Showing posts with label serial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label serial. Show all posts

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Publishing Soap Opera

This week in publishing news…


The DOJ and PRH wrapped up their closing arguments after nearly a month in court. Now the judge has to decide if the sale of Simon and Schuster will go through or whether the DOJ can successfully block it. There were many popcorn moments. Among them, opposing lawyers not wanting to grill Stephen King because they wanted their books signed and the PRH CEO thinking everyone gets large advances and marketing budgets. 

Publishers Weekly has a breakdown of the closing arguments, or as they say- we’re right back where we started. It makes fascinating reading.


While everyone looks at the money that is supposed to be swimming in publishing, the reality is looking different for the actual workers, let alone the writers. A survey of publishing professionals' workplace stress indicates that burnout and low pay is causing many to leave the profession. It makes grim and sad reading. The death of starry-eyed dreams is never pretty. Something has to change.


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard points out that the recent American Publishers report of falling eBook sales doesn’t account for the huge payouts Amazon has been giving to authors from Kindle Unlimited during the same reporting period. So where is all the money in publishing? At the same time as everyone is looking at the numbers, Amazon is too and pulling back from restocking its warehouses. It’s just a blip they said to Publisher’s Weekly, but for how long?


Over in the UK the association of publishers are not happy with the government which has decided that data mining copyrighted work and creative IP is ok. The government is about to pass a law to make it easier. They want to welcome huge data firms to the UK. Guess who will lose out?


Mark Williams likes to remind everyone that publishing is a global business. This week he looked at the rising cost of printing that has seen the Bangladesh publishers scrambling to stay afloat with costs for ink, paper, and printing jumping by 50%. What to do? Mark points out that with over 75% of the population online, maybe they could make a digital book. Radical thinking for conservative publishers.


Joanna Penn interviewed Ryan Dingler from Google Play Books on AI narration. Whatever you feel about the spoken word and narration it is worth keeping an eye on with the big moves in audio publishing. It’s an interesting interview. Check out the links to Google’s voice library, the AI voices are getting very good. When they get full cast functionality, which Google are promising soon, that’s when it will seriously change audio publishing.


Anne R Allen has a big post on the latest scams which I touched upon last week. Anne goes into more detail about how these scammers are stealing agent identities and how you can sort out the fakes from the real offers.


Kris Rusch continues her posts on the business of writing. When is your art not a business? 

I kept thinking of the poor young publishing professionals being told to grab audio rights their company has no intention of doing anything with when I was reading this.


BookBaby has a big post on serial writing sites. If you want to figure out where the best place is to publish your serial soap opera- check out their recommendations. 


Now Novel has a comprehensive post on Thriller writing. If you have been wanting to try out some ideas in the thriller genre this is the post for you.


In the Craft section,

How to write a good blog post- Rachel Thompson

3 mistakes to avoid with your side characters- Sacha Black- Bookmark

Plot emerges from characters- Scott Myers

5 character tools you need to know- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Beyond character goal and motivation- Foxprint Editorial- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

8 creative ways to launch a book- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to launch a thriller- Interview with a thriller writer.- Sandra Beckwith

Infographic on writing promo-related dates for September – Penny Sansevieri

2 great posts from Dave Chesson- How to build an about the author page and a nifty print formatting template generator- Bookmark both


To Finish,

If you are looking for some courses to do around writing craft, punctuation, publishing, cover design etc. Udemy has a big selection. Dave Chesson has pulled together a useful list. The big news is that Udemy is having a sale for a week with all their courses over 85% off. You can pick up a course for less than $20. So if you were looking to learn new skills or deep dive research into artisan cheese making for your soap opera serial cowboy hero… now’s the time to sign up.




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


PIC Photo by Matthew Tkocz on Unsplash

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Is The Sun Shining?

This week the sun disappeared in North America.
In olden times... (pick your century) an eclipse was a portent of disaster or great change.
Some might have decided that the eclipse came seven months too late. If you are an indie author publishing some romance fiction on Nook it came right on time. With no warning to the authors involved accounts have been closed. This is a great reminder about spreading your eggs among many baskets.

Kris Rusch wrote about the eclipse in a different way. Her little town prepared for an influx of visitors... and they didn’t come. Kris compares this to the book publishing industry. What happens to publishing if all the marketing goes on the books with the highest advance and they don’t sell?

Porter Anderson recently talked with Sophie de Closets, the CEO of French publishing house Fayard, about women in publishing. Sophie talked about what it was like as a young CEO walking in to manage such a venerablehouse but then she added something startling. Where are all the men in publishing? This potentially is a huge problem for identifying readers.

Amazon is on track to open their tenth brick and mortar bookstore this year.  Their bookstores are small with books facing out and highly curated. Are they on to a sure thing? Their emphasis on data and buying habits suggest they are.

So is it the right time to be buying a bookstore? Dean Wesley Smith thinks so because he just bought one. However Dean has data of his own and lays out what a modern bookstore should be doing.

Hugh Howey is sailing the Pacific living the life on the boat his books bought. (Not jealous... really...) He finds time to write in between swimming with turtles and whales (not jealous....) Recently he wrote two really good posts on becoming a writer. ( and Part Two)
They are thoughtful and insightful and a great pick me up when you are staring at your MS thinking about sailing in the pacific with turtles... on a dream boat.... (OK Jealous!)

A few years ago now a bunch of crazy writers got together to write a serial story for kids. It was hard work but creatively inspiring. The crazy writers are still writing for kids but we aren’t doing serials. Every now and then I read an interesting article on Serial Writing and think ... hmm Crazy Fun. This article looks at 13 reasons why writing a serial is better than writing a book.

In The Craft Section.

How to hook a reader- Mary Kole- Bookmark

The ingredients of great series characters- James Scott Bell- Bookmark

Zero Draft Thirty is the screenwriters NaNoWriMo It kicks off in September.

In The Marketing Section,

The reason book marketing is exhausting- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

Mailchimp alternatives- Ricardo Fayet - Bookmark

Book launch timeline- Shelley Hitz- Bookmark!

To Finish,

The New Yorker, venerable institution of prose and social comment has an article on.... Fan Fiction? Yes you did read that sentence right. It’s a good article too. Go on... dip your toe in....


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons Andrew Napier

I round up the best of the bookmarked craft and marketing links as well as some other bits and pieces in my monthly newsletter. When you subscribe you will also get a nifty book crammed full with marketing notes. (Hi New Subscribers!) THANKS to everyone who hit the coffee button this week.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breaking The Container

This week in the publishing blogosphere...
If you have any interest in the global publishing world you will be aware of the new VAT rules coming into the EU. This is where the governments of the EU finally get tax off Amazon... or rather Amazon tells all authors who publish with them that they will add the tax on.

The ongoing saga of Maurice Sendak’s estate is back in the news. He had collected some amazing paintings folios and first editions. Then the executors pulled 10,000 original items from the Sendak collection held at a Philadelphia library. Is it in accordance with his wishes? There is quite a debate on as the executors are not writers...

Boy books.... Girl books.... Book books!
A seven year old girls complaint about a non-fiction book being promoted as a boys book has prompted a change in policy from a publisher.

The news that over 60,000 UK boys have failed in their literacy by age 11 has galvanized a children’s writer. But he has an interesting way of going about it. Build some free gaming apps to go alongside his novels. Is there buy in from his publishers... YES. (This reminds me of a proposed idea along these lines here - No publisher buy in.) This is all interesting in light of a recent study on the use of tablets in schools.

Where are the books exploring conflict for children and teens from the other side. One writer is appalled that they are the only one writing with middle eastern protagonists.

New Zealand writers have been reeling lately with a string of publishing houses closing their NZ offices. Writer Beware has posted a warning, that writers taking their own rights back after disputes with publishers have to be very careful.

Jane Friedman has a guest on her blog sounding a note of caution on signing up for Kindle Unlimited.

Rachel Gardner details the kinds of rejections from editors she gets as an agent. (These are for books that went on to do well –we are not alone)

In the Craft Section,

In the Marketing Section,

Juggling multiple projects – Elisabeth S Craig

Update on the ACX alternative in audio books. (I linked to this a few months ago, so the update makes interesting reading.)

To Finish,
Two big projects that made the news this week.
One of the biggest YouTube sensations in recent years is a teenage girl blogging about her life. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg was released as a book this week and broke all sorts of records for a first book. How did this happen?

Serial, a podcast sensation, finished its first season... and asked its listeners for donations to do a second. How can publishing learn from this success? The Bookseller asks.

The power of the storytelling transcends the container it is delivered in.

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