Tag Archives: Penguin Random House

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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#GiveaBook and Benefit Literacy for Kids!

Posted by November 24th, 2015

GiveaBook-Logo-300x231Have Book Country writers heard about the #GiveaBook campaign? For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Facebook and Twitter from now until 11:59pm on December 24th, 2015, Penguin Random House will donate a book to First Book, a charity that helps children access books and fights illiteracy in the United States and Canada.

All you have to do is use the hashtag #GiveaBook publicly on Twitter or by posting to the #GiveaBook, Givington, and Penguin Random House public Facebook pages. Penguin Random House will donate up to 35,000 books for this campaign! Continue reading

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#TwitterFiction Festival 2015 Starts Next Week!

Posted by May 5th, 2015

The #TwitterFiction Festival#TwitterFiction Festival 2015 Start Next Week! will take place from May 11-15, 2015. During this time, writers from all over the world will live-stream unique and original stories to the “Twitterverse.” An incredible lineup of 22 authors–from Margaret Atwood to Jackie Collins to Eric Jerome Dickey–have been tapped to tweet new writing during the festival.

Writers like you are encouraged to join the fun and tweet your own stories, too, using the hashtag #TwitterFiction.

Let us know if you are participating!

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What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex Rosa

Posted by March 17th, 2015

What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex Rosa

Congratulations to Book Country member Alex Rosa on the release of her New Adult novel TRYST! We are thrilled to see this day finally arrive. You can purchase TRYST on all major e-retailers. Alex shares what it feels like to have Penguin publish her book below. 

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When a young girl (that being me) dreams of becoming a writer someday, she is aware it’s a daunting dream to take on. Especially when your hero Jane Austen says in one of your favorite movies (Becoming Jane) with such pleading hopefulness, “Maybe I could live by my pen?” and her mother just laughs. It’s an ugly-cry-worthy moment for an aspiring writer. You just hug your notebook close and remind yourself that Jane Austen totally made it. She showed them all, but you’re still all like:

What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex RosaBut armored with this fact, I still made the ultimate decision to never stop writing, even if it was in secret or anonymously posted online. Whatever, same difference.

Now flash forward to age twenty-six. I still have Jane Austen dreams, but I now have a publishing deal. Wait, hold the phone. How did this happen? Continue reading

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“Everything is hard except for the story.” Interview with SUEDE TO REST Author Diane Vallere

Posted by February 18th, 2015

Interview with SUEDE TO REST Author Diane Vallere

I had a great time reading Diane Vallere’s SUEDE TO REST, the first book in the Material Witness Mystery series! Published by Berkley Books, SUEDE TO REST takes you to the accident-prone life of Poly Monroe as she discovers the truth behind the murder of her great aunt in her family’s textile store. SUEDE TO REST has recently been nominated for the 2015 Left Coast Crime Award for best humorous mystery novel. In this Q&A, Diane reveals what inspired her to write SUEDE TO REST and shares her advice to aspiring writers.

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Janet Umenta: You’ve worked in the fashion industry for twenty years. What was it like writing during that time?

Diane Vallere: I don’t love flying. My job as a buyer took me to some fabulous places, but there was pretty much only one way to get there. I would take my laptop and write as soon as we were allowed to use electronic devices. My first book was mostly written on flights to and from NY. Even today when I fly to a conference, I look forward to that time as solid, uninterrupted writing time.

After I moved from buying to sales, I wrote on my lunch break. I kept a table in the stockroom, sandwiched between back stock and dismembered mannequins! It was good training for being able to write on command. Continue reading

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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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Bouchercon 2014 : Meet Alibi Editor Dana Edwin Isaacson

Posted by November 10th, 2014

Bouchercon 2014: Murder at the Beach kicks off November 13th in Long Beach, California. Bouchercon is one of the world’s largest crime fiction conventions. Dana Edwin Isaacson, Senior Editor at Alibi, shares what he his most looking forward to at Bouchercon.

ALIBI editor Bouchercon 2014Janet Umenta: What are you most looking forward to at Bouchercon 2014?

Dana Edwin Isaacson: During the e-publishing forum on Thursday, our Alibi authors are doing a virtual eBook signing, using our partner Autography. Interested mystery readers can meet our authors at the signings, get a personal inscription or photograph with the author, and then go and download their personalized eBook. As I’ve yet to see this incredibly cool innovation in action, I’m eager to get my own personalized eBooks!

I’m also excited to be meeting in person for the first time a few of our Alibi authors. When editing a novel, you develop an intimate relationship with the author’s viewpoint. It’s fascinating to meet in person someone whom you feel you already know.

JU:  What new trends do you see in the mystery and thriller genres?

DEI: Cozies are selling well. In online strategies, novels with a female protagonist find it easier to win readers.  Also, there seems to be an uptick of medical thrillers. Continue reading

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LGBT Writing and Publishing with Emanuel Xavier

Posted by June 30th, 2014

Emanuel Xavier by Sophia WallaceToday, our blog guest is Emanuel Xavier, a colleague of ours here at Penguin Random House who works in Special Markets Sales. Outside of work, he’s a dynamo novelist, poet, performer, and activist. Below he clues us into how to support LBGT writing and publishing during Pride Month and beyond.

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Lucy Silag: At Penguin Random House, you are the chair of the LGBT Network. What does the PRH LGBT Network do?

Emanuel Xavier: Random House participated in the It Gets Better campaign, and we realized the time was right for us to launch an LGBT group. We created the group to provide a supportive environment to all employees who share the common idea of nurturing workplace diversity and also increase awareness of LGBT authors and books within the community. We wanted to highlight the fact that our company publishes many LGBT books, as well as do more for the LGBT literary community. We have since taken part in The Rainbow Book Fair, sponsored the Lambda Literary Awards, marched in the NYC Pride March and raised thousands for GMHC by participating in the AIDS Walk New York. We also host in-house author events and social mixers and display our LGBT titles in the lobby for National Coming Out Day. It’s important for publishing companies like ours to visibly support LGBT literature.

Penguin Random House employees march in the 2014 NYC Pride March.

Penguin Random House employees march in the 2014 NYC Pride March.

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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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