Thursday, November 25, 2021

Finding Bargains


In Publishing News this week.

The news dust is still swirling after Spotify’s purchase of Findaway last week. While everyone was venting opinions the Futurebook conference happened in London. Dan Holloway from The Alliance of Independent Authors goes over the main talking points, subscription, sustainability and the rise of new digital products. How bad is the print publishing industry for the climate? Are eBooks just as bad? 


Meanwhile, Mark Williams from The New Publishing Standard shone a bright light on the Futurebook conference interview with the CEO of Penguin Random House. Mark was wondering where the hard questions were about the Simon and Schuster merger and the rise of subscriptions as a marketing model. PRH pulled all their books from subscription sites. Will this change?


Publishing Perspectives reports on Ingram Lightning Source opening their new Print On Demand facility at Sharjah Publishing City. The world's first publishing free trade zone was announced in 2018 with a commitment by Ingram to the East and African book market. Print On Demand does have the ability to reduce at least one of the unsustainable practices of the publishing industry, returns.

Penny Sansevieri has a guest post on Anne R Allen’s blog about creating reader connections. How many readers do you need to make a difference in your sales. It’s all about the right readers, says Penny. 


Have you got an idea for a book but are not sure where to start? How to blog a book takes a look at how you can get started by blogging the book. They use the idea for marketing the book right alongside.


Have you tried writing with soundtracks? Many authors swear by the practice. I find them distracting because I tune into the music instead of writing. Matt Frick has another way of using soundtracks. He uses them to write the book when he isn’t writing. This idea could be super inspirational for story crafting.


Ann Patchett has an article in Lithub on creating the workspace that you need. Are you really sitting well? Do you have the right keyboard?


Jami Gold turns her lazer eyes onto the Dune Movie and looks at the Plot Arc focus vs the Character Arc focus. Jami is an excellent writing craft teacher so make sure you read this.


In The Craft Section,

3 critical elements in opening scenes 

Award season PDF’s of screenplays- Scott Myers- Bookmark

5 tips on writing fiction- DIYMFA

Avoiding excessive detail in your descriptions-Mythcreants- bookmark

Writing using Word Styles.- Libertabooks- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

What is an Author Platform? Rachel Thompson – Bookmark

Unique marketing ideas for December and How to sell direct to the consumer

Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to track book marketing activity- Sandra Beckwith

Case study with Bryan Cohen on Amazon Ads


To Finish,

The Black Friday Sales are on. Everywhere you look there is an Ad for something. For writers there are sales on subscriptions or courses or books. Dave Chesson has compiled a long list of  Black Friday gifts for writers. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have found some great Black Friday bargains as well. If you are thinking of stocking up gifts for Christmas check out Robyn Roste’s list of writer gifts. 

Don’t forget this week is the last week to get the NaNoWriMo Storybundle  Craft Book collection- which has often been my yearly gift to myself.





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter where I share the best of the bookmarked links and other things that have caught my eye. 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- GoFishDigital

Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Battle For Your Ears


This week in publishing,

The news that Spotify has bought Findaway broke like a thunderclap around the publishing world. Spotify aims to be a one stop shop for everything audio and Findaway is the biggest competitor to Audible in English language audiobooks. They are keeping the Findaway team on and will throw some serious money and muscle into the audiobook world. The reaction is mixed. Some herald it as a fantastic opportunity to go wide with Spotify bringing its subscription dominant model to audiobooks. Others note with caution the negative impact Spotify has had on musicians' take-home pay. 


Meanwhile, Storytel was acquiring a big audiobook publisher of its own. Their acquisition of marks their first foray into the English language market. They have plans to expand in other little-served English language markets. The New Publishing Standard has an interesting analysis.

Audiobook subscription is here to stay. Authors will have to decide on what company has their best interests at heart.


The Futurebook conference is about to kick off in London. This is run by The Bookseller and a quick look at the programme shows what they think will be the big moves in publishing and the book trade in the next few years. 


Miral Satter has an interesting article on the importance of audio metadata. Increasingly people are asking their smart devices to find content and entertainment. Audiobooks are obviously chock full of audio metadata. You want to be found by search engines, don’t you?


Kris Rusch casts her laser eye over the proposed merger of Simon and Schuster with Penguin Random House. The DOJ has halted the sale while they wrangle about causing a monopoly Kris points out it might be too late.


The Guardian reports that UK store John Lewis who is known for their iconic Christmas Ads is being sued by a writer who thinks they have ripped off her book. It all hinges on copyright and proving who had the idea first.

Written Word Media published their survey findings on the state of Indie publishing in 2021. 

Becca Puglisi has a guest post on Anne R Allen’s blog on finding conflict. You don’t have to look far just allow your characters to speak. If you peel back a few layers your characters have enough conflict to punch up your story stakes.


Recently, Sarah Penner wrote an interesting article on Writer Unboxed about the cliffhanger. Readers love to be teased she says and the art of the cliffhanger is the best way to keep them reading. So how do you write an effective cliffhanger?


In The Craft Section,

The First Chapter Checklist- K M Weiland

Plotlines points and sequences- Scott Myers- Bookmark

How to write fight scenes- Write to Done

How to show emotion in non viewpoint characters- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

How to deal with writer's block- Dave Chesson- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,

The literary calendar of 2022-  Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

 2 great posts from Bookbub- Boost reader engagement and 

Promoting multi-author book series- Bookmark

Marketing Book ARC’s- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Amazon keywords and Atticus – Dave Chesson- podcast 

transcript with Joanna Penn- Bookmark


To Finish

Christmas decorations are everywhere. This means the agony of Christmas shopping. With the supply chain problems the earlier you nail down those presents the better. The Alliance of Independent Authors has a gift buying guide for writers. 

Don’t forget to check out the Storybundle of NaNoWriMo craft and marketing books. It is available until the end of November which isn’t that far away.

The Dream Team of Angela and Becca have put together a list of Black Friday deals for writers. 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 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.



Thursday, November 11, 2021

In The Writing Trenches

This week in Publishing,

Last week as I was posting the blog the news broke about the US Department of Justice taking the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster to court. LitHub has an interesting take on the news- The department is coming out on the side of the authors.

I was in my favourite bookstore yesterday and mentioned the merger. The bookseller commented that PRH produced or distributed half the books in their store. If they fell over so would bookstores. It was a sobering remark. When you are reliant on the success of your biggest supplier to stay in business….


Agent Jennifer Laughran explains how the book industry got into the supply chain problem. Her take – expect it to continue all next year as well.


The Authors Guild has joined forces with some other writer associations to support Starz taking MGM to court. The heart of the court case, collecting damages for copyright infringement. MGM is arguing you can only collect damages from the most recent three years not all the other years the copyright was infringed and you didn’t know about it. Passive Guy writes why it matters to the copyright holders.


The New Publishing Standard reports that next year is going to be busy on the conference front. Bologna and Shanghai Children’s Book Fairs are happening at the same time and they are going to be sharing ideas in an East meets West series of events. This is quite ambitious and will be an amazing statement if they can pull it off.


The Australian Books and Publishing newsletter is warning Australian writers to contact The New Zealand National Library to pull their titles from the' donation' the NZ National Library is giving to the dodgy Internet Archive. They have been roundly castigated over the deal internationally but they still want to go ahead. (I wrote about it a few weeks ago) If you know anyone this might apply to send them the link which has all the contact details.


Recently, The New Yorker wrote an article on Mark McGurl’s book, Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon. How has the Amazon store changed the way readers read a novel? It has some interesting points and points the finger at genre readers who are now microniched and sold content by writers who have also fallen into the commodity trap. 

Plenty to think about in this article.


Last week Kris Rusch posted the 3rd in her ‘IP Is The New Frontlist series. This is an interesting article on how marketers are struggling with trying to promote movies that keep getting delayed by Covid problems. Eventually the audience gives up. Do writers have an advantage here?


Dan Blank, marketer and writer was brought up short by his young son recently. Who looks after you, he was asked. This led Dan on an exploration of collaborators and mentors and into an interesting interview on connecting with other writers.


Juliet Marillier, fantasy author, wrote a fantastic post on Writer Unboxed today on older woman writers writing older women. As we age are we ignoring writing for our own age group? Do book characters have to be in a narrow age band? What does this do to our own psyche? The comments are heart-warming.  


In The Craft Section,

Pacing and momentum- April Bradley

Manuscript evaluations- Now Novel

3 tricks to immerse your reader in your story- Marissa Graff- Bookmark

Learn how to show the fun way- C S Lakin- Bookmark

The two halves of the inciting event – K M Weiland - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Twitter spaces for authors- Rachel Thompson

Make money with first in series free- and Cross-promotion with other authors- Bookbub

5 simple book marketing tips- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to write a Book Release- Dave Chesson – Bookmark


To Finish,

Anne R Allen has written a superb post on creativity wounds. These are the wounds you might not know you have. They have been given to you when you were learning how to be creative. First reviews, ridicule from family or respected teachers, wounds from other writers who think that savage critiques are character forming. You get the idea. These wounds become your subconscious and can be quite destructive if not reined in.

The 20Books to 50K conference is on at the moment. It is the biggest author conference in the world. I watched an excellent presentation by Sarah Noffke on productivity, goal setting, etc. Just an all-around shot in the arm. While you are on the YouTube channel check out some of the other presentations that have been made available. The conference is on all week. There is something for everyone.





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 – Heather Cowper

Vimy Ridge Arras WW1 trenches. 

We will remember them!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Early Presents

This week in publishing news,

Publishers Weekly broke the news that The Department of Justice is suing to block Penguin Random House from Buying Simon and Schuster citing it would “enable Penguin Random House, which is already the largest book publisher in the world, to exert outsized influence over which books are published in the United States and how much authors are paid for their work.”

As the news broke around the Publishing blogosphere there were some candid comments about not wanting to be a Simon and Schuster author if the sale went through. 


Kobo have increased their digital subscription model Kobo+. Australia and New Zealand now get the chance to try the subscription model of digital reading. Mark Williams reports in The New Publishing Standard. 

While Kobo is expanding its English language digital subscription Audible have made the big leap to India. This market promises much but what about the authors providing the books in the subscription model. India sells books very very cheaply. Volume might be the only way to earn any money. And don’t forget Audiblegate. Will Audible throw authors under the bus to get Indian Ears?


The Bookseller reports on a sobering piece of research on disability access and publishing. It is already hard enough to find disabled characters in stories but in the publishing houses it is even harder to find them in the offices of publishing houses.


The Alliance of Independent authors has a comprehensive explanation of NFT’s for authors. This is a digital offering that is suited to authors who can bundle a limited edition together. And every time it gets on sold the author can make a little money. If you aren’t sure whether NFT’s are legit check out the article. 


Even while the world struggles with a pandemic- Big Bad Wolf will always be there to sell books in their 24 hour, ten day Asian book fairs. Millions of remaindered English language books get snapped up by buyers. This year they are partnering with Shopify. The mind boggles at the sheer size of putting together a digital storefront to sell millions of books in a short space of time.


Susan DeFreitas has a great guest article on Jane Friedman’s blog this week. Maybe it’s not your plot. Susan takes a look at common plot problems and how they come back to your character arc. Once you’ve got that sorted the plot problems fix themselves. 


In the Craft Section,

3 steps to building a story world- Janice Hardy

The secret to writing authentic villains- Kyla Bagnall- Bookmark

A premise isn’t a plot- Janice Hardy Bookmark

2 Bookmark articles, Finding Time to Write and Take the stress out of writing- Michelle Millar


In The Marketing Section,

Can introverted writers market their books- Rachel Thompson – Bookmark

How to secure endorsements- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Bookbub ads for design inspiration- Bookbub

How to create a reader profile- Alicia Dale- Bookmark

7 questions to ask before writing a sell sheet- Joseph Kunz- Bookmark


To Finish

Every year I’m sure that Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier. This year because of supply chain issues around the world the word is out to get your Christmas buying in early. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi has gathered together the best books to gift writers for Christmas – Order Now!  While you are in a book buying mood don’t forget to grab the Storybundle Nano collection. A swag of great craft books and the authors get the money. A Christmas present for everyone.





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.



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