Monthly Archives: May 2014

New Manuscripts Waiting to Be Discovered on Book Country

Posted by May 30th, 2014

New manuscripts waiting to be discovered on Book Country

We are excited to share with you 10 new manuscripts featured in the Waiting to Be Discovered carousel! We’ve selected a great mix of genres, including Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, and Literary Fiction. 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

New to Book Country? Introduce yourself and your new projects in the discussion boards

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What Writers Can Learn From BEA14

Posted by May 29th, 2014

BEA 14 collage

BEA14 is kicking off in earnest today in New York City, and, as always, it is quite an adventure for those of us who go to the show.

Book Expo America (BEA) is the preeminent publishing trade show and conference in the US. Booksellers, educators, publishers, authors, and librarians come from all over the world to take the pulse of the publishing business each may. The gathering is held at the Javits Center in NYC, with exhibits on new innovations in digital publishing technologies, panel discussions on readers’ buying habits, dozens of author signings, and much, much more. This year there is also a consumer day for kid and adult readers on Saturday, May 31, called The Book Con. Continue reading

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5 Ways to Be More Adventurous as a Writer

Posted by May 28th, 2014

5 ways to be more adventurous as a writer small instagram

Summer is here, and it’s time to go on some serious adventures with our writing. (And perhaps some not-so-serious writing adventures, too!) Don’t get stuck in a writing rut this summer. Below we present 5 ways to be more adventurous as a writer:

  1. Change your writing venue. Many of us writers adore the rituals of our writing practice: preparing the coffee, booting up the computer, sitting down at our beloved desk with everything just so. But what would happen if you took your laptop to a funky local coffee shop you’ve never visited before? Or an historic library, or even on board a train whistling through the countryside? What inspiration might be waiting for you there? Continue reading
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Summer Writers Club 2014

Posted by May 27th, 2014

The Summer Writers Club 2014

We’re kicking off the Summer Writers Club today!

What is the Summer Writers Club?

The Summer Writers Club is a group of writers pledging to write either 500 or 250 words per day between now and September 4th, 2014. That’s 100 days . . . meaning that if you commit with us, you’ll have either 50K or 25K words written by the end of the summer! We will be cheering you on the whole way.

How do I join the Summer Writers Club?

It’s easy!

We can’t wait to write with you this summer!

Questions or comments? Email me at or connect with me on Book Country.

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Writing About War and Military Service: A Q&A with Phil Klay

Posted by May 23rd, 2014

RedeploymentOne of the absolute best books I’ve read this year is Phil Klay‘s debut short story collection REDEPLOYMENT, now out from The Penguin Press. Addictively readable and full of searing, uncomfortable imagery and detail, these stories take us on an unforgettable journey through the Iraq war as it is experienced and remembered by those fighting in it. You can learn so much about writing about war from Phil–his is a book I will be thinking about a lot as we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend.


Lucy Silag:  Why do you think that so few literary writers have written about the war in Iraq from the perspective of those fighting it? 

Phil Klay: There are a few civilian writers who have written about the military, like Ben Fountain, Lea Carpenter, and Roxana Robinson. I think to do it right takes a lot of time and research. Plus, there’s the old cultural trope that you can’t know about war unless you were there. I don’t think that’s true, but perhaps that steers people away. If so that’s unfortunate, since I think we need thoughtful engagement with the wars from both civilians and veterans alike.  Continue reading

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Helping Writers: My Book Country Journey

Posted by May 22nd, 2014

Brandi Larsen is transitioning from Book Country Director into a new role at Penguin.

Brandi Larsen is transitioning from Book Country Director into a new role at Penguin.

I moved my family to New York because I wanted to help writers. I believed in Book Country and was excited about this incredible online writing and publishing community and what I could do to help it grow.

Recently, I’ve been given the opportunity to help even more writers, working directly with the publishers of The New American Library, Berkley Books, and Celebra as the new Digital Publishing Director. I start Tuesday, though I won’t move far — my office will remain on the same floor as the Book Country team. Continue reading

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How to Create a Digital Footprint On Book Country

Posted by May 21st, 2014

Now that our lives are becoming more digitally based, we often find books by searching rather than browsing. That’s why it is so important for Book Country members–whether you are workshopping your manuscript on Book Country or you’ve published your book–to learn how to create a digital footprint. This will increase your readership and sales because it reduces the time it takes a potential reader to get to your book or manuscript–leaving more time for the fun part: reading your book!

how to create a digital footprint on book country


What does it mean to create a digital footprint?

You want to make it so that any reader who might possibly be interested in reading your work will be able to find out more about it on the Internet.


  • Use your writing name consistently. Whether it’s the name you were born with, your married name, or a pen name you chose yourself, use the same name across all of your writing and social media platforms. If Book Country members get to know you on the Discussion Boards, then head over to the Bookstore to find your published eBook, they’ll likely search for you by what you call yourself within the community. If your Display Name doesn’t match the author name on your eBook, this potential reader will run into confusing search results, and might give up trying to find you. Similarly, if a member who read and loved your manuscript and wants to give you a shout-out on Twitter, it will be hard to find you if you use a completely different name as your handle. Continue reading
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3 Reasons Why Writers Should Read More by Justin Keenan of Rooster

Posted by May 20th, 2014

JustinKeenan“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Stephen King’s writing advice goes straight to the point: Writers should read more. It’s advice you see repeated everywhere, in almost every workshop and author interview. But what are those tools exactly? What is it that reading teaches you that you can’t learn just from classes, or from your own writing?

Reading teaches you what good language sounds like

Annie Dillard has a wonderful anecdote about a great painter she once met: “I asked him how he came to be a painter. He said, ‘I liked the smell of the paint.‘”

As a writer, words are your paint. Boiled down to its simplest form, writing is the act of moving words around on paper until you like the way they sound, and if you don’t love the visceral experience of working with words, you have no business being a writer.

Just as the musician trains her ear by listening to music, the writer trains her ear and develops her voice by reading. The more the writer reads, the better she knows her tools. At the very least, reading helps you sharpen your ear for language, showing you how to eliminate awkward constructions, needless verbiage, and lifeless clichés. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Romance Writer Lynn Montagano

Posted by May 19th, 2014

Lynn Montagano, Book Country member since 2012, has just published her debut romance novel, CATCH MY BREATH! Lynn shares her advice to writers workshopping their books on Book Country. Connect with Lynn!

Lynn MontaganoJanet Umenta: On your Book Country profile page, you note that you are an avid traveler. In CATCH MY BREATH, you take the reader to amazing places such as Glasgow, Scotland and London, England. How did your traveling experience help you write such vivid descriptions in your novel?

Lynn Montagano: The traveling bug first bit me when I was young and my parents took my brother and I to Disney World. The whole experience amazed me: the airplane, being somewhere that wasn’t home, meeting new people, etc. I’m from a small town in Rhode Island so venturing away from there sparked something in me. Continue reading

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Publishing Your Best Book on Book Country

Posted by May 15th, 2014

The RT Booklovers Convention 2014 is well underway in New Orleans. We are having a fantastic time meeting romance writers and readers in this colorful, fun-loving city.

Today is the second of our Book Country panels here at #RT14:

Publishing Your Best Book on Book Country

Book Country is an online writing and publishing community featuring all of your favorite romance categories. Lucy Silag will demonstrate how to join Book Country, and how to publish and distribute your book across all of the major retail platforms. Book Country’s best-in-class, a la carte publishing services (from cover design to author-marketing tutorials) are turning this community of writers into published authors. This panel will include Book Country giveaways — books written by published Book Country authors — and exciting raffles for 2 Custom Cover Trios and a Discover Publish Package.

Event Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014 – 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Panelist(s):Lucy Silag (Book Country, Book Country Community and Engagement Manager)

Location: 4th Floor

Room: Iberville

Add it to your agenda here.

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