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Journo-Inspired Beach Reads: What Are You Reading?

Lthe last magazineong weekends call for good reads. This summer I’ve already devoured two journo-inspired novels: Sarah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire and Michael Hastings’ The Last Magazine. 

You might have already read Brain on Fire, so forgive me for coming late to the party. It was on the NYT’s Bestseller List  in 2012 and it was just announced that Dakota Fanning and Charlize Theron will be starring in the film adaptation. It’s a compelling memoir chronicling Cahalan’s “month of madness,” while working as a reporter for the New York Post. While the book focuses on mental illness, there’s also little love letters to journalism and what’s its like to be a young reporter scattered throughout. Good prose and an honest voice.

Then, there’s the scathing look at the publishing industry and the state of mainstream journalism — fictionalized, of course, in Hastings’ posthumous novel The Last Magazine. It’s sort of Bonfire of the Vanities, but for journalists. It’s literary merits may be questionable, but the navel gazing and trying to find the real life inspiration for the characters makes it a perfect summer indulgence.

What are you reading? Any good non-fiction tips? Journo-inspired novels and memoirs? Keep us in the loop @10,000Words.

Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing

Personal Essay WritingStarting October 28, work with a published journalist to draft, edit, and sell your first-person essays! Jessica Olien will help you to workshop your writing so that it's ready to pitch to editors. You'll learn how to tell your personal story, self-edit you work to assess voice, style, and tone, and sell your essays for publication. Register now!

New Book, Local News Lab Highlight Rev Strategies For Community Journalism

SavingCommJourA book released by the University of North Carolina press, “Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability” by Penelope Muse Abernathy, highlights the challenges surrounding local news operations and offers recommendations on how newspapers can “build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue.”

Abernathy is Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC and a professional journalist with more than 30 years experience in the news biz, so she knows what she’s talking about. More importantly, she’s another prominent writer, researcher and educator proving that no, journalism is not dead, and yes, print can thrive at the local level. Her book, hot off the presses in April 2014, is an important one for newsroom leaders frustrated by dipping print revs and disengaged readership.

In the same vein, Josh Stearns launched the long-awaited Local News Lab last week with the help of the Dodge and Knight Foundations. The project is intended to be one big experiment in community journalism with the question, “How can local news outlets make money and keep the locals interested in what they’re doing?” as a foundation. What will become of newspaper subscriptions? How much will events play into local newsroom revenue? What about corporate sponsorships?

Read more

New Book Offers Tips On Starting A Magazine In the Digital Age

magdigitalageSo you think you wanna launch a magazine? Then maybe Mary Hogarth’s new book “How To Launch A Magazine In This Digital Age” will be your new Bible.

Hogarth, an author, lecturer within the features journalism program at Southampton Solent University in England, veteran writer at UK mags and and blogger at magazineexpert.org, wrote the book specifically for magazine entrepreneurs based on her years of experience.

What’s the book all about? The table of contents follows:

1. A gap in the market
2. Developing your magazine
3. Target audiences
4. Publishing strategies: print, digital & online
5. A sustainable business model
6. Branding and editorial concepts
7. Distribution strategies
8. Your team
9. Advertising & other revenue streams
10. Production: Print, digital & online
11. A successful launch

The experienced journalist and educator told PBS MediaShift the main challenges of launching a magazine in today’s digital landscape is distribution, diversifying revenues and determining how you will offer unique value to your market’s readers.

Finally, her biggest piece of advice for those who want to start their own mag?

“Know your audience. Without that, the magazine won’t work. You must know your audience. It’s the most basic starting point for any idea,” she said.

Hogarth’s book is available on paperback and for PDF download. Click here for more information on getting a copy.

Howard Stern Show Reporter Pens Book on Mob Boss Whitey Bulger’s Trial

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If you’re not a regular listener to the “Howard Stern Show” on SiriusXM radio, you might not recognize the name Jon Leiberman. But, you should. As arguably one of the hardest working reporters in the city, Lieberman has now added the title of author to his already too-full resume.

Leiberman has co-authored, along with former criminal prosecutor and attorney Margaret McLean, “Whitey on Trial,” an up-to-the-minute account of the trial of Whitey Bulger, one of America’s most notorious mob bosses, who terrorized the city of Boston for decades while the FBI and the government stood idly by. Read more

How Starting a Blog Can Help Market Your Book

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As part of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we gave you advice on creating your book proposal (whether it be nonfiction or a novel). The next step in getting your work into the hands of millions is marketing. Although it may seem daunting at first (thoughts of hitting up every Barnes & Noble in the country spring to mind), it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.

We got the lowdown from agents, authors and publishers on the key ingredients to an effective, mostly-DIY marketing campaign. One great revelation is that starting a blog is a great way to sell your book — and keep interest in your writing alive:

As an author who may also be a full-time writer chasing deadlines all day, regularly maintaining a blog may be the last thing you want to do with those precious free moments off the clock. But, says Sherrie Wilkolaski, founder and president of Author’s Boutique and PubSmart, a blog is actually the best way to build a platform that ultimately generates book sales. “Obviously, the search engines love it, it keeps the author’s website active and it gets [the author] out there building more content.” Not sure what to blog about? For nonfiction writers, Wilkolaski recommends providing daily content and tips that position you as an expert in your subject area. And for novelists, she’s had a lot of success having her authors blog as one of their characters to keep readers interested and engaged between releases.

For more marketing tips, including advice on hiring professional help, read: 6 Ways to Effectively Market Your Book.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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