Tag Archives: Nevena Georgieva

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

Posted by August 11th, 2015

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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

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Writers, Fare Thee Well

Posted by March 27th, 2014

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Dear Book Country members (Hi guys!!),

Being the Book Country Assistant, and later Coordinator, was my first full-time job. It was my first time working in a big office, having my own desk and a group of people to call my team. But of course it was a lot more than that. Few people are as lucky as I have been to be able to call their job a vocation, a passion, something to get excited about doing every day.

Not only have I always been a book lover and devourer – one of those nerdy kids who lies about having homework to her friends just to be able to finish an engrossing book – but I have also felt incredibly passionate about helping writers believe in themselves and muster the courage to shout out from the rooftops, “I am a writer!”

While I am not a long-form writer myself (although I hope to become one and trust that you will welcome me with open arms and review my work-in-progress), I’m no stranger to feeling self-conscious about language. English is not my mother tongue, so the past eight years in the U.S. have been an uphill battle of proving to other people and, most importantly, to myself that I deserve to call myself an English major, a writing tutor, a graduate literary student, a publishing professional, a copywriter, a blog writer – a Writer!

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Language in Ruins: Exploring the Dystopian Cautionary Tale with Alena Graedon

Posted by March 13th, 2014

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Photo © Beowulf Sheehan

The death of print is a fear that comes hand in hand with the rapid technological developments of our digital age, but in Alena Graedon’s THE WORD EXCHANGE, it has become reality. She presents a not too far-off future where over-reliance on smart digital devices impairs our ability to communicate—even think. What goes into imagining a world in which technology inhibits our thought processes? How about our speech patterns? We talk to Alena about THE WORD EXCHANGE’s “language in ruins.”

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NG: THE WORD EXCHANGE is based in the recent future—and yet the death of print and the onslaught of sixth-sense digital technology have already tremendously changed the way people live. You had to coin new words and concepts that only exist in the futuristic sci-fi world of the book and think through how a language virus would change people’s speaking and thought patterns. Can you talk about that process of creating language in a novel about language?

AG: Language is really at the center of the book, you’re absolutely right. In some sense, it’s the hero of the story. Our relationship to language has been profoundly changed by technology, and I’ve been fascinated by the implications of inviting lots of beautiful, blinking machines into our lives, and of gradually relinquishing functionalities to them that we once viewed as fundamental to ourselves—decision-making, creating and interpreting things, communicating. Setting the book in the near future helped me explore what might happen when these processes have advanced just slightly, and how things could go really wrong.

A lot of the decisions I made in writing the book came from its focus on language. For instance, I always knew that lexicographers would tell the story. Dictionary-makers are especially attuned to words—to their diachronic evolutions over time, as well as to synchronic snapshots of what our living language means at any given moment. It was also interesting to have lexicographer protagonists because the publishing industry is changing so quickly, and the shift from print to a more fragile, ephemeral digital medium leaves us vulnerable to certain losses and threats. In the book, these include the hijacking and corruption of language, and also a disease, “word flu,” which makes communication nearly impossible, increasingly isolating and alienating its victims.

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Four Questions with Science Fiction and Fantasy Editor Danielle Stockley

Posted by March 11th, 2014

d_stockleyWe are really excited to introduce Ace and Roc editor Danielle Stockley. Danielle has been a trusted counselor to us over the years and is our go-to science fiction and fantasy fiction expert. (She also edits Book Country member Kerry Schafer‘s the Books of the Between!) It is our pleasure to have her answer questions about her work at Penguin Random House on Book Country today. Read on for great tips about the craft of writing—and editing—in those genres. 

NG: What are some of the clichés in science fiction and fantasy submissions that make a manuscript an automatic “pass” for you?

DS: I hate to declare anything an automatic pass, because inevitably it will show up in something that I’ve published. There are definitely things that make me wary, though. Plots involving mind control; protagonists who are constantly developing new powers just when they are needed most; character “development” by way of sexual assault; and evil, monolithic corporations with seemingly limitless resources don’t feel especially fresh to me.

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Dan Croutch

Posted by March 10th, 2014

dan-croutchThis morning we welcome Book Country writer and wrimo Dan Croutch to the member spotlight! An IT admin, father, golfer, and gamer, Dan is also hard at work on his debut epic fantasy novel, THE KINGS OF CARNIN. He *just* uploaded a new version of the WIP for all of you to read and enjoy! 

NG: You joined the site during NaNoWriMo. Tell us about your experience on Book Country so far? What’s your favorite part?

DC: The experience so far on Book Country has been nothing short of great.  I found the site while doing research into the publishing industry after finishing NaNo.  It mentioned how Penguin had a site that provides tools for people to self-publish electronically.  Since this is an avenue I was interested in, I was naturally drawn to the site.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the community involvement around NaNo and the great feedback from other site members on my query and manuscript alike. There are a lot of resources for both people looking to workshop their work and also fully self-publish; it’s not just for “either—or.”

NG: How has your NaNo novel progressed, three months after NaNoWriMo is over?

DC: It hasn’t!  I’ve actually put it on hold in favor of revisions to last year’s NaNo, which also happens to be the first book in the series.  Once those changes are made and the new draft posted to Book Country, I’ll start back up.  Hopefully it’ll be finished before the next NaNoWriMo comes around.

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Military Science Fiction Lessons from Jack Campbell’s Legendary LOST FLEET Series

Posted by March 6th, 2014

john_hemry_1What’s military science fiction, you ask? Fiction in the style of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA would be the short answer. Stories about interplanetary conflict that emphasize military strategy and play-by-play  descriptions of battle scenes. To get the long answer, read our Q&A with Military SF Landmark author Jack Campbell. His Lost Fleet series recounts the adventures of naval officer Jack Geary, who “comes back from the dead” to help the Alliance stand up to its enemies—the Syndicate Worlds. 

NG: There are 15 books in the Lost Fleet universe. What’s the secret to your world’s longevity? Do you have advice for writers who want to write military science fiction worlds that make readers readers keep coming back?

JC: There are several different things that have enabled me to keep the stories coming in the Lost Fleet universe.  The first is that the initial scenario gave me so much to work with.  I had been thinking for years about how to successfully write a long “retreat in space” story.  That’s a lot harder than it may sound, because it requires a combination of technologies and ways of fighting that allow a beleaguered force to survive and continue trying to reach safety.  I had the classic long retreat book as a model (Xenophon’s March of the 10,000), which had been used by other writers in the past, and I wanted to make what I was doing feel real.  During the same period that I was thinking about how to do that story, I had also been thinking about sleeping hero legends, which are common in societies around the world.  Such legends (like that of King Arthur) say that the hero is not dead, but sleeping, and will someday return when needed.  They are probably based on real people who were, well, real people, not awesome heroes.  I wondered what it would be like for someone to awaken from a long sleep and discover that they were now thought to be an awesome hero, and that everyone was expecting them to save the day.  After years of thinking about these two ideas, I suddenly realized that they fit together perfectly.  Both required a lot of background to make them work, so the Lost Fleet stories began with a double dose of background.  That gave me a lot to build interlocking storylines about.

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Getting “Literary” with Author & Tin House Editor Michelle Wildgen

Posted by February 20th, 2014

breadbutter_highThe restaurant business is at the heart of Michelle Wildgen’s most recent literary endeavor, BREAD AND BUTTER. Today we’re chatting with her about the new book, getting an MFA, and submitting to the prestigious Tin House literary journal. Michelle has some terrific advice for writers who’re interested in having their work in the magazine. 

NG: One of BREAD AND BUTTER’s main characters, Harry, compares designing a new dish to academic writing: “It was a lot like writing a thesis, actually, that same process of gathering information around a rough kernel of thought, a vague sense of flavor combination that might lurk in the back of the mind, and then the editing and revising and re-arranging.” How does your character’s process here mirror your own process as a fiction writer?

MW: Well, that sounds about right, actually. I’m not a writer who starts with an outline and a full plan. I start with a little thing, like an image or a moment, and I try to build it up layer by layer until it has enough complication to become a formative scene, and then I just take it from there, often writing with a lot of uncertainty, and figuring out how to rearrange and edit once I have something on the page to work with.

NG: In an essay for Tin House literary journal—where you’re also the executive editor—you write that editing others’ work has turned you into a writer who “who loves to cut.” How do you decide what to keep and what to cut?

MW: It’s mostly a gut feeling but it’s been honed over the years by discussing stories with other writers and editors. Sometimes you know a section has something in it that will be needed—even if it is just an idea you haven’t managed to convey effectively yet—and you hold on to it until you can figure it out and maybe just develop it elsewhere. Or until you lose your love of it, or you see that other sections are doing the same thing better, or you realize that something just lacks life and energy and you have to cut it to free yourself to create a more lively take on it. Especially early in my writing, in my teens and twenties, I often got sidetracked just listening to myself say pretty things, and I couldn’t always figure out how to make a nice line of prose be a part of the story. So as a defense against that failing of mine, I now go almost too quickly to saying, “Cut it! Hack it off!”

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Keeping the Romance “in” Erotic Fiction by Roni Loren

Posted by February 7th, 2014

RoniLorenAuthorHeadshot2With Valentine’s Day just a week away, we’re in a romantic mood. Today, erotic romance writer Roni Loren urges us to create a space in our hearts for erotic fiction. Because erotica can be romantic, too.

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Often when I tell people I write erotic romance (otherwise known as those books to the general population), I can see what pops into their heads first when they imagine what my books must be about. Sex, sex, and more sex! After all, there is that big glaring “erotic” word to let you know, right?

But it seems they miss the second part of that genre title—romance. I have to hold myself back from saying—wait, no, they’re sexy books, but it’s really about the characters and their journey. Erotic romance and erotic fiction aren’t like adult movies where the supposed “plot” is only there to give scene transitions before the pizza boy and housewife get naked again. Unfortunately, not everybody understands this, and there’s a lot of crappy stuff getting thrown out there and labeled “erotica” by people trying to make a quick buck. (Don’t be one of those people! lol)

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Book Release & Sweepstakes: Kerry Schafer’s WAKEWORLD

Posted by January 28th, 2014

Wakeworld Sweepstakes

Today we’re celebrating the release of WAKEWORLD by site member Kerry Schafer. Her path to publication never ceases to inspire us: Kerry joined the site as a beta member and was workshopping her urban fantasy BETWEEN when the manuscript captured the attention of one of our staff members. She forwarded it to Berkley Editorial Director Susan Allison, and the rest is history!

BETWEEN came out a year ago–almost to the day–and climbed the Bookscan Fantasy bestseller list to the #22 spot within a week of its release! WAKEWORLD, the second in the Books of the Between, picks up the story of Dreamshifter & medical doctor Vivian, who joins forces with another Dreamshifter to defeat a looming threat to the dreamworld. This month’s Romantic Times Book Reviews magazine gave the book a glowing review: “Rising star Schafer continues to advance an elaborate mythology that places her heroine at the intersection of worlds. Schafer proves that densely plotted and emotionally charged storytelling is definitely her forte!

Intrigued? Enter our WAKEWORLD Sweepstakes for a chance to snag a copy!

Kerry’s giving back to the Book Country community, and thanks to her and her team at Ace Books, we’re giving away three copies of WAKEWORLD. To enter for a chance to win, you need to tweet your Book Country user name along with hashtag #winbookcountry. (Hint: Your username is how you log into your Book Country account.) Read the full rules here.

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Connect with Kerry on Book Country and follow her on Twitter. To learn more about Kerry and her books, visit her website, www.kerryschafer.com. Read our interview with Kerry’s agent Deidre Knight

More From the Book Country BlogYou might also like: Shannon LC Cate’s Release of JACK: It Took a Community.

 

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David Anthony Durham on His Landmark Epic Fantasy Trilogy

Posted by January 9th, 2014

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I am so thrilled to have author David Anthony Durham on the blog today. His ACACIA series made me fall in love with the epic fantasy genre: The trilogy’s breathtaking, multi-layered story, innovative take on magic, and daring vision of human frailty meant we had to add it as an epic fantasy Landmark Title on our genre map — next to titles by George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss. 

Here David answers questions about craft and genre in the ACACIA series.

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NG: In the first ACACIA book we encounter a dynasty that ruled the known world for 22 generations. We’re talking about a large canvas: a complex geography, a slew of different cultures, and quite a bit of history to invent and deploy. It’s a truly “epic” fantasy. How did you manage to keep track of all this information as you were writing? Where do you start when you have such a huge task on your hands?

DAD: I start in several places at once. At the core of it all is the Akaran family, the father and his four children and the reality of the dynasty he’s leaving to them – and the guilt and unease he has about the horrible legacy that their wealth is built on. I knew from the start he was sitting on some major secrets, and what could be worse for a father that loves his children than knowing that his empire sells children – other people’s – into slavery? Once I had that idea I had to figure out who they traded with, and why those people would want an unending supply a child slaves. So, one thing – family dynamics – quickly expanded into larger and larger issues.

Map from the first Acacia book.

The map featured in the first Acacia book.

Also, there was the map. Wouldn’t be an “epic” fantasy without one, right? Doodling it out was another way the world took shape. Filling in the continents and the climates and features all gave me clues to the types of societies and races that would live there. The more I doodled the larger the map got. I tried to circle the continent with oceans, but then I got to wondering what was beyond those oceans. And so I got the ships out – big ones – and went sailing.

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