where the writers are
Fun Book-buying Story

(Note: This week, we're doing a blog challenge and offering a deal to Red Room authors and premium members. The two are not connected; you can participate in one, or both, or neither.)

BLOG CHALLENGE: Maybe you’re a reader and (thank God) don’t have a book to market. You’re too busy reading to write. Do you have a vivid memory of buying a book that was a story in and of itself? Maybe you came across a dog-eared childhood favorite at a library book sale, bought it, and the memories flooded back. Maybe you ordered a book you thought was about “bears” (the cute kind that eat salmon) and it turned out to be about “bears” (hirsute gay men who wear flannel, who may or may not be cute and eat salmon). Please tag your entry book buying story blog. (More details about the blog challenge below.)



“This is an unusual and different time for books, the most unusual in the history of this country. Ebooks are fine and dandy, but it’s all happening so quickly, and I don’t think anyone thought through the consequences of having many fewer bookstores, of libraries being shut down or limited, of publishers going out of business.”

Mega-bestselling author James Patterson said this is an interview he did with Salon in April about the ad he placed in The New York Times and Publishers Weekly “advocating for government intervention—the same sort of bailout Goldman got—in order to save an industry besieged by bookstore closings and consolidation of the few remaining major publishing houses.”

In response, Bookigee founder Kristen McLean said, “Innovation in the publishing industry is going to come from where it always comes from: entrepreneurs.”

Bookigee’s WriterCube is a huge book-marketing database containing more than 20,000 curated listings. Every bricks-and-mortar bookstore in the United States, the top book bloggers you want talking about your book, and much more. And there are tools to help you focus on the marketing efforts that are just right for your work. Let’s say you’re an author in Tallahassee and find on WriterCube that Portland is where your type of book sells best—you can focus your efforts on the right influencers and venues.

Now Red Room authors and premium members can get free access to the WriterCube database. Email us to get a code for a free 30-day trial membership—that’s a $30 value, yours at no cost! We founded Red Room with the mission to give published authors and aspiring writers the tools and relationships they need to make their dreams come true. One strategy we use to help Red Room authors is to partner with other organizations that share our commitment to author empowerment.



A few bloggers will receive books by Red Room authors who experts on writing your book, getting it published, and doing the right kind of promotion:

Write That Book Already!

In 2010, Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark laid out the blueprint for what you want—your book. From transforming an idea into a manuscript to finding an agent to working with an editor to marketing your book, BookPage's Author Enablers assist you every step of the way. And they brought some backup with original insight from literary superstars like Stephen King, Amy Tan, Rita Mae Brown, and more. (Don't miss the newest book from Sam and his  hard-rocking, hard-writing friends, Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band Ever (of Authors) Tells All.)

The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published

After you've written and edited your book, the next step is getting it published. David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut came to the rescue in 2011 with The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. Demystifying the publishing process, this tome takes you through the entire process, from finding the right idea, to writing your book, to finding an agent and/or publisher (or self-publishing), to promoting and marketing, to finding your audience through social media, to e-books, soup-to-nuts, the only guide you'll ever need.

Social Media Engagement for Dummies

As Kristen McLean said above, successful authors are those who are also entrepreneurs. Bookigee and Red Room are just two companies that want to help authors use every tool to make their books—their "business"—a success. Social media engagement can help you turn prospects into customers and customers into evangelists for your business. Aliza Sherman's new Social Media Engagement for Dummies, co-written with Danielle Smith, shows you how to build those relationships, maintain a viable presence on social networks, and give customers a reason to interact with you.

So post a blog entry today! For help on how to blog, please see the directions here. We'll choose one of these blog posts to be featured on Red Room's homepage next week. Post your entry by Friday, August 23rd at 10:30 a.m. PDT (GMT-08:00) for consideration, and be sure to tag it with the keyword term book buying blog story in the Blog Keyword Tags field so we can find it. (Please don't forget the exact tag. For more information about tags, click here.)

Thanks as always for blogging!

Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room

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danger of infection (too late for entry)

In 1989 I had to fly to Rochester, Minnesota to accompany my sister-in-law to the Mayo Clinic. I would bring her to the clinic each day, the staff would take over and I'd go explore the town. A wonderful little city, by the way. One day, on the sidewalk of the main street, I was passing a long table full of books with a sign that said, "books $1.00 a pound." I didn't want to add too much weight to my flight home so I just bought one --Touch by Elmore Leonard. I had heard much about Mr. Leonard but had read nothing so had no idea what to expect. Touch was outside of Leonard's usual genre. About a man with a gift for healing. But the style was his usual.

I was so taken with the style that I began seeking out more Elmore Leonard. After two or three of those books I had to avoid reading more because I was beginning to write like him. I had been through this before. A college professor, years earlier, after reading an excerpt of a novel I had written, wrote on it, "Good, reminds me of Jim Farrell." Complimentary, but I had taken pains not to write like James T. Farrell. Then there was my H. L. Mencken period. Another instructor wrote on a paper I'd written, "are you becoming a Mencken?"

It's like the Don Adams TV show, Get Smart. From  time to time they'd have to stop shooting because everybody on the set, including the director, was starting to talk like Don Adams.

It's good to have literary models but be careful; there's danger of infection.

------------- Charlie