Thursday, May 12, 2022

Lending A Helping Hand


This week in publishing news,

The Los Angeles Times published a big article on the #Disneymustpay saga with quotes from the action team and a deep dive into the way Disney interprets contracts. I’ll bet there were fist pumps everywhere…also a lot of L A creators and lawyers checking over contracts. Hometown karma for Disney.


Instagram is flirting with NFT’s. This story from Techcrunch is interesting because Instagram is opening up a marketplace that a lot of people have access to. If you aren’t sure about NFT’s yet, keep an open mind and read the article. When we all live in our virtual reality life it might be handy knowledge.


The Society of Authors in the UK has a campaign running for the reform of hybrid publishers. There are legit hybrid publishers out there and there are some shady ones, very shady ones. Check Writer Beware if you want to be really sure about how your publisher stacks up.


Meanwhile, across the pond, The American Library Association is fighting back against all the book banning that has been going on. They have collected a formidable group of organisations to help them highlight this growing problem. I was shocked when I realised that ¾’s of the books banned were from marginalised writers. I didn’t realise it was so high. 


The New Publishing Standard always has an eye on what is happening around the rest of the world. This week they published an article about Sweden’s very high take up of audio subscriptions. 


Juliet Marillier has a great article on Writer Unboxed this week on supporting other writers. She lists a few ways you can do this. One of the easiest is to write a review as everybody knows that each review is gold. Juliet has a few other ideas to add and there are more in the comments.


Kris Rusch has an interesting article this week on How Writer’s Fail. As I was reading it I was thinking that optimism is a key ingredient for being a writer. You have to be optimistic to start writing, to continue writing, to finish, to revise, and to keep writing in spite of everything trying to stop you. Nurturing this mindset is the biggest and best thing we can do for ourselves and others. 


Colleen Story has a great website, Writing and Wellness. Here are two posts that nurture writers if you need a mental hug. Quotes to encourage you to keep going and Ways to make your writing mornings more awesome.


In The Craft Section,

Plot vs Story- September Fawkes- Bookmark

Can a writer quote song lyrics?-Anne R Allen- Bookmark

The difference between plot and story and why you need both- Heather Davis

Ten tools for writers – Kathy Steinemann

Bad Book Descriptions- Book Riot


In The Marketing Section,

How to write an author bio- Beth Barany- Bookmark

Can you revive a dead book- Dave Chesson  Bookmark

Book Launch Calendar- Scribe Media

Creating your copyright page – Alliance of Independent Authors – Bookmark

How to work with your graphic designer- Colleen Story

To Finish

The dream team of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are celebrating this week. It is ten years since they launched the Emotion Thesaurus. This blue book has been bought by writers all over the world and translated into other languages. Along the way, it has been joined by other books in the series. They reach out to help writers every single day with their resources. Angela and Becca have put together a fantastic prize pack of resources as a 10th anniversary celebration. Enter to win or send a message of congratulations for a top notch resource. 





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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


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Thursday, May 5, 2022

Checking off Resolutions



This week in publishing,

Amazon have decided to do away with Mobi files except for certain fixed formats like picture books. The ePub format can now be loaded onto your Kindle without being converted. As publishing commentators say… it’s about time. The ePub format is accepted everywhere else.


Down under, there is a ripple of concern over Booktopia, Australia’s online bookstore. The CEO resigned which triggered a share price plunge. Newspapers speculate it was over a huge earnings slump… the book business is alright isn’t it?


This week Darcy Pattison highlighted a problem with ISBN’s. Apparently, the 13 digit ISBN starting with 978 is running out. New ISBN’s are being issued and they aren’t being accepted anywhere as distributors haven’t caught up with the news. 


Joanna Penn recently interviewed small business guru Elaine Pofeldt who has a new book out. Tiny Business Big Money. This interview is a deep dive into running an author business and what is essential to get right.


Anne R Allen has a post on debut author book marketing. There are some scammy operators out there who target debut authors with junk marketing. The worst I’ve seen is an outfit wanting to take your book to Frankfurt to go on display…and charging a few thousand. In reality, there was an out-of-the-way stand with some books chucked on a table. No human presence at all. If you know anything about Frankfurt Book Fair, this is scammy on so many levels. Anne details other insidious practices.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a new Ultimate Guide out- The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning (part one). This is a must-read for everyone. Make a time to put down what you want to have happen in the future. Things like social media executors, where all your passwords are, who gets the film royalties…. 


Kris Rusch has a great post on endings and how important they are in selling your next book. Are you paying attention to the payoff? Loads of food for thought in this post.


Written Word Media has an in depth article on dictation. If you have been flirting with the idea, take a look at their tool comparison.


Do you need to write every day? On one hand, you are teaching the muse to show up. On the other hand, you could be feeding a destructive guilt cycle. Check out Katie’s Weiland’s list of pro’s and con’s.


In The Craft Section,

The definitive list of cliched dialogue- Scott Myers


2 Great posts from K M Weiland -Why your story’s premise is important and

The role of the antagonist in story structure- Bookmark Both

Using crisis to reveal character- September Fawkes – Bookmark

Setting goals, Writing to win- Beth Barany- Inspirational


In The Marketing Section,

Top 5 Strategies for promoting books on Social Media- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

2 in depth posts from Bookbub Insights- How to sell more copies of a book you published years ago  and How an anthology got boosted rankings

Instagram stories for authors – Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Republish vs Updating- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

Why a good book cover is crucial- Thao Nguyen


To Finish,

We are heading for halfway through the year, how are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up? If you made publishing that novel as a resolution and you are feeling a bit lost, Jordan at Now Novel as the definitive How To Publish A Novel in 2022, post for you.

For all the other writers who are on top of their resolutions… send encouraging energy to the rest of us. 

There is only one week to go for the Storybundle of Writing Craft books. Grab them while you can.



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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Everybody’s Talking.



This week in the Publishing blogosphere,


There has been a lot of talk in the U.S. on book banning. It seems every other day some state feels the need to ban books for some reason or another. Many in the publishing and library field are calling it an onslaught against diverse books. The Authors Guild decided to launch a Banned Book Club. They have partnered with an App, selected their first book, and invited the public to join them in discussion. 


Staying with the U.S. Writer Beware notes that Audible has changed its tax reporting policy making it harder for authors to separate out expenses. If you have an audible account check out the article for the heads up.


This week writers in six countries got an email from Google about the ability for them to take an eBook and convert it into an audiobook. If you have your books on Google Play you can sell the audio there as well as on your own website. At the moment you can’t sell AI generated books on any audio platforms. Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard shares his thoughts on this latest move. Check out the latest voices Google are offering as a demo. Many authors have been commenting on this move in the last few days. The consensus is if you have short-form nonfiction it could be a great addition to your catalogue, the jury is out on fiction.


Kris Rusch reports on her recent class with a practising entertainment lawyer. She details what she has learned and how these practitioners differ from book agents. Of course, as she has many decades in publishing she was able to talk about the times when a lawyer would have been a good idea.


With all the chatter at the Authors office cooler, (Twitter) about Elon Musk buying Twitter there was renewed interest in alternative social media outlets. Bookbub repeated their best social media for authors article. I have heard of a few more new kids on the block that are getting traction, Mastodon and Ello. As with any social media you have figure out if 1. Your readers are there. 2. You enjoy/ are comfortable with that style of social media.


Staying with social media, Dean Wesley Smith had a great blog post on keeping all your social media marketing resources for each book in a special folder. When he detailed what his team does, I was surprised. It is a comprehensive collection, but you can see the value in it straight away.

Joanna Penn has an interesting interview with Theodora Taylor about aiming for seven figures. It is a wide ranging interview full of little gems on mindset, planning, writing, and inspiration. 

Angela Ackerman has an interesting post on using seasonal symbolism to shift your writing mindset. It’s a way of reconnecting with your writing goals. Angela is focused on Spring… here we are going into Autumn but the ideas on refocussing are just as good


Ruth Harris has a great blog post on half-baked ideas that you put in the back of the filing drawer. As you become more proficient at writing there are ways to rework these old projects and finish baking them.


In The Craft Section,

How to write a plot twist- Jerry Jenkins- Bookmark

The challenge of the second novel- K M Weiland

Foreshadowing- A revision skill- Kathryn Craft- Bookmark

Creative ways to brainstorm ideas- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Scenes vs Sequels- Jami Gold


In The Marketing Section,

Literary agents and query resource questions- Mae Clair

The difference between book reviews and endorsements- Sandra Beckwith


2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Simple book marketing strategies

 And Promoting with bonus content- Bookmark

3 creative ways to use Book2read URL- Draft2digital- Bookmark


To Finish

The Alliance of Independent Authors recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. As part of marking the occasion, they have published their predictions for the decade ahead. Take a look at their recipe for publishing success this decade. 

Going Direct. Audio. Collaboration. Authenticity. 

As I head into the fifteenth year of the blog, I think they are right on the money. Authors need to work together in as many formats as possible and cultivate a direct experience with the reader. After all they can’t replace the meeting of minds that completes the reading experience with an AI.





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, go on 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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Break Out The Cake



In publishing news this week…

This week there was a heartfelt cry from a publisher on Twitter about the print and paper supply problems that have hit publishers hard.

With the shortage of paper, printers are having to book print runs far in advance of normal. This puts pressure on the publishers to figure out how big a print run they need 6 months earlier than usual. Publishers' book reps traditionally go into shops to presell titles which is how a lot of publishers get a ballpark number for their print run. This causes problems all along the production line. What if they have a hit on their hands? Reprints can take up to four months to book in. Will interest still be in the book four months later? 

Then there are other problems like the one facing Graphic Novel publisher Fantagraphics, who have an entire print run of a popular graphic novel stuck on a container ship that has run aground. This is the second time this has happened to them. (Guess the name of the ship.) With shipping almost stopped because the Shanghai port is almost at a standstill, the pain is only going to get worse for publishers. Supply chain problems will force changes in publishing. 


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard, takes a look at the New York Toy Fair which has just been canceled again and draws some parallels with the publishing industry. We were all happy when the Bookfairs came back face to face this year but has the industry learned anything or changed its mindset to be more sustainable going forward? 


Publishers Weekly recently looked at 25 years of changes to book publicity. This article explores the changes in the publishing world from the days when a publisher had a marketing team to make the author a star through to today when the author needs to have a 50,000 follower social media channel to make the book a star.


Derek Murphy has been exploring Artificial Intelligence to get ideas for writing. He shows what he fed the AI and what the AI wrote. It is fascinating stuff. Remember though, the tool is only as good as the ingredients you give it. And it is a tool for ideas…at the moment.


Anne R Allen highlights the need for a Social Media executor. Recently she found out that a dear writer friend had died two months after the fact. Social Media accounts are part of most authors' marketing and networking lives. An executor can save your estate a big headache and protect your reputation.


Kris Rusch is looking at scheduling her writing time at the moment. She examines how to think about projects in a big picture way and why blocking out time is good for your mental health. 


Dave Chesson has an interesting deep dive into typesetting- If you are interested in book design take a look at all the nuts and bolts of book layout.


Diving sideways…who knew punctuation could be so interesting. P J Parrish has an article on the Killzone blog about the messages you send with your punctuation. 


Storybundle has a great collection of writing craft books on offer for this month. Check out the collection. It’s a pay what you like deal. All the money goes to the authors. You get the books on your preferred device and they are yours. (Remember that eBooks bought on Amazon etc are only licensed to read on your device.) Storybundle send the books as documents so you get to keep them. I have many writing craft books on my Kindle from Storybundle. It’s a good way to keep up with the craft.


In The Craft Section,

Why authors should kill their characters- Sarah Hamer


2 Great posts from Becca Puglisi-Creative ways to brainstorm story ideas and Subtext in dialogue – Bookmark Both

How to write a compelling action scene- Emily Young

How to construct a story bible- Staci Troilo- Bookmark

How to find your writer's voice- Scott Myers


In The Marketing Section,

What to do with Amazon A+ content- Sandra Beckwith-Bookmark

Clever ideas for bonus content- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

A collection of essential publishing tools and resources- Joanna Penn

Creating pre and post-publication flyers- Judith Briles- Bookmark

Email marketing for authors- comprehensive article.


To Finish,

This week marks 14 years of the weekly blog. It is a constant marker of the week's progression in my family life. Will I have time to do the blog…is always the running mental commentary on a Thursday. More often I hear ‘we can’t do it on a Thursday, Mum has her blog.’ To the long-time readers… Thank you for all the encouragement, the occasional coffee, the comments and laughter. To my loyal monthly newsletter subscribers- Thanks for reading the roundups and my writing news and woes. The stats tell me that almost everybody opens the newsletter so I must be doing something right. 

Let’s head off into year 15 and see what is on the horizon… I might even buy myself some craft books to celebrate, along with cake! 





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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Creating Money


In publishing news this week…


The Guardian reports from The London Book Fair on what the 5 biggest trends are according to the fair. Or according to the Guardian, what we will all be reading in the near future. Funny how they’ve missed all the other formats out there.


Meanwhile, YouTube is figuring out ways to monetise podcasts and provide analytics for podcast producers, Mark Williams reports. If YouTube thinks there’s gold to be had in someone else’s creative IP, what about the creator? Something to consider if you are thinking of podcasting… 

Mark also shines a light on the global nature of publishing which is often seen as very western-centric. Qatar has a bookfair underway for Ramadan, which is a first, and Middle Eastern bookfairs expect to attract millions of visitors in the near future.


This week I listened to Joanna Penn interview children’s author D Jude Miller and how he sells direct to libraries and schools. It was really interesting to hear his ideas and how he gets the word out. Also, how he runs his e-commerce business from his website. 

If you want to get some ideas for integrating your author websites and e-commerce, check out this article from Prowritingaid.


Staying with money, Debbie Burke has a great article on the Killzone blog about writing articles for money- Short term rewards for the long haul. 


Kris Rusch looks at the responses from other authors on Brandon’s Kickstarter. Is it a unicorn? Could it be replicated by other authors? Kris points out a few things that authors seem to have forgotten. Brandon is training readers to buy direct from the author, is this a bad thing?


Joseph Perry guest posted on Anne R Allen’s blog about legal issues that authors should be aware of and do their best to avoid.


Brian Feinblum posted a hard-hitting article, the truth that authors need to hear, because they were sick of fielding whining queries from authors. Any author that has been around for a while will recognize the truths in this article. We all get annoyed with people who expect to be granted all the keys and wisdoms of writing and publishing and don’t do any work to find out answers for themselves. There is a huge amount of information out there if you go looking. (If you read this blog for just six months you will gather all sorts of resources, imagine if you read it for 14 years…  my blog anniversary is next week. I know I can’t believe it either.)


In The Craft Section,

Two great posts from Jerry Jenkins -How to become a better writer- and Types of characters - Bookmark Both

Context, Text, and subtext- September Fawkes

What Are Story Beats? Tim Grahl

What is rhythmic writing -Sue Coletta - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

May promo days -Sandra Beckwith

5 ways to build an email list for authors- Written Word Media -Bookmark

PR and Marketing tips for authors- Anne Marie Nieves- Bookmark

Book marketing on a budget- Bookrescue

Instagram book marketing ideas- Bookbub

Author Branding with Mark Coker- Bookmark


To Finish,

The music industry is humming with the court case that Ed Sheeran was involved in, where he was accused of lifting a section of tune from someone else. Cory Doctorow has a great article on how the music industry has created their own problems with copyright. As the publishing industry often follows trends in the music industry check out the article for a heads up of issues that might be coming down the track.




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 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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by micheile dot com on Unsplash

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Trick Or Treat

In Publishing News this week,

Audiblegate… Version 2 ‘Here’s a cool trick to play,’ said Booktok influencers, Amazon lets you read the book and return it for a new one and you can keep doing it… and you won’t be charged. 

Since Booktok influencers started sharing this ‘tip’, the rate of returned books has tripled. Authors are reporting that readers are reading an entire series, returning each book for the next one. Understandably this has authors hopping mad. There is a petition to sign to get Amazon to look at the problem and fix it- If the book is fully read there should be no refund.


With companies pulling out of Russia, how are the people of Russia coping? Their government is looking to make piracy legal. First up are entertainment companies.


Many authors are fond of podcasts, either listening to them or creating them. Substack, known for its subscription newsletters, is dipping a toe into the podcasting arena. Mark Williams reports that a battle is looming ahead for your ears with Patreon.


London Bookfair is on now… in person…. Publishing Perspectives shares what is on offer at the stripped back show that also has an online companion show. The way of the future seems to be an all-access pass to the online version along with your ticket to the in-person book fair.


The Alliance of Independent Authors was started 10 years ago at the London Book Fair. They recently shone a spotlight on four of their authors and how they have succeeded in the last 10 years. 

Over the years Alli have hosted 24 hour online conferences in conjunction with the major book fairs. This year they have a mini-conference happening. Check out the speakers and subjects. Sign up … its free.


Kris Rusch wraps up her dive into copyright this week. As ever she is a must read if only so that you can be a little bit informed as to what you can make money on. This week she looks at why all the big musicians are selling their music catalogues.


Lisa Ellison has an interesting guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about why your writing groups might be failing you. As you write you learn more and change your focus…is your writing group helping or hindering you?


Anne R Allen has a great post on writing secondary characters. Do your secondary characters try to take over the story? (yes) Anne has 5 tips to help you write great secondary characters who stay in their lane.


In The Craft Section,

How To Study Plot and Character- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Theme – the marrow of your story- April Bradley

Swearing in children’s books- Mary Kole

Adjectives- do you really need them- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark

6 key qualities of the B story- September Fawkes - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Ways to use video to engage with readers- Bookbub-Bookmark

Productivity hacks- Rachel Thompson

How to format a book using Microsoft Word- Bookmark

2 interesting posts from Thomas Umstattd, 10 reasons to delay your book launch and

How to promote using Goodreads

New advertising updates on Amazon – Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish,

DIYMFA has an interesting post from Brittany Capozzi about the Vagus nerve and how it can be used effectively by writers. As I read this article I was struck by how familiar it felt to me. When you are writing an action scene do you find yourself mimicking breathing or facial expressions? (Thank goodness I don’t have a mirror near me.) Check out the article, it might turn you onto a neat trick to try when you want the muse to work harder.





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 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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash


Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Book Fair Smorgasbord


In Publishing News This Week,


It’s Book Fair season and the publishing world is venturing out to meet in person for the first time in two years. First up Bologna Children’s Book Fair which has just wrapped up. Publishing Perspectives has the lowdown on how it went.


Publishers Weekly takes a look at what will be the big topics at London Book Fair, London will be buzzing next week with the organisers expecting over 20,000 people to attend. They have an interesting collection of talks around publishing in the future too.


Frankfurt Bookfair is next after London they are finalising their programme but the theme this year is Translate, Transfer, Transform. Publishers Weekly details what they mean by the catchy slogan.


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard shares his thoughts on The Alliance of Independent Authors tenth anniversary and he also has an interesting column on what’s coming down the track -publishing in the metaverse. 


Dipping a toe into the future is Joanna Penn, This week she had an interesting talk with a copyright attorney and they talked NFT’s, The Metaverse, and other publishing models and how contract law is changing. This is a meaty interview about copyright so make sure you have a long drink while you listen/read.


Writer Unboxed has a new kid on the roster Yasmin Angoe who writes about the eight lessons she has learned as a debut author.


Penny Sansevieri has an interesting post on Indiereader about baking in book marketing strategies as you write the book. A whole different way of thinking as you write, identifying angles for marketing.


Bookfairs are full of resources for the publishing professional but down at the coal face what does the writer rely on? Ruth Harris has organised an impressive list of resources to make research easy for the writer. Need a name, an historical detail, or a date… Ruth has you covered.


In The Craft Section,

How To Write A Blurb- Ruth Harris- Bookmark

Cliffhangers not just for the end of the book- Jami Gold

Character states- September Fawkes- Bookmark

Writer life inside and outside story universe- Seth Myers- Bookmark

Dealing with backstory- Janice Hardy


In The Marketing Section,

Step by step guide to author websites - Jane Friedman

10 ways to blog about your book- Amanda Zieba- Bookmark

Author press releases- Sandra Beckwith – Bookmark

Amazon ads for Traditional authors- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

Unique branding for April- Penny Sansevieri -Bookmark


To Finish,

The first quarter of the year is over and we should be all back in the writing groove. If you are struggling check out Now Novels collection of group writing exercises.

The Alliance of Independent Authors celebrates its ten year anniversary at the London Book Fair. They have gone from strength to strength and have a huge international membership now. The founder, Orna Ross, had an enlightening article on the Author and The Creator Economy. It’s fascinating and full of mind food.





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links you can subscribe here. (You 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 or here. 

I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Hamza NOUASRIA on Unsplash



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