Thursday, May 8, 2014

2 Adventures in PubSmart (part three) by Kate Tilton

I am thrilled to be back on Adventures in YA Publishing to share some highlights from one of the best keynote speeches I have attended. Many of you likely know Jane Friedman already, but if you don’t be sure to follow her on Twitter and check out her latest adventure, Scratch Magazine, a must-read for authors about writing & money.

If you are new to this PubSmart series please take a minute to check out the first two parts covering tips from the master classes. Part one IBPA’s Mini Publishing University and part two Social Savvy & Media Mastery are jam packed with information to help you publish smarter.


What Does It Mean to Publish? by Jane Friedman


  • The 1800s experienced a shift to universal literacy; now we are experiencing a shift to universal authorship.
  • Publishing is now instant, so instead of asking, “why publish this?” we are asking “why not?”
  • Instead of scarcity of content we are now faced with scarcity of attention.
  • From the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press to the 20th century, to print something was to amplify it.
  • Now distribution can be done by everyone. This shift among others leads us to where boundaries and routes are blurred and gatekeeping has become filtering.
  • Authors must focus on lifetime marketing because the conversation never stops.
  • There is a quickening pace in publishing as it is easier to sell to existing readers than to gain new ones.
  • We are seeing dynamic pricing and giveaways being used to build loyalty before monetization. “Free” is the tool of the unknown.
  • Serial and mobile driven content like Kindle serials, Rooster, and Wattpad are growing.
  • Author co-ops are forming, such as bestselling box sets featuring multiple authors.
  • Trans-media is growing, where one story is developed for different forms of media such as television, audio, print, etc.
  • The power of social media is in the information it gives you about your audience and finding your readership.
  • Instead of taking on an adversarial relationship with others, focus on how you can help them reach their goals.
  • We are not going back to the way things were.

I loved Jane’s message. Too often we waste time debating over what is the “right” way to publish or what to call this method or that method. Instead we should focus on what is and how we can all publish smarter no matter the route we choose. Because we are not going back to the way things were. We are moving forward. Together. If you have any questions about this article, publishing, or social media I would love to hear from you. We are all in this together! Just leave a comment below or connect with me on my website,

About Jane Friedman:

Jane Friedman has spent more than 15 years in the media industry as an editor, publisher, and professor. Currently she serves as the web editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), based at the University of Virginia, where she also teaches digital publishing and online writing. Her newest digital media initiative is Scratch magazine, a quarterly publication for writers, all about the intersection of writing and money.

Before joining VQR, Jane was the publisher of Writer’s Digest, a $10-million multimedia brand where she was responsible for the business strategy and financial performance of a team of twenty, which covered editorial, design, advertising, and online media operations. She also worked personally with many authors and oversaw the publication of hundreds of books.

Her expertise on the transformation of the publishing industry has been featured throughout many events and media, including NPR’s Morning Edition, Frankfurt Book Fair, Publishers Weekly, SXSW, Nieman Journalism Lab, and AWP. Since 2001, she has spoken at hundreds of writing and industry conferences, and has also served on panels and advisory boards for nonprofits such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.

Related Articles:
Reasons to Be Optimistic During the Disruption of Publishing: A Few Thoughts Following My Muse Keynote Talk
The Role of the Expert Has Radically Changed [Smart Set]
Will Self-Pub Dwindle When There’s Less Backlist for Authors to Exploit?
Are There Limits to Literary Citizenship?

About Kate Tilton:
Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. You will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10pm Eastern.

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And don't forget to tune in for the last three posts in the PubSmart series, coming May 10th, 22nd and 24th!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Traci! Jane gave us an excellent keynote. :)


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