News & Updates - October 2022

Check out the Policy Advisory Committee's monthly column, "News & Updates," rounding up news and articles of importance to writers.


Ebook Exchange Policy

Amazon – Ebook Return Policy to Change

Expect a change in Amazon’s ebook policies by year-end. Amazon plans to limit automatic returns to cases where people have read no more than 10 percent of the book. Let’s give a Shout-Out to Authors Guild, the UK Society of Authors, and our RWA Board for resolving this issue.

Legal News

Bookends & Beginnings, et al. v. Amazon

Two antitrust lawsuits against Amazon and the Big 5 have been dismissed without prejudice. To read more, go to:

Penguin Random House/Schuster

The senate confirmed the elevation of Judge Florence Pan to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This is the second time Judge Pan has taken a vacated seat by Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on the Supreme Court.

How this decision will affect the PRH/Schuster case is uncertain at this time.

Publishing Activities

Spotify Launches Audiobooks

Spotify now has over 300,000 titles available.

Distribution and Supply Chain

Though there is nothing new to post regarding the distribution and supply chain, please understand there are still problems with delays. Plan accordingly.

Are You Interested?

Writers’ Critique Groups

The Next Big Writer - $70.00/yr.

NaNoWriMo – Free – A very engaging and intense writing group that challenges you to write a first draft in a certain amount of time.  

Reedsyblog – Free – Reedsy has hit a goldmine here. If you’ll sign up for their weekly short story Writing Prompt Contest, you will receive constructive criticism on your story. Read all about it on their blog.   

Beta Readers and Critique Partners - Free - This group started two years ago and has grown to almost 7,000.  

Critique Circle - Free - Premium $59; Premium Gold $95.

Absolute Write - Free

Writing Tips

Story Structure / Plotting

Have you ever sat down and constructed a story only to get forty-five percent of it on paper before you run into a brick wall and ask yourself, “Where is this going?”

Most of us hate to outline anything. Just hate it. But there are benefits to outlining or plotting your novel on paper. For one thing, it helps you avoid pinning yourself into a corner with few options of escape.

There are many tools out there to help us plot and outline our novels. Here are a few:  -  Cost: $199

Fun Gadgets / Software

Word Processors


Grammarly is a downloadable software used to correct spelling, punctuation, and offer alternatives to poorly structured sentence. FREE or for Premium - Cost is $180/yr.


WordRake goes one step further than Grammarly. It will not only alert you to misspelled words, but it will often (and sometimes not) let you know if the wrong word is used. It also highlights phrases that can be replaced with a stronger verb or adjective. For writers who are in a crunch to pare down words, this software may be of good use to you.  Cost is $129 - $199/yr.

Hemmingway App

Paste in a block of text, and it will analyze your writing and make suggestions to increase readability. This is a FREE!! downloadable app.

Don’t Let This Slip By You

California AG Sues Amazon

Amazon is being sued for “price flooring.” Price flooring is essentially caused by a retail giant not allowing its vendors to sell their products to other merchants at a cheaper price. This has nothing to do with our writing world, but is good information because most of us use Amazon. To read more, go to:

Fun Facts and Ideas

Uncover the Books Set Nearest You – Literary Hotspots

Did you know New York is the most common literary setting in the U.S. It appears in 2,609 books. California comes in at number two. The link below gives you a fascinating look at locations across America that are represented in most novels.[Electric+Speed]+Time+vs++money+%7C+Novels+set+in+your+zip+code&utm_campaign=Electric+Speed+%23192+%28Sep+17%29

Famous Quotes and Advice

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."  --  Douglas Adams

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