Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book Publishers (and Authors and Customers) Breathe a Sigh of Relief!

I LOVE Borders Books! I do the majority of my book shopping there, as it is on my way to the Metro, they always send me great coupons and they have the best Bargain Section around.

Apparently the company has been struggling in these tough economic times (you wouldn't know it if you went to my local Borders!) due to lagging sales. But have no fear, book lovers: Borders Group and Pershing Square Agree to One-Year Extension of Loan Agreement. Hopefully, this extension will give the bookseller enough time to re-group and get their finances back on track so they can stick around for many years to come.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Getting to Know the Biz

After an almost refreshing Spring Break, I am back! I say "almost refreshing" because a week off from classes meant that I got stuck working late nearly every evening last week. So much for reading and research!

I had the opportunity yesterday to attend a meetup group in my area, the Write To Publish Group. I mention this because to be a writer today, it's not enough just to write. You need to know all aspects of the business if you want to be a writer in today's world. Publishers are cutting marketing and publicity all the time; at the same time, there are more and more presses out there, and so you've got to compete with a lot more books than you would have, say 25 years ago. As a writer, you need to be your own publicist. You need to sell yourself, because your book isn't going to sell itself.

Yesterday, our topic was Publishing 101. We talked about the Pros & Cons with different options for publishing and how to work around those and to make the best of your publishing situation.

Robin, the woman who runs this meetup group, is a great resource and her knowledge is staggering. She published a blog that I recommend to any aspiring writer to get to know the ins and outs of the industry. You can find her online at http://write2publish.blogspot.com.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Books as Decoration?

" A home without books is like a room without windows "
—Henry Ward Beecher

The Strand bookstore is taking this to the extreme, offering a service to compile libraries for clients based not necessarily on content, but aesthetic appeal as well! (Although they can compile a library based on subject as well.)

Check it out on their website at http://www.strandbooks.com/app/www/p/bbtfoot.

They also offer rentals for theater sets and the like.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Catch of the Day

Do you like to fish? Do you like to write poems? You might be interested in the following article that caught my eye recently:

For a Weekend, Fishermen Measure Haul in Verse

For all the people out there that think poetry is a frou frou art all about love and flowers, think again. Poetry is what you make it - and some people make it about fishing. The annual Fisher Poets Gathering is, well, exactly that.

From the website:

"Fisher Poetry" comes from experiences living and working in the industry, and ranges in writing style from fast-moving rhyming couplets to crafted free verse or literary prose, and includes poems, songs, short stories, personal memoirs and essays, along with art.

Just goes to prove that you can write poetry about anything - even fish.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Want To Read Books On Your iPod? Now You Can!

It's true! According to Brad Stone in a recent article for the NY Times:

"Shaking up the nascent market for electronic books for the second time in two months, Amazon.com will begin selling e-books for reading on Apple’s popular iPhone and iPod Touch.

Starting Wednesday, owners of these Apple devices can download a free application, Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch, from Apple’s App Store. The software will give them full access to the 240,000 e-books for sale on Amazon.com, which include a majority of best sellers."

To read more, click here.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Didn't Win, But ...

This past December, I submitted work for the first time: I submitted my short story "Southern Comfort" to several writing competitions, one of which was the Glimmer Train December Fiction Open.

For those of you not familiar with Glimmer Train, it is a well-know, well-regarded literary journal. It has a HUGE circulation - 16,000 - for a literary journal, and the selection process is extremely competitive; the editors are known for being highly selective. If you want to read good fiction, go out and pick up an issue. They publish quarterly and are available at most major booksellers.

I heard back from one contest several weeks ago - it was a flat-out rejection. Then a week or so ago I received an e-mail from Glimmer Train. It was a really nice e-mail, telling me how much they had enjoyed my story. I didn't win, but ...

My story received an Honorable Mention!

It's not winning, but it's almost as good! Heck, it's almost as good as getting published! For my first time submitting work, to receive an Honorable Mention from such a well-respected journal is a big deal. It's very encouraging - especially since I'm waiting to hear back from two other journals regarding the same story.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

First Post: Meet the Blogger

For my first post, I thought that I would take just a few minutes to introduce myself and talk about what I envision for this blog.

My name is Erin, and I write literary fiction - mostly short stories, but I am currently doing research for what will be my first novel. I've always wanted to "be" a writer - I wrote stories all throughout my childhood and adolescence, and even majored in creative writing in college - but life got in the way and I stopped writing for a number of years.

We all know there's a difference between wanting to be a writer and actually writing. The desire to write had been gnawing at me the entire time I wasn't writing, and I reached a point where I had to return to writing, and a year or two ago I took up writing again.

Since then, I've joined a writers' workshop group and a write-to-publish group, taken a writing workshop at George Washington University and in January I began the part-time M.A. program in Writing. I've been learning a lot, and I've found some great resources, and I think it would be great to share these; I also think this would be a great place to post about books I'm reading, courses I'm taking and pieces that I'm working on.

I named my blog "Almost Published" because I feel that's where I am right now ... like Almost Famous, but in the literary world. I'd like to be published eventually, but I'm happy to be Almost Published for now, as long as I can keep writing!

I hope you enjoy reading!