Thursday, October 27, 2022

Planning For Success



In Publishing News This Week,


Frankfurt. Are we back to normal? That seemed to be the question on everybody’s lips. There was a lot of chat amongst the publishers, sold-out sessions, and positivity everywhere.

Publishing Perspectives interviewed various publishers and agents about the hot new trends they were seeing.


Audiobooks got a lot of attention in Frankfurt with many saying that they were now a mainstream format. The ways for the public to acquire them seem to be all over the place though. You would think that Spotify with its streaming model would extend this into audiobooks – not so. Which audience model will win out was a hot topic discussed at Frankfurt.


Over the last month, the spotlight has been on AI generated art and its copyright ownership.  If you buy art for book covers or fan merch this seems to be a rising trend, to generate AI art. However, the AI’s are sampling artists' portfolios and styles and so the ownership is murky. After many photo stock dealers saying they wouldn’t deal with AI art, Shutterstock changed its mind and is trying have it both ways by attempting to pay the sampled artists if they can prove it. This has annoyed many in the industry.


It always pays to drop into Writer Beware occasionally to keep on top of ways that authors can be parted from their money. Recently Victoria had a long form piece on anthologies and how one anthology publisher collapsed and was exposed as probably running a Ponzi scheme. Anthologies can be great…but you must go in with your eyes wide open.


Today I was listening to an interesting conversation between Orna Ross and Joanna Penn on publishing values. It was wide ranging and referred to Orna’s recent article. This is a meaty topic. What do you wish to be known for and are you sure that’s what you are projecting to the readership?


Kris Rusch has an interesting article on Thinking Big. Do you note down your success? What about your positive reviews? Kris talks about exposure and when someone goes from chugging along to breakout.


Elizabeth Sims has an interesting post on short stories over on Jane Friedman's blog. 20 reasons why everyone should write a short story. I have been trying my hand at these this year and not managing to finish them. This article makes me look at short story writing in a different way. Let it go and have fun.


In The Craft Section,

Where do Ideas come from- Randy Ingermanson- Bookmark

4 writing pitfalls to avoid- Laurence McNaughton- Bookmark

Writing beginnings- Interview with Shane Millar- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

4 tips for writing effective backstory- Carolyn Arnold

The perils of not knowing what happens next- Janice Hardy


In The Marketing Section,

Update your Amazon book pages- Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark

Book cover design ideas- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

3 ways to promote poetry- Raegen Pietrucha

Reaching readers for the long term- Becky Robinson- Interview with Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Instagram Book marketing ideas-Bookbub


To Finish,

This weekend is The Alliance of Independent Authors 24 hour conference, SelfPubCon. It’s free. Sessions are recorded and you get three days to go over them.

If you intend to attempt NaNoWriMo this November hopefully you will have everything organized. Check back over the last few blog posts for handy prep links. Don’t forget to check out your local library. Quite a few have embraced the NaNoWriMo experience and have spaces for writers to go and pound out their words.

Good Luck with your final days of preparation.





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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 krakenimages on Unsplash

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Rise Of The Machines

In Publishing News this week...

Frankfurt Bookfair opened this week with an almost return to normal programming.

The opening press conference had comments from the Fair director about the challenging times we live in and how important it is to keep the lights on in publishing houses. With the war in Ukraine stepping up, the price of heating is going through the roof in Europe. It is going to be a tough Winter. 

A reminder that SelfPubCon is on soon. A free 24 conference focused on writing and marketing from The Alliance of Independent Authors. 


Just what is going on around returns and unlimited subscriptions? It’s a constantly changing landscape. European companies like Storytel are experimenting with tiered access. Amazon is not… or are they. Mark Williams takes a look at what model will come out on top. (If you are a children’s writer thinking about audio this may help.) 


Recently Joanna Penn interviewed Derek Murphy about his experiments with AI-generated art. They talk about the wide-ranging nature of the AI’s and how they learn to produce the picture you want from your prompts. This has been contentious as the AI’s can reproduce pictures in particular artists' styles. This is causing disquiet among artists as reported in Business Insider. Will they be able to opt out? With Microsoft ready to roll out Dall-E to everyone this space is rapidly changing.


Kris Rusch explains the idea behind her 39 days 39 stories Christmas advent calendar. This is when you get to be wildly creative as a writer because you can and you bring your fans along for the ride. 


Writer Unboxed has another in their series of marketing posts from Anne Marie Nieves- Do You Twerk? This is an interesting post on how much social media is really authentic you or your online persona. As ever, I recommend reading the comments as well.


The Insecure Writers Support Group has been around for a while and aside from the great name they have a thriving community. Recently they launched another anthology and posted about ways to market the books.


Anne R Allen has a great post on tropes and archetypes vs clich├ęs. If you constantly get these mixed up this is the post for you. Anne breaks down the main genre tropes.


In The Craft Section,

Transitions- building bridges between your plot islands- P J Parrish- Bookmark

Creating Names- Janice Hardy

How to write a chapter- Now Novel- Comprehensive

 2 posts from Angela Ackerman -Brainstorming the hero and

How to use GMC (Goal Motivation Conflict) to test a story idea - Bookmark Both


In The Marketing Section,

Why isn’t my title selling- quiz-Penny Sansevieri

5 reasons to be a speaking author- Sandra Beckwith

Back Cover Copy formula- Sue Coletta- Bookmark

Book signings that wow- Becca Puglisi

Cover design what works in 2022- Alliance of Independent Authors- Bookmark


To Finish,

It’s not long until November and the challenge of NaNoWriMo. Reedsy has put together a great prep document to get your creative teeth into. Don’t forget to check out the NaNoWriMo deals and the super Storybundle of craft resources. 





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 Possessed Photography on Unsplash


Thursday, October 13, 2022

Taking Time to Recharge



In Publishing News this week.


The new Tutulia app is making little waves in the book community. The App uses a Machine learning AI to recommend your next read based on the information you feed it. The AI scrapes all the book sites and reviews and buzz to pull together a list of books that will suit you. As Ingram is a founder investor you can buy the book from inside the app and Ingram will print it and ship it to you. This is next Gen thinking.


Publishing Perspectives reports that Bonnier owned Bookbeat is expanding Europe. They seem to be competing in the Audiobook sector with Storytel. They want to increase more competition in Audiobooks. Their pricing subscription reflects this with by the hour of listening instead of monthly fees.


Mark Williams has an optimistic view of the big book fairs happening in the Middle East. They are back to clocking up a million visitors and audio looks like it will be taking off there as well with audio subscription services chasing this big market. Publishers should be taking note of the expanding audio markets.


Kris finishes The How Writers fail series with a pithy article on quitting too soon. This is a thought provoking article on how writers can self-sabotage their writing. 


Sam Missingham has a great newsletter called The Empowered Author. She has her finger on the pulse of the UK publishing scene and is often amplifying authors across social media. Recently she updated her fabulous post on all the different ways Author Collectives operate and their value to the writers involved. ( So of course I would be all over it.)


Recently Dan Blank was commenting on generosity as a book marketing idea. He has some really interesting examples of how this has been playing out in the author community.


Terry Odell on The Killzone blog recently wrote about giving yourself permission to step back from your writing. Sometimes life gets in the way and writers can tie themselves into knots trying to get their word count in or their projects finished. This is a great little article.

If you need to take a longer creative rest- check out Orna Ross and Joanna Penn’s latest podcast transcript. Joanna has just walked the Santiago Camino Trail and talks about how she is structuring creative rests into her writing calendar.


If you are preparing for NaNoWriMo which starts in November, Don’t Forget to check out all the good offers/ deals available for participants. (pssst Scrivener is on sale)


James Scott Bell is a great writing craft teacher. I have a few of his books and they are constant dip-ins when you get stymied. He is guest posting over on Anne R Allens’s Blog with a great 10 commandments of writing post- This is print out gold!


In The Craft Section,

7 tips to add complexity to the story- K M Weiland- Bookmark

2 tips to amp up the conflict- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Handwriting vs Typing- Kay DiBianca

Prologues- Do we need them?- Janice Hardy – Bookmark

Fear Theasaurus- Not being believed- Angela Ackerman Becca Puglisi


In The Marketing Section,

Marketing beyond the bookstore

7 strategies to focus on book marketing- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Publishing resources Free downloads- Shala Raquel- Bookmark

The key elements of eye-catching book design- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

How to publish a Hardcover book on Amazon


To Finish,

It’s Frankfurt Bookfair time which means The Alliance of Independent Authors runs one of their free online conferences. SelfPubCon. Check out the link to see who the speakers are this year and sign up. The sessions are all prerecorded and usually 30 minutes long and chock full of information. It is free and there are often neat little deals and competitions on offer.





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 Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Publishing Sustainably



In Publishing This Week,

The weather and its effects are starkly reminding people that they have to take the changing climate seriously. The time for talk is over says the Publishing 2030 Accelerator manifesto. There is a concerted effort for the publishing community to get on board and start doing things sustainably instead of just publishing books about climate change. Richard Charkin has a checklist of things that publishers can implement immediately to get the ball rolling.

This is a great chance to show the world that you are walking the walk by changing your publishing business practice to be more sustainable. 


This year Frankfurt Bookfair being held in October. They have put together free online masterclasses on Tiktok, AI, and Distribution this coming week before the fair begins.


This week Melanie Walsh shone a spotlight on the lack of access to book sales data for academics who are studying the industry. The more she investigated the more perturbed she was as she realized that book data was held tightly by a few companies but mostly by one. This lack of transparency into the book industry is concerning. Having access to the data would show reality. Are black authors really not selling? What is a break out book really selling? It is an interesting read. 


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has an interesting article on the latest numbers of Internet penetration. The world is growing more digitally literate if most of the world has a mobile phone. Publishers haven’t kept pace with publishing in a global digital space yet.


Publishers Weekly has a feature article on writers over 50 who are debuting Young Adult books this year. It’s never too late to get that story written.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive article on crowdfunding for authors. If you have been wondering where to start, or which platform is best check out the article.


Kristine Rusch has an interesting article on advertising. It now takes many more channels and effort to reach your target demographic. What to do? How good are you at making connections with your readers because that is the only sure fire way to get an audience. 


Joanna Penn interviewed Georgina Cross about writing for two traditional publishers and how she juggles the different demands of both of them. 


When your plot begins to take on a multiple points of view and you realise that your mystery is starting to look like a GRR Martin epic that has you lost, what can you do? 

Bang2Write has a great guest article from Antony Johnston about complex structures and how to make them workable.


In The Craft Section,

Excellent writing trick- Scott Myers

How to build tension- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

How to introduce your character- Dana Issacson

Writing a great opening chapter- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

A guide to story plotting- Now Novel


In The Marketing Section,

When your book marketing has stalled- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Creating an easy blog calendar

Market research checklist – Reedsy- Bookmark

5 pro tips for podcast guests

Strategic non–fiction publishing- Anna David

3 easy book marketing tips- Colleen Story


To Finish,

It’s October or NaNoPrepMo (National Novel Preparation Month) The month where you are supposed to get all your ducks in a row, i.e., story plotted, calendar scheduled, meals prepared, ready for NaNoWriMo. The dream team of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have a page on their website with all sorts of links to help out your writing prep.

Every year at this time, Kevin Anderson puts together a bundle of writing craft books on Storybundle. This is a great resource for new craft books from some industry big names and it benefits charity for not much money. Go take a look.





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 Casey Horner on Unsplash


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