Thursday, July 6, 2023

Standing Up



In Publishing News this week,

The death of the Ukranian writer Victoria Amelina stopped the publishing world for a moment. Everyone reflected on the life of courage and commitment to the truth this writer embodied in her professional life. Victoria had just come back from Norway where she had accepted an award on behalf of another friend, children’s author Volodymyr Vakulenko, tortured and killed by the Russians occupiers. Victoria was using her writing skills to document war crimes. She had just finished a day of presenting at the Kiev Bookfair when the restaurant she was meeting other writers in suffered a missile attack. R.I.P.


Publishing Perspectives reports on the opening keynote by Hugo Setzer at the Contec Mexico publishing conference. This conference is dedicated to sustainability, translation, and audio publishing. There were some heated challenges to the wider publishing industry about the need to walk the talk on sustainability practice in publishing.


AI is back in the dock again this week with the news of a class action against Open AI from authors whose work was recognisably scraped by AI. 

Mark Williams from The New Publishing Standard looks at the arguments in this case and draws some pithy conclusions. Is the demise of the author a valid argument in this case?


While the courts are looking at AI- news is breaking that Amazon is using AI to summarise product reviews. So far this hasn’t extended to book reviews but it can only be a matter of time. Will you be able to trust a book review in future?

Meanwhile, Amazon is going to have to do something about the proliferation of AI written books in the bestseller lists. Somehow the bots got in and gamed the system. Amazon did crack down, but not fast enough. To add to their woes Amazon is in court for unfair practice surrounding their Prime subscription model. Their defence lawyers will have to do an amazing job as their client even named their dubious practice after the story of the trojan horse.


Joanna Penn revisited AI and the Author in another great podcast session with Nick Thacker this week. This is a great discussion on using AI as a marketing tool. Nick and Joanna talk about how important it is to have a human be the creative brain behind the words.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a deep dive into the seven processes of publishing. This week they are looking at marketing. This is a comprehensive article about mindset and the differences between promotion and marketing books.


Kris Rusch continues her excellent series on Niche Marketing. This week she examines what niche really means to the writer and how you can benefit from it.


Lithub traces the evolution of the celebrity memoir. 

Now Novel has a great article on using story planners to get the bones of your story down. 

Kathy Steinemann has a nifty redundancy quiz- Can you identify the redundant words in the sentences? A good craft quiz for warm ups.


Donald Maass has another cracker of an article on Writer Unboxed. What are your promise words? He takes a dive into the words used in the opening chapter that should signal what the story is promising the reader.



In The Craft Section,

2 Great posts from K M Weiland How to trim your word count and

Think about the lie your character believes- Bookmark

Turn the tables on popular tropes in fiction- Liz Kerin - Bookmark

A guide to writing Romance- Now Novel-Comprehensive!

Subterfuge in dialogue- Becca Puglisi

Can a novelist write like a screenwriter- Anne R Allen- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,

How to write a good book description- IngramSpark

2 interesting posts from Penny Sansevieri- Quiz your book marketing knowledge and How the current tsunami of books reshapes book publicity- Bookmark

10 tips to get a Bookbub featured deal- Draft2Digital- Bookmark

Author newsletter data- Bookbub- Bookmark


To Finish,

Recently the BBC publicised another author getting a first publishing deal in her 70’s. What is interesting is this author has been signed for a 5 book deal and she is 77. Writing is for every age group and it is never too late to start. The only pre-requisite is that you have an entertaining story to tell.





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Pic: The poster for the Kyiv Book Fair


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