The Dreaded Training Debate: What If It Can’t Be Taught?

 “Like toadstools,” one seasoned observer calls it. It’s this sudden proliferation of “author services,” especially the ones there to teach you, instruct you, train you. They’re everywhere, these kitchen-sink companies, and many of them seem to be peddling (or claiming they do) parts of the job we’re not even sure can be taught. Today’s provocation is about… Read More

Seattle's Finest: Jon Fine Is Leaving Amazon

The Face Of The Company’s Publishing Platforms To Thousands After almost nine years at Amazon, I am sorry to announce that Jon Fine has decided to leave the company at the end of the year. When he wrote the internal memo that told the Amazon workforce of Jon Fine’s impending departure, Charles Kronbach, may have had the same… Read More

The "W" in AWP

Authors in the Spotlight: How To Turn Your Readings Into Book Sales with Porter Anderson Join me in this spe­cial three-hour inten­sive Boot Camp ses­sion at Writer’s Digest Conference East (#WDCE) at 12:30pET on Fri­day, April 5. We’ll look at pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion for the entre­pre­neur­ial author in an interactive, up-on-your-feet workshop format: come with two… Read More

To Arms: AWP's Boston Foray

Writing on the Ether is a collection of news and perspectives on publishing. It is written by journalist and critic Porter Anderson for Jane Friedman and it appears at each Thursday. Sponsorship opportunities are available and offer generous promotion. Join us on Tuesdays at Ed Nawotka’s and Frankfurt Book Fair’s Publishing Perspectives for the new Ether for Authors column. Read More

Writing on the Ether |

We like that word now, don’t we? Disruptive. Oh, yes, we do. Not for nothing did Gayle Feldman, covering the American Association of Publishers for TheBookseller quote one publishing executive saying, “things are going to get ugly” as the US Department of Justice circles with warnings of a collusion suit. Read More

Extra Ether |

A dizzying amount of copy is hitting the fan of the publishing community about the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation of “agency pricing.” This post is an off-day Writing on the Ether collection of selected writings on a potentially a key moment in the digital evolution of the industry. Read More

Writing on the Ether |

“There is absolutely no correlation among advances paid or sales or price or buzz or anything and talent. If there were, Paris Hilton would not have received a dime from a publisher.” Industry specialist Kassia Krozser looks at the crisis in quality and pricing amid the digital upheaval in publishing today. This and a range of other issues from publishing. Read More

Writing on the Ether |

This week in Writing on the Ether: Literature and long lines / The AWP conference sits down in Chicago … Open sorcery / A call for industry-class conferences (not more AWP-level confabs) for authors … Amazon / Some embrace it, others run from it … plus book piracy, Google, Apple, reading, and Virginia Woolf (this week’s Last Gas). Read More

Writing on the Ether |

Can real sense ever be made of the digital disruption of publishing — mothership retailers hovering in cyberspace over flocks of woolgathering independents in pastures below — if the core industry’s relationship with writers isn’t addressed? During discussions of the new incident between Amazon and the Independent Publishers Group (more on that below), I’ve been reminded by our colleague, Andrew Rhomberg in London, of the phrase “creative destruction” from economic theory. Read More