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 […]
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 […]
Today’s guest post is excerpted from Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro by Katherine Pickett (@KPickett_Editor). What Is a Developmental Editor? Developmental editors (DEs) are concerned with the structure and content of your book. If your manuscript lacks focus, your DE will help you find the right direction—the “right” […]
Today’s guest post is by New York Times bestseller Eileen Goudge (@eileengoudge), whose newest novel, Bones and Roses, releases today. I read Claire Cook’s recent blog post with great interest and a jolt of recognition. OMG. She was telling my story! I wasn’t alone. There were other authors like me who were traditionally published in […]
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, […]
This past week, I’ve been a guest at a range of sites. Here’s where you can find my latest musings on the future of publishing and more. Stop Looking for Innovation on the Newsstand In this piece for the Bo Sacks newsletter, I question why we’re using newsstand as a measuring stick for the health […]
Reasons to Be Optimistic During the Disruption of Publishing: A Few Thoughts Following My Muse Keynote Talk
Yesterday, I gave my keynote on Writing for Love (and Money) at The Muse and The Marketplace annual conference, hosted by Grub Street in Boston. While I think I delivered the exact presentation I intended (success!) and sparked some healthy debate afterward, a few questions from the audience indicated that I hadn’t necessarily changed hearts […]
The backlash against Literary Citizenship is underway, and perhaps it was inevitable. For those unaware of term, it’s widely used in the literary, bookish community to refer to activities that support and further reading, writing, and publishing, and the growth of your professional network. In some ways, it’s a more palatable (or friendly) way to […]
For my upcoming keynote talk at The Muse & The Marketplace, I’ve been immersing myself in histories of publishing and the evolution of authorship. While I’m quite well-read on what the future holds (see a separate reading list here), and often speak on the current digital-era disruption, I’ve always wanted a more cohesive understanding of […]
One of my favorite social media activities is collecting charts and visual data related to book publishing and other media, which come in handy for speaking at conferences and providing insight into how the industry is changing. I use Pinterest to save them; view or follow the board here. Here are 5 of my favorite charts […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
This infographic breaks down the key 5 publishing paths, their value to authors, the potential pitfalls, and examples of each.
Read six essays on the future of publishing, as well as ideas on how reading, writing, and editing will evolve.
Is it possible that all the changes happening in publishing can be encapsulated by a conversation about self-publishing?
It’s not unusual for authors to be told by their publishers that author websites aren’t necessary or effective. Should their insight be trusted?
Bestselling author Michael J. Sullivan proposes that publishers give authors permission to send free ebooks to readers who have purchased print editions.
Some writers think a small press is something you have to make the best of. Yet small presses can often serve as a first—even best—option. Three case studies show why.
If you’re ready to hire and work with a freelance editor, learn how to find qualified candidates, plus how to properly evaluate them.
This infographic breaks down the key 5 publishing paths, their value to authors, the potential pitfalls, and examples of each.
There are no “rules” for agent-assisted self-publishing, but the biggest drawbacks are usually loss of control and loss of royalties. All authors should negotiate a contract beforehand that protects their rights and lifetime earnings.
Most writers are aware that the publishing industry is undergoing a range of transformations, new beginnings, failures, and consolidations. But there’s so much change it can be difficult to weed out and understand the most relevant and important changes—especially when hundreds of opinions seem to surround the smallest change. Based on industry conversations I’ve had in the last six months, as well as reports I’ve read by people I trust, here are five trends that writers should keep a close eye on.
On Tuesday, March 5, I found (via Twitter) the following piece by freelance journalist Nate Thayer: A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013 The post consists of an e-mail exchange between Thayer and an Atlantic editor, where Thayer is asked if he would repurpose a previously published piece for the Atlantic’s website. He […]
I answer a few questions about the publishing industry today, and what I think has changed about the writing community since I got into the game.
CJ Lyons (@cjlyonswriter) is an award-winning, critically acclaimed New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She practiced pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine for 17 years before scoring her first big book deal, after which she quit her job and decided to become a full-time author. However, a few weeks before her first book was to be published, it was pulled for reasons […]
Many years ago, when I started working for Writer’s Digest, I was put on the self-publishing beat. I started by reading Dan Poynter’s guide, by the godfather of self-publishing, then the Marilyn Ross guide. I attended EPIC, once the leading conference for e-book authors, and sat on a panel with Piers Anthony to discuss the […]
Last Friday, I had the honor of spending a day with the Reddit writing community, where I participated in an AMA (Ask Me Anything). I answered such questions as: Is self-epublishing being overblown? Where can you find freelance editing and copyediting jobs? What are some good conferences to meet agents in person? How has agenting […]
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 […]
Today’s guest post is by lit addict, movie junkie, writer Emily Wenstrom. A new generation of literary journals is taking advantage of technology to offer something fresh and creative to the literary journal scene. Here are five of my favorites, ranging from those with niche audiences to those with experimental approaches. Brittle Star For the […]
In the past year, I’ve run two posts specifically related to serial fiction—a guest post by Roz Morris and a Q&A with Sean Platt. I also wrote a more in-depth piece for Publishing Perspectives on the topic last year. Last month, Amazon announced Kindle Serials: a new, formal publishing program, exclusive to Kindle, that focuses […]
Today’s guest post is by Shirley Hershey Showalter, who has been blogging about memoir for four years and is writing a memoir about growing up on a Mennonite farm in the 1950s–60s. Depending on whom you ask—or what lens you apply—memoir is either a boomlet that burst or a timeless form just now coming into its own. The […]
Today’s guest post is by copyright lawyer Brad Frazer. He has written two other posts for this site: Trademark Is Not a Verb and Is It Fair Use? 7 Questions to Ask Before Using Copyrighted Material. “I copyrighted my book by putting © on the bottom of the first page.” “This picture is on the Internet, so […]
Earlier this week, I was the featured interviewee over at Andrea Hurst’s Authornomics series. I answer questions such as: What’s the most important thing a writer should focus on to grow their career? What are some tips for dealing with rejection? How can self-publishing authors be successful in an ever-changing environment? Click here to read […]
Yesterday, news broke that Pearson (parent company of Penguin) had acquired Author Solutions for $116 million. Read the basics here. Just to make sure we’re all up to speed: Pearson is one of the Big Six publishers. Author Solutions (ASI) is the world’s leading provider of self-publishing services, primarily dealing in print-on-demand (POD) publishing and […]
Some of you may have heard about the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), a new organization supporting self-published authors. I’m one of the advisors, along with Mark Coker (Smashwords), Joanna Penn (Creative Penn), and Victoria Strauss (SFWA), among other well-known publishing professionals. I discuss reasons for moving to VQR, changes in publishing and self-publishing and […]
I had the very good fortune of attending this year’s National Magazine Awards in New York City. Even though I’m not yet officially on staff of the Virginia Quarterly Review, I was able to tag along and see if any of the three nominations would turn into wins. (Sadly, not this year.) The final award […]
I’ve always believed in sharing the resources I use to stay current and fresh in my thinking about writing and publishing—no matter how advanced or niche those sources are. With that in mind, I recommend the following 3 sites. Lean Back 2.0. This is a fairly new blog by The Economist. If you’re not familiar […]
Last year, on April 1, I released an e-book, The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations. It was mostly an April Fool’s Joke—a joke that cost you $1.99. (Read a full description here, plus reviews.) In this 39-page PDF, I offer 14 possible scenarios for the future of publishing … exaggerated scenarios. But in the final variation, […]
I was flattered when Paper.li reached out to me for a Q&A as part of their community interview series. They’ve titled the interview How to Get Published, and it covers a wide range of trends related to publishing, authorship, and technology. A few highlights are below; click here to read the full interview. My thanks […]
Last week, I spoke with Joanna Penn about trends in the publishing industry, e-books and self-publishing, and online marketing (and some other stuff!). You can see highlights of our conversation over at her blog, listen to the podcast, or watch the video! Here’s a brief overview of my Twitter comments, as summarized by Joanna: On […]
Today’s guest post is from April Line, a freelance writer and writing teacher. Read her previous guest post for this site, Can Children Develop Adequately Without Books?, and visit her online at April Line Writing. When I was in the home stretch of my liberal arts studies, something kind of shitty happened. I got pregnant. Being […]
I recently received the following question from working writer Shannon Traphagen: I have been fervently working on my novel (I am 5 chapters into writing it) and feel I have a platform like no other. My protagonist and antagonist are strong, and I feel it’s a fictional story that’s never really been done before. I’m very […]