Showing posts with label Brandon Sanderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brandon Sanderson. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Call Yourself A Writer


In Publishing News this week,

This week the London Bookfair started in its new calendar slot as the first of the Western centric Bookfairs. The opening day was busy and Publishing Perspectives editor Porter Anderson reported that interest was high in the publishing business talks that are happening at the fair. Porter reports on the talking points from day one.


Publishers Weekly also has a profile on The London Book Fair. They report on the way publishers are dealing with AI and copyright and the problems of innovation.

The big moves by the European Union to regulate AI has everyone looking to see whether this will act as the sheriff in the Wild West world of Large Language Models. One of the interesting moves is to hasten each member countries establishment of compliance authorities. 


One of the big issues in the publishing world is sustainability. Not only do we need to keep the business afloat but we must be kinder to the planet while we do it. This year the CFO’s of publishing houses were invited as a group to LBF to talk about good sustainable practice.  Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article on this including links to white papers of research. 


Scholastic has shelled out a lot of money to buy an animation company outright. So what do you think they will do with it. Well, they have a lot of intellectual property and animation is pretty big in the kid centric visual world….


It looks like the way to get your new Kickstarter style platform really moving is to invite Brandon Sanderson to run a campaign on it. Brandon was only looking for $2,000,000 to create leather bound copies of one book. Along the way he has created another record and he’s up to $18 million and he still has the rest of the month to go.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a very comprehensive post on how to write to trends. First you do your research.


Sam Missingham has a great website with loads of advice and resources for authors. Recently she made an archive section where she has gathered a lot of free resources together. She also has a great newsletter full of tips. 


Jodie Hurst has a guest post on Anne Allen’s blog about writing in the age of AI. This brings up interesting questions that writers have been wrestling with how much AI is too much.  

Given most writer tools like Grammarly use AI we are probably interacting with it more than we think. 


Two great posts from writers at Killzone Authors caught my eye this week. Debbie Burke has tips on finding the right critique group who can help you grow as a writer.

James Scott Bell has the answer to when you can call yourself a writer.


Jami Gold has an excellent writing craft post on avoiding déjà vu in your series. How many times can you remind readers about what has gone before. Jami has some brilliant ways to make this work for you. A must read! 


In The Craft Section,

Building a writing practice- Rachel Toalson- Bookmark

Optimising word counts – Rachel Thompson

Timelines and plotting your novel-Cindy Sproles

Guide to backstory- K M Weiland- Bookmark!

3 techniques for powerful writing-Janeen Mathisen- Bookmark

Story Planner Success- Now Novel- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Don’t waste the dust jacket- Sharon Woodhouse

Marketing on a budget- Karen Cioffi- Bookmark

After your book wins an award-Book Award Pro

Who reads books – Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

Best promo sites – Written Word Media- Bookmark


To Finish,

Becca Puglisi has a great article on 8 steps from Amateur Writer to Pro. If you have ever wondered what makes the difference it is not sales, it is attitude. Becca outlines the attitudes you must have. This is a timely reminder for writers – how well are you doing with your writing practice and learning? It’s all part of the pro writer tricks of the trade. 





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Friday, September 16, 2022

Controlling The Books

In Publishing News this week…


As a teacher by trade, I have a special interest in encouraging children to read. Reading widens their horizons and can unlock the most amazing movies in your head. Reading can be a safe way of exploring a different world environment from your own, an escape, a comfort, and a learning opportunity. I have been watching the book banning in school libraries in the US with concern. My heart goes out to teachers trying to do the best for their students. This latest attack on teachers fills me with despair. Banning children’s books is a slippery slope to banning education for some children and then you become just like… ( Pick your repressive regime.) 


Brandon Sanderson went back on Kickstarter yesterday. He was only looking for $50,000 to fund figurines. Of course, he blew by that figure in the first hour or so. Brandon explains what he has learned about Kickstarter from earlier in the year and how he will be using it in the future. 

Kris Rusch also talks about Kickstarter and how you can structure it for your own author career. She has a free course for authors if you want to learn more about it.


Spotify announced that they are beginning audiobook trials and have some exciting things lined up. Audio streaming is going to be shaking up the audiobook world. I think we may be at the tipping point from nice to have new format to necessary to have new format. 


Big Bad Wolf has entered Africa. This is the first time they have moved to another continent. Mark Williams talks about their potential impact. They are only bringing 500,000 books for 12 days. (That’s books in the English language- ‘rescued’ from being pulped by publishers who won’t be paying a royalty to the author for ‘destroyed’ books.) So if there is such a demand for these books how come they don’t get sold in these regions in the first place?


Mark has been looking at the ongoing mess, now in its second month, that is the distribution arm of the UK’s biggest chain bookstore, Waterstones. Waterstones is trying to climb out of the pit by asking publishers for help. Their plea to publishers to send books to individual stores has not gone down well. That’s 300 stores x post and packing and inventory etc. Smaller publishers are going to the wall over this.


Meanwhile, one children’s publisher in the UK is looking further afield. Nosy Crow have been around for 12 years but is about to invade the US. Publishing Perspectives has the details on how they will be shaking up children’s publishing.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has been talking about author overwhelm. They have a great article where many authors were asked how they deal with this very real problem in the writing community.


Suzanne DeFreitas has a guest post over on Jane Friedman’s blog on Writerly Grit and how it leads to publishing success. Writerly Grit does not mean ploughing on alone, in fact it’s the opposite. 


In The Craft Section,

Is deep POV always the best choice- Jami Gold- Bookmark

Do you know the central conflict of your story?- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

400 story ideas from Scott Myers

10 important don’ts to think about- Lucy Hay

Understanding the 7 types of Archetypes- Now Novel Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to email a press release- Sandra Beckwith

Back cover copy tips from Judith Briles- Bookmark

5 self-publishing mistakes writers make- Bang2Write

15 clever book promo ideas- Servicescape- Bookmark

How to choose best colours for graphics and branding- Infographic- Frances Caballo- Bookmark


To Finish,

There has always been a fascination with finding out how other writers write. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser? Is one better than the other? Do you kill creativity with plotting carefully? Recently Ada Plamer wrote an interesting article on on how the plotting pantsing divide has been greatly exaggerated. It’s not all in on one side or the other but something in the middle.

Once you figure out your process the books will be easier to write, won’t they?


Thanks for the kind words for last week's post -Number 700. Cake was eaten for breakfast as the news broke. R.I.P. Queenie. We will not see your like again.





Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? When you 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 Freddy Kearney on Unsplash


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Climbing To The Top


In Publishing News this week,

Amazon’s acquisition of MGM has been completed. Expect to see all those old classics turning up on Amazon Prime…. But it’s not just about the old classics it’s a consolidation of entertainment into streaming services. Choose your streaming hero. (Bond or Ironman)


The Society of Authors (UK) have launched a new campaign. Pay The Creator. They are highlighting the insidious tactic of firms asking for content then telling the creator to be happy with the exposure instead of the money. Try that on with your plumber. 


Another week another Brandon Sanderson comment this time from the man himself. He has also been surprised at how well he has done with his Kickstarter ($31 million and another week to go.) He wanted to prove some points to his publisher about bundling. It’s an interesting read and savvy authors will be taking notes for their own marketing ideas.


Kris Rusch has been taking an entertainment law class and she is fascinated with copyright. This post is a must read. If you think you know about copyright clauses you should still read this. If you think it is all too hard… just ask yourself, are you happy to be ripped off? 


Writer Beware has a new home- They are still run by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America but now have a spiffy new website. Of course the old scams are still happening, this time with fancy new apps looking for content.


Joanna Penn has a fascinating interview with Elle Griffin on serial fiction, Substack newsletter being the new Patreon, and NFT’s. Elle has her finger in all of it and it is a glimpse of the future. For instance, take a character you create, licence them as an NFT for fan fiction….


Colleen Story has a great article on why writing success remains elusive to many writers, it’s not that you aren’t passionate enough…


Richard Thomas has an article on Litreactor about short term goals… Are you setting short term writing goals for your career? 


If you haven’t been writing under a rock you will have heard of the Hero’s Journey. Stefan Edmunds, guest posting on Anne R Allen’s blog, talks about The Adversity Cycle. This is a deep dive into adversity, the origins of story, and writing structure and offers a whole ‘nother way of looking at story. 


In the Craft Section,

Opening with a characteristic moment- K M Weiland-Bookmark

6 classic story structures- Writerswrite

Weaving flashbacks seamlessly- Tiffany Martin - Bookmark

2 great posts from Becca Puglisi-  Fear; relational commitment and Choosing the right job for your character- Bookmark Both


In The Marketing Section,

8 questions to know your audience better- Barb Roose- Bookmark

Manage your expectations- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Revamp your old titles- Penny Sansevieri

10 ways to build your audience- Stephanie Chandler- Bookmark

Writers are not your competition- Angela Ackerman


To Finish,

Recently Katie Weiland updated an old article of hers – How to know when you’re a successful author. Katie drilled down into the meanings of success it comes down to who do you write for and why. So how do we answer these questions and not angst over the answers?

What is your definition of success? 





Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? When you 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 Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Talking Tough

In publishing news this week,

The Booker longlist is out and this is when the judges make some sort of statement about the industry. The chief judge has called for translators to get royalties. This isn’t the first time that translators have been highlighted by the Booker judges. The Booker, one of the most prestigious English language literary prizes has made a point of noticing that their long lists have books that rely upon top-notch translations to get into contention. They argue that translators should get co-billing with the original author, or at least their name on the front of the book. 


Publishers Weekly reports on a Caldicot winner setting up a writers retreat for children’s writers. It looks amazing. The retreats are to be themed with 8 or so people at the time across the children’s literature spectrum. 


Bologna Children’s Book Fair is on the horizon and Publishing Perspectives details the new events happening online for attendees and free talks you can drop into. 


Meanwhile, further over in Europe, publishers are helping out struggling Ukraine publishers by taking books mid-production and finishing them off on behalf of their colleagues. There is a real push to provide small books in their own language to all the displaced Ukrainian children who have ended up in different countries. It is great to see publishers working across borders to help out.

Edit: When I originally posted this blog I edited out a paragraph that I couldn’t back up except with a general Twitter thread that was being talked about and shared, the mass exodus of publishing staff because of burnout. It’s a huge problem. So now I’ve found an article about it. 

This week Amazon apparently opened up advertising on traditionally published books by authors. If you have a traditionally published book you can run Amazon ads to it from your dashboard, not your publishers. (Of course, the sales will be good for your publisher…) I haven’t seen a direct link to a statement from Amazon about it yet but it is being talked about as having been slipped into Ad eligibility.


Another week, another Brandon Sanderson comment. Kris Rusch takes to task the thinking behind the sour grape comments about Brandon’s success. It is not down to his publisher's work. Quite the contrary. 


Here in NZ, a publisher has announced they are hosting a new prize for a commercial fiction novel. This has caused a lot of comments about why our books aren’t seen as commercial… or read as widely in our own country. Is it cultural cringe? Across the ditch in Australia they have a thriving Read OZ literature scene… why not here? Melinda Szymanik shares her thoughts on the subject. (Mine would get my mouth washed out.)


Written Word Media have an interesting article on how to dictate a book and Writer Unboxed has a great article from Sophie Masson on story strands using varied narrative forms- she touches on Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s YA books The Illuminae Files which are a tour de force if you want to see narrative forms used in all sorts of ways. 


In The Craft Section,

Writing secondary characters with purpose- Barbara Probst- Bookmark

Trimming tricks- Scott Myers

The role of failure in your character arc- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Being a hybrid plotter panster- Zoe McCarthy

How to know whether your story is a Horror, Mystery or Thriller- Lucy V Hay- Bookmark

The 3W’s of scene orientation- Kathryn Craft


In The Marketing Section,

9 uses of Free -David Gaughran- Bookmark

Twitter Spaces for writers- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

Author Platform-7 manageable ways to start from scratch- Brooke Warner- Bookmark

6 marketing myths for writers- Lisa Hall Wilson

Strategies to improve your website – Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish,

Anne R Allen celebrates 13 years of blogging this week, or as she puts it, survives. What a treasure trove of interesting and thoughtful articles about writing, the craft of writing, scams, attitude, mindfulness, creativity, the whole 9 yards as we used to say. Drop in and have a trawl around. It is a blog well worth the visit. Congratulations Anne (and trusty co-blogger Ruth Harris.)





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


Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash

Thursday, March 10, 2022

It's All About The Money

This week in publishing news,

It is difficult to look away from the disaster unfolding in Europe. The call went out from the embattled president to the writers and other creators of Russia to speak out the truth of what is happening in Ukraine. In response came orders in Russia for the arrest of anybody who publicly dissented or protested. That is not stopping a lot of brave people. Publishing Perspectives reports on publishers and writers sticking their necks out, along with an article about a brave Ukrainian publisher continuing to work while in a bomb shelter.


Meanwhile on the other side of the world FastCompany reports on the way that book lovers on Tiktok are changing the publishing industry. If an economics magazine is taking notice something must be happening. (The trickle-up effect?)


James Daunt, CEO of Barnes and Nobel, has released his figures for last year and is optimistic about the future. It is an interesting interview on Publishers Weekly. James says he is in the business of selling reading and his main drivers are young people and Booktok. He also has a pick for the breakout hit everyone has been waiting for. It’s a mid-grade book about unicorns.


The biggest news this week has been Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter which I wrote about last week. A quick look shows he has 21 days to go… and he has ticked past $26 million. Kris Rusch breaks down the numbers and shows where Brandon did everything right.- Master class coming right up.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a great collection of articles. Recently they published another Ultimate Guide, this one On Multiple Streams of Income. If you want to succeed as a writer you have to be able to turn your hand at a few extra moneymaking things.


This week Joanna Penn Interviewed Dharma Kelleher on writer self-doubt and writer's block. Self-doubt about your work can be crippling. This is a great interview- gift yourself some quality time to read/listen to this.


Angela Ackerman is guest posting over on Katie Weilands blog-(2 powerhouses in the same website room.) Her topic 7 Tips For How To Write A Book When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing.


In the Craft Section,

2 great articles from Angela Ackerman- Know your character and Do you want your character to stand out- Bookmark Both

What are pinch points where do they go- Sue Coletta- Bookmark

What makes a good protagonist?- Jack Smith

Author voice vs Narrator voice September Fawkes- Bookmark

Lies, Secrets, and Scars- Lynette Burrows- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,

Five secrets to generating more sales- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to Pitch a Story – Now Novel- Bookmark

Social media for authors – Dave Chesson

Drive traffic to your website- Julien Bradley

1000 sign-ups a week? It’s possible- Ashleigh Renard- Bookmark

The business of writing- shorten your learning curve – Angela Ackerman- Bookmark


To Finish,

DIYMFA is an interesting site to trawl around for inspiration. Recently they had an article from Stephanie BwaBwa on Author goal setting using an authorial calendar. Stephanie drills down to the bottom line. Where is the money… how to get it…the steps you need to plan for how to get it.

An interesting tip from Seekerville on buying your own ebooks when they are on sale and then using them for gifts at a later date…


You gotta save money somewhere…





Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? When you 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 Josh Appel on Unsplash


Thursday, March 3, 2022

Publishing Icons



This week in Publishing News,


Reuters reported that Amazon is closing all its physical bookstores

I wonder what happened? Maybe customers didn’t like only seeing face out books of the top 100 in the store? Or perhaps customers didn’t like not taking the book away with them when they bought it, instead having to wait for it to be sent the next day. 

Or maybe it was the lack of book aware sales people or their experiences with the contactless physical shop. I wonder what they will experiment with next?


Publishers Weekly reports on an Industry meeting where publishers were trying to figure out what to do about the paper shortage. I reported a couple of weeks ago that Italy was dropping art books from publishing lists. But the paper shortage is biting hard and now publishers might have to change their way of business (Outmoded, some would say.) Do we really need massive print runs to get the unit price down? Booksellers have to return unsold books which then get pulped or sold to Big Bad Wolf in a cut your losses deal. Will Print On Demand be the way of the future along with a big book price rise? There may be other ways out….


Brandon Sanderson decided that he would have another Kickstarter. He posted it on the 2nd . as a surprise. In 6 hours he surpassed his previous record and by the end of the day had passed $14 million and he has the rest of the month to go. 

How did this happen? Kickstarter author experts analysed his spectacular success. 

Give the fans what they want. Brandon has noted that his fans like book boxes. He is releasing 4 secret books next year. In the 8 months where there isn’t a book release, he will send a book box of swag related to one of his previous books. 

He gamified the launch. He is releasing the title of each book each week of the Kickstarter so that you have to keep coming back. The books are already finished and different tier rewards release different formats. Or you can go straight to premium and get everything for $500.

He has made a cool easy shared video and his fans are getting the word out. 

That’s all you need for Kickstarter success. (And being Brandon Sanderson, of course.)


Apparently, there is money to be made in NFT’s. Illustrators are being snapped up to produce limited-edition images for middle managers to market as NFT’s. But if the NFT bubble bursts, on the horizon lurk custom-made 3d avatars for the metaverse.


Victoria Strauss has joined Writer Unboxed. Her first article for them is a breakdown of the most common writing scam that gets authors every time. Surprise! We saw your little book and we want to take it to Big Publishers/ Film Directors… someone rich and famous our fee is… Victoria shares what the red flags are.


Who knew that Horror was the favourite of Latin America? Apparently, we like classics Down Under. 

Check out this reading infographic-What are people reading around the world?  Market your books accordingly.

And just in case you think that books are not selling, check out Book Riots reading statistics for the last two years.


Ruth Harris has a great article this month on how to get rejected. Before you think oh that’s easy… just check out the mistakes that authors are making that get them rejected before they send in the manuscript.


In The Craft Section,

 2 Great articles from Jami Gold-Nods, smiles, and frowns. How to avoid talking heads and Story focus- Character or plot?- Bookmark

18 tips on writing better sentences- Helen Bolam

Writing prompts with dream symbols- Kathy Steinemann

Cause and effect- 2 sentences to use when editing- Kahina Necaise- Bookmark

Breaking writing rules- September Fawkes


In The Marketing Section,

7 questions for your book marketing plan- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

What sells books in 2022- Kobo- Bookmark

Book marketing resources- Indie Book review

How to launch on a budget- Thomas Umstattd- Bookmark

Have you found your book marketing niche- Colleen Story


To Finish,

In the children’s writing world there are touchstone authors. The ones that create a genre niche so perfectly that their books are instantly iconic. So, it was a huge sadness when the news broke that Shirley Hughes has died. An extraordinary illustrator and storyteller.

Requiescant In Pace.





I’m late with the monthly newsletter (Aaargh.) So if you want the best of my bookmarked links go on and subscribe. (You will also get a nifty mini book 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: Illustration by Shirley Hughes. 


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