Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Price Of Fame



This week is the one-year anniversary of the countrywide lockdown for Covid 19. As a country, we closed schools and worked from home, where we could. We learned the value of a daily walk in the neighborhood by putting teddy bears in the window for little children to count. (We had a skydiving bear off our carport.) We all learned Zoom and Skype. We discovered new ways to work and consume entertainment. In the publishing world, conferences were canceled and books were delayed. 

One year on and the lockdowns continue in the big cities which host big publishing conferences. This week the Paris Book Fair was canceled and the company behind the book fairs is in trouble. The new publishing world might just be digital. Are publishers ready for this? The New Publishing Standard asks. Wattpatt is forging ahead with plans for TV shows and streaming services. 

Meanwhile, Kris Rusch has an interesting story about what happens when Hollywood comes calling and you discover that you signed a contract for all rights. Tom Clancy’s estate legal fight could be yours. Just who does own Jack Ryan?

 

Facebook is launching a journalism platform. It is aimed at self-publishing journalists giving them the tools and place to publish multi-media stories. But who is going to consume the content and how are they going to pay for it? Your FB author pages might just be the next money stream for them.

 

Draft2Digital a publishing aggregator introduced payment splitting a few months ago. That has been a boon for co-authors and groups publishing digitally. D2D does all the heavy lifting. Recently Kevin Tumlinson of D2D shared how authors have been using this new feature. Take a shared universe….

Of course, you can’t use D2D unless you are publishing your own work so to help you out Jane Friedman recently had a blog post on 11 signs you are ready to self-publish.

 

It is nearly tax time here in New Zealand. After last year, the taxman may not get much of a haul. Sacha Black looks at personal finance for Indie Authors.

 

Di Ann Mills recently wrote a guest blog on the most valuable writing advice she had ever received. I absolutely agree with her… 

 

In the Craft Section,

How to show not tell- Janice Hardy – Bookmark


Finding your way to the end of your story- Sharon Warner- Bookmark


5 reasons why you need a professional editor- Jim Demp


10 questions to help you set the stage- C S Lakin- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Create Book Promo graphics- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark- Also Check out David Gaughran's latest video on FB ads- Making one in real time with Canva 


How to market Indie books - Ingram Spark


Free book promotions- Frances Caballo – Bookmark


 2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri

5 essential book marketing strategies for mystery authors and

5 features of effective and engaging websites

 

To Finish,

Last weekend I attended a writing workshop for two days. We had a whiteboard where people could write questions that we answered in breakout sessions from writing. One of the questions which caught our attention was, what if you start to hate your story? 

James Scott Bell recently wrote an excellent blog on just this problem. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It is nearly time for my monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links. 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 – solexlife

 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Reaching Out To Readers

 


This week publishers are watching the Maryland State Legislature who have passed a law giving libraries the ability to license eBooks and other digital content for their consumers. Great news for libraries but what about publishers? Amazon does not license books into libraries so this directly affects them. Other states are watching carefully. Meanwhile, Passive Guy put his lawyer hat on and delved into the implications of this law for writers.

 

I have been mulling over online workshops and meetups that have been such a feature of the 2020’s so far. This week my husband had invitations to three back-to-back international meetings. (All in the middle of the night, our time, after his usual work-day.) If he had attended all of them, he would have put in almost a 24-hour workday. On one hand, the tyranny of distance to attend international meetings has dropped to the distance to your computer Zoom call. On the other, the one-to-one networking and socializing at such an event has disappeared completely. Mark Williams comments on changes in the future for publishing conferences.

 

A few years ago, I delivered a speech on the changes that will happen in publishing when blockchain becomes more mainstream. A few people listening blinked as it seemed so far in the future that they couldn’t conceive of a time when this would be a thing. This week Joanna Penn spoke to a company that is pioneering publishing on the blockchain. The future is hurtling towards us and we are only about five years away from another infrastructure change. (Think Internet in 1999.) Banks are already dipping their toe into blockchain. If you want to understand how the blockchain will change publishing check out the interview.

 

Another week, another company launching an audiobook service. The future of audio publishing is gathering pace. Findaway Voices has an interesting article on the trends for authors to watch. Meanwhile, Scribd has launched a subscription service for audiobooks.

 

Kris Rusch has been doing a Kickstarter for a new book in her Fey series. She writes about the mind shift she has had recently on advances and how Kickstarter is filling this gap.

What if your fans Kickstarted the next book in the series? Like pre-orders with extra bonuses.

 

Ali Luke has a great post on motivation. Nine powerful ways to motivate yourself to write. If you have been struggling with the muse check out Ali’s tips.

 

In The Craft Section,

All the sub-genre definitions you didn’t know- Writers Digest


How to rescue a book in danger of dying- Jennie Nash


3 things to think about before you start your book- Lucy Hay- Bookmark


7 plot structures for pantsers- John Peregine


What makes a great villain- Scott McCormick- Bookmark


Grounding your reader- David Farland- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Author Websites- follow these tips- Frances Caballo- Bookmark


2 posts on Instagram

Instagram Book clubs -SheReads and 8 tips for Instagram Authors- Penny Sansevieri


Sell books in your Amazon bio- Penny Sansevieri


Choosing the best Amazon categories- Jay Artale


8 critical bookselling mistakes- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


How to grow your social media platform- Frances Caballo - Bookmark

 

To Finish,

As you know, writing your epic novel can be fraught with peril for the unwary novelist. How do you leave out the things that the readers will hate? Anne R Allen has written a great blog post on a recent survey of Readers Pet Peeves. This list of peeves is a writer’s cautionary tale. Are there any peeves you would add to the list?

Maureen

@craicer

 

It is nearly time for my monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links. 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 –  GregWest98

 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Right Mindset

 


 

In publishing news this week,

 

Mike Williams of The New Publishing Standard recently had an interesting opinion piece on audiobooks. As you know audiobooks have been the hot new thing in publishing and the audio wars are about to begin with Spotify aiming to be the one-stop-shop for audio subscription.

 

Another Mike has also been looking into subscription models. Mike Shatzkin takes a look at some of the innovative ways Amazon raised the subscription bar. 

Meanwhile The Washington Post takes Amazon to task about its lack of support for libraries. Just what is going on here. Do Amazon think the subscription model of Kindle Unlimited is better than putting books in libraries? This is an interesting story from the Washington Post given that Jeff Bezos owns the paper. 

 

Recently David Gaughran reposted the comprehensive article on Author Solutions he wrote a few years ago. The Author Solutions company is a predatory publishing entity with many different names and imprints, some of which are owned by big five publishing houses. Their “boutique” publishing arm demands huge sums of money to newbie authors for minimal publishing services. Just because you haven’t heard of them lately means they haven’t gone away. Some of their scams get a new twist every year. Recently there was an agent promising a bestseller list placement for $10,000 as part of a package deal. Forewarned.

 

Mindset plays a big part in the creative process. Being in the right headspace to create. Being in the right mindset to plan a project. Being open to criticism, rejection, and disappointment are all part and parcel of living the creative life. Recently I was reminded by a friend that imposter syndrome was insidious. I had let it take over my thinking. Instead of seeing the opportunity, I was seeing the failure before I had even tried. I didn’t trust myself. These two posts on mindset resonated with me today.  3 traps that subvert our ability to accept feedback by Lisa Cooper Ellison and The Book Promotion mindset by Penny Sansevieri. Penny takes a good look at the mindset that stops you from giving your book, good promotional love.

 

Co Authorship anyone? If you have been thinking about sitting down with someone to write a story check out this little series on how to do it from Story Empire. It could be the start of a beautiful friendship…

 

In The Craft Section,

How to write genre story- Karen Woodward


Archetypal character arcs – The Queen- K M Weiland – Bookmark


Two great posts on editing -25 editing tips – Alexis Grant and  Trimming your word count- K M Weiland- Bookmark Both


5 pieces of writing advice- Lauren Sapala

 

In The Marketing Section,

The Authors guide to ebook preorders- WrittenWord Media- Bookmark


Amazon algorithms for authors- Reedsy-Bookmark


Best day of the week to discount ebooks- Bookbub


5 ways to solidify your branding- Penny Sansevieri


Develop your book sales strategy and tactics- Brian Jud

 

To Finish,

How often do you find yourself scrolling down your social media feeds and feeling despair. You have to be seen to be engaging… because your fans want you or your publicist told you or the publishers said establish a media presence. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the social media whirlwind and not see what it is doing to us. Judith Briles offers some very good advice in her Bashing the Myths of Social Media.

Colleen Story also examines the hit creativity takes when you fall into a doomscrolling loop.

Let’s be careful with ourselves and our mindsets. 

Look for all the kitten and puppy pictures to give us the right mood boosters. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 – Johnathan Kritz

 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Writing Tools That Stand The Test Of Time


 

 

This week in publishing…


Screams were heard around the news desks as over-excited journo’s read the press release that Dr Suess Enterprises would no longer be publishing his books due to racist content. Of course, if you stopped and thought a bit you would know that some of the reporting must be wrong and you would be right. They are only pulling 6 books from republication… and it’s not the words that are the problem it’s the stereotypes depicted in the pictures. Theodore was a cartoonist first and a stereotype was the fastest way to get across an idea. The world has moved on. Some books haven't made the cut 70 years later. It makes me wonder what books published now will still be beloved and relevant in the future.

 

A year on from the beginning of the Covid lockdowns and all the Covid books are coming out. Publishing Perspectives looks at the scientists who are bringing out books about the pandemic.

 

There have been rumblings for as long as I’ve been writing this blog about predatory tactics used by unscrupulous publishers preying on the vulnerable newbie writer. Every year you hear of a new shonky player, usually an old shonky player with a new name, ripping off writers. Now the Society of Authors and a few other writer organisations have banded together to target these publishing predators. The first stop should be the large publishing companies that have taken these predators under their wing giving them a smattering of publishing cred.

 

Ruth Harris has a great blog post on the power of the writer’s notebook. What do you choose to write notes on? I was interested to see that writers still go for paper and pens.

 

Steve Potash the CEO of Overdrive has written an interesting thought piece on searching for the perfect library access model. Overdrive distributes ebooks to libraries and they have been having great success with their bulk buys for schools and library districts. These models may be coming to a library near you.

 

Writing Guru Stephen Pressfield recently wrote about a problem he was having. Are you too scared to sell yourself? In these modern publishing times, you have to hustle for your book and your publisher. It is the opposite mindset of the writer.

 

Kris Rusch writes this week about the power of backlist and how the publishing model of velocity out of the gate has hurt some publishers. Will we go back to the way publishing worked before covid? The numbers suggest a very different publishing future.

 

This article popped up in my Twitter timeline. How to format ebooks in Google Docs. I’ve never really explored Google docs… they have some nifty features hiding there in their tools menu.

 

In The Craft Section,

Introducing unique story elements- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


The key to writing genre stories- Brian Hill


What things is your character hiding- K M Weiland- Bookmark


How to choose scenes for your novel- Mythcreants- Bookmark


Definitions of the anti-hero - Nofilmschool

 

In The Marketing Section,

How to market a book with smart planning- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


10 free ways to increase author website traffic- Sandra Beckwith


Infographic -6 ways to increase social media traffic- Barb Drozdowich


How to make eye-catching graphics- Sonja Yoerg- Bookmark


How to boost your backlist sales- SelfpublishingFormula- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

There are many tools that writers would consider essential in the modern-day writer toolbox. I consider that at the very least you need a good computer/word processing program, a great writing craft book to hone your skills, and a list of places that will help you sell your book when it's finished. So here are two great posts that you can stash away in the toolbox that address two out of the three. A collection of great character tools to boost your plot and David Gaughran’s updated best promo sites guide. David’s YouTube channel is essential viewing.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 – MikeLao26

 

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