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.


Pic: Photo by saeed karimi on Unsplash

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


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