Showing posts with label Terry Odell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Terry Odell. Show all posts

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. 





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Thursday, November 9, 2023

Where Is The Money?



In Publishing News this week,

A few weeks ago Spotify announced they were trialing audiobook access within the Spotify premium subscription with 15 hours a month free access in the UK and Australia. It must have worked as they announced this week, they are rolling it out to the United States.


Kobo is rolling out new devices for the Indian market. They are hoping to scoop up readers, but Mark Williams points out Kobo are falling into the same trap Amazon did with their initial Amazon India rollout. 


Publishing Perspectives reports that PRH India is committed to 100% recycled paper for its books. After a few years of the publishing community talking about being sustainable this is the first big publisher to walk the talk. Hopefully the rest of PRH will follow. After all if the biggest publisher does it… .


Penguin Random House has issued their first ever diversity report on the makeup of their non warehouse employees in the US. As you will have guessed the employees are mostly white, but they are changing and are happy that they employ above average diversity than other publishing houses. 


The Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone has unveiled a nice exclusive package of business deals for publishers wanting to do business in Publishing City, reports The New Publishing Standard. I never thought about publishers navigating their way around local laws etc until I saw this package. Sweet deal.


The Wall Street Journal has dropped its best seller lists. With best seller lists falling by the wayside or being dubious about how they count book sales are there any lists we can trust anymore? 


Many in the industry are waiting to see what the courts say about various lawsuits involving the provenance of Artificial Intelligence and creativity. Three artists were disappointed when the judge handed down the verdict that AI wasn’t infringing on their rights. 


Goodreads are asking their users to help combat review bombing. Finally, they do something about this. It couldn’t be because of the bad publicity they got when review bombing hit Elizabeth Gilberts new book before it had been released. This caused the author to pull the book with many critics crying shame on Goodreads. 


Darcy Pattison has a must read post on author income accounting. There are good tools out there to help you integrate all your sales and expenses. You don’t have to stick with the back of an envelope.


Kay DiBianca has an excellent post on project planning. This is a helpful list to think about all the tasks you need to do when you write and publish a book. Do you have a checklist?


Jan Sikes has an interesting post on going back and revising an old novel. Should you? In positive spin she learned it’s a great lesson for seeing how far you have come as a writer. 


How invested in your book is your reader? Are your stakes high enough? A great article from Suzanne Dunlap on keeping your readers turning the pages.


Anne R Allen has a great post on tone in writing. This goes hand in hand with voice. You can make the gruesome funny with the tone of your writing. It is all in the word choice. 


In The Craft Section,

Should you revise as you go – Jessica Strawser

What are antagonist proxies- K M Weiland – Bookmark

Breaking writer rules- September Fawkes

Story pacing- Florida writers- Bookmark

8 qualities of a great book editor- C S Lakin- Bookmark

Plotting with Michael Hauge’s 6 stages- Janice Hardy -Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Lead magnets for authors- Inkerscon- Bookmark

How to write a powerful about page- Sandra Beckwith

Make a good impression with cover design- Lexi Greene

Unexpected things your author platform can do for you- Colleen Story -Bookmark

Head shots- Terry Odell- Bookmark

Pinterest for book marketing- Joann Penn interview with Trona Freeman- Bookmark


To Finish,

Writing is a business. It’s entertainment. It’s escapism. It’s knowledge. It is a business. Hopefully money is flowing to the writer. That is a helpful tip if you get a publishing deal. Are you paying for it? Reputable publishers/agents don’t charge you. 

With the recent surveys on author income and the sad reality that many writers can’t make a living The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive blog post on embracing a positive money mindset. Money is not a dirty word if you need it to pay the bills. Every writer would like to not worry about money. So, look at the article. Cultivate that mindset, and money might begin to flow into your author bank account.





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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Writers and Readers


In Publishing News this week,

I received a couple of interesting emails this week pointing to interesting moves by companies working for publishers and readers. 


Draft2Digital has acquired continuing their quest to be the everything store to Indie / Trad publishers. They bought Smashwords last year and are busy amalgamating the best bits. They introduced print (POD) to their eBook store. Now they have an Indie Book Cover Designer marketplace. 


The next email was from my local bookstore. They have partnered with to market audiobooks. This was news as the bookstores email to me came out at the same time as I found a reference to it on a global publishing website. are inviting indie bookstores to partner with them in return for a slice of the subscription pie. promises a portion of your sub can go to your favourite bookstore and you get to own your audiobooks instead of just a one time listen. Win/Win


Publishers Weekly highlights the movers and shakers in the Trad publishing world and they think Simon and Schuster may have a buyer. It’s all in who is making the big cash moves in publishing.


Meanwhile, in the continuing saga of America’s book banning court cases, booksellers in Texas have clubbed together to try to defeat a new Texas law that wants Bookshops and Publishers to rate their children’s books on a sexually explicit rating scale. The scale isn’t set out. The famous I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it judicial statement may be used here if the court case fails. On the other side of the pond, France is grappling with its first book ban of a children’s book over sexuality. They haven’t banned it just made it an R18. (I wonder how the sales are going, probably very well.)


Mark Williams from The New Publishing Standard pointed out that the UK’s much improved print sales numbers were hiding some unwelcome news. Numbers were down. Prices were up.

Mark also looks at the UK’s Independent Publishers Guild offer to help publishers navigate the AI landscape by delivering training sessions in how to ‘harness the power of AI driven technology.’ 

Remember AI is a tool. It is not a creative replacement.


Kris Rusch continues her great posts on niche marketing. This week she gives examples of thinking small to nail the niche market.


James Scott Bell explores writing rules and why you should know them and the reason for them before you break them- and then break them creatively. This is an excellent post from a writing craft master.


In The Craft Section,

How to create a scene outline- C S Lakin- Bookmark

What is an inciting incident – September Fawkes- Bookmark

How to meet cute in romance-Lindsay Elizabeth

Find characters energy motivators – Deborah-Zenha Adams

The Rhetorical Triangle for Writers- Sue Coletta - Bookmark

Improve your writing in 5 minutes- Mini videos-Angela Ackerman Becca Puglisi- Check it out!


In The Marketing Section,

8 things book promo companies wish authors understood- and 8 mistakes you are making on your website- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Who are your key influencers- Sandra Beckwith - Bookmark

Have you checked your author goals lately?- Judith Briles

Using Books2Read as a Marketing tool- Terry Odell- Bookmark

Nothing matters until something matters- Jody Sperling- Interesting!


To Finish,

Readers and Writers. Writers are Readers. The two are wound up together in mutual need relationships. Need to read. Need to write. Need to read in order to write. 

Written Word Media have the results of the survey they asked their reader newsletter subscribers on how they pick their next book. It’s not the cover….

Gazebo Girl, Christy Cashman, talks about the struggle in finding the right place to write and why sometimes you need to change it up.

Jerry B Jenkins writes about the author career. Did you know how many careers are out there that are writing but have another name? How do you plan a writing career? Has any writer planned one? 

Sometimes I think The Alice in Wonderland story is a metaphor for the writing career. Going down rabbit holes, taking suspect potions, ending up where you didn’t want to be or ending up somewhere completely different from where you thought you were. Add in the weird characters you meet along the way and it’s time for a lie down. 





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 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.


If you would like the blog in your inbox you can subscribe to the Substack version.

Pic John Tenniel Illustration

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Navigating the Author Life

In Publishing News this week,

The annual writing income surveys from the UK, the US, and Australia all hit the news, leaving authors hot and bothered. For many, it was proof that their unsettled feelings that icebergs were ahead was completely right. Writer incomes have dropped all around the world.

The Guardian published the UK findings and then Joanne Harris explained how this drop would impact the books being published in the future.

Australia had a more rigorous approach with Macquarie University publishing breakdowns over 8 key findings from their survey. The impact of the PLR and the ELR income saving the children’s writers particularly.

Written Word Media took a different approach and looked at the backlist and its impact on writer income. There it was a different story. The bigger the backlist you control the better for your income.

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware has been looking at scam publishers who contact writers telling them that their backlist can be reissued with only a few changes … just sign here. Beware fishhooks. Victoria details how you can get out of these traps if you find yourself in one.

Kris Rusch has been looking at the judges’ comments on the PRH and Simon and Schuster court case and making some pithy comments of her own on bestsellers. This is an informative read, in light of the author income survey results which came out after Kris had written her article. 


Over in Europe, audiobook companies are scrambling to get a bigger share of the market and another audiobook company abandons the unlimited subscription model. Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard also casts a weather eye on Nextory’s venture into adding News and Magazines to its subscriptions.

With all the stress of the writers' income reports Beth Barany of Writing and Wellness suggests 7 different types of rest that writers need to restore their creativity. 


In The Craft Section,

The best places to write- K M Weiland

The importance of writing your thoughts down- Rachel Thompson

The ingredients for a successful story climax

The eighth element the author needs- Donald Maass- READ and BOOKMARK!

The 4 stages of writing a novel- Beth Barany

When to use a scene or a summary- Savannah Gilbo - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

The 2023 literary calendar for marketing ideas- Sandra Beckwith- BOOKMARK

6 things to know before publishing a book in 2023- Penny Sansevieri

The ultimate guide to Book Distribution tools – Bookbub- Bookmark

Pivoting Genres and Mindsets for Success- Joanna Penn Interview with Dan Padavona


To Finish,

Terry Odell has a great article on writer priorities… it’s all about finding out what are the big important things to you. 

Another week, another great list of writers’ gifts. This time Katie Weiland lists the best gifts she has received over the years. 

Meanwhile, a winning lottery ticket will be on every writers wish list.





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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 Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Thursday, June 9, 2022

Reading The Future



This week in publishing news,


The outgoing UK Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell called for the government to fund school libraries. The Guardian reported that Cressida's experiment where 6 primary schools received a curated collection and dedicated training to school librarians and teachers has been a huge success, now it needs to be replicated. Speaking as a teacher, the last thing you should do is get rid of the library…and it’s always the first to go when you need an extra classroom. If you want engaged, reading-for-life, children - fund the school library!


Publishers Weekly examined a law that has just passed in New York State – Freelance doesn’t mean Free. The onus is on the contractor to pay up in 30 days or the freelancer can double the bill. I know so many freelancers that would greet this kind of law with cheers.


Wordsrated released an examination of the length of best sellers in the last year. Results… the books are getting shorter. Is this because paper and ink cost more? Attention spans… reading is not trendy? Dive in for the number breakdowns.


Writer Beware examines a bad contract from one of the top serial writing companies. This is a must read.  Everyone in publishing needs to be aware of contract speak for taking everything and leaving you no rights at all. However, there is a sneaky way around this contract if you want to write serial fiction.


WhiteFox Publishing celebrated their 10th anniversary by canvassing opinions from publishing people about how they see publishing changing in the next 10 years. Some interesting ideas were mentioned that writers should be aware of.


The Readmagine conference on publishing futures wrapped up in Madrid. Publishing Perspectives interviewed Luis Gonzales on the biggest challenge for the publishing industry that he sees going forward- Renewing the narrative that publishing is good for society.


Every week I get unsolicited offers from marketers wanting me to feature their content on my blog. Rarely do they have anything to do with publishing or writing and so I immediately junk them. This week I received a tip from Timothy Moonlight who wrote a comparison article on audiobook royalties and how he is having success with a new distributor Soundwise. Why can’t content marketers be like Tim and send relevant information that fits this blog.


Last week I mentioned that Kris Rusch had attended the Licensing Expo. In my inbox popped an email from Darcy Pattison on her experiences at the expo where she took her children’s books. It is a fascinating read.


John Wilker has written an interesting article on how he wishes Indie bookshops would support Indie authors. He makes some good points. Marketing your books is always going to be challenging and we must celebrate the Indie bookstores that walk alongside us.


Can you market books without social media? Penny Sansevieri has an article by Carol Michel who did just that. If you have been wondering about the value or time suck of social media for bookmarketing this is a fascinating read.


Beth Havey wrote an interesting article on the lure of stuffing your book full of literary symbolism. Are you tempted to throw everything and the kitchen sink in your book or do you go back once you have written it and find the symbolism naturally occurring?


In The Craft Section,

The Fear Thesaurus – Being watched-Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

6 ways to find the best ideas before writing- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Writing un-putdownable characters- A C Williams

Tension and micro tension to keep your readers hooked – Tiffany Yates Martin- Bookmark

The ultimate guide to writing for audio- Jules Horne- Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

July social media dates for book marketing- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Write emails that sell books- Nick Stephenson- Bookmark

How to write an author bio- Beth Barany

Street teams- Angela Ackerman

Another take on book trailers- Terry Odell- Bookmark

Book promo in July – Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


To Finish,

This week Kris Rusch returned to her current series of articles about why writers fail. This week she looked at the problem of aging. How often has a writer started a great series, realized it was going to be a life’s work, and given up halfway through or died on the job? Should we be holding back? Is the fear of big projects causing us to fail before we start? 

Can we future-proof our writing?





Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed with marketing notes as a thank you. 

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


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