Friday, September 16, 2022

Controlling The Books



In Publishing News this week…

 

As a teacher by trade, I have a special interest in encouraging children to read. Reading widens their horizons and can unlock the most amazing movies in your head. Reading can be a safe way of exploring a different world environment from your own, an escape, a comfort, and a learning opportunity. I have been watching the book banning in school libraries in the US with concern. My heart goes out to teachers trying to do the best for their students. This latest attack on teachers fills me with despair. Banning children’s books is a slippery slope to banning education for some children and then you become just like… ( Pick your repressive regime.) 

 

Brandon Sanderson went back on Kickstarter yesterday. He was only looking for $50,000 to fund figurines. Of course, he blew by that figure in the first hour or so. Brandon explains what he has learned about Kickstarter from earlier in the year and how he will be using it in the future. 


Kris Rusch also talks about Kickstarter and how you can structure it for your own author career. She has a free course for authors if you want to learn more about it.

 

Spotify announced that they are beginning audiobook trials and have some exciting things lined up. Audio streaming is going to be shaking up the audiobook world. I think we may be at the tipping point from nice to have new format to necessary to have new format. 

 

Big Bad Wolf has entered Africa. This is the first time they have moved to another continent. Mark Williams talks about their potential impact. They are only bringing 500,000 books for 12 days. (That’s books in the English language- ‘rescued’ from being pulped by publishers who won’t be paying a royalty to the author for ‘destroyed’ books.) So if there is such a demand for these books how come they don’t get sold in these regions in the first place?

 

Mark has been looking at the ongoing mess, now in its second month, that is the distribution arm of the UK’s biggest chain bookstore, Waterstones. Waterstones is trying to climb out of the pit by asking publishers for help. Their plea to publishers to send books to individual stores has not gone down well. That’s 300 stores x post and packing and inventory etc. Smaller publishers are going to the wall over this.

 

Meanwhile, one children’s publisher in the UK is looking further afield. Nosy Crow have been around for 12 years but is about to invade the US. Publishing Perspectives has the details on how they will be shaking up children’s publishing.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has been talking about author overwhelm. They have a great article where many authors were asked how they deal with this very real problem in the writing community.

 

Suzanne DeFreitas has a guest post over on Jane Friedman’s blog on Writerly Grit and how it leads to publishing success. Writerly Grit does not mean ploughing on alone, in fact it’s the opposite. 

 

In The Craft Section,

Is deep POV always the best choice- Jami Gold- Bookmark


Do you know the central conflict of your story?- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


400 story ideas from Scott Myers


10 important don’ts to think about- Lucy Hay


Understanding the 7 types of Archetypes- Now Novel Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

How to email a press release- Sandra Beckwith


Back cover copy tips from Judith Briles- Bookmark


5 self-publishing mistakes writers make- Bang2Write


15 clever book promo ideas- Servicescape- Bookmark


How to choose best colours for graphics and branding- Infographic- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

There has always been a fascination with finding out how other writers write. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser? Is one better than the other? Do you kill creativity with plotting carefully? Recently Ada Plamer wrote an interesting article on Tor.com on how the plotting pantsing divide has been greatly exaggerated. It’s not all in on one side or the other but something in the middle.

Once you figure out your process the books will be easier to write, won’t they?

 

Thanks for the kind words for last week's post -Number 700. Cake was eaten for breakfast as the news broke. R.I.P. Queenie. We will not see your like again.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 Freddy Kearney on Unsplash

 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Looking Back



This week in publishing news…


Publishers Weekly had a long form article asking is the publishing industry broken? Every few years there is a variation on this theme that has everyone looking deeply into their coffee cups and pronouncing the end of print, or reading, or too much entertainment competition. This article looks at the plight of young publishing professionals and the less than sympathetic reactions of their bosses. Something has got to change. Will it be publishing culture? With an overwhelming monocultural workforce and the increasing consolidation of publishing houses, there is a real worry that the breadth of views and discourse is being lost. 

 

Meanwhile, Bertelsmann, the parent company of Penguin Random House, released their 6 month report for 2022. It was scanned extensively by the rest of the publishing world for the trends and directions which have affected the world’s biggest publisher. Backlist is king! Everything is OK.

Sort of. 

Supply challenges and currency exchange problems have hurt but audio is continuing strongly. Publishing Perspectives respectfully reports on Marcus Dohle’s rousing speeches to the imprint CEO’s. 


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard brings his own more astringent view on the how the world’s biggest publisher is conducting business.

 

There are whispers of a new serialization app being developed that will bring together everyone’s backlist and be the solution that everyone has been waiting for, even if you didn’t know you were waiting for it. Publishing Perspectives has the scoop from the app developers involved.

 

The SPA girls podcast is appointment listening for me and this week the team were talking amongst themselves about how to find out what works for you. This is a great pep talk about not trying everything in writing, editing, and publishing.

Staying with the SPA girls – they recently interviewed Emilia Rose on how she is managing to be a 6 figure author through serialization. This is a fascinating dive into a different world of publishing where the young people are changing the game. 

 

Tom Bentley is guest posting on Jane Friedman’s blog about being persistent as a writer. Even if you are weary and feeling like you are creeping through treacle, just showing up for 100 words can add up to a book. 

 

Anne R Allen has a great article on short stories using advice from C S Lewis. This is an excellent article that got me thinking about the craft of the short form. 

 

In The Craft Section,

The conflict box- Jennie Crusie- Bookmark


5 similarities between your hero and villain- Sue Coletta


5 must-haves for a great ending- Gilbert Bassey- Bookmark


How to world build on the page- GoldenMay editing - Bookmark


One stop for writers resources- Angela Ackerman

 

In The Marketing Section,

Two great posts from Penny Sansevieri- 8 Essential recommendations for book launches and 7 reasons your book isn’t selling on Amazon- Bookmark


Twitter communities- Sandra Beckwith


5 reasons to use Amazon preorders- Dale Roberts_ Bookmark


Titles that sell have keywords and metadata- Darcy Pattison

 

To Finish,

Today is my 700th post on the Craicer blog. I couldn’t have imagined my blog hitting this anniversary when I started posting weekly in 2008. Along the way I have published 10 books, run two national conferences, delivered speeches, judged the National Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, won The Betty Gilderdale Award for outstanding service to NZ children’s literature, been syndicated, learned and learned and learned about publishing and the international publishing world from my little corner down under. I am in constant awe of the many people who give their time freely to talk about this crazy addictive world of publishing. I don’t have much money but I have time and passion and interest in sharing what I’m learning every week. If you have been with me from the beginning I salute you. 

Let’s Eat CAKE.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 Slashio Photography on Unsplash

 

 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Motivation and The Writer


 

 

This week in publishing news...

 

Spare a thought for the new Debut authors in the UK who have discovered that the UK’s largest book chain Waterstones is still having problems with their new book supply software. Waterstones promised it is fixed but now they are trying to process the backlog of two months of supply chain issues. Meanwhile, marketing campaigns fizzle out as the books are not on shelves.

 

It’s Book Festival time and along with the shock cancelation of the Beijing Book Fair with two days' notice, many book festivals are finding the numbers attending are down. The Guardian wonders if the pandemic years have doomed the book festival as it used to be. Will they morph into something else?

 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has two interesting articles this week on the launch of a self-publishing Manga comic platform and the quiet rise of another podcast company looking to stake a claim in European audiobook market, after gobbling up Latin America.

 Audiobooks aren’t stopping yet. 


If you have been wondering just what all the hype about the PRH vs the DOJ court case really means to publishing going forward- Nathan Goldman has broken it down in an interesting essay on The Conglomeration Of Literature. The other big three are already sniffing around S&S with big wallets waiting for PRH to be rolled by the court.

 

I always recommend writers keep an eye on Writer Beware so they are up to date with scams and bad actors in the publishing scene. This week Victoria Strauss had an interesting and detailed exchange with an editor who found herself out of a job when the company disappeared under her and set about pulling together writers and contracts and trying to salvage author careers. This is a close look at the behind-the-scenes problems of keeping a publishing house going. 

 

Kristine Rusch continues her How Writers Fail series with a look at the problem of upskilling. How often have you really challenged yourself to get better in the craft? Do you consciously practice new techniques?

 

Imposter syndrome- Writers are notorious for suffering it. Ruth Harris has a great article on dealing with this mental monster of destruction- First, did you know there was an upside to having imposter syndrome?

 

Yazmin Angoe in Writer Unboxed has an interesting article about the trials and tribulations of writing the second novel. What can you do when the second novel is a grind after the freedom of writing the first one has disappeared.

 

In The Craft Section

How to choose the right kind of conflict- Angela Ackerman


Character development- Dianne Braley


7 ways to reach writing goals- Jordan Kantay- Bookmark


5 times it's ok to write stereotypes- Lucy Hay


The beats of the Action Genre- Storygrid- Bookmark


How to start a story- Novelry- Bookmark

 

In the Marketing Section,

What a book marketing strategy requires- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Grow your writing business by stepping away from your computer- Alexander Lewis


55 examples of what to say if you are unsure about book marketing on social media- Frances 

Caballo - Bookmark


Sending surveys- Mailerlite


6 steps for building a brand using giveaways- Bestbookmonkey- Bookmark


Turning books into audiobooks- DIYMFA- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

 

Motivation. If you could sell it in a bottle you would be rich. Alyssa Hitaka of Insecure Writers Support Group has some great ways to capture that motivation spirit to get you back writing again. This is a print out and keep on the wall list of great ideas. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s time for my monthly newsletter If you want the best of my bookmarked links and other interesting tidbits, you can subscribe here. (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 virtual coffee love.  It's nearly time for a blog celebration cake! 

 

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