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:


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!

Video Chat: 3 Essential Tips & Handouts – How to Write & Publish Short Memoir. Available Now in Story Studio.

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events, Writing Tips

Sign up to Story Studio for exclusive access to a one hour video chat with 3 essential tips for writing (and 3 essential tips for publishing) short memoir with Tessa Smith McGovern, founder and editor of eChook Digital & teacher at Sarah Lawrence College. Also, two handouts and a ‘Where-am-I-Now’? worksheet for you to print and complete which will help you reach your writing goals. Sign up top right of home page or HERE.

‘Tis the Season 2011 Contest Winners

Posted on 05. Dec, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events

Congratulations to the winners and honorees of eChook’s 2011 ‘Tis the Season Contest!

The stories will be posted shortly in our SHOWCASE.

John Oliver Hodges Earth Shoes

Gabi Coatsworth The Outfit

Diane Crawford Holiday Leftovers

Lisa Argrette Ahmad Turkey Curry & Dinner Detente
Deborah Brent Edna Marie
Daisy Cains Changing Graves
Kellie Haze Klocko Checking it Twice
Drew Lamm A Touch of Green
Natalie McNabb Nineteen Degrees
Carol Meyer Facing Fears
Mark Saba Superitsa
Sue Sabia His Hands
Kira Stegman The Gravedigger
Cyndi Tefft Christmas Bride
Anne Wilson The Story of Guillermo Brown

Memoir, Vol.2 Contest is open now. CLICK HERE to submit your work.

Save the Date: ONLINE How to Write and Publish Short Memoir, Wed, December 7th @ 3pm ET

Posted on 11. Nov, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events, Writing Tips

Award-winning author and founder of eChook Tessa Smith McGovern will be chatting about what it takes to write and publish a short memoir. She’ll answer your questions live at 3 p.m. ET. at booktrib.com and discuss her three essential memoir-writing tips.

Whether you’re a seasoned writer, occasional journaler, or if you’ve never thought you could write something before, stop by, ask a question, and be entered to win lovely eChook prizes.

Where: booktrib.com
When: Wednesday, December 7 @ 3pm
RSVP: memoirchat@booktrib.com

Boston Book Festival photos

Posted on 16. Oct, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events

It was a beautiful day – sunny, warm, and filled with the sheer joy of being surrounded by people who love to read and write.

Many thanks to Christina Thompson and Laura Healy at Harvard Review for hosting!

Happy festival-go-er, Bridget Young, poses with an eChook bag containing details for a free e-book. Thanks, Bridget!

And another person who preferred to stay out of the spotlight:

The bags went like hotcakes…we could have given away hundreds more but ran out early on, so if you missed yours, we apologize. Next time!

333 New Readers for Memoir, Vol.1 and London Road: Linked Stories in our Flash Sale

Posted on 06. Oct, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events

That’s the beauty of an iTunes flash sale – 333 new readers in more than 12 countries including USA, China, Germany, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Russia, Portugal, Singapore, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.

Even writers who feel nostalgic for their old typewriter know that new systems of execution and delivery (i.e. new media) are here to stay. This is one of those complicated, game-changing times in history and, naturally enough, contradictory emotions rule – a bit like having your child go off to college. You’re delighted they made it, thrilled by their achievements and possibilities, but so saddened by the gap in your life when they’re gone.

However, one of our goals at eChook is to guide writers through this brave new world and help them get writing, get published, build a platform and get paid. And have some fun along the way! To that end, we offer three different ways of learning and getting ahead:

Literary Delights, our free newsletter which includes a classic story and illuminates a point of craft as employed by that author (one that’s still relevant in today’s new media world).

Via our blog, we offer insight designed to show how you how today’s authors succeeded, useful tips on the art and craft of writing, as well as news.

And finally, in Story Studio, we offer exclusive content that allows you to follow along with Tessa Smith McGovern’s class at Sarah Lawrence College (Writing for Digital Media), prompts to get you writing, and information about how writers can benefit from the new world of web-connected TVs.

Sign-ups for all three are on the home page.

See you there!

Free – 4 Day Flash Sale: Memoir, Vol. 1 and London Road: Linked Stories

Posted on 02. Oct, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events

Looking for a ten-minute escape? We know reading’s good for us but did you know it reduces stress by 2/3 in 6 minutes? Better than listening to music, taking a walk or having a cup of tea.

eChook stories are compelling, fresh and character-driven – try one today.

Free in iTunes for four days: iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Click here HERE for Memoir, Vol. 1

Click HERE for London Road: Linked Stories.

Startling News for Writers – and What We Can Do About It

Posted on 28. Sep, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events

What’s new today in publishing and the digital world? Hold onto your hat. Not only has a (horribly feasible) future of books been envisioned, but a new technology has been launched that crystallizes the threat video poses to reading and writing.

Links to both are at the end of this post but here’s the gist of it:

1. A possible timeline for the disappearance of printed books and
2. A new technology for turning text into video.

What can writers do about this? First of all, remember that jobs for writers are set to increase by 15% by 2018 as more and more associations and businesses come online. And then consider this: videos – and short films and webisodes – still have to be written before they can be filmed.

Here at eChook, our focus is to help writers make a decent living whilst expressing themselves creatively. To do that, we have to stay ahead of developing trends. We can’t help but grieve the contraction in print publishing (we raised our children on old-fashioned picture books, after all), but we relish the new digital technologies that give bedroom producers the same opportunities as corporate producers. Folks, this is the best time EVER to be a writer, but understanding trends is crucial if you want to publish, build a platform and get paid.

To that end, we have developed Story Studio (sign up top right on home page). In the Studio, in the coming months, we’ll discuss how (and where) writers of prose – fiction, memoir and essays – can re-purpose their original works for video. We’ll discuss short films, webisodes and how writers can benefit from the explosive growth in online video and the new generation of web-connected TVs.

The Future of books- a Dystopian Timeline

New Tool Converts Text into Reading – Is This the End of Reading?

Standing Room Only! Memoir Launch & Networking Event Photos

Posted on 22. Sep, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events

Thanks so much to everyone who came to Barnes and Noble on Tuesday night! The evening was a great success, and Leslie and I were delighted to meet so many readers and writers. People came from Westport and surrounding Fairfield County, as well as from Boston and New York City.

The photos are below, and will be on our Facebook page shortly where you can tag yourself. If you attended and are not in the photos, please send us a photo and your name and we will post them. And if you have questions, comments or suggestions, please email Leslie or Tessa at editor @ echook.com. Until next time!

Memoir Vol. 1 Authors L – R: Ina Chadwick, Gabi Coatsworth, Tricia Tierney, Rebecca Dimyan, Leslie Chess Fuller, Helen Rafferty, Nina Sankovitch (author of “Tolstoy and the Purple Chair”), Christina Thompson (author of “Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All” and editor of Harvard Review). Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Tessa Smith McGovern, Writer, Founder and Editor of eChook Digital Publishing. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Leslie Upbin Paparo, eChook’s Editorial Assistant and Food Blogger. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Ina Chadwick, Founder of Mousemuse Storytelling and Writers’ Cafe at the Westport Arts Center. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Gabi Coatsworth Works with Ina and Blogs at the Good Men Project. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Tricia Tierney, Author and Community Relations Liason at Barnes and Noble, Westport. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Rebecca Dimyan, Author, Editor and MFA student at Fairfield University. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Leslie Chess Fuller, Author, Ode-Writer and College Essay Coach. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Helen Rafferty, Author, Essayist and Former Gurfein Fellow at Sarah Lawrence College. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Christina Thompson, Author (“Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All”), Teacher and Editor of Harvard Review. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Four Authors Came to Chat and Sign Their Books…Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Jessica Bram (“Happily Ever After Divorce”, Founder of Westport Writers Workshop) and Nina Sankovitch (“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading”, book reviewer). Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Stephanie Lehmann (on right), Author, Editor and Editor-at-Large for Diversion Books, NYC. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Christina Thompson, Author (“Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All”) Teacher and Editor of Harvard Review. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

And Veterans of Publishing and PR:

David Wilk, Publisher and Marketer, and Founder of Amory New Media (Self-Publishing Services)

Meryl Moss, PR and New Media Guru to NYT Bestsellers

Also in attendance…

Drew Lamm, Workshop Leader in Rowayton. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Eileen Winnick, TV Coach and Founder of The Winnick Group. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Tessa and Jane Pollack, Life Coach, Author of “Soul Proprietor”. Photo: Katherine Hooper.

Chatting afterwards…

Photo: Kathleen Burke

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