Showing posts with label molly greene. Show all posts
Showing posts with label molly greene. Show all posts

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Show Me The Money

Jane Friedman took a look at the Guardian Article on Author income last week and has written a thoughtful response to it. Are Author Income Surveys Misleading? This is a comprehensive look at data and reports... Have authors ever earned enough to live on from their books in the past...?

David Gaughran has written a great article on granular targeting of advertising for authors. He pulls out some of the gems from his recent book Strangers to Superfans. If you are trying to make sense of your ideal reader... it is a must read.

Are you responsible for your own decisions? If you write a book everybody loves, can you say I write a damn fine story? Kris Rusch has a great post on why writers find it so hard to own up that they made great decisions...

Australian Dixie Carlton has written a case study on how the changes in the publishing industry over the last decade have affected her business. This is an interesting reflection on how much has changed in a short time.

Elizabeth Spann Craig has a great article on how to use Goodreads giveaway's and widgets effectively on your website. Goodreads have recently changed their Giveaway rules and now it costs... but it can still be effective.

If you are a picture book writer... or know one... point them in the direction of this one day conference just for them. It’s online... so you can attend from anywhere.

In The Craft Section,

Formatting a book for large print- Excellent resource- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Taking control of your metadata- Joel Friedlander- Bookmark

Ebook formatting using MS Word- Molly Greene- Bookmark

Sell your books with collaborative marketing- Alli- Bookmark... Must Read!

Universal Book Links – Draft2Digital... Very useful

To Finish,

Rejection. All writers deal with it. If you are smarting under the rejection sting... Read Nathaniel Tower’s plea to publishers about why different types of rejection drive author's nuts.

If it all gets too much... change your name. Have fun with this pen name generator.


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. 

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- tax credits

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Coming Together With Purpose

It’s Book Expo Frankfurt.
The big talking points are...
The rise and rise of audio books,
Fake News and why books are needed more than ever,
and Free Speech.

While the Frankfurt Book Fair is on the Alliance of Independent Authors have the last of their Free Online Fringe conferences this weekend. These conferences are held at the same time as the big book fairs and have a different theme for each one. This time the conference theme is Author Business. These conferences are free and the content stays online. They have live Q and A and lots of chances to get discounts on products and services. This is well worth attending from the comfort of your own chair.

Last weekend New Zealand children’s writers and illustrators got together for their biennial conference where there was much discussion over new trends in publishing. Mid Grade is where its at.... Kathryn Van Beek has a little roundup of great takeaways.

The Independent Book Publishers Association published an update to their members this week on their dialogue with Amazon over third party vendors bidding for control of the buy button on the Amazon storefront. If you missed this bit of news in May, check out their update.

The Romance Bookstore, The Ripped Bodice has released a report on the state of racial diversity in romance publishing. Over the last few years on Twitter it has been common to see MSWL tags asking for Own Voices and P.O.C. stories. This report shows what is happening in publishing in reality. Book Riot has an overview of the report, it makes for sad reading.

This week I came across a great article by Kevin Tumlinson on goal setting in your author business. Do you even make goals? This is worth a read and a good think over. What’s your Mountain is the title of the essay. If you are asked this question in New Zealand it means what landscape has shaped you and is very important in your identity. Goal setting in this context can be just as important to your writer identity.

NaNoWriMo is about to fall upon us. (National Novel Writing Month) November becomes the month of quiet as writers commit to writing a 50,000 word novel. October is prep month. December is editing month. January is agent collapse month as the books pour in. Joanna Penn has a blog post dedicated to the resources you will need if you are attempting this. Even if you are not, you should get your hands on the NaNo Storybundle collection.

In The Craft section,

Genre is world building- Jami Gold – Bookmark

Well motivated villains- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Characters misbelief drives plot- Lisa Cron – Bookmark

Are you a real writer- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Book Marketing Basics- Molly Greene- Bookmark

Content ideas for Book Marketing – Penny Sansevieri

Indie Publishing paths- Janice Hardy

To Finish,

Jane Friedman was recently interviewed for the Backmatter podcast by Leanpub. It was a wide ranging interview about aspects of Jane’s career and her thoughts for the future of publishing. Jane reiterated her belief in publishing collectives as a way forward for authors and small publishers. (Long time readers of this blog know what the next sentence is going to be....) I think this is a good idea and I try to highlight different models as I come across them. This week the launch of J L Pawley's new book, Air Born highlighted another publishing collective. Steampress, a funky Sci Fi /Horror press and the publisher of Air Born, has joined the Eunoia Collective of publishers. This is a group of small New Zealand publishers all doing their own publishing under the Eunoia banner where they can access International Rights selling, translations, Frankfurt Book fair visibility and Film and Television Rights selling. It is a great initiative and a good use of resources and knowhow.
Congratulations Jess!


In my monthly newsletter (I'm writing it... I'm writing it...) 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. Thanks everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


I have been thinking about all the predictions made last year as to what the big changes will be in publishing. Remember how Audio was predicted to be the next big mover. Last month Draft2Digital introduced a partnership with Findaway voices and today Kobo launched their audio selling arm. This is competition for Audible, an Amazon company, because Kobo audio monthly subscriptions are very cheap.
While you are looking at Kobo check out their writing life podcast. This is a podcast specifically for authors by authors on what’s working or not, like this one- Five strategies for free.

Publishing Perspectives are always interesting to dip into. There are interesting articles that look at publishing as a whole. One article recently caught my eye- Richard Charkin on how the publishing industry has become overcomplicated. Richard makes some good points on region copyright and then he raises the idea that publishing doesn’t need Barnes and Noble.

Another article from Publishing Perspectives has Porter Anderson interviewing Gabriella Page-Fort, recently named a Publishers Weekly ‘Superstar.’ Gabriella heads up Amazon Crossing, which has become the biggest producer of translated material in the US. So what’s happening in the translation market? Gabriella sees lots of opportunities.

This week a plaintive post from a creative about his bank struck a chord with a lot of people. If you run your business online have you thought what would happen if the bank pulled your account over an error. Banks can be over zealous with online business’ and one creative got caught. I’m highlighting this as many writers have an online business. If you think it won’t affect you... I hope you don’t have monthly subscriptions for websites or get paid directly into your bank account...

Do you call yourself a writer? When did you finally admit to yourself that YES you are a writer. One writer made the leap and noticed five things happened that she wasn’t expecting.

David Gaughran is a crusader for writers. He’s like the squeaky wheel that points out the scammers and the less than great service form the big publishing companies. After all they are competing with each other, you want great service. (Honestly Amazon, put the guy on retainer to clean up your click farm scammers.**) Here he takes a cool look at the new hot author tool-Amazon ads. Can they be done differently?

Dean Wesley Smith had an interesting blog post today on the value of the paper-back. I bet you are all nodding and saying yes. But Dean is talking about the second hand book market. (Bet you didn’t see that coming!)

Anne R Allen has a great post on 7 new writer mistakes and it’s not just new writers that make them. Check out the list and be warned.

In The Craft Section,

Using a novel journal- James Scott Bell - Bookmark

Story conflict- Janice Hardy -Bookmark

Writing secondary characters- Jane Friedman – Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How authors can use Instagram- Joanna Penn - Bookmark

Book marketingbasics- Molly Greene- Bookmark

How to title your non fiction book- Jody Rein & Michael Larson

To Finish,

As you can see the blog has had a few tweaks. I have also been playing around with another test site to try things out on. Chic Geek put together 25 great Branding and Design tools you must really check out. It’s spring... time to spring clean your websites.

** And in news just to hand: Amazon are taking some people to court! YAY


In my monthly newsletter 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 my nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Heroes and Villains

David Gaughran deserves a medal- or at least a big payday. 
David has been pointing out scammers and highlighting the rip off artists that prey on writers for years along with Writer Beware. Lately he has been trying to make Amazon aware of the click farm scammers on their websites. This is becoming a real problem. The click farm scammers take away money from the legit writers in page reads. They also skew your research. (I have been watching the children’s bestsellers... and shaking my head over number 1 and now I know why!)

Anne R Allen has an interesting post on the rise of publishing cults and cyber bullying among authors. I hear you all muttering, how could they, but when you read Anne’s article you realise how small actions turn into large hate fests targeting hapless authors. This is a must read and share.

Bad Reviews- Do you take them to heart? Tamar Sloan recently shared her psychologist knowledge on Writer Unboxed about why readers leave a bad review. It’s not about your book.

China has a new craze... reading. But not print books. Their online serial story platform numbers are heading into the stratosphere. This is a market to watch and if you can... get involved!

Jane Friedman recently interviewed two creators who have their stories on Tapas. This is a new kid on the block online reading experience that pays the creators. If you are a web comic creator or a writer check out the interview and have a poke around the website. It’s fascinating.

Jane also has an interesting article on whether authors should be using social media. Many authors struggle with the extroverted nature of social media. Jane offers some sound advice and lots of links for further learning.

Porter Anderson takes a look at the new white paper, The Business Of Books 2017, for Frankfurt Book Fair business members. Porter looks at three important points in the paper, competition, blockbusters and digital pricing. This is an interesting look at the global impact on publishing from a few brands and a heads up on what publishers will have to come to grips with going forward.

Bookbub recently polled 14 authors on how they use preorders and whether establishing a preorder was effective. Rachel Thompson has also been looking at preorder marketing and how you can create buzz around your book before it is even out.

Written Word Media has an interesting post on pricing. What is the optimum price for your book in a promotion? It depends on what you want to acheive....

Agent Jennifer Laughran has started a podcast. This will be of interest to children’s writers as she is a top agent in the field of children’s publishing. She talks to Laurel Snyder about imposter syndrome in her first episode.

In The Craft Section,

Myths on Villains and Mental Health- Sacha Black- Bookmark

Adding suspense – Roz Morris- Bookmark

Develop Character Voices- Don Fox- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to price match free on Amazon- Molly Greene – Bookmark

Creating a Book Sell Sheet- K S Brooks- Bookmark

The marketing rule you can’t forget- Ryan Holiday – Bookmark

 9 ways to get the best out of your cover designer- Damonza and Joanna Penn- Bookmark

To Finish,

Do you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? Every time you got to an exciting crossroads you had to make a choice. Now think about writing one. Got a headache yet?
into intricate plotting.


My monthly newsletter has the best of my 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. Come and join our happy band! This blog survives on coffee so a big THANK YOU to everyone who hit the coffee button this week. I appreciate the virtual coffee love.

Pic: Guess who?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Sabotage Backup

Today we suffered the first of the big winter storms. Half the country seems to be digging themselves out of snow or suffering power cuts because of high winds and wind blown debris. I saw a comment today from an illustrator friend who was obsessively backing up her work every 30 seconds just in case. So....
Have you saved your work today? Do you have a plan for saving your work? Mary Moore has a list of ways that you can save your writing just in case...

This week CreateSpace rolled out a new barcode policy. Things get tricky when you have a barcode generated that doesn’t fit their guidelines.  They are being very specific about where the barcode should be on the back cover. Being forewarned will save you time and money.

SCBWI summer conference just wrapped up. If you are a children's writer and dream about attending from afar... (like me) Check out their conference blog. The next best thing to being there.

Audio books are this years hot topic with ACX finally getting competition from Draft2Digital. Kevin Tumlinson explains why writers should think audio as part of their publishing strategy. Anne R Allen talks with her Audio Book narrator about producing audio books and how to choose the right narrator.

Sophie Knowles has an interesting post on Digital Book World about resources for Indie Authors. She highlights a few great sites that are worth checking out.

Kris Rusch continues her branding series with an in depth look at brand loyalty with a strategic look at the also boughts on the Amazonpage. There is a wealth of information right out in plain sight!

Molly Greene has been doing other interesting things instead of writing and publishing this year. She takes a candid look at what happens when you step away from your production treadmill.

Suzanne Lakin has a great post on self sabotage. Writers can be excellent at this. She has a must read post on how to recognise the signs and ways to deal with it. It’s all tied up with your self esteem as a writer.

James Scott Bell is a master at the craft of writing and this post shows you why. How do you stand out from the crowd with your work? How do you ride the edge of great writing. This is a must read!

In The Craft Section,

K M Weiland has got three great posts for you to Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

Using Amazon's preorder to boost sales- Penny Sansevieri

2 great posts from Joanna Penn Instagram for authors and Mistakes with book promotion- Bookmark both and the link to Freebooksy

To Finish,

In the old days writers weren’t at the mercy of a power cut but they didn’t have the luxury of endless tinkering of a sentence before they printed it. The craft of writing has remained the same though. Take a look at Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 tips on how to write a good short story and ponder them deeply. And for extra homework, check out his ideas on shapes of stories which has now been backed up by a computer.


Backup Data. ;)

I round up the best of the months bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces. Subscribing to my monthly newsletter also is a form of backup plus you get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes when you subscribe. 

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, February 9, 2017

Gazing Into The Crystal Ball

Over the last week I have been watching agents trying to figure out on Twitter what kinds of books might be popular in the upcoming few years based on the political upheavals in the U.S.
If you type in #MSWL in the Twitter search bar you can get a snapshot of what they are looking for. It got me thinking about what people read in times of political upheaval. Do they read safe stories or stories about how to cope when a society is disintegrating?

Kris Rusch has a great blog post on writing in difficult times. I think it’s a must read for every author.
Tara Sparling takes a different tack and screams for Book Heroin from Publishers who are playing it safe.

Slate has an interesting post on using sensitivity readers. These are readers representing the various communities you may be writing about to give your MS a beta read. But can their wishes change the story too much.

Litreactor has decided that we all need to take a deep breath and not post on Social Media about certain things. The list is not long but it is very pointed.

Getting a book distributed is a tricky thing if you are a self publisher. Jane Friedman has written a quick guide to get you started. New distributor on the block, Pronoun, has one upped Createspace. Looks like interesting times ahead.

Jeff Goins has a few words to say about book launches and he should know... He is one of the fastest selling non fiction authors around.

Simon Owens talks about using Patreon to support various writing projects. This is an interesting alternative to crowdfunding. Build your own paying tribe... which may be what's needed as The Guardian reports that Award winning writers are forced out of full time writing.

In The Craft Section,

How to use schedules to write- Scott Myers- Bookmark

Does your character description work?- Michael Hauge- Bookmark

Conflict between protagonists- Chris Winkle - Bookmark

Story hooks- K M Weiland- Bookmark

How long should your series be- Rachel Aaron- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

7 essentials for your book launch-Keely Keith- Bookmark

Content marketing and Selling Non Fiction Books Two great posts from Joanna Penn Bookmark

DIY Marketing tools – IngramSpark

But I don’t want to blog- Indies Unlimited

Are indie authors following the music script- Interesting article from Bookbaby

To Finish

A few years ago Anne R Allen published this great blog post which is still relevant. 12 signs your novel isn’t ready to publish. This checklist is always a good wakeup call. If you can tick all the boxes you might have the next book answer to that difficult question, what to read to escape from real life.

I’m nearly ready to send out my first newsletter of the year. If you want to get a monthly roundup of my best bookmarked links and other goodies... Subscribe.

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!


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Pic : Flickr Creative Commons/ Les Sachs
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