Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Healthy Author Business


Two interesting posts from Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard have bookended my week. 

The first was an examination of the new digital publishing and subscription 'Kid On The Block', Legible. They have launched with bold claims about publishing to the world, but Mark thinks they’ve tripped up by focusing on North America first. 

The other post, out today, is the realisation that some of Australia’s literary treasures are out of print and lost. They won’t be the only country where this is happening. Don’t publishers have a duty of care to their nations?


The London Book Fair is on the horizon. This year’s virtual fair offers up three weeks of virtual workshops for writers for the author HQ area of the fair. Publishing Perspectives takes a look at the program.


Recently, Sotheby’s were about to auction off rare Bronte manuscripts until various Bronte societies and libraries heard about it. They want them preserved for the public. Sotheby’s has agreed to delay, which means the libraries have to come up with some cash soon. 


In the various author groups that I am part of, there is huge respect for Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She writes valuable posts about the business of writing. This is where many writers come unstuck. Business is hard. This week she turns her spotlight on the raft of laws about to go through congress aimed at taking apart tech firms. What will happen to authors if Amazon is forced to sell off its publishing arm? This is an important read for anyone in the Amazon ecosystem.


The long-running joke in writer and reader circles is when the next book in Game of Thrones might be published. Spare a thought for George R R Martin who is struggling with regret and writing a book that the TV show changed direction on. 


Nate Hoffelder has written a great article on Anne R Allen’s blog on introverted authors. Yes, some of us struggle with the public face of being an author. Nate has some great tips to overcome fears.


How many of you are curled up like a pretzel when you write? (Guilty, right now.) You know that you need to build healthy writer habits. Here are a couple of posts to jog you into some good habits. Why writers need healthy habits. and Why walking is the best exercise for writers. And don’t forget your mental health too. Writing can be such a slog that it is tempting to quit. Here is a helpful post on when it all gets too much.


My comfort books when ill are Georgette Heyer- her historical research was gold standard. A family member is a regency writer and I often dip into her extensive library of research books from the period. If you are venturing into historical fiction – know that your readers are going to be looking to see if you got your facts right. Check out 5 tips for creating a fully realized historical setting. (Georgette was often in a rare tweak when other writers would crib her words for their novels- the effrontery!)


In The Craft Section,

What to do when you can’t connect to your characters- Ellen Brock

What is your characters emotional shielding- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Trick yourself into finding time to write- Suzanne Henshon- Bookmark

What is an unsympathetic character-  Anne R Allen- Bookmark

The 7 laws of successful villains- Lisa Voisin


In The Marketing Section,

Choose the perfect pen name- Lewis

Use your email signature for book marketing- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

Indie author marketing and promotion plan- Emma Lombard – Bookmark!

10 books to help with your writing life- Rachel Thompson

2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri- 10 minutes or less to a polished author brand and Monopolise your indie author real estate- Bookmark Both


To Finish,

Back at the beginning of April, we struggled with articulating the loss of Beverley Cleary. (OK 104 years -we need to let go.) Vulture writer, Kathryn VanArendonk, has examined the mastery of emotion that Beverley exhibited in her Ramona stories. I think she has put her finger on just how brilliant Beverley was at close 3rdperson writing and evoking emotion in adults and children.

Oh to write half as well.





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Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – MaxiuB


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Shiny New Object


This week I listened to an interview on NFT’s with Joanna Penn and John Fox. Non Fungible Tokens have a controversial press. Many consider them a fad, or a scam. But some are looking at them as the Next Big Thing. Joanna and John discuss how authors can use them to create new work, much like the musicians and visual artists are doing. 

Last week Bloomberg Financial Magazine looked at the power shift back to musicians with NFT’s. Today The Guardian wrote about Christie's auctioning an NFT from Tim Berners Lee of the original source code from his invention of the internet. It was for events like this that publishing contracts now contain legal clauses like ‘universal rights in all formats existing and to be invented.’


I am always interested to see a Mark Williams look into the future piece. Mark lives in The Gambia and comments on Global Publishing. This week he takes a look at the power of internet and where the potential emerging markets are. There are some fascinating statistics for publishers looking at other markets. (Like 94% of the world’s internet users are not in the USA.)


So many research institutions studying so many types of reading behaviour can’t they work together? That is the call in 2021 at Bologna Children’s Book Fair. (Collaboration, who knew that would be a thing?)


Another American court has passed a directive that Ebooks must be made available to Libraries. The Association of American Publishers sees this as a copyright fight. Publishers Weekly takes a look at the implications, meanwhile, tucked in the bottom of the article is a reference to the power of librarians and how quickly they can mobilise.


Kris Rusch has another great post on FOMO- The Fear Of Missing Out and how this can cause writers to jump around trying to please everybody and end up having the joy of writing sucked out of them. Be like the Tortoise.


Charlie Jane Anders has written an interesting breakdown of the  7 wrong lessons creators learned from Game Of Thrones to mark the 10 year anniversary of the first episode and Jan Drexler has one on the promise you make to your readers.  


In The Craft Section,

Using triggers for emotional wounds- Angela Ackerman

Grammarly alternatives- Reedsy- Bookmark

The flat archetype of The Ruler- Archetype Series – K M Weiland- Bookmark


2 Great posts from .-Lucy V Hay 6 ways to make your writing stand out from the crowd and

8 ways to write your novel outline- Bookmark Both


In The Marketing Section,

What is the Clubhouse app and how to use it.- Naomi Nakashima

Authors - be where your readers are- Frances Caballo

How to build your author website- Written Word Media

Leveraging your networks- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

2 Great posts from Joanna Penn- Mistakes in book promotion and Marketing your book

Bookmark Both


To Finish,

It’s midway through the middle month in the year. How is it progressing? Sometimes we need a shake-up to get us out of a slump. Edie Melson has 10 strategies to shake your online writer’s presence up.  Ali Luke has a great post on writer motivation with 7 ways to stay motivated with your writing project.

Of course, once you start brainstorming… you may just invent something that will change the world.





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 – Tim Berners Lee- Athanasios Kasampalis

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Facing The Music


This week Japan just jailed some copyright pirates. (Is that a cheer I hear from authors?). How much did publishing lose? The New Publishing Standard crunches the numbers and asks is it piracy if the pirates were just filling a gap in the market? 


The European Writers Council is looking sideways at EU member nations this week who have been dragging their feet over ratifying the Single Market Digital Copyright Directive. They have had two years. There are now some very nervous content providers out there looking at their disappearing copyright. Publishing Perspectives looks at implications.


Dave Chesson is on a roll with another comprehensive article on how to choose good book titles. This is a fascinating deep dive into the emotion of book titles… just in case you thought they were pulled out of a hat.


Kristine Rusch has another great post on fear based decision making in publishing. There is so much to mull over in here. Kris is writing mainly about the US publishing world but these things echo around. I know that print runs have been drastically cut in the last ten years here in NZ.


Anne R Allen has a very good blog that is chock full of interesting content. This week Anne has a mini-rant on self-publishing. It is not a childish game. This is not a let’s play at publishing dress-up. It’s a business and the choices you make at the beginning can make or break you. (Totally Agree)


I was interested to see an opinion piece on Forbes about micropayments and the continuing lack of a viable way to show one-time appreciation. It was big news about five years ago as everybody thought it would be sorted soon. And still we wait. A tip jar could make all the difference to writers whose work is stuck behind paywalls and subscription plans. How many subscriptions does one person need?


Brenda Copeland has an interesting article on Show and Tell. We often hear writing advice that emphasises the Show -Don’t Tell mantra. But sometimes you need some telling. Brenda shows where it is most effective.


In The Craft Section,

5 types of surprise and how to write them- September Fawkes- Bookmark

5 ways to get unstuck- Lisa Tener

2 great posts from Jami Gold -How we can avoid talking heads and Characters and Settings- make them interact- Bookmark Both.

Archetypes- The parent- (another in her excellent series) K M Weiland - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section

FAQ on Lyrics In Books-Bookbaby- This question comes up all the time- You may need to bookmark it if it’s something you want to do in the future.

Book promotions- The long term- Anne Janzer

How to get awesome book cover blurbs and Who are the best Booktubers- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark Both

Podcasting as an Indie author- The Alliance of Independent Authors- Bookmark


To Finish

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults Finalists were announced today. Congratulations to all finalists. I have been a judge for these awards and it is no easy task. There would be many fine books that would have just missed the cut. We need a longlist. 





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 – Tim Green - Sax Maniac


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Playing Catch Up


In interesting news for writers from The Guardian, a couple of second-hand book merchants have been working on a scheme where writers can get a small payment if their books get on sold. Hopefully, the idea gains traction and goes worldwide. 


Mike Williams of The New Publishing Standard takes a look at the German acquisition of Print On Demand business Bok2. Lessons learned from the pandemic – The Backlist keeps your publishing business afloat and this means Print On Demand is important. 


When you read Kris Rusch’s latest post on fear in publishing and how, even with credible data on backlist, it's hard to believe that publishers are still hoping a magic reset button will be pushed and everything will go back to the way it was before. The pandemic is changing entertainment. Now it is all about subscription- How many subscription services do you pay for? 

Diana Urban of Bookbub has just published the key Marketing and Sales takeaways from the virtual U S Book show hosted last week by Publishers Weekly. It’s all about the power of the backlist. – There’s gold in there and some savvy publishers are now putting dedicated teams on to mining it. 

Writer’s Digest has an excerpt from a new book, Book Wars by John Thompson, on 3 crucial changes that have impacted the book industry. John sees a publisher move to a reader-centric model as being the next big change in publishing-but have the publishers left it too late? 


Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article on how the Arab world is changing its book buying. Most books are sold in big book fairs but with the pandemic Arab booksellers have had to develop online stores.


Dave Chesson has been working hard on an interesting and comprehensive article on How To Format A Book. It is chock full of information (A mini book's worth!) This is the go-to article for anyone who wants a little bit more information before dipping their toe in. Dave’s site is full of other great resources so take some time to check it out.


Briefing a beta reader- Brenda Pollard has an interesting blog post on how to educate your beta readers to get the most out of them. Beta readers are the readers who get the book before it’s published when you still have time to fix any errors.


In The Craft Section,

A beginners guide to structure- writing cooperative

Archetypes- The King Arc- KM Weiland – Bookmark

When to break the rules – Karel Segers

Rewriting your novel - Linda Clare- Bookmark

Tips on writing the boring stuff- Jenna Harte-Bookmark


In The Marketing Section

Ten ways for authors to waste money- Nate Hoffelder

The ultimate guide to selling children’s books- Karen Inglis – Bookmark

What is a soft book launch- Sandra Beckwith – Bookmark

Book marketing- 14 tips- Bewrit

5 types of video for social media marketing-Joe Forte

100 Facebook promotion groups for writers – Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark


To Finish,

Sandra Beckwith has reviewed Ricardo Fayet’s book - How to market a book. Ricardo is one of the founders of Reedsy and has had a ringside seat to the changes in the book industry over the last five years. Reedsy has a lot of free courses and resources and this book is Free as well. 





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 – Steven Pisano


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