In Publishing News,
Remember that court case? Simon and Schuster is still up for sale. Publishers Weekly looks at the corporates who might be tempted.
Mark Williams has been doing a bit of sleuthing and he has uncovered some big plans by Storytel for expansion into Africa. Audiobooks could be on the menu before print…or even bookshops.
Yesterday I had to admit to my teen that books get banned. She was disbelieving. How can anyone ban a book? It was hard to answer. I was left remembering a local author’s comment when his book was banned in the US. “It did wonders for my sales.” So here are the most banned picture books in the last 2 years. In other banned book news, Tanzania has banned Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
There is lots of chat around AI and its use or misuse. Writer Beware has an article on the Findaway Apple clause which is very interesting. There is some confusion about what happens to your book if you ask Findaway to tell Apple you don’t want your book to be part of its machine learning programme. (Narrators rights, see last weeks blog.) Some authors are waiting to see if their books will be pulled from Apple as emails indicate that this is a possibility.
Chat around the author water cooler (Twitter) indicates that AI is a tool – You get into problems when you outsource your creativity to AI. Don’t fall into the trap of asking AI to generate a book everyone has seen before. Check out the list of overused tropes here.
Here are a few articles that will get you up to speed on current thinking about AI and creative writing.
AI reveals the most human part of writing- A PHD researcher looks at the tools out there.
How AI can help or hurt your writing- Rachel Thompson has an interesting list of things that AI can help with written by AI. A great breakdown of AI as a tool.
Joanna Penn has a step by step article on how she has used AI when writing and publishing a short story. She has screen shots on all the different steps she used. This goes from ideas to editing to titles to art to using AI’s that we all use in editing.
If you haven’t noticed, even your email uses AI to generate words or phrases for you so it’s here to stay.
Kris Rusch has added another post to her series why writers fail. This one is about learning and taking risks. Sometimes the very thing stopping you from succeeding is the fear of taking the next step.
If you are wondering what rules there are for writers to bend a little- Check out this article from senior editor, Robert Lee Brewer at Writers Digest.
It’s been a rotten old week down here in New Zealand. A cyclone ripped through the North Island and caused immense damage. Devastation and trauma are almost instant creativity killers. If you are struggling to find emotional calm or space to let creativity flow, you are not alone. Take time out or change your focus to learning or improving your writing craft. As Melinda Szymanik says in her excellent article, “Sometimes the good thing you wrote will get its moment at some point down the track. Or maybe it is a step you needed to take to get to the thing that will fit with the publisher's aims. Whatever you do, don't throw it out. And keep going.”
Barbara Linn Probst has a great article on Writer Unboxed – What Actually Makes You A Better Writer?
In The Craft Section,
Tips for how to slay your bloated wordcount- Suzy Vadori- Bookmark
41 Character prompts- Kindlepreneur
5 similarities between your hero and your villain-Sue Coletta- Bookmark
Do’s and Don’ts of writing a series- Kassandra Lamb
Kurt Vonnegut’s rules for writers- Terry Odell- Bookmark
In The Marketing Section,
5 important reasons for using YouTube for Marketing- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark
How author platform connects to Author Brand- Jane Friedman- Bookmark
How to talk about your book- Karen DeBonis-Bookmark
Top 10 ways to market your book in a month- Rachel Thompson
6 tips for choosing the right book marketing service.- Penny Sansevieri
Wherever a disaster happens there are acts of heroism. There are many acts of kindness unnoticed, unsung, and often under the radar. The shine of the human spirit in the darkness can be the glimmer that leads another out of a very dark place. We have seen a lot of heroism in the last week both here in NZ and overseas. As writers we need to write and celebrate the little acts of heroism as well as the big ones. Donald Mass has a checklist of other ways to write a hero.
My thoughts are with the families of the heroes. While their loved one is helping others, their family is backing them up by getting on with their own acts of bravery, coping in a natural disaster without them. Two of our first responders gave their lives.
Sometimes there are no words.
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Pic: Pete Thomson/NZStuff