Industry News & Trends

An E-Publisher That Specializes in Original Short Works

The digitization of publishing has spawned many new presses and publishing models, and one of them is 40K Books. 40K takes advantage of the e-book format by specializing in novelettes and focused original essays. Based in Milan, Italy, they handle world rights, translating and selling their e-books in different languages (English,...

The Evolution of How I Use Twitter

I’ve written several lengthy posts on how writers can use Facebook to platform build. I’ve said very little about Twitter use. That’s because it’s so difficult to give advice on how to use Twitter that would apply to everybody. So much depends on: What type of audience you’d like to reach...

Is It Tougher to Get Published These Days?

Over at Writer Unboxed today, I have a guest post that tries to pin down how much “trouble” the book publishing industry is in, and how that affects writers. It’s a highly complex issue, so my answer could be summarized as, “It depends on who you are.” There’s no doubt, though,...

My Best Posts From 2010

Here’s the very best advice I offered here at NO RULES in 2010. This can serve as a handy guide, or share this link with writers who might be new to NO RULES. (What a good Christmas gift, right?) Above: my cat Zelda. She approves of this list. Plus I don’t...

Agents & Editors: Take This Quick Survey

Cartoon from Toothpaste for Dinner I’m conducting a bit of formal research for a future blog post. I have a question from a writer that goes something like this: I’d like to know what happened in 2009-2010 in the publishing world. I’ve heard some amazing things (30% of employees laid off,...

An Agency Offers Paid Services—With Strings Attached

I’ve written frequently on agents and innovation of their model, twice for Writer’s Digest, and twice for Digital Book World: The Evolution of the Literary Agent (Writer’s Digest, August 2010) Agents Need to Develop Alternative Models (DBW, June 2010) The Changing Agent-Author Relationship (DBW, February 2010) The Future Role of Agents...

New In-Depth Interview With Me at Writer Unboxed

Last Friday, part 1 of an interview with me went live over at Writer Unboxed. Here’s a quick snippet: Overall, social media tools—and I use that term broadly, to include all types of person-to-person interaction online—have driven transparency and opportunities to communicate with and reach a very distinctive and unique audience....

A New Way to Take Classes With Me

Since 2009, I’ve taught dozens of online classes for Writer’s Digest, and spoken at just as many live events. But I know many of you haven’t been able to work these classes into your schedule (since classes often run during the day), or you can’t leave home to attend a conference....

What Can Set You Apart: Your Ability to Focus

In an excellent interview by Dan Blank, Christina Katz talks about practices and skills of successful writers. Here’s a brief (edited) transcription of the opening message of the conversation. There’s a lot of confusion out there for writers. Writers are being overwhelmed with messages telling them you gotta do this–no wait,...

Kindle Singles: A Big Opportunity for Smart Writers

Just last week, Amazon announced the launch of Kindle Singles, a new imprint specializing in short nonfiction works of 10,000–30,000 words—which, if you didn’t know, isn’t considered a marketable length for any traditional print publisher. I see this launch and immediately wonder: Why didn’t an innovative publisher announce an imprint like...

The Future of Publishing: You Get to Decide

The topic of my talk at the Y-City Writers Conference (this past weekend) was “The Future of Publishing.” While I talked a bit about tech and gadgetry, what I really focused on was how much power writers now have in deciding what their future is. Meaning: Now, more than at any...

5 Articles You Should've Read Over the Summer

I share many publishing-related articles via Facebook and Twitter (and through Best Tweets), but I know many of you aren’t involved in those networks. So, I’d like to highlight 5 articles that I think every writer should have read over the summer. Where Will Bookstores Be 5 Years From Now? by...

The Evolution of the Literary Agent

The October 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest features the annual round-up of agents looking for new writers. Chuck Sambuchino does an excellent job as usual in curating this hot list. Just as important, the October issue features standout queries that worked for authors in landing literary representation, including: A masterful and...

The Evolving Role of Literary Agents

Today I’m a guest interviewee over at Jungle Red Writers, on the evolving role of agents. The incredible Hallie Ephron interviews me. Here’s a snippet: Hallie: Is the agent’s traditional role as link between author and publisher going the way of the dodo? Jane: I’d rather say that the agent’s limited...

Don't Annoy People on Facebook

I have a wide range of friends of Facebook—including many writers who are using the site to market their work. While this isn’t wrong in and of itself, some approach the site as their personal direct marketing tool, and do more damage than good. That’s why I wrote this lengthy post...

Writers & Publishers Need to Act More Like the Art World

Today’s Q&A is with Dan Holloway, who I first met on Twitter as agnieszkasshoes. Dan is a founder-member of Year Zero Writers, and curator of eight cuts gallery and eight cuts gallery press. I was very intrigued by the new publishing operation he’s launched, eight cuts gallery press, and asked him...

You Can Learn As Much From Writing Friends as Writing Experts

Today’s guest post is by writer David B. Schlosser, who attended the 5th annual Killer Nashville literary conference. My thanks to him for summarizing for us the best information he heard. Follow David on Twitter.— We’re all in this together. By “we,” I mean people dedicated to stories and the words...

The Power of an E-mail Network (10 Years in the Making)

My Q&A with Hyla Molander—on her success finding readers with Scribd—sparked many people to contact me about their success too in using the site. However, even before Hyla, I had met Ransom Stephens, who is further along in his journey. His novel, The God Patent, was recently released in print from...

Four Ways E-Books Will Change Your World

Anytime I suggest e-books might become the primary or preferred format for reading, a lot of people get upset. They say they can’t possibly imagine giving up the satisfying, human, physical experience of reading a paper book. I think everyone knows where I stand on that issue—and much of my thinking...

Agents Won't Survive Just By Charging a Higher Commission

Last year, I wrote a piece in Writer’s Digest (September 2009) about the future role of agents. I had three key points: Agents need to innovate on contracts to keep themselves, as well as their authors, alive through the transition. Richard Nash has the right thinking in this area. Agents need...