Friday, May 28, 2021

Selling Your Wares

This week in publishing,

Last week’s hot news of Storytel partnering with Spotify has been rippling through the publishing community. It’s been a rollercoaster lately with publishers buying publishers and audio publishing subscription services getting bigger. This week Amazon laid down $8 Billion and bought MGM. Not everyone in the entertainment business is pleased about this. Mark Williams looks at the IP treasure trove that Amazon has just acquired.

Meanwhile, Amazon inks its first library deal.


Jane Friedman wrote a salutary article How Much Do Authors Earn which has us all wincing but agreeing. Many authors earn more from side hustles than from straight writing. But all is not lost says Jane.


Being an Author is all about…Networking. Did your soul just shrivel a little when you read that? The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive post on the art of networking for authors. How and why it is important and full of great tips. If you are really struggling as an introverted author for marketing advice check out this week’s 6 figure author podcast especially on marketing for introverts.


Today is the last day to pick up the Storybundle of writing business books. Don’t miss out.


SEO Sherpa recently contacted me to let me know of a comprehensive post on metadata that they have prepared. Before you scroll past- Stop. Do you have a website? Do you want your website to show up in searches? Do you know that a few simple tweaks of your description metadata will boost your website in a google search? If you know all the tricks scroll past- if not, take a look.


Kris Rusch is continuing her interesting blog series on fear based decision making. She is making some strong points in this series about how this affects what projects get greenlit. If you know how to frame a project so it sounds familiar, you have a much better chance of getting it picked up.


Jordan at Now Novel has a comprehensive post on how to write critiques and evaluations. This is something that every author should have in their toolbox of tricks- you never know when you will be asked to give critical feedback. (Like today’s request from my nephew…)


In The Craft Section,

How to submit to Literary Journals- Meredith Allard

5 ways to write realistic dialogue- Courtney Walsh

Balancing your cast of characters- September Fawkes- Bookmark

Organising research and notes in Scrivener - Gwen Hernandez

Setting as character- Jami Gold - Bookmark

What to include in your first draft- J D Edwin- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Planning a Book Launch- Bookbaby- Bookmark!

How to write a query letter- Nathan Bransford

Are you ready for book marketing? -Frances Caballo

Help others, help yourself- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Unique Marketing ideas for June- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish,

Writers Digest has been in the business of writing inspiring articles for writers for many decades. Recently they asked a bunch of authors, what is the one piece of advice you would give to writers. Here is a comprehensive collection of advice with links to interviews. Go forth and be inspired. 





It’s time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, come and 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. Thanks for the coffee love this week. I really appreciate it. 



Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Chas B


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Moving Quickly

In Publishing News This Week,

Audio – the hot growth area for publishing. When the news broke of a potential move by Spotify into the audiobook business, there was a collective gasp. One of the biggest music subscription services taking an interest in audiobooks, how would it change the audio publishing landscape? Today, Storytel one of the fastest movers in this area partnered with Spotify. If you have an exclusive with Audible… you may want to reconsider.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has some great podcasts/ transcripts available. This week they looked at non-disclosure agreements and how these are being used as a weapon against authors' free speech.


Hugh Howey has put together a Self Published Science Fiction Competition. It’s all about eyes on books. 300 books to make the cut… and then the competition is on.


Anne R Allen has been fielding some plaintive emails from concerned friends on what to do when someone they know looks like they have been sucked into a publishing scam. Anne points out that friends don’t let friends do this but we all know how tricky it is. No one wants to burst their bubble. Read Anne’s excellent blog for tips on how to have these awkward conversations.


Roz Morris is a super resource for great writing advice. This month she wrote a great post on why writers have such difficulty ‘killing your darlings.’ If you haven’t come across this phrase it means when you have written a fantastic scene or dialogue and find that you have to cut it and you just can’t. She followed it up with a great post on the 7 steps to a long-haul novel.


Jessica Conoley has an excellent post on Jane Friedman’s site on creative stewardship. What do you owe your story when it goes out into the world? This is where many writers feel paralysed. Sometimes all you need is to make a tense change from My story to The story. 


Kris Rusch is writing a new series of blog posts on decisions made from fear. What do these decisions look like? This week it’s fear vs growth. How can you navigate through the emotional minefield to make a good publishing decision?


Have you ever read fan fiction? That is a story set in a familiar fictional world. These stories are written by fans of popular books. C M McGuire has an interesting blog post about using fan fiction to experiment and try new styles without pressure. It is an interesting idea.


In The Craft Section,

How to outline a series – K M Weiland

Character building - Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Editing down your words- Kathy Steinmann- Bookmark

Know your audience- Melissa Donovan

The multi-layer book edit- Michael Gallant- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Two posts from Sandra Beckwith - 9 things you wish you knew before the TV interview and Author branding

Four rules for designing your book cover- Nate Hoffelder- Bookmark

How to promote your seasonal read- Penny Sansevieri

Two interesting posts from New Shelves- Using a Dear Author letter for marketing  and Market your book in 10 minutes a day – Bookmark Both


To Finish,

Michael Lucas has a book in the Storybundle curated by Kris Rusch. He wrote an entertaining roundup of the books in the bundle and why you should buy the collection of writing business books. If you have been meaning to check out one or two of the books on the list grabbing the bundle will get you some bonus exclusives and it pays the authors directly with a cut for charity if you want. The Storybundle is available only for another week so don’t miss out.




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 – Brian


Thursday, May 13, 2021

If you could see the future.


In publishing news this week…


The high-powered writing teams pulled together by various author organisations are having an impact on Disney. Finally, there has been some positive movement on behalf of the writers whose books were acquired by Disney in media buyouts. For some reason, Disney thought that meant they didn’t have to pay royalties. 


Meanwhile, Mark Williams decided to figure out how many royalties Amazon has paid out over the last few years to indie authors. A 1 with a lot of zero’s after it.

Mark also has an interesting news post on South Korean media giant, Kakao, and their deep chequebook. They are making a real play for eyes in the online reading serial space with China and India in their sights. 


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive write-up on finding followers and true fans. This is a must-read. It goes into the background of the original 1000 true fans and how this has changed.


Five years ago I received an award from my peers where I had to give a lecture. I asked what they wanted and they told me ‘talk about the future.’ Since then other award winners have sometimes name-checked me- mostly to say they didn’t understand what I was talking about. I referenced the rise of blockchain and how publishing on the blockchain will change author's futures. Fast forward to now. I have had an eye on NFT’s trying to understand exactly how they work. This article explains how NFT’s have changed artist's lives. As you read through swop the word ‘art’ for ‘books.’ A little glimpse of the future that is coming.


This week Jane Friedman has an excerpt, The New Holy Grail of Traditional Publishers – Direct to Reader relationships, from a new book, Book Wars. The excerpt looks at how publishers are trying to get the sort of data that Amazon has and why it is important to them. Interesting reading.


Joanna Penn interviewed Gail Carriger this week on The Creative Penn blog. Gail talks about the heroine’s journey and how it differs from the hero’s journey. This is a deep dive into craft and fascinating reading /listening.


Don’t forget those deals from last week- They are both limited time.


In The Craft Section,

Overthinking your writing- K M Weiland - Bookmark

Deep Point of View – Joslyn Chase-Bookmark

What they want- same but different- Scot Myers

Tips for writing fight scenes -Sandy Dragon

Avoid cliché responses- Becca Puglisi

Mystery novels – 5 things you need- Melodie Campbell- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

11 free things you can do to buzz your book- Sandra Beckwith

How to set up an email list – Joanna Penn Bookmark

Book Advertising design elements- Bookbub- Bookmark

5 ways to improve book marketing on Amazon- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

The authors guide to eBook pre-orders- Written Word Media-Bookmark


To Finish,

Ten years ago I came across The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander, who had a blog devoted to font, typography and formatting of books. eBooks were just becoming a thing and there were lots of discussions over readable fonts etc. I fell in love with font sites and learned all sorts of odd information from Joel. A few years later Joel decided to help out authors by putting together easy to use templates for print books. I bought some and loved them. Then he went on to curate the Indie Cover design awards. Joel sold The Book Designer site last year but kept Book Design Templates going. This week Joel died from cancer. He leaves behind thousands of fans and a real legacy of service to the Indie Book Community. His products are top-notch and still available. His advice was stellar. He will be sadly missed.





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 – Steve Dean

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Pick and Mix


What caught my eye in the Publishing World this week.

Reedsy has a very detailed look at Kindle Vella including how the money will work. This is going to be an eyes wide open enter at your own risk programme, which will only suit a few authors.


Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware shared a snapshot of a clause in a publishing contract that has everyone flabbergasted. Take a good long look- this is how royalties will be calculated at Cayelle Publishing. 


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a look at all the different ways you can make a living as an author these days. Take a look at this idea that came across my FB feed today. This is subscription serial writing on another level.


In the must have category…

AppSumo has one of the cheapest deals for stock photo’s around and this deal does not appear often. ($39 for 100 Depositphotos- limited time) I know writers and designers who jump fast on this when it comes up. So move quickly.


Kristine Rusch has compiled an excellent Storybundle of writing craft books. Available now. Storybundle is a pay what you want model. There are some fabulous books in this bundle!


Jane Friedman has an interesting guest post from Lisa Cooper Ellison on inconsistent voices in memoir. How do you keep them all in control when you are writing?


In The Craft Section,

What is an unsympathetic character- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

When you write Second Person Point Of View- Tal Valente

How to write faster- J D Edwin

The main  Hero character archetypes- Tami Nantz- Bookmark

Building the suspension of disbelief- Donal Maass- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,

Unique promo ideas for May- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to pick a best selling title- Barbara Delinsky

Kindle Vella- Is it right for you?- Sandra Beckwith-Bookmark

Great ideas for Book Promotion Contests- Diana Urban

Social media mistakes that can damage your author brand- Penny Sansevieri


To Finish,

I try and keep things upbeat on the blog but I thought I would share with you something that has me muttering epithets. Disinformation campaigns around the Covid Vaccine. I know a few writers who have compromised immune systems, (including myself.) Covid is a nasty constantly mutating disease. Scientists are just beginning to understand that Long Covid symptoms are appearing in 50 % of patients that were hospitalised with Covid 19. The symptoms include organ damage that will last for the rest of their, now shortened, lives. This will be an ongoing burden to health systems worldwide. 

The vaccine is a lifeline to everyone to beat this disease and must have a worldwide take up if we are to stop it mutating into strains faster than we can cope with. (See India.) I do not know why there are people peddling anti-vaccine stories- but it is not based on proper science. There has been a significant breakthrough in the development of the Covid 19 vaccine that will change the way all future vaccines are made. It has nothing to do with your DNA. It is SAFE. (scroll down to @xolotl and @siousiewiles science cartoon on how it works

When you get the vaccine, You Will Be Saving Lives, especially the immune-compromised, (which includes every person who has had cancer for a start.) 

Put your Superhero cape on and get the Jab. 

Thanks for saving my life!





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 Wilkinson


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