Earlier today I posted an argument against authors writing for shorter attention spans. I argued that attention spans weren’t actually getting shorter; instead, readers will stick with a book which interests them no matter the interruption. I still think that is a good argument, but it’s not the only one I could make. An article… Read More »
Outer Banks Publishing
Recognizing the best in Digital Storytelling
The Wattys are Wattpad’s official annual awards that celebrate the best in digital storytelling. Be it fanfiction, romance, urban, sci-fi, poetry, or short stories, we acknowledge stories of all genres and styles.
24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing
Ten years ago, my first novel Prep came out. Three novels later, here’s what I’ve learned about the publishing industry and writing since then.
- When it comes to fellow writers, don’t buy into the narcissism of small differences. In all their neurotic c, competitive, smart, funny glory, other writers are your friends.
- Unless you’re Stephen King, or you’re standing inside your own publishing house, assume that nobody you meet has ever heard of you or your books. If they have, you can be pleasantly surprised.
- At a reading, 25 audience members and 20 chairs is better than 200 audience members and 600 chairs.
- There are very different ways people can ask a published writer for the same favor. Polite, succinct, and preemptively letting you off the hook is most effective.
- Blurbs achieve almost nothing, everyone in publishing knows it, and everyone in publishing hates them.
- But a really good blurb from the right person can, occasionally, make a book take off.
- When your book is on best-seller lists, people find you more amusing and respond to your emails faster.
- When your book isn’t on best-seller lists, your life is calmer and you have more time to write.
- The older you are when your first book is published, the less gratuitous resentment will be directed at you.
- The goal is not to be a media darling; the goal is to have a career.
Read the rest of the reasons>
A WRITING RETREAT ON TOPSAIL ISLAND, NC
Winter is a good time to write – less distractions, less daylight and less to do because of the colder weather.
Warm up your writing this winter with a long weekend at quiet Topsail Island in NC at the Winter Beach Writeaway with Mimi Herman & John Yewell.
Because sometimes writers just need to get away.
Spend a long weekend in a cozy house right on the beach, perfecting your poetry or prose with the help of other brilliant writers. The Winter Beach Writeaway is designed for writers of all genres and abilities, from beginner to MFA to professional. $400 per person includes double occupancy lodging, all meals, and wine.
Topsail Island, NC, Feb 27- Mar 2, 2015
Not a beach lover? Give your writing a romantic touch – write in France.
WRITEAWAY IN FRANCE
Is your writing missing a certain je ne sais quoi? Experience a week of great writing, authentic French food, and unforgettable ambiance in a 15th century French chateau, complete with 300 acres of vineyards, rose garden, and world famous topiary. Tour Loire Valley wineries (during la récolte!) and celebrate the equinox (Sept. 23) under a harvest moon!
Writeaways are designed for writers of all levels–beginner to MFA to professional. $2,250 per person, double occupancy, full board (including wine and after-dinner drinks), writing consultations and daily classes.
Chateau du Pin, Champtocé-sur-Loire, France, Sept. 21–27, 2015
“One must be ruthless with one’s own writing, or someone else will be.”
Now have “Breakfast” on the Publisher with a special pre-launch discount of $8.99, regularly $15.99 until Feb. 15, 2015 only from Outer Banks Publishing Group. Order yours here.
It has been two years since the death of his wife, and Frank Watson still struggles with the loss. Every morning, he meets with his friends at the local diner to talk and to exchange gossip, but inevitably must return to his farm that remains undisturbed since his wife’s death.
Then, Pepper Ledley breezed into his life. She was the new waitress in town nearly half his age and offered Frank something he had never before considered, a new beginning. However, it somehow didn’t seem right to Frank.
As he struggles with his new feelings and the memory of his beloved wife, Frank faces the biggest crisis of his life. A large foreign corporation needs five hundred acres of land to build an egg factory and Frank alienates himself from the rest of the town when he, steadfastly, refuses to sell.
What transpires is a web of deceit, manipulation and murder.
Get a taste of “Breakfast” – download a free sample – A taste of Breakfast
or order a full copy from our bookstore.
Outer Banks Publishing Group
Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore
Curl up to a warm fire with these blazing titles
Two great titles from OBX Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor are now reduced through Outer Banks Publishing Group. Visit our bookstore to order.
WHO BY FIRE – Fiction. Print version $7.99; Kindle $5.99
WHO BY FIRE breaks new literary ground: A complex tale of love, betrayal, and the search for self. A male narrator tells the story he does not actually know but discovers through memory, through piecing the puzzles of his marriage, through his wife’s goodness and her betrayal. He confronts paradox with music, science and a conflagration he witness in his native Iowa. Underlying his search is the quest for heroism and for his own father. WHO BY FIRE has earned its places among books that matter.
“The beauty of the prose, the nuances of the characters, the ever-building plot—everything is in place for a novel that will touch you in all the right ways.”—Lee Martin
“Mary L. Tabor’s WHO BY FIRE is a lovely, innovative, deeply engaging novel about how it is that human beings make their way through the mysteries of existence.”—Robert Olen Butler
- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982993145
- ISBN-13: 978-0982993149
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
(Re) Making Love – Nonfiction, Print version $5.99; Kindle $3.99
When Mary L. Tabor’s husband of 21 years announced, “I need to live alone,” she cratered and turned to the only comfort she had left: her writing. What resulted was (Re)MAKING LOVE: a sex after sixty story, a fresh, witty, funny and brutally honest memoir of everything she felt and did during her long journey back to happiness. This deeply personal account of her saga takes the reader from Washington, DC to Missouri to Australia through the good, the bad and the foolish from Internet dating to outlandish flirting and eventually to Paris where an unexpected visitor changed the author’s life forever. Her story offers hope and joy told with passion and brilliance that is highly refreshing with the single and most prominent message—it is never too late to find love—and oneself even after age sixty and beyond.
- Paperback: 212 pages
- Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098299317X
- ISBN-13: 978-0982993170
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
Inspire your writing in romantic France, Italy or the Outer Banks
Writeaways founder John Yewell tells about the writer’s retreats he and business partner Mimi Herman provide in France, Italy and the Outer Banks and how they inspire writers to find their muse.
By John Yewell
Go to our Writeaways web site, with its pictures of a centuries-old French chateau and an Italian villa, and your initial reaction is likely to be: What a great vacation! And it is, of a sort. But it is so much more than that.
We created our writing getaways in exotic places to get you as far from your daily life as possible, to set you free from care while giving you the guidance you need to unlock, or unblock, the writer within. We welcome writers of all levels and genres, and now have programs in the Loire Valley, Tuscany, and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
“I didn’t know until I got busy how essential to the process being removed from my regular life would be. John and Mimi took care of all the necessities, creating a space for us to write and indulging us along the way. The food was amazing!” – Charity, North Carolina
We take care of everything. Each morning in France, you are greeted with a complete breakfast, including fresh croissants purchased before sunrise at the local boulangerie. In Italy, our hosts Patrizia and Paolo serve you continental style.
Afterwards, we engage in our specially designed workshop and private consultations for two hours. Whatever your level of experience, you’ll find the constructive help you need to produce your best work in a cooperative, but rigorous, atmosphere.
“I first met Mimi and John at their writing retreat at Chateau du Pin. While I had a very interesting story I’d thought about writing for years, I did not think of myself as a writer. Thanks to their thoughtful guidance, I finally began writing that story–and I’m still at it. John and Mimi made me believe I could do it, and gave me the tools I needed. I can’t thank them enough.” – Regina, North Carolina
After lunch – buffet-style in France, Tuscan-style in Italy – you are free to write or explore. In France, the chateau is surrounded by 300 acres of topiary, rose gardens, meadows and vineyards. In Italy, you can wander in the olive orchards, sit by the pool, or explore Tuscany as widely as you like. In both locales, we offer tours of the surrounding region, including tastings at local wineries. All of this is included in the program.
In the evening we reconvene for cocktails and wine, then sit down to a spectacular dinner prepared by professional chefs. Afterwards, relax with a digestif or cocktail of your choice in relaxed reflection, surrounded by five-hundred year old walls.
Our program in Southern Shores, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is a weekend intensive class designed to jumpstart a dormant writing project or launch a new one.
After people began coming to us and asking if they could put together their own groups of friends and families, we began organizing self-organized getaways. We expect to make the first such trips a reality in France and Italy in the spring of 2015.
We are also developing a Master Class intensive program, which would be limited to two students for a week in Beaufort, NC.
Writeaways is based in Durham, North Carolina, although our students have come from all over: Texas, Wyoming, Virginia, Canada. Our long-term plan is to create writing getaways in the kinds of places people dream about going, so that we can pair that dream with their own desire to become better writers.
Mimi and I are both writing professionals with complementary backgrounds. Mimi Herman has taught over 20,000 students to fall in love with writing, especially their own. A Warren Wilson MFA graduate, her teaching style captures students’ imagination and creates a supportive learning environment. As one student said of her time with Mimi, “It is an experience that I will hold with me throughout my whole life.”
I am a writer and editor with an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State University and twenty years of experience in journalism. I teach a memoir class in Durham and consult as a private editor and writing coach.
It’s nice to say you are a green company, but doing it effectively is another story.
With digital printing we don’t have thousands of books sitting in warehouses waiting to be sold – spent resources that may or may not be purchased and read.
We print books only when an order is received.
The majority of our book sales (85%) are electronic as manufacturers of ereaders have opened their walled gardens allowing their books to be read on any device, any platform, anywhere, anytime.
Think printed books will go away? No way. Did movie theaters close when home theater systems became mainstream?
The Association of American Publishers reported that the annual growth rate for eBook sales fell during 2012, to about 34% – a sharp decline from the triple-digit growth of the preceding four years.
But that doesn’t mean ebooks are going away. A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that adults who have read an e-book increased from 16% to 23% in the past year. It also revealed that 89% of regular book readers said that they had read at least one printed book in the last year.
Ebooks are merely another channel, another technology to promote, sell and enjoy books. It compliments printed books. Printed books won’t go away – there will just be fewer printed.
Fewer printed books is not good for the big six publishers, but it won’t bankrupt them – just lower their sales volume and profit margins.
That’s why they won’t fully embrace ebooks and why they charge artificially high prices for their ebooks close to the full price of their printed books.
They want to revive the same high profit margins they enjoyed with print books for so many decades.
But they will never convince their customers or the general public that ebooks cost as much as print books to edit, process and distribute.
Ebooks are a disruptive technology and like all disruptive technologies is condemned, rejected and deemed catastrophic for society by those who stand to lose.
The market will determine the accepted price of ebooks, not the publishers and there is nothing they can do to stop it. The tsunami has already hit land.
Shelf Unbound’s second annual writing competition had over 1,000 entries with 100 titles chosen as winners, according to Shelf Unbound’s publisher, Margaret Brown.
Mary’s book was featured in the December-January 2014 special edition of Shelf Unbound magazine (Page 35).
“Thanks to the Internet, artists can be discovered by a global audience-and in some cases even be funded by philanthropic strangers. The challenge, of course, is the discovery part-how do the indie artist and the indie audience find each other? That’s what this special issue of Shelf Unbound-honoring the winner, finalists, and notable entries in our second writing competition for best indie book-is all about,” wrote Ms. Brown.
Congratulations to Mary for her notable achievement!
Book reviews with GIFs, those tiny videos that play over and over, are rather controversial among the old guard of book reviewers. Read Laura Miller’s insightful and informative piece. Start with the excerpt below.
From Salon.com – Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 06:59 PM EST
GIFs, memes and liveblogs: The controversial new language of book reviewing
Do animation, memes and pictures of Emma Stone have a place in literary criticism? Yes
“The GIFs and images used in the two reviews are, like the vast majority of visual elements cropping up in reviews and other critical discussions online, reaction GIFs: looped clips taken from commercially produced film and television, often featuring popular actors such as Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence rolling their eyes, gaping in astonishment, jumping with glee, shrugging their shoulders. They serve to underline the reviewer’s point, rather than to make it, and they can come across as exaggerated and sarcastic, even bratty. But so what? It’s not as if traditionally published professional book reviews haven’t been equally harsh at times, and in this case, the reviews are highly attuned to their intended audience with its densely networked language of cultural references. Besides, as longtime Goodreads member Ceridwen (who doesn’t use images or GIFs herself) explained to me in an email, ‘These reviews often use the very same critical tools found in professional reviews — parsing of character and tone, close reading, comparison with other works or larger cultural positioning — [but] there’s no fiction of critical distance, and the emotional reaction is as important as the aesthetic one.'” >more
Reprinted with permission from Michael Johnson
By MICHAEL JOHNSON
Novels about love affairs outside of marriage are a genre unto themselves and I try my best to avoid them. John Updike made a career of these stories anyway, so what’s left to say? Yet once in a while a new writer emerges with such sharp sensibilities, such descriptive powers, and such a rich story that I am forced to reconsider.
Mary L. Tabor is such a writer, and her new book, “Who By Fire” (Outer Banks, $17.95), launched a few weeks ago to a full house in a Washington, D.C. bookshop, kept me turning pages to enjoy the careful prose, the fascinating digressions and most of all the unspooling of the story.
To my mind, the story is the fire in the relationships. The ice is Ms. Tabor’s masterly control of the complex plot. The reader begins to suspect what is to come as hints are dropped along the path toward the climax. This book is hard to put down.
“Who By Fire” is a near-surgical dissection of the turmoil and pleasures that straying couples experience – and the effect on the betrayed.
Ms. Tabor takes the time to develop characters so that you care about what they are going through. She finally kills off Lena, the woman who succumbed to her lover’s charms, and she does it abruptly after setting the scene: “And then she died.”
Mary Tabor is a writer who likes to say it is never too late. She started publishing her prose at age 60 and already has to her credit a frank memoir of her life and marriage entitled “(Re)Making Love: A Memoir.” Her best short stories are collected in “The Woman Who Never Cooked.”
She takes stunning risks in her new novel, the most impressive being her decision to write from the perspective of Lena’s husband, Robert, the man who suffers as his emotions of widowhood and awareness of his dead wife’s affair mingle in his thoughts.
Jay McInerney tried the gender-swap in “The Story of My Life” but he never let you forget he was trying to sound like a girl. Ms. Tabor glides into the male perspective effortlessly and stays there.
As the narrator “Robert” reconstructs the story of his life, Ms. Tabor makes him recall what he had failed to see before his wife’s death:
“If I’d seen them on the street, I’d have known because they would have done the sorts of things that reveal: They would have passed between them a bottle of water, their hips would touch, as if by accident, when they walked; they wouldn’t touch with their hands the way safe lovers do, but an observant eye could catch both the intimacy and the caution—and know. It was when she was dying that I knew. It was the way he touched her head before he left her bedside. What I thought was an obligatory visit from a colleague changed with one gesture.”
I was propelled through this book most of all by the taut language, the dialogue and the perfect sentences, honed in the author’s years as a teacher of creative writing at George Washington University, Ohio State and University of Missouri, among others. From the outset, you are in the thrall of a confident storyteller.
Her digressions take the reader into worlds she clearly knows — the detail of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the art world, the finer points of classical music, quantum physics and the business of psychology. She has her psychologist character Evan say at one point:
“I’m beginning to think I give more comfort than cure. Not such a bad thing but not what I expected. I feel like an old broom—cleaning up, moving around the messes in people’s heads, never sure if that’s all I’m doing.”
She will throw odd words at you and expect you to understand. The apple trees are espaliered. The plants are pleached.
I was drawn into the suspense when the lovers realize that the betrayed wife is returning home early. With cinematic realism, the lovers find themselves about to be discovered when they hear the key in the lock:
“A familiar sound, merely a click, but they thought, almost as if their minds were one, that they heard the separate mechanisms of the lock moving, tumbling like thunder.”
This reader quickly turned the page to watch them awkwardly lie their way out of trouble.
Mary L. Tabor tells me she is at work on a new novel. Somehow she finds time to do a weekly internet interview about writing, broadcast on Rarebirdradio.
It is never too late, as she would be the first to tell you.