We’ve just updated our Waiting to Be Discovered section with new books for you to enjoy! Giving and receiving feedback are what make Book Country such a supportive online place for aspiring authors. Take a look at these titles below and start reviewing! Continue reading
About a month ago, I received a call I felt like I’d been waiting for my whole life: a publisher was making an offer on my book. It was the middle of the day, and I was at work, so as soon as I got off the phone, I burst out of my office door and announced that Atria was buying my book. Cheers, hugs, and champagne followed (have I mentioned how awesome my co-workers are?). I called my mom, my dad, and my boyfriend. I cried tears of joy, relief, and sheer exhaustion. The moment itself was a lot like I’d dreamed it would be. And I’d had plenty of time to dream since, like so many of us, I’d wanted to be a writer most of my life.
But while the big moment was everything I’d hoped for, the path that got me to that moment was decidedly not. What follows is my step-by-step guide to publication, although I am not sure it is a guide anyone will want to follow. (Unless you really prefer twisting trails to straight roads.) Continue reading
Step One: Create your logline
The first line of the outline is the logline. It covers the main character, what s/he wants (goal), what stands in his or her way (obstacles), and what will happen if s/he doesn’t reach her goal (stakes). Two great articles to guide you are Writing a Killer Logline and Writing Killer Loglines.
Here’s the logline from my 2013 NaNoWriMo project:
When lightning fries the village well pumps, Elías must redeem himself in the eyes of both Elders and family by journeying through the ruins of Andalucía to find help before their water supply runs out.
Writing this summary of your story before you begin will help focus your idea enough to get started. Don’t worry if you tweak it as you work—this logline has been through multiple revisions in the past year! Continue reading
If you’re a writer and you’re trying to decide whether to go to a regional or national conference, then my advice is to go. Granted, my experiences are limited to conferences related to the romance genre, but I think some things are going to translate no matter what genre is represented. Whether it’s a national or regional conference, there are going to be pros and cons—and I feel in most cases, the pros will outweigh the other.
What conferences can give you:
1. Networking with other writers at various stages in their careers. A conference is one of the best places to meet a critique partner or mentor. It’s also a place to be with like-minded individuals. I cherish those few days a year where I can walk up to virtually anyone and have something in common with him/her. Continue reading
Congratulations to Phil Klay! His book, REDEPLOYMENT, is one of five finalists for the 2014 National Book Award for fiction. Phil Klay served in Iraq’s Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged, Phil earned an MFA from Hunter College in NYC.
REDEPLOYMENT, published by The Penguin Press, is a collection of short stories about soldiers fighting in the Iraq War. Read our Q&A with Phil on writing about war and military service. Continue reading
We’re excited to share with you 10 new manuscripts featured in the Waiting to Be Discovered section! We’ve selected a great mix of genres, including Young Adult, Science Fiction, and Nonfiction. Be sure to leave awesome feedback!
If you are wondering what’s the best way to leave feedback on another member’s manuscript, this blog post can help: Dos and Don’ts for Giving Feedback on Book Country Continue reading
Let’s take a moment to discuss the oft-used phrase “self-promoter.” It’s unclear in the Kardashian-takes-all world whether this phrase is meant as a compliment or an insult, but the idea of promoting oneself gives most authors I know the heebie-jeebies. We all know that it’s necessary to advocate for your own work, especially in today’s overcrowded publishing landscape, but how do you do that without becoming a bore or a Bragosaurus rex?
Being a writer is a lifetime commitment, and it involves more than just putting pen to paper. The following are some ways to promote your work that won’t feel like a chore to you or your readers. Continue reading
NaNoWriMo is only one month away! October is the perfect time to start outlining your novel before the mad rush of writing begins in November. Book Country member D.J. Lutz shares how using the Snowflake Method can help you make NaNoWriMo a success!
Hi, my name is DJ, and I am a recovering pants’er.
What do I mean by pants’er? Well, in late October, 2008 I discovered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and decided I could scribble out a 50,000 word first draft by the end of November. No prep, no editing, just flat out stream of consciousness clacking on the keyboard. Fueled by venti Americanos with extra shots of espresso, I would go on to write my first ever novel PECOS BILL AND THE CURSED GOLD by the seat of my pants.
I finished well over the requisite 50k word count. Of course, the novel had no discernable structure other than “ramble,” which I don’t think counts. It was, however, fun to write and the experience taught me about the time management and discipline professional writers need to be successful. But as a coherent novel it lacked. Everything. It was time to research the craft of writing. Continue reading