The ASJA Weekly
Feb. 7, 2013

A Circuitous Road to Memoir

By Judy L. Mandel
When I started writing Replacement Child, I had a vague idea that I wanted to tell my parents' story of how they survived losing their daughter in a horrific plane crash, and saw their other daughter through years of reconstructive surgery after being critically burned in the resulting fire, writes author Judy L. Mandel. As I wrote, over four years, the story turned sideways and upside down to expose perspectives that I had never known. I found myself alternately wrapped in my mother's struggle, my father's grief, and my surviving sister's courageous recovery over her lifetime. At times, I even felt the presence of my sister who died before I was born. Finally, through a slow revelation, I found my own role in the story.More

The financial feality of a genre novelist
Mediabistro's Galleycat
If you have dreams of selling your science fiction, fantasy or horror novel and getting filthy rich, you need to adjust your expectations. Galleycat collected three testimonials from genre writers below to help aspiring writers to maintain realistic expectations.More

5 things that should be on every writer's bucket list
Writer's Digest
When you stumble into this writing life, you're met with a massive lifetime to-do list of what's expected and required of you to ensure success: Write a lot, read a lot, start a blog, know your grammar, write a novel, attend a writers' conference, join social media … There are those basics. But sometimes you need an extra creative boost, something to kick your writing into high gear when your career or inspiration are stuck in a rut. More

Why do authors choose traditional publishing or self-publishing?
Digital Book Wire
In a recent segment on NPR's All Things Considered, future Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch speculates that authors choose to go with publishers over self-publishing because of "marketing." Though Pietsch has many years of experience working with authors and in a major publishing house, one could credibly speculate he hasn't spoken with nearly 5,000 authors in the past six months and asked them what factors influence their decision to go with a traditional publisher or not. Had he, "marketing" would not have been his first answer. More

Opinion: In book publishing, size no longer matters
The Huffington Post
Once upon a time, authors wrote big books about big topics, and the publications of big books were big events. The competition was Freudian: whoever had the longest one could brag the most. Today, however, the closing of the American mind has given way to the collapse of the American attention span and neither authors nor readers seek size from their books. More

What journalists need to know about interviewing for video
Interviews are a cornerstone of video storytelling because they provide emotion, content and structure, especially in documentary-style stories with little or no narration. Good interviews make for good videos. Fortunately, most of what you've learned about interviewing applies to video. Open-ended questions produce revealing answers. Good follow-up questions create deeper insights. Long and double-barreled questions confuse subjects, or give them an easy out. And good listening can lead to answers with more detail and depth. More

Bookish goes live
Publishers Weekly
After three CEOs and a number of delays, Bookish launched with approximately 2 million ISBNs from 19 publishers and a search recommendation function that its founders hope will make it easier for consumers to discover books. To help draw traffic to the Web site, Bookish will feature exclusive content about books and authors and will work with USA Today to integrate Bookish into the newspaper's book page site.More

The future of librarians in an e-book world
The Atlantic
"There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. So wrote the steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who donated a great part of his vast fortune to establish some 3,000 such libraries around the English-speaking world, from his native Scotland to Fiji, and in 47 of the United States. Carnegie believed that libraries should be more than just repositories for books. He envisioned them as community centers as well, and many of them serve that purpose to this day. But libraries in the 21st century face challenges that Carnegie could not have anticipated, and have struggled to retain their central role to the lives of cities and towns. More