The ASJA Weekly
Feb. 20, 2015

Those Pesky Ghosts of Journalism's Past
Randy Dotinga, ASJA Magazine

From the President's Desk
Quiz time! Think, for a second, about San Francisco, which played host to an ASJA fall regional conference this past October. Which Bay Area city is home to 1.5 million people? Nope, it's not San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland. And this isn't a trick question. The answer: The city of Colma, a couple subway stops south of the land of fog and sourdough. Don't worry if you don't know Colma from Kalamazoo. It's indeed home to 1.5 million people, but all but about 1,000 of them are dead. Colma — "The City That Always Sleeps" — is full of cemeteries, 17 of them for people and one for pets.More

The Anniversary Edition
Eugene L. Meyer, ASJA Magazine
It's a good thing that I don't have to make my living writing books. Nonetheless, I am the author of two (both un-agented) and a card-carrying member of the Authors Guild, as well as of ASJA. The truth is I spent most of my career as a staff writer/reporter/editor at The Washington Post. For much of that time, my beat was Maryland, and my greatest goal was to become the Charles Kuralt of the state dubbed "America in Miniature." My assignments, many of them self-generated, took me from the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland. Out of these travels came my first book, Maryland Lost and Found: People and Places from Chesapeake to Appalachia, published in 1986 by the Johns Hopkins University Press. My Postcolleague, Henry Allen, dubbed me "Mr. Maryland." Life was sweet.More

The ASJA Conference: Why It's a Must for Me
Laura Laing, ASJA
My family knows not to schedule anything for the last weekend in April each year. For the last five years, I've spent those days at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City at the ASJA annual conference.

It's not easy to rearrange my work and family schedules. And I could spend the money on something else. But it's worth it — every single time. These days I don't even question the decision. And here's why.

I learn something new.More

Take Your Writing Further: How to Get the Most Out of Writing Exercises
Writer's Digest
Author, E. J. Runyon describes the importance of moving past using writing exercises and learning how to turn the exercises into usable content for your work-in-progress. Using an exercise should only be the first of several steps in beginning your writing process, particularly as a beginner.More

CCBC Stats Show Children's Books Shifting Toward Diversity
Publishers Weekly
For the past 25 years, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, housed within UW-Madison's School of Education, has tracked diversity in children's books, and for a number of those years, children’s books by and about people of color has remained flat. But the most recent figures released on Wednesday indicate that diversity is slowly coming to children's books. The number of publications with significant African or African-American content nearly doubled, from 93 titles in 2013 to 179 in 2014.More

E-Books Aren't Killing Print
When Amazon launched the Kindle in 2007, book purists bemoaned the imminent demise of print. Yet far from heralding a publishing apocalypse, e-books have been adopted only gradually despite their affordability. Although half of U.S. adults own a tablet or e-reader, e-books make up only an estimated 23 percent of the $35 billion industry — and Pew Research reports that just 4 percent of Americans are e-book only. More

David Farland's Kick in the Pants — When to Stop Polishing a Manuscript
David Farland (blog)
Many new writers don't know when to stop polishing a manuscript and move on to the next. Part of the reason for that might have to do with Ernest Hemingway. Many years ago, a writer asked Hemingway, "How many times should I rewrite a manuscript?" Now, Hemingway hated dumb questions, so he answered "Oh, at least 60." He loved doing that to writers. More

Pam Oliver: Sideline Reporters Should Be Journalists, Not Celebrities
Pam Oliver knew she had a captive audience to deliver her message. "The journalism has to matter," Oliver said repeatedly at Northwestern Tuesday as part of the Medill School of Journalism's "Beyond The Box Score" series. More

The 2 Sides of SEO for Book Publishers
Digital Book World
Here’s a scenario: A reader hears about a book you publish from someone they trust. They decide they want to buy it and read it. So how do they find it? It's possible they go directly to their favorite bookseller (let's assume this is all happening online), find it there and buy it. Awesome, you just sold a book. More

What's Next for Alternative Weeklies
Big changes may be in store for your local alternative weekly. Voice Media Group announced it was exploring "new strategies for its publishing assets," including their sale or acquisition. The circulation numbers for alt-weeklies aren't looking good. Alt-weeklies face many of the same problems that print publications do — mainly that ad revenues are shifting to digital platforms. More