Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Partners: Amazon + Goodreads

by Hazel Buys
Is everyone aware that Amazon recently bought Goodreads? The pairing of a major online retailer of books (and just about everything else) and a major reading fan base suggests huge opportunities for writers of all genres. To help us get up to speed, Sarah Pinneo, author of Julia's Child (Plume, 2012) posted an entry on the Query Tracker blog site. Follow this link for Part 1:
While you're there, check out Query Tracker if you are new to the site, and visit Sarah's website at http://www.sarahpinneo.com/
Stayed tuned for Part 2!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Preparing For A Novel Revision Retreat

by Hazel Buys
Big news: I'm going to a writers' conference! It's big news to me, anyway. No matter how many gatherings I go to, conference attendance is a major event in my writing life.
I'm not much of  a crowd person, so it takes a bit of energy. It also takes time from my writing (yep, I tell myself I would be using the time working on my novel, even if I weren't at the conference - LOL!). Actually, it's a novel revision retreat sponsored by the MidAtlantic SCBWI, at the Roslyn Conference Center in Richmond, VA.
In preparing for this retreat, I researched ideas on what to bring, what to ask, what to wear (a sweater, even in June - conference rooms can be cold), etc. It's amazing how much advice is out there!
It will surprise no one that one must-bring item is your pitch. Yep, even if you only have a first draft and you are undertaking major revisions, you should know enough about your novel to put together a pitch.
Fortunately, QueryTracker has a great post about pitches. The post is from 2009 but it's timeless. And, admit it, we can all use refreshers on writing pitches. Take a look:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


by Hazel Buys
A big high-five to Gigi Amateau and Meg Medina who were the subject of Bill Lohmann's column in Monday's Times-Dispatch Metro section (6-10-13). Yesterday was the kick-off of the third summer reading list for their "Strong Girls of Summer" annual project. Take a look:

In other news:
Google has created a wonderful animated doodle to celebrate the 85th birthday of Maurice Sendak. You don't want to miss it!
What a great start to June!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Does The Conclusion Of Your Book Bring It To An END?

by Hazel Buys
First, a tip: I flew by an article by Jane Friedman that neatly categorizes publishing into 5 types. Take a look:
On another note... the other night, I was reading, as a precursor to getting drowsy and dropping off into dreamland (hopefully), I realized I was actually getting irritated because the book I was reading wouldn't end. Did you feel that way at the end of the movie, LORD OF THE RINGS, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING? A review of the movie I read lamented that it wouldn't end!
I love the LOTR series and didn't mind the stop-start rhythm of the last 15 minutes or so of the movie. But I definitely mind the stuttering end (?) of the book I am still reading. (The names have been omitted to protect the guilty.) The mystery had been solved, the guilty sent to prison, the various odds and ends tied up and I was hoping for a satisfactory wrap-up sentence before shutting down my Kindle and going to sleep. But every time I clicked the page-forward button at the end of the chapter, instead of a teaser for the next novel (I love that some authors are doing that) or an epilogue, another chapter appeared!
Which prompted me to write a note to self: when you've tied up your plot and subplots with a neat little bow, the next two words should be "The END." If there is more exposition, sprinkle it throughout the narrative, put it in an epilogue or leave it out (perhaps the best solution). Don't leave your reader wishing it were over already. There is no better way to guarantee they won't pick up your next book.