Writing a Blockbuster Book

1 03 2017

theThe Bestseller Experiment: can you deliberately write a blockbuster book?

Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux are picking up clues from publishers and authors in a new podcast, while they go about trying to write the next bestseller

Everyone may have a book in them, but what about a bestselling one? It would seem obvious that the big-name authors are going to go straight to the top of the charts, but periodically a book comes out of nowhere that captures the imagination — and the public’s money — to become a break-out hit.

But is there actually a formula for writing a bestseller? Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux think think there might be, and they’ve given themselves one year to make it happen.

Stay has some form in publishing: he works for Orion and has writing chops, having written the screenplay and resulting novel for the movie Robot Overlords, which was released last year.

Read further @ The Guardian





Drawing Stories

17 02 2017

aid53885-728px-write-a-book-step-15-version-2

HOW TO DRAW A NOVEL

TRACING THE SHAPES OF THE STORIES WE TELL

Mexican writer Martin Solares likes to draw the shapes of novels—describe the plot, in a literal sense.  The following is the introductory chapter to How to Draw a Novel, a work-in-progress translation—in collaboration with poet Tanya Huntington—of his original Spanish title, Cómo Dibujar Una Novela, which will feature entirely new chapters. 

Some say novels are constellations composed of words; others, the closest we will ever come to a powerful incantation. From page one, they transport us to a world where every word conceals more than one intention and the very laws of physics operate differently. Baptized by their authors with suggestive, enigmatic names that sometimes constitute the first words of the spell being cast, novels are frequently baptized a second time by their readers, transforming them into something more endearing and familiar.

While we are compelled to choose a single bough from the tree of life, albeit a dazzling one, a well-constructed novel can lay claim to several branches at once: the most unexpected and passionate, the most unsettling and amusing. Then there are those that recount the greatest failures, the most ambitious exertions, or the feats that once seemed impossible to us.

Novels do not openly tell us how to live, but they do tell us stories. In difficult times, when one seeks to overcome life’s cares, the novel offers us a tale that seems to have been written expressly for the present time.

Read further @ Literary Hub





Great American Authors

29 10 2016

best-american-authors

Great American authors in the broad sense of the word. Caribbean writers and writers from Latin America are included. So a diverse perspective on American authors, for once.

Check the names out @ BookRiot

 





INFOGRAPHIC: Who Influenced Who?

29 10 2016

influential-authors-galleycat

Source: GalleyCat





Infographic: the Author Behind the Pseudonym

4 05 2016

pen-name-infographic

Source: GalleyCat





Out Now! BookIsh Plaza eZine March 2016

28 02 2016

foto ezine march(3)

The MARCH issue of BookIsh Plaza eZine is out now!
BookIsh Plaza is your online bookshop for Caribbean literature.

In this issue:

  • 50th Anniversary Reissue of Jean Rhys’ Novel
  • Literary Celebration 30 Years Celebration Independence Aruba
  • 2016 Year of the Book
  • New Arrivals
  • Soon for Sale books
  • And more….

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.49 MARCH 2016

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our new arrivals!





Social Media Tips for Writers

1 09 2015

A number of successful authors and publishing executives feel that maintaining constant presence on social media is crucial for a writer’s career.

Social-Media-Infographic-GalleyCat





Writing Intentions

11 01 2015

58avQZET6c_ADc511eRRWzl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9

The Best Advice for Writers

December is the worst month for writers.

NaNoWriMo is over, and if you’re like most people, you didn’t “win” it despite your best intentions. (In 2013, only 14 percent of participants crossed the finish line.)

Holiday parties and preparations occupy your evenings and weekends, leaving you with little time to write, and the new year beckons with promises of a fresh start. Next year, you say. Next year you’ll finally write that book.

Except that you said the same thing last year. What will you do to make 2015 different? Grammarly‘s informal survey of writing advice from famous authors uncovered a few common threads:

• Eliminate distractions
• Read a lot
• Write first, edit later
• Finish what you start

In their own words, here are five of our favorite authors on the secrets of their success. (Spoiler alert: there is no secret.)

Read further @ Huffington Post





How to Avoid Writersblock

31 10 2014

images

5 Ways To Find New Story Ideas

One of the questions authors are asked most often is how they get their ideas. Unfortunately, there isn’t a secret idea speakeasy where you can buy them in bulk (or if there is, no one has ever given me the password). There are, however, some steps you can take to generate new ideas when you’re feeling blocked. Here are five ways to find writing inspiration:

  1. Go for a Walk
  2. Practice FreeWriting
  3. Read Something
  4. Disconnect
  5. Observe & Record

For an elaboration on the five ways to find inspiration, read further @ Huffington Post.





Social Media for Book Promotion

8 10 2014

shutterstock_134112389

How to Use Social Media Effectively to Promote Your Book

While the actual act of writing may come naturally, the steps involved in marketing and self-promotion can be tricky areas for potential authors. As part of Mediabistro’s Journalism Advice series, we spoke to three publishing veterans, who revealed how building a writing platform can help prepare you for life in the spotlight.

Along with sharpening your public speaking skills and getting feedback from trusted peers, using social media effectively is key to gaining insight from would-be readers. But remember not to stress about your lack of Twitter followers:

[Regina Brooks, lead agent and president of Serendipity Literacy Agency,] says that the focus should be on communing with existing and potential readers. “You can buy Twitter and Facebook followers. They have algorithms out there. Now, are those people reading your blog? Are they replying to your tweets? Are they really engaged with you and the topic? Probably not,” she warned. In short, concentrate on quality, not quantity. High numbers may initially impress — and kind of make you feel like the popular kid in the cafeteria — but publishers and agents prefer the development of an actual audience to the smoke and mirrors of a manufactured one.

Read further @ GalleyCat





Marketing Yourself: Part of the Process

26 07 2014

 

 

SuccessfulMarketing

The Key Element To Success Many Writers Avoid: Self-Promotion

We all know that success as a writer depends on: 1) writing something worth reading and 2) getting published. (Thanks, Captain Obvious!) But while most writers have no problem understanding and even embracing the time and effort required to accomplish these two goals, there’s a third, essential element of becoming a successful author that many writers shun: self-promotion.

“Oh no!” you say. “Oh yes!” we reply. Why the reluctance? Some writers are simply shy by nature. Others don’t want to seem boastful or self-aggrandizing. And the remaining curmudgeonly bunch just doesn’t want to be bothered. Yet, like it or not, self-promotion is a necessary part of achieving success as an author in today’s publishing marketplace.

Accept that marketing yourself is part of the process. Having more people aware of you and your writing translates into more people interested in reading your work. But as budgets at publishing houses and literary journals continue to shrink, you can’t depend on publicity being handled for you. And many publishers have come to expect a certain amount of promotional support from their authors.

So it’s important that you overcome any reservations you may have about promoting yourself. The truth is, you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished. And if your writing has been published in literary journals, won awards, or your book is being published — wonderful! So much the better! Book sales in particular can be influenced by positive buzz.

Read further @ Huffington Post





Writing the First Pages

3 11 2012

3 Essential Elements Of A Book’s First Page

If you’re a writer with publishing goals, then you know how important it is that the literary agents or editors reading your material keep reading. After all, if your submission doesn’t hook the reader right away, there are plenty of other submissions to take its place. With that in mind, we’ve outlined three major elements that make or break a piece in the first few pages so that you can make sure you’re submitting the best short story, essay, or book query possible.

1. Character
Any character you present in the opening pages of your essay, short story, or book manuscript should be intriguing. Don’t waste any time; show the reader quickly why it’s worth getting to know the character.

2. Opening Action
To quickly hook your reader, focus in on an intense and important moment. This doesn’t have to be a flashy, shocking scene—and shouldn’t be unless truly appropriate.

3. Setting
Choosing a unique, unexpected, extraordinary setting will give you the automatic bonus of a higher interest factor in your opening pages.

Continue reading @ Huffington Post Books





Tips on How to Write Fiction

5 11 2011

 

How to write fiction: Geoff Dyer on freedom

Writing is a natural process – we’re all geared up to do it, says Geoff Dyer
Open thread: how to write fiction

The great thing about this cat – the writing one – is that there are a thousand different ways to skin it. In fact, you don’t have to skin it at all – and it doesn’t even need to be a cat! What I mean, in the first instance, is feel free to dispute or ignore everything in this introduction or in the articles that follow. As Tobias Wolff puts it in his masterly novel Old School: “For a writer there is no such thing as an exemplary life … Certain writers do good work at the bottom of a bottle. The outlaws generally write as well as the bankers, though more briefly. Some writers flourish like opportunistic weeds by hiding among the citizens, others by toughing it out in one sort of desert or another.”

This freedom is the challenging perk of the non-job. If you are a tennis player any weakness – an inability, say, to deal with high-bouncing balls to your backhand – will be just that. And so you must devote long hours of practice to making the vulnerable parts of your game less vulnerable. If you are a writer the equivalent weakness can rarely be made good so you are probably better off letting it atrophy and enhancing some other aspect of your performance.

Writers are defined, in large measure, by what they can’t do. The mass of things that lie beyond their abilities force them to concentrate on the things they can. “I can’t do this,” exclaims the distraught Mother-Writer in People Like That Are the Only People Here, Lorrie Moore’s famous story about a young child dying of cancer. “I can do quasi-amusing phone dialogue. I do the careful ironies of daydreams. I do the marshy ideas upon which intimate life is built …” From the sum total of these apparent trivialities emerges a fiction which succeeds in doing precisely what it claims it can’t.

Read full article @ The Guardian