Thursday, March 30, 2023

Figuring Out What’s Important



In Publishing News This Week,


The news everywhere in publishing was the smackdown given by the judge in the Internet Archive vs The Publishers court case. The centre of which was Internet Archive claiming a controlled digital lending policy of printing a PDF from an Ebook for their patrons was fair use.

There were comments on all sides, Libraries, Publishers, Writers, Lawyers all had opinions often conflicting. In the middle was copyright and who loses out. Libraries have been stung by publishers license demands. Publishers argue that a PDF is just the same as an Ebook and if printed out a paperback. This will be an ongoing wrangle.


Meanwhile, the American Library Association has released a report stating the numbers of books banned in the USA in 2022 broke all previous limits. It is sobering reading. If you live in a country that doesn’t have book banning public drives, don’t take this privilege for granted. Libraries closing is another way to ban books from the community. 


Also in the news was a Wired article that was little better than a hatchet job on Brandon Sanderson. Brandon graciously defended the writer… but the outrage from other writers and his fans was loud and public. Apparently all Brandon does is write in a very scheduled way. If the writer had problems with Sanderson- how come he owns 17 books written by Brandon?

Esquire writing at the same time as Wired detailed the organisation Brandon has had to put in place since that Kickstarter. 


AI was back in the news (surprise) today when many influential tech founders published an open letter asking tech companies to pause their AI training citing the risk to humanity. A media commentator looked at how publishers could license content to AI’s and the potential prices they could charge. 

Kris Rusch has an interesting blog post on AI content being the mediocre level of work instead of purposefully crafted writing, or speaking.


Jez Walters has an article on how Bonnier Publishing company has restructured based around enthusiast communities. This is a result of the covid lockdown where their publishing company went to Zoom and now they are staying that way. It’s an interesting article. Bonnier CEO likens it to taking the company back to start up mode. Ground yourself in who you are and be pragmatic.


Publishing Trends looks at what makes an audiobook original. That is a book that is published in audio first. This is a different publishing model from the norm but audio companies are seeking out titles they can have exclusively.

Lisa Tener has a great article on protecting yourself from accidental plagiarism. Don’t forget to attribute your notes to who said what. Lisa has some recommended plagiarism trackers to keep on hand.


Jane Friedman has a guest post by Carly Watters on What Is Upmarket Fiction. This is a deep dive into that sweet spot between commercial and literary, which everyone wants to inhabit.

In The Craft Section,

No Swords No flowers- Anatomy and sex scenes- Molly Rookwood- Bookmark

How to write a memoir- Reedsy

5 mistakes to avoid if you want to finish your book- Colleen Story

How archetypes changed my life- K M Weiland- Bookmark

6 terror tactics for really scary villains- Sacha Black


In The Marketing Section,

How soon should you think about marketing your book? K M Weiland

9 proven strategies to increase book sales- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to build your reader audience- Written Word Media- Bookmark

Social Media for writers- Ellie Diamond

Your books press release- Sandra Beckwith


To Finish,

It’s the end of March, for many it’s the end of the tax year or the end of the first quarter. If you need to review your goals, get some, or just identify one goal to focus on check out this Goal Setting post for writers.

Along with goal setting you might need to run your eye down this list of things that might be holding you back from achieving your goals.

See you in the next quarter (next week.)




It nearly time for my monthly newsletter so if you want the best of my bookmarked links 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 all virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash



Thursday, March 23, 2023

Trying To Read The Future

In Publishing News this week…


Publishers Weekly reports that advocates, Library Futures, have some new language for laws about eBook licensing for libraries. With judges previously weighing in that publisher eBook contracts for libraries were unfair, this could be a popular lifeline for everyone instead of a lawsuit.


Publishing Perspectives has an interesting news item from Nielsen that print publishing was almost back to pre Covid levels in the UK. In their wide ranging report about book sales in 2022 there were other little items of interest, paperbacks are back and so is horror. They also asked everyone where they got their book recommendations from.


Everyone has heard of BookTok by now. Have you ever wondered if the influencers get paid for their viral book reviews? Not always and not by the publishers. Vox has an in-depth article on the money behind the viral videos.


You have probably seen gift books with the child’s name personalised in it. Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard writes about a Spanish publisher who is taking it the next step further with AI.


Jane Friedman has an ask the editor feature on her popular blog. This week she has a post responding to a memoir writer who is worried about lawsuits.


This week Sandra Beckwith decided to play along with a publishing predator and details the elaborate bait and switch tactics they were trying on her. She also details red flags to watch out for.


Joanna Penn has a fascinating interview with Joseph Nassise on writing diversification, emerging technologies and multiple streams of income. Joseph is traditionally published but has lots of other writing side gigs.


This week one of my favourite writing podcasts – Wish I’d Know Then had an interview with Emilia Rose and Michael Evans. They have started a new subscription platform, Ream.Ink, for writers launching in May. In the episode they talk about how subscriptions can be used to test ideas and enhance the reader journey and the tools they have developed for writers. It is a great interview with lots of tips around managing subscriptions, emails, and content delivery, especially if you want to host your own serial writing.

If you are interested in serial writing -check out’s blog post about the best places to publish serials online currently.


Recently Written Word Media published and excellent article on How to make a book marketing plan. This is one for the print out and keep file.


Anne R Allen has an interesting blog post on writing for the web. Different formats apply. As I was reading it I was struck by the comment that the modern paragraph has been shortened because of the web. If you are a certain age you will remember the rules on paragraphs which feed into essays. Web content has changed the way we read and write now.


In The Craft Section,

Creating more authentic characters- Daniel Parsons- Bookmark

The importance of a great opening- Lucy V Hay- Bookmark

Two great posts from K M Weiland-Two ways to write organic themes and How to write interesting scenes-Bookmark

When your book is about too many things -Stephanie Morrill

How to read body language- Sue Coletta- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,

How to ask for book reviews and why you should- Liz Alterman- Bookmark

What IP rights do I have- Kelley Way

6 ways to overcome interview fright- Alison Nissen

5 ways to build your writer platform- Lucy V Hay- Bookmark

Back cover copy formula- Sue Coletta


To Finish,

Cory Doctorow somehow finds time to write amazing prescient tech thrillers while writing daily longform blogs on how corporates have too much tech power over our lives. Cory has long been a campaigner for freedom from DRM. Because of various DRM issues with Audible’s contract terms he funds and produces his own audiobooks. His latest thriller is set in the world of cryptocurrency. His novels have scenarios that then tend to play out in reality. Keeping an eye on Cory’s work is a way of seeing the future which can give you a heads up in preparing for it.





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 to Deb Zeb who fuelled my coffee addiction this week.


Pic: Photo by TAHA AJMI on Unsplash

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Getting The Office Ready


In Publishing News this week,


The US Copyright office has been thinking about AI copyright and has now stuck a stake in the ground. Copyright applicants must disclose when their work contains AI created material. Previously, AI created work could not be copyrighted, however now the office wants to know how much AI was used before allowing you to copyright something. Will other countries follow suit?


Ethical AI Publishing has an article on how AI is disrupting white collar jobs, fueling the anti AI debate. Where were they when it was blue collar jobs on the line? AI is a classism debate. 


Jane Friedman has an interesting article on how Wattpad kickstarted some older authors careers. Before everyone leaps into Wattpad the news out is that Wattpad is laying off staff due to the changing economic environment.


Netflix is changing their streaming model. The lowest tier will be ad supported. First off the block with their ads is Cornerstone Publishing advertising … books!


Have you enjoyed any web comics lately? Which way did you read them? If you shook your head and thought aren’t they formatted left to right, then you might be surprised to find that the comic publishers in Europe are looking seriously at vertical formatting for smartphones.


Draft2Digital eBook aggregator recently moved into providing print books to a limited range of countries as a trial. This week they announced they were opening up to authors everywhere with free conversions eBook to print, free wraparound covers and lots more goodies. This will shake up the Print On Demand model. 


Reedsy has collected together a list of writing communities that authors can join to find like minded writing buddies. You also might be interested in time blocking tips from K M Allen.


Anne R Allen has a great guest blog from lawyer Joseph Perry about negotiating a literary agent agreement. Some literary agents are happy with a verbal agreement but you shouldn’t be. This is a great list of tips and things to think about.


If you have been getting up from your writing desk in some pain you might want to check out this article from Colleen Story on the 5 types of writing related pain. Colleen offers some solutions.


Are you staring at your characters and wondering why they are so flat? Lynette Burrows has the answer. Making flat character genuine in 8 easy steps.


In The Craft Section,

Character arcs making a long story short- Jami Gold – Bookmark

Chekov’s gun and the writer- Anne R Allen

How to craft interesting minor characters- J D Harlock- Bookmark

Using the But Therefore method of plotting- Literary Architect- Bookmark

The most common writing mistakes agents see- Mary Kole



In The Marketing Section,

2 interesting posts from Jane Friedman Author websites and  Authors who launched careers on Tiktok- Bookmark Both

How authors can engage on Instagram- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Book advertising- The Alliance of Independent Authors- Bookmark

Category Data- Kindlepreneur- Bookmark


To Finish,

Writer Unboxed has a great article by Kelsey Allagood on spring cleaning your brain. Of course down under we are heading into Autumn so perhaps we could call it preparing to hunker down for your writing brain.

K M Weiland has a great article on the best places to write. Have you tried different places to write? Changed your office? Changed where you are most creative? Katie offers some tips to keep everything fresh and productive.





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 Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Pull Out Your Toys


In Publishing News This Week...

In the continuing saga of being a HarperCollins employee- you strike for 3 months, you get told that HC is settling but reducing their workforce and now you hear that severance is all voluntary for a limited time. Publishers Weekly takes the time to remind readers that this was predicted early this year. (See Februarys blog) If you want a more personal story about why it’s so hard to work in publishing, Electric Literature has an essay on how a living wage has never been a priority in publishing.


After last weeks news and then backtrack on cleaning up Roald Dahl to this week examining the role of sensitivity readers. Do we really need them? Canadian reporters explore why the publishing industry is feeling alarmed. Meanwhile, well-known Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has decided that she will write her memoir after all. That’s 80 years well lived.

Anne R Allen has a great post on whether you should fictionalise your life. It’s called Autofiction if you are thinking about it.


It’s Bookfair time and on everyone’s lips is AI. The Author’s Guild is being proactive and having their lawyers write clauses for writers and publishers to insert into writing contracts limiting the use of AI and Machine Learning on new work. 


Mark Williams highlights a little snippet from Animation Magazine – They are embracing AI and using it to make short animations. This new tech promises fun times ahead. Publishers have you thought about your own IP?


Kris Rusch continues to look into AI audio and whether its suitable in the first instance to make their print books accessible. She delves into the contracts and hidden fees and concludes that Google is probably the best player at the moment in this space.


Bologna Children’s Book Fair celebrates its 60th year and everyone is happy to be back. The big sellers at the fair…children’s mental health books. The legacy of the covid years.


Mattel toy company is moving into books which will be based off their IP. So if you have a hankering to ghost write Barbie fiction or Hot Wheels road trips there is a place for you in the Mattel story world.


Earlier in the year I linked to a news article about Adelaide books and the problems they were having. Jane Friedman has a guest post this week from a writer caught up in the mess. How Bad Publishers Hurt Authors. Yes, she checked and she checked it was not a scam… it looked legit. Even the most savvy of writers can be sucked in. 


Do you wake up itching to be back at the manuscript or has it become the dreaded homework. Naomi Rose writes about how you can find ways to be pulled by love not pushed by force into your writing.



In The Craft Section,

Will readers find your protagonist worthy?- Angela Ackerman

Comedic writing- Now Novel- Bookmark

Novel and script editing tips- Novel Factory

Gender neutral replacements- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark

Writing onomatopoeia- Joe Bunting- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Best Fonts for Print- Kindlepreneur

Selling books on your website- Penny Sansevieri

The formula for more book sales – Sandra Beckwith- Boomark

To give it away or not- Kim Catanzarite-Bookmark

Unique ways to engage readers with live streaming- Shailee Shah- Bookmark


To Finish,

How often do you reward yourself with something creative after writing your novel. P A Cornell builds Lego sets. Then she got thinking, Lego is really like story building. Take those Lego bricks and find out the 10 things that Lego can teach you about writing.





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 Xavi Cabrera on Unsplash



Thursday, March 2, 2023

Out There Doing The Business



In Publishing News This Week,


The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is on this week and the hot topic this year is AI and children’s books. Porter Anderson has a great overview of the various keynotes around this topic. He nails the constant chatter around AI as a chicken little syndrome. Remember when everyone thought publishing was doomed with Virtual Reality, enhanced eBooks and Kindle?


Penguin Random House is re-organising. This is a little shakeup which sees imprints spun off or repurposed and staff moving all over the place. Publishers Weekly has the details. picked up steam during the Covid lockdowns by providing a place where bookshops could link in their shops and sell books online. They started offering eBooks last week. Now they are offering print books and beginning to publish. It all feels like the early days of Amazon.


Meanwhile, Small Press Distributors a 50 year old distributor specializing in Indie Publishers has inked a deal with Ingram and will be offering their 400 clients Print On Demand, warehousing, and international printing. However, they need some money to transition all their warehouses to Ingram so they have a Go Fund Me campaign running.


The Alliance of Independent Authors is running an author income survey. If you spent 50% of your time writing and publishing they want to hear from you. Apparently, the data so far is amazing. You only have a few days to participate. 


Mark Leslie Lefebvre has a great post on the Insights blog 10 tips for growing a global audience of readers. I’ve had this open on my computer for a few days as I mull over the excellent tips in here. 


Book Riot has collected what they think are the 25 iconic covers of all time. Do You Agree?


Ruth Harris has an interesting post on charisma and how too much could be psychopathic. Are you writing a psychopathic hero?


Victoria Strauss has a great article on Writer Unboxed about red flags in contracts. Do you know how to spot one? Where to look? The cluses that are most problematic. She shows examples of real contracts that she has seen. Ouch!


Grace Bialecki has an interesting post on the Acknowledgments page. How often do you look at it? It is actually full of great information… from editors who worked on the book and agents that repped it to writing awards and residences you might not have heard off. Grace shows how to put this information to good use. 


Kris Rusch has a super post on AI Audio and what she is finding out as she delves into whether AI Audio is worth pursuing. It is all about formats. Audio is expanding so much it will soon look like print.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you say you are a writer someone will always reply, I’ve always wanted to write a book. Angela Ackerman has a great post that you can share around – 13 Tips On How To Write A Book From Start to Finish.


In The Craft Section,

A great article on reader anticipation- Donald Maass

How to edit- StoryGrid- BOOKMARK

Tips on How to write a mystery-K M Weiland

The 5 turning points of the character arc- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

How to amp up your conflict- Angela Ackerman


In The Marketing Section,

A step by step guide to using Booktok

Bad book marketing advice- Shayla Raquel

2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri-

The definitive guide to creating a reader magnet and 

How to get more Goodreads reviews- Bookmark both

Bookfunnels explained- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


To Finish,

The Guardian has an article on the rise of older female writers with recent hits by debut authors over 70. And the authors are not writing cozy stories. They are edgy and angry. There are some great quotes in this article. More power to them I say.





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

This blog is fueled by coffee. If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top or here. I appreciate all virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic:  Brooke Lark on Unsplash


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