Category Archives: The Future of Publishing

As a constantly evolving industry, it’s anyone’s guess where publishing will go next. See what people think about the waxing and waning book biz.

Takeaways from “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” Panel

Posted by November 3rd, 2015

Last week’s “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” panel event at BookCourt was a remarkable chance to hear six brand reps (Pinterest, Kickstarter, Tumblr, the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, BookCourt, and, of course, Book Country) chat about how each of their organization or platform can be an extremely useful tool for building up a writer’s network. Julia Fierro of SSWW and Maris Kreizman of Kickstarter were also able to speak to their own experience building a writing community as traditionally published authors (respectively of CUTTING TEETH, a Landmark Women’s Fiction Title on Book Country and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210, which we featured on the blog last week). As one panel-goer said on Twitter after the event, all these perspectives made for “Delicious brain food!”

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/finding-and-building-your-community-of-readers-tickets-18467224967

From left: Lucy Silag, Danielle Rayman, Julia Fierro, Maris Kreizman, Rachel Fershleiser, and Andrew Unger. Image courtesy of Rich Kelly via Twitter. Learn more about Rich by clicking through the picture.

We want to extend an enormous thank you to everyone who came out in the pouring rain to join in the conversation! For those of you who couldn’t make it or aren’t local, here are some takeaways from the event: Continue reading

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TONIGHT at BookCourt: “Building a Writing Community Online + Off”

Posted by October 28th, 2015

BC-WritingCommunity-600x185 w rsvp w tumblr

TONIGHT
Wednesday, October 28th
7pm
BookCourt
163 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY

The most daunting task for aspiring and emerging writers can be building and growing their writing community online and off. Danielle Rayman of Pinterest and Lucy Silag of Book Country will share how social media and online writing communities can be tools for getting your work into the hands of agents, publishers, and readers. Julia Fierro, founder and director of the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop; Maris Kreizman, of Kickstarter and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210 (the Tumblr and new book); and Andrew Unger of BookCourt provide insight into how being a part of a local “writers” scene has real value when it comes to taking your writing to the next level.

This NYC writers event is free and open to the public.

RSVP to the event on Facebook. Continue reading

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An Interview with Book Maven Maris Kreizman

Posted by October 27th, 2015

Maris KreizmanIt’s so exciting to have Maris Kreizman visit the blog this morning! Maris is the author of the new book SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210, a visual mashup of great literature and pop culture. Those of you who came to our “Uncoventional Paths to Publishing” panel at the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference 2015 will recognize Maris from our lineup of speakers: She’s a maven of books, publishing trends, and an incredibly active member of writing and reading communities online and off.

Lucy Silag: You began your career as an editor. What was your favorite part of working in publishing?

Maris Kreizman: I loved being an editor because it allowed me to guide a book in every stage of the process from its earliest drafts to its final incarnation. I loved being able to connect with writers and to be the biggest advocate for my authors, both in-house and otherwise.

LS: Now you are the publishing-outreach lead at Kickstarter. Tell us more about how you help writers in this role.

MK: There are so many different ways for writers to use Kickstarter. Writers are using Kickstarter to plan literary events and book tours, and funding book and magazine-related works from apps to zines. And I’m helping writers and publishers to set up great Kickstarter projects to help them make the most of the platform.

LS: Congratulations on the release of your book SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210! Tell us about the genesis of this book.

Slaughterhouse 90210 coverMK: Thank you! I was bored at work, which is how many genesis stories about creative projects start, I think. It was 2009. My friend told me that I should start a Tumblr where I could post quotes from literature–I had a stockpile. And I thought, a blog featuring book quotes on their own sounds boring! But I was scrolling through my dashboard and saw a photo of Joan from Mad Men and thought, “Hmm, adding a photo from a TV show to the top of that quote would be way more interesting, and would make the post more about how the image and the text intersect and speak to each other.”

 

LS: Of all the social media platforms, why was Tumblr the right fit for SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210?

MK: Tumblr is so easy to use! And more importantly, Tumblr is all about community. There’s a very strong group of people who love books on Tumblr, and I was able to find them and interact with them. The fact that Tumblr allows users to follow the blogs they love and also to reblog and add comments was integral to the success of Slaughterhouse 90210. I knew it was catching on when I saw that Tumblr users were having their own conversations about it. Continue reading

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NYC Writers Event: Building a Writing Community Online and Off

Posted by October 6th, 2015

https://www.facebook.com/events/1622362738032076/

Join us in Brooklyn on October 28th, 2015, at 7pm for a panel discussion at BookCourt, hosted by Book Country, Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and Pinterest, and featuring special guest author Maris Kreizman!

Building a Writing Community Online and Off
October 28, 2015 @ 7pm
BookCourt
163 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY

The most daunting task for aspiring and emerging writers can be building and growing their writing community online and off. Danielle Rayman of Pinterest and Lucy Silag of Book Country will share how social media and online writing communities can be tools for getting your work into the hands of agents, publishers, and readers. Julia Fierro, founder and director of the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop; Maris Kreizman, of Kickstarter and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210 (the Tumblr and new book); and Andrew Unger of Bookcourt provide insight into how being a part of a local “writers” scene has real value when it comes to taking your writing to the next level.

This NYC writers event is free and open to the public.

RSVP to the event on Facebook.

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6 Takeaways from the PNWA 2015 Conference

Posted by July 21st, 2015

Seattle skyline

Seattle, home of the PNWA 2015 Conference

It was a great weekend at the PNWA 2015 Conference in Seattle, talking with agents, editors, and writers about Book Country, social media, and the publishing process. (PNWA stands for the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.) I want to share these six big takeaways from the conference with the rest of the Book Country community:

  1. Finding beta-readers is as important as ever. However you choose to work with beta-readers–whether in a real-life writing group, remotely via email, or on a workshopping site like Book Country–no one can dispute that a writer needs feedback on their manuscript prior to a successful publication.Technology that makes finding beta-readers easy has become indispensable to in-the-know writers.
  2. Feedback can be wide-ranging, but ratings are also revealing. The more feedback a writer gets on their book, the better informed revision decisions they can make. Getting reviews on your book from beta-readers is a great way to seek suggestions on how to revise. But different readers give different suggestions, sometimes contradicting one another. Your overall ratings can be a powerful way to aggregate your readers’ opinions. On Book Country, for example, your overall rating–so long as you’ve spent the time and energy to garner a large number of peer reviews–will help you gauge whether or not your book is ready to be published.
  3. Distribution is everything. Writers have gotten savvier about this since the last time I was at PNWA. Back then, I met a lot of writers who had self-published but their book was not widely available. It’s rare these days to find a writer who isn’t planning to publish their book electronically, and it’s also common for writers to make sure their book is available for many different types of eReader. On Book Country, for example, authors can publish once and simultaneously distribute to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Scribd, Kobo, iBooks, Google, and Flipkart. It’s essential for writers to stay on top of book retail trends.
  4. Social media takes time. Writers at PNWA knew how important it is for them to be growing their social media audience. It’s key to start building a following early, so that when your book does launch, it has somewhere receptive to land. Learning how to use social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and others now rather than later is a good use of an aspiring writer’s time.
  5. Social media takes time. Wait, didn’t I just say that? To be clear, it’s not just building a social media that takes time. Doing the real work of social media–writing posts, creating engaging images, reading social media feeds, and conversing with followers–takes big chunks of your day-to-day. So not only do you want to start early, you also want to get organized. Writers I met at PNWA were figuring out how to carve out time for social media tasks. One tip Andrea Dunlop shared in our “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media” session was to be realistic about how much time you will be consistently able to devote to your social media. It’s easy to sign up for a lot of accounts, but it’s better to be selectively active than to have a bunch of abandoned online profiles. (Go here for more tips from Andrea.)
  6. Professional author services are the author’s best kept secret. More and more writers–both those seeking self-publishing and traditional publishing–are hiring professional developmental editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, book publicists, marketers, designers, and more. The competition to get noticed is stiff, so figuring out what you need help with to make your book stand out is becoming a bigger part of the publishing process. Many writers are using editorial firms like Girl Friday Productions to develop and polish manuscripts. Authors who find social media either too daunting or too time-consuming are learning how to hire it out to professionals. While these services can be expensive, many writers and authors are finding them to be valuable. I predict that we’ll be discussing this aspect of the publishing industry much more here on Book Country in the next year.

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Editors and Publishers to Follow on Twitter

Posted by May 26th, 2015

It’s important for writers to be active in the online writing community. Editors and publishers are constantly promoting great books and author events on Twitter, so you’ll be able to know current trends and the kinds of books being published in today’s market. Plus, editors and publishers regularly tweet out book giveaways and host fun contests!

Editors and Publishers to Follow on Twitter

Editors and Publishers to Follow on Twitter

Editors and Publishers to Follow on Twitter

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Authors to Follow on Twitter

Posted by May 12th, 2015

Here on the Book Country blog, we’ve talked a lot about the opportunities there are for writers and authors on Twitter. At conferences, most of the questions I get from writers have to do with social media, especially Twitter. Folks always say, “I know I need to get on Twitter. But I don’t really know how.” It’s clear that most writers don’t struggle with the act of signing up for Twitter. Like most websites, registration on Twitter is easy. (See our post Twitter for Beginners if you need help.) More often, I hear that writers don’t quite know how to jump into the conversations Twitter is known for. They know that they are supposed to be tweeting–but what are they supposed to be tweeting?

One of the best ways to get started using Twitter is to follow other authors. You want to create your own voice on social media, of course, but using the example of other authors will help you get a feel for how to be authentic, informative, and fun–all the while getting attention for your work in a way that won’t turn off readers. When you have a group of authors to follow on Twitter, you’ll also get to see how they use this social network to engage with the writers they admire.

Elizabeth Gilbert on TwitterChloe Neill on TwitterAndrea Dunlop screenshot with frame Continue reading

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Ask a Literary Agent: Carly Watters Answers Your Questions!

Posted by May 6th, 2015

Ask a Literary Agent: Carly Watters Answers Your Questions!We are so happy to have Carly Watters on the Book Country blog! Carly is a VP and senior literary agent with the P.S. Literary Agency. Her bestselling and debut authors include Rebecca Phillips, Danny Appleby, and Book Country member Andrea Dunlop. Carly frequently shares informative insights about the publishing industry on her blog and on Twitter. Below, Carly offers advice on how to get your name and book out there, what to do if you’ve already self-published a book and are seeking representation, and the state of erotica in today’s market.

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Do you participate in social media pitch campaigns like #PitMad on Twitter? If so, what can you share from your experience for those of us who might be thinking about participating in the future? – Kelley

I used to do more than I do now. I love working with debuts, and I’m always open to queries. However, I had one experience that made me step back from #PitMad and other online contests. Here’s the example: I favorited a tweet of a pitch I liked, and the author and I started to chat. When I offered representation on the phone a week later, the author said they’ve been interested in another agent for awhile now and used my offer as leverage to let her top agent know. I’m all for savvy business-minded people, but that made me reevaluate why I would spend my time searching out authors–and taking many days out of my year with these contests–when I have so many amazing queries in my inbox.

Also, I’ve written a guide to Twitter pitching if you want more tips!  Continue reading

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Book Country at the Muse and the Marketplace 2015

Posted by April 29th, 2015

The Muse and the Marketplace 2015 Conference websiteWill you be at Grub Street’s Muse and the Marketplace 2015 Conference this weekend (Friday, May 1, 2015-Sunday, May 3, 2015)? Book Country is proud to be a Muse sponsor this year, and we’ll be hanging out in the exhibition area all weekend long, meeting writers and chatting about how Book Country can help them meet their writing and publishing goals. In fact, all Muse attendees are getting a free copy of our white paper, “Treat Your Book Like a Start-Up: Use Feedback to Successfully Write and Publish Your Book.” Give it a read and stop by the Book Country table to get specialized one-on-one advice for how to apply this advice to your book.

We’re also really excited about this session we are hosting on Friday afternoon. The details are below. We hope to see you there!

Treat Your Book Like a Start Up: Use Online Feedback to Successfully Write and Publish Your Book with Stace Budzko and Lucy Silag

Friday, May 1 – 3:45-5:00pm – Cabot Room Continue reading

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“There is always a reason to not give up.” Interview with Aisha Saeed, Author of WRITTEN IN THE STARS

Posted by April 22nd, 2015

Interview with Aisha Saeed, Author of WRITTEN IN THE STARSAisha Saeed is the author of WRITTEN IN THE STARS, which is published by Nancy Paulsen Books. Aisha is also co-founder and Vice President of Strategy of We Need Diverse Books. In WRITTEN IN THE STARS, Naila, a smart Pakistani-American high school senior, is forced into an arranged marriage by her own parents. I was stunned by the trials Naila had to face. In our interview, Aisha shares what the hardest chapter was for her to write, the specific technique she used to query agents, and what has surprised her most since joining the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. 

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Janet Umenta: Did you draw from any real-life conversations while writing WRITTEN IN THE STARS?

Aisha Saeed: I definitely drew from real-life experiences while writing WRITTEN IN THE STARS. Growing up, I had childhood friends who were coerced and pressured into marriages they would not have chosen for themselves. While my novel is entirely fictional, those stories always stayed with me and served as the inspiration for my novel. Continue reading

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