Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

NARRATIVE DESIGN - Where Does it Flatline in Your Book?

In doing a clear out of books (always painful, but in a tiny house like mine, necessary), I came across Narrative Design by the fabulous Madison Smartt Bell. I studied with Madison at Goucher and still count him as mentor and friend (his wife, Elizabeth Spires, is a tremendous poet). They have both always been very supportive of me and their work has always inspired. So I took the appearance of this book as a kind of message to me from him, an answer to the question I'd been asking myself lately about the structure of a novel I'm almost finished writing. I'd even go so far as to say he was giving me instructions.

Tucked between its pages I found a handout given to students in Madison's English 315 class. I can't remember exactly What English 315 was, surely a fiction workshop. The handout is called "Four Coordinates" and he describes it as "a set of measurements for evaluating technique in a work already composed. Even as such, it is too limited. Y…

The Best Timing for Book Publicity

By Paula Margulies

To everything, there is a season, and after many years of helping authors publicize their work, I’ve learned that some seasons that are better than others for certain aspects of book promotion. Here are my recommendations on timing for book publicity (note: this is general advice based on my experience as a publicist; your experiences may be different, depending on the kind of book you’ve written, whether you are traditionally or self-published with ebooks or print versions (or both), and the specific media and venues you plan to approach):

1. The best time to promote a new book: the first 6-8 months after its release
The first 6-8 months that a book is out is the best time period to promote it, because that is when authors are most likely to receive yes nods from booksellers and members of the media for signings and interviews (except for those topics that tie in with breaking or hot news topics: then an older book can be considered timely). When I work with new cl…

Author Salon Offending Writers Daily - the 24/7 Writers Conference Takes No Prisoners

With all due respect to other writer conferences, Writer's Edge has been obsessed with running a good story on a new and controversial website stepping like a giant onto the Internet known as Author Salon, especially ever since our staff writer, Chris Stewart, discovered it, and Author Salon itself sent us a press release.

According to Author Salon's Writers Who Benefit page, they're looking for writers with thick skins, writers who can take a tough love sloshing for the sake of developing a publishable manuscript. But is it all that tough or does it depend on the writer's attitude and receptivity? Author Salon says it does. Below, Connie Chenowith, one of the admins at Author Salon, talks to us about tough love, giving offense, getting published and other things.

WE: You gals and guys at Author Salon say you're out to offend writers. Are you succeeding?

AS: Most definitely. We've managed to offend about a half dozen so far and we're just getting started.  W…