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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Jane Friedman, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 15 of 15
1. Paul Slavin Joins Open Road as President

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2. The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing for Children's Book Authors

It's difficult for any writer to get published by a traditional publisher, whether you write for adults or for children. That's why more writers than ever are turning to self-publishing. But before you jump on the bandwagon, especially if you write for children, it's helpful to find out more about self-publishing.
Check out the recent post by guest blogger Sangeeta Mehta on publishing expert Jane Friedman's blog. Mehta, a former acquiring editor of children's books at Little, Brown and Simon & Schuster who runs her own editorial services company, interviewed agents Kate McKean and Kevan Lyon for answers to key questions on self-publishing children's books.
Here are some highlights:
Kate McKean: “The anecdotal evidence I’ve seen, however, is that the more titles a self-published author has up, the more visibility they can possibly garner.”
Kevan Lyon: “I do believe that YA writers probably have an edge over middle grade writers in the indie publishing world.”
Kate McKean: “For picture book writers, the cost of producing the book is one hurdle, and distributing it is another bigger hurdle.”
Kevan Lyon: “Self-publishing a full-color print picture book can be very expensive with little room for a profit margin, especially without distribution.”
Click here to visit Jane Friedman's blog for the complete post.
What do you think about the pros and cons of self-publishing? Please share your experiences.
Hope you enjoyed this post! To be notified of future updates, use the subscription options on the right side bar.

0 Comments on The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing for Children's Book Authors as of 11/25/2014 11:26:00 PM
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3. Why Authors Should Believe in Their Websites

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Start Your Novel by Darcy Pattison

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by Darcy Pattison

Giveaway ends October 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Jane Friedman regularly writes about the author-publisher relationship and today’s post struck a odd chord for me. She writes about “Why Don’t Publishers Believe in Author Websites?” (Thanks, Jane for a provocative essay.)

Basically, she says that publishers have three reasons for this attitude:

  1. Publishers see author websites as a time sink: they must train each new author on best practices and then many authors flub it, or once set up, they ignore the website.
  2. Publishers believe that social media is more effective.
  3. Publishers are building an audience that THEY own; there’s not much use for an audience that the author owns.

I would like to argue, though, that author websites are essential FOR THE AUTHOR.

Paid, Owned, and Earned Media (POEM)

When discussing book marketing, a useful concept from marketing people is the idea that there are three ways to reach people.

Paid media, which is the traditional advertising. This type media will attract strangers who originally knew nothing about you and your book.

Owned media, which means things in your direct control. Today, this means your website, your profile on numerous online accounts. This type media tends to attract customers who have already bought something and want to know more about you and your book. This will, in the long run, feed a career, not just support one book.

Earned Media, which is what others say about you because you are interesting in some way. This is the traditional press release, or earning the right to be heard by having something interesting to put in front of journalists. Today, this includes the wide world of social media. This type media attracts fans who want to follow your career and know you more intimately.

In the old days—twenty years ago—there was just earned and paid. Advertising drove all marketing campaigns, you started and ended there.

Today—the Modern Marketing Campaign—starts with Earned Media, especially what you can Earn through social media. But it is a mistake to only camp there, even though some publishers think that an author website is unnecessary.

I would argue, that you should first be the master of your Owned Media, especially your own website. A website is easily available, cheap and totally under your control.

5 Options for Promoting Your Book

Traditionally, we might talk about these ways of promoting a book, and separate it into categories based on media.

  • Print: flyers and posters, ads in magazines/newspapers/specialized publications, sample chapters, direct marketing, newsletter, interviews, business cards, slogans/pitches
  • Audio: radio or online interviews, read samples of your work, give reader’s reactions and comments
  • Web: website and/or blog, email marketing, online ads, sample chapters, RSS, feeds, bulletin boards or forums, ezine or newsletter, affiliate programs, online contests, webinars, advertisements (from Craigslist to GoogleAds), ebooks, podcasts, vlogging, internet memes
  • Personal appearances: BEA, ALA, local library, bookstore signings, literary festivals, teaching, school visits, speaking engagements, seminars, conferences, asking for referrals, elevator pitches, personal PR
  • Social Media: Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, LibraryThing, delicious.com, StumbleUpon.com; spending enough time to become part of the community; using announcements, contest, giveaways

If we recategorize these with a POEM outlook, you get this:

  • Paid Media, which attracts Strangers: posters, advertising in print or online, direct marketing, high profile interviews, high profile personal appearances
  • Owned Media, which attracts Customers and Fans: your website and/or your blog, flyers, newsletter, interview, business card, slogan/pitch, podcasts, email list, RSS, bulletin board followers, newsletter, affiliate programs, online contests, webinar, internet memes and the whole category of personal appearances
  • Earned Media, which attracts Customers and Fans: Interviews, comments/likes/shares, conversation online, GoodReads/LibraryThing/Amazon reviews, community endorsements

What Should be on an Author Website?

A 2012 Codex study surveyed about 21,000 people who buy books. Its objective was to “understand the relative effectiveness of author sites among shoppers and to determine the elements that will keep them coming back to the site.” The Codex study reported that 7.5% of readers visit an author website before they purchase a book.

“The Codex report found that visiting an author’s website is the leading way that book readers support and get to know their favorite authors better. And this is true regardless of age.”

Wow, don’t we want fans who will “want to get to know you better”? Of course.

What are these customers and fans looking for? According to the Codex report, these are things that will keep fans coming back.

  • Exclusive, unpublished writing. 43% of survey respondents said they return regularly for exclusive content. This could include related short stories, but might also include a short essay on your cats. An interesting blog could do this, as well.
  • Author Schedules. 36% want to know the author’s schedule of tours, book signings, and area appearances. In other words, is there any way that a fan could meet-up, get a signed book, watch you speak, etc.
  • Author’s Literary Tastes. Readers want lists of the author’s favorite writers and recommended books. Younger fans are also more interested in knowing about their favorite authors’ book, music, and movie recommendations.
  • Insider Information. 36% of readers (especially men) want “insider” tidbits. YOU know why you killed off that mother in chapter three; explain that to the readers on your website. Include things such as: Background info–where and how you did research; important inspirations for the story; your biggest struggles and biggest successes as you wrote this book.
  • Freebies. 33% want downloadable extras like icons and sample chapters.
  • Regular contact. 33% of readers want weekly e-mail news bulletins with updates on tours, reviews, and books in progress.
  • Fans under the age of 35: contests, puzzles, and games, with prizes like autographed copies of books.
  • There’s one last reason to create an author website and online social media accounts: YOU, the author, OWN these. Your publisher does not. If and when you move on to another publisher (or to Indie Publishing) you still own your audience.

    From a publisher’s point of view, they want to own the audience, so they can sell more books. From the author’s point of view, you want to own your audience, so you can continue to write and have a career and sell more books. The publisher has an interest in your overall career; but not like you do. Only YOU are more passionate about your career than anyone else, certainly more passionate than an agent with dozens of other clients or a publisher with dozens of other authors.

    You OWN this channel of information going out to readers. Why not take advantage of it? Where ELSE will they find this information?

    Yes, building an audience is slow. Watch Jane Friedman talking about the slow growth of her audience.

    If you can’t see this video, click here.

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    4. 7 eBook Price Points Defended

    How much should an eBook cost? To give publishers and authors some guidance, we’ve collected spirited defenses of seven different eBook prices–choose the price that works best for your writing.

    According to a new and unscientific poll, Nathan Bransford found that 51 percent of his readers thought eBooks should be priced between $5 and $9.99. What is your favorite price point?

    $0.99 Novelist John Locke sold more than one million eBooks with this price point: “When I saw that highly successful authors were charging $9.99 for an e-book, I thought that if I can make a profit at 99 cents, I no longer have to prove I’m as good as them … Rather, they have to prove they are ten times better than me.”


    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    5. Interesting posts about writing – w/e July 29th 2011

    Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:

    (Read more ...)

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    6. Interesting posts about writing – w/e December 2nd 2011

    (Read more ...)

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    7. Jane Friedman Appointed Web Editor at Virginia Quarterly Review

    Jane Friedman has been appointed web editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review. She starts in June, tasked with expanding the literary journal’s “online and digital content and a larger social media presence.”

    Friedman has served as the editorial director of Writer’s Digest, but she now serves as the assistant professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati.

    Virginia Quarterly Review publisher Jon Parrish Peede announced the news: “I had the pleasure of watching Jane serve on a National Endowment for the Arts funding panel, and I can state from firsthand experience that she is gifted, energetic, and deeply knowledgeable about publishing and new trends in the field. We are particularly excited about her leadership in developing a greater community of online readers for VQR.” (Via Calvin Reid)

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    8. Smashwords Founder Criticizes Author Solutions Acquisition

    Mark Coker, founder of self-publishing platform Smashwords, criticized Pearson’s acquisition of self-publishing company Author Solutions in a recent post.

    He suggested that the purchase was an investment in a business that makes money off of authors, rather than an investment in self-published authors. Coker wrote:

    Does Pearson think that Author Solutions represents the future of indie publishing?  Author Solutions is one of the companies that put the “V” in vanity.  Author Solutions earn 2/3 or more of their income selling services and books to authors, not selling authors’ books to readers.  Does Pearson think so little of authors that they’ve decided they can earn more money selling them services than selling their books?  Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualm with indies investing in professional editing, proofreading and cover design. I encourage that.  There’s just something about this that feels icky.


    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    9. Internet: Good vs. Evil

    The Internet, as we all know, can be a giant vortex of time suckage.  I have little willpower, it seems, and thus find it dangerously so.  At the same time, I can't imagine how I ever functioned as a writer without it.  Any national security agency or Internet giant personnel monitoring my search history might be alarmed by recent forays into the topics of murder plea bargains, drug dealer slang, and paramedic protocol for overdose, interpersed with "Thanksgiving party games" and  "Schoolhouse Rock."  Such an interesting life I lead...

    While I am far from methodical about endeavors such as organizing, searching, schedule-making, etc., I have happened in my peripatetic Internet travels upon several useful business sites for freelance writers.  Many of our faithful readers are probably already familiar with these, but for those who aren't:

    Robert Kent's Middle Grade Ninja is invaluable for any writer seeking an editor, an agent, or plain old writing inspiration.  Each week brings informative new interviews with agents, editors, and/or writers.  I've gotten a lot of great reading recommendations here.  The online "book club" is fun to follow, too.

    Emma D. Dryden's drydenbks blog is full of great advice, but even better, if you friend her on facebook, she aggregates information from the best writing blogs and saves you the trouble of finding it yourself.  Highly recommended!

    For those interested in digital publishing and new technology, Jane Friedman is a cutting-edge source.

    Finally, QueryTracker is a informational and organizational treasure trove -- part spreadsheet, part encyclopedia, part user review site and entirely free.  If you haven't already tried it, check it out pronto.

    Happy Internet travels!  And may the time saved exceed your time spent on facebook and Words With Friends.  --Jeanne Marie
    Don't forget about our latest Teaching Authors Giveaway.  Follow the instructions to enter for a chance to win a copy of Parched by Melanie Crowder.  Good luck!

    3 Comments on Internet: Good vs. Evil, last added: 6/26/2013
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    10. List of African American History Centers & Libraries

    The National Museum of African American History & Culture is set to open on the Mall in Washington, DC in 2015. You don't have to wait to visit it - you can check out its interactive website at: http://www.nmaahc.si.edu/ For authors looking for opportunities to promote your book or lecture on your book, you might find the listing of African American History & Cultural Centers, Libraries,

    0 Comments on List of African American History Centers & Libraries as of 10/14/2007 5:28:00 PM
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    11. Language Lessons for Little Ones

    I love San Francisco. I can't wait until my son is old enough to really enjoy visiting new places and experiencing the city. There's so much to see and do there but for families who live in, or near the city, there is a wonderful opportunity to have your children learn a foreign language at a very early age. Language at Play offers courses in Mandarin, Chinese, Spanish or French.

    For those of us who live outside of this beautiful Northern California city, there's always the Lingolook Flashcards.

    Oh, and in case you haven't already been to the site, I highly recommend that you visit the San Francisco Musem of Modern Art online to get a glimpse of what the museum has to offer. Their gift shop (and print catalog) are filled with amazingly beautiful products (and books) designed by fantabulous artists. I can't wait to get my hands on the next catalog when it comes in the mail.

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    Mad Anthony Writers Conference & Book Festival...

    This Saturday, April 26th, I'll be offering a session at the Mad Anthony Writers Conference & Book Festival in Hamilton, Ohio (between Dayton and Cincinnati).
    During my session, "For Children’s Writers: 2 Dozen Tips to Help You Get Published" (or Publlished as it says on the event's website), I'll talk about children's publishing, offer advice, and answer questions.

    This event is not children's writing and publishing specific, but there will be a lot a good sessions on an array of topics. For instance my editorial director Jane Friedman is doing a session called "Marketing is Not a Dirty Word." (But don't go to that one, because it's at the same time as mine.) There are also sessions on "Revision, Revision, Revision," "Writing & Publishing Your First Novel," "Picture Book Manuscripts: What Works, What Doesn't," and two sessions on "A Writer's Website," one for beginners, one for intermediate. The event's keynote speaker is mystery writer Hallie Ephron. Here's a link to the conference schedule.

    Concurrent with the writers conference is a book festival featuring hours of signings by authors of various genres.

    If you live close (or close-ish) you should come to the event and see me.

    P.S. That's General "Mad" Anthony Wayne above. He was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army under George Washington. And he had a reputation as a snappy dresser.

    0 Comments on as of 4/22/2008 10:11:00 AM
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    13. Danse Macabre for banjos and clarinet...

    So Maddy is sick, and is fast asleep on the other end of the sofa, so I put on Shock Treatment on DVD -- it's been ages since I've seen it (I'm not sure I've actually seen it since it was on in London's West End in about 1981), although I've had the CD (and before that, the LP) for many years, grabbed a computer and thought I should start to catch up on my blogging. I'm way behind on everything (email? returning phone calls? blogging? I'm backlogged on all of them. Let us not even mention anything new I'm meant to be writing). I'm keeping more or less current with the proofreading of Graveyard Book in the various editions, though, and I'm hugely proud of having done the Graveyard Book audio over the last few days.

    (Yesterday morning before the reading started I also did an NPR interview about Anansi Boys for the Bryant Park Book Club [you can read the discussion so far here] as a sort of warm up.)

    The reading was, in some ways, the hardest I've ever done. I always forget how exhausting doing an audio book is -- sitting in the same position and reading 75,000 words, and getting every word right. The concentration involved is ridiculous. I do them once a year, and admire all the voice actors who do them day after day, reading books they didn't even write! It was hard, and longand somewhere in Chapter Seven I was scared my voice would give out entirely, and then I got to Chapter Eight and it felt like I was flying and could do it forever. (When I finished, I went back and did the very first four pages again, and nailed them.)

    Director Michael Conroy flew in from New York. (He replaced the amazing Rick Harris, who recently retired.) He was a fine director -- picked me up on places I flubbed, let me go when I was doing well. We started talking about what kind of music we'd like on it. "The Saint Saens Danse Macabre," I said, "...as long as it isn't a version we've heard before."

    By which I meant not a standard orchestral version, or a piano version. Not the Jonathan Creek version either. We started talking about takes on the Danse Macabre that might be odd and interesting, how we should go and find a string quartet version, or a version that's just double basses or accordions, or the danse macabre arranged for banjo and clarinet... and about how hard it would be to find versions like that.

    And then we started to wonder whether if I mention it on this blog, we could actually get submissions...

    So that's our current plan. No-one's going to get rich from something that's the chapter intro music on an audio book, I'm afraid. And it won't be a competition, more of an easy way for anyone from anywhere in the world to send in audition samples -- and we need to figure out how to do it, and what the technical specs would be. But that's the plan. If you play the Danse Macabre on the musical saw, this may be the opportunity you've been waiting for...

    More information as we figure it out.




    There seems to be a little more information at http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/06/jane_friedman_shoved_out_the_d.html and http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-friedman6-2008jun06,0,6511196.story

    Honestly, I was shocked and a bit saddened.

    Back in early 2002 I was ready to leave Harper Collins, when my then-editor left; Jane Friedman talked me into staying, promised a lot and then delivered on all of her promises. (There were things I wanted that were against Harper Collins policy, like having a trade paperback and a mass market paperback of the same book out at the same time.) I got to spend real time with her last year in Beijing, at the Book Fair, and she really impressed me with her understanding of publishing, of where publishing was going. She's very funny, very practical, ferociously smart. I don't think that Harpers would have been so supportive of the monstrous thing that http://www.neilgaiman.com/ has grown into without Jane -- nor would it have been as easy to push through the free online American Gods a few months ago.

    I like Jane -- she's larger than life, and I like larger than life people. I'm glad I was at what turned out to be her farewell party at the Fox lot (even if I did spend much of my time reminding Matt Groening that I really need to be a head in a jar on Futurama) -- and I hope she winds up somewhere that's as challenging for her and as interesting as CEO of Harper Collins.


    What are your thoughts on the idea of age ratings on books? I personally think it's potentially off putting to children who want to read outside of their "age range".

    I saw a discussion about it on BBC Breakfast this morning.



    I think it's deeply stupid. You can get all the information about who a book is aimed at across to a book buyer with typefaces and design. Putting more or less compulsory coloured bands on books saying what age the reader is expected to be seems like something that's just going to stop people -- of all ages -- reading books. Exclusive, not inclusive.

    As far as I know, Bloomsbury, my UK children's publisher, has simply decided not to play, and won't be banding. (Bloomsbury are also doing one edition of The Graveyard Book for adults and another edition for children, and none of us have any idea what age group it's aimed at. People who like reading about a boy who was brought up in a graveayard, I suppose, of whatever age.)

    There's a web site http://www.notoagebanding.org/ where a number of authors, illustrators, academics, librarians and editors have pointed out how deeply twerpish the banding is. I signed up for it with enthusiasm, endorsing the following statement:

    We are writers, illustrators, librarians, teachers, publishers and booksellers. Some of the undersigned writers and illustrators have a measure of control over what appears on the covers of their books; others have less.

    But we are all agreed that the proposal to put an age-guidance figure on books for children is ill-conceived, damaging to the interests of young readers, and highly unlikely, despite the claims made by those publishers promoting the scheme, to make the slightest difference to sales.

    We take this step to disavow publicly any connection with such age-guidance figures, and to state our passionately-held conviction that everything about a book should seek to welcome readers in and not keep them out.


    When you first posted links and photos on your blog about "Blueberry Girl", your collaboration with Charles Vess,I was thrilled. Now, a bit after a month since it was supposed to be published, I haven't see hide nor hair of it. Was it published in late April, or pushed back?

    Thanks so much,


    It definitely hasn't been published yet. I looked around, and it looks to me like Blueberry Girl is going to be released in February 2009. (You can see pictures from it at http://greenmanpress.com/news/archives/185)

    0 Comments on Danse Macabre for banjos and clarinet... as of 6/7/2008 12:50:00 AM
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    14. Should Unknown Writers Blog?

    I've always wonder about this. In fact, I resurrected my blog so I could use it as an online journal but with the hope that others will find the content useful.

    So if you've wondered whether you should have a blog or not, here are some thoughts.

    Jane Friedman wrote a great article on her blog about this.

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    15. Four Key Self-Publishing Categories

    Jane Friedman is the former publisher and editorial director of Writer’s Digest, she is an industry authority on commercial, literary, and emerging forms of publishing.   Currently, Jane serves as a visiting professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati, and is a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest.

    Since 2008, she’s offered advice for writers at her award-winning blog, There Are No Rules. She is the author of the Beginning Writer’s Answer Book and is working on a new book for writers, forthcoming in 2012.

    Here is what Jane has to say on this topic:

    It’s becoming more difficult to explain the options available not just because there ARE more options, but because there are subtle shades of differences between the options that aren’t immediately clear or apparent—even to people inside the industry.

    With this post, I hope to establish some categories to help us talk about the different options now available.

    First, let me emphasize: There is no one-size-fits-all self-publishing option. It all depends on your goals, your skill level, and the audience you’re trying to reach.

    I would classify most self-publishing options into these 4 categories:

    1. Print-on-Demand (POD) “Full Service”
    2. Print-on-Demand (POD) “Free Service”
    3. E-Book Single Channel
    4. E-Book Multiple Channel

    1. Print-on-Demand (POD) “Full Service”
    This is the self-publishing option that became very popular in the early 2000s, because it made self-publishing more affordable than ever. Print-on-demand technology allowed for books to be printed one at a time, only after an order was placed, avoiding the necessity for authors to pay for a traditional print run that would most likely sit in a warehouse somewhere, unsold.

    There were many players in this arena at first, but consolidation took hold, and AuthorHouse bought up the key players but retained their branding, including iUniverse, Xlibris, and Trafford.

    AuthorHouse is now seeking partnerships with traditional publishers to form branded self-publishing imprints that they service. This has happened so far with Thomas Nelson’s West Bow, Harlequin’s Horizons, Hay House, Writer’s Digest’s Abbott Press, and also, just recently, Berrett-Koehler.

    Key characteristics of this option

    • Highest priced option for self-publishing since you’re paying for “full service” publishing, which usually includes solid customer service. For better service (e.g., content editing or copyediting), you have to pay for a higher priced package. It can cost thousands of dollars, or hundreds, depending on the package you choose.
    • You have to do nothing, aside from hand over your Microsoft Word document and write a check.
    • You have very little control over pricing. (The common complaint is that you can’t price to reasonably compete against a traditionally published paperback.)
    • You are responsible for all marketing, though of course you can pay for a marketing package that may or may not be helpfu

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