Here’s what working in publicity taught me about successful self-promotion

Thursday, January 31, 2019

In my career, I’ve worked as a publicist, which means I’m accustomed to reaching out to people with cold pitches, telling them that I have something I think they’d find interesting. Sometimes, they do find whatever I’m pitching interesting and feature it on their website or talk show. Other times, I’m not so lucky. But when I put on my author hat, it suddenly feels weird to be reaching out…


Love Your Book, Love Yourself

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Most writers will say they hate the self-promotion and branding aspect of being a professional author. Well, I’m not one of them. I don’t feel weird at all about self-promotion. I love my book, and I want as many people as possible to read it, so promoting it feels natural to me, just like promoting any other book that I love (and I am the kind of person who will…


Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Building a Platform

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

I want to go on record as saying that I have nothing to add to K.A. Doore’s perfect post yesterday. 🙂 Being part of a literary community is the best thing I writer could wish for. Writing itself is a solitary and lonely, and often isolating, endeavor. But if we’re really lucky writers, we learn some craft techniques and make friends along the way. Then you have people in your…


Self-Promo for the Anxious

Monday, January 28, 2019

This week we’re talking about self-promotion and boy, do I have some words to say about this. Granted, most of them are “aaaaah!” and “please anything but” and “oh god why,” but what better way to start this week than at the absolute bottom? I’ve mentioned my anxiety a few times on this blog already, so it should come as no surprise that self-promo and everything related to it fills…


[News Flash] January 27, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Rachel Howard! If you haven’t already, enter the #DebBallGiveaway to win a copy of The Risk of Us. You can enter by sharing our post on Facebook and/or retweeting the following tweet (make sure you follow @DebutanteBall on Twitter too!): Thrilled to have @rachelahoward join us this week! Check out her amazing interview at @DebutanteBall & enter to win a copy of her new…


Interview with Rachel Howard + THE RISK OF US giveaway

Saturday, January 26, 2019

We are thrilled to have Rachel Howard as our guest author this week at The Debutante Ball! Rachel Howard’s novel THE RISK OF US, described by Jenny Offill as “an emotionally complex and amazingly suspenseful novel about love and fear,” will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 9th. Rachel earned her MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College and is the author of a memoir, The Lost Night….


The Comp I Kept

Friday, January 25, 2019

    I know you’ll all be shocked when I announce that I did not use comp titles in my query. I did not. I don’t think I was taking any particular stance in this; it’s just that I had a very hard time to come up with any, and very few agents actually required them. I described my book and sent my query off without them, and that seemed…


Should You Write With The Market in Mind?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

If you have never worked in publishing, you might not be familiar with the term “comp title.” A comp title is a book that publishers compare your project to in order to determine its capacity for turning out a profit. A publisher who wants to take on your book will likely use comp titles to create what’s called a P&L, a profit and loss statement–but if your P&L shows that…


The Same But Different

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

I’ve used a couple different comparative titles over the course of writing, querying, and selling Temper: Black Swan – Temper gets compared to this dark and twisty ballet movie all the time, and it pleases me to no end. I actually studied Black Swan as I was plotting Temper and took copious notes on the story structure. The protagonist in Black Swan could not be more different from Temper’s heroine…


Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: compare and contrast

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I don’t have any magic formulas for the books I selected and used as comparable titles — except if you consider reading, as I do, as a superpower. A few years ago I wanted to start sending out my own book.  I attempted to take stock of what I loved to read and re-read, the books I kept returning to for inspiration and solace: The House on Mango Street by…