Skip to content
Jun 15 13

The Slow Death of the American Author

by focusmedia

The New York Times | The Opinions Page

by Scott Turow

April 7, 2013

LAST month, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper than domestic editions. Until now, courts have forbidden such activity as a violation of copyright. Not only does this ruling open the gates to a surge in cheap imports, but since they will be sold in a secondary market, authors won’t get royalties.

This may sound like a minor problem; authors already contend with an enormous domestic market for secondhand books. But it is the latest example of how the global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors’ income streams. It seems almost every player — publishers, search engines, libraries, pirates and even some scholars — is vying for position at authors’ expense.

Authors practice one of the few professions directly protected in the Constitution, which instructs Congress “to promote the progress of Science and the useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The idea is that a diverse literary culture, created by authors whose livelihoods, and thus independence, can’t be threatened, is essential to democracy.

read more…

Apr 12 13

How a Trilogy of Novels becomes a Movie: Post #1

by focusmedia

Welcome to the dramatic process of how a trilogy of novels becomes a movie. It was a dark and stormy night… as the first book in the trilogy was being released, well before I ever had any remote idea it would one day become a trilogy. My literary agent sold my novel in a pitch to the then President of Lifetime Networks in less than a heartbeat. I was flattered to learn that my property was the President’s favorite pet project! And then… If anyone out there is curious about the unfolding drama of how a trilogy becomes a movie,  let me know via LIKES or Free Chapter Downloads :)  The more likes on, and chapter downloads. the more details I’ll provide in the unfolding drama of “Books to Film: Here We Come!”  that I’ll get in the details. To Life! Lynn, I mean Maddy, no– I mean, Lynn… Maddy… Maddy… Lynn… who am I?snoopy-dark-and-stormy-night-4

Mar 21 12

On Hollywood Aspirations #1

by focusmedia


On February 16th, 2012, I took my mother, professional storyteller and humorist Eileen Isenberg, to see a taping of Bill Maher.  While waiting for the show to begin my mother and I engaged in a delightful conversation with one of the red-coated ombudsmen of the show who during the course of our discourse shared that he was 6 months new in town and revealed his aspirations to be a writer and producer.  I told him to check out my writing if he was inclined and my mother and I along with friend, producer John Woldenberg, soon headed in the doors to see my mother’s favorite political comedian in action.  March 18th, 2012, the young red-coated ombudsmen contacts me via email, having looked me up on the internet, saying he’s impressed with my work (definitely flattering) and asks for career advice.  Now, I just saw this 60 Minutes segment on “face blindness” and I think I may recognize this young man again if I see him.  Tall, dark hair.  I think he had glasses on but I’m not sure.  Definitely remember the red coat.  Regardless, I DO remember having pleasant upbeat feelings about the encounter.  And I do remember encouraging him to contact me.  I was in a particularly effervescent mood that day.  So, he contacts me about how best to proceed with his aspirations to be a writer and producer and I reply.  But just before I hit send I stop myself–remembering the messages in “Rework” (opportunities of by-products), so I decide to take the by-product of my reply email and share it in this post on how one becomes a writer/producer.  For the purposes of anonymity, I’ll call him Red Coat.  Part One:

read more…

Oct 31 11

The Writer’s [Inner] Journey Interview with Lynn Isenberg

by focusmedia

The writer talks about trusting intuition, never trying to please the crowd and writing in rooms with beds in them.

Lynn Isenberg is the author of the The Funeral Planner (Red Dress Ink Novels) which Booklist called “. . . a hilarious comedy of love and fulfillment in unexpected places.” She also wrote The Funeral Planner Goes to the White House (Mira), a comedy novel and upcoming digital series featuring the singer, Joss Stone. Lynn is also a screenwriter and producer whose numerous credits include TriStar Pictures’ I Love You to Death, MGM’s Youngblood, Showtime’s Bordello and the teen drama True Vinyl.

read more…

Apr 14 11

LMU 04.14.2011 Class

by focusmedia

Jackson Horn Trailer

YouTube Preview Image

Just for Fun :: Exporting Raymond & Importing Umami

YouTube Preview Image

Just for Fun :: Exporting Raymond & Importing Umami Long Version

YouTube Preview Image


Mar 13 11

LMU 03.17.2011 Class :: Guest Speaker TV Writer Linda Burstyn

by focusmedia


Background, Writing for Television, About THE KILLING, Process of Adaptation, Process of Writing, Digital Integration, Your Ideas

THE KILLING :: Airing on AMC, April 3rd



With breaking news on The Killing…


Look at the QUIZ which integrates pre-shot “video blogs” for clues, a secret letter stuffed inside the globe, a secret black pump hidden under a sweater, notes, facebook friends, photos, etc. as clues for the audience to mine.

Info about Random House cross-promoting another crime novel with a female detective with The Killing.

With Veena / Show and Each Member of the Cast…


Feb 20 11

The Funeral Planner :: Case Study

by focusmedia

The Funeral Planner – Case Study :: Creating Content for Multi-Platforms


One Page Visual Representation: (show page)

First Book in Trilogy, The Funeral Planner — how and why I came to write it ::  www.LightsOutEnterprises.comPress Kit / TV Interview with Lynn Isenberg

read more…

Feb 15 11

LMU 02.17.2011 Class :: The Value of Publishing, the Value of Brands, the Value of your By-Product…

by focusmedia

For my LMU Class:

1. USA TODAY Article :: Authors Catch Fire with Self-Published e-Books

This article points up a recent story of a young girl who self-published her novel as an ebook and sold over 465,000 copies.

It’s possible to generate an income on your creativity via eBooks with aggressive social media.

2. Wall Street Journal Article :: As You May Have Read in My Book…

This article points up an interesting story about a dentist who wrote a book called “This Won’t Hurt a Bit” and has sold over 20,000 copies and created an increase in business.

Again, enhancing a mainline via a sideline.

3. Wall Street Journal Article ::  Delivering ‘Decoded’ in Multiple Ways

read more…

Feb 14 11

LMU 02.17.2011 :: Guest Speaker John Woldenberg

by focusmedia

Producer credits below.  Founded internet start-up backed by Apple.   The genesis and transcultural challenges of producing, marketing, and distributing Exporting Raymond.  Early investor in the adaptation of “Spiderman” into the Broadway musical, experiences in publishing and and other information pertaining to “transmedia entertainment”.

Exporting Raymond (documentary) (executive producer)

Exporting Raymond :: Philip Rosenthal & John Woldenberg Interview :: “Social Media” Marketing for the Film

Feb 6 11

LMU 02.10.2011 Class :: Transmedia Entertainment, Marketing & Technology

by focusmedia


Traditional Model:   Write a manuscript, send to literary agents, depend on agent to shop to publishers.  Hopefully sell manuscript for advance against royalties.  Little to zero marketing / pr budget except what author puts into it.  Hopefully, book sells enough to recoup advances and allow for royalties to go to author;  usually $1.00 per book.

New Model:  Stigma around “vanity” publishing is diminishing.   Open playing field.  “media democratization”   Literary agent no longer a necessity.  Self publish through next generation publisher.   Write, upload, distribute across e-channels and pod.   No advance.  Author markets like they would in traditional model anyway.  New publisher provides social media.  Author gets more royalty.

Wall Street Journal Article :: ‘Vanity’ Press Goes Digital

The Future of the Book – via the history of the book…

Disrupting the Traditional Model Video – self-publishing becomes cool…

read more…