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Blog Posts

And the Award Goes To…Socially Engaged Fiction

Posted by Ellen Cassedy on June 27, 2012 at 6:30am 16 Comments

Are you writing a novel about "the world as it is with an eye for how it could be”? If so, Barbara Kingsolver may have a prize for you.  Check out the submission guidelines for the PEN/Bellwether Prize (and join the conversation below for a chance at a free book.)

Kingsolver launched the PEN/Bellwether Prize in 2000 to promote “fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships.” The biennial prize is awarded for a first novel. The winner receives $25,000 and a contract with Algonquin Press.

Last month, in a ceremony at BookExpo America, the annual trade fair, Kingsolver bestowed the 2012 award on Susan Nussbaum for her novel, “Good Kings Bad Kings.”

Nussbaum, a…


Marketing Tip: Reach out to Your Local Library

Posted by Maria Murnane on January 18, 2016 at 9:00am 2 Comments

No matter who publishes your book, there's no guarantee that libraries will carry it. However, if you walk into your local library with a smile and a copy of your book and say, "Hi there! I wrote this book. Will you please carry it?" there's a good chance the answer will be "Sure." It can't hurt to ask, right? The worst the librarian can do is say no, and as I explained in a previous post, if you let a few NOs drag you down, you're not going to get very far in your book marketing efforts.

I live in New York, but I recently received an invitation to an event at the library in my hometown in California. And get this--it's a reception for local authors to meet local readers! How cool is that? For all I know, my novels have never even been checked out there, but their mere presence on the shelves resulted in an invitation. Maybe your…


Why Grammatical Errors in Your Bio Can Hurt Your Sales

Posted by Maria Murnane on January 11, 2016 at 7:30am 1 Comment

I'm always looking for ideas for this blog (as well as a good book to read), so I spend a chunk of my day keeping tabs on the publishing industry. Often when I stumble across an article about a new author, especially a new indie author, I head to Amazon to check out the book and the author's page. Who knows? I may buy the book or even contact the author about a possible interview. 

If I see multiple grammatical errors in an author page, however, I quickly move on. 

For example, I recently visited the Amazon page of an author whose bio included the following mistakes (specifics changed to protect the author's identity): 

What she wrote: Lisa Sue is the Author of five mysteries.

What she should have written: Lisa Sue is the author of five mysteries.

What she wrote: Her favorite topic's are X, Y and Z.

What she should have…


To Pitch or Not to Pitch: Lessons from the Jewish Book Council

Posted by Dorit Sasson on February 4, 2016 at 8:00pm 3 Comments

Have you ever found yourself struggling to make an important decision that could be a potential game changer, but money is the one thing getting in your way? 

When I started writing my memoir, I struggled believing I could  write the damn thing. Every day, voices of self-doubt crept in but at the same time, telling my story motivated me to the finish line. Now, that the book is on the track to be published, I freak out every time I have to shell another dollar for promotion. 

Since signing the contract, I factored publicity and publishing costs for my She Writes Press book Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces, but the thought of pitching it at the national Jewish Book Council (JBC) which could potentially expose me to a multiple Jewish audiences from across the United…


Community Blog

"Drawing Life' from Terezin

Posted 'Drawing Life' from Terezin, a look at a dramatized song cycle based on poems and drawings by the children in Terezin concentration camp. Jocelyn Pook was commissioned to create the composition. In the video I've posted, she discusses the commission and her response to it.


Good Morning!

Good morning on this sunny Wed. You know, many times we are quick to anger over little things; a missed green light or somebody in the “10 items or less” lane with 12 items.
Is this really important in the grand scheme of life? is it healthy to get angry at the drop of a hat? Will all that anger make a…

Dealing With a DUI Problem

The increasing incidence of accidents brought about by Driving Under the Influence (DUI) had been recorded and is becoming alarming thus making DUI an offense to watch for.

Because of these increasing number of DUI cases, even the court system has initiated ways for quick trials relative to this offense. Nonetheless, it becomes very difficult to foretell what the decision will be.…

TODAY Wednesday, February 10, 3 pm ET:

The Halli Casser-Jayne Show takes a look at the life of the King of ‪#‎Blues‬with ‪#‎rockandroll‬ legendary manager …


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