What’s Next for Self-Publishing? The Marketing Agent

Secret Agent 110New and disruptive (often technology-based) business models have wreaked havoc on a host of traditional businesses over the last several decades. One of those is publishing, with the Internet providing the technology, and Amazon providing the disruption. Much of this disruption has been a boon for authors. But what about the rest? Continue reading

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Self Publishing is Real! (Now what?)

Tale of Two Cities 110At some point in the last two years self-publishing became accepted as a real, and even preferable, route over the traditional path. That’s great news, but it’s only the first step. What we need now is for a self-publishing ecosystem to evolve that makes self-publishing a more efficient, enjoyable and effective route for authors of all types.

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There may be Hope for Johnny (the Book Formatter) Yet

ODFLogo 010Earlier this year I wrote one of the more successful entries I’ve posted at this site thus far. It’s received over 1600 reads to date, and is titled Why Johnny Can’t Format (a book). In it, I recount the tale of how Microsoft came to wipe out competition on the desktop, with the result that word processing innovation came to a screeching halt over 20 years ago. Today, that long period of stagnation may have come to an end. Continue reading

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A Reader of Reviews of your Own Books: To be or not to be?

Scales 120All authors can be divided into three categories: those who read reviews of their books, those who don’t, and those that do and claim they don’t. It would be fair to say that all authors can also be divided into those that are successful enough to ignore reviews, and, well, all the others (like me). Continue reading

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The Future of Competition in Publishing: Be Very Afraid

Lord Stanhope Printing Press 120If you were to count up all of the earnest articles, blog entries, and even Colbert Report routines that have been dedicated to the Amazon vs. Hatchette dispute, well, you wouldn’t have an accurate number, because more would have been written while you were counting. Curiously enough, almost 100% of them  miss the point of greatest concern to authors. The real issue isn’t whether the on-line retailer or the publishers win the current battle, but whether there will be any real competition in the marketplace in the future regardless of who wins. Right now, it’s very hard for me to see how there can be.  Here’s why. Continue reading

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A Writer’s Journal: Managing Complicated Plot Developments

Escher 120When you’re really on your  writing game, the words flow effortlessly from your mind’s eye to your fingers. But at other times, and especially if you’re working in a plot-driven genre, presenting the next developments in your narrative may be laborious and exacting. That may include puzzling out how to help the reader thread her way through the thicket of details that you’ve concocted while also keeping the reader’s interest and maintaining pace. Unless you’re unusually good at juggling lots of writing demands at once, that’s a process that’s not likely to come so effortlessly. So how to you get through that thicket yourself? Continue reading

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A Writer’s Journal: Linear vs. Scene Writing

Lafayette 120Most fiction authors, I expect, start in the beginning of the story and write their way straight through the plot until they reach the conclusion, and certainly that seems to be the most logical way to go about the enterprise. But what if that just isn’t working for you? Continue reading

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