The ASJA Weekly
Jul. 5, 2013

How the most successful writers (and others) schedule their days
By Laura Vanderkam
I've spent the past several years writing about time management, writes Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. I've studied the schedules of hundreds of people — including my own. The best productivity tip I've gleaned from all these calendars? Match the right task to the right time. If you do this, it's amazing what you'll get done. I happen to be best able to focus in the mornings. When I sit down at my desk around 8 a.m. with a cup of coffee, I am a copy-writing machine. I can crank out an 800-word article before my first trip to the bathroom.More

Penguin and Random House finalize merger
Los Angeles Times
Calling their union "the world's first truly global trade book publishing company," Penguin and Random House finalized on Monday morning a merger that brings together two legacy publishers, at a time when the rise of the Kindle, among other forces, threatens the dominance of the traditional publishing houses. Random House's parent company, the German media group Bertelsmann, is to control 53 percent of the new company, while 47 percent is to be controlled by Pearson, Penguin's parent company. More

4 things Star Trek can teach us about writing
Writer's Digest
Mr. Spock. Captain Kirk. Captain Picard. Bones. The Ferengi. Captain Janeway. And every red-shirted crew member who has ever gone on an away mission and never made it home again. That's right (cue the funky theremin music), we're talking about Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry's legendary space saga. And why not? Star Trek has some fantastic lessons to teach us about the craft of writing.More

Freelance writing: Side-step these common mistakes
Media Update
A career in freelance writing is an exciting prospect. Forget all the doomsayers who predict bad clients and oversaturated markets. Yes, these are part of the job and you need to learn how to overcome/avoid them. However, that doesn't mean you'll always encounter them. More

How to craft a happy ending
Writer's Digest
Our writing may be beautiful or plain, may want to sing itself along or proceed with the massive engine that is the great Russian truth-telling machine Anna Karenina. Whether aspiring to become art or settling into the more modest demands of the police procedural, our stories sober us with this thought: the rules are basically the same, and – when it comes to endings – these rules are rather inflexible.More

How to pitch your book to online outlets
GalleyCat
Author and technology consultant Scott Steinberg visited our self-publishing course online today. GalleyCat caught up with Steinberg while he promoted The Modern Parent's Guide to Video Games, sharing timeless advice about he shared columns and essays on a number of sites–reaching out to new readers at major outlets like CNN.com, All Things D and ESPN.com.More

The art of the overheard
The Writer
Recently, I took a break from writing and visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City, writes Alicia Anstead, editor-in-chief of the Writer . It was free Tuesday, and I wanted to see the June roses in full regalia. The garden was packed with school children on field trips, and they were richly enjoying the sunshine and flora. I watched their delight with wonder. More

Caffeine: For the more creative mind
The Atlantic
Some say Sherlock Holmes' regular use of cocaine was Doyle's vehicle to illustrate the character's moral weakness. It likely began more simply as a window into the culture of the time, when hard stimulants weren't the taboo they are today. W.H. Auden apparently did believe his own dependence on the stimulant Benzedrine to be a sign of weak character, but he still took it every working morning and endorsed its creative influences effusively. Jack Kerouac and Jean-Paul Sartre offer similar testaments. More

Have reports of the paperback's death been greatly exaggerated?
Slate
In 2009, Penguin Group, one of the most successful publishers in the world, printed a charming history called The Book of Penguin, in the slim, orange paperback format that the company made famous in the mid-20th century. It begins: "This is a book about the most advanced form of entertainment ever. You can pause it at any time. Rewind and replay it if you miss a bit … It'll fit in your pocket."More