Showing posts with label Donald Maass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Maass. Show all posts

Thursday, May 2, 2024

What Is The Real Story?


 

In Publishing News this week

 

The Independent Book Publishers Association is rebranding their main book awards and adding some new ones, reports Publishers Weekly. They are including many marginalized and diverse communities in their new categories.

 

Publishers Weekly is promoting a book to publishers about Disinformation and how to recognize it. With national elections coming up in nearly half the world- publishing the truth has never been more important.

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that the Sharjah Booksellers conference has grown to 76 countries participating. They are just wrapping up their successful gathering of booksellers and distributors.

 

Last week, I mentioned the viral post on book publishing that had people polarized over the future of the book industry. The week has seen a few more Op Ed’s. Here is a reasonably balanced one from Lincoln Michel published in Slate.

 

America’s National Public Radio has discovered that authors are using AI- they have an article on authors who are feeding AI their own work. But does this help you create anything new?

Meanwhile, there is still divided opinion whether Harper Collins partnering with Eleven Labs is a good thing. Harper Collins stress it is only looking at AI audio for their backlist. And now that they have started, watch everyone else do the same.

 

This week Ruth Harris looks at that problem when literary agents go bad. Do your due diligence and check out this great article. Over at Writer Beware, there is a great article on how a book really becomes a movie. Hint: It’s a hard slog.

 

Joanna Penn interviews Dan Blank on human centered marketing. This is a great podcast/transcript of getting comfortable about talking about what you write, whether it is to one person or Social Media.

 

Ingram Spark has an interesting article on creating Book Merch. They list all the places you can get it along with design ideas. Do you have a great setting for your books? Design the town’s business logos. Put it on a coaster. 

 

Ayesha Ali has a great post on Jane Friedman’s blog about opening scenes. She has 4 must have goals to really nail the scene. This is a print out and mull over post. 

Donald Mass has been thinking about imagination. How does the writer convey their imagination to the reader- does it ever happen? He has some words of wisdom for getting the reader and writer imagination working together.

 

In The Craft Section,

2 excellent posts from Becca Puglisi-7 growth milestones for character arc and The central conflict of your story- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


12 Jungian archetypes to shape character- Now Novel


5 effective outlining techniques- Rachel Thompson


Yes or No questions in dialogue- Sue Coletta-Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

How to record your own audiobook- Draft2Digital


Author website start points- R Shannon


FAQ on Book marketing with Book Machine PR- Bookmark


24 ways to promote your book or brand- Marika Flatt- Bookmark


Promoting your book with another author- Ingram Spark

 

To Finish

‘Won’t someone think of the children,’ has become a pop culture phrase culled from The Simpsons television series to lampoon a moralistic and narrow outlook. I confess to wincing and thinking these thoughts when I saw a news article about a horror movie being developed with those two out of copywrite characters, Mickey Mouse (Steamboat Willie) version and Winnie the Pooh (A A Milne version). What’s next … Conan the Barbarian meets Little House on the Prairie? (2028)

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to buy me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Michael Carruth on Unsplash

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Avoiding the Sharks on Your Journey



 

In Publishing News this week,

 

There is a new scam going around and it is targeting authors and is particularly nasty. Anne R Allen has the details and even though it reads like a crime novel plot it is particularly horrible for people caught up in it. Before you think 'that would never happen to me', I invite you to think how you would react if you were confronted by law enforcement officers about all your identification being used to commit crimes. The horrible part is where the scammers are getting their information about you from. 

 

Back in the heady publishing days of the 1980’s when Harlequin was on the prowl buying up little publishing companies- Romance editors could see which way the wind was going and quickly set up publishing companies promising their innocent authors loads of goodies to come with them to the new digs- while they waited for Harlequin to buy them for big bucks. Authors got burned left, right, and center in all the wheeling and dealing of Romance imprints and publishing companies. I’m not saying that this new publishing house is anything like the bad old days but it triggered memories as I was looking at the news story from Publishers Weekly.

 

Ru Paul has a book club. Ru Paul has a bookstore. A big one. Taking a leaf out of the Amazon playbook Ru is catering to a specific audience and promising extra gravy to the authors and readers who sign up to be members.


Publishing Perspectives reports that the Access Copyright, a management site for Canadian Authors have been slapped with a huge court fine for demanding copyright fees on authors behalf. The court ruling seems to indicate that it is ok to copy anything you like from a Canadian author- which can’t be right or am I reading it wrong?

 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard keeps an eye on what is happening outside our Western centric publishing view. He reports that the Oman Book Fair was well attended and the new trend on the rise is children’s books. With Big Bad Wolf selling remaindered English language books hand over fist in these markets, are publishers missing the sales boat on this?

 

Writer Michael Lucas comments on the Findaway saga using his knowledge of the tech world to explain how developers use Terms Of Service. While authors think that Findaway have walked back their horrible terms this might not be the case…think Bait and Switch.


Dave Chesson has been doing a deep dive into the data from a survey of authors on Direct Selling. Who is making money? Which store is popular? How many books you need? When should you jump into it? All these questions are answered with charts.


If you are trying to keep up with moves in AI and publishing here is a new way of combining the two into something that may be profitable (they have a lot of investment dollars) for someone. Tech Crunch reports on a new company that promises a bright new world- I’m not sure for whom.

 

Katie Weiland has a fantastic post on how to write deeply emotional fiction. If you have been struggling with nailing a scene or trying to convey tone or subtext read this great post. One to print out and stick on the wall. 

Tricia Jenn Loehr has a guest post on Jane Friedmans blog about emotional intimacy and how it’s not restricted to the characters in a romance novel. A great read and food for thought.

 

Gabriela Pereira from DIYMFA has a great post on writing prompts and how they build up the stamina and practice of writing. She offers some great insights here. 

 

In The Craft Section,

7 tips for compelling character motivation- C S Lakin- Bookmark


7 signs you have hidden self doubt- Colleen Story


The hierarchy of exposition- Donald Maass- Bookmark


Crafting an irresistible inciting incident- Polly Watt- Bookmark


Increasing the emotional impact of your story- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

8 things needed on a homepage- Corina Amos


Back cover copy formula- Sue Coletta- Bookmark


How to use crowdfunding for book publishing- Sandra Beckwith


How to promote to the right audience- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


20 bookmarketing ideas that take 10 minutes or less- Jenn Hansen-dePaula- Bookmark

 

To Finish

As you wend your way through this blog post looking at links and trying to figure out what is most worth your time to read (all of it but I’m biased) you finally get down to the bottom and hopefully get a last gem. I have been following Suzanne Lakin for years and she always has a deeply insightful way of looking at the craft. This week she looked at how writers become proficient and the 10,000 hours mantra that Malcolm Gladwell made famous. It’s about the journey not the destination.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

I’m late with my monthly newsletter (life got in the way) but it is coming I promise. If you want the best of my bookmarked links and other assorted stuff you can subscribe here to join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to buy me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. It feeds my caffeine addiction. Thanks.

 

Pic Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Little Gifts of Change.

 


In Publishing News this week,

 

Richard Charkin, commentator on the publishing industry, is walking the talk by having his press go to Print on Demand with Ingram Spark. With calls over the last three years or so for publishing companies to be more sustainable this is a move that will hopefully herald a lot of other publishing companies following suit. Along with POD, Richard is using the new kid on the block Shimmr to handle the book promotion. Shimmr uses AI to scan the book pull out the tropes and selling points and then crafts media ads to target ideal readers. Changes might be happening. 

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that Germany has taken the falling stats in reading skills among German youth to heart and they are going to embark on new strategies to help keep young people reading.

 

It’s time to wheel out the big lawyers. In litigation news, Democrat members of Congress (US) introduced a bill to stop the surge of book banning in schools. Their bill is for federal funding to fight the book bans.

 

Dan Holloway has an interesting news roundup for the Alliance of Independent Authors. This week he looks at all the news surrounding the various court cases being brought by authors against AI. There seems to be one law firm spearing the charge. Dan has some interesting things to say about whether these court cases are useful or not. 

 

Meanwhile, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) is sending strongly worded statements to the copyright office about the Tech companies use and abuse of Fair Use which is what the Tech companies are pinning their defense on. 

 

Jane Friedman has a very telling post on how publishing professionals can sometimes screw up a writer’s career. She has an interesting case study, that a lot of writers can probably empathise with. I have heard variations on this problem for years. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut.

 

Anne R Allen has a great post on query letters. If your manuscript hasn’t had any bites, it could be that you are screwing up your query letter. She has a run down on best practice.

 

Katie Weiland has compiled a lovely list of writer gifts that you can share around to your loved ones if you want something particular and they need ideas.

 

December is commonly referred to as NaNoEdMo or the time when writers who managed to write a novel in November take a step back and look at the editing of that novel. Michel Leah has a great article on what to do now. 

 

In The Craft Section,

Story Tropes to avoid or not to avoid- Jami Gold


The 10 most common editing mistakes- Natalie Hanemann- Bookmark


Brainstorming words of wisdom -Dale Ivan Smith- Bookmark


Why the protagonist must be a problem solver- September Fawkes- Bookmark


FBOBA The fragile beauty of being alive- Donald Maass- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Marketing Outside The Box- Terry Odell- Bookmark


20 ways to promote during holiday season- Thomas Umstattd- Bookmark


Publish as an audiobook with Scott Sigler- Thomas Umstattd-Bookmark


Parts of a book- Reedsy- Useful Info


It’s not about You- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark


How to find time for book promo- Sandra Beckwith

 

To Finish,

As we head into December, many writers start thinking about their goals for the year. Have they been achieved? Are you thinking about next year? Are you setting goals?

Kay DiBianca has a great post on acknowledging your accomplishments and planning for the next year.

 

In personal news – I have ebooks on sale all over the place. If you are looking for kids books You can check out my maureencrispbooks website or hit this link for a group sale promo. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.


If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.


If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Mark K├Ânig on Unsplash

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Threat or Opportunity


 

 

This week the Booker Prize longlist was announced. Mark Williams looks at the media focus on nationality and then breaks down how a book gets nominated for the prize. I always wondered, especially when books were longlisted before publication. Eye opening.

 

Sometimes the news coming out of parts of the U. S. about book banning seem to be set in some sort of nightmare dystopian wasteland. What worries many around the world is that these ideas seem to spread to other countries. We cannot be complacent and think ‘only in America’. So the latest news that a Texas school district was repurposing school libraries into discipline centres gave me the shudders. 

 

ReadersFirst is a global coalition of libraries. They recently commented on the real world impact of the 2023 Big 5 Publisher Terms for Library Lending. 

Libraries have to enter into contracts with publishers for how often they can lend out a book in any format. The price for each book has the lending factored into it. For example, a library copy of a best seller might cost the library 3 times the cost of the book in the bookstore for a limited amount of borrows. This is true for digital formats as well. 

 

Kerry Chaput has an interesting post on authenticity and why TikTok is the best place for you to be your authentic writer self.

 

In The AI section, these posts caught my eye. The New York Times has an article on the fear and creativity of using AI which will impact all aspects of publishing.

 

As a children’s writer I always keep one eye on what is happening in educational publishing. Pearson are experimenting with using AI to enhance their content in a walled garden approach for students by using “conversational AI capabilities.”

 

The biggest hurdle any author has is how to get their books discovered by readers. What if the whole book could be scanned, core themes pulled out to generate Ad copy directly to a reader. 

Enter AI. Publishing Perspectives has an intriguing interview with the entrepreneur behind a new book discovery platform called Shimmr. Where there is a threat there is also opportunity.

 

Recently I listened to an excellent podcast episode from the SPA Girls about subscriptions. They were interviewing the founders of Ream, a subscription platform for authors to host their own serial stories, Wattpad or Patreon style content. It was fascinating and informative. If you are interested in owning your own relationships with readers, check out the episode.

 

Kris Rusch takes a look at how the best laid plans can be derailed and how to cope with the planning muse when this happens. This is good for a reality check. Even the best of us can get it wrong.

 

How to get back to your book in 3 easy/kinda hard steps. This is a great essay written by Denise Massar for Writers Digest. The shelved project is not gone for ever. Time away can clarify what you wanted to say in the manuscript.

 

 

In The Craft Section,

How writers can use mindmapping for brainstorming


Choosing the right scenes for the right place- C S Lakin Bookmark


The 12% rule of story structure- September Fawkes- Bookmark


Iconic characters are made – Donald Maass- Bookmark


Pomodoro tips for writers


Writing tips- outlining- Amy Clipston

 

In The Marketing Section,

Top ten marketing challenges- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Attracting readers during peak shopping periods- Amazon- Bookmark


The business of writing- Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi


Who are your key influencers- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


6 tips for a book party on a shoe string- Debbie Burke

 

 

To Finish,

What if your book was picked up for a Bookclub read- you would be happy, wouldn’t you? Judith Briles looks at the other side of this in Bookclub thieves. If you are invited to speak to a bookclub be aware that they may only have bought one book. Many readers still think authors are rolling in money. The opposite is true. You might have to educate them.

 

This writing business is hard. It is especially hard if you don’t have a great support network around you. Lisa Fellinger explores how to protect yourself when your friends and family rain on your book dreams.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for the monthly newsletter. You can subscribe to get the best of my bookmarked links in a each month. Join our happy band.


If you want the weekly blog in your inbox check out the Substack version and subscribe there.


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, it keeps me going. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Standing Up

 


 

In Publishing News this week,


The death of the Ukranian writer Victoria Amelina stopped the publishing world for a moment. Everyone reflected on the life of courage and commitment to the truth this writer embodied in her professional life. Victoria had just come back from Norway where she had accepted an award on behalf of another friend, children’s author Volodymyr Vakulenko, tortured and killed by the Russians occupiers. Victoria was using her writing skills to document war crimes. She had just finished a day of presenting at the Kiev Bookfair when the restaurant she was meeting other writers in suffered a missile attack. R.I.P.

 

Publishing Perspectives reports on the opening keynote by Hugo Setzer at the Contec Mexico publishing conference. This conference is dedicated to sustainability, translation, and audio publishing. There were some heated challenges to the wider publishing industry about the need to walk the talk on sustainability practice in publishing.

 

AI is back in the dock again this week with the news of a class action against Open AI from authors whose work was recognisably scraped by AI. 

Mark Williams from The New Publishing Standard looks at the arguments in this case and draws some pithy conclusions. Is the demise of the author a valid argument in this case?

 

While the courts are looking at AI- news is breaking that Amazon is using AI to summarise product reviews. So far this hasn’t extended to book reviews but it can only be a matter of time. Will you be able to trust a book review in future?


Meanwhile, Amazon is going to have to do something about the proliferation of AI written books in the bestseller lists. Somehow the bots got in and gamed the system. Amazon did crack down, but not fast enough. To add to their woes Amazon is in court for unfair practice surrounding their Prime subscription model. Their defence lawyers will have to do an amazing job as their client even named their dubious practice after the story of the trojan horse.

 

Joanna Penn revisited AI and the Author in another great podcast session with Nick Thacker this week. This is a great discussion on using AI as a marketing tool. Nick and Joanna talk about how important it is to have a human be the creative brain behind the words.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has a deep dive into the seven processes of publishing. This week they are looking at marketing. This is a comprehensive article about mindset and the differences between promotion and marketing books.

 

Kris Rusch continues her excellent series on Niche Marketing. This week she examines what niche really means to the writer and how you can benefit from it.

 

Lithub traces the evolution of the celebrity memoir. 


Now Novel has a great article on using story planners to get the bones of your story down. 


Kathy Steinemann has a nifty redundancy quiz- Can you identify the redundant words in the sentences? A good craft quiz for warm ups.

 

Donald Maass has another cracker of an article on Writer Unboxed. What are your promise words? He takes a dive into the words used in the opening chapter that should signal what the story is promising the reader.

 

 

In The Craft Section,

2 Great posts from K M Weiland How to trim your word count and

Think about the lie your character believes- Bookmark


Turn the tables on popular tropes in fiction- Liz Kerin - Bookmark


A guide to writing Romance- Now Novel-Comprehensive!


Subterfuge in dialogue- Becca Puglisi


Can a novelist write like a screenwriter- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

 

 

In The Marketing Section,

How to write a good book description- IngramSpark


2 interesting posts from Penny Sansevieri- Quiz your book marketing knowledge and How the current tsunami of books reshapes book publicity- Bookmark


10 tips to get a Bookbub featured deal- Draft2Digital- Bookmark


Author newsletter data- Bookbub- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

Recently the BBC publicised another author getting a first publishing deal in her 70’s. What is interesting is this author has been signed for a 5 book deal and she is 77. Writing is for every age group and it is never too late to start. The only pre-requisite is that you have an entertaining story to tell.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links you can subscribe here to join our happy band.

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: The poster for the Kyiv Book Fair

 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Where Will You Find Your Next Read?



This Week In Publishing News,

 

Authors behaving badly can be a career killer. This week an author called out a reviewer for only giving her 4 stars. The backlash over the author's vitriolic comments to a hapless newbie reviewer had a slew of 1 stars being attached to the book. Then the publisher dropped her.

Note to all authors- Never comment on reviews. It’s the safer way. Read Anne R Allen’s excellent article from a few years back for a refresher on not taking reviews personally.

Anne’s latest post is on readers pet peeves- They are not the same as writers pet peeves. You shouldn’t ignore them.

 

Publishing Perspectives had an exclusive article this week. Elsevier’s director of sustainability, Rachel Martin, recently spoke at an international congress on sustainability and announced that within a few years all mainstream printed books would be displaying labels specifying their environmental credentials. 

 

The Audio Publishers Association in America reported that their annual earnings were up by 10% to $1.8 Billion. More than half of the population had listened to an audiobook. 

This fits in well with the report from Publishers Weekly over the latest trends in children’s publishing. Audio is the hot trend across all age groups. Paper is driving midgrade and everyone is looking for graphic novels and Webtoon stories.

 

Business Insider reports that tropes are where its at if you want to go viral on TikTok. This speaks to the importance of knowing and using tropes in your books. (It’s how you use or twist the tropes that make you stand out.)

 

Grace Bialecki has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s site about when an author needs a website. These days a website can be many different things and on many different platforms.

 

Two big AI articles came out this week.

Publishers Weekly had a widely read post on how AI is about to turn the publishing world upside down. This huge post from Thad McIlroy talks about whose jobs are under threat.  Thad also takes a positive view that being human will be the biggest advantage. 

You can only understand the perils surrounding a new technology after you fully appreciate the opportunities that it affords.”

 

The other big AI article comes from Peter Houston and the way AI search is set to upend online publishers who rely on ad sales on their websites to generate income. AI is just going to scrape the content and not refer the user to a website. This could be problematic if you rely on your website to sell books.

 

Katie Weiland is always a must read for me. She usually puts her finger on what might be troubling me writing craft wise. This week however she took a different tack and looked at Imposter Syndrome. This is a stand out post on how writers can deal with that inner critic. A must read.

 

Joanna Penn recently Interviewed John Fox on crafting the linchpin moments of your novel. This is a deep dive into why we need these plot points to work and how to strengthen scenes.

 

In the Craft Section,

2 Great posts from Sue Coletta- How critical distance improves writing and Why readers love anti-heroes. Bookmark Both


The nemesis as the protagonists shadow- Scott Myers – Bookmark


Connection Love Loss Hope- Donald Maass- Bookmark


7 ways to ensure you reach your writing goals- Jordan Kantey

 

In The Marketing Section,

Choosing a title that hooks your reader- Draft2Digital- Bookmark


8 ways to market your book- Brian Feinblum


Using drip marketing- Thomas Umstattd- Bookmark


Working effectively with your book designer- Andrea Reider- Bookmark


5 things I tell authors that really annoy them- Sandra Beckwith


Successful self promotion- Penny Sansevieri

 

To Finish,

This week Kris Rusch talks about curation and how over the years the places and people you used to be able to rely upon to tell you what to read or listen to have changed. Combined with this recent article from the UK Booktrust on how many parents feel they lack the skill to help their children to read, I asked my teen how she discovers books and music. Spotify was her answer to the music one but she surprised me when she said the School Library. With all the published angst about book influencers on TikTok – the humble school library is still in there. This makes the survival of the school library so important. They are shaping readers of today and tomorrow- if we don’t support them we won’t have a publishing industry.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

If you want the best of my bookmarked links in a monthly newsletter you can subscribe here to join our happy band.

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 Shunya Koide on Unsplash

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