Drum roll please!! It’s launch week for Debutante Kathleen West!

It’s finally time! Kathleen West is the first of this year’s Debs to step out onto the ballroom floor!  Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes hits shelves Tuesday, February 4th. The book is a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High—the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle—and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally…

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Interview with Kimmery Martin, Author of The Antidote for Everything

I’m so tickled to welcome Kimmery Martin back to the Deb Ball this week! Kimmery was part of the Deb Class of 2018, the same year I read her irresistible novel, The Queen of Hearts. Her publisher described that novel as a cross between Grey’s Anatomy and Big Little Lies, and I was obsessed with it. Now, Kimmery is back with her sophomore effort, another work of medical fiction, The…

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Who Am I and What is My Brand?

God, the word “brand” seems to be the antithesis of actual writing.  But when you’re writing non-fiction that’s what publishers want to know. Not, “I have an idea for the greatest relationship advice book in the world,” but, who are YOU to write a relationship book?? See even if it’s the greatest business/relationship/pregnancy book in the world, or even a memoir on addiction/prison/infertility — it’s going to have to join dozens…

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On developing your personal brand…

I’ll be honest, friends, the concept of personal branding used to genuinely frighten me. I related branding to ‘the aim to sell something to an audience’, so personal branding sounded like selling myself to the world. I, of the natural introvert clan, do not seek to sell myself to others. That sounded exhausting and false. And so, I was shut down to the concept for quite a while. But a…

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Self-promotion: what not to do.

I’ve been dreading this week. The truth is, I have no idea how to self-promote. I’m seven months away from my book launch, the idea of “building my personal brand” makes my face do the quizzical thing usually found in bad stock photos, and I definitely don’t have any money for “swag.” So, instead, I’ll talk about some things to not do when you’re self-promoting. Don’t: … only talk about…

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Annals of Self-Promotion

Self-promotion! Yes! It’s required! Once you write a book, find an agent and have your manuscript accepted for publication, you’re required to talk about it and all of your adjacent accomplishments non stop for the rest of your life. Have you read Elyssa Friedland’s hilarious piece for McSweeney’s, “Did You Know That I Have a Book Coming Out?” One of my favorite passages reads: “Did you know that I have…

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Simple Ways to Self-Promote and Build Your Personal Brand

Promoting your book is a must, but it can be very time-consuming. It is important to have in your toolkit, easy methods to bring attention to yourself and your work, in addition to the more labor-intensive efforts. Here are some of the simple, quick to orchestrate ways that I have promoted The Talking Drum and helped build my personal brand. Signature line—On the signature of my email account, I include…

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Classic Interview with Bestseller Liane Moriarty

We’re turning back the clock this week to a 2011 interview with the wildly popular Liane Moriarty. Liane Moriarty is the author of seven international best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number one bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Guilty and her latest novel, Nine Perfect Strangers. Big Little Lies has been adapted into a TV show…

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Comp Titles – Something Old, Something New…

When I used to work as a newspaper editor, people would send in all kinds of crazy submissions. Like, hello? “We don’t publish poetry,” I would sometimes reply. “But you should!” They’d write back. (Which why I stopped replying). A publication (magazine/newspaper/website) wants to publish similar things to what they’ve been publishing but not the same. They don’t want ideas for new columns or things they should be doing. I…

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comparative titles 101

Comp Titles and Why

For writers, it’s always important that we are actively reading and making connections between our work to other authors who write along similar themes or styles. It’s not at all an insult for someone to say, “Your writing feels like this author”, or “It reminds me of this other book I read in the past” because, as a writer, your work should, in at least some ways, follow a lineage,…

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