Friday, May 31, 2013

Road Map for Authors

You've finished writing and editing your book, and are ready to publish your work—congratulations! To successfully publish your novel, you'll need a road map or business plan. Here is a preliminary outline of steps authors should take to get their work published.

In addition to formatting your work for either for submissions or as an e-book (for either traditional or digital publication), here are your most important deliverables:

1) Author Twitter account with regular posts;

2) Author/book(s) Facebook Page;

3) Author/books(s) website/blog with regular posts, About Author, contact info, and published under your own domain name [ex:];

4) Author Google+ page tied to author Gmail (join relevant writing, publishing, and genre communities for purposes of additional resources and wider audience for promotion);

5) Author Goodreads account for outreach to likely audience by genre/category.

These will be essential to developing your brand ahead of or concurrently with publication. If you have a large enough following on an existing Twitter account already, you may be able to persuade them to follow your author account. Loyal followers may provide substantive assistance with promotion of your work—especially helpful for a self-published work.

If you choose to go traditional publishing route through submissions, publishers will be happy to see these deliverables in place and in use. They will otherwise have to prompt you to do this.

(I should note that I'm not doing a Facebook page, though some publishers like to see this. I find that Facebook does not offer a solid return on investment of time. This is a personal decision, however; your experience may vary greatly from mine.)

For business purposes if you are writing under a pseudonym, you may want to take out a DBA under your pen name as business name. Your accountant also suggested an LLC. You must do at least the DBA to play it safe for tax purposes if you are going to take write-offs for anything related to research/writing/publishing/marketing-promotion. Caveat: You should check with your own financial/tax consultant as I am not a tax professional.

Here are some additional resources about digital publishing, with emphasis on self-publication:

All e-book publishing

Rather general overview, commentary on standardization (or lack thereof in self-pub/ebooks). It's the problem of standardization that trips up newbie self-publishing authors.

Self-publishing e-books

Best all-around article from CNET; may not be super-current (ex: BN has recently announced a new self-pub platform [April 2013]).

Testimonial by self-pubbed author on process, experience.

This guy offers some advice on layouts, but watch out: his business is selling templates for formatting ebooks. Pricey, but time is money; if you need speed, his templates may be fastest to publication.

Another resource on formatting, see comments for another one.

Overview: intersection of publisher Carina Press and NetGalley -- how they work to help get word out on a book through review process. Instructive for authors of both traditional publishing and self-publishing.

David Gaughran, self-published author and expert on self-publishing e-books
See both of his books, Let's Get Digital and Let's Get Visible; be sure to follow his blog at the link above.

Though provided here to help authors get started with publication, this list of deliverables and resources may not be complete and may be updated periodically. Hope these resources help you get started with publishing your book!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Overview: Social Media for Writers

Writers increasingly need to use social media for many reasons.

  • Writers can cast a wider net for research materials if they can ask their social media network for help;
  • Current news and trends in writing and publishing are frequently shared in social media outlets;
  • Reaching a new and expanded audience of potential readers without having to build a distribution list saves writers time and hassle;
  • Locating key contacts, including agents and publishing houses, is much easier via social media.

What are the most commonly used and best social media platforms?

Blogs -- it's critical for writers to have a place for their audience to find their work, to communicate directly with the writer, and for fans to send potential readers. A blog can provide all these features; it also offers a way for writers to develop their personal identity or brand, easily recognized by readers. At the time of this post, a couple of the easiest and most widely used blogging platforms are Google Blogger and WordPress.

Twitter -- this micro blogging platform is as easy to use as text messaging. While it limits users to 140 characters in each message, the application encourages writers to be succinct in their outreach to folks in their network. The ease of use also encourages folks in a writer's network to share news quickly, widely, and at no cost to the writer.

Facebook -- not to be confused with users' Facebook personal profile pages, Facebook Pages offers writers yet another place to create an online identity and brand with access to 800+ million registered users. Think of this as a billboard along the busiest highway in the world.

Google+ -- a relative newcomer to social media, this platform is fully integrated with a user's Gmail and Drive accounts, while offering several tools for collaboration and communication. Gchat, Hangouts, Communities all provide opportunities for Google+ users to reach individuals and groups.

Goodreads -- dedicated to readers' experience, Goodreads is where readers hang out and share with other readers. Writers can reach out to folks who are their most likely fans, while checking on feedback about published works.

If there are other social media platforms you believe are helpful to writers and publishers, please share them in comments.

This page may be updated periodically as trends in social media change.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Resource: Twitter Accounts to Follow

Twitter is a micro blogging social media platform which has become popular with users across the writing and publishing spectrum, from readers to writers, publishers to critics.

Here is a partial list of Twitter users writers may find interesting and useful:

Name/Title Twitter Handle Description Type1 Type2
Bookish ‏ @BookishHQ Discover smarter book recommendations, original book lists and articles, and author and book pages for classics and new favorites. Founders of #YAWednesday. Aggregator
Byliner @TheByliner We'll find you something good to read. Aggregator
Flavorwire ‏ @flavorwire Flavorwire offers cultural news and critique around art, books, music, and pop culture the world over. Highbrow, lowbrow, and everything in between. Aggregator
Longreads ‏ @longreads The best long-form stories on the web. Great with @Pocket, Flipboard, Instapaper. Use the #longreads tag to share your favorite stories. Est. 2009. Aggregator
Maria Popova @brainpicker Interestingness hunter-gatherer obsessed with combinatorial creativity. Editor of @brainpickings & @explorer. Bylines for @WiredUK & @TheAtlantic. MIT Fellow. Aggregator
The Millions @The_Millions The indispensable literary site' - @nytimes | 'Lots of reasons to love The Millions' - @GuardianBooks | 'A fantastic website' - @UtneReader Aggregator
TheBrowser ‏ @TheBrowser Writing worth reading. Share your links with us by adding the #browsings hashtag Aggregator
Vulture @vulture Devouring culture. Purveyor of #clickables. Aggregator
PEN Membership ‏ @PENmembership Membership department of PEN American Center. 4,000 members and growing. Apply at for news on PEN members and events. Association
Anne Lamott @annelamott Author, Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies Author
Anne Rice @annericeauthor Author, Interview with a Vampire Author
Chuck Palahniuk @chuckpalahniuk Run by Dennis Widmyer (@denniswidmyer), webmaster of the official site at Until Chuck decides to try this himself, I’ll do my best for him. Author
Cory Doctorow @doctorow Writer, blogger, activist. If you want a reply, use email. Blog suggestions here: Author
Joe Hill @joe_hill Author of HORNS, HEART-SHAPED BOX and the forthcoming NOS4A2. Co-collaborator, with @GR_Comics, on LOCKE & KEY, an ongoing comic. Tumblr: Author
Margaret E. Atwood @MargaretAtwood Author, The Handmaid's Tale Author
William Gibson @greatdismal Author, Neuromancer and Pattern Recognition Author
Jessa Crispin ‏ @thebookslut The Book Slut blog Blogger Critic
Slacktory ‏ @Slacktory Slacktory is a humor blog. Our alignment is 'smart-dumb'. Blogger
Maud Newton @maudnewton Writer, critic, editor, neurotic. NYT Mag, Awl, Quarterly Co., Bookforum, Narrative, Granta, LA Times, B&N Review, Salon, Tin House Blog, Paris Review Daily. Critic Editor
Sam Sacks ‏ @Sam_Sacks I write the Fiction Chronicle for the Wall Street Journal and am an editor at Open Letters Monthly Critic Editor
Adrien-Luc Sanders ‏ @smoulderingsea Senior Editor @EntangledPub. Author (FROM THE ASHES, 2012). @BreeOgden's intern. Cynic. Geek. Gay. Silly misanthrope. Insomniac. Knows he looks like a girl. Editor Author
Jim Hanas ‏ @jimhanas Social media editor @newyorkobserver. Author of the story collection Why They Cried (Joyland eBooks/ECW Press, 2010). Editor Critic
Sarah Weinman @sarahw News Editor for Publishers Marketplace (@publisherslunch); Crime Wave column for @npbooks; editor of domestic suspense anthology forthcoming from Penguin. Editor
99U @99u The 99U delivers the action-oriented education that you didn’t get in school, highlighting real-world best practices for making ideas happen. Magazine
Comb Magazine ‏ @combmag Comb is a blog for anyone who likes to read, see, hear, or clicked on this by accident. Magazine
Electric Literature @ElectricLit Saving literature one reader at a time. Tweets by @benasam. Magazine
Gigantic magazine ‏ @Giganticmag a magazine of short prose, interviews, and art Magazine
Granta Magazine ‏ @GrantaMag The Quarterly Magazine of New Writing. Tweets by @TeditorTed & @saskiavogel. Magazine
Guernica Magazine ‏ @GuernicaMag a magazine of art & politics #politics #fiction #poetry #art Magazine
Harper's Magazine ‏ @Harpers An American general-interest magazine published since 1850. Tweets by @jeremy_keehn, sundry Harpies. Magazine
Knee-Jerk ‏ @KneeJerkMag
Lapham's Quarterly ‏ @LaphamsQuart Lapham's Quarterly is a journal of history and ideas edited by Lewis Lapham. Magazine
Laura Hazard Owen ‏ @laurahazardowen I write about ebooks, e-readers, Amazon, pricing, DRM, startups and other digital book publishing issues for paidContent/GigaOM. laura dot owen @ gigaom dot com Magazine
Los Angeles Review ‏ @LAReview divergent, West Coast literature Magazine Critic
Luna Park Review ‏ @lunaparkreview Luna Park blogs about the world of literary magazines, journals, zines, you name it. Magazine
Narrative Magazine ‏ @NarrativeMag A literary arts magazine that since 2003 has published online, for free. Also: & Magazine
New York Magazine @NYMag New York Magazine's official Twitter account. Tweets by Shama Hussain. Magazine
New York Times Books ‏ @nytimesbooks Book reviews, news, author profiles, interviews and more on books from The New York Times. (Tweets by @johnwilliamsnyt) Magazine Critic
New Yorker Fiction ‏ @NYerFiction From the New Yorker Fiction Department. Magazine Critic
NY Review of Books @nybooks ‘The premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language.’ Magazine Critic
Open Letters Monthly ‏ @olmonthly An Arts and Literature Review. Magazine
Ploughshares Lit Mag ‏ @pshares Award-winning literary journal @EmersonCollege. Each issue guest-edited by a different notable author. Print/Kindle/Nook. Tweets by @AndrejaJean & @mimidcook Magazine
Publishers Weekly ‏ @PublishersWkly The international source for book publishing and bookselling news, reviews and information. Magazine
Shelf Awareness ‏ @ShelfAwareness Our free newsletters: Shelf Awareness Pro: Daily Enlightenment for the Book Trade & the twice-weekly Shelf Awareness for Readers--reviews, news, book candy... Magazine
The Baffler ‏ @thebafflermag The journal that blunts the cutting edge. Magazine
The New Yorker @NewYorker The New Yorker is a weekly magazine with a mix of reporting of politics and culture, humor and cartoons, fiction and poetry, and reviews and criticism. Magazine Critic
The Northville Review ‏ @nvillereview Purveyors of fine creative work since 2009. (Tweets via our lead editor, @gnomeloaf. ) Magazine
The Paris Review @parisreview Quarterly literary magazine founded in 1953. Managed by @alvarez_justin. Magazine Critic
The Rumpus ‏ @The_Rumpus The A place to read, on the Internet Magazine
Timothy McSweeney @mcsweeneys The Twitter feed of Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and McSweeney's Books. Magazine
Tin House ‏ @Tin_House Tin House is offering a roof–despite the toxins of commerce–shelter meant to keep our language alive. –Allan Gurganus Magazine
Utne Reader ‏ @UtneReader Utne Reader & best of the alternative press--are digests of independent ideas and culture. Not right, not left, but forward thinking. Magazine
Wag's Revue ‏ @Wags_Revue Wag's Revue is an online-only quarterly of poetry, essays, fiction, and interviews with waggish luminaries of our day. Magazine
C-SPAN2's BookTV ‏ @BookTV C-SPAN2's BookTV is every weekend (8am Saturday - 8am Monday) on C-SPAN2. This is Book TV's official Twitter Site. Media
NPR Books ‏ @nprbooks Notes on NPR Books stories, the future of reading, and what to read next, with's book editor. Email us: Books[at] Media Critic
PBS @PBS PBS invites you to explore new ideas and discover new worlds. Join us here for conversation and sharing. Media
GalleyCat @GalleyCat The First Word on the Book Publishing Industry News
Guardian Books @GuardianBooks News, reviews and author interviews plus tweets from the Guardian and Observer books team News
L.A. Times Books ‏ @latimesbooks Literary news and reviews from the @latimes' Jacket Copy blog and Books section. See for more streams. News Critic
Poets & Writers ‏ @poetswritersinc Poets & Writers, Inc. is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers. News
Word and Film ‏ @WordandFilm The Intersection of Books, Movies, and Television. Keeping a literary eye on what’s keeping the world entertained. News
Alfred A. Knopf @AAKnopf Dedicated to publishing distinguished fiction and nonfiction Publisher
Algonquin Books @AlgonquinBooks Founded in 1983, independent publisher of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. Opinions our own, not representative of the company. Publisher
Basic Books ‏ @BasicBooks Renowned publisher of serious nonfiction by leading intellectuals, scholars, and journalists. Publisher
Coffee House Press ‏ @Coffee_House_ Coffee House Press is an award-winning, nonprofit literary publisher of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Publisher
Doubleday @doubledaypub Publisher of Grisham, Dan Brown, Lethem, Palahniuk, McEwan, Atwood, Bryson, Child, Millard, Morgenstern, Whitehead, and many more of your favorite authors. Publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux @fsgbooks Farrar, Straus and Giroux has published award-winning fiction, nonfiction, & poetry since 1946. Tweets by @nickcourage & @iza_woj (hello!) Publisher
Graywolf Press ‏ @GraywolfPress Founded in 1974, Graywolf Press is an independent, nonprofit publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction, & poetry. Tweets by Casey Peterson (@case_face). Publisher
Harper Perennial ‏ @HarperPerennial We're one of the paperback imprints of HarperCollins. We like you. Publisher
HenryHolt ‏ @HenryHolt Henry Holt and Company, for over a century, published writers that define their era and endure far beyond it. Email Jason.Liebman @ for review copies. Publisher
Iris Blasi ‏ @IrisBlasi Marketing Manager at @OpenRoadMedia. I like books and the people who read them. Iblasi @ Publisher
Little, Brown and Co @littlebrown One of the U.S.'s oldest and most distinguished publishing houses, Little, Brown publishes James Patterson, David Sedaris, Anita Shreve, Malcolm Gladwell & more Publisher
Melville House ‏ @melvillehouse Melville House is an independent publishing house in Brooklyn, specializing in literary fiction, non-fiction, crime, poetry ... and liking it. Publisher
Norton Anthology ‏ @NortonAnthology See the winners of the 2012 Norton Anthology Student Recitation Contest! Publisher
Nouvella ‏ @NouvellaBooks Novellas by emerging authors. Currently launching A FAMILIAR BEAST by Panio Gianopoulos: Tweets by @deenadrewis and @bushnelle. Publisher
OpenRoadMedia @openroadmedia Celebrating the past. Building the future. 360' e-publishing. Soho, New York City · Publisher
Other Press ‏ @otherpress Independent publisher of literary fiction and non-fiction Publisher
Pantheon Books @PantheonBooks Publishers of literary fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, and Jewish interest books (under our Schocken imprint). Publisher
Penguin Books UK @PenguinUKBooks Penguin Books UK, based in London, publishing the best books and authors for 77 years Publisher
Penguin Books USA @penguinusa Penguin Books USA is the U.S. affiliate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Publisher
Penguin Classics ‏ @PenguinClassics Because what you read matters. Publisher
Penguin Library ‏ @penguinlibrary Links, reviews, news and love for Librarians from the Penguin Library Marketing dept- bringing the bird to your hands! Publisher
Plume Books ‏ @PlumeBooks Plume is an imprint of Penguin USA. We publish bestselling paperbacks + e-books by Tracy Chevalier, Lev Grossman, Jonathan Tropper,, + many more! Publisher
randomhouse @randomhouse Here to chat about books & writing. Bookworms, unite! Publisher
Riverhead Books ‏ @riverheadbooks We’re a publisher dedicated to extraordinary, ground-breaking, unique fiction and non-fiction writers and their work. Publisher
Scribner @ScribnerBooks Founded in 1846 by Charles Scribner. Publisher of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stephen King, Don DeLillo, Jeannette Walls, Chuck Klosterman, & many more. Publisher
Simon & Schuster @simonschuster Simon & Schuster is one of the leading English language publishers in the world. Follow us for book, author & industry news and free book giveaways! Publisher
Simon & Schuster ‏ @SimonBooks A division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. us for book, author & industry news, and free book giveaways! Publisher
Soho Press ‏ @soho_press Indie publisher of literary mysteries, fiction, and memoirs. Tweet or DM for review copies. Publisher
Spiegel & Grau ‏ @SPIEGELandGRAU Spiegel & Grau is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. We publish books. Publisher
Summer Smith ‏ @tsummersmith Publicist at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in nyc, and lover of all things battered & fried. Publisher
The Overlook Press ‏ @overlookpress We're an eclectic indie press: fiction, mysteries, history, politics, bio, art, design, & much more. Tweet or DM us for review copies! Publisher
The Penguin Press @penguinpress Ideas that matter, storytelling that lasts. Award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Tweets by @chapmanchapman (hello). Publisher
Vintage & Anchor ‏ @VintageAnchor From Classic to Contemporary—The Best Books in Paperback. A member of the @aaknopf group at @randomhouse. Publisher
Vox Pop Publishing ‏ @VoxPopBooks Vox Pop Publishing offers print-on-demand publishing services for every author and project. Publisher
W. W. Norton @wwnorton Independent publishers since 1923. Tweets by Steve, Peter, and Sam. Publisher
Goodreads @goodreads The largest site for readers and book recommendations. Find new books, recommend books, track your reading, join book clubs, win advanced copies, and much more! Social Media


This is only a sampling and may be updated at any time. If you have a Twitter user you would like to suggest, please share in comments.