Tag Archives: publishers/publishing

#WordUse Series:
On Stationery. And Guilds. And Vocabulary Words.

Stationery is an old-fashioned word. Or maybe I just think it’s old-fashioned because I learned it a long time ago and I don’t see it used much any more, given our electronic culture. But no, my fave dictionary lists it as having appeared in 1688—which is old enough, but its etymology is stationer, which we’re told by the same […]

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Short Saturday: Yes, One Could Characterize the Publishing Industry As Insane

This article has been around for a while and you may not have seen it. Excerpted from My Mistake: A Memoir, by Daniel Menaker (2013), it’s a humorous recap of Menaker’s rise and fall in the biz we all love. (Right? We love it, don’t we?) Too much here to choose a telling excerpt so […]

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Titling Committee Fail

The title of a book is a big deal. It’s the first thing readers see, so it’s an important marketing tool. But there’s no magic formula to creating a good title. Whether fiction or nonfiction, the title should be catchy, interesting, unforgettable; it should get the attention of potential buyers. And publishing companies have a […]

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A Look Inside the Biz

Sometimes you come across miraculously insightful information where you least expect it. Like, in the pages of your Entertainment Weekly magazine. I’ll explain. Every writer I know—published or unpublished, experienced or less experienced—wants to know the magic formula to getting published. We’ve talked about this before. There is a formula. It’s very simple—just three things: […]

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The Unpredictable World of Twenty-First–Century Publishing

This is the unpredictable world of twenty-first–century publishing—a paradoxical place in which more and more Americans each year possess a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing, yet the percentage of American non–book readers has tripled since 1978. According to the CLMP website there are approximately six hundred regularly publishing literary magazines in the […]

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Short Saturday: Jane Friedman’s Key Book Publishing Paths

I can’t keep up with all the trends and opinions in the publishing industry. I just don’t have time for it. I’m interested in these things, though—so there are a few people I follow to get an overview. Jane Friedman is one of them. She’s more a fan of digital publishing than I am, but […]

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Short Saturday: A Considered Discussion of Traditional Versus Self

You know what I mean. A friend of mine—a professor of English lit at a local university who is just weeks away from having her first book (traditionally published nonfiction) in her hand—recently asked me about traditional publishing as opposed self-publishing. It seems even in academia, the “publish or perish” expectation is pushing some authors […]

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Short Saturday: Mass-Market Reading

A friend of mine drew my attention to this article from the New York Times about a new “project” from author James Patterson: He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media. So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read? Mr. […]

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Good Things Take Time (Part 2)

Not long ago—in the summer months—I had to explain to a writer that even if the very first publisher to whom he showed his (beautifully edited, ahem) manuscript* loved it (and he had a very specific publisher in mind), there was no way the book would be in the stores in time for Christmas. Yes, […]

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The Editor’s Lot

Once, as a beginner, I had an experience that revealed the editor’s lot to me. I was a raw and gauche assistant that you would not inflict on any author, but I was thought of as a good ‘backroom’ boy—someone at whom you could shove eleven hundred pages of chaos and demand, “Fix it!” That […]

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