Showing posts with label storybundle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label storybundle. Show all posts

Thursday, June 22, 2023

As The World Turns

In Publishing News this week,


Last week I wrote that Storytel is partnering with Eleven Labs, an AI audio specialist for audiobook dubbing in different languages. This week Goodereader has an interesting article on Eleven labs and just what they are capable of- including voice cloning. You give them a sample of your voice, they clone it and then your voice clone reads the audiobook. I had a play with their regular AI voices and it’s amazing.

So if you clone your voice is it still really you or an AI? The benefits are no more voice strain when you are recording your books- also no more studio fees or production costs.


For the first time since 2019, Beijing has held their International Bookfair. Attendance was good and there were over 2500 exhibitors.


Pundits are still talking about Elizabeth Gilbert’s decision to pull her book because of Ukrainian backlash. Is it a publicity stunt or a genuine reason. Is it all politics?


Publishing Perspectives has an article by Richard Charkin on the megatrends in international marketing. He asked Chatgpt for help and then he corrected the resulting article.


Publishers Weekly takes a deep dive into the shifting Middle Grade market. Once it held up the book sales stats but lately it’s been falling. How can writers stay relevant in this important market.


Darcy Pattison has a great article on getting photo permissions. There are different levels of copyrights with photos so do your homework if you are using them in your work.


Draft2Digital has an interesting article on how to stay productive and using time management skills to keep your writing on track.


Do you need an author assistant? What do they do? If you have wondered whether you need to get help in your author business, this article is for you.


Colleen Story has a great article on the 5 things a writer can’t control- This is a good pointer for what to let go of for your mental health.


Sue Coletta has written about how she parted ways with her Traditional publisher and why. This is a story I have heard from other authors. It starts off well and then production values drop, editors stop editing and then the relationship fails.


Kris Rusch has a new series looking at niche marketing. Do you know your niche market? (Do you know how to pronounce the word niche properly?*) Many writers are still following old publishing ways of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Sometimes a smaller focussed approach is better. 


Tiffany Yates Martin explores whether writing in deep 3rd person is actually a point of view or just really layered writing. Do you even know when you are writing in it?


In The Craft Section,

Using crisis to reveal character- September Fawkes- Bookmark

How good is your writing-Allison Williams- Bookmark

How to hurt your characters- Liz Generally

Coming up with the perfect character name- Emmanuel Natif

How you can be a better author with the snowflake method- Written Word Media- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to talk publicly about writing- James Preston- Bookmark

Do pre orders affect release day sales?- Jackie Karneth

Using blogger book reviews- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Creative ideas for book events- Penny Sansevieri

How authors can use Bookfunnel- Joanna Penn Interview with Damon Courtney- Bookmark


To Finish,

The Winter/Summer Solstice is this week and many traditions use this time to reflect and plan or celebrate the turning of the seasons. If you want to give yourself a gift over Solstice check out these two amazing bundles of writing craft goodies.

The Info Stack of writing resources has a super abundance of high quality courses with lifetime access’, books, K-lytics reports etc for a one time fee of $49-Limited time only.


The Storybundle of writing craft books, available for two weeks with a great selection of books on writing, productivity, short stories… curated by Kris Rusch. These bundles are always great value.


Happy Solstice.





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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 Selvan B on Unsplash


(* There are two different ways to say it depending on where you come from.)

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Checking off Resolutions



This week in publishing,

Amazon have decided to do away with Mobi files except for certain fixed formats like picture books. The ePub format can now be loaded onto your Kindle without being converted. As publishing commentators say… it’s about time. The ePub format is accepted everywhere else.


Down under, there is a ripple of concern over Booktopia, Australia’s online bookstore. The CEO resigned which triggered a share price plunge. Newspapers speculate it was over a huge earnings slump… the book business is alright isn’t it?


This week Darcy Pattison highlighted a problem with ISBN’s. Apparently, the 13 digit ISBN starting with 978 is running out. New ISBN’s are being issued and they aren’t being accepted anywhere as distributors haven’t caught up with the news. 


Joanna Penn recently interviewed small business guru Elaine Pofeldt who has a new book out. Tiny Business Big Money. This interview is a deep dive into running an author business and what is essential to get right.


Anne R Allen has a post on debut author book marketing. There are some scammy operators out there who target debut authors with junk marketing. The worst I’ve seen is an outfit wanting to take your book to Frankfurt to go on display…and charging a few thousand. In reality, there was an out-of-the-way stand with some books chucked on a table. No human presence at all. If you know anything about Frankfurt Book Fair, this is scammy on so many levels. Anne details other insidious practices.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a new Ultimate Guide out- The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning (part one). This is a must-read for everyone. Make a time to put down what you want to have happen in the future. Things like social media executors, where all your passwords are, who gets the film royalties…. 


Kris Rusch has a great post on endings and how important they are in selling your next book. Are you paying attention to the payoff? Loads of food for thought in this post.


Written Word Media has an in depth article on dictation. If you have been flirting with the idea, take a look at their tool comparison.


Do you need to write every day? On one hand, you are teaching the muse to show up. On the other hand, you could be feeding a destructive guilt cycle. Check out Katie’s Weiland’s list of pro’s and con’s.


In The Craft Section,

The definitive list of cliched dialogue- Scott Myers


2 Great posts from K M Weiland -Why your story’s premise is important and

The role of the antagonist in story structure- Bookmark Both

Using crisis to reveal character- September Fawkes – Bookmark

Setting goals, Writing to win- Beth Barany- Inspirational


In The Marketing Section,

Top 5 Strategies for promoting books on Social Media- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

2 in depth posts from Bookbub Insights- How to sell more copies of a book you published years ago  and How an anthology got boosted rankings

Instagram stories for authors – Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark

Republish vs Updating- Dave Chesson- Bookmark

Why a good book cover is crucial- Thao Nguyen


To Finish,

We are heading for halfway through the year, how are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up? If you made publishing that novel as a resolution and you are feeling a bit lost, Jordan at Now Novel as the definitive How To Publish A Novel in 2022, post for you.

For all the other writers who are on top of their resolutions… send encouraging energy to the rest of us. 

There is only one week to go for the Storybundle of Writing Craft books. Grab them while you can.



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 of 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.


Pic: Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Break Out The Cake



In publishing news this week…

This week there was a heartfelt cry from a publisher on Twitter about the print and paper supply problems that have hit publishers hard.

With the shortage of paper, printers are having to book print runs far in advance of normal. This puts pressure on the publishers to figure out how big a print run they need 6 months earlier than usual. Publishers' book reps traditionally go into shops to presell titles which is how a lot of publishers get a ballpark number for their print run. This causes problems all along the production line. What if they have a hit on their hands? Reprints can take up to four months to book in. Will interest still be in the book four months later? 

Then there are other problems like the one facing Graphic Novel publisher Fantagraphics, who have an entire print run of a popular graphic novel stuck on a container ship that has run aground. This is the second time this has happened to them. (Guess the name of the ship.) With shipping almost stopped because the Shanghai port is almost at a standstill, the pain is only going to get worse for publishers. Supply chain problems will force changes in publishing. 


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard, takes a look at the New York Toy Fair which has just been canceled again and draws some parallels with the publishing industry. We were all happy when the Bookfairs came back face to face this year but has the industry learned anything or changed its mindset to be more sustainable going forward? 


Publishers Weekly recently looked at 25 years of changes to book publicity. This article explores the changes in the publishing world from the days when a publisher had a marketing team to make the author a star through to today when the author needs to have a 50,000 follower social media channel to make the book a star.


Derek Murphy has been exploring Artificial Intelligence to get ideas for writing. He shows what he fed the AI and what the AI wrote. It is fascinating stuff. Remember though, the tool is only as good as the ingredients you give it. And it is a tool for ideas…at the moment.


Anne R Allen highlights the need for a Social Media executor. Recently she found out that a dear writer friend had died two months after the fact. Social Media accounts are part of most authors' marketing and networking lives. An executor can save your estate a big headache and protect your reputation.


Kris Rusch is looking at scheduling her writing time at the moment. She examines how to think about projects in a big picture way and why blocking out time is good for your mental health. 


Dave Chesson has an interesting deep dive into typesetting- If you are interested in book design take a look at all the nuts and bolts of book layout.


Diving sideways…who knew punctuation could be so interesting. P J Parrish has an article on the Killzone blog about the messages you send with your punctuation. 


Storybundle has a great collection of writing craft books on offer for this month. Check out the collection. It’s a pay what you like deal. All the money goes to the authors. You get the books on your preferred device and they are yours. (Remember that eBooks bought on Amazon etc are only licensed to read on your device.) Storybundle send the books as documents so you get to keep them. I have many writing craft books on my Kindle from Storybundle. It’s a good way to keep up with the craft.


In The Craft Section,

Why authors should kill their characters- Sarah Hamer


2 Great posts from Becca Puglisi-Creative ways to brainstorm story ideas and Subtext in dialogue – Bookmark Both

How to write a compelling action scene- Emily Young

How to construct a story bible- Staci Troilo- Bookmark

How to find your writer's voice- Scott Myers


In The Marketing Section,

What to do with Amazon A+ content- Sandra Beckwith-Bookmark

Clever ideas for bonus content- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

A collection of essential publishing tools and resources- Joanna Penn

Creating pre and post-publication flyers- Judith Briles- Bookmark

Email marketing for authors- comprehensive article.


To Finish,

This week marks 14 years of the weekly blog. It is a constant marker of the week's progression in my family life. Will I have time to do the blog…is always the running mental commentary on a Thursday. More often I hear ‘we can’t do it on a Thursday, Mum has her blog.’ To the long-time readers… Thank you for all the encouragement, the occasional coffee, the comments and laughter. To my loyal monthly newsletter subscribers- Thanks for reading the roundups and my writing news and woes. The stats tell me that almost everybody opens the newsletter so I must be doing something right. 

Let’s head off into year 15 and see what is on the horizon… I might even buy myself some craft books to celebrate, along with cake! 





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 or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Thursday, January 20, 2022

2022- Wrestling the year into submission



Annnnnd we are back for another year of watching the publishing industry shuffle through the interesting times we have been cursed with.


In Publishing News…

Authors win a global piracy lawsuit and get awarded damages of over $7million… Everybody is hoping that the judgment serves notice to book pirates that their time is up. The pirates were tried in abstentia and are somewhere in Ukraine. However, I guess it will continue to be a case of pirate whack-a-mole.


The growth of library eBook lending far exceeded everyone’s expectations when Overdrive, the biggest library eBook partner, published their annual review. Half a billion library ebook downloads show that eBook lending is here to stay.


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard published two interesting articles recently. One on the upcoming Cairo International Bookfair where they are playing with hologram technology and books and another on the split nature of India’s publishing industry-  half of which is embracing digital and surviving, the other half … not so much.


The beginning of another year invites predictions of what we should expect from 2022.

Literary Agent, Laurie Mclean kicked off the new year with her predictions. Mergers, Unions and Work From Home will change the publishing marketplace. Streaming will change the reading space.


Written Word Media identified eight trends to watch in the coming year. As their business model helps writers advertise their books they focus on the big trends that will affect the writer bottom line- advertising will be going up. 


Over January Kristine Rusch continued writing her 2021 year in review. She has written six blogs on this topic as she looks back to how digital reading has been embraced in the pandemic years and how the publishing industry has been completely changed by it. In this week’s article she makes some bold predictions on how indie publishing will be changing the whole publishing industry going forward. It is well worth a read.


Penny Sansevieri examined global reading habits in 2021 and produced an interesting infographic that gives writers some markets to keep an eye on. She also has 22 awesome book marketing promotions and predictions for 2022.


Jane Friedman took a look at what were the big sellers in the children’s book industry and made some predictions for the upcoming year. She also has a great article on how to plan and host online author events.


If you want to start 2022 off with some writing craft books, StoryBundle has a great collection available for a limited time. It’s a pay what you want deal and there are some good books on offer. 


In The Craft Section,

How to ace the time skip in your story- DIYMFA

How to decide what story to write- Scott Myers

Best writing resources of 2021 from Now Novel- Bookmark

The role of causation and plot structure in literary fiction- Harrison Demchick

What are the 10 different types of stories- Joe Bunting- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to sell more books in 2022- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Book cover designers- Resource from The Creative Penn- Bookmark

Clever ideas to promote sequels and series-Bookbub

Choosing a book title in the e-age- Anne R Allen

5 social media trends to watch in 2022- Kris Maze


To Finish,

If you have been mulling over your goals for the year ahead and getting hopelessly confused or overwhelmed – Drop into the ALLI podcast to listen or read the transcript on how Orna Ross and Joanna Penn plan their upcoming years. Orna has a great phrase, Maker, Manager, Marketer. She splits her work and goals between all three. Or check out Elizabeth Craig’s great article on making mini plans and goals for the year.

This may help when you wrestle 2022 into a workable plan for yourself.





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 – RumpleTeaser


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Early Presents

This week in publishing news,

Publishers Weekly broke the news that The Department of Justice is suing to block Penguin Random House from Buying Simon and Schuster citing it would “enable Penguin Random House, which is already the largest book publisher in the world, to exert outsized influence over which books are published in the United States and how much authors are paid for their work.”

As the news broke around the Publishing blogosphere there were some candid comments about not wanting to be a Simon and Schuster author if the sale went through. 


Kobo have increased their digital subscription model Kobo+. Australia and New Zealand now get the chance to try the subscription model of digital reading. Mark Williams reports in The New Publishing Standard. 

While Kobo is expanding its English language digital subscription Audible have made the big leap to India. This market promises much but what about the authors providing the books in the subscription model. India sells books very very cheaply. Volume might be the only way to earn any money. And don’t forget Audiblegate. Will Audible throw authors under the bus to get Indian Ears?


The Bookseller reports on a sobering piece of research on disability access and publishing. It is already hard enough to find disabled characters in stories but in the publishing houses it is even harder to find them in the offices of publishing houses.


The Alliance of Independent authors has a comprehensive explanation of NFT’s for authors. This is a digital offering that is suited to authors who can bundle a limited edition together. And every time it gets on sold the author can make a little money. If you aren’t sure whether NFT’s are legit check out the article. 


Even while the world struggles with a pandemic- Big Bad Wolf will always be there to sell books in their 24 hour, ten day Asian book fairs. Millions of remaindered English language books get snapped up by buyers. This year they are partnering with Shopify. The mind boggles at the sheer size of putting together a digital storefront to sell millions of books in a short space of time.


Susan DeFreitas has a great guest article on Jane Friedman’s blog this week. Maybe it’s not your plot. Susan takes a look at common plot problems and how they come back to your character arc. Once you’ve got that sorted the plot problems fix themselves. 


In the Craft Section,

3 steps to building a story world- Janice Hardy

The secret to writing authentic villains- Kyla Bagnall- Bookmark

A premise isn’t a plot- Janice Hardy Bookmark

2 Bookmark articles, Finding Time to Write and Take the stress out of writing- Michelle Millar


In The Marketing Section,

Can introverted writers market their books- Rachel Thompson – Bookmark

How to secure endorsements- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Bookbub ads for design inspiration- Bookbub

How to create a reader profile- Alicia Dale- Bookmark

7 questions to ask before writing a sell sheet- Joseph Kunz- Bookmark


To Finish

Every year I’m sure that Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier. This year because of supply chain issues around the world the word is out to get your Christmas buying in early. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi has gathered together the best books to gift writers for Christmas – Order Now!  While you are in a book buying mood don’t forget to grab the Storybundle Nano collection. A swag of great craft books and the authors get the money. A Christmas present for everyone.





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.



Thursday, May 20, 2021

Moving Quickly

In Publishing News This Week,

Audio – the hot growth area for publishing. When the news broke of a potential move by Spotify into the audiobook business, there was a collective gasp. One of the biggest music subscription services taking an interest in audiobooks, how would it change the audio publishing landscape? Today, Storytel one of the fastest movers in this area partnered with Spotify. If you have an exclusive with Audible… you may want to reconsider.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has some great podcasts/ transcripts available. This week they looked at non-disclosure agreements and how these are being used as a weapon against authors' free speech.


Hugh Howey has put together a Self Published Science Fiction Competition. It’s all about eyes on books. 300 books to make the cut… and then the competition is on.


Anne R Allen has been fielding some plaintive emails from concerned friends on what to do when someone they know looks like they have been sucked into a publishing scam. Anne points out that friends don’t let friends do this but we all know how tricky it is. No one wants to burst their bubble. Read Anne’s excellent blog for tips on how to have these awkward conversations.


Roz Morris is a super resource for great writing advice. This month she wrote a great post on why writers have such difficulty ‘killing your darlings.’ If you haven’t come across this phrase it means when you have written a fantastic scene or dialogue and find that you have to cut it and you just can’t. She followed it up with a great post on the 7 steps to a long-haul novel.


Jessica Conoley has an excellent post on Jane Friedman’s site on creative stewardship. What do you owe your story when it goes out into the world? This is where many writers feel paralysed. Sometimes all you need is to make a tense change from My story to The story. 


Kris Rusch is writing a new series of blog posts on decisions made from fear. What do these decisions look like? This week it’s fear vs growth. How can you navigate through the emotional minefield to make a good publishing decision?


Have you ever read fan fiction? That is a story set in a familiar fictional world. These stories are written by fans of popular books. C M McGuire has an interesting blog post about using fan fiction to experiment and try new styles without pressure. It is an interesting idea.


In The Craft Section,

How to outline a series – K M Weiland

Character building - Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

Editing down your words- Kathy Steinmann- Bookmark

Know your audience- Melissa Donovan

The multi-layer book edit- Michael Gallant- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Two posts from Sandra Beckwith - 9 things you wish you knew before the TV interview and Author branding

Four rules for designing your book cover- Nate Hoffelder- Bookmark

How to promote your seasonal read- Penny Sansevieri

Two interesting posts from New Shelves- Using a Dear Author letter for marketing  and Market your book in 10 minutes a day – Bookmark Both


To Finish,

Michael Lucas has a book in the Storybundle curated by Kris Rusch. He wrote an entertaining roundup of the books in the bundle and why you should buy the collection of writing business books. If you have been meaning to check out one or two of the books on the list grabbing the bundle will get you some bonus exclusives and it pays the authors directly with a cut for charity if you want. The Storybundle is available only for another week so don’t miss out.




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 – Brian


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Pick and Mix


What caught my eye in the Publishing World this week.

Reedsy has a very detailed look at Kindle Vella including how the money will work. This is going to be an eyes wide open enter at your own risk programme, which will only suit a few authors.


Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware shared a snapshot of a clause in a publishing contract that has everyone flabbergasted. Take a good long look- this is how royalties will be calculated at Cayelle Publishing. 


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a look at all the different ways you can make a living as an author these days. Take a look at this idea that came across my FB feed today. This is subscription serial writing on another level.


In the must have category…

AppSumo has one of the cheapest deals for stock photo’s around and this deal does not appear often. ($39 for 100 Depositphotos- limited time) I know writers and designers who jump fast on this when it comes up. So move quickly.


Kristine Rusch has compiled an excellent Storybundle of writing craft books. Available now. Storybundle is a pay what you want model. There are some fabulous books in this bundle!


Jane Friedman has an interesting guest post from Lisa Cooper Ellison on inconsistent voices in memoir. How do you keep them all in control when you are writing?


In The Craft Section,

What is an unsympathetic character- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

When you write Second Person Point Of View- Tal Valente

How to write faster- J D Edwin

The main  Hero character archetypes- Tami Nantz- Bookmark

Building the suspension of disbelief- Donal Maass- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,

Unique promo ideas for May- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to pick a best selling title- Barbara Delinsky

Kindle Vella- Is it right for you?- Sandra Beckwith-Bookmark

Great ideas for Book Promotion Contests- Diana Urban

Social media mistakes that can damage your author brand- Penny Sansevieri


To Finish,

I try and keep things upbeat on the blog but I thought I would share with you something that has me muttering epithets. Disinformation campaigns around the Covid Vaccine. I know a few writers who have compromised immune systems, (including myself.) Covid is a nasty constantly mutating disease. Scientists are just beginning to understand that Long Covid symptoms are appearing in 50 % of patients that were hospitalised with Covid 19. The symptoms include organ damage that will last for the rest of their, now shortened, lives. This will be an ongoing burden to health systems worldwide. 

The vaccine is a lifeline to everyone to beat this disease and must have a worldwide take up if we are to stop it mutating into strains faster than we can cope with. (See India.) I do not know why there are people peddling anti-vaccine stories- but it is not based on proper science. There has been a significant breakthrough in the development of the Covid 19 vaccine that will change the way all future vaccines are made. It has nothing to do with your DNA. It is SAFE. (scroll down to @xolotl and @siousiewiles science cartoon on how it works

When you get the vaccine, You Will Be Saving Lives, especially the immune-compromised, (which includes every person who has had cancer for a start.) 

Put your Superhero cape on and get the Jab. 

Thanks for saving my life!





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 – Paul Wilkinson


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