Showing posts with label storytel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label storytel. 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, June 15, 2023

Garbage In. Garbage Out.


In Publishing News this week,

Around the world governments are trying to get to grips with laws that will regulate AI. The European Union is trying to draft a law reported by the New York Times as being the most far reaching attempt to regulate AI. The EU is particularly concerned over data that is being used to train AI and the intrusive nature of facial recognition software.

Meanwhile, in Japan they have stated that AI can only be used for educational purposes. No commercial use is allowed. At a recent copyright workshop I attended, New Zealand’s position is if you prompted the AI in some way to produce the work you may copyright it. 


Media Voices has a new report on Practical AI for publishers- They recently published an extract on how to get started with AI. Their advice is to start small and automate one thing at a time. 


Storytel, the Scandinavian audiobook company which has been expanding through Europe  and the rest of the world in the last few years has partnered with an AI voices lab specialising in multinational audio dubbing. Choose an audiobook in English and then ask the AI to read it to you in another language using the original voice. No problem.


In the courts it is déjà vu time. Amazon and the big five publishers are back in court over price fixing. A decade ago this was a hot topic and the publishers lost. Why did they think they could do it all again?


Germany is rolling out it Kulturpass card to eighteen year olds. They get 200 euro to spend and booksellers are lining up to take their money.


School Librarians in the US are sick of the book banning culture they have to navigate. Their national organisations are now forming rapid response strike teams to support beleaguered librarians. Among the most challenged books are graphic novels- it only takes one drawn panel and one overzealous parent to ban the book. Apparently the librarians specialist degree in the field has to give way to uninformed opinion.


Joanna Penn has a great interview with Thomas Umstattd on novel marketing and Christian publishing.

Kris Rusch explores the history of discoverability in publishing and how it's changing now.


Jane Friedman has a great guest column from an editor showing the reasons why a manuscript which has been edited and workshopped by professionals still can’t get picked up.

Some hard but necessary lessons to learn here.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a deep dive article on using calls to action in the backs of books on website in emails…. This is a must read article for marketing.


Two great articles from Writer Unboxed caught my eye this week- Kathryn Craft on how cliché’s can help your writing and from Densie Webb to agent or not to agent – that is the question.


In The Craft Section,

2 great posts from September Fawkes- How to write strong characters and 100 questions to help evaluate your story- Bookmark Both

Eight ways not to start a novel- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

Know your 5w’s and 1H- Jami Gold – Bookmark

8 laws for foreshadowing- NowNovel- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Business cards and Job titles- John Gilstrap

The latest changes to book categories- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Promoting a new book- Bookbub- Bookmark

Creative and cost effective marketing for authors- Indiereader

3 Amazon review reader myths- Sandra Beckwith

Selling books- a booksellers perspective- Bookbaby - Bookmark 


To Finish,

If you are a content writer you may be sympathetic with Litreactor’s latest column ChatGPT is a menace. They take issue with the amount of people that think getting ChatGPT to write a children’s story is the holy grail to earning passive income. As a children’s writer it shrivels my soul. Why does everybody think that writing a children’s book is so easy any celebrity can do it or just get an AI to write something – the kids will never know? 

We take pride in our work and we work hard at it. An adult reader will let you have a couple of pages of story introduction, a child maybe one paragraph, two at most, and it had better be using the child’s worldview and entertaining. The shorter the story the more important every word is. The younger the reader the more important the story craft is. 

AI is a tool that you can use but it is not human and can never replace human wisdom and experience. It can only regurgitate the data it has scraped. 

Garbage in. Garbage Out 





If you want the best of my bookmarked links in a monthly newsletter you can subscribe here to join our happy band.

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 Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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


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