Saving for college

By Alma Katsu

We’re back with more news about developments in social media specifically of interest to writers. These columns for WRW won’t contain all the links from the Friday wrap-ups, just the highlights. If you want to see the whole thing, you can mosey over to my blog on Fridays.

1. Agent-Assisted Publishing: Publishing Perspectives produced a series of articles on Movable Type Literary Agency’s experiment to launch Rogue Reader, its agent-assisted (self) publishing arm. Here, the agents talk about what worked and what didn’t. In this program, the writers wrote and the agents provided the editing, production, design, distribution and product management. It was their own form of hybrid (a term all writers are hearing a lot lately). Movable Type is pretty generous with the details and there are lessons in this article for every author, self-published or not, and I recommend you read it. Author Ro Cuzon talks about what it was like to see his first two novels published under Rogue’s program. (This article generated a lot of discussion on the PAN forum, so check in there to read what others had to say about their agents’ programs. There was quite a range in what agents did and didn’t do or pay for.)

2. Do books need to be ‘innovated’: Fast Co interviewed Ana Maria Allessi, vice-president of HarperCollins for innovation, and she had a lot to say about what book publishers need to do and where the future might be headed. “‘Publishers need to be thinking like technology companies’…How can a book be made into something more–or other?” She talks about the Book Smash Challenge and other things HarperCollins (probably one of the most forward thinking publishers) is doing to engage 21st century readers.

3. Two weeks ago, we announced that Facebook has instituted hashtags, and that this might help you get posts before the eyes of people who search on those terms, kind of like the way you can search on hashtags in Twitter and see all the posts that have that hashtag, whether you follow the people who posted’em or not. This article provides a bit details as to what’s going on and, if you’re still not clear on what hastags are exactly, read this article.

4. What makes a reader put down a book? Goodreads recently ran a poll and you can see the full infographic here.

5. Negative Online Reviews: If you’ve ever wondered why people seem so invested in writing negative reviews, you are going to find this NYT article fascinating. According to a recent study, it seems those vehement negative reviewers are devoted fans who don’t want to see things change. They don’t want to see a ‘new and improved’ product when they liked the old one just fine. The same could apply to that serial character you just bumped off.

6. If you loved the past articles on how to acquire fake Twitter followers, you’re going to love this Wired article on how to make your blog post/article seem more popular than it actually was.