Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Giving Thanks



This week in publishing news,


Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard took a close look at this week’s report from the UK Publishers Association on the rise and rise of audiobook revenue. Mark looks at the bounce in publishing revenue from the pandemic. The numbers are truly startling. I never suspected that Children’s digital publishing had risen by 26%. 


Several days later and it was Nielsen’s turn to deliver their report on audio publishing. Publishing Perspectives compares both reports and the strong indications of subscription being the way of the future for our ears.


Recently two posts caught my eye on data protection and online privacy. 

How many times have you just skated around the edge of disaster, nearly losing all your work files. Lindsay Syhakhom on how to keep track of multiple copies of your work. You are filing multiple copies away, aren’t you?


How secure are you from hackers? Jacqui Murray has a great article for writers on protecting their online identities. If you ever wanted to scare someone about how easy it is to hack someone, check out the little embedded video of a hacker at work. Let’s be careful out there.


It’s interesting to look from the other side of the world at the North American holiday of Thanksgiving. On the surface, it seems to be all about the food, insane travel stories, family feuds, and getting ready for Black Friday sales. But underneath there is a simple message - stop what you are doing and be thankful for being. 

Ruth Harris listed her reasons to be thankful and they made me stop and think about the little things in my writing life that I am thankful for.


The Alliance of Independent Authors have published a useful glossary of terms for writing contracts. Know the meaning of the language.


Today I saw a comment about December being the Friday of the year. For some writers that piles extra pressure on to produce or finish a big project. Dave Chesson has an interesting article on coping with writer burnout.


Recently Joanna Penn interviewed Chrissy Metge on pitching to film studios. It was an information packed interview. If you think your writing project has potential you should listen/read the interview. Chrissy mentioned that studios need content all the time now with streaming services. 

Joshua Robinson follows this up with a post on Writing for Video Games on Insecure Writers Support Group. He writes for Video games. Yes, they need writers to do plot development and narration and dialogue. Writing is not only printed words on the page. 


Nina Amir has an interesting article on bringing writing ideas to life by creative visualization.


Now Novel has an excellent article on Story Planning. There are many ways to do this. Whether you write a bullet point list to begin with or a detailed plan- Jordan has broken down the main points of how to start from the first idea.


In The Craft Section,

Editing- The redundancy quiz- Kathy Steinemann- Bookmark

10 mistakes to avoid writing fantasy- Lucy Hay

Populating your story with background characters- Jan Drexler

Writing from the end- Mary Moore- Bookmark

The static hiss of description- Donald Maass- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Common Author questions- Draft2Digital team

How To format a book- Dave Chesson - Bookmark

Start marketing your book now- Stevan Spatz

Ultimate guide to getting reviews- Alliance of Independent Authors

22 must have resources in 2022- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


To Finish

It’s December and thoughts turn to getting ready for Christmas and the end of the year wind down. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are back with another Advent calendar for writers. Check out the daily offerings and send Thanks to the Dream Team.





My monthly newsletter of the best of my bookmarked links is due out soon. 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 to the lovely person who donated coffee this week.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons –  Mike Gnuckz

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Classic Writing Challenges

This week there has been a lot of discussion on The Alliance of Independent authors (Alli) making a distinction between ordinary independent authors and ‘professional’ independent authors. Publishing Perspectives takes a look at what Alli are trying to do... Because we are all professional aren’t we?

Kris Rusch has another stand out post on Contract Dealbreakers... This week it’s Rights Reversion. This is an important post to read especially if you are looking at a contract where the publisher wants all rights... or no dice. (this is common in NZ.)

A few weeks ago I had a link to a post by Steven Spohn on Chucks Blog, on the nature of writing disabled characters. This week, Disability in Kids Lit, posted an article of terms to be familiar with if you are writing a disabled character.

This week Mike Shatzkin announced that he will no longer be programming the Digital Book World Conference as he thinks the big strategic questions facing the book industry have been answered. Mike shares an overview of the last decade. And what a decade it has been.

Writer Unboxed has an excellent article on dealing with Writers Block... In a choose your own adventure style.

Hugh Howey writes an excellent story. This week on his blog he talks about breaking ideas. Not just breaking but shattering them to find an unforgettable idea... and writing from there.
It just might be a new classic.

In the Craft Section,
Nailing Internal Dialogue- Jane Friedman Bookmark

Three steps to a smoother writing style- Roz Morris – Bookmark

Two Bookmark posts by Janice Hardy, Creating unlikeable but compelling villains and False Starts.

Desire is the driving force- Michael Hauge- Bookmark

In the Marketing Section,

5 steps for the killer book talk- Jane Friedman Bookmark

Optimal success in book pricing- Digital Book World

Before you self publish read this- Joanna Penn – Bookmark

Canva newbie guide- (Excellent overview of this tool)

To Finish,
Today there was a spirited opinion piece in the Guardian taking issue with the tired old list of books being foisted on children as classics. The list came from the BBC’s Love to read campaign and was contributed to by the public. But modern children’s literature was missing. We know it's being bought so why doesn’t it make these classic lists?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is being made into a film. This book has won numerous awards and is the only book to win both The Carnegie (Patrick Ness for writing) and the Greenaway Medal (Jim Kay for illustration) It is absolutely a modern classic. Do we have to wait for a film to be made to validate this? (Trailer out today.)


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Author Education

It seems that every month we are mourning a creative genius who made an impact across the world. This week the creative dynamo Prince unexpectedly died at age 57. But the big tragedy as Kristine Rusch writes today in her Business Musings post was that he had no will. 
Kris started her Contract Deal Breakers series with a post on understanding what rights are last week and I had planned to link to that excellent post first when her latest post just slipped into my inbox. Both of these posts are must reads for authors as they highlight the very specific problems that authors face as their estates live long after the author is dead and what to do about it.

In another interesting pairing of posts, Wendy Sparrow writes about how writing romance is seen as easy to do when it is anything but... and Harlequin announced that they are dropping one of their most popular lines. Their letter announcing this is a wonderful example of corporate speak.

Janet Reid this week was asked about Agent contacts and what should be in them. She writes a fairly detailed letter outlining the sorts of things that you should see in a contact. If it says anything else be very careful.

This week Ruth Harris wrote about how to protect yourself from the University of Hard Knocks- or how to protect yourself from the scammers out there. She lists a comprehensive go to list for checking out offers you think might be your pot of gold... or your crock of s....

Publishing Perspectives talked to two pundits at the London Book Fair on publishing trends on both sides of the Atlantic. This is an interesting read. What sells in New York is not what London might pick.

Jane Friedman has a great guest post on her website on ways to generate Online Book Publicity. 

If you are dipping your toe into podcasts there are a few to choose from with book or publishing themes. The Bookseller has a collection of ten different podcasts that you might like to browse. I often link to the Creative Penn podcasts but I have dropped into a few others on this list and they are all good.
(I contribute to a monthly podcast at Writers Island. In the latest episode is a feature on NZ On Air and how writers might be able to access this funding.)

In the Craft Section,
Martha Alderson on using a plot planner-Bookmark

Joanna Penn on writing across genres-  Bookmark

Marcy Kennedy on ways to evoke emotion. Bookmark

Two great posts from K M Weiland on Choosing the protagonist and How to write strong characters.

Ash Krafton on Engineering your series.

In the Marketing Section,

Rachel Thompson on branding 101 for authors- Bookmark

Molly Greene on the new way to go free on Amazon (This is a 
How To on the new Amazon rules) Bookmark!

To Finish,
If you want to get inspired or educated just check into a TEDx talk. This week The UK’s top agent Jonny Geller gave a talk on What makes a bestseller. Food for thought...


Friday, December 11, 2015

Raise A Glass To

This is my last blog post of the year and it’s already a day late. I have lots to share with you so grab a Christmas beverage and we’ll start.

This could be the drown your sorrows part of the blog...
Writer Beware has a look at some insidious new clauses making their way into publishing contracts under the guise of being nice.

Anne R Allen’s post on 5 scams targeting writers is being shared all over the web. Read and Beware.

Heather Alexander writes about the frustration of friends referring friends to you because they have book ideas. (We have all experienced this!!)

Melinda Szymanik has an excellent post on Writers Block - and The Write Life has a way you can beat it.

This is the Raise your Glass - Cheers part of the blog!

Joanna Penn has an excellent post on Productivity For Authors. If you are looking for other productivity tips check out these productivity hacks.

China wants to see more English language children’s books. – That’s the takeaway from the  Global Kids Connect conference held this week in New York.

Digital Book World has an excellent post on Amazon and ways that Publishers can use some Amazon tactics.

This is the fill-‘er-up-what-will-they-think-of-next, toast to innovation part of the blog...
Check out the story of this App, where a traditional publisher is harnessing indie authors to deliver novels in serial form, weekly... (you may need another drink to get your head around it.)

Self Publishing and Indie Author Imprints- This is a must read post if you are an indie author.

Refill Your Glass!

In the Craft Section,
11 top articles on Writing Characters- Bookmark! Some of these I’ve linked to before but this is a craft books worth of great writing.

Tips for writing acknowledgements by Julie Musil Bookmark!

Reedsy has an excellent post (and infographic) on Editing (which is what NaNo people should be doing in December.) Bookmark it!

Men with Pens has a great post on how to recognise Passive Voice and get rid of it.

In the Marketing Section,

Sue Coletta – Pinterest for authors- This is an amazing post! I never thought of this way for authors to use Pinterest.  Bookmark!

23 Pinterest tips for authors. (makes more sense after the above post.)

In a Toast to Christmas...
I recently recorded my second podcast with Writers Island where I talked about great gifts for writers. (see sidebar) As Christmas is nearly upon us you might like to check out these amazing gift lists.

To Finish,
Raise a toast to Kristine Rusch ...
In November Kris was on fire with her great business for writers blog posts which I linked to in several blog posts. She has been receiving some push back for her comments about writing what YOU want to write as the key to your career.  This week she replies to the criticism and explores the nature of writer as artist. I think this is an amazing post and one for authors to reflect on as they take their post prandial beverage and contemplate the coming year.

My gift to you – the 12 cocktails of Christmas and the annual Christmas video!

See you in January!


Pic from Flickr Creative Commons/John Morgan

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Talking About The Revolution

This week has seen wide ranging discussions on where authors and publishing are positioning themselves.

Hugh Howey kicked it off with a piece in Salon where he said None of this is meant to say that everyone who self-publishes — even those who study the craft, take their work seriously, and produce a constant stream of material — will find material success. There is also luck involved and the fickle tastes of readers. But what is becoming more apparent with every passing day is that you have a better chance of paying a bill or two through self-publishing than you do through any other means of publication.

Chuck Wendig countered with a piece on his blog warning readers that only going down the self publishing route was courting disaster. I traditionally-publish. I do pretty well at that, too, I think, and actually over the last two years have well-eclipsed anything I made self-publishing. Just the same, I don’t think one is better than the other.
Both make important points which have been debated all over the blogosphere this week. Hugh agrees with Chuck...and compared with diatribes from last year on these different perspectives of Publishing Now, these guys are politeness personified (yes, I said that about Chuck...)

Susan Kaye Quin, an Indie midgrade writer, has also been engaging in this topical debate and she has some good points to make. She looks at both positions coming down firmly on the Indie she would. Take the time to read the debate. Mostly everyone agrees Hybrid is the way to go if you can and different types of publishing for separate projects.

However what everyone is saying on both sides is that quality of content matters. You cannot knock off an ebook in a weekend and make thousands of dollars. This week I was invited to speak to a tertiary Creative Writing Programme. I was blunt because sugar coating reality helps no one. However one very important point I hoped they got was they are already on the right track, by being in a course that will teach them to write to their best ability. There after, it is as Chuck says,...’Art Harder’.

Jane Friedman in her new role as VQR guru brought together a high powered think tank to look at where digital is going in literary publishing. Get a big cup of coffee, the ideas fly thick and fast in the middle with multi media, freelancing and earning income. Porter Anderson, covering the HUGE Writers Digest conference last week, also looks at these ideas including the move of agents to become managers. This is an interesting idea and a way forward for agents.

Another big topic getting lots of talk time is Author’s Guild president Scott Turow’s opinion piece on Amazon buying Goodreads. Unfortunately Scott’s anti digital tirade did not go down well in the blogosphere. Dave Gaughren talks about what went wrong for Scott. He is mostly polite (not like other tirades.) In my humble opinion someone who slams Amazon as much as Scott shouldn’t have his books for sale on it.

Futurebook is asking Can Publishers Disintermediate Amazon...should publishers become then....(Check out the article, discuss amongst yourselves.)

Elizabeth Spann Craig has a great blog and this week she is looking at making your comtent work harder for you...I know how she is feeling and have been doing my own investigations down this route...

Anne R Allen says there is a time and place to blog your book...Have you got the right time and place?

PaidContent has looked at Flipboard’s new moves and warns...publishers have not seen this coming and maybe they should be a little bit afraid....The video will knock your socks off (This is a must read!) Your own magazine in 30 seconds...

And to help you with graphics content, new kid on the block, Imgembed, which is revolutionising image capture for blogs, websites more dodgy steals...and it looks great from the photographers side too. That’s where the blog pic came from.

In Craft,

When there is no time...How do you write on the GO

In Marketing,
Joanna Penn on Keywords Metadata and Discoverability and Paid Promotion - is it worth it?

Video Book Trailers...putting one together.

Book Signings that WOW (great ideas from Bookshelf Muse blog)

Author Platform - Are You Being Cautious or Lazy (Catherine Ryan Howard takes you to task.)

 To Finish,
In our biggest daily paper was a great article on a Pacific Writer, Lani Wendt-Young who looked at the gap in pacific islands fiction and started writing a Spec Fic series which has taken off among her target audience, Pacific Island youth and then into the wider world. It is a great project and shows what you can do when you stop talking and just write.


Thursday, February 7, 2013


Gatekeepers...the ones who you have to placate or bribe to get into the hallowed ground...They are tasked with only letting through the gates those that are worthy...

This week on the publishing blogosphere Rachelle Gardner has a post about gatekeeping on your mind. If you have discovered that as you increase screen time reading and interacting with social media there is a corresponding downward spiral in new and exciting ideas coming out of your brain you may be struggling with the same issue.

Chuck Wendig has decided to name February 6th the anti pirate day and started the ball rolling with his thoughts about pirates; Why I hope you don’t pirate my book. Many authors joined him and posted  their open letters to book pirates.

Jody Hedlund has written about when your family doesn’t appreciate what you do and how hard it is to get them on board...they are gatekeepers of your writing time and energy, and what to do about it.

Electricliterature has an interesting post on those writers who have nipped round the back to the side door. Author Entrepreneur...The Hybrid Author. They have some very interesting stats on this new Hybrid model.

John Scalzi (head of SFA) has a post detailing the sales numbers of his latest book... print, audio and epublishing and talks candidly about what is working for him. The fact that he is able to to talk numbers for his trad book is astounding...and The State Of a Genre Novel makes for interesting reading.

If you didn’t get a chance to look at Dean Wesley Smiths post on crunching numbers in a Hybrid world a few weeks ago (it was no 5 in his series) Read this post, No 4 and then No 5. In fact go read the whole series. If you wanted a no nonsense set of guidelines to follow this year to be a successful’s all in these posts.

Last year I gifted myself Steven Pressfields, War of Art and a nice gift it was too.
Editor Shawn Coyne has written a thought provoking post on Steven’s blog about where the midlist writer is now in the big six, Ouch what is a midlister to do...

Apple have decided to highlight self published books...This is an interesting article detailing the latest moves in the Gatekeepers of online publishing.

In craft,
K M Weiland on sure fire awesome setting creation and structuring scenes.
Victoria Strauss is guesting over at Children’s Publishing and she has a nice post on letting your characters into your head.
Plot Conflicts and Desires...or how to get the best out of your plot.

In Marketing,
QR codes...which are apparently big in NZ...

To finish,
How to deal with crushing feedback on your creative may not be what you think it is...or you maybe in this situation.


pic from Flickr /counse

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End Of...

I’m a day late in blog posting.
Excuse #1. We were traveling up the country.
Excuse#2. It is the end of the world...and I had more important things to traveling to spend time with relatives.

Around the blogosphere there as been the usual look back at the past year...who saw those mergers coming?
and the usual what writers  want for Christmas...not necessarily a new notebook and pen...try writing retreat.
And then there are the predictions for publishing in 2013...that’s if there is a 2013.

Uber Agent Richard Curtis has his trends list which he sees as a direct result of publishing house mergers. As I run my eye down it I am struck by how many I can see beginning now...and this was a list put together a few months ago...before the end of the world.

Another Lit Agent with her eye firmly fixed on the future, Laurie Mc Lean, has her cloud... folding screens?

Mike Shatzkin has his take on where he thinks publishers should be putting their energy in the future...The Reader The Reader The Reader...or verticle marketing.

Renee Pawlish has a blog article looking at 2013 Amazon and the Indie author...What now for Indies when Amazon removes reviews, changes ranking algorithms and starts own imprints...or dies a fiery death as the chasm opens up and the...

Publishing Perspectives believes in the future and has their wish list for 2013...what do you want to improve in publishing in 2013...(please give us a deal like Hugh Howey...)

In Craft,

6 Tools that change the way you write and publish. (sit down with a Christmas beverage of your choice to mull over these possibilities...)

In Marketing,

To finish,
Writers Digest has the 19 best articles on writing from this year...that should keep you going while I take a two week holiday or start living my life in a bunker as it is the end of the world...

Written by Maureen,  December 21st 2012.

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