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Dispatches From The Publishing Front


Marketing and Publicity: What Can You Expect from Your Publishing House?

by Erin Brown

Authors often ask me this question. Then they ask, ďWait, what exactly is the difference between the marketing and publicity departments?Ē Letís start by answering that question. And for the sake of total honesty: half of the time, I donít know myself. All I know is that the publicists dress better. I am completely joking (I am not at all).

OK, so brass tacks: marketing encompasses paid media, advertising, mailings, websites, blogs, attending conferences, expensive in-store displays, flyers, high-end magnets (more on that later), pencils with the book title, and your í88 Honda with the cover illustration painted on the hood. All of these things fall under marketingówhether the publishing house pays for them or you do.† more...


Once Upon a Conference

by Bill Kenower

Once upon a time, long before Author, I was a wine stewardóor a sommelier, if youíre feeling snooty. It was during this period that I came to fully understand the difference between what I think of as real hands-on, experiential knowledge, and that other shallower, text book version. Itís all very well and good to get your issue of Wine Spectator every month and read up on what why California chardonnay isnít as hot as it used to be, but quite another to have to recommend a good zinfandel to six Japanese businessmen on a hectic Saturday night.  more...


Do You Have a Date?

by Cherie Tucker

Think about your birthday.  Did you say June Fourth?  April Seventeenth?  September Third?  We talk about the days of the months in the order in which they occur: the first, second, etc.  (Thatís why theyíre called ordinal numbers.) Consequently, when you write a date, do not put those little th, rd, st indicators if the name of the month is stated first.  For example, itís June 4, not June 4th.  People will automatically say June Fourth.  There is no need for that little embellishment.  Use it when the number stands alone:  He was born on the 4th of June.  more...


The Romance Report


In the Fire

Having just spent six days in San Francisco with fellow writers at Romance Writers of Americaís annual conference, Iíve found it hard to come home and unplug from social interaction to become the solitary writer again.  Iíve attended 12 of the past 13 RWA conferences but this one was my favorite.  Some years Iíve struggled with fear and inferiority at the conference; after all, 2,000 women attend the conference and 500 authors sign at the big literacy event on Wednesday night, but this conference isnít about competition.  Itís about growth.  We as writers arenít competing with other writers.  Weíre competing with ourselves, constantly challenging ourselves to improve:  How to write better.  How to write stronger.  How to write smarter.  more...


Dialogue Traps

by James Thayer

Writing dialogue should be easy, shouldnít it?  In our lives we talk all day and we listen all day.  Friends, family, co-workers, the radio.  Blah, blah, blah, an endless torrent of conversation, so it figures we should instinctively know how to write dialogue in our fiction.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Wait.  Good dialogue isnít just talk.  It isnít a transcript.  Compelling conversations in fiction have little to do with real-life chat.  Here are common mistakes made when writing dialogue.   more...

SASE's Return
A Rejection Survival Toolkit

by Brian Mercer

Anyone who's queried an agent or an editor has likely experienced it. You're walking out to your mailbox, anticipating a package, a magazine, perhaps the occasional, cherished letter, and there it is:  That familiar white rectangle; your self-addressed stamped envelope--your little carrier pigeon has come home.  And while it can be the bearer of good news, dreams fulfilled, even continued hope if the agent/editor shows interest, what's most likely sitting in that harmless looking envelope is the dreaded rejection letter.  more...



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