Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Congratulations Robert Caro

Congratulations to NYSL trustee Robert Caro, whose latest book The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson is a finalist for the National Book Award. The Passage of Power is the fourth volume in his prize winning and critically acclaimed biography of Lyndon Johnson.

Robert Caro has been a Library trustee since 1994.

For a list of all the nominees, click here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Laurence Bergreen on CBS Sunday Morning

NYSL trustee Laurence Bergreen will be appearing this week on CBS News Sunday Morning to talk about...what else but Christopher Columbus. Bergreen's Columbus: The Four Voyages has just been published in paperback. For more on Laurence Bergreen, check out his website.

Tune in to CBS this coming Sunday, Oct 7 at 9am for Sunday Morning Correspondent Mo Rocca's cover story with Laurence Bergreen.

Please note that the Library is closed Sunday, Oct 7 and Monday, Oct 8 in celebration of Columbus Day.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

C.S. Hanson's Look at Me, Look Away (Now, Please)

A staged reading of member C.S. Hanson's play Look at Me, Look Away (Now, Please) will take place on Wed, Oct 10 as part of At Hand Theatre Company's Developmental Reading Series. The reading is free, but reservations are required.

Look At Me, Look Away (Now, Please)
by C.S. Hanson
directed by Bryce Alexander

Wednesday, October 10th, 7:00pm
Shetler Studios
244 W 54th Street,12th Fl, Penhouse #1 (between Broadway & 8th Ave
Playwright info

Susan and Rusty are living the good life until . . . he starts barking like a dog and young men start following her home. This couple is melting down, right along with the economy, the American dream, and all they once thought was as solid as the wedding rings on their make sure you get a seat for this exciting piece of new theater!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Janet Wallach at The Corner Bookstore

Member Janet Wallach has written an engrossing new book about the mysterious Hetty Green, who was reportedly worth at least 100 million dollars, more than 2 billion in today's dollars, at her death in 1916.

Janet will be speaking about the new book, The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age tonight at The Corner Bookstore.

Thursday, Sept 27, 7pm
The Corner Bookstore
1313 Madison Avenue (at 93rd Street)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Andrew McCarthy readings

I have been woefully ignoring the blog lately. Lately? Well, all summer then. In any case, I promise to be back periodically with news about our member writers. First up...he's been getting a lot of buzz lately about his new book. NYSL member Andrew McCarthy has just published The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down and he'll be doing a number of readings around town.

TONIGHT! Sept 24
5:30 pm Soho Apple Store

7:00 pm The Half King
505 West 23rd Street (23rd btw. 10th and 11th)

Oct 9
7:00 pm
Corner Book Store
Madison Avenue & 93rd

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Read Maggie Jackson's Blog!

NYSL member Maggie Jackson's blog is one you should be reading. Forbes Magazine just named it one of the Top 100 Websites for Women 2012.

Maggie is an author and journalist who posts about the balancing acts of working parents and how technology is changing the way we live and work. She is the author of the books Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age and What's Happening to Home?: Balancing Work, Life, and Refuge in the Information Age

Congratulations Maggie!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's a Writer?

This is late notice, but definitely should be of interest to all of you:

What's a Writer?

The Coffin Factory editor Laura Isaacman in discussion with (and readings by) contributors Bonnie Nadzam, Jacques Strauss and John Reed.

Tuesday, June 12th, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Room 108
The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
(Please use 5th Avenue entrance)
Admission is free.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Richard Ford and Joyce Carol Oates in Conversation

I want to give you all a gentle nudge toward a great upcoming program focused on the writing life. Our sister membership library, The Center for Fiction (in partnernship with the City University of New York), will host Richard Ford and Joyce Carol Oates, two of America's most interesting contemporary writers, in conversation about their latest books and the writing life. I'm looking forward to a fascinating discussion and an opportunity to discover how these prolific, award winning writers work. I hope I'll see you there.

Richard Ford and Joyce Carol Oates in Conversation
Wednesday June 6, 7:00 pm
Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College

899 10th Avenue (betw. 58th & 59th)

Ticket pricing for this program includes your choice of either author's latest book:
- Ticket and Richard Ford's Canada or Joyce Carol Oates's Mudwoman, $28 ($25 for members, seniors, and students)
- Ticket without book, $15
- Ticket buyers also have an option to donate an additional $5 to The Center for Fiction’s Books for NYC Schools program

For more information and to buy tickets, click here

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Congratulations Nancy Goldner!

Congratulations to NYSL member Nancy Goldner who has been selected to receive the 2012 Dance Critics Association's Senior Critic Award. She will receive her award during the conference on Saturday June 23. Nancy Goldner studied at the School of American Ballet and began writing dance criticism in the late 1960s for Dance News. In addition to Dance News, she has written about dance for such publications as The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, Saturday Review, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is the author of More Balanchine Variations (2011), Balanchine Variations (2008) and The Stravinsky Festival of the New York City Ballet (1974). She has also lectured widely for the George Balanchine Foundation.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Jan C. Grossman's Poetry

It's National Poetry Month...

NYSL member (and leader of NYSL's own poetry writing group)
Jan C. Grossman, will be reading this coming Saturday:

Saturday, April 14, 2pm
New York Public Library
96th Street Branch

And don't miss Jan at our Library's own National Poetry Month Celebration next week, along with NYSL member poets Louis Phillips and David Yezzi.
Three Poets, Three Voices
Friday, April 20
Refreshments at 6pm, Readings at 6:30pm
Members' Room
$10 with advance registration

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Maggie Jackson

NYSL member Maggie Jackson will be speaking at the Murray Hill Institute as part of the Culture and Core Beliefs Lecture series.

Maggie Jackson
From Daydreaming to Contemplation: Rediscovering Reflection in a Hurried, Overloaded Age

April 11, 2012, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
$10; Refreshments will be served
RSVP by Monday, April 9th, or call 347-213-0729 to reserve a space.

Murray Hill Institute
243 Lexington Avenue

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jay Prasad's Prisoner of Love Opening April 5

NYSL member Jay Prasad's new play Prisoner of Love premieres this week.

Prisoner of Love
April 5th-7th, 10th-14th, 17th-21st @ 8PM
Matinees on April 8th and 15th @ 2PM
45th Street Theatre
354 W. 45th St. (between 9th and 10th ave)
General Admission tickets $25
Tickets and Info

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Louis Begley on Schmidt Steps Back

In Schmidt Steps Back , NYSL member Louis Begley continues the poignant, darkly funny, emotionally nuanced series that began with About Schmidt.

Begley will speak about the new novel here at The New York Society Library on May 10. Register online or call the Events office at 212-288-6900 x230. But if you can't make that....

He will also be appearing tonight at the Center for Fiction:
Thursday, March 22, 7pm
The Center for Fiction
17 East 47th Street


Friday, March 16, 2012

Paul Werner at the LeftForum Conference

NYSL member Paul Werner will be autographing and selling copies of his book The Red Museum at this weekend's LeftForum Conference at Pace University.

March 16 - 18
Pace University
City Hall campus
LeftForum Conference

Monday, March 12, 2012

Maggie Jackson on sustaining attention & reflection in children

NYSL member Maggie Jackson is the author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (Prometheus, 2008) and is an award winning writer on the impact of technology on humanity. This coming Monday, she'll be in conversation with Richard Lewis of The Touchstone Center for Children discussing ways to sustain the innate nature of attention and reflection in children, as they play, imagine, and express themselves through the arts.

Monday, March 12, 7pm
The Performance Project University Settlement
184 Eldridge Street
Free admission but please register online

Monday, March 5, 2012

Joan Didion Nominated for Indies Choice Award

NYSL member Joan Didion has been nominated for an Indies Choice Award for her latest work, Blue Nights.

The winners will be announced April 5 by the American Bookseller Association.

What to do on Tuesdays...

If you haven't seen NYSL member Michael Bergmann's independent film Tied to a Chair, you're in for a treat. This delightful and funny movie about a London housewife in search of a last chance acting career will be running on Tuesdays at the Big Cinema all the way through May.

In a unique idea to deliver larger audiences to independent film, Big Cinemas and The Process Studio Theater have teamed up to offer FREE (yes, FREE!) screenings of the movie in the hopes that the audience grows by word of mouth. So check it out - each week Tied to a Chair will be screened along with a short film.

Big Cinemas
239 E. 59th Street
(between 2nd & 3rd Aves)
Reservations are requested. Please call 212-594-8800
Every Tuesday at 6pm presented with a different short:
3/6: In Bed With My Books

Watch the trailer for Tied to a Chair

Monday, February 27, 2012

David Margolick at Books at the Bar

If you read this blog even sporadically, you know that I'm a big fan of the Books at the Bar. It's a terrific author series at the New York City Bar Association (organized by NY State Judge - and NYSL member- Diane Kiesel) that features new-ish books on topics with at least some legal bent. The other great thing about it? The wine and cheese reception with the author beforehand! Oh, and it's FREE.

This month's author talk honors Black History Month with author David Margolick who will discuss his new book, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock. Margolick relies on the famous photograph of the first day of integration at Little Rock's Central High School on September 4, 1957 and follows the two girls -- one white, one black -- who were framed in it to examine that historic event through their lives.

I hope to see you all there...

David Margolick
Wednesday, February 29, 6pm

Books at the Bar
42 West 44th Street (betw. 5th and 6th Aves)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Elizabeth Yamin and Ron Singer at The Painting Center

NYSL member Elizabeth Yamin will be exhibiting her artwork at The Painting Center through February 25.

The Painting Center
547 West 27 St, Suite 500
Tues to Sat 11 am to 6 pm
For more information, click here

Also at the Center: on Saturday, February 25 at 4pm, Elizabeth's husband Ron Singer will be reading from his work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sarah Pinneo's Blurb is a Verb!

On Tuesday, the Library's Writing Life Daytime Talk Series was thrilled to welcome back former member Sarah Pinneo, whose popular blog Blurb is a Verb, features adventures and misadventures in book publicity. Sarah shared what she's learned on the topic firsthand (by publicizing her Ski House Cookbook and her new novel Julia's Child) and from other writers. She was gracious enough to share her notes - and valuable web links...

Sarah says:

Postcards - You must have these!
- Your "Christmas Card" List: if you don't tell your friends when and where to buy your book, they won't buy it
- Postcards are cheap! I like NextDayFlyers
- Envelopes which fit poscards are size A6. Staples sells inexpensive A6 envelopes, and Paper Source sells beautiful ones.
- Booksellers I have loved: send a postcard and a note to booksellers who ought to know you're nearby

Private Parties: much likelier to be well attended than bookstore events
Libraries: many public libraries will hold book events
Bookstores: have a STUMP SPEECH = why I wrote this book, fun research details, visuals, why you should care about this book
Sponsors?: If your book lends itself to alliances with companies, don't be shy!

Your web presence: Blogs and Twitter and Author Websites
Guest blogging
: rent your audience
-Quality of blogs, not quantity
-Don't feel you must become a blogger. Driving traffic to your blog takes as much time as driving it to your book

Author Page
-You do need a landing page with your contact information: example.
-"Buy Links" should be more than just Amazon. Include B&N, Powells, IndieBound, and local booksellers.

Facebook: Unless you love it, skip it. "Sharers" will still link to you on Facebook. Goodreads: What is it even for, besides humiliation (possibly author talks); RedRoom is useless for authors.

Amazon - take control of your Amazon presence!
- Sign up at AuthorCentral
- Tagging: "tag" your book so that searchers can find you
- Solicit reviews from your friends. It matters.

You and Your Publicist
House Publicist
-Knows the book venues only (perhaps)
-New model: send out books, no follow-up
-Feel free to give a presentation: here is my reader, and here's where you can find her

Hiring Help
-Publicist: get someone good, and know what you want. Sector + follow-up.
-Publicists who do excellent work include: KMSPR's Kathleen Schmidt and Lauren Cerand, among others. {note from Carolyn - also check out Gilda Squire who gave a fabulous Writing Life talk Beyond the Book Tour: Marketing Your Book back in 2010.}

Paid book blog tours: Blurb is a Verb post about book tours

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Melania Levitsky's Chekhovek

Chekhovek is a new comedy based on nine short stories by Anton Chekhov that has been adapted for the stage and directed by New York Society Library member Melania Levitsky. The play's on now through March 4, 2012.

Chekhovek: A New Comedy
The ArcLight Theatre
152 West 71st Street


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Congratulations Chris Raschka!

Congratulations to Library member Chris Raschka, who won the 2012 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children for his A Ball for Daisy .

The Caldecott Medal is named for English illustrator Randolph Caldecott and is awarded annually by the American Library Association each year at its mid-Winter meeting.

Congrats to Edgar Finalist David Duffy

Congratulations to member David Duffy, whose first mystery Last to Fold was just nominated for an Edgar Award in the category of Best First Novel by an American Author. The Edgars, named for Edgar Allan Poe, are awarded by the Mystery Writers of America to honor the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Notes from The A-B-C's of E-Book Publishing

Here, at long last, are my notes from the January 10 Writing Life talk
The A-B-C's of E-Book Publishing held here at The New York Society Library. Please be aware that what follows are most definitely my notes, and not a word for word transcription of the talk. All errors and grammatical missteps are my own. I hope that some of you who attended will add your comments. Feel free to email me if you have additions or see any errors that need correcting. Our panelists:

John Snyder (JS), author of the new book Hill of Beans: Coming of Age in the Last Days of the Old South

Joshua Tallent (JT), founder and CEO of eBook Architects

Parnell Hall (PH), author of the Stanley Hastings and Puzzle Lady mysteries

Brief Statements from the Panelists:
John Snyder (JS) published his first book with Smith/Kerr Associates, who asked for the e-book rights. A lawyer friend insisted that he should retain the digital rights himself. John's research led him to Josh Tallent and eBook Architects. John wanted both Mobipocket (Amazon Kindle) and epub files (Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo) in order to get his book listed on Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, and Google Books. Due to the over 60 pictures, endnotes and footnotes, Hill of Beans is a more complicated formatting job. John used Bookbaby ($99; $19 for maintenance) to get it listed on Amazon and other sites. To promote his e-book, John hired web designer Chris Eastland to develop his website, and place a 4-minute video on the book on the website and on facebook. He sent out a number of review copies, was able to garner 10 good blurbs from luminaries like Jonathan Galassi and Roy Blount Jr, prevailed on friends to write reviews on Amazon, and paid for Kirkus to review the book {according to John, Kirkus will review your book for a fee, though payment does not guarantee a good review. You can suppress the review if you don't like it}.

Josh Tallent (JT) got started in the business by working with a proprietary format and wrote the book Kindle Formatting. He started eBook Architects, which now has a staff of 10. He notes that ebook sales are up 200% year over year; 17% of total sales are ebooks, which is up from 10% last year and 4% the year before. The two basic formats are ePub, the industry standard for B&N, Google, and Kobo; and Mobipocket for Amazon Kindle. There are 2 other new formats: kf8 for the Kindle Fire and ePub3. There's lots of new functionality available for ebooks which works really well for books like John's that have lots of pictures and other features as well as for Children's books.

Parnell Hall (PH) has 35 books that are out of print, which form his backlist. He got the digital rights back from the print publishers and published initially himself for the Kindle. Essentially, his DIY method was to scan the book, clean it up, and format it for Kindle (using information gleaned from Josh's expertise). Note that he did need new covers - he could not use the publisher's copyrighted material. He also converted 6 of his books that were written under the pseudonym J. P. Hailey . He priced these at $.99 just to get them out there and the remaining titles at $2.99 (which is the lowest price that gets you 70% royalty rate from Amazon). His newest books are being e-published by his traditional print publisher - these days it's often a deal breaker to try and retain the digital rights.

Q: Would a traditional publisher ever pick up a first time author's book if it is first self published as an e-book?
JT: It has happened.If it's well researched, well designed and on a topic that might get some notice.

Q: What are the pros/cons between print and e-books?
JT: If you use a real designer, e-books can compare quite favorably with print. The key is not to do it cheaply so it looks like you self published. The economics of self publishing ebooks are terrific: from Amazon, there's 70% royalty on the price and no returns to deal with.

Q: What is your projection for older folks adopting e-readers?
JT: E-readers are actually perfect for older people, since they are fairly intuitive, it's easy to keep your place in the text, and maybe more importantly, the font size can be enlarged.

Q: I have an out of print book and some (but not all) of the chapters are still useful today. What can I do without having to update the whole book?
JT: You could break up the book, and publish individual pieces as self contained chapters. They could be priced at the $.99 price point.

Q: Kindle returns?
JT: My book was priced at $9.99 and had very few returns
PH: At $2.99 and $.99, I had 2 out of 500 returned

Q: Library sales?
JT: Overdrive is the major player in the library e-book market. Self published e-book authors can go to Overdrive.

Q: What does it cost to publish an eBook?
JT: $150 for fiction for both formats, ePub and Mobipocket. For nonfiction, it depends on the complexity of the content, such as pictures, footnotes, endnotes, iPad, interactivity, but generally it's in the range of $1.75 to $2 per page.
Lynn Mandel Hall: It's worth it to spend some money on a cover that pops. For Parnell's books, we spent $200 on the cover (Elizabeth diPalma, designer).

Q: What's the ideal price point for an e-book?
JT: For nonfiction, it depends on the content. Look at similar books and price accordingly.

Q: Should I use a single website for all my content?
JT: Best to have a separate page for each book under one website. Also definitely place Amazon associate links to your books on the website.

Q: Should I keep the rights myself or use Open Road?
JT: Do you want to become a publisher? You need to ask yourself if you have the desire to do your own publishing or not.

Q: Is there a difference in your creative process when you're writing to publish e-books versus print books?
PH: I'm a bad example. I dictate all my books and then type them up. So it makes no difference to me.
JT: Best to take extra care with self publishing e-books. Make sure it's professionally edited. The quality needs to be high. Often, he gets many edits from authors after they first see their book in e-format.
JS: After Hill of Beans was first formatted as an e-book, he found it took 39 clicks to get to the very first paragraph. So, editing was necessary, moving the preface and other stuff to the back of the e-book.

Q: Any recommendations for marketing e-books?
JT: Recommends Shelton Interactive from Austin, TX. They do social media, and can create and maintain author websites.

Q: How can I find a good editor?
Carolyn: Feel free to call or email me - I have a number of names of member editors who'd love to work with NYSL member writers.

Q: I'm not sure the economics make sense for me if I have to pay out of pocket for a freelance editor, e-book formatting, and publicity
JT: For nonfiction, it's often a matter of selling a service, which is not necessarily a profit motive. By all means, if you have an opportunity and can sell your book to a traditional publisher, do it!

Q: What do you think about DRM (digital rights management)?
JT: Not an advocate of DRM. It makes things harder for readers, for example when you buy content for your Amazon Kindle, then you buy a Nook, you're out of luck and can't read content you already purchased. The argument for DRM is due to piracy, but JT found that his book has been pirated, but to a far less extent than it has sold.
PH: Check out Ereads.

Q: What are your consulting fees?
JT: $150/hour for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Q: I have a publisher and I have been unsuccessful retaining the digital rights to my work. I have found it's a dealbreaker.
PH: It depends upon the publisher, but it can be a dealbreaker. The publisher of all of Parnell's new mysteries retain both the print and digital rights.
JT: Still, the question is whether you want to publish or to write? And if you can get a traditional publishing contract, good for you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Notes coming soon!

Thanks to all the Library members who attended today's Writing Life talk on The A-B-C's of E-Book Publishing. I promised to post my notes on the blog and will do so just as soon as I can transcribe them. If you've got notes - I know you do! - I'd love to have them so I can fill in anything I might have missed while I was listening and furiously scribbling.

While you're waiting, please visit the websites of our fabulous speakers:
John Snyder, author of Hill of Beans.

Joshua Tallent, founder and CEO of eBook Architects

Parnell Hall, author of the Stanley Hastings and Puzzle Lady mysteries

...and don't forget to check out Parnell's videos on You Tube: King of Kindle, Signing in the Waldenbooks, and EBook v. Book

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Afternoon with Salvador Dali

Those of you who attended The New York Society Library's very first Open Mic Night on Oct 27, 2009 will definitely remember Victoria Reiter's fascinating memory piece "An Afternoon with Salvador Dali".

The piece has just been published in the latest issue of the online literary magazine Eclectica. Read it and realize just how dull your own life is.

Happy New Year!