Thursday, September 27, 2012

GG Featured on

We're excited to announce that Gotham Ghostwriters has written the book entry on ghostwriting!

The Q&A-style article—"About Ghostwriting and Hiring a Ghostwriter"—will answer all your burning ghostwriting questions, from pricing to timeline to how to find the best ghost. So the next time someone asks you, "What exactly is ghostwriting?" you'll know just where to send them.

Many thanks to GG writer and section editor Valerie Peterson for this great opportunity.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pitchapalooza this Wednesday in Greenpoint

Ready, set, pitch! This Wednesday, September 26th, come to WORD bookstore in Greenpoint for Pitchapalooza, the literary equivalent of The Voice or American Idol.

Pitchapalooza pits twenty authors against each other, with each getting one minute to pitch their book idea to a panel of judges. Each pitch is critiqued, and the winner will be introduced to an appropriate agent or publisher.

The event was founded by GG pals Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published and founders of The Book Doctors. Every author who signs up to pitch will receive a copy of Eckstut and Sterry's book, as well as a 20-minute one-on-two consultation with the pair of publishing pros.

Pitchapalooza is a nationwide tour, and after Brooklyn will be heading to San Francisco (October 7th), Ohio (November 3rd), and Illinois (January 19th/20th). Check the Book Doctors' calendar for registration information for this and future events.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

GG's Guide to the Brooklyn Book Festival

Are you ready to get nerdy and wordy? The 2012 Brooklyn Book Festival is this Sunday, Sept. 23rd!

This year's fest features a record 208+ authors and 104 panels—including Tony Danza and Mary Markowitz discussing education and writing; a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness literary greats Paul Auster, Pete Hamill, and Edwidge Danticat in conversation; and straight talk about everything from sex and violence to cyborgs in contemporary lit. Not to mention hundreds of vendors, including publishers large and small, literary magazines, bookstores, literacy organizations, nonprofit groups, writers unions, universities, and on and on. And there are "bookend events" all over the city all week long.

Seem a little overwhelming? Never fear! Gotham's intrepid Director of Operations and resident ambassador to the Brooklyn literary scene has you covered. Here's Oriana's list of "must see" author events to check out throughout the day. And you can find the full roster of offerings (along with a festival map) here.

See you in Downtown Brooklyn!

Literary Lions. 
2:00 pm, St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church (157 Montague Street)
Readings by award winning authors Pete Hamill (Tabloid City), Edwidge Danticat (Create Dangerously) and Paul Auster (Winter Journal). Whether their point of view is a palimpsest of Brooklyn fiction or set in other places, they have each lived in Brooklyn and been influenced by it. Followed by Q & A. Introduced by Johnny Temple, Publisher, Akashic Books and Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council.
Oriana says: If there's a more potent Brooklyn literary pairing than luminary Paul Auster and king of the indie presses Johnny Temple, I'd like to hear about it.

Ice or Salt: The Personal in Fiction. 
11:00 am, Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom (209 Joralemon Street)
W.B. Yeats wrote, “All that is personal soon rots; it must be packed in ice or salt.” Authors Siri Hustvedt (Living, Thinking, Looking), Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård (My Struggle)and Sheila Heti (How Should a Person Be?) will consider how writing technique—“ice or salt”—transforms the personal into art that connects to a broad audience. Moderated by Phillip Lopate.
Oriana says: Sheila Heti is a small-press darling-of-the-moment. I heard her read at Powerhouse recently and she was terrific.

Let’s Talk About Sex: Grappling with Gender in the 21st Century.
2:00 pm, Main Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)

Is biology destiny? What does it mean today to be a man, a woman, or to feel somewhere in between? Naomi Wolf (Vagina: A New Biography), Carlos Andres Gomez (Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhood) and Kate Bornstein (A Queer and Pleasant Danger) consider the role of sex and gender in culture today, how it makes us, and how we react to the trappings of gender put upon us by society at large. Moderated by Hanna Rosin (The End of Men).
Oriana says: I've been a huge fan of Bornstein since I read Gender Outlaw in college, and of course Naomi Wolf is always fascinating and smart.

Worlds Built over Time.
2:00 pm, Saint Francis Auditorium (180 Remsen Street)
This all-star panel brings together the narrative geniuses of Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Adrian Tomine (New York Stories) and Gabrielle Bell (The Voyeurs) to discuss how they’ve developed characters, stories, and imagined worlds over serial publications. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos, co-organizer, Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. Featuring screen projection.
Oriana says: The Hernandez brothers are some of the godfathers of the modern comics scene, and Adrian Tomine's Summer Blonde was the book that brought me back to graphic novels almost a decade ago.

The PEN Translation Committee Presents North African Writing in the Wake of the Arab Spring.
5:00pm, Brooklyn Borough Hall Community Room (209 Joralemon Street)
Noted translators, editors and poets Pierre Joris (Exile Is My Trade: a Habib Tengour Reader), Deborah Kapchan (Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition) and Peter Thompson (A Passenger from the West by Nabile Farès) explore the effects of the Arab uprisings in North Africa on poetry and narratives and discuss their recent works in translation. Moderated by Nathalie Handal (Language of a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond).
Oriana says: One of the best parts of the Book Fest is exposure to different cultures and styles, and PEN always presents amazing authors.

I’d Like To Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had. Tony Danza in Conversation with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
1:00 pm, Main Stage (Borough Hall Plaza) 

As an actor, Danza conquered nearly every entertainment realm—TV, the movies, even Broadway—and he wanted to give something back. Inspired by a documentary made by Teach for America, he decided to take time out to teach! Markowitz converses with Brooklyn born Danza about his career and his book about teaching high school.
Oriana says: What could I even say about this pairing? I can't wait to hear what they'll have to say.

The Politics of Identity—Do They Still Matter?
12:00 pm, St. Francis McArdle (180 Remsen Street) 
As America grows more diverse, “minorities” will soon be the majority and this shift in demographics affects our culture and the ways we think about it. Can—and should—we move beyond the idea of race in America? Baratunde Thurston (How to Be Black), Rebecca Walker (Black Cool) and Wesley Yang (author of the New York magazine “Paper Tigers” and a forthcoming book on Asians in America) will interrogate the stereotypes we still have of each other, both positive and negative, and examine the ways we run from and cling to various aspects of identity, race, and heritage. Moderated by Amitava Kumar.
Oriana says: Did you see Baratunde reporting from the RNC? Fantastic.

Artisanal Everything.
11:00 am Main Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)
David Rees (How to Sharpen Pencils), the world's only artisanal pencil sharpener, in conversation with Sam Anderson, critic at large for the New York Times Magazine. They discuss the artisanal culture of the Hudson Valley, Rees' pencil business (he hand-sharpens pencils for mail order customers), and the artisanalization of everything in Brooklyn, from mayonnaise to soda.
Oriana says: David Rees' blend of hilariously earnest and earnestly hilarious is unbeatable, plus let's please keep beating that dead artisanal-mayonnaise horse.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Around the Word

Reviewola. There's been a lot of talk recently about the rise pay-for-play, and the general lack of transparency and accountability in the book review business, especially when it comes to self-publishing. Getting those stars on Amazon can make or break a book's success, so it's unfortunately unsurprising that there are those who will write a positive review—for a price. Data mining expert Bing Liu estimates that "about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake. And it's not just paid reviews that are problematic: "puppet" reviews by authors themselves (or their spouses) are also a serious issue. Bestselling UK author ER Ellory came under fire recently for using several pseudonyms to flood his Amazon page with positive feedback. It is all but impossible to tell when reviews have been written by marketers, retailers, authors themselves, or by customers who can get a deal from a merchant for giving a good score. So what's a book lover to do? The Society of Authors has issued a call to arms of sorts, suggest that readers should take to Amazon and reclaim the reviews from the puppeteers. In the meantime, GalleyCat has put out this handy guide to decoding Amazon's star system.

Writers are from Mars, Editors are from Venus. Here at the GG office we frequently refer to ourselves as matchmakers or couples therapists for writing relationships, and this piece in the Columbia Journalism Review, "Five Types of Problem Writers," and its accompanying entry on the author's blog (complete with gifs!) caught our eye. Some represented types: the "newbie" writer who has yet to grow the emotional calluses to deal with the sometimes harsh reality of critism, or the power-drunk sadistic editor who eviscerates just to eviscerate, leaving a manuscript littered with backhanded comments. Do you recognize yourself in the list, or maybe someone you've worked with? How do you deal with a less-than-easy collaborator?

The Best of the Worst. Every year The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, the literary world's version of film's Razzie Awards, "celebrates" the worst passages written in the past year. (The contest was named for the author who penned what is arguably the best-worst line in literary history: "it was a dark and stormy night.") This year's top prize went to Cathy Bryant of Manchester for this gem:
As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting.
She was congratualated by last year's winner, Suzanne Fondrie: “I take pleasure in passing the guttering torch of Bad Writing to this year’s winner. May you write long and badly, Cathy!”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Labor Day: Writing Like Your Own Boss

In honor of Labor Day, we've been pondering the nature of freelancing and its rise as the "new normal" in our current economy. Here's a roundup of news specific to the freelance writer's life.

In a run-up to International Freelancers Day (September 21st), the International Freelancers Academy has released their 2012 Freelance Industry Report. You can read the report, or check out the breakdown in illustration form here.

We recently  took a pole of GG writers that echoed the high level of job satisfaction many freelancers seem to enjoy. But as we all know, being your own boss isn't always wine and roses. As the Freelancers Union points out, many independents experience issues getting deserved compensation (as demonstrated by their World's Longest Invoice project), and some report suffering from the loneliness of a life outside the office. But for many, the cost-benefit analysis is solidly in positive territory.

The "7 Days in June" project, which spent a week filming freelancers in the UK (using freelance filmmakers, natch), will release their finished project for the country's National Freelancer's Day in November.

Finally, check out GalleyCat's guide to union and guild resources for independent authors. And happy writing!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Uppercase of the Mondays: Now on the BloGG!

We recently started a weekly series on our Facebook and Twitter called "Uppercase of the Mondays": humorous comics and images relating to publishing, grammar, and the like to brighten up the beginning of your work week. And now, Uppercase is coming to the BloGG!

Here's a roundup of all the posts so far. Have a funny writing-related comic of your own? Send it our way!

Happy Uppercase : )