Writers' Forum - July 2023

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book is Review-Bombed on Goodreads

eBook Piracy: How to Respond if Someone Steals Your Book

Preparing Financially to Become a Full-Time Author


Goodreads: Review-Bombing Could be Mitigated

Recently, before the book was even released, Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel—a early Bolshevik-era historical novel set in Siberia—was review bombed on Goodreads. Users “enraged by the Russian setting launched a coordinated attack on the book’s Goodreads page, causing Gilbert to pull her novel indefinitely.” This is the dark side of Goodreads, and Gilbert’s book wasn’t the first to experience this. Amazon bought Goodreads in 2013 and there was always trepidation about this purchase. With the problem of review bombing a book before it’s even released and available for widespread legitimate reviews, shouldn’t be that hard and the argument is that a giant like Amazon could certainly put some safeguards in place. Read the Slate article here.

eBook Piracy: How to Respond if Someone Steals Your Book Online

Nate Hoffelder gives step-by-step advice on what do if you find a pirated copy of your book online, along with what not do—which is nearly as important, depending on where you find the pirated copy. https://natehoffelder.com/blog/ebook-piracy-how-to-respond-if-someone-steals-your-ebook-online/

Preparing Financially to Become a Full-Time Author

This is an excellent planning article for anyone making a career shift (not just authors). The advice broadly applicable and basically just encourages you to mind your finances.  Read it here (by Dan Parsons from the Self-Publishing Formula.)

The Latest on AI in the Writing and Publishing World (and on we go!)

Amazon is Summarizing Product Reviews with AI: Are Book Reviews Next?

So, the headline says it all. Amazon is summarizing product reviews with AI and Sandra Beckwith discusses the possibility of the platform extending this to book reviews as well.


Authors Sue OpenAI Claiming Mass Copyright Infringement of Hundreds of Thousands of Novels

This is another lawsuit over the use of copyrighted works to train AI—in particular ChatGPT’s use of thousands of books for this training. The Hollywood Report article explains that OpenAI allegedly illegally downloaded unpublished books made available to readers for free on the Smashwords platform, disregarding that this material was copyrighted. A good description of shadow libraries and their use for AI applications can be found in this article from Quartz, which describes how these shadow libraries skirt copyright laws.  

How to Protect Your Author Business from AI

This article from Mark Dawson’s Self-publishing Formula blog focuses on “identifying what AI’s can’t do and leveraging those qualities” with your writing.


Villain Logic: The Key to Solving Your Thriller’s Climax Block

Having just completed my own mystery/suspense novel, I gravitated to this article by Samantha Skal for Jane Friedman’s blog. I think her advice is priceless! She talks through what you can do if you get to that climactic moment in your thriller only to find that a piece of your story’s setup is “fundamentally broken.” She explains how by diving into your villain’s motivation and actions you can re-engineer this crucial point in your story.


Boring Characters

Amy Wilson for the Good Story Company writes a funny article about a boring character named “Blandy,” giving us a list of how NOT to write a character (well that is if we’re avoiding boring ones.)

Gray Space: Make Room for the Reader

I love Janet S. Fox’s article that explains that what we leave out of our novels is just as important as what we put in them. I like to call this ‘trust your reader.’ You don’t need to explain every single thing, readers can make connections. Additionally, you want to leave some room for readers to draw their own conclusions or pull in their own associations, which makes for a better reader experience.

Writing Crime for Books, Film and TV

“Writing a book is something filmmaker, Tim Sullivan, always wanted to do. When he couldn’t find agents for it, however, he turned to one of the Self Publishing Formula’s courses and decided to publish on his own. He chats about his own experiences writing Crime Fiction novels in this podcast.

Read the transcript here or watch below:

Book Files and Formats: How to Protect Your Writing Investment

David Wogahn writes this incredibly important article for Jane Friedman’s blog about making sure that you’re careful with how you save your book files. He differentiates between source files and publishing files, and how important it is to have the final source files. Things can get messy for traditionally published authors when you might get your rights reverted on a book. And personally, I know that for indie published authors, crazy things can happen too. For instance, my first book was formatted by the CreateSpace design team. When CS was wrapping up its business as it shifted clients over to KDP print, I asked for the original file back and received it, but because of shifting file formats, I’d still need to employ a book formatted to fix that interior for me. (big sigh.)

Publishers Send Clever Merchandise with ARCs. Can Authors Do It, too?

Sandra Beckwith’s article is just pure fun . . . who doesn’t like to get book-themed goodies along with a book? Mostly, I’ve picked up swag like this at conferences. (Colleen Hoover’s Book Bonanza has AMAZING swag! Those authors know how to throw a party!) But what might work for your book? This article will help you brainstorm cool ideas. (For my series, I’ve done a number of small items like a set of rune stones, Celtic tattoos, themed bracelets from Etsy, and more.)

How my Newsletter Helped Me Land an Agent and a Big Five Book Deal

Nancy Reddy’s story is a delight to read. It shows you how never know who you might be reaching with your content. For this particular author, the fact that an agent recognized her name from her newsletter content shows how this type of networking can pay off.


5 Unconventional Book Launch Ideas

Ricardo Fayet writing for the BookBub Partner blog gives some solid ideas for ways to draw attention to your new book along with some that are a little off the wall . . . create your own national holiday? That could be fun or that could just end up being really, really weird. LOL See if these help you to think outside the box for your next launch.

Authors Who are Your Key Reader Influencers? (And Why Should You Care?)

I’m channeling a lot of Sandra Beckwith knowledge in this Forum!! Here she is again with a really important topic . . . the previous article about book launches briefly touches on influencers. Sandra’s article goes deeper with how to identify which influencers to reach out to, depending on what type of book you write. Good advice with solid (actionable) steps to follow.

Eight Unexpected Benefits of New Releases for Less

Have you tried one of BookBub's New Releases for Less promos? In this article Aj Yee gives some of the side benefits you might experience from the visibility of one of these promos.


Germany: The Third Biggest Book Market

Do you advertise your books in Germany? Did you know there’s a huge English readership audience there? In this podcast from the Self-Publishing Show “two indie authors native to the German market, Freya and Andrea, for a chat about the changes they’ve seen!”

Read the transcript here or watch below:

BookBub Advertising . . . One Author Walks Through Her Experience

In Why is Advertising So Hard Kay Freeman begins the journey into these ads, giving some key definitions and tips. In Part 2, The Mysteries of Advertising (continued), she talks about what makes a good BookBub ad and details her results.

(If you want to dive into BookBub ads, take a look at my tutorial here.)

Top 15 Audiobook Ads Readers Want to Click

Carlyn Robertson writes this post for the BookBub blog showcasing 15 excellent audiobook ads—these are for Bookbub’s adjacent Chirp deals for audiobooks. (Note: In order to take advantage of these ads/promos, your book must be available through Findaway Voices.) HOWEVER, the ad concepts here could easily be adapted to a Facebook ad image if you’re advertising audiobooks on that platform. Read it here:  https://insights.bookbub.com/top-audiobook-ads-readers-click/

Facbook Ad Guru Ben Heath

As I was researching how to properly scale up Facebook ads, I came across a guy named Ben Heath who has a fantastic library of YouTube videos on all aspects of Facebook advertising. Seriously, this is a treasure trove of everything a beginner needs to advanced strategies to use this platform for book advertising. https://www.youtube.com/@BenHeath

If you prefer to look at an article first, check out my Facebook Ad tutorial with screen shots and such here.



Great resources, as usual!
Thanks Val!

Add new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Your email will not be displayed to the public.

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.