Showing posts with label NFT's Blockchain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NFT's Blockchain. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Publishing Business- unlike any other.


This week in the publishing world


At the moment the eyes of the publishing world are fixed on the court proceedings where the U.S Department of Justice is trying to stop the sale of Simon and Schuster to Penguin Random House. The live twitter feed from observers on how the court is trying to understand the publishing industry is illuminating… So, a midlist book isn’t as important as a front list book which you paid a lot of money for. Why do you have them then?

Stephen King testified for the State over the shrinking nature of independent publishing houses. S and S are his publishers, his books are just one of the reasons why PRH would want the sale to go through.


Staying with PRH, they have just published their diversity report where they look at their business and see whether it reflects the diversity of the country. They divided the workforce into warehousing and publishing. I wonder if other publishers would put themselves under such a spotlight.


I try to keep an eye on what is happening with new digital technologies as it relates to publishing. Recently Joanna Penn had a podcast interview on the blockchain and what it means for copyright and and intellectual property. Her guest was Roanie Levy, a lawyer who specializes in copyright and IP and is working in the blockchain field. If you are unclear what blockchain is and how copyright and smart contracts are going to change in the future, check out this great interview.


While authors are coming to grips with new technologies like NFT’s (limited editions of digital products) some publishers have figured out how NFT’s can make them money. Remember back at university and the huge price of textbooks? Many students buy second-hand textbooks or thirdhand. Academic publishers have figured out they can make money with these subsequent sales if they publish their books as NFT’s. (Will the author of the textbook get a cut?)


I am reminded of the words of a retiring publisher here in NZ. The business of a publisher is to stay in business. This week Kris Rusch puts on her publishers hat and examines the ways a publisher could be making money for their business. 


PEN America has issued a press release over a Utah school board banning 52 books under a new state law allowing books to be removed because of pornography issues. But what is pornography? When you look over the list you will be scratching your head like PEN.


Oh to have books to ban. Mark Williams looks at the difficulty faced by African nations just getting books. Digital books were supposed to be the answer but not if the publisher still sticks by regional rights. It is a reading desert out there with hope centered on the Middle East publishing community. Mark is hand making books for his school and they are one of the lucky ones.


Ruth Harris takes a look at decision fatigue. Just being a writer means making many decisions in your writing, let alone anything else. Ruth has some strategies for when it gets too much. 


Bang 2 Write has a great article on 5 examples of story structure. There is more than one way to understand the steps of the plot. 


In The Craft Section,

The intersection between Plotting and Pantsing- Litreactor- Bookmark

How to structure stories with multiple main characters- K M Weiland -Bookmark

Elements of a story- Reedsy – Comprehensive

Using backward design to plan your story- Angela Ackerman

Managing point of view and distance of time- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Backcover copy formula- Sue Coletta- Bookmark

What to do instead of a writer blog- P S Hoffman

How to use Amazon to market for free- NY Book editors

Getting your work noticed- Liza Taylor- Bookmark

Author strategy for Bookbub ad bidding- Bookbub- Bookmark


To Finish,

Carmen Machado has an interesting article on taking the time to write when doing an MFA. So many writers are focused on trying to get an agent or a deal while doing their MFA that they miss the point that having time to write is the best thing you can do for your writing. One of her students forgot this and is now mired in a plagiarism scandal. Write first. Polish it until it gleams, then look for the deal. 





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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 Sean Pollock on Unsplash

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Early Presents

This week in publishing news,

Publishers Weekly broke the news that The Department of Justice is suing to block Penguin Random House from Buying Simon and Schuster citing it would “enable Penguin Random House, which is already the largest book publisher in the world, to exert outsized influence over which books are published in the United States and how much authors are paid for their work.”

As the news broke around the Publishing blogosphere there were some candid comments about not wanting to be a Simon and Schuster author if the sale went through. 


Kobo have increased their digital subscription model Kobo+. Australia and New Zealand now get the chance to try the subscription model of digital reading. Mark Williams reports in The New Publishing Standard. 

While Kobo is expanding its English language digital subscription Audible have made the big leap to India. This market promises much but what about the authors providing the books in the subscription model. India sells books very very cheaply. Volume might be the only way to earn any money. And don’t forget Audiblegate. Will Audible throw authors under the bus to get Indian Ears?


The Bookseller reports on a sobering piece of research on disability access and publishing. It is already hard enough to find disabled characters in stories but in the publishing houses it is even harder to find them in the offices of publishing houses.


The Alliance of Independent authors has a comprehensive explanation of NFT’s for authors. This is a digital offering that is suited to authors who can bundle a limited edition together. And every time it gets on sold the author can make a little money. If you aren’t sure whether NFT’s are legit check out the article. 


Even while the world struggles with a pandemic- Big Bad Wolf will always be there to sell books in their 24 hour, ten day Asian book fairs. Millions of remaindered English language books get snapped up by buyers. This year they are partnering with Shopify. The mind boggles at the sheer size of putting together a digital storefront to sell millions of books in a short space of time.


Susan DeFreitas has a great guest article on Jane Friedman’s blog this week. Maybe it’s not your plot. Susan takes a look at common plot problems and how they come back to your character arc. Once you’ve got that sorted the plot problems fix themselves. 


In the Craft Section,

3 steps to building a story world- Janice Hardy

The secret to writing authentic villains- Kyla Bagnall- Bookmark

A premise isn’t a plot- Janice Hardy Bookmark

2 Bookmark articles, Finding Time to Write and Take the stress out of writing- Michelle Millar


In The Marketing Section,

Can introverted writers market their books- Rachel Thompson – Bookmark

How to secure endorsements- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Bookbub ads for design inspiration- Bookbub

How to create a reader profile- Alicia Dale- Bookmark

7 questions to ask before writing a sell sheet- Joseph Kunz- Bookmark


To Finish

Every year I’m sure that Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier. This year because of supply chain issues around the world the word is out to get your Christmas buying in early. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi has gathered together the best books to gift writers for Christmas – Order Now!  While you are in a book buying mood don’t forget to grab the Storybundle Nano collection. A swag of great craft books and the authors get the money. A Christmas present for everyone.





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.



Thursday, July 15, 2021

Reading Between The Lines


In publishing news this week,

Last year when the pandemic began to bite there was worry that bricks and mortar bookshops would fail and fold. Enter a smart organization that created Bookshop.Org which gave bookshops a digital storefront. A year on- the pandemic is still with us, but shops are beginning to open up. Publisher’s Weekly reports that is still going strong and growing and how the digital storefront is essential.


Meanwhile The New Publishing Standard reports on a savvy move by a Danish publisher that has been buying up world language rights for audiobooks. This is a fascinating story from Mark which resonated with me here in New Zealand. We have a similar visionary who bought up English rights to award-winning European children’s books and founded an international award-winning publishing company on the strength of it. Digital format is open to the world and a small publisher from a tiny country can become a major player. Audiobooks are growing really fast- to the nimble go the spoils.


Publishing Perspectives reports on the European and International Booksellers federation report of 2020. This is a numbers report showing how bookselling fared in different countries. Booksellers in countries without a strong government response had a hard time. If bookshops had a digital presence they managed to stay afloat. The publishers who think everything will go back to the way it once was, before the pandemic, have badly misread the tea leaves. The digital change is here to stay.


Recently Maggie Lynch wrote about why she created an NFT book collection to sell. If you have been wondering about Non Fungible Tokens and why there is so much interest in them in the creative community- Maggie’s article is a great place to start. It is an interesting and informative read on provenance certificates and anti-piracy methods to protect your work.


Every month Orna Ross, the CEO of Alliance for Independent Authors (Alli) chats with Joanna Penn on what’s happening in the global world of indie publishing. They often talk big picture stuff and have opinions on the speeding trains coming down the track towards authors. This month they have a fascinating chat on how nimble authors are, and need to be. One comment caught my eye in the transcript- With Richard Branson going into Space this week – has anyone thought to license their work for onboard entertainment for off world transport?


Amazon Kindle Vella launched to the public yesterday. In the last three months authors based in the US have been uploading episodes to the serialized fiction platform. Engaget looks at the new shiny platform.


Jane Friedman hosted Intellectual Property lawyer, Kathryn Goldman on her blog this week. Are fictional characters protected under copyright law? Kathryn writes about the legal case being argued over Jack Ryan and how writers have got into trouble using character names from movies and TV. When is a name a character, and not a name?


For a while now authors have been encouraged to write newsletters and to grow a fan base that they can tap into for author book promo, sales etc etc. Many authors have a love hate relationship with their newsletters- not knowing how to use them effectively. Fiction authors particularly struggle. The Passive Guy has an interesting piece on his blog about newsletters being their own genre.


In the Craft Section,

Action beats for authors-Krystal Craiker

The inherent nature of story structure- Jim Dempsey- Bookmark

Plot you way back from an unruly idea- Kristin Durfee- Bookmark

How to end a story- Reedsy- Excellent 

How to tell if your story has too much plot and not enough character- K M Weiland - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

10 Amazon changes authors need to know about - Rob Eager- Bookmark 

Using your back cover well-Bookbaby- Bookmark

5 tips for fitting book marketing into your schedule- Penny Sansevieri

SEO for indie authors- ALLI- BOOKMARK

How Authors are using Social Media platforms- Diana Urban


To Finish,

Today I struggled with my computer, searching to find a missing file. Every time I think I have cleaned up my file labeling structure something always slips up. There I was getting frustrated and thinking this is not a good use of my time- low and behold up pops an article on 10 tools to make you a more productive writer.

I just want a computer that knows what file I’m looking for and gets it for me regardless of where I stuffed it in the system. 





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 – Jon Evans (Guess Who Won)


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Shiny New Object


This week I listened to an interview on NFT’s with Joanna Penn and John Fox. Non Fungible Tokens have a controversial press. Many consider them a fad, or a scam. But some are looking at them as the Next Big Thing. Joanna and John discuss how authors can use them to create new work, much like the musicians and visual artists are doing. 

Last week Bloomberg Financial Magazine looked at the power shift back to musicians with NFT’s. Today The Guardian wrote about Christie's auctioning an NFT from Tim Berners Lee of the original source code from his invention of the internet. It was for events like this that publishing contracts now contain legal clauses like ‘universal rights in all formats existing and to be invented.’


I am always interested to see a Mark Williams look into the future piece. Mark lives in The Gambia and comments on Global Publishing. This week he takes a look at the power of internet and where the potential emerging markets are. There are some fascinating statistics for publishers looking at other markets. (Like 94% of the world’s internet users are not in the USA.)


So many research institutions studying so many types of reading behaviour can’t they work together? That is the call in 2021 at Bologna Children’s Book Fair. (Collaboration, who knew that would be a thing?)


Another American court has passed a directive that Ebooks must be made available to Libraries. The Association of American Publishers sees this as a copyright fight. Publishers Weekly takes a look at the implications, meanwhile, tucked in the bottom of the article is a reference to the power of librarians and how quickly they can mobilise.


Kris Rusch has another great post on FOMO- The Fear Of Missing Out and how this can cause writers to jump around trying to please everybody and end up having the joy of writing sucked out of them. Be like the Tortoise.


Charlie Jane Anders has written an interesting breakdown of the  7 wrong lessons creators learned from Game Of Thrones to mark the 10 year anniversary of the first episode and Jan Drexler has one on the promise you make to your readers.  


In The Craft Section,

Using triggers for emotional wounds- Angela Ackerman

Grammarly alternatives- Reedsy- Bookmark

The flat archetype of The Ruler- Archetype Series – K M Weiland- Bookmark


2 Great posts from .-Lucy V Hay 6 ways to make your writing stand out from the crowd and

8 ways to write your novel outline- Bookmark Both


In The Marketing Section,

What is the Clubhouse app and how to use it.- Naomi Nakashima

Authors - be where your readers are- Frances Caballo

How to build your author website- Written Word Media

Leveraging your networks- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

2 Great posts from Joanna Penn- Mistakes in book promotion and Marketing your book

Bookmark Both


To Finish,

It’s midway through the middle month in the year. How is it progressing? Sometimes we need a shake-up to get us out of a slump. Edie Melson has 10 strategies to shake your online writer’s presence up.  Ali Luke has a great post on writer motivation with 7 ways to stay motivated with your writing project.

Of course, once you start brainstorming… you may just invent something that will change the world.





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 – Tim Berners Lee- Athanasios Kasampalis

Thursday, May 13, 2021

If you could see the future.


In publishing news this week…


The high-powered writing teams pulled together by various author organisations are having an impact on Disney. Finally, there has been some positive movement on behalf of the writers whose books were acquired by Disney in media buyouts. For some reason, Disney thought that meant they didn’t have to pay royalties. 


Meanwhile, Mark Williams decided to figure out how many royalties Amazon has paid out over the last few years to indie authors. A 1 with a lot of zero’s after it.

Mark also has an interesting news post on South Korean media giant, Kakao, and their deep chequebook. They are making a real play for eyes in the online reading serial space with China and India in their sights. 


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive write-up on finding followers and true fans. This is a must-read. It goes into the background of the original 1000 true fans and how this has changed.


Five years ago I received an award from my peers where I had to give a lecture. I asked what they wanted and they told me ‘talk about the future.’ Since then other award winners have sometimes name-checked me- mostly to say they didn’t understand what I was talking about. I referenced the rise of blockchain and how publishing on the blockchain will change author's futures. Fast forward to now. I have had an eye on NFT’s trying to understand exactly how they work. This article explains how NFT’s have changed artist's lives. As you read through swop the word ‘art’ for ‘books.’ A little glimpse of the future that is coming.


This week Jane Friedman has an excerpt, The New Holy Grail of Traditional Publishers – Direct to Reader relationships, from a new book, Book Wars. The excerpt looks at how publishers are trying to get the sort of data that Amazon has and why it is important to them. Interesting reading.


Joanna Penn interviewed Gail Carriger this week on The Creative Penn blog. Gail talks about the heroine’s journey and how it differs from the hero’s journey. This is a deep dive into craft and fascinating reading /listening.


Don’t forget those deals from last week- They are both limited time.


In The Craft Section,

Overthinking your writing- K M Weiland - Bookmark

Deep Point of View – Joslyn Chase-Bookmark

What they want- same but different- Scot Myers

Tips for writing fight scenes -Sandy Dragon

Avoid cliché responses- Becca Puglisi

Mystery novels – 5 things you need- Melodie Campbell- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

11 free things you can do to buzz your book- Sandra Beckwith

How to set up an email list – Joanna Penn Bookmark

Book Advertising design elements- Bookbub- Bookmark

5 ways to improve book marketing on Amazon- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

The authors guide to eBook pre-orders- Written Word Media-Bookmark


To Finish,

Ten years ago I came across The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander, who had a blog devoted to font, typography and formatting of books. eBooks were just becoming a thing and there were lots of discussions over readable fonts etc. I fell in love with font sites and learned all sorts of odd information from Joel. A few years later Joel decided to help out authors by putting together easy to use templates for print books. I bought some and loved them. Then he went on to curate the Indie Cover design awards. Joel sold The Book Designer site last year but kept Book Design Templates going. This week Joel died from cancer. He leaves behind thousands of fans and a real legacy of service to the Indie Book Community. His products are top-notch and still available. His advice was stellar. He will be sadly missed.





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 – Steve Dean

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