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. […]

Photo by fatllama / Flickr

A Call to Disarm Technology & Hype (And Boost Your Writing Productivity)

The internet and other technology keeps us on insanely high alert, ultimately producing an effect where we attend to everything and we attend to nothing (deeply). This high-alert state is producing a fatigue that’s detrimental not only to our psyches and relationships, but also to the quality of our professional output.

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.”

5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build Platform

A Facebook Profile is often a better option than a fan Page for building author platform. It’s simpler and easier to get your content in front of people, takes less time to manage, and will build a tribe or platform faster, especially if you don’t plan to run ads.

by Gilly Youner / Flickr

Book Tour Planning 101

Five things to consider as you begin planning book events to spread the word about your book.

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?

© Salim Photography/

The Power of Understatement in Fiction Writing

One of the most useful and powerful devices for the fiction writer is understatement. You tell the reader less so that the reader knows more. Instead of having everything spelt out, the reader is given, in a very careful way, just enough information for the imagination to go to work. From understatement the reader can derive great pleasure and satisfaction.

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.

Photo by boinink / Flickr

Is Crowdfunding Right for You? 5 Questions

Today’s guest post is by Justine Schofield, the communications coordinator for Pubslush, a crowdfunding publishing platform. You’ve probably heard of crowdfunding by now. Crowdfunding is a means for artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses to raise funds and mitigate the financial risk of their creative projects or business ventures. You generate financial backing from people who believe […]

Writer Unboxed

Does Social Media Really Sell Books?

There’s no end to the conflicting advice about social media and book marketing. In this post, I present a framework for what’s effective and what’s not.

Jane Runs

Chronic Back Pain and The Writing Life: A Few Remedies

Update (9/15/14): I’ve written a new post explaining what eventually resolved all of my back pain problems. Like most writers, I spend a great deal of time sitting in front of a computer. Every job I’ve held post-college has been a desk job, and my non-work looks exactly like my “real” work—seated, with a laptop. […]

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 […]

photo by Ian Burnes

Editors Are Usually Really Nice People

If you have Zen or Buddhist inclinations—and you’re also in the profession of writing and publishing—you will love this story and meditation by Gillian Burnes. It begins: In the middle of a Vipassana meditation retreat last summer … I went up to the teacher at the end of the dharma talk and said, as sweetly […]

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.

Book metadata optimization

How to Sell More Books By Optimizing Your Metadata

One of the biggest challenges in publishing today is discoverability, particularly at Amazon and other major online retailers. You can ensure your book is found more easily by optimizing your metadata—here’s how.

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 […]

Best Business Advice for Writers: June 2013

Best Business Advice for Writers is a monthly link round-up where I share the best online articles focused on the business of writing and publishing. Share any best reads you’ve found lately in the comments.

E.A. Durden

The Problem With Overly Nice Characters

What’s wrong with overly nice characters? To begin with, they’re boring. This is because they can’t abide conflict, and smooth it over every chance they get.

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.