Featured Blog Posts – August 2012 Archive (23)

Are You an Idea Hoarder?

Recently I’ve heard academics say the kind of thing I once heard only from wildly amateurish writers: “I don’t want to reveal too much about my work, because I’m worried about people taking the premise/title/idea/template for themselves.” I’m worried that scholars are being encouraged to be hoarders of ideas.

The academic version of  Hoarding: Buried Alive goes something like this: You had a terrific, groundbreaking idea for a conference paper in 1997. Let’s call it the “Vortex…


Added by regina barreca on August 29, 2012 at 9:22am — 4 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] - Grammar & Punctuation – The “Rules” are Meant to be Broken

Language is not static. Language evolves over time. Words come en vogue (or are invented) and some words become passé or archaic. As language changes, so do the “rules” of its use.

For example: someone says to you that “every sentence ends with a period and that rule will…


Added by Zetta Brown on August 29, 2012 at 7:30am — 20 Comments

Countdown to Publication: Who is on your team? Finishing touches - 6 days

Greetings All, On the heels of last week's mini tornado, and in the midst of preparation for The Salt God's Daughter, this week has brought some nice developments. While reviews are not the be-all-end-all, and reviewers are under no obligation to either care about the work or to craft reviews that take care with language, I will tell you that a beautifully written review is a lovely thing. Receiving a review like this from a…


Added by Ilie Ruby on August 28, 2012 at 8:30pm — 7 Comments

What a difference a hyphen can make

Recently I went to dinner with a friend. As we perused the menu, I noticed the following section:


french fries

sweet potato fries

vidalia onion rings

spicy broccoli rabe & parmesan

brussels sprouts with orange and sage

jalapeno cheddar grits

I pointed to the list and asked my friend, "If…


Added by Maria Murnane on August 28, 2012 at 9:37am — 5 Comments

Five Questions for...Chitra Divakaruni

Chitra Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet and teacher whose books have been translated into 29 languages. Her themes include women, immigration, the South Asian experience, history, myth, magical realism and…


Added by Five Questions on August 27, 2012 at 9:15am — 2 Comments

What’s What---Why Authors Still Need Printed Books

With the explosion of digital publishing, a lot of authors are choosing to publish ebook-only editions of their work, and sometimes for legitimate platform-building or business reasons. However, for the vast majority of authors, the value of the print book cannot be overstated. Print is still king.

This post is inspired by a reader response to last week’s post asking about the difference between She Writes Press and…


Added by Brooke Warner on August 24, 2012 at 6:00am — 7 Comments

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] Hashtags: How to Use Them Without Abusing Them

After @KristenLambTX decided to reclaim her hashtag, #myWANA, by announcing that she would block anyone who prescheduled tweets using it, I had to ask myself: Have I been abusing hashtags, too?

For those of you new to Twitter, a hashtag is a searchable keyword that you attach to a tweet using the pound sign. For example, this tweet…


Added by Meghan Ward on August 23, 2012 at 4:00am — 27 Comments

Countdown to Publication: What is your story? No, really. 13 Days

Well, I am not ashamed to tell you that I spent the better part of today tied up in knots. At 4 am last night I finished typing the essay that was to appear in this space, and when my daughter woke me up at 7 am to begin the camp prep and shuttle, I quickly logged on, and zap, the essay was gone. It burns, doesn't it? The glare of that big blank screen shadowed with words that you only faintly remember?

Actually I had written two essays during my marathon work day, both now lost, and…


Added by Ilie Ruby on August 22, 2012 at 10:00pm — 4 Comments

Introverted Authors: More Bang for Your Book

My friend Nancy Ancowitz is a business communication coach and author of Self-Promotion for Introverts®: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead. I asked if she'd be willing to share some marketing tips for introverted authors, and she graciously agreed. Here's what she had to say:

Do you…


Added by Maria Murnane on August 21, 2012 at 8:07am — 3 Comments

Learning on the Job: Book Promotion

With our book Hungering and Thirsting for Justice due for release next month, my co-editor and I recently received some distressing news. The booksellers that usually carry presenters' books at the national November Call to Action conference will not be setting up a table in the exhibition hall this year. That means that our book won't be available for sale throughout the duration of the conference, but only during times that we're…


Added by Lacey Louwagie on August 20, 2012 at 12:11pm — No Comments

Five Questions for...Teresa Rhyne

Teresa Rhyne is the author of The Dog Lived (and So Will I), her memoir of fighting cancer alongside her Beagle, Seamus. She is also the founding member of the She Writes group…


Added by Five Questions on August 20, 2012 at 9:31am — No Comments

It's the Story, Stupid! (Trying Hard Not To Think About Publishing While Writing)

About a year ago, my son, who was seven  at the time, announced, "Mommy!  I'm going to write a book!"  This wasn't surprising given what I do for a living, and considering that he is a New York kid. 

I suppose I also should not have been surprised by what came next.

"This is so cool!" he said…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on August 17, 2012 at 8:18am — 31 Comments

[TIPS OF THE TRADE] How to Fill an Empty Room

One of the great pleasures of being an author is reading from and signing your book at a bookstore, library, or other community venue.  But unless you’re famous, even a bookstore (in fact, especially a bookstore) is just an empty room – and it’s your job to fill it.  

Here’s my…


Added by Ellen Cassedy on August 14, 2012 at 12:30pm — 14 Comments

Advice for newbie speakers

I've mentioned a few times in this blog that public speaking is a great way to promote your work. Book clubs, libraries, alumni organizations, writing groups, conferences - the possibilities are numerous. However, I realize that for most people, getting up in front of an audience of any size is scary.…


Added by Maria Murnane on August 14, 2012 at 7:49am — 1 Comment

Five Questions for...Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is the author of three novels, the most recent of which is Silver Sparrow. The associate professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University, Tayari spent the 2011-2012…


Added by Five Questions on August 13, 2012 at 10:05am — 3 Comments

What’s What---Subsidy Publishing, “True” Self-Publishing, and Hybrid Publishing

The purpose of this post is to define the three different forms of self-publishing that are available to you as you consider where and how to publish.

Subsidy publishing means that the companies themselves (like Lulu or CreateSpace or Author Solutions companies) publish and distribute books under their own…


Added by Brooke Warner on August 10, 2012 at 6:00am — 10 Comments

Grammar Gaffes of Olympic Proportions

I love watching the Olympics. Gymnastics? Incredible. Swimming? Unbelievable. Diving? Don't get me started! Over the past two weeks, I've spent many hours being dazzled by athletes in a variety of sports. It's simply amazing what they're able to do with their bodies. (Speaking of which, I'm also in love with the entire men's swim team, but that's another story.)…


Added by Maria Murnane on August 9, 2012 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] Should You Preschedule Tweets?

With the growing popularity of Buffer and the introduction of HootSuite’s AutoSchedule feature, there has been a lot of brouhaha on the Internet lately about whether you should preschedule tweets.

One egregious example cited by Unmarketing guru Scott Stratten happened when Live Nation Ontario, who organized a Radiohead show in Ontario, Canada,…


Added by Meghan Ward on August 9, 2012 at 1:00am — 16 Comments

Countdown to Publication: 6 Things to Do Before Pub Date - 22 Days

With good planning and timing all the stars seem to magically align around launch date. Things fall into place—it all looks so effortless, when, in fact, careful planning has been at work for months. Still, even the best laid plans are subject to change.

In the case of The Salt God's Daughter, the publishing stork has been busy. Some booksellers have Salt God on the shelves, which is exciting. Others will be getting it sooner rather than later. I am hitting…


Added by Ilie Ruby on August 8, 2012 at 9:30pm — 7 Comments

Be open to constructive criticism

Recently a man I've never met, and who hadn't read or even bought my novels, emailed me asking for (free) advice on how to promote his self-published book. Overlooking his faux pas, I told him I have several consulting options available on my website and sent him a link for his review.

However, I wasn't super busy that morning, so just to be nice I took a quick look at his author bio online. Unfortunately, it was filled with typos and basic grammatical errors. This of course made me…


Added by Maria Murnane on August 7, 2012 at 7:08am — 4 Comments

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