Publishing is what it is due to the classic legends. This past week, we lost one of the best. Beverly Cleary was a legend in the children’s market and will be one whose books will continue to sell for many decades to come. Though she will not soon be forgotten, her absence leaves room for new greats to be born.
And Another One Is Gone
In publishing news this week.
Another one bites the dust and another one’s gone – you know the rest. Yes. Publishing houses buying up publishing houses. Harper Collins, smarting after missing out on buying Simon and Schuster, have bought Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They smacked cash down to buy the backlist- however, the frontlist looks good too. When you read the news report it is clear that backlist is important. Publishers asking for all rights must see the potential money to be made. This is where last week’s blog post from Kristine Rusch is important reading and then you can follow that up with part two published today from Kristine on why Hollywood is bypassing their own writers and rushing to woo book agents for books to turn into films.
This time last year there were rumblings of disquiet as the pandemic began to bite into those big events that mark the publishing industry. Would the London Book Fair go ahead and then all the others… This year the same uncertainty is happening. LBF isn’t making a definite answer, yet again. Others are delaying or deferring.
Meanwhile, some interesting stats on the 2020 publishing year have been issued. Mark Williams casts his weather eye over the news from the UK that they had a record publishing year despite bookstores closing. That seems odd. Where did they make their money?
The New Publishing Standard looks at the publishing industry right around the globe. The English-speaking world tends to look at just the U.S and UK markets but the bulk of the English speakers are outside of these two countries. That’s why it was interesting to see Mark Williams talking about China Literature wanting to grow their North American writers to 100,000. The numbers are mind-boggling. Read the article for the first inklings of how the publishing world will be changing in the future.
Anne R Allen and Ruth Harris have a fantastic blog. They have a wealth of great articles to trawl through and always have a weighty nugget to get you thinking. This week Ruth looked at the Look Inside- the make or break of a sale. It is timely to ponder how this important feature is overlooked.
Jacqui Murray has an interesting article on writing collaboratively. I did this years ago and it was heaps of fun. (but also hard work.) I know a few writers who are writing stories in a linked-up world and they are having loads of fun together. Now take a story where everyone writes a different chapter. This is taking it to the next level.
Every now and then I dream about the perfect writing office. The amazing writing desk that I will write epics on. Open Culture recently had a great article on Writing Desks. These stunningly beautiful desks made for royalty are swoon-worthy for writers.
Jenny Hansen from Writers in the Storm has written a beautiful article on The Simple Writing Resolution That Changed My Writing Career. This is one of those articles that hit you in the feels and will resonate throughout your writing life. A must-read!
In The Craft Section,
Tips for dividing your story into chapters– 10 minute novelists- Bookmark
How writing improves your relationship with yourself-K M Weiland- Bookmark
Getting the motivation to write– Now Novel
Writing exercises– Reedsy
Handling perfectionism– Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark
In The Marketing Section,
13 book marketing ideas to consider before publishing– Penny Sansevieri
Narrating your own audiobook– Patty Jansen- Bookmark
5 little changes that make a big difference– Frances Caballo
What to do when a writer is weary of social media-Edie Melson- Bookmark
Engage readers with your emails– Heather Gardner- Bookmark
It had to happen sometime. We needed to be able to let go. But it was hard to read that Beverly Cleary died this week aged 104. When I read the news, I had to stop and say thanks for the fantastic stories and the inspiration to write.
When Beverly was a librarian she was challenged by a young boy who asked her where were the stories about kids like him- ordinary kids. And Henry Huggins began to take shape in her incredible mind. There have been many heartfelt reactions to Beverly’s characters but this one about the value and the challenge of Ramona Quimby is the best one I’ve seen this week.
R.I.P. Beverly Cleary – forever 8 yrs young.