Industry News & Trends

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A Book in 30 Days: What Writers Can Learn From Rapid Publishing

BY AMANDA L. BARBARA The Internet has brought about a new age of experimentation in publishing, and stepping into the literary laboratory is the prolific storytelling duo, Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. The authors’ recent project, “Fiction Unboxed,” was a crowdfunded experiment in writing and publishing a book live in 30 days. Platt’s...

Why I Published 4 Novels in 6 Months

Hi, WD community! Today we’re sharing a guest post from J.E. Fishman, a former editor and literary agent turned author. He has penned Dynamite: A Concise History of the NYPD Bomb Squad and the novels Primacy, Cadaver Blues, and The Dark Pool. His Bomb Squad NYC series of police thrillers launches this month with A Danger to Himself and Others, Death March, and The Long Black...

3 Surprising Lessons About Publishing Today

With the newsstand release of every new edition of Writer’s Digest magazine, I typically share a few of the best tips relating to the issue’s cover theme here. But in compiling our February 2013 issue—focused on innovative ways to Make Money Writing and featuring an unexpected WD Interview subject—I found that it held so...

The Real Oscar Winner: Great Storytelling

Even before Quentin Tarantino proclaimed in his Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay (Django Unchained) that this would “be the writers’ year,” it was impossible not to notice all the exemplary written work—books and screenplays alike (and stage plays, for that matter)—at the root of this year’s big Oscar-buzzed films. Strong storytelling...

5 Digital Discoverability Tips

By Rob Eagar Recently, I spoke at the inaugural Discoverability and Marketing Conference hosted by Digital Book World (www.DigitalBookWorld.com) in New York City. The theme of my presentation was “Discoverability starts with psychology, rather than technology.” My point was that you can get your book discovered, but if you fail to answer the reader’s...

Advice for Writers: 7 Reasons to Self-Publish Your Book

  Self-publishing used to be a last resort for aspiring authors unable to break through the traditional publishing fortress. With the help of vanity presses, those writers took matters into their own hands and brought their books to market, for a fee. These days, self-publishing has a newfound respect. The “guilt by association” connection...

When It Comes to Getting Published, There’s No Shortage of New Ideas

Today I’m talking with Jesse Potash, the founder of PUBSLUSH (www.pubslush.com), which presents a unique new model for getting published. Because it’s so unusual – and because they’re a non-profit – I thought you might find it of interest. Jesse was a panelist at last month’s Writer’s Digest Conference. Here’s the scoop: PUBSLUSH Press...

Looking Into the Future of Bookstores: 4 Angles

There’s lots of emotional activity over on my Facebook page—and everywhere else online!—about the future of bookstores. Some of the activity feels like examining the veins of the leaves on trees (e.g., I must have the ability to read my paper book in the bath tub, dammit!). Let’s take a wider view. When you read...

Borders Failure Is a Small Part of Bigger Phenomenon

Today I was on NPR’s Morning Edition, offering my take on the Borders’ liquidation. Click here to listen. Many of my colleagues insist Borders’ failure had nothing to do with e-books. Yes, bad management played a big role here. Borders has been a weak player for years, and it’s survival of the fittest out...

5 Factors to Help You Evaluate Blogs & Online Authorities

    Today, over at Courage 2 Create, I’m the featured interviewee. I discuss online authority, and how to decide which people and organizations you should trust. Here’s a small snippet: Authority comes in a variety of forms, and we each have different values that can lead us to disagree on who an “authority”...

Free E-Book on Building Readership by Cory Doctorow

Portrait by Jonathan Worth My most popular post (so far) this year, 5 Free E-Books Every Writer Needs, could’ve benefited from one more addition: The Problem Isn’t Piracy, The Problem Is Obscurity by Cory Doctorow This e-book gathers some of Doctorow’s best essays and rants on why authors should give their work away, stop...

3 Publishing Trends Writers Must Stay On Top Of

This week marks the publishing industry’s largest trade show, BookExpo America. This is the first year since 2004 that I’m not attending, but in honor of that show, I’m offering up 3 key industry trends you should stay on top of. (Above: My cat Zelda implores you to stay informed.) 1. Agents Becoming PublishersThis...

The "Self-Pub Is Crap" Debate

I’m reaching an exhaustion level with the following two viewpoints: Most self-published work is crap. Anyone can “publish” their e-book and call themselves an author. None of these “books” are edited. It’s a huge pile of crap that’s just getting harder and harder to sift through. (God save us from the crap!) And the...

Midlist Nonfiction Books: Too Much Effort for Too Little Return?

Pictured above: A slide from Margaret Atwood’s marvelous presentation at TOC on the future for authors When it comes to non-narrative nonfiction books, I don’t think of the authors of these books as authors. I think of them as experts, entrepreneurs or business professionals who are interested in authoring a book because of the...

Everyone Wants to "Help" Writers. But Whose Help Do You Really Need?

You’ve probably heard the “Wild West” cliche more than once this year in reference to all the changes happening in the publishing industry. For starters, there’s the Borders bankruptcy, the Amanda Hocking self-pub success story, the Eisler defection, and Amazon striking deals with New York houses for print distribution of their Encore titles. (If...

Helpful Insights for Self-Publishing Novelists

I moderated a panel at SXSW called The Self-Publishing Novelist, which included insights from 3 experienced experts: John Sundman. Read an interview with John here, Building an Enthusiastic Fan Base as a Self-Published Author. Carolyn McCray. Read her helpful articles over at Digital Book World, including Best Practices for Amazon E-Book Sales, How to...

Future of Publishing Round Up

Okay, this is the last dedicated round-up (at least for a while) on the future of publishing! My interview with Writer Unboxed on the future of publishing My interview with The Writer Mama on the future of publishing Virtual Davis summarizes Web response to my thoughts on the future of publishing My free e-newsletter...

70% of Books Used to Fend Off Zombies

My predictions in The Future of Publishing (which releases today!) leave no stone unturned. For example, here is a graph illustrating what people of the future do with their old books: Would you like more predictions? Check out the 39-page book, just $1.99.

The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations

Today marks the long-anticipated release of The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations! It is now available as an e-book (PDF only) for $1.99. It’s packed with 39 pages of juicy predictions. To get a taste of what’s in store, read this Q&A I did with Christina Katz on the future of publishing.

Can the Short Story Survive?

Matt Lapata wrestles with declining readership of the short story, and what can be done to keep the genre vibrant, in the latest Glimmer Train Bulletin. Here’s a little bit of what he had to say: If the [short story] is to survive (and I don’t have space to say why I think it’ll...

Best Tweets on Break (Enigma!)

Best Tweets is on break this week so that I can focus on The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations, releasing this Friday, April 1. It’s an e-book exclusive that will be available for $1.99 through Scribd and the Google eBookstore. I’m also preparing to teach an April 7 online class with Writer’s Digest: 5...

The Future of Self-Publishing

There are many predictions about the future of publishing (I’ll be making my own on April 1), but I haven’t seen many about the future of SELF-publishing. This month at Writer Unboxed, I tackle the issue: The Future of Self-Publishing Services I predict that self-publishing will become essentially “free,” since e-books will become the...

3 Helpful Blogs I've Recently Discovered

While you can keep up on my favorite online reads here, it’s been a while since I discussed some of the newest and best sites I’ve found. Note that I am very pragmatic in my online reading. Aside from keeping up with industry trends, I look for nuts and bolts resources that can come...

Bestselling Author Turns Down $500K Deal to Self-Publish

The breaking news today is that NYT bestseller Barry Eisler turned down a $500K deal from his publisher, St. Martin’s, in order to self-publish his next book. In honor of the occasion, he and JA Konrath have a conversation that extends 12,000 words. You can read/download the entire thing here as a PDF. It’s...