Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Freedom To Read

 


 

In Publishing News this week,

 

This week the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) issued a statement on The Ongoing Violation of Children’s Rights in Gaza. IBBY is an international organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting reading all over the world. Every two years they award children’s literature’s highest honour, The Hans Christian Anderson Medal (often referred to as The Little Nobel.) Publishing Perspectives highlights the statement as not casting blame or fault. An exercise in deft diplomacy, calling everyone to work together on behalf of the children.

 

Down here in the Pacific, we watch the political moves happening around the pond. This is also true of the Book Fairs that have been gaining more prominence down our way. 

The Beijing International Book Fair has just kicked off with 71 countries attending this year. Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard looks at who is attending and speaking. All eyes will be on the AI in publishing event happening at the fair.

 

Publishing Perspectives highlights the World Expression Forum which recently met in Norway and dedicated a portion of its programming to how the freedom to read is tied up with democracy. They caution that the publishing industry can’t be complacent.

 

Not complacent is the American branch of Oxford University Press, whose workers are picketing outside the office. 

 

GoodeReader highlights a new piece of tech aimed at the educational market. A foldable eReader tablet you can read and write on, from ReadTych. Is this what we have all been waiting for? 

 

Two fantastic podcasts caught my attention this week. The SPA girls interviewed Maggie Marr, a specialist contract lawyer and writer. This is a great insight into contract language, negotiations, and best practice. Everyone should listen to this. 

Joanna Penn interviewed Steve Pieper on click testing and selling direct. Steve looks at how click testing works and why you should do it. Check out the podcast or read the transcript.

 

Are you looking after your health? It’s the Winter season down here and I’ve been simmering chicken soup most of the day. While the house is smelling wonderful, I’m also reminding myself that I need to follow the advice for writers in caring for your health by Emily Young.

 

The Mary Sue published a list of the greatest Young Adult reads of all time. Any list is subjective, but they may have nailed it with this list. What do you think?

 

Choosing names for your characters is often fraught. Sometimes the right name is elusive, and you can’t quite get a handle on the character until you have the name sorted. Ginny Moyer likens it to naming a child. It means just as much.

 

In The Craft section,

10 tips on writing a fantasy novel- Lucy Hay- Bookmark


Finding your story's throughline- Mythcreants


Avoiding headhopping- Anne R Allen – Bookmark


Scene structure and transitions- K M Weiland – Bookmark


Redeeming your villain- Becca Puglisi

 

In The Marketing Section,

Why you should care about library distribution-Draft2Digital


Direct sales strategies- Bookbub- Bookmark


What’s in a title- Jane Corry – Bookmark


When is the best time to release a book- Sue Coletta- Bookmark


Learning to love Amazon’s freebies- Caroline Howard Johnson

 

To Finish,

How often have you closed a book and decided not to finish it. I used to force myself to read the rest of the book hoping it would get better but now I shake my head and put it down. Amy Bernstein has a great post on Jane Friedman’s blog on making sure your book doesn’t fall into the DNF book club. 

With so much news on the ways to stop people reading, you owe it to your reader to give them the best reading experience you can.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band and get the best of my bookmarked links and other extras.

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

 

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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Publishing: The Irony

 


 

In Publishing News this week,

 

Oh, the irony.

The Guardian reports on a Florida school book ban. Yes, they have banned a childrens book about book bans. Imagine if the kids knew that they could protest against book banning.

 

Publisher’s Weekly reports on the Ukraine Book Festival. Yes, they are still managing to celebrate books in the midst of the war. However, one of their biggest printing plants was targeted which has destroyed the books printed for Summer release. 

 

Elsevier, science publishers have just published their report of gender diversity in scientific publishing. It’s been twenty years since the last report, has anything got better since 2004? They have a breakdown of countries who are publishing their woman scientists.

 

Elsewhere in Europe, Publishing Perspectives reports French editor Arnaud Nourry has formed a collective of independent publishers. This might not sound so exciting but collectives can amplify everyone involved. And in a canny move Arnaud has made some first look agreements with some very big publishers. A model of publishing to keep an eye on.

 

Draft2Digital has partnered with an international rights broker. If you are a D2D author you now have a sweet deal on foreign language translations and rights selling.

 

Convertkit is a premier email service that many authors love. They are shaking up their email service by providing a free tier especially for newsletter builders. Check it out. 

 

Dan Holloway has an article on publicity costs and how the big authors are now having to pay for their own publicity.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has a roundup of the latest scams and phishing attacks targeting authors. Check out the list for a heads up.

 

Should you show your Work In Progress to your friends and family? Anne Allen talks about the pitfalls involved in sharing your work with people who don’t really understand what you do. She has advice for how to survive the drama.

 

Sandra Beckwith has an article on how to get kicked out of Facebook groups. This is list of don’ts if you really want to stay in them, which is pretty much why we are still on Facebook.

 

Jami Gold has a super post on backstory. How can you structure your story when you need to get a lot of backstory into the front story. 

 

Suzanne Lakin has an interesting post on theme. Ask yourself why you are writing the story? Therein lies your theme. Suzanne has 3 ways you can infuse your story with theme.

 

In The Craft Section,

How symbols can support your writing- Lisa Tener- Bookmark


How to write non mean barbs or banter- Chris Winkle


Increasing the emotional impact of your story- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark


Outline your book 10x faster- Dale Roberts - Bookmark


Picking the right names for your characters- September Fawkes

 

In The Marketing Section,

Tips for event bookselling- Sharon Woodhouse- Bookmark


Advanced reader engagement strategies- Dale Roberts


Can introverts market effectively- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


Things to bring to book signing events- Michelle Millar


How to pick topics for your blog or newsletter- LA Bourgeois- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

Booklife has an interesting article from Brooke Warner, an editor/publisher about how the constant layoffs are changing the culture inside the big trade publishers. When the people who still have a job, have to do 2 or 3 other jobs as well, you get delays all along the pipeline. However, Brooke thinks there is an upside for publishing. The real energy and innovation is happening right in front of us with the publishing professionals that were laid off.

Ironic huh.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band and get the best of my bookmarked links and other extras.

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

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

 

Pic Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Slogging Forward

 


 

This week in Publishing News,


The Guardian published an article on the latest survey of children’s reading habits. Woe. Children are not reading as much as they used to. And the books they are reading are not challenging enough. They particularly bemoan secondary school students who are barely reading at all in the UK and Ireland. There has been some talk about the falling sales of YA but I don’t think we are in crisis. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and they are gearing up for an election. They need lots of drama to fill the newspapers.

 

Meanwhile, the finalists for the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults were announced this morning. What a super line up! Congratulations everyone. I have judged these awards and I know how hard it must have been to come up with this shortlist. It is also great to see more books being entered, we’re only a few books short of the mark to have a long list, like the adult book awards. 

 

Publisher’s Weekly reports on the layoffs at Hachette. They have let go editors at Little Brown. When the publishing industry is under scrutiny to be more diverse in its people hiring, these particular layoffs don’t look good.

 

Audiobooks continue their upward trajectory in sales. They made over $2 Billion in sales last year. The survey from the audio publishers association reports that listener demographics are also on the rise with more children listening to audiobooks


The Textbook companies have got together to sue Google. At issue is the way that Google ads promote pirated textbooks to poor students. They are enabling scammers say the textbook publishers.

 

Dan Holloway of The Alliance of Independent Authors keeps an eye on publishing news and he recently reported on the willingness of media companies to do partnership deals with Open AI. If they’re not doing deals they are suing Open AI.

The Alliance also has some great podcasts on all things writing related. Check out Sacha Black and Michael La Ronn on marketing children’s and YA books and other interesting advice on their Q& A. They have transcripts of their podcasts.

 

Anne R Allen has an interesting blog post on changing up the author bookshop event. She got together with writer friends to have live theatre reenactments of scenes from their books. Think of the possibilities….

 

Two great writing craft articles caught my eye this week. James Scott Bell on writing and showing character emotion. A super post with great advice from the master.

Sarah Hamer writes a great post on the Story Triangle. She boils down structure to 3 essential must haves for a strong story. 

 

In The Craft Section,

Structuring an ensemble cast- September Fawkes - Bookmark


Tips for writing multi author series- D Wallace Peach- Bookmark


10 tips for writing steamy scenes- Gwynn Scheltema


Characters and writing race diversity- Gwen Plano


A Scrivener trick to use in Word- Debbie Burke- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

8 unique venues for children’s author visits- Chelsea Tornetto- Bookmark


Talking pre publicity- Sam Missingham- BOOKMARK-Print Out.


7 creative ways to sell more books- Fussy Librarian


6 savvy book promo ideas- Indie Author Central


Understanding Author Brand- Reedsy- Bookmark

 

To Finish

There is a great quote about writing from Elmore Leonard- ‘Try to leave out the parts people tend to skip.’

When you are faced with writing drudgery it can be tempting to skip over these bits, promising yourself you will fill them in later… and later doesn’t happen.

Two fantastic articles tackle this situation. Katie Weiland looks what might be triggering your resistance to writing and offers some great tips for getting through the drudgery.

Susan DeFreitas identifies the problem as your inner storyteller not knowing enough about your story/scene to write it. Both these articles have great tips to help you when the story writing becomes a slog.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 buy me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


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