Category Archives: Specialists

Profiles of publishing and book-industry specialists, from art directors to sub-rights managers to outside PR firms.

Book Country at Moonlight & Magnolias 2015

Posted by September 30th, 2015

I couldn’t be more excited to head down to Atlanta this weekend for the Georgia Romance Writers regional conference, Moonlight & Magnolias 2015!

Official MandM logo general

I’ll be the featured industry speaker on Saturday afternoon. Here are the details:

Saturday, October 3
2-3:50pm
Atlanta Marriott Northwest at Galleria

Treat Your Book Like a Start-Up

Join us to learn about Book Country, Penguin Random House’s writing and publishing community, and how the site has helped writers to write their best books, connect with audiences, and publish with the support of a community. This session is designed to help Georgia Romance Writers figure out the next step toward reaching their writing and publishing goals. Each participant will leave with a customized, immediate, and actionable plan for their book or work-in-progress based on where they are in the writing process. Continue reading

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER: Marisa Acocella Marchetto

Posted by September 1st, 2015

Kicking off a new blog series here on Book Country is the celebrated New Yorker cartoonist and graphic novelist Marisa Acocella Marchetto. Marisa’s 2006 book, Cancer Vixen, was a huge critical success, and today her new graphic novel, ANN TENNA, comes out from our friends at Knopf. Kirkus Reviews said of ANN TENNA: “Zany with a touch of uplifting. You will be measurably hipper after reading it.” Marisa’s husband, Silvano Marchetto, is also the owner of the trendy restaurant Da Silvano here in NYC. Below she gives us a slice of a typical day in her busy writing life.

7:11am

fridge editedI got up and went to grab the one thing I need to finish my cartoons today, and GAH! No coffee. I need it just as much as I need my fine line Black Sharpie pen to rough out my cartoons.

7:35am

acocello desk editedAfter a trip to Jack’s down the street, I got back to the drawing board. (I have a new book, ANN TENNA, coming out. Look for subtle product placement throughout this post.) Continue reading

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Book Country at the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference 2015

Posted by August 19th, 2015

We are so excited to be headed back to Brooklyn for the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference 2015!

Slice Literary Writers' ConferenceHere’s a description of the conference courtesy of the editors at Slice magazine:

Slice Literary’s fifth annual writers’ conference will take place on September 12 and 13 in downtown Brooklyn. Our panels and workshops will cover topics from the craft of writing (plotting, dialogue, characterization, poetry, and more) to the business of writing (pitch letters, landing a book deal, and beyond). Top editors, agents, and authors will discuss crucial steps to help launch a writer’s career. But a book deal is just the beginning of a writer’s professional journey. We invite leading professionals to offer trade secrets about how they transform a great story into a bestselling book (and what writers can do to help them get there).
Where: St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY
When: 10am – 5:00pm, September 12 + 13, 2015
Who: Click here for the list of agents, editors, authors, and publishing professionals who will take part in the conference this year.

All of the many panels are sure to be fantastic, but one of the most unmissable is, of course, the panel I’m moderating called “Unconventional Paths to Publishing.” Here’s the info for that one: Continue reading

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The Stunning Book Cover Designs of Carol Devine Carson

Posted by August 18th, 2015

CC_Devine_Carson_r2 (2)Carol Devine Carson, VP and Art Director at the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, has been designing book covers that have deeply resonated with readers for more than two decades. Her work has been featured in various art shows and design publications, but Carol says that most gratifying for her has been the opportunity to work on great books by an impressive variety of wonderful authors: “Who gets to meet Katharine Hepburn, Julian Barnes, Katharine Graham, John Updike, Bill Clinton, or Julia Child by simply going to work?” Keep reading to hear more from Carol.

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Q: What initially drew you to the world of book cover art design?

CC_Alice's Adventures (2)A: I was fortunate to have beautiful books around me from earliest memory. I never tired of looking at every detail and every color combination in the art. DOCTOR DOOLITTLE IN THE MOON (cover and endpapers) is but one example that still looks fresh and sophisticated to me. I believe the accompanying visual must support the writing and complement it, while bringing fresh ideas and surprise to it as well.

For example, in designing new volumes for the Everyman’s Library series of classic writing, which we launched at Knopf in 1991, I like to imagine a child getting a copy of THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, THE POPPY SEED CAKES, or maybe ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND.

Q: How would you describe the conceptual processes you follow when creating a book cover?

A: It all begins with the author and the writing. I have designed a few jackets for books that literally stunned me as I read them. The first being DAMAGE by Josephine Hart. I think I could read that book again today and feel the same way. I knew the jacket had to be stark and nonrepresentational, since the characters had to be solely in one’s imagination.CC_Damage_Hart_jkt005 (2)

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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Q&A with Stephanie Chandler, Founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association

Posted by April 15th, 2015

Q&A with Stephanie Chandler, Founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors AssociationStephanie Chandler is the founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association, a marketing community for writers. The 5th Annual Nonfiction Writers Conference begins May 6th, and the keynote speaker will be Julia Cameron, author of THE ARTIST’S WAY. Participants can attend live sessions by telephone or Skype. Stephanie shares why she started the Nonfiction Authors Association and her experience being a self-published author.

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Lucy Silag: First off, what is the Nonfiction Authors Association and why did you start it?

Stephanie Chandler: The Nonfiction Authors Association is a marketing community for trail-blazing writers! I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. When I quit my corporate job in 2003, I opened a 2,800 square-foot bookstore in Sacramento and planned to write novels in the back office. (When you’ve wanted to write your whole life, you naturally assume that a novel is the way to go.) But it turned out I didn’t have a knack for fiction, so I wrote my first nonfiction book (a business start-up guide) and was astonished by how much I loved writing nonfiction.

I began attending writers’ conferences and eventually started speaking at them as my author career took off. I noticed that nonfiction authors were largely neglected at these events. We didn’t quite fit in with the fiction writers and had different needs and approaches. So I launched the Nonfiction Writers Conference in 2010—an event conducted entirely online. I had no idea if it would catch on, but it did. Each year our attendees kept asking how they could keep the momentum going, so I finally answered them by launching the Nonfiction Authors Association in 2012. We needed our own community and now we have one with over 8,500 members and growing every day. Continue reading

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Book Marketing: The Long Game by Andrea Dunlop

Posted by March 25th, 2015

Book Marketing: The Long Game by Andrea DunlopBook Country member Andrea Dunlop is the Social Media and Marketing Director of Girl Friday Productions. Her debut novel, THE SOJOURN, is scheduled to be released by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in March 2016. Andrea shares her “to-do” list for getting the word out about her book. Book Marketing: The Long Game was originally published on Andrea’s Tumblr blog on February 9, 2015.

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I signed my book deal with Atria last fall. The manuscript is done, but the book doesn’t come out until March 2016, giving me a little over a year to wait patiently for book to meet world. Except I’m not a very good waiter. I’m like a five-year-old or a German Shepherd, I need a job to do if you don’t want the furniture destroyed.

I was reminded last week in talking to a friend, a memoirist whose just-released book was on a much tighter schedule than mine, that having this kind of time is actually a huge blessing. I’m always telling clients and students that they should start as early as possible when it comes to their social media and marketing efforts. Ideally marketing should be a gradual, organic process, and that takes time.

As the social media and marketing director of GFP, this is where I put my money where my mouth is. As an author with a year-long countdown ahead of her, here’s what’s on my to-do list now: Continue reading

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Growth Hacker Marketing for Authors by Ryan Holiday

Posted by March 11th, 2015

Growth Hacker Marketing for Authors by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is the author of GROWTH HACKER MARKETING: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, which is published by Portfolio. Ryan shares how authors can use growth hacking, a technique first developed in Silicon Valley, to launch their books and build long-lasting readerships.

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Right before our eyes, companies like Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, and Dropbox went from tiny startups into massive companies. And they did it with essentially no traditional marketing whatsoever.

They used a Silicon Valley technique known as growth hacking that helps rapidly launch and build a company. If one can understand that launching a book these days is not altogether different than starting a company, it should stand that there is something we can learn from these growth hackers. And it turns out that many of their techniques are already being used by forward thinking authors like Tim Ferriss. I’ve even had success applying it to my books and my author clients.

So what do you need to know about growth hacking your book? Continue reading

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10 Tips for Writers on Creating Perfect Social Media Posts from Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

Posted by February 12th, 2015

10 Tips for Writers on Creating Perfect Social Media Posts from Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

Social media is an important tool to engage with your audience and promote your book. Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick are leaders in social media marketing. Their book THE ART OF SOCIAL MEDIA, published by Portfolio, shares great strategies and tips for creating a successful social media platform. 

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Be Bold

Success favors the bold as well as the interesting on social media, so don’t hesitate to express your feelings and agenda.

Be Brief

Brevity beats verbosity on social media. You’re competing with millions of posts every day. People make snap judgments and move right along if you don’t capture their interest quickly.

Be Visual

Every post—literally every single post—should contain “eye candy” in the form of a picture, graphic, or video. According to a study by Skyword, “On average, total views [of its clients’ content] increased by 94% if a published article contained a relevant photograph or infographic when compared to articles without an image in the same category.” Continue reading

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Book Country at the San Francisco Writers Conference 2015

Posted by February 11th, 2015

San Francisco Writers Conference 2015Starting this Thursday, February 12th, I’ll be representing Book Country at the San Francisco Writers Conference 2015. BC member Andrea Dunlop will be there as well, on behalf of Girl Friday Productions. I’m also hearing that other members are going to the conference. Please chime into this discussion board and let us know if you’ll be there, too!

Here’s my event schedule–if you’ll be there, please come say hi! Continue reading

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