The-Road-Not-Taken

What Authors Can Learn From Startups

You can find marketing inspiration in what others have done, but also know that the less advertised “strategies” might actually be the ones worth pursuing.

photo by _liana / via Flickr

Indie Authors and the Question of Kindle Unlimited

Today’s guest post is by Hellen Barbara (@hbarbara27), president of Pubslush. Recently, Amazon joined the e-book subscription playing field alongside Oyster and Scribd to offer subscribers unlimited access to more than 700,000 e-books and 2,000 audiobooks for the monthly price of $9.99. This service is called Kindle Unlimited. When a player as big as Amazon enters […]

Digital Book World

What Should Authors & Publishers Expect in 2015?

In January, I’m moderating a panel at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo, which focuses on information and ideas about the digital publishing landscape. In advance, I’ve answered five questions about digital publishing to help attendees make the most out of the three-day event, and lay the groundwork for conversations that will take place at the conference and […]

Salem (MA) Public Library / via Flickr

Should Children’s Book Authors Self-Publish?

Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is by Sangeeta Mehta (@sangeeta_editor), a former acquiring editor of children’s books at Little, Brown and Simon & Schuster, who runs her own editorial services company. With all the changes taking place in the publishing industry, it seems harder than ever for even the best writers to secure a […]

Mike Cogh / via Flickr

The Long-Term View: 3 Exciting Mind Shifts for Author Entrepreneurs

Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is from Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn), and is based on her new book, Business for Authors: How to Be an Author Entrepreneur, out now in ebook, print and audio. During the last five years, I have seen a major shift in the publishing arena because of emergent technology and a changing […]

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 […]

13 March 2014 2014-03-13_7-21-44 photog StrahilDimitrov texted story image

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?

27 February 2014 iStock_000022584867Small photog OStill texted story image

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.

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 […]

20 February 2014 iStock_000011862511Small photog UygarGeographic texted story image

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.

13 February 2014 iStock_000011862527Small photog UygarGeographic TREATED texted story image 2

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.

11 February 2014 iStock_000011883583Small photog UygarGeographic texted story image

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 […]

30 January 2014 iStock_000001433232Small photog GregAIT texted story image

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 […]

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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 […]

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6 Ways Micro-Publishing Strengthens Your Author Career

Micro-published books are short, tight, and swift. A meaningful discussion of micro-publishing has been pushed aside during the ongoing tug-of-war between traditional publishing and independent publishing (self-publishing). But we are well beyond “everyone is a writer” at this point. We have progressed into “everyone is a publisher,” if they wish to be—and we have been living in this realm for some time already. Fortunately, micro-publishing benefits the industry as a whole by bringing some much-needed simplicity and directness into a publishing equation that is often weighted down by its own complexity and contracts. And it also benefits you, the writer.

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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 […]

12 December 2013 iStock_000009864589Small photog uyrk texted story image-2

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.

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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.

21 November 2013 iStock_000002016601XSmall photog hfng texted story image 2

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.

Colleen Gleason covers

The Importance of Your Book Cover: Achieving the Right Fit

Note from Jane: The following post is the first in a series that will offer tips and advice from successful authors about self-publishing, specifically those who use Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press as part of their overall sales, marketing, and distribution strategy. This series is sponsored by Nook Press, which means they have paid for […]

7 November 2013 iStock_000028197484XSmall photog jxfzsy texted story image

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.

31 October 2013 iStock_000000130628XSmall photog Jamx texted story image

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.

Sprint Beyond the Book team Frankfurt alternate texted story image 2

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.

12 September 2013 iStock_000026696881XSmall photog Rasica texted story image

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, 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 […]

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: 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: 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

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 […]

agent, author, books, digital, ebooks, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, publisher, publishing, Writing on the Ether, Tools of Change, O'Reilly Media, author platform, blog, blogging, journalism, TOC, #TOCcon, Author (R)evolution Day, #ARDay, Publishing Perspectives, Ether for Authors, Ed Nawotka, The Bookseller, FutureBook, Philip Jones, Sam Missingham, Foyles, #FutureFoyles, London Book Fair, #LBF13

WRITING ON THE ETHER: ‘They’re Letting the Authors In!’

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. Join us on Mondays at Ed Nawotka’s and Frankfurt Book Fair’s Publishing Perspectives for the new Ether for Authors column.