Category Archives: Specialists

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

Get to Know Biographile!

Posted by December 9th, 2014

Biographile

Joe Muscolino, head staffer at Penguin Random House’s Biographile, recommends these five pieces for Book Country writers.

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Good Prose Month: Advice From a VP Executive Managing Editor and Copy Chief, From A to X

Here, as part of our month-long “Good Prose Month” series, the Copy Chief of Random House provides a fascinating collection of obscure and playful writing distinctions, from A(ntiques) to X(-ray). Continue reading

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Character-Based Doodling Prompts By Lisa Currie

Posted by November 17th, 2014

Lisa Currie

Midway into NaNoWriMo 2014? Or, stuck on your novel-in-progress or novel-to-be and feeling like your characters need a little more oomph? Today we offer another set of fun doodling prompts for character development from author and master doodler Lisa Currie, whose new book ME, YOU, US is just out from Perigee Books. You can download and print these exclusive prompts by clicking on the hyperlinked words in the text below. Share yours with us on social media! 

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Welcome to the fourth installment of doodling prompts for writers, adapted from my books, ME, YOU, US and THE SCRIBBLE DIARY. And as the holidays get closer, a little hint: the books make great gifts for writer and non-writer friends alike! In the first doodle prompt installment post, we established how doodling can help develop your book. If you click on the link, you’ll be able to download four doodle prompts that you can use to start fleshing out your character(s). The second installment was an in-depth online profile prompt. The last doodle prompt focused on plot points and obstacles in the way of your protagonist’s goal(s). Continue reading

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Book Country Will Be at BoucherCon 2014!

Posted by November 11th, 2014

BoucherCon 2014 websiteI’m really looking forward to participating in BoucherCon 2014 in Long Beach, California, this week! If you are around on Thursday, come to the Book Country panel, where I’ll be showing Mystery and Thriller writers how to use Book Country to make their books better at the same time as they are finding their audience. This is a great chance to start building your author platform and online profile!

Lucy Silag photoHow Online Workshopping Gives Writers an Edge in a Crowded Market

Thursday, November 13th, 4-5pm, Hyatt Regency Conference Center, Seaview A

Book Country is Penguin Random House’s online writing and publishing community where thousands of mystery and thriller writers connect to get feedback on their books. Whether you are self-publishing or seeking a traditional book deal, your book is up against stiff competition. How can you improve your work, present it successfully to readers and the publishing industry, and grow your fan base? Please join Lucy Silag, Book Country’s Community and Engagement Manager, for a candid discussion about how online workshopping helps writers to hone their craft and improve their sales success rate once they publish. Go beyond social media to grow your online platform and achieve your writing and publishing goals.

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Alys Arden’s Book Trailer for THE CASQUETTE GIRLS!

Posted by October 30th, 2014

We are so excited to showcase member Alys Arden‘s book trailer for her YA Paranormal novel THE CASQUETTE GIRLS!

I love trying new things. I love telling stories. I love working with different mediums. That’s how I started writing in the first place and how I came to make a book trailer for THE CASQUETTE GIRLS.

One of my favorite aspects of making the trailer was watching figments of my imagination turn into tactile objects. Whenever our production designer, Matt Whittle, would text me questions like “Okay, what does the altar at Vodou Pourvoyeur look like in your head?” I’d get really excited. First I’d send him any actual description from the book, and then he’d really dig into my head, “Tell me everything.” After I garbled everything out, I’d get a text a couple days later like, “Is a complete cat skeleton overkill?”

To find out the answer, watch the trailer!

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Doodling Prompts for Easy Character Development! By Lisa Currie

Posted by October 27th, 2014

ME, YOU, US by Lisa CurriePrepping for NaNoWriMo 2014? Fleshing out characters for your novel-in-progress or novel-to-be? Today we offer fun doodling prompts for character development from author and master doodler Lisa Currie, whose new book ME, YOU, US is just out from Perigee Books. You can download and print these exclusive prompts by clicking on the hyperlinked words in the text below. Share yours with us on social media! (And check out the examples I did for the MC in my NaNo project below!)

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U.S. Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, did it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did it. So did Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Bill Gates, Winston Churchill, Larry David, and Vidal Sassoon. Famous authors throughout the ages have done it, including Vladimir Nabokov, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Keats, Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. They were doodlers, all of them. Good thing, too, because recent studies* have shown that doodling unleashes the power of the creative mind. Think of it as creating off-road trails between neurons. Continue reading

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Come Down Off That Ledge—Self-Promotion Can be Fun!

Posted by October 8th, 2014

Andrea Dunlop on Book Country promotion

Let’s take a moment to discuss the oft-used phrase “self-promoter.” It’s unclear in the Kardashian-takes-all world whether this phrase is meant as a compliment or an insult, but the idea of promoting oneself gives most authors I know the heebie-jeebies. We all know that it’s necessary to advocate for your own work, especially in today’s overcrowded publishing landscape, but how do you do that without becoming a bore or a Bragosaurus rex?

Being a writer is a lifetime commitment, and it involves more than just putting pen to paper. The following are some ways to promote your work that won’t feel like a chore to you or your readers. Continue reading

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7 Things You Need to Know to Write the Best Title for Your Book by Keith Ogorek

Posted by September 17th, 2014

Your book title is your first marketing decision

Choosing a title for your book is certainly a creative decision, but it is also your first marketing decision because your book title can greatly help or hinder the sale of your book. While most authors usually have a title in mind when they first start writing their manuscript,  it is worth considering the following tips before you select a final title for your book.

Short can be sweet . . . and memorable

Best title for your book Think about the book titles you remember. I suspect many have short titles. Try to come up with a title for your book that has no more than four or five words at most. For whatever reason, it seems like a lot of titles have three words in them. The Hunger Games and The Tipping Point are examples. Keep that in mind as you craft your title.

Avoid words that are obscure, hard to pronounce, or spell

Sometimes in an attempt to be provocative authors will choose words that are unusual in an attempt to standout. Don’t be tempted. Obscure words are great for scoring points in Scrabble, but for book titles. Continue reading

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10 Tips for a Great Author Facebook Page

Posted by September 3rd, 2014

Book Country

For better or for worse social media plays a major role in how authors interact with readers, keeping existing fans engaged between book releases as well as building new audiences.  Facebook in particular is a constantly changing and often challenging platform. Courtney Landi, Associate Publicist at Berkley/NAL, shares ten tips for a great author Facebook Page.

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Attention Grabbing Content: When posting on Facebook, images are a great way to engage your fans!  Whenever possible, post a photo or a link with available thumbnails, in order to catch people’s attention.  Not only are images eye catching, but Facebook algorithms also prioritize posts with images in the News Feed over posts without.  *Additional Trick: one of the benefits of the Facebook Page application is that you can replace a subpar link image—the standard image provided along with a link—with your own image.  Take advantage of that trick when necessary.                                                                                    Continue reading

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Book Country Sponsors Slice Literary Writers’ Conference

Posted by August 26th, 2014

I’m excited to introduce the Book Country community to Maria Gagliano and Celia Johnson. They are the cofounders of Slice Magazine, a literary magazine dedicated to connecting emerging writers of poetry, literary fiction, and narrative nonfiction with one another. The Slice Literary Writers’ Conference continues that mission with two days of programming dedicated to illuminating craft and publishing topics. Book Country has signed on to be a sponsor of this year’s conference because we admire their mission of helping writers find their audience.Slice Literary Writers' Conference

Our sponsorship includes a scholarship for one MFA student to attend the conference this year. We’re excited to tell you more about that scholarship recipient in a future post. In the meantime, I wanted to give Maria and Celia a chance to tell you why they began doing this incredible event, and why you should keep this conference on your radar.

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We’re excited to host Slice magazine’s fourth annual writers’ conference in Brooklyn on September 6 and 7. My Slice co-founder Celia Johnson and I started Slice eight years ago as a print literary magazine dedicated to helping emerging writers find an audience for their work. In that time, an amazing community of writers, readers, and publishing professionals have rallied around Slice’s mission, working together to foster the next generation of great writers. Continue reading

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Judging a Book by Its Cover: What Copy Is and Why You Should Care by Julianne Clancy

Posted by July 25th, 2014

Copywriting- Julianne Clancy

Just a few of the titles Julianne has worked on!

I am a copywriter. This is not to be confused with a copyeditor (who makes sure the gods of grammar are not angered) or a copyrighter (which I don’t think is a real thing, but I assume would be someone who enforces copyright law). I’m the person who writes what’s on the covers of books and retailer websites. Continue reading

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