The ASJA Weekly
Mar. 13, 2015

ASJA2015: Memoir Writing, Self-Publishing, and More
Want to begin or learn more about self-publishing? Make the transition from journalist to novelist? Transition from essay to book deal? Engage in in-depth discussion on memoir writing? We have the perfect event for you. Join us at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City May 1-2 for ASJA2015: Connect for Success, ASJA's 44th annual writers conference.

Be among the 600+ attendees at the premier event for freelance writers each year, and see why all attendees consistently call the conference a worthwhile investment in their careers.More

ShopTalk March 18: New Publishing Models for Authors
Recent book publishing industry changes mean fewer traditional contracts for established writers like ASJA members, but more publishing options for them at the same time. Join publishing industry insider Jane Friedman, digital media strategy expert for authors with more than 15 years of experience in the publishing industry, as we talk about the five new publishing models and which one could be perfect for your next book project at next week's ShopTalk.More

Press Releases: Mailbox Junk Or Idea Goldmine?
Phyllis Hanlon, ASJA
If your inbox looks anything like mine, it's overflowing with messages from a range of public relations agencies/specialists, non-profit organizations, businesses, vendors, service companies and academic institutions pitching the latest and greatest book, product, entrepreneur, author, award, technique and on and on. Although you might be tempted, don't be too hasty in hitting the delete button. Those press releases might contain golden nuggets for stories you can pitch to your editors or prospective editors.

Soon after my byline began to appear in various print and online publications, I started to receive press releases from assorted sources. It didn't take long before a trickle became a flood. While I hesitated to erase them all from my inbox, I needed a way to manage the onslaught. By taking a little bit of time upfront, I was able to handle the influx efficiently and frequently found ideas that became pitches.More

Unearthing Future Classics
The Writer
There seems to be a trend going on in the writing world. We're not talking about vampires or S&M or even self-publishing or ebooks. What we're talking about is a recent lineup of never-before-published stories by several iconic authors. In early February, the big news broke that Harper Lee will be publishing a sequel to her bestselling novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The author wrote the manuscript in the 1950s, before Mockingbird, and tucked it away for safe keeping after her editor asked Lee to take the story in a different direction. Go Set a Watchman will be published in July.More

Is Self-Publishing Good For Women? Study Says Yes!
There has been an increased focus in recent years on sexism in publishing, but there seems to be one corner of the publishing world where women are doing quite well for themselves. According to an investigation by self-publishing platform FicShelf, self-publishing is helping women break the publishing glass ceiling and have the kind of success that tends to skew very male in the world of traditional publishing. So that's encouraging. More

Can Tony Haile Save Journalism by Changing the Metric?
Columbia Journalism Review
Housed in the airy, light-filled remnants of a yoga studio, Chartbeat, a Web analytics company, bears the usual startup trappings. There are free snacks, a fridge full of beer, and offices named after superhero lairs: The Hall of Justice, The Bat Cave. Such grandiosity is usually a sign of a company angling for a foothold, but in this case the ego is earned. In the six years since its creation, Chartbeat has become the arbiter of audience in the digital age. Roughly 80 percent of the top 100 publishers, as measured by traffic, use Chartbeat to track their online readership — places like Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Forbes, Gawker and Gannett. Yet the company's mission has expanded exponentially beyond tracking Web traffic. Instead of simply monitoring journalism, Chartbeat wants to save it.More

5 Sites For Summarizing Book Plots
Reading literature is not always an easy task. It can help to review plot summaries in the process of reading difficult texts. There are a number of online resources available to readers to help navigate these complexities of literature.More

5 Tips for Writing to Change the World
Writer's Digest
Don't be preachy. Assume that your reader is an intelligent person who wants to learn what you know. If you find yourself scolding or pointing out how you understand an issue better than everyone else, let that rant rip in your rough draft and then move it to the trash bin as soon as possible. If you are not sure if a paragraph sounds sanctimonious, it probably does. Ask a friend who disagrees with you to read it to be sure.More

In Defense of Self-Publishing
PBS MediaShift
There are so many op-eds these days on when or if to self-publish, and even more so, features (albeit they're dwindling) on how inferior self-published works are — just by the very fact they are self-published. This premise is applied even if the self-publishing author has the budget, foresight and professionalism to engage all manner of expert editors, proofreaders, formatters, designers and thoroughly research the distribution and promotion of his or her work. There's also a presumption (or fear) that without sufficient social media or a platform, books (even great ones) won't get noticed — that is, if you publish it, who will find you or it? More

Penguin Random House Still Sweeping Ebook Best-Seller List
Digital Book World
Even as we've looked for signs of renewed agency ebook pricing impacting best-selling ebooks (and found few), and remarked on the continued power of media tie-ins to shape the rankings, the real story is a rather old one: the ongoing dominance of the world's largest trade publisher, Penguin Random House.More