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.

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