Monthly Archives: December 2015

Thank you for writing with us!

Posted by December 23rd, 2015

BC_Nib_onlyIt’s been another exciting year in the Book Country community, with members writing thousands of new words, completing their WIPs, reaching revision milestones, winning National Novel Writing Month, publishing, and plotting sequels. The community has shown incredible generosity and thoughtfulness as feedback partners for one another. Book Country writers have also spent this year right at the cutting edge of book marketing, with so many of you taking a truly innovative approach to building a platform and getting out the word about your writing.

I know I speak for everyone who works behind the scenes on the Book Country website when I say how much fun you writers are. Your feedback and ideas are going to continue to be the bedrock of how we move forward as a community. We are planning exciting things for 2016 and we can’t wait to work with you on those projects as the community continues to evolve.

It’s such a treat to be involved in your writing journey. Thank you for being a member of the Book Country community!

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How to Take Perfect Social Media Profile Photos

Posted by December 16th, 2015

A picture is said to speak a thousand words, and determining the best visual to use for your social media profiles can be a daunting task. Below, book marketing and publicity experts share tips and best practices to help writers and authors literally put their best face forward, across different platforms.

How to Take Perfect Social Media Profile Photos

Selecting the Best Picture for Social Media Profiles

  • Make sure the picture represents both you and the content of your work. If you’re a YA author, you might dress casually, while a business author might be best represented wearing business attire and a cookbook author in her kitchen.
  • Make yourself, not the background, the focus of attention. Select a photo that shows your face clearly and doesn’t surround it with a complicated backdrop, which can be distracting. Always make sure the photo is well lit.socialphotos24

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7 Ways to “Put Yourself Out There” as a Writer

Posted by December 15th, 2015

Was there ever a more generic piece of advice to writers than “put yourself out there”? I hear this constantly, and yes, I often say it myself. typing with nib smaller

It’s worth investigating what it really means to “put yourself out there as a writer.” Which writers are putting themselves out there, what does that look like, and how can other writers follow their example? Continue reading

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Book Country Was Featured on LinkedIn Pulse

Posted by December 14th, 2015

Over the weekend, an essay I wrote about Book Country and the benefits of online workshopping for writers called “Emerging Writers: Treat Your Book Like a Start-Up” was featured on LinkedIn’s Pulse blog. Check it out here!

Emerging Writers: Treat Your Book Like a Start Up

You can also download an expanded version of this essay here.

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Book Country Blog Roundup: Guest Posts by Members

Posted by December 9th, 2015

It seems like a great time of year to give a big thanks to our community members who’ve taken the time to write guest posts for the Book Country blog. Book Country members have shared incredible insights on writing and publishing with us over the years.

Click to join the Book Country community.

Here’s a round up of Book Country Blog guest posts by our members:

(Member names are organized alphabetically by last name. Posts are in chronological order, newest to oldest.) Continue reading

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Use the Penguin Hotline for Book Recommendations

Posted by December 8th, 2015

Penguin-Hotline-Facebook-GeneralAs writers, we all know how important it is to support other writers by buying and sharing each other’s work. And with Penguin Random House’s #GiveaBook program, there’s a lot of good you can do by giving books as gifts this holiday season.

But what book should you give that will also make the perfect present? This is the hard part.

That’s where the Penguin Hotline comes in! This holiday season, Penguin Group USA is bringing back the popular program from last year where readers get help with their holiday book shopping from Penguin employees. Fill out an online request form for the readers you are shopping for, and a Penguin will get back to you with book recommendations via email. The recommendations include both Penguin titles and books from other publishers.

Have you tried the Penguin Hotline? What recommendations did you get? Share in the comments below!

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Updates on Book Country Improvement Projects

Posted by December 7th, 2015

We’ve been making progress on Book Country improvement projects.

As you likely already noticed, the discussion boards now include member avatars alongside posts. (Click through the image to the discussion board to see how it looks on the site.)

Discussion Board Avatar illustration

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Book Country will be at the San Francisco Writers Conference 2016!

Posted by December 2nd, 2015

San Francisco Writers Conference 2015

We’re excited to announce that Book Country will be returning to the San Francisco Writers Conference in February 2016!

ThinkstockPhotos-478259118What: One of the best writers’ conferences in the country, with authors, agents, editors, and other publishing industry professionals presenting sessions catering to every aspect of writing and publishing. Featured speakers at this year’s conference include bestselling novelist Ann Packer (The Dive From Clausen’s Pier) and author and digital publishing expert Jane Friedman.
When: Thursday, February 11th-Sunday, February 14th, 2016 (Presidents’ Day Weekend)
Where: InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco, CA
Registration is still open! Find out more here.

Don’t miss the San Francisco Writers Contest, open to all writers, including those who are attending the conference. The entry fee is $35 and the deadline is January 8th, 2016.

What will Book Country be doing at the SFWC?

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A Day in the Life of a Writer: Jackie Copleton

Posted by December 1st, 2015

Dictionary of Mutual Understanding.CoverIt’s so much fun to spend a day with Scottish writer Jackie Copleton, whose debut historical novel A DICTIONARY OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING comes out today from Penguin Books. The novel deals with the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki at the end of World War II, and is a story of family secrets, romance, and reconnection. DICTIONARY is a BookPage Top Pick for December, an Indie Next Pick, and a BBC 2 Book Club selection, among many other distinctions. Below, we go behind the scenes of the London BBC Radio Studios with her as she promotes the novel, then flies off to Majorca for some much-deserved R&R!

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7:00 am

Picture 1The day begins with me packing for my train journey from Glasgow to London for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club – my first appearance on national radio – and then on to Palma, Majorca to meet my husband for our vacation. Along with shoes and swimming goggles, you can see some of my holiday reading choices: Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

9:00 am

Picture 2The journey down to London takes four-and-a-half hours so I’m doing some background reading for the interview. Susan Southard’s Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War is an extraordinary and moving piece of journalism. I’m appearing on the radio at 6pm so I don’t think our conversation will dwell too much on the horrors of atomic devastation while listeners eat their dinner with their children or drive home, but I don’t want to be caught out unprepared on a live broadcast.

 1:30 pmPicture 3

This is me arriving in a black cab at the Langham Hotel in London. I must confess my writing days don’t usually involve heading to a five-star hotel for meetings. I’m due to catch up with my publisher, who I haven’t seen in a year. The last time we met was when I went to Hutchinson (an imprint of Penguin Random House UK) last summer to talk about the possibility of her signing up A DICTIONARY OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING. Our editorial meetings were over the phone and through emails. I had no idea the hotel was so posh! Continue reading

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