Thursday, September 16, 2021

Knowing the Why


This week in publishing,

Beijing Bookfair has now opened after a delay due to the pandemic. Publishing Perspectives takes a look at what is on offer in the face-to-face fair. Honoured guests to the fair are either zooming in or flying in. Either way, the success of Beijing will probably set the pattern for other book fairs going forward.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has their craft conference soon. It’s a free 24 hour conference with great presentations from excellent writing teachers. Check out who is speaking and what is on offer.


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard writes about Audibles' expansion into new markets with their unlimited subscription model. Will the expansion of their territories tempt the big publishers into Audible finally? With supply chains in peril, digital might hold out the lifeline.


Kris Rusch has a great post this week on the supply chain and how it is going to impact booksellers, especially the Christmas market. All the rumours are true. Buy your Christmas books now.

If you are not sure how a book gets from acquisitions to the bookstore, Nathan Bransford has a guest post on this very subject. When you put this together with Kris Rusch's post you see what traditional publishers are up against with their supply woes.


Publishers Weekly talked with some agents about the Middle-Grade book market. What do they see coming up and how is the genre changing. One thing they talk about which was a talking point at my dinner table last night was the expansion of Middle Grade into lower Young Adult – Big issues stuff without the romance aspect. 


Jane Friedman has a guest post from Jennie Nash about the why of writing a book. This is a great post that asks an important question. If you can’t answer it you shouldn’t be writing. Knowing your why means digging deep. This is a must-read. Jennie also has ten tips to write a book worth reading.


In The Craft Section,

Going deeper into structure- Jami Gold- Bookmark

2 great posts from Scott Myers- Franklin Leonards advice on screenwriting and Scene Descriptions

How to use archetypical arcs in your stories- K M Weiland – Bookmark

5 ways your story hurts your novel- Janice Hardy - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

17 Book Marketing quotes to inspire- Sandra Beckwith

How to be a great podcast guest- Joanna Penn

Creating a prelaunch strategy for your book- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

All you need to know about Book sizes- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

How Bookbub ads drive sales- Bookbub- Bookmark


To Finish,

This month Joanna Penn celebrates 10 years as a full-time author - entrepreneur. This is milestone anniversary. Joanna has documented her journey to being a 6 figure Indie author and sustaining this career for many years. Her podcast backlist is phenomenal as is the depth of the information that she has shared with her guests to the author community every week. She is excited for the future. I’m always interested in where she thinks the tech will go as she is an early adopter. Heres’ to many more years of fabulous learning from The Creative Penn.

She definitely knows her Why!





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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.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Buzz Farmers

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Sharks and The Scammers



This week in publishing,

Scammers and their scammy ways have been filling my social media this week.


Long Time readers of this blog will know scammers are out there. They prey on the dreams of authors and change their names and methods frequently. The hardest conversation, the one we don’t want to have, is the one where we know we are going to be pouring cold water on the dreams of Newbie writers. None of us like to do that and so many of us just stay quiet and hope they won’t be burnt too much. But these conversations are necessary. Newbies don’t know the ropes like we do. At the very least tell them to google the offers with the search term scam or complaints. 


A Tale of Woe was shared with me this week as a warning to authors out there. This is an Author Beware situation involving scammers targeting authors on Facebook.

Authors like to run giveaways for their fans. They use their Facebook author pages. Everything is fine until a book scammer targets them. Very quickly the author’s page is cloned. A fake page is created using copy/paste from the author's page so that it looks genuine. The scammer starts targeting page followers and giveaway entrants with friend requests. From there it’s a quick hop to asking for credit card details for book sales or sending them to fake book sites. Meanwhile, the author has no idea this is happening until the complaints come in. Facebook yanks their author page and they lose all their social media accounts. A devastating blow. What can you do? 

The author in this situation shared with me their plan to save their business. Read it carefully and check your privacy settings on Facebook. These scammers are targeting authors specifically. 

“If an author or artist discovers they've been cloned they need to act swiftly. The first 24-48 hours are one of the only opportunities to contain the problem. One emergency containment method is to temporarily make an author/artist's business Facebook page only viewable to their country. Seek guidance on methods to identify the imposters and request action from Facebook and Google to delete them from the system. Once some sort of normality is resumed then gradually different countries can be added back to the page viewing list.

Note - if the country where the imposters are based is identified it would be advisable to not add that country back to the viewing list for as long as possible. 

Google can remove 'phishing' sites within 12 hours, but Facebook offer no guarantees as to whether they can remove a profile or not. If an imposter is using a private VPN to access the internet, then they may never be found.”

Anne R Allen has a great post on how to stay safe from scammers.


Brenda Pollard revived an old post on how to figure out if you have received a genuine publishing offer. 


There are rumours on KBoards- Is Vella over before it got started? There have been grumblings about Vella from authors lately. Where are the readers for serial content on Amazon? Occasionally news does break on Kboards – Take with a grain of salt.


Staying with Amazon- Two publishers have filed class actions against Audible for irregularity in payments. Audiblegate is now before the courts. It promises to be an interesting court case. Here is hoping that Audible sorts out this mess that is hurting authors' pockets.


Kris Rusch has another great post in her series Jumping The Digital Divide – When should you get behind the hot new thing in publishing. Kris gives her reasons for a carefully considered approach. 


Publishers Weekly takes an in-depth look at the power of BookTok recommendations.


Substack- the darling of the subscription newsletter community claims the prize of Salman Rushdie to their platform. Should we take them seriously now?


Audiobooks wars are about to hit India with two big players eying up the 3rd biggest market for audiobooks. The New Publishing Standard takes a look at the Indian Audiobook market.


Suzanne Lakin has a great post on nailing the purpose of your scene. It is a must-read.


In The Craft Section,

10 ways to write better plots- Now Novel- Bookmark

3 ways to strengthen a scene-James Scott Bell- Bookmark

3 rules for raising story stakes- Laurence MacNaughton- Bookmark

Revising your plot- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Pacing and character changes- Linda Clare


In The Marketing Section,

QR Code generator for authors- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

Book promotion language can attract or repel readers- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Interactive storytelling -Alliance of Independent Authors transcript of conference session

A checklist for in person events- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

30 Book Marketing ideas – Nathan Bransford


To Finish,

Sometimes all you want to do is run away from the world and write. Headphones might block the world out but sometimes you need a little bit more. Kate from Wordsnstuff blog has made a list of writing music. She has a mix of classical white noise and film tracks. If writing to music is your thing check it 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 of 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 – Martin Fisch

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Trying To Get Paid

In publishing news this week…

The Scarlet Johannson / Black Widow standoff over a contract dispute with Disney sounds very familiar in the writing world. Earlier this year writers’ groups banded together to seek reparations after Disney didn’t pay royalties. Now they have thrown their weight behind Scarlet’s dispute. How many times do they need to be told? Pay the creators.


Frankfurt Bookfair is stumbling along in a will they, won’t they, be live or virtual or both or neither this year. They have been bleeding big publishers and now their guest country of honour might not show up. Mark Williams takes a look at the latest news.


Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article on the latest sales numbers for crime and thrillers. This powerhouse genre has usually been a reliable performer but their numbers are dropping. Why? Is it sexism?


There have been mutterings and warnings around the blogosphere on the supply chain issues in the book industry. Last year with lockdowns around the world, book printing slowed up and then earlier this year bulk lots of books flooded the market. The whole supply chain is in a pickle. CNN points out the problems on the manufacturing side and Publishers Weekly examines the price hikes on books due to the supply problems.

The Alliance of Independent Authors has a great chat with Adam Croft which touches on this and the big stoush between Amazon Print and Ingram Spark.


Staying with the Alliance of Independent Authors -they have a great article on rights reversion. When you negotiate your contracts have you paid attention to this clause. This is fast becoming one of the most important clauses in a book publishing contract. When do you get your rights back? Yes, you can negotiate this and you should.


There is a new monthly magazine on the print stands, The Indie Author Magazine. It is in its first year of production and being Indie focused it is available in digital and app formats. This month’s edition features the indie powerhouse group 20 books to 50k along with lots of other craft articles. 


Recently Jane Friedman featured an article on Darcy Pattison, an exceptional Indie children’s author. This is a totally fascinating article on how Darcy works and has succeeded in making a 6 figure income in the tough world of children’s publishing.


Kris Rusch has another great article in her publishing across the digital divide series. This week she examines the growth of international markets. Do you have an international focus? Do you even know where the big growth areas are? 


I have a few craft books on structure and am always interested in reading about structure analysis. One of the best at this is September Fawkes. She recently wrote an article on Variations of Story Structure which is a master class and a must-read!


In The Craft Section,

Conflict without violence – adding depth- Litreactor- Bookmark

Fantasy Army recruitment- Mythic Scribes

What nonfiction writers should learn or unlearn when writing fiction- Paula Munier

Stop keeping yourself small-Lauren Sapala- Bookmark

7 tricks to refresh a scene- September Fawkes - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to write an author bio- Sandra Beckwith

Ultimate guide to mailing lists – Alliance of Independent Authors- Bookmark

How to create a boxset- Bookbub

2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Why a good author brand is a must- And Smarter book 

promotion with seasonal ads – Bookmark Both

How to market your book without social media promotion- Carol Michel- Interesting!


To Finish,

Ruth Harris always writes an entertaining article on the writing life. This week she tackled blurb writing and the fear we all have around writing them. Ruth has some great advice and tips to go big on the blurb. 

Disney writers could try this simple sentence. Pay Me For My Work That Is Making You Billions. 





My monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links will be going out soon. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed 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 – Marco Verch


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