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Holiday Break November 21, 2011

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in fantasy, weekly topics, YA fiction.
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We are taking off the week of November 21-28, 2011 the first of our holiday breaks. We will return on November 25 for a topic on YA fantasy with Marie Lu, author of Legend. We’ll break again from December 19-30, then resume a brand new year of literary discussion as we celebrate the third anniversary of #litchat during the week of January 2-6, 2012.


Taking the E-Road: Publishing Direct to E-Book June 20, 2011

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in commercial fiction, e-books, fantasy, fiction, literary fiction, self-published authors, self-publishing.
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Last March bestselling author Barry Eisler made publishing headlines when he announced his new novel would circumvent traditional publishing and go direct to market as an e-book. The writing was on the wall long before Eisler came public with his choice. Nearly two years earlier author J.A. Konrath had already cleared obstacles barring the successful promotion and sales of fiction through self-publishing to e-book. Shortly after Eisler’s announcement, Huffington Post published this insightful conversation between the two authors, which went on to become a live discussion continuing today through Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog. How will such defections of bestselling authors affect the publishing industry at large? Last week PBS Media Shift addressed this issue with this report on literary agents acting as self-publishing consultants. The publishing paradigm is shifting so quickly now, the image is blurred.

This week in #litchat we’ll discuss the trend of authors–both known and unknown–to go direct to e-book.  We’ll feature three authors who have taken their careers into their own hands and boldly gone where Konrath and Eisler have already been. These authors, however, aren’t bestellers. Yet. Each of them have already achieved success within e-pub rankings and are forging new paths for other yet-unpublished authors to follow.

Monday: Georganna Hancock

Georganna Hancock shares the inside tips on how to whip a manuscript into shape for successful e-book formatting, promotion and sales. Hancock’s rich experience as an editor is the focal point for this discussion, as she emphasizes the importance of professional editing for content, grammar and style that is often skipped by self-publishing authors. She’ll also share insights on how to set-up an Amazon account for direct-to-Kindle publishing, how to format your manuscript for the best e-book results, as well as promotional and marketing tips for sales. Hancock holds a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University and now works as an independent editor and publishing consultant.

Follow Georganna Hancock on Twitter: @GLHancock.

Wednesday: Eileen Cruz Coleman

Eileen Cruz Coleman has published two novels direct to e-book. Her first novel, Sweetwater American, was released on Kindle in February 2010. Excerpts from Sweetwater American have been published in short story form in The Saint Ann’s Review, Bathtub Gin, Thought Magazine, Rosebud Magazine, Sundry: A Journal of the Arts, In Posse Review, Small Spiral Notebook, and Slow Trains Magazine. Excerpts from Sweetwater American have also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has won third place in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. At this writing, her latest novel, Rumpel, is holding the number 2 position at Amazon Kindle’s Horror/Ghosts category. Rumpel is a literary retelling of the Brothers Grimm classic, Rumpelstiltskin, peopled with sinister spooks and textured with dark swaths of chicanery.  Cruz Coleman was born in Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in European History. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.

Follow Eileen Cruz Coleman on Twitter: @EileenCruzColeman.

Friday: Billie Hinton

Billie Hinton began her own publishing company, November Hill Press, in the summer of 2010, launching her first title, Claire-Obscure, a literary fiction masterpiece. In the year that has followed, she has published two more literary fiction titles, The Meaning of Isolated Objects (December 2010) and Signs That May Be Omens (March 2011, continuation in the Claire Quartet). In February 2011, she published the first in her middle grade Magical Pony School series, Jane’s Transformation. These titles have been shaped through the years by Hinton’s magical literary touch and now come to readers through Kindle and Smashwords. Her writing has been praised by bestselling authors, critics and other publishing pundits, both in traditional and transitional fields. Hinton, a psychotherapist by vocation, also leads writing retreats designed to unleash the creativity and empower writers to project completion. She lives on a small horse farm in North Carolina with her husband, two teenagers, three horses, a painted pony, five felines, and two Corgis.

Follow Billie Hinton on Twitter: @billiehinton.

Indie Author Showcase June 20, 2010

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in alternative publishers, fantasy, literary fiction, self-publishing, YA fiction.
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June 21-25, 2010

It’s that time of year again for #litchat’s Indie Author Showcase. While traditional publishers remain the standard of success for authors, the stigma of self-publishing is vanishing as indie authors whose work falls through the cracks of commercial publishing trends are finding success on their own. Indies of film, music and other arts are celebrated, isn’t it time to salute the finest of indie authors?

This week we’re featuring three authors who have chosen to take their writing career into their own hands, and each of them in different ways.

Monday, June 21: Dan Halloway — Digital Publishing and Community

Dan Holloway is a writer, blogger, music journalist, theologian, arts promoter and mental health campaigner. He is a founder member of Year Zero Writers, a collective of contemporary fiction writers set up to give people a place to write directly for readers, free from commercial consideration. He is the author of the novel Songs from the Other Side of the Wall, and the collection of stories and poems (life:) razorblades included. Dan’s short stories, articles about publishing, and journalism have appeared in places as diverse as PANK, One in Four Magazine, Editor Unleashed, Emprise Review, The Indie Handbook, and the urban writing biennial XCP: Streetnotes.

Dan has organized cross-arts events from the Free e-Day Festival, to the current Year Zero Live tour, using untraditional venues from music clubs to art galleries and tattoo parlors. His latest project is eight cuts gallery, a real and virtual space designed to blur completely the boundaries between literature and other arts.

Follow Dan Holloway on Twitter: @agnieszkasshoes

Wednesday, June 23: D.R. Whitney — Established a Publishing Company

D.R. Whitney wrote The Last Princess as the first in a series she calls The Goddess Prophecies, an epic fantasy adventure featuring a contemporary heroine drawn to the mythic isle of Avalon. An adult version of The Last Princess was originally offered by a small press, but during #litchat we’ll learn why Whitney reclaimed her project, revised it for YA, and established her own publishing company to bring it out. In addition to the trade paperback, Whitney has produced an audio version of the book a lush soundtrack and a theatrical delivery. A film adaptation is claimed to be in the works. Savvy marketing, a million-dollar budget and relentless belief in her work keeps Whitney in the game.

Whitney’s journey to The Goddess Prophecies began in Britain where she spent several years researching Celtic myth and legend. She is currently completing work on her second installment , entitled: “The Last Princess and The Staff of Power.” Whitney lives in Los Angeles with her music producer husband, James and three Pekingese.

Follow D.R. Whitney on Twitter: @goddessprophecies

Friday, June 25: William H. Johnson — iUniverse (self-publishing house)

William H. Johnson comes from a background of theater and film, where independent artists are highly respected for working outside the mainstream. With this background it was natural for him to go it alone, rather than pursuing a deal with a traditional publishing house. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University where he developed a passion for theater. Since relocating to Southern California in 1997, William has directed numerous plays from David Ives one acts All in the Timing to Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece, Waiting for Godot. In 2004 he began training and developing The Magic Meathands improv comedy ensemble, a performing company whose mission of com-mune-edy outreach has been blogged about on idealist.org and featured on CNN Headline News: Local Edition.

In 2009 he began writing essays on race in America and political commentary that have been published in three different regional newspapers. Johnson’s first novel, The Dark Province: Son of Duprin, was released in March 2010.

Follow William H. Johnson on Twitter: @AuthorWilliam

Topic of the Week: Sci-Fi/Fantasy & a Child’s Imagination August 24, 2009

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in children's literature, fantasy, science fiction, weekly topics.
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Topic of the Week for August 24-28: Sci-Fi/Fantasy and a Child’s Imagination

Fiction is one of the most powerful and influential means of teaching children about the world they will one day inherit. Imagination plays a big role in the development of a child’s world view and is stimulated by otherworldly stories in science fiction and fantasy. The alternative worlds created by authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and Madeline L’Engle do more than just entertain children with hours of passive activity, they teach about racism, hatred, exploration, and overcoming the feelings of being different.

R.J. Anderson

R.J. Anderson

During the week of August 24-28 in LitChat we’ll talk about the power of a child’s imagination with an emphasis on science fiction and fantasy. Joining us as guest hosts on Friday, August 28, are R.J. Anderson, author of the YA fantasy series Faery Rebels: Spell Hunters, and K.A. Holt, author of middle grade science fiction, Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel

A lover of fairy tales, mythology and fantasy stories from an early age, R.J. Anderson (known to friends and family as Rebecca) started writing original fiction at the age of eight and completed her first novel-length manuscript at nineteen. Unfortunately the book was awful and after several rejections it became clear that publishers wanted nothing to do with it, so she had to relinquish her dream of becoming a child prodigy.

SpellHunterFortunately, Rebecca had more success with her second attempt — the story of a fierce young faery who fights to save her dying people while concealing her forbidden friendship with a human — which was published earlier this year as KNIFE in the UK and FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER in North America.”

Rebecca now reads to her own three sons the stories that fired her imagination as a young person, and enjoys reading wonderful new middle grade and teen novels and discussing them with others. She is proud to be a member of the Debut 2009 MG/YA Writers’ Group on LiveJournal (www.feastofawesome.com).

Follow R.J. Anderson on Twitter at: @RJAnderson.

K.A. Holt

K.A. Holt

K. A. Holt lives a life of mayhem in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing action-packed adventures for middle grade readers, her alter ego, Kari Anne Roy, is writing action-packed tales of suburban shenanigans for not-yet middle-aged readers.

MikeNervesofSteelAs Kari Anne Roy, she is author of Haiku Mama (because seventeen syllables is all you have time to read) (Quirk, 2006). Some of her other work has appeared in Parents Magazine, and on the McSweeney’s Internet Tendency website.

You can find out all about K.A. Holt at http://www.kaholt.com, and you can learn more about Kari Anne Roy at http://www.haikuoftheday.com.

Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel is K.A. Holt’s first book for children.

Follow K.A. Holt on Twitter at: @karianneroy.