Showing posts with label Darcy Pattison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darcy Pattison. Show all posts

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Where Is The Money?



In Publishing News this week,

A few weeks ago Spotify announced they were trialing audiobook access within the Spotify premium subscription with 15 hours a month free access in the UK and Australia. It must have worked as they announced this week, they are rolling it out to the United States.


Kobo is rolling out new devices for the Indian market. They are hoping to scoop up readers, but Mark Williams points out Kobo are falling into the same trap Amazon did with their initial Amazon India rollout. 


Publishing Perspectives reports that PRH India is committed to 100% recycled paper for its books. After a few years of the publishing community talking about being sustainable this is the first big publisher to walk the talk. Hopefully the rest of PRH will follow. After all if the biggest publisher does it… .


Penguin Random House has issued their first ever diversity report on the makeup of their non warehouse employees in the US. As you will have guessed the employees are mostly white, but they are changing and are happy that they employ above average diversity than other publishing houses. 


The Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone has unveiled a nice exclusive package of business deals for publishers wanting to do business in Publishing City, reports The New Publishing Standard. I never thought about publishers navigating their way around local laws etc until I saw this package. Sweet deal.


The Wall Street Journal has dropped its best seller lists. With best seller lists falling by the wayside or being dubious about how they count book sales are there any lists we can trust anymore? 


Many in the industry are waiting to see what the courts say about various lawsuits involving the provenance of Artificial Intelligence and creativity. Three artists were disappointed when the judge handed down the verdict that AI wasn’t infringing on their rights. 


Goodreads are asking their users to help combat review bombing. Finally, they do something about this. It couldn’t be because of the bad publicity they got when review bombing hit Elizabeth Gilberts new book before it had been released. This caused the author to pull the book with many critics crying shame on Goodreads. 


Darcy Pattison has a must read post on author income accounting. There are good tools out there to help you integrate all your sales and expenses. You don’t have to stick with the back of an envelope.


Kay DiBianca has an excellent post on project planning. This is a helpful list to think about all the tasks you need to do when you write and publish a book. Do you have a checklist?


Jan Sikes has an interesting post on going back and revising an old novel. Should you? In positive spin she learned it’s a great lesson for seeing how far you have come as a writer. 


How invested in your book is your reader? Are your stakes high enough? A great article from Suzanne Dunlap on keeping your readers turning the pages.


Anne R Allen has a great post on tone in writing. This goes hand in hand with voice. You can make the gruesome funny with the tone of your writing. It is all in the word choice. 


In The Craft Section,

Should you revise as you go – Jessica Strawser

What are antagonist proxies- K M Weiland – Bookmark

Breaking writer rules- September Fawkes

Story pacing- Florida writers- Bookmark

8 qualities of a great book editor- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Plotting with Michael Hauge’s 6 stages- Janice Hardy -Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Lead magnets for authors- Inkerscon- Bookmark

How to write a powerful about page- Sandra Beckwith

Make a good impression with cover design- Lexi Greene

Unexpected things your author platform can do for you- Colleen Story -Bookmark

Head shots- Terry Odell- Bookmark

Pinterest for book marketing- Joann Penn interview with Trona Freeman- Bookmark


To Finish,

Writing is a business. It’s entertainment. It’s escapism. It’s knowledge. It is a business. Hopefully money is flowing to the writer. That is a helpful tip if you get a publishing deal. Are you paying for it? Reputable publishers/agents don’t charge you. 

With the recent surveys on author income and the sad reality that many writers can’t make a living The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive blog post on embracing a positive money mindset. Money is not a dirty word if you need it to pay the bills. Every writer would like to not worry about money. So, look at the article. Cultivate that mindset, and money might begin to flow into your author bank account.





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Thursday, June 22, 2023

As The World Turns

In Publishing News this week,


Last week I wrote that Storytel is partnering with Eleven Labs, an AI audio specialist for audiobook dubbing in different languages. This week Goodereader has an interesting article on Eleven labs and just what they are capable of- including voice cloning. You give them a sample of your voice, they clone it and then your voice clone reads the audiobook. I had a play with their regular AI voices and it’s amazing.

So if you clone your voice is it still really you or an AI? The benefits are no more voice strain when you are recording your books- also no more studio fees or production costs.


For the first time since 2019, Beijing has held their International Bookfair. Attendance was good and there were over 2500 exhibitors.


Pundits are still talking about Elizabeth Gilbert’s decision to pull her book because of Ukrainian backlash. Is it a publicity stunt or a genuine reason. Is it all politics?


Publishing Perspectives has an article by Richard Charkin on the megatrends in international marketing. He asked Chatgpt for help and then he corrected the resulting article.


Publishers Weekly takes a deep dive into the shifting Middle Grade market. Once it held up the book sales stats but lately it’s been falling. How can writers stay relevant in this important market.


Darcy Pattison has a great article on getting photo permissions. There are different levels of copyrights with photos so do your homework if you are using them in your work.


Draft2Digital has an interesting article on how to stay productive and using time management skills to keep your writing on track.


Do you need an author assistant? What do they do? If you have wondered whether you need to get help in your author business, this article is for you.


Colleen Story has a great article on the 5 things a writer can’t control- This is a good pointer for what to let go of for your mental health.


Sue Coletta has written about how she parted ways with her Traditional publisher and why. This is a story I have heard from other authors. It starts off well and then production values drop, editors stop editing and then the relationship fails.


Kris Rusch has a new series looking at niche marketing. Do you know your niche market? (Do you know how to pronounce the word niche properly?*) Many writers are still following old publishing ways of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Sometimes a smaller focussed approach is better. 


Tiffany Yates Martin explores whether writing in deep 3rd person is actually a point of view or just really layered writing. Do you even know when you are writing in it?


In The Craft Section,

Using crisis to reveal character- September Fawkes- Bookmark

How good is your writing-Allison Williams- Bookmark

How to hurt your characters- Liz Generally

Coming up with the perfect character name- Emmanuel Natif

How you can be a better author with the snowflake method- Written Word Media- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to talk publicly about writing- James Preston- Bookmark

Do pre orders affect release day sales?- Jackie Karneth

Using blogger book reviews- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Creative ideas for book events- Penny Sansevieri

How authors can use Bookfunnel- Joanna Penn Interview with Damon Courtney- Bookmark


To Finish,

The Winter/Summer Solstice is this week and many traditions use this time to reflect and plan or celebrate the turning of the seasons. If you want to give yourself a gift over Solstice check out these two amazing bundles of writing craft goodies.

The Info Stack of writing resources has a super abundance of high quality courses with lifetime access’, books, K-lytics reports etc for a one time fee of $49-Limited time only.


The Storybundle of writing craft books, available for two weeks with a great selection of books on writing, productivity, short stories… curated by Kris Rusch. These bundles are always great value.


Happy Solstice.





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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 Selvan B on Unsplash


(* There are two different ways to say it depending on where you come from.)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Looking Back

This week in publishing news…

Publishers Weekly had a long form article asking is the publishing industry broken? Every few years there is a variation on this theme that has everyone looking deeply into their coffee cups and pronouncing the end of print, or reading, or too much entertainment competition. This article looks at the plight of young publishing professionals and the less than sympathetic reactions of their bosses. Something has got to change. Will it be publishing culture? With an overwhelming monocultural workforce and the increasing consolidation of publishing houses, there is a real worry that the breadth of views and discourse is being lost. 


Meanwhile, Bertelsmann, the parent company of Penguin Random House, released their 6 month report for 2022. It was scanned extensively by the rest of the publishing world for the trends and directions which have affected the world’s biggest publisher. Backlist is king! Everything is OK.

Sort of. 

Supply challenges and currency exchange problems have hurt but audio is continuing strongly. Publishing Perspectives respectfully reports on Marcus Dohle’s rousing speeches to the imprint CEO’s. 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard brings his own more astringent view on the how the world’s biggest publisher is conducting business.


There are whispers of a new serialization app being developed that will bring together everyone’s backlist and be the solution that everyone has been waiting for, even if you didn’t know you were waiting for it. Publishing Perspectives has the scoop from the app developers involved.


The SPA girls podcast is appointment listening for me and this week the team were talking amongst themselves about how to find out what works for you. This is a great pep talk about not trying everything in writing, editing, and publishing.

Staying with the SPA girls – they recently interviewed Emilia Rose on how she is managing to be a 6 figure author through serialization. This is a fascinating dive into a different world of publishing where the young people are changing the game. 


Tom Bentley is guest posting on Jane Friedman’s blog about being persistent as a writer. Even if you are weary and feeling like you are creeping through treacle, just showing up for 100 words can add up to a book. 


Anne R Allen has a great article on short stories using advice from C S Lewis. This is an excellent article that got me thinking about the craft of the short form. 


In The Craft Section,

The conflict box- Jennie Crusie- Bookmark

5 similarities between your hero and villain- Sue Coletta

5 must-haves for a great ending- Gilbert Bassey- Bookmark

How to world build on the page- GoldenMay editing - Bookmark

One stop for writers resources- Angela Ackerman


In The Marketing Section,

Two great posts from Penny Sansevieri- 8 Essential recommendations for book launches and 7 reasons your book isn’t selling on Amazon- Bookmark

Twitter communities- Sandra Beckwith

5 reasons to use Amazon preorders- Dale Roberts_ Bookmark

Titles that sell have keywords and metadata- Darcy Pattison


To Finish,

Today is my 700th post on the Craicer blog. I couldn’t have imagined my blog hitting this anniversary when I started posting weekly in 2008. Along the way I have published 10 books, run two national conferences, delivered speeches, judged the National Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, won The Betty Gilderdale Award for outstanding service to NZ children’s literature, been syndicated, learned and learned and learned about publishing and the international publishing world from my little corner down under. I am in constant awe of the many people who give their time freely to talk about this crazy addictive world of publishing. I don’t have much money but I have time and passion and interest in sharing what I’m learning every week. If you have been with me from the beginning I salute you. 

Let’s Eat CAKE.





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 Slashio Photography on Unsplash



Thursday, May 5, 2022

Checking off Resolutions



This week in publishing,

Amazon have decided to do away with Mobi files except for certain fixed formats like picture books. The ePub format can now be loaded onto your Kindle without being converted. As publishing commentators say… it’s about time. The ePub format is accepted everywhere else.


Down under, there is a ripple of concern over Booktopia, Australia’s online bookstore. The CEO resigned which triggered a share price plunge. Newspapers speculate it was over a huge earnings slump… the book business is alright isn’t it?


This week Darcy Pattison highlighted a problem with ISBN’s. Apparently, the 13 digit ISBN starting with 978 is running out. New ISBN’s are being issued and they aren’t being accepted anywhere as distributors haven’t caught up with the news. 


Joanna Penn recently interviewed small business guru Elaine Pofeldt who has a new book out. Tiny Business Big Money. This interview is a deep dive into running an author business and what is essential to get right.


Anne R Allen has a post on debut author book marketing. There are some scammy operators out there who target debut authors with junk marketing. The worst I’ve seen is an outfit wanting to take your book to Frankfurt to go on display…and charging a few thousand. In reality, there was an out-of-the-way stand with some books chucked on a table. No human presence at all. If you know anything about Frankfurt Book Fair, this is scammy on so many levels. Anne details other insidious practices.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a new Ultimate Guide out- The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning (part one). This is a must-read for everyone. Make a time to put down what you want to have happen in the future. Things like social media executors, where all your passwords are, who gets the film royalties…. 


Kris Rusch has a great post on endings and how important they are in selling your next book. Are you paying attention to the payoff? Loads of food for thought in this post.


Written Word Media has an in depth article on dictation. If you have been flirting with the idea, take a look at their tool comparison.


Do you need to write every day? On one hand, you are teaching the muse to show up. On the other hand, you could be feeding a destructive guilt cycle. Check out Katie’s Weiland’s list of pro’s and con’s.


In The Craft Section,

The definitive list of cliched dialogue- Scott Myers


2 Great posts from K M Weiland -Why your story’s premise is important and

The role of the antagonist in story structure- Bookmark Both

Using crisis to reveal character- September Fawkes – Bookmark

Setting goals, Writing to win- Beth Barany- Inspirational


In The Marketing Section,

Top 5 Strategies for promoting books on Social Media- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

2 in depth posts from Bookbub Insights- How to sell more copies of a book you published years ago  and How an anthology got boosted rankings

Instagram stories for authors – Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Republish vs Updating- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

Why a good book cover is crucial- Thao Nguyen


To Finish,

We are heading for halfway through the year, how are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up? If you made publishing that novel as a resolution and you are feeling a bit lost, Jordan at Now Novel as the definitive How To Publish A Novel in 2022, post for you.

For all the other writers who are on top of their resolutions… send encouraging energy to the rest of us. 

There is only one week to go for the Storybundle of Writing Craft books. Grab them while you can.



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 of 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 Isaac Smith on Unsplash

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Trying To Get Paid

In publishing news this week…

The Scarlet Johannson / Black Widow standoff over a contract dispute with Disney sounds very familiar in the writing world. Earlier this year writers’ groups banded together to seek reparations after Disney didn’t pay royalties. Now they have thrown their weight behind Scarlet’s dispute. How many times do they need to be told? Pay the creators.


Frankfurt Bookfair is stumbling along in a will they, won’t they, be live or virtual or both or neither this year. They have been bleeding big publishers and now their guest country of honour might not show up. Mark Williams takes a look at the latest news.


Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article on the latest sales numbers for crime and thrillers. This powerhouse genre has usually been a reliable performer but their numbers are dropping. Why? Is it sexism?


There have been mutterings and warnings around the blogosphere on the supply chain issues in the book industry. Last year with lockdowns around the world, book printing slowed up and then earlier this year bulk lots of books flooded the market. The whole supply chain is in a pickle. CNN points out the problems on the manufacturing side and Publishers Weekly examines the price hikes on books due to the supply problems.

The Alliance of Independent Authors has a great chat with Adam Croft which touches on this and the big stoush between Amazon Print and Ingram Spark.


Staying with the Alliance of Independent Authors -they have a great article on rights reversion. When you negotiate your contracts have you paid attention to this clause. This is fast becoming one of the most important clauses in a book publishing contract. When do you get your rights back? Yes, you can negotiate this and you should.


There is a new monthly magazine on the print stands, The Indie Author Magazine. It is in its first year of production and being Indie focused it is available in digital and app formats. This month’s edition features the indie powerhouse group 20 books to 50k along with lots of other craft articles. 


Recently Jane Friedman featured an article on Darcy Pattison, an exceptional Indie children’s author. This is a totally fascinating article on how Darcy works and has succeeded in making a 6 figure income in the tough world of children’s publishing.


Kris Rusch has another great article in her publishing across the digital divide series. This week she examines the growth of international markets. Do you have an international focus? Do you even know where the big growth areas are? 


I have a few craft books on structure and am always interested in reading about structure analysis. One of the best at this is September Fawkes. She recently wrote an article on Variations of Story Structure which is a master class and a must-read!


In The Craft Section,

Conflict without violence – adding depth- Litreactor- Bookmark

Fantasy Army recruitment- Mythic Scribes

What nonfiction writers should learn or unlearn when writing fiction- Paula Munier

Stop keeping yourself small-Lauren Sapala- Bookmark

7 tricks to refresh a scene- September Fawkes - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to write an author bio- Sandra Beckwith

Ultimate guide to mailing lists – Alliance of Independent Authors- Bookmark

How to create a boxset- Bookbub

2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Why a good author brand is a must- And Smarter book 

promotion with seasonal ads – Bookmark Both

How to market your book without social media promotion- Carol Michel- Interesting!


To Finish,

Ruth Harris always writes an entertaining article on the writing life. This week she tackled blurb writing and the fear we all have around writing them. Ruth has some great advice and tips to go big on the blurb. 

Disney writers could try this simple sentence. Pay Me For My Work That Is Making You Billions. 





My monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links will be going out soon. 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. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Taking Turns

It’s February already???
Where did the time go?
The kids went back to school this week. I tried to find all my writing projects. They are scattered around the house in folders of scribbled notes... because the kids kept taking my computer.

This week there was a semi quiet announcement, which was pounced on by industry commentators. Walmart announced a deal with Rakuten Kobo. Walmart is a very big chain of stores selling all kinds of products including grocery. Kobo started as a Canadian eBook distributor with its own hardware reader. They operate ebook stores all over the world but not in the US. This is going to make 2018 very interesting with increased competition for Amazon.

While Kobo have been making moves so has Apple. They have rebranded their ebook store. The Digital Reader has some ideas on what Apple can do next to really ramp up the competition in the ebook market place.

Next it was Google Play’s turn. They started to sell audiobooks this week. If you have been looking at the audio format and wondering whether to do a deal with Audible with a 7 year contract lock in.... Maybe it’s time to take a look at all the other players who have audio book storefronts.

Here in NZ we are lucky to get free ISBN’s for our work. It would be nice if we got free I.S.N.I. -International Standard Name Identifier. This means that the code attached to your name identifies you as the owner of a public work. If there are 500 Jane Smiths all saying they wrote a book... which one are you? YouTube has just become a registration agency for ISNI. What does it mean for creators? Publishing Perspectives takes a look

Kris Rusch has an interesting blog post on things that can be learned about the Indie Publishing business from the publishing train wrecks of 2017. A little bit of distance to think calmly is always a good thing.

Karen Meyers has an interesting opinion piece on the ALLi blog. Why do you need to learn to market? Her answer; Do you want to be in business? It all comes back to what you want from your writing career. A very interesting and thoughtful post.

Ann Kroeker has a solution to the ‘where to start’ problem of writing. Reverse engineer your editorial calendar. Start right from the end... publishing it. This post turns writing on its head... but it just might work.

Janet Reid answered a readers question about how hard it was to restart a writing career from an Agents perspective. It is not impossible but...

Jane Friedman has a guest post from Jennifer Probst on creating amazing secondary characters. I have been guilty of letting a secondary character have too much limelight. How can you manage these characters properly?

In The Craft Section,

How to use dictation for healthier writing- Passive Guy- Read the comments for great advice.

Script analysis – Coco  Scene break down- Go Into The Story- Bookmark

5 types of surprises- SeptemberFawkes- Bookmark

9 secrets to supercharge your fiction- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

Characterisation- Fear – Ruthanne Reid

In The Marketing Section,

Have you got a catalogue page- Darcy Pattison- Bookmark

To Finish,

It’s time for a bit of inspiration... Jerry Jenkins asked 41 Authors what they wished they knew when they were starting out...

For me... it’s amazing how much you can get done in sprint writing. AND get a computer the kids can’t borrow...


In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. A coffee is always nice so if you want to shout me one, just hit the coffee button. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Elliott Brown - Merry Go Round at London Zoo

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Your Writing Dream World

Just before I wrote this I was watching a YouTube clip about a teen who was on Britain’s Got Talent with an amazing voice. Simon Cowell hit the golden button and she was showered with golden tickets... It was her dream come true.
Here in writing land we all secretly wish for The Phonecall or The Surprise Party from the Movie Studio... or even that someone else makes dinner so you can stay in your imaginary world.
Living in your writing dream world can be a great escape from the real world at the moment. But it is always wise to keep one eye on what is happening in publishing outside your study door.

So did you hear about Amazon changing the Buy Button links on their book pages? Any 3rd party vendor can bid for that link. The publisher doesn’t necessarily get the sale. The Independent Book Publishers Association is not happy. Does this open the door to pirates?

The Outline talked with a few publishing exec’s about what effects cutting some of the best seller lists from The New York Times would have on publishing overall. It was a bit grim for debut authors. Consolidated and Conservative is not what you want to hear.

Kobo has a nifty new feature starting up called Kobo Plus. And it looks just like... Kindle Unlimited except without the exclusivity.... Is it a dream come true for authors?

Molly Greene had a reader contact her about her books. After a conversation Molly asked the reader to write a blog post for her about what readers want. This is a fascinating glimpse into the power reader mindset.

David Gaughran is a sharp cookie and he has a standout post on data. How does the ‘also boughts’ on your book page affect your sales. Who is Amazon pointing to your book? Sometimes it’s not your dream audience.

Anne R Allen has a great post on career mistakes. She’s made them so you don’t have to. It’s always wise to find out what not to do before you jump in to what looks like the dream pool.

Jane Friedman has a great post on how a book can become a bestseller and a post on Author Collectives... I keep saying this is the way to go... Get your writing friends together, you might be the next Bloomsbury!

Kristen Lamb touches on a topic that has been worrying some authors. There are many predators out there wanting to sell you a course promising great things for your writing career. How do you tell the good ones from the bad ones? Before you flick out your wallet check out what she has to say.

Alli – The Alliance of Independent Authors, has another excellent Indie Fringe online conference event coming up.  Check out Orna’s talk with Porter Anderson on why Book Expo America has changed its name and dumped its successful Indie hub.

You have found the most amazing song that fits your book so well... BUT what is the thinking around using song lyrics. Check out this post before you unleash a nightmare with your book.

Angela Ackerman, besides researching her great Emotion Thesaurus line of books, often finds other cool reference sites for authors. Here she lists her favourites and they are awesome. 

In The Craft Section,

5 steps to building a plot outline- Casey Griffin-Bookmark

Character Archtypes and How to introduce Characters- Now Novel- Bookmark Both

Who owns the scene- Storydoctor- Bookmark

Writing Blurbs- Rayne Hall-Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

5 tips for using swag- Jesikah Sundin- Bookmark

Two Great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Common pitfalls for Indies and

  Hot New Amazon keywords – Bookmark Both!

To Finish,
Darcy Pattison an Indie Children’s Book author recently had a guest post on The Highlights Foundation Blog. In her article she listed the 50 things Indie Publishers had to do for each book. You will need a lie down... but like all dreams they can come true with hard work, perseverance, knowledge, whiskey...

Maureen Crisp

In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. To say Thank You for subscribing you get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.  Make sure you subscribe to check out the book.Thanks everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

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