Traditional Publishing

Greg Jackson: 'Writing a novel is like an interminable family vacation' – Thursday October 6, 2016

"Hello?” Skype blinks across the Atlantic to reveal Greg Jackson in his Brooklyn apartment on a boiling afternoon. One of his characters may use the video chat app to keep in touch with her “dysphoric” dogs, but the debut author confesses he’s unused to such communication himself. And though he’s warm and forthcoming, with the air of a slightly worried Buddha, he does seem a little cautious.

This is unsurprising for a number of reasons – he’s new to media scrutiny, he describes himself (and the other writers he knows) as a “stay-at-home introvert”, and Skype is a peculiar way to talk. But caution, qualification and a keenness to include nuance seem to be part of his style as a person. And they are also characteristic of his striking debut short-story collection, Prodigals, for which the US National Book Foundation last week named him as one of five writers under 35 expected “to make a lasting impression on the literary landsape”.

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How Jonathan Ames Approaches Writing for TV – Tuesday October 4, 2016

Jonathan Ames began his career writing novels and performing in small theaters around New York City before landing a job writing and starring in his own pilot for Showtime. As a newcomer to running his own TV show, Ames acclimated himself to the fast-paced position through on-the-job training. After creating and working on three seasons of the HBO cult classic Bored to Death, Ames moved to STARZ to help develop and oversee the Seth MacFarlane-produced Blunt Talk, a comedy centered around popular TV newsman Walter Blunt (Patrick Stewart). Blunt Talkpremiered its second season last night and Ames appears to have found his rhythm as a showrunner. He approaches each season of the show by constructing an “idea document” which is later molded into ten scripts. I spoke with Ames about what it’s like writing comedy for Patrick Stewart, the difference between crafting novels and television scripts, and working on a talk show with Moby.

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How writing an audio-first novella changed John Scalzi’s writing process – Tuesday October 4, 2016

Audiobooks are more popular than ever, and as more people listen to novels on their phones or computers, publishers are beginning to experiment a bit more with the form. One example is John Scalzi’s The Dispatcherwhich arrives today from Audible. The novella is debuting as an audiobook months before a print edition, and presented some interesting opportunities for its author.

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Big Data’s Power to Innovate Content and Enhance Reader Engagement – Monday October 3, 2016

Consumption habits across industries, spanning different products and services, are evolving dramatically in the digital era. And the book publishing sector is not immune to these winds of change.

Like film, music and other forms of content, books, too, are undergoing a major transformation in terms of both development and distribution, thanks to rapidly changing customer expectations. Empowered readers today demand an intuitive user experience, as well as personalized, engaging and interactive content, for both academic and non-academic books.

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Writers Remembering – Sunday October 2, 2016

How many television programs are celebrating 50th anniversaries?”

The answer, of course, is “hardly any.”

But, a magazine celebrating a 50th anniversary isn’t unusual, according to Dr. Samir Husni, Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism. Husni – known as “Mr. Magazine” – is decidedly bullish on printed publications.

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Challenges for Publishers in Uncertain Times – Saturday October 1, 2016

The demise of print has been famously and erroneously predicted for years. In the early 1990s, the CEO of a major professional publisher announced that “print is dead.” To his credit, he publicly recanted that statement several years later. Despite the incredible advances in digital technology and new opportunities for selling e-products, print sales have remained the bread and butter of almost all publishers.

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The ins-and-outs of good writing: how great novelists tackle a sex scene – Thursday September 29, 2016

About three years ago, The New York Times asked a group of novelists to give their views on whether it was possible to write convincingly about sex. By far the most thoughtful contribution was from Edmund White, who has written powerfully about gay sex in several of his books. He began: “Sex is our most intense form of communication in a language no one can decipher or interpret.”

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5 Writing Tips From Creative Powerhouse Tavi Gevinson – Saturday September 24, 2016

Writers talking about writing is usually a 50/50 deal. Either their words are powerful and shed new light on an act we thought was so simple, or else it's so sterile and heartless that you're reminded how terrible learning how to write can be. The good news is when it's good it's great and probably better beyond that. Some writers have inspired generations with their words of wisdom and vulnerable introspections about their writing journey. One such person — who is presumably far from the end of her journey — is Tavi Gevinson.

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10 People (Besides The Author) Who Bring A Book Into the World – Wednesday September 21, 2016

It wasn't until I began working in publishing that I realized what a huge and complex industry it is. I think most people have an idea that book publishing consists mainly of a writer and an editor, duking it out over comma-placement in a battle of the wits. In reality, there's much more to the process, and many people are involved in the publication of a book.

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The Long and Winding Road to Finding a Literary Agent – Tuesday September 20, 2016

This summer, one of my writing dreams came true — I signed with a literary agent!

I’ve been writing my entire adult life, so this wasn’t my first attempt at attracting representation, but this time, I succeeded. I thought I’d share some reflections on the process that might help other aspiring writers out there. How do you know when you’re really ready to pursue and work with an agent?

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