Reading Resolutions

Hello 2021!

What a year, am I right? But, now it’s time to welcome the new year the way most people do- with great resolutions! It is the time to reflect on the previous year and see where you want to take the new year. Here are reading  themed resolutions that you can start in 2021:

  1. Listen to more audiobooks.

Take a break from your average reading time and pop in an audiobook. It gives you the opportunity to multitask. Listen to your book at the gym, in the car, or while you cook!

  1. Take notes while you read.

Expand your mind and think about what you’re reading. Write down your thoughts or quotes. Then you can come back and read your notes later!

  1. Read books on your reading list or create a reading list.

Lists are beautiful! It gives you a reminder of what you want and something to look forward to. If you’re like me, you need a list or else you will forget what you even wanted to read in the first place.

  1. Write more book reviews.

Did you love it or dislike it? Either way write a thoughtful book review to give other people a look inside the book. It is helpful for potential readers and authors!

  1. Try a different genre.

I know trying new things can be scary, but you might like it! Go outside your comfort zone of historical romance and try a new mystery!

Modify the resolutions to fit you! It always helps to write them down and keep it in a spot that you can use as a daily reminder. 

Writing resolutions post coming soon! So make sure you give us a follow:)

Happy New Year!

Reading Resolutions

Hello 2020! 

Let’s welcome the new year the way most people do- with great resolutions! It is the time to reflect on the previous year and see where you want to take the new year. Here are literary themed resolutions that you can start in 2020: 

  1. Listen to more audiobooks.

Take a break from your average reading time and pop in an audiobook. It gives you the opportunity to multitask. Listen to your book at the gym, in the car or while you cook!

  1. Take notes while you read.

Expand your mind and think about what you’re reading. Write down your thoughts or quotes. Then you can come back and read your notes later!

  1. Read books on your reading list or create a reading list.

Lists are beautiful! It gives you a reminder of what you want and something to look forward to. If you’re like me, you need a list or else you will forget what you even wanted to read in the first place.

  1. Write more book reviews.

Did you love it or dislike it? Either way write a thoughtful book review to give other people a look inside the book.

  1. Try a different genre.

I know trying new things can be scary, but you might like it! Go outside your comfort zone of historical romance and try a new mystery!

Modify the resolutions to fit you! It always helps to write them down and keep it in a spot that you can use as a daily reminder. 

Happy New Year!

For more information about Hershman Rights Management visit our website!

Share the Love – Holiday Cards

It’s the last month of the decade and the holidays are right around the corner! Spread some holiday cheer and share your excitement with a personalized card this holiday season. 

There are so many tools on the internet to help you to create a beautiful and unique card- including Hallmark, Canva, and Tinyprints. These services allow you to either make printed or ecards:

https://www.tinyprints.com/holiday-cards

https://about.canva.com/

https://www.hallmark.com/

With each site you can choose the layout of your card and then add a personalized message or picture. Allowing you to be very creative with your card. They also each have options for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years. 

It’s always nice to take a step back from a regular text or social media message to create something fun to share with friends or family for the holidays.

10 Publishing Trends for 2017

Another year is upon us. We all have a new “to-do” list, a new set of goals, and new adventures awaiting our arrival. Thanks to our friends at Written Word Media, they are making this year a little bit easier on us already. They have compiled a Top 10 publishing trend list for 2017 and I have to say, they are spot on. Take a look at the list below for things you should be looking out for to make this year your most successful yet.

2017

  1. Fiction sales are driven by e-books. The large majority of adult book sales are digital, especially for fiction. So, if that’s the genre you write in you will want to focus most of your marketing power there.
  2. Indie authors and small presses will keep growing. It’s no secret that the “Big 5″‘s market share continues to drop year after year. But, it’s encouraging to know that over 50% of the market share is made up of small presses, indie authors, and Amazon imprints. The good news is that you can drive your own success this year. The bad news is that simply pricing your e-books low won’t alone garner yourself a readership. With all indie authors and small presses pricing their books low nowadays, marketing and visibility is really going to be key this year.
  3. Amazon imprints are dominating. I am getting more and more requests from my authors to submit their work to Amazon imprints. In fact, for many of them it’s the only publisher they would be willing to sign with and I don’t necessarily blame them. In 2016, 7 out of the 10 Kindle bestsellers were from Amazon imprints. If you can’t actually be published by them, Written Word makes a good suggestion- market your books with theirs since they give their own books preferential marketing spots.
  4. Kindle Unlimited will keep expanding. More and more readers are seeing the benefit of the Kindle Unlimited program and Amazon markets the program tirelessly. This will likely affect single unit e-book sales and force more authors to become a part of the program.
  5. Crowding is changing the game. One of the benefits of digital publishing and digital bookstores is that there is endless bookshelf space. Your book can sit up on that “shelf” as long as you want it to. Now, new books not only need to compete with other new books, but with older ones as well. If you have successful backlist books, don’t neglect them- redesign the covers, write new summaries/blurbs, get new reviews, and focus some new marketing dollars/strategies on them too. The more books you have available and easily accessible, the most chances you have at succeeding in a vast e-book world.
  6. Audiobooks will only get more popular. If I haven’t told you this enough already, I will say it again- the audiobook market is continually growing every year. You should always try to make your books available in as many formats as possible.
  7. Marketing will determine success. If you don’t market, then you can’t expect to succeed. The digital age is making it easier than ever for the average person to effectively market their own books. E-mail marketing has always been a popular and effective marketing tool. Also, websites such as BookBub, Freebooksy, and Bargain Booksy are excellent tools as well.
  8. Facebook ads will decline. Facebook ads have become extremely popular in 2016. Their popularity and higher demand has led to higher costs for these ads, which in turn hurts your return on investment. Don’t be afraid to try other advertisement tools this year as well, like Amazon ads.
  9. International audiences are a great place to focus for growth. A great way to expand your audience this year is to reach out to international markets as we are seeing an increased involvement in their readers year after year. International rights can be scary waters to navigate, but the potential is well worth it. There are so many readers outside the US and UK, it would be a shame to not tap into those resources.
  10. Authors will continue to help each other. There is very little in life that can done alone. We are seeing more and more authors banding together and that won’t slow down in 2017. Many authors are starting to co-write books or create box sets together. It also warms my heart to see an author blasting their own social media sites for another author friend. Work on expanding and creating an author support system for yourself this year. After all, we are all in this together.

Here’s to another crazy, but successful, year. Write on!

The Path to Children’s Publishing

Children and Young Adult literature is one of the toughest genres to write, and most importantly, succeed in. The interests quickly change, the audience is smaller and more direct, and the ideas/concepts addressed really need to be engaging (I’m talking out-of-the-box extraordinary here) for it to catch the eye of a young reader. With the technology available to children today, a book really needs to scream “PICK ME UP!” for children to put all other things aside and choose to read on their own free time.

Children publishers certainly know this too. Selling a manuscript to them is only welcomed with more challenges these days. Editors aren’t looking for ‘good’ content anymore, they are looking for the next ‘big thing’and won’t settle for anything less.

childrens-publishing

Scholastic is the King of children’s publishing. Every children/young adult author dreams of seeing their name listed on their website. That’s why I was pretty thrilled to see an article this morning about their predictions for 2017:

Hot titles will focus on kindness. It seems like everywhere we turn in 2016 the media is filled with bad news- stories of bullying, hatred, and lack of acceptance. Scholastic editors hope that through literature, maybe we can show our youth that the world isn’t really all bad and that just maybe literature can be that one thing that bring us all together under one common roof.

-The year of big book anniversaries. 2017 will host a handful of really exciting book anniversaries that will bring these modern classic to the forefront once again- good content never gets old. These anniversaries to watch out for are the 30th anniversary of The Magic School Bus, the 25th anniversary of Goosebumps, the 20th anniversary of Captain Underpants, and the 10th anniversary of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. 

-Children still want to laugh. Children seek out literature to laugh and escape reality for a bit, one of the may lessons us adults can learn from our children.

-Research is more important than ever. With more and more ludicrous information becoming available on the internet, editors are interested in teaching children to discern fact from fiction. Non-fiction titles will have a crucial role in this in 2017.

-Classics will be reimagined. Old tales will be retold in ways we have never seen them before. Keeping up with children’s imaginations is easier said than done.

Keep on writing, so our children can keep on reading.

A Bright Future for 2017

I cannot believe how quickly 2017 is approaching! I feel like I was just basking in the summer sun, toes buried in the sand, watching the ocean waves roll in. Or maybe that was just last nights dream? Either way, 2017 will be here before we know it- literally. This morning, I was browsing through some recent publishing deals and let me tell you, 2017 is going to be an awesome year. We are leaving behind one successful publishing year and rolling seamlessly into another one. Below are a few of my favorite books to look out for in the new year by major publishers:

penguin

THE BAD MOOD AND THE STICK by Lemony Snicket, with art by Matthew Forsythe (Little, Brown Children’s) to be published in Fall 2017.

THANK YOU FOR COMING TO HATTIESBURG by comedian/actor Todd Barry- a memoir/travelogue (Gallery) to be published in March 2017.

SWEET  BABY JAMES: A POP-UP LULLABY by singer/songwriter James Taylor- a three dimensional picture book with scenes that bring the lyrics to this popular song to life (Blue Rider Press) to be published Fall 2017.

TEAMMATE by  David Ross, former Chicago cubs catcher (Hachette Books) to be published May 2017.

NO MIDDLE NAME: THE COMPLETE JACK REACHER SHORT STORIES by Lee Child- which will include all Jack Reacher short stories and a new novella (Ballantine Bantam Dell) to be published in May 2017.

WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA: AND OTHER QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD HAVE ANSWERS TO WHEN YOU WORK IN THE WHITE HOUSE by Alyssa Mastromonaco, former Obama White House deputy chief of staff for operations (Twelve) to be published in March 2017.

In order to keep on writing, we need to keep on reading.

 

The Wrap on Audio 2016

Believe it or not, 2016 is coming to a close- the perfect time to reflect on successful audiobooks.

Audible recently listed the 20 highest rated audio books of 2016 (highest rated does not necessarily mean highest sales for this list). Audible determined their 20 highest rated titles by looking at audiobooks with at least 500 customer ratings and 150 reviews.

headphones

Some notable books are: 

(Pick a couple you like and give them a listen, make it a fun New Year’s resolution!)

1) Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah, narrated by the author

2) The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines, narrated by the authors

3) Reign of Madness: King’s Dark Tidings, Book 2 by Kel Kade, narrated by Nick Podehl

4) Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the creator of Nike by Phil Knight, narrated by Norbert Leo Butz and the author

5) Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry, narrated by the author

6) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

7) Digging Up Mother: A Love Story by Doug Stanhope, narrated by the author

8) Morning Star: Book III of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds

9) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, narrated by Thandie Newton

10) #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk, narrated by the author, Jack Welch, and Dave Ramsey

11) Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, narrated by Bill O’Reilly and Robert Petkoff

12) The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels

13) The Silver Thief: The Cycle of Galand, Book 2 by Edward W. Robertson, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds

14) The Beast: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward, narrated by Jim Frangione

15) Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party by Dinesh D’Souza, narrated by James Foster

16) Tattered Remnants: Zombie Fallout 9 by Mary Tufo, narrated by Sean Runnette

17) Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, narrated by Elizabeth Evans

18) Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult, narrated by Audra McDonald, Cassandra Campbell, and Ari Fliakos

19) The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer

20) The Wrong Side of Goodbye: A Harry Bosch Novel, Book 21 by Michael Connelly, narrated by Titus Welliver

The bestselling audiobook on Audible this year was The Girl on the Train. The bestselling children’s audiobook was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The best selling non-fiction book was The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

The best news of all is that Audible members increased their listening hours by 1 billion between 2014 and 2016.

Keep on writing, and keep on making audiobooks… because people are listening.

Creating Your 2016 Action Plan

The new year always brings lots of talk about goals. We often get so wrapped up in where we want to go this year that we forget that we need an action plan in order to get there. It’s great that you want your book to land on the New York Times bestseller list, but how are you going to get it there? It’s most likely not going to appear there by itself. That would just be too easy. Once you have your goals lined up, next step is to create a plan. Formulate tools that are going to help you reach those goals. A good action plan turns goals into reality.

dreams

This afternoon I came across an article on Poynter that handed out some pretty refreshing suggestions for productive writing. Sometimes the action plan seems so overwhelming that we quickly start to doubt that we will even make it past step two. That’s why I loved this article so much, it makes productivity sound easy. The article provides five doable solutions to having a productive writing year. It’s something we can all do without too much hassle. It makes our goals seem within our reach, which is half the battle. We need to believe in ourselves before others will. While creating your 2016 action plan, try incorporating some of these tools:

  1. Create a to-morrow list.

Slim down your “to-do” list every night. Make a smaller list of 3-5 things that you know you will be able to accomplish tomorrow. Often there are many pending jobs left on our ever expanding “to-do” lists that we constantly have the nagging feeling that we are doing so much but we aren’t moving anywhere. Feel your progress with shorter lists meant for success. Tomorrow never felt so good.

2. Dream Big.

This one might just be my favorite. 2016 is the year of big changes. Big changes means big goals. Take a moment to picture your wildest dream ever. Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with it. Draw a quick picture of your ultimate success and hang it in your work space. Yes, I said it- draw. It doesn’t need to be the next Picasso, but visual reminders are often the most effective. A take a look at that drawing every day before you get to work. Use that energy to make your day the most productive it can be.

3. Build your own ladder. 

Create your action plan in chronological order. Start from the bottom and work your way up. What needs to happen before you can take the next step? Don’t get ahead of yourself. Live within the moment and savor every step of the journey.

4. Just do it

We can only plan so much before we want to rip our hair out. Sometimes we just need to sit down and write. Get all your thoughts out of paper then go back and revise, polish, revise, polish. In order to create something, you need to have a product. Get your baseline product done early so you have the most amount of time possible to make it the best version of your product out there.

5. Set a timer. 

It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed when writing, especially when nothing seems to be working out the way we had envisioned. Work in smaller spurts. Set a timer between 30 minutes to a couple hours. Work until the buzzer goes off, then take a break. If you are really feeling what you are writing, keep going. If not, it’s the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button.

Happy writing! Write On.

New Year, New Writing

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season and a very happy new year! I cannot believe it’s already 2016, where does the time go (like, for real)? The start of each year gives everyone the perfect opportunity to take a moment out of their busy schedules to reflect on what has happened over the past year, what they accomplished, what they didn’t get to do, and what they want to change for the coming year. This is a really great time for writers to sit down and think about where they want to go with their work. Are you  happy with your current success? Do you need to make any major changes to make yourself more successful? Is there something new you have always been dying to try? Do you want to write more or less? Do you want to try your hand at shorter or longer works? The new year isn’t just the perfect time to reinvent yourself, it’s also the perfect time to reinvent your writing.

newyear

If you are looking for a little new year inspiration, I came across a fun article on Business 2 Community this afternoon that gives some ideas for writer’s new year resolutions. Hopefully these suggestions will help inspire you to make your own changes. Change is the only way to continually see the results we want. If we become stagnant and comfortable, soon enough our ‘luck’ will run out.

  1. Write that ‘thing’ you have always been talking about. 

The best new year’s resolution for a writer is to stop talking and start writing. We all have that something that we have always talked about writing, but for whatever reason we haven’t picked up the pen yet. We may have even written countless other stories in the meantime, but that one project just can’t seem to make it’s way to fruitation. Think about what’s holding you back and throw that negativity out the window. 2016 is all about action and change, make it happen so you can move onto the next thing on that growing bucket list of yours.

2. Visit the places you write about or want to write about. 

The best way to effectively write a scene, chapter, or story is to write from experience. Plan a couple vacations or day trips this year to visit those places you write about. Spend some time writing in those places as well. Visual inspiration is often just the thing we need to bring our writing to life.

3. Read a book that has had a big impact.

Pick up a book that has made a difference. Read a book that has changed history, that has left many readers talking years after it’s publication. Think about why this particular book was so successful. Become part of it’s history and use it to create your own.

4. Learn a foreign language. 

This one is certainly a daring and daunting task, but one that could change the course of your writing forever. Learning how other languages construct sentences, how they use different words, and how they express emotions can open up countless new avenues for your own writing. You don’t need to become fluent is the language, just familiarizing yourself about a particular language’s ‘rules’ will teach you a lot in itself.

5. Study your own writing. 

Look back at what you have written over the past year and learn from it. Is there a particular mistake you catch yourself making over and over again? Are there certain words you use too much? Do you find all your characters to be eerily similar? Make note of the things that have worked well too. Your biggest teacher is often yourself.

Here’s to another great [writing] year! Write on.

Closing In On 2015

It’s both exciting and exhausting to work in an industry that is constantly changing, constantly evolving. The publishing industry never disappoints to entertain. At one moment we can’t get enough vampires, at another we are begging for more Christian Greys. Sometimes we soak up the parodies and movie/television spin-offs, other times our thirst is quenching for completely new content. With the vast amount of technology out there and the easy access to information, audiences needs and wants can literally change in an instance. In order to be successful in the publishing industry either as an author, literary agent, editor, or publisher you too need to be able to change  and adapt quickly. The plus side- it never gets boring, right?

As the year is coming to a close, we all start to take a look back to see where we came from, when we currently are, how we got there, and where we are going . An article published today in The Boston Globe summarized, at least for me, everything that has changed in the publishing industry this year and what is going to be the “big thing” going into 2016. What’s ‘hot’ today, isn’t always going to be ‘hot’ tomorrow. Our ability to adapt is always going to be our saving grace.

2015

  1. Print is making a comeback.
For the past few years, authors have become used to focusing their efforts on their digital sales. It just made sense, that was where the money was coming from. Now, authors should start to consider focusing more efforts on their print sales as well. Print sales are actually growing this year, proving that the market most certainly isn’t dead and that opportunity still exists there. In early December, Nielsen reported 571 million units were sold in the print sector compared to 559 million last year. After the holiday season, that number is only going to continue to grow. People still crave the satisfaction of products and it’s still important that we make those products available to them.
2. New ideas are making impressions.
The eruption of the adult coloring book is one of the main reasons print sales have been rapidly climbing. This concept has absolutely exploded this year and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. People and readers are craving new ideas. For quite some time we have been bombarded with similar stories and similar characters in every book we pick up. Authors were taking advantage of the trend because well, it worked. Now, consumers are asking for something new. Something innovative, interactive, creative, and imaginative. For the first time in a few years, we are being asked to think outside the box.
3. Nonfiction readers and children prefer print.
Publishers are finding that certain genres perform better in print than others. Each year we are getting a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t. As more content becomes available, we have more data to compare it to. Nonfiction, children’s, and young adult titles are absolutely killing it in the print scene. Serious readers and young children find gratification in holding, touching, and interacting with what they are reading. A true American History buff is going to want a physical copy of this year’s hottest Civil War book. Just as a child is going to want a physical copy of the book that the movie that all his/her friends are talking about is based off of. DIARY OF A WHIMPY KID: OLD SCHOOL saw 95% print sales this year. Even romance authors are seeing an increase in their print sales this year.
4. Old flames make the biggest mark.
Harper Lee’s new book was probably the biggest news of the publishing industry this year. The comeback was historic and everyone wanted to be a part of it. People love to be a part of something, they love the feeling of being in that ‘inner circle.’
5. Digital sales are still where it’s at for fiction.
Digital is still the most accessible and most convenient way to consume books. It is still the way many authors survive. Adult fiction is seeing amazing things with their digital sales, in which they account for at least half or more of this year’s sales for them.
Write on.