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How to Plot Your Way to the Best-Seller List

best-selling-author-wpWorking on a book? If your ambitions run beyond merely getting your manuscript published to making it a best-seller, you’ll need to start planning before you’ve written your first word. And we’re not talking about planning out your plot. To climb onto the best-seller list you’ll need to be a one-stop shop of writer, marketer and promoter.

Keep in mind however, that what you’ll be selling is not your book, but yourself. It’s your success in getting people to follow you, rather than your title, that is the key to sales:

This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but aggressively pushing your current title in lieu of promoting your personal brand as an author — is an ill-conceived plan that can actually stunt book sales. Literary mega-stars like Stephen King and John Grisham have a built-in fan base that buys every book they release, almost automatically. And that, says [author Tim Grahl], should be the goal of every writer — particularly those who have aspirations to write in multiple genres or cover various topics.

For more advice, including how to build your base, read: 6 Steps to Becoming a Best-Selling Author.

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.

Poetry Blogger’s Collection Becomes a Bestseller

chaser of the lightTyler Knott Gregson’s new poetry anthology has become a bestseller. The collection, entitled Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series, has appeared on the hardcover nonfiction lists at The Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal.

Gregson regularly posts pieces for the “Daily Haiku on Love” series and the “Typewriter Series” on his blog. The book features poems exclusively from the ”Typewriter Series.” Since launching his blog , Gregson has amassed 259,000 followers on Tumblr, 184,000 followers on Instagram, and 31,000 followers on Twitter.

Here’s more from The Wall Street Journal: “According to the publisher, there are 50,000 copies in print, with more in the works. Soon, the book will be sold at the women’s clothing chain, Anthropologie. The author’s social-media audience—heavily skewed toward young women—was important for Perigee, which last published a book of poetry four decades ago.”

Cartoon Network to Launch New Imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group

CN logoCartoon Network will open its own imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group.

Here’s more from the press release: “The new ‘Cartoon Network Books’ imprint will publish fun and interactive formats such as Mad Libs ®, original fiction novels and chapter books, Activity and Doodle formats, non-fiction handbooks, gift sets, and kits. The 2015 launch will feature books based on the hit shows Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe, followed by Clarence, the upcoming We Bare Bears, and the return of The Powerpuff Girls in 2016.”

The two organizations have been partners in publishing books based on the Adventure TimeRegular Show, and The Amazing World of Gumball TV series since 2013. To date, more than half a million copies of those books have sold in the United States market. What do you think?

Scott Westerfeld, Nicholas Kristof, & Alexis Barad-Cutler Get Booked

Scott WesterfeldHere are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

A panel of young adult authors, Scott Westerfeld (pictured, via), Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, and Robin Wasserman, will celebrate the release of Afterworlds. Meet them on Tuesday, September 23rd at the New York Public Library (Jefferson Market branch) starting 6 p.m. (New York, NY)

Read more

Ingrid Sundberg Creates a ‘Color Thesaurus’ For Writers

red

Ingrid Sundberg, a writer and illustrator whose young adult novel All We Left Behind will be released in Fall 2015, has created a “color thesaurus.”

Sundberg posted the twelve images on her blog (the one for red is embedded above); she feels that employing this tool allows her to add specificity to her writing. In an interview with Bored Panda, she reveals that many of her blog followers have utilized it for their own work.

Sundberg explained why she made this project: “This was something I made for myself based on color words I liked and the colors the words evoked for me. I use it all the time when I write. It really helps in revision as I try to make my work fresh and vibrant.”

The Rona Jaffe Foundation Unveils 2014 Writers’ Award Winners

2014JaffewinnersThe Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced the 2014 Writers’ Award winners. Each winner received a $30,000 cash prize. The six winning writers include Olivia Clare (fiction), Karen Hays (nonfiction), Danielle Jones-Pruett (poetry), T.L. Khleif (fiction), Mara Naselli (nonfiction), and Solmaz Sharif (poetry).

The award ceremony took place on September 18th in New York City; writer Adrian Nicole LeBlanc served as the evening’s special guest speaker. Past recipients of this award includes Laura Newbern (poetry), Lan Samantha Chang (fiction), and Rachel Aviv (nonfiction). (Photo Credit: Star Black)

Roxwell Films to Create Charles Manson Movie Based On ‘The Family’

The FamilyRoxwell Films has picked up the movie rights to Ed Sanders’ The Family. The book chronicles the infamous homicide cases of serial killer Charles Manson.

Guinevere Turner, one of the co-writers on the American Psycho movie script, has signed on to adapt the book. Jonas Akerlund will serve as the director.

In an interview with Deadline, Turner talks about her interest in this project: “It’s exciting to explore the psychology of the young women who followed Manson. What makes a 19-year-old in 1968 follow a man to the extreme of killing innocent people for him? We all know how it ends — people die and people go to jail — but how did it get to that?”

Millennial​s: Libraries Brightest Hope?

1101130520_600Millennials tend to get a bum rap. Remember that Time magazine cover that painted them as “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents?”

They’re the ME ME ME generation, the cover reads, but then boldly proclaims “why they’ll save us all.”

Yes the cover girl may have been pictured with an iPhone in her hand, but chances are she had a library card in her back pocket.

Could libraries be among the first of the Millennials heroic conquests?

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center Internet Project the answer is a hopeful perhaps. Read more

GalleyCat Editor Takes Maternity Leave

gclogosmall.jpgThis GalleyCat editor is about to have a new baby. I’ll be taking for a couple of months to adjust to life with a newborn and a toddler.

During this break, the site will be in the capable hands of GalleyCat contributors Maryann Yin and Claire Davis. Email them with any story ideas or releases.

I will return later this fall, just as things get exciting with holiday book releases and The National Book Awards!

VIDEO: Neil Patrick Harris Demonstrates How His Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Book Works

Tony Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris stars in a trailer for his forthcoming imaginative nonfiction book, Choose Your Own Autobiography.

In the video embedded above, Harris sings his Hedwig & The Angry Inch show warm-up routine, sinks into quicksand, and performs several other outlandish acts—what do you think?

Crown Archetype, an imprint at Penguin Random House, will release this unconventional memoir on October 14, 2014.

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