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Weekly Write-Up: 31st July 2019


by Tom Ashford

Welcome to the SPF Weekly Write-Up, where each Wednesday we collect together the self-publishing news of the week so you don’t have to.

This week: Dean Koontz signs a five-book deal with Amazon Publishing, and World Anvil helps you plot out your fictional universe.

Dean Koontz Signs 5-Book Deal with Amazon Publishing

There’s no running from it. Publishing is changing, and even the traditionally published authors are starting to notice. Or maybe Amazon just offered Dean Koontz the best deal… but perhaps these days that amounts to pretty much the same thing.

Koontz will be releasing the first of five books through Thomas & Mercer in the spring, though his next book, Nameless, will actually launch for free for Prime and Kindle Unlimited subscribers through Amazon Original Stories in November. This all follows the success of his previous Amazon Original Stories novel, Ricochet Joe, a couple of years ago.

Of course, signing a deal with Amazon Publishing is by no means the same as self-publishing (Amazon Publishing is essentially a traditional publisher). But can we expect to see more trad authors start to swing towards the dark side going forwards? Only time will tell.

You can read more about Koontz and his publishing deal here.

How to Build a Fictional Universe

It can be hard trying to juggle all the complex information regarding a world that you’ve created in your own mind. Which came first, the Robot Insurrection or the Martian exodus to Alpha Centauri?

Using Scrivener or Google Docs to store all your character, world and timeline details is possible, but it’s not necessarily very neat. However, a solution was recently pasted into the SPF Facebook group by a member of the community, and if you’re planning an ongoing series it might be just the tool you need.

World Anvil acts effectively as your own personal database of lore. You can stitch together actual visual timelines, with links to different articles about every person or location in your world. There’s a free version, too – though with a free account you can’t make your content private, which might be off-putting to anyone wanting to keep their ideas to themselves.

Hardly news, I know… but the existence of such a valuable online tool was certainly news to me. Read more about how it can be of use to writers here.

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford is a professional copywriter, author of numerous dark fantasy and sci-fi novels, and the Head of Content at the Self Publishing Formula Blog. His books include the Blackwater trilogy and the Checking Out series.

He lives in London with his wife, in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Find out more about Tom here.