Friday 3/30 4.45pm EST Free Teleseminar and Audio Download: ‘Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir’ March 30, 2012 4:45pm EST

Posted on 29. Mar, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

Get your questions ready!

NAMW is holding a free, all-day teleconference (which they’ve kindly asked me to be part of on March 30 at 4.45pm EST) and you can sign up to receive an audio download for the whole day’s presenters (other presenters are Smashwords founder Mark Coker,Dan Blank, Lynn Serafinn, Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers). That’s a lot of learning!

Here’s some of the description, and a link to more info and for sign-up:

MEMOIR WRITING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

The Year of the Memoir is 2012! Memoir writers have more tools than ever available for writing and publishing a memoir. But writers have many questions in this digital explosion…

We are happy to have as our guest Tessa Smith McGovern, an expert in epublishing with a special focus on memoirs.

Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir

4:45pm EST/3:45pm CST/2:45pm MST/1:45pm PST

Everyone can get published. There is a system, a series of steps to follow, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow too. There’s no quick fix, no magic bullet, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go. These days, all writers need to build a platform of readers, which means (at some point) creating your own website or blog, and posting excerpts of your work.

At eChook, we teach writers how to use the technical tools available to create their unique platform and reach larger audiences. All this can be done quickly and learned easily.

During the Telesummit, you will learn:

* The system that until now only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers

* Why memoir is often the easiest genre to get published

* How to make your memoir stand out from the crowd

* Technical apps and digital chapbooks

* Contests that move your career forward

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. The stories, memoirs, fiction, and essays have been read by thousands of readers in 100 countries. eChook has over 24 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers. She teaches ‘Writing for Digital Media’ online and at Sarah Lawrence College.

You can sign up here: http://www.namw.org. They will send you the telephone number to call, and you can either participate or just listen.

Looking forward to it!

Tessa

Save the Date: Teleseminar on ‘Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir’ March 30, 2012 4:45pm EST/3:45pm CST/2:45pm MST/1:45 pm PST

Posted on 19. Mar, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

The National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) is an amazing resource for writers of memoir. Founded by Linda Joy Myers, who’s clearly a human dynamo, the website is chock-full of free information.

Here’s a bit about Linda: She’s the author of ‘The Power of Memoir – How to Write Your Healing Story’ (Jossey-Bass, 2010), ‘Becoming Whole – Writing your Healing Story’ (Silvercat Publications, 2003), and the award-winning memoir, ‘Don’t Call Me Mother: Breaking the Chain of Mother-Daughter Abandonment’ (Two Bridges Press, 2005). She’s taught memoir writing for 15 years, and has been a therapist in Berkeley, CA for the last 32 years. She teaches and offers memoir coaching, editing and manuscript evaluation, and is a mentor to many memoir writers. You can visit her (delightful) blog at http://memoriesandmemoirs.com.

NAMW is holding a free, all-day teleconference (which they’ve kindly asked me to be part of on March 30 at 4.45pm EST) and you can sign up to receive an audio download for the whole day’s presenters (other presenters are Mark Coker (Smashwords founder),Dan Blank, Lynn Serafinn, Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Meyers). That’s a lot of learning!

Here’s some of the description, and a link to more info and for sign-up:

MEMOIR WRITING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

The Year of the Memoir is 2012! Memoir writers have more tools than ever available for writing and publishing a memoir. But writers have many questions in this digital explosion…

We are happy to have as our guest Tessa Smith McGovern, an expert in epublishing with a special focus on memoirs.

Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir

4:45pm EST/3:45pm CST/2:45pm MST/1:45pm PST

Everyone can get published. There is a system, a series of steps to follow, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow too. There’s no quick fix, no magic bullet, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go. These days, all writers need to build a platform of readers, which means (at some point) creating your own website or blog, and posting excerpts of your work.

At eChook, we teach writers how to use the technical tools available to create their unique platform and reach larger audiences. All this can be done quickly and learned easily.

During the Telesummit, you will learn:

* The system that until now only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers

* Why memoir is often the easiest genre to get published

* How to make your memoir stand out from the crowd

* Technical apps and digital chapbooks

* Contests that move your career forward

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. The stories, memoirs, fiction, and essays have been read by thousands of readers in 100 countries. eChook has over 24 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers. She teaches ‘Writing for Digital Media’ online and at Sarah Lawrence College.

You can sign up here: http://www.namw.org

Looking forward to it!

Tessa

NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class – for the First Time Ever

Posted on 17. Feb, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

In response to student request, Tessa Smith McGovern’s class ‘Writing for Digital Media’, held at the Sarah Lawrence College campus in Bronxville, NY is now also available online. SIGN UP OPEN NOW.

WRITING FOR DIGITAL MEDIA: STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
Thursday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
March 1st – May 10th
11 Sessions, $575
SIGN UP HERE

Suitable for writers of long or short form, fiction, non-fiction or poetry, beginners to advanced.

The options for writers today can be overwhelming, but there is a system, a series of steps to follow to get published and build your platform, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow too. There’s no quick fix, no magic bullet, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go.

In this class we will explore how writers can navigate the maze of digital media, focus on their strengths and build their platform in a way that meets their goals. These days, all writers need to build a platform of readers, which means (at some point) creating your own website or blog, and posting excerpts of your work. We’ll consider blogs versus websites, learn how each writer can get published, make the best use of social media and develop and execute their own, long-term Facebook and Twitter strategies.

You will learn:

* The system that until now only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers – as it exists now in the digital age
* Which genre is often the easiest to get published
* How to make your work stand out from the crowd
* Technical apps and digital chapbooks
* Contests that move your career forward

To get the words flowing, we’ll read classic stories that still work in today’s digital world, and do some writing exercises of our own.

There are no prerequisites for this class, but writers should have some knowledge of, and be willing to explore, social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Please be prepared to produce new writing, and offer and receive productive critiques.

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. eChook has thousands of readers in 100+ countries, 26 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers.

Also, sign up for eChook’s newsletter ‘LITERARY DELIGHTS’ – enjoy a classic short story and a writing tip that illuminates technique as employed by the author as well as news and calls for submissions. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

Love in the Digital Age, Part Two – How to Write Well About Love: a Ten-Minute Exercise

Posted on 15. Feb, 2012 by in Blog, Writing Tips

Unless you’re a genre writer, it can be tricky to produce good quality writing when your topic is love. Genre readers – those who love their bodice-rippers – have certain expectations in terms of plot and language and writers are expected to fill them. That’s nice and simple. For mainstream or literary writers, however, it can be time-consuming and difficult to write in a fresh way about love.

Here’s an example from ‘ Godsend: A Love Story for Grownups’ by NYT bestselling author Dalma Heyn and Richard Marek, of a description that works:

“Thick brown hair laced with strands of whitish gray makes the grown man roaming around the store’s kayak department look, at first, like a sun-bleached teenager. Pale blue eyes stand out against a tan. An athletic, fit body adds to an impression of a life spent outdoors. He’s not prematurely gray, he’s middle-aged–an important point, since it opens the field to women his own age, older or younger. He’s employed–as evidenced by the manila envelope clutched under his arm and the collection of pens and pencils poking out of the pocket of his fleece Patagonia jacket. Interested in his work, clearly, from a tell-tale, if cliched, pencil over his ear. A writer or an editor, no doubt. Smart, then, which is also important. No wedding ring, which is most important.

“He’s got his eye on a blonde woman in the skiing section. This is also relevant. For, while any unattached, ambulatory, attractive hetersexual male would do, Evan Cameron is a hunk: an athletic, brainy hunk actively looking for love. We have a catch here, not just a candidate.”

Excellent stuff!

Why does this work? First of all, the voice is strong. Someone is telling us about Evan, and that means there’s a story already in motion.

Secondly, it’s humorous. He’s ambulatory. Hooray!

Thirdly, he’s an editor or writer, so he’s intelligent and attractive – the type of character highly likely to appeal to mainstream and literary readers.

Fourthly, despite his intelligence (and, we surmise, a healthy dose of sensitivity), he’s got his eye on a blonde woman in skiing. So not only is he ambulatory, he’s looking for love and ready to pursue this woman. Who doesn’t want to read something intelligent about this age-old chase?!

So here’s the exercise: spend a few minutes thinking about one of your own ‘chase’ experiences. Remember where you were, what was said, how you felt. Then pick a character (real or imagined). Write a list of five attractive physical traits and five appealing character traits, such as sensitivity, generosity, sense of humor – whatever appeals to you. Write for ten minutes, without stopping, and describe your character.

To find out more about Evan Cameron and the details of his chase, you can buy the eBook on Kindle. It’s reduced to 99 cents ON KINDLE NATION.

How Writers Can Build a Global Readership, and Flash Sales in iTunes

Posted on 10. Feb, 2012 by in Blog

Every now and then, we hold a sale in iTunes and every time, we’re delighted with the results. We get hundreds of downloads from dozens of countries around the world – China, Russia, Japan, Australia and England, to name just a few. It’s a wonderfully simple way for our writers to be read by hundreds of people and build a global readership – all with just a few clicks. And it’s all because of the technology that supports iTunes apps.

Here’s how it works: People all around the world download free apps that monitor price changes in the app store. (To find them, go to the app store on your device, search for ‘app price change’ or ‘app deals’ or ‘apps on sale’ and you’ll see different ones pop up. There are about a dozen.) Then these people check their newly downloaded apps to see what’s on sale (reduced price or free) and they download the ones that take their fancy.

But wait, there’s more, and this is the best part…because people around the world are buying new iPhones and iPads every day, there’s a constant influx of new readers coming to the app store. In fact, Apple doubled sales of iPhones and iPads in 2011, and sold 37m iPhones and 15m iPads in that year’s last quarter alone. Common wisdom has it that there are still many unpenetrated markets and that Apple is still far from saturation, so the future looks bright.

What can we say? We love Apple.

Memoir, Vol. 1 and London Road: Linked Stories are free in iTunes now until Sunday 12th Feb at midnight.

eChook has two calls for submissions open now. We look forward to reading your work!

Free Talk: How to Get Published Sat 4th Feb 12 – 2pm Fairfield Library

Posted on 03. Feb, 2012 by in Press/Events

Are you befuddled by all the options there are for writers in today’s digital world? Well, the good news is, it’s easier than ever to get published. There is a system, a series of steps to follow, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow, too.

There’s no magic bullet, no quick fix, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go. In the first hour, you will learn:

* The system that, until now, has only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers

* Which genre is often the easiest to get published

* How to make your work stand out from the crowd

At the end, there will be time for questions so you can get specific answers tailored to your needs.

About the Teacher:

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. The stories, memoirs, fiction, and essays have been read by thousands of readers in 100+ countries. eChook has over 24 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers.

On Twitter, Writers Send Out Sample Chapters, Find Agents & Publishers & Build Their Platforms

Posted on 25. Jan, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

If you’re a writer and you haven’t started tweeting, you might want to consider this: there are fifty million people on this haiku-like platform and most of them are writing folk. It isn’t just for teens and twenty-somethings; Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry, Bill Simmons and Oprah Winfrey are all doing it and, chances are, some of your favorite writers are on there too.

Twitter is an essential – and free! – part of building your platform whether you write long or short form, fiction or non-fiction, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced writer. And it can be great fun; once you’ve done it once or twice, writing each tweet can be a delightful game: how to say what we want to say as elegantly as possible?

There are downsides to this technological revolution we’re all living through, but Twitter isn’t one of them. It’s quick, it’s effective, and you’ll be tickled at how quickly you can get people reading your work and following you back.

Come and join Tessa Smith McGovern in one of two upcoming workshops – one at the Westport Writers Workshops in Westport, CT on Sat 28th Jan 10am – 1pm and one at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY on Sat Feb 18th 11am – 2pm.

If you’re new to this, you will open an account, write your profile designed to attract followers, follow other relevant tweeters, link your account to your Facebook page (if you have one), learn how to compose effective tweets and grow your platform, and send your first tweet.

If you’ve been tweeting for a while, you’ll learn a simple trick for quickly writing dozens of tweets without re-inventing the wheel each time, how to maximize their effectiveness, build your platform quickly, and the pros and cons of using SocialOomph, a free website that allows you to schedule multiple tweets in advance, thus freeing you from your computer whilst your words are launched automatically, magically, into the Twittosphere.

About the Teacher:

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. eChook has thousands of readers in 100+ countries, 24 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers.

The Future of the Printed Book? Watch the Expresso Book Machine in action: 28 sec VIDEO

Posted on 09. Jan, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

There are 12 Expresso Book Machines in the US, and the newest one is at the Darien Library in Connecticut. So, not only can you print other people’s books, you can print your own as well. Yes, the Darien library has gone into the self-publishing business. Find out more here.

I was curious about the quality of these books so this New Year, during our annual pilgrimage to Vermont, I went to the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester and tried it out.

I ordered ‘Leo Tolstoy’s 20 Greatest Short Stories Annotated’ by Andrew Barger. There are actually two machines; one to print the pages of text, and another to print the cover art on paper sized 11′ x 17″. Then the machine that prints the pages does the binding. Here’s the video of my purchase being bound:

http://youtu.be/FLW1qYjpk-k

The quality of the binding is perfectly adequate – similar to many other books now sitting on my shelf. The cover design is okay, professional enough, although the graphics of St. Basil’s Basilica could be crisper. As it turned out, I hadn’t chosen the best example to print. A display of books nearby showed how great the covers can look, and the person in charge of the EBM explained that they also work with a third party publisher which makes it possible to print top-quality illustrations and covers.

And that brings me to what I realized, in retrospect, was most significant about this experience. The person in charge: Debbie Wraga. Standing in the delightful Northshire Bookstore, I could discuss the print publishing of eChook’s short story collections by interacting with a person instead of committing to yet another lengthy, solo, computer-bound project. Human interaction! Oh, the joy! The relief!

Helpful and charming, Debbie is a graphic designer with a printing background. Knowledgeable as well as flexible (self-publishing packages are available but she also works in 1/4 hour segments at a rate of $40 per hour), she offers a cost-effective solution for authors by phone, in person or (yes, of course) online.

Now that the creators of EBM, On Demand Books, have partnered with Xerox and leases are available without upfront costs, I think we can expect to see them popping up everywhere. And if people like Debbie are operating the machines, that’s a pleasure in store for all of us.

Debbie Wraga at Northshire Bookstore

Debbie Wraga

Debbie and friends!

Opportunities for Writers in Canada (and Soon the US and Other English-Speaking Markets)

Posted on 22. Dec, 2011 by in Blog

It turns out that Canada, in digital media terms, is more interesting than you might think. Not only is it a hotbed of piracy (because the legislation needed to curtail piracy doesn’t exist there) but a fledging initiative to support writers of webisodes has developed into a long-term, multi-million dollar programme.

The Independent Production Fund (IPF) is a prominent supporter of short form writing on the web. In the last two years it has funded 26 websiode series (out of 300 applicants) and has just announced its continued support for webisodes through 2014 to the tune of over $1.5 million per year. The deadline for next year’s applications is March 1, 2012. Read the full press release here.

So if you’re a short form writer living in Canada, that’s great news, eh? If you live elsewhere, sign up below for our blog posts to learn of new developments and the latest ways writers can benefit from the surge in online video.

And Now for Something Completely Different: Visual Story Prompts as You’ve Never Seen Them Before

Posted on 13. Dec, 2011 by in Blog, Writing Tips

We all know writing exercises are good for us, just like practicing scales on a piano, but when was the last time you wrote to a prompt? Have you got ten minutes to spare? If so, start something new – and powerful – by responding to the new prompts by Miggs Borroughs, Laura Wilk, Alice Shapiro and Joelle Sander in Story Studio. They work for fiction or memoir and, we promise, you will never have seen story prompts quite like them. Sign up for Story Studio on top right of home page or HERE.

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