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Best-Selling Author Terrie Williams: ‘Follow Your Inner Voice and Be True to It’

Terrie-Williams-ArticleTerrie Williams is a woman of many talents. No only is she a licensed therapist, she’s also the founder of her own eponymous public relations firm and a four-time best-selling author. Her books include: The Personal Touch (which is being updated in honor of its 20th anniversary); Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting; A Plentiful Harvest: Creating Balance and Harmony Through the Seven Living Virtues; and Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens. 

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Williams discusses everything from the humble beginnings of her PR firm to her mental health advocacy work. Here, she shares the advice she’d give her younger self:

If you could have a 20-something Terrie Williams as your intern now, what would you tell her to do differently?
Listen to your freakin’ inner voice. You know in your gut what’s right but either fear sets in or something keeps you from listening. There are always other forces crowding the good sense you have. Follow your inner voice and be true to it. I know this is about media, but the underlying core is our shared humanity. It impacts how effective we are in particular roles. If you look at a lot of different media personalities, you wonder what drives them because of certain things that they say or do. Even though you don’t know what that person’s journey is, you know they have one and it colors everything about who they are. Assume there’s something you don’t know that had a profound impact on that person.

For more from Williams, including the greatest professional lesson she’s learned, read: So What Do You Do, Terrie Williams, Author, Activist and Public Relations Strategist? 

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Brendan Deneen on What Authors Can Do to Get Their Book Optioned for a Movie


Brendan Deneen knows a thing or two about getting a book made into a Hollywood film. He’s not only an author and former literary agent, Deneen is executive editor for Macmillan Entertainment, for which he shops TV and film rights for authors, whether the material is existing or created in house.

In the latest installment of Mediabisto’s So What Do You Do series, we talked to Deneen about the optioning process, why Hollywood so often relies on published bestsellers for content and the best way for an author to break into the movie business (no, you don’t have to be a big name like John Grisham, J.K. Rowling or Nicholas Sparks). Deneen also had plenty of advice to share with struggling authors:

Patience is key. I’m 41 and I wrote my first book when I was 18, and I sold my novel this year. It took me forever. And that doesn’t mean you have to not be putting yourself out there and working your ass off; it just means you may get rejected over and over again like I did when I was 18. It should be a badge of honor. It means you’re getting stuff out there. You need to be constantly writing. If you’re a screenwriter, you should be writing a new screenplay every three or four months. If you’re an author, honestly, you should have a new book every year if you’re serious about it — two years at the most.

To hear more from Deneen, including what he’d like his legacy to be, read: So What Do You Do, Brendan Deneen, Executive Editor Of MacMillan Entertainment?

NYT Best-Selling Author and Finance Expert Dave Ramsey on Self-Publishing

a11999Dave Ramsey self-published his first book, Financial Peace, mostly out of necessity. Nobody would publish it, he says, so he went ahead and did it himself, transporting and selling the books out of the trunk of his car. Little did he know that a mere five years later it would go on to become a New York Times best seller.

In the third week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, Ramsey talks about his publishing house, Lampo Press, his new book, Smart Money Smart Kids, which he co-authored with his daughter, and the dos and don’ts of self-publishing:

What advice do you have for a new author who’s deciding whether they should self-publish or try to find a traditional publisher?
I think you have to have a plan if you’re in the nonfiction world to sell the book, whether you’re self published or you’re working with a publisher. If you’re looking to write a book and hand it to someone, and let someone else do all the work, those days are completely gone in our world, with very, very rare exceptions. So publishers are looking for an author that has a willingness to hustle and has a platform of some kind. How are you going to leverage things you’ve done in the past? How are you going to leverage your PR appearances, your knowledge, your Twitter base, your fan base on Facebook?

To hear more from Ramsey, including how his personal finance advice applies to the publishing industry, read: Hey, How’d You Become Your Own Publisher, Personal Finance Expert Dave Ramsey?

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.

GalleyCat on Kari Moran’s BookRadio Show

bookradioshow.pngOver the weekend, this GalleyCat editor joined radio host Kari Moran on the premiere episode of her BookRadio Show.

While the show airs on Los Angeles CBS-owned stations KFWB NEWS TALK 980, you can listen to the whole show online. Among the many topics discussed during the hour-long broadcast, we focused on the Apple iPad, the Amazon Kindle, and the future of digital books. Follow this link to listen.

Here’s more about the show: “Last summer, Kari was invited to produce and host ‘The Answers to Cancer Hour,’ sponsored by The City of Hope on KFWB. The live, one hour program opened the door to her new gig as Host of ‘Kari Moran’s BookRadio Show,’ the resurrection of a dream that began in 1998 when she became President of the Internet’s first streaming audio book site ( 1996-2001). Kari interviewed scores of best-selling authors on a broad variety of topics and genres. Her ‘BookRadio Minutes’ were heard on all 200 Talk Radio Network Stations.”

Bellevue Literary Review Editor Interviewed

harding.jpgYesterday novelist Paul Harding (pictured) won the Pulitzer Prize for his Bellevue Literary Press novel Tinkers– a major award for an indie press operated out of the Bellevue Hospital Center.

In February, we interviewed editor and author Danielle Ofri. Ofri is the editor in chief of Bellevue Literary Review and a member of the indie press’ Board of Advisors. In honor of this momentous award, we are posting an encore edition of her interview–including information about pitching the literary journal and more about her recent book.

Press play on the embedded player below to listen. The show will be archived around the network all morning.

She offered this advice for writers looking to pitch the journal: “What we’re looking for at the Bellevue Literary Review (or anything literary) is something that actually transcends the plot of what happened to reveal some greater truth about what happened… I would recommend reading the Review to see how other people interpret these issues.”

Vote: Book Publishing 10 Years in the Future

This week we have explored book publishing insiders’ visions of the future with Seth Godin, Mark Coker, Richard Curtis, Jane Dystel, Richard Nash and Scott Steinberg. But whose visions, in your opinion, are closest to your vision of book publishing in the future? Vote below and voice your opinion:

Who has the best book publishing vision for the future?(GalleyCat)

How To Survive Writing Layoffs

2903746081_7716a32af9_m.jpgYesterday MediaBistro reported on “major layoffs” at Time Inc.’s Southern Progress Corporation and the Observer reports that Radar is closing again. It’s going to be a long, cold winter for writers.

Looking for advice, we interviewed freelance guru Michelle Goodman, author of the brand new book, My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire. Every week she offers career advice at Today, she gives writers specific advice about surviving an untimely layoff, beginning with an initial checklist:

“Sign up for unemployment benefits right away; they can take a few weeks to kick in,” she explained.

“Figure out your health insurance situation immediately; if you can’t get on a partner’s plan and can’t afford COBRA (you probably can’t; it’s insanely expensive), make sure you continue your coverage through your professional association of choice, or comparison shop on your own through eHealthInsurance or an insurance broker. Don’t let your coverage lapse, unless you don’t mind dealing with a nasty pre-existing condition clause from whatever insurance company you wind up with later.”

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Recession Writing Tips, Part One

15bc79edd7a0d4a370bd7110.M.jpgThe print world chopped more jobs last week and the stock market continues to tank. This is a frightening time to work as a freelancer.

To help GalleyCat readers cope with this ongoing crisis, we caught up with freelance guru Michelle Goodman, author of the brand new book, My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire. Every week she offers career advice at, and her new book may become required reading for a new generation of struggling writers.

According to Goodman, all freelancers should do one simple task: “Diversify, diversify, diversify, she explained. “Have your two or three beats or niches, sure. But make sure that if you’re a health and fitness writer, you’re not just relying on the health glossies and lifestyle section of newspapers. Worm your way into online media outlets like Yahoo! and iVillage. Write for trade and alumni publications. And don’t turn you nose up at writing newsletters for the wellness and medical industries or writing marketing copy for companies selling vitamins, fitness equipment, or any other products in your area of expertise.”

She added: “Even if you just do one trade pub article or copywriting gig a quarter, it’s a foot in the door with another type of revenue stream should the bottom fall out and you lose all your MSM or newsstand work. Also, capitalize on (or beef up) any writing-related skills you have. If you can edit, project manage, broadcast, podcast, design, code, or teach, you’ve just greatly expanded your marketability and income-earning potential.”

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Two Questions For Curtis Sittenfeld About Her New Laura Bush-Inspired Book ‘American Wife’

curtis.JPG Curtis Sittenfeld’s third novel ‘American Wife,’ out September 2nd, is narrated by one Alice Blackwell, a former children’s librarian haunted by the memory of a tragic, random accident. Oh, and her husband is a George W. Bush-like US President. As Alice tells the story of her life, Sittenfeld allows us a nuanced, clear, almost psychic glimpse at what life might be like for one of the most public women in the world. Here, she answers two questions about the hotly anticipated book, one obvious and one random.

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Dating Tips From Bob Morris, Author Of Dad-Pimping Memoir ‘Assisted Loving’!

assisted.jpg Bob Morris used to dole out delightfully crotchety etiquette tips in the Sunday Style section, but like many people who are great at telling other people what to do, he was less than expert at dealing with his own problems. Like, for example, helping his widowed dad find lasting love — while searching for a suitable match for himself at the same time. But everything worked out … well, I suppose you have to read the book to find out how everything worked out. Bob not only answered my questions, he included bonus advice on how to look good in your online dating profile picture.

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