About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

Twitter @bissell

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Past Postings:

Using Dissent To Enhance Your Social Influence Online

Industry Profile - Author

Industry Profiles Full Time Employees - Professional Writer

Some Thoughts On Freelancing

Building Your Online Brand

Marissa Mayer and the Change in Yahoo's Remote Workforce

LinkedIn for Professional Writers

Fake Republican Twitter Accounts

"Did you mean?" -- Google's chiding nanny of search results

Branded Technology

Sharingspree.com -- Stealing more than GroupOn's Idea

The Internet Isn't Entertaining Enough

It's not your bank... It's Apple's and Amazon's

Violated by Madison Avenue

Google+ Scares Me

"We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths

Facebook's deal with the Devil

My cool new phone is a little too cool.

You are never alone

Promotion vs. Distribution... You'd think they'd know that one...

Publishing Industry Watch

Content for Social Media

Social Media Slot Machine

Anonymous vs Me

News from the Twitter Follow Campaign Trail

The art of Indiscriminate Twitter Following

The Cloudy Meaning of The Cloud

The Demand For The Loss of Creativity

Alien Technology and Government Conspiracies

Time for a New Reality

The Death of Email

Protecting Free Speech... Anonymously (and geekily)

Amazon Shouldn't Have Shut Down WikiLeaks

The Superpowers of the Hive Mind

Time for New Ideas

Comcast, Netflix and the Mystery of the Modem

The Great Technical Disconnect

New for the Sake of New

A Retail Store Built Like the Web

Disposable Personas

When did Google Start Policing the Internet?

Getting back to HTML basics, thanks to Apple

Inspecting my Navel Base

A shoebox vs. an online backup

Is Your "Resume" Website Recruiter-friendly?

iBooks -- Creative Epicenter or Gatekeeper?

The Failure of Success

The Economy is Going to Get Worse, but that's okay

Time lost on Twitter

Client Vendor Relationships

Twitter's back alleys and dark places

Social Media is NOT Advertising

Microsoft Courier

Form (designers) versus Function (geeks)

PDXBOOM -- The power of social media and the portland pipe bomb

China and Apple -- Different organizations, same management

The volume of screens


Google Adds Biking Directions to Maps


That magical little tablet

How your website can be in two places at once

Masterpieces created by sheer volume

Suing over lack of originality

A Primer on Internet Fame -- dancing babies, hamsters, numa numa, and more...

Checking my messages

Rules are made to be broken -- in a reasoned, systematic way

So many accounts, so few passwords

Who really uses Twitter? 60% of Twitter's traffic isn't on Twitter

The Web is a Jerry Rigged Kludge

Twitter: Asleep at the Mouse Wheel

Where regulation is good: Google Voice and Vonage

How Facebook is (unintentionally) forcing programmers to piss off users

The Twit Cleaner

Perfect Secretary's pitch for @Adbroad (and the Youtube API)

The Emotions of Text

The Shorty Awards Scandal -- Manual Spam is still Spam

Google Analytics, the cloud and missing numbers #fail

Helen Klein Ross & Michael Bissell Interview at Adweek's Social Media Strategies Conference

The Internet is the New 60's

Cougars from New Zealand (and I don't mean big cats)

Adding facts together, or why you can't charge your cell phone from wifi

Social Media and the Destruction of the World

Rabid Fans vs Passive Viewers -- The Coco vs Leno saga

How to tell someone to retweet (without using up your 140 characters)

You can't buy social media

A book unopened is but a block of paper

Building the LOST: The Final Season Sweepstakes

Holiday SPAM (or the lack thereof)

Archiving Twitter

Too Many Toolbars

Random Censorship with Google Adwords

Accessibility and Shopping Online

Twisted path to customer service

Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience

Twollow and other gold rush scripts

GPS in a Laptop computer

Thinking outside the box... There was a box?

Twitter was designed for Text Messaging

It's not the corporations, damnit

Entrepreneur or Dreamer?

Adweek Social Media Twitter for Brands Presentation

Socializing is more than Social Media

Generational Marketing is a Myth (or Who's your Daddy?)

Social Media is Just the Way We Use the Internet

Twitter Followers Don't Matter (ask the porn sites)

The Internet is Gooder than Books

Sometimes you don't want your campaign to go viral

Best Twitter Branding Campaign

Like flies to crap, Spammy Twitter Followers don't really go away

iPhone SMS Security Hole

How Flipmytweet works

Cell Phones as Microscopes

Digg is not the Hijacker -- You Are

Steve Ballmer -- the walking dead?

Twitter as an open mic poetry reading

Automatic Social [un]Awareness

First splash for United Against Malaria

New Media/Old Media and the CLIO Awards

Interview at SXSW: Mad Men Twitter And Tracking

We've got an App for that -- it's called the Web

Understanding Google To Get Your Resume Noticed

The trouble with Wordpress and other templates

Wayward Words with Baggage

Speaking at SXSW March 17th

The fleeting Memory of the Internet

It's okay to say 'I don't know'

Nike Takes Over Conquent

Facebook owns this title

Excuses, excuses

A little on Social Media

Feeding on Content

Attack of the Bots

Web 1.0

Net Neutrality

Getting clever with data feeds

The Other Credit Crisis

The Broadband Inauguration

T-Mobile owns Magenta and Other Patent Stories

The Risk-takers, Doers and Makers of Things

The noise of 20,000+ Twitter Followers

30,000 feet, 500 MPH Suburban Strip Mall

Cellphones, toilets and the Inauguration

The End of Days (of song): Microsoft Songsmith Example

Browser Bigotry

The Death of your Soul: Microsoft Songsmith

Creative Development or Developing Creatively?

The Myth of Wikipedia (or the Wiki-1400)

Online/Offline Sales -- is it really that bad?

Is PayPal Tacky?

Old School Web Design Still Works

Domain Squatting

Green Chri$tma$

QA 101

Portland Snow

Get some return on that web traffic

I think they have a backup...

I'd love to have that problem

The [un]importance of statistics

Don't be a tool of viral marketing

Emails, discussions, blogs, wiki and web content

You Designed for Print First

You let someone else register your domain name

You figured .biz, .info, .us would work fine

What's after the Integrated Circuit?

Intelligent life is out there (but it's bugger all down here on earth)

Subject Matter Experts Talking Other Subject Matter

The Totalitarian Regime of Apple

Oversimplifying how people work


Creative Services for the New World

Reverse Anthropomorphism

The End of Time

Better Living Through Twitter

Lessons Learned From Apple

It's the Brand, Baby

Business Architecture vs. Web Construction

On Truth

Inverse Peter Principle

Random Knowledge

The Hive

RSS for this blog
Publishing Industry Watch
Posted: 2011-03-04 08:37:10
Shortcut URL: http://t.conquent.com/rC00

There is an interesting discussion going on over on LinkedIn in the Writing Mafia group about "Snobby Writers". As a (published) writer, a recruiter in the tech field, an avid reader, and someone that both attends and puts on writing conferences, I feel qualified to make some observations. Snobby is being defined as believing that only traditionally published authors (meaning by a third party publishing house on paper) is intrinsically a better product than eBooks. I must say, I have to disagree to a great degree.

Here's why. I've read really bad books that have been published by major NY houses. And I've read some really good eBooks. And vice versa, of course. The deciding factor comes down to editing. The argument from the "Snobby" writers tends to be that publishing house editors really know their trade and enhance a book immensely. ePubs don't all have editors (some do). And especially the recent storm about the young 26-year old woman that is taking the Kindle market by storm the question becomes: who is the judge of what is "good" writing?

I try to be fair in my assessments. On all sides, you have the voice of the readers, at large. While huge sales are by no means the only definitive criteria of "good" writing, it certainly is a reasonable indicator. (You don't get to be on the the New York Times bestseller list if you aren't a "best seller.") And in this day and age of community opinion, how many of us have never read the comments on Amazon.com to see whether or not they were positive endorsements of a book? Exactly.

So, let's talk about editors, and specifically about publishing house editors. For those of you that don't know the traditional publishing world in any depth, there is a process that is akin to a job search. You submit a query letter (which is sort of the equivalent of a resume/cover letter combined) and a sample of your work. Each publishing house has different rules you must follow for submission, on its website. Once you have submitted your work, it is then given to an editor who is responsible for your genre, or type of writing (fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, etc.) Theoretically, this person knows what is "hot" in your category currently and what constitutes "good" writing (plot, characters, dialogue, and basic use of English.) They read either a few sentences, paragraphs, or pages of your book then either say "yes" or "no". If it is a "no" there are levels of rejection letters you receive. If they like the basics, they may send you a personalized rejection that tells you how to make it better and an invitation to resubmit. But the majority of rejections are form letters. Editors are the cogs that make the wheels of the publishing industry turn.

Now, a diligent (as opposed to "good") author is familiar with the process of writing a novel/book. First you write it and edit it yourself. Then you seek external opinions in various forms. That can be a critique group or partner, or hiring a professional (freelance) editor, or possibly sending it directly to an agent. As with any professional endeavor, training is available in various forms. Articles, workshops, conferences, etc. So there really is no excuse to not learning the way the industry works.

In addition, epubs offer agents and publishing houses both unparalleled access to exciting new authors at very low cost. But here's the thing: as excellent new writers emerge on the epub scene, I'm guessing they aren't going to be interested in traditional publishing where they lose so much of the rights to profits.

The way I see it, if NY (and global) publishing houses don't start embracing epublishing and *appropriately staffing* for the shift, their time is limited. I see an upswing in the number of freelance editors out there with "big house" experience as well as the emergence of some exciting new talent. My observations are based on my expertise as a technical recruiter as well as an author.

Promotion vs. Distribution... You'd think they'd know that one...
Content for Social Media

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