Showing posts with label catherine ryan howard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label catherine ryan howard. Show all posts

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Clock Is Ticking



This week in publishing news...

Publishing Perspectives has highlighted the call from International Pen calling for protection of writers and journalists in Afghanistan. With the situation changing hourly on the ground over there, writers and journalists are being targeted. The first casualty is always truth and an incoming regime is quick to get control of the message to the people. If you want to help, get in touch with your countries author societies who can direct you to your nearest PEN branch.


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard takes a look at Hachette’s purchase of Workman this week. Hachette wasn’t interested in the frontlist but in the gold of the backlist. Publishers are taking note that their digital sales kept them afloat when the bricks and mortar stores were closed. Now they are on the hunt for vaults of backlist to make money from. 


Meanwhile, Kris Rusch has been looking at Omnichannel marketing. What does that mean to the author? It is the seamless experience of drawing a reader into your lair  book world and giving them the same experience wherever they encounter you. It is an interesting read and the way of future marketing.


Publishing Perspectives reports on moves to introduce gamification serial writing apps. Write the serial and unlock a whole lot of enhanced content around it with in-app purchases. Take a look at what may be speeding down the track towards you.


Bookfunnel has just announced an exciting new feature- They are getting into author newsletter swaps. They are making it easy to find other authors to swap freebies with. 


Time has discovered Goodreads, or really the mess of review bombing that has been escalating over on Goodreads. Amazon owns Goodreads and the experience for authors is not a good one. Time for a clean-up of the review trolls. 


New Zealand’s publishers were planning their conference this weekend. Publishing In A Disrupted World. A very prescient conference theme as it happens. Their guests are live streaming in so they may be able to move the whole thing online.


Jane Friedman published a guest article from Sangeeta Mehta on two agents' advice on publishing with a small press. Is it was worth it? Some interesting ideas were put forward. Writer, E J Wenstrom published an article this week on what she had learned in 6 years being with a small press.


Anne R Allen has a great article on cliche story beginnings and how they have evolved. It is especially good if you aren’t sure if your beginning is a cliché.


In The Craft Section,

Story Obstacles- or when you have to take two steps back- Jami Gold- Bookmark

3 things to know about endings- K M Weiland - Bookmark

Describing character emotions, problems, and solutions- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

10 self-editing tips- Maryann Miller- Bookmark

3 useful tips for getting your book written- Lucy V Hay- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section

Building an ARC Review team- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

How to use pre-order strategies on Amazon- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to market to local media- Penny Sansevieri

What is a soft book launch?- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Working with Google Docs- TheWriteLife- Bookmark


To Finish,

Yesterday New Zealand went into a snap Lockdown as we had one case of the Delta variant of Covid 19 in the community. Our countries strategy has been to Go Hard. Go Early. This has enabled us to quickly get on top of the pandemic and then life goes back to the way it was. It has been 16 months since our last tight lockdown so we know the strategy works. As we are a gateway to the Pacific Islands we are protecting them as well until we all can be vaccinated. One case quickly turned into 10 and then into 21, but we have traced everybody with genome sequencing so we know where and how it got here. This kind of fast turnaround science was unheard of a few years ago. So what should we do in a tight lockdown? Some writers might think 'I should write that novel', but not everyone has the ideal writing environment if the house is full. Writer Unboxed recently posted an article on the 6 excuses you can use for not finishing your novel in a pandemic.

Or you could be Catherine Ryan Howard – one of our Indie touchstones, who has gone on to have a big thriller career. Catherine wrote a thriller in lockdown about lockdown called 56 days. She writes a small rant in the Irish Times about how it came about. Take one lockdown…





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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 – David Lofink


Thursday, February 14, 2019

How Do You Count Success?

Around the publishing blogosphere this week...

Ah Bologna! The biggest children’s book fair in the world. (Secretly every children’s writer wants to go…)
Bologna is about to get bigger! This years themes African American culture, women, and handwriting.
Check out Porter Anderson’s run down on what’s new to the fair.

It’s writing convention season in the Northern hemisphere… so you need to know what to pack.
Check out this list of must haves from Gail Carriger- (don’t forget foot lotion!)

Bustle decided we needed to be reminded of the book scandals so far this year… We are in the seventh week
and we have had five scandals in publishing… Are we in a depraved industry or finally at the point where we are
calling out BS?

A scandal that wasn’t mentioned was The Authors Guild report on author incomes and their downward trend
that came out in January. This caught some people by surprise. (Who knew there wasn’t any
money in publishing?) However there were plenty of people who disputed the figures. Orna Ross,
Director of Alliance of Independent Authors made some interesting comments about using money to
figure out if you were successful. (Some genres had a problem with that…)

A friend told me about an email last month from a company offering to write her autobiography as she was a
busy scientist. She must be famous. We laughed, but it is a serious matter. These scams target the clueless
about publishing. Be a great friend, alert people to scams. (If you want to laugh, check out their emails along
with their spell checker and understanding of science papers… ;)

I was interested to read Agent Janet Reid’s answers to a question about what to do when your
publisher looks like they’re going belly up… This reminded me of Kris Rush’s blog on IP a few weeks ago
and if you haven’t read it… YOU MUST! (- and the comments).  Kris is back with an interesting view of
the Consumer Electronics Show and new media. Remember, once upon a time eBooks were NEW.
(And look how they changed publishing.) Kris points out some new ideas
to be aware of. (Check your contracts… beware of rights grabs for media not invented yet.)

Last month I mentioned that Mike Shatzkin, publishing futurist and commentator, had been down under
and visited our fair shores. Mike took the time to speak to people in the book industry here about
what the big problems are.Here is what he found out and what publishers can do about it.

Jami Gold has been looking at Social Media platforms… which do you use and why?
Jami has some good advice for which ones would best suit you.

If you are an Indie publisher you will have come up against this important question… Go wide or Select?
Here are the pros and cons. Meanwhile Richard Charkin charts his Indie publisher journey so far
who knew it would start with 1000 emails...

The WriteLife blog has compiled their best sites for authors 2019… There are the tried and trusted ones…
and some new kids in the mix.

In The Craft Section,

How to write a Macguffin- The Maltese Tiger- Bookmark

Creating authentic villains- Kyla Bagnall- Bookmark

The 6 figure master fiction plot-Janice Hardy - Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to use Goodreads for authors- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

10 reasons why people leave your website- infographic- Barb Dozdowich

To Finish,

It’s great to check in with Catherine Ryan Howard every now and then.
It shows how far a life can change in a decade in publishing. Catherine has just
published her 72 easy steps to get an Edgar nomination. If you are a thriller/ crime writer,
these are big genre awards! Practically an overnight success story!


In my monthly newsletter, coming 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 like the blog and want to shout me a coffee- hit the coffee button up top. Thanks.

R.I.P Opportunity... The last message... My battery is low. It is getting dark.

15 years of exploration on another planet... originally designed for 90 days.  

An OUTSTANDING achievement for the Rover Robot Team!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Everything You Thought You Knew....

The Digital Book World conference is still being talked about. Ron Vitale has a great round up of important points to think about going into 2017 and DBW has a great article on the changing role of agents in 2017.

Kris Rusch has a Must Read post on the breakdowns of the Author Earnings presentation at DBW. Click through to the slide show presentation that Data Guy from Author Earnings shared at the conference- Mind Blowing.

Mike Shatzkin takes a look at Amazon’s dominance in the bookmarket and concludes that Traditional Publishers should be working with, not against, the Zon. But how should they...
(see Data Guy’s slideshow for the facts!)

Waterstones are in the black. (Booksellers cry hurrah!) Is this the beginning of Good Times Ahead for bookshops? Waterstones put in cafes but really it was children’s books that saved them...

Book Promotion- Do This Not That- This is a standout post on The Book Designer by Amy Collins. And while we’re on Book Promotion ideas check out Jane Friedman’s best of 2016 articles. WOW!

Joanna Penn interviewed John Lee Dumas and it was a jawdropper. Have you ever looked at those premium journals and thought ‘I wonder who thinks these up?’ Wonder no more! And if you ever had a hankering to make one... It’s a must watch!

Bookworks take a look at academic publishing and wonders if 2017 will be the year academics go Indie. There are some really interesting new players in this field.

In The Craft Section,

Whose head is it anyway – Omniscient P.O.V.- Janice Hardy

How do you write a book- Catherine Ryan Howard (on trying to write Bk2)

British American Speak-Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Powerful scenes- setting counts- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to do Goodreads giveaways and why you should- Catherine Ryan Howard- Bookmark

How to use a Facebook ad- Mark Dawson - Bookmark

To Finish,

Jane Friedman posted a link to a Book Marketing case study using Goodreads and Netgalley. This is an interesting and informative case study done last month.

Ruth Harris has a great post on Author Resilience- The key to reaching your writing goals. This is a thought provoking read... especially if procrastination has been your friend lately!


 Catch up on the best of my bookmarked links every month. Subscribe to my newsletter.


Pic : Flickr Creative Commons/ Les Sachs

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Socially Speaking

This week I’ve been thinking about social media, mostly because I’m away from it, visiting family. Every now and again it is good to get out and meet people face to face whom you only spend time with on Social Media. Shared laughter and hugs stay with you longer than emoji’s. And often the gossip is better in person.

When you spend a lot of time on line sometimes you forget to take a step back and figure out the best use of your time on line. Molly Greene has a great list of 45 ways that you may be sabotaging yourself on Social Media.

Back ups... Back Ups... Back ups...
There are so many ways to lose everything. If you are storing your work online make sure you have a copy off line too. Google just took 14 years of an artists work in an accidental deletion. Please read the comments - it could be you!

Think Longterm. Create a Body of Work. This is a key chapter in Joanna Penn’s latest non fiction book, The Successful Author Mindset. Joanna shares this chapter on her blog this week. It Is Gold!

Jane Friedman has an interesting guest blog this week from Gabriela Pereira about the value of an MFA. This is always an author discussion point. Do you need an MFA to be a writer? Genre writers say NO BUT.... Read this excellent article on the myths and realities.

Catherine Ryan Howard has just had a successful book launch of her first traditionally published book. But the second book deadline is looming up... and Catherine found it difficult to focus. This is a very honest look at how fear of the second book can hold us back. How to write a novel when you’ve forgotten how.

Janice Hardy is an absolute treasure. She always has solid advice for writers. It is rare for me not to link to some gem of hers every week. She has a great blog post on writing accountability. This is a great way to progress your projects...

In The Craft Section,

Writing Character thoughts- Darcy Pattison- Bookmark

Query Letters – The Pitch- Writer Unboxed

15 Character creation tips- Now Novel - Bookmark

The burden of knowledge- or how to get your thoughts on the page- Jennie Nash-Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

Social Media in 30 minutes a day- Frances Caballo- Bookmark

How to give away free books and why you should – Book Funnel and Joannna Penn-Bookmark

To Finish,
I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a monthly author newsletter.  I write for children but I blog about writing, marketing and publishing book trends for adults. This does make for a confusing brand according to the marketing experts.

When I get together with other children’s writers we always ask each other what we’re working on and we share interesting ideas. So as I can’t sit down and have a coffee with you in real life why don’t you subscribe to my monthly newsletter. I’ll share some of the best bookmarked links and some interesting (death defying) research from my current writing projects. You can ask me questions on Twitter or Facebook. I love to chat.... 


Thursday, June 2, 2016

In The Fine Print

This week I’ve been catching up with what was happening at Book Expo America (BEA) which is North America’s largest book fair. Porter has a quick run down of what everyone was talking about.

The Wall Street Journal took a good look at book covertrends... it’s all about yellow! Cover designers are being asked to pop it on book covers (And here I thought the ‘in’ colour was blue and there had to be water on the front.)

Meanwhile Meg Rosoff was collecting her Astrid Lindgren medal and stating publically that childhood now is under threat from governments. Well said Meg!

In Ireland Catherine Ryan Howard was musing about what happened when she chucked what she thought she should write in favour of what she wanted to write – everything changed.

Kris Rusch is continuing her great Deal Breakers series with a MUST READ on Rights clauses. Writers need to be reading this series by Kris. This week I have also seen comments about authors needing specialised lawyers to read publishing contracts because they are getting trickier.

Bookbub and Goodreads have been learning off each other... changes are afoot. This is an interesting article that Indie publishers should scan.

Becca and Angela are bringing out two new writers thesauri and in their research have come up with 5 ways to help your favourite authors.

In the Craft Section,

A writers guide to editors- Ruth Harris -Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

Facebook advertising- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

Making our books visible on Google- Elizabeth S Craig – Bookmark

Website of the Week
The Alliance of Independent Authors (Alli) has been posting video and audio from their fringe events at London and BEA. This is a great resource. Here are just two excellent postings Mark Coker on using pre orders effectively and Kiffer Brown on the 7 must haves for self publishers. Trawl around their site for other great resources

To Finish,

Sometimes you need to stop and reassess what you are doing and what you want to achieve. Kate Moretti has a great guest post on Writers in the Storm about Cutting through Busyness to get to writing. This is excellent advice here for the writer feeling overwhelmed with what they didn’t tell you in the fine print.


Pic: from inside a Romeo and Juliet - Choose Your Own Adventure... by Ryan North.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Failure Planning In This Writing Business

This week I was discussing the abuse of interns with an economist (as you do.) He was highlighting how tech interns are offered lots of unpaid work as a leg up in the industry. Its not a leg up... it’s a leg shackle. This morning The Bookseller had an article pointing the finger at unpaid internships in publishing. (Arrgh – not in my own industry! I thought we were better than that...) I have seen Internships advertised now and again on Twitter... and they ask for writers mostly. So go in with your eyes open!

Kristine Kathryn Rusch has sideways jumped with her blog series on Contracts and Deal Breakers. Prince’s lack of a will raises some huge issues for any creative legacy. Recently Kris was editing an anthology and saw at first hand what a mess some writers literary estates were in. This is an important issue. And yes it applies to you! Take the time to read her article and think about what you can put in place in the unfortunate event...

If you are thinking like a business owner... and you should be... Molly Greene has an excellent article on Business Plans for Authors this week. This is a quick run through of the basics that you should be covering.

Anne R Allen has a great post for new writers about ways they can derail their writing careers before it even starts. This is a good post to share around. I have come up against these attitudes from writers and I just wince.

This week Catherine Ryan Howard had her first Traditional Fiction book published.  Catherine Caffienated has been a popular go to blog for anybody learning about self publishing. She is funny and honest as she learned in public and helped countless others on the way with her non fiction books. So why go traditional with fiction? As part of her promotion she has an excellent blog post on killer twists.

The Marketing SFF podcast is always a great learning resource to dip into. This week the team interviewed best selling series writer Garrett Robinson and it was a cracker! Garrett writes in public on YouTube. It’s almost performance art... Spend some time with this podcast and get mind blown!

Audible is doing an interesting thing. They are allowing subscribers to gift an audible book for free. I’m trying to see the catch. You get to still own the book. The creators still get paid as if it’s a real sale... you don’t have to buy the book again. Sounds wonderful!

In the Craft Section,

How to write deep POV- Ava Jae- Bookmark

Building the movie in our minds- Jami Gold - Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

How to podcast – Joanna Penn

Susan Spann has written an excellent series on right in contracts. These are Bookmark posts! 
Subsidiary rights and Merchandising rights in publishing deals. Read and have your eyes opened!

Penny Sansevieri has a great post on live streaming on Facebook- and other epic Facebook marketing tips- Bookmark

To Finish,


Friday, March 25, 2016

Genre Journeys

This week seemed to be genre week with interesting  articles from across the genre spectrum.
Children’s Publishing day at Digital Book World had some interesting takeaways. A few years ago it was widely speculated that with all these smart phones the early adopters would be teenagers. But they aren’t. They still want a physical book with printed pages.
But the genre could be slowly changing.

Over in the Romance field the HEA (happily ever after) ending is being questioned... do modern romances need this? It isn’t reflected in real life... is it? Some interesting thoughts in this blog post and comments.

James Patterson, who is his own genre, has been making waves this week with the revelation that there is a whole publishing arm devoted to just him... and he is employing them through his publishers, which would make him a Self Publisher with a traditional publishing house or a traditional publishing house with a self publishing imprint devoted to one person. No one can decide but it makes fascinating reading especially as he is publishing across age groups.

Leo Hartas, an illustrator, makes a plea for writers to understand how to commission an illustrator. If you are in the market for having illustrations for your project... read this first. I know illustrators who say these words often.

One of the most heart felt posts on Social Media came from Anne R Allen this week. This follows on from Jami Gold’s post last week. Anne talks about the increasing pressure on writers to be everywhere... You don’t need to be. She makes absolute sense and this is a must read for every author out there.

Catherine Ryan Howard who is a Go To Guru on how to self publish has an agent and a traditional publishing deal. This is an interesting journey... and one a lot of writers are taking as Hybrid is seen as a good career move.

This week publishing futurist Mike Shatzkin has been thinking about the need for publishers to use critical data research in the acquisitions process. These days research and data profiles are becoming easier to find and use so why aren’t publishers using them? As always read the comments for the robust discussion points.

Today while traveling on an errand a character, whom I had put on hold for a few years, popped into my mind demanding that now was the time to tell his story... never mind I’m in the middle of something big... somewhere else. Some characters are so rude! This got me thinking about Story Structure and this led me to one of Larry Brooks latest posts on structure versus pantsing. There is no opposition. There is subliminal understanding that every story should have a beginning and an end. This is a one of those A-HA posts that you will print out!

In The Craft Section,

How to write a love scene- Jane Friedman Bookmark

2 Bookmark posts from  K M Weiland 5 ways to trim your word count and 11 killer chapter breaks.

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have compiled a popular posts list.

In The Marketing Section,

How authors can find readers- Jane Friedman- Bookmark

To Finish,

Y A Highway is an interesting site where YA authors hang out. They have an interesting infographic (very Jasper Ffordish) with lots of clickable links on all sorts of interesting posts. This is well worth a trawl. Children’s writers cover all genres the good and the bad...


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