Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Publishing Soap Opera

This week in publishing news…


The DOJ and PRH wrapped up their closing arguments after nearly a month in court. Now the judge has to decide if the sale of Simon and Schuster will go through or whether the DOJ can successfully block it. There were many popcorn moments. Among them, opposing lawyers not wanting to grill Stephen King because they wanted their books signed and the PRH CEO thinking everyone gets large advances and marketing budgets. 

Publishers Weekly has a breakdown of the closing arguments, or as they say- we’re right back where we started. It makes fascinating reading.


While everyone looks at the money that is supposed to be swimming in publishing, the reality is looking different for the actual workers, let alone the writers. A survey of publishing professionals' workplace stress indicates that burnout and low pay is causing many to leave the profession. It makes grim and sad reading. The death of starry-eyed dreams is never pretty. Something has to change.


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard points out that the recent American Publishers report of falling eBook sales doesn’t account for the huge payouts Amazon has been giving to authors from Kindle Unlimited during the same reporting period. So where is all the money in publishing? At the same time as everyone is looking at the numbers, Amazon is too and pulling back from restocking its warehouses. It’s just a blip they said to Publisher’s Weekly, but for how long?


Over in the UK the association of publishers are not happy with the government which has decided that data mining copyrighted work and creative IP is ok. The government is about to pass a law to make it easier. They want to welcome huge data firms to the UK. Guess who will lose out?


Mark Williams likes to remind everyone that publishing is a global business. This week he looked at the rising cost of printing that has seen the Bangladesh publishers scrambling to stay afloat with costs for ink, paper, and printing jumping by 50%. What to do? Mark points out that with over 75% of the population online, maybe they could make a digital book. Radical thinking for conservative publishers.


Joanna Penn interviewed Ryan Dingler from Google Play Books on AI narration. Whatever you feel about the spoken word and narration it is worth keeping an eye on with the big moves in audio publishing. It’s an interesting interview. Check out the links to Google’s voice library, the AI voices are getting very good. When they get full cast functionality, which Google are promising soon, that’s when it will seriously change audio publishing.


Anne R Allen has a big post on the latest scams which I touched upon last week. Anne goes into more detail about how these scammers are stealing agent identities and how you can sort out the fakes from the real offers.


Kris Rusch continues her posts on the business of writing. When is your art not a business? 

I kept thinking of the poor young publishing professionals being told to grab audio rights their company has no intention of doing anything with when I was reading this.


BookBaby has a big post on serial writing sites. If you want to figure out where the best place is to publish your serial soap opera- check out their recommendations. 


Now Novel has a comprehensive post on Thriller writing. If you have been wanting to try out some ideas in the thriller genre this is the post for you.


In the Craft section,

How to write a good blog post- Rachel Thompson

3 mistakes to avoid with your side characters- Sacha Black- Bookmark

Plot emerges from characters- Scott Myers

5 character tools you need to know- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Beyond character goal and motivation- Foxprint Editorial- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

8 creative ways to launch a book- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to launch a thriller- Interview with a thriller writer.- Sandra Beckwith

Infographic on writing promo-related dates for September – Penny Sansevieri

2 great posts from Dave Chesson- How to build an about the author page and a nifty print formatting template generator- Bookmark both


To Finish,

If you are looking for some courses to do around writing craft, punctuation, publishing, cover design etc. Udemy has a big selection. Dave Chesson has pulled together a useful list. The big news is that Udemy is having a sale for a week with all their courses over 85% off. You can pick up a course for less than $20. So if you were looking to learn new skills or deep dive research into artisan cheese making for your soap opera serial cowboy hero… now’s the time to sign up.




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PIC Photo by Matthew Tkocz on Unsplash

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