Success! Some of you may know about the ongoing saga I’ve had with Amazon about my books since changing my name. I tried updating the name on all eight of my books, and while the change went through on four, the rest have been stuck. So I’ve had two different names on books in the same series for almost two years.
Last week, we finally managed to sort it out, which means that I can now officially jump back in with the series again—print versions, audiobooks, more titles, etc.
There are 7 books in the Freelance Writer’s Guide series. I intend for there to be 9. So I outlined the remaining two over the weekend.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
NEWS & VIEWS
The publishing trade is facing an industry-wide burnout, according to a Bookseller survey, with a whopping 89% of staffers saying they’d experienced stress during the course of their work over the last year and 69% reporting burnout.
An editor who has worked in the industry for seven years told the Bookseller “they are required to do “entire strands” of their job outside of contracted hours, to the extent they feel unable to start a family and are “seriously considering” leaving the industry.
The problem is not isolated to editors alone. Teen Vogue reported this month that bookstore workers are forming unions over low pay and lack of benefits. “The biggest issues facing bookstore workers are the same issues facing most retail/warehouse/customer service/service industry workers: low wages, lack of benefits, and bosses constantly pushing for more work from fewer people,” Tove Holmberg, an 18-year veteran of Powell’s Books and an active union member, told the publication.
There are two important ways this impacts you as a writer:
1. Many writers assume that once they find an agent and sign a book deal, the hard part is over. However, with unreasonable, unsustainable, and unmanageable work demands on editors, most simply do not have the time, the bandwidth, or the mental energy to give every single book the attention that it needs. This is why the job of getting a book publish-ready is falling to agents, before it’s even acquired. And that’s why writers are expected to do so much marketing.
2. The Bookseller survey showed that 38% of respondents wanted to leave their job. Editors acquiring a book and then leaving or changing jobs before it’s published, has always been a fact of the industry and an oft-mentioned fear among writers. When the editor who championed your book leaves, your book can be left in a lurch. This is happening more frequently, and it’s something you need to be aware of.
No one wants to hear you breathe: Author Gabi Coatsworth on recording her own audiobook and the many, many lessons she learned. A must-read if you plan to record your own.
Writing climate fiction: An excellent essay by Rebecca Scherm on being “scooped” by reality when writing climate fiction and how the real world kept catching up and outpacing her worst-case scenarios.
WORDLINGS WE LOVE
We’ve been interviewing some pretty cool people here at The Wordling HQ in the last month. Here are our favorites, in case you missed them:
THE WORDLING PICK
Shut Up and Write: The No-Nonsense, No B.S Guide to Getting Words on the Page doesn’t deal with writer’s block. It addresses the thousand things going on in your head that prevent you from Actually. Being. Productive.
With her characteristic humor, practicality, and hard-earned wisdom, Natasha Khullar Relph demonstrates an understanding of the creative mind. She shows you how to write anything—and finish it.
This week, I am letting go of the following:
The need for approval and to please other people.
The excuses I make for not showing up for my creative work consistently.
The fear of not doing enough, making enough, or being enough.
That’s what I’m releasing, so I don’t take it into the next week with me.
AUSTRALIA: In April, The Australian launched a new youth media title called “The Oz.” The all-female team is focusing on reaching a younger audience, but the big questions remain: Who is it for? How will they turn views into money? And is it going to take a different line from the Australian on trans and climate issues?
CHINA: An Anthology of Short Stories by Chinese Women in 2020 is a selection of 20 short stories, chosen from hundreds of short stories published in literary magazines or online each year. “When stringing together women’s works in the past 100 years, we find they were about women’s life, the life that had been lost in time, and were reiterations of women’s spirits and stances,” Zhang Li, who compiled the book with her students, writes in the introduction. This is the third book in the series, with the goal of highlighting women’s achievements in China.
SWEDEN: In yet another vote of confidence for audiobooks, one-tenth of Sweden’s population now has an audiobook subscription. “While print sales seem to be suffering this year wherever we look, audiobook interest shows no sign of waning, especially where meaningful unlimited subscription is an option,” the New Publishing Standard writes.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
– Jack Kerouac
SHARE THE WORDLING
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