Guest Blogger, Ron Hogan, Literary Internet Creator
To listen to Ron’s interview on the show: http://wp.me/p1KmwD-6hz
When I first got seriously involved with the Internet, back in the ’90s, it was far from the most efficient way to get book recommendations. That’s not to say it was impossible–I used to be fairly active in a Usenet newsgroup called rec.arts.books, where you could find hundreds of simultaneous conversations taking place about books and writers. But when you were dealing with hundreds of simultaneous conversations, it could be difficult to find one that had particular relevance to you…unless you wanted to start that conversation yourself, of course.
So, for a while, I was still finding out about great new books I should be reading the same way I had before the Internet: the New Yorker book review section, tips from my coworkers at an indie bookstore (as well as noticing what people were coming in and buying), and a few trusted friends. Once I had my first website, Beatrice.com, up and running, I was also getting a ton of suggestions from book publicists–not the most objective of suggestions, naturally, but they tended to be good ones. (A truly effective publicist learns about a reader’s tastes, so nobody’s time gets wasted dealing with books that simply won’t be of interest, and so she can spring the occasional pleasant surprise on you, the amazing book that wasn’t ever on your radar until she showed it to you.)
Twenty years later, it sometimes seems like everybody’s got a book blog, and it’s that old Usenet problem again–how do you find the conversations about books that are meaningful to you?
I love having dozens, hundreds, even thousands of alternatives to the mainstream media’s coverage of contemporary literature–heck, I love being one of those alternatives, along with my occasional appearances in the mainstream. But it’s still a lot of book talk to sort through.
So I don’t. At least, not anymore.
A while back, I read about a concept called “Dunbar’s number,” which refers to the number of meaningful social relationships you can reasonably keep track of. Many people put that number somewhere around 150, so that’s how many people I follow on Twitter. Between the writers, the publishing people, and a few close friends who just love books, I get a steady flow of information about what I might want to read next–and if something truly interesting is happening out in the literary world, I’m likely to hear about it from one or more of those 150 people sooner rather than later.
Oh, I follow a few RSS feeds for media outlets that deal with books and a small handful of favorite writers and bloggers. But I’ve been following those feeds for a long time, and over the years I’ve actually pruned a lot of them back. It takes a lot for me to add a new source of information. First, it has to come up a lot among my 150 Twitter sources; then, after I’ve been sent to visit the site a few times, if I’m consistently impressed, I’ll add it to my regular media menu.
And, yeah, I appreciate the irony of telling you about the benefits of keeping your book-related intake down to a well chosen minimum, then trying to pivot to “I hope you’ll check out my websites!” The key word being well-chosen: If you take a look at Beatrice.com or TheHandsell.com, and you find that the books I’m talking about, and the authors I’m talking to, are consistently holding your interest, I’d be thrilled to become another literary resource for you. If not, keep looking! And don’t be afraid to add your own voice to the conversations–there’s bound to be someone out there who shares your taste in books and knows about some amazing ones you haven’t found yet.
Ron Hogan helped create the literary Internet by launching Beatrice in 1995. Today, as the host of The Handsell with Ron Hogan &…, he recruits authors and independent booksellers to help readers find their new favorite book, based on what they’ve already read and loved.
Guest Blogger, DorothyTheOrganizer Breininger, Author
To listen to Dorothy’s interview on the show: http://wp.me/p1KmwD-6hz
I just loved being on Jennifer S. Wilkov’s radio show, “Your Book is Your Hook.” Speaking with her really had me hone in on some organizational principles which have created successful books for my clients and me. As a professional organizing expert, my world view is one of “how to get things done in an organized, efficient and results oriented kind of way.” So, I thought the best idea would be to apply my organizing tips to the writer’s experience.
1. ORGANIZE YOUR COMMITMENT TO WRITE: Whether you believe you can finish writing a book or whether you are still on the fence, it’s time to set your intention and commitment to the project. You will soon learn if this goal (to start AND FINISH writing a book) fits into your life values. You want to know this about yourself because: if you are a writer, it’s time to prioritize this project as important – so you can do what you love. If you want to be a writer, it’s time to assess whether you are committed, need some coaching, or need to come clean about how this whole writing idea is just “cluttering” up your brain. Without a timeline, it is nearly impossible to measure whether you are procrastinating or not. Just as I ask my clients to declare a deadline for a long-awaited organizing project, I suggest this time management tip of “Organizing Your Commitment” to authors as well.
2. ORGANIZE YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY: It’s rare when our own self-initiative can carry us through the book writing process. Studies show that when we partner on a project (whether it’s gardening, organizing closets, or writing), we increase our momentum and productivity. If you are a procrastinator or have difficulty “getting started” on certain days with your writing, it is important to enlist a friend or colleague with whom to share your timeline and benchmarks.
When I was writing Stuff Your Face or Face Your Stuff, I used a tool called, “Book-Ending.” This means I called a friend or business associate and said, “It’s 11:00 a.m. and I plan to write for 1 hour, take lunch for 30 minutes and then continue writing til 2:00 p.m. I plan to finish Chapter Four and I will call you at 2:00 p.m. to report in.” Then, at 2:00 p.m., I would call back and tell my accountability partner what I had (or had not) achieved. In most cases…..I achieved. And so can you.
3. ORGANIZING YOUR BRAIN TO WRITE: For new and veteran writers, sometimes the words just don’t come (and it’s not due to procrastination). If this is the case, I recommend organizing and training your brain with some new neuro pathways. It’s pretty simple: Write a five-sentence mantra which spells out the success of writing your book and read this mantra every night before bed.
Example: “I love writing my book _______________________(insert your book title). Every time I sit down to write, words just flow out of me. I am always eager to get another chunk written and it happens with such ease. The first draft of my book will be completed by __________________ (insert deadline) and I am committed to making this happen. I am simply full of joy around the successful completion of my book.
Good luck in your organized approach to writing. It is without question that a mix of spontaneous free flow writing coupled with good organizing timelines and accountability will get you through your next writing project. Remember, avoid perfection at all costs. Now go get’em!
By Guest Blogger Michaela Hamilton, Executive Editor of Kensington Publishing
Murder! Mayhem! Danger! Action! What makes a thriller exciting? All of those elements—plus a certain magic called storytelling. At Kensington we are proud to offer commercial fiction at its best. We welcome the chance to present new authors to the suspense community. Most of our submissions come through literary agents who understand the types of books that work best for us. Serial-killer thrillers, political thrillers, romantic suspense, paranormal suspense, international intrigue and espionage, and cute cozy mysteries are some of the genres that we are eager to consider.
Kensington supports organizations such as Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Malice Domestic, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and other groups devoted to helping writers realize their publishing dreams. Conferences such as ThrillerFest and Bouchercon give writers the chance to interact with editors, agents, fans, and fellow authors. Local writers’ conferences offer excellent opportunities as well. Through workshops, panels, pitch sessions, parties, and just-plain hanging out together, writers have a chance to make contact with professionals who share their passion for high-level suspense.
If you are a first-time author, you’ll need to polish your pitch so you can make your book sound irresistible in less than thirty seconds. It’s useful to position your book in terms of successful books or films. “Grisham meets Ludlum on Wall Street” was one of the best positioning lines I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t wait to read that novel!
Think of the reader who will buy your book in a bookstore. What other titles will that reader have on his or her bookshelf? Sure, your writing is highly original. But publishers need to be able to identify a market for it. Is it hard-boiled or cozy? Deeply psychological or more adventure-driven? Are you writing for male or female readers, or both? Be clear about your audience so that an editor or agent can quickly grasp your book’s potential.
At Kensington we welcome queries from authors via email. The submissions guidelines are posted on our website, www.kensingtonbooks.com. Your query should clearly position your book as to category and audience. Give a one-paragraph plot overview and one-paragraph bio, including your membership in writers’ organizations, attendance of conferences, and your personal marketing plan for your book.
So bring on the serial killers and their victims; the greedy schemers and the clever clue-followers; the forensic experts, the detectives, the heroes and villains who make us turn pages with joy. The world of book-lovers opens its doors to writers who can thrill us, page after page.
And speaking of page-turners: here’s a contest you won’t want to miss. Kensington will give away five free ARC’s (Advance Reader’s Copies) of SERIAL, the sensational new thriller from New York Times bestselling author John Lutz, due in bookstores in August. To enter, send us your tweet telling us why you’d like to be among the first people to read SERIAL. Five winners will be chosen at random. Tweet us at @kensingtonbooks with the #serial hashtag.
By Guest Blogger Lori Randall Stradtman, Social Media Design
1. Social Media guarantees you a huge audience. – There are no guarantees, but great content and strategy go a long way! Begin by reaching out to your target audiences and having open discussions with them about your subject matter. For example, if you’re writing a romance novel involving werewolves, find or start communities that are interested in werewolves. Cultivate relationships with the most influential and interesting people there as you engage. Not only will it contribute to your research, but it will make them sure to want to buy your book when it’s ready because they’ve indirectly contributed to your content. They will feel like they’re a part of your book and will want to spread the word for you like wildfire.
2. YouTube is only for celebrities, conspiracy theorists, and 12 year olds – It’s true, these folks do congregate around YouTube, but only because it gives them a powerful voice in their communities. You have a community on YouTube that would love to see you and hear more about what you’re writing. They want to know why you’ve chosen your subject matter and how you do it. Tag your videos with keywords, such as “werewolves” to let them know you’re there.
3. Twitter is too crowded for newcomers to get noticed. – You may have created a fresh Twitter account, full of hope and enthusiasm, only to discover that only 3 bots and your Mother-in-law found you there. She wants her good china back. The trick is to discover or to create a Twitter chat of your own. Some great ones are #blogchat and #writers. Search for something really specific with Twilert. You can set a keyword like “werewolves” and it sends you a daily email list of tweets containing that term. Follow up. You can also go to twittgroups and discover or create a Twitter group that appeals to your audience. Searching for correct Twitter phraseology? Try the Twittonary.
4. Blogs don’t get attention anymore. – A well designed blog that truly represents your brand is a powerful way to create a virtual “rabbit hole” (a la Alice in Wonderland) for you and your audience to explore. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, your target audience wants to know more about your subject and would love to find a rich resource full of links and ideas. Give them a place to talk about what they love: your subject. Listen and engage with them. When your book comes out they will be your best sales people as they tell all their friends online.
5. Publishers don’t look at Facebook involvement. – Aaron Patterson, Publisher at Stone House Ink and Stone Gate Ink shared last week in his Your Book Is Your Hook radio interview that they’ve “turned down really amazing books because the author was not on Facebook, had no desire to blog… no Social Media reach.” He went on to say that “it takes about a year for somebody to build a platform that can support a book and that without it you’re kinda dead in the water.” I agree.
By Guest Blogger Aaron Patterson
#1 Amazon Kindle Best-Selling Author & the Publisher at Stone House Ink & StoneGate Ink
Books. eBooks. Audio Books.
I love books, or shall I say I love stories. I used to read three books a day when I was a kid. I love the stories, the danger, the exciting places I can go in a book. But what of the paper, the sound, the smell of a book? What is going to happen to books with the digital revolution?
I ask this with a smile and a heavy heart. I know where it is going and part of me is sad and the other part is excited. The sad part is because I like a book. I grew up reading them, and they are going away. Paper and ink are giving away to the eBook.
Are we really losing them? No, it is just changing. The excited part of me sees the cool ways we can now read stories. How we can have links and video and cram 3,000 books in a small device. How I can listen to an audio book on the same reader I can read a novel on. It all comes down to content. A story is a story no matter how it is consumed. I love story, so give me my story. I don’t care how it comes to me, in a sound over the radio or on an eReader or in a paper form.
With eBooks, I as an author can reach so many more people so much faster. I can build a fan base and make a living as an author, where even five years ago this would have been a crazy thought. I do not have to go to a book signing or travel across the country to sell books. I can do it all from my laptop. Through social media like Twitter and Facebook.
What does this mean for a bookstore?
They will shrink and turn into small specialty shops. The first editions, the signed copies, and the cream of the crop. The really good books, the classics, will be in bookstores. The price will go up and most of the new books will be published only as eBooks or print on demand publishing houses.
Is this a good thing?
Think of how many trees we will save. Think of the books that are pulped every year. If the average reader knew how many books are burned or thrown away each year, it would start a riot. Think of the cost savings. eBooks are forever, do not get old or tear, do not yellow or get lost. Is this good or the end of books? Who knows? All I know is, no matter what, the real story will never die.
19 (Digital Short)
The Craigslist Killer (Digital Short)
The eBook on eBooks (Digital Short)
By Guest Blogger John Kilcullen
Creator & Original Publisher of the …For Dummies Books, Executive Chairman of Fast Pencil & CEO of Brand Revolution LLC
I enjoy talking about the book biz. Over the course of 17 summers I shared a ton of stories and publishing strategies in my lectures at the Stanford Professional Publishing Course. I got as much out of it as I put into it.
Part of the fun was to intellectually challenge participants: Why not dare to be different? Why not lead instead of follow?
The questions (for publishers and authors) continued: Do you have a carpe diem culture or an analysis-paralysis operating philosophy? Do you follow a “done is better than perfect” credo? Are you constantly experimenting and tinkering? Are you spending enough time living inside the hearts and heads of your customers and qualified prospects?
Winding down: Are you in the products business or in the service business? Is customer service an obsession or a necessary evil? Are you converting nameless, faceless book buyers into customers you know a lot about? Is the publication of the book the celebratory end of the process or the beginning of a lifelong relationship with customers?
At times, there was radio silence. Often, we engaged in a spirited discussion about this crazy business we call publishing.
Today, I feel like I did when I was at the Frankfurt Book Fair when the wall was coming down …. Some people were clinging to the past as if they were holding on to the railings of the Titanic. Others bravely supported the winds of change. Those same feelings were evident last month when I walked the aisles of Book Expo America.
My advice to today’s aspiring authors and to publishing professionals alike: If you can’t predict the future, invent it! Embrace ambiguity. Make change your friend. Build your digital/mobile/social DNA. Be open to new partnerships. Build a direct to consumer customer data base. Mine it regularly.
Apple’s famous advertising campaign summed it up best: ”Think Different.” I would add … “Act Differently, too!”
Almost 20 years ago I defied conventional wisdom and published the first For Dummies book. Time and time again, we would sign, launch and market another bestselling title by first time authors, great “explainers” and sometimes even celebrities. Together, for 10 consecutive years, we created a dominant, how-to brand supported by a great authorial-editorial-marketing services team. I understand – and implemented – a consistent brand architecture driving brand preference (measured in repeat foot traffic and recurring revenue streams). Those early branding and publishing decisions continue to deliver value to this day.
Most importantly, we understood that our best brand ambassadors (now numbering 250 million) were our customers. Treat them right and they will reward you with their purchases and their evangelism … a powerful combination.
Let me know of your branding and serial success stories. Ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an aspiring author with any question, don’t hesitate to ping me as well.
By Guest Blogger Jessica Faust
Literary Agent & Owner of BookEnds Literary Agency
1. Not following an agent’s rules exactly will get you rejected.
Not true. Agents have a list of guidelines they’d like writers to follow when querying because it makes our lives easier and while we prefer you call us by the correct name, include the title of your book, or include your phone number, forgetting any of that will not result in an instant rejection. What will get you rejected is not exciting the agent enough about your work.
2. Agents never take risks.
Not true. Each and every submission we send out, each and every offer of representation we make is a risk. Agents take risks all the time, but educated and calculated risks. I can’t offer representation on a book I don’t understand well enough to sell, but there have been plenty of times I’ve offered on something I loved, but didn’t necessarily feel 100% confident I’d find a market for.
3. Agents blacklist authors and spread the news to other agents far and wide.
Not true. Frankly, if we’re talking or complaining about anyone it’s editors [wink]. Rarely, if ever, do we sit around together and share query horror stories.
4. Getting an agent is the hard part.
Wrong. Getting an agent is the easy part. The real hard part isn’t even finding a publisher. The hard part? Finding readers and keeping them.
5. Agents have all the power.
Really, really not true. You might think we do because when querying we frequently say no, but the truth is that you have all the power. Authors provide us with our product and without you we would have nothing. If you think we have all the power you should sit on our side of the desk when a call of representation is offered and the author is talking with other agents. Now who has the power?
6. If you get your own deal, you don’t need an agent.
I think this depends on you. A lot of people talk these days about how authors can negotiate their own contracts and certainly they can and I do believe that authors should spend more time learning about contracts, but, the question is, how comfortable are you doing that? My job is to negotiate and I’m pretty good at it. When it comes to your own career are you willing to push and fight as hard as you need to or is there a possibility the fear of angering editors might make you back off?
7. “Top Tier” Agents are always better.
This one confuses me because I never understand who this top tier is. The best agent is the one who is smart, tough, respected on all sides, honest, and works for you in a way that works for you. An agent’s “tier” doesn’t matter if the two of you can’t see eye to eye on most things.
8. With e-selfpublishing, agents will soon be extinct.
Maybe, but I doubt it. The publishing landscape is changing in new and exciting ways and rather than look at it as a time when everything is being torn down, I like to look at it as a time of new opportunity for everyone.
9. Agents won’t consider you unless you’ve been published.
Not true. In the past 9 months I’ve taken on three new authors, none are previously published.
10. An agent’s job is to do whatever the author says.
Not true. An agent’s job is to partner with the author to build a successful career and this sometimes means telling the author “no.”
By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
BookExpo America (BEA) is bringing back New York Book Week to take place during the week of BEA, May 23rd – 27th, 2011. New York Book Week will include public “main stage” author programs as well as smaller events at libraries in the New York Public Library (NYPL) system and chain and independent bookstores throughout New York City and its boroughs.
New York Book Week embraces all literary and book activity, and expands the awareness of authors, books and publishing.
Most of the New York Book Week events throughout New York are FREE!
Events around New York City can be found at the Apple Store in Soho, various Barnes & Noble locations, the Borders at Columbus Circle, Symphony Space on the Upper West Side and several locations of the New York Public Library. There are also events scheduled at the Center for Fiction in Midtown, The Bryant Park Reading Room, New York University, the NYU Journalism Institute, the McNally Jackson Bookstore in Soho, the Steuben Flagship Store, 192 Books, the Brooklyn Public Library, The powerHouse Arena (Brooklyn), the Greenlight Bookstore (Brooklyn) and Word (Brooklyn). For a full listing of the events, times and locations, refer to http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/Concurrent-Events/New-York-Book-Week/.
BookExpo America (BEA) will be featuring events and conferences which will be held at the Jacob Javits Center before and during New York Book Week. BEA’s Global Market Forum: Ciao, Italia! which will be held on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, focuses on publishing in Italy. BEA will present conference sessions, exhibits, and off-site cultural events focusing on Italy’s rich literary heritage as well as the business challenges the Italian publishing industry faces as globalization and competition both intensify. The Big Ideas at BEA Conference will be held throughout BEA and features fresh sessions where you’ll learn about the latest trends, developments, and technologies affecting the book industry.
For those who are interested in Do-It-Yourself or DIY publishing, BookExpo America will once again offer The BEA DIY Authors Conference & Marketplace on Saturday, May 21st. This conference is where aspiring writers will get critical information and solutions to help them get published or self published. They will also meet the industry’s most respected DIY service providers who are offering services to aspiring authors or those looking to package your content in book form.
There are also simultaneous conferences taking place this year at the Javits Center before and during New York Book Week.
The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) Digital Book Conference held Monday and Tuesday. May 23 – 24, 2011, will include what’s new in devices, apps, business models, publishing “best practices”, EPUB, and more.
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) Day of Education at Book Expo America will be held on Monday, May 23, 2011. The ABA’s learning sessions are designed to help bookstores achieve profitability, differentiate themselves from their competition, and adapt to a constantly evolving retail landscape. The Day of Education continues and builds upon the program begun at ABA’s Winter Institute in Washington, DC, in January 2011. The Day of Education curriculum also includes programming for children’s booksellers from the Association of Booksellers for Children.
The Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC) at Book Expo America will be held on Monday, May 23, 2011, and is the premier event in the audiobook industry designed to address industry trends, meet the varying needs of audiobook industry professionals, and provide networking opportunities for industry leaders and newcomers.
The second annual Book Bloggers Convention will take place on Friday, May 27, 2011, and is a one-day event providing instruction, interaction, and creative space for book bloggers and publishing industry professionals. Programming includes a keynote address from Sarah Wendell of the popular romance blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and offers participants the opportunity to choose from five workshops and break-out sessions with leading bloggers and industry pros.
The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Annual Publishing University at BookExpo America will be held on May 22 – 23, 2011, at the Javits Center just prior to BEA and brings you hands-on tools and techniques to succeed in a world where the only constant is perpetual change. The keynote address entitled “Unlocking Your Future: Paths to Success In A Changing World” will be delivered by Skip Prichard to open the conference and the presentation of this year’s Benjamin Franklin Awards will occur at the end of the conference.
The new BlogWorld Expo & New Media Expo NY will be held on May 24th – 26th, 2011, and provides opportunities to learn about Content Creation, Distribution, Monetization and Social Media Marketing strategies. “After a record-setting 40% attendance growth at our event in 2010, and due to a huge demand from bloggers and social media professionals from across the eastern United States and Canada, we decided it was time to launch our East Coast event this year,” explained BlogWorld & New Media Expo CEO and co-founder Rick Calvert.
“By co-locating BlogWorld East with BookExpo America, we are creating the first real convergence of new media and traditional media. The capital of traditional media is playing host to the largest gathering of social media professionals and new media content creators in the world. Both communities have a truly unique opportunity to learn from the brightest minds each has to offer.” explained Calvert. “It’s exciting to think about the potential for new ideas and business opportunities that will result from BlogWorld and BookExpo America happening side by side.”
Steven Rosato, Show Manager for BookExpo America commented: “This is a perfect fit for BookExpo America. We have been building our blogger base and social media has emerged as a powerful force in book publishing and marketing in recent years. We are a vested partner with BlogWorld & New Media Expo and we will work closely with them to sell, promote and build their show. We expect this association will strongly benefit our respective attendees and exhibitors for many years to come. Reed Exhibitions has wide international reach and as a leading organizer of business to business events we not only plan to build awareness for BlogWorld & New Media Expo in America but throughout the world as well.”
The new Publishers Launch Conference will be held on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011, and supports attendees with mastering the opportunities (and overcoming the challenges) of the digital transition. Publishers Launch Conference at BEA: eBooks Go Global is the first-ever all-day BEA event specifically addressing the educational needs of high-level international visitors and those who do business with them. It’s also directed at those who want to exploit one of the deep pockets of digital growth: global eBook sales.
Produced by two renowned thought leaders about digital change in publishing – consultant Mike Shatzkin, founder of The Idea Logical Company and blogger at The Shatzkin Files, and Michael Cader, creator of Publishers Lunch (the world’s largest book publishing daily) and PublishersMarketplace.com – Publishers Launch Conference at BEA: eBooks Go Global will feature presentations from those in the US who already have deep digital experience alongside key international executives and representatives from the global giants who are building the world’s eBook infrastructure and sales channels.
This day-long program will cover the big North American-based retailers and distributors (Apple, Amazon, Google, Ingram, Kobo and Overdrive – plus Barnes & Noble and more) who are building distribution networks that will extend to every language and every corner of the globe, and will suggest how international publishers – which in the new paradigm will be most publishers – can maximize the opportunities they present.
In addition to these conferences, BookExpo America will host more than 775 authors in the Author Autographing Area and In-Booth Autographing session happening daily. John Lithgow, Michael Moore, Charles Frazier, Jane Lynch and Jane Fonda will be appearing during Signature Events scheduled through BEA. This is your best opportunity to meet them all one-on-one, from best-selling to first-time and up-and-coming, representing a full spectrum of topic areas. Plus you’ll also see previously published authors in addition to newly published authors.
There will also be special events with authors including the Author Breakfasts emceed by Julianne Moore (Children’s Breakfast held Tuesday, May 23rd), Mindy Kaling (Adult Breakfast held Wednesday, May 24th, including an appearance by Diane Keaton), and Jim Lehrer (Adult Breakfast held Thursday, May 25th, including an appearance by Roger Ebert) and the APA Tea held on Wednesday afternoon, May 24th, which will be emceed by Star Jones.
BookExpo America also caters to other cultural venues in New York City by offering Museum Day at BEA on Wednesday, May 25th, during which BEA will welcome museum store buyers to discover unique books, remainder books, stationery, educational toys and games, and other non-book items.
Attendees of BEA can take advantage of the BEA Coupon Book and discover New York City with more than 50 discounts to area dining, retail and entertainment venues exclusively for BEA attendees.
With more than 1,300 exhibitors, 775 authors, 8 simultaneous conferences and booksellers, librarians, and a variety of other book industry professionals and writers, not to mention the vast number of events being offered around New York City throughout the week, New York Book Week is your week to plug into the book publishing industry.
Jennifer’s show can be heard every week on Tuesday mornings at 9am when it is broadcast on WomensRadio.com and syndicated on Google News and Live365.com. Each show is archived for replay listeners in different time zones and countries.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.
So you’ve landed an agent! Whew. Work’s done. Time to sit back with your Mojito and let the agent take over the reins. ::Bubble:: POP! Let’s talk reality.
True: your agent is there to get you published (hopefully). True: your agent is there to give you sound advice on your current manuscript and future works-in-progress. True: your agent is there to hold your hand when you are lost in this crazy world called publishing. False: (you knew it was coming) your agent cannot be your social persona. And unfortunately, a negative social persona can make you a publishing pariah.
As authors and potential authors, you have the world waiting to hear from you via the Internet. Twitter feeds, Facebook pages (both fan pages and personal pages), blogs, Tumblr, Web sites, even just a simple Google search could have someone reading every bit of material about you at the click of a button.
Hint: Use this to your advantage. Second hint: It’s harder than it seems. While it’s just plain common sense not to post naughty pictures of yourself on the Web, it might not be as intuitive to watch what you say. For example: Publisher X just released a book about reality television star Y, but Publisher X won’t give your “rousing book on the problem in Country Z” a second glance. So naturally you are angry and you post on Twitter: “Publisher X only cares about money and they produce total crap. I cannot believe they release this kind of trash.”
Unfortunately for you, Publisher X was actually looking at your manuscript as you wrote those angry words, and you just blew it.
You might think you are invisible on the Web. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you, right? Wrong. With tools such as Google Alerts, anyone can see anything posted about them on the Internet. And it will come back to bite you. I promise.
For an agent, the client who breaches etiquette over the Internet is terrifying. They are a loose cannon and it’s hard for an agent to trust them on their own. By saying inappropriate things over Twitter/Facebook/blogs etc, they not only ruin their own reputation and chances of getting published, but they hurt their agent’s reputation as well.
True story time: An editor once told me regarding Twitter, “Once, I clicked through and saw it was your standard, unpublished (but agented) author—complaining about how long it took editors to consider her manuscript and how this would be ‘unacceptable’ in any other industry and what a bunch of bums editors were. I was considering her manuscript at the time.”
This Internet business is hard work. But worth it if you play your cards right.
By Guest Blogger Tanya Wright
I have been acting since I was seventeen (my first job was as Theo’s girlfriend on The Cosby Show!) but, the truth is, I was writing before I was acting. Yes. Writing was my first true love, and it has always been a dream of mine to write books and movies. Now, granted, I always thought my first book-writing experience was going to come when I was, say, sixty years old. When I was done with Hollywood and after I retreated to a castle in Italy, surrounded by butterflies and dogs, where I went to the farmer’s market every Saturday to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. Alas, I birthed a book years before I thought I would! Wrote and directed a movie, too! My dreams had come true.
Rose and Lilah Belle– the two women from my debut novel– BUTTERFLY RISING– leave their tiny town, steal a vintage truck and set out on the open road to meet the mystical Lazarus of the Butterflies, a legend who can help “heal you and make your dreams come true.” Dreams are clearly a recurring theme in my life. I am a firm believer that DREAMS CAN AND SHOULD BE MADE REAL—they don’t have to be these ‘out there,’ ethereal things you only daydream about when you find yourself with an extra few minutes during your busy day. And they can earn you money, too. You CAN make them your job and not just your hobby! Fancy that! Ha!
But dreams are never made real alone. There are lots and lots and lots of folks who come along the journey to help you. Because of the time it would take to publish my book conventionally (plus the fact that I am an aggressively, do-it-yourself, independent sort), I decided to self-publish. After looking at all the self-publishing companies that are out there (and there are a lot! Oy!) I decided to go with CreateSpace, Amazon.com’s self-publishing company. The folks there are great and the process of creating my book from start to finish—from book cover design to copyediting– was seamless! Also, you can’t make a movie without money (well, you can, but…why make something that’s hard even harder! Oy!). I am deeply indebted to my investor, Wil Colom, for writing a check to help make my dream real. There are many, many people who came to my aid along the way– my movie crew, The Film Collaborative (a non-profit company in Los Angeles)– and countless others. No one has a dream and makes it real alone. No one.
Which is why I am so happy to announce an exciting contest on my FB page! Next week, I’ll announce a contest where I WILL HELP YOU MAKE YOUR DREAM REAL. Do you have a creative dream you’ve been dying to make real but just haven’t been able to for—whatever reason? The winner of the contest (which will be chosen by the community based on the number of ‘likes’ your dream gets) will have a private, one-hour consultation– with me– to strategize on how to MAKE YOUR DREAM REAL (I’ll also thrown in an autographed copy of BUTTERFLY RISING! to the lucky winner) I discovered I LOVE giving things away for free:)
Now, I’ll warn you. I’ll help you strategize, but MAKING DREAMS REAL takes A LOT OF HARD WORK BY THE DREAMER. Are you willing to work hard? Identify what motivates you to STAY FOCUSED. Are you willing to sacrifice creature comforts for an indefinite amount of time? MAKING DREAMS REAL is like having a new year’s resolution: lots of folks have good intentions to, say, lose 20 pounds on January 1, but when March 3 rolls around, are they still on the treadmill? Most of ‘em ain’t, sorry to say, and thus the dream is never made real.
Whether you enter our Facebook contest or not, I love to connect with folks! There are many ways to communicate, depending on which one works best for ya:
FACEBOOK: Probably the best real-time way to get info on Butterfly Rising. It’s also where we’re gonna hold the contest! Yeah! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Butterfly-Rising/166995178653
WEBSITE: here’s all the info about Butterfly Rising—book, movie and all its forms… www.butterflyrisingthemovie.com
TWITTER: If you like to send and receive info in short chunks, check me out @tanyaTTwright http://twitter.com/tanyaTTwright
That is all.
Hope to see you there!
Tanya Wright plays the role of Deputy Kenya Jones on HBO’s TRUE BLOOD. Her self-published debut novel (via CreateSpace) is called BUTTERFLY RISING; it was deemed one of the ‘five finest debut novels of 2010′ by the prestigious Brooklyn Book Festival. Tanya also wrote and directed the film version of the movie that will make its way onto the film festival circuit in summer, 2011. Tanya was a semi-finalist in the Nicholl’s Screenwriting Competition (AMPAS) and a fellow at the Mark Taper’s Blacksmyth’s Playwrighting Program.