FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Hi again, writer friends!
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but even though I’ve been a successful freelancer for almost two decades and taught hundreds of writers how to pitch and build amazing writing careers of their own, once I stepped away from full-time freelancing, my confidence wavered. The more time passed, the more I worried that everything I’d achieved had been a fluke and that I wouldn’t be as successful again were I to return.
Well, this month I billed $7,600, wrote 15 articles, and broke into The Sunday Times (UK). I have another feature coming out with them later this month, and some more exciting things in the works. I feel, for the first time in many years, like myself again. Someone who has a way of understanding the world because she’s writing about it.
In between assignments, I worked on The Wordling website. We now have a Resources page that I’ll be adding to each week. We also have an Articles page, an Interviews page, and a Trainings page, each of which I’m updating regularly.
I’m thinking about merging The International Freelancer with The Wordling so that everything’s in one place. Increasingly, I want things to be simple, but effective. I wonder if merging all the various things I’ve thrown at the Internet might be a way to achieve this. I’m still pondering. What do you think?
One more article to file this week and then I’ll be back to working on my novel. I’m almost at the halfway mark. Exciting!
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
Editor, The Wordling
India: Open for business (The Sunday Times)
THE WORDLING RESOURCE
The illusion is that writers who’re productive and prolific sit down at their desks at 9 in the morning and don’t move their ass out the chair until 5 pm. I mean, that’s the only way someone can write and publish regularly, right?
Let’s break down what it actually takes to be prolific, and how easily you can get there, too.
IN THE NEWS
2021 was a stellar year for publishing with sales in all segments (except professional books) topping their 2019 numbers. In the US, there was a 12.3% increase in total sales to $29.33 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers’ final statistics for the year. In the UK, sales rose 5% to £6.7 billion in 2021, a new high for the industry.
Why it matters: There are several factors that have led to a rise in book sales in the last few years—BookTok, change of reading habits since the pandemic, and books being considered cool (or, erm, hot) by a younger demographic. Book discovery is one of the primary areas of focus for both publishers and independent authors, and the big disruptions we’re likely to see in publishing in the next few years are not going to be in publisher business models, but the ways in which readers find and recommend books.
Key takeaway: How well the publishing industry is doing on the whole will reflect on your book sales, your advances, and your promotional opportunities. The two years following the pandemic have been excellent for book sales in Western countries—both traditional and indie—and while there will continue to be market fluctuations, it is clear that readers, especially young readers, are embracing books like never before.
A new genre is taking over publishing. This Christmas, don’t forget to pick up a “hot girl book.” Available in bookstores near you.
Twitter Write is providing scholarships for five journalists to enrol in the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program. Meta and Substack already do.
The New York Public Library is trying to draw in more teenagers with 150,000 limited-edition Spider-Man library cards.
NEW ON THE WORDLING
Everyone has a story to tell. You just have to listen.
GEORGIA HENRY ON
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOKS ON TIKTOK
Georgia Henry is the Senior Campaign Manager at Rocket, a content agency that creates end-to-end digital marketing campaigns, and an early innovator in the world of BookTok. Her campaign for They Both Die at the End went viral and has been viewed by 5.1 million people.
Henry holds a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature and is passionate about helping authors discover the power of TikTok marketing. She spoke to us about the potential of BookTok and how authors can get involved.
We’ve added 22 new writer’s guidelines to our How to Pitch page this week. This includes detailed guidelines for publications including:
- Flare, Canada (Reported pay 25-80 cents a word)
- Whole Life Times (Pays $75-150 for 800-word stories)
- AARP (Reported pay $1 a word)
- Los Angeles Times L.A. Affairs Column (Pays $300)
- H&E Naturist, UK (Pays £100-150 for full-length article)
- Salvo (Pays 20 cents per word)
- The Gay & Lesbian Review (Pays a flat fee of $200)
There are now a total of 192 guidelines on the How to Pitch page. You can find it here.
Writers today have more choice than ever before.
The choice to write a book or write a blog.
The choice to work with an agent or to go indie.
The choice to wait for an assignment or publish on Medium.
The choice to learn through a course or learn through coaching.
The choice to write under various pseudonyms.
The choice to write in different genres.
The choice to determine how frequently to publish.
The choice to create passive income.
The choice to pursue crowdfunding.
The choice to keep writing or not bother.
So many choices. So many options. So many paths to pursue.
What’s stopping you?
INDIA: Is the novel dying in India? “Fiction is in a dismal state,” literary agent Kanishka Gupta told The Print. “Publishing houses are cutting it down, and there’s little machinery to support its growth.” The share of non-fiction has gone up 58 percent in the last few years, Penguin Random House India data shows.
INDONESIA: “The Indonesian government submitted the latest draft of the criminal code to the House of Representatives on July 6 for a closed door deliberation of the bill, which could be passed before the end of July. According to Indonesia’s Journalists Safety Committee (KKJ), comprised of nine media freedom organisations including AJI, SINDIKASI and Amnesty International Indonesia, there are at least 14 articles in the draft code that threaten press freedom and freedom of expression.”
GERMANY: “Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is to appear at Frankfurt Book Fair this year, speaking to delegates via videolink. He will be streamed to audiences on 20th October at 12:30pm and he will be followed with a speech by European Commissioner for culture Mariya Gabriel. The event is being jointly hosted by the Federation of European Publishers and Frankfurt Book fair and will take place in Room Harmonie in the Congress Centre.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“First, you write for yourself… always, to make sense of experience and the world around you. It’s one of the ways I stay sane. Our stories, our books, our films are how we cope with the random trauma-inducing chaos of life as it plays.”
– Bruce Springsteen
SHARE THE WORDLING
The Wordlings are committing one day a week to working exclusively on personal (book) projects. Share The Wordling with a writer friend who needs to find the time to do this, too.
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