Archive for April, 2012

Member News

Because My Name is Mother

This spring is as busy as ever for our WNBA-NYC members! Read below for all the exciting things they’ve done – and the interesting things they have coming up.

Deborah Batterman published a new Kindle e-book,  just in time for Mother’s Day. Because My Name is Mother reminds us in brief linked essays that every mother is a daughter too. The insights she brings to simple acts like looking at old photographs, recalling the smells and tastes of her mother’s cooking, making her daughter’s bed or shopping with her, are as beautifully rendered as they are profound.

Pot Inc.Susannah Greenberg, WNBA-NYC Publicity Chair, will moderate a panel event on book publicity for self-published authors at Book Expo America’s uPublishU at the Javits Centre, Sunday, June 3 at 2:30PM, and Beyond The Hunger Games: Marketing and Publicity for Young Adult Books. Susannah is also delighted to announce that she is representing to the press: Pot, Inc.: Inside Medical Marijuana, America’s Most Outlaw Industry by Greg Campbell, and BLOGOTHON: Reflections and Revelations from The News Dissector by Danny Schechter, an Emmy award-winning journalist, television producer and independent filmmaker. 

The Greedy SparrowLucine Kasbarian will be signing copies of her book, The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale alongside 72 other authors at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival in Upstate New York, Saturday, May 5. Further details available here, or visit Lucine’s website for more information. www.lucinekasbarian.com.
Karen Livecchia, former WNBA-NYC President, is available to help writers with their current projects. Read the glowing review she recently received from actor, writer, playwright, Greg Curtis. To get in touch with Karen, please email: kalivecchia@hotmail.com.

Getting Away From It All
Photo courtesy of LatinTrends.com


Rachel Slaiman continues to write for Latin Trends Magazine as a freelance writer and is currently seeking full-time entry-level work. Her latest article published for the magazine is called Getting Away From It All.

Marlene Veloso is teaching a new memoir-writing class in Battery Park City. Participants are writing short stories that will be featured in an anthology. Marlene is also happy to announce the birth of her daughter, Holland Kate Fast!


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For those of you who attended last night’s Historical Fiction Panel, you got to see Wix Lounge – a free co-working and event space. Wix has been gracious enough to host a number of WNBA-NYC events, so this week we wanted to spread the word about this great free work space. Read all about them below.

Wix.com Offers Free Co-working and Event Space for Creative Professionals

Freelancers and entrepreneurs hunting for a free space to work can now abandon Starbucks and come to the Wix Lounge. Located steps from Union Square at 10 W 18th St, the Wix Lounge is a completely free co-working and event space for creative professionals. Workers enjoy free wireless internet, coffee, and printing. Creatives can also organize free events at the Lounge that have ranged from classes to fashion shows to art exhibitions. To learn more about the Wix Lounge both as a work and event space, visit the Lounge website at www.wixlounge.com.

Active since 2010, the Wix Lounge is run by Wix.com, a free publishing platform providing user friendly tools for building beautiful, easy-to-make desktop, mobile, and Facebook websites. Wix.com offers web technology that enables users to customize their sites regardless of technical skill. No code necessary. Wix gives users the freedom and ability to customize and update their sites whenever they like, without hiring an expensive pro designer.

Although creatives do not have to be Wix users to work at the Lounge, the space does offer a number of services and resources for professionals with Wix sites. The Lounge offers free one-on-one support sessions with an expert who can walk users through building a site and answer any questions they may have. The space also hosts regular exhibits, performances, and presentations exclusively to promote and aid NYC Wix users.

Through the Lounge, Wix is giving back to the community of creative professionals and entrepreneurs that has allowed the company to flourish worldwide. It is a creative hub in the heart of New York and the only space of its kind.

For more information, check out the Wix Lounge website here

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WNBA-NYC member Lorraine Abramson has been successfully promoting her memoir, My Race: A Jewish Girl Growing Up Under Apartheid in South Africa (DBM Press, 2010), for over a year. Here are some of her thoughts on successful self-promotion.

After being told how difficult it will be for a first time, unknown author to find an agent, I decided to go in a different direction and seek out a smaller independent press. I attended the New York Center for Independent Publishing’s annual Book Expo because I knew that I’d be able to meet publishers face to face. I printed up a few copies of the first chapter of my manuscript and handed it to them personally, rather than sending it in the mail. One of the publishers from DBM Press loved my story, asked for the rest of the manuscript, and after reading it, he offered to publish my book!

My memoir has been out for just over a year now and we’re in the second printing. I’ve done over 80 speaking engagements with about 7 more booked so far. I did this on my own without an agent or a publicist.

Here are a few of my tips:

  1. Decide on your target audience. Because my book has a Jewish interest, I called many synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, Philanthropic organizations, book clubs, etc. Anyone who runs events and programs and need speakers.
  2. Never miss an opportunity to talk about your book to people you meet and have business cards in your pocket at all times.
  3. Always accept a speaking engagement no matter how small the group might be. One blustery snowy day I was due to talk to a senior group and only six people showed up! One of them was a member of Hadassah and through her I was invited to be the guest speaker of their Fall Luncheon with 150 people. From that event, 3 other invitations followed. So you never know who is in the audience!
  4. Attend all the WNBA events. It’s a perfect opportunity to network and learn. There are many editors, publicists, writers and published authors present. I’ve learned so much from talking to everyone and asking questions. Hand out your business cards.
  5. Create a “hook.” I needed to be able to tell what my book is about in one minute or less, in a way that would make the reader want to hear more.
  6. I attended the Query Roulette session that WNBA runs and that gave me a chance to talk to many publishers and agents. They helped me create a hook for my story.
  7. Be willing to travel for a speaking engagement. Each talk is an opportunity for exposure and one leads to the next.
  8. After my talks, when someone comes up to me, expressing an interest in recommending me as a speaker at a future event, I take their name and phone number, and I follow up with a call as a reminder. Don’t wait for them to call you. Be proactive.
  9. Get your family to help promote you! My husband, children, cousins, etc. all have my business cards and post my upcoming book talks on their Facebook pages. It reaches a very wide audience.
  10. Have fun and enjoy the book journey!

To learn more about Lorraine Abramson, visit her website at www.lorrainesbook.com.

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WNBA-NYC members and their guests are invited to our first ever Indie Bookstore Crawl, which will take place on:

Thursday, May 10, from 5:15 PM to 8:45 PM. 

This is a special, members-only event, which will be free to members and their guests.  Led by WNBA member Marilyn Berkman, participants in the bookstore crawl will visit four stores — Idlewild Books, Books of Wonder, Three Lives & Company, and St. Mark’s Bookshop.  The group will be starting at Idlewild Books at 5:15, but members may join in the fun at any time!

To RSVP for this event, send an email to programs (at) wnba-nyc (dot) org.

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192 Books is a general interest bookstore located in Chelsea that houses a range of recent titles, past best-sellers, and selected rare and out of print books. They seek to “trace connections between art and literature by promoting a dialogue between readers and art lovers” and do so through various art exhibitions. In addition, they host readings, signings, and discussions.

Stop by on May 3rd at 7pm for a conversation with Mary-Kay Wilmers, best known as the editor of The London Review of Books. Wilmers will speak in conversation with Lewis Lampham, founder and editor of Lapham’s Quarterly, about the process of retrieving, curating, and presenting history in literary form.

To see 192 Books’ event calendar, click here , or visit their website for more information.

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(Photo © Sigrid Estrada.)

Carole DeSanti, a WNBA-NYC member and a panelist on the upcoming Historical Fiction Panel, is Vice President, Editor at Large at Viking Penguin. She is known for championing original voices in women’s fiction, including Dorothy Allison, Melissa Bank, Terry McMillan, Ruth Ozeki, Marisha Pessl and Deborah Harkness. Her debut novel, The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R., was published in March 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It has been described as “an unflinching portrait of love and loss against a landscape of Parisian decadence,” and “magnificent in scope and achievement.”

Ms. DeSanti wrote a piece for the March 30th issue of Shelf Awareness, in which she describes some of the research she did for her novel. An excerpt of her piece is below.

Pesky Distinctions
By Carole DeSanti

“Strauss-Kahn Charged in French Prostitution Probe” read a recent headline, marking a new stage in the months-long investigation into organized sex parties in Paris, Vienna and Washington, D.C. allegedly involving French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Henri Leclerc caused a stir late last year by stating, “People are not always clothed at these parties. I challenge you to tell the difference between a nude prostitute and a classy lady in the nude.”

This has long been a dilemma, I found, while researching The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. However, during France’s Second Empire, under the Regulation System, the problem was much more easily resolved…

To see the full piece, visit Shelf Awareness here.

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By Hannah Bennett

Each year, the Pulitzer Prize is awarded to notable works in the fields of journalism, photography, literature, and musical composition. But this year, the most notable aspect of the Pulitzer Prize Board’s final decision was the announcement that two categories would have no winner – Editorial Writing and Fiction.  For the first time in 35 years, to the consternation of publishing professionals and book lovers everywhere, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was not awarded.

Announced on Monday at Columbia University, the Prizes honored amazing photographers, reporters, poets, and others, but failed to choose a fiction author for the prestigious award.  The nominees this year were unusual, leading some to believe that a fiction winner wasn’t chosen because the nominees were deemed unsuitable.  The three nominees were Denis Johnson for Train Dreams, a book that was originally published as a novella, Karen Russell for Swamplandia!, the writer’s debut novel, and David Foster Wallace for The Pale King, who died before completing the book (which was later completed by his editor).  Whether a winner wasn’t chosen because the board could not reach a consensus or because none of the nominees were found worthy, the end result was an uproar from the publishing community, which counts on the Prize to help promote and sell their literary fiction.

The New York Times published several excellent pieces on the literary community’s reaction to the Pulitzer announcement.  The first, an article by Julie Bosman entitled “Publishing Is Cranky Over Snub by Pulitzers,” outlined the controversy in detail.  The second, an op-ed piece by writer Ann Patchett entitled “And the Winner Isn’t…,” discussed her personal views about the decision as a writer, reader, and bookseller.

What do you think about the decision not to award a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction?  Which books deserved the honor, in your opinion?

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