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Jon Fine

Using Blogs And Twitter For Book Content

As the book industry evolves, authors are challenged to use online tools to help build their audience. In a panel at the eBook Summit called, “Perspectives on Writing in the 21st Century,” journalist Jon Fine, said that the era of getting a big advance and using it to map out book tour, is a thing of the past. Nowadays, you have to have a blog and a Twitter feed, he said, particularly if you write non-fiction.

Fine also noted the way that blogs can help authors generate their book content. He cited a project by author/blogger Colin Beavan called No Impact Man, in which the writer created a blog about becoming carbon neutral as the basis for his book on the subject. Fine also pointed out that you can have blog readers help you shape the story.

In the same panel discussion, author/journalist/professor Adam Penenberg said blogging and Twitter are important, but finds it challenging. He said that the catch is that when it comes to Twitter, it is easier for authors and personalities who already have a known presence to build a large following.

Penenberg also said that the roles in publishing are changing these days. He said that while in the 1980s editors were focused on finding great talent, today their job is to think about marketing and selling books. From Penenberg’s perspective, agents are now tasked with discovering good talent.

What do you think the role of blogging and Twitter is for authors?

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A Conflict-of-Interest-Off Between Abrams and Fine

abrams_4-8.jpgWhen Abrams Research CEO Dan Abrams appeared yesterday on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast, we asked him about the recent column by Businessweek’s Jon Fine which was critical of his company. Abrams thought the timing was “interesting.”

“Jon suddenly takes an interest in criticizing my business four and a half months in, for the same issues that you point out that people mentioned in the beginning, when lo and behold, there’s rumors that I could be creating a content producing site about media, that lo and behold, might compete — might, according to Jon — with mediabistro,” Abrams said in his best attorney voice.

The implication — that Fine’s marriage to our boss, Laurel Touby, may have been behind the column.

Fine responded on his Businessweek blog late yesterday.

“The implication that there’s any personal defensive (or offensive) maneuver intended with that column is flat-out wrong,” Fine wrote. “The potential launch of a media site is not what I found troubling about Abrams Research. It’s the situation with working journalists serving as corporate consultants.”

Fine also talked with Steve Brill, who serves on the Abrams Research advisory board, about the conflict. Brill agreed the Website may need “a new description” of the work the company might do.

Abrams then tweeted his response to Fine’s blog post today:

Burdened with an actual conflict, @jonfine writes about theoretical conflicts based on a line from my website? That is rich.

and

This is @Jonfine’s response to his overt conflict in writing about my business?…Really? Where is the explanation?

Fine has yet to respond to Abrams’ Twitter response, of the Fine blog post response, of Abrams’ mediabistro podcast response to Fine’s original column…