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Jane Friedman Keynote on Friday

Jane Friedman – Publishing 101 Keynote Speaker at WW Conference 

Jane Friedman, the Willamette Writers Conference 2016 opening keynote speaker on Friday, has made a career helping authors navigate the dramatic changes publishing has undergone since the century turned and the digital tide went beyond lapping at the publishing industry’s toes; it inundated its wading boots. She authored Publishing 101 and her forthcoming book, The Business of Being a Writer, will be published in 2017. She has worked for Writer’s Digest and now teaches classes like “Digital Media & Publishing” at the University of Virginia.

Bryan Cohen of the Sell More Books podcast told me that Jane Friedman “is one of the best minds in publishing. Not only does she share valuable content from a veritable who’s who of authors, editors, and marketers, but she also analyzes the complex world of publishing with insight and expertise.” In other words, Ms. Friedman (and her website) is a treasure trove of publishing and marketing information.

When my novel, Fuzzy Logicwas just published in December 2015, I knew next to nothing about marketing. I was so happy to find Ms. Friedman’s website. With the help of her book, website, and resources, I now have an inkling of what to do to promote my book.

Here are three reasons why she is awesome and why you should put her speech on your WW Con to-do list.

The future of the author/publisher relationship

Mr. Cohen said, “Want to know what’s going on in publishing? Ask Jane. She’ll succinctly tell you the past, present, and future of the industry to set you on the right path going forward.”

In 2012 Ms. Friedman gave a speech at LitFlow 2012 in Berlin, Germany, where she talked about the future of the publisher/author relationship. She suggested that publishers (traditional and indie alike) share information and educate authors about marketing so that authors can help sell booksand earn more money for both the company and author. Then the author will have those skills for future books. So, if the author writes another successful book, even the book under contract at the publisher will get a bump.

These innovative ideas would change the traditional mindset of publishers who often hold marketing and publicity information close to their chests, keeping authors in the dark. I hate it when people ask me “How is your book doing?” and I have to answer, “I’ll know when my royalty check comes in.” Wouldn’t it be better for the author to know in real time when an uptick occurred? Wouldn’t it be better if I could look at my sales numbers and see a correlation between an interview and a spike in sales? Ms. Friedman thinks it would be better. So do I.

The Rolodex

Ms. Friedman shares her Rolodex with new authors under her “Resources” tab on her website. She has vetted editors and coaches for writers, the best book templates for self-publishers, a publishing lawyer, agents, marketing gurus, and newsletters listing semi-pro (that is, paying) markets. The list goes on.  You don’t have to think, “If I only knew the people she knows, I’d be set.” She has all of the coolest people in the industry listed on her website.  Thank you Ms. Friedman!

Blurring boundaries between authors and readers

Ms. Friedman explains on her “About” pagewhat gets her excited: “the digital age is affecting and transforming writing careers, publishing, and storytelling.” Fascinating topics she explores in her writings and classes include collaborative book writing, partnerships with readers, a fluidity between writing and reading, and questioning what an author actually is.

So, I am psyched about Jane Friedman’s Keynote at WW Conf. 2016. I expect to take away new ways to interact with and find readers. If you would like to participate in publishing in the future with me, you should hear her speak, too.

Ms. Friedman’s website: https://janefriedman.com

Her book: Publishing 101

By Maren Anderson