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Publishing News Roundup Series: Audiblegate Continues to Miscalculate Book Earnings

by Maureen Crisp •  March 1, 2021  •   Follow

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Authors rely on their book sales for a large portion of their revenue. What happens when you aren’t getting what you earned?

While the controversy of Audiblegate skimming author earnings rages on, authors continue to fight for what they earned. With authors already suffering from the #publishingpaidme Twitter controversy, Audiblegate is a double blow of disappointment. How can authors ensure that they are getting what they deserve?

 

Changing Worlds

 

 

 

In the publishing world this week,

 

If you are on any social media as a writer you will come across the Masterclass ads. These are video classes that you can take with Masters’s in any field, but writers get shown ads for classes with famous writers. Recently I saw a Masterclass being offered by Roxane Gay- Writing for Social Change. Bustle interviewed Roxane and found out the background which was the #publishingpaidme Twitter storm from last year.

 

The Audiblegate fight isn’t going away. Recently some canny authors who also hold accounting degrees started taking a hard look at Audible’s figures. Audible book earnings are supposed to fluctuate but Audible kindly smooths them out, so month-in month-out your books earns the same. Except their numbers are faulty and it looks like they are skimming a lot off the top.

Staying with Audio for a moment, Mark Williams from The New Publishing Standard reports that Spotify is rapidly expanding. Isn’t that music I hear you mutter? Spotify and the digital subscription model are moving into podcasts and audiobooks.

 

Have you seen a cozy mystery lately in the bookstores? I had heard that it was almost impossible to sell one to traditional publishers, but cozies are making a quiet killing in the Kindle store.

 

Writers who have been in a prolonged lockdown are struggling to find creativity, said The Guardian. If this is you – you are not alone, some of the UK’s most famous writers are struggling here. Kris Rusch has a ‘grit your teeth and get through this’ blog this week. We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. She unpacks the famous JFK speech and applies it to writing.

 

Cory Doctorow keeps one eye on the tech world, but he is a fiction writer. Recently his local bookstore contacted him. They can no longer send out his books because of Brexit. It sounds odd until you read what is happening in the UK to booksellers. (I am old enough to remember the screams from the UK about the paperwork going into the EU-)

 

Recently I read two great craft articles that really got me thinking about plot. Susan De Freitas on how to integrate exposition and backstory and Katie Weiland’s hierarchy of character needs. This is an excellent article on how character goals and needs must drive the story.

 

In The Craft Section,

Sneaky ways to world build– William Hahn- Bookmark

Archetypical character arcs- The maiden arc-K M Weiland – Bookmark

On Pace– Janice Hardy -Bookmark

Using Indirect dialogue– Anne R Allen

10 surefire secrets of torturing fictional characters- Charlie Jane Anders

 

In The Marketing Section,

22 book marketing tips- Frances Caballo

3 book marketing tips you can ignore – Sandra Beckwith – Bookmark

7 expert tricks to improve your author newsletters-David Gaughran- Bookmark

How to tell if your author photo sends the right message– K M Weiland-  Bookmark

19 lessons to grow your email list

 

To Finish,

How often do you get to the last page of the book and you dread turning the page? Mastering the Happy Sad ending of a story is a powerful tool for the writer. Gilbert Bassey writes about this in a guest post on Writers Helping Writers. It is said that the first sentence sells the book and the last page sells the next book. A happy-sad ending stays with the reader a long time.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

 

 

About Maureen Crisp

Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.