The Ether Is Moving to ThoughtCatalog.com

Table of Contents “When the industry looks out of the window” Jane Friedman: Porter’s Brain My Fellow Millennials “When the industry looks out of the window” You know me. I’d just amend Tom Chalmers‘ good line this way: When the industry! the industry! stops the internal debate and looks out of the window, it will […]

And If the Readership Pulls in Different Directions?

While lots of authors are fond of saying that readers don’t care whether something is traditionally published or self-published, many of them also want to tell you there’s this marching army of indie-only reading author. So which is it going to be?—they’ll read anything? or they’ll read only free-range indie books?

A Most Audible Alarm: ACX Chops Royalties

Table of Contents The White Noise of Falling Royalty Rates Ask the Question, Give No Answer Difficult Interpretations: “Not Your Friend” The White Noise of Falling Royalty Rates In Audible Lowers Royalty on Self-Published Audiobooks,  Publishers Weekly announced it this way: Up until now, Amazon was offering an escalating rate of 50%-90% on ACX titles sold exclusively; […]

Another Leap of Hybrid Faith: New Publishing Routes

Shanna Swendson, author of the Enchanted Inc. series of books, is working what some authors might consider near-magic in a transition from traditional publishing to self-publishing. And she’s getting savvier about it fast.

Earning the Authors a Say

Much shorter and quicker to go over than the initial report, this edition takes into account information interpreted from approximately 11,000 titles in genre fiction; 900 in literary fiction; 30,000 in non-fiction; and some 10,000 in children’s (not YA) fiction. Hugh Howey has, since the first report, adopted a more frequent use of the term “spider” for the software his still-unnamed associate is deploying.

Howey’s Convention: “Organized Advocacy”

You may be looking at the best chance ever encountered for authors—of all stripes, Ms. Rowling, as Hugh Howey tells us—to at last come together, to make common cause, and to speak as one with a force this industry has never known.

A Call for Writers to Organize: Hugh Howey Interview

Table of Contents “To Call for Change Within the Publishing Community” “To Stand Up for Each Other” “A New Era of Openness” “I Didn’t Have a Social Life Before” “To Call for Change Within the Publishing Community” This is how a movement might start: Indie authors are outselling the Big Five. That’s the entire Big […]

Is Publishing a Class System?| Writing on the Ether

Table of Contents Is Publishing a Class System? Jane and Jason: “Inclusion of All Paths” Don and Doubt: “Not the glorious revolution” Hugh’s House: “Commitment to Advocacy” Philip and the perplexity: “Amazon will roar back” Is Publishing a Class System? What is important are the ethics of publishing. If I knew what’s good for me, […]

Publishing, Between Revolution and Revolt: Writing on the Ether

Table of Contents Lit Smart Rebecca Hugh and Cry Combat in the Community If You See Us Running… Lit Follow that burning fuse. It runs between these two curiously different words. We may need to think about which of them is closer to us. Revolution. Pretty comfortable. Thanks to Madison Avenue, we nowadays say “revolution” for […]

Is the “Publishers’ Monopoly” Broken? Writing on the Ether

Table of Contents Read It and Tweet No Anti-Social Scientists, Please “A Two-for-One Special” Our “Bifurcating Future” Read It and Tweet A funny thing happened to me on Twitter this week. I “crafted a tweet.” (Sounds so “artisanal” that way, no?) This was the kind of tweet in which I like to mention a new […]

Now Arriving at #BEA14: Author Hub – Writing on the Ether

BEA’s Steven Rosato is proving himself as good as his word. If some saw a failure in BEA last year to offer entrepreneurial authors a place at the publishing table like that LBF had provided, Rosato and his team saw the experience as an opportunity to rethink, revise, and renew. The uPublishU Author Hub at BEA is being established as an operational, fully functioning home base for entrepreneurial authors at the heart of BookExpo America.

New Year’s Restitutions | Writing on the Ether

Table of Contents Nobody Dast Blame Us Maass Production Wendigging It Nobody Dast Blame Us You know the line, right? It’s Charley, in Death of a Salesman: Nobody dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there’s no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt […]

Writing on the Ether: When the Wise Women Get Here

Table of Contents They Three Queens of Orient Were Hope and Fear #1: Visibility Hope and Fear #2: Literary Fiction Hope and Fear #3: Rest They Three Queens of Orient Were If they’d been guys, they’d never have made it to the Nativity. Once the OnStar of David navigation system got behind a few clouds […]

Writing on the Ether: Where Publishing Surveys Cannot Go

If we want to count all the self-publishing authors, then we need to survey and count every hapless no-income-from-writing would-be traditionally published author who gets nowhere and ends up at the bar next to me discussing the superb color that Milan puts into Campari.

Our surveys are counting the self-publishing losers.
Our surveys are counting only traditional publishers’ winners.

Writing on the Ether: Defensive Reading

Table of Contents Notes Defensive Reading “Anything Except Readerly Books” “Print versus Digital” “Where I Get Unhappy” Those Lists Notes (1) As you may know, I’ve begun a weekly feature with The Bookseller in London, “Porter Anderson Meets,” in which I interview a newsmaker each Monday, live on Twitter, and then produce an article from […]

Writing on the Ether: Kobo’s Feast of Burden

Michael Tamblyn of Kobo was The FutureBook’s Most Inspiring Digital Dude of the Day and, I’m sure, of many days to come. In a finely arranged conference full of important and edifying detail and personality, Tamblyn seized that room’s collective intelligence with gratifying honesty, pink lightning on a bare stage.

Writing on the Ether: Self-Publishing’s Parallel Disruptions

It comes as news to no one in the industry! the industry! that self-publishing is controversial. We may tend, however, to think of it as controversial for that industry, while not looking at what it can mean for writers and writing. It is, in fact, a development full of argument not only for publishers but also for literature.

Writing on the Ether: Here Come the Buffet Readers — Subscription Book Services

As a hand-wringer here, I’m one of the “but not all” skeptics Coker mentions, unpersuaded, and how good that he’s careful to note that we’re not all mollified. For me it’s not the compensation issue, actually. I’m more concerned about how literature of all genres (don’t get sidetracked here, I mean all books) fare on the buffet.

Writing on the Ether: The Haunting of NaNoWriMo

The digital dynamic, which makes it possible for people to publish books with or without traditional publishing support, also seems to be revving many folks into a shared assumption that faster is better.

Writing on the Ether: Toward ‘More Webby’ Books

As long as we envision “the book” as that thing with pages—or its digital descendant on an e-reader or tablet—we’re not giving the original artistry and impulse behind a new body of work a chance to live as the unique content it is in the context of its creation.

Writing on the Ether: Reaching for the “New Book”

Are we impatient for the “new books”? We are. Do we have to have them tomorrow? We don’t. Will they be better “new books” if we take a little time to make sure everyone is accounted for, considered, even consulted and heard before we declare digital tools our icons and traditional publishing our new parking lot? They will.

Ether (+Bowker): Turning Corners on Self-Publishing and Amazon?

Here at the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair this week, if we’re not actually walking past a couple of smoothly contoured bends, we may at least be able to peer around them. (1) Self-publishing. We may be seeing a widespread, collective nod of recognition going on; not a big “eureka!” moment, but a frank acknowledgment that the energies of the entrepreneurial-author community no longer can be dismissed as a faddish bubble of activity nor as negligible in their effect. Bowker has stepped in to add some new edge to this concept. (2) Amazon. Not only is there less time and energy wasted on bad-mouthing Seattle here in Frankfurt than in many such earlier gatherings, but one rant against the retailer has been met with stark derision in the publishing community, and, in a more signal moment, a major leader in the business has waved the closest thing we’ve seen yet to an olive branch.

Writing on the Ether: Oil, Water, Publishers, Self-Publishers

While many legacy publishers may not like to think about how large the self-publishing movement is, it appears that making money off self-publishing authors is just fine by the traditional houses. And that is, at the least, an unattractive reality.

Porter Anderson, PorterAnderson.com, Writing on the Ether, Ether for Authors, London on the Ether, JaneFriedman.com, Ed Nawotka, Philip Jones, PublishingPerspectives.com, The Bookseller.com, books, ebooks, author, agent, Amazon, publishing, The FutureBook, CONTEC Conference, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt Buchmesse, Jonny Geller, Kristin Nelson, Michael Tamblyn, Jon Fine, Hugh Howey, Amanda Barbara, Peter Armstrong, Florian Geuppert, Matthias Matting

Writing on the Ether: Contrarians Among Us

Table of Contents Three Valuable Views A Word for the Publishers Humming the Bookstore And Just Write It Already View from the North Ten: Poems after Mark Rothko’s No. 15 by Dave Malone Inspired by the primary colors of Mark Rothko’s vibrant No. 15 painting, these poems give life to the canvas of the rural Ozarks. […]

Porter Anderson, PorterAnderson.com, Writing on the Ether, Ether for Authors, London on the Ether, JaneFriedman.com, Ed Nawotka, Philip Jones, PublishingPerspectives.com, The Bookseller.com, books, ebooks, author, agent, Amazon, publishing, The FutureBook, CONTEC Conference, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt Buchmesse, Bowker, WriterUnboxed.com, The Metadata Handbook, Thad McIlroy, Renée Register, Jonathan Franzen, Karl Kraus

WRITING ON THE ETHER: What’s Wrong With Franzen?

Jonathan Franzen, in his essay at The Guardian, wants to tell us that Viennese fin-de-siècle essayist Karl Kraus has “a lot to say to us in our own media-saturated, technology-crazed, apocalypse-haunted historical moment.”

WRITING ON THE ETHER: But Wait. Do We Even Like Bundling?

As has happened in the past, Amazon seems to have some folks in the publishing world feeling that they didn’t get a chance to discuss things. “But…but…but…” If only we’d known the Amazonians’ Kindle MatchBook deal was coming, right?

Porter Anderson, PorterAnderson.com, Writing on the Ether, Ether for Authors, London on the Ether, JaneFriedman.com, Ed Nawotka, Philip Jones, PublishingPerspectives.com, The Bookseller.com, books, ebooks, author, agent, Amazon, publishing, The FutureBook, CONTEC Conference, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt Buchmesse, Bowker, WriterUnboxed.com

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Pattern Recognition and Writerly Advice

Both from within the industry and from outside it, writerly advice flies at you, continually. Just as you sit down to write, it slams it into your inbox each day. Every time you think you’ve worked out the big kink in that chapter, you’re pelted with new guidance by a rain of tweets. You’re afraid to live without it (what if you miss something really smart and good?) but you can barely think your way through it—it awaits you in terse comments and it slaps you silly in starred rankings. We are an information economy. We’re an advice culture.

Porter Anderson, PorterAnderson.com, Writingon the Ether, Ether for Authors, London on the Ether, Jane Friedman, Ed Nawotka, Philip Jones, Publishing Perspectives, The Bookseller, books, ebooks, author, agent, Amazon, publishing, The FutureBook, CONTEC Conference, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt Buchmesse

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Are You Marketing to Your “Adjacent Fans”?

Table of Contents Looking for the “Comp”-etitive Edge Marketing: Not Just for Companies Anymore Wait. Who Wrote That? Looking for the “Comp”-etitive Edge Books are books but they are also containers of ideas, worlds, beliefs, philosophies, attitudes, world-views, etc. So far, so good, right? Even though I’ve hit you with the m-word here—oh, no, marketing!—we’re […]

Porter Anderson, PorterAnderson.com, Writingon the Ether, Ether for Authors, London on the Ether, Jane Friedman, Ed Nawotka, Philip Jones, Publishing Perspectives, The Bookseller, books, ebooks, author, agent, Amazon, publishing, The FutureBook, CONTEC Conference, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt Buchmesse

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Counting in the Dark

In Writing on the Ether at JaneFriedman.com, Porter Anderson looks at a new effort to rank ebook sales in London — and at Peter Brantley’s worries in the States about e-literature’s collection and preservation.

Porter Anderson, PorterAnderson.com, Writingon the Ether, Ether for Authors, London on the Ether, Jane Friedman, Ed Nawotka, Philip Jones, Publishing Perspectives, The Bookseller, books, ebooks, author, agent, Amazon, publishing, The FutureBook

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Should Authors Stop Linking to Amazon To Support Bookstores?

Table of Contents Should Authors Stop Linking to Amazon? Timing, and Interdependence Chewing Each Other’s Legs Off Mr. Smith Goes to Town “Don’t Link to Amazon.” But She Does It. Should Authors Stop Linking to Amazon? I feel angry that these authors, unthinkingly or by design, have chosen to support Amazon, W H Smith or […]

Porter Anderson, PorterAnderson.com, Writingon the Ether, Ether for Authors, London on the Ether, Jane Friedman, Ed Nawotka, Philip Jones, Publishing Perspectives, The Bookseller, books, ebooks, author, agent, Amazon, publishing, The FutureBook

WRITING ON THE ETHER: While You Were Bashing Amazon

On the Ether at JaneFriedman.com, Porter Anderson looks at Amazon Publishing’s latest strides — including $110,000 in Breakthrough Novel Award publishing contracts for authors and a new million-copy seller in translation.

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, blog, blogging, journalism, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, The Bookseller, FutureBook, Philip Jones, Digital Book 2013, IDPF, BEA 2013, Writer Unboxed

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Casting Stones at BEA

Friend Grief and AIDS: Thirty Years of Burying Our Friends by Victoria Noe It’s been likened to a plague, but AIDS was never just a health crisis. The second of a series on grieving the death of a friend, Friend Grief and AIDS: Thirty Years of Burying Our Friends, revisits a time when people with […]

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, blog, blogging, journalism, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, The Bookseller, FutureBook, Philip Jones, Digital Book 2013, IDPF, BEA 2013

WRITING ON THE ETHER: The Indies are Coming! to BEA

Porter Anderson looks at how six of the most prominently successful self-publishing authors are taking their own booth (#966) at BookExpo America (#BEA13), staking their claim to a new, unified presence at the industry’s big trade show.

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, blog, blogging, journalism, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, The Bookseller, FutureBook, Philip Jones, Digital Book 2013, IDPF, BEA 2013

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Writers in the Inferno

How many authors do you know who seem more renowned among their peers than readers—not because these “thriving ink-slingers” (Michael Deacon) are writing books only other authors could love, but because their output seems to focus on these redundant how-to’s designed to crib a few more bucks from fellow would-be renowned authors?

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, blog, blogging, journalism, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, The Bookseller, FutureBook, Philip Jones, Digital Book 2013, IDPF, BEA 2013

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Are Your Books’ Covers Sexist?

Writing on the Ether provides selected news and perspectives on publishing. It is written by journalist and critic Porter Anderson for Jane Friedman and it appears at JaneFriedman.com each Thursday. Sponsorship opportunities are available and offer generous promotion. Ether for Authors—another gas—runs on Mondays at Ed Nawotka’s and Frankfurt Book Fair’s Publishing Perspectives. London on the Ether, a new UK-related edition of the column, has recently had its debut at TheBookseller.com

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, blog, blogging, journalism, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, The Bookseller, FutureBook, Philip Jones

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Springtime for Librarians

Writing on the Ether provides selected news and perspectives on publishing. It is written by journalist and critic Porter Anderson for Jane Friedman and it appears at JaneFriedman.com each Thursday. Sponsorship opportunities are available and offer generous promotion. Ether for Authors—another gas—runs on Mondays at Ed Nawotka’s and Frankfurt Book Fair’s Publishing Perspectives. London on the Ether, a new UK-related edition of the column, has recently had its debut at TheBookseller.com

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, blog, blogging, journalism, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, The Bookseller, FutureBook, Philip Jones

WRITING ON THE ETHER: Agents and Authors at the Coalface

Writing on the Ether provides selected news and perspectives on publishing. It is written by journalist and critic Porter Anderson for Jane Friedman and it appears at JaneFriedman.com each Thursday. Sponsorship opportunities are available and offer generous promotion. Ether for Authors—another gas—runs on Mondays at Ed Nawotka’s and Frankfurt Book Fair’s Publishing Perspectives. London on the Ether, a new UK-related edition of the column, has recently had its debut at TheBookseller.com