Friday, July 19, 2013

Agent-assisted publishing: a new hybrid? and more social media news for writers

A snippet from NYT cartoonist Grant Snider's 'The Story Coaster'.
 Click on the illustration to go to the full document
There are as many models in today's wild west of publishing as there are drops of water in the ocean, or so it seems, but you won't want to miss the story below on one literary agency's foray into agent-assisted publishing. If you want to go negative, we have stories on why people post negative reviews and how to cheat your way to popularity. And a few humorous universal truths about the internet. If you stay through to the very end, I have a tiny bit of news (and a commercial). Enjoy!

Agent-Assisted Publishing: Publishing Perspectives produced a series of articles on Movable Type Literary Agency's experiment to launch Rogue Reader, it's agent-assisted (self) publishing arm. Here, the agents talk about what worked and what didn't. In this program, the writers wrote and the agents provided the editing, production, design, distribution and product management. It was their own form of hybrid (a term all writers are hearing a lot lately). Movable Type is pretty generous with the details and there are lessons in this article for every author, self-published or not, and I recommend you read it. Author Ro Cuzon talks about what it was like to see his first two novels published under Rogue's program.

Negative Online Reviews: If you've ever wondered why people seem so invested in writing negative reviews, you are going to find this NYT article fascinating. According to a recent study, it seems those vehement negative reviewers are devoted fans who don't want to see things change. They don't want to see a 'new and improved' product when they liked the old one just fine. The same could apply to that serial character you just bumped off.

If you loved the past articles on how to acquire fake Twitter followers, you're going to love this Wired article on how to make your blog post/article seem more popular than it actually was.

Getting Organized: Because we are all engaged in a never-ending struggle to be better organized, here's  an article from Wired with a handful of apps that will help you do just that, for both iOS and Android.

Do you have multiple Instagram accounts? Chances are you don't because you're a writer and not a thirteen-year old girl, but if you do, this articles gives some tips and tricks on how to deal.

YouTube Mirroring Self-Publishing?: Success on YouTube these days apparently lies with banding together to form YouTube networks. Oh yeah, this sounds familiar: "Collaboration can be the first step in growing one's audience." Also, YouTube networks are building around niche verticals (like popular video games or, in publishing parlance, think "erotica"). And tomorrow's big media production companies are expected to come out of the DIY networks building and growing today on YouTube (similar to the future of publishing?) Nothing profound here, just interesting.

Your RDA of Universal Truth: New Media superman Anil Dash posted his ten rules for the internet which are funny because they're true. You might not see the wisdom in all of them, but I thought I'd post a couple to prove that they really are universal:

  • Once a web community has decided to dislike a person, topic, or idea, the conversation will shift from criticizing the idea to become a competition about who can be most scathing in their condemnation. (See The Law of Fail.)
  • Any new form of electronic communication will first be dismissed as trivial and worthless until it produces a profound result, after which it will be described as obvious and boring.
  • Most websites treat "I like it" and "This is good" as the same thing, leading to most people on the Internet refusing to distinguish between "I don't like it" and "It's not good". (Try substituting "reviewers" for "websites" and ta-da, makes sense now, doesn't it)
  • We hate most in others that which we fail to see in ourselves.

We now interrupt your reading for this commercial message: Amazon has selected my debut novel, The Taker, for a discounted ebook promotion now through August 4th. It's just $2.99 on Kindle. Please check it out (it was named to some nice 'best of' lists the year it came out) or pass the word along to your friends who are fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness and Diana Gabaldon.


  1. Congratulations on being singled out by Amazon!

  2. Thank you! Let's hope we move some books :-)