Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Poets Meeting on Tuesday

Poets writing group will be meeting Tuesday, August 23, from 4:30pm - 6:30pm in the Whitridge Room.

Library members only.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Writing Groups This Week

Memoir Group
Monday, August 15, 2:30pm - 4:30pm, Whitridge Room

This the last meeting of the full group. In September, interested memoir writing members will be split into 2 groups. If you are not sure which group you've been assigned, please contact me.

Fiction Group 1
Tuesday, August 16, 5pm - 6:45pm, Whitridge Room

Please note that NYSL writing groups are open to Library members only.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How Do You Generate Buzz for the Debut & Mid-List Titles?

Many of you will remember Elisabeth Weed, founder of Weed Literary, from The Writing Life talk we held this past January on Finding a Literary Agent*. In addition to her daily work, Elisabeth also manages to find time to write a very informative blog about the publishing business.

In her most recent post, she talks to Lucinda Blumenfeld, an agent who also works as an outside publicist and marketing professional, about the challenges of raising awareness for debut and mid-list titles.

Lucinda’s message is that word of mouth (she calls it “WOM”) is crucial, and appears to be the catalyst for the most popular books. We’ve talked about it before, in a number of The Writing Life programs, how authors must do more for themselves and must start much earlier in the process. Lucinda worked with NYSL member writer Gretchen Rubin on publicity for her wildly successful The Happiness Project. In our April 2010 talk Social Networking for Writers, just after publication of her book (and its debut on the NYT Bestseller List), Gretchen regaled (and slightly terrified) our member writers with the story of what it takes to build that word of mouth. It’s hard work. It takes time, effort, and dedication. But, according to Lucinda, it can also be gratifying for authors when their “fangelists” start tweeting and blogging the book.

She’s upfront about the fact that authors need to be realistic. You’re probably not going to get the front page of the New York Times Book Review or a tv spot, so look for non-traditional routes like writing an op-ed or a trend piece. Find outlets where you can have a larger impact, a place where you can get a larger conversation started which will be the hook that gets readers back to your book.

So get to it. Now’s the time! (Lucinda suggests getting started 6-8 months before publication.) Read the full interview with Lucinda in The Weekly Weeder.

*for recaps of The Writing Life talk Finding A Literary Agent, click here, here, and here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stacy Schiff, PEN Literary Award Winner

Congratulations to member Stacy Schiff , for winning the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography for her blockbuster latest Cleopatra: A Life!

...and congratulations to NYSL friend Brigid Hughes for winning the PEN/Nora Magid Award, given to a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits. Our very first literary magazine salon featured Brigid and A Public Space , so we're thrilled for her.

For more 2011 PEN Literary Award winners, click here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Are You On the Galley Cat List?

Galley Cat, the publishing blog site, has created a list of authors willing to travel to book clubs (or visit via video or phone chat).

Book clubs can be a great way to create some buzz and build an audience, and writers often find themselves booked for return engagements if a club has enjoyed a visit. Publishers do have lists of book clubs but here's another way for the clubs to find you. Galley Cat has created an Authors Who Visit Book Clubs directory in Google Docs.

Check it out here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

WOOPS! Correction Non-fiction Writers Group TOMORROW

WOOPS! I made a big mistake. The Library's Non-fiction Writers Group will actually meet TOMORROW. (I previously inaccurately wrote they were meeting today; the August meeting of the group is not being held on their regularly scheduled day.) Sorry for any confusion.

Tuesday, August 9, 3pm - 4:45pm
Whitridge Room

*open to NYSL members only

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This Won't Take But a Minute of Your Time!

August. The writing life slows down. It's the time of year agents and publishers shut down for a little R&R. The Library thins out as the members leave for the country (and I don't mean Brooklyn). Maybe you're vacationing, maybe you're taking a little break from writing. But I'm here, planning The Writing Life programming for Fall and beyond and I'd love to know what you think about the following topics. Could you help me out by leaving a comment below or better yet, send me a postcard! from whatever fabulous place you're at. Oh, and I am ALWAYS open to suggestions.

Organizing your work - tips, tricks, and tools for keeping your notes in line

Using the collections at NYPL - NYPL librarians talk about the collections and resources available to scholars and writers

Social Networking for Writers Redux - we had a very popular program in the Spring 2010, but it might be time for a refresher

Getting Published WITHOUT an Agent

Overcoming Writer's Block - strategies and stories

Finding and Applying for Grants and Prizes

Ebook Basics - publishing and publicizing your book for the ebook market

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Invitation for NYSL Members: Pete Hamill at MCNY TONIGHT

The Museum of the City of New York is once again extending a special invitation to members of The New York Society Library for a program featuring acclaimed author Pete Hamill.

Tuesday, August 2 at 6:30 PM
Pete Hamill, Tabloid City

The New York Times writes that Pete Hamill, in his latest novel, Tabloid City (Little, Brown & Company, 2011), “captures the grit and smell and pulse of Gotham’s sidewalks and subways.” In 50 years of newspaper reporting, 10 novels, and two collections of short stories Hamill has traced the ever-changing landscape of the city. Learn about the award-winning writer’s unique perspective on New York as he discusses Tabloid City, which chronicles the 24 hours following the death of a wealthy Greenwich Village socialite and her secretary.

Reservations required: 917-492-3395 or email
$6 museum members; $8 seniors and students; $12 non-members
$6 when you mention The New York Society Library

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Non-fiction from NYSL Members

It's been a busy publishing season for NYSL member writers. There's something here for every kind of reader. {For a recap of member writers's fiction offerings, see my previous post.}

I'd definitely want Ina Caro to be my guide if I were traveling through France. In Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train, she takes readers on 25 enchanting and informative one-day journeys from Paris.

In the travel narrative The Other Side of the Mirror: An American Travels through Syria, Brooke Allen provides a refreshing alternate view of a country very much in the news lately.

Erica Jong is definitely not done being provocative. She's compiled powerful essays and stories about women's sexual experiences in her latest, Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex . Added bonus: the book also features essays by a number of other NYSL members, Daphne Merkin, Susan Cheever, and Molly Jong-Fast.

For all you Tony Bennett fans, David Evanier's All the Things You Are: The Life of Tony Bennett should hit just the right note (ok, bad pun).

Careful blog readers (hello, are you out there?) will note that Ronald De Feo has not one, but two books out this summer. His non-fiction entry is At the Margins: A reader's notes on the forgotten, the little read and the under-appreciated (Aug 22).

Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family – A Test of Will and Faith in World War I is Louisa Thomas's compelling story about her great-grandfather Norman Thomas, a six-time Presidential candidate and a conscientious objector, and his three brothers.

Beverly Behan has written a primer for the CEO in Great Companies Deserve Great Boards: A CEO's Guide to the Boardroom.

Mark Cannizzaro may not technically be a Library member, but he is married to yours truly, and since the football season is back on...New York Jets: The Complete Illustrated History (Aug 19) is the perfect book for the Jets fan in your life. Trust me.