Smart Set

Is Publishing in Trouble or Not—Decide! [Smart Set]

Welcome to The Smart Set, a weekly series where I curate a selection of articles from the past week related to the publishing/media industry that merit your attention. I also point to what I see as the most interesting underlying questions, and welcome you to respond or ask your own questions in the comments. “To seek: to embrace the questions, be […]

David James Poissant

Make Submitting Work Your Superpower

Over at the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, writer David James Poissant discusses a topic very near and dear to my heart: Grit. Or maybe you call it persistence. He calls it relentlessness and tenacity. It goes by a lot of names, but basically it means a few rejections aren’t going to stop you. Or just […]

Smart Set

The Future of Hybrid Authors + Who Influences Our Purchases [Smart Set]

Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I curate new smart reads about the publishing and media industry. I also point to issues and questions raised, and welcome you to respond or ask your own questions in the comments. “To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.” —Terry Tempest Williams Must a Writer Go Hybrid for Higher […]

Smart Set

The Ebook Market + Big Five Survival [Smart Set]

Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I curate new smart reads about the publishing and media industry. I also point to issues and questions raised, and welcome you to respond or ask your own questions in the comments. “To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.” —Terry Tempest Williams   “To seek: to embrace the questions, […]

The Economics of Writing & Publishing in the Digital Age

This past week, I was interviewed along with my Scratch business partner, Manjula Martin, about the economic realities of writing and publishing during a very transformational time for the industry. The interview was for an episode of an hour-long podcast by BoingBoing, The New Disruptors, hosted by Glenn Fleishman. I’ve pasted a few show notes […]

Beth Ann Fennelly

A Collaborative Novel Is Twice the Work, Not Half the Work

In an essay about writing a novel with her husband, Beth Ann Fennelly discusses that the process did not lead to fighting, but that it was fun, and not as lonely. However, it didn’t mean half the work. It meant twice the work. She writes: That’s when the novel really started cooking—and finally became fun to […]

Writer Unboxed

Serial Fiction: How It’s Changing Publishing

My latest column at Writer Unboxed tackles serial fiction—and how it’s changing writing, reading, and publishing. Here’s a little snippet: Both serials and fan fiction have been around a long time (since Dickens, remember?). If these forms are being reinvented and rediscovered because mobile- and tablet-based reading is growing, this may mean the strategic author […]

Publishing Trendsetter

My Advice to Young Publishing Professionals

I’m delighted to be a recent interviewee at Publishing Trendsetter, where I discuss what I’ve learned about building a personal brand and publishing career. Here’s a snippet of what I say: Remember that you’re the one who tells the story about your life and career—particularly at your own website—so tell it in a way that […]

Scratch Magazine: Q1 2014

What’s Different About Running a Magazine Today (Versus 5 Years Ago)?

Earlier this week, I was interviewed by Jason Allen Ashlock about my new digital magazine Scratch, and how things have changed in the magazine publishing world since my days at Writer’s Digest. Here’s a bit of what I had to say: It’s more difficult to turn a profit on a magazine, whether print or digital. People expect […]

Celeste Ng

The Challenges and Opportunities of an Omniscient POV

The most prevalent point-of-view used by writers today is the third-person limited POV (sometimes spread across multiple characters), as well as the first-person POV. It’s pretty rare to find a contemporary novel written with an omniscient narrator—which is why Celeste Ng found it a terrifying realization, while writing her first novel, that her story required […]

author platform, reader engagement

The Art and Business of Reader Engagement and Author Platform

Strong reader relationships build unbelievable opportunities. Marketing and promotion ideas usually start by considering what reader relationships you have in place—or can build on. Here is a framework and strategy for building and engaging a readership.

Carrie Brown

Writers: Look for the Majestic Silence

Inevitably there will come a moment when the writer’s gaze stays somewhere—there’s that “majestic silence”—and at that moment, the writer knows to stand still and listen and look.

book marketing and publicity

Book Marketing 101

It is possible, if not desirable, for an author to launch an effective book-marketing campaign without a publisher’s support or assistance. Mainly, it requires time and energy. Here’s a comprehensive rundown of the main strategies in use today.

Writer Unboxed

Does Social Media Really Sell Books?

There’s no end to the conflicting advice about social media and book marketing. In this post, I present a framework for what’s effective and what’s not.

Jane Runs

Chronic Back Pain and The Writing Life: A Few Remedies

Update (9/15/14): I’ve written a new post explaining what eventually resolved all of my back pain problems. Like most writers, I spend a great deal of time sitting in front of a computer. Every job I’ve held post-college has been a desk job, and my non-work looks exactly like my “real” work—seated, with a laptop. […]

photo by Ian Burnes

Editors Are Usually Really Nice People

If you have Zen or Buddhist inclinations—and you’re also in the profession of writing and publishing—you will love this story and meditation by Gillian Burnes. It begins: In the middle of a Vipassana meditation retreat last summer … I went up to the teacher at the end of the dharma talk and said, as sweetly […]

Best Business Advice for Writers: June 2013

Best Business Advice for Writers is a monthly link round-up where I share the best online articles focused on the business of writing and publishing. Share any best reads you’ve found lately in the comments.

E.A. Durden

The Problem With Overly Nice Characters

What’s wrong with overly nice characters? To begin with, they’re boring. This is because they can’t abide conflict, and smooth it over every chance they get.

Melissa Sipin

Write What Haunts You

What haunts you? What images or moments have never left you? What do you keep revisiting again and again and again?

Best Business Advice for Writers: April 2013

Best Business Advice for Writers is a monthly link round-up where I share the best online articles focused on the business of writing and publishing. Share any best reads you’ve found lately in the comments. Discover Your Author’s Brand by Philip Martin If you’re turned off by conversations of author branding, this post is for you. Martin […]

Career Changing Move

What One Small Step Made a Big Impact on Your Writing Career?

The biggest career-changing moves I ever made were a combination of: Signing up for Twitter in 2008 & starting the Best Tweets for Writers series (story here) Buying my own domain name—long before I ever started using it—in 2005, then actually launching this site in December 2009 What have your career-changing moves been? Writer’s Digest […]

Joel Friedlander

How Much Attention Should You Pay to Book Design? A Q&A With Joel Friedlander

I’m very grateful to Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman), at The Book Designer, for taking time to answer a few questions about book design, especially as it relates to self-publishing. I’m a firm believer in the power of design. I think it affects purchasing not just in obvious ways, but also on a subconscious level. So it […]

Improve Your Author Website

3 Ways to Improve Your Author Website Today

To maximize the effectiveness of your author website, it’s necessary to study the data behind how people find your website, navigate it, and use it. Here are three of the most important areas to watch carefully.

Allison Amend

Worry About the Writing, Not About Being a Writer

If you could write a letter to your younger writing self, what would you say? Author Allison Amend has imagined and written such a letter. Here’s how she starts: I see you worrying endlessly about your future, and I just wanted to write you a letter and reassure you that fifteen years from now you […]

Best Business Advice for Writers: March 2013

Best Business Advice for Writers is a monthly link round-up where I share the best online articles focused on the business of writing and publishing. Share any best reads you’ve found lately in the comments. Anatomy of a Successful Kickstarter Campaign by Tom Allen (@tomsbiketrip) It sometimes feels as if everyone is running a Kickstarter—and that […]

Writer Unboxed

5 Publishing Industry Trends for Writers to Watch

Most writers are aware that the publishing industry is undergoing a range of transformations, new beginnings, failures, and consolidations. But there’s so much change it can be difficult to weed out and understand the most relevant and important changes—especially when hundreds of opinions seem to surround the smallest change. Based on industry conversations I’ve had in the last six months, as well as reports I’ve read by people I trust, here are five trends that writers should keep a close eye on.

Ted Weinstein tweet on magazine publishing

The State of Online Journalism Today: Controversial

On Tuesday, March 5, I found (via Twitter) the following piece by freelance journalist Nate Thayer: A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013 The post consists of an e-mail exchange between Thayer and an Atlantic editor, where Thayer is asked if he would repurpose a previously published piece for the Atlantic’s website. He […]