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Publisher’s News Roundup Series: Why the Backlist is Important

A backlist can come back to cash in.

Publishing houses rely on their backlist. Years after publication these stories can build a cult fandom and even move to the big screens. This is why publishing stories that are progressive and relevant will help positively shape our future readers.

Remember When


This week in publishing,


When you get to a certain age you notice that nostalgia becomes big entertainment business. *coughMarvelcomicsCough* Sometimes the reason for the reboot of these older entertainment properties is that the new executives are mining their childhood fads. The 90’s generation is getting its turn now. This week Vulture reports that Sweet Valley High is getting a TV show. The SVH books were written by ghostwriters back in the day. A popular choice for publishers who found a formula and pumped books out using a stable of writers to do it. This is why a backlist is so important. What if that small hit spawns a cult phenomenon?


Mark Williams at The New Publishing Standard has been looking at the Wattpad Webtoon moves as they partner with ViacomCBS and Paramount. Intellectual Property generated by Indie authors are up for grabs for new video streaming services as all the big entertainment companies try to copy Netflix. Soon everyone will be subscribed to an entertainment streaming service.


Meanwhile, Kickstarter sent out a press release this week announcing their move onto the blockchain to decentralise their operation.

 “As a first step, we’re supporting the development of an open-source protocol that will essentially create a decentralized version of Kickstarter’s core functionality. This will live on a public blockchain, and be available for collaborators, independent contributors, and even Kickstarter competitors, from all over the world to build upon, connect to, or use.

This looks like bringing the blockchain more mainstream. Interesting times ahead for the creative and collaborative community.


Last week I mentioned the New York Times article on Publishers and their unrealistic expectations of profits from celebrity books. This week Passive Guy dived into the article and shared all the numbers. There are eye-watering hits that publishers are taking on these celebrities. However, getting the publishing deal could be just part of the merchandise income stream for these celebrities who might not be making much money from their main source of creativity. 


The Alliance of Independent Authors has published their Year in Review. January seems so long ago. The publishing industry has grown despite Covid and supply issues. 


Kris Rusch continues her close look at the implications of various events in the publishing industry. She is now watching the widening of the ways between Traditional and Indie publishing. They are almost two completely different models now.


Writer Unboxed has a large group of great writers who contribute excellent articles on the craft of writing. This week Barbara Linn Probst has an excellent article on Trusting The Reader.


In The Craft Section,

How to make your character choices more difficult– Angela Ackerman – Bookmark


Common mistakes that pull readers out of stories Elizabeth Craig – Bookmark


How to develop a story idea- Now Novel- Bookmark


The future in stories– Jim Dempsey


8 scintillating rules for writing romance– Dana Isaacson-Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

How to build a platform when you have no idea what it means- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


3 ways to learn what your readers want– Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


Authors – Tiktok promo ideas– Bookbub- Bookmark


How will sharing book recommendations help me sell books– Shepherd for Authors


10 social media design tips – Infographic


To Finish,

We are moving into the last week before Christmas.  Tara Sparling is back on Anne R Allen’s blog with her annual funny Christmas story which pokes fun at the writer’s life. This year visit Mr McGuffin’s Plot Device and Writer Unblocking Emporium where stirring events are taking place as characters complain about their stereotypes.


Next week is the last blog post for the year. I’m ready to wave goodbye to 2021.




Pic: Flickr Creative Commons –  Julian Povey 


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