Monthly Archives: May 2014

Harlequin’s Cross-Media Project

Harlequin is launching a romance fiction project that reaches beyond print and ebooks. The effort integrates video, mobile and social media. The project is based on a fictional location, the Chatsfield hotel in London, as the backdrop for the stories. Each story will be released on multiple platforms to better involve readers.

After years of self-published authors doing the same on their own, the big publishers are finally taking on the same creative ideas. They are expanding their models to move beyond the traditional print forms and even beyond the digital format. This is about engagement, loyalty, branding and the stories themselves. The stories and characters have to be strong…and all that pushes the focus away from celebrity books or pure fluff and back to the quality that has been overlooked for so long.

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Co-Branding Hottest Trend in Publishing

As publishers search for new ways to reach readers, co-branding has become a big push…particularly in the children’s arena.

Borden milk is using Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody series for a summer reading campaign. McDonald’s UK is offering books in their Happy Meals. And characters that have been around for decades are showing up on banks, cars and coffee cups.

All of this means that the savvy author has to consider co-branding opportunities. While it is difficult to create these kinds of deals yourself, pitching your work to agents and publishers in a way that includes co-branding opportunities is a way to generate strong interest in your works. Already one Big Five publisher reports that 25% of their children’s division profits are coming from co-branding and merchandising efforts. Contact Writer’s Resource to place your work in the best position possible.

Oyster Now Offers 500K Titles

Oyster, an ebook subscription service, recently topped the half-million title mark. Its major competitors, Scribd and Entitle, offer far fewer with 300K on Scribd and 125K on Entitle.

Any of these subscription services can enhance an author’s career. They are focused on discovery, so they help readers find your titles. My own three titles have been available on Scribd for only a few months, and already they have achieved a surprising number of reads…without any additional advertising push.

Subscriptions offer smaller payments than purchases but if you’re looking for eyes on your work, these services can help you enhance your visibility and provide a modest income at the same time.

Profits Up 83% at HC Due to Juvenile Authors

Citing e-books as a major cause, operational efficiencies and higher revenue in general, profits rose 83% at HarperCollins for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014. The total reached $53 million, up from $29 million the same time last year. 

Sales and profits were driven by the Divergent series, which sold more than 8 million units that quarter. The children’s division in general was also cited as a major reason for this jump, and the increase was spectacular even without the impact of the Divergent series. 

This is great news for authors writing for juvenile readers. The trend across all juvenile titles for all publishers, including the hot children’s book market and the strong chapter book market, is for increasing sales and bigger profits.

Writer’s Resource is one of the few places where authors can find in-depth, experienced assistance with their juvenile works. Email or call today to discuss how your project can take advantage of this firestorm!

Laine Cunningham Novel Award Finalists & Semi-finalists

The contest judging is still in progress but we have some results for those of you who are waiting to hear. The results are provided by title only; the judging is performed blind and at this point, the author’s names are in a sealed envelope.
The original shortlist of semi-finalists selected the following titles:
Murder…by the Subconscious
Murder in Fort Angels
A Pheasant in the Brush
The Outlook for Earthlings
Since You’re Going to Die Anyway
Saffron
Love’s Wilderness
Shadow Girl
Hong Kong Blues
The Rummy Club
Judgement
Acoustic Memory
The Quartz: An Inspector Kwong Mystery
My Life With Wings
Rumors of Wolves
A Patch of Dirt
From the Love of Strangers
How They Civilized Duncan Dundarrach
Rosa
Castaway in Kingdom Come
The Measures
From this shortlist, the following titles were selected as the top ten entries:
Murder in Fort Angels
A Pheasant in the Brush
Since You’re Going to Die Anyway
Love’s Wilderness
Shadow Girl
The Rummy Club
The Quartz: An Inspector Kwong Mystery
My Life With Wings
Castaway in Kingdom Come
Rosa
Congratulations to everyone who made it this far! If you’ve been shortlisted, your work showed promise for publication and was strong enough to rise out of the slush pile. The top ten entries are all exciting. Final results for first, second, third, and honorable mention will be announced through The Blotter magazine first and then on this blog.

Penguin Random Selling Direct to Readers

Penguin Random House is forming a consumer marketing group to market its titles and authors. The initiate includes enhanced development of digital programs, platforms, and partnerships. This will mean better sales for authors, expanded readership and easier discovery for readers, and better profits for the publisher. These kinds of initiatives are critical in a market where the number of indie bookstores have fallen dramatically in the past five years and where Amazon consumes a substantial portion of digital sales.