The ASJA Weekly
Jan. 24, 2013

Did you know?
Did you know? The ASJA Monthly is ASJA's monthly magazine, filled with news and features of interest to the whole freelance writing community. And it's free at Each month you'll find great articles and items about the art and business of the writing life. Current features include: Voices on Writing: Kelby Carr, Widen Your Horizons with Corporate Writing, From Fact to Fiction, Fired Up By The Chef, and others. There's also an archive packed solid with informative articles that can help you to develop your writing skills and improve your freelance career. Visit soon and subscribe!More

Newspaper audience aged severely since 2010
The population of people reading newspapers has aged dramatically in the last three years to the point that nearly three-quarters of the audience is aged 45 or older. More

Swarming a book online
The New York Times
Reviews on Amazon are becoming attack weapons, intended to sink new books as soon as they are published. In the biggest, most overt and most successful of these campaigns, a group of Michael Jackson fans used Facebook and Twitter to solicit negative reviews of a new biography of the singer. They bombarded Amazon with dozens of one-star takedowns, succeeded in getting several favorable notices erased and even took credit for Amazon's briefly removing the book from sale.More

Letters in the Wind: A writer's evolution
The Millions
Kevin Hartnett , a staff writer for The Millions, writes the Brainiac ideas column for the Boston Globe and blogs about fatherhood and family life. "The first time I learned what it means to be really good at something was in high school, on a golf course, with my hands cracked raw in the cold. I was on the 17th hole at Cape Arundel, a short, tricky course on the coast of Maine where the Bushes played in the summer. But as I stood there contemplating my tee shot in a hard wind off the Atlantic, all the glorious rounds I'd played on long August days felt very far away; I was who-knows-how-many strokes over par, my swing disintegrating in the elements."More

Venerable Vanity publisher Vantage Press closes its doors
Writer Beware
Vantage Press, one of the USA's oldest vanity publishers, closed its doors at the end of 2012. In a letter to creditors received by PW, law firm Hendel & Collins of Springfield, Mass. writes, "Vantage does not have sufficient revenue to sustain itself as a going concern. It has, therefore, ceased all business operations."More

Little big, man: Small changes, big effects
Columbia Journalism Review
Sometimes, it's the little things that count. Little things like whether to use "a" or "the," for example, or whether to include a comma in a particular spot.More

Considering self-publishing? Don't bother, unless you follow Guy Kawasaki's advice
And if you're considering self-publishing a book, make the first resource you read Guy Kawasaki's new book APE: Author- Publisher – Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book co-written by Shawn Welch.More

Amazon touts self-publishing benefits front and center
Publishers Weekly
Amazon's home page began featuring a promotion for author Vincent Zandri and the success he's found through publishing on the Kindle platform after his book deal with a traditional publishing house fell through. "Mystery writer Vincent Zandri was flying high when his novel The Innocent won a publishing contract with a promised $250,000 advance," the promotion reads. "Thirty years old and convinced that he was on his way to Grisham-like success, Vincent was shocked when the deal began to go south." More

Why write your own book when an algorithm can do it for you?
Phil Parker is unlike any writer you've ever met — or read for that matter. That's because he doesn't write most of his books. Instead, the trained economist uses sophisticated algorithms that can pen a whole book from start to finish in as little as a few minutes. The secret is sophisticated programming mimicking the thought process behind formulaic writing. It can take years to create these programs, but once completed, new books can be churned out in minutes. More

Self-publishing no longer a second-rate choice for desperate
Colorado Springs Gazette
By Marty Mokler Banks: On a recent Sunday morning, I sat at the computer, finger poised above the mouse. With both fear and excitement, I clicked "Publish." Within minutes, my children's chapter book, "The Adventures of Tempest & Serena," was self-published and available in paperback and e-book at online retailers, bookstores, schools and libraries everywhere. Ten years ago, I never would have clicked that button.More

Kobo doubles sales in a crowded e-reader market
The Christian Science Monitor
The last year or so has certainly been a mixed bag for booksellers. After a holiday season in which Barnes & Noble posted dismal sales while some independent bookstores rejoiced in brisk business, Kobo is now reporting surprisingly strong numbers for its e-reader sales over the past year.More