Interview with Jane Friedman, Publishing Expert

Jane Friedman

I interviewed publishing expert, Jane Friedman   for  the podcast, ASJA Direct: Inside Intel on Getting Published and Paid Well. The podcast will be up on the site shortly.

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Here is Jane’s bio:

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Jane’s newest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press); Publishers Weekly said that it is “destined to become a staple reference book for writers and those interested in publishing careers.” Also, in collaboration with The Authors Guild, she wrote The Authors Guild Guide to E-Publishing.

In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at; her expertise has been featured by NPR, PBS, CBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.

Jane has delivered keynotes and workshops on the digital era of authorship at worldwide industry events, including the Writer’s Digest annual conference, San Miguel Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, Frankfurt Book Fair, BookExpo America, LitFlow Berlin, and Digital Book World. She’s also served on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund, and has held positions as a professor of writing, media, and publishing at the University of Cincinnati and University of Virginia.

In her spare time, Jane writes creative nonfiction, which has been included in the anthologies Every Father’s Daughter and Drinking Diaries. If you look hard enough, you can also find her embarrassing college poetry.

In 2o17, Jane was honored with the Virginia Writers Club Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the podcast, found here Jane  covered:  

*What she does to help writers get books published

*How she built her platform, and you can, too

*What her new book offers writers

*Her top words of advice on book selling techniques that get results

*How to get on The Hot Sheet and more

She also answered some questions for this site, providing intel on her influences from childhood and more.

Erasmus: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?

Friedman: I grew up watching TV with my dad, so some of my early heroes were Magnum PI and Michael Knight on Knight Rider. But I didn’t really envision myself being a private investigator or masculine crime fighter, nor did I truly understand what they were doing in those shows, so about the only logical answer I have to this question is Wonder Woman.

Erasmus: Who were your role models? 

Friedman: When I got older, I thought there would be nothing better than growing up to be exactly like Anne of Green Gables. As a painfully shy adolescent, I liked the idea of being as loquacious and confident in my actions as she was, while still having my nose in books.

Erasmus: What book author living or dead would you like spend the day with and why?

Friedman: Alain de Botton, a UK author. But I would be too tongue-tied to actually speak to him, so I’d really just want to shadow him all day or lurk in his general vicinity. I admire his intellectual and philosophical approach to solving intractable life problems, as well as his practical, business-oriented mindset in delivering that approach to a wide audience.

Erasmus: If you could live anywhere in the world besides the U.S, where would you live and why?

Friedman: Probably the UK. I’m a hopeless Anglophile and have watched every conceivable series on Netflix dealing with British history and the monarchy. I did have the good fortune to study in the UK on two occasions while in college, and if I hadn’t been so broke the second time around, I would’ve found a way to stay.

Erasmus: What do you think is the future of publishing?

Friedman: If I’m looking far ahead into the future, inevitably digital. The print book or magazine isn’t necessarily going anywhere in the next five years, but they’re both becoming luxury products. Our storytelling needs are also being satisfied in diverse ways beyond the page, although writers’ skills in storytelling and prioritizing what stories get told will always be critical and valued, regardless of what the future holds.

Links Website: Jane Friedman
Link to her new book The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press)

Social media links



8 thoughts on “Interview with Jane Friedman, Publishing Expert

  1. AnnMarie John

    I’ve never spoken with a publisher or an editor before. I think it’s always interesting to hear what they have to say. This was an interesting interview. I loved all her answers!

  2. Heather

    Writing a book is a life goal of mine. I can’t wait to check out her work. Knowing where to start and the in’s and out’s of getting published are so foreign to me.

  3. Carol Cassara

    She’s achieved so much in her life and she’s definitely an inspiration especially if you’re an aspiring author/writer. I enjoyed the interview. She’s very passionate about what she does.

  4. Brianne

    I just love your interview series! I am so going to find her books to read and her blog!

  5. Theresa

    I wanted to be just like Anne of Green Gables too. Glad to know I wasn’t the only shy girl dreaming of being as outgoing as Anne. Looks like Jane found her footing and is making her own little mark in the publishing world.

  6. Kelly Reci

    I agree with Jane, I would totally choose to live in the U.K. if I could. What a fantastic interview – so lucky that you were able to do it!

  7. Bill Sweeney

    What an intriguing interview. Jane definitely has many credentials to her resume, which gives great insight for helping writers.

  8. Melissa Chapman

    People like Jane are so accomplished and still don’t rest on their laurels and keep raising the bar. I will look for her blog and books over the next months.

Comments are closed.