The Best Advice an Author Can Get

May 22, 2017

Self-publishing has an ill-deserved reputation for being easy. Sure, you can take a bad manuscript in a Microsoft Word file, skip editing, design your own cover, and upload the mess to Amazon. That’s easy. Doing it well, doing it successfully, is damned difficult. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Though when it works, it can be glorious. (more…)

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Classified! Does the Bestseller Code Divulge its Secrets?

September 21, 2016

The Bestseller Code is already the most talked about insider’s book on the writing and publishing industry. Who wouldn’t want to know if a computer can predict whether a manuscript will be a bestseller? What author wouldn’t want to know if there’s a scientific formula for plotting and writing novels that will propel them onto the New York Times bestseller list?

NYTBestsellers-smI don’t have to do any computational analysis to predict that The Bestseller Code will itself be a top bestseller. It’s provocative and it’s profane: the book challenges many of our assumptions about how writing and publishing work. It embraces a complex scientific methodology and makes it (almost) fun and (almost) comprehensible. The co-authors, Jodie Archer & Matthew L. Jockers, both PhDs, keep things rolling along: the text is bright and lively. (more…)

Barnes & Noble Throws Self-Publishers a Bone

July 6, 2016

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone
— W. H. Auden, Funeral Blues, 1936

The big news about Barnes & Noble is that after twenty years of battling with Amazon they have finally made a competitive move that Amazon cannot match. Barnes & Noble, with 640 bookstores in 50 states, is giving self-published authors a chance to get access to their hallowed bookshelves. Meanwhile, Amazon runs one bookstore in Seattle (albeit with 3 more slated). Barnes & Noble wins this contest hands down. (more…)

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Digging Deeper into the Manifestos

January 27, 2016

“Reading comprehension,” Wikipedia tells us “is the ability to read text, process it and understand its meaning” (emphasis mine). I remember in Grade 5 at St. Anselm’s School when Mrs. Webber introduced our class to SRA cards, a ground-breaking reading comprehension game that help teach kids that reading wasn’t just mouthing the words and stringing the words together in sentences, something beyond “Dick and Jane Jump and Run.” (more…)

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The Manifest Future of Publishing

January 18, 2016

It’s a great and timely idea: “Five-Minute Manifestos” for the future of the book business. Philip Jones, editor of the UK’s The Bookseller started the project as a lead-up to last December’s FutureBook Conference in London. But publication has continued since the conference. Jones first outlined the goals of the series in Those Magnificent ManifestosPorter Anderson is serving as the able co-pilot.

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