The Death of Time with the Birth of Social Media

time mgmt clear

Image by Ted Goff

By Aria Gmitter

Perhaps one of the greatest threats to story creation is that of poor time management.  Family, work obligations, the need to eat, sleep and pay the bills can leave many writers little to no time to focus attention on creative project development.

In today’s fast-paced social and multimedia environments the threat is even more pressing.  Platform is an essential component to obtaining the coveted publishing contract. So, you follow the rules. Post to Facebook. Upload your pictures to Instagram and Flickr. You link up with other writers on LinkedIn. Blog and tweet random thoughts and hashtag keywords. You’re filled with hope that those Google+ circles will become the X that marks the spot and suggest your name in the cyber engine search sphere.

Perhaps you fear you’ve become a word wielding schizophrenic with narcissistic tendencies prone to bouts of brag and boast.  You’ve succumbed to “I just saw this on my drive to work…” stories and quoting beloved inspiration that has stimulated your soul. Still your Klout score is lower than a person’s self-esteem after a bad date.

So, you speed tweet faster than a sent email. More socially engaged than a teenager on a sugar rush. More powerful than a YouTube video gone viral. But alas, the day ends. All that remains are single sentences barely making one coherent paragraph. Maybe standardized testing failed you and you’re the writer left behind. Or that “great writing” note on your essays in college are accidental misprints intended for another colleague. Sure you’re writing, and friends, are “Liking” it.  But still, the only book your name is on remains pirates treasure buried in your caffeinated brain.  “A writer can’t exactly make the New York Times Best Sellers List on retweets or Facebook posts,” your imaginary friends cajole in your thoughts during the midnight hour.

Even if the truth leaves you ready to toss in your ball point pen, hold on to your ink. You’re not alone. In fact, let me assure you, Business Newsweek won’t blame you for the failing economy. Even if that book in your head falls and hits the pillow harder than the Dow on Wall Street.  You’ve got a case of poor time management. You need a powerful bailout from the new writer’s block that’s leaving you publishing bankrupt.

Creating high-quality content requires focus and discipline. A story developer is more like a long-distance runner that requires long periods of rigorous thought, soul-searching, writing, rewriting, and editing.  Today’s social media world is more suited for sprint writers who unleash concept and word-power in bursts of 140 characters a minute. The combination for writers is distraction, time loss, and lack of creative quality development.  What’s worse is that a writer can have social media engagement, a slew of followers; but, if the story falls flat or doesn’t pull heart-strings, publishers may pass on their work all together.

Switching gears breaks focus, concentration and damages a writer’s ability to dig deeply into their craft, themselves, and even their characters.  In fact, readers want characters in pain and that just doesn’t happen unless the story writer has lived through the process of personal experience or sympathetic imagination himself.  Ayana Mathis during an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 interview  attributes her success with, The 12 Tribes of Hattie, that the art of pain, epiphany and resolution is how she connects and hooks her readers.  This kind of bone deep story writing isn’t simple and it does require time.

So, how can you effectively manage your time to write? Can’t be all that difficult, now can it? Just sync all your social media together and with one touch of a click, you’re done. Right? Wrong! Not all social media has the same purpose or audience.

Do you know who your audience is, or what media will reach them best?

Bookish, the Publishing Industry’s Great Digital Hope, Has Finally Launched

At long last, the publishing industry’s much-delayed book discovery platform has finally arrived. Bookish, a collaboration between Simon & Schuster, Hachette and Penguin, went live yesterday.

And just what has a year and a half of work produced? The home page spotlights bestsellers and new releases, alongside exclusive content like an essay from Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert tut-tutting Philip Roth. There’s the option of receiving updates via newsletter. Browsers can also purchase, let’s say, Michael Bolton’s new memoir directly through the site.

It’s pretty clear the point of all this hullabaloo is to wrest some control away from Amazon.

Read More (

The Publishing Industry Isn’t Doomed: Readers’ Control In The Future Of Reading


The publishing industry thinks it’s the end of days, but the world of words is a growth market.

I loved that the original Kindle let me annotate a book. Being able to add and search for my own thoughts amid the previously locked words of others without physically damaging the original opened up a world of possibilities.

What if you could download books that had been pre-annotated? I would pay extra to read Freakonomics with commentary by Paul Krugman, The New Jim Crow with notes from editors at The Nation, or the Bible annotated by the creators of South Park. A book could always inspire new layers of meaning, but now it can host that inspiration and a slew of associated conversations.

Read More (FAST Company)

Self-Publishing Now The First Choice For Some Writers

Audie Cornish talks with Mark Coker, the founder of one of the largest self-publishing companies. Smashwords’ business has taken off in just a few years, and Coker’s outlook for the future of self-publishing is rosy. In fact, he says when anyone can publish a book, traditional publishing houses are poised to become irrelevant.

Read More (

Independent Publisher Power Growing

small press publishing statsBy: Kelly Gallagher

Ingram content acquisition VP and IBPA board of directors member Kelly Gallagher shows why small and medium-sized publishers are “the industry’s healthiest and fastest-growing segment.” She notes that small publishers (the presses that need fewer than ten ISBNs every year year) have increased 69 percent between 2006 and 2011.

As the publishing industry continues to go through tectonic changes, overall unit sales continue to grow, but overall revenue numbers are not doing as well.

According to BookStats (a collaborative effort by the Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers), net unit sales grew by about 12 percent industry-wide over the four-year period from 2008 to 2011, reaching just under 2.8 billion units. This growth is largely a result of the exponential growth of e-book sales.

Platform-Power believes that a strong push toward small to medium-sized publishers is a major market focus for us and our author services.

Read More (Independent Book Publishers Association)

From the Digital Frontier: A Shifting $12 Billion Publishing Market


The publishing world is a $12 billion space. It’s also a shifting market, as the old business model of printing books and selling them through bookstores is all but extinct. Barnes and Noble is the last bastion of the traditional bookstore, and publishing giants are rapidly consolidating and merging, lest they cease to exist too.

Despite this shifting landscape, the 2013 Digital Book World Conference and Expo that took place last week was an event filled with optimism and energy. New and innovative companies have flooded the space with products to serve this emerging digital book frontier. As CEO David Nussbaum writes, “The mainstay of it all is opportunity.”

Read More (Huffington Post – Books)


Augmented Reality Is Revolutionizing the Publishing Industry (Finally!)

After years of incubation, it is finally clear that AR is going to transform our mobile computing experiences. With an Augmented Reality (AR) app, you can point your smartphone or tablet at an icon or picture that is on an enabled page and get additional information about what you are seeing.

Popular Science used this in a recent issue to bring up a video of inventors talking about their inventions.

Read More [PC Magazine]

It’s Platform Power’s position that all publishing projects should be planned as multimedia projects. AR is just one of the many technologies that will allow you to monetize your intellectual property. Stay tuned here to learn more about the latest in publishing, marketing, and building your platform.

Three Predictions for Book Publishing in 2013

This year, for the second time in a row, I spoke with about a dozen ebook and book-publishing experts to get their predictions on what would happen in book publishing in 2013. I compiled the information and published this: Ten Bold Predictions for Ebooks and Digital Publishing in 2013.

The thing is, while I think these are solid predictions and will probably be more accurate than our predictions from last year(which have turned out to be really accurate — but more on that in the new year), it doesn’t really scratch my personal itch for making predictions. These, of course, are the predictions of experts that I merely filtered and compiled. When do I get to make predictions?

Read More (Forbes)