Showing posts with label killzone writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label killzone writers. Show all posts

Thursday, July 29, 2021

To Market To Market



In Publishing News this week…

Some changes over at Amazon caught writers by surprise this week. Amazon introduced A+ which is a spiffy new makeover for your Amazon detail pages. They have a new section on the book page from the publisher- Where you can add video, banners, images, bells  and whistles. Take a look and then dive into amping up your book pages.


Mark Williams over at The New Publishing Standard published two items this week that caught my eye. Indian publisher Byju has just shelled out $500M to buy children’s books subscription platform, Epic. Epic provides books to North American schools for free in return for data insights for publishers. Byju is promising $1Billion expansion for the programme. 

So, get kids invested in subscription reading platforms and you get lifetime customers. Lots of implications here for children’s publishers.

The other news item that caught my eye from Mark was Storytel’s new audiobook app for the Tamil language. 

For the literacy-challenged emerging markets the USP Tellander has latched on to which western publishers appear oblivious to, is the game-changing reach audiobooks bring to internet-savvy people around the world who have never learned to read but come from rich oral-storytelling traditions.

With 5 billion people online – many from an educationally poor background, providing audiobooks in their own languages would be a huge marketing advantage to any savvy publisher. 


Ruth Harris has turned her laser eye onto how Amazon and Bookbub can help you get noticed for free. Have you ever really checked out your author page on Amazon? What about on Bookbub? Dive into this article and start making notes.


Jessica Conoley has a guest post over on Jane Friedman’s blog on the most important choice you will make in your writing career. How you talk to yourself. This information is so important I have two items in this week’s roundup on the topic.

Jennifer Alsever has a roundup of the 7 hot serialization platforms for indie authors. 

The Killzone blog has lots of great content, along with a great publishing model. John Gilstrap recently published an interesting article on writing to be heard. How knowing his writing will be recorded as an audiobook is changing the way he is writing.


In The Craft Section,

Knowing who your invisible narrator is- Milo Todd- Bookmark

How to build your own MFA experience- Tasha Seegmiller

Building POV and stakes in short stories- Rachell Shaw- Bookmark

Archetypes- The Crone- K M Weiland

Dialogue as a source of conflict- Mia Botha- Bookmark

Serialisation storytelling- John Peregine


In The Marketing Section,

The ultimate guide to comparison authors and genres- Alliance of Independent Authors- Bookmark

Bookbub deals on permafree books- Bookbub

Tools and resources – The Creative Penn- Bookmark

5 simple ways to optimize reviews-Blue Ink Review

In-depth article on marketing to Kindle Unlimited subscribers – Written Word Media- Bookmark


To Finish,

How often do you psyche yourself out of doing something? Is it fear of success or fear of rejection? Or do you tell yourself you just aren’t good enough?

The self-rejection voices in our heads can be insidious and loud. Royaline Sing has some ways to combat their mantras and get you back on the write path.





It’s the end of the month so time for my monthly newsletter full of the best of the bookmarked tips and other bits and pieces. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. 


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



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Money In Money Out

My 400th Post!

This week in publishing news Simon and Shuster were hit with a class action on payment of eBook royalties. This one will be rattling the cages of a few big publishers. It all hinges on whether publishers treat an Ebook sale as a ‘sale’ or a licensing agreement.

Rattling Author and Agent cages; the news that Month9 publishers were in trouble and having to downsize their business. There was lots of support for the authors and editors caught up in a financial mess not of their making. This great article on how to evaluate a publisher got shared around.

Kris Rusch has another installment in her deal breakers posts, on Non Compete clauses. This is an awful little clause that can stop a writing career in its tracks. Writer Beware has highlighted a few over the years. Read and be very aware what the implications are.

Nicola Morgan is an in demand festival and school speaker in the UK. Lately she has been coming up against the notion that writers should be ‘happy to speak at festivals for free as exposure.’ The UK Society of Authors is running a campaign about this and here Nicola sets out her reasons why she won’t lower her fees without a good cause!

Porter has a thought provoking article about book prices being driven downwards thereby devaluing all creative work. There was lots of discussion around these ideas. Have we encouraged the reading public to only buy free?

We have all heard about laptop crashes and writers losing manuscripts... Janice Hardy has a great article about organising your hard drive to find your work in the first place and then you can back it up!

Rachel Thompson is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve linked to two of her marketing posts today. However this article struck a chord. How often are we left wondering why something failed? Rachel has written a great post on turning rules for failure into success.

Jane Friedman is one of the industry’s Go To Guru’s. She turns her clear and insightful gaze on crowdfunding. Should authors do it?

In the Craft Section,
Creating unforgettable settings- Part 3 and 4 Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

What are your characters not saying- and What can you do about plot -Two Bookmark posts from Janice Hardy

Avoid this pitfall when plotting –Roz Morris Bookmark

5 traits of a winning concept- Mythcreants-Bookmark

Getting the right feedback- Belinda Pollard- Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

Rachel Thompson hosts a Twitter chat on book marketing. She has a helpful list of book marketing tips -Bookmark

Website of the Week
The Killzone is a great collective of crime and thriller writers who post great articles on the writing practice. Larry Brooks has a fabulous guest post here on receiving and working with editing criticism. As with all my links read the comments for a fuller picture.

To Finish
This week I was thinking about what my next writing craft book might be... and telling myself that really I didn’t need another... (oooh look shiny new book over there) My Kindle is mostly packed with writing craft books which I dip into on a fairly regular basis. Storybundle has been a great source for good writing craft books. And they have another great offering this month. 5 great books in a bundle or 10 if you pay over $15- you do the math. I have some gems in my Kindle from the last Storybundle. You pay what you like, the author gets a sale and you help a charity as well.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Living Virtually

Last week I had to come to terms with the fact that writers are mortal, that the world you loved to visit in a new book by a favourite author would be forever frozen. There would be no more adventures in Discworld. I enjoy Fantasy and SciFi or as they are increasingly being called SPECulative FICtion.* When you have read every children’s book in your rural town library by the time you are 11 then the only thing left is adult books (boring) or wild imaginary stories set in far away places. I didn’t come to Discworld until my 30’s when I discovered he wrote Satire... and I was hooked. So I thank Sir Terry Pratchett for the immense pleasure and laugh out loud funny lines and his headology – the gentle wry take on the human condition. The Guardian has a wonderful tribute article on Terry’s legacy and there is a nice bit of news about the last Discworld book.

If writer’s for adults know that it is challenging to independently publish a book then children’s writers know the hoops that you jump through are ten times more challenging. We are always on the lookout to find outliers who have taken the plunge to find out what works and what doesn’t. Jane Friedman has an article that looks like the definitive 101 guide to self publishing achildren’s book.

Jane is also conducting the Author Say survey and Phillip Jones of The Bookseller takes a close look at the midway results on what authors are saying about traditional /indie support and attitudes. It is a great snapshot with some surprising twists.

Some projects will fit better in different forms of publishing. Janice Hardy examines the Pro’s and Con’s of Traditional vs Indie for a good project fit.

The trolls were out ready to march on Koom Valley again when Neil Gaiman pointed out the author had a valid point.

The enemy isn’t men, or women, it’s bloody stupid people and nobody has the right to be stupid. Monstrous Regiment - Terry Pratchett

In the Craft Section,
Angela Ackerman has two posts that are her usual nuggets of excellence, tips when writing multiple POV’s in your novel and using the excellent Emotion Thesaurus to help you find mirror midpoints in the middle of your novel.

The role of desire in your plot... You had better be having some or the reader will disengage. (bookmark)

Two great posts from the Killzone blog - Crafting subplots and How to write a Young Adult novel.

K M Weiland has wowed everybody again with a story structure database... Drop in and check out all the books and movies she has analysed for structure. You will learn so much. (bookmark)

It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done. A Hat Full of Sky- Terry Pratchett

In the Marketing Section,

Jane Friedman interviews a group of literary authors about how they put a box set together of their self published work.

There is a new kid on the block in terms of marketing and it looks really interesting. Thunderclap. If you harnessed all those people who would come to your book launch from all around the world in one place at one time...

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.  Jingo - Terry Pratchett

Website of the Week
Anne R Allen has a great blog of tips and advice. Here she has the definitive guide for writers on how NOT to sell books. Spend some time on her blog trawling around she has lots of great stuff.

Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness. Men At Arms - Terry Pratchett

To Finish,
Our National Conference committee is tying down some great stuff for conference and around conference... yes we are going to make you work... but it will be amazing... promise.
In the mean time you can virtually attend Indie ReCon which is going to be bigger than before. The Indie Recon conference is a free online conference that is just packed full of awesomeness. This years program had me seriously thinking about running away from home to a motel for 3 days by myself so I could attend virtually every one of the sessions. (If the motel was in London I could also join the meet up day.) I am also pleased to find how many themes in Indie Recon are similar to what we have planned for Tinderbox in October.  We will be meeting in real time, (with wine) and having a great collaborative working time.

*Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one. - Terry Pratchett


PIC The Master Storyteller who will live on virtually… and isn't that just the best tribute….R.I.P.

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…)


Friday, July 25, 2014

After The Break

 My predictions for what the blogosphere would be talking about while I was taking a medical break were very nearly right. 

The Self vs Trad debate became an examination of the take home pay of the author. The Guardian got stuck in on Author Earnings... Even the NY Times weighed in on Author income. 

Bob told everyone to grow up, again. It is all about fairness.

The Amazon /Hachette argument is still going on with Hugh Howey commenting yesterday on various open letters circulating and whether we should be holding out for higher prices. 

But the big news that has everyone hopping around the publishing blogosphere is the launch of Kindle Unlimited. This is a subscription service launched by Amazon. Authors who have their books enrolled get a share of the monthly pot of gold set aside if their book is lent through the service and at least 10% of it is read. (just think about this level of attention to your personal reading habits that the mighty ZON knows about you from your Kindle.) Is it worthwhile to the author?

Dave Gaughran examines the fors and againsts… and Mark Coker thinks they could do better... Many authors agree that exclusivity can be a problem.

Outside of this...

Kirkus has even elevated Indie publishing to legit with a great opinion piece on getting a publishing team together.

The big Thriller conference has happened and Joanna Penn had her mind blown... as it included a visit to the FBI who are anxious that writers get it right, the conference delivered on many levels. Great Post!

Publishers Weekly has been looking at the issue of piracy especially that of YA authors books.

In the Craft Section,

Porter also has a thoughtful post on standing up writing desks and how they should be seriously considered by writers for their health. (this is something I have been interested in for a while...)

In the Marketing Section,
Everything you ever wanted to know about Twitter. I use Twitter for research and I learned some good tips from this post.

Steve Scott has been looking at his author income in detail over the last he tried various things. This is an interesting post with honest breakdowns...from a non fiction writer. (I wish I could find something similar for children’s writers)

To Finish,
Writer Unboxed has a letter to my aspiring writer self... which has struck a chord with writers who have added a few post scripts...

I’m on the slow recovery road...this means I get to read more. I have just devoured James Scott Bell’s latest craft book. Write Your Novel From The Middle...seriously good.

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, February 13, 2014

Hugh and Cry Revolt

Last week, buried in the middle of my blog post were these lines.
Yesterday Icelandic author Baldur Bjarnason wrote a great piece on ethics in publishing. This is a great observation on what a lot of commentators are seeing as the great divide between the two different publishing communities.
Hands up those people who can tell me what the two communities are....hmmmm.

Today, in a breaking news bombshell, those communities just got wider with a new website launched and funded by Hugh Howey looking specifically at crunching the data on publishing stats and earnings for Self Publishing and Hybrid authors. 
For those of you who don’t understand what this means...
If you have a Traditional publishing contract. Your book gets may get an advance. You may get up to 10% net of print price or up to 25% ebook price. You may get a quarterly statement on how sales are going but no other information. The marketing window for your book is usually 6 months...that’s 2 months before publication and 4 months after. After that the publisher is onto the next book and any blip in sales comes from author promotion. In the fine print of your book contract there may be a non-compete clause, you can’t publish with anyone else or anything else except the publisher. Your rights may be held in perpetuity (US law is the lifetime of the author plus 70 years) with no rights reversal clauses.
If you choose to self publish you may get up to 70% of ebook price with Amazon and whatever you set the profit of the book, after your costs have been taken out, on print. You do all the marketing work for as long as you want to.

In both models the author doesn’t really know what they are doing right or wrong with marketing. Data on what works and how different publishing models are successful is very thin on the ground.

From time to time surveys come out with data that says how well self publishing is doing against traditional publishing. I have linked to a few over the last few years in my blog. 
The ebook market where most authors self publish has been on the up. 

Today Hugh Howey’s report was released looking at raw data that crunched the numbers of the biggest selling genres (romance, sci-fi/fantasy and thriller/suspense) on Amazon on one day. 92% of the top 100 genre bestsellers were ebooks. Indie authors were outselling Traditional Big 5 authors in these categories. 

There are many bombs in this report. Porter Anderson does a good job of looking at them and extrapolating ideas but you should read the report for yourself. Hugh is the leading voice in the Indie author community at the moment. He is advocating a change to fairer contracts for authors and a partnership model with publishers. Below is his mission statement for the AuthorEarnings website.

Welcome to AuthorEarnings, where our purpose is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. This is a website by authors and for authors.

Two weeks ago he made it very clear just exactly what he thinks author contracts should consist of and what he thinks author societies should be advocating.

So after a few hours digesting The Report, Digital BookWorld weighed in with their analysis and they took issue with the one day data and the extrapolation thereof... however they also agreed that there was something rotten in the state of ....

Now Hugh is the first to say that this is one day...on Amazon... in January... and he is keen to have that dialogue from other authors on their experiences (see the website for ways to contribute to the discussion.) Steve Moseby takes up the challenge, he looks at the figures from The Report and wonders whether they are true based on his UK print figures and annual income after only one days data.

In Other News
Passive Guy sends out a warning over a contractual clause where any future law changes in any territory in the world will be the problem of the author. This, after an author was accused of blasphemy, following the passing of a law in India after her book was published. It all hinges on the word ‘will.’ He follows that up with another post on contracts. (As he is a lawyer he doth know what he speaks of.)

Cassandra Clare is tired of the constant carping of some who keep asking why she is still writing her book series ... she notes that male authors don’t get asked this. A thoughtful restrained response from a YA author.

In the Craft Section,

5 big screenwriting mistakes and 5 fixes...(this is a bookmark post!)

In the Marketing Section,

To Finish,
Hugh Howey again... He responds to a writer who has decided not to be tainted with self publishing because the goal is to emulate his heroes and publish the same way. A very interesting read and response by Hugh.


 Pic is from Passive Voices new range of tee shirts...check them out and chuckle... and maybe buy one or two.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And the winner is....

Congratulations Dear Reader, You have become the 2000th visitor to my Blog this year. 

I hope that you have enjoyed popping in and checking out the links. I have been thinking of you as I research the web each week looking for tidbits you may like....

In your honour I have compiled a funny set of writing related links for you as we need a pick me up before the silly season gets sillier and for the Kiwis we need a dose of good cheer after the last week of tragedy.

So First Up.

Nathan Bransford posted an article about the Nine Circles of Hell for writers. This is a laugh and wince because it is a true look at the writer and their attempts to write a novel....(This is especially for all those writers struggling with relationship issues to their current WIP)

Next Up.

For all those writers who having finished NaNoWrMo have now entered NaNoEdMo (December being editing that novel you wrote in November....)

Yes even multitalented award winning writers get sent the Editorial Letter.
John Gilstrap shares his letter with comments about improvements that could be made to his current WIP. This is a great look at professionalism from the editor and a timely reminder to the writer that there is always something to work on.

For those of you who pop in to Craicer looking for information on websites, blogging and marketing tips.... 

Joanna Penn has an excellent interview with Justine Musk (Tribal Writer) on Blogging and authenticity. Joanna has the podcast, the video and the notes of this great interview on her site. Take the time to have a good look at what Joanna is doing....This is the future.

A timely reminder to those of you who are regular users of Social Media as part of your business.(That's all of us, writing being a business.) Do not fall into the trap of lifting articles from the web and publishing them in your magazine. Here is the latest morality tale for you about an arrogant editor and the writers revenge...

Now that you are feeling good and are patting yourself on the back, you may find that it is time to give yourself a challenge. 

Writeitsideways has the writing makeover challenge for you. 31 days to change your writing habits...take it only if your habits need changing.....Goodness knows mine do.

There is a brand new publisher coming Down Under. They specialise in Children’s Books and Apps...with a name like Nosy Crow who wouldn’t love them already...Check out Beatties Blog for more info on this opportunity.

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) there are links to Articles on  

How To Nurture Your Creativity...this is The Blogging 101 article.

20 Obsolete English Words That Should Make A Comeback...especially good if you are writing an historical 

Also for those people who love historical novels check out this funny video link at Smart Bitches Trashy Books  Friday Video...(No it is not what it seems...Go and check out the site and have a laugh.)

J K Rowling Shouldn’t Write Any More Harry Potter Books (Harry and the Midlife Crisis...)

The Art Of Pitching.....This is chock full of tips!

And So Back we come to The Craicer Blog where I leave you with my most up to date link and the funniest video I have seen in a while...

Kristin of Warrior Writer has become one of ‘those must stop by’ links. Today she has a great article on being professional....Go read it because everyone reading this blog is professional and committed to their passions...(ok we’re not rich in pocket but we are rich in soul...)

Thanks for popping in over the year,
Enjoy the video,

Don't Forget The WCBA Annual Christmas Quiz is on December 9th
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