#GiveaBook and Benefit Literacy for Kids!

Posted by November 24th, 2015

GiveaBook-Logo-300x231Have Book Country writers heard about the #GiveaBook campaign? For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Facebook and Twitter from now until 11:59pm on December 24th, 2015, Penguin Random House will donate a book to First Book, a charity that helps children access books and fights illiteracy in the United States and Canada.

All you have to do is use the hashtag #GiveaBook publicly on Twitter or by posting to the #GiveaBook, Givington, and Penguin Random House public Facebook pages. Penguin Random House will donate up to 35,000 books for this campaign! Continue reading

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VIDEO: 5 Golden Rules of Social Media for Authors

Posted by November 23rd, 2015

Watch now: Book Country member Andrea Dunlop, social media and marketing director for Girl Friday Productions and author of the novel LOSING THE LIGHT, shares the 5 Golden Rules of Social Media for Authors.

5 Golden Rules of Social Media for Authors

1. If you’re an author, marketing is part of your job.
2. Marketing is all about community.
3. Consistency is key.
4. Check your karma.
5. Do what you like.

Go here to learn more about how Girl Friday Productions works with authors like you, and check out more videos on the BookCountryTV YouTube channel.

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New Featured Books in the Book Country Bookstore

Posted by November 18th, 2015

New Featured Books in the Book Country Bookstore

We’ve got new featured books in the Book Country Bookstore, including FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF by Olivia Glass.

Click through the collage to browse eBooks for you to download and enjoy, written by members of your writing community!

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Alys Arden Rereleases THE CASQUETTE GIRLS with Skyscape/Amazon Publishing

Posted by November 17th, 2015

The YA paranormal novel and self-publishing phenomenon by Book Country member Alys Arden was picked up by Skyscape in a 2-book deal.

Join us in celebrating Alys at an online launch party for the rerelease on Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 1:30-6:00pm, featuring giveaways, author chats, and more!

TCG now availableAs you’ve probably heard on Book Country, member Alys Arden has had quite a writing and publishing journey over the last 3 years! Her debut YA paranormal novel, THE CASQUETTE GIRLS, was originally workshopped here on Book Country and elsewhere on the web. She used this exposure to get writing feedback and to find an audience of readers. On Halloween 2013, Alys self-published THE CASQUETTE GIRLS and won acclaim from reviewers and bloggers (including a starred review from Publishers Weekly–see the quote below!) At the end of 2014, she found agency representation by ICM Partners, and early this year announced that she had sold THE CASQUETTE GIRLS to Skyscape (an imprint of Amazon Publishing) in a 2-book deal. After editing, rewriting, and designing a beautiful new cover, the rerelease went on-sale today! Continue reading

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A Day in the Life of a Writer: Julia Fierro

Posted by November 10th, 2015

CUTTING TEETH revised coverWriters, if you don’t know of Julia Fierro yet, it’s high time you did! Julia is the founder and director of Brooklyn’s Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, the author of the sharp, darkly comic novel CUTTING TEETH (also a Landmark Title on Book Country), and a truly delightful literary personality. Recently, Julia moved with her family to Los Angeles, but luckily for us in New York, she visits regularly to take part in readings, conferences, and panels (like our “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” panel at BookCourt this fall). She photo-documented a day in her life on one of her trips back to the East Coast this fall, showing us what it’s like to be in the thick of the literary scene in New York City.

8:30 am

Julia 1The water is choppy today on the Long Island Sound. Brrr. Definitely not in LA anymore, but the fall chill (my father calls it fresca!) is lovely after the heat in CA. Just a few more hours visiting with my parents in Mekamah Beach.

9:00 am

Julia 2My dad made me breakfast (including soup from the vegetables in his garden). He’s wearing his favorite Diet Coke hat. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: Building Good Habits by Andrea Dunlop

Posted by November 9th, 2015

Nano cloudsLast week we posted about the awesome sweepstakes Girl Friday Productions is running for NaNoWriMo participants. As we kick off week 2 of Nano, we check in with Book Country member Andrea Dunlop (social media and marketing director at GFP and author of LOSING THE LIGHT, coming from Atria Books in February 2016) for tips on making the writing habit sustainable over time.

What do you need to make it as a writer? Talent? Ambition? Discipline? An enormous trust fund that allows you to quit your day job?

Sure, you need those things (okay, not the last one, but it couldn’t hurt). But whether your version of “making it” is getting through your 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo this year, getting a six-figure book deal, or anything in between, you definitely need good habits, because without them, none of the rest of these things will matter.

What I love about NaNoWriMo is that its very concept dispenses with any precious notions of what it means to write a book. NaNo does not concern itself with airy-fairy visions of the muse alighting on your shoulder and inspiring greatness; the only goal is to reach the word count. Technically this means that you could write the sentence “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” five thousand times in a row and complete the NaNoWriMo challenge, though we all know that doesn’t end well for the author. (On a related note, if you ever find yourself saying, “You know, if only I could get somewhere really isolated and quiet where I didn’t have any other responsibilities, I could definitely get my novel done,” you should probably watch The Shining.) Continue reading

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Why NaNoWriMo?

Posted by November 4th, 2015

nano 2015 1Please welcome Kim Bridges, a writer who works with our friends at Girl Friday Productions in Seattle, to the blog this morning. Kim, like myself and others on Book Country, will be participating in NaNoWriMo. To celebrate, Girl Friday Productions is offering a really exciting giveaway: a grand prize of a free edit of your manuscript! Five additional prizewinners will receive a swag pack from Girl Friday Productions. Go here to learn more about the giveaway.


With the changing of the seasons comes one of my favorite times of the year: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. NaNoWriMo takes place in November, and the goal is to write 50,000 words by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. In addition to the word count, the ultimate goal of NaNo is to complete a draft. Parts of the draft will be bad (there’s no way to avoid it when you’re writing so much so quickly), however, you may surprise yourself with how much of it is good. But it doesn’t matter how much of it is good: what matters is that when you finish, you will have a completed draft of a novel.

I have participated in NaNo twice, and I took very different approaches both times. The first time, I used a plotline from a short story that I’d written. Having a solid outline helped me write a stronger draft, but I was unaccustomed to spending so much time writing every day; I fell behind on the word count and had to write 15,000 words over the final two days.

When I NaNo’d the following year, I didn’t really have any notes about the novel I was going to write; I had only a vague notion of characters and plot. I still fell behind on the word count, but instead of having to write 15,000 words in the last forty-eight hours, I only had to come up with 10,000. Part of the difference the second time around was that I didn’t care as much about what I was writing. My expectations were very, very low. Continue reading

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Takeaways from “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” Panel

Posted by November 3rd, 2015

Last week’s “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” panel event at BookCourt was a remarkable chance to hear six brand reps (Pinterest, Kickstarter, Tumblr, the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, BookCourt, and, of course, Book Country) chat about how each of their organization or platform can be an extremely useful tool for building up a writer’s network. Julia Fierro of SSWW and Maris Kreizman of Kickstarter were also able to speak to their own experience building a writing community as traditionally published authors (respectively of CUTTING TEETH, a Landmark Women’s Fiction Title on Book Country and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210, which we featured on the blog last week). As one panel-goer said on Twitter after the event, all these perspectives made for “Delicious brain food!”


From left: Lucy Silag, Danielle Rayman, Julia Fierro, Maris Kreizman, Rachel Fershleiser, and Andrew Unger. Image courtesy of Rich Kelly via Twitter. Learn more about Rich by clicking through the picture.

We want to extend an enormous thank you to everyone who came out in the pouring rain to join in the conversation! For those of you who couldn’t make it or aren’t local, here are some takeaways from the event: Continue reading

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TONIGHT at BookCourt: “Building a Writing Community Online + Off”

Posted by October 28th, 2015

BC-WritingCommunity-600x185 w rsvp w tumblr

Wednesday, October 28th
163 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY

The most daunting task for aspiring and emerging writers can be building and growing their writing community online and off. Danielle Rayman of Pinterest and Lucy Silag of Book Country will share how social media and online writing communities can be tools for getting your work into the hands of agents, publishers, and readers. Julia Fierro, founder and director of the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop; Maris Kreizman, of Kickstarter and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210 (the Tumblr and new book); and Andrew Unger of BookCourt provide insight into how being a part of a local “writers” scene has real value when it comes to taking your writing to the next level.

This NYC writers event is free and open to the public.

RSVP to the event on Facebook. Continue reading

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An Interview with Book Maven Maris Kreizman

Posted by October 27th, 2015

Maris KreizmanIt’s so exciting to have Maris Kreizman visit the blog this morning! Maris is the author of the new book SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210, a visual mashup of great literature and pop culture. Those of you who came to our “Uncoventional Paths to Publishing” panel at the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference 2015 will recognize Maris from our lineup of speakers: She’s a maven of books, publishing trends, and an incredibly active member of writing and reading communities online and off.

Lucy Silag: You began your career as an editor. What was your favorite part of working in publishing?

Maris Kreizman: I loved being an editor because it allowed me to guide a book in every stage of the process from its earliest drafts to its final incarnation. I loved being able to connect with writers and to be the biggest advocate for my authors, both in-house and otherwise.

LS: Now you are the publishing-outreach lead at Kickstarter. Tell us more about how you help writers in this role.

MK: There are so many different ways for writers to use Kickstarter. Writers are using Kickstarter to plan literary events and book tours, and funding book and magazine-related works from apps to zines. And I’m helping writers and publishers to set up great Kickstarter projects to help them make the most of the platform.

LS: Congratulations on the release of your book SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210! Tell us about the genesis of this book.

Slaughterhouse 90210 coverMK: Thank you! I was bored at work, which is how many genesis stories about creative projects start, I think. It was 2009. My friend told me that I should start a Tumblr where I could post quotes from literature–I had a stockpile. And I thought, a blog featuring book quotes on their own sounds boring! But I was scrolling through my dashboard and saw a photo of Joan from Mad Men and thought, “Hmm, adding a photo from a TV show to the top of that quote would be way more interesting, and would make the post more about how the image and the text intersect and speak to each other.”


LS: Of all the social media platforms, why was Tumblr the right fit for SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210?

MK: Tumblr is so easy to use! And more importantly, Tumblr is all about community. There’s a very strong group of people who love books on Tumblr, and I was able to find them and interact with them. The fact that Tumblr allows users to follow the blogs they love and also to reblog and add comments was integral to the success of Slaughterhouse 90210. I knew it was catching on when I saw that Tumblr users were having their own conversations about it. Continue reading

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