Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Down the rabbit hole

When I’m on the net, as well as researching for my book, I look at a few blogs. Every couple of days I check in with Jane Friedman, a managing director of Writers Digest, an American publisher.

Writers Digest has been around for nearly 90 years...they specialise in publishing books and magazines for writers and all the ephemera that goes with publishing in today’s digital world.

Jane has recently been promoted at F and W media (new name for the company in the shuffle last month) and is in charge of the whole Brand of Writers Digest as Publisher & Editorial Director of the F+W writing communities, that’s the books, the annuals(marketplace books) the magazine and the online TV, website, workshops etc.

Of course I’m mostly interested in children’s writing so I read Alice’s blog a lot but Jane is her boss and as all the editors at Writers Digest blog as part of their job...Jane is always a good read for giving an overview of publishing and the trends in it.

As I have been doing a small series on online marketing tips for authors I thought I’d share what Jane is doing with a new book that is coming out. I think this illustrates what I have been blogging about - the changes in the promotion and marketing strategies of publishers, and how authors can improve their marketing and self promotion.

Go to Jane’s blog and read the whole post but here is the pertinent bit for authors out there to contemplate...especially if you have access to any of this technology.

I think one of the best examples of our brave new world is how we plan to launch Donald Maass's new fiction-writing book next spring, Fire in Fiction. If this book had released a year ago, we would've run a couple ads, maybe scored an excerpt in the magazine, and that would be it.

Today, with WD run as a community-category, here's what's slated:
WD Magazine
Original article on fiction writing from Don to run in spring/summer 2009

Original online courses (regular courses plus brief webinars) built around the book, offered in the months prior to and following the book's release

Digital Products
Simultaneous Kindle and other e-book editions

Online at WD.com
Sneak preview chapter posted before publication
E-launch party on WD.com blogs/forums, featuring exclusive live chat with Don

WD Newsletters
Free chapter download and advance purchase incentive (buy book early, get access to exclusive online chat)

Feature Don as a speaker for at least one event in 2009
Of course, all this change doesn't come without its challenges, and you'll no doubt get to experience a little of that rough road with us, as we figure everything out. As we boldly move forward, I hope you will come to our aid with ideas and suggestions (and perhaps a sprinkling of patience).


‘Down the rabbit hole’ phrase, as it applies to blog links, courtesy of Melinda by way of Lewis Carroll.

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