Jane Friedman

Helping authors and publishers make smart decisions in the digital age

Latest articles

11 Signs You’re Ready to Self-Publish

Today’s post is by author and editor Kim Catanzarite (@kimcanrite). It’s a tough decision for a writer to make, one of the toughest. All your life you’ve fantasized about one of the big New York publishers buying your book and its subsequent astronomical launch into the stratosphere. But it hasn’t happened yet in spite of your eating,...

Find the Ending Before You Return to the Beginning

Photo credit: nchenga on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC Today’s post is adapted from the new book Writing the Novella by Sharon Oard Warner. The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written. —Joyce Carol Oates When I taught my first graduate fiction workshop in 1994 at the University of New Mexico, I did as...

Backstory and Exposition: 4 Key Tactics

Today’s post is by regular contributor Susan DeFreitas (@manzanitafire), an award-winning author, editor, and book coach. She offers a first 50-page review on works in progress for novelists seeking direction on their next step toward publishing. Landing your novel opening can be tricky. On the one hand, you need to get the reader sucked...

Fix Your Scene Shapes to Quickly Improve Your Manuscript

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels Today’s guest post is by writer, coach and editor Lisa Cooper Ellison (@lisaellisonspen). In your final manuscript, every scene should contain a conflict that’s essential to your narrative arc, something that simultaneously captivates the reader and catapults your story forward. Last...

Get Reader Reviews Now to Drive Sales Later

Photo credit: natlas on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND Today’s guest post is by author and publisher Mike O’Mary (@Lit_Nuts). I was recently on a video conference with members of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). We were talking about “discovery”—aka, how do small publishers (and independent authors, for that matter)...

Building Your Writing Support Triangle

Photo credit: Ken Mattison on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND Today’s post is by author, editor and coach Jessica Conoley (@jaconoley). Every writer I know who has lasted in the publishing industry for more than five years has one thing in common: a support system that functions on multiple levels. Everything about this industry—querying...

Do Stories Have a Universal Shape?

Today’s post is by author J.D. Lasica (@jdlasica). Disclosure: Lasica serves as editor in chief of BingeBooks, a sister site to Authors A.I., which has provided the underlying data for this piece. Do most novels share certain storytelling patterns? More than three decades ago, Kurt Vonnegut toyed with the idea that stories have universal...

The Importance of Finding Your Marketing Sweet Spot

Photo by Robert F. on Unsplash Today’s guest post is an excerpt from the new book How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market by Reedsy founder Ricardo Fayet (@RicardoFayet). One of the first (and only) books I read about startup marketing, with a view to apply its advice to growing Reedsy, was Traction. Published in...

The One Thing Your Novel Absolutely Must Do

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels Today’s post is by regular contributor Susan DeFreitas (@manzanitafire), an award-winning author, editor, and book coach. She offers a first 50-page review on works in progress for novelists seeking direction on their next step toward publishing. Start in the middle. Get all the important...

Understanding Third-Person Point of View: Omniscient, Limited and Deep

Photo credit: neil conway on VisualHunt.com / CC BY Today’s guest post is by editor Tiffany Yates Martin (@FoxPrintEd). Join Tiffany on February 10 for her next class, Master Point of View to Strengthen Your Storytelling. For most writers, first- and second-person POVs are fairly straightforward (though in the point-of-view family,...

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