How Vox’s whining about author self-promotion misses the point

How Vox’s whining about author self-promotion misses the point

In her article “Everyone’s a sellout now,” Vox’s Rebecca Jennings laments the poor, sad situation of authors who’ve found that only by selling out and promoting themselves can they generate books sales. Some notable excerpts: The internet has made it so that no matter who you are or what you do — from nine-to-five middle…

Version control for authors and ghostwriters (or, how not to drive yourself and your collaborators nuts)

Version control for authors and ghostwriters (or, how not to drive yourself and your collaborators nuts)

Writing books is hard. Collaborating without an effective plan can make it much harder. It’s okay to argue about ideas, structure, terminology, tone, case studies, or audience. Those arguments are productive. It’s not okay to argue about who’s editing which version when — that’s just a stupid waste of time. Even so, I see so…

Ghosts emerge in Central Park East

Ghosts emerge in Central Park East

Note: This convention report was originally published on JaneFriedman.com. With 164 ghostwriters in attendance, the first Gathering of the Ghosts, which took place in New York City on January 22, was likely the largest ever gathering of ghostwriters in one place. As Dan Gerstein, CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters, the cosponsor of the event along with the American…

What authors, agents, editors, and publishers worry about

What authors, agents, editors, and publishers worry about

After more than 50 nonfiction book projects, I can tell you how your various partners are thinking about the book. What authors worry about What authors should worry about that they don’t: What editors worry about Here’s what your developmental editor — whether you hired one or have one through your publisher — is worried…

Why you shouldn’t try to write a bestseller

Why you shouldn’t try to write a bestseller

Every coach, publisher, and vendor targeting authors is telling you that it will help your book become a bestseller. They are bamboozling you. It’s like a hairstylist saying they can make you beautiful. First off, they can’t (unless you’re already beautiful). And second, being beautiful isn’t a very good goal anyway. In the same way,…

Ghost pride; polyglot swearing; IRS jargon purge: Newsletter 24 January 2024
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Ghost pride; polyglot swearing; IRS jargon purge: Newsletter 24 January 2024

Newsletter week 28: why ghostwriters are having a moment, Wimbledon umpires must know how to swear in a dozen languages, and Texas can’t make publishers, authors, libraries and booksellers into thought police. Plus, three people to follow and three books to read. Ghostwriters ascendant I just shared a whole day in New York with more…

Weird names; Childless Chinese; Banned books unite: Newsletter 17 January 2024
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Weird names; Childless Chinese; Banned books unite: Newsletter 17 January 2024

Newsletter 27: Making people say “huh?”, Fairly trained AIs, radical publishers, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and a head start on your next book. What the heck IS that? The names or titles of some things just make you sit up and marvel. They create insane curiosity. What did you think…