Thursday, May 23, 2024

Belief In Your Voice


In Publishing News this week,


There were accolades and ‘I remember’s’ all over Social Media when Alice Munro died this week. Alice was a ground breaking short story writer awarded the 2013 Nobel prize in Literature for her work and was often cited as one of the finest writers in the last 50 years.


In audiobook news, Bonnier books joined Spotify’s audiobook premium offer. Publishing Perspectives reports that Spotify has over 200 million premium subscribers and they are listening to backlist audio books. With Harper Collins move into AI voiced audiobooks for their backlist (in the blog a few weeks ago) the publishers have found another pot of gold to exploit.


Meanwhile, The Bookseller reports on a hybrid first- mixing real narrator, digital voices and AI into an audiobook.


The EU has signed their AI Act into law and it will be in effect from June. It is more comprehensive than the United States law or the UK. The fines are whopping. Keep an eye out for expert commentary for how the law will affect publishing going forward.


Dan Holloway reports that Open AI, the tech firm behind ChatGPT, have disbanded their risk team. This seems particularly short sighted as a risk team might have alerted them that Scarlet Johannsson was about to launch a lawsuit against them for copying her voice.


Spare a thought for the Spanish language publishers. Their children’s books are in hot demand, but they can’t get them picked up in their own countries. If the book comes from America, it is a different story. Publishers are resorting to opening American offices so they can get American ISBN’s. Publishing Perspectives reports on the conundrum.


Anne R Allen has a great post on genre, comps and categories or where does your book belong on the shelf. This is an excellent rundown on why subcategories are important in marketing your book.


Dave Chesson has a must read article on the importance of making sure you have licenses for the fonts you use. Just because it’s on word doesn’t make it free to use in your print book or eBook.


Lisa Gardner has an interesting post on the 10 things she has learned as a crime fiction writer for 30 years. 


Sandra Beckwith has 9 writing tools and resources she can’t do without. Mug warmers anyone?


How are your endings? Katie Weiland has a great post on troubleshooting your endings to make them the best they can be.


Angela Ackerman is guest posting on Jami Gold’s site with a great article on the inner character arc. How do we get resolve the inner conflict and give the character layers?


In the Craft Section,

Character failure responses- Angela Ackerman

Writing for your readers-Linda Clare

The first million words are practice- Draft2Digital

How to avoid reader déjà vu- Jami Gold Bookmark

The three rules of point of view- Gabriela Pereira- Bookmark

Novel writing words of wisdom- Dale Smith- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Powering through the unfun parts of the job- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

Types of videos authors can make- Rob Bignell

Book marketing strategies on a budget- Dale Roberts- Bookmark

Human centered book marketing- Joanna Penn talks to Dan Blank-Bookmark

Converting Word docs to ePub- Jane Friedman


To Finish,

How do you know when you have a big enough story to tell? This is a question that can send the writer into a spin. Some compensate by throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the story. Others can’t write the story because it doesn’t feel compelling. Jane Friedman has an excerpt from Robin Finn’s book on self belief and the limits we place on ourselves when we are writing.





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Friday, May 17, 2024

Opening The AI Box

Regular readers will notice that the roundup is a day late this week. It is Graduation time and we have been attending ceremonies and celebrating the achievements of a new graduate in the house.


In Publishing News this week


The first quarter stat shot from the AAP shows book sales were flat. If you get into the weeds of the stats, eBooks were up and everything else was down or just ticking along. Here in my city an independent bookseller said that after a flat first quarter they had hopes that book sales would be picking up. Of course I was helping their bottom line by buying books.

Meanwhile, Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard was reminding readers that the statshot doesn’t show all the sales of books. Amazon is still doing quite nicely as they are on target to get $1 billion in eBook revenue.


If you are a children’s writer you will be noticing the pleas for more midgrade books, and where are the midgrade books, and why don’t we have more breakout hits for children. The questions and end times statements are everywhere. Mark Williams was particularly incensed with an opinion piece stating it was phones that brought about the downfall of midgrade reading.


Richard Charkin has an interesting look at the new A to Z of publishing terms and buzz words. This is a good snapshot of the things that concern trade publishing in 2024.

In happier news the Dream Team, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have launched their latest Emotion Thesaurus book, Emotion Amplifiers. This is a revised and expanded companion to the book that began their one million sales thesaurus journey. 

James Scott Bell looks at the recent strike down of the Non Compete clause and how this clause will no longer be enforceable from September this year. The non compete clause started the practice of using pen names at different publishing houses. This could tie into book advances. 

Does this mean the end of the advance too? 


If you have been trying to get a handle on marketing, you will have come across the terms list builder promotions. List builders are for promoting the benefits of joining a newsletter list. One author found out the downside of list builder promotions and sounds a cautionary note on Jane Friedman’s blog.


Jaire Sims has a guest article on Anne R Allen’s blog on what she wished she had known about self publishing before she did it. First research your subject.


Sandra Beckwith has ten tips for writing an op-ed article or essay about your research, or non-fiction book.


Are you a writer that keeps your current work in progress close to your chest or do you share every step of the process? Julie Johnstone writes on Writer Unboxed about Sharing your work too early: The soft tissue principle.


The Craft Section,

2 great posts from Angela Ackerman -Throw rocks at your characters-and How symbolism adds depth to a story - Bookmark

Understanding tone- Reedsy Blog- Bookmark

Settings that crawl under the skin- Jaq Evans

Writers guide to romantasy- Alexa Nazzaro- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Author education- a crucial investment- Penny Sansevieri

Creating an author press pack- K M Allen- Bookmark

Bookbub ads- Bookbub- Bookmark

Goodreads, the ultimate author playground – Corina Amos- Bookmark

Marketing with a blog- Karen Cioffi


To Finish

Dan Holloway reports that ChatGPT 4 has been folded into the free programme from Open AI and is available as an app. Many writers are using ChatGPT for help with writing tasks and research, now they have access to next level bells and whistles.

Bloomberg reports AI voiced books topping 40,000 on Audible averaging 4 stars. This technology is here to stay. Authors need to develop some ways of dealing with the opportunities and challenges of this rapidly advancing technology. The Alliance of Independent Authors has compiled a MUST READ list of practical steps for writers to consider how they interact with AI in their work.





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