Thursday, December 21, 2023

Crazy Writers

 


 

In Publishing News this week,

 

The internet archive is back in the news with their appeal over their lost lawsuit. They want to scan ebooks and make them available for sale. Why don’t they just link to the print book?  Which is why they were taken to court in the first place.

Meanwhile, in other Internet Archive news, Cory Doctorow looks at the good stuff they have done in music and visual art. His latest deep dive is all about copyright and when things come into the public domain like Micky Mouse next year. (How will Disney tie this one up.)

 

In a case of I-can’t-believe-he-did-that… A fan fiction writer is being sued by The Tolkien Estate. This all started because the writer tried to sue Amazon for ‘stealing’ his ideas in his published reworked version, Return Of The King. This is head shakingly stupid. You don’t publish fiction using characters, settings, and plot belonging to other people. It is copyrighted. (See above article by Cory)

 

I really didn’t want to write about the Goodreads book review scandal but there are some new blog readers who haven’t seen this recurring drama over at Goodreads. This mess lost the writer her book deal and writing career. Every few years something like this happens because of clueless writers. The other writers are not your competition. Reviews are wonderful but don’t fake profiles to leave one stars. If you have nothing nice to say about a book don’t say anything, especially on Social Media. 

 

Joanna Penn has written about her fifteen years in the author business and how she is pivoting for the next fifteen years.

 

Jane Friedman has a great guest article from Christopher Hoffmann on Researching Literary Agents. Don’t take the first one off the block. Be discerning. 

 

Julie Hedlund has the 12 days of Christmas writing exercises/planning starting December 26th. available. She calls it a great way to get bite size surprises to help your creativity and your business.

Lucy Hay has an excellent guest post over at Angela and Becca’s blog on how to smash your writing goals for 2024.

 

December is known as NaNoEdMo… or editing that novel you wrote in November. However, this is the month you really should put it away. Anne R Allen explains why.

 

In The Craft Section,

Adding cinematic sizzle to your fiction- C S Lakin- Bookmark


How to keep in touch with your writing when your routine is disrupted- Roz Morris


Redeeming your villain- Becca Puglisi


The wonderful spice of minor characters – James Scott Bell- Bookmark


What’s your book about - It depends- Barbara Linn Probst- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section.

Your Substack isn’t for everyone- Elizabeth Held- Bookmark


Newsletter tips- Linda Dunn


10 sneaky hacks for Draft2Digital- Kevin Tumlinson


Marketing your book without Social Media- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


The year’s top book marketing articles from Bookbub- Comprehensive

 

To Finish,

It’s been a turbulent year with AI, lawsuits, and book banning. Hopefully, I have kept you up to date with publishing news, and creatively inspired with Craft tips and Book Marketing links. 

If the blog has made you think or sparked ideas or given you information throughout the year feel free to buy me a coffee as a thank you. 


Reedsy have a comprehensive gift list for writers and Angela and Becca have some downloadable goodies for you.

The best gift you can give a writer is a book review. Go out there and make their day. It doesn’t have to be an essay, just a small paragraph. 


I have children’s books on sale in the Smashwords End of Year Sale. I also have my teen novel Starlight free at the moment in a teen book sale. 


It’s Summer holidays down under, so I’m taking a break from the blog.

I will be back in January 2024 with blog post number 762.

 

Wishing you Peace, in your homes, in your countries, in the world.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

The last monthly newsletter is about to go out. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, you can subscribe here to join our happy band in 2024


If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.


If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee over Christmas, I appreciate all virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic:Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Christmas Shopping



In Publishing News this week,


It’s that time of the year when everyone is shopping for presents. Penguin Random House has been shopping and they’ve just bought Hay House. But are they going to keep it the same?

 

This week KKR, the hedge fund that bought Simon and Schuster, announced who is on the new board of Simon and Schuster. There is a lot of interest in this news as moves like this can signal where the focus of the publishing house will be in the future. Mark Williams has a run down on where S&S might be heading.

 

With a more multi- media focus on IP filtering through publishing houses, the programming of the Publishing senior level conference in New York in January looks on the money. Publishing Perspectives checks in with Mary Pender, who will be a speaker at the conference in January. Mary is an agent specializing in book to screen deals.

 

Mills and Boon are launching a new imprint – Afterglow. This is to take advantage of all those romance TikTok influencers out there and their young and hungry market. Always check in with what the romance community is doing they are usually way ahead of everyone on trends.

 

The NY Times has an opinion piece on whether Spotify will kill audiobooks the way they have strangled the music industry. You may need an eggnog or two after you read it.

 

Why does a publishing house close an imprint? Jane Friedman interviews three industry commentators on why imprints come and go.

 

Kelley Way has an interesting post on what happens to royalties after I die- This is where your literary executor comes in handy.

 

Mark Williams has a guest post over on Anne R Allen’s blog about the hard job that agents do. He was a fly on the wall for a week. Eye-opening.

 

Rachel Thompson has a great post on 10 proven strategies for writers to boost focus and enhance creativity for next year. Get your planning in early.

 

Writer Unboxed has their final marketing segment for the year with words of encouragement from writers in the business. Over at the Alliance of Independent Authors Orna Ross is talking with Anna Featherstone about baking the marketing into the book as you write it. (podcast transcript)

 

Jami Gold has another brilliant post on how to portray strong friendships. She has been studying the Loki mini series for tips on Bromance style friendships and how to write them well. 

 

In The Craft Section,

5 signs you are ignoring your antagonist- Colleen Story- Bookmark


8 keys to becoming a successful author- C S Lakin- Bookmark


Writing a sympathetic antagonist- Kristin South


Your book means something- James Scott Bell- Bookmark


Write your way whole- Kathleen McCleary

 

In The Marketing Section,

How to market a book- K M Weiland - Bookmark


2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri - 11 clever promo ideas - and Customise a book marketing plan - Bookmark


Author websites and book marketing – PublishDrive


2024 Literary Calendar- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

 

To Finish,

'Tis the season to be jolly…. 

The last quarter of the year is often the time that writers push through against fatigue and Christmas overwhelm and try to get their 2023 projects squared away. This can make you even more anxious as you run up against the December calendar. You might like to check out gifts you can give yourself or pass on to family to get for you. Don’t forget to check out Angela and Beccas free writing gifts. 

For creativity you can put your feet up and try some fun writing prompts with a Christmas theme. Put your own Genre spin on it. A Dinosaur Christmas Romance with Sparkles and Zombies …

 

Next week is the last blog post for the year and the bumper Christmas newsletter will be out. If you haven’t checked out my books sales go over to my books website and grab some bargains.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.


If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.


If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Little Gifts of Change.

 


In Publishing News this week,

 

Richard Charkin, commentator on the publishing industry, is walking the talk by having his press go to Print on Demand with Ingram Spark. With calls over the last three years or so for publishing companies to be more sustainable this is a move that will hopefully herald a lot of other publishing companies following suit. Along with POD, Richard is using the new kid on the block Shimmr to handle the book promotion. Shimmr uses AI to scan the book pull out the tropes and selling points and then crafts media ads to target ideal readers. Changes might be happening. 

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that Germany has taken the falling stats in reading skills among German youth to heart and they are going to embark on new strategies to help keep young people reading.

 

It’s time to wheel out the big lawyers. In litigation news, Democrat members of Congress (US) introduced a bill to stop the surge of book banning in schools. Their bill is for federal funding to fight the book bans.

 

Dan Holloway has an interesting news roundup for the Alliance of Independent Authors. This week he looks at all the news surrounding the various court cases being brought by authors against AI. There seems to be one law firm spearing the charge. Dan has some interesting things to say about whether these court cases are useful or not. 

 

Meanwhile, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) is sending strongly worded statements to the copyright office about the Tech companies use and abuse of Fair Use which is what the Tech companies are pinning their defense on. 

 

Jane Friedman has a very telling post on how publishing professionals can sometimes screw up a writer’s career. She has an interesting case study, that a lot of writers can probably empathise with. I have heard variations on this problem for years. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut.

 

Anne R Allen has a great post on query letters. If your manuscript hasn’t had any bites, it could be that you are screwing up your query letter. She has a run down on best practice.

 

Katie Weiland has compiled a lovely list of writer gifts that you can share around to your loved ones if you want something particular and they need ideas.

 

December is commonly referred to as NaNoEdMo or the time when writers who managed to write a novel in November take a step back and look at the editing of that novel. Michel Leah has a great article on what to do now. 

 

In The Craft Section,

Story Tropes to avoid or not to avoid- Jami Gold


The 10 most common editing mistakes- Natalie Hanemann- Bookmark


Brainstorming words of wisdom -Dale Ivan Smith- Bookmark


Why the protagonist must be a problem solver- September Fawkes- Bookmark


FBOBA The fragile beauty of being alive- Donald Maass- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Marketing Outside The Box- Terry Odell- Bookmark


20 ways to promote during holiday season- Thomas Umstattd- Bookmark


Publish as an audiobook with Scott Sigler- Thomas Umstattd-Bookmark


Parts of a book- Reedsy- Useful Info


It’s not about You- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark


How to find time for book promo- Sandra Beckwith

 

To Finish,

As we head into December, many writers start thinking about their goals for the year. Have they been achieved? Are you thinking about next year? Are you setting goals?

Kay DiBianca has a great post on acknowledging your accomplishments and planning for the next year.

 

In personal news – I have ebooks on sale all over the place. If you are looking for kids books You can check out my maureencrispbooks website or hit this link for a group sale promo. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.


If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.


If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Mark K├Ânig on Unsplash

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Taking Time

 


 

In Publishing News this week,

 

I received an email from Google Play telling me about the exciting changes they are making to AI narrated audiobooks- Voices, lots of voices, enough for a cast of characters. They are upping the auto narration stakes. Other audiobook producers offer this feature for a fee. Google just rolls it into their free audiobook creation. AI is disrupting audio books. However, if you are thinking about the magic bakery of IP creation, (Dean Wesley Smith’s great analogy - he has a book on the subject) then AI audio is just one facet of audio, like author narrated or actor narrated or radio play version with a full cast of characters. 

 

Over in Europe Bookwire has been expanding its audiobook service - Sign up with them and get your audiobook translated into five languages.

 

As I am a children’s writer, I like to keep one eye on what is happening in that marketplace. Over 25% of China’s book trade are children’s books and at the moment they are going crazy for Manga Non-Fiction.

 

Mark Williams highlighted the plight of Afghanistan publishing. Since they cracked down on girls attending school the book trade has died by 50%. Who knew that girls reading kept an economy going? Mark wants the publishing industry to remember the missing readers. Today I saw a picture of a bombed out library in Gaza and felt grief for the missing readers there. The freedom to read safely is a privilege we often take far too lightly here in the western world. Just think about the lawsuits to let kids read books in the largest democracy in the world. It could happen in a town near you.

 

Richard Charkin writes about publishing in the good old days… he discusses the traditional publishing fondness for territory rights instead of language rights. Do we really need an American English version of a book published in England? And why do we have different covers?

 

Sue Coletta has a stunning post – What type of Writer and Reader are you? Our brains process information through one of our five senses… So which type are you?

 

Katie Weiland has a brilliant post on Time Management for Writers. There are some gems in this article.

 

Chuck Wendig is wondering about Social Media now that we have to be everywhere or is it nowhere… or somewhere. If you are feeling bewildered by new Social Media - read Chuck. At least you will laugh.

 

Tzivia Gover has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about Journals and Dreams: The Unsung Heroes of Literature. Have you been writing your dreams down?

 

Ruth Harris has a great article on writers’ advice. Let the experts help you to craft those sparkling passages. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club” - Jack London.

 

In The Craft Section,

What sleeping with Jane Eyre taught me about pacing- Heidi Croot


Rewriting- keep your eyes open and your ego closed- P J Parrish- Bookmark


Create personal writing timelines- Cindy Sproles- Bookmark


Five Elements of relationship plot lines- September Fawkes- Bookmark


Writing in scenes- Paula Munier


Are your characters living in the moment?- Janice Hardy

 

In The Marketing Section,

Christmas Book Promotions and strategies- PublishDrive- Bookmark


Boost your holiday sales- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


How to Newsletter swap- Sandra Beckwith


15 must have resources for authors- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Use TikTok to sell books-Joe Yamulla


To Finish,

Why do our brains impact our self confidence? We remember the bad reviews not the good ones. We absorb only the savage critique not where our writing sang. How can we combat our confirmation bias?- Kasey LeBlanc has the answer.

 

This week Joanna Penn talked to a serial writer and entrepreneur. If you have been thinking about subscription based writing and the creator economy – check out the interview with Reem Co Founder Michael Evans- he’s been writing books for 7 years. With everything he has been doing it’s hard to believe he’s only 21.

 

Time stays long enough for those who use it - Leonardo Da Vinci

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.


If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.


If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

Thursday, November 23, 2023

What Is Your Time Worth?

 


 

In Publishing News this week,


In a boost for writers living and working in New York State, the governor has just signed into law that freelancers must get paid. This is an important law for freelancers, who too often are the last to be paid or not at all. Writers and Illustrators are often asked to do work for free. Our creativity is our livelihood, and it is wearying to keep saying No, I haven’t any free books or I can’t give you free art. A good rule of thumb if you do something for free is to write an invoice for the client with the dollar value highlighted as a donation for ‘tax purposes.’ This quietly reinforces the point that your work and time has value. You can probably claim it on your tax as a donation, and they can too. Then if you need to you can have the luxury of saying – My accountant has capped my donation budget this year, Sorry. (Accountants like to have donation budgets… even if you don’t have an accountant.) 

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that over the last five years audio book sales have been increasing year on year to now being up in the double digits of all book sales.

 

The UK Publishers Association is campaigning for people to come and work in publishing. They are using some interesting ideas to get people thinking about who controlls the narrative, or what publishing ideas get taken up. They want diversity, they want clarity of vision, however they aren’t talking about salaries. 

 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard turns the spotlight on the little guys. How do the little countries market their books at their own bookfairs.

 

It’s the beginning of the holiday season of selling books and buying gifts for writers. Check out this list from Sandra Beckwith of great writer gifts and deals. (Don’t forget to check last week’s blog post for writer deals as well.) 

If you are just getting into your marketing- Check out Penny Sansevieri’s great post on holiday marketing ideas.

 

Are you over workshopping your novel? Anne R Allen has a great blog on this topic. She has written a checklist of phrases that can flag when you have gone too far down the workshop rabbit hole.

 

Sacha Black delivered the keynote at 20 Books to 50K Vegas (The world’s biggest author convention,) early this month. It was an amazing talk that will be up on YouTube in a few months time. She writes about the conference and things she learned for the Alliance of Independent writers blog

 

Suzanne Lakin has a great post on writing universal themes in fiction and writing craft guru, James Scott Bell, has a must read post on making your sentences sing. This is a printout and stick on your wall post. 

 

In The Craft Section,

How to do your own structural edit- Sarah Kuiken- Bookmark


How to catch 10 most common editing mistakes- Natalie Hanemann- Bookmark


Creating and resolving conflict in your novel- Clare Langley Hawthorne


Tips for writing a successful story climax- Becca Puglisi-Bookmark


Writing short book descriptions- Amy Bernstein- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Social Media Marketing for Authors – Penny Sansevieri


F.A.R. Marketing – Angela Ackerman- Bookmark


How to create fun freebies – Colleen Story- Bookmark


10 strategies to boost your book- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


Author blogs – Pros and Cons- Fussy Librarian

 

To Finish,

It is no secret that I am an admirer of Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I must reference her in the blog at least 3 times a month. Kristine’s long career in all facets of Traditional and Indie publishing has been invaluable over the last decade in understanding how publishing has changed, is changing, will change and the importance of owning your IP, and your relationship to readers. She has been a clear sighted guide to what is important and how to manage change in publishing. I will miss her. If you haven’t got one of her nonfiction books on the business of writing you are missing out. Get one for the holidays.


Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter to go out. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, you can subscribe here to join our happy band.

 

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

 

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Joyce Wan on Bluesky

Thursday, November 16, 2023

It Is All In The Mind


 

 

In Publishing News this week,

 

As I write this the American Book Awards is on. This award ceremony has been in the news over the last month with presenter problems and now Publishers Weekly report that media sponsorship is being pulled over the potential for authors to make hate speech comments. So, check your favourite book news website to find out if they were right.

 

Publishers Weekly also have a deep dive article on How TikTok Changed Romance Publishing. (You can put your genre of choice into that sentence.)

 

In AI news -The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association have published an open letter to the Copyright Office of America detailing their concerns over ascertaining copyright and the future of these works.

Meanwhile, Mark Williams adds his own acerbic take on the sky is falling rhetoric coming out of the publishing industry.

 

John Gilstrap writing over on the Killzone Authors blog has a great article on Traditional Publishing. It’s not dead, it’s evolving. It is all about mindset. Authors are small business owners. Now take that mindset into your interactions with agents and publishers.

 

The dream team of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have gathered together a list of Black Friday deals for Authors, or you can be overwhelmed with choice with Kindlepreneur’s huge list of deals.

 

Kris Rusch has been musing on out of print stories. She was wanting to use work in a teaching course but couldn’t find who owned the rights and whether there was a recent edition. This is one of those moments of wishing the internet had been around thirty years ago for research. 

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors have a super detailed article on keywords and Amazon category changes.

 

Suzette Mullen has an interesting article on mining your memoir and how sometimes you can fail badly in remembering and reflecting that others might have a completely different view of the memoir event. 

 

Roz Morris is back from a stint judging the Kindle Storyteller award- which is a big deal. Roz has written an article on what makes a great story – A must read.

  

In The Craft Section,

Unlocking cause and effect- Bang2Write


2 great posts from Becca Puglisi-Redeeming your villain and 9 tension builders for dialogue

- Bookmark Both


How to write one juicy description- April Davila- Bookmark


Identifying Flat Scenes- Janice Hardy


Writing Violence Archetypes  - Usvaldo De Leon on K M Weilands blog - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

The best advertisement investments- Draft2Digital


Media Training for Authors – Paula Rizzo


How to make a personal brand- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


5 unique book marketing ideas- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


Fantastic ways to sell books for the holidays- Bookbub- Bookmark


Book signing tips- Judith Briles

 

To Finish,

As we move from Print publishing to eBook to Audiobook to All Formats … what’s next? The big news over the last six months in the writing blogosphere is Selling Direct and the rise of the Shopify store. Joanna Penn interviews Russell Nohelty on the mindset you must cultivate to sell direct.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter to go out. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, you can subscribe here to join our happy band.

 

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

 

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 Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

Related Posts with Thumbnails