Bookmarks: News and views from the book industry

Romance Writers of Australia

The shake-ups that have characterised the book publishing and selling sectors for the last few years continue. This week brought interesting news for Australians from Amazon and Book Depository and a cautionary tale from the UK.

In the UK, The Independent quoted research from accountancy firm Moore Stephens saying that publisher insolvencies in the UK rose 58% over the past year. In the 2014-2015 financial year, 128 UK publishers went out of business. In 2013-2014 year, 81 publishers went out of business. They are mostly smaller publishers. Moore Stephens restructuring and insolvency partner David Elliott said, ‘The fall in the value of sales for physical books is larger than the growth of ebooks, and this is a worrying trend for publishers that are still dependent on paper (books) for their profits,’ said Moore.

We have seen a number of ebook only publishers go insolvent this year so in my opinion it…

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Words from the otherworld: For when you feel like giving up writing.



This blog came out of two things firstly; lately I have noticed a lot of negativity in the particular corner of the literary world I inhabit. Secondly, this blog also comes from a conversation with a friend the other day who was feeling down about her writing. She didn’t feel like writing, she didn’t feel like her story was important, she didn’t feel like she was good enough to write it, she didn’t feel like anyone would want to read her work and that she was writing more than ‘living’. As such, it may sound a tad evangelical.

Self doubt and exhaustion are two constant and major issues for writers and so I just wanted to write a little bit about them and how I deal with them.


First off, it is okay, in fact it is normal to love writing but sometimes not feel like doing it. All forms…

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Indies Hitting The Big Time: Jasinda And Jack Wilder At Berkley Books

Thought Catalog

Image provided by Jasinda and Jack Wilder Image provided by Jasinda and Jack Wilder

Testing The Indie Spirit

As we’re reporting this morning (April 6) at The Bookseller’s The FutureBook, Jasinda and Jack Wilder have come up with an Easter surprise for their many fans: Their agent, Kristin Nelson, has negotiated a seven-figure deal for three books with Penguin Random House’s Berkley Books.

This is a new case of self-publishing authors stepping into a major traditional-publishing success, having established themselves as indie bestsellers with more than 2 million ebook sales.

The wife-husband writing team — with more than 40 novels and novellas self-published — is creating a trilogy, Madame X, for Berkley. The first book is to be released November 3, the second and third in early 2016.

And when I interviewed Jasinda Wilder over the weekend, her comments repeatedly touched on her and Jack’s dedication to readers of their books, until now entirely self-published…

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To Outline, or Not To Outline.

Brianna Siegrist

So. Here’s a little story of my (limited) experience with outlines and fiction writing.outline2

Here’s me, la-dee-da-dee da. I’m writing a novel! yay! But novels are big and scary and long and full of rat holes you can start down and get trapped in. So I say to myself, “Brianna, here’s the deal. Read you some plot books and then plan out your plot ahead of time! No wasted tangents or wild goose chases. Or rabbit trails! Or any other cliches, for that matter!”

So I does it. Doose it. Whatever.

I make a pretty little outline. It’s incredibly detailed. It tells me where I have to have my character happy, where she has to fail, where she has to face a cliff… Everthing! And then I start typing.

Type typetype type tyPE backspace type type type.

When the going gets tough, which is… like all the time, I even make…

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A Must Read Article- Marketing Your Book by Jessica Leigh

Urban Book Reviews – Marketing Your Book Using Social Media

When I took a deep breath, and hit that publish button for the very first time, it was an exhilarating experience. But boy, was I what one would consider a Noob. I quickly realized that the writing and editing were the easy parts!

My journey is still in the beginning stages. But it has not been overwhelming, and it is certainly doable for any emerging author with a will and a bit of grit. Let me show you what I’ve learned so far.

A Must-Do List for Marketing Your Book on Social Media

1. Start Facebook and Twitter pages with links to buy your book. Focus on the quality of your posts – don’t go overboard – and focus on entertainment (not just selling). Utilize hashtags where you can, they will help. (ie. #fiction #books #romance)

2. Start a Blog. I used…

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5 Top Podcasts For Indie Publishers

The Self Publishing Challenge

mbIf you are wanting to find out about the latest new in indie publishing as well as hearing from those who have trodden the path before you, there is no better way to stay up to date than tuning into some podcasts.

I will be honest with you there are a lot of indie publishing podcasts out there.  Indie publishers are, by their nature a very entrepreneurial bunch and the chance of running amock with a mic and a great idea is hard to resist.

I have listened to many and the list below are the ones that I consistently come back to.  Mainly for their enthusiasm but also for the quality of the information and the interviews themselves.

The Creative Penn

cpp podcast

Joanna Penn is a non-fiction writer who has now very successfully entered into the Thriller Genre and is going great guns.  There is nothing but lovely things…

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First Novel Yuckishness

Catch a Falling Star


One of my biggest regrets as a writer is that I started doing it before I had any earthly idea how to do it well.  I know as a former writing teacher that you have to start by starting and you learn to write better by writing.  There is no substitute for that redundantly repetitive redundancy of practice.  And that is the mistake I made with the first novel… not the first one I ever wrote… the first one I ever tried to get published.  I finished slapping the stupid thing together in primarily superfluous paragraphs and short chapters, and then sent it off to a publisher before I lost all willpower to try.  The mistake was in choosing a publisher that was revolutionizing the publishing industry with cheap-o flim-flam tricks.  If you have ever considered Publish America as an option… don’t.  They work well as a way to get…

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Finding Feedback


A writer's top tips

Feedback is one of the most important things a writer can get if they want to go on and improve their ability or publish professionally, but it isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to find. Whilst your best friend and your mother might be really enthusiastic about reading your latest masterpieces, they’re not always the best people to go to when in search of critical feedback. These are places I’ve gone to get good feedback.

  1. Writing Websites

Not all writing websites are equal, and you might have to do some searching to find which one is right for you and which will give you the best feedback, but they’re a good place to start. This post here lists some of the websites I’ve written on and the pros and cons of each. Websites are a good way to get your work views by lots of different people and…

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Rewriting the Blurb, Refining the Cover

Covers and Blurbs

Keys of Candor

This week, I just finished a six chapter block of edits given to us from our editor.  It was a quick turnaround for a lot of work. I felt good, and motivated to keep working on something as I waited for the second installment of edits to arrive. I thought it was time to revisit the blurb and the cover we are preparing for our book.

As some of you probably already know we are preparing to release The Red Deaths on Amazon as an ebook as well as a physical book utilizing CreateSpace, Amazon’s POD (Print on Demand) service.  Since we have been buckled over in the editing process, neither Casey or I have taken much time to refine the outside of what our physical book will look like.

Despite the colloquialism, books are judged by their cover, especially when someone is itching to buy something on their…

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Should You Write Third Person Omniscient?


A Writer's Path


So yesterday, having written about the benefits of omniscient narration, I thought I’d rewrite a scene from third person close narration, using an omniscient narrator. I figured out the narrator’s identity, his perspective on the characters, and how he came to know the details of the story, and I sat down to see how such a perspective would work.

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Tips for Writing Amazon Reviews

Writing reviews for Amazon

Shirley McLain

 This is books scramble. Many books to scatter under sky.wordsAmazon-Logo-300x109

What if a car manufacturer was to drop off a brand new car to a person’s home, completely at random, and explain they had 24 hours to drive the car? Afterward, they would take the car to another home at random and do the same thing, and repeat for three months. They only asked that the home owners/drivers would write a review of the automobile. What do you think would happen?

I suspect most of the drivers would do exactly what they should. They would write intelligent and informative reviews about how it handled, how it drove, gas mileage…

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If you don’t have one, you should maintain a standard author bio

The War on Loneliness

Had an editor get in touch with me today asking for my bio, and I sent them my standard bio, which I change quite frequently, but currently looks something like:

Rahul Kanakia’s first book, a contemporary young adult novel called Enter Title Here, is coming out from Disney-Hyperion in August ’16. Additionally, his stories have appeared or are forthcoming in ApexClarkesworld, Lightspeed, The Indiana Review, and Nature. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford, and he used to work in the field of international development. Originally from Washington, D.C., Rahul now lives in Berkeley. If you want to know more you can visit his blog at or follow him on Twitter at

Not a big deal. I have a file on my computer called Author Bio, and it contains the above…

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Why Every Business Should be Blogging…

The Write Hand, LLC

Great article from Kristin. Give consideration for your business and if you need help setting up a blog, creating posts, and maximizing your SEO; hit me up and I can help you grow your business. Cheers, Ursula

Blog for Business

Why Every Business Should be Blogging

January 8, 2015 — Posted By Kristin Hovde

Why Every Business Should be Blogging
Thanks to modern technology, all it takes to gain the attention of your target audience is a few clicks of the mouse on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, just to name a few. With a majority of people using their social networking sites throughout the day, it makes sense to get on the bandwagon and follow what the crowd is doing. Social media is also one of the most cost efficient marketing mediums available, making it a necessity for small businesses or small budgets.

One often-overlooked, yet critical piece to any good social media…

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