AppNewser Appdata 10,000 Words FishbowlNY FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige SocialTimes

Guest

Chris Baty, Founder of NaNoWriMo: “Anyone Can Write A Book”

ChrisBaty

Chris Baty started a writing movement by accident. At the time, he figured it was just another one of his bad ideas and convinced five of his friends to join him in writing a book. Today, there are more than 226,000 participants signed up for NaNoWriMo, hoping to crank out a novel before the month’s end. Here, he discusses the catalyst for his success, what he’d like his legacy to be and why he believes anyone can be a writer:

The NaNoWriMo concept kind of suggests that anyone can write a book. Do you think this is true?
Oh my god, yeah. And I think everybody can write dozens of novels. You look back to the time when we were kids, and if you gave me a stick that I could make into a toy, I was basically good for seven hours. We were all so imaginative at a young age, just sort of running amuck in our imaginations and pretending. All of that is still in us. When we hit puberty, we start to do this thing where we ask, “Am I good at this?” We’re looking around and we’re seeing other people who are better than us at these things. That’s when we start to shut down those parts of ourselves.

For more on NaNoWriMo and Baty’s tips for novel-writing success, read: Hey, How’d You Start A Fiction-Writing Revolution, Chris Baty, Founder Of NaNoWriMo?

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How Henry Bushkin Got His New Book Published

HenryBushkin

Henry Bushkin, attorney and former right-hand man to Johnny Carson, has written a book about what life was really like with his famous friend. It’s a deeply personal account filled with scandalous details, including the real story on why his relationship with Carson ended.

Yet despite the book’s obvious potential, Bushkin actually had a hard time getting it published. In Mediabistro’s latest installment of So What Do You Do?, Bushkin talks about the media’s reaction to his writing, his thoughts on the proposed NBC miniseries and the process of publishing:

In the book’s acknowledgments, you explain how the impetus for the book came in 2008 from fellow (and subsequent) Carson attorney Ed Hookstratten. Can you explain a bit how you got from there to here?
Some time ago, I was about to self-publish the book. The book that has come out this week is essentially the same book. Frankly, when I was going to do it on my own with a small staff, it became apparent that Carson wasn’t relevant in the eyes of New York publishers vis-a-vis New York editors. They thought he was just irrelevant.

When I had the manuscript in polished form, I sent it to a friend of mine in New York. She then immediately sent it to a friend of hers at Vanity Fair, and then she asked if she could send it to a friend of hers, an agent in New York. I said yes. And all of a sudden, there were five publishers bidding for it. So it had quite an evolution that took quite some time, with the book going through several gestation periods.

To hear more about the book and its controversies, read: So What Do You Do, Henry Bushkin, Attorney and Author of Johnny Carson?

– Aneya Fernando

Narratively Seeks Storytellers Of All Media

Narratively

Narratively, the year-old New York-centric website, consists of writers, photographers and reporters who want to share in-depth human interest stories with the world.

The site values long form writing, and instead of sections or columns, they have weekly themes. As editorial director Brendan Spiegel says, “Our motto is: Any way you want to tell your story, we can do that.” All of the site’s content is generated by freelancers:

[The pub] has earned its reputation on the long-form text, [but] storytellers of all media are encouraged to pitch Narratively. Photo essays, short films, audio stories and comic boards are all game… In Narratively’s first comic text story, “The Real Mermaid,” an illustrator told a narrative non-fiction story about Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade.

For more details on pitching, read: How To Pitch: Narratively.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Writing Advice From a 23-Year-Old Published Author

BeFunky_KaraTaylor.jpg

Kara Taylor is not your typical 23-year-old. While many young adults are struggling to find a job, Taylor has had the kind of early success most young writers only dream of. At 23, she has already released her debut novel, Prep School Confidential and is currently the co-executive producer and writer for the new CW show, The Revengers, created by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

Taylor recently spoke to Mediabistro about the pressure to churn out books, what her typical day is like (spoiler alert — she writes morning, noon and night) and how she broke into the world of TV writing:

What tips do you have for other writers who want to break into TV?
I think the most important thing — and this is hard advice because it’s not something that you can really learn — [is to] just have a voice and a point of view and focus on branding yourself, whether it’s [with] humor or whatever. Just be unique and be yourself, and write as much as you can. I obviously broke into it in a strange way because it was actually the novel writing that helped me break into TV. So I think it’s good to keep in mind that there’s not one clear path or way to break into the industry. You have to put yourself out there in all mediums and all aspects and not write anything off, and [don't] get discouraged, obviously. I was writing books for two years before I found an agent, and I heard a lot of nos. I must have been rejected by over a hundred literary agents with my first book. So if you’re expecting instant results, it’s not going to be the career for you. You just have to be patient and be in it for the long run.

To hear more about her incredible rise to success, read Hey, How’d You Become a Published Author and TV Writer at 23, Kara Taylor?

Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Writing Advice From Terry McMillan

Terry McMillan is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including the now-classic Waiting To Exhale. Now, 25 years since her debut, she’s back with Who Asked You?, a multi-generational family saga that is already being applauded by critics. In the latest installment of So What Do You Do?, she tells Mediabistro about creating memorable characters, the challenges of writing from the perspective of an eight-year-old and the pressure of living up to all the hype:

You’re known for writing such authentic characters. How do you keep them all straight?
Well, first of all, it’s not as hard as you would think. If you take [people] that you know really well, and you had to capture them on paper — their gesticulations, how they talk, how they think — from what you know about them, you could do it. But before anything, I do a lot to profile my characters so that I know them. I know almost everything about them, in terms of their educational background, how tall they are, what color they are, what they like and don’t like, what their favorite class was in school, what they’re afraid of, what their biggest secret is, if they lie, if they pay their bills on time, what they wish they coulda, woulda, shoulda done, etc., etc.

To learn more about Terry McMillan’s writing process, read So What Do You Do, Terry McMillan, New York Times Best Selling Author?

Aneya Fernando

The Walking Dead: Gale Anne Hurd Talks Differences Between Comic and Show

Gale Ann Hurd

We’ve all experienced it: the pain and outrage that occurs when book-based movies and shows deviate from the original story lines. It gets our blood boiling just thinking about it.

Admittedly though, some plot changes aren’t that bad, especially if they serve to make a show more interesting. This just might just be the case for AMC’s hit show, The Walking Dead. Hey, we don’t want to know who’s going to be eaten by a zombie right from the get-go, do we?

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, The Walking Dead‘s executive producer, Gale Anne Hurd, talks about some of the choices she’s made for the show:

How much of an obligation did you feel to the original comic book storyline?

Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comic book series, has been a partner and a fellow executive producer since the very beginning. We always wanted to follow the comic book to a certain extent, but never to the degree that fans would know exactly what was coming. So we’ve deviated from it: We’ve introduced new characters, killed off some who are still alive in the comic book, extended the life span of others. That’s a real tribute to Robert Kirkman being willing to change it up.

For more on creativity and writing, read: So What Do You Do Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer of The Walking Dead?.

Sherry Yuan

How to Get a Job in Book Publishing

For the countless number of books published each year, there are only a few that become true breakout successes, selling millions upon millions of copies, hijacking the bestsellers lists and becoming permanently etched in American pop culture.

While great storytelling is at least partly responsible for their success, there is also an expansive team behind the scenes, working diligently to ensure that every plot twist is meticulously crafted, that the cover is so well-designed that readers drop $25 for the hardcover without blinking, and that those same characters will hopefully transcend the pages and end up on the big screen.

Think you’ve got what it takes to make it at one of the Big Six publishers? Learn how to break into the industry in How To Get a Job in Book Publishing.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Mediabistro’s Writing and Selling Your First Book Course Starts May 2

Writing and Selling Your First BookEver wonder how your favorite bestselling authors got their foot in the door? Discover the secrets to transforming your ideas into a stellar first book in our online class, Writing and Selling Your First Book, starting May 2. You’ll get on the fast track to meet your goals with practice assignments, Q&A sessions, and peer feedback. Save $50 when you register with the promo code GALLEYCAT.

Instructor Christine Pride has worked for Random House and Hyperion Books, and recently launched her own consulting agency for publishers, agents, and aspiring writers. Over the course of her career, she’s published a number of critically acclaimed projects, including eight New York Times bestselling books. She’ll provide you with an overview of the publishing industry, tips for pitching your book to agents, and feedback on your proposal and query letter.

Use the code FIRSTBOOK at checkout to save $50 on enrollment. Seats are limited in this class, so register soon.

Finish Your Book with Our Online Community

Struggling to finish your book? No matter where you live, Mediabistro has a new online course designed to guide independent authors through the final and most important steps of the publishing process.

If you want to see one of our course speakers in action, bestselling author Matthew Mather will unveil his new novel on Facebook tonight. In addition, Smashwords co-founder Mark Coker, bestselling self-published author Colleen Hoover and seasoned writer Guy Kawasaki will help you complete your book in Mediabistro’s new Self-Publishing Finishing School.

For a fraction of the cost of a self-publishing package, our online instructors will walk you through this daunting process in a six-week workshop. As part of the course, you will get writing advice, editing support and ultimately, an online spotlight for your work.

Read more

Join Mediabistro’s Self-Publishing Finishing School with Our Early Rates

Self-Publishing Finishing School

Want to get your manuscript published, but not sure how to get started? Join our Self-Publishing Finishing School starting April 3, 2013.

Weekly live video webcasts feature a variety of great speakers, including Mark Coker (founder, Smashwords), Colleen Hoover (bestselling self-published author), and Guy Kawasaki (author, APE! What the Plus!).

Join Mediabistro publishing editor Jason Boog for this step-by-step course will teach you how to design, distribute, and market your book without a publisher or agent.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>