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Electric Speed from Jane Friedman
A note from Jane

Last weekend, I attended the annual Writer’s Digest Conference, where I had the pleasure of listening to three inspiring keynote speakers. And they all touched on the importance of overcoming rejection.

One of the speakers, Tiffany D. Jackson, says she took rejection “as a sign from the universe” and was ready to quit. She wisely advised, “The worst thing you can internalize is ‘no’ as the truth.”

Fortunately, she didn’t quit and is now a New York Times bestselling author.

Marlon James said “you have to survive the moment” when you are the only person who believes in your work.

It sounds straightforward, even easy. But it isn’t.

If one imagines a hero’s journey for authors, then your dark night of the soul is probably when no one believes in your work except yourself.

Too many writers’ stories end there. Others keep going, sometimes because of a chance encounter or opportunity that reverses their fortunes.

I haven’t uncovered the secret to solving this problem, other than turning up the volume on your dedication to doing the work. That is the one thing you can control.
Jane

P.S. The most popular blog post at my site this month:
If You Don't Feel “Literary” Enough: Q&A with Nikki Nelson-Hicks

P.P.S. There is more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling!

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Sponsorships support Electric Speed—now open for 2023 bookings

 
Jane’s Electric Speed List
Here are some of the latest things I’ve discovered. (I am not paid to mention any of these resources; there are no affiliate links.)
Export comments from a website, blog, or social media post
Sometimes it is in fact good to read the comments—and even save them for research purposes. ExportComments lets you export comments as an Excel file, including the commenters’ names and identification. H/t Tools for Reporters.
Don’t let default settings rule your life
The following resource is from the New York Times (and I’m using a gift link to make sure you can read it, subscriber or not). The article walks you through settings on Apple, Google, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft. Hat tip to writer and educator Andrea Firth on this one: “You are WAY ahead of the tech curve than me, but I wanted to share this, which you may find useful, or not. The uptick in personalized ads showing up in my feed, and everywhere, has been frustrating me. I have enough bras and bathing suits!”

As for me, I have enough rugs.
Play a video game inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poetry
It’s called – EmilyBlaster —
Assemble poems – shoot at words –
In a 1980s-style adventure – here is the link
An old book finder (that helps you avoid relying on Amazon)
Via David Perell: “If you like reading old books, you’ve probably realized they’re a nuisance to buy on Amazon. When reprints are affordable, the quality is terrible. When they’re nice, they’re super expensive.” BookFinder is the solution that upholds a level of quality, says Perell.
 
I Need a Platform, Pronto! with Jane Friedman. $25 webinar. Thursday, August 18, 2022. 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
NEXT ONLINE CLASS
Aug. 18: I Need a Platform, Pronto! with Jane Friedman
It is perhaps the most frustrating and disliked rejection in all of publishing: You don’t have a sufficient author platform. What do agents and publishers mean by that? Bottom line, they don’t think you or your book is going to attract the kind of visibility that will drive sales.

In this class for nonfiction authors, Jane Friedman will give you a roadmap for building out your platform based on the strengths and experiences you have today. She’ll focus on activities and relationships that matter to agents and publishers, and how to start making waves—gaining more attention and visibility in your community. The goal: demonstrate your ability to capture a bigger audience than you have today.

Your turn: tools you stopped using
In the last issue, I asked you to tell me about a digital tool you stopped using, and why. I received one response:

  • [I left] Notion, in favor of Obsidian. It looks and feels intimidating, but once you spend a bit of time putting in information using only the basic linking ability, you will probably be intrigued—not everyone will, of course. If you stick with it, I think the more you learn to do, the more uses you’ll have for it. I find it perfect for tracking all the details of a complex fictional universe, and working on plot and scenes and random ideas. Bonus, you store the data locally, it works offline, and the text format is markdown, which makes it about as future-proofed as data can be. —V Sirin

Next question: Do you read any serializations through Vella, Wattpad, Webtoon, or other platforms? Hit reply to this message and let me know about which ones (or which authors), or share on the Discord server for Electric Speed subscribers.
 
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“At electric speed, all forms are pushed to the limits of their potential.”
—Marshall McLuhan
Jane Friedman
Created by Jane Friedman
I report on the publishing industry and help authors understand the business of writing.

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