Showing posts with label AI voices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AI voices. Show all posts

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Taking A Moment To Breathe


This week in Publishing News.

Oh Scholastic, it hasn’t been a good month for your public relations. Today the publishing professionals that work at Scholastic Head Office walked out and started picketing over the un-living wages they were getting from a billion dollar company.


In the Wow-they-finally-did-it-stakes, Amazon’s publishing arm KDP announced they were beta testing eBook to audio narration using AI Voices. These will be sold through Audible. Cue jaw drops as they were adamant they weren’t getting into the AI voice game… but Google has already been in this space for a while so it was always on the cards. 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has some pithy observations regarding Amazon’s quarterly report- one mention of books vs 33 mentions of AI.


Amazon is back in court – this time taking scammers the down. Yay. Staying on the scammy front Victoria Strauss has a Writer Beware post on impersonation scamming which is on the increase. She shows how it is done and breaks down how to spot the warning flags in her real scam examples. A week doesn’t go by now without coming across some impersonation scam or an author checking in with others to ask if the email they have just got is legit. 

Today I saw advice that recommended sending a screenshot to the agency in question and just checking if it is legit. – Good advice.


Written Word Media has been making news with its promo stack partners. They have been busy signing up other ebook reader sites to create big promotion stack opportunities for marketing for authors. Their latest press release has them adding another heavy hitter to the fold.


November is the month of NaNoWriMo. Good luck to all those who are attempting to write 50,000 words in a month. The idea behind it was to create a writing habit so even if you make a practice of just showing up every day, you are winning. Roz Morris has a good post on how to get through the month. 

There are various ways to win at NaNowriMo. You can record your word count for everything you write in November or do the ALT NaNoWriMo challenge.


 Jane Friedman has two guest writers on her blog with two very different approaches to writing and marketing. Check out How do you turn an essay into a book deal and an interesting post on How to earn six figures as a writer with one weird trick. 

Ruth Harris has an excellent post on radical revision- When the going gets tough get your radical creativity muse on. This is a print out and post it on the wall post.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive guide post on producing audiobooks. This covers pretty much everything you need to know to get started.


Katie Weiland has a knock it out of the park post on despair in fiction. This is one of those craft posts that inspire authors to the next level of writing- A Must Read.

In The Craft Section,

Protagonists and points of view- Draft2Digital

Mastering character evolution-Laurie Schnebly Campbell- Bookmark

The enemy within- crafting powerful inner conflict- C S Lakin- Bookmark!

I broke Elmore Leonard’s Rules- P J Parrish

3 ways to structure a chapter- Anne Brown-Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Subgenres and comp books- Kris Maze

Ways book marketers use social media to promote pre-orders- Bookbub- Bookmark

5 unique book marketing ideas- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

How to create fun freebies for your newsletter- Colleen Story- Bookmark

Podcasting magic bullet- Alliance of Independent Authors podcast /transcript

Marketing resources- Foothills Writers group


To Finish,

Recently Joanna Penn spoke with Tracy Cooper-Posy on managing your author business long term. It was a fascinating long look at what is worthwhile to invest in and how to manage discouragement. This is one of those posts where you nod and start to make notes and think about stepping sideways of the hamster wheel. 

It’s hard to focus on your writing business when you feel that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. This overwhelm can be energy sapping and creativity stalling. 

Do what you can and give yourself time to breathe.





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Pic: Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Surfing The Waves Of Change


In Publishing News this week,


Recently a publishing industry analyst in America predicted that 2023 would be a year of transition for the publishing industry. Change is scary for a conservative industry. Many big publishers will hang on to old ways of doing business for as long as possible while closing their eyes to the swells gathering momentum, ready to break over their heads. Mark Williams has a quick rundown on what publishers should be preparing for. 


Meanwhile in the UK, the BBC reports on Welsh publishers who can no longer absorb rising print and paper costs. Either they stop publishing or they raise prices. What will they do?


Over in Germany, RTL Deutschland, owned by Bertelsmann, is responding to the “rapidly changing media landscape” by closing 23 magazines with the loss of over 500 jobs.


Publishing Perspectives reports on China’s rapidly declining bookstore sales but there is an upsurge in digital book sales. Once again children’s books are saving the publishers.


Around the Indie publishing watercooler, the talk is the rights grab clause appearing in Findaway Audiobooks contract. (Schedule D) Apple is able to use your audiobook to teach its AI voice. ‘Not on,’ scream the writers. However, it’s not the writers who lose out, it’s the narrators. They own the rights to their voice. An article on the problems of voice over artists and AI spells out what is coming.


AI isn’t all bad, says David Meerman Scott. He has an interesting article about how he uses the tool to work with articles he has already written. Think of it as a super-fast word processing assistant that can repurpose your own content.


Kelley Way has collected the top articles on Intellectual Property from 2022 that appeared on the Writer Fun Zone. If you need a quick refresher on what is your IP and how to use it to your advantage- check out this comprehensive list. 


Victoria Strauss has a roundup of last year’s big writing scams, shonky contract clauses and vanity publishers who rip people off. Remember that money flows to the writer. If a publishing company asks for money to print your book…tread very carefully as you run in the other direction. 


The Guardian reports that the Women’s Prize Trust is expanding their writing prize to include a new Non Fiction prize.


Anne R Allen has a great post on Beta readers. What they are and how to manage them. First, figure out what you want them to focus on when they read your book.


Scott Myers has a great article on high concept vs strong concept in writing. Check it out to see which one is best.


In The Craft Section,

Are you writing a shiny idea or a robust story- Sandy Vaile- Bookmark

A books worth of character development questions and articles- Now Novel – Bookmark

How to write a rich setting- Donna Jo Stone

How to write physical pain- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Tips for dealing with the passage of time- K M Weiland


In The Marketing Section,

24 quirky March promotions for your book- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

The lazy authors guide to platform building- David Gaughran

How to use comp titles- -Robin Currie-Bookmark

Why you should have a blog- Nina Amir

A step by step guide to using Booktok- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

To Finish,

Roz Morris has an interesting article on how easy reading is hard writing. In it she reflects on the writer process and how every writer has their own unique way of coming to grips with a story. Many writers take years to nail down a process that works for them.

Kris Rusch also writes about process in her latest blog post. When the world feels like its falling apart your process can get you through the tough times. When sales drop off, when marketing feels useless. When you slog through the story.

You write the book word by word. And that is all that is needed.





Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? 

You can subscribe here. 

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top or here. I appreciate virtual coffee love.



Pic: Photo by Matt Paul Catalano on Unsplash

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Writing With The Machines



In Publishing News this week,


Publishing Perspectives writes about a new UK literary magazine starting up which is international in its outlook. Fictionable has short fiction, translated fiction, and short graphic fiction and is backed by some big literary names.


Pan Macmillian has had a cyber-attack that seems to have crawled right across the company over the last week. I’ve seen a couple of references of it hitting the US and now the UK.


This week the UK government released its response to Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property consultation paper. Are the AI’s being given copyright rights? Not yet.

As everyone delves through the document to find out how many rights AI will have, there are rumblings from Techcrunch over Alexa’s new features. Amazon has given Alexa the ability to speak in dead relatives' voices, (for an extra layer of creepy.) Of course, it would never be abused.


Publishing perspectives reports that German audio publisher Bookwire has now added AI voices to its range of narrators, the first audio publisher to do so and have them for sale. (Google offers AI narration only on their publisher dashboard.)

If you want to learn more about this checkout Joanna Penn’s great article on AI Narrated audiobooks.


Book Riot reports on the latest data on American reading habits. The stats say that half the adults don’t pick up a book but it depends on their age. Who are the biggest readers? Some interesting takeaways from this.


Meanwhile, the Alliance of Independent Authors is collecting data of its own. They want Authors to share their earnings and their publishing numbers to get a snapshot of how healthy the publishing industry is. Check out their numbers so far this year.


Penny Sansevieri has a great article on getting the most out of writing conferences. If you are attending one soon, check out her tips.


Jen Calonita has an interesting article in Publishers Weekly on being a children’s writer on TikTok. Embrace the fun.


Kris Rusch continues her series on why writers fail- How do writers treat money? Love it. Loathe it. Spend it. Hoard it. It’s a problem that writers are always struggling with.


Ruth Harris has a great post on how lists can keep you sane as a writer. Use them to jog your memory, plan your scene, character interview, plot points… there’s a list for everything. 


In The Craft Section,

13 Methods for writing the best dialogue

3 ways to infuse Character voice

Point of View and voice- John Gilstrap- Bookmark

Trimming- The tricks of the trade- Scott Myers

The role of the antagonist in story structure- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Is the last page as good as the first- Anne R Allen- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to acquire an agent- Lauren Sharkey

Kindlepreneur list of promo sites- Dave Chesson

Get better book launch results- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

How to get a great author photo- ALLI

How to prepare for a blog tour- WritePublishSell


To Finish,

It’s been a while since I linked to a Terrible Minds ramble but this week’s news has been an up and down rollercoaster of emotion. Chuck Wendig looks at how writing is a place to put your rage, sorrow, and even joy and have it take the emotional load you may be carrying. 






It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, come join our happy band and subscribe. You will also get a nifty mini book crammed with marketing notes as a thank you. 

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash



Thursday, April 28, 2022

Everybody’s Talking.



This week in the Publishing blogosphere,


There has been a lot of talk in the U.S. on book banning. It seems every other day some state feels the need to ban books for some reason or another. Many in the publishing and library field are calling it an onslaught against diverse books. The Authors Guild decided to launch a Banned Book Club. They have partnered with an App, selected their first book, and invited the public to join them in discussion. 


Staying with the U.S. Writer Beware notes that Audible has changed its tax reporting policy making it harder for authors to separate out expenses. If you have an audible account check out the article for the heads up.


This week writers in six countries got an email from Google about the ability for them to take an eBook and convert it into an audiobook. If you have your books on Google Play you can sell the audio there as well as on your own website. At the moment you can’t sell AI generated books on any audio platforms. Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard shares his thoughts on this latest move. Check out the latest voices Google are offering as a demo. Many authors have been commenting on this move in the last few days. The consensus is if you have short-form nonfiction it could be a great addition to your catalogue, the jury is out on fiction.


Kris Rusch reports on her recent class with a practising entertainment lawyer. She details what she has learned and how these practitioners differ from book agents. Of course, as she has many decades in publishing she was able to talk about the times when a lawyer would have been a good idea.


With all the chatter at the Authors office cooler, (Twitter) about Elon Musk buying Twitter there was renewed interest in alternative social media outlets. Bookbub repeated their best social media for authors article. I have heard of a few more new kids on the block that are getting traction, Mastodon and Ello. As with any social media you have figure out if 1. Your readers are there. 2. You enjoy/ are comfortable with that style of social media.


Staying with social media, Dean Wesley Smith had a great blog post on keeping all your social media marketing resources for each book in a special folder. When he detailed what his team does, I was surprised. It is a comprehensive collection, but you can see the value in it straight away.

Joanna Penn has an interesting interview with Theodora Taylor about aiming for seven figures. It is a wide ranging interview full of little gems on mindset, planning, writing, and inspiration. 

Angela Ackerman has an interesting post on using seasonal symbolism to shift your writing mindset. It’s a way of reconnecting with your writing goals. Angela is focused on Spring… here we are going into Autumn but the ideas on refocussing are just as good


Ruth Harris has a great blog post on half-baked ideas that you put in the back of the filing drawer. As you become more proficient at writing there are ways to rework these old projects and finish baking them.


In The Craft Section,

How to write a plot twist- Jerry Jenkins- Bookmark

The challenge of the second novel- K M Weiland

Foreshadowing- A revision skill- Kathryn Craft- Bookmark

Creative ways to brainstorm ideas- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Scenes vs Sequels- Jami Gold


In The Marketing Section,

Literary agents and query resource questions- Mae Clair

The difference between book reviews and endorsements- Sandra Beckwith


2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Simple book marketing strategies

 And Promoting with bonus content- Bookmark

3 creative ways to use Book2read URL- Draft2digital- Bookmark


To Finish

The Alliance of Independent Authors recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. As part of marking the occasion, they have published their predictions for the decade ahead. Take a look at their recipe for publishing success this decade. 

Going Direct. Audio. Collaboration. Authenticity. 

As I head into the fifteenth year of the blog, I think they are right on the money. Authors need to work together in as many formats as possible and cultivate a direct experience with the reader. After all they can’t replace the meeting of minds that completes the reading experience with an AI.





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, go on and subscribe. You will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. 

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by saeed karimi on Unsplash

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