Showing posts with label K M Weiland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label K M Weiland. Show all posts

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Belief In Your Voice

  


In Publishing News this week,

 

There were accolades and ‘I remember’s’ all over Social Media when Alice Munro died this week. Alice was a ground breaking short story writer awarded the 2013 Nobel prize in Literature for her work and was often cited as one of the finest writers in the last 50 years.

 

In audiobook news, Bonnier books joined Spotify’s audiobook premium offer. Publishing Perspectives reports that Spotify has over 200 million premium subscribers and they are listening to backlist audio books. With Harper Collins move into AI voiced audiobooks for their backlist (in the blog a few weeks ago) the publishers have found another pot of gold to exploit.

 

Meanwhile, The Bookseller reports on a hybrid first- mixing real narrator, digital voices and AI into an audiobook.

 

The EU has signed their AI Act into law and it will be in effect from June. It is more comprehensive than the United States law or the UK. The fines are whopping. Keep an eye out for expert commentary for how the law will affect publishing going forward.

 

Dan Holloway reports that Open AI, the tech firm behind ChatGPT, have disbanded their risk team. This seems particularly short sighted as a risk team might have alerted them that Scarlet Johannsson was about to launch a lawsuit against them for copying her voice.

 

Spare a thought for the Spanish language publishers. Their children’s books are in hot demand, but they can’t get them picked up in their own countries. If the book comes from America, it is a different story. Publishers are resorting to opening American offices so they can get American ISBN’s. Publishing Perspectives reports on the conundrum.

 

Anne R Allen has a great post on genre, comps and categories or where does your book belong on the shelf. This is an excellent rundown on why subcategories are important in marketing your book.

 

Dave Chesson has a must read article on the importance of making sure you have licenses for the fonts you use. Just because it’s on word doesn’t make it free to use in your print book or eBook.

 

Lisa Gardner has an interesting post on the 10 things she has learned as a crime fiction writer for 30 years. 

 

Sandra Beckwith has 9 writing tools and resources she can’t do without. Mug warmers anyone?

 

How are your endings? Katie Weiland has a great post on troubleshooting your endings to make them the best they can be.

 

Angela Ackerman is guest posting on Jami Gold’s site with a great article on the inner character arc. How do we get resolve the inner conflict and give the character layers?

 

In the Craft Section,

Character failure responses- Angela Ackerman


Writing for your readers-Linda Clare


The first million words are practice- Draft2Digital


How to avoid reader déjà vu- Jami Gold Bookmark


The three rules of point of view- Gabriela Pereira- Bookmark


Novel writing words of wisdom- Dale Smith- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Powering through the unfun parts of the job- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


Types of videos authors can make- Rob Bignell


Book marketing strategies on a budget- Dale Roberts- Bookmark


Human centered book marketing- Joanna Penn talks to Dan Blank-Bookmark


Converting Word docs to ePub- Jane Friedman

 

To Finish,

How do you know when you have a big enough story to tell? This is a question that can send the writer into a spin. Some compensate by throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the story. Others can’t write the story because it doesn’t feel compelling. Jane Friedman has an excerpt from Robin Finn’s book on self belief and the limits we place on ourselves when we are writing.

 

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 Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Imposters, Frauds, and Dodgy Dealings

 


In Publishing News this week,

 

The United Kingdom writers are not happy. This week the UK Publishers Association blasted the UK government over their response to their own governmental committee’s recommendations for dealing with copyright issues regarding AI and Large Language Models. Even the head of the governmental committee is using strong language about the government’s response.

Meanwhile, The UK Society of Authors held an extraordinary general meeting to put to the vote three issues, fossil fuels, AI, and Gaza. The results of the vote have caused an uproar in the wider author community. Many writers are publicly resigning their membership. Mark Williams offers his take on where it all went horribly wrong.

 

Over the pond in the United States, the dissenting authors from Pen America’s award ceremony (mentioned two weeks ago) have got together to hold their own show and a fundraiser.

 

Publisher’s Weekly reports that Simon and Schuster have been shopping and bought a large Dutch publishing company. Their private equity fund bosses have been promising expansion and with this purchase they have a subscription company, an audiobook company and a few other goodies.

 

Dan Holloway, news editor at The Alliance of Independent Authors, has been looking at the news that OpenAI is going to pay the creators of the content they have been using to train their AI. This is based around the financial arrangement they are making with publishers to use their content. But how will they do it? 

 

Kathy Steinemann is annoyed that she is being forced to lie when asked if she is using AI. Have you stopped and thought about how much you use AI in your writing? It might surprise you.

 

Anne R Allen received a dodgy complaint about her writing this week and discovered it was a bot. But why and how did the bot discover her writing? She writes about the reality of the trollbot inquisition.

 

This week, long time publishing commentator, Mike Shatzkin popped out of retirement to make some interesting observations after meeting with long time publishing professionals. The three stages of publishing, Gutenberg, Industrial and now Digital. Each one marking distinct times in human history.

 

Joanna Penn interviewed Chelle Honniker this week and it’s a great interview. Chelle talks about all sorts of tools to help automate your business. Chelle is also a programmer for Author Nation- the replacement conference for 20Books Vegas- she has a quick rundown on what’s on offer. Very exciting.

 

Podcast Review has a list of the best writing craft podcasts around. If you are a podcast listener, take a look at these. You will recognize familiar names from past weekly roundups. After sixteen years of weekly blogging about writing and publishing, I must have heard everybody.

 

Katie Weiland is looking at the Enneagram again but this time from the writers point of view. She has four numbers profiled this week and finishes next week. I can’t wait to see what she says about my number.

 

In The Craft Section,

Crafting fantasy characters- Prowriting Aid


Making scenes work- Karen Cioffi


3 signs you’re writing misplaced modifiers- Colleen Story- Bookmark


Stuck? Change your story- Janice Hardy


Ten tips for DIY editing- Debbie Burke- Bookmark


10 steps to writing a better novel- K M Weiland- Bookmark

 

In the Marketing Section,

What is a newsletter- Comprehensive


Embrace public speaking- Jim Acevedo


Why authors should be accessible- Katie McCoach- Bookmark


How to announce your book- Sandra Beckwith


How regular should your updates be- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


What to post beside writing content- Emily Enger- Bookmark

 

To Finish

Imposter syndrome hits us all. Sometimes it creeps up on us and does a number on your mental health. Sometimes you can recognize it as plain old envy. Either way it is important to understand it and do something about it before it cripples you. Rachel Toalson has a must read article on Writer Unboxed on how to overcome the feeling you are a fraud.

 

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 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 Chris Yang on Unsplash

Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Opinions of Writers



 

In Publishing News this week

 

This week has seen rumbles of discontent through the publishing communities. At issue is the freedom to express your opinions and or the truth without being labelled with racist slurs. Finding and keeping the middle ground in the rhetoric over the Gaza crisis is becoming increasingly problematic. This week Pen America cancelled its award ceremony as many finalists pulled out citing a lack of support from Pen America. This is the American branch of the organization which supports writers in prison and the freedom of ideas and speech. 

 

In Italy, the publisher’s association has come out swinging over perceived censorship when a prominent writer was refused a broadcast appearance on the way to the studio, for criticizing the government. Their statement “A country that is strong in its democracy should never fear the opinions of writers, whatever they may be.”

 

On the Bookfair front, Publishing Perspectives has a breakdown on the deals that were done at Bologna. The comics group can’t have been eating or sleeping with so many deals done in their genre.

 

Publisher’s Weekly reports that Entangled Press is flying high with a blockbuster on their hands but they insist nothing will change at their little Indie press.

 

London Bookfair has another change of director. This revolving door or ‘poisoned chalice’ as Mark Williams calls it, is not helping the industry in any way. He makes good points in his acerbic take down of London Book Fair’s governing body.

 

Meanwhile, Elle Griffin, writing at The Elysian has spurred discussion with her provocative article No One Buys Books. She read the book based on the big Department of Justice trial over Penguin Random House wanting to buy Simon and Schuster. She pulls out charts and statements made by publishing executives to illustrate her article and opinion that publishing is broken but no one has told the writers.

Taking the opposing point of view, Kathleen Schmidt with her article Please Stop Bashing Book Publishing. Here she shows who is buying books and why they aren’t being noticed in book sales lists.

 

After all this you might like to drop in to Kris Maze and read the excellent article 7 Super Mental Health Hacks for Writers To De-Stress.

 

Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur has another deep dive article full of information over the changes to Audible's categories. With Spotify grabbing increasing market share- The Amazon owned audio publishing company is tweaking the metadata.

 

Sandra Beckwith has a roundup of the interesting book promotion days in May. Check it out if you want inspiration for your Social Media posts.

 

Caroline Leavett has an interesting guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog on writing fact as fiction. This can get very tricky and could involve lawsuits. Caroline talks about the ways you can disguise the Fact in your Fiction so nobody ever knows it’s a true story.

 

 

In The Craft Section,

Writing character appearance- Michelle Miller


Motivating emotionally challenging characters-Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


How to use symbolic settings in your story- K M Weiland- Bookmark


Tropes to the left of me- Terry Odell


Adding a listening pass to your edit- Suzy Vadori-Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

7 Social Media Best Practices- Draft2digital


Book Marketing strategies- Dale Roberts- Bookmark


Analyzing your book marketing niche- Colleen Story


Chirp- free marketing tools-Bookbub- Bookmark


Facebook ads – Written Word Media- Bookmark

 

To Finish

It’s that time of the year when I look back over sixteen years of weekly blogging on the publishing and writing industry where change is constant. Ebooks to Kindle to Subscription publishing services to Print on Demand to Audio Books to Direct Sales to AI. In the next year the Publishers will be coping with the avalanche of AI generated novels and the disruptive impact on the industry. For the Writers it will be the insistence that they are human and human interaction with fans will be the most important strand in their writer business.

This human is about to look for a big drink and cake!


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 or cake for 16 years of blogging, I appreciate and value virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic Photo by Julien Photo on Unsplash

Thursday, April 18, 2024

What The Reader Wants



In Publishing News this week,


Two reports released in the UK, the UK governments response to AI and The Society of Authors survey on AI show the creators and the government are a long way apart over the value and use of AI. Dan Holloway of The Alliance of Independent Authors breaks down the key sticking points for each report. Governments are watching each other and trying to get tips on how to tackle this disruptive technology.

 

Pen America is sounding the alarm over the rise and rise of book bans in schools. This is a number which everyone would like to see going the other way. They also call out the worst states for this practice.

 

Publishers Weekly is pivoting to embrace all sorts of events for publishers. They have appointed a director of content studio to run custom content and events. With the demise of Digital Book World which took over Book Expo America leaving America without a bookfair I’m wondering if they are making moves in this empty space.

 

Kelley Way has an interesting post on copyright and how to gift it. This is primarily for a US audience but there are useful tips. Always make sure you know what the copyright laws are in your own country if you Indie publish. Passive Guy has a post on 10 copyright myths for a good reminder.

 

If you Indie Publish you will be familiar with Print On Demand. Book Vault in the UK has been quietly upping the printing game. This week they announced Book Vault Bespoke with foiling, ribbons, sprayed edges, and other goodies available to on demand publishers. Check out what else they have coming. Super exciting if you are a writer.

 

When is a book club not a book club? Most people understand a book club to be a group that meets to read and discuss one book at a time. How about a club that meets to silent read for an hour. A bookstore has an interesting twist on the book club starting with swap your phone for a glass of wine and comfy chair.

 

Leah Paulos writes on Anne R Allen’s blog about book promotion. If you struggle with this aspect of writing and publishing, you need to read Why There’s Nothing Icky About Promoting A Book.


Mirella Stoyanova has an interesting post on Jane Friedman’s blog about carving out boundaries. How often do you find your writing time frittered away by demands of others or life expectations or your own inability to commit. Mirella says boundaries are important in the relationship we have with ourselves.


Julie Duffy has one of those posts on Writer Unboxed that writers need to read at least once a year when they feel overwhelmed about the world outside their desk. How To Write When The World Is In A Mess. 

 

Katie Weiland always has amazing posts on the craft of writing. I was particularly struck with this one on the subplots. Are you paying attention to the structure of subplots? They have a rhythm all their own which can enhance the main story or wreck it. 

 

In The Craft Section,

Minding your pinch points in writing- Sue Coletta Bookmark!


Foreshadowing- Michelle Barker


How Goal, Motivation, and Conflict add tension- Helena Fairfax- Bookmark


10 Great Writing Tips- C S Lakin- Bookmark


Checklist for beginning your story- K M Weiland- MUST READ

 

In The Marketing Section,

What MVP means for authors- Kevin Tumlinson


9 author newsletter examples- Mailerlite


How To Create Fun Freebies- Colleen Story – Bookmark


A Q and A with Katie Sadler on Book Marketing – Fiona Erskine- Bookmark


Get your books found on Amazon- Karen Cioffi- Bookmark

 

To Finish

Elizabeth Craig has a great guest post from Hugh Cook on making your characters leap off the page. Hugh talks about the four fiction techniques regardless of genre that make memorable characters. After all it’s the characters you remember from that book you stayed up all night reading. This is the Writer Holy Grail. 

 

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 freestocks on Unsplash

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Is It On A Bucket List?



In Publishing News this week,

 

There was a quick backlash on Social Media when a publisher announced that they would be using an AI to vet submitted manuscripts. They walked it back after only a few hours. Even though they are a Science Fiction publisher- this was a step too far for their writers. Just imagine, said one commentator, AI scraping trends and plots and writing its own book from submissions. Of course it will never happen….

 

The International Publishers Association are shocked at the dismissal of the case of attempted murder of a Norwegian publisher. 25 years ago, the publisher was shot 3 times. Many believed it was because they had published Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses book. It shook the publishing world at the time as an attack on free speech. If we don’t speak truth to power - who will?

 

Mark Williams had me chuckling so hard I nearly fell off my chair with this personal opinion about the London Book Fair. Sometimes you have to laugh because otherwise you would cry. Who knew there was a bookfair on in London that generated lots of sales?- Not the UK news media.

 

Bologna Children’s Book Fair is underway, and the early news is that everyone is having a good time- except for the transport strike. Publishing Perspectives is on the ground talking about the in person and virtual events.

 

Publishers Weekly looks at the dire news for mid-grade books. Everybody wants them… and no one can find a good one, apparently. What to do? The only country bucking the trend is The Netherlands and they’re translating from Korean. 

 

In digital reading hardware news- Kobo is bringing out a colour ink version. Commentators are already looking at the E-Ink hardware wars on the horizon.

 

Draft2Digital is partnering with Fable. As far as I can tell this is a first for both companies. Fable runs virtual book clubs- many for celebrities and TikTok influencers. If you want to have an author book club, check it out. Draft2Digital is a publishing distributor, mainly for eBooks but now also for print. This could be a very interesting collaboration.

 

Ninc have analyzed the book cover trends for 2024- Font is still king. Illustrated and Animated covers are still on brand, I was surprised at how many genres now use them.

 

Anne R Allen has an interesting post on Substack Newsletters vs Blogging for authors inspired by Jane Friedman’s article last month. I post my weekly blog on Substack for people who want to get it in their inbox. I don’t charge. My monthly roundup newsletter with extras and oddments is through Mailchimp. As a children’s writer I’m always struggling with the concept of author newsletters for this audience as the buyers aren’t the readers, generally. Maybe I should write a serial story newsletter.

 

The Passive Guy highlights a post from Dean Wesley Smith on how big your name is on the cover of your book. Do you hide away or boldly brand? Dean also has a series of marketing posts on at the moment.

 

Joanna Penn has a great interview with Rachel Herron on Facing Fears in Writing and Life. This is well worth the time to read and/or listen. Rachel also mentions having ADHD. Katie Weiland recently had a great guest post on navigating the writing process if you have the ADHD superpower. 

 

Sue Coletta has a great post on Story Bibles. Do you jot down important details so that you don’t forget them or is editing always a surprise with how many times the main characters eyes change. Sue looks at all the ways you can keep on top of the details.

 

In The Craft Section,

Strong plots need significant goals- September Fawkes


Style over plot and characters- James Scott Bell- Bookmark


Is page 98 as strong as page 1- Donald Maass- Bookmark


What to do when you lose your way- Matthew Norman


5 simple ways to create high stakes- C S Lakin-Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Book PR and super powers- Ann Marie Nieves- Bookmark


The reason for pre sales- Catharine Bramkamp- Bookmark


How to love book marketing- Patricia Crisafulli


19 ways to Promote on TikTok-KellySchknecht- Bookmark


How to market with another author- Ingram Spark Blog

 

To Finish

Bucket lists. Yes, they are still a thing. Have you got a bucket list? Many people have life lists or travel lists… but Karen Banes thinks writers should have writers bucket list. Goals that you want to achieve in your writing life. She lists 100 ideas to get you started

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for monthly newsletter with the best of my bookmarked links and other interesting extras. 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 Tobi on Unsplash

 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Speaking Truth to Fear



 

In Publishing News this week.


I wonder how an organisation becomes so frightened that it gives in to any perceived threat, even by one person. Publishers Weekly highlights the latest book banning nonsense. In Virginia a community book reading event of the Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, was derailed because one person worried about a tree having two reproductive systems.

You know you can thank the complainer for bringing it to your attention and invite them to NOT PARTICIPATE rather than giving in, ruining the community event, and making yourself a laughingstock internationally.

 

A new way of getting your book noticed in this busy world is to record the audiobook in a novel place. In this case 900 feet down a mine. The author thought it would be a good idea as he set the novel in the mine. I don’t think the audio production company and his publishers were that excited by his plan though.

 

Mark Williams reports on the latest numbers released by Amazon on their payout of Kindle Unlimited. There must be money in subscription after all everyone is getting into it. Mark compares numbers and looks for trends in Amazon’s financial reporting.

 

The London Book Fair wrapped up and a good time was had by all Porter Anderson gives a run down on all the news from the fair and looks forward to Bologna – the big Children’s Book Fair in April.

 

Joanna Penn has a great interview with Claire Taylor on The Enneagram and how it can help you sustain an author career. It is super interesting and well worth listening to or reading the transcript. These two authors give so much to the writing community. 

 

Wired recently had an article on training an AI on out of copyright material to prove it could be done. This might be gold for all the lawyers currently representing authors in court cases.

 

Elizabeth S Craig has a great post on setting yourself up on the path of least resistance to accomplish your goals.

 

Have you read any fan fiction lately? Before you shudder and express horror, consider the freedom in trying out ideas in someone else’s sandbox where you don’t have to do all the leg work to establish the world. Laura Samotin writes on Gizmodo that playing with fan fiction can be a shortcut to finding out what topes resonate with your reading audience. A great read. 


Anne R Allen has a great post on breaking the rules. Sometimes authors can be so scared of breaking the show don’t tell rule that their writing suffers from it. Anne talks about when the rules can go too far.

 

Samantha Cameron has an interesting post on writing underrepresented characters. Do you let fear get in the way of attempting to tell their stories? Samantha has some steps to overcome this so you can write great three dimensional characters.

 

In The Craft Section,

4 mistakes to avoid when writing dialogue- Rose Atkinson-CarterBookmark


Writing fiction based on real life figures- K D Alden


How to write a psychological thriller- Lucy Hay


Writing protagonists without a strong goal- September Fawkes- Bookmark


Beginning your story introducing your characters- K M Weiland-Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

The secret to a compelling bio- Lucy Hay- Bookmark


How I sell at live events- Ben Wolf- Bookmark


How to market a book that doesn’t exist yet- Rachel Thompson


How to go viral on TikTok- Hina Pandya


5 effective strategies to avoid engagement farming- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

 

To Finish

Heather Webb has an interesting article on Writer Unboxed about the big truths in fiction. Recently she was on a book tour, wearing her read banned books tee shirt and was asked in a panel discussion ‘if you were to write a banned book, what topic would you choose.’ It opened up some interesting ideas to think about. This is a thought provoking read. Does your writing reflect ‘the big truths?’

 

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.

 

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

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