Magical Memoir Moments

My Amtrak Writer's Residency: Five Tips for Authors After 4,000 Superliner Miles

A few months ago, the online world buzzed with the news that Amtrak had decided to offer “residencies” —  a writer’s competition that offered free travel worth up to $900. Thousands applied, including me. The odds were stacked against winning, but the marketing campaign succeeded in reigniting my old dream of seeing the USA via…

Read More...

Book Expo America: Three Tips to Keep You from Going Broke or Crazy

It’s all Dan Blank’s fault. Dan’s an entrepreneur and heads a company called We Grow Media. Last year he wrote about experiences on the floor of the enormous Book Expo America (BEA) in his newsletter. New York, of course, where BEA usually takes place, is also the hub of the publishing industry in America. Dan’s…

Read More...

On the Road Again: Coming to a City Near You?

Forty-five years ago, these two merry wanderers decided to set off on the journey of life together: We used the image of the Conestoga Wagon to dream together, having been influenced by the story that a Mennonite invented the wagon, and having read lots of Little House on the Prairie books, we somehow associated freedom,…

Read More...

Learning from Rachel Held Evans: A Book Tour Pro

Do you know Rachel Held Evans? If not, you should. She’s a barrel of laughs. She’s also a bestselling author and a courageous leader among Christian Feminists online. She’s helped many people bridge between faith and doubt. Read this blog post about World Vision and see how much energy (over 600 comments) she generates! My…

Read More...

What's the Best Way to do a Book Tour? A Hybrid Approach Between Virtual and "Live"

Book tours have gotten a bad rap lately. Publishers seldom sponsor them except for their A-list authors in A-list venues in large cities. In fact, back in 2011 Anne R. Allen advised authors to celebrate their demise in a post titled  RIP the Author Book Tour.  She preferred BLOG tours and social media, which, three…

Read More...

Do You Remember December 1, 1969? Another Chance to Publish Your Story!

I’m beginning to think about my college years, 1966-1970, since that’s where my memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World ends and where a second volume could begin. So I was very interested in the new memoir just about Denis R. O’Neill’s senior year of college at Dartmouth: WHIPLASH: When the Vietnam War…

Read More...

A Sneak Peak into the Black Box of Preparing to Launch a Book: A To-Do List for Book Marketing

Sometimes this book launch project seems a little like re-learning how to hoop. I can jump in enthusiastically, keep the hoop going for a little while, but mostly I have to laugh, pick up the hoop, and start over again. The analogy between preparing to launch and relearning hula works like this: I’ve got a…

Read More...

Choosing Photos for a Memoir: Which One Should it Be?

Robert Burns asked for the gift to “see ourselves as others see us.” Every author wants that same gift and yet trembles before the awful throne of reader judgment, hoping that one’s private thoughts made public will be held with respect, maybe even with tenderness and love. A writer needs to earn that trust. Selecting…

Read More...

Ten Steps to Doing a Book Cover Reveal: How to Build Community as You Prepare Your Book Launch

During the holidays, when my tech-savvy adult children were visiting us, we had a blast with an event called a Cover Reveal. It brought my publisher, my audience, and me together for the first time in a formal way. So, using the holiday theme, I’ve concocted a recipe for the event to share with you….

Read More...

The First Peak at Blush: Cover Reveal Coming This Friday

Did you know my book-to-be book has fans? I’m blushing here, because I didn’t give them this name, but that’s what Facebook calls the special pages you “like,” in contrast to the personal pages where you “friend” each other. I place blog posts on my website and on the Shirley Hershey Showalter page. The page…

Read More...

Pin It on Pinterest