Thursday, July 28, 2022

Running Up That Hill

In Publishing News this week,

The social media platform Tiktok has changed the face of bookselling with the viral recommendations of Booktok influencers. This was accidental. However this week TikTok is starting a bookclub… with its biggest influencers. (I sense monetization in the works.)


Censorship in schools seems to be gathering momentum. It seems every week another school district is doubling down on books in school libraries. Bookriot has been looking at ways that the publishing industry is fighting back. 


Recently Dall-E, an AI image generating system, was in the news for making the first magazine cover for Cosmopolitan. Other media companies are looking at this creative use of AI. However, Techcrunch is sounding a warning over the indiscriminate use of copyrighted materials that the AI is learning on/scraping. What about the poor freelancer who has their image used by the AI?


Joann Penn was interviewed over on Author Media by Thomas Umstattd on diversifying income streams. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript. I was interested to find out that Joanna has more than 50 income streams. Joanna has recently published a long-form guide on using Scrivener writing software for fiction and nonfiction. If you want to learn tricks and tips of this powerhouse software check it out.


Kris Rusch has an interesting post on Kate Bush and the power of holding onto your copyright. Who knew that RUTH would be a number one hit 36 years later?


Kelsey Allagood has an article on Writer Unboxed on diagnosing writer’s block and then what you can do about it.


Becca Puglisi has written a great article on the Revision Roadmap as a guest post over on Anne R Allen’s blog. There are some great tips here to mull over.


In The Craft Section,

Indicating time passing in stories- Jami Gold Bookmark

Writing the dreaded synopsis- Michelle Barker- Bookmark

Why first person POV is not deep POV- Lisa Hall Wilson- Bookmark

7 tips to help you write- Writing and Wellness

4 clever tricks to transform scenes into high stakes- Zena Dell Lowe- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

What makes a book cover work- IngramSpark- Bookmark

Get better book launch results- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

5 success strategies on marketing -Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Selling books with email- Roland Denzel- Bookmark

Reach readers- podcast transcript from Joanna Penn and Becky Robinson- Bookmark


To Finish,

Recently the Writing and Wellness blog had an article on how to recognise if you have gone from amateur writer to pro writer. It’s a state of mind. As I was reading it I was wondering if the 3 open manuscripts I’m revising at the same time was too much. 

(Yes. I can hear you shouting at me.) 

Lisa Betz has an interesting article on being intentional with growing your writing craft. 

I’m being intentional, as I revise… honestly. 





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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 Jeremy Lapak on Unsplash

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Time and Money


In Publishing News this week,


Harper Collins workers in New York are on strike over pay and conditions. When you read what they get paid, and the cost of living, it is no wonder that they say only people who are rich already can afford to work in publishing. This is untenable if you want a diverse publishing ecosystem that reflects the population.


Lit Hub reports that the trial date is set for PRH antitrust trial where the U.S. Government is trying to block PRH’s acquisition of Simon and Schuster. Stephen King has been roped in to speak for the plaintiff. 


The Hollywood Reporter has an article on contracts where there is fancy accounting going on that somehow stops copyright holders from benefitting from characters they invented that get put into movies. It stems from Marvel – owned by Disney… why am I not surprised.

Contracts are such tricky beasts. Always stay aware of changes in their language.


Another week, another article about Tik-Tokers sharing the news that you can return your eBooks after you’ve read them from Amazon. Meanwhile, authors are complaining that they are now in hock to Amazon for the delivery fees of returned books. They have to pay for the reader stealing from them. How many articles will it take before Amazon does something?


Keep your eye on contracts is a Kris Rusch mantra. This week she talks about a tricky practice that is happening more often, the agent as producer. Why isn’t the creator the producer? With money drying up in traditional contracts some agents have hit on another way to clip the ticket first.


Big Bad Wolf is back, says Mark Williams. They never really went away. When Covid 19 hit they converted to an online store but now that the world seems to be opening back up so are they, just with a few book fairs. So they only have 5 million or so English books on offer. If you don’t know anything about BBW you should really read this article. English Language publishers are really missing the gravy boat here.


Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article on Open Road Media’s push to publicise their front list. They made their money by buying up print backlists and converting them into eBooks and now they are looking at Front List publicity. Take a look at how the indies do it and then copy with lots more money.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has an excellent article on boosting your backlist. Lots of great tips here.


Anne R Allen has a great article on likable characters. You can’t just put any likable character in your book it all depends on your genre. 


In The Craft Section,

How to tell if your writing has slipped out of deep POV- K M Allen

3 tips to finding your emotional truth- Lucy Hay- Bookmark

How to avoid writers guilt – Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

4 supporting characters your hero can learn from- Lewis Jorstad- Bookmark

Checklists and Tip sheets from One Stop for Writers


In The Marketing Section,

Creating a book imprint- Write Publish Sell- Bookmark

How to write a hook for your novel- Jack Jordan

2 great posts from Bookbub- Ad designs promoting series and 

How to use Facebook to promote books. Bookmark Both

Sell books without Amazon- Penny Sansevieri


To Finish,

I am a fan of Debbie Ohi’s writer comics and found object illustrations. She always has a quirky take on writing and publishing that livens up my social media feeds. Recently she talked about Linda Sue Park’s Pomodoro technique. I like Pomodoro. It can get you out of a rut fairly fast. Write (Don’t edit) for 25-minute blocks. Linda Sue Park breaks that down even more.

Staying with writer tools check out Patricia Bradley’s Writer Toolbox post. It’s just the thing to start you thinking about craft.





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 Ricardo Díaz on Unsplash


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Reality Bites



In Publishing News this week,


The fight by the big 5 publishers against the Internet Archive has passed the two year mark in the courts. The publishers are filing for a summary judgement- AKA Hurry up and decide on this will you. At stake… whether the Internet Archive is ‘masquerading as a not-for-profit library…digitising in-copyright print books on an industrial scale and distributes full-text digital bootlegs for free’ or not. 


Publishing Perspectives reports that Ingram Spark has set up their Lightning Sources Print On Demand installation at Publishing City Sharjah and they are open for business. They are sparing no expense because they expect to make pots of money from their 24-hour/a day printing business in the Middle East. 


Meanwhile, Mark Williams is looking at the moves in audio in Europe. He has some sharp observations to make about the constant buying and selling of audio producers and audiobook retailers. It’s a scrap for unlimited streaming.


In the You Have To Be Kidding files- Publisher Weekly reports on the new reality TV show coming to you soon- America’s Next Great Author. A big brother style show where 6 charismatic would-be authors live together and try to write a novel in a month… DRAMA.

Do they really want to film NaNoWriMo realistically?


Thomas Umstattd takes a critical look at Hybrid Publishers and where they can be a useful publishing partner. I agree with one of his main points, you should familiarise yourself with how publishing works before spending any money. It will save you money in the end- especially when the offer is too good to be true.


Writer Beware has an article on a copyright clause that raised my eyebrows past the hairline. This clause is beginning to show up more and more. Publisher content- or the right to make up extra content for your work. Read and take note!


Kris Rusch continues her How Writers Fail series – This week she is looking at words and how they can trip up a writer so badly they can’t finish their work.


Lithub recently had an article about the weird shame writers have when they publish a book. If this is you, you aren’t alone. Lithub talks to 5 writers who really struggled with this feeling on book publication day.


Anne R Allen recently wrote the 10 things a beginning writer should do before trying to publish a book. This should be required reading for every writer. Those of us who have been around the block a few times will be nodding emphatically to this list.



In The Craft Section,

How Theme and false theme affect your character- September Fawkes

Character talents beyond the superficial- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Beginnings and endings – Scott Myers- Video- Bookmark

How to write a sequel- Now Novel

What is high concept- Robin Currie- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Author bio mistakes- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

6 tips for a successful marketing plan- Masterclass

What does your amazon book detail page look like- Barb Drozdowich- Bookmark

How to promote your book- Reedsy

Tofu for novelists- Randy Ingermanson- Bookmark


To Finish,

DIYMFA has an interesting post on writing goals that fit your enneagram number. At first, I was skeptical but the more I read the more I thought, hmm that fits with me. So if you are a student of personality types and trying to figure out how to effectively work with your writing goals, take a look. You could start a positive writing reality show for one.  





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 Donald Giannatti on Unsplash



Thursday, July 7, 2022

Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?


In publishing news this week,

European Publishers and Booksellers are happy that the European Parliament has adopted the new Digital Markets Act which directly hits the global tech companies over their use of content and their ‘advantageous to themselves’ publishing business practices. Now the EU has to make them take notice. 


The New Publishing Standard reports on textbook printing slowdowns. This is due to the worldwide shortage of paper and the problems with the Global Supply Chain. If you add in the rising cost of fuel due to war, climate change, and staff shortages due to a pandemic then you have a perfect storm in publishing. Is this the end of print?


While you might be taking yourself to the latest Marvel movie for escapism, spare a thought for the creators of those comics. They are now seen as classic creators of story and they have been enrolled in the Penguin Classic library to prove it.  Finally, Graphic Novels are legit literature. (Cue much rolling in graves.) This looks like a smart move by Penguin as the latest numbers say that Graphic Novels are the fastest growing genre in sales. 


Last week Macmillian was hit by a cyber attack and went dark for a week. Publisher’s Weekly reports they are back up and running. This might be a time for everyone to just check their security settings, especially if you have time-critical books to get out.


Writer Beware has an interesting post on handshake contracts. I didn’t know that these were still a thing. Originally a handshake contract relied on the integrity of the two parties' personal reputations. In the modern world of publishing, it seems that some publishers and agents are still using this but not caring about the integrity bit.


Wattpad has started a creator fund. The writers with the most engaged audiences will get money. Interestingly they have a threshold count for every genre. If your story gets over your genre’s threshold of engaged followers money will flow into your pocket. Horror writers only need 900 engaged followers. So if you have a dark story to tell, get over to Wattpad.


Anne R Allen has a cautionary tale on dealing with internet trolls, bullies and the offended. Anne writes about the way to deal with these perpetually annoying people. Back Away slowly. Nothing you can do will soften them. 


Joanna Penn has a great interview with Clare Macintosh, a traditionally published author on how to write twists and how she markets her books. Some nice little craft nuggets in here. 


In The Craft Section,

7 essential questions for a better character arc- Heather Davis- Bookmark

Utilizing 3 types of death- September Fawkes

3 modes of story imagination- Donald Maass- Bookmark

7 ways to improve your craft- Dario Villirilli- Bookmark

How to keep those ideas- Insecure Writers Support Group


In The Marketing Section,

Timesaving tips with Social Media-Kris Maze- Bookmark

Author email lessons- Sandra Beckwith

Book marketing – Neil Patel- Bookmark

Promote your book on Social Media and feel good about it- Aileen Weintraub- Bookmark

How to create an effective website- (podcast)- Penny Sansevieri


To Finish,

It has been a roller coaster ride if you have been watching politics lately. The truth is stranger than fiction. Just when you think the stories are too outrageous to be fact they turn out to not be outrageous enough. It can leave you feeling shell shocked and wondering if you should keep doing this writing game. Nothing you can come up with will trump real life. Sometimes the best thing to do is turn everything off and start again. If your writing habit has stalled, because of life… Nina Amir has a solution to quickly get it going again.  





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 Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

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