Showing posts with label podcasts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label podcasts. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Writing or Reading - There’s a cruise for that.


In Publishing News this week


There has been head scratching and disbelief in the Science Fiction community over the Hugo awards being held this week in China. Prominent names inexplicably didn’t get recognition for their work. Then the rumours started - Did China ban these books from the ballot? The Guardian tries to find out.


Staying in the East, Japan awarded a prestigious literary award and then the author confessed to using AI. Consternation. The book was described as flawless. How much AI is too much? Mark Williams adds his acerbic take on the situation.


Mark also writes about the huge take up of the ad supported Netflix streaming platform. If people are comfortable with ads then they shouldn’t have a problem with ads in books on streaming subscriptions. Any takers?


Booktok was surprised when an influencer who doesn’t read was sponsored by a publisher to go on a cruise and … read. Publishers Weekly reports how that worked out. (Pick Me for reading on an all expenses paid cruise.)


Publishing Perspectives reports on the Kids Media trade fair that is happening alongside the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. It’s not just the books getting deals- think Merch!


The Ghostwriters met in New York for their conference. Josh Bernoff reported in Jane Friedman’s blog on the main talking points. They are anxious about AI and the fees that some ghostwriters are charging. $50,000 is too little. 


Lithub reports why all the publishing firms see March as the best time to publish books this year. It’s all about when elections are happening. They also have an interesting article by Laurie Frankel on why she threw away over half her book in revisions. It has to do with Re- Vision.


Colleen Story has an interesting post on 7 things you should give yourself permission to do if you are a writer. Angela Ackerman has the one rule you shouldn’t break!


If you would like to try listening to podcasts on writing, AJ Yee has rounded up 25 of the best podcasts around. I listen to at least half on this list and they are very worthwhile. (Shoutout to the fabulous SPA Girls!)


Katie Weiland has a great post on writing multiple storylines- everything you need to know. I have done this with points of view and it was a great exercise in creativity at the same time as a great headache. Multiple plots is lifting the bar again. 

In The Craft Section,

How to use internal and external conflict- Ali Bumbarger- Bookmark

6 tips for writing a compelling first sentence- Deanna Martinez-Bey

Finessing dialogue- Stephen Geez 

How to write a short story- Hannah Yang- Bookmark

Failure in Fiction- Sue Coletta - Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

A guide to the avatar target reader- Bookmark

2 Great posts from the Alliance of Independent Authors -Successful rapid release strategies and Money basics for authors.

How to sell books to bookstores- Penny Sansevieri

A super easy way to add amazon reviews to your website- Cori Ramos- Bookmark


To Finish

January is often the month where you get to grips with new projects. Sometimes taking yourself on a writing retreat can get your creative juice moving. Take a look at the Writing Retreat Directory for fancy retreats all over the world. You can check out free or low cost residency programmes for writers as well. Why not grab some writing friends and make a weekend of it. It could be just the boost you need to get into your new project. Or you could see if a publisher will sponsor you to read books on a cruise. 

Combine all three and go on a cruising writers retreat. Yes Writer – there is a cruise for that.





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Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Ear Wars


In the publishing blogosphere...

This week Mark Williams from The New Publishing Standard shone a light on a new move from Amazon. Audible launched an unlimited audiobook subscription in Spain. This looks like a big test of audio subscription and the beginning of subscription wars in audiobooks.

Amazon is also making moves on the podcasting front – adding podcasts to Amazon music.


Cory Doctorow is an astute observer of the tech space and an award-winning writer of cyberpunk and surveillance novels. Over the years he has been a high profile anti DRM campaigner. He is holding a kick-starter to get enough money to independently produce the third audiobook in the Little Brother series away from the Amazon system. Kickstarter profiled why he is taking on a corporate monopoly. 


Jane Friedman is an astute observer of the publishing ecosystem. This week she published two in-depth articles looking at the publishing printers supply chain and Amazon’s increasing power in the bookselling market across the world.

If you were wondering when your printed book might show up or why Random Penguin is acquiring other publishers, check out these articles.


Publish Drive – EBook distributors to the rest of the world, have looked at what the best selling genres were in August across the world. Do we all read the same books in times of crisis?


The New Statesman has taken a close look at Goodreads and wonders whether the time is ready for some disruption here. Does Goodreads even do what it says it should on the box?


If you need a shiny landing page, without a website attached, check out Carrd. They offer a neat website page that you can customise for free. 


In The Craft Section,

Discipline vs Enthusiasm- K M Weiland

Struggling through the first draft- Heather Webb

The power of facial expressions- Almost an author

Tips for the historical writer- Sue Coletta- Bookmark

Setting elements- Now Novel – Bookmark

How to write a kissing scene- Ride the pen - Bookmark

Ten editing tricks to make your writing better- Gabino Iglesias


In The Marketing Section,

Email marketing – Miblart- Bookmark

Selling kindle books internationally – Dave Chesson- Bookmark

The power of author collaborations- Sandra Beckwith

No excuse for not knowing where your books sits- Nathan Bransford

Going against the flow -reflowable book layouts- The Book Designer

30 scary author website mistakes- Pauline Wiles


To Finish,

With the fight for our ears going on in the publishing world I thought I might share the podcasts I listen to fairly regularly on the publishing business and other tricks and tips to do with writing and marketing. These podcasts are published weekly. 

The Creative Penn. (The BEST!)

The Self Publishing show. (NB: Mark Dawson’s self publishing 101 course is now open.)

6Figure author. (Jam Packed Tips!)

The SPA girls.  (Brilliant Kiwi Indie Romance Writers)

The Sell More Books Show. (News and Tips)

I also drop into Alliance of Independent Authors and Stirling and Stone every now and then and visit great writing podcasts like - Sacha Black and Mur Lafferty.

There is a writing podcast for everyone....

Grab your headphones!





It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter with the best of my 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. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons- Jeremy Segrott

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Keeping Up With Book Trends

I have a confession... I’m getting addicted to podcasts.
I started out with just one... then I added another and now I have eight podcasts I try to listen to regularly. I thought I could give them up. When I accidently put my phone in the washing machine and had to replace it I told myself not to load any podcasts on my phone. I lasted one week. 
This all leads me to the Spa Girls. They have been sharing some great podcasts from The Smarter Artist Summit. Trudi Jaye interviewed some great thought leaders in publishing. Tune in while driving, or doing the dishes, making a meal, having time out...

DiAnn Mills recently published a guest post on Suzanne Lakin’s blog about writer courage. Did you even know that you have to be courageous to write? 15 ways to strengthan your courage to write.

Rejection- Every writer will deal with it at some time. What makes rejection worse is that writing is such a personal act it feels like we have been rejected as a person. It is hard to distance yourself from the writing. Mona Lisa Foster has a great series on rejection. Rejection is an opinion not a death sentence.

In publishing news this week... Smashwords announced that they have partnered with Findaway voices audio platform.  Findaway is getting bigger. Audible may start losing customers especially as Findaway doesn’t lock audio book contracts  for seven years....
The other book aggregator, Draft2Digital, has been adding some new features as well. Author Pages and Book Tabs are their latest tweaks to a website that is getting lots of praise in the Indie publishing marketplace.
Bookbub is also making changes. You can now recommend books to your followers or groups... sharing the book love of your author friends.

Sam Missingham is a London based book marketer who has quite a following in the UK book scene, She recently started a marketing service for authors and one of the first things she did was to ask Traditionally Published authors if they paid for book marketing. A surprising number did. Is this the way of the future? Sam writes about the responses from the traditionally published authors- why they are picking up the ball from the publishers.

This week I was asked if I had heard anything regarding Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I went for a hunt and found the regular roundup of Agents discussing what they predict will be big trends. Bologna is a rights fair. Will we see another breakout hit? Nothing has come along lately... Agents are wondering whether Young Adult is on the wain...

In The Craft Section,

Word count guidelines by genre- Anne R Allen -  Bookmark

Show don’t tell- podcast – Joanna Penn, (always good!)

Creating a fantasy race- fantasy fiction

The magic fix it scene- Manuscript Shredder- Bookmark

Have you chosen the right main character- Kristen Kieffer- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

A primer on book reviews- Joel Friedlander- Bookmark

4 ways to make time to blog- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

How to lower FB ads costs- Amanda Bond - Bookmark

To Finish,

Book Covers. The most important marketing tool you have. But book covers are subjective, they go in and out of fashion. It is always wise to keep an eye on what is trending in your genre. Calvin Emerson of 99 Book Designs, a book cover designer, talks about what is trending in book covers this year.


My monthly newsletter is coming soon, I’ve been busy reading... If you want a round up  of the best of the months bookmarked craft and marketing links then subscribe. You will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes.
If you enjoy this blog share it to your writing friends, or you can shout me a coffee by hitting the coffee button up top. Thanks


Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Merry Go Round

As I write this, news is filtering out from agents and publishers on Twitter about changes to the New York Times Bestsellers List. In 2015 The NY Times added a lot of categories that were seen as good news for publishers and authors in the diverse and children’s markets. Not any more. It seems that most of the children’s books categories have been pulled leaving only MG and YA Hardcover and Picture Books and Series. Mass Market Paperback and Graphic Novel bestseller lists have been pulled. Print and Ebooks have been combined.
I haven’t been able to find an official report on this but I expect it will come soon. (Edit Update, Now out from Publishers Weekly
Publishers and Agents are already flagging that unless you have a lot of marketing dollars to go hardcover, chances will be slim to get on the list in future.
In other news George Orwell’s 1984 is topping the Bestseller lists... I wonder why?

In the decline and fall category, but in a good way... Writer Beware points to the latest Bowker statistics. The drop in ISBNS issued to Author Solutions companies...

Now that the Digital Book World Conference is finished, people are reporting on all the great ideas to take forward into 2017. Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson have a comprehensive roundup of ideas, themes and tips discussed. And Goodreads gets specific with their 7 Savvy Insights for Book Marketing from DBW17.
Take some time to look at what everyone was talking about.

Publishing Perspectives took a look at New Zealand’s Storylines Festival changes. If you haven’t caught up with the news... coming to a small town somewhere in the provinces this year...

Joanna Penn has a guest post from Rachel Amphlett on her popular site about getting into libraries. However if you are in Auckland on February 11th you can see Joanna Penn in person and learn lots of tips about Self Publishing and Marketing books in person. Joanna also talks about 5 ways to make money from your books in 2017.

Elizabeth Craig has a great post on preorders. She has been trialing them and she writes about what impacts they have on her writing and sales.

Larry Brooks has an interesting post on the bottom line explanation of why authors fail. This is a must read and a soul search.

Roni Loren has an inspirational post on choosing a word that will encapsulate your writing year.

The 12 by 12 Picturebook challenge is on. Every year I say this year will be the year to do it... and then I get sidetracked. Go and have a look. It is awesome!
Reminder also Write On Con is coming soon...

In The Craft Section,

Reverse Outlining- Purdue University

An authors guide to Book Subtitles-Ingram Spark  Bookmark

Writing Memoir- Think outside the book- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

How to make a good story in 9 steps – Now Novel- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,


Sell sheets – Judith Briales- on The Book Designer- Bookmark

Podcasting for authors -Sean Platt-Bookmark

To Finish,

The SFF Marketing podcast is well worth your time. The team of Lindsay Buroker, Joe Lallo and Jeff Poole have great guests and the marketing discussions are universal. Their latest podcast is on the 80/20 marketing ruleand tips learned in 2016. 

And if you are looking for more resources check out this list of Apps for the Serious Writer.

Everyone is heading back to school and work this week. Get your writing plans locked in and jump on the Merry Go Round again.


If you want to catch up on the best of my bookmarked links every month make sure you subscribe to my newsletter.    

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Scattered Writer Brain

Last week I linked to a couple of posts on the first day of the Digital Book World Conference. This week Porter Anderson covers Day Two and Jane Friedman shares her takeaways from the whole conference - 4 lessons in publishing. This post has been passed around Social Media quite a few times and is a must read.

Selina Kitt shines a light on scammers on Amazon. This is a sobering read and goes to the heart of the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. It is also a lesson in eBook formatting. Even when you are doing it right for the reader, you may be doing it wrong.

Jessica West takes a look at the grey area of paying for reviews. No you shouldn’t pay for a review but there are technical services that take a fee and their reviewers are legit. Using one of these services can make you a best seller.

If you’re a children’s author you always have an eye on Bologna. Publishers Weekly interviewed seven agents about what’s hot and what they are looking for at Bologna.

Roz Morris always has something interesting to say. This week she looks at ways to blog about your book without blogging your book. This is always a tricky topic for authors... how do you entice readers to check out your work without giving it all away.

The UK Society of Authors is ramping up their Creator Campaign for Fair Contracts. Many international author societies are supporting this too. When you look at the writing festivals that aren’t paying their writers and add that to the unfair contracts it can get pretty depressing out there.

Jami Gold has a timely post this week on when you just have to admit you are not a super publishing hero. Sometimes you just can’t do it all. It is an excellent article. Jami asks pointed questions to help you identify if you are falling into this common writing trap.

Ben Zackheim gathered together his list of great podcasts. I have listened to about half of these teams and I must take some time to listen to a few more. Sometimes just listening to authors chew the fat about writing is enough to make you feel energised to get back into your writing.

Booklife pulled together some great people to talk about book reviews and discoverability. This is a must read.

In the Craft Section,
Getting inspired to write- James Scott Bell

The copyedit from Heck- Kristine Rusch – Must Read!

Short Story Secrets-Anne R Allen

In the Marketing Section,
11 reasons why authors need Social Media-  Frances Caballo and The Book Designer - Bookmark!

Connecting with readers- Elizabeth Spann Craig -Bookmark

Website of the Week
If you’ve got that book finished and you're thinking 'now the hard part begins,' you are right. However there are a few voices out there in the Blogosphere that can point you in the right direction -marketing wise. Penny Sansevieri has been a marketing Go To site for authors for a few years now. Here are just three posts that caught my eye this week. 50 ways to promote your book- Part One and Two and 5 minute marketing.

To Finish,
I came across this interesting article today on Creativity. What are five areas you would like to grow and develop in your writing? Take Five Fat Files... is a way of refining your goals and making them more achievable.


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