Tag Archives: Lucy Silag

News from Book Country Director Lucy Silag

Posted by January 25th, 2016

Today I have some bittersweet news to share with the Book Country community: I’m leaving my role as Book Country Director and moving to a new position inside Penguin Random House, as Assistant Director of Publicity at Random House.

As you might know, my first couple of jobs right out of college were in publicity. My favorite projects were when I got to work on literary fiction debuts by emerging writers. Working with these types of books is exciting because the publicist’s job is to get readers excited about up-and-coming writers, and also gets the chance to work with writers at the beginning of their careers. This is actually quite similar to what I’ve been doing here at Book Country in many ways, and I can’t thank the community enough for what I have learned from you as you have explored the new frontiers of writing, publishing, and marketing your books online. I’m firmly of the mindset that no writer can find an audience without getting involved in a writing community at the start, and I’m planning on using a very community-minded approach to publicizing books in my new job at Random House.

Random House publishes some of my all-time favorite writers, so I feel very lucky to become a part of their world-class publishing team. However, there are a lot of things about working at Book Country that I know I’ll really miss. Working with this community was a unique opportunity to learn an enormous amount about diverse genres, different styles of publishing, social media and video, web development, and, of course, gave me the chance to connect to over 20,000 writers from all over the world. With Book Country I hung out with romance writers in New Orleans and Atlanta, mystery and thriller writers on the beach at Bouchercon, and dug into the craft of writing and business of publishing at writing conferences and meetups in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and here in New York. I’ve read and reviewed books that have been in progress for years, as well as new novels you’re just starting to write. We’ve also set–and achieved–some incredible goals together, from NaNoWriMo to feedback challenges to the Book Country Buddy Program.

Outgoing Book Country Director Lucy Silag with member Andrea Dunlop at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference in July 2015.

Outgoing Book Country Director Lucy Silag with member Andrea Dunlop at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference in July 2015.

Now that I won’t be the Book Country Director, I won’t be able to answer community questions about how to use the site and I won’t be able to help if issues come up with your account. Please email customersupport@publish.bookcountry.com if you have questions so that my Book Country colleagues can help you. Continue reading

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What Are Your 2016 Writing Resolutions?

Posted by January 5th, 2016

Happy New Year with Nib 625

Quick, while the new year is still fresh: It’s time to make your 2016 writing resolutions!

What’s that? You haven’t made a writing resolution for the new year yet? If not, here are some ideas:

  • Finish a draft of my novel.
  • Workshop my novel on Book Country.
  • Grow my following of writers and readers on social media.
  • Design a cover for my book.
  • Start a blog.
  • Sell more copies of my eBook.
  • Read more books in my genre.
  • Go to more readings and writing events.
  • Start a new project.

See? That wasn’t so hard. Whether or not you’ve given it a lot of thought yet, share your 2016 writing resolutions here. Here’s to writing together as a community on Book Country in the year ahead!

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Thank you for writing with us!

Posted by December 23rd, 2015

BC_Nib_onlyIt’s been another exciting year in the Book Country community, with members writing thousands of new words, completing their WIPs, reaching revision milestones, winning National Novel Writing Month, publishing, and plotting sequels. The community has shown incredible generosity and thoughtfulness as feedback partners for one another. Book Country writers have also spent this year right at the cutting edge of book marketing, with so many of you taking a truly innovative approach to building a platform and getting out the word about your writing.

I know I speak for everyone who works behind the scenes on the Book Country website when I say how much fun you writers are. Your feedback and ideas are going to continue to be the bedrock of how we move forward as a community. We are planning exciting things for 2016 and we can’t wait to work with you on those projects as the community continues to evolve.

It’s such a treat to be involved in your writing journey. Thank you for being a member of the Book Country community!

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7 Ways to “Put Yourself Out There” as a Writer

Posted by December 15th, 2015

Was there ever a more generic piece of advice to writers than “put yourself out there”? I hear this constantly, and yes, I often say it myself. typing with nib smaller

It’s worth investigating what it really means to “put yourself out there as a writer.” Which writers are putting themselves out there, what does that look like, and how can other writers follow their example? Continue reading

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Book Country Was Featured on LinkedIn Pulse

Posted by December 14th, 2015

Over the weekend, an essay I wrote about Book Country and the benefits of online workshopping for writers called “Emerging Writers: Treat Your Book Like a Start-Up” was featured on LinkedIn’s Pulse blog. Check it out here!

Emerging Writers: Treat Your Book Like a Start Up

You can also download an expanded version of this essay here.

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Updates on Book Country Improvement Projects

Posted by December 7th, 2015

We’ve been making progress on Book Country improvement projects.

As you likely already noticed, the discussion boards now include member avatars alongside posts. (Click through the image to the discussion board to see how it looks on the site.)

Discussion Board Avatar illustration

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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

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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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Andrew Unger: Q&A with BookCourt’s Events Manager

Posted by October 26th, 2015

Andrew UngerToday we welcome Andrew Unger to the Book Country blog. Andrew is the Events Manager at BookCourt, the celebrated Brooklyn bookstore famous for its well-stocked events program featuring New York’s most distinguished authors as well as brand new talent. Andrew will be on the “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” panel co-hosted by Book Country on Wednesday night, October 28th, 2015, at 7pm at BookCourt.

Lucy Silag: Tell us about BookCourt and how it fits into the Brooklyn community of writers.

Andrew Unger: “BookCourt is a monument, a university, and a party in slow motion. It doesn’t have to take over the world because it is the world.” — Jonathan Lethem

It’s no surprise that Jonathan Lethem said it best. The store was opened by Henry Zook and Mary Gannett in 1981. It was one room, a former barber shop, with a modest selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s titles. They bought the building in 1983. In 1996 Albert, who owned the flower shop next door, wanted to move to Florida and so sold his building to Mary and Henry in 1996. In 2008, they removed the greenhouse behind the old flower shop and added what is perhaps the store’s most defining characteristic, a giant, book-lined reading space. Hoisted above the ceiling, at the apse of the room, is a beautiful skylight. Today the store boasts one of the largest inventories in Brooklyn.

With the addition of the “Greenhouse,” the events series at BookCourt hit a high gear. In the seven years since it was built, the store has grown to accommodate the flush of writers and the wave of gentrification overtaking the neighborhood. In a given week, BookCourt might host ten different authors, four writing workshops, a book club, and a number or stock signings. It is a haven for readers, it’s an intellectual playground to a whole generation of neighborhood children, and it’s a university to writers from across the city.

BookCourt interior

Interior at BookCourt, courtesy of Google Maps.

LS: Why should writers hang out at Bookcourt?

AU: BookCourt is like a living, breathing MFA program. We’ve hosted Junot Diaz, Richard Ford, Don DeLillo, David Sedaris, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, and I could keep going. It’s such a stupidly impressive list of authors. Those events give you goosebumps. Junot Diaz talked for over an hour about his process, his growth as a writer and listened and responded to almost every single attendee, a room of over 300 people. This is an amazing opportunity. But this isn’t entirely the reason writers congregate at BookCourt. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo Prep: Plotting Your WIP with Index Cards

Posted by October 19th, 2015

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, hundreds of thousands of writers from around the world get together to cheer each other on as they write 50,000 words in just 30 days.

As someone who’s attempted NaNoWriMo for the last two years, but never quite made it to that 50K finish line, I am learning that to succeed at Nano, you’ve got to do at least a little prep work.

Here’s an idea for NaNoWriMo prep, inspired by an outlining idea I saw on a Book Country discussion thread called “How do you break out of writer’s block?”

Member and screenwriter Bret Plate offered up a strategy for outlining scenes ahead of time, so that you won’t get stuck when you want (or need!) to keep writing: Continue reading

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