Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Porter Anderson

Special Frankfurt Book Fair Indie Author Fringe Events ~ Two and Three

“This post is part of Frankfurt Book Fair – Indie Author Fringe, an online author conference that showcases the best self-publishing advice and education for authors across the world — harnessing the global reach of the Alliance of Independent Authors’s network. Our self-publishing conference features well-known indie authors and advisors, for 24 sessions over 24-hours, in a one-day extravaganza of self-publishing expertise…” Frankfurt Book Fair ~ Indie Author Fringe

Event One was yesterday…

Event Two:
“This live hangout with self-publishing expert and successful crowdfunder Ben Galley will tell you all you need to know about the options for crowdfunding your book. From the platforms that are on offer to you, to the tips and tricks for reaching your target, Ben will be discussing every aspect of crowdfunding in this lively and interactive session.”


Event Three:

Authorpreneurs Jim Kukral and Bryan Cohen have their fingers on the pulse of the latest in self-publishing news. In this presentation, they’ll tell you the biggest, most impactful news thus far in 2016 and how these stories impact you and your author career.”


For More Indie Author Fringe <<< Click That :-)
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“Looking for Truth in Time of Hype” ~ Are Writers Doomed?

Three things before I get fully underway with this post:

Looking for Truth in Time of Hype ~ Are Writers Doomed?

Image Courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski, SXC ~

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Roz Morris

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Mark Coker… 

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Porter Anderson

All three of those people are involved in an article on WriterUnboxedLooking for Truth in Time of Hype.

Porter Anderson wrote the article—Roz Morris is frequently quoted—Mark Coker is also quoted

Porter Anderson Knows Media—Roz Morris Knows Writing—Mark Coker Knows Publishing

The article is primarily for writers struggling to make their way in the rapidly shifting BookWorld (with all the hype about “Branding”, “Platform”, Traditional vs Self-Publishing, “Promotion”, failing bookstores, etc., etc., etc.).

Here come the excerpts (but, if you’re a writer, you really need to read the full article…):

‘There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be A Writer’

Roz Morris’ comments on that quote:

“I’ve seen this mantra frequently over the past few years in blog posts, conference reports and news items. And I don’t disagree there’s been a lot to celebrate.”

“But from what I see right now, this time is also tougher for authors than ever.”

“Indie authors feel it in their book sales. Hands up, who is in a forum where the chief discussion is “what can I do about my dwindling sales?” “Anybody else had a dismal month?” “Should I drop my book’s price, put it on Kindle Unlimited, write something more popular, send out more emails, spend $$$ on a marketing course?”

“The traditionally published authors I know are faring little better, with shrinking advances, ill-supported launches – even the authors who have awards to prove their worth.”

A quote from Mark Coker:

“The market for ebooks has pretty much gone flat. And so we have a problem here…. There’s a glut of high-quality, low-cost books, more books than readers will ever possibly be able to read.”

Then, Porter Anderson comments on Mark’s quote with:

“That’s something, coming from a man who says his company is:

‘Publishing 360,000 books working with over a hundred thousand authors in small independent presses around the world.'”

A bit later Porter says:

“Publishing a book was never a contest. Presenting one path or another as a cause or a movement has never panned out as anything but…hype. The real goal, by whatever means you pursue it, is to get your work in front of the right audience and, we must hope, find some decent remuneration for all you’ve gone through to do that.”

And, if you do read the full article, you’ll know how important this comment from Porter is:

“You’re no traitor to the ideal of a publishing success if you speak candidly about the struggle. We all need to hear this much more than we need to see great phalanxes of grinning indies, sunglasses flashing as they pull down those “good livings” off their books.”

Then, Porter says this (which generated one Official Slew of Comments…):

“How frequently do you think authors feel they can share their experiences honestly? Do you feel the pressure to make it seem you’re doing better than you are? If you tend to sugarcoat your own experience for others, do you find that it’s helping your sales? —or your outlook?”

And, since I’ve been covering Reading, Writing, and Publishing on this blog for over 5 years, if you want more info on any aspect of those excerpts (or, what you might read in the full article), do put a few keywords in the search bar in the upper right or check out the Subject Index Links in the left side-bar—you more than likely will find more information :-)
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New #Publishing Periodical for #Writers & #Authors ~ The Hot Sheet

If you’re a writer (author) looking to be published or striving to understand the publishing-world, you may want to spend around $US 2.27, biweekly, for an email periodical from two industry powerhouses—Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson.

Here’s a bit about Jane:

Jane Friedman “Writer and professor Jane Friedman has more than 15 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. From 2001–2010 she worked at Writer’s Digest, where she ultimately became publisher and editorial director; more recently, she served as the digital editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review. Jane specializes in educating authors about the publishing industry, and is known for thought-provoking talks on the future of authorship. She currently teaches digital media and publishing at the University of Virginia and is a columnist for Publishers Weekly.”

And, a bit about Porter:

“Journalist, speaker, and consultant Porter Anderson is Associate Editor for The Bookseller’s The Porter AndersonFutureBook in London. A former news anchor, correspondent, editor, and producer, he now focuses his coverage on publishing. His analysis is read at New York’s Thought Catalog, and he programs conference events for IDPF, Frankfurt Book Fair, The Bookseller, and Novelists Inc. He has worked with CNN International,, The Village Voice, Dallas Times Herald, Publishing Perspectives, Rome’s UN World Food Programme, and Copenhagen’s INDEX. He is a Fellow with the National Critics Institute.”

Here are the basics about the periodical from their site:

Why did you start The Hot Sheet?

“We wanted to create a way to help authors understand issues that affect them, but without drama and hype. With a biweekly schedule, we’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain importance or meaning for your long-term decision making. Thus, we hope to provide distance and nuance on complex issues.

“We hear frequently from authors that they’re confused about what’s happening in publishing, or they wonder who’s ‘right’ about controversial issues. The Hot Sheet helps you sort through the noise. You’ll understand reactions and opinions from across the publishing spectrum, and you can decide for yourself where you stand. We think this helps reduce anxiety, increases the knowledge and power of authors, and helps us all work better together.

“Without fear of missing out, you can stop looking through comment threads or social media channels in which everyone is shouting at each other, and focus on your author career.”

Is it for traditionally published authors or self-published authors?

“Both. Changes in publishing affect everyone. We take a neutral perspective on how authors publish, and deliver information about stories, developments, publishers, retailers, and services without any specific agenda or bias.”

Is it for unpublished writers?

“If you’re interested in keeping up with changes in the publishing industry, sure. You’ll be able to understand it. But this newsletter isn’t about how to get published.”

So that $US 2.27/biweekly ends up costing $US 59.00/year and they call that an “Introductory Rate”

They offer a “30-day free trial” but it ends up that you need to pay for a year; but, they don’t charge your credit card during the first month and you can cancel anytime for a prorated refund

You can use PayPal to subscribe but they don’t spell out how the first-month-free works for that

I’m recommending this periodical purely on the reputation of Jane and Porter—I can’t imagine them doing something that’s just hype or producing something that isn’t of great value

So, if you’re interested, go grab The Hot Sheet :-)

Here are a few more reasons, from Jane & Porter, to try it:

  • Do you worry that you’re not keeping up with marketing strategies other authors use? When it comes to PR, are you on thin ice?
  • Do you get exhausted trying to find information about something “somebody said on some blog the other day”—and you don’t even know if it’s important?
  • Have you ever tried to figure out how changes in the publishing industry affect your next book? For that matter, do you know what most impacted your last book?
  • Can you tell if the latest overnight success story is an outlying case, or if it represents something you need to add to your long-term goals?
  • Are you so focused on your writing that you don’t have the industry context to assess issues? When you look for answers, do you find only gossip?
  • Are you looking for a competitive business edge—to be a smart and informed author in today’s shifting business environment?


Perhaps I’ve given you enough to encourage you to, at least, go visit The Hot Sheet site?
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Libraries at the Literary Divide ~ Print & Digital

This post will make it 34 articles I’ve written here about Libraries

As far as I know, my novel (to the left in the side-bar…) is only in three libraries, so far; but then, I self-published.

More on that in a bit

First, let’s look at some ideas from an article in The Washington PostReaders win when libraries add e-books, but preserve print, as well (this article focuses on the USA & I’m hoping a few readers in other countries can even things out in the comments…):

“As demand for e-books soars, libraries are expanding their digital footprints. Spending on e-books nationwide has expanded from 1.7 percent of public library budgets in 2010 to 7.6 percent last year, while money devoted to print collections has decreased.”

“Print still matters, and many libraries are experiencing as much demand as ever for old-fashioned offerings.”

“The good news is that finding a middle ground seems possible — when libraries have the money.”

“With the necessary resources, libraries can take the right steps forward into the digital age without jettisoning too much of the printed past.”

While there are certain initiatives to influence traditional publishers to lower the exorbitant prices they ask for e-books, self-published authors now have an easier path to getting their books into libraries.

C. S. Lakin’s blog has a guest post by journalist and publishing consultant Porter AndersonIntroducing Authors’ New, Free Entry into Libraries: SELF-e.

Here are a few, brief excerpts:

SELF-e is an all-new discovery platform that authors can use to get their ebooks into the American library system.”

“Here’s how it works:

  • You use a PDF or EPUB version of your ebook to upload your ebook here. It takes 10 to 15 minutes.

  • As you go through the process, you’ll be asked for your state of residence.

  • Non-US residents writing in English are welcome to submit, too: they just hit “Outside the US” at the bottom of the drop-down of state names.

  • Once your manuscript is submitted, the Library Journal editorial evaluators do their work.

  • If you’ve indicated that you’d like to be included in your state anthology of curated ebooks, your work is automatically placed there and made available to librarians in your state system.

  • If you’ve also indicated that you’d like to be considered for the special SELF-e Select curated collection to be offered to the national system, Library Journal’s evaluators will take that into consideration.”

There’s a lot more to that article and I heartily encourage those who’ve self-published (and, those who plan to do it) to read the whole thing

So, do e-books in libraries bother you?

Should publishers make it easier for libraries to share e-books?

Will print books disappear?

Or, will humanity find room for both print and digital?

Hope to hear from you in the Comments :-)
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Making A Living As A Writer . . .

Let me be clear at the start, I live on a small pension and would be happy if my books make a small splash after I die.

Writing for Money

Image courtesy of Svilen Milev ~

But I blog about Reading, Writing, and Publishing so I feel a need to “cover” what I consider “important” trends.

My coverage is shaped by my beliefs about writing; and, what I consider important is often very different from what’s being screamed about on the ‘Net

Personally, I feel genre-writing is the only hope for writers who desire the social accolade of Bestseller.

Here are two links to pages that collect the posts I’ve written about genre and bestsellers

For those of you who write stories that focus on issues of vital concern to our human family—those who may not be concerned with sales numbers and are willing to trust the Fates for any large scale acceptance of their works—you may find comfort in these two posts:

The View from The Top Is Usually Blind . . .

What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

For those of you who are committed genre-writers and are looking to make a living with your writing, there is yet another REPORT you can read

Since the report and the site promoting its results are focused on making money with self-publishing vs traditional publishing, I should declare that, on this blog, I’ve tagged 105 posts “Self-publishing” and only 24 “Traditional publishing”

Hugh Howey is one of the people who generated that new report and says:

“Anecdotal evidence and an ever more open community of self-published authors have caused some to suggest that owning one’s rights is more lucrative in the long run than doing a deal with a major publisher. What used to be an easy decision (please, anyone, take my book!) is now one that keeps many aspiring authors awake at night. As someone who has walked away from incredible offers (after agonizing mightily about doing so), I have longed for greater transparency so that up-and-coming authors can make better-informed decisions. I imagine established writers who are considering their next projects share some of these same concerns.”

Yesterday, Hugh wrote on his blog (about the effect the report is having):

“So, the reason my site just crashed is because of a little project I’ve been working on with a friend of mine. We broke street date a day early, as my co-founder and I cracked beers over Skype to celebrate the launch of and the publication of our first report, and down went all the pretty toys.”

If you’d like to read a compendious post about the effect of the report, Porter Anderson wrote this:

A Call for Writers to Organize: Hugh Howey Interview

The “Organize” in that tile refers to a survey that will turn into a petition that says:

“Authors have suffered from a lack of organized advocacy. This petition is a small gesture. It is intended to show publishers that authors would rather be partnered with than acquired. It is open to published authors, those who aspire, and the readers who value their works.”

Be Aware: all the data in the report has been generated only from Amazon

And, if you want to read a humorous take (with a sting) that brings in challenges from a fictitious composite Big 5 gatekeeper, read Joe Konrath’s post:

Me, Hugh Howey, and Legacy John on


If you’re a genre-writer and wondering about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing and how they might make you self-sufficient as a writer, all this is right up your alley

Comments warmly welcomed :-)
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