Showing posts with label Seth Godin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seth Godin. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Preparing For The Future



In Publishing News this week,

It’s Banned Books week in the United States and Penguin Random House has pushed out the truck on this literally. They have a huge truck visiting neighbourhoods and giving out children’s books that have been banned from their publishing house.


It was big news when Spotify bought Findaway voices last September and we waited to see what they would do. A year on and Spotify unveil their audiobooks in premium memberships in a trial run with Australia and the United Kingdom. They have negotiated deals that Publishing Perspectives report will shake Audible’s hold on the audiobook market.


Publisher Weekly reports on the Authors Guild author income survey- Why do we write again? It’s not for the money.


Wattpad wants to offer its creators more money so they have launched a new tier called Originals. You can pay for the latest chapter in your serial story or wait until it’s all finished. It’s like Netflix for authors.


Mike Shatzkin writes this week about AI and publishing. Mike has largely retired form advising big publishing companies so it’s always interesting when he writes an article on current trends. Just when you think you know what a commentator would say- they surprise you. Mike thinks AI is a good thing for publishing.


Another who thinks the Publishing industry is short sighted on AI is Mark Williams. He has a long form essay on how Publishers are tackling issues around AI- is it a tool, a threat, a higher form of achievement or copyright theft?


Seth Godin uses Chat GPT to come up with good questions to ask Chat GPT. An interesting way of editing your work.


Copyright is at the heart of AI. Who owns AI copyright. The machine or the prompter? Is it fair use to train AI on whole books? If a machine can replicate someone’s style is it a breach of copyright? Whatever you think, you do need to have a working knowledge of copyright and how it impacts your publishing business.

Kris Rusch writes about making sure you have the right licenses and why you need to print them out.


People who have mastered dictation swear by the ease of writing. You get articles like this one- I wrote a novel in a day- Nick Thacker on Writers in the Storm. Nick goes into detail about what tools he uses. Meanwhile, over on Jane Friedman’s blog Sarah Sawyer talks about how dictation can free up your writing time.


It’s that age old writer struggle- How do you feel when you kill off a nice character? 

Robin Rivera writes that picking the reason you want to kill off the character is just as important as choosing the character you want to kill- She has four reasons you might want to do this.


In The Craft Section,

Crafting unforgettable character arcs- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Fake swearing and how to write it- StopGap

5 mistakes that reverse social justice messages- Mythcreants

Mastering character description without info dumps- Lisa Hall Wilson- Bookmark

Going to your unhappy place- Donald Maass- Bookmark

Writing Mystery – DabbleWriter- Comprehensive


In The Marketing Section,

Honesty in book marketing – Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Your books most powerful marketing tool- Greer Macallister

Playlists for your books- Heather Weidner

Non salesy social media content for authors- Dan Parsons- Bookmark

10 easy steps to get your website back to life- Karen Cioffi- Bookmark

October Social Media content- WolfSparrow- Bookmark


To Finish

October – or in the publishing world… getting ready for NaNoWriMo. 

There are a few good articles out there on NaNoPrepMo but if you go to the source- The NaNoWriMo official website,  you can get a huge checklist of ideas and resources to get your preparation for National Novel Writing Month underway.





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Pic: Photo by Sylas Boesten on Unsplash

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Are you writing every day?

This week around the publishing blogosphere... 
If you have a Kindle ebook you might have noticed that books are disappearing all over the Amazon ebook store. Nate Hoffelder investigated and found there is a bug loose... 
Meanwhile Mark at The New Publishing Standard (TNPS) has a post about the Amazon’s stock market hit and why we should take notice.

This week some important imprints were dropped or consolidated. For writers this means fewer outlets picking up novels. For the big publishers... are they saving money? 

I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s blog for years... He is the master of the short post with the big nugget inside. In this post he talks about the value of daily blogging...- Just think daily writing and there you have a new way of getting your thoughts out there.

Techcrunch has an interesting article on text serials. A writing team has a dark fantasy text serial going through Snapchat. Storytelling is compulsive and comes in all sorts of containers... echos of last NaNoWriMo where I ended up writing a big speech 

It is NaNoWriMo... (National Novel Writing Month.)

All over the world writers are gathering supplies and hunkering down to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Of course there are the rebels out there who commit to writing 50,000 words but spread over different projects or the writers who focus on writing a 500 word picture book a day... because they are...(fill in the appropriate adjective/noun combo.)

Here are a few great links for anyone for needs some NANO inspiration.

If you want to treat yourself to some great writing craft books head on over to the Storybundle – NANO page. Every year Kevin Anderson curates some GREAT books and you can get them all very cheaply! (Every year I can’t resist buying them...)

Joanna Penn has a great post from Zara Altair on the three stages of editing.  This is a comprehensive look at what each stage is and how to approach it. A must read and bookmark for November- NaNoEdMo.

In The Craft Section,

Two great posts from K M Weiland-How to turn an idea into a story and

When you need to do radical revision- Ruth Harris- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

3 more things to do on Goodreads- Elizabeth S Craig -Bookmark

How to upload and Sell books on KDP- The full rundown from Fitsmallbusiness- Bookmark

Two Bookmark worthy posts from the Bookbub Blog- Biggest bookbub ad mistakes and 50 inspirational marketing tips.

To Finish,

I was noodling around the internet looking at pre made covers for inspiration- Yes there are writers out there who stockpile covers for books they want to write. I’m have all my sci fi series covers ready... but I’m still writing the books. (That was last years NANO project -then I ended up writing a big speech. LOL)  This week I came across this great pre made bookcover site... One of the great features is that you can play around with titles and placement instantly and see what it looks like before you buy... and the covers aren’t expensive at all. Lots of happy playing when I should be writing. 


In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee hit the Kofi button up top. Thanks.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Legally Spotted

What a week in the publishing blogosphere.
Cockygate and the GDPR have filled my news feeds. They both have some important takeaways to consider.

Cockygate is the term writers and industry pundits have applied to a situation involving a romance writer who has trademarked the word ‘cocky’ in relation to her romances. Yes, a word can be trademarked. Will it stand up in a court... that’s the big question? The can of worms has got bigger because in addition to the trademark the author has been sending cease and desist notices to other authors who have the word cocky in their titles. It all gets very emotional with authors and lawyers and lawyers and authors and RWA and lawyers etc. Jami Gold boils it down to branding- The right way and the wrong way - This is a must read.

G.D.P.R. is the new regulations from Europe, which take effect on the 25thMay and affect anyone who has or operates a mailing list. That includes authors who have newsletters and mailing list sign ups on their websites. 
Seth Godin has written about the GDPR and the marketer’s dilemma very neatly and succinctly. This gives you an overview. Nick Stephenson engaged a lawyer to talk him through what changes he had to make on his website. 

Sharp eyed readers will notice a small privacy policy notice on my websites. I’m still working through all the ramifications so this policy may change in future.

Now armed with all your knowledge of GDPR you can read Nicholas Erik’s huge post on everything to do with mailing lists.

Joanna Penn is talking about critical mindsets this week. Do you have the right mindset for your author business. And yes, if you are writing it is a business.

Kris Rusch takes it one step further looking at growing the author business too fast and not having the right people in place to help you when you need it.

And have you ever thought about copywriting... In the Alli blog this week was an interesting post about fiction writers making money on the side with their writing skills.

Natasha Bajema talks about creating 1000 reader superfans from zero. In the article she references David Gaughran’s new book. (I think it’s 5 star)

Anne R Allen features a lot in this week’s blog... mainly because she consistently puts out great stuff. Check out this post on 10 tips for getting your novel off to a good start.

In The Craft Section,

100 scripts to download and study- Go into the story- screenwriting - Bookmark

9 ways to keep your writing safe- Alexa Bigwharfe- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Seven new books for writers- WrittenWord Media

Not sold in stores- ways to excite readers- Bookfunnel- Bookmark

To Finish,
Chris Fox is an Indie Publisher guru and so I was interested in his short video about shortcuts... and how sometimes they are a massive mistake for the writer.  This is an excellent motivation video. Let’s be careful that we are dotting i’s and crossing t’s.


My monthly newsletter is due out soon. I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. If you appreciate the blog, hit the coffee button up top and feed my addiction  LOL. 

Pic: Flicker Creative Commons- USFWS Mountain Prairie

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Scrubbing Up

This morning parts of New Zealand were declared officially in drought. (finally…)
The kids have gone back to school. 
The floor still needs scrubbing. 
I’m still trying to find my desk under the summer onslaught of papers, Christmas wrappings and other detritus that has to be put away. 

Business as usual.

I need to change my mindset.
Scott Berkun has descriptions of 3 writer mindsets that he switches through.

I need to revisit the story that makes me have nightmares.
Mark Wisniewski has 3 pieces of advice that he should have given when he taught writing.

I need to understand my history as a writer and view my books as an annuity.

I need to relook at my print book project.

Conference planning is underway with my great team. News will be coming soon. If you found yourself instantly linking to some of the above for a different way of looking at your career ... you may want to keep October 2-5th free and come to Wellington.

In the Craft Section,
Every one of these is a bookmark post...

In the Marketing section,

To Finish,
Joanna Penn revisits her favourite craft books for writers... and I’m nodding my head as I own about half of her list... Now do I dive into a craft book or scrub the floor…(save the water…)


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Cost Of Writing

What are the odds that a reclusive writer who wrote one book that has topped best seller lists for nearly 60 years would suddenly decide that the time is right at age 88 with severe medical issues (deaf and nearly blind) to bring out the first book she ever wrote.  (insert dead fish smell here.) 

This has been the main topic of conversation this week in the publishing blogosphere.

Once the usual literary crowd finished celebrating that Harper Lee was releasing a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird then saner heads started asking why and the story becomes increasingly unlikely. Is it a rights grab by a lawyer who took over Harper’s sister, Alice's, law firm after her death a few months ago. Is HarperCollins behaving ethically in this whole affair? Is the lawyer to be trusted or have they played a very long game? There are lots of questions around this. Where is Atticus Finch when his creator needs him?

Staying with things legal... Tess Gerritson talks about what is happening with her landmark legal battle with Warner Brothers who bought out New Line who had the option on her book Gravity 15 years ago... and it makes for some nervous reading for writers selling film options.

So the first two items this week are after the book has been written, Chuck Wendig looks at the emotional rollercoaster of writing the book with his handy guide.

Susan Kaye Quinn talks about the need to create... and how that jumbly mixed up feeling is telling you something important.

That something important could be the startling finding from last weeks author earnings report about that 30% of books being published without ISBN’s. Here in NZ we are in a relatively fortunate position of getting free ISBN’s. But in the rest of the world it is a different story. It is a real cost. Porter looks at the issues raised by the author earnings report and then discussion over ISBN’s and their value get a hammering in the comments.

If you have a toe in the academic publishing world these five predictions for 2015 are for you.

Seth Godin amplifies his call to publishers that if you aren’t selling direct to consumer you are....

In the Craft Section,
Kristen Nelson on what is uneven writing

Susan Kaye Quinn on not rushing to publish

Writing exercises - changing the tail.

In the Marketing Section,
The big story this week is Bookbaby beginning Print On Demand. This is big news for those who don’t want all their stuff in the Amazon basket. Canny marketers have also discovered how you can play both sides...

Jami Gold on branding 101

Odd Stuff

To Finish

It is possible that Harper Lee stared at each of the 5 reasons why writers avoid writing in the face and took them on board or she didn’t know how to follow up the first book (first book syndrome) or, as everybody suspects, the phenomenal success frightened her to reclusiveness. But if this is a rights grab... it will be a landmark in publishing... as the day when some publishers lost all moral credibility.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

In Search Of

What has been happening in the publishing blogosphere this week...
The last few weeks have seen those tired old chestnuts aired of 'lets slag off... genre/literary writing or trad/self publishing or Y A/Adult reading' and now have (hopefully) been dropped in the fire. Ava Jae has the best article on how YA has made her a better writer and she doesn't have to put anyone down to make her point.

FutureBook hosted a hackathon for publishers and computer hackers to come together over a weekend and hack code to change the publishing industry… Some big names joined in and learned a few things.

This week the Guardian looks at self publishing... It’s up by 79%. Could become legit – you never know.
Publishers Weekly takes a look at three Self Publishing success stories. 

Publishing Perspectives examines why Writers in English should be looking at German Translations.

Joanna Penn interviews Stephen Pressfield.. Great interview on Writer Resistance- for those of you struggling with self doubt. (If you drop below the video you can read the transcript.)

For those who  are following the ongoing Hachette /Amazon affair... FutureBook has an interesting article with some new developments. It could be a sign of things to come as Big Digital companies change focus. There are rumblings over at YouTube over Indie music.

A couple of times a year the subject of Writing Craft books comes up. Which are the best...most helpful...mind blowing etcetc. Susan Kaye Quinn takes a look at what books are helpful for Self Publishing.

KillZone have a great blog where the different contributing writers talk about issues around writing and publishing. Here they take issue with an insidious little clause that is appearing in writer contracts...The ‘No Compete’ clause and the ramifications of this. Must Read!

Children’s book editors were asked where they had been pitched books...and it makes for horrifying reading.... I know none of you would do this...would you?

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have developed a great series of helpful Thesauri for writers... so imagine their surprise when they saw their cover on something that was not their own work. Timely look at branding, covers and copyright.

Every now and again Chuck hands over to a guest to do a 25 things list. This brilliant post comes from Angry Robots marketer and writer Mark Underwood. Inside the Bookish Shatterdome - or Publishing Revealed.
If you need a dose of Chuck then check out his ramble on writing... a response to a fan when asked how he does this writing stuff. (usual warnings apply)

Jane Friedman has a great guest post on taxes for Self Publishers… If you are doing this…It is a must read!

Say you have an offer of representation/publication... but now you have to let other agents/editors know... How do you do it professionally?
Susan Spann also has a good article on How to find the perfect agent match.

In the Craft Section,

15 questions for your Beta Readers – this is a print it out post!

How to tell if your story is on target- check the log line! Great post from Kirsten Lamb!

Build your writing career... step by step.

In the Marketing Section,

Two timely reminders from Dean Wesley Smith’s series on Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing. Put the book up and leave it and I have to sell books quickly. Dean is always a great read and voice of calm reason!

To Finish,

Seth Godin has changed and challenged marketing thinking in the last decade. He has a timely article on whether your work is meaningful.This is aimed at media companies... but then writing is a form of media and so his three questions are rolling around in my head as I write this weeks blog post. They may even apply to the novel I’m in the middle of editing....They may even apply to LIFE.

Cartoon from the fabulous INKYELBOWS!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wild Things

Today has been a wet miserable day...Autumn looks like it skipped on out without saying hello and Winter's wild weather arrived, bringing the rain in horizontally.
So in an effort to warm up in the last few days I turned to Twitter and checked in on what is happening around the blogosphere because as everybody knows a good story will while away the hours so you don’t notice the weather.

Over the last week Amanda Palmer and the huge amount she made in a short time on Kickstarter have been on everybody’s radar. My first thought, when I saw the project going live on Twitter, it helps if you are married to Neil Gaimen. That is me coming from a children’s writers perspective and knowing that Neil has over one million followers. But John Scalzi puts it into perspective. She has worked her butt off to build a following for over a decade. She has fans that love her and support her and that she gives back to...and if you look at what she is doing for the aint no easy thing. And in the end isn’t that who we are writing for...our Fans?

Joanna Penn has a great guest post from John Yeoman asking Is it worth it to be an author...?

Lately the great Mike Shatzkin, prophet to traditional publishers, has been noticed spending more time in his blog posts looking at the digital marketplace. This is not a that is marketplace going what should you do for the future.

Writer Beware is also taking a look at the digital marketplace specifically contracts that are now being written and in particular those nice little reversion of rights clauses...the ones when the publisher has to have a book out of print for 6 months before the author can write and get their rights back...Authors you need to read this post.

If you have all your rights and you want to exploit them then Catherine Ryan Howard's post Read this first -How to sell self published books is the post for you along with Joel's Guest Skype interview with Bookbaby on common book design mistakes he see’s all the time.
Bookbaby is a print on demand service that is quite nifty. There are a few companies like this around who are offering authors a reasonable way to get their books printed and distributed...but there are scammers so always do your homework.

Mark Coker of Smashwords has been doing his homework lately and has been analysing Smashwords data for the last nine months trying to figure out what makes a book a success. Mark has a great post on Digital Book World telling us what he found out.

Roz Morris has a helpful guest post on Jami Golds blog about writing back cover copy blurbs.

Authorculture has a good post on tips for offline marketing.

SciFi Novelists have got a geat post on pacing fight scenes...and an hilarious example to show you what to do...or what not to do...gotta bookmark it.

Novelrocket has the 5 must haves on the writer’s desk and then there is the 24 Free Online creativity tools to help you think up ideas along the way

Seth Godin has had another idea...and he is keen to tell you about it in his new manifesto...but most of all in this blog post he wants to tell you how to use tools that don’t make you look indie, cost hardly anything and spread ideas....

The King of the Wild Things, Maurice Sendak died yesterday. His loss was widely felt through the children’s book industry and many tributes to one of the giants in the picture book world were written. This tribute was referenced by Judy Blume on Twitter who remembed Maurice fondly as they shared many memories of being on banned book lists together.

Next week I’ll be attending the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards our top awards for children’s books...There are no banned books in the list but there is lots of talk about the emergence of graphic novels...placed in the Picture Book Category so it will be an interesting night.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Serving Up Link Dinner

The first day of December and officially Summer in the Southern Hemisphere and suddenly the weather remembers that it is supposed to be hot and sunny.

Of course being the first day of December the shops go mad with Christmas decorations, Christmas music and the Christmas count down.
Every Christmas I get frustrated by the lack of Summer Christmas celebration music and decorations in the town. My kids are singing Frosty The Snowman and the mall is decorated in ice sculptures for Santa...say what?
The temperature is climbing and any snowman here wouldn't last long....

I think it is time we shed the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice type celebrations and start making an effort with the uniqueness of Christmas in the Pacific...that's Christmas day BBQ's and beach cricket...or lying outside trying to get a tan while digesting Christmas dinner.

What interesting tidbits and yummy treats can I serve you up as appetizers for a Christmas dinner of links this week?

NaNoWriMo has finished and now the big edit begins. If you are scratching your head looking at your opus and wondering how you can make it better check out these writing craft links.

From The Editors Blog- no perfect characters needed.
From Bob Mayer's store of great advice- conflict the fuel of your story.
From the team at Adventures in Children's Publishing-stimulus and response.

If you are sitting down and need to dine on more substantial fare....

Publishers Weekly looks at the Amazon library mess and asks where do traditional public libraries fit in all this?
YA Highway has a thought provoking post on why Authors disappear...
Have a serving of 30 quick tips for speakers.

Dessert, if you can fit it in....

Channelship ponders the future of book marketing
Jane Friedman warns writers that they are overlooking a vital skill.

For the after dinner mints...Kate Arms-Smith explores what you might need in a creative space and SCBWI has a fancy graphic on the lifecycle of the book.

Loosen your belt, stretch back and muse about all the goodies you have received....
Next week I will be away from my blog as I travel down to the South Island... this will give you time to digest your meal so you will be ready for the last serving of links for 2011. 
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