Excerpt: Sticks and Stones by Terri Giuliano Long

May 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Chick Lit Authors, For Writers, Updates

Excerpt: “Sticks and Stones: The Changing Politics of the Self-Publishing Stigma”

For better or worse, the days when they were the sole gatekeepers are behind us. Today, rejection by traditional houses says little about a book. “Some wonderful books [are rejected] for various reasons—nothing to do with quality,” says Jenny Bent. A publisher may reject a book because it doesn’t fit into a clear category. A traditional house may also turn down a book if it doesn’t have an obvious audience or if the author has too small a platform or a poor sales track with previous books.

In the old days, determined authors turned to self-publishing—or vanity presses, as they were called—as a last resort. Serious authors, concerned about being black- balled, dared not self-publish. As a result, talented authors like John Kennedy Toole, whose posthumously published masterpiece, A Confederacy of Dunces, won a Pulitzer Prize (1981), went to their grave believing their work did not measure up.

Today, many talented authors choose the self-publishing route and they do it for a variety of reasons. Jackie Collins recently shocked the literary world with her announcement that she planned to self-publish a new, rewritten version of her novel The Bitch. “Times are changing,” Collins said of her decision, “and technology is changing, so I wanted to experiment with this growing trend of self-publishing.”

Industry superstars like New York Times bestselling authors Barbara Freethy and C.J. Lyons use self-publishing platforms to market their out-of-print backlists. Other authors are drawn to self-publishing because of its flexibility, the ability to publish within their own timeframe, for instance—perhaps to leverage topical interest or mark an anniversary. Others authors self-publish out of a desire for artistic control.

Self-publishing can also be a practical way to build an audience. Today, publishers expect authors to have a solid platform. By self-publishing, emerging authors can build the fan base necessary to attract a traditional publisher for their next work. Other authors, long-timers as well as newbies, feel they can make more money on their own. At $2.99 a pop, authors earn nearly $2.00 on every eBook sale. Even at 99¢, with average royalties of 33¢ to 60¢, earnings on a hot-selling book can quickly out-pace the meager advance offered to all but the superstars by a traditional house.

These days—insult-hurling aside—traditional and indie authors are more alike than different. Mindful of their increased scrutiny, self-publishers take full advantage of the myriad professional services available to authors. Indies hire experienced editors to copyedit and proofread. For their cover and interior designs, some work with the same graphic artists who design for the traditional houses. Professionals are available and widely used to covert documents to digital and paperback formats, and POD printing has gotten so good that, to the typical untrained eye, print-on-demand books are virtually indistinguishable from books printed on an offset press.

Literary agent and publishing consultant Joelle Delbourgo, founder and president of Joelle Delbourgo Associates, Inc., formerly a senior publishing executive at Random House and HarperCollins, says some self-publishers go a step further and work with a professional publishing partner, a strategy she recommends. A publishing pro with a track record of success can bring an author to the next level, Delbourgo says.

For a few years, Bethanne Patrick, a publicist and media consultant also known as “The Book Maven,” creator of the global reading community Friday Reads, was skeptical of self-publishing. Through her work in social media, Patrick has read more indie titles and gotten to know writers who’ve chosen to self-publish. More and more indie authors, she’s noticed, seek the advice of freelance editors, publicists, and marketing consultants—and she’s intrigued.

As well-educated and experienced writers—emerging authors who’ve honed their craft as well as established and traditionally published authors—increasingly opt to go the indie route, the bar is rising.  As with indie musicians and filmmakers, indie authors bring new life to an evolving industry. Today, readers have access to a wealth of funny, poignant, brilliant voices of talented new authors from around the globe—voices that, just a few years ago, might have been silenced by the old guard.

The opportunity to self-publish—to publish their books their own way—has given both emerging and established authors more freedom than ever before. So, yes, now that readers choose which books to purchase and support, dollars may shift and some traditional authors may be forced to give up a slice of the pie. Change is never easy; inevitably, there are bumps and bruises along the way. But, like or not, indie publishing is here to stay. And the publishing world will be all the richer for it.

Please visit the full article on indiereader.com. Thank you to Terri for sharing these wonderful thoughts!

Guest Post by Terri Giuliano Long

May 3, 2012 by  
Filed under For Writers, Updates

Big thank you to Terri Giuliano Long to stop by CLP on her blog tour for In Leah’s Wake!

 

“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

J. K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, 1999

 Finding Balance – Or Not

 As a young mom with four active daughters, involved in school, music and sports, my life was a hodge-podge of bustling activity. I wrote part-time, at night or in the wee hours of the morning, while my family slept. Back then, I fantasized about a time when my life would be my own – no more afternoons spent driving from one activity to the next, no volunteer work, no laundry fairy multiplying the loads. I imagined long, uninterrupted days at my desk, immersed in my work.

Now our daughters are grown, two with families of their own. While, yes, I occasionally spend 10, 12, 14 hours at my desk, those days are rare. Like most women writers, I constantly struggle to find balance.

My husband is a terrific guy. When the girls were little, he, not I, got up in the middle of the night. Even now, he does more than his fair share of the chores. When our daughters need something fixed – their car breaks down, for example – they don’t hesitate to call him. With emotional issues, I’m the one they rely on. Believe me, talking is far more time-consuming than finding a mechanic to fix the transmission.

Whenever the need arises, because I’m a mom first, before anything else, my work takes a backseat. Deadlines get pushed back, the article or story goes unedited, the book sits in a file, waiting, neglected. And I feel guilty for letting it go. If I do focus on work, I feel guilty for not devoting more time to my family. Either way, I feel bad about myself.

Every female writer I know says the same thing. We love our families – we want to give of ourselves – but why does it have to be either-or?

Years ago, I attended a seminar with Alice Hoffman as the keynote speaker. It was not merely that I loved and admired her work. No, I wanted to be Alice Hoffman. This successful female writer put out a bestselling book every year. And they were good. Very good. And she had kids.

This was a woman who did it all, and did it all well. I couldn’t wait to learn how. Imagine my surprise when she talked about the difficulty of striking a balance. “My kids,” she said, “think I don’t have a job.”

 Say what? Would the kids think the same if their dad were a writer?

Probably not. Because he’d have an office and it would be off-limits.

Most men I know store their roles in separate compartments, to be taken out, dusted off, and worn at appropriate times. Our role is fluid. We can’t turn off, tune out or otherwise escape family responsibility. We’re always on. In all fairness, fathers are fathers every day of their life. The difference is, we mothers are moms every minute of ours.

I don’t resent this, not for an instant, and I’m sure you don’t either.

I want to be with my family. In fact, as I’ve come to realize, I’ve actively chosen this life.

Men find balance – by marrying us. Yet, even if we had wives, their needs, I suspect, would be at least equal to ours. Most women are people-centric. Sure, we value success, but we’re relationship-oriented. The people we love truly are our reason for living.

I’ve spent a lifetime seeking balance only to find that it doesn’t exist. Balance is elusive, a figment of our imagination, reinforced by culture in movies and TV. If we’re to be contented, we have to let go. We’ve got to accept that we can’t always do it all – and quit feeling guilty!

She who dies with the most toys – or the cleanest house or the best brownies – does not necessarily win. Or maybe she does. But, believe me, unless she’s got ice running through her veins, she feels guilty too. That’s who we are. Better to accept it than always fight and feel guilty.

Our lives are big and wonderful and, yes, messy. And that’s OK. So go ahead – kiss those boo-boos. Call a friend. Spend an extra hour or two at your desk. The beds will get made, the cleaning picked up, the laundry folded. Maybe not in that order. Really, why does it matter?

 

Connect with Terri! 

Website: www.tglong.com
Blog: http://terriglong.com/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tglongwrites
Twitter: @tglong


 

On Tour: In Leah’s Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

April 21, 2012 by  
Filed under CLP Blog Tours

Terri will be on tour April 23- May 7 with her novel In Leah’s Wake

***Newly edited Book Club Edition (2012)***

A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly “together” kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until Leah meets Todd, a high school dropout and former roadie for a rock band.

 As Leah’s parents fight to save their daughter from a world of drugs, sex, wild parties, their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Justine observes her sister’s rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family – leaving her to question whether anyone loves her and if God even knows she exists.

 Can this family survive in Leah’s wake? 

 Tracy Riva, Midwest Reviews, calls In Leah’s Wake “an astounding story of a family in transition.”

 When happens when love just isn’t enough?

Reviewer-Nominated for Global eBook Award, 2012

Recipient of the CTRR Award for excellence

2011 Book Bundlz Book Pick

Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops! **Everyone who leaves a comment below will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! If you purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake before May 7 and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will get five bonus entries!**

Author Bio:

Terri Giuliano Long is a frequent blog guest. A contributing writer for IndieReader, she’s written for news and feature articles for numerous publications, including IndieReader, the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. In Leah’s Wake is her debut novel. For more information, please visit her website: www.tglong.com

Connect with Terri! 
 Website: www.tglong.com

Blog: http://terriglong.com/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tglongwrites
Twitter: @tglong


Future Tour: In Leah’s Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

April 5, 2012 by  
Filed under CLP Blog Tours

Terri will be on tour April 23-May 7 with her novel In Leah’s Wake

The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore.

While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.

What happens when love just isn’t enough?

This mesmerizing debut novel tells the tale of a contemporary American family caught in the throes of adolescent rebellion – a heartbreaking, funny, ultimately redemptive quest for love, independence, connection and grace.

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for the full tour schedule! **Anyone who purchases their copy of In Leah’s Wake before May 7 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five entries in a drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card!!**

Blog Tour Sign Up: In Leah’s Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

March 12, 2012 by  
Filed under CLP Blog Tours

Terri will be on tour in April/May with her women’s fiction novel In Leah’s Wake. Please note this tour will only be looking for guest post and interview hosting opportunities. **An eBook copy can be provided for review upon request** You can select one or both options below. I will contact everyone chosen to participate. Thank you!

A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace

 

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine, more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years, just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing graduation and Justine a seemingly together kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until Leah meets Todd, a high school dropout and former roadie for a rock band.

As Leah’s parents fight to save their daughter from a world of drugs, sex, wild parties, their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Justine observes her sister’s rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family – leaving her to question whether anyone loves her and if God even knows she exists.

 Can this family survive in Leah’s wake? What happens when love just isn’t enough?

 

Newly Edited Book Club Edition, 2012

Reviewer-nominated for 2012 Global eBook award

Book Bundlz 2011 Book Pick

Book Bundlz Book Club Favorite, 2012 – First Place

 

 

Praise for In Leah’s Wake

 

“In Leah’s Wake is an astounding story of a family in transition.”

–Tracy Riva, Midwest Reviews

 

“A very moving and, at times, heartbreaking story which will be loved by many, whether they are parents or not.”

–A. Rose, Amazon UK, TOP 100 REVIEWER

 

“Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”

–Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog

 

“Easily the best read that I have enjoyed in 2011.”

–Bonnie Erina Wheeler, author of Fate Fixed: An Erris Coven Novel

 

“Multiple ripples of meaning contribute to the overall intensity of this deeply moving psychological drama.”

–Cynthia Harrison, author of Sister Issues

 

“Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender.”
– Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author of Take One Candle Light A Room

“In Leah’s Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel.”
– Margot Livesey, Award-winning author of Banishing Verona

“This is a story that will stay with you for days and weeks.”
–Radical Parenting, the award-winning parenting blog written by teens

“In Leah’s Wake is an irresistible read.”
– Holly Robinson, author of Sleeping Tigers

**Terri’s tour is now full. Thank you to everyone who signed up!**