Thursday, January 26, 2023

Data is The Answer


In Publishing News this week…

A slow week on the publishing front unless your last name starts with T and ends in P.

Publishers Weekly reports on a lawsuit to stop Simon and Schuster from publishing a memoir from a criminal prosecutor who believes a criminal lawsuit has to happen against the former president. As PW reports anytime Trump throws lawyers at a book… it ends up a bestseller.


Techcrunch reports on the Shutterstock and Open AI deal. This is an ongoing story to keep one eye on. How the artist community picks their way through the minefield of AI assistance will inform how the writing community can do the same, notably around plagiarism. Interestingly, after Gizmodo outed CNET (see last weeks blog) the policy of using AI to write articles quickly changed. Gizmodo tries out the AI tool on Shutterstock with mixed results. Meanwhile a content writer for Buffer has conflicted feelings about using the AI tool for her job.


If you are battling against book pirates or other plagiarists, Knight in Shining Armor, Nate Hoffelder has a great post which you should bookmark on how to file a DMCA takedown notice. He’s done the hard work for you as this article is chock full of links and advice. 


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has an interesting post on the uncounted book industry which is worth half a billion dollars last year from KDP alone. So exactly how many books are being published out there?

While Mark is looking at the big picture Draft2Digital has an interesting blog post on how to track all your own sales.


Joanna Penn is launching her latest book on Kickstarter. In this interesting post she talks about using Kickstarter like a book launch pad and how she approached her first time Kickstarter project. Her Kickstarter was for a modest amount that has already exceeded expectations.


Kathy Steinmann has a post on going down the KDP rabbit hole when your book is unexpectedly pulled from the site and what you can do about it. 


Over the last few years the word on author websites is that at the very least you have to have a landing page that you own somewhere. 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive post on how to get people coming back to your website again and again.

Nate Hoffelder writes in a guest post on Anne R Allen’s blog about the 10 website mistakes new authors make and how to fix them.

Penny Sansevieri has a great post on how to sell books from your website. Penny breaks down the various partners you can use and what is involved.


Colleen Story has a great post on permission and how you have to give it to yourself.


Kris Rusch has the last in her 2022 in review series and this week she muses about estate planning- something our wider family has been focused on since halfway through 2022. When a near relative has an extensive literary estate and their health is not good… you realise the importance of a literary executor and what life of copyright really means.


In The Craft Section

7 ways to decide what story idea should come next- K M Weiland

How to use ProWriting Aid- Sue Coletta

Build suspense with secrets- Christina Delay- Bookmark

Character sketch template – Shayla Raquel

6 lessons learned from 4 years of writers block- K M Weiland- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

No one wants to hear you breathe- Tips on narration – Gabbi Coatsworth

Tips to get people to your book signing- Michael Gallant- Bookmark

How to write a blog post people read- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

Infographic on marketing to different generations- Barb Drozowich

What do literary agents want you to know- Amy Collins with Sandra Beckwith


To Finish

Last week I was preparing to go to the first author conference in a very very long time. I had a great day and met some great people. Among them was Nat Connors, a data scientist who runs Kindletrends- a deep dive weekly newsletter of analysis in any of your chosen categories. Everywhere I went people kept telling me I had to talk to Nat. He was an interesting chap and his service is praised by lots of writers- a great endorsement. 

One of the guest speakers was another lover of data and analysis, Deb Potter. She has a great book on Amazon Ads for writers trying to figure out how to do them. Here she is being interviewed by the Spa Girls podcast. These were just two of the many awesome writers who came from around the country and overseas for a one day conference. 

It is always beneficial to your writing soul to meet up with others in this crazy industry. You never know what you may learn.





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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 virtual coffee love.



Pic:  Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Finding our way in the year ahead


And we are back into 2023…another year of watching the ups and downs of the publishing industry and trying to navigate its shoals and reefs.

The last post of 2022 had us going into the Christmas season with the news that PRH CEO Marcus Dohle was stepping down. That the USA Today list was on hiatus due to the editor being let go as a cost cutting measure. That some magazine subscriptions were uneconomic for Amazon and the Rise Of The Robots… or GPT3 Artificial Intelligence was about to change life as we know it. 


So, what is everybody talking about in January…


GPT3 is still the hot topic. 

How are publishers going to navigate books written by an AI?

How will the Amazon lists crash and burn when filled up with books written by an AI?

How will writers use this new tool or are they tools for using AI to generate ideas?

Gizmodo has an interesting article on how CNET has been using AI written article for months and nobody noticed. (You still need editors.)

The Hollywood Reporter has an article on how AI will be writing movies by 2025. (really?)


AI tools are here to stay and while it might be tempting to put your fingers in your ears and scream loudly it is probably better to figure out how the new technology can be used or abused and how this will impact on your own author career.

There are a few articles in this week’s roundup to get you thinking of possibilities.

First up Mark Dawson’s interview with Joanna Penn- which is wide ranging but interestingly he discusses using GPT3 for marketing ideas.

Kris Rusch looks at AI audio and discusses how it can help your readers. She links to lots of articles on the topic. 

Anna Featherstone talks about all the other tech writers should be getting a handle on in 2023. What else is out there to help the busy writer?


Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, has her predictions for 2023 for the publishing industry.

Laurie mentions BookTok- The Rollingstone magazine has an article on how BookTok is changing publishing and what might happen when the influencers realise the power they have over publishers.


Just before Christmas- Harper Collins employees went out on strike over pay and conditions. They are still on strike and the publishing industry is looking at how long this might last and the impact on Harper Collins going forward.

In the New Year news broke that a writer who had been reported as committing suicide over bullying was alive and had a new book out with the plot sounding like real life. This did not go down well.


Fast Company has an article on the turn around of Barnes and Noble and how James Daunt’s experiment of putting books front and center has been instrumental in book sales going up. (Who knew that would work?)


I was looking at a list of books expected to come out in 2023 locally and I was struck by the covers all looking text heavy. 99 designs has an article on the latest trends for book covers for 2023. Font and Text are where the designers are playing this year.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a great article on why Authors should publish Gift Books.

Penny Sansevieri has an in-depth article on the changes to A+ content on Amazon pages. There are some great take-aways in here so Bookmark this article.


Jenny Hansen of Writers In The Storm has a great article on Why You and Your Characters Deserve Some Ikigai – This is a good article to mull over before getting back into your writing stride for the year.


In The Craft Section,

Knowing the difference between all those dash’s

How to revise for deep POV- Lisa Hall Wilson

Sexy scenes -open door or closed door? - Jami Gold -Bookmark

5 ways to approach your novel like a trial lawyer- Marissa Graff- BOOKMARK

Writing Insecure Characters- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Why blogging is essential in the era of a fragmenting social media.- Anne R Allen BOOKMARK

Can a Facebook ad really sell books- Randy Minetor- Bookmark

2 great articles from Draft2Digital -What is Content Marketing and building your personal brand from scratch

23 successful marketing strategies in 2023- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish

After looking at all the predictions out there for 2023 this post gathered up a useful list to think about. It was written in November but the advice is evergreen.

Reedsy updated their Book Marketing mistakes post which they publish every year beginning. This is a reaffirmation that the same things need your attention year in year out.


This year looks like being an interesting one for the publishing industry. As you navigate your writing and author career through the shoals don’t forget to invest in relationships within the writing community. There is nothing so affirming as being able to moan to another writer who perfectly understands the ups and downs of the writer life. 

I’m off to 20Books Auckland- (if you are there too, come and find me. I will be wearing a scarf and behind a mask. That pesky virus isn’t over yet.)





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

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.



Pic: Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash



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