May 12th, 2009

Some like it cozy

Freelancer Jordan Foster (who lives in Portland, so why don’t I know him/her?) has a long piece in Publishers Weekly looking at cozy mysteries. At the end of the piece are interviews, including one with Ruth Cavin, my old editor at St. Martins (literally – she just turned 90 and is still acquiring!).

Read more here.



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Writers: sometimes it's best to do it yourself

I write a YA column for the Oregonian. It features books with ties to the Pacific Northwest. This isn't a secret. It is amazing too me how many books don't get sent to The O with a sticker that says "local author" or a note indicating that there is a regional tie, even when there is one.

With one of the three books I'm reviwing right now, the author took the trouble to send a note to the books editor pointing out that he lives in Washington State. Without that note, the book might have gotten lost in the teetering piles. Now it will be reviewed. If you're not sure if your publicist did this, it doesn't hurt to double up.

Even as newspapers and review inches have shrunk, there are still ways to get your book noticed. Even newspapers that don't run reviews are looking for human-interest features. Off the book page publicity is probably better than a book review in terms of attracting attention. For one thing, you're not surrounded by other books. A feature article, which can be written by any reporter including the reviewer, is about the interesting facts in a book or the author herself. If you're a pharmacist and writing a book about the pharmaceutical industry, that's a hook for a human-interest article. Think about ways your book links to something factual and interesting.



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The Web connects even people that maybe shouldn’t be connected

Okay, I can see the downsides of Web cams. Or of being stalked on the Web. Or stumbling across porn or having your computer turned into a zombie. But until I read this article, I hadn’t thought of the downside of Web-based support groups.

It begins, “For years they lived in solitary terror of the light beams that caused searing headaches, the technology that took control of their minds and bodies. They feared the stalkers, people whose voices shouted from the walls or screamed in their heads, “We found you” and “We want you dead.” When people who believe such things reported them to the police, doctors or family, they said they were often told they were crazy. Sometimes they were medicated or locked in hospital wards, or fired from jobs and isolated from the outside world. But when they found one another on the Internet, everything changed. So many others were having the same experiences.”

Read more here.



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