Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sometimes you just need coffee

(to stop you reaching for the bottle…)

This week the Cilip Carnegie and Cilip Kate Greenaway medals were announced. These awards are for the best children’s book and best illustration published in The United Kingdom. There were two things that stood out for me when I read about the winners.
The Cilip Carnegie went to a dyslexia-friendly independent publisher- Barrington Stoke for Lark by Anthony McGowan. This is a win for all those publishers who take publishing risks to make books accessible to children who struggle with reading. The other winner caught me by surprise- I am so used to seeing Shaun Tan’s brilliant work that I thought he had probably won it before. Not only is he a first-time winner of the illustration prize but he is the first winner in the history of the prize to be a person of colour. (Fill in your oath of surprise here.)

The Black Writers Guild sent an open letter to UK publishers, this week, making specific requests to tackle inequalities and representation in the publishing business. It was signed by over 100 Black authors. The publishers have responded with many saying that they will do better… 

Meanwhile across the pond – The Department of Justice is suing Senator Bolton over his forthcoming book in an attempt to halt publication. You can’t buy this kind of publicity and Simon and Schuster know this…They are promoting three books with all their free publicity, including a tell-all from the president’s niece and a biography of the president’s wife.

Mark Coker of Smashwords writes an annual crystal ball prediction at the beginning of each year. Today he released a crystal ball prediction for life in publishing after Covid 19.

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware has updated her post on 6 things to watch out for in contract clauses. It is a very good guide for how to spot red flags. I watched a twitter exchange today between two big Science Fiction Authors about contract negotiations and saw one advise the other to get limited terms. This means when the rights revert back to the author. Savvy authors are now putting this into their contracts- although it’s a fight. Many writers are asking for Limited Terms for Rights Reversal for a period of way under 10 years. 

Jami Gold is taking some time to reassess how much time she puts into her blog. As much as she loves to write one of the best writing process blogs around she also needs to watch her health. This is a timely reminder to readers of her popular blog. Are you doing too much and neglecting your health? Cutting back is better in the long run than falling over completely. 

Derek Murphy of Creative Indie has written some interesting workaround posts over the years. Here he takes a look at the review policy of Amazon in particular the ARC’s review policy. How can you work around their rules to get reviews?
Along with interesting posts, Derek also makes available great tools to help writers. Here is a free novel outlining template for Scrivener. (Derek is also the guy behind Free DIY Bookcovers and the 3d book cover generator)

Mark Tilbury has a great post on the mirror moment in your writing. If you aren’t sure what it means check out the post. He gives a shout out to James Scott Bell’s Book – Write Your Novel From The Middle- which is superb.

In The Craft Section,
 2 Great Posts from Angela Ackerman – How To Avoid A Half Baked Idea and How to describe a location you’ve never visited -Bookmark Both!

A-Z of Character Archetypes- Wordhunter- Bookmark

Determine your raison detre as a writer- Katherine Grubb

Weaving The Backstory- Anne Hawkinson

In the Marketing Section,
2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri -How to market a book with a virtual event  and The ultimate guide for authors on SEO- Bookmark Both!

Go Local first for book publicity- Joan Stewart- Bookmark

Blurbing and being Blurbed – Barbara Linn Probst

To Finish,
From time to time I mention author book collectives and how the power of a group can supercharge your writing success. I have mentioned Triskele books before but recently Roz Morris interviewed the founders for an in-depth look at what makes their collective work.
Last week I had fun doing dictation into my word document although I noticed that I was mostly writing dialogue. Bang2Write has a great post on writing 1000 words before 9 am. Not quite sure how they say you can do it without coffee tho.


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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.

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