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Posts Tagged ‘Nathan Englander’

Tumblr Tips for Writers

The Tumblr social network has helped countless writers connect with readers over the last few years. We finally decided to open a GalleyCat Tumblr page, a warehouse for all the opinions, videos, photos and other items that didn’t quite fit on our publishing blog.

We caught up with Tumblr literary outreach Rachel Fershleiser for some advice about using the network. She shared five useful tips for writers who want to explore the social network. You can read her link-filled advice below…

If you have a Tumblr post you think we should see, just add the ‘galleycat’ tag to your Tumblr post. We will use the tag as a source for our own posts. The Millions created a handy Tumblr directory for readers and writers as well.

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The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book ReviewStarting August 4, learn how to get paid to write reviews that will influence the publishing landscape! Taught by a Publishers Weekly book critic, you'll learn how to recommend a book to its audience, write reviews of varying lengths, tailor a review to a specific publication and more! You'll leave this course with two original reviews and a list of paying markets for book reviews. Register now! 

The Jewish Book Network Puts Authors on Audition

One of the most common stories I heard throughout BEA came from authors who had survived one of the several evenings sponsored by the Jewish Book Network right before the trade show began. Almost American Idol-style, authors were asked to get up onstage, recite a two-minute speech about why Jewish Book Fairs and JCCs should invite them to their events, and wait for a judgment call to be awarded later. Nervewracking? Certainly. A story idea? Absolutely.

So it’s no wonder the NYTBR’s Rachel Donadio not only got to the idea first but sat in on one of those evenings, which featured a cavalcade of authors from M.J. Rose to Katharine Weber to Howard Jacobson and Charlotte Mendelson, two UK-based authors who’d flown in – on their own dime – to audition. None of these authors would have taken part if not for Carolyn Starman Hessel, director of the Jewish Book Network and in possession of an “uncanny ability” to get people excited about books and authors like Nathan Englander, Nicole Krauss and Jonathan Safran Foer, whose early careers owed some debt to the Book Fair circuit.

For most authors, Donadio writes, the audition experience is ” somewhere between JDate and a camel auction,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, a writer for The New Yorker who toured last year to promote PRISONERS his memoir about serving in the Israeli Army and befriending a Palestinian inmate. “Camels are very skittish, and so are writers. We don’t like having our teeth inspected. But if we’re going to sell, we know we have to have our teeth inspected.” His advice? “Do not follow the woman who just published a book on how all her children were murdered in Treblinka. It’s much preferable to follow a woman who has 100 halvah recipes.” Sound advice, to be sure.

Let’s All Cry for Authors With Big Book Deals

To be fair, I’m generally sympathetic to the point of view presented by the New York Observer’s Gillian Reagan about why a big book deal can prove to be a curse. In fact, a few drinks in my belly and I’ll start ranting and listing examples of all the mega-auction deals that went nowhere and how careers are better off getting started with healthy, if not outsized, advances. And it’s also important to point out that, say, a six figure advance really translates into less than half when taxes and agency commissions are factored in. And the comments made by Leah McLaren, Nathan Englander, Rachel Sklar and Anna Holmes are generally interesting and entertaining. But then I read the words of 25 year old aspiring writer Brendan Sullivan (left, with Planned TV Arts publicist Peter Horan) and my sympathy kind of goes away:

Writing has ruined my life and cost me many, many girlfriends. I have thrown away several careers and one college degree to spend my time working in bars, D.J.’ing in bars and drinking my rejection letters away. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, and I’ve made many of them since I started…I also abandoned my agent with words harsher than those I’ve saved for lost loves.”

Hmm, maybe some of those “27 jobs” Sullivan’s had since moving from Kenyon College in Ohio will actually, I don’t know, give him real ideas to write about instead of what he learned in school?

Summer’s Fiction Logjam

Former Dallas Morning News book critic Jerome Weeks brings to light what may seem like a major upcoming headache for both book editors and publishers: a plethora of major literary works crammed together between April and June. “There are so many significant authors with novels coming out in the space of about 9 weeks that when I proposed reviewing Don DeLillo‘s post-9/11 novel, FALLING MAN, to one editor, I was told there was already too many fiction reviews booked for May through June,” Weeks explained. “When DeLillo can’t catch a break, you know it’s crunch time.”

No kidding, what with impending releases by Nathan Englander, Haruki Murakami, Michael Chabon, Michael Ondaatje, Susanna Moore, Armistead Maupin, Chuck Palahniuk and Khaled Hosseini. But the craziest publishing day for fiction has to be June 5, as new bestseller staples by Clive Cussler, Robert B.Parker, Jeffery Deaver, Laurell K. Hamilton, Ann Brashares and Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin are released that Tuesday. Calling it a dogfight is probably an understatement…