Sunday, April 27, 2008

New York Times essay today on authors & self-publishing

This will especially interest members of the BWW workshop held yesterday. Today's New York Times has an essay here
and its as though the writer was sitting right there with us. She mentions so many of the same things we discussed.

Log in at the NYTimes or email me if you want a text-only version of the essay:
The title is "You're an Author? Me Too!" by Rachel Donadio.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The 7th point on a PowerPoint slide

Well, what good is a PowerPoint slide show if you cut off the last item? An astute observer in a workshop this morning noted my slide entitled Seven ways to find an agent, actually had only six points.

Here are all seven in their entirety:
1. Check the acknowledgments in similar books. You'll generally see a “thank you” to the author's agent.
2. Subscribe to, read, Publisherslunch, Mediabistro.
3. Ask a fellow author for a referral to his/her agent.
4. Explore writing organizations and databases:, or Literary Market Place (LMP) at your library.
5. Attend workshops and establish connections.
6. Do a web search for the agent type most specific to your book/ non-fiction, literary fiction, memoir, etc.
7. Use your platform to help agents find you.

And a platform basically includes some combination of these resources to provide a viable audience for your book:Image (c) Helen Gallagher, please do not distribute without permission.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good reviews need only a few well-chosen words

Here's an excerpt from a review of Release Your Writing: Book Publishing Your Way. t's posted on Boomer Women Speak and circulated in their worldwide newsletter. For you, here are my two favorite passages:

"Release Your Writing is written in a direct, no-nonsense fashion and is a valuable tool for anyone striving to publish their work. Topics are indexed in this small hand-held guide that fits neatly in a purse, a laptop carrier or alongside your desktop PC."

Reviewed By: Melinda Cianos

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 23 is Unesco's World Book & Copyright Day

From Unesco:
"23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity."

So, read something profound on April 23rd, or even better, write something!

Full Unesco report

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Antitrust matters over Amazon

I was pleased to receive an after-hours email message tonight from the Washington Attorney General's Antitrust Division office. Her comments are posted below, (see March 29 entry) and she kindly suggested we visit this link where the current status is posted:

Friday, April 4, 2008

What's your motivation?

What does it take to light a fire under your desire? I often say we need to listen to our inner voices when it comes to our writing, and our hopes. Many people say "I want to write about travel," for example, or "I wish I could get published." But what do they do to get there?

Here's your inspiration for today:

". . . Never hope more than you work."

- Rita Mae Brown

So whatever you're trying to achieve, make sure you are actually DOING something every week and every month to bring yourself closer to that goal. Don't "wish" your life away.

During a presentation last night for Midwest Writers Association, I mentioned the goal at the end of my talk would be for audience members to choose two or three of the ideas presented, and go home and put those ideas to work.

I was thrilled to wake up this morning (well, I'm thrilled to wake up every day!) to see an email from one audience member, who took action on two of the suggested topics yesterday. She went home got herself involved in two sites to increase exposure for her book, and she did them before even going to sleep! Now that's commitment.

What are you trying to make happen in your writing career? Don't hope for it - work at it. Add a comment below, if you would like to share your commitments.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

HGTV: Promoting publishing

After speaking at the Univ. Wisconsin Milwaukee Spring Writer's Festival in March, I was lucky to be invited to appear on live television on The Morning Blend, up in Milwaukee. Here's my "HGTV" moment.

Pathways to Publishing
Monday, March 31, 2008

With digital technology available today, authors don't need to hunt for an agent, and wait for a publisher. Today's self-publishing allows an author to get a timely book on the market, re-issue a book that's gone out of print, and enjoy the publishing process. There's no need to follow the old model to become published today. Author Helen Gallagher offers help with book marketing and manuscript production from her book "Release Your Writing: Book Publishing, Your Way."
Here's the link.