Thursday, November 19, 2020

Profit and Loss


In publishing news this week

A case of a big company crushing the writer… Disney asserts that when they purchased the rights to a contract they did not purchase the obligations and they want a non-disclosure agreement before they even talk about it. The Science Fiction Writers Association is rightly concerned (angry/vitriolic.) Disney can profit off Alan Dean Foster's work and not pay him? How many other writers are in this position? This discussion is taking over the writer internet today with many writers calling Disney out on it.

Draft To Digital has introduced a welcome change to their services. They are now offering payment splitting. If you have collaborated with other authors on a book or a boxset they can split the royalties now. 

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is moving its dates in 2021 following London Book Fair’s announcement last week. Bologna will now be in June and will be bigger than ever with a new parallel programme running alongside.

Are you guilty of using violent imagery when you don’t need to? Michael Gallant has an article on the Bookbaby blog about the prevalence of violent imagery in words and when to use it appropriately.

How can you tell if you are growing as a writer? K M Weiland has a great article on how you can tell if you are spinning your wheels or reaching for new heights.

Kristine Rusch has written another interesting blog on what she sees is the Train Wreck of Trade Publishing at the moment. She is responding to Mike Shatzkin’s October blog post The end of the General Trade Publishing Concept. Mike comments on where trade publishers are getting their money now and how they see the titles they acquire. Kris points out that when a publishing guru like Mike finally sees the handwriting on the wall it’s almost too late for the industry to learn and change.

September Fawkes is always an interesting read. Here she unpicks Arrogance vs Confidence and Humility vs Self Depreciation

In The Craft Section,

How to continue writing when you get stuck- Novelize - Bookmark

7 plot structures for pantsers- John Peragine- Bookmark

How to start your synopsis- Becca Puglisi

The charm of the large word in the right place - Mathina Calliope- Bookmark

Creating a Storyworld- SlapHappy Larry

In The Marketing Section,

How to set up a sponsored product ad- Dave Chesson

Starting from Zero- Joanna Penn interviewing David Gaughran- Bookmark

Using video marketing and why it’s important- Frances Caballo

Marketing a new book - Bookbub- BOOKMARK

4 easy SEO tips for writers- Ivelisse Rodriguez

How to make free 3d mockups of your book- Bookmark

To Finish,

As the publishing world changes and the pandemic hits all the events you might have gone to… authors and booksellers are having to get creative with their marketing. Lisa Tener interviews some of the team behind A Mighty Blaze-  a social media community for authors and readers on how to virtually market the book.

It has to make a profit for someone...



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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Jonathan Harford

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Book Marketing



This week in Publishing…

In welcome news this week Amazon has introduced series pages and now you can run ads to them. General jubilation in the author community. 


Meanwhile, The London Bookfair dates for next year have been announced. Instead of a Spring fair, it’s in Summer…giving everyone that much more time to be vaccinated and be ready to spring back into the publishing calendar that we used to know. (Prediction – I don’t think we’ll see life as we used to know again.)  


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard reports of Storytel’s Interim report. Storytel is based in Sweden and is digital subscription model. With moves into India and acquisitions all over Europe, the  audiobook subscription market is getting bigger and bigger- But will it overtake print books? We could be watching the tipping point. 


Big Bad Wolf is set to unleash 20 million English Language books in a four day flash sale in Malaysia. (If you ever wondered where your ‘pulped’ books go on your royalty statement.)


A simple hack for when you want to make your literary criticism essay go viral… Attack the author.  The Nation looks at the ethics of this.


The Alliance of Independent Authors have a great article up on Leveling up your author business. This is a must read. All authors are keen to learn. If we are learning we are growing our business.


Joanna Penn has an interesting interview this week on Networking for Authors. How often do you poke your head outside of the bubble and just chat with other authors. Lot’s of lovely things happen when authors get together. Check out the interview and pick up some tips.


Jami Gold has a great guest article on her site this week. What sort of marketing plan suits us? If you want to learn anything about marketing books talk to a Romance writer. Siera London shares lots of tips to be thinking about.


in the Craft Section,

5 components of the perfect scene- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Why you should side write your protagonists origin scene- Marissa Graff- Bookmark

6 questions to ask when editing scenes- Go Teen Writer

Use a character’s career to support your theme-Becca Puglisi

Emotional truth and storytelling- Robin Farmer - Bookmark

4 story weaknesses that lead to sagging middles- Tiffany Martin- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Maximising books sales with Facebook and Bookbub- Melissa Storm- Bookmark

3 tips for better author blogs- Sandra Beckwith

The fabulous David Gaughran latest book marketing video- MUST WATCH

5 basic rules of Social Media- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

How to announce a book launch to your mailing list- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to launch a book during a pandemic- Samuel Moore Sobel


To Finish,

Every now and then I drop into the Killzone blog because I am in awe of this collective of writers. They have a great roster of writers talking about all sorts of things. They were the first author collective to do swag and this is where I found writing craft guru James Scott Bell. This week James was writing about the terrible task faced by writers everywhere. How to weed out books. I confess I fail utterly at this. Do you have a non-negotiable criteria list for keeping books?





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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Paul. I can’t decide if this is great or terrible book store marketing…


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Escape Writing


It is November! Outside I hear fireworks… inside, everyone wants to know who has won the US Election. Meanwhile, there are writers around the world trying to block out all distractions to get on with NaNoWriMo. Don’t forget to check out the NaNoWriMo Storybundle of craft books available until the end of November. (Early Christmas present to yourself. There are some great books in there!)


This week the big news was the arrival into the UK of just in time for the UK lockdown. This initiative has made news in the US and surpassed all their projections in the first week in the UK. This is a way for indie booksellers to sell books that keeps the money in their pockets. Great for shop local campaigns. Meanwhile, Passive Guy takes a look at Indie Bookshops that have started Go Fund Me pages just to stay afloat.


Across the channel, the European publishing industry is fighting a campaign of cultural awareness. Books are essential to the well being of a community and therefore bookshops should stay open. Some countries agree- others not so fast, Monsieur.


An ugly rumour about Audible has been doing the rounds among authors. They are promoting trading in your audible book credit for another book. Surely not, said authors. That would mean authors would never get paid for their audiobook under the subscription model. Nate Hoffelder found out the rumour was true and Audible is promoting this. This is a despicable thing to do to authors stuck in this program. 


Kris Rusch had a great blog this week on how much writing and storytelling is an escape for the writer as well as the reader. How often are you diving into your manuscript with relief as you escape from the outside world?


Writing and Wellness has an article on ways writers can benefit from silence and how to build it into your busy day.

Joanna Penn has an interesting interview with Wendy H Jones on writing and marketing in multiple genres. How do you market yourself when you tackle such widely different markets?


Ev Bishop has a must-read post on Branding 101 for Authors. This is a really interesting article on mindset. For instance, what do you want your readers to take away from your stories? The answer is your brand. Sounds simple but that is only the start. 


Litreactor has a great article on story openings. What are the five things to keep in mind to wow the socks off anyone reading the first page.


In The Craft Section,

Incidental Characters that make your novel zing- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Love triangles that work.- Roz Morris

Top 5 mistakes writers make with police characters- Stuart Gibbon- Interesting

How to develop your character- and writing exercises on tense - Now Novel- Bookmark

10 ways to get a stuck story moving- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

12 tips to write tight- Debbie Burke- Bookmark!

How to spill strong emotion on the page- Laura Drake


In The Marketing Section,

Selling books internationally – Dave Chesson- Bookmark

20 tips to rock your Social Media- Frances Caballo

5 Book Launch prep essentials- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Email marketing – Julia Evans- Interesting

5 reasons authors should email market- Rachel Thompson


To Finish,

With the word count of 1667 per day to crack in the month of November for NaNoWriMo, many writers look for ways to avoid distractions. One of the biggest distractions is the internet… and the US Election. I have a nifty Neo keyboard that doesn’t connect with the internet and runs on batteries. But this week Techcrunch unveiled a little beauty of a keyboard The Freewrite Traveler- a clamshell, take anywhere keyboard and screen. Of course, you don’t need a dedicated unplugged device. You can write anywhere if you have the tools, on your phone, dictation, message yourself, or good old pen and paper. Get those words down. Escape into your writing!





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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Eden Janine and Jim- Magician Cardone


Thursday, October 29, 2020



This week in Publishing News…

Europe has been hit with another round of business closures as the country shuts down again in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus. In France, the publishers are pleading with the government not to close the bookstores because it will affect the cultural life of the population. 

The Guardian reports that in the UK – online library lending was up. Apparently, everyone was turning to fiction to cope with isolation.


One bookstore has seen the need to give shoppers the bookstore experience while they send them to their online store. You can take a tour of the bookstore to get your virtual fix of bookstore love… It makes me want to visit this bookstore in person… what a great shop!


Staying with visibility in the marketplace Vietnamese publisher Ehomebooks has introduced a new global children’s book prize for an unpublished manuscript. They want to share the love with illustrators and authors who are trying to break into the industry.


For some publishers who thought the sky was falling six months ago… their balance sheets are not reflecting this. Bloomsbury (saved by Harry Potter in the ’90s) has seen a huge boost to their ebooks sales. Who knew there was money in them thar digital books? But interestingly the profits have spilled over to print as well.


Audiobooks continue to look like the next stealth battleground amongst publishers. Podcast sites (and their ability to host audiobook content) are being moved on by the likes of Spotify but this week another player entered the podcast market. IHeartMedia is bringing its considerable heft to publishers with a seismic shakeup according to The New Publishing Standard.


Kristine Rusch has part 3 in her series on discoverability in this new weird world we are finding ourselves in. She has a great article about thinking outside your writerly box and writing what you want to write because the publishing landscape will never go back to the way it was before. If you have been stuck in a niche now could be the time to break out. 


Over at Jane Freidman’s blog, Susan DeFreitas writes about what publication means. It is a great post on the wisdom of writing for yourself and the discovery that when you started on the publishing journey the core reason to do this hard, challenging, fascinating, drudgery… is the yearning to be seen.


Reedsy has an interesting post on Freytag’s Pyramid 5 Act Structure of the story… another way of tackling the first draft. 



In The Craft Section,

How to improve a story with action beats- Jami Gold- Bookmark

Developing an idea- Roz Morris- Bookmark

How to raise the stakes in your story- NY Book editors

Multiple points of view- Reedsy- Bookmark

Five writing mistakes- Krystal Craiker

5 ways to make your character hate you – Janice Hardy- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to find your books target audience- Miblart

5 most common mistakes in book cover design- Written Word Media- Bookmark

Favourite author marketing tools- Judith Briles- Bookmark

Maximising your author central page and 

November Unique content ideas – Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish,

I came across this interesting post by K M Weiland today- On how your age affects your writing. As I was reading I was reflecting on the issues that I was interested in way back twenty-plus years ago when I started taking my writing seriously (said to myself), and what I am interested in now. Yes, your age and life stage does affect how you think about writing, and also the topics you tend to gnaw on as you write. Always keep learning about this frustrating, challenging, creative, business. 





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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Jesper Sehested Pluslexia



Thursday, October 22, 2020

Book Identity Crisis

This week John Scalzi turned his blog over to an Icelandic writer who wrote an article about the difficulties of translating his own work. You might think it is just a standard article on translation but Alexander Vilhajalmsson was translating from old Icelandic, made up Icelandic, and new Icelandic fantasy ideas. So why am I linking to it? I was thinking about the shrinking globe effect. Bestsellers get translated and have a whole new life. Publishing houses get swallowed up by global behemoths. How does a writer stand out in a global entertainment industry? By being your authentic self apparently. 


Kris Rusch has the second part of her post Writing in the 21st Century- Find your own voice… carve your own path. This is a great post about giving yourself the power to run your business your way


All we can know about the future of book publishing is that it won’t look the same as now.

The recession is starting to bite in publishing land. News is trickling out that Macmillan is closing their children’s imprint. Mike Shatzkin takes a look at the rumours of Penguin Random House buying Simon and Schuster- What does this mean for the shrinking trade market? How much power is in the back list? Is this the end of general trade publishing?


A few weeks ago, I had an article about Spotify possibly moving into the audiobook space. So here is another stealthy move by them… commentary on your playlists. I was thinking hmm how can authors use this as a marketing idea?


Written Word Media has a report on how reading has changed in the Covid months. (I was about to write Covid years- sigh-looking into the future) This is an interesting look at what genres got read the most. WWM run Free Booksy and Bargain Booksy Newsletters so they have a lot of data at their fingertips.


If you are worried about podcasts cannibalising your audiobooks – don’t be. Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard tells why they are mutually reinforcing factors for good.


Paul Dinas has an interesting article on the worth of freelance editors… (Worth their weight in gold) however he ties this to the changing acquisition structures of the big publishers. Will an editor even edit your book if they accept it?


Ten essential tips to eliminate distractions from your writing. (A great checklist for organizing your writing time)


The fabulous duo of Angela and Becca have made their collection of images and tips available for NaNoWriMo so check out this fantastic resource. Don’t forget the Storybundle of Nano books. All the authors get paid and so does charity.


In The Craft Section,

Compassion fatigue is it relevant for your characters?- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Writing Synopses and trimming words- Linda Clare- Bookmark

Learning from mistakes made by big writers- Bonnie Randall

Motivation and the writing life- Elizabeth S Craig

Writing Tools for NaNoWriMo- Angela Ackerman BOOKMARK

7 ways to disguise a didn’t see it coming plot twist- Cutsceneaddict


In The Marketing Section,

How Can I promote my book for free- David Kudler

Author platforms – Learn from the kids- Michelle Melton Cox- Bookmark

7 mistakes to avoid when promoting on Social Media - Shayla Raquel

Smash through creative blocks- Angela And Becca 

How to Write a killer Amazon bio and Seeing the good in a Goodreads giveaway- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark both

Consider translating your work- Angela Ackerman


To Finish,

Recently Netcredit decided to gather the most popular books from each country into a list so that while you were stuck at home you could read around the world. It is an interesting list full of country defining books- Thornbirds anyone? Not sure I agree with the NZ one tho. I’m happy to take suggestions for the book that defines our country. Overseas readers check out your country’s suggested books Do you agree?





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links. Why not subscribe and 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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Joe Shlabotnik


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Reframing The Writing Business


It is Book Fair time… online. Frankfurt is underway with over 4000 digital exhibitors. Trying to wrap your head around that is hard but luckily Publishing Perspectives has got your back and is publishing lots of articles from the Fair.  They have a quick rundown on the International Publishers Association - State of Publishing reports. This is a comprehensive series from Norway looking at the future of publishing against 7 norms. 


Every year around Book Fair time The Alliance of Independent Authors holds their 24 hour online conference. This year the themes is tools. Check out the lineup and carve out some time this weekend to attend virtually!


This week the Indie Bookstores in America are having a box out campaign to highlight shopping at Indie bookstore instead of Amazon. Indie Book Blog published an article about the shaky future of Indie Press.’ These are all the little publishers that publish niche or more challenging genres than the big 4. Take a look at your bookshelves. How many books do you have published by small publishers?


While we are thinking about Indie bookstores, spare a thought for all the cinemas out there who are watching the decimation of their business. Kris Rusch looks at the future of entertainment venues- how do you reframe your business in uncertain times.


This week a friend sent me a link to an article published locally about the problems of supply for Bookstores coming up to Christmas. I know we hate thinking about Christmas in October but in the book business that’s what you have to do. Even though this article is about buying books… don’t forget to add printing books for Christmas sales to this. 


Roz Morris has a great article on how to get an early start on your NaNoWriMo project. Start planning your characters. She has great tips on how to flesh out your characters and plot and how to get all your research done so you are ready for November 1.


In The Craft Section,

Diving deep into Point of View- Christina Delay

The ultimate guide to creating characters- Shaunta Grimes- Bookmark

Don’t  give readers a reason to reject your novel- Anne R Allen

10 quick tips to writing disabled characters- Elena Paolini- Bookmark

10 step checklist to writing a better novel- K M Weiland

Creating the authentic villain- Kyla Bagnell- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

3 amazon reader review myths- Sandra Beckwith

Setting up a course – interview with Dave Chesson

How to craft an elevator pitch that sells- Ruth Harris- Bookmark

7 steps to self publishing success- Zara Altair

105 hashtags for writers- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

Effective Social Media for your book marketing campaign- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to find the right background image for your website – Nate Hoffelder


To Finish,

October is NaNoPrepMo. Sometimes the fact that November is just around the corner and pressure to write that novel in a month can suck all the joy out of writing. If you have been having a tough writing year and are struggling with the muse – Give yourself a break. Litreactor has a great article from Karis Rogerson about just writing for yourself by reframing your writing.





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links. Why not subscribe and 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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – LeighKlotz


Thursday, October 8, 2020

You Deserve An Award


Awards are the external validation that you have ‘made it’ as a writer. Just entering or long listing can be affirming that your work is good. This week Publishers Weekly who administers The Selfies – Awards for self-published books added a new category - Kids books.

Meanwhile, The New Publishing Standard takes The Bookseller to task for blowing hot and cold over allowing self publishers a place at the award table… or under it.


Rachel Thompson has a great article on Anne R Allens Blog on writing, marketing, and staying mentally healthy in these challenging times. It’s all in the quality of care you give to yourself.


Kris Rusch is also thinking about self-care. How are you framing the pandemic to yourself? Kris explains that this once in a generation event changes human behavior forever. Are you allowing yourself the mental space to absorb new behaviors or do you think we will get back to normal?


What's New In Publishing has been looking at what publishers have learned during lockdown.

They talked with three UK publishers about lessons learned and changes made in their operations which they are taking into the future. 


Teleread has an opinion piece of the demise of comics. It was news to me… but I understand the reason to be concerned. Comics were originally aimed at the Middle-Grade child… Has anyone seen any of these comics around lately?


How many of you stuck at home in the pandemic have been twiddling your thumbs over the games console? Did you know that games need stories? Abeer Kapoor writes about the opportunities for writers in the gaming industry.


Two powerhouses of writing in one place… Joanna Penn interviews Katie Weiland. It’s all about craft and story planning in this great episode/ transcript.


How long should a short story be? Reedsy has an interesting blog post on examining the short story- and you can sign up for their weekly short story competition.


In The Craft Section,

Timeless endings- Donald Maass

Creating Characters who clash- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

5 exercises for honing story instincts- K M Weiland - Bookmark

Stuck in the middle- Janice Hardy

Creating Believable characters- Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark

60 words for Just- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

 2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri-Planning for holiday sales and Knowing your reader- Bookmark

Presenting Virtually- Tamsen Webster- Bookmark

Quenching your readers' thirst- Judith Briles

Author newsletters- DIYMFA -Helen Darling


To Finish,

October is known as NaNoPrepMo… or the preparation month before National Novel Writing Month. Angela Ackerman sets out a few good reasons for why NaNoWriMo should be on your must-do list this year. If you are looking at your Work In Progress,  you can still do NaNoWriMo… just log your words.

Every year Kevin J Anderson curates a writer's bundle of craft books on Storybundle. There is a great collection this year. Check it out- Cheaper than an award ceremony you can’t attend.





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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Fennec Cooper



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