Writers' Forum 2022 - January
World Reading Habits 2021
The Year of More Author Reach
2022 Publishing Trends and Predictions
Why Now is the Best Time to Be an Author
As one would expect January brings a flurry (pun intended) of year-in-review and year-to-come articles for every industry. Here are some that help make sense of the crazy world of publishing.
World Reading Habits in 2021 – from Sandra Beckwith
Check out the infographic in this article for “interesting facts and stats” for reading habits in 2021 that tell us graphic novels were the fastest-growing book genre in 2021, the favorite type of book overall is still romance, and shows reading and literacy rates by continent with some individual country stats.
2021: The Year of More Author Reach – by Kevin Tumlinson
This article is Draft2Digital specific; however, there are still some tidbits of info that might help you if you’re not using Draft2Digital – particularly the section on changes / updates to Universal Book Links (UBL). Did you know that the links now include print book links? I recently made sure all my links were added. You can create your own UBL at Books2Read.com even if you don’t publish through Draft2Digital. For a deep dive into how you can more effectively use links for your books overall, check out Dan Parson’s article (for the Self Publishing Formula), and pay close attention to Genius Link (which was featured in a previous Writers’ Forum.)
The Top Eight Publishing Trends for 2022 – by Clayton Noblit for Written Word Media
These numbered lists are becoming a little – um – trite – in my opinion, and yet we continue to be drawn to them because it gives us information that we know will fit into our limited time. (But I digress!) The main take away here is that indie authors' and small publishers' share of the pie continues to grow, advertising changes are making things more difficult for authors, and BookTok is something you probably shouldn’t ignore. Read the full article here.
2022 Publishing Predictions from Agent Laurie McLean
In this guest post on Anne R. Allen’s blog, McLean gives 12 predictions for the coming year. The unique predictions include the continued battle about e-book sales regulation for libraries (detailed in the next section), more publishing mergers and publishing business model changes, continued supply chain issues and more! https://annerallen.com/2022/01/2022-publishing-predictions-laurie-mclean/
Why Now is the Best Time to Be an Author – by Dan Parsons
If you need a palate cleanser after all that, here’s a hopeful and helpful article that gives us the reasons to be grateful we’re authors in 2022 with notes like there are more author tools, services, and communities than ever before to help us with our publishing (ad)ventures.
PUBLISHING BUSINESS NEWS
New York Library E-Book Law Update
To catch up on this issue take a quick read of “AAP (Association of American Publishers) Sues to Block Maryland, New York Library E-Book Laws.” In brief, the lawsuit states that the laws which would “require publishers who offer license e-books to consumers in the state to also offer to license the works to libraries on reasonable terms,” are unconstitutional. At least in New York, this is not moving forward as on December 29, Governor “Hochul Vetoes New York’s Library E-book Bill” as noted in the brief from Publishers Weekly.
WRITING CRAFT / PROCESS / PRE-PUBLICATION
Goal Setting for Writers: A 3-Step Process – by Dave Chesson
This is a great January – reset – type of article which helps you focus on getting that book written by breaking it all down into smaller goals and manageable steps. Read it HERE.
31 Things to Do When You Need a Break – by Cara Chace
Perhaps you’re not ready to dive into your book project right now or intermittently you need creative ways to take breaks? I love this list of suggestions to help you move through your days, acknowledging that sometimes we need to be a bit kinder to ourselves and allow for breaks.
Does Past Tense “Turnt” Have a Future? – by Maeve Maddox
This headline was a bit jarring to my grammar sensibilities (Yes, I probably looked like the picture above.), which is why I had to click on the article. I’m always fascinated by the evolution of language and the new words that are adopted as acceptable every year. See what you think about the logic that might make ‘turnt’ an acceptable word. (eeep – just typing that feels wrong!)
How to Write Active Dialogue – by Kristen Overman (Good Story Company)
Dialogue is such an essential part of good novel writing that I am always glad to share tips when I can. The examples in this article are a great help in making sure you’re doing your best to draw readers into your story through active dialogue. Read it HERE.
The Role of Causation and Plot Structure in Literary Fiction – Harrison Demchick (Jane Friedman’s blog)
Oooh, you’re going to love this dive into cause and effect beyond the obvious application in genre fiction. In this article, cause and effect are addressed for literary fiction and character driven novels. The discussion/example about circumstance and happenstance and their use to “support and develop causation.” Good read!
Swearing in Children’s – video with Mary Kole
Quick take away . . . under age 9 NO! Over age 9—perhaps! Watch the 8-minute video to get the scoop from a children’s lit expert.
Choose the Perfect Title for Your Novel or Memoir: 7 Author Tips – by Isidra Mencos
Here are seven tips for navigating the tricking ‘name your book’ moment along with the good advice that you shouldn’t be overly invested in this title if you intend to traditionally publish. Other good advice – avoid confusion and crowd source your choice(s). Why? There may be an unintentional reference that is beyond your scope of experience that someone else may note. That advice and more HERE.
How Does an Authorpreneur Earn an Income? – by Amanda Zieba
One of my author friends (who you may also know), Amanda Zieba, wrote a very transparent blog post about where she derives her author(preneur) income. Somehow talking about earnings is treated as taboo when it shouldn’t be. If you’re hoping to make the leap away from full-time employment and making writing projects produce income you can rely upon, this is a must read.
BOOK MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
Build Book Buzz – Top 10 Marketing Articles from 2021
I don’t think there’s been a Writers’ Forum that hasn’t included at least one article from Sandra Beckwith from Build Book Buzz. Here she shares the most popular articles she posted in 2021 – based on her google analytics information. This is an awesome list and with many posts worth a re-read.
10 Top Book Marketing Articles from BookBub in 2021
And here’s the same type of list from the BookBub Partners blog . . . these aren’t just BookBub specific articles. You’ll find social media advice and general marketing tips make up most of the list here. Read it HERE.
Treating Your Book Like a Product – with Nick Thacker for Mark Dawson’s podcast
Love this podcast episode from the Self Publishing Formula (Mark Dawson.) It puts you in the proper mindset that, yes, your book IS a product . . . and explores how that beginning point impacts all of your marketing decisions. (This seems obvious, but a lot of authors are reluctant to view their books as a product.)
12 Ideas for Promoting Sequels or Later-Series Books – by Diana Urban for BookBub
I have a book series as do many of my clients, so this advice was particularly useful to me. I’ve tried most of these over time, but my favorites here are making sure the back matter of each book points to the next book and includes full series lists. I also love all the strategies for promoting the whole series, even while you’re celebrating the publication of the latest installment. Read it here: https://insights.bookbub.com/clever-ideas-promoting-sequels-series-books/
Podcasts! Be a great guest or host your own?
How to Be a Great Podcast Guest – by Dan Parsons (Self Publishing Formula)
Podcasts are an excellent way to gain attention for your books. If you haven’t pursued being a podcast guest, you should make that a priority for 2022. This list will guide you on how to be a perfect guest. Smart tips!
Podcasts and authors: Should you be a host or a guest? – by Sandra Beckwith
I do hear a lot of authors or publishing pros talking about starting up a podcast, but I always wonder if they understand the time commitment that will take and the technological challenges they may need to overcome. Here’s a great pro/con look at the hosting role as well as very concrete steps for becoming a podcast guest. Make it happen!
BookTok: A Safe Haven for Young Female Readers – by Jane Friedman
BookTok (the slice of TikTok focused on books) is a super interesting place for readers and authors alike. If you’re unfamiliar with BookTok, take a minute to read this introduction to what happens here and how it is impacting book sales:
How I Went from Zero to 6,500 BookBub Followers – by Juno Rushdan
BookBub followers? . . . yes, you should be asking people to follow you there. Here’s the how and the why of it!
Design Trends for 2022 – Graphic Design and Website Design
If you’re looking to refresh the graphics you use for social media or perhaps refresh your website, these two infographics give you some excellent tips on what’s going to make you look like you’ve got it all figured out!! Read Graphic Design Trends here or check out Website Design Trends here.
Happy Writing (editing, marketing, and more!) - Valerie