Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Year That Was



The last post of 2021.

We made it. It was supposed to be better than 2020. There was a vaccine. Now a new variant is on the march. Make no hard and fast plans for 2022.

 

This week the posts that have caught my eye 

 

Joanna Penn’s great post on productivity and finding time to write. This is a post to reflect on as you make plans for 2022. Joanna is down under and soaking up the sun. *waves Hi*

 

Anne R Allen on taking all writing rules as guidelines. This is the post that reminds you not to stress about your work.- 

 

Kris Rusch – the 3rd in her year in review posts. I was tempted to just put the link to her post in the middle of my page… and leave it at that. She says important things for you to think about for the writing publishing business going forward.- A must-read.

 

In the Craft Section,

A good article on dialogue- Writerswrite

 

In The Marketing Section, 

Bookbub posted their best articles from this year

 

In the meantime here is my rundown of the year with interesting links for you.

 

Jogging through 2021 

 

In January Wattpad was sold to South Korean company Naver and a hedge fund bought Overdrive 

The Fabulous Spa Girls had tips on how to set goals for your writing year. 

Then we dropped into Michael Hyatt’s website to learn about SMARTER goals, to put them into place.

 

In February- Audiblegate…where Audible encouraged subscribers to return their listened to audiobooks for a credit which they clawed back from the author because it was a ‘returned book.’

David Farland warned about new contract terms in an interview with Joanna Penn. David mentioned in passing seeing contracts that asked for All formats existing now and to be invented. Deal Breaker Alert.

 

News: D2D is now offering Payment splitting for collaborators!


In March, Audio is big was the theme and about to get bigger. 

Dr. Suess had some books pulled from reprinting because of racist stereotyping. 

Tom Clancy’s estate discovers that they don’t own the rights to Jack Reacher due to a shocking contract signed early in Tom’s career. 

 

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


How to market a book with smart planning- Penny Sansevieri


April- to be renamed Rest In Peace

Harper Collins bought Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Beverly Cleary died aged 104 

Amazon Vella launched

#Disneymust pay launched- (who knew that buying companies also meant buying their assets and if it is royalties, also their obligations?)

 

Tips for dividing your story into chapters- 10 minute novelists


30 days of Social Media content Infographic- Barb Drozdowich

 

In May, The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander died (but his excellent templates live on.) 

Storytel partnered with Spotify- That’s the audio ears of Europe wrapped up and a warning that Spotify was on the audio hunt- price no object.

 Amazon responded and bought MGM- The Backlist of films is there to be exploited. (Just remember your backlist has value even if your publishers don’t exploit it. Get limited terms of use and get your rights back)

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


June

Some second-hand book dealers felt sorry for writers and launched a scheme to get some of them paid when their books were on-sold. 

The Pandemic began the rise of the online bookstore, now everybody has one.

Japan jailed Book pirates.

What is an NFT? Joanna Penn took a deep dive to find out. 

Christie's auctioned 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.’ 

 

In July Amazon introduced A+ 

Overdrive bought Kanopy , a video streaming service for public and academic libraries.

And publishers paid eye-watering sums to grab books about the Trump presidency from the insiders.

 

Understanding the mirror moment- September Fawkes

 

A brilliant article on SEO for indie authors- Alliance of Independent Authors. 

 

August 

Subscription became the new go-to for academic publishers. 

Scammers discovered audiobooks. What you can do about it.


Authors behaved badly. – N.B. Remember nothing is ever off the record so if you don’t want it reported don’t say it.

 

Dave Chesson examined the A+ content blocks and has written a comprehensive article on how to get the best out of the new bells and whistles.


 

In September, the constant news item was the future of Bookfairs… will they ever be face to face again?

Scammers cloning author Facebook pages and destroying their social media.

Amazon offers Hardback format

AI voices start getting taken seriously. 

Netflix bought the Roald Dahl estate for $500M 

Supply chain woes start to bite. (A Local bookshop has just posted they got their September orders today, 3 days before Christmas)

 

Deanna Cabinian writes on the Time vs Productivity paradox for authors.

 

Should you sell your books from your website? Sandra Beckwith 



AudiO-ctober

Paul Simon released an audiobiography Like a documentary but audio-only. (Earlier in the year, I reported that Dolly Parton is working with James Patterson on a fiction book with a companion album.) 

Ireland is trialing a Guaranteed Basic Income for artists.

The American Department of Justice began suing Penguin Random House over acquiring Simon and Schuster citing their outsized influence on publishing and writers compensation if the deal goes ahead


Sacha Black on How to kill your side characters.


Joanna Penn’s primer on understanding Intellectual Property and the ways that authors need to use and exploit what they create to make money.

 

November

What is an NFT? The question was on everyone’s lips as they tried to make sense of it for writers. 

Kobo expanded its subscription service to Oz and NZ. 

Spotify bought Findaway (and life changed in the publishing audio sphere forever.)


Anne R Allen wrote a superb post on creativity wounds. The wounds you might not know you have. 


The literary calendar of 2022-  Sandra Beckwith


  

December

Where did the time go…  End-of-year reports show publishing is still making money but only in certain formats.

Viacom CBS partners with Wattpad and Webtoon.

Publishers paid out silly money to celebrities for books and watched those books tank badly.



 

And now I’m staggering gently to the couch for a lie-down and a cool drink. 

Have a safe and blessed Christmas season. I’m off until mid-January 

It’s summer…

 

Maureen

@craicer

  

The last newsletter for the year is going out soon with the best of, the best of my bookmarked links of the year and other goodies. 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  Christmas cheer hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate all virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Marco Verch

 

Drinks by Aperol Spritz

 

 

 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Remember When…

 


 

This week in publishing,


When you get to a certain age you notice that nostalgia becomes big entertainment business. *coughMarvelcomicsCough* Sometimes the reason for the reboot of these older entertainment properties is that the new executives are mining their childhood fads. The 90’s generation is getting its turn now. This week Vulture reports that Sweet Valley High is getting a TV show. The SVH books were written by ghostwriters back in the day. A popular choice for publishers who found a formula and pumped books out using a stable of writers to do it. This is why a backlist is so important. What if that small hit spawns a cult phenomenon?

 

Mark Williams at The New Publishing Standard has been looking at the Wattpad Webtoon moves as they partner with ViacomCBS and Paramount. Intellectual Property generated by Indie authors are up for grabs for new video streaming services as all the big entertainment companies try to copy Netflix. Soon everyone will be subscribed to an entertainment streaming service.

 

Meanwhile, Kickstarter sent out a press release this week announcing their move onto the blockchain to decentralise their operation.

 “As a first step, we’re supporting the development of an open-source protocol that will essentially create a decentralized version of Kickstarter’s core functionality. This will live on a public blockchain, and be available for collaborators, independent contributors, and even Kickstarter competitors, from all over the world to build upon, connect to, or use.

This looks like bringing the blockchain more mainstream. Interesting times ahead for the creative and collaborative community.

 

Last week I mentioned the New York Times article on Publishers and their unrealistic expectations of profits from celebrity books. This week Passive Guy dived into the article and shared all the numbers. There are eye-watering hits that publishers are taking on these celebrities. However, getting the publishing deal could be just part of the merchandise income stream for these celebrities who might not be making much money from their main source of creativity. 

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has published their Year in Review. January seems so long ago. The publishing industry has grown despite Covid and supply issues. 

 

Kris Rusch continues her close look at the implications of various events in the publishing industry. She is now watching the widening of the ways between Traditional and Indie publishing. They are almost two completely different models now.

 

Tara Sparling is back on Anne R Allen’s blog with her annual funny Christmas story which pokes fun at the writer's life. This year visit Mr McGuffin’s Plot Device and Writer Unblocking Emporium where stirring events are taking place as characters complain about their stereotypes.

 

Writer Unboxed has a large group of great writers who contribute excellent articles on the craft of writing. This week Barbara Linn Probst has an excellent article on Trusting The Reader.

 

In The Craft Section,

How to make your character choices more difficult- Angela Ackerman – Bookmark


Common mistakes that pull readers out of stories Elizabeth Craig - Bookmark


How to develop a story idea- Now Novel- Bookmark


The future in stories- Jim Dempsey


8 scintillating rules for writing romance- Dana Isaacson-Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to build a platform when you have no idea what it means- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


3 ways to learn what your readers want- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


Authors – Tiktok promo ideas- Bookbub- Bookmark


How will sharing book recommendations help me sell books- Shepherd for Authors


10 social media design tips – Infographic

 

To Finish,

We are moving into the last week before Christmas. The Writers Advent Calendar, organised by The Dream Team AKA Angela and Becca is on the last few days. If you haven’t checked it out – you can still put your name in the giveaways for some great prizes. 

 

Next week is the last blog post for the year. I’m ready to wave goodbye to 2021.

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter to go out, with the bumper edition of great links from the year. If you want to 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 eggnog for Christmas, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate all the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons –  Julian Povey 

 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Looking Back To Move Forward



 This week in Publishing news…

Most of the chatter this week seemed to center on a New York Times article about Publishers paying huge amounts to current celebrities and getting burned when their books don’t sell. That publishers were relying on the celebrity's social media following for sales seems to be shortsighted. Jane Friedman has a measured article in response to this craziness.

 

The Association of American Publishers released their last quarter snapshot. What do the numbers tell us? Publishing Perspectives takes the view that everything is in good heart and future sales look rosy. 

 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard looked at the same snapshot and took issue with the eBook sales numbers being down. He breaks down the millions being made on untracked eBooks and suggests that AAP haven’t factored in subscription… a whole ‘nother beast.

 

Joanna Penn interviewed MichaelBrent Collings this week on writing book descriptions. It was interesting and informative. Do yourself a favour and listen or read the transcript.

 

Roz Morris has a great post on how to cope after getting a hefty developmental edit report.

This is not the time to run away and hide or drown your sorrows. Lots of good advice here.

 

Downunder- the end of the year is in sight. School finishes for Summer. It’s Christmas so there is a mad rush to clear the desk and prepare for the end of year review while in the midst of Christmas events. Kris Rusch is looking at her year in review. How was 2021 for you? We are in year two of the pandemic and instead of thinking the world will go back to how it was, maybe we need to look at a new normal.

 

Penny Sansevieri has an interesting post on the 10 keys to successful publishing. If you are putting ideas together for next year this might be a useful starting point.

 

Sometimes the end of the year brings pressure to complete all your writing tasks. It might not be good for your mental health. Writing and Wellness blog has a great article on when it is time to break the writing rules to boost your productivity.

 

Anne R Allen has a great post on the rule of three. Yes, every story no matter how small needs the rule of three.

 

 

In The Craft Section,

Editing – Redundancy quiz (12)- Kathy Steineman


Guide to Flash Fiction – Reedsy


2 great posts from Angela Ackerman- Bookmark Both- How to draw in the reader through character choices and How symbolism adds depth to the story


How to write great endings- Staci Troilo- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Best Apps and tools for writers- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


Using magnets to attract readers- Terry Odell- Bookmark


2 interesting posts from Bookbub- Advertising Design Elements and Boosting revenue with audiobooks


How to launch your book and still have a life- Penny Sansevieri

 

To Finish

It’s the season of gift-giving or wracking your brains trying to figure out what to give others.

Here are two lists for you to study for gift-giving ideas for the writer.

13 unique gifts for writers, and Gifts for the work from home worker.

 

 

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 –  Marco Verch

 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Giving Thanks

 


 

This week in publishing news,

 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard took a close look at this week’s report from the UK Publishers Association on the rise and rise of audiobook revenue. Mark looks at the bounce in publishing revenue from the pandemic. The numbers are truly startling. I never suspected that Children’s digital publishing had risen by 26%. 

 

Several days later and it was Nielsen’s turn to deliver their report on audio publishing. Publishing Perspectives compares both reports and the strong indications of subscription being the way of the future for our ears.

 

Recently two posts caught my eye on data protection and online privacy. 

How many times have you just skated around the edge of disaster, nearly losing all your work files. Lindsay Syhakhom on how to keep track of multiple copies of your work. You are filing multiple copies away, aren’t you?

 

How secure are you from hackers? Jacqui Murray has a great article for writers on protecting their online identities. If you ever wanted to scare someone about how easy it is to hack someone, check out the little embedded video of a hacker at work. Let’s be careful out there.

 

It’s interesting to look from the other side of the world at the North American holiday of Thanksgiving. On the surface, it seems to be all about the food, insane travel stories, family feuds, and getting ready for Black Friday sales. But underneath there is a simple message - stop what you are doing and be thankful for being. 

Ruth Harris listed her reasons to be thankful and they made me stop and think about the little things in my writing life that I am thankful for.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors have published a useful glossary of terms for writing contracts. Know the meaning of the language.

 

Today I saw a comment about December being the Friday of the year. For some writers that piles extra pressure on to produce or finish a big project. Dave Chesson has an interesting article on coping with writer burnout.

 

Recently Joanna Penn interviewed Chrissy Metge on pitching to film studios. It was an information packed interview. If you think your writing project has potential you should listen/read the interview. Chrissy mentioned that studios need content all the time now with streaming services. 

Joshua Robinson follows this up with a post on Writing for Video Games on Insecure Writers Support Group. He writes for Video games. Yes, they need writers to do plot development and narration and dialogue. Writing is not only printed words on the page. 

 

Nina Amir has an interesting article on bringing writing ideas to life by creative visualization.

 

Now Novel has an excellent article on Story Planning. There are many ways to do this. Whether you write a bullet point list to begin with or a detailed plan- Jordan has broken down the main points of how to start from the first idea.

 

In The Craft Section,

Editing- The redundancy quiz- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark


10 mistakes to avoid writing fantasy- Lucy Hay


Populating your story with background characters- Jan Drexler


Writing from the end- Mary Moore- Bookmark


The static hiss of description- Donald Maass- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Common Author questions- Draft2Digital team


How To format a book- Dave Chesson - Bookmark


Start marketing your book now- Stevan Spatz


Ultimate guide to getting reviews- Alliance of Independent Authors

22 must have resources in 2022- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

 

To Finish

It’s December and thoughts turn to getting ready for Christmas and the end of the year wind down. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are back with another Advent calendar for writers. Check out the daily offerings and send Thanks to the Dream Team.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

My monthly newsletter of the best of my bookmarked links is due out soon. 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 to the lovely person who donated coffee this week.

 

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons –  Mike Gnuckz

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