Manual Calling All Authors: How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open

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Amid this rush, Timbuktu Labs began winning awards for its magazine app, which was updated daily with new content. Despite the positive press, it never gained the necessary traction to become a sustainable business or justify taking on more capital. I invested a small amount in their angel round in And as an investor, I had a front-row seat: They tried. They really tried. And so as a last-ditch effort, cofounders Favilli and Francesca Cavallo retreated to LA to rethink their business and life plans. It was there the idea for Rebel Girls was born, and a sustainable business was built around the opposite of an app: a physical book.

In , The New York Times had 6. By , that number had doubled. Companies like Mailchimp have been offering newsletter services for nearly two decades, but they were never as popular as they are now. In , users sent about 1 billion emails per day through Mailchimp, a 5,fold increase from , when the service handled only , emails a day. In response to this email explosion, the startup Substack launched in as a newsletter publishing and monetization platform.

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Charging for access can be an onerous task. Through the Substack system, though, a publisher can easily set up metered access to a newsletter for a subscription fee. Almost every writer or artist I know has a newsletter.

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One way to understand this boom is that as social media has siloed off chunks of the open web, sucking up attention, the energy that was once put into blogging has now shifted to email. Robin Sloan, in a recent—of course— email newsletter , lays it out thusly:. In addition to sending several email newsletters, I subscribe to many, and I talk about them a lot; you might have heard me say this at some point or seen me type it but I think any artist or scholar or person-in-the-world today, if they don't have one already, needs to start an email list immediately.

Because we simply cannot trust the social networks, or any centralized commercial platform, with these cliques and crews most vital to our lives, these bands of fellow-travelers who are—who must be—the first to hear about all good things. Email is definitely not ideal, but it is: decentralized, reliable, and not going anywhere—and more and more, those feel like quasi-magical properties. We recognize we largely own the mailing lists; they are portable, can be printed out, stored in a safe; they are not governed by unknowable algorithmic tomfoolery.

I maintain an email newsletter with more than 10, recipients, and I treat it as the most direct, most intimate, most valuable connection to my audience. In hard economic terms, when I was promoting my Kickstarter campaign for Koya Bound , each time I sent out a newsletter, I had roughly 10, more backer-dollars within an hour. That first Rebel Girls test email went to 25 recipients; the list snowballed in size and excitement over the six months leading up to the Kickstarter campaign.

This exemplifies the amplification voodoo of a platform like Kickstarter: When someone backs a project, it broadcasts the news to their friends, creating a network effect. The bigger the network, the more powerful the effect. Kickstarter, with more than 15 million patrons, has the biggest network effect game in town. That also makes it a powerful online marketing force for independent authors and publishers.

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Taiwan-based Ben Thompson publishes a newsletter called Stratechery. He later said his subscriptions generate times what he made in Could it be? He called it the 1, True Fans theory of market building. Now the payments and funding and production pieces are in place to allow someone—given 1, fervent and supportive fans—to reliably publish for fun and profit. Folks like Ben Thompson are effectively writing books. And so in a strange way, Stratechery in paid newsletter form is as much a Future Book as a bounded Kindle edition. Email is a boring, simple, old technology.

Unlike followers or social media subscribers, email has yet to be usurped by algorithms. The first email was sent in by Ray Tomlinson.

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Unlike followers or social media subscribers, email has yet to be usurped by algorithms for the most part; Gmail does a little bit of sorting now. Social media, however, is not predictable. Algorithms and product functionality have all the stability of rolling magma as companies refine how they engage, and extract value from, users.

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This means an investment in social media can go belly up in a few years. Take author Teju Cole, for example. His use of Twitter was both delicate and brilliant. He amassed a quarter of a million followers before unceremoniously dropping the service in , perhaps feeling the growing invective so characteristic of the platform today.

He then consolidated his promotional social media activity around Facebook. I allegedly have 29, people following the page.

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I doubt that more than a few hundred of them are ever shown what I post. Considering the shift in demographics of Facebook usage, who knows if his audience is even checking their timelines, and would see the posts if he paid. It works and has worked, reliably, for decades. Most bookish people use it. MCD Books has also discovered what covers in the digital age were missing: a little bit of animation. Submissions Lerner Publishing Group does not accept unsolicited submissions or queries from unagented or unreferred authors. Occasionally, we may put out a call for open submissions, which will be announced here on our website.

Those open calls will include detailed instructions. To learn more about our imprints, visit our Imprints page. Phone: E-Mail: custserv lernerbooks.

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Your cart is empty. Phone: The road is long, fraught with pitfalls. Get this from a library! Calling all authors: how to publish with your eyes wide open. Free Download Books Calling-all-authors-how-to-publish-with-your-eyes-wide- open-valerie- connelly Printablefile. We all know that reading. View Valerie Connelly's profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. All Frontiers articles from July onwards are published with open access under the..