Showing posts with label kobo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kobo. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Seize The Typewriter



In Publishing News this week,

Amazon has made some changes to what they refer to as low content. These are journals and workbooks, which are now being filed under stationery items. If you create workbooks for your books or seminars you may want to check out the new rules. First up you will need your own ISBN for them.


Publishers Weekly reported on a panel discussion at the US Book show on what a healthy publishing industry looks like. There was a general consensus that publishing is feeling the miasma of the last few years. Just in time supply chains have been hit with delays… Writers have been hit hard… Publishing has to compete with other forms of entertainment. Who knew? The CEO’s discussing these woes almost want a back to the future style intervention. 


Meanwhile over in Canada, Kobo has been quietly adding Arabic to their list of publishing languages. CEO, Michael Tamblyn addressed the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair announcing the move and talking about the advantages of having a global perspective on publishing and cultural understanding. 


Amazon has started a monthly Book Club. I guess it was inevitable with the rise of book club influencers that Amazon would begin to carve out a space. Amazon’s editorial director, Sarah Gelman, is running Sarah Selects. However, in a nice twist, Amazon is opening up Book Clubs to everyone. You too can host a book club.  


The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting article on the rise of Literary Agents producing content for streaming services, film, and TV. Meanwhile, magazine publishers are building in-house production arms to take advantage of properties they already own.


Recently Joanna Penn interviewed Derek Sivers on selling direct, independence, and being open to technological change. Derek has some interesting ideas on publishing, describing it as ‘Networking for Introverts.’ 


Sandra Beckwith has a great article on how to position yourself to get local publicity for your book. You may think any publicity is good publicity but Anne R Allen has a great article on when this is the wrong idea. How bad marketing can destroy your author brand, lose friends, and influence nobody


Kris Rusch continues her How Writers Fail series. This week she looks at expectations. Are you putting unrealistic expectations on yourself? Are you unconsciously loading the dice against your own writing succeeding?


Stephanie Morrill wrote an interesting article on The Go Teen Writer website- 7 ideas to help you get through a hard writing season. These hard writing seasons strike everybody, even multi-published award winners. Sometimes there seems to be no outside reason for a writing slump. Stephanie has some ideas to help. 

Elizabeth S Craig looks at how maintaining a regular writing habit in times of stress can trick you into feeling more in control of the situation.


In The Craft Section,

How to write realistic sex scenes- Ari Meghlen

3 important things to learn from editing- Colleen Story

Avoid repetitive scenes- K M Weiland- Bookmark

The importance of character psychological development- Becca Puglisi

3 ways to ramp up fiction pacing and tension- C S Lakin-Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

9 tips for marketing your first book- Penny Sansevieri

Promote your book with your own values- Sonya Huber- Bookmark

The ins  and outs of blurb requests- Liz Alterman

Market your audiobook- Joanna Penn- Bookmark

7 easy ways to refresh your website- Pauline Wiles- Bookmark


To Finish,

A few months ago the news was all Brandon Sanderson. If you have been under a writing rock and haven’t caught up on the phenomenon check out previous blog posts. James Scott Bell has an interesting post on how Brandon connected with his readers and puts it down to knowing yourself and what kind of writer you want to be. He has 3 tips to help you figure this out for yourself. His maxim - Carpe Typem!





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter chock full of bookmarked links. 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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.



Photo by Daria Kraplak on Unsplash


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Underneath The Covers

Recently the #PublishingPaidMe hashtag trend on Twitter exposed the historical underpaying of black authors in the publishing world. One of the ideas it highlighted was the lack of diversity in publisher lists with publishers limiting themselves to one representative of each ethnicity and claiming they were diverse. Publishers Weekly looks at other negative trends that were exposed with the hashtag trend call out.

How good are you at spotting publishing scams? Unfortunately, even people who have been bitten once are being bitten again. Even when you think that the publisher is looking legit, check, check, and check again. And don’t take an agent's word for it. They have been bitten as well.

Kobo Plus is like Kindle select but without the demand for exclusivity. However, it was limited to just a few countries. But in great news this week Kobo Plus is expanding… YAY.

How do you keep your backups safe? Do you even have backups? Jami Gold looks at all the different ways you can save yourself giant headaches.

Netgalley has been offering their review service for quite a while. Recently they decided to expand their service to audiobooks. With the rise and rise of audiobook sales, this is a welcome move for publishers.

Can authors use A I to help them write a better story? Writers Digest has an interesting article looking at using a tool called Marlowe that analyses your manuscript and points out the flaws and plot holes to fix up. Take a look at Marlowe – you can try it out for free.

As a teacher, I was very keen to encourage my younger colleagues to have some sort of creative life outside of teaching. You need to put creativity into the well because teaching drains so much from you. For me, it was escaping into writing. But as writers, are we draining the creative well and not putting anything back in? This article looks at the importance of having hobbies away from writing.

Bob Mayer and Jennifer Crusie are both big names in their respective genres. Together they have written 3 great thriller romances. They collaborated on a website where they discuss different aspects of the writing craft from their own points of view. Check out their conversation on developing character arcs. Excellent stuff. (Also, their writing is superb!!!)

In The Craft Section,

How to start a novel - 8 steps to the perfect opening scene- Reedsy- Bookmark

Writing emotion- Iris Marsh

In the Marketing Section,

Two great articles from Rachel Thompson - How to improve your email newsletters right now and How to build an engaged following- Bookmark

Using video marketing- Frances Caballo

Amazon Editorial Reviews -Are you using them- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

5 Simple website upgrades- Penny Sansevieri - Bookmark

To Finish,

Brandon Sanderson has been running a Kickstarter for a leather-bound hardback edition of one of his best-selling books to celebrate the 10th anniversary. He modestly asked for $250K because that was what he figured he would need. So far, he’s passed $5 million. Kris Rusch takes a look at Kickstarter for authors and how building a community and stakeholder engagement is a winning formula for writers wanting to try this form of income building.
It’s all part of building up multiple income streams for authors.


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.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Steven Johnson

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Your Writing Dream World

Just before I wrote this I was watching a YouTube clip about a teen who was on Britain’s Got Talent with an amazing voice. Simon Cowell hit the golden button and she was showered with golden tickets... It was her dream come true.
Here in writing land we all secretly wish for The Phonecall or The Surprise Party from the Movie Studio... or even that someone else makes dinner so you can stay in your imaginary world.
Living in your writing dream world can be a great escape from the real world at the moment. But it is always wise to keep one eye on what is happening in publishing outside your study door.

So did you hear about Amazon changing the Buy Button links on their book pages? Any 3rd party vendor can bid for that link. The publisher doesn’t necessarily get the sale. The Independent Book Publishers Association is not happy. Does this open the door to pirates?

The Outline talked with a few publishing exec’s about what effects cutting some of the best seller lists from The New York Times would have on publishing overall. It was a bit grim for debut authors. Consolidated and Conservative is not what you want to hear.

Kobo has a nifty new feature starting up called Kobo Plus. And it looks just like... Kindle Unlimited except without the exclusivity.... Is it a dream come true for authors?

Molly Greene had a reader contact her about her books. After a conversation Molly asked the reader to write a blog post for her about what readers want. This is a fascinating glimpse into the power reader mindset.

David Gaughran is a sharp cookie and he has a standout post on data. How does the ‘also boughts’ on your book page affect your sales. Who is Amazon pointing to your book? Sometimes it’s not your dream audience.

Anne R Allen has a great post on career mistakes. She’s made them so you don’t have to. It’s always wise to find out what not to do before you jump in to what looks like the dream pool.

Jane Friedman has a great post on how a book can become a bestseller and a post on Author Collectives... I keep saying this is the way to go... Get your writing friends together, you might be the next Bloomsbury!

Kristen Lamb touches on a topic that has been worrying some authors. There are many predators out there wanting to sell you a course promising great things for your writing career. How do you tell the good ones from the bad ones? Before you flick out your wallet check out what she has to say.

Alli – The Alliance of Independent Authors, has another excellent Indie Fringe online conference event coming up.  Check out Orna’s talk with Porter Anderson on why Book Expo America has changed its name and dumped its successful Indie hub.

You have found the most amazing song that fits your book so well... BUT what is the thinking around using song lyrics. Check out this post before you unleash a nightmare with your book.

Angela Ackerman, besides researching her great Emotion Thesaurus line of books, often finds other cool reference sites for authors. Here she lists her favourites and they are awesome. 

In The Craft Section,

5 steps to building a plot outline- Casey Griffin-Bookmark

Character Archtypes and How to introduce Characters- Now Novel- Bookmark Both

Who owns the scene- Storydoctor- Bookmark

Writing Blurbs- Rayne Hall-Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

5 tips for using swag- Jesikah Sundin- Bookmark

Two Great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Common pitfalls for Indies and

  Hot New Amazon keywords – Bookmark Both!

To Finish,
Darcy Pattison an Indie Children’s Book author recently had a guest post on The Highlights Foundation Blog. In her article she listed the 50 things Indie Publishers had to do for each book. You will need a lie down... but like all dreams they can come true with hard work, perseverance, knowledge, whiskey...

Maureen Crisp

In my monthly newsletter I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. To say Thank You for subscribing you get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.  Make sure you subscribe to check out the book.Thanks everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Buying the Bestsellers

This is the week of the Buy.
Amazon bought Souk. Why should the average writer care? Souk is to the Middle East what Amazon is to the West. Digital books are only 1% of the market. They only have to go into China to get total world domination...

Kobo, the Canadian digital device and bookseller has bought Shelfi. Why? For the tech developers apparently, ( or is it because they have a perfect understanding of buyer’s reading habits.)

Microsoft unveils a digital bookstore. Why? Because everybody else has one... (I wanna bookstore... Google and Apple have one and Amazon has a big one....) Meanwhile a savvy bibliophile wandered into an Amazon bookstore and saw that they don’t sell books like other booksellers. They group them differently.

How is your reading this year? Elizabeth S Craig decided to put a reading plan into action this meant having another identity on Goodreads.

The Writers Guild Association home of script and screenwriters looks like it is gearing up for another strike. Negotiations have broken down between the studios again on what they pay the writers. Why are the content creators the last in line to get paid?

There are rumblings in the universities. Should academics publish their own textbooks? There was an interesting panel debate at London Book Fair on this.  Is the traditional academic publishing world finally getting the shake up of self publishing. The days of the $400 text book may be numbered.

Bologna is on! Bologna is the world’s biggest children’s book fair. At this time all the children’s writers get a case of travel and book envy. Publishers Weekly has a quick run down on what everyone is looking for.

James Scott Bell has a great article in Writer Unboxed asking is your writing big enough? You know those sweeping sentences that go on for half a page and your eyes and attention remain riveted to the page, even while you subconsciously know that no editor these days would let a writer ramble on but the writing is soo good and you just can’t help reading on. I have shelves full of writers that were sparing with a full stop but they could sure tell a story. They were prolific and belonged to the pulp school of writing. Anne R Allen wonders if the constant pressure to write and repeat is a good idea. What about those writers who write slowly?

In The Craft Section,

Creating a strong moral premise- Jeff Lyons- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Author bio’s a help or hindrance- Anne R Allen - Bookmark

Amazon keywords to double your readers- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

To Finish,

This week Marie Force wrote a fantastic article on chasing the best seller lists and how she realised that she needed to change her focus. Kris Rusch talked about the bestseller lists and who you are writing for. It is a fabulous article and a must read.


My monthly newsletter is going out soon. If you want to get a collection of the best of my bookmarked links plus other goodies in your inbox you can subscribe here.If you want to shout me a cup of coffee hit the Kofi button. Thanks to all those who have fed my caffeine habit.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Moves

The weather scientists this week said that Winter has been so warm that Spring has come a month early. And this is a symptom of climate change. At the moment we have a late blast of winter going through and it is bleak and wet out there. (So breaking Elmore’s sacred rule never start with the weather....)

In the publishing blogosphere this week...


Kobo launched three new e-reading devices this week in NewYork...and got the publishing blogosphere talking...because along with the hardware...Kobo has new content to go on the hardware. Kobo Kids a dedicated e-bookstore for children...Beyond The Book for all stuff beyond the book including a special Font for dyslexics... and other nifty things. So another shift in the publishing world has happened.

Also in a quietly heralded move...The Alliance of Independent Authors has done a deal with PubMatch. If you are a member of Alli you can get a 90% discount on getting all your overseas rights sold...Read all about it...It is an interesting move.

Dave Gaughren has been comparing distributors...Smashwords and new kids on the block Draft2Digital.

Long Time readers of this blog will know that I have a bit of a geek thing with space etc etc and that this year the prominent writers in the SFF Geek community have been calling out misogynist and threatening behaviour towards women in the community. John Scalzi (just stepped down as Pres. SFF) has been targeted for his very vocal support by troll lowlifes. This week around Social Media a picture of John in a dress went viral calling John a feminist. John’s beautiful reply will have you chuckling. Way To Go John...also if you haven’t read any of his are really missing something, he is a great writer!

Bob Mayer has 53 books under his belt and has decided to write a quick article about ten things he has learned as a writer...This is a good checklist for yourself.

The fabulous Debbie Ridpath Ohi and her comics on rejections...This will put it all in perspective.

Roz Morris runs a few blogs which I have referred to over the years in this blog...however I haven’t ever profiled her Undercover Soundtrack blog. Writers who write with soundtracks in their ears, talk about why they write to music and what sort of soundtracks they use.

In Craft,

In Marketing, There are some very fine articles this week.

Website to check out.
If you write Midgrade...Check out Emblazoners. This is another example of an author collective that niche market themselves. Roam around and get a feel for what they are doing and read the excellent article on writing midgrade series.

To Finish,
Be Surprised.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Inspiration and Fiction

Some intriguing posts have got me thinking this week about writing and inspiration and the mixture of the two.

First up Fan Fiction. I remember explaining to an award winning Young Adult writer here what fan fiction was and how big it was. 
I started reading Harry Potter fan fiction with my daughter when we were desperately waiting for book five...and of course book six... book seven. Sometimes we would look at each other and say 'whoa that reads like J K Rowling wrote it.' 
Yes the writers were that good and some went on to have big writing careers of their own.
Jami Gold has a nice post on fan fiction and what it means to Authors. Do you want fans playing with your characters? Do you want restrictions? What can you do? Jami tells you the pro’s and con’s.

Publishing Perspectives takes a look at information gained from their one day mini conference on children’s publishing. Some interesting insights on what makes great children’s books.

You have to feel for the Russian Children’s writers. They have the same number of bookshops in Russia as in 1913. No awards for their work and no advertising of children’s books. Book Expo America has a Russian focus this year and Denis Abrams spotlights the struggles of their children’s publishing community. (and you thought you had it bad...)

Invent a Digital Reader then invent software for writers to create exclusive content. Apple did it with iBooks now Barnes and Nobel are doing it for the KOBO but with a difference...they want authors to play the KoboWriting Game.
Earn points and badges if you sell overseas...It is still being trialled at the moment...get the scoop here.

Kristen Lamb takes a look at Facebook and now that it is public what is happening to fan pages.. Facebook could potentially hold your page to ransom as they have to earn money for shareholders. How do you get around it. This applies to you if you have an author fan page.

Writers Digest have posted a list of seven things that will doom your novel...hopefully you are not guilty of any of these.

A standout post this week for me was this one. How I went from writing 2000 words a day to 10000. This is quite mind blowing in its simplicity and you will smack your forehead...

The WANA group/tribe, (We Are Not Alone) was started by Kristen Lamb a few years ago as an online twitter hangout for writers to share success etcetc. Kirsten is taking it up a notch and has created an online community social network site with classes... forums...resources and she has tapped into some great people to help her do this. Go and take a look.

Talli Rowland has a great post on dreams and the shifting goalposts of publishing. Have your publishing dreams changed in the last few years...are you having trouble just finding the goalposts.... Tali will help you make sense of it all.

Today the news came through of Ray Bradbury’s death. All those in the Sci Fi community mourn the loss of one of the giants of the genre. Neil Gaimen wrote a piece of what Ray Bradbury meant to him and it sums up what the sci fi community are feeling. One of the great legacies of Ray Bradbury is that tech he dreamed up became inspirations for the science community to if you are reading this on a flat touch screen...Ray thought it up first!

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury.

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