Showing posts with label chuck wendig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chuck wendig. Show all posts

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Taking Time



In Publishing News this week,


I received an email from Google Play telling me about the exciting changes they are making to AI narrated audiobooks- Voices, lots of voices, enough for a cast of characters. They are upping the auto narration stakes. Other audiobook producers offer this feature for a fee. Google just rolls it into their free audiobook creation. AI is disrupting audio books. However, if you are thinking about the magic bakery of IP creation, (Dean Wesley Smith’s great analogy - he has a book on the subject) then AI audio is just one facet of audio, like author narrated or actor narrated or radio play version with a full cast of characters. 


Over in Europe Bookwire has been expanding its audiobook service - Sign up with them and get your audiobook translated into five languages.


As I am a children’s writer, I like to keep one eye on what is happening in that marketplace. Over 25% of China’s book trade are children’s books and at the moment they are going crazy for Manga Non-Fiction.


Mark Williams highlighted the plight of Afghanistan publishing. Since they cracked down on girls attending school the book trade has died by 50%. Who knew that girls reading kept an economy going? Mark wants the publishing industry to remember the missing readers. Today I saw a picture of a bombed out library in Gaza and felt grief for the missing readers there. The freedom to read safely is a privilege we often take far too lightly here in the western world. Just think about the lawsuits to let kids read books in the largest democracy in the world. It could happen in a town near you.


Richard Charkin writes about publishing in the good old days… he discusses the traditional publishing fondness for territory rights instead of language rights. Do we really need an American English version of a book published in England? And why do we have different covers?


Sue Coletta has a stunning post – What type of Writer and Reader are you? Our brains process information through one of our five senses… So which type are you?


Katie Weiland has a brilliant post on Time Management for Writers. There are some gems in this article.


Chuck Wendig is wondering about Social Media now that we have to be everywhere or is it nowhere… or somewhere. If you are feeling bewildered by new Social Media - read Chuck. At least you will laugh.


Tzivia Gover has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about Journals and Dreams: The Unsung Heroes of Literature. Have you been writing your dreams down?


Ruth Harris has a great article on writers’ advice. Let the experts help you to craft those sparkling passages. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club” - Jack London.


In The Craft Section,

What sleeping with Jane Eyre taught me about pacing- Heidi Croot

Rewriting- keep your eyes open and your ego closed- P J Parrish- Bookmark

Create personal writing timelines- Cindy Sproles- Bookmark

Five Elements of relationship plot lines- September Fawkes- Bookmark

Writing in scenes- Paula Munier

Are your characters living in the moment?- Janice Hardy


In The Marketing Section,

Christmas Book Promotions and strategies- PublishDrive- Bookmark

Boost your holiday sales- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

How to Newsletter swap- Sandra Beckwith

15 must have resources for authors- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Use TikTok to sell books-Joe Yamulla

To Finish,

Why do our brains impact our self confidence? We remember the bad reviews not the good ones. We absorb only the savage critique not where our writing sang. How can we combat our confirmation bias?- Kasey LeBlanc has the answer.


This week Joanna Penn talked to a serial writer and entrepreneur. If you have been thinking about subscription based writing and the creator economy – check out the interview with Reem Co Founder Michael Evans- he’s been writing books for 7 years. With everything he has been doing it’s hard to believe he’s only 21.


Time stays long enough for those who use it - Leonardo Da Vinci





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 shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Standing Up For Your Rights


In Publishing News This Week


The Judge handed down a ruling on the Internet Archive Library copyright case which has annoyed the plaintiffs, (AKA some of the biggest publishers.) The judge is trying to steer a middle course by allowing the Internet Archive to stick with making eBooks of print books that don’t already have an eBook format. This stops the publishers or the authors who have reclaimed their rights doing their own eBook version. Publishing eBooks for in-print books is not fair use. Appeals to the ready. 


With the ever louder clamour to ban books… various library organisations have banded together to promote the banned books. Penguin Random House has joined the party by making a whole lot of resources and books available to kids. Let Kids Read. I was nonplussed to read the opening remark in this news article. How can teachers think AI would tell them what books to ban?


Last week I reported on Jane Friedman’s woes with AI scraped books that had her name, and by extension reputation, plastered all over them. The story went viral and was reported on many international news sites, including our national radio programme. Jane has published an article on what to do if you are in a similar situation. Based on many writers testimony all over the internet- this is going to become more likely. One pundit stated that keeping a strict eye on your Amazon Author page where these books are likely to show up is essential. Amazon won’t do anything until you tell them to.


Wired has a story on the Prosecraft AI backlash- Why the great AI backlash came for a tiny startup you’ve probably never heard of. Are they just the convenient low hanging victim for scared people or is there some deeper motive in the AI backlash against them.


Writers in Kindle Unlimited were dismayed when the latest pages reads compensation got down to .0004 cents a page. Many writers publicly stated this was the end for them being in the KU program. Craig Martell of 20 Books fame devoted a 5 minute focus chat on this topic. If you are wondering what you should do check out the wise words of the 20 books captain. 


Joanna Penn has an interesting interview with Steph Pajonas on using AI tools to help writers with disabilities. Some of the tools can be very useful.


Literary Agent Janet Reid explains why selling YA is so hard now. This is a good exploration of why some books can be the next hot thing until they aren’t.


Are you being eco friendly in your publishing? The Alliance of Independent Authors has an interesting article about how you can up your sustainability practice.


Chuck Wendig has an interesting post on why he is focussing on standalone books instead of series. It all has to do with rights. There are potentially more exploitable rights in standalones. An interesting perspective when everyone in the Indie world is paddling the other way.


Roz Morris has a great article on story telling details she now does on auto pilot. It all goes back to great editing teaching her a few tricks.


In The Craft Section,

What are pinch points and where do they go- Sue Coletta

How to determine the age of your target reader- C S Lakin- Bookmark

How to find the narrators voice- Michelle Barker- Bookmark

What are plot devices and why you should be cautious- K M Weiland- Bookmark

The basic formula of fiction- James Scott Bell- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to write a newsletter people will actually share- Lisa Norman- Bookmark

Best practices for selling books- Elizabeth Craig

Crafting an irresistible book pitch- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

The business of writing- Angela Ackerman

Author websites- Goodstory Company- Bookmark


To Finish,

How many times have you come up against the myth of the solitary writer? It has a certain romance to it. Left alone the writer will be most productive and their genius will flower naturally in a series of stunning books. 

Yeah about that. The reality is a lot different. Writers need a community says Elizabeth Craig.

A few decades back there were writers who couldn’t deal with the world so needed the dutiful wife to do everything. This article looks at the wives who put up with a lot from their tortured genius writer spouses. 

I would be reaching for the frying pan and not in a good way if I was shackled to these writers. 





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 this blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.


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 Getty Image from Latest WGA strike news

Thursday, August 10, 2023

When Whack-A-Mole Feels Like The Only Game In Town



In Publishing News this week…

The news that Simon and Shuster has been sold echoed around the publishing blogosphere like a thunderclap. The buyer KKR is an investment fund. The news has split the publishing world into two camps, This is a good thing for publishing and The sky is about to fall in.

Which camp you are in seems to be whether you are a student of financial history or whether you think that publishing needs to change the way it does business.

Mark Williams looks at it as a beacon of hope, an interesting take on how he sees the future playing out.

Cory Doctorow sees the sale as another nail in the coffin. Cory has been writing excellent articles recently about tech business issues and this sale fits right into some of his core concerns.

KKR have got a great deal- cheaper than PRH was offering. Simon and Schuster are an IP prize and their sales have been very good lately although they do have a Trump court case looming. (The winners will always be the lawyers.) 


In other court case news, Amazon and the FTC. The case of breaking up Amazon got a little closer recently. Will there be a future without Amazon? Don’t count on it coming soon. This case is going slowly. Meanwhile, although the judge threw out the colluding eBook prices with the big 5 publishers court case she did find that Amazon needs to front up over its monopolistic practices.


Jane Friedman is spitting mad and no one can blame her. If you are a popular and trusted name in the publishing world and some unscrupulous person decides to capitalise on your name recognition by publishing AI scraped books with your name on it, you would be too. However, when the websites hosting these bogus books then turn around and say so what, you haven’t trademarked your name, you reach Defcon 1 in mad. The post went viral and some backtracking was soon evident. But will this happen to others? Constant Vigilance.


Meanwhile, in other AI scraping news, The website Prosecraft which was set up to help authors refine their writing was closed by its owner when news broke that to make the site work they had been scraping popular authors work without permission. When you unleash the AI, letting it roam through 24,000 authors books isn’t a good idea.


Kathleen Schmidt a publishing industry blogger looks at the latest problems besetting the publishing industry and asks if publishing is now broken. 


Even though Jane Friedman is wrestling with AI trolls she still finds the time to have brilliant guest posters on her popular site. This week Matt Holmes has a very interesting study on Facebook ads and how he is using the FB algorithms to do something completely different which is also making him money.


Tonight I had the privilege of being at The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It was great to see many friends in the industry and to celebrate the finalists and the winners. I have judged the awards and it is always a nerve wracking time for everybody. You feel the weight of your choices and wish that you could give everyone a prize for just getting to the finals because of the tremendous amount of work, sweat, tears, and years of the author and illustrators lives wrapped up in the pages. 


If you are wondering about this writing gig and feeling down about your work… read this great article by Kathleen McCleary on Writer Unboxed on Forward Motion.



In The Craft Section,

The secret to writing your first book faster- Suzy Vadori

Vulnerability -the key to compelling relationships- Angela Ackerman

Do you have too much dialogue- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Two tricks to build suspense- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Multiple points of view – Anne R Allen- Bookmark

How to write middle grade fiction- Stephanie Willing


In The Marketing Section,

Book Marketing Buzzwords- A good index from Sandra Beckwith

Why writers shouldn’t care about the numbers of Social Media followers- Colleen Story- Bookmark

70 tips to sell books – Kindlepreneur

The Marketing Mind Shift- Joanna Penn with Ricci Wolman of Written Word Media podcast/transcript- 


How to make the new Author pages on Amazon work for you- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish,

It’s been a while since I linked to a post from Chuck Wendig. He is still around, still doing his wild crazy thing but this week’s post Forgive The Writers Because We Are So Tired resonated with me as I was researching the blog. Publishing, and Discoverability problems, and Book Banning, and AI scraping, and Scammers and… and…. 

It often feels like we are playing whack-a-mole with the problems of being a writer in this current age. Everything around you conspires to take away your joy in the process, and the imagination, and the dream. But there is joy in the well-crafted story and that somewhere in the midst of the doom and gloom there is a new reader just waiting to escape into your imagination. 

It is a bonus if your peers think that your work stands up and adds to the taonga/treasure of your country. The sweat and tears are worth it.





It’s nearly time for the monthly newsletter. You can subscribe to get the best of my bookmarked links in a each month. Join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox check out the Substack version and subscribe there.

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


Pic Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Giving Gifts


In Publishing News

Penguin Random House CEO Marcus Dohle is stepping down after ten years at the helm of the biggest publisher on the planet. Publishing Perspectives looks at the impact Marcus has had on the Traditional Book Publishing Industry. Meanwhile, Mark Williams gives a less glowing report on Marcus Dohle’s tenure. Ouch! The fallout from that court case is still ongoing.


The USA Today Bestseller list is on hiatus. The news broke leaving writers in consternation. The USA Today list was a fair stab at the real numbers of the bestselling books as opposed to the *curated* numbers from The New York Times. The editor of the list was let go as a cost-cutting measure. This could be an early warning of Christmas layoffs in the publishing business.


Publisher’s Weekly reports that Amazon is tightening its offerings by cutting magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Also on the block is Textbook print rentals. What will be next?


It is looking like an AI wild west out there. The big news has been GPT3’s chatbot which has shifted the game of AI text generation. This morning I saw an article written about a particular indigenous cultural practice in our country written by the GPT3 AI that was lyrical, informed, and accurate. That an AI wrote it was mind-blowing. So where do we go from here? If you are a publisher it could be useful says Nieman labs. If you are an Artist or using AI Art, strap in for Chuck Wendig’s take on it. Techcrunch reports that OpenAI is experimenting with watermarks for AI art. After this morning’s article, I think text might need this too.


Kris Rusch continues to look at the publishing year in review. This week, the relevance of Traditional Publishing.


Richard Charkin has written an opinion column in Publishing Perspectives about the three gifts he would like to see under Publishing’s tree. I’ve got to agree with all of them! What About You?


Judith Briles has an interesting series of 3-minute focus YouTube videos on writing and marketing. Check out this one on organizing writing files.


In The Craft Section,

Foreshadowing- Jami Gold – Bookmark

How to write a thriller- Reedsy- Bookmark

Where to start developing a story- Scott Myers

Dealing with multiple drafts during revisions- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Mining Abandoned Projects – James Scott Bell


In The Marketing Section,

Video Camera shy tips- Amy Rodgers Nazarov- Bookmark

Creating single author box sets- Janice Hardy- Bookmark

Updating Amazon Book and Author pages- Elizabeth S Craig - Bookmark

Holiday promotion tips- Bookbaby

How to create a newsletter- Sendinblue


To Finish,

The Dream Team Angela and Becca have a great Christmas gift for writers – A free webinar on secrets to engaging readers. 

This is the last blog for the year. 

It has been a challenging year on the home front and I am ready for some downtime over Christmas and New Year. The blog will be back mid-January.

In the meantime, you can read past blog posts for great craft and marketing tips.

Leave reviews for other authors (Feel free to share the top image around.) 

Check out the First Book (Ebook) in the Circus Quest series for FREE or get any of my children's Ebooks for HALF PRICE. 


Wishing you all a peaceful holiday break.




There is a bumper newsletter with goodies coming to all subscribers soon so don’t forget to subscribe.

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


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Writing With The Machines



In Publishing News this week,


Publishing Perspectives writes about a new UK literary magazine starting up which is international in its outlook. Fictionable has short fiction, translated fiction, and short graphic fiction and is backed by some big literary names.


Pan Macmillian has had a cyber-attack that seems to have crawled right across the company over the last week. I’ve seen a couple of references of it hitting the US and now the UK.


This week the UK government released its response to Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property consultation paper. Are the AI’s being given copyright rights? Not yet.

As everyone delves through the document to find out how many rights AI will have, there are rumblings from Techcrunch over Alexa’s new features. Amazon has given Alexa the ability to speak in dead relatives' voices, (for an extra layer of creepy.) Of course, it would never be abused.


Publishing perspectives reports that German audio publisher Bookwire has now added AI voices to its range of narrators, the first audio publisher to do so and have them for sale. (Google offers AI narration only on their publisher dashboard.)

If you want to learn more about this checkout Joanna Penn’s great article on AI Narrated audiobooks.


Book Riot reports on the latest data on American reading habits. The stats say that half the adults don’t pick up a book but it depends on their age. Who are the biggest readers? Some interesting takeaways from this.


Meanwhile, the Alliance of Independent Authors is collecting data of its own. They want Authors to share their earnings and their publishing numbers to get a snapshot of how healthy the publishing industry is. Check out their numbers so far this year.


Penny Sansevieri has a great article on getting the most out of writing conferences. If you are attending one soon, check out her tips.


Jen Calonita has an interesting article in Publishers Weekly on being a children’s writer on TikTok. Embrace the fun.


Kris Rusch continues her series on why writers fail- How do writers treat money? Love it. Loathe it. Spend it. Hoard it. It’s a problem that writers are always struggling with.


Ruth Harris has a great post on how lists can keep you sane as a writer. Use them to jog your memory, plan your scene, character interview, plot points… there’s a list for everything. 


In The Craft Section,

13 Methods for writing the best dialogue

3 ways to infuse Character voice

Point of View and voice- John Gilstrap- Bookmark

Trimming- The tricks of the trade- Scott Myers

The role of the antagonist in story structure- K M Weiland- Bookmark

Is the last page as good as the first- Anne R Allen- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to acquire an agent- Lauren Sharkey

Kindlepreneur list of promo sites- Dave Chesson

Get better book launch results- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

How to get a great author photo- ALLI

How to prepare for a blog tour- WritePublishSell


To Finish,

It’s been a while since I linked to a Terrible Minds ramble but this week’s news has been an up and down rollercoaster of emotion. Chuck Wendig looks at how writing is a place to put your rage, sorrow, and even joy and have it take the emotional load you may be carrying. 






It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter. If you want the best of my bookmarked links, come join our happy band and 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.


Pic Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash



Thursday, December 17, 2020

Take A Deep Breath



It’s nearly the end.


This is the last blog post for 2020. What can I say… I will be glad to see the back of it. Summer (down under) A time to relax and recharge while dodging sunburn.


With New Year just around the corner, it can be a fun planning time for the year ahead.

Joanna Penn has a new book out on Author Business Plans so check out her latest podcast then pair those ideas with this article from LegalZoom on how to write one.


The Dream team Angela and Becca have unlocked all their Advent Contest Giveaways which are still available until the 19th so check out what’s on offer.


Scott Myers has a new post in his Writing goals for 2021 series. This one is on time management. This is a good series and something to bookmark for craft goals next year.


If you missed the AudibleGate scandal – Alliance of Independent Authors has a run down on what has been happening this year. Audible aren’t making changes until next year. If you were thinking of getting into audiobooks in 2021- Check out all the distributors before going with any of them. This is a fast changing sector. There are better players out there.


Remember Publishing Conferences? Germany has their FutureBook conference online in January. For a look at the state of publishing check out the titles of the keynote speeches.


Penny Sansevieri has a roundup of what she thinks will be the marketing trends to watch out for in 2021. Check out her comprehensive list and do some future planning. 


Joel Friedlander has his Book Templates on sale so if you are looking for an interior template to format your book in, check them out. I use them and they are brilliant!


In The Craft Section,

25 things you should know about Antagonists- (Chuck Wendig- an oldie but a goodie. Usual Chuck warnings apply.)

2 great posts from C S Lakin- Metaphor and imagery and Evoke Reader Emotions- Bookmark

What is the motif literary device? - Sherry Howard

7 tips for creating tension- Hannah Green- Bookmark

Keys to start your mystery novel- Zara Altair


In The Marketing Section,

Will your novel solve a problem?-Janice Hardy

Two great posts from Penny Sansevieri- How to choose keywords for Amazon Ads and 10 

Design tips for a Buy Now Book Cover- Bookmark

5 Nonfiction lead magnet ideas- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

How to pick a best selling title- Barbara Delinsky


To Finish

Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted a new addition to the sidebar. Yes, finally after twenty years, the first in series is out and it is on sale until January. 


Let’s finish the year with a reminder on the 5 things every writer needs.

May you have a peaceful, blessed, and safe Christmas break. I will be back halfway through January.





It’s time for the last newsletter of the year. So if you want to get the bumper roundup of links for Christmas- Go on and subscribe.

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: Line Edit of a Christmas Carol… when 2020 becomes ridiculous.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

In The Brave New World of Next Week

In Publishing News this week, Sam Missingham, wrote an opinion piece for The Bookseller entitled ‘Now is the time for publishers to show their real value.’ This is a plea to publishers to look at what is happening under the pandemic and change their way of operating for the future. 
Here is one small quote from the article- This approach treats publishing like the long game it is and more importantly puts readers first. And it means all of our books and content, front list and backlist, have the same value. And we showcase our authors beyond their publication window.
This is a great rallying call for a better publishing standard.

Some of the ideas Sam talks about are happening in an experimental way. Today I saw news that Faber was partnering with Glassboxx to develop a direct to consumer portal. Check out what they are doing and think of the implications. Digital content has sustained the traditional publisher's bottom line through the print publishing slow/stop.
Joanna Penn mentioned other similar initiatives in the intro to her latest great interview on writing and selling short fiction. 

In happy news, The UK has also scrapped VAT on books… so that’s something nice to come out of the pandemic.

Publishing Perspectives has taken an in-depth look at China’s publishing world as they are the first to come out of a lockdown situation. Print sales down for obvious reasons. Printers and supply chains have almost ground to a halt, but digital sales are up.
Staying in Australia – The Guardian recently published a sad look at what is happening in the Australian publishing community with the cancellation of many writer’s festivals and publishing job losses.

If you need some bracing advice for keeping your writing chin up and plowing forward Chuck has written his Writing Advice In The Age Of The Pandemic. This is a must-read for everyone who has looked at the last months writing goals and despaired. (a nice pickmeupoffthewritingfloor)

Elisabeth Spann Craig has written an interesting article on writing sprints. She joins video sprint writing groups. If you are missing a group sprint writing session check out the video options. 

In The Craft Section,

Newbie writing mistakes- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

9 ways to originalise your story idea- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Promotion during a pandemic- The Book Designer- Bookmark

Selling books on your author website- Alli blog – Bookmark

Book Merch for authors- Dan Parsons- Bookmark

To Finish,

Today I went down the font rabbit hole. I’m not sorry. I love looking at all the creative ways designers can imagine the alphabet. It all started with IngramSpark’s blog on the best fonts for books.
I also discovered Another tool for editing your book. Choose a voice to read back your writing. I found hearing your work read back can highlight grammar mistakes. I played around with so many voices the kids rebelled. They just don’t understand, I have a cast of thousands in my head.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Hanumann- viet globe

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.

Related Posts with Thumbnails