Author Archives: Nevena Georgieva

Nevena Georgieva

About Nevena Georgieva

Nevena Georgieva is the Book Country Coordinator. She's a book lover, aspiring singer and NYC transplant. Connect with Nevena on Book Country or follow her on Twitter at @NevGeorgieva.

Enter the About the Book Contest for a Chance to Win Our Discover Publishing Package!

Posted by February 25th, 2014

about the book super finalWe all know how important that cover copy can be in selling a book, whether it is a physical book jacket you’re reading or the “About the Book” entry on an eBook retail site. To help you fine-tune your description—and attract more readers on Book Country—we’re launching the About the Book Contest!

How to Enter:

Describe your book in the “About the Book” section on Book Country and enter the URL of your title’s Book Details page in the contest form. (Hint: The page URL for your Book Details page is in the address bar at the top of your browser.)

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Don’t have a Book Country account but want to enter the contest? No problem! Create an account for free, upload your manuscript, and enter the contest.

The Prize

The writer of the best “About the Book” description will win a Discover Publishing Package ($249), a fantastic eBook publishing option that includes services such as eBook formatting and cover design help, BookStubs and Marketing Copy Polish.

Important Dates: 

Contest begins today, February 25, 2014. Entries must be received no later than March 18, 2014, 11.59:59 PM Eastern Time.

Contest Criteria

Entries will be judged on writing style, clarity, grammar and book premise/originality. If your book were already published and you could glimpse at the back-cover copy, what would it say? Put that in your About the Book section on Book Country!

Need some tips on writing an original and intriguing book description? We recommend that you consult professional copywriter Carly Hoogendyk’s blog post on how to write an “About the Book” for insider tips.

Good luck!

 

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Tumblr for Writers 101

Posted by February 24th, 2014

Digital marketer Lauren Hesse shares great Tumblr tips for writers. She’ll help you decide whether Tumblr is the right author platform vehicle for you!

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Having worked in digital marketing from the inside of a publishing house, I know that when writers and authors think about managing blogs that comes to mind are sites like WordPress. While long form blog posts are fantastic and a wonderful way to instantly publish your writing, I am a huge proponent of Tumblr as a blogging platform. The site is a social media powerhouse for sharing photos, videos, quotes and long form writing. 

So how do you know if Tumblr is right for you?

Know the platform.

Lauren Hesse

Tumblr has the capability to share seven different types of media: text, photos, quotes, links, chats, audio and video. Uploading original videos, photos, links, blog entries and audio (including tracks from Spotify and Soundcloud) are as easy as tweeting or uploading to Facebook. As for quotes and chat, these functions allow you to attribute quotes or share dialogue between two people or characters, the perfect teaser to the writing you may be working on. While Tumblr may not be strictly for long form writing, it’s a great place to share both text and interactive visuals and has a huge capability for viral sharing and engagement.

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Getting “Literary” with Author & Tin House Editor Michelle Wildgen

Posted by February 20th, 2014

breadbutter_highThe restaurant business is at the heart of Michelle Wildgen’s most recent literary endeavor, BREAD AND BUTTER. Today we’re chatting with her about the new book, getting an MFA, and submitting to the prestigious Tin House literary journal. Michelle has some terrific advice for writers who’re interested in having their work in the magazine. 

NG: One of BREAD AND BUTTER’s main characters, Harry, compares designing a new dish to academic writing: “It was a lot like writing a thesis, actually, that same process of gathering information around a rough kernel of thought, a vague sense of flavor combination that might lurk in the back of the mind, and then the editing and revising and re-arranging.” How does your character’s process here mirror your own process as a fiction writer?

MW: Well, that sounds about right, actually. I’m not a writer who starts with an outline and a full plan. I start with a little thing, like an image or a moment, and I try to build it up layer by layer until it has enough complication to become a formative scene, and then I just take it from there, often writing with a lot of uncertainty, and figuring out how to rearrange and edit once I have something on the page to work with.

NG: In an essay for Tin House literary journal—where you’re also the executive editor—you write that editing others’ work has turned you into a writer who “who loves to cut.” How do you decide what to keep and what to cut?

MW: It’s mostly a gut feeling but it’s been honed over the years by discussing stories with other writers and editors. Sometimes you know a section has something in it that will be needed—even if it is just an idea you haven’t managed to convey effectively yet—and you hold on to it until you can figure it out and maybe just develop it elsewhere. Or until you lose your love of it, or you see that other sections are doing the same thing better, or you realize that something just lacks life and energy and you have to cut it to free yourself to create a more lively take on it. Especially early in my writing, in my teens and twenties, I often got sidetracked just listening to myself say pretty things, and I couldn’t always figure out how to make a nice line of prose be a part of the story. So as a defense against that failing of mine, I now go almost too quickly to saying, “Cut it! Hack it off!”

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“Why I Write M/M Romance” by Z.A. Maxfield

Posted by February 12th, 2014

The following is a guest post by romance writer Z.A. Maxfield, who writes gay romances for InterMix/Penguin and whose first The Cowboys novel MY COWBOY HEART has us completely captivated. 

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The second The Cowboys novel, MY HEARTACHE COWBOY, came out on January 21st!

I’m probably the very last person who should tackle the subject of writing M/M Romance because writing gay romance wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part. I’ve always wanted to write in the romance genre, and m/m stories were simply the stories that spoke to my heart when I took on my kids’ playful challenge to write my first full-length novel.

From the very beginning, I felt I had a responsibility to eschew stereotypes and tell a realistic story within the confines of the romance genre. I have always seen romance as a form of fantasy. If romance novels were based on reality, there would be more characters waking up in pools of drool with bad bedhead. They’d have morning breath that could peel the paint off a car.

While romance is fantasy, the emotional lives of its characters must resonate for the reader as true. The best romances have high emotional stakes, good tension, and the breathless wonder of passionate love.

That’s what I was reading romance for, at any rate.

I went into my stories believing I should avoid relying on coming-out drama and homophobia as my main plot points—although these are facts of life for the LGBT community—because my goal was always to write a romance novel featuring a protagonist and a love interest who just happen to be gay, rather than to make the story about being gay.

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Alex Rosa

Posted by February 10th, 2014

alex rosaWe’re happy to welcome Book Country member Alex Rosa to the spotlight today. The 25-year-old writer from San Diego experiments in different genres — from mystery to romantic suspense to New Adult — and has had some pretty interesting jobs on her resume: she’s worked at a zoo, as a coroner, and more recently as an exec assistant. 

Her New Adult novel on the site, TRYST, is about a young co-ed who moves in with her brother after a bad break-up. The challenge: her brother’s hot roommate is off limits! We’re talking to Alex about her book, the NA genre, and writing romantic books.

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NG: Valentine’s Day is later this week and love is in the air! Will you share with us, what is your personal strategy for writing a good romance plot?

AR: Oh, this is a tough one to start with. Haha. First, I’d have to say I am madly in love with ‘love’, but what romance author isn’t? It’s a driving force when I write because I just can’t get enough. For me, with writing romance I always go back to the basics and build up from there. Jane Austen is always my go-to when I need a fresh outlook, ironically enough. If I hit a wall of writer’s block, I will pull out my copy of Pride & Prejudice to read, or put in my DVD of Sense & Sensibility, like a true romance fanatic. Austen just got it so right. She got the basics of amorous affection; she was clever enough to never make love too easy, which I adore. Love is beautifully complicated, and as long as I remember that, and stay focused, periodically turning to Elizabeth Bennet or Marianne Dashwood for advice, my attempt at a romance plot usually flows pretty easily. Oh, and to help add a bit of steamy inspiration, I may or may not pull out my copy of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James or Bared to You by Sylvia Day.

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Keeping the Romance “in” Erotic Fiction by Roni Loren

Posted by February 7th, 2014

RoniLorenAuthorHeadshot2With Valentine’s Day just a week away, we’re in a romantic mood. Today, erotic romance writer Roni Loren urges us to create a space in our hearts for erotic fiction. Because erotica can be romantic, too.

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Often when I tell people I write erotic romance (otherwise known as those books to the general population), I can see what pops into their heads first when they imagine what my books must be about. Sex, sex, and more sex! After all, there is that big glaring “erotic” word to let you know, right?

But it seems they miss the second part of that genre title—romance. I have to hold myself back from saying—wait, no, they’re sexy books, but it’s really about the characters and their journey. Erotic romance and erotic fiction aren’t like adult movies where the supposed “plot” is only there to give scene transitions before the pizza boy and housewife get naked again. Unfortunately, not everybody understands this, and there’s a lot of crappy stuff getting thrown out there and labeled “erotica” by people trying to make a quick buck. (Don’t be one of those people! lol)

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Ellie Isis

Posted by February 3rd, 2014

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Today I am happy to welcome Book Country member Lisa Iriarte, who writes science fiction and fantasy as Ellie Isis. She’s penned several books — many of which well-reviewed on Book Country! — and is currently seeking representation for her work. Her book THREADBARE was recently an Editor’s Pick on Book Country — so be sure to check it out if you’re looking for some original romantic science fiction

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NG: I was impressed to read in your Book Country bio that you try to write a thousand words a day and read a book a week. How do you keep yourself on task?

EI: Hah! The key word in there is “try,” but I do a pretty good job with it. For one thing, I am one of those hyper-organized people. I make to-do lists. Reading and writing are actually on that list, along with chores and such. I go down the list, alternating reading a chapter with doing a chore like laundry, then I write a page on my manuscript and do another chore. Reading and writing end up being rewards to myself for completing other tasks. If I finish all my chores, then I alternate reading and writing for the rest of the day. Of course that doesn’t take into account things like my full-time job, two kids, two dogs, and a husband (they are not on the list :)), so it doesn’t always go according to my grand plan.

NG: You’ve penned four romantic science fiction manuscripts! Tell us more about what draws you to the subgenre and what is, for you, the most important aspect of writing about love in a non-romance  novel?

EI: I’m more character driven than anything else when I write, so the emotional element is vital in any manuscript I work on. When I add a romance in as a subplot, the most important aspects are making sure the balance is right between the romance and the science fiction, and also capturing the feelings/emotions/reactions of the characters in a believable manner. When they suffer from broken hearts, I want my readers to suffer, and when they feel joy, I want my readers to experience that emotion with them.

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5 Ways to Engage Your Readers on Facebook

Posted by January 31st, 2014

You’ve created a new Facebook page and are now scratching your head: what to do next?

To grow your fan base and become a Facebook super star, you need a plan! Strategic Partner Manager for Authors and Publishers at Facebook Susan B. Katz says that the key to success for debut authors on Facebook is to post frequently and authentically.

To establish a presence,  post once or twice a day every day in the first person. Fans are on your Facebook page to get to know the person behind the book. The biggest thing to keep in mind for writers on Facebook:

A good content strategy always balances content creation with content curation. So, share links to your books and blog posts, and mix it up with relevant links and images that you think your followers might enjoy. This way you won’t feel like you’re flooding their feeds with self-serving posts.

Here are 5 ways to increase engagement with your Facebook fans:

1. Share your success stories.

hosseini_facebook

Everyone loves a success story–so don’t be shy when you have good news to share. Your fans are there to rally you along the way, so breaking good news is a great way share your excitement about a book acquisition, a writing award, a great review, etc.

Perhaps Entertainment Weekly didn’t feature your book like bestselling author Khaled Hosseini’s, but you can still share snapshots of yourself or your readers holding a copy of your book for the first time, reader reactions, or quotes from complimentary reviews on Book Country!

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“Good Guys Can Be Sexy, Too”: An Interview with New Adult Author Christina Lee

Posted by January 30th, 2014

Before You BreakWe’re happy to have rising star Christina Lee on the blog today. She writes sexy New Adult Contemporary Romance stories with college-aged protagonists for Penguin/InterMix. We really heart her post about the new adult genre, where she defines its theme as that of “new found INDEPENDENCE.” So if you write NA, swing by her site and check the post out!

The second installment of Christina’s Between Breaths series, BEFORE YOU BREAK, comes out in February, and here she is talking to us about the new book and her excitement to share it with her readers.

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NG: BEFORE YOU BREAK tells the story of gorgeous psych student Ella and star catcher of the baseball team, Quinn. Quinn is the type of brooding, sexy guy that girls go gaga over! Tell us, what’s your recipe for writing an irresistible NA male hero?

CL: Great question! Many romance readers love their dominant and bossy alpha males and I tend to write nice and respectable good guys. Having said that, I’ve been told by my readers that my virgin hero from ALL OF YOU was one of the sexiest guys they’ve ever read. So the recipe I aspire to is off-the-charts sexual tension balanced by meaningful actions. Because let’s face it, good guys can be sexy, too. So I aim for plenty of angst and build-up, along with good pacing and an engaging plot. The kisses, sexy language, sensual touches or looks—I love writing all of that. And that’s the kind of confidence I like my male leads to exude.

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Book Release & Sweepstakes: Kerry Schafer’s WAKEWORLD

Posted by January 28th, 2014

Wakeworld Sweepstakes

Today we’re celebrating the release of WAKEWORLD by site member Kerry Schafer. Her path to publication never ceases to inspire us: Kerry joined the site as a beta member and was workshopping her urban fantasy BETWEEN when the manuscript captured the attention of one of our staff members. She forwarded it to Berkley Editorial Director Susan Allison, and the rest is history!

BETWEEN came out a year ago–almost to the day–and climbed the Bookscan Fantasy bestseller list to the #22 spot within a week of its release! WAKEWORLD, the second in the Books of the Between, picks up the story of Dreamshifter & medical doctor Vivian, who joins forces with another Dreamshifter to defeat a looming threat to the dreamworld. This month’s Romantic Times Book Reviews magazine gave the book a glowing review: “Rising star Schafer continues to advance an elaborate mythology that places her heroine at the intersection of worlds. Schafer proves that densely plotted and emotionally charged storytelling is definitely her forte!

Intrigued? Enter our WAKEWORLD Sweepstakes for a chance to snag a copy!

Kerry’s giving back to the Book Country community, and thanks to her and her team at Ace Books, we’re giving away three copies of WAKEWORLD. To enter for a chance to win, you need to tweet your Book Country user name along with hashtag #winbookcountry. (Hint: Your username is how you log into your Book Country account.) Read the full rules here.

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Connect with Kerry on Book Country and follow her on Twitter. To learn more about Kerry and her books, visit her website, www.kerryschafer.com. Read our interview with Kerry’s agent Deidre Knight

More From the Book Country BlogYou might also like: Shannon LC Cate’s Release of JACK: It Took a Community.

 

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