Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Jane Friedman

#Writers Need All the Help They Can Get . . . And, so Do #Readers . . .


At different times and for different reasons, all writers need help—

Writers and Readers need help

Image Courtesy of Mikhail Lavrenov ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/MikLav-51580

—with getting new ideas, with improving current ideas, with editing or revision, with the way to construct a book…

I’ve been extremely interested in a particular phenomenon that’s intended to help writers; however, it’s also intended to help “…readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

It’s the Main Street Writers Movement {which will include this one at the top (and, others, I’m sure, in the future, since I tag my posts so they can be found in groups in the Top Tags widget, down a bit in the left side-bar…)}

In fact, the Founder of the Movement said this:

“The Main Street Writers Movement urges experienced writers to strengthen the national literary ecosystem through passionate engagement at the local level. Let’s honor and amplify our communities’ underrepresented voices. Let’s buy from local bookstores and small presses. Let’s leave our houses and dance in the streets to the sound of each other’s words.”

She also said:

“These are scary and uncertain times, but we must continue to use our voices and to listen to our neighbors’ words.”

And, concerning joining the Movement (for which there are No Fees…), which you can do Right Here, she said:

 [Becoming] “…an official member of the Main Street Writers Movement, [earns] you access to literary community building tools, industry insights, and connections with #mainstreetwriters who are creating new opportunities in their cities. We’ll send you a newsletter once a month with ways to get involved and ideas to make a difference.”

But, once again, even though it’s called a Writers Movement, it truly is also for “…readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

O.K., so that, apart from my normal work as a writer and my duties as a member of Humanity, is one of my top “passions” now; yet, this help for writers thing was also a factor in my writing today’s post because of an article by Jane Friedman called, Author Marketing Collectives: An Increasingly Important Component of Book Promotion.

It makes mention of a group called Tall Poppies; and, my Best Friend (from Australia, where the phrase is used to indicate folks who could use a lecture on entitlement…) feels the group is doing themselves a disservice with that name; though, they are doing quite well, probably because folks in the U.S.A. haven’t run into that phrase…

Now, that was a tortured sentence :-)

So…

The idea behind the group—

I’ll quote from the article:

“…our goals are different from a publisher’s goals. Of course, we would like to sell books but our primary objective is to give our readers access and personal interactions with authors. To that end, a Tall Poppy Author is invested in relationships and not only the kind of relationships where money changes hands. We want our stories to resonate and getting to know our readers help us do that. If a publisher has like-minded, committed, generous authors who enjoy social media it’s possible they could mimic what we do.”

Not sure about you, but this sounds to me like a group of authors who, all by themselves are doing something extremely similar to what Main Street Writers Movement is working to implement.

The only difference I detect is that Tall Poppies is a two-way street between a group of writers and their readers; while Main Street Writers Movement is a multi-dimensional set of paths between:

“Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

I’ve contacted my local library here in Akron, Ohio and a large writer’s group in Cleveland, Ohio and will soon start calling local bookstores, et al.

 Thing is, the library and the writer’s group liked the idea of Main Street Writers Movement but couldn’t see what they could do with it…

I certainly won’t push them and I did recommend they read my posts about it; but, bottom line, I feel they were being insular—wanting to stay on their island, not even attempt to launch boats to make friends with other islands—remain isolated from “…anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”afraid of “diluting their efforts”…

Yet, it’s my firm belief that More can be done with More people from More diverse pools of learning and desire…

Sure, it can demand better planning, smoother logistics, more time, and a firmer commitment to the “larger community”…

But, in a world tearing itself apart into a multitude of sects and causes and parties and nations and walled-off clubs, why not make more room for the transcendent call of the Oneness of Humanity?

Actually, since the mid-1800s and more strongly since the early 1920s,  humanity has been learning to Unify…

There are more groups now, working toward unification, then at any time in the history of humanity—it’s an evolutionary phenomenon…

So… before I spin off into a cloud of aspiration, I ask you to consider (even if it isn’t through association with Tall Poppies or Main Street Writers Movement) hooking up with other folks, merging some of the goals of your group with other groups to strengthen both, volunteering with one of the many organizations working for Human Unity…

O.K., I’m signing off  ’cause I’ve arrived smack in the middle of that cloud of aspiration :-)

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E-Book Publishing ~ An Update from Jane Friedman


This is the 45th post on this blog dealing with the ideas and opinions of Jane Friedman; and, yes, it’s not my normal Thursday Re-blog :-)

Jane, on her About Page, says this:

“I earn my living as an entrepreneur and freelancer; my goal is to be truly independent of any obligation to an employer, business, or organization….My income is driven largely by my own writing and teaching, as well as consulting services for writers, and I consider my interests to be aligned with writers’ interests.”

So

Her blog post—How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors—is an unbiased yet informed set of guidelines and resources.

She begins the post with this:

“About the only thing that remains constant in ebook publishing is that it changes—everything from the services to marketing strategies. Here, I regularly update best resources I know of related to learning to publish an ebook, finding the right e-publishing distributors and services, and staying on top of changes in the industry.”

Here are her section titles (most are followed by copious links...):

Creating Basic Ebook Files
Creating Enhanced, Multimedia, or Full-Color Ebooks
Choosing Your Ebook Retailers and Distributors
Optimizing Your Product Page and Description
Sales, Marketing, and Promotion
Giveaways and Discounts
Getting Reviews
Facebook Strategies
Advertising and Other Monetary Investments in Book Marketing
Excellent Book-Length Guides on Self-Publishing
To Find Freelance Help
Great Sites That Cover Self-Publishing and Ebook Publishing
News & Trends About Ebook Publishing

I should add that many of the services she links to are beyond the reach of a pension-poor writer like me; though, folks in the “middle class” {do we still have one?} will find them moderately priced
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For All Writers & Publishers (Curious Readers Also Welcome)


No re-blog today…

I found a recent article by Jane Friedman

In case you’re new to this blog, here’s a bit of Jane’s Bio:

“Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.”

The article is called, Book Marketing Resources for Authors: The Best of 2016, and here are the main categories of resources:

Amazon

Facebook

Social media

Copywriting

Blogging

Giveaways, reviews & discounts

Online education

SEO

Learn from successful authors

Marketing ideas and roundups

Marketing tools and resources

At Jane’s site in 2016

I doubt you’ll find as much top-notch info anywhere else…
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Book Deals and Author Platforms


Regular readers of this blog know I favor self-publishing; but, I’ve written quite a bit about the traditional route, too—they both have their challenges… 

And, one person who knows a lot about getting traditional book deals is Jane Friedman. This makes the 43rd time I’ve referenced her here…

And, as far as Author Platform, this is the 23rd post with that as a topic…

By the way, taking either of those last two links will show you this post at the top of a scrollable list of all the posts ( unless you first read this post after I’ve done a different post about Jane or platforms :-)

Regulars may be tired of me saying what I just mentioned in that last paragraph; but, my stats clearly show new readers arriving here nearly every day

Before I share a few excerpts from a recent article from Jane about platforms and deals, I’ll share a few excerpts about author platforms (for folks who know nothing about them) from one of my past articles—Building An Author Platform ~ One Critical Step . . . :

“The universe of Book Promotion gave birth to the term Author Platform and I’ve been amused ever since…

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with the term but there are plenty of folks who use it in funny ways.

“Some writers build a platform to promote themselves according to instructions from ‘experts’…

“Some build a platform for their books and then hide under the platform….

“Obviously, an Author Platform is constructed to Elevate the writer—raise them up above the Crowd—give them a place to deliver a Message…

“But, what many writers forget to do before building a platform is to choose a blueprint that They have drawn up and that makes the Platform serve their Own Purpose.

“That last sentence contains what I consider the most Critical Step in building your Author Platform.”

Now for Jane’s recent article—Building a Platform to Land a Book Deal: Why It Often Fails (Jane begins by saying it’s for nonfiction; but, it’s perfectly adaptable for fiction…):

“Platform, in a nutshell, is your ability to sell books based on your visibility to the intended readership. If you’re a total unknown, then you may be turned down for lack of a platform to support your book’s publication….

“The dream-crushing cynic in me is tempted to say: Don’t force it, because it won’t work. You’re reverse engineering a process that—in the majority of cases—is destined to fail. Here’s why.”

Now, I’ll list Jane’s main bullet-points (explaining why building an author platform specifically to attempt to win a book deal will, almost always, not get you a book deal…) and let you go to the full article to read her sage advice…

1. You focus on superficial indicators of platform.

2. You focus on social media growth.

3. You put everything on a timeline that’s too rushed.

I’ll close with part of Jane’s Parting Advice:

“Platform building doesn’t stop if you do land a book deal. Your journey has just begun. The good news is that authors can build a platform by engaging in activities that are most enjoyable to them—because if they’re not enjoyable, you won’t continue doing them for the time required to see any kind of pay off.”

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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#Gifts for #Writers


Today’s post features Jane FriedmanI’ve focused on her 41 other times on this blog and, since I tagged this post with her name, you’ll see it at the top of the other posts :-)…

From her LinkedIn profile:

“I’ve spent more than 20 years in the media industry as an editor, publisher, and professor. From 1998–2010, I worked at F+W Media, where I ultimately became publisher of Writer’s Digest... Most recently, I served as the digital editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review, where I led a strategic overhaul of its website and launched digital subscriptions.

“My current project is The Hot Sheet, a paid newsletter serving the professional author community. I’m also working on a forthcoming book from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Becoming a Writer (2017).”

She shared various tools for writers in her recent post, Gifts for Writers: Tech Savvy and Traditional Options.

I’ll list them here; but, do go to that last link for Jane’s comments on them

Wrights Notes: customized notebooks

“…notebooks that allow the recipient to customize the interior, choosing from lines, blank, dots, squares, to-do lists, wireframes, calendar, or even coloring pages…”

Parc Slope Laptop Stand

“…offers MacBook users a safe tilt, to produce a better viewing height and typing angle…”

Evernote

“…go-to application for short writing projects, to-do lists, idea brainstorms, meeting notes…”

Canva for Work

“…a way for non-designers to produce great design…”

Mod Notebooks

“…paper-based notebooks…that the company will digitize for you…”

Lynda

“…learn any kind of software or digital media tool…”

The Great Courses

“…get access to hundreds of courses instantly…”

Journal of the Month

“…every month, subscribers receive a different award-winning literary journal or magazine…”

Tweetspeak Poetry: Poem-a-Day Newsletter

“…an oasis and quiet moment of reflection…”

The Hot Sheet

“…the most important publishing news for authors”

Isn’t there some holiday coming soon that has gift-giving in its traditions………?

 

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com