Showing posts with label David Gaughran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Gaughran. Show all posts

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, February 10, 2022

Owing The Writer


In Publishing News this week,

The merger of Draft2Digital and Smashwords was announced this week and everyone is talking. Each company has made a significant noise in the Indie Publishing world. Smashwords was first making ePublishing accessible to everyone in 2008. Draft2Digital followed them in 2012. Each publishing portal has its own specialties and exclusive deals. Many authors belong to both, to get as wide a coverage as they can along with access to accreditation, coupons, print deals etc. Together they will be a force, a complete one-stop portal for Indie publishers. Read the Press release from D2D and the commentary from Publishing Perspectives. The two companies are merging staff and senior management with Mark Coker of Smashwords joining the board. Both companies have a wide reach into Europe and it will be interesting to see if they can crack Asia. Now that Amazon has closed down their Asian publishing arm there might be expansion room.


Leipzig Book Fair happens 2 weeks before London and is a useful indicator on whether Book Fairs are back to normal. Last week everyone was happy, Leipzig will be in person. 6 days later Leipzig is canceled. A week is a long time in publishing and Covid 19 is not done yet.


Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware took Wattpad to task over the rules to their latest contest, which has caused a huge controversy in that part of the publishing blogosphere. The overreach in rights being denied authors entering the contest was excessive. Please read this article from Victoria on the language used and what it means. Publishing contracts and Contests are increasingly using this language. Grabbing as many IP rights as you can is highly profitable for publishing companies. Forewarned is forearmed.


Anne R Allen has a great article on 10 dangerous critiques that can scuttle your book and your mental well-being. This is an article that anyone involved in workshopping manuscripts needs to read.


Joanna Penn interviewed John Kremer over on her podcast and it is a fascinating read/listen on ways to market books long term. John authored a successful book on the subject now in its 7th edition. The two of them talk about new markets, new ventures and co-op marketing.


David Gaughran has a great article on 15 rules for Book Advertising. David has a wealth of information at his fingertips and all over his website to check him out and pay attention to what he says.


Jane Friedman has a great guest post  from Janna Maron on the 3 shifts you need to finish your book. I was fascinated by the sanctuary idea. Do you have a mental sanctuary for your book?


The Dream team of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have come up with a great article on treating your writer self this Valentine’s day.


In The Craft Section,

Do you begin at the beginning- maybe not- Barbara Lynn Probst

5 Steps to becoming a nonfiction author- Nina Amir- Bookmark

The zigzag plot arc- Marissa graff- Bookmark

Antagonist motivations- K M Weiland

The rule of three- Anne R Allen


In The Marketing Section,

Leverage someone else’s network- Sandra Beckwith

Which comes first the marketing or the book- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

Infographic for March marketing- Penny Sansevieri-Bookmark

Best promo sites 2022- David Gaughran- BOOKMARK

An introvert’s guide to an online presence- Tessa Barbossa

Prize ideas for giveaways and promotions- Bookmark


To Finish, 

Writer Unboxed has all sorts of interesting articles and this one caught my eye this week

Who does an author owe?

Before you start looking at your bills, this article is about owing energy, owing creativity, owing your story to … your reader.





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.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Conflict, Disruption and Scandal.


In Publishing news this week,

Scandal, shock, and naughty words were muttered around author communities this week. 


In New Zealand, a government ministry gave money to a start-up. (It can’t be called a start-up if it is 6 years old, but I digress) The Start-Up’s innovative idea was to find out what New Zealand readers are searching for and make appropriate recommendations. This is a big project. They asked and got a big grant of money. But then the flaws in their idea were exposed. One of their recommendations, buy your content (books) from Amazon. (Shipping costs from the US are astronomical.) Had no one in the ministry heard that local indie bookshops do a similar job? I see that Publishers Weekly has picked up this news item. (Shakes head sadly.)


News broke that a group of prominent American Young Adult authors were touting NFT’s to their fans to write content for them in a murky publicity stunt. Their publisher really hadn’t thought through the copyright implications of this. Many authors yelled naughty words this morning and the project has been quickly taken down… but mud sticks.


Forbes breathlessly announced the arrival of a wonderful social media platform that aims to disrupt the publishing industry by… gathering readers in one place to talk about books. 

This is an innovative idea. I wonder that it hasn’t been tried before. There have been howls of laughter around the publishing world. But maybe this Oxford MBA grad is onto something.


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard always has a well-researched take on international publishing news. He takes a look at the quiet takeover of a French ebook subscription company and the gateway into a huge market it promises for this Swedish company.


This week the children’s writing community around the world lost the king of the-coming-of -age survival story, Gary Paulson. Hatchet made an impact in gritty boy alone survival stories even down under. Gary wrote other great stories that slipped under your skin when you read them. Here is a great tribute to a great writer.


Recently KDP slipped in a new feature to the barcode section on the print book cover. If they provide the barcode they will add a transparency QR code which you can load with extra information about the book. Lots of possibilities here.


Don’t forget to sign up for the free Alliance of Independent authors 24 hour craft conference. It’s happening this weekend!


Kris Rusch has an interesting article on IP. How much do you know about your IP? What about books that are out of print and still relevant- shouldn’t they be saved? She takes a look at an Australian project to save cultural works of art that are still in copyright but out of print. Have the publishers missed a cash cow here?


Chapter titles, do you agonise over them? Children’s writers know this can be an important touchstone for children when they are learning to read. Anne R Allen has a great post on why she thinks they should be important for adult readers. Namely the eBook. What better way to advertise your book than the chapter titles- after all we do it for non fiction.


October is National Novel Preparation Month- The month where you get all your planning done so you can start November with a roar. Stephanie Bourbon has a great article on how to plan as a Pantser writer and hit a winning streak. Angela Ackerman also has a great nuts and bolts article on NaNoWriMo prep. It’s time to sharpen your pencils.


Are you addicted to research? Recently editor Denise Willson wrote on Writer Unboxed an excellent article on how to tackle plot holes, dragging middles and spicy events that have lost their fizz. It’s all in your research.


Bridget McNulty has a great article on Now Novel which breaks down the 6 types of Story Conflict. This is a useful resource to remind you that there are other conflicts besides name calling and punch ups.

In The Craft Section,

How to make the reader care- Ross Hartman- Bookmark

Top 5 Subplot mistakes- Lucy Hay- Bookmark

Two great posts - Internal conflict and Using conflict to build tension- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark Both

Capturing complex emotions- Tamar Sloan


In The Marketing Section,

November holidays for promo- Sandra Beckwith

Comp authors and marketing- David Gaughran – Bookmark

Why understanding categories is critical- Penny Sansevieri-Bookmark

Nonfiction Keyword strategy- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

12 things about book marketing and social media- Indie Reader


To Finish,

October is rapidly disappearing, and the problems of the supply chain are about to bite. It might be doom and gloom for print over Christmas, but have you thought about innovative ways to highlight eBooks and audiobooks? Lisa Norman writes about a different way of viewing the coming supply disruption. She has some brilliant ideas. It has changed my thinking… off to make notes.




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. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Jean Phillipe Bourque


Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Price Of Fame

This week is the one-year anniversary of the countrywide lockdown for Covid 19. As a country, we closed schools and worked from home, where we could. We learned the value of a daily walk in the neighborhood by putting teddy bears in the window for little children to count. (We had a skydiving bear off our carport.) We all learned Zoom and Skype. We discovered new ways to work and consume entertainment. In the publishing world, conferences were canceled and books were delayed. 

One year on and the lockdowns continue in the big cities which host big publishing conferences. This week the Paris Book Fair was canceled and the company behind the book fairs is in trouble. The new publishing world might just be digital. Are publishers ready for this? The New Publishing Standard asks. Wattpatt is forging ahead with plans for TV shows and streaming services. 

Meanwhile, Kris Rusch has an interesting story about what happens when Hollywood comes calling and you discover that you signed a contract for all rights. Tom Clancy’s estate legal fight could be yours. Just who does own Jack Ryan?


Facebook is launching a journalism platform. It is aimed at self-publishing journalists giving them the tools and place to publish multi-media stories. But who is going to consume the content and how are they going to pay for it? Your FB author pages might just be the next money stream for them.


Draft2Digital a publishing aggregator introduced payment splitting a few months ago. That has been a boon for co-authors and groups publishing digitally. D2D does all the heavy lifting. Recently Kevin Tumlinson of D2D shared how authors have been using this new feature. Take a shared universe….

Of course, you can’t use D2D unless you are publishing your own work so to help you out Jane Friedman recently had a blog post on 11 signs you are ready to self-publish.


It is nearly tax time here in New Zealand. After last year, the taxman may not get much of a haul. Sacha Black looks at personal finance for Indie Authors.


Di Ann Mills recently wrote a guest blog on the most valuable writing advice she had ever received. I absolutely agree with her… 


In the Craft Section,

How to show not tell- Janice Hardy – Bookmark

Finding your way to the end of your story- Sharon Warner- Bookmark

5 reasons why you need a professional editor- Jim Demp

10 questions to help you set the stage- C S Lakin- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Create Book Promo graphics- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark- Also Check out David Gaughran's latest video on FB ads- Making one in real time with Canva 

How to market Indie books - Ingram Spark

Free book promotions- Frances Caballo – Bookmark

 2 Great posts from Penny Sansevieri

5 essential book marketing strategies for mystery authors and

5 features of effective and engaging websites


To Finish,

Last weekend I attended a writing workshop for two days. We had a whiteboard where people could write questions that we answered in breakout sessions from writing. One of the questions which caught our attention was, what if you start to hate your story? 

James Scott Bell recently wrote an excellent blog on just this problem. 





It is nearly time for my monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links. 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. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.




Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Right Mindset



In publishing news this week,


Mike Williams of The New Publishing Standard recently had an interesting opinion piece on audiobooks. As you know audiobooks have been the hot new thing in publishing and the audio wars are about to begin with Spotify aiming to be the one-stop-shop for audio subscription.


Another Mike has also been looking into subscription models. Mike Shatzkin takes a look at some of the innovative ways Amazon raised the subscription bar. 

Meanwhile The Washington Post takes Amazon to task about its lack of support for libraries. Just what is going on here. Do Amazon think the subscription model of Kindle Unlimited is better than putting books in libraries? This is an interesting story from the Washington Post given that Jeff Bezos owns the paper. 


Recently David Gaughran reposted the comprehensive article on Author Solutions he wrote a few years ago. The Author Solutions company is a predatory publishing entity with many different names and imprints, some of which are owned by big five publishing houses. Their “boutique” publishing arm demands huge sums of money to newbie authors for minimal publishing services. Just because you haven’t heard of them lately means they haven’t gone away. Some of their scams get a new twist every year. Recently there was an agent promising a bestseller list placement for $10,000 as part of a package deal. Forewarned.


Mindset plays a big part in the creative process. Being in the right headspace to create. Being in the right mindset to plan a project. Being open to criticism, rejection, and disappointment are all part and parcel of living the creative life. Recently I was reminded by a friend that imposter syndrome was insidious. I had let it take over my thinking. Instead of seeing the opportunity, I was seeing the failure before I had even tried. I didn’t trust myself. These two posts on mindset resonated with me today.  3 traps that subvert our ability to accept feedback by Lisa Cooper Ellison and The Book Promotion mindset by Penny Sansevieri. Penny takes a good look at the mindset that stops you from giving your book, good promotional love.


Co Authorship anyone? If you have been thinking about sitting down with someone to write a story check out this little series on how to do it from Story Empire. It could be the start of a beautiful friendship…


In The Craft Section,

How to write genre story- Karen Woodward

Archetypal character arcs – The Queen- K M Weiland – Bookmark

Two great posts on editing -25 editing tips – Alexis Grant and  Trimming your word count- K M Weiland- Bookmark Both

5 pieces of writing advice- Lauren Sapala


In The Marketing Section,

The Authors guide to ebook preorders- WrittenWord Media- Bookmark

Amazon algorithms for authors- Reedsy-Bookmark

Best day of the week to discount ebooks- Bookbub

5 ways to solidify your branding- Penny Sansevieri

Develop your book sales strategy and tactics- Brian Jud


To Finish,

How often do you find yourself scrolling down your social media feeds and feeling despair. You have to be seen to be engaging… because your fans want you or your publicist told you or the publishers said establish a media presence. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the social media whirlwind and not see what it is doing to us. Judith Briles offers some very good advice in her Bashing the Myths of Social Media.

Colleen Story also examines the hit creativity takes when you fall into a doomscrolling loop.

Let’s be careful with ourselves and our mindsets. 

Look for all the kitten and puppy pictures to give us the right mood boosters. 





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. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Johnathan Kritz


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Writing Tools That Stand The Test Of Time



This week in publishing…

Screams were heard around the news desks as over-excited journo’s read the press release that Dr Suess Enterprises would no longer be publishing his books due to racist content. Of course, if you stopped and thought a bit you would know that some of the reporting must be wrong and you would be right. They are only pulling 6 books from republication… and it’s not the words that are the problem it’s the stereotypes depicted in the pictures. Theodore was a cartoonist first and a stereotype was the fastest way to get across an idea. The world has moved on. Some books haven't made the cut 70 years later. It makes me wonder what books published now will still be beloved and relevant in the future.


A year on from the beginning of the Covid lockdowns and all the Covid books are coming out. Publishing Perspectives looks at the scientists who are bringing out books about the pandemic.


There have been rumblings for as long as I’ve been writing this blog about predatory tactics used by unscrupulous publishers preying on the vulnerable newbie writer. Every year you hear of a new shonky player, usually an old shonky player with a new name, ripping off writers. Now the Society of Authors and a few other writer organisations have banded together to target these publishing predators. The first stop should be the large publishing companies that have taken these predators under their wing giving them a smattering of publishing cred.


Ruth Harris has a great blog post on the power of the writer’s notebook. What do you choose to write notes on? I was interested to see that writers still go for paper and pens.


Steve Potash the CEO of Overdrive has written an interesting thought piece on searching for the perfect library access model. Overdrive distributes ebooks to libraries and they have been having great success with their bulk buys for schools and library districts. These models may be coming to a library near you.


Writing Guru Stephen Pressfield recently wrote about a problem he was having. Are you too scared to sell yourself? In these modern publishing times, you have to hustle for your book and your publisher. It is the opposite mindset of the writer.


Kris Rusch writes this week about the power of backlist and how the publishing model of velocity out of the gate has hurt some publishers. Will we go back to the way publishing worked before covid? The numbers suggest a very different publishing future.


This article popped up in my Twitter timeline. How to format ebooks in Google Docs. I’ve never really explored Google docs… they have some nifty features hiding there in their tools menu.


In The Craft Section,

Introducing unique story elements- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

The key to writing genre stories- Brian Hill

What things is your character hiding- K M Weiland- Bookmark

How to choose scenes for your novel- Mythcreants- Bookmark

Definitions of the anti-hero - Nofilmschool


In The Marketing Section,

How to market a book with smart planning- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

10 free ways to increase author website traffic- Sandra Beckwith

Infographic -6 ways to increase social media traffic- Barb Drozdowich

How to make eye-catching graphics- Sonja Yoerg- Bookmark

How to boost your backlist sales- SelfpublishingFormula- Bookmark


To Finish,

There are many tools that writers would consider essential in the modern-day writer toolbox. I consider that at the very least you need a good computer/word processing program, a great writing craft book to hone your skills, and a list of places that will help you sell your book when it's finished. So here are two great posts that you can stash away in the toolbox that address two out of the three. A collection of great character tools to boost your plot and David Gaughran’s updated best promo sites guide. David’s YouTube channel is essential viewing.





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. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – MikeLao26


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Changing Worlds



In the publishing world this week,

If you are on any social media as a writer you will come across the Masterclass ads. These are video classes that you can take with Masters's in any field, but writers get shown ads for classes with famous writers. Recently I saw a Masterclass being offered by Roxane Gay- Writing for Social Change. Bustle interviewed Roxane and found out the background which was the #publishingpaidme Twitter storm from last year.


The Audiblegate fight isn’t going away. Recently some canny authors who also hold accounting degrees started taking a hard look at Audible’s figures. Audible book earnings are supposed to fluctuate but Audible kindly smooths them out, so month in month out your books earns the same. Except their numbers are faulty and it looks like they are skimming a lot off the top.

Staying with Audio for a moment, Mark Williams from The New Publishing Standard reports that Spotify is rapidly expanding. Isn’t that music I hear you mutter? Spotify and the digital subscription model are moving into podcasts and audiobooks.


Have you seen a cozy mystery lately in the bookstores? I had heard that it was almost impossible to sell one to traditional publishers, but cozies are making a quiet killing in the Kindle store.


Writers who have been in a prolonged lockdown are struggling to find creativity, said The Guardian. If this is you – you are not alone, some of the UK’s most famous writers are struggling here. Kris Rusch has a 'grit your teeth and get through this' blog this week. We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. She unpacks the famous JFK speech and applies it to writing.


Cory Doctorow keeps one eye on the tech world, but he is a fiction writer. Recently his local bookstore contacted him. They can no longer send out his books because of Brexit. It sounds odd until you read what is happening in the UK to booksellers. (I am old enough to remember the screams from the UK about the paperwork going into the EU-)


Recently I read two great craft articles that really got me thinking about plot. Susan De Freitas on how to integrate exposition and backstory and Katie Weiland’s hierarchy of character needs. This is an excellent article on how character goals and needs must drive the story.


In The Craft Section,

Sneaky ways to world build- William Hahn- Bookmark

Archetypical character arcs- The maiden arc-K M Weiland – Bookmark

On Pace- Janice Hardy -Bookmark

Using Indirect dialogue- Anne R Allen

10 surefire secrets of torturing fictional characters- Charlie Jane Anders


In The Marketing Section,

22 book marketing tips- Frances Caballo

3 book marketing tips you can ignore – Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

7 expert tricks to improve your author newsletters-David Gaughran- Bookmark

How to tell if your author photo sends the right message- K M Weiland-  Bookmark

19 lessons to grow your email list


To Finish,

How often do you get to the last page of the book and you dread turning the page? Mastering the Happy Sad ending of a story is a powerful tool for the writer. Gilbert Bassey writes about this in a guest post on Writers Helping Writers. It is said that the first sentence sells the book and the last page sells the next book. A happy-sad ending stays with the reader a long time.  




It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter, Get the best of my bookmarked links and other assorted tips when you subscribe. You 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 virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Perseverance drop to Mars- courtesy of NASA 



Related Posts with Thumbnails