In Publishing News this week.
Just after I posted my blog last week the news broke all over the publishing blogosphere that Findaway Terms Of Service had changed and they were doing an all in rights grab. I figured that instead of posting breaking news I would wait and see what happened and tell you this week. So, to recap for those in the back, Findaway was a nifty little startup that authors could put their audiobooks on without the punitive contracts and royalty grabbing that Amazon Audible locked authors into. Yay.
They grew fast and everything was good and then Spotify bought them. Wow, said their authors, we’re playing with the big boys. Audible took a hit. Everything was fine, until Findaway’s TOS changed last week. The screams were deafening.
Spotify/Findaway shouted, it’s all a mistake, all’s well, nothing to see here, as they quickly backpedaled most of the terms.
Except, canny pundits said- Aha, we were waiting for this. They screwed musicians and now they are coming for us. Kris Rusch breaks this down and lays out the pros and cons.
What to do?
First, Take a deep breath. Decide what you want your audiobook platform to be. Discoverability, a little money on the side, all in formats, human narrators, AI narrated shorts…
There are other discoverability platforms out there for Audiobooks- Many have ditched Spotify for Author Republic, who distribute to 50 other retailers including Spotify. (I hope they have looked at their terms of service well.)
If you have a high traffic website of your own – Bookfunnel now delivers audiobooks.
However, if you see the world in Entertainment- Subscription streaming is where movies and TV shows are. Spotify has all but captured the music business and are making big inroads into podcasts and now Audiobooks. If Netflix has your eyes, then Spotify has your ears. Can you afford to ditch them or do you play them like a lute- giving some of your content to Spotify and encouraging your fans to go to you direct.
If anything about the last week has taught authors, it’s that corporations who rely on creative content for money don’t care about the rights of the content providers. Read the TOS carefully and go in with your eyes open.
In Other News...
TOR Books (Big SciFi publisher) has been caught using Ai images in cover art. They said they bought them legit but the artists whose work it is say that Ai’s ripped off their work. So even the legit Ai platforms are dodgy- who knew?
London Bookfair has been announcing their programming. Publishing Perspectives details the special guests and what extra book events they have on offer.
Late January is when the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators have their Winter conference. They have a great blog where they write up key moments and presentations from the speakers. Children’s Book Illustrator Debbie Ohi has a great post on picture books behind the scenes- excellent for new illustrators with tips of the trade.
The Week has a post on Romantasy - the hot new genre. Hmm I’m not sure it’s new, its been around for a while- think hot romance inside a fantasy novel.
Jane Friedman has a guest post from Tiffany Yates Martin on why and how you can sabotage an important reveal in your story. It’s all about context.
Anne R Allen has a super post on action, dialogue, and business. Action is not violence it can be anything. But if you have too much action you can bore the reader as well. Use your action wisely.
In The Craft Section,
Perform your own developmental edit- WrittenWordMedia- Bookmark
3 kinds of Story Fuel, goal desire, and search- Barbara Linn Probst- Bookmark
Scene structure- September Fawkes
Tension suspense and conflict-Lynette Burrows- Bookmark
How To find Beta Readers- Now Novel
In The Marketing Section,
Amazon A+ Content Sandra Beckwith – Bookmark
Social Media and the author platform- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark
What is a Book discovery platform - Alli Blog
How to go viral on TikTok- Hina Pandya
Booktok tips for writers- Sue Coletta- Bookmark
Platform. Your platform. Their platform. Publishers platform. Distributors platform.
You can be forgiven for thinking it is all too much - let me hide.
The most basic understanding is how you are represented online. It could be a webpage, a website, an email contact, Amazon Author page. Whatever it is you need to be aware of it and be in control of it. Colleen Story has 5 reasons to update your author platform. It doesn’t have to be hard. Imagine you are an enthusiastic reader- how could you find out about your favourite books?
Just don’t have mind boggling Terms Of Service for your fans!
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