
It’s the middle of November and NaNo WriMo is getting serious. If you have the mid month writing blues check out these prompts.
Or gamify your sprints with 4thewords- and slay some monsters while adding more words to your daily total.
Or read this inspiring article on the secret of writing success by Diana Wink.
The secret life of an audiobook narrator was an interesting read. Nobody prepares you for the fact that you can’t read the words you have written. It’s harder than you think-says Bill Bryson.
Are you a push writer or a pull writer? This is a thoughtful read about motivation and getting the words down.
In The Craft Section,
How to add dimension to your story- September Fawkes Bookmark
What micro tension is and how to master it – C S Lakin- Bookmark
6 tips to descibe place- Now Novel
How to overcome fear as a writer- K M Weiland
Writing a series, 7 Do’s and Don’ts- Kassandra Lamb- Bookmark
In The Marketing Section,
How to write a blog post people read- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark
How to DIY an audiobook- Renee Conoulty and Sacha Black- Bookmark
Prerequisites of author marketing success- Joanna Penn
Email sign up forms- Blogging wizard
A Reedsy rep emailed me, this week, to tell me about a new plot generator that they had developed.
So much fun! When you are in the middle of NaNo WriMo and you need some inspiration to crack on with the final 20,000 words...check it out for inspiration or even just your next project!
Don’t Forget the Storybundle NaNo collection of Writing craft books- only available until the end of November.
It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links every month, you can subscribe and you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
In Publishing News this week...
Publishers Weekly reports that Amazon is reducing it’s buy in from publishers to make space in its warehouses. Should publishers be concerned? It’s only going into the busiest weeks of the year for sales...
Staying with Amazon, they have launched a new marketplace for teachers resources. Now all those nifty resources that you make for your classroom can be sold online to other teachers.
The Macmillan CEO came out to defend their library embargo to librarians. Publishers Weekly reports librarians wern’t impressed. Read the article and think about how someone in the publishing industry could get it so wrong.
On the other side of the world Sharjah International Book Fair has just wrapped up. TNPS reports that they broke their record and had over 2 million people attend. Meanwhile down the road The Algiers Bookfair, on at the same time, reported declining numbers. They only had just over 1 million. TNPS are doing a fantastic job of showing how many potential readers are out there.
It’s been a busy week around here as another child prepares to spread her wings and fly to the other side of the world. More of my family will be overseas than at home for the next few months. I have swapped writer duties for mother/lifecoach/cheerleader/travel organiser mode. Juggling life has shot my November writing goals out of the water. Oh for a bit of silence I thought so I was interested to read this article about writers and silence that might not be golden. Do you crave silence to write or is it a trek down to the local coffee shop?
Should writers be perfectionists? Kelsey Engen has 10 ways perfectionism kills the writer and 10 ways it doesn’t (Which side of the fence are you on?)
Recently the Guardian had an opinion piece from a crime writer who was taken to task by a concerned citizen about the content of his novels. Writing crime meant he condoned it. Hmmm. Where does the line stop between the writing and the author?
What makes readers give an unknown author a chance? Barbara Probst posed this question to a whole range of reader groups and reported her findings in an interesting article on Jane Friedman’s site. Yes, the book is judged by the cover but that wasn’t all.
Are you setting goals for 2020? (I’m ducking for cover as I can hear the screams that we’ve only just got into November...) Stephen Spatz makes a case for planning your reading goals early. You do read don’t you?
In The Craft Section,
Character descriptions- Avoid the boring stuff- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark
Surprise your reader in every scene- September Fawkes - Bookmark
Identifying your characters fatal flaw- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark
5 Misunderstandings that keep writers from Plotting- Mary Buckham
What really drives your characters- Jim Dempsey
In The Marketing Section,
Cover reveal checklist-Bookbub- Bookmark
Finding competing book titles- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark
Copywriting formulas- Blogging wizard- Bookmark
Penny Sansevieri has a great post on using video for book promotion ideas. It doesn’t have to be hard she says. There are some nifty sites out there who can help put together something fun. Bookmark this article and play with Book Promo for 2020.
Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
This week has been quiet as everybody hunkers down to write 50,000 words.
Amazon quietly closed its brick and mortar stores for a week and made changes. Instead of the books being face out as they were displayed before many are now spine out... and they now sport nifty e-ink price signs showing price and star rating. What are they doing with all the space they’ve freed up? Book tech.
In the showdown between libraries and McMillan publishing Who will blink first?
McMillan’s first salvo was to limit E-book copies, ramp up the price, and delay availability.
Libraries see it as an attack on the vulnerable who can’t afford the huge prices to buy print or can’t read them. (E-books have an audio capability for those with sight problems.)
Libraries are now refusing to stock McMillan titles...
How many authors have thought to themselves about changing their name to Anonymous... Imagine all the books you could say you wrote. Publishers Weekly reports that Hachette have been warned by the American Department of Justice about the publishing of A Warning by Anonymous.
They want copies of non disclosure agreements and work histories of the Anonymous author who is an official in the White House. But will Hachette give them up? Great publicity for the book due out soon.
Also in Publishers Weekly an opinion piece hads been shared around the virtual water cooler. We need diverse editors. This shines a spotlight on the problem of diverse books being ignored because the editors lack the understanding to champion the stories effectively.
Tara Sparling has been writing a hilarious series on book blurb writing... Here she is with part three. Short fiction and self help.
As a writer for children I keep an eye on what is news in the wider children’s publishing world.
An interesting article caught my eye about the lack of teen books. What do you give the good readers who are 11-14 and have read everything in their school library? They don’t want romance issues, love triangles or very bad language...They don’t identify with upper YA who are 16 plus. A gap in the market apparently. (I was this teen- I discovered Sci Fi and now I write it for this gap...)
Eric Carle at 90 has just signed away his whole lifes work to Penguin Random House. This article from Publishers Weekly was interesting as it talked about the IP (Intellectual Property) of the Carle estate. Why do you think PRH wanted it...think of the merchandising. Coming on the heels of another in depth post by Kristine Rusch on how writers have been conditioned not to expect a fair deal on IP and I just wonder who got the better of the deal, 90 year old Eric or PRH.
Jami Gold has another top notch post for writers looking for good resources to help them during the November salt mine tour of duty.
In The Craft Section,Mindmapping for the novelist- C S Lakin- Bookmark
Enhance your writing by layering- Jordan Dane - Bookmark
Introducing tastes in story- Zoe McCarthy
Writing the first chapter- Anne R Allen – Bookmark
Creating a mood scene using light and shadow- Angela Ackerman
Should you have exposition scenes- Go Into The Story
In The Marketing Section,When you need a blog post idea fast- Edie Melson
Basics of an author platform- Rachel Thompson
7 vital website ingredients- Small Blue Dog- Bookmark
How to spot cover design issues- Amy Collins
How to use mailerlite for authors- Frances Caballo- Bookmark
Top twitter tips for authors- Bookworks- Bookmark
To Finish,Craft Books Galore! Prolific works have put together 51 craft book resources for the NaNo WriMo author, and they are all free... but you need to hand over your email address and then find the time to study the books.
Have you thought of collecting your must have desk items into an exclusive store for your fans? Check out what one writer is doing with the Kit website.