Showing posts with label writer beware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writer beware. Show all posts

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Publishers Behaving Badly – Are they really clueless?

 


In Publishing News this week…

 I was contacted today by a writer notifying me of a new scam… on the surface I saw nothing wrong but the writer pointed out that the agent in question should have never used the words 'payment remittance advice' from a financial controller. 

Now you may think that is so under the radar as to be easily overlooked but the author in question went back to the agent. (Note: You should always do this. Ring them and talk in person.) The agent had clicked on a link and inadvertently installed malware on his computer which then gathered up all his email addresses and used them to contact authors… promising money which the authors clicked on spreading the malware. 

Authors are so poorly paid, of course we are going to click on anything that promises us royalties. 

However, this kind of scam targets the financial affairs of agents and publishers. How many of them have tight controls over who can access their financial accounts… and their authors financial accounts? How secure are they? The author who alerted me to this commented that with everyone having to use 2 factor identification all the time elsewhere it seems absurd that publishers and agents aren’t doing the same to limit peoples access to their own accounts. 


Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware has updated the fake agent scam that hit last year… it seems there are many variations around and this year the scam trend continues. Over Summer I had a fascinating conversation with a bank analyst who told me the biggest banking scams were targeting lawyers who thought they were savvy. Always check up- by phone, not return email. 


Meanwhile Publishers Weekly reports that Adelaide Books who got into hot water when they grew too quickly and fell over when Covid hit is trying to make things right. But it is a cautionary tale which has the Authors Guild spluttering with rage on behalf of the 450 authors involved.

 

Publishing Perspectives has named the main stage speakers for London Book Fair. The usual CEO’s are speaking but the subjects reflect the hot topics in Traditional publishing; copyrights, licensing, sustainability of their business, supply chain woes, along with inclusivity and how to get more eyeballs. I wonder if they will come up with any solutions?

 

Sales numbers are a hot topic if you are a publishing CEO – The latest figures from Nielsen and the Association of American Publishers makes interesting reading or if you’re Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard only a pointer to what he has worked out is the true figure, which is many billions more than Nielsen and AAP think.

 

With the news this week that Harper Collins is going into mediation with its striking staff – a muted cheer went up among HC authors and agents. Today Harper Collins announced they are laying off 5% of their workforce- OUCH.

 

AI images and the threat to income dominates the artists water cooler talk. Two of the main image suppliers Getty and Shutterstock have formed opposing camps. Shutterstock is partnering with AI and Getty has released a formal statement taking AI to court.

 

In lighter news…

Kris Rusch has an interesting tale around the theme the problems in your writing are the problems in your life.

Ruth Harris asks if you are guilty of the Writing No No’s which may be ruining your book and Daphne Grey- Grant has an interesting article on how to prepare an annual writing plan.

 

In The Craft Section,

Units of story- StoryGrid- Bookmark


2 great articles from the Dream Team. How to choose the right 

kind of conflict and How does internal conflict fit into the character arc- Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi


Transition sentences- Grammarly – Bookmark


Developing a scene outline for your novel C S Lakin- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Should you hire a book publicist- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


10 tips for author blog traffic- Anne R Allen


7 ways to build direct connections with readers- podcast with Penny Sansevieri


8 author website marketing mistakes- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Selling Books direct- Joanna Penn in conversation with Steve Pieper- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

Elizabeth Spann Craig has a nifty blog with a great roundup of articles but this week she shone a spotlight onto her  7 favourite resources for writers. Do you use any of them? If you have something to add to the list – feel free to comment below.


Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here. 

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

Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Planning For Success

 


 

In Publishing News This Week,

 

Frankfurt. Are we back to normal? That seemed to be the question on everybody’s lips. There was a lot of chat amongst the publishers, sold-out sessions, and positivity everywhere.

Publishing Perspectives interviewed various publishers and agents about the hot new trends they were seeing.

 

Audiobooks got a lot of attention in Frankfurt with many saying that they were now a mainstream format. The ways for the public to acquire them seem to be all over the place though. You would think that Spotify with its streaming model would extend this into audiobooks – not so. Which audience model will win out was a hot topic discussed at Frankfurt.

 

Over the last month, the spotlight has been on AI generated art and its copyright ownership.  If you buy art for book covers or fan merch this seems to be a rising trend, to generate AI art. However, the AI’s are sampling artists' portfolios and styles and so the ownership is murky. After many photo stock dealers saying they wouldn’t deal with AI art, Shutterstock changed its mind and is trying have it both ways by attempting to pay the sampled artists if they can prove it. This has annoyed many in the industry.

 

It always pays to drop into Writer Beware occasionally to keep on top of ways that authors can be parted from their money. Recently Victoria had a long form piece on anthologies and how one anthology publisher collapsed and was exposed as probably running a Ponzi scheme. Anthologies can be great…but you must go in with your eyes wide open.

 

Today I was listening to an interesting conversation between Orna Ross and Joanna Penn on publishing values. It was wide ranging and referred to Orna’s recent article. This is a meaty topic. What do you wish to be known for and are you sure that’s what you are projecting to the readership?

 

Kris Rusch has an interesting article on Thinking Big. Do you note down your success? What about your positive reviews? Kris talks about exposure and when someone goes from chugging along to breakout.

 

Elizabeth Sims has an interesting post on short stories over on Jane Friedman's blog. 20 reasons why everyone should write a short story. I have been trying my hand at these this year and not managing to finish them. This article makes me look at short story writing in a different way. Let it go and have fun.

 

In The Craft Section,

Where do Ideas come from- Randy Ingermanson- Bookmark


4 writing pitfalls to avoid- Laurence McNaughton- Bookmark


Writing beginnings- Interview with Shane Millar- Joanna Penn- Bookmark


4 tips for writing effective backstory- Carolyn Arnold


The perils of not knowing what happens next- Janice Hardy

 

In The Marketing Section,

Update your Amazon book pages- Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark


Book cover design ideas- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


3 ways to promote poetry- Raegen Pietrucha


Reaching readers for the long term- Becky Robinson- Interview with Joanna Penn- Bookmark


Instagram Book marketing ideas-Bookbub

 

To Finish,

This weekend is The Alliance of Independent Authors 24 hour conference, SelfPubCon. It’s free. Sessions are recorded and you get three days to go over them.


If you intend to attempt NaNoWriMo this November hopefully you will have everything organized. Check back over the last few blog posts for handy prep links. Don’t forget to check out your local library. Quite a few have embraced the NaNoWriMo experience and have spaces for writers to go and pound out their words.

Good Luck with your final days of preparation.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s nearly time for my monthly newsletter of the best of the bookmarked links and other handy items Don’t forget to subscribe.

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 krakenimages on Unsplash

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Motivation and The Writer


 

 

This week in publishing news...

 

Spare a thought for the new Debut authors in the UK who have discovered that the UK’s largest book chain Waterstones is still having problems with their new book supply software. Waterstones promised it is fixed but now they are trying to process the backlog of two months of supply chain issues. Meanwhile, marketing campaigns fizzle out as the books are not on shelves.

 

It’s Book Festival time and along with the shock cancelation of the Beijing Book Fair with two days' notice, many book festivals are finding the numbers attending are down. The Guardian wonders if the pandemic years have doomed the book festival as it used to be. Will they morph into something else?

 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has two interesting articles this week on the launch of a self-publishing Manga comic platform and the quiet rise of another podcast company looking to stake a claim in European audiobook market, after gobbling up Latin America.

 Audiobooks aren’t stopping yet. 


If you have been wondering just what all the hype about the PRH vs the DOJ court case really means to publishing going forward- Nathan Goldman has broken it down in an interesting essay on The Conglomeration Of Literature. The other big three are already sniffing around S&S with big wallets waiting for PRH to be rolled by the court.

 

I always recommend writers keep an eye on Writer Beware so they are up to date with scams and bad actors in the publishing scene. This week Victoria Strauss had an interesting and detailed exchange with an editor who found herself out of a job when the company disappeared under her and set about pulling together writers and contracts and trying to salvage author careers. This is a close look at the behind-the-scenes problems of keeping a publishing house going. 

 

Kristine Rusch continues her How Writers Fail series with a look at the problem of upskilling. How often have you really challenged yourself to get better in the craft? Do you consciously practice new techniques?

 

Imposter syndrome- Writers are notorious for suffering it. Ruth Harris has a great article on dealing with this mental monster of destruction- First, did you know there was an upside to having imposter syndrome?

 

Yazmin Angoe in Writer Unboxed has an interesting article about the trials and tribulations of writing the second novel. What can you do when the second novel is a grind after the freedom of writing the first one has disappeared.

 

In The Craft Section

How to choose the right kind of conflict- Angela Ackerman


Character development- Dianne Braley


7 ways to reach writing goals- Jordan Kantay- Bookmark


5 times it's ok to write stereotypes- Lucy Hay


The beats of the Action Genre- Storygrid- Bookmark


How to start a story- Novelry- Bookmark

 

In the Marketing Section,

What a book marketing strategy requires- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Grow your writing business by stepping away from your computer- Alexander Lewis


55 examples of what to say if you are unsure about book marketing on social media- Frances 

Caballo - Bookmark


Sending surveys- Mailerlite


6 steps for building a brand using giveaways- Bestbookmonkey- Bookmark


Turning books into audiobooks- DIYMFA- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

 

Motivation. If you could sell it in a bottle you would be rich. Alyssa Hitaka of Insecure Writers Support Group has some great ways to capture that motivation spirit to get you back writing again. This is a print out and keep on the wall list of great ideas. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

It’s time for my monthly newsletter If you want the best of my bookmarked links and other interesting tidbits, you can subscribe here. (You will also get a nifty mini book crammed 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 virtual coffee love.  It's nearly time for a blog celebration cake! 

 

PIC: Photo by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash

 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Danger of Words

 

 

In Publishing News This Week

 

The news that Salman Rushdie was stabbed at a literary event shocked the world. The death threats against him had faded from the public mind. Rushdie spent ten years in hiding and when the death threats weren’t actively being promoted it seemed that he was being left alone. Not So. His plight highlighted author safety, the problems authors face when they speak out, or up, or hold dissenting views. The right to Free Speech is held up everywhere as a feature of a functioning democracy. You have the right not to agree with their views, but you can’t deny them a voice. This week The UK Society of Authors chair Joanne Harris has been accused of not sticking up for authors who hold dissenting views, which she denies. The argument is being reported in the media and there is an open letter in support of Joanne from authors in the UK. While all this is playing out the recent survey on writers’ safety is warning that threats against writers are on the rise.

 

Frankfurt Book fair looks like it is back to the old numbers of pre covid days. 4000 exhibitors have registered to display their books and I note that Spotify and TikTok are among them. Publishing was changing fast before the Pandemic, but I don’t think anyone predicted that either of these two influencers would be at Frankfurt Publishing Fair.

 

Cory Doctorow has a new book out that shines a spotlight on punitive contracts in the creative economy. Chokepoint Capitalism- How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We’ll Win Them Back. Cory has many popular writers supporting this book and because he names Audible as one of the worst for contract terms, he is having a Kickstarter to get the book recorded outside of that ecosystem. 

 

Writer Beware shines a spotlight on the scammers who prey on authors. If you suspect an offer is too good to be true check the website to see if your fears are realized. The latest scam to come across their desk is offers from agents whose identity has been impersonated. If the offer comes from an agent out of the blue…check into it. Your email query for legitimacy might be a heads up to an agent whose name and reputation have been targeted by scammers.

 

The dreaded writing critique workshop has scarred many a participant. For many prestigious creative writing courses, the Iowa method or the Milward method is the way to conduct a critique workshop. Tor’s guest editor S L Huang found out that this method was pioneered by a deeply flawed poet deeply immersed in the cold war rhetoric. There are other ways to critique creative writing and ripping the author to shreds as some sort of rite of passage is based on warped thinking. If you are interested in workshopping read the article and send it on to your writing tutors.

 

Kris Rusch brings a dose of common sense to the writer who believes other writers are competition in her latest post in her series on how writers fail. 

Sandy Vaile brings hope in her excellent post on how to have an enduring career.

 

Two interesting posts caught my eye this week. A Youtube channel that compiles writing music for authors and an interesting post on toxic productivity that afflicts writers.

 

Joanna Penn interviewed Becca Puglisi on the new Conflict Thesaurus that Angela and Becca have just released. This is volume two. Becca has some great ideas for levels of conflict in your writing. It doesn’t have to be a huge conflict but it does have to be there.

 

In The Craft Section,

Two great posts from Angela Ackerman. Does conflict belong on every page and How to build a flesh and blood character- Bookmark Both


The What When and How of character backstory -Cheryl Burman


Four steps to create perfect plot twists- C S Lakin- Bookmark


How to do a scene by scene breakdown- Scott Myers

 

In the Marketing Section,

How to create a book publicity tip sheet- Sandra Beckwith -Bookmark


How to get book reviews with special promotions- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Do you need to copyright a character or title- Anne R Allen blog – Bookmark


How to make your book newsworthy- Reedsy


What makes a book cover work- Ingram Spark

 

To Finish

Last month everybody was talking about the rise in AI picture creation. There was speculation about whether AI scraping pictures was breaching copyright. Derek Murphy decided to look into an AI Picture generation site as inspiration for his characters. The results are stunning. Derek discusses the moral ambiguity of using AI images. As a cover designer himself, he sees it as another tool but not a replacement. AI hasn’t taken over yet. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 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 Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Reality Bites

 

 

In Publishing News this week,

 

The fight by the big 5 publishers against the Internet Archive has passed the two year mark in the courts. The publishers are filing for a summary judgement- AKA Hurry up and decide on this will you. At stake… whether the Internet Archive is ‘masquerading as a not-for-profit library…digitising in-copyright print books on an industrial scale and distributes full-text digital bootlegs for free’ or not. 

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that Ingram Spark has set up their Lightning Sources Print On Demand installation at Publishing City Sharjah and they are open for business. They are sparing no expense because they expect to make pots of money from their 24-hour/a day printing business in the Middle East. 

 

Meanwhile, Mark Williams is looking at the moves in audio in Europe. He has some sharp observations to make about the constant buying and selling of audio producers and audiobook retailers. It’s a scrap for unlimited streaming.

 

In the You Have To Be Kidding files- Publisher Weekly reports on the new reality TV show coming to you soon- America’s Next Great Author. A big brother style show where 6 charismatic would-be authors live together and try to write a novel in a month… DRAMA.

Do they really want to film NaNoWriMo realistically?

 

Thomas Umstattd takes a critical look at Hybrid Publishers and where they can be a useful publishing partner. I agree with one of his main points, you should familiarise yourself with how publishing works before spending any money. It will save you money in the end- especially when the offer is too good to be true.

 

Writer Beware has an article on a copyright clause that raised my eyebrows past the hairline. This clause is beginning to show up more and more. Publisher content- or the right to make up extra content for your work. Read and take note!

 

Kris Rusch continues her How Writers Fail series – This week she is looking at words and how they can trip up a writer so badly they can’t finish their work.

 

Lithub recently had an article about the weird shame writers have when they publish a book. If this is you, you aren’t alone. Lithub talks to 5 writers who really struggled with this feeling on book publication day.

 

Anne R Allen recently wrote the 10 things a beginning writer should do before trying to publish a book. This should be required reading for every writer. Those of us who have been around the block a few times will be nodding emphatically to this list.

 

 

In The Craft Section,

How Theme and false theme affect your character- September Fawkes


Character talents beyond the superficial- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


Beginnings and endings – Scott Myers- Video- Bookmark


How to write a sequel- Now Novel


What is high concept- Robin Currie- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Author bio mistakes- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


6 tips for a successful marketing plan- Masterclass


What does your amazon book detail page look like- Barb Drozdowich- Bookmark


How to promote your book- Reedsy


Tofu for novelists- Randy Ingermanson- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

DIYMFA has an interesting post on writing goals that fit your enneagram number. At first, I was skeptical but the more I read the more I thought, hmm that fits with me. So if you are a student of personality types and trying to figure out how to effectively work with your writing goals, take a look. You could start a positive writing reality show for one.  

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 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 Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

 

 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?



 

In publishing news this week,


European Publishers and Booksellers are happy that the European Parliament has adopted the new Digital Markets Act which directly hits the global tech companies over their use of content and their ‘advantageous to themselves’ publishing business practices. Now the EU has to make them take notice. 

 

The New Publishing Standard reports on textbook printing slowdowns. This is due to the worldwide shortage of paper and the problems with the Global Supply Chain. If you add in the rising cost of fuel due to war, climate change, and staff shortages due to a pandemic then you have a perfect storm in publishing. Is this the end of print?

 

While you might be taking yourself to the latest Marvel movie for escapism, spare a thought for the creators of those comics. They are now seen as classic creators of story and they have been enrolled in the Penguin Classic library to prove it.  Finally, Graphic Novels are legit literature. (Cue much rolling in graves.) This looks like a smart move by Penguin as the latest numbers say that Graphic Novels are the fastest growing genre in sales. 

 

Last week Macmillian was hit by a cyber attack and went dark for a week. Publisher’s Weekly reports they are back up and running. This might be a time for everyone to just check their security settings, especially if you have time-critical books to get out.

 

Writer Beware has an interesting post on handshake contracts. I didn’t know that these were still a thing. Originally a handshake contract relied on the integrity of the two parties' personal reputations. In the modern world of publishing, it seems that some publishers and agents are still using this but not caring about the integrity bit.

 

Wattpad has started a creator fund. The writers with the most engaged audiences will get money. Interestingly they have a threshold count for every genre. If your story gets over your genre’s threshold of engaged followers money will flow into your pocket. Horror writers only need 900 engaged followers. So if you have a dark story to tell, get over to Wattpad.

 

Anne R Allen has a cautionary tale on dealing with internet trolls, bullies and the offended. Anne writes about the way to deal with these perpetually annoying people. Back Away slowly. Nothing you can do will soften them. 

 

Joanna Penn has a great interview with Clare Macintosh, a traditionally published author on how to write twists and how she markets her books. Some nice little craft nuggets in here. 

 

In The Craft Section,

7 essential questions for a better character arc- Heather Davis- Bookmark


Utilizing 3 types of death- September Fawkes


3 modes of story imagination- Donald Maass- Bookmark


7 ways to improve your craft- Dario Villirilli- Bookmark


How to keep those ideas- Insecure Writers Support Group

 

In The Marketing Section,

Timesaving tips with Social Media-Kris Maze- Bookmark


Author email lessons- Sandra Beckwith


Book marketing – Neil Patel- Bookmark


Promote your book on Social Media and feel good about it- Aileen Weintraub- Bookmark


How to create an effective website- (podcast)- Penny Sansevieri

 

To Finish,

It has been a roller coaster ride if you have been watching politics lately. The truth is stranger than fiction. Just when you think the stories are too outrageous to be fact they turn out to not be outrageous enough. It can leave you feeling shell shocked and wondering if you should keep doing this writing game. Nothing you can come up with will trump real life. Sometimes the best thing to do is turn everything off and start again. If your writing habit has stalled, because of life… Nina Amir has a solution to quickly get it going again.  

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 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 Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Fishing for the Muse


 In Publishing News 

Recently Spotify CEO Daniel Ek addressed his shareholders and talked about their audiobook strategy. Spotify, known for its streaming and subscription models may be trying something different for audiobooks, a marketplace where you can buy the audiobook, not just stream it. 

In related news Spotify has just bought an AI voice platform…specifically the one that recreated Val Kilmer's voice in the latest Top Gun movie. I wonder what they want to do with it? Audio narration anyone?

 

The closing of the Costa book prize (previously The Whitbread) has sent a small shock wave through the literary community. Once the dream of many- the world's richest book prize, validation galore. Will there be anything to take its place?

 

This week Anne R Allen had a Writer Beware post on film scams. Yes, a new scam is on the horizon with scammers reaching out to say they can get your book into Netflix or Hollywood. Read the great article and Be A-Ware of the sneaky way they reel in the unsuspecting.

 

Staying with fish hooks Writer Beware’s Victoria Strauss has a close look at some copyright language that is so contradictory you don’t know what you are actually agreeing to in the contract. 

 

When the writing life gets you down the writer can be heard whimpering if only someone paid me to do this my troubles will be over. A fantastic dream? A hedge fund in the UK wants to give writers a salary to just write. The Alliance of Independent Authors looked into it and found there were some good points in the model. If this sounds like you, check it out. 

 

Kris Rusch continues her learning from the licensing expo series. The publishing industry is fixated on the latest releases, however, the money is in the backlist. That’s what the licensing expo is all about mining the longevity of your IP. The longer the better. Quite fascinating.

 

Writer Unboxed continues their PR and Marketing series with Ann-Marie Nieves. This week Ann-Marie delves into the differences between them and gets advice from some big writer names on how to make the best of book marketing communication.

 

In The Craft Section,

How to make your character sympathetic- Mythcreants- Bookmark


7 questions about your first chapter- Abigail Perry


7 essential tips to plan your novel- Beth Barany


They’re all going to die, why does it matter- Jami Gold- 

Bookmark


Make sure the reader knows who’s talking- Emma Darwin- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Paying for a professional book review- Patti Thorn


Promoting a book with hybrid author events- Penny Sansevieri- 

Bookmark


PR and Marketing tips for authors- Ann- Marie Nieves- Bookmark


How to succeed as a non-fiction author- Penny Sansevieri-Bookmark


Instagram reels strategy- Good ideas for book marketing

 

To Finish,

Sometimes, the muse, packs their bag and leaves town. This can leave the writer struggling and feeling like a fraud. Good News. You are still a writer. Dargan Thompson has an article that picks you up, dusts you off, and gives you a pep talk about how you are still in the game.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

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 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 Clark Young on Unsplash

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