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Morning Media Menu

How To Approach Other Writers About Blurbs

Author and Rock Plaza Central musician Chris Eaton wrote about scores of people online and offline who share his name in Chris Eaton, a Biography. Over at The Believerhe interviewed another writer with the same name and a small Internet footprint.

How many people share your name online? In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, Eaton shared advice for making a genuine appeal to a writer, artist or musician when searching for blurbs.

Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. We’ve collected a few excerpts from the interview…

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Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingStarting January 7, work with a published memoir writer to tell and sell the story of your life! In this course, Wendy Dale will teach you how to create your story around a marketable premise, hone your narrative voice, write a memoir with a solid structure, and sell your memoir before you've even finished writing it. Register now!

Los Angeles Review of Books Starts Membership Program

The Los Angeles Review of Books has revealed its new membership program, a range of subscription options that include a book club, bookstore discounts and a printed version of the online journal.

In the encore edition of the Morning Media Menu embedded below, we interviewed founding editor Tom Lutz (pictured, via Lisa Jane Persky). While talking about how the literary journal has grown, he also explained how you can pitch The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Press play below to listen to the interview.

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90,000+ Readers Sign Petition for ‘Report Abuse’ Button on Twitter

After Caroline Criado-Perez helped get novelist Jane Austen‘s face on the £10 note in the UK, she was swamped with abusive comments on Twitter.

Since then, more than 90,000 people have signed an online petition urging Twitter to add a “report abuse” button on everyone’s Twitter profile. Here’s more from the petition:

For over three days, Caroline Criado-Perez, who campaigned to keep women on banknotes, has been targeted repeatedly with rape threats on Twitter … But abuse on Twitter is common; sadly too common. And it frequently goes ignored. We need Twitter to recognise that it’s current reporting system is below required standards. It currently requires users to search for details on how to report someone for abuse; a feature that should be available on each user’s page.

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Free Tumblr Analytics Tools for Writers

Do you wish you could find out more about how readers respond to your work on Tumblr?

Union Metrics has released a free set of analytics for Tumblr users. You can sign up for the waiting list at this link. SocialTimes has more about the tools:

Union Metric licenses Tumblr data “fire hose” from reseller Gnip. Its enterprise-tier analytics offer full text search of that data, allowing brands to monitor their own blogs, competitors’ blogs and mentions of their company or product anywhere on Tumblr. Today, Union began offering packages priced for individual users. (Users can sign up today for the beta test.) The service will provide users with free monthly traffic data, follower counts, information on who has re-blogged their content, and performance metrics on individual accounts.

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Ben H. Winters on Genre-Bending Novels

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Ben H. Winters. He has written a number of novels, including Edgar Award-winning The Last Policeman. Countdown City, the sequel to that genre bending novel about a detective solving crimes despite the fact an astroid will destroy the Earth, comes out this week.

Press play below to listen to the complete interview on SoundCloud. Winters shared some advice for writers working with genre bending books:

Your goal is to have something that is ultimately character-driven, ultimately more than just a concept. It needs a deep root, something that you are interested in investigating. A real book. So that it just doesn’t feel cheap. The truth is, you want to let the people whose job it is to worry about that stuff worry about that stuff. What you want to do is write a book that you know is of value, that you know you can make good and do right. And if it’s good enough and done right, then people will be interested in it. I don’t doubt that.

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Cory Doctorow on Free eBooks & Unions

Novelist and journalist Cory Doctorow is hosting an Ask Me Anything interview on Reddit right now. In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, we spoke Doctorow about his 2010 book, For the Win. He spoke about online currency, book promotion and the feasibility of unions in digital culture.

Doctorow discussed his strategy of releasing a free eBook edition of his book alongside the print book. Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. Here’s an excerpt:

I make the books available as free downloads under a Creative Commons license that encourages my readers to share them and remix them, provided they are doing so non-commercially. That means one reader who loves the book who knows another reader who would love the book can put the book in that reader’s hands … Tim O’Reilly says: ‘The problem with writers isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity.’ It may be hard to monetize fame, but it is impossible to monetize obscurity.

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How Writers Can Use CafePress

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In a bookselling world filled with memoirs, it requires some ingenuity and online work to make your work stand out from the pack.

In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, we spoke with Rachel Shukert about her memoirEverything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour.  In this 2010 interview, Shukert explained how she used CafePress to promote her book:

I’m designing a CafePress site with themed merchandise–which is honestly more of a stunt than I think anybody will buy it. But I think it could be funny … there were a lot of funny phrases and things and thoughts I had in the book that I thought would be funny merchandise … there will be tote bags and buttons and underpants that will somehow reference funny scenes in the book.

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The Most Abandoned Books List

Goodreads has created a great infographic exploring the books most often abandoned by readers on the social network. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling topped that list, followed by Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

On the Morning Media Menu today, Social Times editor Devon Glenn discussed this list and explored what writers need to know about Facebook’s new Social Graph function.

When do you stop reading a book? I have no shame in admitting that I will stop reading a book after fewer than 50 pages. Life is too short to read a book you don’t enjoy. The complete infographic follows below…

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How to Make a Great Book Party

What makes a great book party? In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, we interviewed author Evan Hughes about his new book, Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life.

Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. While introducing some of the great Brooklyn novelists featured in his literary history, Hughes also shared the secret behind his headline-making book party in Brooklyn. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

I wanted it be as social as possible–not to have people sit still and behave for too long. People want to mingle with the friends they came with. The party was two hours, but I really made an effort to keep the readings and the entertainment to a 30-minute period. I brought other writers into it. Two other writers who also lived in Brooklyn, Touré and Michael Thomas, both read selections from Brooklyn literature.

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How To Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets

Author and technology consultant Scott Steinberg visited our self-publishing course online today.

We caught up with Steinberg while he promoted The Modern Parent’s Guide to Video Games, sharing timeless advice about he shared columns and essays on a number of sites–reaching out to new readers at major outlets like CNN.com, All Things D and ESPN.com.

In this encore edition of the  Morning Media Menu podcast (embedded below), Steinberg shared tips for pitching online outlets about your book.

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