Submit Questions for Book Country’s Ask an Agent Blog Series!

Posted by April 1st, 2015

Submit Questions for Book Country's Ask an Agent Blog Series!

Ask an Agent is back!  All throughout April, post any question you want to ask a literary agent on the discussion board. Four agents will answer questions on the Book Country blog in May.

Literary agents help writers in every step of the publishing process, including contract negotiations, marketing, and cover design. The writer-agent relationship is incredibly important when going the traditional publishing route. We hope our Ask an Agent blog series helps shed light on what you should look for in an agent and what to expect come publishing time!

Check out last year’s Ask an Agent blog posts:

Ask an Agent: Lucy Carson Answers Your Questions!
Ask an Agent: Melissa Sarver White Answers Your Questions!
Ask an Agent: Ryan D. Harbage Answers Your Questions!
Ask an Agent: David Fugate Answers Your Questions!

Submit your question for a literary agent on the discussion board: Book Country Ask an Agent Blog Series 2015.

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GABRIEL FINLEY & THE RAVEN’S RIDDLE: Interview with Author George Hagen and Editor Anne Schwartz

Posted by March 31st, 2015

GABRIEL FINLEY & THE RAVEN'S RIDDLE: Interview with Author George Hagen and Editor Anne SchwartzI had an amazing time reading GABRIEL FINLEY & THE RAVEN’S RIDDLE! Published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, GABRIEL FINLEY follows twelve-year-old Gabriel on his journey to find his missing father with the help of his riddle-loving raven, Paladin. Set in Brooklyn, New York, this story was full of magic and plot twists; I didn’t know if Gabriel was going to make it until the very end! Author George Hagen shares what inspired him to write GABRIEL FINLEY and his experience writing for children for the first time. Anne Schwartz, the editor of GABRIEL FINLEY, shares what’s it like when a book clicks for her.

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Janet Umenta: Your two previously published books were written for adults. What made you decide to write a children’s book? How would you compare writing for adults with writing for children?

George Hagen: My younger daughter Lola challenged me to write her a book. She was 10 and specified that it should be both exciting and magical. I loved stories like that at her age, but my adult books were quite realistic in tone. Every weekend we took family walks across the Brooklyn Bridge to Chinatown for lunch, and I had to invent a story engaging enough to keep Lola walking. I learned quickly what kept her interest. Her favorite situations were a) when magic goes wrong, b) when children are more competent than adults, and c) when children have the power to communicate with animals. So, I followed those rules. Continue reading

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Last Day to Submit Your Story Idea to the #TwitterFiction Festival!

Posted by March 30th, 2015

Last Day to Submit Your Story Idea to the #TwitterFiction Festival!

The #TwitterFiction Festival will take place from May 11-15, 2015. The organizers are looking for talented emerging writers to submit original story ideas in advance of the festival. Select submissions will receive featured placement during the festival. This is a great way for writers to experiment with storytelling devices, widen their author platform, and connect with writers and readers from all over the world. The deadline for submitting ideas is TODAY! Submit here!

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Book Marketing: The Long Game by Andrea Dunlop

Posted by March 25th, 2015

Book Marketing: The Long Game by Andrea DunlopBook Country member Andrea Dunlop is the Social Media and Marketing Director of Girl Friday Productions. Her debut novel, THE SOJOURN, is scheduled to be released by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in March 2016. Andrea shares her “to-do” list for getting the word out about her book. Book Marketing: The Long Game was originally published on Andrea’s Tumblr blog on February 9, 2015.

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I signed my book deal with Atria last fall. The manuscript is done, but the book doesn’t come out until March 2016, giving me a little over a year to wait patiently for book to meet world. Except I’m not a very good waiter. I’m like a five-year-old or a German Shepherd, I need a job to do if you don’t want the furniture destroyed.

I was reminded last week in talking to a friend, a memoirist whose just-released book was on a much tighter schedule than mine, that having this kind of time is actually a huge blessing. I’m always telling clients and students that they should start as early as possible when it comes to their social media and marketing efforts. Ideally marketing should be a gradual, organic process, and that takes time.

As the social media and marketing director of GFP, this is where I put my money where my mouth is. As an author with a year-long countdown ahead of her, here’s what’s on my to-do list now: Continue reading

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Tips For Using Pinterest to Promote Your Book

Posted by March 24th, 2015

Tips For Using Pinterest to Promote Your BookPinterest is a fun, image-based social media platform that allows users to pinall sorts of pictures on boards. As a writer, you might be wondering how you can use Pinterest to promote your book. One powerful aspect about Pinterest is that pins give a visual element to your story. Pins can get repinned”  for months or even years to come. For tips on how writers can use Pinterest, we decided to ask Book Country members Jaycee Ford and Alex Rosa how they use Pinterest to promote their books.

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Janet Umenta: How did you get started on Pinterest? What advice would you give to writers who are hesitant to join “another social media site?”

 Alex Rosa: I think Pinterest is this beautifully organized chaos, which makes it less daunting than other social media sites. So when someone tells me they aren’t sure of giving it a go, I tell them that there’s no pressure. If anything, you can use it as a creative outlet rather than as an output of information. Continue reading

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Read and Review New Waiting to be Discovered Books on Book Country!

Posted by March 23rd, 2015

Read and Review Waiting to be Discovered Books on Book Country!We’ve updated the Waiting to be Discovered carousel on the Read and Review page! Help members write their best books by leaving a review.

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How a Real-Life Murder Mystery in 18th Century New York Led to CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES by Eve Karlin

Posted by March 18th, 2015

How a Real-Life Murder Mystery in 18th Century New York Led to CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES by Eve KarlinWhile reading Eve Karlin’s historical fiction novel CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES, which is published by Alibi, I was struck by Eve’s powerful use of imagery that made me feel like I was living in 18th century Lower Manhattan. The street names were familiar: Spring Street, Bowery Lane, Greenwich Street, Chambers Street, Wall Street. But the detailed description of the boats bobbing along the New York harbor, the gritty and packed city blocks, and the sounds of a growing working-class invoked the spirit of a different era. Eve shares the real-life murder mystery that inspired her to write CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES and the questions she encountered during her research that led to her novel.

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I did not set out to write a historical novel. Six years ago, while reading a biography on Alexander Hamilton, I came across a reference to a story that reached out and shook me.

In December 1799, a young woman named Elma Sands vanished on the snowy streets of Manhattan. Twelve days later, her corpse was found floating in an abandoned well, and her lover, Levi Weeks, was arrested for murder. The brutal slaying of a beautiful girl rocked the city—as similar crimes do today—but it was the trial that made the case truly sensational: Levi was defended by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr four years before their infamous duel. Continue reading

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What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex Rosa

Posted by March 17th, 2015

What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex Rosa

Congratulations to Book Country member Alex Rosa on the release of her New Adult novel TRYST! We are thrilled to see this day finally arrive. You can purchase TRYST on all major e-retailers. Alex shares what it feels like to have Penguin publish her book below. 

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When a young girl (that being me) dreams of becoming a writer someday, she is aware it’s a daunting dream to take on. Especially when your hero Jane Austen says in one of your favorite movies (Becoming Jane) with such pleading hopefulness, “Maybe I could live by my pen?” and her mother just laughs. It’s an ugly-cry-worthy moment for an aspiring writer. You just hug your notebook close and remind yourself that Jane Austen totally made it. She showed them all, but you’re still all like:

What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex RosaBut armored with this fact, I still made the ultimate decision to never stop writing, even if it was in secret or anonymously posted online. Whatever, same difference.

Now flash forward to age twenty-six. I still have Jane Austen dreams, but I now have a publishing deal. Wait, hold the phone. How did this happen? Continue reading

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Read and Review Top Rated Books on Book Country!

Posted by March 16th, 2015

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Check out the Top Rated section on the Read and Review page! Members of the community have highly rated these books, and we are happy to share them with you.

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Growth Hacker Marketing for Authors by Ryan Holiday

Posted by March 11th, 2015

Growth Hacker Marketing for Authors by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is the author of GROWTH HACKER MARKETING: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, which is published by Portfolio. Ryan shares how authors can use growth hacking, a technique first developed in Silicon Valley, to launch their books and build long-lasting readerships.

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Right before our eyes, companies like Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, and Dropbox went from tiny startups into massive companies. And they did it with essentially no traditional marketing whatsoever.

They used a Silicon Valley technique known as growth hacking that helps rapidly launch and build a company. If one can understand that launching a book these days is not altogether different than starting a company, it should stand that there is something we can learn from these growth hackers. And it turns out that many of their techniques are already being used by forward thinking authors like Tim Ferriss. I’ve even had success applying it to my books and my author clients.

So what do you need to know about growth hacking your book? Continue reading

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