Saturday, October 29, 2005

Unearthing Books Embedded in Pop Culture

"Ninety percent of our authors are first-time authors, and most of them have platforms in other media. And what we decide to publish is greatly affected by our publicity department - who we can get on 'The Daily Show' or who might be great on a radio tour."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/27/books/27spot.html

Monday, October 24, 2005

Interview with Kathryn S. Mahoney, author of CRACKED AT BIRTH

Kathryn Mahoney has been entertaining friends and family with her writing for years. But, it wasn't until 2001 when she decided to share her cracked view of life with the rest of the world. She submitted a couple of columns to her local newspaper and lo and behold, the editor liked them. Kathryn started writing her humor column, Sunny Side Up, for Nashoba Publishing of Devens, MA, in 2001 and continues to write for them today. After four years of writing her column, she decided to put 60 of her best works in a book and has just released, Cracked at Birth: One Madcap Mom's Thoughts on Motherhood, Marriage & Burnt Meatloaf (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc.)

You can visit Kathryn's website at www.crackedatbirth.com.

INTERVIEW WITH KATHRYN S. MAHONEY

When did your passion for writing begin?

I've always been writing funny letters to my friends and family, but it wasn't until I was 38 that I took a real shot at writing humor as a profession. I have always loved Erma Bombeck's books and thought that since I was now a wife and mother, maybe I would try writing about my own domestic tales.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

Well, my writing life really revolves around my children's schedules. When they're at school, that's when I get most of my writing done. But, if I have a looming deadline, I work nights and weekends as well.

Do you write full time?

No, I really can't right now, but I hope to in the future.

Can you tell us a little about Cracked at Birth?

Cracked at Birth is a compilation of about 60 of my best "Sunny Side Up" humor columns. I came up with the name "Cracked at Birth" when initially developing my Web site. Although my column name came about because I wanted people to look at the "sunny side" of life, I realized it was also a popular way to cook eggs. So, I started brainstorming along the whole egg theme and eventually came up with "Cracked at Birth." I thought it not only sounded funny, but it also fit my "cracked" view of how I look at life. Strange, but true.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

My book was published by the Mom-Writers Cooperative, a subsidiary of Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc. out of Deadwood, Oregon. Nancy Cleary is the publisher and she developed the coop to help mom's like myself have their voice heard. She has been awesome to work with and has taught me a lot about the publishing business. What's also been great is that the women in the coop share their experiences every step along the publishing process so we all learn from each other and get better as individual writers.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind Cracked at Birth?

I started writing humor to "blow off steam" and as a release from being a stay-at-home mom. It's been very therapeutic and a great way to document my family's antics. It keeps me sane...well, if you can call me sane.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

So far I have been promoting my book locally and slowly branching out. I think that my book appeals to primarily women ages 25 - 55 all around the world. Many women have told me how they can definitely "relate" to my stories. So, I've been targeting women's magazines and Web sites. I still feel I have a long way to go, but I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. One of the women in the coop, Christine Hohlbaum, said it best.."You need to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint."

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

Like I mentioned, Erma Bombeck is who I idolize most. She was just so good at what she did. I could only hope to reach the same success that she did.

Do you have a mentor?

Not really, but I belong to an online humor writing group, which is made up attendees of the Erma Bombeck Writing Conference that takes place every two years in Dayton, Ohio. I have learned a lot from many of the humor writers in the group. Some of them have been writing a lot longer than I have and have a lot of experience to share.

What future projects do you have in the works?

Right now, I'm just trying to sell, sell, sell my book. I will also continue to write my column, and we'll see what else comes my way. The way I look at it...the sky's the limit.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

I never realized how much work and money were involved in not only getting your book published, but in promoting the book. I learned that writing is the easy part. I've spent 100's of hours trying to build a "buzz" around the book, but you never really know what channels will pay off the most, so you just have to saturate the market and see what sticks. It's been an interesting journey.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

If you really want to get published, than keep writing and never give up. It may take months or years before you get published, but I truly believe, "where there's a will, there's a way." You can also self-publish. There are pros and cons to self-publishing, but if you really want to be able to hold your very own book in your own little hands, then why not self-publish.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Hmmmm. That's a good question. I can't think of something more important than being a mom, but everyone knows that. I think the thing that is most ironic is that I'm really a shy person. People expect humor writers to be funny all the time and a little off the wall. Believe me, some are, but it's not me. I guess I'm a closet humor writer.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy Cracked at Birth?

You can purchase Cracked at Birth on my Web site www.crackedatbirth.com, on Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. It will also be in select area bookstores starting in November.

Thank you very much for your time!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Can You Judge a Book By Its Cover?

Paul Guyot is an award winning television writer whose credits include SNOOPS – The David E. Kelley show starring Gina Gershon and Paula Marshall as Private Eyes who tended to lick whipped cream off each other during Sweeps; LEVEL 9 – created by best selling author Michael Connelly; JUDGING AMY – The CBS courtroom drama currently in its 6th season; And that mother of all crime shows, FELICITY.

He tells of an informal survey in one bookstore where he asked book browsers just why they chose the book they chose. His findings will astound you and raises the question: Can you judge a book by its cover?

Read his blog here to find out.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Write Query Letters That Sell" - FREE E-COURSE

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The 'Chick-lit' Label: Demeaning or Empowering

The 'chick-lit' label: Demeaning or empowering
By LESLIE GRAY STREETER

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

For a genre whose name recalls something as harmless as candy-coated gum, the term "chick-lit" sure has become divisive.

While the term was coined by writer and University of Illinois at Chicago Professor Cris Mazza in a series of mid-1990s anthologies of alternative women's fiction, it's now commonly used to describe solidly commercial novels in the Bridget Jones's Diary vein.

Read rest of article here.