Thursday, August 31, 2023

Reading The Blurb


In Publishing News this week,


We’ve all seen the puff quotes on the jackets of books. The name dropping- famous author loved it… but what happens when the book gets negative reviews and the publisher picks out words and throws them on the cover as praise. You get the backlash. Could puff quotes be over?


Penguin Random House (PRH) has had a jolly good half year. They have nearly made double digits in revenue. Even though they did not get Simon and Schuster that hasn’t stopped them snapping up smaller fruit.


Ingram is expanding its Print On Demand capabilities. With some big POD hubs in different parts of the globe they are challenging the sustainability of those big print runs out of China. 


Mark Williams shines a spotlight on the Music industry and how their revenue has grown over the last decade. It is broken down by genre. The music industry is always ahead of the publishing industry…what lessons can publishers take from all the numbers. Is children’s publishing the rock music buying equivalent?


Publishers Weekly is heralding the return of author tours with delight. Booksellers are gearing up for sell out author tours. Are we getting back to normal again? Or will Hybrid events be the new way to go? After the covid years is there even any money for author tours?


You’ve finished the book. You’ve scaled Mount Strunk and White. You’re ready for the big reward and yet you feel…flat. Ruth Harris has a great post on the 3 R’s of a successful writing career.


Are you struggling with the whole social media problem? The common complaint what should I post I’m a fiction writer… and which social media? Read this great post from Jessica Thompson. You can apply it to all sorts of social media.


Chat GPT or AI assisted writing has been in the news pretty much all year. If you are unsure about what sort of a tool it is to help you check out this posts on the 6 useful prompts for fiction writers.


You should be reading in your genre but how do you choose the books that you will get the most out of? Book Coach Robin Henry has a comprehensive post on How to read to elevate your writing practice. 


Sometimes the book of your heart… or the story that won’t let you go takes an awfully long gestational time. Stephanie Cowell writes about a story that has taken 39 years to pin down. When your favourite novel takes a long long time to write.


In The Craft Section,

Raise the stakes by making it personal- Angela Ackerman

8 different types of scenes- K M Weiland- Bookmark

4 tips for memorable characters- Lisa Hall Wilson

Setting- the versatile tool - C S Lakin- Bookmark

Hide exposition inside confrontation- James Scott Bell- Bookmark

13 tips for powerful pacing- Lynette Burrows- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Step by step marketing- Penny Sansevieri

Compelling descriptions- Sandra Beckwith

Marketing vs publicity- Kelly Rendina- Bookmark

27 things to promote your book- Brian Feinblum- Bookmark

Direct sales strategies- Bookbub- Bookmark


To Finish,

Stephen King is often quoted as saying You can’t be a Writer if you are not a Reader, or words to that effect. This week Kris Rusch shines a spotlight on reading practice. Have you got out of the habit of reading? It happens. I have a friend who works with words all day and struggles to read anything for pleasure. Do you still love reading? 

You must fill the well of words if you want to keep drinking from the well. 

Ask yourself these questions. What books do you escape into? Challenge yourself with? Comfort reads? Keeping up with the genre reads? If you are struggling to name a book you’ve read for pleasure in the last month, make a date with a comfort book and rediscover your joy. Your writing will thank you for it.





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Pic Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash

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