Thursday, February 24, 2022

Looking For Happy



This week in publishing news,

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard reported that Storytel was having a shakeup with their founder and visionary leader Jonas Tellander stepping down unexpectedly. With uncertain times in Europe at the moment- finding a comfort book to read or listen to maybe a priority. 


Publishers Weekly is confident that Bologna will be back in person…however they are expecting a smaller turnout. To compensate they are expanding the children’s book fair to focus on independent publishing and educational publishing. Congratulations to the shortlisted publishers around the world for International Children’s Publisher of the year. Huia has been named in the Oceania shortlist along with Beatnik.


Anne R Allen has another timely look at scammers in the book industry. They keep changing their shonky practices. Please keep an eye on Writer Beware… if you get an offer of any sort, treat it with caution. Agents have been burned too.


Joanna Penn interviewed Craig Martell this week on tips for author success. If you have heard of the Facebook group 20 books to 50k then Craig will be a familiar name. If not, Craig runs the biggest writers conference in the world. Read /listen to this extraordinary man and his mission to empower writers.


Kris Rusch is another extraordinary resource for the publishing community. Her longevity in the industry and her ability to see through the murk to the realities of the publishing business make her a must-read resource. This week she looks at exclusivity deals- when they are a good thing and when they go horribly wrong.


Author newsletters can be a wonderful marketing tool but they often give writers a headache as they try to figure out what to put in them. Nate Hoffelder shares 8 things he learned from the Newsletter Ninja, Tammi Labrecque.


Colleen Story wrote this week on author mindset when it comes to book marketing. How do you approach marketing your book? Colleen writes about some easy changes that will change your marketing mindset.


In The Craft Section,

4 steps for second drafts- D Edwin - Bookmark

When to kill a character- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

How to develop content for a workbook- Nina Amir- Bookmark

Flat character arcs- Lewis Jorstad

3 tips for a time bomb plot device- Becca Puglisi



In The Marketing Section,

Promote your book while watching TV- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Book Marketing Burnout- Dave Chesson Bookmark

Unique branding for March- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Promoting with a limited budget- Bookbub

Facebook ad images- Written Word Media

110 book marketing ideas- Smith Publicity


To Finish,

I’m in the last quarter of my current book and trying to tie up all the loose ends. This week I read an interesting article from Mythcreants on keeping the readers happy with your novel series. You don’t have to always follow the main character. Write an anthology series like Discworld or spin-off books or prequels. This article opens up a whole new drawer of ideas which is a writer’s happy place.





It is nearly time for my monthly newsletter of the best bookmarked links. When you subscribe you 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.


Kia Kaha Ukraine. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Reaching for a life ring.



In Publishing News this week,


The paper crisis in publishing is beginning to bite with Italian publishers reporting that costs for paper are beginning to make publishing some books uneconomic. Production costs have risen almost 90% compared to last year. Publishing Perspectives reports on the types of books most affected. Italian publishers are concerned for educational materials which they are guaranteed to supply, the costs of which are swallowing all their publishing budget.


Meanwhile, in Spain, they are tackling Book Piracy using sports technology. With an estimated 3 pirated copies for every book published something has to be done. Artificial Intelligence may just be the referee we all need on our side.


Penguin Random House in an altruistic move last year made books available to Libraries with easier terms than usual because everyone was in lockdown and we all needed to read more. Usually, publishers allow Libraries to buy books at very marked up prices to make up for the sales they potentially lose to library patrons. PRH announced that they are keeping their easier terms going this year. 

It can’t have anything to do with more States taking publishers to court to make them provide ebooks to libraries.


Another Social Media company is offering creators a revenue pool to earn from. Snapchat is introducing ads and top Snapchat creators will be able to share in the ad revenue from their stories. Streaming income for creators falls into either revenue sharing or getting a fixed price from a fixed sum of money-e.g. Kindle Unlimited monthly pool of money. The downside of this model is the more creators the less money you can earn. 


Kris Rusch has been mulling over exclusivity and what it means to creators. Do the tradeoffs make it worthwhile. What about when the contracts change? An interesting beginning to a new series from Kris on the business of writing.


If you get the chance to watch the Beatles documentary by Peter Jackson, it is a fascinating insight into the creative process of the four members of the band. Dan Blank pulls out 23 lessons on creativity from the documentary. 


Reedsy has a comprehensive list of all the novel writing software out there that you might like to try out.


Victoria Thompson has published over fifty novels and she breaks down the two most asked questions that authors get. Points if you guess what they are. (Children’s authors may have a different set of questions… How old are you being one of the most asked by children.)


Barbara Probst puts on her reader's hat and analyses 5 recent books to see if they follow the ‘rules’ that writers are supposed to hook and compelling stakes in the first few pages. She found that they didn’t follow that at all but explored character development instead. An interesting article.


In The Craft Section,

5 tips for writing memoir-Rachel Thompson

How to turn your short story into a novel- Roz Morris

3 tips for describing characters- Bang 2 Write

How writers can mine emotions with music-  C S Lakin- Bookmark

Author voice vs Narrator voice -September Fawkes- Bookmark

Tips for creating a bestselling title- Margie Lawson - Bookmark 


In The Marketing Section,

6 benefits of good website design- Barb Drozdowich

Booktok for book marketing-Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Clever ideas for promoting sequels- Bookbub- Bookmark

How to market an eBook- Reedsy (comprehensive)

Not all book marketing services are created equal- Penny Sansevieri


To Finish,

I recently read a Writer Unboxed article on the importance of writing truth for yourself. John J Kelley- Writing Truth in the era of falsehood. This article particularly resonated with me as our city is partially gridlocked by a large protest around our parliament. The protestors are demanding freedom but are denying the rights of others around them while they protest. They want the freedom to not be vaccinated, to not wear masks and to go back to life the way it was. Their rhetoric is filled with conspiracy and hate and is quite worrying. How did so many people lose sight of the science and truth of the pandemic? While they chant for individual freedom- the rest of us are taking our responsibilities seriously towards others more vulnerable than ourselves. We are getting vaccinated and wearing masks and living a careful life in a pandemic. Sometimes the negativity can drown us. Writing a truth can be a life ring in uncertain times.





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.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Owing The Writer


In Publishing News this week,

The merger of Draft2Digital and Smashwords was announced this week and everyone is talking. Each company has made a significant noise in the Indie Publishing world. Smashwords was first making ePublishing accessible to everyone in 2008. Draft2Digital followed them in 2012. Each publishing portal has its own specialties and exclusive deals. Many authors belong to both, to get as wide a coverage as they can along with access to accreditation, coupons, print deals etc. Together they will be a force, a complete one-stop portal for Indie publishers. Read the Press release from D2D and the commentary from Publishing Perspectives. The two companies are merging staff and senior management with Mark Coker of Smashwords joining the board. Both companies have a wide reach into Europe and it will be interesting to see if they can crack Asia. Now that Amazon has closed down their Asian publishing arm there might be expansion room.


Leipzig Book Fair happens 2 weeks before London and is a useful indicator on whether Book Fairs are back to normal. Last week everyone was happy, Leipzig will be in person. 6 days later Leipzig is canceled. A week is a long time in publishing and Covid 19 is not done yet.


Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware took Wattpad to task over the rules to their latest contest, which has caused a huge controversy in that part of the publishing blogosphere. The overreach in rights being denied authors entering the contest was excessive. Please read this article from Victoria on the language used and what it means. Publishing contracts and Contests are increasingly using this language. Grabbing as many IP rights as you can is highly profitable for publishing companies. Forewarned is forearmed.


Anne R Allen has a great article on 10 dangerous critiques that can scuttle your book and your mental well-being. This is an article that anyone involved in workshopping manuscripts needs to read.


Joanna Penn interviewed John Kremer over on her podcast and it is a fascinating read/listen on ways to market books long term. John authored a successful book on the subject now in its 7th edition. The two of them talk about new markets, new ventures and co-op marketing.


David Gaughran has a great article on 15 rules for Book Advertising. David has a wealth of information at his fingertips and all over his website to check him out and pay attention to what he says.


Jane Friedman has a great guest post  from Janna Maron on the 3 shifts you need to finish your book. I was fascinated by the sanctuary idea. Do you have a mental sanctuary for your book?


The Dream team of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have come up with a great article on treating your writer self this Valentine’s day.


In The Craft Section,

Do you begin at the beginning- maybe not- Barbara Lynn Probst

5 Steps to becoming a nonfiction author- Nina Amir- Bookmark

The zigzag plot arc- Marissa graff- Bookmark

Antagonist motivations- K M Weiland

The rule of three- Anne R Allen


In The Marketing Section,

Leverage someone else’s network- Sandra Beckwith

Which comes first the marketing or the book- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

Infographic for March marketing- Penny Sansevieri-Bookmark

Best promo sites 2022- David Gaughran- BOOKMARK

An introvert’s guide to an online presence- Tessa Barbossa

Prize ideas for giveaways and promotions- Bookmark


To Finish, 

Writer Unboxed has all sorts of interesting articles and this one caught my eye this week

Who does an author owe?

Before you start looking at your bills, this article is about owing energy, owing creativity, owing your story to … your reader.





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.


Thursday, February 3, 2022

Little Details



This week in publishing news


Subscription seems to be on everyone’s minds and not in a good way.

If you are in the Entertainment Business and writers are, you will have heard of the stoush between Neil Young and Spotify. Spotify refused to listen to complaints about Joe Rogan peddling covid misinformation. J R has a show that appeals to the male 25 + bracket and Spotify probably wants to stay in their good books. Neil Young took exception to this and pulled his music from the  Spotify site. Neil survived polio as a child but it left its mark so no one cares more than him about life-saving vaccines. Many musicians came out in support of Neil. 

However other musicians are caught between a rock and a hard place. If the biggest game in town is Spotify, can you afford not to be on it even though they pay appallingly? 

This goes to the heart of fixed-term pots of money for creators. The more creators, the less the slice of earnings available. Tiktok has just added a creator fund pool. Watch for things to get a bit   more dynamic in the Tiktok quarter. 

Recently, Mark Williams looked at the creator fund from Amazon which is the KU payout, and mused about similar issues. Subscription services may be the most contentious topic of 2022 for creatives.


Derek Murphy has flagged a potential problem with Amazon and the glitch in their sales reports and rank listings. If you are publishing on Amazon check it out it is getting a lot of comment.

If you haven’t tripped over to Creative Indie recently you really should. Besides interesting articles, Derek has some great free resources for writers.


Writer’s and Time management seem to be a theme this week around the blogosphere.

Zoe McCarthy has 5 great tips to keep all your writing-related tasks straight.

Kris Rusch muses on time management and when not to jump on shiny new things and Now Novel blog has a great article on writing rituals and how they can start good habits.

Penny Sansevieri has a great post on the best way to market books in 2022. This comes from her podcast which is short and full of great tips.


Congratulations Joanna Penn on achieving podcast number 600. It’s a phenomenal effort and shows the value of consistency as Joanna is one of the most trusted voices in the Indie Publishing World.

Litreactor has an article that made me laugh and then think – hmm why not? The top ten insane things no writer has done but maybe someone should.


Jane Friedman has some great guest posters on her site. This week Joe Ponepinto has an excellent post on using telling details to describe your characters.


In the Craft Section,

Identifying your characters fatal flaw- Becca Puglisi

Thirteen books for writers- Writer Unboxed

Backstory versus the past – Donald Maass- Bookmark

Strategies to incorporate agent/editor feedback- Good story company Bookmark

Creating a series bible- James Scott Bell- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

10 secrets to successful book marketing- Bookbaby

Free book promotions- Frances Caballo

 2 great posts from - Rachel Thomson Easy blog calendars and the best way to grow your social media following - Bookmark

7 ways to blow a media opportunity- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Unique marketing ideas for February- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish,

Ruth Harris has a great post on clothes. Yes, choosing the right clothes for your characters can be a great insight into their personalities without you having to spell out all sorts of details. This is a fun read and a great insight into how little details can make the reader fall in love with your story.




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



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