RJ Kelly

5 On: R.J. Keller

Author R.J. Keller on the notion of the “second-book slump,” how she dealt with a book idea similar to her own beating hers to the market, why to write the things that scare you, and more in this 5 On interview.

Che Gilson

5 On: Che Gilson

Author Che Gilson discusses what she as an unagented author learned to look for in publishing contracts, designing your own cover art, the necessity of continually creating new material, and more.

Reggie Lutz

5 On: Reggie Lutz

Author and radio broadcaster Reggie Lutz discusses her tendency as a writer to synthesize fiction genres, recommends qualities to look for in a writing critique group, offers advice on pitching and interviewing with radio hosts, and more.

Patrick Walsh

5 On: Patrick Walsh

Book publicist Patrick Walsh discusses effective social media promotion, what it takes to make the same old book-marketing advice work for you, questions to ask yourself when trying to decide whether your story should be a book or a screenplay, and more.

Allyson Rudolph

5 On: Allyson Rudolph

Allyson Rudolph discusses some of her favorite experimental fiction, the day-to-day life of an associate editor at a publishing house, common problems she sees in fiction and nonfiction, her commitment to increased diversity in media and the arts, and more.

5 On: Nathan Bransford

Author and former literary agent Nathan Bransford discusses (among other things) the ongoing emphasis on author platform, publisher and author marketing responsibilities, and in what way being a literary agent influenced his writing.

One-on-One Consulting

I consult one-on-one with authors, small businesses, and publishers. If you have questions about traditional publishing, literary agents, the self-publishing landscape, book marketing, author platform, or other publishing industry issues, I can cut through the confusion, provide concrete next steps, and offer trusted resources. I conduct consultations primarily using Zoom, which allows you to join […]

do you love your publisher #authorsay

Do You Love Your Publisher: Author Survey Results

Last month, author Harry Bingham and I launched an author survey to explore the experiences and current leanings of traditionally published authors in the English language. The Bookseller in the UK originally reported on the survey here; it can catch you up on what we hoped to accomplish with this effort. So the results are now in. We received 812 responses; you can view […]

Nonfiction Book Proposal Consulting

In today’s competitive publishing industry, it is more challenging than ever to successfully pitch a nonfiction book. Your book proposal—often required by publishers and agents—serves as a business plan for your book that proves why your book will sell when published. However, authors may lack industry insight to convincingly pitch their idea alongside their experience […]

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 […]

Smart Set

For Publishers to Thrive Requires a Kuhnian Paradigm Shift

Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I share three smart pieces worth reading 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 Amazon, Publishers, and Readers by Clay Shirky […]

The Future of the Author-Publisher Relationship

This is a written version of a presentation I gave at LitFlow 2012 in Berlin, Germany. I also wrote a follow up, Do Publishers Need to Offer More Value to Authors? Until the late 1990s, only one viable option existed for 99 percent of authors seeking publication: to gain acceptance from a traditional publisher. While it’s popular […]

Why I Left My Mighty Agency and New York Publishers (for now)

Note from Jane: Today I’m beyond honored to feature bestselling author Claire Cook (@ClaireCookwrite), who has just released Never Too Late, from which this post is excerpted. Claire has a fascinating story to tell about her decision to leave her agency and traditional publisher, and chase after her publishing dreams. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, […]

Smart Set

The Latest Trends in the Indie Author Market [Smart Set]

Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I share three smart pieces worth reading 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 2014 Smashwords Survey Reveals New Opportunities for […]

Both Sides Now: A New York Editor and Author Goes Indie

Today’s guest post is by author Leslie Wells. I’ve been on both sides of the publishing desk—as an acquiring executive editor for several decades, and as an author. The experience has provided insights that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and made me more sympathetic to the nerve-wracking process of trying to get your book published. […]

Smart Set

Why Are Harlequin Profits Declining? [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, […]

Smart Set

The Role of the Expert Has Radically Changed [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, […]

Why Are Romance Authors Better at Marketing & Promotion? [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 Today’s edition is abbreviated since I’m at […]

Knocking on doors of traditional publishers

How Long Should You Keep Trying to Get Published?

Don’t you wish someone could tell you how close you are to getting traditionally published? Don’t you wish someone could say, “If you just keep at it for three more years, you’re certain to make it!” Or, even if it would be heartbreaking, wouldn’t it be nice to be told that you’re wasting your time, so that you can move on, try another tack (like self-publishing), or perhaps even change course entirely to produce some other creative work?

Best Business Advice for Writers: November 2012

For a couple years, I curated a weekly round-up of links called Best Tweets for Writers. I had fun doing it, but ultimately abandoned it in 2011 when I could no longer sustain the time commitment. Nowadays, there’s no shortage of link round-ups for writers, of varying quality. While I hesitate to add another one […]

Jane chatting with Kay Steinke at LitFlow

Do Publishers Need to Offer More Value to Authors?

Last month, I gave a 15-minute presentation in Berlin, Germany, called The Future of the Author-Publisher Relationship, as part of an innovative publishing think-tank event called LitFlow. To accompany my talk, I wrote a 2,500-word article. In a nutshell, I suggest that—given the changes happening in the industry—traditional publishers will need to be more author-focused […]

Sean Platt

The Evolving Model of the Entrepreneurial Novelist

It’s pleasure to bring you this insightful Q&A with writer Sean Platt. As his own website states, Sean Platt writes it all. He writes copy, websites, books, and has most recently developed a new epic thriller series, Yesterday’s Gone, with his writing partner, David Wright. In addition to my interest in the creation and marketing of […]

3 Keys to Sustainable & Successful Indie Authorship

Note from Jane: I don’t usually run posts that feature or promote a single service or solution. Authors need to find partners who not only fit with them, but also fit with their work and their audience. In Scott Sigler’s case, I think he’s found an excellent partner that helps empower his long-term author career. […]

Going Geek by John Carpenter

Using an Agent to Get on Kindle

I’ve been keeping an eye on John Carpenter and his book project ever since we first started having conversations on Twitter last summer. He’s a knowledgeable, savvy writer with a professional career in college admissions. His goal this past year has been to find a home for his book, Going Geek. Going Geek is a […]