Author Archives: Nevena Georgieva

Nevena Georgieva

About Nevena Georgieva

Nevena Georgieva is a passionate reader and publishing professional living in New York. She's the Book Country Associate. Connect with her on Twitter @nevgeorgieva.

Character Development: Creating Unforgettable Characters with Rachel A. Marks

Posted by August 17th, 2015

Darkness-BrutalPlease welcome Book Country member Rachel Anne Marks back to the blog! Rachel’s been a wonderful force of positivity and wisdom here on Book Country for going on three and a half years. We were absolutely thrilled when Rachel announced that Skyscape had picked her up for a 2-book deal. Her young adult debut, DARKNESS BRUTAL, is on sale now. Rachel stopped by the blog this morning to share insights on the incredible character development that keeps her readers coming back for more.

***

When we open a book, we begin a journey, and there are several things that help us decide if we’ll keep going. We ask ourselves if we want to hang out in the world of the book, if the questions raised seem interesting, but we also want to follow the lead subject on their journey. As a reader, this is one of my biggest questions when I start reading a novel: do I connect with the main character?

And as a writer, it’s even more important. In order to show a story through the eyes of another, we need to have a strong link to their motives, fears, and conflicts. We need to be almost literally in their shoes if we want the reader to feel that way too. Continue reading

Share Button

International Youth Day: Celebrating YA Books on Book Country

Posted by August 12th, 2015

It’s International Youth Day today, and it’s got us reading teen fiction on Book Country. We’d like to share some of our finds with you, and tell you why they kept us turning the pages. 

***

The Artists CircleThe Artists Circle by Chelsea Langford

About the book: During the hypercreative Renaissance era, famed artists Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci were the first to tap into a creative magic and harness it in their artwork. For many reasons, the world was not ready for this magic to be revealed, but it has been taught in secret for centuries. This story follows a girl, Rosie, as she comes to Florence, Italy, to study art and, under the guidance of a peculiar mentor and her new classmates, discovers her true potential as an artist and the magic that’s in her grasp, lying dormant in her imagination.

Why we love it: We’ve fallen for The Artists Circle’s protagonist, Rosie. Just picture her arriving at Villa Cielo, the school that she hopes will turn her into a true artist: “She’d be known as the late girl—or the girl of the night. The one who was stuck on a plane in stupid Norway—sorry, Norway—while everyone else was finding their new best friends and soul mates or, who knows, artistic nemeses. On the bright side, maybe people would find her mysterious, at least for a while. She could work with that.”

The Neverland WarsThe Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

About the book: Being a teentager is hard enough, but things get even harder for Gwendolyn Hoffman when her goofy kid sister, Rosemary, disappears in the night. She seems lost forever, until Rosemary comes back accompanied by her abductor, Peter Pan. Gwen is soon whirlwinded away from math classes, texting, and all expectations of modern teenagers. She learns that Neverland is facing grave turmoil. Certain adults are actively attempting to find—and destroy—the enchanted island and repurpose its magic to fix national debt and cell reception problems. Now, a teenager caught between worlds, Gwen will have to pick sides, choose between boys, and decipher her conflicting desires to find out what really matters to her.

Why we love it: This modern-day sequel of the Peter Pan story has captured our fancy. There is a brilliant twist: while Peter is still defending his beloved Neverland, he has changed, too. Peter has aged. All the time he has spent in reality, ferrying children back and forth, has added up. It has left him at the same awkward age as The Neverland Wars’ heroine, Gwen…

Continue reading

Share Button

How to Use Facebook as an Author Before You Have Published a Book

Posted by August 11th, 2015

Like

Trust us, you don’t want get started with social media a week before your book comes out. In fact, many writers nowadays have a presence on Facebook and other platforms before they even have a publication date for their title.

Create a fan page. Reference our previous post on how to set up a brand new Facebook fan page. It’s important to reiterate that while you can let people follow your personal profile, it’s preferable to create a page that is exclusively devoted to your author persona, where you can post news and updates about your publications. Put some thought into what you call the page as it will be your online home in the literary community. You can use the title of your book or a variation of your name. We recommend that you simply use your full name and be sure to select the Artist, Band or Public Figure page category and choose the Author designation. Once you do that, the word “Author” will appear under the name of the page as you can see in the below examples. Because of this description and its strategic placement, you don’t need to add “writer” or “author” in the author page name.

Examples

Cultivate good social media habits. Take the time to reflect on what kind of content you want to share on your page. As with any type of writing, you’ll needto fine tune your social media voice and get used to talking to potential readers in a way that feels authentic to you and is a correct reflection on your work as a writer. Figure out how frequently you want to post. Experiment with different types of content and assess the results. Read a book on social media for more ideas! It takes time and consistency to hammer these details out–and you won’t have the luxury to truly focus on building a social media brand for yourself once your book hits the shelves. Continue reading

Share Button

Book Lovers Day: 6 Members Share the Titles That Have Inspired Them

Posted by August 10th, 2015

Yesterday was Book Lovers Day, and we couldn’t miss this chance to celebrate all the bibliophiles out there. We know that writers are also passionate readers, so we asked several Book Country members to tell us about one book that has inspired their writing. Their answers not only reflect the diversity we have here on the site but also make up a great list of reading suggestions for you to sample. Enjoy!

***

Time to WriteDJ Lutz: Time to Write 

Kelly L. Stone’s Time to Write offers a retort to many of the most common excuses used by novice writers to justify procrastination. The easy-to-read text speaks to me as a writer with potential, not as a poor student (which I was) or worse yet, a slacker (how I often see myself). The short chapters each identify a common problem, offer a solution or two, and then present a few real-world examples of successful writers who have overcome the obstacle. It is a quick read, yet full of numerous a-ha moments that can resonate with writers of all ability levels. Featuring more than a hundred writers, the book’s mantra states—if these writers can find the time to write, so can you. And I have!

 

The Stand

Lynn Montagano: The Stand

I read The Stand for the first time when I was in high school and it completely captivated me. The depth of the characters, the setting, the massive storyline. All of it made me want to write something completely character driven. For me, an author’s job is to transport a reader and make them feel like they’re right there in the middle of the story. Stephen King does a great job with that.

 

 

 

Continue reading

Share Button

Get Advance Reviews for Your Book with a Goodreads Giveaway

Posted by August 5th, 2015

TheHusbandsSecret

Click on the image to view this Goodreads giveaway example.

Are you looking for a way to spice up your book launch marketing plan? A Goodreads giveaway may be just the thing you need.

With more than 20 million community members, Goodreads is an important book discovery tool for authors. A giveaway on the site is an excellent way to create awareness for your book and garner early reviews. Below, we guide you through the process and offer some rules of thumb.

Start early. Run the giveaway for a month and list it a couple of months to a month before your book is released. To list a new giveaway, simply log into your Goodreads account—hopefully you’ve already set up an author profile for yourself and have added your book—and navigate to Giveaways. From the right-hand navigation, select List a Giveaway.

Fill out the giveaway details, and be sure to read the terms and conditions. Use the Tags field to your advantage to appeal to the right audience. For example, if your book is a paranormal romance featuring vampires, you may want to list some of the following tags: paranormal-romance, supernatural, love-story, and vampires. The tags will determine the placement of your giveaway on the Goodreads site. Click here for a list of tags that you can choose from.

Continue reading

Share Button

5 Lessons from J. K. Rowling on Writing and Life

Posted by August 4th, 2015

J. K. Rowling is an author who’s experienced great success—but also failure. Years before her Harry Potter series became an international sensation, she was “as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.” Even after the smashing success of her fantasy books, she encountered rejection when she submitted her work to publishers under the pen name Robert Galbraith. These setbacks remind us that every writer’s path has challenges and foibles; that’s why we find Rowling’s words to be so powerful and inspiring. Here are five J. K. Rowling quotes on writing and life that have particularly captured our fancy.

On Overcoming Failure

JKRowling-1

Continue reading

Share Button

Romance Awareness Month: 5 Romance Projects to Read on Book Country

Posted by August 3rd, 2015

August is Romance Awareness Month! What better way to mark the occasion than by immersing yourself in a great love story? Here, we’ve highlighted five must-read Book Country romance manuscripts for you to peruse and enjoy. 

***

What-the-Earl-WantsWhat the Earl Wants by Tabetha Waite

A missing heirloom. A gambled away inheritance. These are just some of the elements of Tabetha Waite’s rolicking historical romance. The writer calls herself “a dreamer who was born just 200 years too late,” and we can see why: she has cooked up quite the riveting story. In this snippet from the novel, the main heroine, Miss Athena Hawthorne, has just found that nothing is left of her father’s estate, when she runs into a handsome stranger:

“Athena looked up, prepared to give the individual a proper set down for nearly running her over, but the retort instantly faltered when her gaze caught the expensive flash of a maroon, superfine coat of quality. Not only was that enough to give her pause, but the man above her was absolutely enormous! Tall and broad shouldered with a three layered greatcoat and top hat that only enhanced his size, his face was shadowed, but she could discern his intent stare as it lit on her—could feel it upon her skin. And when he spoke, it was with a rich, smooth timbre. ‘My apologies, miss. I’m afraid I was in a rush and didn’t see you.’”

Sometimes-MomentsSometimes Moments by Len Webster

The self-proclaimed “romance-loving Melburnian” has written a touching contemporary love story that’s worth a blissful afternoon of relaxation. One day Peyton Spencer wakes up to find that the boy who she believed was “the one” is about to leave town—and her—forever. Now, years later, he walks back into her life without a care in the world. She would never allow him her heart’s redemption. Could she? In the following passage, Peyton has just learned the devastating news:

“‘That’s it, you’re just up and moving to the city. That’s all it took. Two days and you changed your mind,’ she cried. She told him she loved him. He never said it back but he never pushed her away. That night they went to the lake. She gave him her innocence and told him that she loved him. Two days later, and he was leaving.”

Continue reading

Share Button

What 10 Landmark Books Taught Me About Writing

Posted by July 29th, 2015

Knowing your book’s category is essential to finding an audience. That’s why we created the Genre Map, a visual representation of all literary categories on Book Country. For every category, we carefully curated a selection of Landmark Books, titles that we think best exemplify the tropes and conventions of each genre. Revisiting the Genre Map recently made me think back on our process deciding which books to include as well as the writing lessons that each of them has to impart. Below, I’ve highlighted ten books that have not only improved my understanding of the craft of writing but that also happen to be some of my favorite!

AcaciaAcacia by David Anthony Durham

Landmark Book for High/Epic Fantasy

This book has taught me that a great fantasy writer is an architect of worlds. With Acacia, you start with one idea of the dimensions of the trilogy’s universe, and every subsequent book makes shocking revelations about its actual scale and nature. David Anthony Durham executes this by building a solid foundation: he plants the seeds early on, so that once he lifts up the curtain, you realize there’s no other way the story could have gone.

The-Girl-on-the-TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Landmark Book for Psychological Thriller

Hawkins takes the “psychological” in psychological thriller to a new level with the unreliable narrator of Rachel, a woman whose life has been wrecked by depression and alcoholism. As a character, she’s both compelling yet utterly untrustworthy, making The Girl on the Train a masterwork of misdirection. If you’re looking for well-executed narration, look no further than Hawkins’s chiller.

Continue reading

Share Button

How to Upload a New Draft of Your Book Project on Book Country

Posted by July 28th, 2015

The purpose of exchanging peer reviews on Book Country is to make each other’s books better together. Eventually, the feedback that you’ve received on and off the site will help improve your work in meaningful ways and get you to the next step in your writing process: a new draft. Today, we’ll walk you through the steps of uploading a new draft of your project on Book Country. (If you’re a first-time user and have never uploaded a book to the site, reference our post on How to Upload Your Book to Book Country instead.)

editStart by going to the Read & Review tab in the main navigation and clicking on My Dashboard. Under Books in Peer Review, find and select the project of which you’d like to upload a new draft. Click on the Edit button in order to enter the Online Editor, where you’ll be able to update your text. Continue reading

Share Button

How to Host a Successful Live Facebook Q&A

Posted by July 27th, 2015

Facebook-QAOne of the advantages of having a Facebook Page is that you can host a Live Q&A for your fans. It’s easier to set up and moderate than a Twitter chat, and you can get some great engagement out of it. All you have to do is to post a status inviting your audience to ask questions about your book or writing, and then use the Reply feature on Facebook Pages to answer each individual question.

As you may know, only a fraction of the people who’ve liked your author Page see your posts at any given time, so you’ll need to do some pre-promotion to make the most out of your Live Facebook Q&A.

Create a Facebook event for the Live Facebook Q&A. Do so at least a couple of weeks in advance so that you can spread the word early. People who RSVP will get a reminder to join on the day of the event. Choose the start time for it wisely, when most of your fans will be able to join the conversation—for an hour around noon or in the evening. Spruce up the event page by adding a promotional image and some information about yourself and your book to the event details.

Promote the event link on other social media channels. Don’t forget to mention the time, including the time zone, date, and social network (Facebook) for the event. Send a couple of additional reminders right before you kick off the Q&A. Continue reading

Share Button