Writers' Forum 2022 - March

Waterstones to Acquire Blackwell’s

Why Did Draft2Digital Acquire Smashwords

If You Can’t Stand the Sight of Your Own Blood, Don’t Step into the Ring

Tired of Murder and Mayhem? Snuggle up with a cozy mystery.

Is Goodreads a Good Thing?


Waterstone’s to Acquire Blackwell’s

This might not matter much if you’re not concerned with the UK book market, but Waterstones has acquired Blackwell’s (not so very long after they acquired Foyles.)


Why Did Draft2Digital Acquire Smashwords

Great podcast discussion on what this new combination of Draft2Digital and Smashwords will mean for book publishing and indie authors. Listen to the Self Publishing Formula Podcast below or read the transcript here: https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-323/

If You Can’t Stand the Sight of Your Own Blood, Don’t Step into the Ring

Catherine Baab-Muguira pens this tough-love article that reminds us that publishing is not for the timid. Resilience is the word! Read it on the Jane Friedman blog here. 

Tired of Murder and Mayhem? Snuggle up with a cozy mystery.

Gena Kittner writes this delightful article about the cozy mystery genre in the Wisconsin State Journal HERE.

Is Goodreads a Good Thing?

Sarah Nichols writes a very honest article about the pros and cons of Goodreads in this essay for Bookriot.com . . . see if you agree with her assessment. Good read (pun intended) if you are new to using Goodreads as an author.


Making Story Structure Your Own

K.M.  Weiland gives us a necessarily in-depth article about story structure, helping us to definite its core elements. She presents the five questions to ask in order to make story structure ‘your own.’ A smart approach for sure!


Arc: How Characters Grow and Change Organically

This is an excellent lesson from Kristen Lamb (who is always funny and always gives great examples!) Bookmark this one for review anytime you’re starting a new project or perhaps editing one.


Weaving Flashbacks Seamlessly into Your Story

This is a solid assist in writing flashbacks from Tiffany Yates Martin. We all know flashbacks are tricky. Here she helps us avoid those jarring ins and outs with a list of seven components of a well-integrated flashback. (Even if you think you know what you’re doing – you’ll appreciate the reminders she gives.)

13 Ways to Freaking Freak Out Your Horror Readers

Are there any horror writers in the audience? Perhaps you just like to include some scary elements in your non-horror stories? I think Shayla Raquel’s 13 tips can work well for any kind of suspense novel, too. Fun read.


Can a Catastrophe Be a Character in Your Novel?

Yes! In this BookBaby blog article, Lee Purcell examines the non-human antagonist or the antagonistic force that your main character (protagonist) is up against. I love this dive into a non-human villain.

Children’s Dialogue: They Don’t Talk Like Us

Jessi Rita Hoffman looks at writing the dialogue of the younger characters in our stories. Good tips to get that dialogue right. Read the full article on Jane Friedman’s blog: https://www.janefriedman.com/childrens-dialogue-they-dont-talk-like-adults/

Book Covers – Why DIY might not be the answer

The Build Book Buzz article from Milan Manko details why a DIY book cover may be killing your sales and gives you tips for choosing a designer to help you get this important component right. https://buildbookbuzz.com/why-diy-book-covers-kill-your-sales/

And more on Book Covers:

Under the Covers from Slate examines how the “Bridgerton books got a makeover inspired by the steamy Netflix adaptation—the latest in a long line of redesigns that show how tricky marketing romance can be.”

Font Copyright Laws for Books: Your Print Book Could be in Violation

Jason Hamilton writes this important article for Dave Chesson’s Kindlepreneur website asking, “Did you know that just because a font came with your computer or Word doesn’t mean you can use it in your physical print book?” It’s true . . . good read to avoid this pitfall.


How to Format a Book: The Ultimate Guide

This is a repeat from about six months ago – but it is so good that I’m including it again.


How Important Is Genre When Pitching and Promoting Your Book?

My guess would have been that it is VERY important, but then I read the article and turns out—there are some serious nuances to this answer. Sangeeta Mehta provides us with this smart Q&A with Laura Zats and T.S. Ferguson. There’s a lot to gain from this one.

Read it here: https://www.janefriedman.com/how-important-is-genre-when-pitching-and-promoting-your-book/



Audio Subscription Platforms – Daniel Parsons

Excellent article on the platforms that are adding audiobooks that might surprise you.




This is a growing market, and one authors should take advantage of . . . my course can teach you how to do this.

Listen Up: Audiobook Production for Authors

We'll discuss why authors should produce audiobook versions of their stories to expand their revenue streams and examine the details (including costs) of the most popular production paths with ACX and Findaway Voices. You'll get tips on how to pick your narrator and work well with them to ensure a great finished product. We'll finish up with the best audiobook promo and marketing advice. See course details here. 

How to Monetize Author Speaking Gigs – Daniel Parsons

There are two main ways for authors to earn money from speaking gigs – speakers’ fees and book sales. (Unless you’re a nonfiction author who also has a service or product to sell.)  But this article gives you other nifty tips to make the most of any speaking gig and leverage the exposure you’ll have.

Create Your Book Marketing Plan by Answering These Seven Questions – Sandra Beckwith

If you don’t know where to start with book marketing—START HERE. This is the best jumping off point I’ve seen to help establish the framework for your book marketing. It puts you in the right mindset and gives focus to your next steps.

KDP Adds Three New Downloadable Reports: Orders, KENP Read, and Pre-orders. Read more here: https://www.kdpcommunity.com/s/article/Three-downloadable-reports-added-to-KDP-reports-beta?language=en_US

How to Promote Any Book with BookBub Ads – Carlyn Robertson

Well-defined BookBub tactics for books that are free, discounted connected stand-alone, first in a series, available for pre-order or newly released.


7 Ways to Promote Your Book While Watching TV – Sandra Beckwith

With so many new series recently released on streaming services (Yellowstone/Bridgerton), I’m ready for a little multi-tasking so I don’t feel quite so guilty about my TV-watching habits. See what you can cross off your list:  https://buildbookbuzz.com/promote-your-book-while-watching-tv/

TikTok Wrap-Up

TikTok is Driving Book Sales – NPR (4-minute listen)

How to Use BookTok: A Guide for Authors and Publishers – Literary Ladies Guide

BookTok for Book Marketing – Sandra Beckwith

Hashtags for Writers: Free Generator Tool – Dave Chesson

A new hashtag generator tool on the Kindlepreneur website is pretty darn cool. I’ve used it for a couple of weeks now when posting to social media and appreciate the quick way to gather the proper hashtags. (I should have had a cheat sheet of this created long ago for similar posts, but I never took the time.) 

A Thousand New Email Sign Ups in a Week? It’s Possible. – Ashleigh Renard

In this post from Jane Friedman’s blog, you’ll get a how-to on creating and publicizing the right lead magnet or freebie to entice readers to sign up. https://www.janefriedman.com/a-thousand-new-email-sign-ups-a-week-its-possible/

Yes, You Can Edit a Facebook Ad Without Losing Social Proof!

Do you have an ad that has a ton of comments and likes and shares? Do you want to carry that social proof forward even though you need to edit the ad? Here’s how: https://easyautotagging.com/edit-facebook-ad/

7 Avoidable Twitter Mistakes that Will Make People Unfollow You – Barb Drozdowich

Gulp! I am always nervous when I click on an infographic like this and really hope I’m not doing any of these dreaded seven. See it here.


16 Creative Ways Authors Promote Nonfiction on Instagram – Shailee Shah

So much advice is geared toward fiction writers, that I was pleased to see this article on nonfiction Instagram book promos the BookBub Partners Blog. So nonfiction writers, this one is for you . . . there are some awesome ideas here but note many of them require you to make the leap into video content creation. (Yes, you can do this!)

Happy Writing (editing, marketing, and more!) - Valerie  

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