The Art of Marketing Conference

7 Things I Learned from the World’s Best Marketers

Today’s guest post is by author Tiana Warner (@tianawarner). The Art of Marketing conference in Vancouver was a full day of marketing insight from Seth Godin, Nancy Duarte, Mitch Joel, John Jantsch, Brian Wong, Keith Ferrazzi, and big-name sponsors like Microsoft and CBC. Each highly qualified speaker offered a unique perspective on the current and […]

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?

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 […]

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; […]

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 […]

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.

Photo by Daniel Y. Go / via Flickr

10 Apps to Help You Stay Focused on Your Writing

Today’s guest post is by Frances Caballo (@caballofrances), a social media strategist and manager for writers, and the author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck, among other titles. Inspiration is the windfall from hard work and focus. Muses are too unreliable to keep on the payroll. —Helen Hanson As authors, we love to read, write, and talk about […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

Finding a Balance Between Writing and Marketing

Note from Jane: The following post by Joshua Graham (@J0shuaGraham) is the third in a series sponsored by Nook Press, offering tips and advice from authors on writing and publishing. Read earlier sponsored posts from Nook: How to Build a Writing Group in Your Community by Nathaniel Kressen The Importance of Your Book Cover: Finding the Right Fit by Colleen Gleason […]

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, […]

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 […]

Think Local: It’s Not Just for Food

Today’s guest post is by author and freelancer Andi Cumbo-Floyd (@andilit). On one side of the street, they sit next to the plastic stand that holds paper menus for customers to take home. Across the road, they’re squeezed next to pretty, spangly watches where people pick up their prescriptions. Just north, 10 copies are stacked, spine […]

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 […]

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 […]

by ChaoticMind 75 / Flickr

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.

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 […]

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.

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.

single career

Why I Choose to Both Self-Publish and Traditionally Publish

Since 2009, after the release of my second novel, I’ve been a so-called hybrid author, working with New York publishers as well as self-publishing. I’m often asked why I chose to combine these two seemingly disparate publishing careers, juggling twice the work.

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 […]

finding your readers

4 Ways to Find Readers Who Love Your Work

So you want to find those raving fans, right? Awesome. We’re about to give you the most boring advice possible. You’re probably going to be disappointed that we’re not going to offer you a magic way to get a ton more readers, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. Ideal fans and readers are gained a few at a time, and it takes time to build that bond, even if you experience a sudden and serendipitous burst of exposure.

business plan for writers

The 7-Step Business Plan for Writers

Your productivity and growth are a direct result of forming a business plan (and sticking to it); here are 7 steps—plus a template—for creating your own.

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.

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.

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 […]

publicity

The Difference Between Marketing and Publicity

No one can buy a book they’ve never heard of. So, how do readers hear about books? Everyone likes to say it’s word of mouth, but it’s not possible to tell a friend about a book until you’ve heard of it yourself. That’s where publicity and marketing come in.


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.

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.