Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

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

Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

ToC: Techno-calities: Locution, locution, locution. In its sixth year, the Tools of Change Conference — just closed in New York City — easily held its own as one of publishing’s two great confabs of a stressful year, the other being last month’s Digital Book World Conference + Expo. And when it comes to locution, ye shall know them by how they say “data.” Read More

Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

If the Digital Book World Conference helped prepare our souls for the coming travail, the battle now is joined by reinforcements, in the form of the annual Tools of Change Conference (#TOCcon). In ToC we trust. Read More

Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

Even in the Battle for the Showroom, odd alliances may already be springing up. Barnes and Noble has issued a powerful condemnation of Amazon, claiming the Internet retailer has “undermined the industry as a whole and prevented millions of customers from having access to content…as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self interest.” But in an unexpected turn, authors may be in the first wave B&N has to fight. Read More

Writer Unboxed | On 'Social' Media

When did we all descend into the Valley of the Corporate-Cute? Shall we say with straight faces that the brave Tunisians – whose dogged grace inaugurated the Arab Spring — tweeted their way to freedom? I suppose they’re lucky that Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and “Biz” Stone didn’t consign them to quacking in glory or chirping their triumph. And does it make you love a social networking/sharing/bookmarking service better to find it spelled Tumblr instead of Tumbler? Flickr instead of Flicker? Licorize, Pinterest, YouTube. Read More

Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

There’s something about the stance of writers in the publishing community right now that isn’t quite what it should be. I don’t have to get too specific in describing this. It’s never more evident than at this time of year when two of our biggest conferences are choreographed to pass in the night. Read More

Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

Your hot seat awaits at the Writer’s Digest Conference and Digital Book World Conference in New York. Not since Margaret Mitchell fanned those other flames has the industry gathered in so superheated a salon of controversies for the kickoff of its annual ConfabWorld season. Can’t be there? No problem. Keep these hashtags handy: #wdc12 and #dbw12. We’ll be sure some smoke gets in your eyes. Read More

Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

Today, it wouldn’t hurt our con­gre­ga­tion of pub­lish­ing to catch a church-window reflec­tion of how we look engag­ing in one industry-wide panic after the next. Our ener­getic knees-up exer­cises of fever­ish fel­low­ship seem so fre­quent nowa­days that we might as well sched­ule them. Plus: Why “The Joy of Books” is joyless cuteness. Read More

Writing on the Ether | JaneFriedman.com

In chatting with some year-enders as we watched that ball ex machina descend in Times Square to haul us all out of the mess that was 2011, it became clear that many authors today see the digitization of things as just such a handy lift, a chariot swinging low to carry us home (where the readers are) — to deliver everyone from the gatekeeping Eumenides of old publishing and into the stage-center jig-fest of DIY abandon. Mickey Rooney, that ancient thespian, called this “let’s put on a show!” Read More