Thursday, December 17, 2020

Take A Deep Breath



It’s nearly the end.


This is the last blog post for 2020. What can I say… I will be glad to see the back of it. Summer (down under) A time to relax and recharge while dodging sunburn.


With New Year just around the corner, it can be a fun planning time for the year ahead.

Joanna Penn has a new book out on Author Business Plans so check out her latest podcast then pair those ideas with this article from LegalZoom on how to write one.


The Dream team Angela and Becca have unlocked all their Advent Contest Giveaways which are still available until the 19th so check out what’s on offer.


Scott Myers has a new post in his Writing goals for 2021 series. This one is on time management. This is a good series and something to bookmark for craft goals next year.


If you missed the AudibleGate scandal – Alliance of Independent Authors has a run down on what has been happening this year. Audible aren’t making changes until next year. If you were thinking of getting into audiobooks in 2021- Check out all the distributors before going with any of them. This is a fast changing sector. There are better players out there.


Remember Publishing Conferences? Germany has their FutureBook conference online in January. For a look at the state of publishing check out the titles of the keynote speeches.


Penny Sansevieri has a roundup of what she thinks will be the marketing trends to watch out for in 2021. Check out her comprehensive list and do some future planning. 


Joel Friedlander has his Book Templates on sale so if you are looking for an interior template to format your book in, check them out. I use them and they are brilliant!


In The Craft Section,

25 things you should know about Antagonists- (Chuck Wendig- an oldie but a goodie. Usual Chuck warnings apply.)

2 great posts from C S Lakin- Metaphor and imagery and Evoke Reader Emotions- Bookmark

What is the motif literary device? - Sherry Howard

7 tips for creating tension- Hannah Green- Bookmark

Keys to start your mystery novel- Zara Altair


In The Marketing Section,

Will your novel solve a problem?-Janice Hardy

Two great posts from Penny Sansevieri- How to choose keywords for Amazon Ads and 10 

Design tips for a Buy Now Book Cover- Bookmark

5 Nonfiction lead magnet ideas- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

How to pick a best selling title- Barbara Delinsky


To Finish

Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted a new addition to the sidebar. Yes, finally after twenty years, the first in series is out and it is on sale until January. 


Let’s finish the year with a reminder on the 5 things every writer needs.

May you have a peaceful, blessed, and safe Christmas break. I will be back halfway through January.





It’s time for the last newsletter of the year. So if you want to get the bumper roundup of links for Christmas- Go on and subscribe.

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: Line Edit of a Christmas Carol… when 2020 becomes ridiculous.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

New Lamps For Old


In Publishing News this week…


Remember this time last year when Audible wanted to create transcripts of audiobooks and they got slammed by publishers because that was effectively making ebooks. Another year rolls around and Android are making changes, one of which is captions for audiobooks and this time the publishers are on board?


Last week I mentioned Overdrive’s huge jump in lending figures. Overdrive supplies libraries around the world with eBooks. A lot of publishers distribute their eBooks to libraries through Overdrive. Amazon was never interested in libraries until someone in their office must have made a connection somewhere. Publishers Weekly report changes are afoot. 


I try to keep one eye on the educational publishers, think of the captive market of students and their textbooks needs. Academic publishers went to digital subscription early for journals. Textbooks however are still a holdout. What are the differences between Trade and Academic publishers? Prestige or Money? Richard Charkin explains how the mindsets of each are changing and even swapping.


The dream team of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi always find innovative ways to give back to the writing community. They are hosting a writing advent calendar and you can go back in time and join all the giveaways. Check it Out!


Nick Stephenson has been working with a website designer recently looking at author websites and coming to grips with what should be in a comprehensive one. He has 7 essential elements for an author website for you to think about. 


Reedsy decided to round up the best book covers, in their opinion this year. I was looking through them trying to figure out what sort of unifying trend there was that made them all similar. 2020 - was it the year of blue or the year of rough font- or a symbolic representation of the existential despair suffered by cover designers and publishers as they grapple with life in 2020.


Kris Rusch has an interesting blog this week on the signs of hope that the coming year may be getting back on the right track. But there will be big changes. For instance, all the big movies are being released online instead of in cinemas. Movie producers are still going to rake in the cash from a captive home audience. Will this spell the end of the big cinema chains? (There is a huge movie theatre construction site happening not far from me. They might have to repurpose the building.)


Recently K M Weiland had a blog post on overthinking your writing. This is a horrible little trap when the perfection demons come out to play and you lose any joy in your work. Katie has some strategies for you.


In The Craft Section,

How to make the most from our story tropes- Jami Gold Bookmark

13 pieces of advice for aspiring authors- Shelly Munro

4 ways to fix a boring story- Gilbert Bassey

Writing schedule hacks – Now Novel- Bookmark

Your characters why- Beth Barany- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Lessons learned from producing podcasts- Simon Owens

The 2021 Literary Calendar for Social Media- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

How to sell romance books- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

What to include in an advanced information sheet- Dan Parsons- Bookmark


To Finish

As we head into the end of the year thoughts turn to writing gifts… What would you like to give yourself? If you are struggling to put your finger on the right gift check out Reedsy’s collection of gifts. For the creative among you - you can always make your own version of The Writer’s Block.





Next week will be the last blog post for the year and also time for the last newsletter of the year. So if you want to get the bumper roundup of links for Christmas- Go on and subscribe

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 – Gisela Francisco


Friday, December 4, 2020

Publishing- The Numbers Game



In the publishing blogosphere this week

News broke that Book Expo America is no more. Once the biggest book expo in the world BEA has had difficulty over the last few years trying to regain their niche. There are mixed feelings about the news.  The New Publishing Standard says no tears will be shed. 

However, there is a different story coming from Publishers Weekly. It is interesting to see the two sides of the story.


TNPS reports on Overdrives lending figures for 2020. Overdrive provides digital content for libraries around the world. They report that ebook lending almost doubled- the numbers are eye-watering. The biggest jump in borrows was children’s picture books. I was not expecting that.


The Story Studio guys sat down with Jane Friedman recently to talk about the lay of the land as Jane sees it going into 2021. Will there be big moves or will it be more of the same? No surprises- it’s an audio podcast and guess what, audio will keep getting bigger as Traditional Publishing starts to figure this out. A fascinating interview with Jane. 


I keep an eye on Academic publishers because that branch of the industry is usually the last to change their ideas. That’s when you know something has gone mainstream. Publishers Weekly has an article from Oxford University Press about how to survive a pandemic for publishers.


Ruth Harris has a great post on all the resources to create DIY covers. I like to trawl cover sites for inspiration… you never know when an image might spark an idea for your current work in progress. Playing around on Canva is relaxing and it's free. 


Donald Maass has a great article on Writer Unboxed about beats. If you are unfamiliar with this term- these are the turning points of your story. This is a MUST READ craft article. 


In The Craft Section,

Layering your scenes- Jordan Dane- Bookmark

Writing tightly- James Scott Bell - Bookmark

How to create unique voices for multiple POV’s- Lisa Hall Wilson- Bookmark

When you have no story conflict- Jami Gold

Editorial feedback – friend or foe- Sherry Howard


In The Marketing Section,

The shy authors guide to book promotion- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Are you ready to market -take this quiz- Frances Caballo

SPA Girls- How to use bonus content to sell books- Podcast brilliance

How to leave digital breadcrumbs- Lola Akerstrom

How to market a kindle book- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Marketing Apps- a guide- Frances Caballo- Bookmark


To Finish,

Finally, we get to December and the wrapping paper comes out. I am always interested in the best presents for writers lists. Some I wouldn’t mind getting, some I just shake my head at. Here is a list of writer creativity and craft books from Lit Reactor. I have 3 of these and they are amazing reference books. (Story- Robert McKee, The War Of Art- Stephen Pressfield, On Writing -Stephen King)

Dianne Mills also has a great list of gifts for the writerly soul. (In a cute Christmas tree picture.) 





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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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