Friday, December 20, 2019

Looking Back On The Last Year Of The Decade

My last weekly roundup for 2019 and I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and look at the last year of the decade in publishing. What were the big stories? 


Mark Coker released his annual predictions for the upcoming year. How well did he do? 
Amazon released lock screen ads.
Kris Rusch talked about all the mergers and consolidations over the 2018/19 Christmas break... and lo what do I see in my inbox today, Pearson sells all their remaining shares in RandyPenguin.


Kris Rusch wrote one of most standout posts for author learning. Understanding Intellectual Property. Read it again. 
Young Adult debut author Amelie Wen Zhao got a pile on for having slavery as part of her book and asked her publishers to pull it because of the backlash. This is what happens when you fall foul of an echo chamber. The influencers crying foul had not taken into account that other cultures also have suffered/continue to suffer, slavery- not just the US. Amelie released her book last month and it is doing well. She talked recently to NPR about the controversy in February.
Scams reared their ugly heads. Publishing scammers prey on the clueless. Always check in on Writer Beware- they have a search function. #copypastecris burst on the publishing landscape. At last count 85 books and counting. Nora Roberts promised vengeance was hers.


Bookbub got into Audio and announced Chirp in conjunction with Findaway Voices. They are aiming to promote audio and grow the Chirp audience just like the Bookbub ebook audience.
Creative resistance became a byword for March – Check out Chucks very good post on how to overcome it


In April I ticked over eleven years of writing the weekly blog. 
Writer Guild decided that suing Talent agencies over the shonky deals for screenwriters was a good idea.
The New Publishing Standard shone a light on what China is doing in publishing.
April is the month of the Bookfairs and Kris Rusch told us to have fun with our writing even when our critical voice is trying to derail us.


Ingram became the only distributor on the retail book block after Barker and Taylor threw in the towel.
Google Play decided to make things difficult for aggregators, authors now have to sign up directly. However, they don’t make that easy. Mailchimp wrecked their goodwill with authors and David Gaughran eviscerated them.


Barnes and Noble were sold to a Hedge Fund that owns UK chain Waterstones, their CEO, James Daunt, took over almost immediately. 
Sharjah Emirates opened a TAX FREE publishing city. 
Kris Rusch discovered licensing and completely changed thinking about her writing business.
Publishers changed their terms to libraries causing widespread consternation about ebook lending rates. Macmillan recently stopped their ebook availability to libraries. 
You never discover a new author at a library and then go out and buy all their books SAID NO ONE EVER!


Joanna Penn rattled brains with her mega-post on how AI will change the publishing industry. Since she published this some of her predictions became true faster than she thought. Then it was all about saving money, making money and scamming money. Pearson switched to lending textbooks to students- cue overdue fines! And everywhere there are subscription services.


The world lost Toni Morrison. Dean Koontz signed with Amazon. Morality clauses started to be enforced against authors and Google Play increased its royalty rates. It’s still difficult to get into though. Leapfrog nations are where the money in publishing is.


The Medium article by Heather Demetrios on how to lose a third of a million dollars without trying dominated the month.  Dean Wesley Smith took clueless writers to task about learning the business. Chuck Wendig pointed out that the first job of a newbie author is to ASK QUESTIONS.


The prep month for NaNoWriMo. 
Mike Shatzkin published his list of how publishing will change in the next few years.  Everybody was talking about how exploiting your backlist was the next big thing and Are you hanging on to unexamined beliefs that are holding you back. 
New Zealand lost Jack Lasenby, one of our most-loved storytellers for children.


NaNoWriMo hit along with one of the biggest Indie Authors conferences around 20 Books to 50k. Dean Wesley Smith’s keynote is a must-watch. 
Big Bad Wolf is getting bigger and bigger. There is a huge market for Engish language books in Asian countries. Ruth Harris looked at the publishing rollercoaster and how to stay sane. Just who is really listening to audiobooks? An untapped market awaits.


I leave you with the inspiring post from Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. How To Build A  Roadmap To The Author Future You Want.

May you have a Blessed Christmas and a Peace Filled New Year 
See you in January.

Get in quick and subscribe to get my last newsletter of the year All the interesting craft and marketing links from 2019. 
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, December 12, 2019

‘Tis The Season

As we steam towards Christmas there is a slightly frantic feel in the air. Did you achieve all you set out to do this year? This week many posts were looking at time management or scheduling or just getting to grips with your To Do List. 
Picture yourself at the Writers Christmas party- let’s listen in to the top conversations around the buffet.

Kris Rusch has an interesting blog this week talking about expectations on yourself. Are you being realistic with your energy?
Scott Myers continues his ten part series on writing goals for 2020 – This week it’s time management.
Melodie Campbell talks with Anne R Allen on her blog on the three things you need to master to stay in this writing game.
Sabaa Tahir asked a bunch of authors what their best advice was to people just getting started in publishing.  Meanwhile K M Weiland pulled out a golden post which still has relevance- The 7 stages of being a writer.
Janice Hardy checks in with the agent dating game for those of you trying to find the right match. 
Max Booth is tired of the embarrassing things writers say… Are you guilty of uttering any of these…?
Publishing Perspectives shares a great Christmas Carol twist story for publishers and Nathan Hoffelder asks everyone if they know about the changes in ISBN’s coming in the new year.

It’s time to go back into your writing cave but before you do you check out this fabulous collection of weird and wonderful websites that Shayla Raquel has collected- A writers research bonanza.

In The Craft Section,

The lie your character believes- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

How To Come Up With A Title- James Scott Bell- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Worlds Shortest Marketing Plan – Joel Friedlander

Book Promotion 101- Bookbub- Bookmark!-

Write an awesome blog template- Bookworks - Bookmark

To Finish,

Tis the season to be… thinking about writer gifts. Every week since the start of December there has been a neat roundup of gifts you can give yourself… or tell your family to get you.

Next week will be my last blog post for the year. It’s the end of the school year… Summer… and Christmas madness. I’ll be doing my Christmas roundup for my newsletter and then it’s feet up for a while. 

If you want a feast of links and a chance to be in my subscriber Christmas draw go on and subscribe to my monthly newsletter. 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, or an eggnog, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual love. Thanks.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Gifts, Goals, and Global Domination

NaNoEdMo is here, otherwise known as December. Where has the year gone? 
This week my writing buddy commented that we need to take stock of our year and celebrate all we have achieved. How often do we sit back and say ‘I’ve worked hard and achieved some things and I deserve this pat on the back I’m giving myself?
So as we enter into the last month of the year and decade- if you are too shy to acknowledge your achievements, here is my message to you. You Have Done Well, Grasshopper!

In publishing news... 
Smashwords had quietly been innovating in the corner and yesterday they announced a new service- Pre-Sales (Not to be confused with  pre-orders) You get dedicated links to give to all your fans or promo for the length of time you need and you get their emails as well. And Smashwords wants to extend this to ANY creator. The New Publishing Standard took a deep dive into Mark Coker’s announcement of how it will all work.

Streetlib in its quest to be THE Global Bookstore has partnered with Kobo and Bookbeat to distribute audiobooks around the world. This makes sense in light of the recent article from The Times about Deloitte forecasting that 2020 will be the year that audio will outsell ebooks in the UK

Have you thought about 2020 and your publishing goals? While you reflect on your year over eggnog, spare a few thoughts for the coming one. Bookbaby has an interesting blog on how to plan for the future and Scott Myers from Go Into The Story has a whole series of posts designed for you to take a deep dive into goal setting.

Penny Sansevieri has a great post on 2020 marketing goals- don’t forget that marketing is also something to be planned. (Take note, Maureen.) Anne R Allen has a great post on blog commenting. Did you know it is a quick and easy way to get your name out there? Something to add to your personal branding goal planning.

And now for something completely different…
The Dream Team of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have put together the Annual Writer’s Advent calendar. This is where you have the opportunity to enter in a different great giveaway every day… Go Forth And Be Of Good Cheer.

In The Craft Section,

Quick and Tidy tips to streamline editing- Insecure Writers Support Group- Bookmark

The secret to writing fascinating Villains- Laurence McNaughton- Bookmark

Creating Plot Twists- Janice Hardy

In The Marketing Section,

2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri -5 creative ways to highlight your book reviews and

Organic Facebook reach for Authors- Maggie Lynch- Bookmark

Audiobook Narration with Sean Pratt and Joanna Penn

To Finish,

Tis the season to be thinking about cool writing gifts for yourself… or others. Every Year Jami Gold puts out the Ultimate Writers Gift Guide. And yes it really deserves the title. This is chock full of fabulous gifts. I swooned over the bookends alone….
Nathan Bransford has a different take on the Writer Gift list. This is more tongue in cheek and will appeal to those who like to give the off the wall gift.


I’m doing a roundup of the year for my last newsletter of the year so if you want a feast of links and a chance to be in my subscriber Christmas draw go on and 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, or an eggnog, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual love. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons Guilhem Vellut- keen eyed Kiwi’s will see some interesting added features to NZ on the Globe.
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