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Posts Tagged ‘Authors’

Sixth Annual Ooligan Editors’

Choice Fiction Contest

Sponsored by Portland State University’s Publishing Program and Ooligan Press

The Advanced Book Editing class wants your stories!

Submit your original short story on the theme MAKING MONSTERS.

The Ooligan Press Editors will carefully select and professionally edit the five entries that best exemplify originality, reader appeal, and writer’s craft. The winning stories will receive the Ooligan Editors’ Choice Award and will be published in Ooligan’s Best Short Stories of 2010 (our annual electronic journal).

Details:

Stories must not have been previously published

Maximum of 4,000 words

One story per person

Authors will retain copyright to their writing

To Enter:

Send a Word document, double-spaced and formatted in 12-point type, as an e-mail attachment to nancycdinzillo@gmail.com. Include the title of your story. In the body of your e-mail, include your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

All submissions are due by May 1st, May Day.

Read past winners at www.ooliganpress.pdx.edu


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Hey Writers who Read this Blog!

My book marketing teacher mentioned a publishing company called PUSH. I went on the site, and now I’m really intrigued.

When I called self-publishing vanity publishing, someone commented that big publishers NEVER publish first time authors. But PUSH only publishes first time authors! Perhaps that’s exactly what we need: more publishers solvent enough to take a chance actually TAKING a chance and publishing a new writer.

Right now, I feel like publishing houses are putting themselves into a rut by publishing the same authors over and over. And let’s face it – an author might have one great book in them, but sometimes their second and third books aren’t as good as someone else’s first novel.

I understand the authors’ frustrations with this, just as I understand the publishing houses’ point of view: they want to print books that they know will make them money!

But, again, it might be nice if one or two of the big publishing houses, who have the money to take a greater chance, created imprints to publish first time authors. Then, they can keep those authors in-house with another imprint but new authors would have some hope of publication beyond paying their own way.

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Best Author Put Downs

My friend James has the best shirt – I’ve actually tried to steal it twice (I “borrowed” it once after my own shirt got a coffee stain, but he came to my house and stole it back!) and it lists a bunch of Shakespearean insults.

But when I ran across this article the other day, I was so excited – you don’t often hear about authors insulting each other!

Here’s the link to “The 50 Best Author vs. Author Put-Downs of All Time

And here’s some of my favorites:

7. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, according to Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851)

Bulwer nauseates me; he is the very pimple of the age’s humbug. There is no hope of the public, so long as he retains an admirer, a reader, or a publisher.

9. J.K. Rowling, according to Harold Bloom (2000)

How to read ‘Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone’? Why, very quickly, to begin with, and perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do.

12. John Milton’s Paradise Lost, according to Samuel Johnson

‘Paradise Lost’ is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is.

And here’s the second part of the Put Downs.

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I worked in a library for two years, in college, and so I always find the discussions about secure information and privacy very interesting. Personally, the only reason I wouldn’t want someone to have my reading/book buying history is because I’d have to be embarrassed about how many romance and kids books I read. But I understand, and support, the principle – there is no way, without strong evidence of CRIMINAL activity, that anyone has a right to anyone else’s reading records.

That’s why I was glad to see that Amazon is not lightly handing over purchasing histories to North Carolina(in this article). I can understand wanting Amazon’s financial data for tax reasons, but knowing the individual books for each person? There’s no reason for that. And while the library’s policy about not giving out any patron information is a little more comprehensible, as they are a public institution, Amazon seems to understand their duty to their customers too.

Amazon is suing North Carolina to insure that North Carolina cannot get those purchasing histories of individuals. While Amazon is a large company, that does not mean that the same principles of privacy shouldn’t occur at some level. In fact, I would argue, it’s even more important – those histories show the books that people found important enough to buy, not just borrow. I borrow books from the library all the time that I only read a few pages of, but I BUY books I usually already know I like (books that mean something more to me than a causal read). I expect that a lot of other people do the same.

Usually, the scope and expanse of the Amazon realm scares me (they have so much power over book buying!), but in this case, I’m supporting Amazon. Go AMAZON!

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Just watched this book trailer. I’ve been avoiding romance trailers, not because I don’t read romance (I do!), but because I don’t need to hear sappy music and see half naked men. This romance book trailer has neither – but it does have creepy music (especially when you’re home all alone, and it’s dark, and it surprises you) and shows the author and her book cover.

I think showing the cover of the book is the most effective aspect of book trailers – it’s what’s going to make readers connect the video to the physical item in the store.

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The Grove Review is looking for a new distributor, and I’m having trouble finding one. I’ve sent out lots of emails to other literary journals and magazines in the Northwest, asking for recommendations, but many of the responses I’ve gotten are:

Yes, we have a distributor; We use  _______; And NO, we can’t recommend them.

Why can’t anyone recommend their distributor? Are all of these small presses just dissatisfied with their sales, and blame the distributor? Or, perhaps, are distributors just trying to take on too many books and therefore can’t really give each one the necessary amount of time? I wish I knew.

I would really like to use a smaller distributor, one that focuses on the Northwest and independent booksellers, but Baker & Taylor and Ingram seem to be taking over ALL distribution for books in the U.S. – which seems like a bad thing.

So, any suggestions for a distributor?

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I recently decided that I’m a coward when it comes to reading. I’m not adventurous, or brave, or intrepid in any way at all. Instead, I often stick to the same genres, same authors, same series, etc. I am one of those people who read the same book over and over and over, but (to quote from You’ve Got Mail) do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?

In my book marketing class the other day, we were discussing the efficacy of book blurbs on the back cover…do we buy books based on the description? I answered yes, of course, but the truth is that I buy books based on whether I’ve heard of the author, read another book by that author or in that series, and whether I like the genre of that book.

I honestly don’t often venture into the Fiction section of the bookstore or the library. I stick to the areas I know: fantasy and science fiction, YA, cooking, mystery, etc. I like these sections, but I think it’s more because I am overwhelmed by the number of books and authors I don’t know in the fiction section. I’ve been reading the other books for so long that I’m familiar with many of them, and I feel comfortable there.

I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to venture forth from my tidy little hobbit hole of reading habits. One of my favorite things about the library is that I can bring a book home, read five pages, and then return the book if I dislike it. Part of it, I think, is that I started reading very young and read several books that I shouldn’t have read until I was older. I read The Color Purple, for example, when I was in fifth grade – way too young to be reading about the subjects covered in that book – and so now I have this fear of somehow reading something that will traumatize me.

Which is just silly for a grown woman. I read a fantasy book recently where the main character has a very vivid nightmare about being raped, and I stopped reading. Apparently I’m one of those people who cannot handle the harsh realities of literature. Fiction is too “real” for me.

But I’m going to try harder to venture out of my comfort zone, to try and read books by authors unknown on subjects as yet unexplored. I owe it to myself, and to the authors, and to the art of writing – books aren’t always meant to be cozy and happy. Sometimes we all need to read something unfamiliar and uncomfortable, and it’s those kinds of books that help us most to grow. I don’t remember a lot of the books I read in childhood, unless the plot disturbed me in some way, and I think I remember those books because they taught me something or made me think. Which isn’t a bad thing at all…so why have I been avoiding it?

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