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Next Steps in Digitization for Book Publishers

publishersweekly.com – Saturday January 21, 2017

In this inaugural column, I’ve been asked to offer up some predictions for digitization in publishing in 2017. The problems—and solutions—of digitization are more complex than the question of e-books vs. print books. By and large, that divide has stabilized; print books are clearly still a strong part of the market, and e-books have their attributes (instantaneous purchase, no bundles to lug around, changeable font size).

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Jacob Polley: ‘If I’m writing a poem, I should be kept busy doing anything other than writing’

theguardian.com – Saturday January 21, 2017

When my days were all nearly all my own, I used to keep to a routine. Turn up at the page. Achieve something, a little something, before the afternoon crept in with interesting stuff on the radio, a walk in the air, that first glass of wine … I’ve written prose and poetry, and I found that a routine was essential for the prose writing. Then the writing day was, in the early stages of a novel and for a long time after the early stages, about amassing the words. The words had to be there, or there wouldn’t be anything there. That sounds like an odd thing to say now I’ve said it, but I suspect that writing a poem can be as much about the storing up of the energy before the poem’s written down as about the casting of it on to paper. One can have a strong sense of a poem being there, even when there isn’t anything there. Spooky. But this difference between prose and poetry might only be a difference in my own faiths in the two ways in which I can reliably both waste and escape time.

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The five-step manufacturing process that could make you a better writer

theconversation.com – Monday January 16, 2017

If you want to be a better, faster writer, you should treat your writing as a lean manufacturing process. “Lean” is an engineering technique for making manufacturing less wasteful and has been used in industrial production for decades. Today it has spread to sectors from software development to customer services. But I’ve found the principles of lean can even help improve the practice of writing, whether you’re producing a report or a novel.

Lean was developed from Japanese manufacturing ideas in the 1980s and 1990s. It involves applying five principles to minimise waste and increase productivity: flow, value, waste, pull and perfection. The key goals in lean manufacturing are to learn and continually improve. For writing, we have to first start with a finished piece of work in order to get feedback. Then we can start to apply the circular lean process and principles.

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How to Not Waste Your Words: The Secret to Writing a Crappy but Usable First Draft

observer.com – Saturday January 14, 2017

Okay. Let’s get this out there: your first draft of anything is going to be bad — I mean, really bad. Because that’s the job of a first draft. To be bad. And your job is to write it.

Once you write the terrible first draft, you can write a better second one, and an elegant third one, and so one. But you must start somewhere. As writer Anne Lamott says, “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.”

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Is 2017 Your Year To Write And Publish A Book?

forbes.com – Thursday January 12, 2017

Should you write a book this year?  Do you have an idea that you’re convinced the world needs to read about? Consider the strange experience of Mr. Franz Kafka.

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You Can Write a Best-Seller and Still Go Broke

slate.com – Wednesday January 11, 2017

In 2012, a month after the publication of her memoir, Wild, Cheryl Strayed was on a book tour, soaking up the wonder of her first big success as an author, when her husband texted her to say that their rent check had bounced. “We couldn’t complain to anyone,” Strayed told Manjula Martin, editor of the new anthology Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living: “My book is on the New York Times best-seller list right now and we do not have any money in our checking account.”

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5 ways to proofread your writing

poynter.org – Tuesday January 10, 2017

Mistakes can lurk in your writing, whether it's a story, article, blurb, e-book, caption, tweet, menu, flier, Facebook status, blog post, script, advertisement, graphic novel, comic, brochure, editorial, email, manifesto, letter, birthday card, bumper sticker, wedding invitation, classified ad or graffiti.

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40 things I learned about the writing craft in 40 years

poynter.org – Thursday January 5, 2017

This is the first piece I have published since my official retirement from Poynter on New Year’s Eve. I have lots of work ahead of me, but it has been fun and instructive to look back. If you reach your destination in decent shape, it’s easy to forget the bumps in the road behind you. Better to look at the odometer and celebrate the distance you’ve traveled.

As is my habit, I have made a list. It contains 40 things I have learned in 40 years. In some cases, I learned it through study and teaching; in others, through reading and writing. A few of these I remember as original although most were borrowed and adapted from others or learned in collaboration. Whenever memory serves, I attribute this wisdom to others.

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The Kindle Effect

fortune.com – Friday December 30, 2016

Consider the metamorphosis of self-publishing. For decades it was dismissed as the desperate refuge of authors rejected by publishing houses, wannabes who paid a fee to a musty vanity press that would dutifully typeset their words and transform them into a few boxes of books that the “writers” could hand out to their friends.

Today, thanks to ebooks and Amazon (AMZN, -2.02%), self-publishing is a global phenomenon—an independent route intentionally chosen by more and more authors—that has spawned not only mega-bestsellers like Fifty Shades of Grey, but also hits in other realms, such as the movie version of The Martian. Ebook self-publishing has become a $1 billion industry.

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Make this the year you finally write your book

mprnews.org – Friday December 30, 2016

According to a New York Times op-ed from over a decade ago, "81 percent of Americans feel they have a book in them."

If that's still true today, there's almost 200 million American adults roaming the country, dreaming of the novels and memoirs and cookbooks they have yet to write. If even a quarter of them ever move on to the actual writing stage, our bookstores are going to explode.

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