Thursday, June 11, 2020

All Aboard

This week in the publishing trenches… 

Marches are still ongoing to highlight BLM. This week there was a frank interview with two Young Adult writers about Police Brutality, Y A Literature, and the Nuances of Black Storytelling. It is a sobering and candid interview about all the expectations the writers carry and how their work is made invisible in the publishing world. Along with this interview, I saw another which highlighted that publishing, dominated by a particular world view, perpetuates the stereotypes because that’s what they think the public understands. A writer who was writing a factual account of her experiences in prison found that because her story didn’t fit the stereotypical story she had difficulty getting published. 


Can the reading public cope with stories selected from outside a narrow band of white university-educated middle-class gatekeepers? A data analysis that came out this week on the New York Times Bestsellers list which answered this question. The figures are confronting.


The inequality in publishing was again highlighted this week with the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe.

Here writers were asked to lay out their publishing deals. This was brave of many and the numbers confirmed what many writers suspected.


With all the focus this week on publishing deals, Jane Friedman pulled together a list of questions that writers should be asking their editors or agents about deals. As you run your eye over it think about the deal in a business way. If you substitute the term “book” for a “super new gadget” wouldn’t the answers to these questions be the bare minimum in a business deal? How many writers even have these conversations?


With writers in the firing line, behind the firing line, or fueling the fires, a couple of articles tried to make sense of the turmoil.

Barb Drozdowich had an interesting article – Who are your readers? Do you piss them off?

Kris Rusch wrote an extra article today on Speaking out. Do you stand up for what you believe or play it safe in public?


Anne R Allen has been annoyed once too often this week on scammy online marketing solicitations. This fueled a blog post rant on why content marketers can really miss their mark with bloggers. I completely agree with her. I don’t get as many solicitations in a week as she does, but I do get them. In 12 years of writing this weekly blog, I can think of only about five times that I got a solicitation that I actually used, and three of those were from Reedsy when they were just starting out and proved that they read my blog. 


After all the battering to a writer’s mental health this week, it was interesting to read an article about caring for your back. This is timely as I write this curled up on the couch, my back not as supported as it could be. You don’t want to get writer’s back!


Gabriella Pereira of DIYMFA is in the middle of a virtual conference with a long list of writing interviews over two weeks. There is something for everyone in her guest lineup.

In The Craft section,

4 ways to make the most of your supporting characters- Shaun Leonard

A deep dive in points of view- Amanda Bennet- Bookmark

10 ways to keep writing when you would rather be doing other things- Meg Dowell

Script analysis – Knives Out- Scott Myers

Making a good first impression with our characters- Jami Gold- Bookmark

Writer Igniter- Writer prompt app for brainstorming- DIYMFA- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to pitch radio and become a talk show guest- Sandra Beckwith

Take your career to the next level- Mark Dawson and Joanna Penn – Bookmark

How to promote your books right now- Rachel Thompson

How to use your book cover for marketing – miblart- Bookmark

6 tips for marketing on your author central page- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish- on a positive note

Every now and then you come across an offer that looks too good to be true. Nick Stephenson sent an email out this week with a link to the latest infostack bundle for writers.  He is part of it but he took the time to investigate everything on offer… and over $4000 of products were in the bundle which is only $49 this week. So head on over and check it out.




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Pic: Titanic 


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