Jane Friedman

Interview with Jane: Art of Commerce Series

It was a pleasure to be a guest over at 0s&1s interview series, The Art of Commerce, where I had a conversation with editor Andrew Lipstein.

According to their site, The Art of Commerce sits on the corner of literature and the marketplace, asking the age old question: “Who’s got the right of way?” They talk with writers, editors and entrepreneurs about … anything. All conversations are “manuscript-first,” meaning they were typed as you see them.

In my interview, we cover building a digital presence, serendipity, querying 15 years ago vs. now, agents vs. self-publishing, crowdfunding, the future of publishing & more. Here’s a little snippet:

If you can help authors make the best decisions of their careers, I’m going to assume you can prevent them from making the worst decisions of their careers. What are some common mistakes you see authors make?

Everyone’s in such a damn rush. I’m unwilling to blame it on instant-gratification culture (that’s too easy), but there’s a real lack of patience. Patience to make a piece of writing better, patience to research agents-editors-outlets, patience to network, patience to get comfortable with social media.

Also, many people are confused about the role of social media or other online activity (e.g., blogging). They put it before the writing or the message. Let’s be clear: the work comes first, in 90% of cases. (Sometimes the blogging is the creative work. Sometimes the social media can be the creative work, too.) But for writers who want to write traditional things (books, essays, etc), you build off the work itself.

Click here to read the entire interview.