September Writers' Forum 2019


Indies vs. Amazon? Maybe It’s Time for a New Game by Maggie Stiefvater

Amazon Publishing: The Road to Conquest and How Bezos Razed New York by Kristen Lamb

All the publishing news and writing craft help you need! The Writers' Forum


Indies vs. Amazon? Maybe It’s Time for a New Game

YA fantasy/paranormal author Maggie Stiefvater is spot on (in my opinion), when she talks about how the Indie Store vs. Amazon book sales’ battle is destined to fail (for the indie stores). Instead, she discusses how and why Indie Stores need to embrace what they do better and capitalize on THAT rather than attempt to compete in the losing battle with Amazon. Smart stuff!

Amazon Publishing: The Road to Conquest and How Bezos Razed New York

Kristen Lamb’s sharp-witted humor is always a delight! Her recent article on how Jeff Bezos “dreamed Amazon would one day replace The Big Six publishers and that he would completely reinvent the book business” and did just that. And if only the big publishers had taken Amazon seriously a decade ago, this might not have happened. Incredibly important industry insight here!

In Other Publishing News . . .

Walmart Discount Pricing Sparks Threatening Letters from KDP

Keri-Rae Barnum writing for the New Shelves website gives us the scoop on the threatening letter some authors have received lately from KDP, trigged by a discount price offered on their books by Walmart. KDP’s member agreement states that you’re not allowed to sell your books at a lower price elsewhere. In fact, some authors use this little trigger point to make a book permanently free on Amazon because they know Amazon will match it. But the short point here is that if your retail price is $X.XX and Walmart offers your book at a lower price. YOU’RE not selling your book for less. Walmart is! Hence no agreement violation.

Authors - Take Charge of your Future and other publishing advice on the Writers' Forum

Authors: Taking Charge of Our Future in a Time of Uncertainty

I’ve got a Kristen Lamb love fest going on here this month. Again, she writes an astute piece on the author’s journey. I am guessing we can all relate to this. Many, many truths about the trials and tribulations we face in this ever-daunting business. This is a therapeutic read.

Pay the Bookseller! Why C.E.O. James Daunt Won’t Save Barnes & Noble

YES, Kristen Lamb again! Great article about James Daunt’s takeover as the new CEO of Barnes and Noble with a discussion of key elements that may sink the chain—like refusing to pay those who SELL your books a living wage. She talks about other strategic points, but her outlook for Barnes & Noble is not optimistic.


Get It “Write”: How to Plot Your Novel

Kelsey Worsham gives us a detailed look at plot structure for the Written Word Media site. Bookmark this article for sure!

4 Easy Edits That Make Your Story Flow BetterDon't miss out on one of the Top 50 Writing Blogs!

Julie Glover has an excellent and quick 4 item list to aid your editing. This is from the Writers in the Storm blog. Check out their website HERE. 

A Word Count Guide for 18 Book Genres, Including Fiction and Nonfiction

I’m always on the look out for a reliable word count guide. Here’s a recent one from Blake Atwood on The Write Life website

A Professional Editor’s Perspective on Novelettes and Novellas

Wendy S. Delmater talks about word counts for shorter works in this article for the Authors Publish online magazine. (You may remember me mentioning them in my blog post about where to find places to submit your work.) 

The Daily Word Counts of 39 Famous Authors

And speaking of wordcounts . . . are you a little curious how many words some well-known authors write each day? I am! How do you compare? 

10 Success Tips from JK Rowling

I was hanging around on the Writers in the Storm website and came across this older post from 2018, listing JK Rowling’s 10 Success Tips.

Writing an Essay About Yourself: 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

I found this list because I’ve been asked to contribute a piece that includes writing about myself and my writing journey, and I immediately realized I needed some advice. Amy Paturel keeps us from screwing up a personal essay!

Back Up Your Writing!! Please Do This! TODAY!!

3-Tier Backup for Writers by Lainey Cameron is a must-read. Follow this advice and you won’t be cussing out your computer when the hard drive crashes.

History of Typography and other fun Publishing News!

The World of Typography

I love fonts . . . I mean I REALLY, REALLY love fonts, so any discussion on the history of typography is going to be interesting to me. Maybe you, too??

10 Kinds of Critique Groups that Can Drive You Bonkers

My critique group is indispensable to me, but I have taken part in other less successful groups that haven’t been nearly as helpful to me. Anne R. Allen gives us this fun jaunt through nightmare critique groups—see if you recognize any of these types.

What is Hybrid Publishing?

Nathan Bransford defines hybrid publishing (a combo of traditional and indie publishing) and discusses who should consider this model of publishing and what to watch out for in this article:

Q&A with a Literary Agent on Querying, Trends, Subrights & More

Ali Hammond presents an excellent Q&A style interview with Christina Hogrebe, a literary agent at the Jane Rotrosen Agency for this post on the BookBub Insights page. Always good to gain more insight into the querying process.

The benefits of a writing retreat. That and other author advice on the Writers' ForumThe Benefits of a Retreat

Writer and educator Tracey Kathryn shared a beautiful piece about how getting away from our daily distractions can help us with our writing. Read the Benefits of a Retreat to see if this is just what you need. 


3 Ways to Get Your Dream Endorsement

When buying books, we pay attention to who has endorsed the book with a blurb of some type. A well-recognized name saying nice things about a book goes a long way to encouraging more sales. This is the first time I’ve seen advice on how to get endorsements! Thanks Sandra Beckwith of The Book Designer!

How Much Copy Should You Write on Your Home Page?

Barb Drozdowich at Bakerview Consulting creates the best infographics. This one aids the decision making on what to put on your website’s home page (and what not to put there!)


Engineer Success with a Good Marketing Strategy

Boni Wagner-Stafford writes a super comprehensive discussion on book marketing strategy from the ground up. Even if you’re not ready to market a book, read this now. It will help inform your information gathering prior to your launch.  

Audiobook Promotion for Indie Authors -- that and more self-publishing advice on the Writers' ForumAudiobook Promotion for Indie Authors

Mary Locke’s article for The Alliance of Independent Authors was a must-read for me as I’ll be promoting my first audiobook in a few months. For anyone who is at the beginning of the audiobook production journey, Locke discusses the reason she’s switched from ACX to Findaway Voices. The pros and cons are worth reading about. She also talks through the new BookBub promotion system for audiobooks called Chirp. (Ha – isn’t that witty.)

Author-Tested Middle Grade Marketing Tips

Shannon Maughan compiled this collection of middle-grade book marketing tips from traditionally published authors for Publishers Weekly. (All of these also work for indie pub authors, too.) Middle grade marketing is tricky, because many of the kids in this market aren’t (or shouldn’t be) on social media yet. Much of the time, you’re targeting the gatekeepers like teachers, parents, and librarians. 

Resources for Making Videos and Marketing With Them

I’ve been knee deep in video creation lately with launching my first online course this week. We can’t ignore that video is a growing medium for marketing! People love video and respond well to short video clips. This article from Digital Publishing gives a number of resources that may help you as you begin your video creation journey.


Social Media Demographics to Drive your Brand’s Online Presence

If you’re interested in who is using which social media platforms, then this article from Chloe West for SproutSocial is a must read. I relied heavily on this up-to-date data when creating my online course “Building Your Online Author Image.” Where you spend time on social media should be guided by where your readers spend their time! Find out with this article:

Happy Writing, Valerie  


I wonderful set of links, as always!
Thanks, Val!
p.s. You class looks great! So much good information!

Thanks, Christine! It surprises me every month how many articles I have bookmarked to share with you all. There's a never-ending supply of information and changes in the publishing world! (Almost too much sometimes!) - Valerie

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