Image: an aisle at a public library, flanked by shelves of books.

What Do Authors Earn from Digital Lending at Libraries?

Does library lending help or hurt author and publisher income? The debate continues.
Image: two young Black girls sitting together on a couch, reading a picture book.

Black Voices in Publishing: Is It a Trend or a Movement?

The Authors Guild revisits industry efforts to improve inclusivity in publishing.
Image: a loaded container ship on the ocean

Buying Books for the Holidays? Be Prepared to Be Flexible.

From paper manufacturing to ocean cargo, books continue to be buffeted by a variety of supply chain challenges.
Substack money

I Like Substack. But the PR Is Getting Ridiculous.

Substack makes it easy for non-tech people to harness the power of email newsletters, and that's a good thing. Just beware the hype.
How Much Do Authors Earn? Here's the Answer No One Likes.

How Much Do Authors Earn? Here’s the Answer No One Likes.

What you earn is about what business model you can envision or build for yourself and whether it's sustainable for you over the long term.
The New Holy Grail of Traditional Publishers: Direct-to-Reader Relationships

The New Holy Grail of Traditional Publishers: Direct-to-Reader Relationships

Building direct-to-reader relationships may help publishers shift the balance of power in a game where Amazon holds most of the cards.
book sales up in 2020

How the Pandemic Is Affecting Book Publishing

The dramatic shifts to online sales makes it critical that publishers and authors adjust marketing strategies and build new skill sets.
Embracing a Creative Pivot: Q&A with Darien Hsu Gee

Embracing a Creative Pivot: Q&A with Darien Hsu Gee

Author Darien Hsu Gee discusses writing and publishing across multiple genres, going back for her MFA at age 50, and having faith in her creative process.
The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2021–2022

The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2021–2022

Should you self-publish or traditionally publish? This infographic will help you determine the best choice for you and your project.
Priya Doraswamy and Carly Watters

Literary Agents Discuss Foreign Rights and the International Book Market

Literary agents Priya Doraswamy and Carly Watters discuss foreign rights, translation logistics, a book’s chances abroad, and much more.
Common Reasons Nonfiction Books Don't Sell

Common Reasons Nonfiction Books Don’t Sell

If you want to land a traditional publishing deal, then market conditions—and your position in that market—will affect your chances.
Amazon's Importance to US Book Sales Keeps Increasing—for Better or Worse

Amazon’s Importance to US Book Sales Keeps Increasing—for Better or Worse

Amazon has changed, grown, and dominated more than any other company in the book publishing industry. Here are the key developments that authors need to know about.
Everyone Wants Barnes & Noble to Survive. Can It?

Everyone Wants Barnes & Noble to Survive. Can It?

The biggest bookseller in the United States has suffered a slow decline over the last 10 years. Can the business be turned around?
Traditional Publishing Enjoys Its Best Sales in a Decade—Despite Supply Chain Problems

Traditional Publishing Enjoys Its Best Sales in a Decade—Despite Supply Chain Problems

Book publishing faces a very tight printing market at the same time that sales have increased to levels not seen for ten years.
book publishing industry

US Book Publishing Remains Resilient: Print and Ebook Sales Are Growing

As much of the retail world faces crisis, book publishing is positioned to grow in terms of unit sales when compared to 2019. In fact, 2020 may prove to be one of the strongest sales years in recent memory.
Image: tumbling dice on a casino table

How Do Publishers Decide Which Books to Bet On?

Every book is a gamble, and publishers ask the same two questions any capitalist or gambler asks: how much should we stake, and how much might we profit?
Book Publishing News Feed by The Hot Sheet

A New Book Publishing News Feed for Authors—Continuously Updated

A book publishing–focused newsfeed gathers headlines from across the industry; it is free to all and continuously updated and maintained by Jane Friedman.
audiobook publishing

Audiobook Publishing and Distribution: Getting Started Guide for Authors

Everything authors need to know about the audiobook market, including retailers, distributors, and payments.
Markers pointing in different directions

How to Choose an Agent Amid Competing Offers

No two publishing paths are the same. When choosing an agent, find someone you can stand strong with, whether lashed to the mast or gliding in calm waters.
book publishing industry

Current Trends in Traditional Book Publishing: Fiction, Nonfiction and YA

The rise of Millennial nostalgia and graphic novels, the decline of political tell-alls and publisher-driven marketing: all of this and more in 2019 trends.
Friedman DBW

The People in Publishing I Learn From

The funny thing about being any good as a publishing commentator: it requires talking to many others, learning varied perspectives, and writing about ideas you didn’t come up with.
When Teen YA Authors Hire Ghostwriters

When Teen YA Authors Hire Ghostwriters

A ghostwriter discusses the novels she's written for teens from wealthy families who pay up to six figures to bring their kids' dreams to life.
Identifying the Best Self-Published Books by State: The Indie Author Project

Identifying the Best Self-Published Books by State: The Indie Author Project

The Indie Author Project identifies the best self-published fiction by state; thirteen states participate so far. This year's national winner is Ran Walker.
edited manuscript

The Two Basic Rules of Editing (and the Rookie Mistake)

Big-picture editing is a series of judgment calls. But how should those judgment calls be conveyed to the writer? Two rules stand the test of time: (1) Praise. (2) Ask questions.
Margaret McMullan memoir

Getting a Memoir Published in a Difficult Market: Q&A with Margaret McMullan

Even a well-published and successful author can have a difficult time finding a home for a memoir. Margaret McMullan discusses her path to publication.
define and describe your readership

How to Define and Describe Your Readership: A Confusing Issue for Nonfiction Book Proposals

If you’re pitching a nonfiction book, at some point, an editor or agent will expect you to describe the readership that your book is intended for.
Holly Root and John Cusick

Switching Literary Agents: Two Agents Offer Advice

If you’re a writer, how do you know if it’s worth the risk of leaving your current agent? Does past representation impede your ability to find a new agent?
bookstore distribution

For Indie Publishers: When and Why to Work with a Trade Book Distributor

A trade distributor is a partner company who takes over the tasks and responsibilities of selling your books to trade accounts like bookstores and wholesalers.
audiobook listening

Resolving My Cheater Shame: Listening to Books Instead of Reading Them

I’ve been air-quoting “reading” since my first legitimate introduction to audiobooks this past winter.
BookExpo 2018

The First Half of 2018: Traditional Publishers Stand Strong with Nonfiction and Backlist

Broadly, traditional print book sales continue to grow at about 2 to 3 percent per year, but growth is driven by nonfiction, backlist titles, and children’s/YA. Fiction sales have been flat for several years now, with frontlist fiction down 5 percent due to a lack of big titles.
author earnings

Author Income Surveys Are Misleading and Flawed—And Focus on the Wrong Message for Writers

I don’t trust author-income survey results and I question their usefulness in improving the fortunes of writers. Too often it feels like propaganda from writers’ organizations, with the outcome boring and predictable.
small presses

How to Evaluate Small Publishers—Plus Digital-Only Presses and Hybrids

As the publishing industry has transformed in the digital age, small press activity has proliferated. Here's how authors can evaluate their offerings.
Starting Later & Starting Over: Launching a Writing Career When You’re No Longer “Young”

Starting Later & Starting Over: Launching a Writing Career When You’re No Longer “Young”

Seven-figure deals seem to be given to more 20-something debut writers than debut writers in any other age group, yet Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx started writing at 58—and Frank McCourt began writing in his 60s. Were these writers more talented than younger writers trying to break in at the same time? Or has the industry started gravitating more toward younger writers in recent years? Two literary agents, Sarah Davies and Dr. Uwe Stender, offer their thoughts on the publishing industry’s attitude toward age.
A Brief History of the Fantasy Genre

A Brief History of the Fantasy Genre

While fairy tales are ancient, dating back to the Bronze age, fantasy turns out to be a revival movement, rising from the grave of the recent dead. Mention of the word fantasy is minimal through through the twentieth century, with some peaks here and there depending on your source. Around 1945, fantasy took flight, soaring up and up, well into the twenty-first century. Why the change? What summoned the word fantasy back to life in 1945?
indie authors and the value of free

Is Writing Being Devalued by Giveaways and Cheap Ebooks?

There's growing unrest surrounding the proliferation of free and cheap books, particularly ebooks. The reasons for sharp discounts and giveaways are legion (and some reasons are better than others), but regardless of the reason, I see greater shaming of those who are seen to "devalue" literature in our culture.
publishing predictions and trends

What Does 2018 Hold for Writers?

A round-up of publishing industry trend articles, helping freelancers and authors anticipate changes coming in 2018.

A Look Back at 2017 Publishing Headlines: 5 Issues Raised for Authors

Issues touched on: Barnes & Noble woes, the maturity of the self-publishing market, Wattpad profits, traditional publishing's problem launching blockbusters, and the growth of the Amazon ebook sales/borrows
Mary C Moore and DongWon Song

Ethics & the Literary Agent: What Rights Do Authors Have?

What should writers do if they feel that an agent isn’t honoring their obligations, contractual or otherwise? What's the best way to speak up?
how and why to edit anthology

How and Why to Edit an Anthology: Addressing the Naysayers

Anthology advances are small, contributors have little stake in the sales of the book, and branding a collective group is hard. But anthologies are still valuable and worth the effort. Here's why.
how to self publish in france

How to Self-Publish in France

More books are translated in France than in any other country: 1 out of every 6 books has been translated from a foreign language, many from English.
why not to use a hybrid publisher

3 Reasons Why You Might Not Want a Hybrid Publisher

I would never tell someone to publish with a hybrid publisher—every writer's goals are unique, plus hybrid publishing puts the financial risk on the author.
What Editors Do

What Is an Editor’s Role in a Changing Publishing Industry?

I'm a contributor to a new essay collection, WHAT EDITORS DO, edited by Peter Ginna and published by University of Chicago Press.
Jane working at the AWP Bookfair in 2009, while still an employee of F+W Media

My Interview with Leanpub: How I Learned to Edit and My Thoughts on the Author Aspirant

I'm the featured guest on the new Backmatter podcast from Leanpub, which is focused specifically on the publishing industry and its latest trends.
publishing industry

Publishing Industry Status Report: Important Stories for Authors in 2017

Print sales for traditional publishers are increasing this year—up by 2.6% compared to the first half of 2016. Ebook sales are continuing their decline.
Jessica Chapman Tapas

A Serial Publishing Platform That Earns Money for Indie Creators

Tapas, a new digital publishing platform, has led to meaningful earnings and readership for independent artists and writers in less than two months.
high quality literary journal

The Challenge Faced by High-Quality Literary Journals

Today, our problem is not finding more great things to read. It’s finding time to read the great many wonderful things that are published.
Eric Smith and Saba Sulaiman

How Do Literary Agents Approach Diversity?

How do agents—generally considered the gatekeepers to publishing companies—approach the issue of diversity in the publishing industry?
mainstream media

Don’t Immediately Trust Mainstream Sites on Publishing Stories

Here are the latest stories that are causing confusion (and sometimes moral panic) where it's not deserved.
Nielsen book sales share

The Myth About Print Coming Back (Updated)

Discussions about the "resurgence" of print and the comeback of independent bookstores amounts to wishful thinking, not an understanding of the industry.
statistics about Amazon

9 Statistics Writers Should Know About Amazon

Did you know Amazon’s print book sales grew by 15% in 2016—and the gain was primarily driven by Amazon's own discounting on print?