Featured Blog Posts – February 2013 Archive (26)

Countdown to Publication—20 days

Dear She Writers,

I can't believe that in about 3 weeks Oleander Girl will hit the bookstores!

Sometimes I'm elated when I think this; at other times I'm overwhelmed.

My brain is a constant flurry of trying to remember the million things that must be done before starting book tour--guest blog posts written, email interview questions answered, facebook entries made, friends in different cities informed of my events, flights and hotels booked, publicity questions handled,…


Added by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on February 27, 2013 at 10:30pm — 16 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] Set Your Standards. You never know who’s paying attention.

You don’t have to be a genius to love reading, but that doesn’t mean a genius won’t read your work. Bill Gates dropped out of college and Albert Einstein dropped out of high school. Both of these men went on to affect life on this planet today.


Ever wonder what books they…


Added by Zetta Brown on February 27, 2013 at 7:00am — 6 Comments

Writing a children's book? Three things you need to know

I don't write children's books, but my friend Raymond Bean does. He's the author of the popular Sweet Farts series, so I asked him to share his thoughts on the genre. Here's what he had to say:

I teach 4th grade by day and write children's books by night. I spend my days helping young readers sift through the book baskets and find the gems they'll want to read. Reading, writing, and sharing with my target audience has taught me a ton about the likes and dislikes of…


Added by Maria Murnane on February 26, 2013 at 12:03pm — 3 Comments

The New Author Survival Guide

First, an admission: I wrote this post a few months ago for my own author blog, so it's not original content... But after the lovely response to my post ‘How to finish the damn thing’ last week, I thought you might enjoy this, too.

(A quick thanks to everyone who read and commented on the HTFTDT post. It made me reflect how lucky we are, as writers, to have the connection and support offered by the internet in general, and She Writes in particular. We’re all in this…


Added by Gemma Burgess on February 26, 2013 at 10:30am — 17 Comments

[She Self-Publishes] Email Marketing for Authors

As an author, you'll probably hear a lot about email marketing. Like social media, it's seen as one of the essential marketing tools for promoting your current books, your future works, and building your personal brand and author platform.


In fact, email marketing is arguably more…


Added by Emily Suess on February 26, 2013 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Nine Lessons from a Book Tour

After more than a year in hardcover, my memoir, An Unquenchable Thirst, is being released in paperback today. The most exciting thing about this for me is that I’m going on book tour.…


Added by Mary Johnson on February 26, 2013 at 1:00am — 16 Comments

Countdown to Publication—28 Days

Dear SheWriters,

Less than a month left now for Oleander Girl’s birthday! Things are heating up.

This is the week to fine-tune the book tour and plan media outreach, so I’m on the phone a fair bit with my publicist at Simon and Schuster, discussing strategy. We’re going over media that I’ve done before in cities where I’ve been on book tour, so that she can approach them (in addition to others that she’s approaching on her own). We’re discussing reviewer venues where finished…


Added by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on February 21, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments

[Networking for Introverts] 1020 Words About How Writers Can Use YouTube

Today I'd like to welcome guest blogger Dane Golden of Hey.com, who is here to talk about how writers can use YouTube to build their author platforms.…


Added by Meghan Ward on February 21, 2013 at 1:00am — 11 Comments

[MAKING THE LEAP] T-Boned by Opportunity

Last summer while visiting my mom, we took a drive out to the country to stroll a farmer’s market. I drove her car and at one of the intersections she suddenly piped up, “Be careful here. It’s easy to get ham-boned.”

I looked at her a bit confused. “Do you mean t-boned?”

She started laughing. “Yes,…


Added by Julie Luek on February 19, 2013 at 6:00pm — 31 Comments

Book marketing tip: Stay positive!

I'm on an email listserv for one of my alma maters, on which people initiate discussion threads on anything from politics and business ethics to job openings and apartments for rent. I pick and choose what I want to read, respond to, or delete.

There's one member of the listserv who has caught my attention, and unfortunately not in a good way. He's an aspiring novelist, and every two weeks or so he sends around an email with a negative headline and a link to his most recent blog post.…


Added by Maria Murnane on February 19, 2013 at 8:25am — 4 Comments

How to finish the damn thing.

Starting a novel is the fun part.

All you have to do is decide what your characters want, and the challenges they need to overcome to get it. The plot, in other words.

Then keep playing until it sounds real. Make the story and the voice so true that when you’re writing, you’re not being ‘creative’, you’re just reporting things that really happened to people you know inside and out, in the most compelling, interesting and charming way possible. You want people to read one…


Added by Gemma Burgess on February 18, 2013 at 8:00am — 61 Comments

Is it OK to Write Journalism like Fiction?

Sarah Glazer, a fan of Katherine Boo, wonders if her technique is for everyone

“But does it work as a novel?” That question from a member of my London book club startled me as we discussed Katherine Boo’s compelling reporting on slum-dwellers of Mumbai,…


Added by State of the Art on February 15, 2013 at 11:00am — 11 Comments


Dear She Writers,

I’m writing to you from India, where –yes! –I did pick up some gorgeous saris and a black kurti top to wear for book tour events. Will post photos when I have better access to the internet. I also picked up some story ideas, which I try to do whenever I travel. 

34 days to publication now. I’m getting excited and nervous, both! We’re putting the final touches on the book tour this week. And advance interviews are being set up, especially for monthly…


Added by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on February 14, 2013 at 10:00pm — 20 Comments

How Rejections Can Help You

Today I sat in on the agent panel at the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference with agents April Eberhardt, Penny Nelson,…


Added by Brooke Warner on February 14, 2013 at 2:30pm — 18 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] Jumping on the bandwagon: Or “How to get lost in the crowd.”

As writers, we are very prone to the latest social networking craze that comes our way. How many times do we rush out to learn about a new tool someone has recommended to us? Do you know how many social networks you are on? If the answer is more than four, has it ever occured to you that perhaps you’re on too…


Added by Zetta Brown on February 13, 2013 at 7:00am — 16 Comments

Keep things clear!

I just finished reading a political thriller that could have been pretty interesting...if I hadn't been so confused much of the time I was reading it.

Avoid ambiguity in your dialogue!

Here's what rattled me: Over and over, the author had…


Added by Maria Murnane on February 12, 2013 at 8:18am — 1 Comment

Why Writing Memoir Actually Might Make You Happier

When my memoir How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed came out, people would sometimes say to me, “Writing this must have been very therapeutic for you.” And I would, I have to admit, cringe.

Why the cringe? I cringed because I see the book as a story that I had worked long hours to craft and shape.  I see writing as something I love, but it's also my job. When I think of "therapeutic…


Added by Theo Pauline Nestor on February 11, 2013 at 3:30pm — 5 Comments

[She Self-Publishes] How to Choose Your Editor

No ifs, ands, or buts. If you're going to self-publish, you need an editor. Choosing the editor you need depends entirely on where you are in the self-publishing process, however.

Essentially there are three editing phases: substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading. It's highly unlikely that you'll find an editor that does all three. In fact, you might be wise to run away from someone that offers to do all three…


Added by Emily Suess on February 11, 2013 at 7:00am — 6 Comments


John McPhee has a piece called “Structure” in the Writing Life column of the January 14, 2013 issue of The New Yorker.

The last paragraph of the article keeps going round in my mind:

“People often ask how I know when I’m done—not just when I’ve come to the end, but in all the drafts and…


Added by Paulette Bates Alden on February 7, 2013 at 12:16pm — 21 Comments

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] Multimedia Ebooks: A Comparison of Publishers

Multimedia ebooks, enhanced books, enriched books, interactive ebooks—whatever you call them, they’re here to stay. As more companies make the foray into multimedia book publishing, authors have greater opportunities than ever to transform their static PDFs into living stories with the addition of audio, video, and graphics.

Below is a comparison of the top multimedia ebook publishers on the market, but keep your eyes peeled. There are new ones popping up every…


Added by Meghan Ward on February 7, 2013 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

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