Happy Monday, writer friends,
I have been saying for years, perhaps decades, that all I’ve ever wanted to do in my life is read, write, and travel. And yet, in the last year, between being super busy with work, freelancing for money, and no less than three separate occurrences of COVID-19 in the Khullar Relph household, those are the precise things to have taken a backseat.
So this week, I put goals on them. I’m aware that the fastest way to kill a passion is to put it on a to-do list. But perhaps, it’s also the only way to make it happen.
I’m willing to try.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
NEWS & VIEWS
Ask any publisher and they’ll tell you, the biggest challenge when it comes to marketing books is book discovery. That is, how will readers discover the books they’ll want and love, but have never heard of?
Pre-Internet, book discoverability came down to recommendations by booksellers and word-of-mouth sales, but now, not only is discovery happening online, it’s fragmented. Some readers are buying based on recommendations from TikTok, others through their favorite newsletters, some through blog reviews.
Last week, a new app joined the multitude of tech companies that have tried to solve this problem. To help readers find books, Tertulia uses both AI and editorial curation. Tertulia is founded by two Artsy veterans—cofounders Sebastian Cwilich and Robert Lenne, Artsy’s head of product and design—as well as Lynda Hammes, a former media and publishing executive. “To launch the app, the founders raised $6 million in funding and put Tertulia through an incubation period, with help from Ingram Content Group chairman John Ingram,” Publishers Weekly writes. “Ingram Content Group, which is also a Tertulia investor, will fulfill books ordered from the app. Currently, about 15 million print titles are available for purchase. The company plans to add audiobooks by the end of the year and e-books in 2023.”
“There’s Netflix for movies, there’s Spotify for music,” Cwilich told the New York Times. “But there really wasn’t an equivalent discovery experience for books.”
What does the publishing industry think of this? “What the app might do is drown out the chaos and lowest common denominator opinions with something that resembles actual discourse about books,” said the essayist and novelist Sloane Crosley, who was among the 40 authors and agents recruited to test drive the app before its launch. “If Tertulia can bring up the average discourse about books, long may they reign.”
Create your own writer’s group: How do you find a writers’ group? And how do you make sure it’s actually a supportive, nurturing group that will commit to each other’s work for the long haul, rather than devolving into competition or fizzling out?
How writing a novel helped me say gay: “No one can erase queer narratives, as much as some want to,” writes Jules Ohman. “I wrote my protagonist reaching a sense of peace with the ambiguity of her gender, and then I did too.”
Have travel or adventure pitches you’re eager to get out into the world? Send them here:
Afar (Pay starts at $0.50 a word)
Caribbean Beat (Pay rate unspecified)
Ensemble Vacations , Canada (Pay competitive with national magazines)
Escapees (Pay unspecified)
Explore, Canada (Pay rate unspecified)
France Revisited (Pays $50)
Fodor’s Travel (Reported pay $250-$300)
GoNOMAD (Pays $25)
Pathfinders Travel (Pays $150)
Ride Texas (Pay unspecified)
Road & Travel (Pays up to $100)
Trailer Life (Pays up to $700 with photos)
Transitions Abroad (Pays up to $150)
Verge (Pay rate unspecified)
Wanderlust, UK (Pays £220 per 1,000 words)
THE WORDLING READ
Mark’s book, Productivity for Creative People, will help you carve out time for your most important work – while managing your other commitments.*
You will learn:
* How getting organized can make you more creative
* Why multitasking doesn’t work
* How to tell if you’re really overloaded – and what to do about it
* The importance of panicking early
* How doing nothing can make you more productive
* The crucial difference between incubation and procrastination
* How to carve out time for your most important creative work
* Why boredom is necessary for creativity
* What to do about all that email
* How to nap like a fighter pilot
* A simple technique to reduce smartphone addiction
*This is a sponsored post.
You don’t get to win if you don’t play.
Complaining about not being able to make a living as a writer when you barely write and barely market your work is about as smart as complaining about not winning the lottery when you haven’t bought a ticket.
Luck only factors in when you’ve first moved your ass enough to get to a point where luck would make a difference.
Want to win? Play.
CHINA: Amazon announced on June 2 that it’s closing its Chinese Kindle ebook store on June 30, 2023. Vlad Savov writes for Bloomberg, “Amazon’s Kindle pullout coincides with growing regulatory pressures on both local and foreign companies that operate in China, including censorship and content curbs. The company said the withdrawal was not due to government pressure or censorship and was part of a periodic re-evaluation of its offerings around the world.”
ITALY: In its recent report on book retail, the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE) has found that online bookstores are seeing a drop in sales in Italy, while physical retail points are reasserting themselves as the market’s key outlet, accounting for sales of more than half of all trade books in fiction, nonfiction, and reference.
KENYA: An analysis of around 130 videos, which have collectively been viewed over 4 million times, indicate that TikTok has become a significant avenue for election-related disinformation, including attempts to stoke ethnic tensions, according to a report by the Mozilla Foundation. In 2007, more than 1,000 Kenyans died in post-election violence, which was caused in part by widespread hate speech targeting various ethnic groups. Some of the content on TikTok examined by the Mozilla Foundation includes references to that violence and attempts to capitalize on lingering fears and prejudice toward ethnic groups, with explicit threats against the same communities targeted in 2007, according to the report’s author, Odanga Madung, a Kenya-based researcher and Mozilla Fellow, who called the videos “ghosts of the past.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
– Terry Pratchett
SHARE THE WORDLING
The Wordlings are enjoying the sunshine and have vowed to finish work by the afternoon so they can spend the rest of the day relaxing in the sun. Share The Wordling if you’re ready for summer to arrive. (Or be done, if you’re in South Asia!)
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