Thursday, July 18, 2024

Making A Buck


In Publishing News this week.

After the wailing and gnashing of teeth against AI, the consensus within the trade publishing fraternity is how can we make it worthwhile for us. Jane Friedman has an interesting article on Publishers Licensing Material For AI- hopefully this will trickle down to the authors.


Meanwhile, the Copyright Clearance Center, (The US Copyright office) has announced a new subscription tier that can make available to AI companies content licensed for AI reuse. Publishing Perspectives have a rundown on the subscription model and the CCC’s commitment to being Pro AI and Pro Copyright. (It’s OK if your head hurts over that statement- mine does too.) 


To help everyone navigate the tricky world of AI rights – there are now market places for selling content rights to AI. Check out what the founder of Scribd is doing with his new startup. (There’s money in them thar AI hills.)


With the emphasis on writers being authentic or as Joanna Penn puts it ‘doubling down on being human’ Alison Williams has a post about the platform that authors need now – and it is not Social Media.


For those who have one eye on the elections happening in the near future Kathleen Schmidt has a thoughtful post on the publishing industries responsibilities to free speech and allowing a platform for divisive and dangerous rhetoric. 

We who look on from the other side of the world see the three world areas of conflict being, Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Gaza, and American vs American. All of them filling us with a deep disquiet.


Techcrunch reports on Spotify’s moves to have more connections between listeners and creators. They are allowing comments on podcasts and are looking to gradually roll out these and similar features across all their streaming programes. 


London Libraries or Librarians are promoting a new app to get Londoners to read more. It’s called ReadOn and has quiz questions, reading club, recommendations for your next book… everything to promote the beach read into a year long activity.


Bookfunnel has a great article from Katie Cross on creating landing pages with Bookfunnel for selling purposes.


Anne R Allen is taking a break from her great blog over summer as she has some deadlines to meet. However, she has links to some great blogs to drop in on so you can keep up to date. I was touched that she included Craicer in the list. Thankyou Anne.


Lithub has an interesting article on the millennial mid life crisis book. I wasn’t aware that millennials are even ready for a midlife crisis, I thought they had a few decades to go.


Joanna Penn has an interesting interview with Kimboo York on fan fiction and serialization. Check out the podcast /transcript.


With Katie Weiland bringing out an updated version of her story structure book she is posting a series of posts on that topic. Check out the intro to story structure article.

In The Craft Section,

How to use Goal Motivation and Conflict to test story ideas- Alex Cavanaugh- Bookmark

Mispronunciation- Kathy Steinemann

The secret to page turning scene endings-Lisa Poisso- Bookmark

Editing tricks of the trade- Terry Odell- Bookmark

The matter of titles- Barbara Linn Probst- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

August book promotion opportunities- Sandra Beckwith

Introverted writers can market effectively- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

The lazy authors guide to platform- David Gaughran

How to change Kindle keywords- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

How to make a cinematic booktrailer.- Reedsy.


To Finish,

With the news cycle making everyone anxious, escaping into a good book offers the reader time out from the insanity. James Scott Bell has a great post about old time pulp writers and how they could keep the reader glued to the page. Telling emotional stories, keeping everyone spell bound. Those are our superpowers. That is what separates us from the software programs.





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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Shopping For Content


In Publishing News this week


Another publisher is eyeing the content creation opportunities in mixed media. Penguin Random House has bought Boom Studios. Boom is a graphic novel publisher and film studio producing animated series for television and streaming. 

Dan Holloway reports that Webtoon, the biggest digital comics platform, has just launched on the stock exchange and is now valued at nearly $3 billion after the first day of trading. South Korea firm Naver owns Webtoon and Wattpad. Watch for other publishing companies going shopping for media companies.


Publishing Perspectives reports on Germany’s almost 2% growth in sales for the first half of the year. Should we be optimistic?


Mark Williams offers his acerbic take on the annual speech to the publishing faithful by Charlie Redmayne (yes, he is the brother.) CEO of Harper Collins. Will publishing embrace AI? It seems that quietly there are toes being dipped in the water. Speechify is promoting its text to speech app as an alternative to audiobooks and in the education sphere there is Bookbot doing text to speech for disadvantaged children.


Natalie Aguirre has a guest post over on Anne R Allen’s blog about tips on finding an agent. Joanna Penn recently interviewed agent and developmental editor Renee Fountain about preparing manuscripts and submitting queries for agents. 


It was nice to see a positive news story about romance readers coming out of a media organization. Teenagers are discovering romance book clubs.

Meanwhile, Gabino Iglesias asks Does America Still Care About Authors in Esquire. He had the novel experience of being welcomed in France for his work, the same work in America gets him brickbats.


Jane Friedman has an interview with a midwestern publisher about what it takes to thrive away from the usual publishing cities. This is an interesting interview on being nimble and carving out your own niche.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has an in depth article on plotting strategies. It doesn’t matter whether you are a pantser or a plotter there are some good tips here.


Katie Weiland has a great post on Everything You Need To Know About The lie Your Character Believes. This is one of those AHA posts where you shake your head and wonder how you could have missed this profound principal of story.


In the Craft Section,

Creating Characters- Stephen Geez- Bookmark

8 different types of scenes-K M Weiland- Bookmark

Three emotional problems to avoid- Becca Puglisi

How to avoid dumb moves- James Scott Bell

Suspense vs Anticipation- Sue Coletta- Bookmark

5 steps to better sex scenes – the Bridgerton way- Bang2write


In The Marketing Section 

How to create an e-newsletter- Stylefactory productions

How to talk about your book before publishing- Sam Missingham- Bookmark

Ask for a review- Rob Bignell

Book cover ideas- Cameron Chapman- Bookmark

Guide to book giveaway platforms- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


To Finish

I seem to refer readers to Katie Weilands story structure website every week. The reason is she is a great teacher of the finer points of character and story structure. She has written excellent books on the topic. I own some and they are very readable and straight to the point. Katie has just released two new story craft books. She has revised and updated her excellent Structuring Your Novel and released a new book Next Level Plot Structure. Check out her detailed post about the books and treat yourself to a great read. 





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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, July 4, 2024

Forewarned is Forearmed.


In Publishing News this week,


Australia’s online book retailer Booktopia has gone into voluntary administration. This caught everyone by surprise, including Australian booksellers and publishers who are seeing a big hole opening up in distribution. The June redundancies should have given everyone a heads-up. Now will they flog it off and who to?


Amazon announced its dates for Prime Day and immediately Indie Bookstores got into action. Dan Holloway talks about the concerted actions to drive sales away from Amazon by TikTok and the American Booksellers Association.


In the UK, Waterstones have announced the new Children’s Laureate, Frank Cottrill-Boyce. Each laureate serves for two years, and they campaign for a cause associated with children’s literature. The new laureate is passionate about the freedom to read.


Over in the USA, librarians have been discussing the freedom to read problems that they are having, especially soft censorship. That’s the censorship when you think a book might be challenged and so you don’t buy it. Authors filling a need for books for marginalized communities are being hit in the pocket with this type of censorship.


The complaints about Baillie Gifford using their fossil fuels money to finance book festivals in the UK resulted in them pulling their funding of the festivals. Now the festivals have to find alternative funding. Some publishers have stepped up. 


Roz Morris has a great article on the six main hustles that are targeting writers so far in 2024 and what you can do about them. Over at Writer Unboxed, Michael Castleman writes about why we are seeing more writing scams than ever before and how we can avoid being ripped off. Make an effort to read these articles. Forewarned is forearmed.


Ruth Harris writes about the sting of rejection. It’s not about you the writer. She points out that there can be many things that generate a No response. David Lombardino writes about successful editor author relationships. Who is in charge?

Elizabeth Spann Craig talks about procrastination and being kind to your future self.


Draft2Digital is working hard on integrating Smashwords into the fold. They are also renaming their book cover acquisition. If you haven’t checked out D2D lately, they have a pretty comprehensive distribution network and loads of free stuff for authors and publishers.


What makes timeless fiction timeless? Donald Maass asks the writers golden ticket question. ‘Timeless characters stand in for us but are larger than we are.’ This is a fascinating read from a master agent.



In The Craft Section,

Creative ways to brainstorm ideas- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

How to use antagonists in your story- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Developing a scene outline- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Using tone in literature- Reedsy

Handling a cast of thousands- Terry Odell - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Book Promotion timing – Sandra Beckwith

Positioning your book-Jane Weisman

Choosing an author name format- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

2 great posts from Authors Red Door- table of contents sales tool and copyright page marketing- Bookmark Both


To Finish,

This week I have been listening to Joanna Penn and Rachelle Ayala talk about AI tools and how authors are using them on the Creative Penn podcast. Whichever side you come in on, I really think you should give this transcript a read, or listen to the podcast episode. I had a few aha moments. Rachell is a romance author with a PHD in applied maths and a background in computing. So straight away she was able to explain what an AI is and is not and how it works. This was a super interesting episode. If you have been dismissive or fearful or bewildered by the changes that are coming like a runaway freight train towards you, take some time to understand what sort of tool AI could be in your writing business. At the very least you will be more informed of the possibilities even if you don’t choose to actively use them.





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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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