Hybrid publishers

How to Evaluate Hybrid Publishers

“Hybrid publishers” are services that don’t fit the definition of traditional publisher or self-publishing service. It can be hard to determine their value.

Brian Smithson / via Flickr

Are Literary Journals in Trouble?

Literary journals have done little to move beyond their gatekeeping function, and cling to a scarcity model that no longer works in the digital age.

ALLI Indie Recon

Free Class on Content Marketing

On April 15–17, ALLI is hosting IndieReCon, a free online conference on self-publishing and reaching readers. Jane will speak on content marketing.

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 […]

The Little Magazine in Contemporary America

The Future of the Gatekeepers

I’m a proud contributor to an anthology releasing this week from University of Chicago Press, The Little Magazine in Contemporary America, edited by Ian Morris and Joanne Diaz.

Do You Love Your Publisher

Do You Love Your Publisher? An Author Survey

[This survey is now closed.] Are you a traditionally published author? Then please keep reading. In partnership with Harry Bingham of Jericho Writers in the UK, we’re launching a survey of traditionally published authors, regardless of whether or not they have also self-published. Our goal is to see how traditionally published authors are feeling about the choices […]

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 […]

Writer Unboxed

Does Building an Online Presence Stress You Out?

You’re not alone. Being told to build an online presence creates internal conflict for a lot of writers. This is the topic I tackle (somewhat obliquely) this month in my column at Writer Unboxed. Here’s how it begins: I’ve been reading with interest (and sympathy) the comments on Porter Anderson’s Unboxed post last week, where we see […]

5 Free WordPress Themes for Writers

If you have a WordPress-based site, then you know that one of the first choices you have to make (and then live with) is your choice of theme. A theme drives the aesthetics of your site—how it looks and feels—and thus its personality. But a theme also affects the functionality of your site. Some themes have more page or […]

Jane Friedman AWP

Advice for Undergrad Students Pursuing a Creative Writing Degree

Even though I’ve been actively teaching in the university setting for more than 10 years, I’ve nearly always been in front of non-writing majors. (Right now, at the University of Virginia, I teach media studies majors.) However, my undergraduate degree is a BFA in creative writing, and recently the AWP approached me to write an essay […]

John Thornton Williams

How to Reveal Character Emotion Without Venturing Into Cliché

One of the most important goals of any fiction writer is getting the reader to connect on an emotional level with the story’s characters. But how do you accomplish this without being clumsy—without saying, directly, “Joe felt so upset he wanted to die,” which takes you right into the heart of cliché? John Thorton Williams […]

What Should Authors Blog About?

The chain of events goes something like this: An author’s book nears its publication date (or perhaps the author is attempting to secure a traditional book deal). She knows she needs to market and promote the book and/or build a platform. She finds (or hears) advice that blogging is a good way to accomplish #1. She wonders: What […]

Scratch Q4 2014: Self-Help

On Self-Promotion, Selling Out, and Burn Out

The Fall 2014 issue of Scratch is now available. Inside, you’ll find a feature interview with New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon, offering insights on how to balance your artistic lifestyle with marketing and self-promotion. Here’s what he says about being an author as his full-time job: It’s weird because I’ve written about how you shouldn’t be […]

Elizabeth Kadetsky

The Benefits of Procrastination & Distraction

Every month, Glimmer Train releases a bulletin that includes a few brief essays by writers on the writing life. For October, I was happy to find the themes of procrastination and distraction—and how they can be a positive influence in our work lives. Elizabeth Katdetsky discusses how she gives in to the procrastinator in herself, and how […]

5 Lessons in Publishing Success From Bella Andre

This week I’m speaking at the International Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, which is slanted this year toward digital publishing and the future of authorship, particularly indie models. On Friday morning, Bella Andre gave a talk on her path to success, from a traditionally published author with 7 titles in 2010, to self-published phenom with […]

social media

How to Avoid the “Extra” Work of Social Media

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking at a one-day publishing event hosted by Blurb in Brooklyn, NY. My topic was the art & business of building a platform, which included about 5-10 minutes of commentary on social media (out of a full hour). As often happens, most audience questions were about social media, […]

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 […]

Writer's Digest (October 2014)

The Evolving Role of the Literary Agent

In the most recent issue of Writer’s Digest magazine, you’ll find my feature article, “The Evolving Agent.” I discuss how literary agents’ business models and services are changing to fit the needs of their clients, who are increasingly self-publishing or choosing hybrid paths. The article covers: the value of agent-assisted self-publishing what happens when agents use […]