Publishing Tales: Stories about Literature from across the Web (Feb 6-11)

Each week, we collect stories about self-publishing and authorship in the digital age. These are some of our favorites. If we’ve missed a good one, leave it in the comments. Or send us a note.

On Writing

  • Making a Living as a Published Author: There are a lot of opportunities for writers to make money, but this article focuses on making a  living as a published author. Masterman is an author of two books, the first of which put her into the spotlight with AARP and NPR, and her success is growing. In this article she talks about success, inspiration, the 20 years before success, and more.
  • Setting Goals: Why You Need Them, and How to Write Them: Blogging can be approached with goals and it can be “spontaneous and fluid.” Even if the blog is just a tool for expressing yourself, bloggers can set goals that don’t interfere with the creative process. This article talks about how to set realistic goals, and explains why goals are important to consider for blogging.
  • Just Keep Swimming: On Overcoming Writer’s Block: The author argues that by having an intention with our writing, we could be blocked to new ideas. Writers block comes because a writer has limited themselves to thinking in a specific way, so the author says to surrender and let the stimuli around us push us forward with our writing.
  • Monotasking: The Forgotten Skill You (and I) Need to Re-Claim, ASAP: People have become consumed by the need to multitask to the point that our full attention is hard to put into any one thing at a time. Multitasking has been shown in studies to harm our brains, but there are ways to change thinking patterns to help the brain. The author found that when she lessened her multitasking, she could concentrate better than before.
  • The Psychology of Flow: What Game Design Reveals about the Deliberate Tensions of Great Writing: Great stories require the author to be influenced by both “fertile ennui and surmountable frustration.” There’s a middle ground that allows the writer to be taken in by the writing, and results in a “fruitful ‘flow state.’” Readers also need to be in the flow state through use of the middle ground of frustration and satisfaction.
  • How to Shut Up Your Inner Editor: Noelle Sterne guest wrote this post in order to talk about how to deal with your inner editor. It’s that voice that makes writers second guess their work and creates panic, but it doesn’t have to stop your progress.

Self-Publishing + Professionalized Amateurism

  • Why Authors Walk Away From Good, Big 5 Publishers: This is a guest post by author Harry Bingham. He talks about the changing times (different eras) of publishing, and the adapting of publishers today. He talks about how currently, there are no concrete answers for authors because change is still happening and effecting the different parts of publishing.
  • Creative Destruction: The author talks about how our artists are getting to be fewer and fewer, and interweaves information from the book Culture Crash. People don’t want to pay for art, and everyone is considered an artist, so serious artists don’t make much money. He end by talking about how to support the arts.
  • Turn Yourself Into an Authorpreneur: This article is about how to make money as an author by looking at yourself as an entrepreneur. The idea is to “build a business around your book” instead of just relying on book sales. The author includes 10 questions that can help you develop a business plan.
  • An industry divided? In digital we trust — some of us: This article is about how different viewpoints are of the emergence of digital in relation to publishing. There’s a different division of viewpoints for people in relation to publishing and the “digital dynamic” that Jones has recognized: that which digital has helped the traditional business model and that which digital is tradition’s threat. There are a number of opinions, such as publishing has transitioned to digital versus the idea that publishing is hiding from the truth and needs to wisen up.
  • In Defense of Self-Publishing: The author talks about her road to publishing and how she self-published out of necessity. Her thought is that publish if you want to publish, whether it’s traditionally or self-publishing, because any book is better than a manuscript gathering dust in your desk.
  • Why FanFiction Is The Future of Publishing: FanFiction used to be looked down upon by major publishers, but after the success of Fifty Shades of Grey it has shown itself to be a strong force. Some authors don’t care or encourage people to write fanfiction about their work, while others hate it. This can be a concern with copyrights, but normally as long as there are no huge profits then publishers just leave the fanfiction writers alone since it can be a form of marketing.

The New Bookstore

  • Scribd Launches a “Netflix for Comics”: Scribd is a type of book rental that’s like Netflix, and it just added 10,000 digital comics. The article talks about the service, which doesn’t have Marvel or DC comics and costs $9 a month.There are other digital comic services, but Scribd is “arguably the largest service.”
  • Amazon’s New Giveaway Service Offers New Promotional Opportunities But Comes With Strings Attached: Amazon have a new giveaway service that helps simplify online promotional contests and make them automated. The author talks about the service, Amazon’s own contests, and the giveaway FAQ. One of the problems he has with the FAQ is the fact that ebooks aren’t included in what you can give away.

Emerging Media

  • On ‘Serial’ and the Podcasting Phenomenon: This article is about the New School’s Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall’s program, “serial and the Podcast Explosion.” There was a panel of diverse minds that talked about the influence on media and technology intersection for journalism, storytelling and public radio. This article has parts of the transcribed conversation of the panel, along with a link to the entire panel.
  • Why Your Instagram Nature Shot Is Breaking the Law: The article includes stories, videos and information that shows how the diversity of rules pertaining to photography across the U.S. makes it hard for people to know if they’re breaking the law when photographing. The Forest Service has started having stricter guidelines for commercial photo permits and they’re starting to prosecute people for violations, but normally when the violation results in “vandalism or resource degradation.”
  • Story Shapes: Four Ways To Think About Narrative Architecture: The author talks about how a story is more than two-dimensional, that there’s movement and architecture. The whole article is about how to improve writing stories and looking outside of the norm.
  • Leanna Renee Hieber: I Write What I Want: The point of this article is to tell writers to be themselves and write what they want, because this is a hard line of work and sometimes all they have is the joy of writing.

The Business of Magazines