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Jane Friedman's Electric Speed newsletter

A note from Jane

I’ve been a full-time freelancer since 2014, and half of my income is from one-on-one work with authors. This has made me super aware of my own feelings and perceptions when I pay for services out in the world.

What unsettles me most is when I hire someone who doesn’t listen—or doesn’t offer the appearance of listening. And the more complex and personal the issue, usually the more urgently I want someone to indicate they understand me before rendering a service. (This is particularly true when it comes to health issues, but unfortunately doctors and other medical professionals I encounter rarely have time to listen or make patients feel heard.)

I get it, though. In my own business, I know the large majority of client problems I encounter necessitate the same kind of advice, despite the uniqueness of every writer.

But before I can offer guidance they’ll trust, those writers have to believe I’ve listened and understood their situation and concerns.

Some clients have already found the right answer or can guess what I’m going to say before I say it. But no one has given them the gift of time—no one has acknowledged them in a way that makes them feel seen.

Once we feel seen or understood, the more ready we are to accept the answer or the advice given to us.

I’ve found that applying this principle can do wonders not just in your business interactions, but also with your loved ones.

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P.S. The most popular blog post at my site this month:
How to Find Publishers
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Author Accelerator: Get paid to help authors write their best books while you write yours


Read Books All Day and Get Paid for It

Author Accelerator is currently enrolling new students in our premier Book Coach Certification program! Get started this fall and learn the skills you need to build an income stream that will allow you to spend more time in the world of books – most importantly, your own! Check out our free video series, All About Book Coaching, to learn more.

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Jane’s Electric Speed List

Here are some of the latest things I’ve discovered. (I have not been paid to mention any of these resources.)

A list of tools for helping you earn money from your writing or readership

This is the most extensive reference site I’ve yet seen if you’d like to learn about websites, tools, and online platforms to monetize your writing career. It’s divided into helpful categories such as advertising, ecommerce, digital products, memberships and subscriptions, online events, and so on. The only problem: with so many resources to choose from, you’ll need to spend time researching the right tool for you.


Need an online hub for your community but don’t want to use Facebook? Try Hylo.

For better or worse, Facebook Groups have become the default way for organizations, nonprofits, and businesses to create and manage online communities. But more people are saying “no” to Facebook and looking for alternatives. Hylo might be a good solution: it’s free and open source, and operates a lot like a private Facebook Group.


Send mail right from your computer 

About once a year, I have to put something in the mail for my business, and—right at that moment—the printer is out of paper, the ink toner has run dry, I’m out of envelopes, and I have no stamps. Enter Mail Form: send mail via USPS, UPS, or FedEx without leaving your computer. Works for bulk mail, postcards and everything in between.

ISBN Thinking of You T-shirt

Just for fun: Book nerd T-shirt

Here’s another winner from the Out of Print store: ISBN Thinking of You T-shirt. I just purchased this and will be wearing it for Sunday Sermons. Looking for more book nerd T-shirts? Men’s/unisex and women’s.

Research Agents and Publishers Like a Pro with Jane Friedman

Next online class: Research Agents and Publishers Like a Pro with Jane Friedman

On Wednesday, Sept. 9: You have a polished manuscript or book proposal, and you’re ready to start pitching agents and publishers. But how do you figure out who to submit to? And how do you evaluate the quality of the agents and publishers you do find? In this class, you’ll learn not only how to research agents and editors using a variety of online resources, but also how to evaluate fit and reputation, so that you don’t unwittingly end up with a schmagent or a publisher that’s really a self-publishing service.
Learn more and register

Your turn: How to escape for a while

In the last issue, I asked you to share your favorite way to escape the headlines.
  • LibraryThing is the site I visit most when I want to get away from news. I just love ogling the Zeitgeist page and seeing what’s available for the next Early Readers cycle. —Donna Miele
  • My current go to is Insight Timer. I’m taking a 200-Hour Meditation Leader training through Sage Institute and use Insight Timer to experiment with different styles of meditation. —Nita Sweeney
  • My favorite website to take a break with is Window Swap. In a matter of moments you can travel around the world. It’s simple, elegant and it allows my mind to day dream; a prerequisite for any writer! —Lisa A. Carlson
  • I’m enjoying This Is Colossal quite a bit for distraction, creativity sparks and beautiful things to appreciate. —Lana Wildman
  • I play Andoku 3 a lot, which is a great sudoku app. It helps relax me and focus on something else for a while. —John Kuempel
  • My indulgence is the suite of four Candy Crush game apps. They have been my escape for the last six years, and the collective of all the levels I’ve achieved is 7713 (without spending a cent on in-app purchases). Not sure whether I should be proud or ashamed of that! —Emma Lombard
  • I “check out” by going to my Canva app. I love to fiddle around and design banners, Instagram pics, book covers, invitations to book signing events, or whatever. —Heidi Gilbert
  • I visit good-news websites that have positive news articles, such as Good Good Good, Good News Network and Upworthy. I also go to The Dodo for animal-related positive stories. —Cheryl Rainfield
  • Words with Friends. I quit cold turkey a couple years ago but when the pandemic began, I picked up with old friends and it always gives me relief, even when I’m losing. —Barbara DeMarco-Barrett
  • I take a news break by going to the oddly soothing Daily Zen Meditation, which often quotes Zen masters from hundreds of years ago. —Tom Bentley
  • I love playing Seterra as an alternative to Candy Crush. For reading, Atlas Obscura, The Tenderness Project, McMansion Hell, and AI Weirdness are my go-tos. Sad Lunch Break is a great curated collection of interesting things to read on, well, a lunch break. —Eden Buchert
Next question: When you’re doing research for a novel, memoir, or other book, what sites or resources do you visit first or most consistently?

Upcoming online classes

🕵️‍♀️ September 9: Research Agents & Publishers Like a Pro with Jane Friedman

🔒 September 25: Do I Need Permission for That? with Dr. Kelly Figueroa-Ray

🚀 October 7: Blogging Strategies That Work in 2020 with Jane Friedman

📖 October 25: The Foundations of Getting Published with Jane Friedman

👑 January 13: Query Letter Master Class with Critique with Jane Friedman

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Electric Speed is a free newsletter by Jane Friedman that launched in 2009. More than 34,000 subscribers receive it. You can support it by (1) sponsoring an issue or (2) sharing it with friends and colleagues.
“At electric speed, all forms are pushed to the limits of their potential.” 
—Marshall McLuhan
Copyright © 2020 Jane Friedman, All rights reserved.

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