• Authors and other book folks in northern New Jersey might want to see about getting involved in BooksNJ 2009 coming up in June.
• A few (new-to-me) online lit journals I've stumbled across and enjoyed recently: Litter Box, Stone's Throw (with an essay by my friend Harriet Brown), and something unusual (hint: keep those envelope backs, folks): Hit and Run, "publishing the raw materials of fiction, poetry and other creative work: scrap metal; index cards; napkin notes; etc."
• Walter Boyer is co-owner of the dominant independent bookstore Bookends, in Ridgewood, NJ, not far from where I live. The store is known for celebrity author appearances, but also puts on its share of lesser-known author events. Boyer is interviewed in the latest Bookhitch newsletter (which by the way always delivers a bunch of smart book marketing ideas). Here's a small part of his response to a question about what he looks for when asked to schedule an event for a newly published author:
"Since we’re talking about relatively unknown authors, I prefer a detailed email including a bio of the author, a bio of the book, a picture of the jacket, and a publicity plan, or a marketing outline. With an unknown or first-time author, a lot of what they do to market themselves is what determines the success of a book signing. I want to know what they are doing already, before the signing is even proposed, to market themselves and their book. I want to know what kind of following they have now. It’s a challenge, and you cannot expect success without the author’s involvement in publicity."It looks like the current (April) newsletter content is not yet up on the Bookhitch site, but you can sign up for the electronic newsletter here.
• Wish you were at the London Book Fair recently? Then enjoy this vicarious visit.
Have a great weekend. Don't forget to write.*
* I say this all the time, with a smile, to my writing workshop students and even to writers whose essays, manuscripts, synopses, book proposals and other works I'm editing or critiquing. They think I'm being funny. I'm not. I know firsthand how easy it is to "forget" to write, though it's often cloaked in other wording: too busy, too tired, blocked, stuck, burned out, overworked in the day job, uninspired, muse-less, etc. So I'll say it again: Don't forget to write.
And, have a great weekend too.