Thursday, December 21, 2023

Crazy Writers



In Publishing News this week,


The internet archive is back in the news with their appeal over their lost lawsuit. They want to scan ebooks and make them available for sale. Why don’t they just link to the print book?  Which is why they were taken to court in the first place.

Meanwhile, in other Internet Archive news, Cory Doctorow looks at the good stuff they have done in music and visual art. His latest deep dive is all about copyright and when things come into the public domain like Micky Mouse next year. (How will Disney tie this one up.)


In a case of I-can’t-believe-he-did-that… A fan fiction writer is being sued by The Tolkien Estate. This all started because the writer tried to sue Amazon for ‘stealing’ his ideas in his published reworked version, Return Of The King. This is head shakingly stupid. You don’t publish fiction using characters, settings, and plot belonging to other people. It is copyrighted. (See above article by Cory)


I really didn’t want to write about the Goodreads book review scandal but there are some new blog readers who haven’t seen this recurring drama over at Goodreads. This mess lost the writer her book deal and writing career. Every few years something like this happens because of clueless writers. The other writers are not your competition. Reviews are wonderful but don’t fake profiles to leave one stars. If you have nothing nice to say about a book don’t say anything, especially on Social Media. 


Joanna Penn has written about her fifteen years in the author business and how she is pivoting for the next fifteen years.


Jane Friedman has a great guest article from Christopher Hoffmann on Researching Literary Agents. Don’t take the first one off the block. Be discerning. 


Julie Hedlund has the 12 days of Christmas writing exercises/planning starting December 26th. available. She calls it a great way to get bite size surprises to help your creativity and your business.

Lucy Hay has an excellent guest post over at Angela and Becca’s blog on how to smash your writing goals for 2024.


December is known as NaNoEdMo… or editing that novel you wrote in November. However, this is the month you really should put it away. Anne R Allen explains why.


In The Craft Section,

Adding cinematic sizzle to your fiction- C S Lakin- Bookmark

How to keep in touch with your writing when your routine is disrupted- Roz Morris

Redeeming your villain- Becca Puglisi

The wonderful spice of minor characters – James Scott Bell- Bookmark

What’s your book about - It depends- Barbara Linn Probst- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section.

Your Substack isn’t for everyone- Elizabeth Held- Bookmark

Newsletter tips- Linda Dunn

10 sneaky hacks for Draft2Digital- Kevin Tumlinson

Marketing your book without Social Media- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

The year’s top book marketing articles from Bookbub- Comprehensive


To Finish,

It’s been a turbulent year with AI, lawsuits, and book banning. Hopefully, I have kept you up to date with publishing news, and creatively inspired with Craft tips and Book Marketing links. 

If the blog has made you think or sparked ideas or given you information throughout the year feel free to buy me a coffee as a thank you. 

Reedsy have a comprehensive gift list for writers and Angela and Becca have some downloadable goodies for you.

The best gift you can give a writer is a book review. Go out there and make their day. It doesn’t have to be an essay, just a small paragraph. 

I have children’s books on sale in the Smashwords End of Year Sale. I also have my teen novel Starlight free at the moment in a teen book sale. 

It’s Summer holidays down under, so I’m taking a break from the blog.

I will be back in January 2024 with blog post number 762.


Wishing you Peace, in your homes, in your countries, in the world.





The last monthly newsletter is about to go out. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, you can subscribe here to join our happy band in 2024

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee over Christmas, I appreciate all virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic:Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Christmas Shopping

In Publishing News this week,

It’s that time of the year when everyone is shopping for presents. Penguin Random House has been shopping and they’ve just bought Hay House. But are they going to keep it the same?


This week KKR, the hedge fund that bought Simon and Schuster, announced who is on the new board of Simon and Schuster. There is a lot of interest in this news as moves like this can signal where the focus of the publishing house will be in the future. Mark Williams has a run down on where S&S might be heading.


With a more multi- media focus on IP filtering through publishing houses, the programming of the Publishing senior level conference in New York in January looks on the money. Publishing Perspectives checks in with Mary Pender, who will be a speaker at the conference in January. Mary is an agent specializing in book to screen deals.


Mills and Boon are launching a new imprint – Afterglow. This is to take advantage of all those romance TikTok influencers out there and their young and hungry market. Always check in with what the romance community is doing they are usually way ahead of everyone on trends.


The NY Times has an opinion piece on whether Spotify will kill audiobooks the way they have strangled the music industry. You may need an eggnog or two after you read it.


Why does a publishing house close an imprint? Jane Friedman interviews three industry commentators on why imprints come and go.


Kelley Way has an interesting post on what happens to royalties after I die- This is where your literary executor comes in handy.


Mark Williams has a guest post over on Anne R Allen’s blog about the hard job that agents do. He was a fly on the wall for a week. Eye-opening.


Rachel Thompson has a great post on 10 proven strategies for writers to boost focus and enhance creativity for next year. Get your planning in early.


Writer Unboxed has their final marketing segment for the year with words of encouragement from writers in the business. Over at the Alliance of Independent Authors Orna Ross is talking with Anna Featherstone about baking the marketing into the book as you write it. (podcast transcript)


Jami Gold has another brilliant post on how to portray strong friendships. She has been studying the Loki mini series for tips on Bromance style friendships and how to write them well. 


In The Craft Section,

5 signs you are ignoring your antagonist- Colleen Story- Bookmark

8 keys to becoming a successful author- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Writing a sympathetic antagonist- Kristin South

Your book means something- James Scott Bell- Bookmark

Write your way whole- Kathleen McCleary


In The Marketing Section,

How to market a book- K M Weiland - Bookmark

2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri - 11 clever promo ideas - and Customise a book marketing plan - Bookmark

Author websites and book marketing – PublishDrive

2024 Literary Calendar- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark


To Finish,

'Tis the season to be jolly…. 

The last quarter of the year is often the time that writers push through against fatigue and Christmas overwhelm and try to get their 2023 projects squared away. This can make you even more anxious as you run up against the December calendar. You might like to check out gifts you can give yourself or pass on to family to get for you. Don’t forget to check out Angela and Beccas free writing gifts. 

For creativity you can put your feet up and try some fun writing prompts with a Christmas theme. Put your own Genre spin on it. A Dinosaur Christmas Romance with Sparkles and Zombies …


Next week is the last blog post for the year and the bumper Christmas newsletter will be out. If you haven’t checked out my books sales go over to my books website and grab some bargains.





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

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Little Gifts of Change.


In Publishing News this week,


Richard Charkin, commentator on the publishing industry, is walking the talk by having his press go to Print on Demand with Ingram Spark. With calls over the last three years or so for publishing companies to be more sustainable this is a move that will hopefully herald a lot of other publishing companies following suit. Along with POD, Richard is using the new kid on the block Shimmr to handle the book promotion. Shimmr uses AI to scan the book pull out the tropes and selling points and then crafts media ads to target ideal readers. Changes might be happening. 


Publishing Perspectives reports that Germany has taken the falling stats in reading skills among German youth to heart and they are going to embark on new strategies to help keep young people reading.


It’s time to wheel out the big lawyers. In litigation news, Democrat members of Congress (US) introduced a bill to stop the surge of book banning in schools. Their bill is for federal funding to fight the book bans.


Dan Holloway has an interesting news roundup for the Alliance of Independent Authors. This week he looks at all the news surrounding the various court cases being brought by authors against AI. There seems to be one law firm spearing the charge. Dan has some interesting things to say about whether these court cases are useful or not. 


Meanwhile, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) is sending strongly worded statements to the copyright office about the Tech companies use and abuse of Fair Use which is what the Tech companies are pinning their defense on. 


Jane Friedman has a very telling post on how publishing professionals can sometimes screw up a writer’s career. She has an interesting case study, that a lot of writers can probably empathise with. I have heard variations on this problem for years. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut.


Anne R Allen has a great post on query letters. If your manuscript hasn’t had any bites, it could be that you are screwing up your query letter. She has a run down on best practice.


Katie Weiland has compiled a lovely list of writer gifts that you can share around to your loved ones if you want something particular and they need ideas.


December is commonly referred to as NaNoEdMo or the time when writers who managed to write a novel in November take a step back and look at the editing of that novel. Michel Leah has a great article on what to do now. 


In The Craft Section,

Story Tropes to avoid or not to avoid- Jami Gold

The 10 most common editing mistakes- Natalie Hanemann- Bookmark

Brainstorming words of wisdom -Dale Ivan Smith- Bookmark

Why the protagonist must be a problem solver- September Fawkes- Bookmark

FBOBA The fragile beauty of being alive- Donald Maass- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Marketing Outside The Box- Terry Odell- Bookmark

20 ways to promote during holiday season- Thomas Umstattd- Bookmark

Publish as an audiobook with Scott Sigler- Thomas Umstattd-Bookmark

Parts of a book- Reedsy- Useful Info

It’s not about You- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark

How to find time for book promo- Sandra Beckwith


To Finish,

As we head into December, many writers start thinking about their goals for the year. Have they been achieved? Are you thinking about next year? Are you setting goals?

Kay DiBianca has a great post on acknowledging your accomplishments and planning for the next year.


In personal news – I have ebooks on sale all over the place. If you are looking for kids books You can check out my maureencrispbooks website or hit this link for a group sale promo. 





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

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Mark K├Ânig on Unsplash

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