The ASJA Weekly
Oct. 10, 2014

Small Writers Group Nets Big Results
Theresa Sullivan Barger, ASJA
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post,, Columbia Journalism Review, Family Circle, Parents, The, Philanthropy, Poynter Online – these are just some of the places the bylines of our small writers group members have appeared for their first time since we started meeting 10 months ago.

We originally formed as a monthly accountability group, but soon evolved into much more. We set up a closed Facebook page where the eight of us could post questions and share the wisdom of the group. Our virtual newsroom replicated the days when we could slide our chair over to a coworker to ask how she would handle that day's challenge. We soon switched to meeting every two weeks.More

Tips on World Building for Writers — How to Make Your Imaginary World Real
Writer's Digest
There isn't a certified qualification or course on world-building (well, not in my neighborhood), but every story requires it. Whether your tale is set in a real place or an imagined one, you need to establish your characters’ world so that the reader can suspend disbelief and fully engage with their story.More

The Marketing Tools You Need for Any Self-Published Book
The Next Web
The advice you see on blogs telling you how to get people to buy your book is all pretty much awful. Guaranteed in five easy steps! This isn't because of bad intentions or even some sort of trickery, it's just that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to generating sales for your book. More

Print Books Outsold Digital Books During the First 6 Months of 2014
Nielsen Books & Consumer has released the results of a recent survey focusing on book sales from the first six months of 2014. According to the findings, 23 percent of unit sales went to eBooks, 25 percent of unit sales went to hardcovers, and 42 percent of unit sales went to paperbacks.More

Self-Publishing Maturing, Up 17 Percent Last Year in the US
Digital Book World
The self-publishing market is entering a new stage of maturity after an initial boom several years ago, according to Bowker's latest analysis of ISBN registrations in the U.S. from 2008 through 2013. To be sure, not all self-published authors obtain ISBNs for their work, but among those that have done so to date, their output of titles is increasing. The number of ISBNs registered in 2013 rose nearly 17 percent from the previous year.More

Can Billionaires Save the American Newspaper?
Despite the doom and gloom, some of the savviest investors in the world are buying in. Billionaire Warren Buffett bought 28 regional newspapers for $344 million over 18 months in 2011, 2012 and 2013; his BH Media Group now owns 69 titles. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million. And former hedge fund manager and Red Sox owner John Henry bought The Boston Globe last year for $70 million. Why? One reason is that they see value. More

Longreads: Now Publishing Original Storytelling
Fast Company
In 2009, Mark Armstrong launched a simple Twitter hashtag called #longreads, which was designed to "collect stories (nonfiction & fiction) for commuters who use @instapaper." Even though the concept of the longread wasn't new (we used to call them features!), the idea of handpicking the best narrative-driven journalism with a minimum 1,500 word count resonated with media types and voracious readers alike. In an endless ocean of takes and gif-driven listicles, being selected as a choice #longread became a badge of honor.More

Newspapers Are Being Hit By a New Wave of Scammers Targeting Their Subscribers
Nieman Journalism Lab
Newspapers are in enough trouble — they don't need the added hassle of readers sending their subscription money to some random scammer instead of the Circulation Department. But that's apparently what's happening in cities across the country.More