Sunday, December 11, 2011

Using Paid Reviews and Ads to Publish A Bestseller

The Wall Street Journal ran a long feature about self published literary author Darcie Chan this week.
Rather than just focusing on Chan’s unexpected success with The Mill River Recluse, the article actually explained the costs of Chan’s marketing efforts–some valuable intelligence for all the self published authors in the audience.
Check it out: “She spent about $1,000 on marketing, buying banner ads on websites and blogs devoted to Kindle readers and a promotional spot on, a book-recommendation site with more than six million members. After learning that self-published authors can pay to have their books reviewed by some sites, she paid $35 for a review from (IndieReader no longer offers paid reviews). She paid $575 for an expedited review from Kirkus Reviews, a respected book-review journal and website.”

Documentary Made About The Move

Julia Pimsleur's Brother Born Again is a documentary made at Hoonah, Alaska on The Move's "The Farm." This is one of many forms of documentation of life in The Move.

I hope to include an excerpt from Julia's documentary in my book No Place Like Home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thought from fellow Writer Lane Browning

"The path to better is paved with trying."

Flickr To Offer Free Book Covers

Free Book Cover & Book Blog Image Resources on Flickr

Today Flickr announced they have 200 million photos available on their site. Writers can explore this massive repository to find free photos to use in book covers, blog posts and book illustrations.
To use these photos, go to Flickr’s advanced search function. Scroll down, search: “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content,” “Find content to use commercially,” “Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon.”

I haven't tried this yet so I will not vouch for its ease, but here is the info for those needing artwork for a cover- LIKE ME. 

Steve Jobs' Autobiography Due Out This Month

Steve Jobs Biography Release Date Changed

An upcoming authorized biography of Steve Jobs from Simon & Schuster shot up to the top of best-seller lists last night, after Apple announced that Jobs had died. The publisher has moved the date from November to October 2011.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Excerpt from No Place Like Home

My desk phone rang, interrupting me from my inbox. It way my sister calling to ask me for a ride. It had been months since I had seen Mindy and with few appointments, a good day to take an hour from the office. She gave me an address for a hotel near the Convention Center. The ick factor of picking my sister up from a hotel she could not afford was more familiar than remarkable. The weather was not sunny or raining as I pulled into the nondescript, chain hotel.
Mindy opened the door wearing a ridiculously small and tacky nightgown, sleazy rather sexy. My face grimaced in disgust as I heard the unfortunate words leave my mouth.

"What are you wearing?"

"Can you carry this bag", she replies. "I don't need to go far, my friend Wilbur lives on SE Frances."

The bed loomed large in the room. Tangled sheets, blankets, and pillows distracted me from the task at hand. I pictured the man with whom she spent the night leaving the conference at the Convention Center to fly back to his wife and children. The man who paid to spend the night with my baby sister.
We casually gather up her few things to leave. As usual, she was disorganized and unprepared.

"Can you hold these things for me?", she asked.

"Sure. Where is the purse I gave you?"

"I threw it into oncoming traffic when I was high."

Not thinking that required explanation, she went on to the next subject. Her stories were always filled with the misfortune of her unstable life. She clearly wanted me to care about the crime and injustice she experienced, but I often answered numbly. I sometimes wonder what she thought of my lack of reaction to ugly disclosures.

My car had just been broken into, leaving the passenger lock frozen. As she climbed through the drivers' side, she noticed the hole where a stereo had been. 

"What kind of stereo was it? I might know the person who took it."
She can tell that I am laughing without judgement and pursues the conversation.
"No, seriously. Tell me what is missing and I'll ask around."

Laughter relaxes me as we share a lighthearted family moment.
Waiting for a natural break in the conversation, I wonder how to help her.
"Hey, how about I take you to a couple of agencies next week, like the Council for Prostitution Alternatives?"
"I've got plans. You know me, always big plans."
"I'll bring you a new purse and give you $25."
We arrive at a grey block building in Southeast Portland. In the darkness, a door opened from the side of a large concrete wall. A very old man leaned his head out with a weak hello. Mindy stepped through the door- into a world I would rather not think about. Even today.
Leaving her at a rundown apartment, my new, white car seemed to illustrate the difference in our lives. Unable to work, I stared out the window of a newly constructed building for hours as the phone went unanswered, faxes unsent, and paperwork not completed. How to re-enter the only world I knew. Oddly aware of the tailored suit and black pumps I was standing in, I vaguely attempted to process what I had just seen, experienced, and felt. Seeing the contrasts in our lifestyles, personalities, and clothing, you wouldn't think we could know each other, but I knew we were linked by background, religious upbringing, mother, and, at that time, lack of education.

I picked her up at the bar she suggested just before noon. For Mindy, arriving four hours late was as good as being on time. To my surprise, she was already there. Knowing everyone by name, she moved among the late morning crowd enjoying beer and straight shots.

On the way, I handed her $25 and a new purse full of make-up. Her appreciation was evident in her weary face and shoulders. It felt good to meet one of her needs. Taking the foundation from the delicate white purse, she began applying it to the tracks on her hands. Trying to remain calm, I quietly watched as the ugly sores became ugly sores caked with skin-colored paste.
The most surreal moments were in the lobby, as my brain knew why I was there, but my senses did not. The casual, business-as-usual atmosphere made me feel relaxed, as if the furniture itself was saying, "hey, we do this all the time." On some level I had to remind myself what brought me...and the other waiting women as well. The intake person assigned to take down our information moved with compassion. It was clear that we found a judgment-free zone. She asked Mindy questions I had never heard and Mindy knew all the answers. It was as if they were speaking a foreign language.

What is your drug of choice?

How old were you when you first did drugs?

Where do you live?

I'm homeless.

I sat completely still with my eyes closed, afraid to open them and see what I was hearing. Wishing I could be strong, wishing it was all different. I
only hope the tears told her what I could not. That she mattered to someone. In my own trauma at hearing of her pain, I could not put my arms around her or tell her I was sorry.
As I dropped her off, she said, "You know, I only did it for hte $25."

My saddest memory of Mindy is her sweeping my deck to show her appreciation for my support. She was full of hope for a better life. The next morning she would be taking a train to a drug rehab program I had arranged and paid for. Her dreams of art school and stability fueled my belief that she could do it.
--time together, shopping for new clothes and packing for the trip in the weird space of family you barely know, familiar and yet so foreign.
Sending her off in a train from Portland’s beloved station, I felt relief and a sense of accomplishment. Something had gone right; it was a new day.
Within a few days, I received a call from the director telling me that her issues were far too great for this facility to address. They were packing her bags and she was being sent away again. Unfortunately, this was one of many times she was sent from somewhere to nowhere.

My typical numbness helped me feel nothing when the director called to tell me that her issues were far too great for them to address. Although I knew Mindy had serious issues, I did not see her as beyond repair.

Famed neuroscientist, Josh Fost describes the human as machine while separating us biologically from aspects of the notion of free will. He explains that broken machines like Mindy need compassion as we try to help them while we protect society from them. This is the answer I sought as I called social workers, teachers, and those working with broken machines for information.

I intuitively did not believe that Mindy really had much of a choice in the matter. Resiliency theory tells us that children in dysfunctional homes need one healthy, involved adult for the first three strikes and an additional one for each woe after that. So, for poverty, alcoholism, and abuse, one awesome aunt, uncle, or grandparent. Pile on neglect and sexual abuse, a cool cousin and another aunt.

We had a wonderful step-father who was never around. Since he was a heroin addict who was either away at sea or nearby in prison, some might say he doesn't really count. We loved him so much you couldn't have gotten any of us to swallow that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lovely Book Sculptures Mysteriously Appear in Scotland

These gorgeous book sculptures are being left in Scottish Libraries. 

Thank you Galleycat for this inspiring story. 

Book Sculptures Mysteriously Appear In Scottish Libraries

In what would make for a great plot in a mystery novel, an anonymous artist has visited libraries across Edinburgh, Scotland, and planted uncredited works of art among its shelves.
The artwork is a beautiful series of sculptures made out of old books. One such work (pictured left via is a tree built from poetry. Here is more from blog: “Next to the ‘poetree’ sat a paper egg lined with gold and a scatter of words which, when put together, make ‘A Trace of Wings’ by Edwin Morgan.”
No one has yet to take credit for these very detailed creations.

Rapper Common Writes Memoir

After years of movies, music, and entertainment, rapper Common, nee Lonnie Rashid Lynn, has written a memoir called “One Day It’ll All Make Sense.” The September 14th interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show brings home why this is a must read.

According to electronic urban report;

Although his earlier music provided fans and listeners an inside glimpse of his life and growing up, the book will delve a little deeper into his life, his past, and growing up in Chicago and the decision to drop out of college to pursue his career.
“People who know me as Common might find it hard to believe some of the things that made me Rashid,” the rap star says in a press release. “That’s partly why I’ve written this book, so that I can show myself as a man in full. That means telling some tough truths, revealing my faults and vulnerabilities. But it also means showing the true strength of my character.”
The memoir will also include letters to loved ones both living and gone, as well as words about his past relationship with special women, including his mother, and Erykah Badu.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vintage and Modern Literary Playing Cards- Great Gifts!

Authors is a literary card game much like Go Fish. The game features thirteen authors with four cards each and the object of the game is to collect the most sets.According to Wikipedia, “The game is the creation of Anne Abbott, a Massachusetts editor of a young people’s literary journal. Abbott also designed one of America’s earliest board games, The Mansion of Happiness in 1843. 
The 1888 version of the game and includes authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Vintage and modern versions would make excellent gifts even for oneself.

Walt Whitman Poem Addapted for Musical Theater

Walt Whitman's More or Less I Am to be free of charge at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. The musical theater production has adapted Walt Whitman‘s poem, Song of Myself. Okay, it's a stretch, but Song of Myself could describe memoir, so as a Walt Whitman fan, I'm posting it. 

Whitman Leaves of Grass; it is hailed as his “tribute to a nation’s ideals on the brink of civil war.”

Here’s more from the release; “Reflecting Whitman’s celebration of American diversity as encapsulated in New York City, an international mix of actors, musicians, and children will speak and sing Whitman’s words. Members of the audience will also be encouraged to play a role. Following all performances, audiences are invited to join the cast and crew for a celebratory reception, with food and drink for all to share.”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Union & Guild Resources for Writers- Happy Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day, Galley Cat publishes list of resources for writers struggling to make a living.

Thank you Galley Cat!

In honor of the Labor Day holiday, we are continuing to collect a list of union and guild resources for writers–organizations that help freelancers around the country cope with shrinking pay scales, a health insurance crisis and the crippling recession.
We’ve started our list below with email and website links, but feel free to add suggestions in the comments section–we will keep updating our directory. Earlier this summer, the National Writers Union (NWU) celebrated 30 years as “the only labor union that represents freelance writers.”

Sunday, September 4, 2011

September's New Releases in Memoir

Good Reads lists these memoir titles as September releases. From heartwarming to edgy, this collection explores the landscape of human experience. Across Many Mountains details the loss of traditional Tibetan culture while The Orchard provides a harrowing story of one's woman's struggle to save her farm during the Great Depression. Love and loss are poignantly illustrated in these women's stories. In It's Hard Not To Hate You and Happy Accidents, Frankel and Lynch entertain with stories of difficult times providing end of summer reading and life lessons. This is a good month for memoir and the right weather for under-tree reading. Get your book on.

It's Hard Not To Hate You - Valerie Frankel

Happy Accidents - Jane Lynch

The Man Who Couldn't Eat - John Reiner

Across Many Mountains: Three Daughter of Tibet - Yangzom Brauen

The Orchard - Adele Crockett Robertson

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Onion reviews Cheney's Memoir too!

New Cheney Memoir Reveals He's Going To Live Full, Satisfied Life Without Ever Feeling Remorse And There's Nothing We Can Do About It

September 1, 2011 | ISSUE 47•35

NEW YORK—The publication this week of Dick Cheney’s memoir, In My Time, has revealed the former vice president enjoys a fulfilling life unaffected by any sense of guilt or regret and there’s absolutely nothing any of us can do about it. “This unique look at an otherwise intensely private man’s inner thoughts shows us he couldn’t be prouder of his life’s work and will never feel one single moment of anguish over his actions no matter how desperately we want him to,” book critic James L. Warner writes of the 576-page memoir’s disclosure that Cheney would spend his retirement never second-guessing his advocacy of a disastrous war, the torture of detainees, illegal wiretapping, or tax cuts that created devastating budget deficits and crippled the U.S. economy. “Nothing we do will ever change the fact that this man sleeps very soundly at night and, in fact, looks back fondly upon a long, rewarding career. You almost have to admire that.” The book also reveals that none of the former vice president’s five heart attacks has caused him even the slightest amount of pain.

Maureen Dowd on new Cheney Memoir

Any  discussion of memoir must include the rare, but ugly score-settling. Cheney's book doesn't leave out meanness, sexism, and self-congratulation. Dowd's review sheds more light on the Bush presidency than does the vice's book. Here are her thoughts;

Maureen Dowd: Dick Cheney's book is a rant that cherry-picks the facts

By Maureen Dowd
Syndicated columnist
Updated: 08/29/2011 05:02:48 PM PDT

Click photo to enlarge
This book cover image released by Threshold Editions shows "In My Time: A Personal and Political...
Why is it not a surprise to learn that Dick Cheney's ancestor, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, was a Civil War soldier who marched with Sherman to the sea?
Scorched earth runs in the family.
Having lost the power to heedlessly bomb the world, Cheney has turned his attention to heedlessly bombing old colleagues.
Vice's new memoir, "In My Time," veers unpleasantly between spin, insisting he was always right, and score-settling, insisting that anyone who opposed him was wrong.
His knife-in-her-teeth daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, helped write the book. The second most famous Liz & Dick combo do such an excellent job of cherry-picking the facts, it makes the cherry-picking on the Iraq War intelligence seem picayune.
Cheney may no longer have a pulse, but his blood quickens at the thought of other countries he could have attacked. He salivates in his book about how Syria and Iran could have been punished.
Cheney says that in 2007, he told President George W. Bush, who had already been pulled into diplomacy by Condi Rice: "I believed that an important first step would be to destroy the reactor in the Syrian desert."
At a session with most of the National Security Council, he made his case for a strike on the reactor. It would enhance America's tarnished credibility in the Arab world, he argued, (not bothering to mention who tarnished it), and demonstrate the country's "seriousness."
"After I finished," he writes,
"the president asked, 'Does anyone here agree with the vice president?' Not a single hand went up around the room."
By that time, W. had belatedly realized that Cheney was a crank whose bad advice and disdainful rants against "the diplomatic path" and "multilateral action" had pretty much ruined his presidency.
There were few times before the bitter end that W. was willing to stand up to Vice. But the president did make a bold stand on not letting his little dog be gobbled up by Cheney's big dog.
When Vice's 100-pound yellow Lab, Dave, went after W.'s beloved Scottish terrier, Barney, at Camp David's Laurel Lodge, that was a bridge too far.
When Cheney and Dave got back to their cabin, there was a knock at the door. "It was the camp commander," Cheney writes. "'Mr. Vice President,' he said, 'your dog has been banned from Laurel.' "
But on all the nefarious things that damaged America, Cheney got his way for far too long.
Vice gleefully predicted that his memoir would have "heads exploding all over Washington." But his book is a bore. He doesn't even mention how in high school he used to hold the water buckets to douse the fiery batons of his girlfriend Lynne, champion twirler.
At least Rummy's memoir showed some temperament. And George Tenet's was the primal scream of a bootlicker caught out.
Cheney takes himself so seriously, flogging his cherished self-image as a rugged outdoorsman from Wyoming (even though he shot his Texas hunting partner in the face) and a vice president who was the only thing standing between America and its enemies.
He acts like he is America. But America didn't like Dick Cheney.
It's easier for someone who believes that he is America incarnate to permit himself to do things that hurt America -- like torture, domestic spying, pushing America into endless wars, and flouting the Geneva Conventions.
Mostly, Cheney grumbles about having his power checked. It's bad enough when the president does it, much less Congress and the courts.
A person who is always for the use of military force is as doctrinaire and irrelevant as a person who is always opposed to the use of military force.
Cheney shows contempt for Tenet, Colin Powell and Rice, whom he disparages in a sexist way for crying, and condescension for W. when he won't be guided to the path of most destruction.
He's churlish about President Barack Obama, who took the hunt for Osama bin Laden off the back burner and actually did what W. promised to do with his little bullhorn -- catch the real villain of 9/11.
"Tracking him down was certainly one of our top priorities," Cheney writes. "I was gratified that after years of diligent and dedicated work, our nation's intelligence community and our special operations forces were able on May 1, 2011, to find and kill bin Laden."
Finishing the book with an account of the 2010 operation to put in a battery-operated pump that helps his heart push blood through his body, he recounts the prolonged, vivid dream about a beautiful place in Italy he had during the weeks he was unconscious.
"It was in the countryside, a little north of Rome, and it really seemed I was there," he writes. "I can still describe the villa where I passed the time, the little stone paths I walked to get coffee or a batch of newspapers."
Caesar and his cappuccino.
Maureen Dowd is a syndicated who writes for the New York Times.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Disclosure in Cheney Memoir

In his new memoir, In My Time, former Vice President Dick Cheney talks about a letter of resignation that he wrote only two months into office. Worried about his health, he wrote the letter in March 2001 and locked in a safe. According to The Huffington Post: “I did it because I was concerned that — for a couple of reasons … One was my own health situation. The possibility that I might have a heart attack or a stroke that would be incapacitating. And, there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice-president who can’t function.’”

The power of memoir is insight to better understand our world and make better decisions. For me, this affirms that what we hear and what is really happening can have little to do with each other. After Cheney wrote this letter, he told the public he had no concerns for his health. It also speaks to the importance he played in the Bush White House, which implies less than conviction that Bush could handle the responsibility alone.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Child Sexual Abuse in the Broader Society

There is so much in the media this week about pedophilia and child rape. Since I am writing about instances of this in the Move, I've been pondering what drives it. My questions this morning were basically situation or interest? Warren Jeffs conviction this week of sexual abuse and rape of underage girls made me wonder if access made the monster. Corey Feldman's shocking assertions on Nightline that many child actors are abused by Hollywood "moguls" also made me wonder why, why, why?  Elissa Wall, the author of Stolen Innocence whose testimony helped convict Jeffs, cried on national television yesterday saying, "We have been screaming" for someone to listen to us. 

Would the Hollywood heavy hitters go out of their way to find children if they did not have the casting couch? Does the power drive the interest in some way? My naive questions led me to some illuminating answers. 

Child sexual abusers fall into two main categories;
  • Situational - does not prefer children, but offend under certain conditions.
    • Regressed - Typically has relationships with adults, but a stressor causes them to seek children as a substitute.
    • Morally Indiscriminate - All-around sexual deviant, who may commit other sexual offenses unrelated to children.
    • Naive/Inadequate - Often mentally disabled in some way, finds children less threatening.
  • Preferential - has true sexual interest in children.
    • Mysoped - Sadistic and violent, target strangers more often than acquaintances.
    • Fixated - Little or no activity with own age, described as an "overgrown child."

So, I'm guessing that most of the abusers in Hollywood and the Move are situational and regressed. Access does drive the behavior. Many Catholic priests would be preferential and fixated since their attraction seems mainly to be oriented toward children. According to recent news stories of Warren Jeffs' violence toward his nephew and niece, he is likely a preferential msyoped. Somehow, understanding this makes me feel safer as it is less random. 

I found this on wikipedia;


Early research in the 1970s and 80s began to classify offenders based on their motivations and traits. Groth and Birnbaum (1978) categorized child sexual offenders into two groups, "fixated" and "regressed."[106] Fixated were described as having a primary attraction to children, whereas regressed had largely maintained relationships with other adults, and were even married. This study also showed that adult sexual orientation was not related to the sex of the victim targeted, e.g. men who molested boys often had adult relationships with women.[106]
Later work (Holmes and Holmes, 2002) expanded on the types of offenders and their psychological profiles. They are divided thus:[107]
  • Situational - does not prefer children, but offend under certain conditions.
    • Regressed - Typically has relationships with adults, but a stressor causes them to seek children as a substitute.
    • Morally Indiscriminate - All-around sexual deviant, who may commit other sexual offenses unrelated to children.
    • Naive/Inadequate - Often mentally disabled in some way, finds children less threatening.
  • Preferential - has true sexual interest in children.
    • Mysoped - Sadistic and violent, target strangers more often than acquaintances.
    • Fixated - Little or no activity with own age, described as an "overgrown child."

    Offenses may be facilitated by cognitive distortions of the offender, such as minimization of the abuse, victim blaming, and excuses.[110]

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Class Action Suit Over eBooks Pricing

Apple and publishers being sued over what some say amounts to price fixing of eBooks.

This from Galley Cat;

Here’s more about the suit, from the law firm: “While free market forces would dictate that e-books would be cheaper than their hard-copy counterparts, considering lower production and distribution costs, the complaint shows that as a result of the agency model and alleged collusion, many e-books are more expensive than their hard-copy counterparts. According to the complaint, the prices of e-books have risen as much as 50 percent since the switch to an agency model.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Comment for Ross

So true and beautifully said. Knowing you it is clear how you came to have such an adventure in the pantry of an aging, worldly professor. It is also easy to see why she left you here library and art collection. Without your adventurous spirit a pice of local history would have been lost. Thank you for your partially inadervtent contribution.  

My computer won't let me comment in the appropriate section and I wasn't going to let a tech glitch stop me!

Brief Thoughts on Memoir Writing by Ross Elliott

Brief Thoughts on Memoir Writing
by Ross Eliot
As a writer immersed in the composition of a personal memoir, recovering the past has created unexpected puzzles.  Examination of diary entries from twelve years before sometimes depict events I can’t remember at all.  Others lie frozen in notebooks as my mind believes occurred, except arrayed in different order.  The static text of diary entries must be accurate, but why should I shuffle certain occurrences around in my head and delete others?  To write a literal account of what these notebooks contain feels like a betrayal of truth.  
But a memoir isn’t a diary, it’s much more than that.  The story of days gone by is always a mixture of faulty memories, skewed perceptions and yes, the scribbled entries in spiral bound notebooks.  For that reason my memoir is a liquor distilled from many ingredients.  I still possess friends and acquaintances who remember those times.  They verify incidents, discount others and add their own.  From all these sources I compose a text that is as real as I can make it, not falsified or fictionalized, but true in essence.
I am fortunate so many sources remain to assist in this project.  My writing is richer for it.    Unfortunately many authors have taken paths which broke the bounds of memoir and entered fantasy.  If a personal story is worth retelling, it shouldn’t require such measures.  A memoir writer should be creative enough to take the past and make it readable for exactly what it is.  Outside perspectives are an invaluable part of keeping on the right track.  If I can’t completely trust my memories, why should any single source be accurate?
Ross Eliot is best known as editor and publisher of the counterculture gun politics magazine American Gun Culture Report.  He is a writer and commercial fisherman who divides his time between Portland, Oregon and Sitka, Alaska.  The website for his memoir project is 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Phenomenon of Memoir

Francine Prose wrote a lovely description of memoir in the New York Times in 2005. As an introduction to a review for Jeanette Walls' Glass Castle, she explores the difficulty of balancing sympathy and realism in depictions of what amount to the villians in many true stories.  Prose is a readable as the book she recommends;

MEMOIRS are our modern fairy tales, the harrowing fables of the Brothers Grimm reimagined from the perspective of the plucky child who has, against all odds, evaded the fate of being chopped up, cooked and served to the family for dinner. What the memoir writer knows is what readers of Grimm intuit: the loving parent and the evil stepparent may in reality be the same person viewed at successive moments and in different lights. And so the autobiographer is faced with the daunting challenge of describing the narrow escape from being baked into gingerbread while at the same time attempting to understand, forgive and even love the witch.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Self Publishing Nets 6 Figure, Four Book Deal

Literary agents were not receptive to Louise Voss' Catch Your Death. So she priced the book at 95v cents and soon topped the charts.

This from Galley Cat;

The low price helped Voss’s book climb the Amazon charts. eBookNewser has more: “The eBook is currently No. 4 in the ‘Suspense’ category of the Kindle UK Store. According to the London Standard the book held the No. 1 position in the Kindle UK Store for the month of June where it sold 50,000 copies.”

Harper Fiction has now given her a 4 book deal. Good book meets good strategy. Here is a link to the story;

Livia Blackburne Says Novelists Shouldn't Blog

In Livia Blackburne's blog on writing, she argues that blogging is a waste of time for novelists but not memoirists. She explains that nonfiction writers share experise that fiction writers do not. It seems to me that memoir would fall somewhere in the middle. Telling a story whether fiction or not does not require the type of knowledge base necessary for science, photography, or history pieces. However, issues regarding memoir benefit from a bit of flushing out.

This from Galley Cat; 

In a recent blog post, writer and blogger Livia Blackburne explained why novelists shouldn’t devote too much time to their blog, declaring: “I think blogging is a waste of time.”
Below, we’ve collected three of her arguments from the essay. Blackburne (pictured, via) studies neuroscience at MIT and writes YA fantasy fiction in her spare time. She runs two blogs; one to study the art of writing and one for her academic career.
1. Blogging is better for nonfiction writers because they share their expertise for a specific audience; connecting with that audience could potentially help sales.
2. “Time spent on the blog is time spent away from something else: writing another book, contacting book clubs, taking a part-time job and investing that money in advertising or a publicist.”
3. Blogging novelist often focus on the art of writing instead of their own readers, creating “a never-ending writing conference.” While that helps in “forming friendships, professional development, and learning your craft,” it doesn’t necessarily boost book sales.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Writing What You Know- Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This debut novel was inspired by Diffenbaugh's experiences as a foster parent. It seems there is room for a category of the emerging novel/memoir.

Good Reads featured this recommendation of the Language of Flowers;

Vanessa Diffenbaugh Experienced foster mother Vanessa Diffenbaugh has two passions: writing and children in need of a home. Her debut novel, The Language of Flowers, introduces the character Victoria Jones on her 18th birthday. Orphaned as an infant, Victoria spends her childhood bouncing from place to place, never adopted fully by a family. Now she must strike out on her own as a legal adult, bolstered only by an affinity for plants and the Victorian "language of flowers," in which every bloom has a unique meaning.

Diffenbaugh opened her home to foster children in 2005, and over the years she has witnessed firsthand how children "age out" of the system at 18. With little access to support or services, 25 percent become homeless and 25 percent become incarcerated within the first two years. Diffenbaugh's novel shares her in-depth knowledge of a flawed system and her hopes for young people who have never known love or a stable living situation. The author shares with Goodreads a snapshot of her with her husband, PK, and their family.

The Diffenbaugh family: (from left to right) PK Diffenbaugh, Donavan Ford, Chela Diffenbaugh, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Tre'von Lyle, Sharon Higgins, and Miles Diffenbaugh (photo credit: Tre'von Johnson).
Goodreads: Who or what inspired the character of Victoria?

Vanessa Diffenbaugh: Though Victoria is entirely fictional, I did draw inspiration in bits and pieces from foster children I have known. One young woman in particular, whom my husband and I mentored many years ago, was fiery and focused and distrusting and unpredictable in a manner similar to Victoria. Her history was intense: a number on her birth certificate where a name should have been, more foster homes than she could count. Still, she was resilient, beautiful, smart, and funny. We loved her completely, and she did her best to sabotage it over and over again. To this day my husband and I regret that we couldn't find a way to connect with her and become the stable parents she deserved.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Google Product assists Authors in Reaching an Audience

This from Galley Cat;

What is an author email blast? The 21st Century book release always includes an email blast directed at every friend, relative, acquaintance or journalist that the author knows. It’s a quick and dirty way to tell people about your book, but not the most effective way to build an enthusiastic readership.
This new social networking tool could help readers and writers set up more useful groups to connect with readers–assigning every contact a “circle” that identifies their relationship to you. If Google’s network catches on, it could end the author email blast forever.
If you join the Google+ Circles, start putting all your friends who would read your book into a “Book Friends” circle. As you meet other people who share your interests, add them to the circle as well.
This new stream will allow you to share news about your book with an engaged readership, but it will help you avoid passing that news to people who don’t want to know about your writing life.
At the same time, you can use the “Book Friends” circle to see what your readers are thinking–explore their posts, pictures and ideas. Instead of sending out a one-sided email blast, you could have targeted and meaningful contact with your readers.
“Google+ Circles helps you organize everyone according to your real-life social connections–say, ‘family,’ ‘work friends,’ ‘music buddies,’ and ‘alumni’. Then, you can share relevant content with the right people, and follow content posted by people you find interesting. For example, you might post an announcement about your engagement and show it only to people in your friends and family circles, or maybe you see a post from the circle you created for your book club that there’s a recent article on your favorite author.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Much Should You Pay for Editing?

By Jason Boog on June 16, 2011 3:07 PM
The Editorial Freelancer Association recently updated its suggested Freelance Editor Rates–great intelligence for editors, writers, and publishers trying to negotiate the rapidly evolving writing market.
Above, we’ve embedded an screenshot from the association’s handy editorial rate chart–what do you think about these figures? Explore our Best Book Editors on Twitter list if you need help connecting with editorial professionals.
Follow this link to see the full chart. Here’s an excerpt: “Common editorial rates —regardless of whether a project is flat rate or hourly— tend to fall within the ranges indicated below. These should be used only as a rough guideline; rates vary considerably depending on the nature of the work, the time frame of the assignment, the degree of special expertise required, and other factors. The industry standard for a manuscript page, however, is a firm 250 words.” (Via Janet Majure)

T.S. Elliott has top grossing app

The Wasteland has been on the top grossing app list since it's iTunes debut. According to Galleycat; "The classic poem knocks Marvel’s comic book app out of the No. 1 spot. The Marvel app has been dominating the list for the past few weeks.”


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing 
Memory and desire, stirring 
Dull roots with spring rain. 
Winter kept us warm, covering         5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding 
A little life with dried tubers. 
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee 
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade, 
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,  10
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. 
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch. 
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's, 
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled, 
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,  15
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went. 
In the mountains, there you feel free. 
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter. 
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow 
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,  20
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only 
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, 
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, 
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only 
There is shadow under this red rock,  25
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock), 
And I will show you something different from either 
Your shadow at morning striding behind you 
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; 
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.  30
                Frisch weht der Wind 
                Der Heimat zu. 
                Mein Irisch Kind, 
                Wo weilest du? 
'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;  35
'They called me the hyacinth girl.' 
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, 
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not 
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither 
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,  40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence. 
Od' und leer das Meer. 
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante, 
Had a bad cold, nevertheless 
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,  45
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she, 
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor, 
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!) 
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks, 
The lady of situations.  50
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel, 
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card, 
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back, 
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find 
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.  55
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring. 
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone, 
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself: 
One must be so careful these days. 
Unreal City,  60
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, 
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, 
I had not thought death had undone so many. 
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, 
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.  65
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street, 
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours 
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine. 
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying 'Stetson! 
'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!  70
'That corpse you planted last year in your garden, 
'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? 
'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? 
'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men, 
'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!  75
'You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!' 

THE Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass 
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines 
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out  80
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing) 
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra 
Reflecting light upon the table as 
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it, 
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;  85
In vials of ivory and coloured glass 
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes, 
Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused 
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air 
That freshened from the window, these ascended  90
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames, 
Flung their smoke into the laquearia, 
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling. 
Huge sea-wood fed with copper 
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,  95
In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam. 
Above the antique mantel was displayed 
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene 
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king 
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 100
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice 
And still she cried, and still the world pursues, 
'Jug Jug' to dirty ears. 
And other withered stumps of time 
Were told upon the walls; staring forms 105
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed. 
Footsteps shuffled on the stair. 
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair 
Spread out in fiery points 
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still. 110
'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. 
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak. 
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? 
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.' 
I think we are in rats' alley 115
Where the dead men lost their bones. 
'What is that noise?' 
                      The wind under the door. 
'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?' 
                      Nothing again nothing. 120
'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember 
  I remember 
Those are pearls that were his eyes. 125
'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?' 
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag— 
It's so elegant 
So intelligent 130
'What shall I do now? What shall I do?' 
'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street 
'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow? 
'What shall we ever do?' 
                          The hot water at ten. 135
And if it rains, a closed car at four. 
And we shall play a game of chess, 
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door. 
When Lil's husband got demobbed, I said— 
I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself, 140
Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart. 
He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you 
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there. 
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set, 145
He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you. 
And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert, 
He's been in the army four years, he wants a good time, 
And if you don't give it him, there's others will, I said. 
Oh is there, she said. Something o' that, I said. 150
Then I'll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look. 
If you don't like it you can get on with it, I said. 
Others can pick and choose if you can't. 
But if Albert makes off, it won't be for lack of telling. 155
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique. 
(And her only thirty-one.) 
I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face, 
It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said. 
(She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.) 160
The chemist said it would be alright, but I've never been the same. 
You are a proper fool, I said. 
Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, I said, 
What you get married for if you don't want children? 
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon, 
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot— 
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight. 170
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight. 
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night. 

THE river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind 
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. 175
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. 
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, 
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends 
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. 
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; 180
Departed, have left no addresses. 
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept... 
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, 
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long. 
But at my back in a cold blast I hear 185
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear. 
A rat crept softly through the vegetation 
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank 
While I was fishing in the dull canal 
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse 190
Musing upon the king my brother's wreck 
And on the king my father's death before him. 
White bodies naked on the low damp ground 
And bones cast in a little low dry garret, 
Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year. 195
But at my back from time to time I hear 
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring 
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring. 
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter 
And on her daughter 200
They wash their feet in soda water 
Et, O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole! 
Twit twit twit 
Jug jug jug jug jug jug 
So rudely forc'd. 205
Unreal City 
Under the brown fog of a winter noon 
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant 
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants 210
C.i.f. London: documents at sight, 
Asked me in demotic French 
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel 
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole. 
At the violet hour, when the eyes and back 215
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits 
Like a taxi throbbing waiting, 
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives, 
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see 
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives 220
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea, 
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights 
Her stove, and lays out food in tins. 
Out of the window perilously spread 
Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays, 225
On the divan are piled (at night her bed) 
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays. 
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs 
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest— 
I too awaited the expected guest. 230
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, 
A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare, 
One of the low on whom assurance sits 
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire. 
The time is now propitious, as he guesses, 235
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, 
Endeavours to engage her in caresses 
Which still are unreproved, if undesired. 
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; 
Exploring hands encounter no defence; 240
His vanity requires no response, 
And makes a welcome of indifference. 
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all 
Enacted on this same divan or bed; 
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall 245
And walked among the lowest of the dead.) 
Bestows on final patronising kiss, 
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit... 
She turns and looks a moment in the glass, 
Hardly aware of her departed lover; 250
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: 
'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.' 
When lovely woman stoops to folly and 
Paces about her room again, alone, 
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, 255
And puts a record on the gramophone. 
'This music crept by me upon the waters' 
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street. 
O City city, I can sometimes hear 
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, 260
The pleasant whining of a mandoline 
And a clatter and a chatter from within 
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls 
Of Magnus Martyr hold 
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold. 265
      The river sweats 
      Oil and tar 
      The barges drift 
      With the turning tide 
      Red sails 270
      To leeward, swing on the heavy spar. 
      The barges wash 
      Drifting logs 
      Down Greenwich reach 275
      Past the Isle of Dogs. 
            Weialala leia 
            Wallala leialala 
      Elizabeth and Leicester 
      Beating oars 280
      The stern was formed 
      A gilded shell 
      Red and gold 
      The brisk swell 
      Rippled both shores 285
      Southwest wind 
      Carried down stream 
      The peal of bells 
      White towers 
            Weialala leia 290
            Wallala leialala 
'Trams and dusty trees. 
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew 
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees 
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.' 295
'My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart 
Under my feet. After the event 
He wept. He promised "a new start". 
I made no comment. What should I resent?' 
'On Margate Sands. 300
I can connect 
Nothing with nothing. 
The broken fingernails of dirty hands. 
My people humble people who expect 
Nothing.' 305
      la la 
To Carthage then I came 
Burning burning burning burning 
O Lord Thou pluckest me out 
O Lord Thou pluckest 310

PHLEBAS the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell 
And the profit and loss. 
                          A current under sea 315
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell 
He passed the stages of his age and youth 
Entering the whirlpool. 
                          Gentile or Jew 
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, 320
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you. 

AFTER the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens