Features (2,500)

Five A.M. Epiphany*

It occurs to me that blogging (at least for some of the bloggers I follow) is a kind of therapy. You get it out, you release it, it’s gone…only unlike therapy, tons of folks are going to read about it and maybe judge you for it, but fuck it, you’ve released it, what do you care. And I suppose that’s what I do when I write. There’s an emotional disconnect that’s already set in by the time I actually publish the book, story, whatever… I  no longer feel exposed or embarrassed or protective of…


Added by Joanne C. Hillhouse on October 8, 2012 at 2:00am — 4 Comments

The Babushkas of Chernobyl: Before They Vanish

My production partner Anne Bogart and I stumbled across this story of an unlikely community of women living in the shadow of Chernobyl while filming for the PBS series Globe Trekker in 2010. We knew immediately that we were witnessing an important story that was vanishing.

“The Babushkas of Chernobyl” is…


Added by Holly Morris on October 4, 2012 at 11:30am — 3 Comments


Because the title of this series is “Networking for Introverts,” the focus is on social media. Social networking, or online networking, is a style of networking that is popular among introverts because it allows us to blog, tweet, and post status updates from the quiet of our desk chairs and sofas. We don’t need to articulately deliberate over the national deficit while sipping martinis and munching canapés in some stranger’s living room. We can sit in our flannel pajamas, unshowered and…


Added by Meghan Ward on October 4, 2012 at 4:00am — 24 Comments

Smiling in the Dark, a Writer's Most Meaningful Moment (+ a Giveway !)

(Three in a three-part series; I'm posting this one from an airport--en route to Albuquerque, NM for my first book signing!)

Summer came and went this year -- I survived The Dog Days of Self-Doubt, after walking away like a big horse from yet a second job inside two years at a…


Added by Jean Ellen Whatley on October 3, 2012 at 12:30pm — 18 Comments

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

A book worth banning is a book worth reading.

We are now in the midst of the thirtieth anniversary of Banned Books Week, a celebration of the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Sponsored by the American Library Association since 1982, this week shines a light on the benefits of intellectual freedom and raises important questions about the themes,…


Added by Laura on October 2, 2012 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

Save the wordsmithing for later

When you're writing a book, it can be tempting to spend hours and hours tweaking your content to get every sentence just right. However, that approach is incredibly time-consuming and can keep you from the main task at hand: completing your first draft.

Remember this: If you don't complete the first draft, you will never complete your book.

I recently finished my fourth novel (yay!). My goal each day was to write at least 1,000 words, ideally more, but at least 1,000…


Added by Maria Murnane on October 2, 2012 at 7:42am — 10 Comments

Art Finds a Way: Confessions and Celebrations of a Former Publishing Snob

First, the confession. For years--decades even--I've harbored a small, secret, but acrid judgment about the self-publishing world. I confess this now, red-faced in front of my dear friends and esteemed authors who have gone the self publishing route. Please forgive me. I'm confessing a dirty secret here and I've developed a new outlook. And even you fine self-published writers with beautiful, well-written books have to admit that the self-publishing process has created a certain percentage…


Added by Betsy Graziani Fasbinder on September 29, 2012 at 11:30am — 13 Comments

What’s What—Copyediting (a look at SWP’s Track 2)

In today’s post I want to talk a little bit about the difference between copyediting and proofreading and how we are making the determination at SWP about which manuscripts require a copyedit before moving forward into the She Publishes Package.

We include proofreading in our package, but proofreading truly is a spot-check. It should be the final pass on an already-copyedited manuscript, a last opportunity to find…


Added by Brooke Warner on September 28, 2012 at 7:00am — 3 Comments

A Group Effort: Kickstarting a Book--and a Community

When Niki Tulk couldn't find a publisher for her book, she used the experience she'd gained as an indie music producer to create a Kickstarter campaign--and it exceeded her wildest expectations.…


Added by How She Does It on September 27, 2012 at 9:04am — 13 Comments

Self-Doubt and Back Seat Driving on the Road to Publication (+ a Giveaway!)

(Second of a three-part series)

I turned the corner on the street where I live and saw a young, pony-tailed woman standing in my front yard. She was wearing Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses which cost more than I spend in two weeks on groceries. She was sporting a pink tee-shirt, appropriately with the word “Pink” blinged across her generous, propped up breasts elevated to the perfectly perky height allowing for approximately 2.5 inches of cleavage. This made me…


Added by Jean Ellen Whatley on September 26, 2012 at 12:30pm — 6 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] Interview with Jan Janssen, Executive Editor for Torrid Books

Over the next several weeks on [REALITY CHECK] until the end of the year, I'm going to share interviews and guest blog posts from various publishers and authors to add more perspectives to the realities of publishing today. If nothing else, you may be introduced to various publishers whom you may consider…


Added by Zetta Brown on September 26, 2012 at 6:30am — 3 Comments

Writing a sequel: three things I've learned

Sequels can be tricky. I just finished the fourth in a series of novels, and I'd like to share a few things I've learned along the way.

1.  Some backstory is required.

Not everyone who reads a sequel will have read the original, so you must include some backstory.…


Added by Maria Murnane on September 25, 2012 at 7:53am — No Comments

Meet Bel Kaufman, 101-year-old Writer and Teacher

"All the time I was teaching, I was also writing short stories. I poured out everything," says bestselling writer Bel Kaufman.

In this video, Kaufman speaks about her initiation into an American classroom, when she enrolled in a New York City public school after immigrating with her family from Russia. Although Kaufman couldn't speak English, her teacher treated her kindly, and Kaufman was inspired to become a…


Added by Laura on September 18, 2012 at 1:00pm — 8 Comments

Butt In Chair. Book In Hiding.

Well,two weeks ago, I was all fired up to shed my bad summer habits (and perhaps even a few pounds) and kick off this fall with a renewed…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on September 21, 2012 at 7:00am — 32 Comments

Is Historical Fiction Irresponsible?

Sarah Glazer confesses her weakness for historical fiction even as some historians bash it.

I learned most of my history from historical fiction—at least at first. Mary Renault’s The Persian Boy hooked me on Alexandrian Greece.  Shakespeare’s history plays, on public television during my childhood, thrust me into a fascinating world of intrigue and assassination among…


Added by State of the Art on September 21, 2012 at 4:30am — 16 Comments


The $64,000 question when it comes to social media is: Does it sell books? Many authors have written blog posts attempting to answer this question, and the consensus seems to be that yes, done right, social media does sell books, but in modest quantities. In other words, a rock star social media platform does not (necessarily) a bestseller make.

Nathan Bransford, author of the Jacob Wonderbar novels, has more than 100,000 Twitter followers and 6000 Facebook followers and is…


Added by Meghan Ward on September 20, 2012 at 12:00pm — 3 Comments

[TIPS OF THE TRADE]: What's Your Interview Style?

As a former newspaper columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, and as a freelance…


Added by Ellen Cassedy on September 18, 2012 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

All You Need is Nudge: How She Writes Helped Me Go Off the Leash and on the Road to Publication (+ a Giveaway!)

(First of a three-part series)

Affirmation is to writers what shoes are to Imelda Marcos. If we’re honest with ourselves, we admit we want it. We need it. We love it. We sometimes feel like we simply can’t go on without one little crumb of recognition and approval.

In the long, lonely hours which define the writing life, hunched over…


Added by Jean Ellen Whatley on September 18, 2012 at 11:30pm — 22 Comments

What should authors tweet?

Twitter can be a great marketing tool, but many authors have no idea what to tweet after they've announced that their book is available. On the flip side, many authors tweet all day long about things that are so irrelevant and/or annoying that it makes me not want to read their books.

Here's my advice for how to do it right:

If your book is non-fiction, a smart marketing strategy is to position yourself as an expert in a particular area, and Twitter can help…


Added by Maria Murnane on September 18, 2012 at 7:58am — 5 Comments

Ladies in Noir: French Female Crime Fiction Authors

I remember sitting down for a meal at a mystery writer’s conference once and chatting with some other mystery folks. When I said I was living in France, someone chimed in with, “Oh, yes, I know a French writer, she’s that woman with a man’s name.” She was referring to Fred Vargas (Frédérique is…


Added by Anne Trager on September 18, 2012 at 5:30am — 5 Comments

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