The Wednesday Web Browser for Writers

Some fun offerings for you this midweek morning, my friends:

  • Are you ready to freelance? Take this quiz to find out.
  • Nina Badzin offers some excellent tips for new (and not-so-new) Twitter-users.
  • Meet the slate of 2011 Best American series guest editors.
  • Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus is home to a new M.F.A. program in Writing and Producing for Television.
  • I found this interview with translator Krishna Winston particularly interesting because one of the epigraphs at the start of my story collection is a two-line snippet from Gunter Grass’s Crabwalk (trans. Winston). (via ALTA_USA)
  • And speaking of my story collection…As my virtual book tour starts to wind down, I’ve been interviewed (and Quiet Americans has been reviewed) on the First Line blog, and I’ve guest-posted with thoughts on what makes Jewish literature Jewish on Swimming in the Trees.
  • Friday Find: How to Plan Your Virtual Book Tour

    So, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been hard at work preparing for the blog tour for my short-story collection, Quiet Americans. And it so happens that I’ve been receiving a number of questions about planning such tours.

    True to form, I’ve been pointing my questioners to various links and websites to help them become more familiar with the idea and practice. Now, I have a new resource to share: Sandra Beckwith’s guest post for The Savvy Book Marketer.

    It’s a post filled with good tips, and it’s exactly the sort of thing I would have appreciated back at the start of my own planning process.

    On that note, here’s wishing you all a good weekend. See you back here on Monday for the start of an especially exciting week!

    Thursday’s (Final) Pre-Publication Post

    March 25, 2010. That was the date of our first “Thursday Pre-Publication Post.” Less than 10 months later, it’s time for the last post in the series. Next Wednesday, January 19, will see the official publication date of my short-story collection, Quiet Americans. And next Thursday, we’ll take this show on the post-publication road. I’m so thankful for the advice and support that you’ve shown me here on the blog in this pre-publication phase, and I hope you’ll stick around to see how this particular publishing story plays out.

    Right now, I’m especially focused on launching our Winter 2011 Blog Tour, which begins next week. I won’t tell you exactly how much time I spent last weekend drafting guest posts for host blogs. Let’s just say that it was considerable. Not that I’m complaining! I am really grateful to have these opportunities.

    This week, I’ve been shifting a bit from the guest posts to my part of author Q&As. In case you haven’t surmised, this time, I’m the one supplying the “A”, not the “Q.” And I have been blown away by my interviewers’ incisiveness. (Sure, I knew they were smart, but this smart?)

    I don’t want to give you any examples yet. Let’s let the suspense build for the tour, shall we? But I will share that working on these interviews, on the heels of receiving excellent blurbs and more recent feedback, I’ve been reminded of a December blog post by Ellen Meeropol on what Elli, as another debut author, has been learning from her readers.

    “I didn’t expect to be surprised–and humbled–by readers’ insights into my characters and their story,” she wrote.

    Frankly, I didn’t expect it, either. In my case, there’s some especially delicious icing on this cake: readers’ insights into not only specific characters and stories, but also on the collection as a whole.

    You’ll see what I’m talking about once the tour is under way. Happily, it’s not long now!

    Thursday’s (Penultimate) Pre-Publication Post

    It has been an exciting and eventful week for Quiet Americans (and, therefore, for me).

    First, Quiet Americans received an incredibly detailed and perceptive review over on Gently Read Literature. I’m so grateful to reviewer Anne Whitehouse for her careful and generous reading. I can’t resist giving you a sample, so here’s the first paragraph:

    The characters in Erika Dreifus’ profound first collection of stories, Quiet Americans, are first and foremost survivors, or else descended from, or married to survivors. They count themselves among the lucky few that got out alive, escaped from the vast conflagration of a people–European Jewry–and their distinguished culture—a broad, liberal, freedom-loving culture that had flourished despite a history of persecution and humiliation, but did not survive the Holocaust. They share a sense of life’s precariousness, of the accidents of destiny. They fear that in an instant they might lose all that constitutes their position and well being. They find themselves caught between a sense of hard reality and a hope for the future. They are “quiet Americans” because they don’t tend to speak out or try to call attention to themselves. They don’t want to make a fuss and are generally grateful to be left alone—“better not to give crazy people any reason to get any crazier.”

    (By the way, reviews and press about Quiet Americans will henceforth be collected right here.)

    Next, I was thrilled to see Quiet Americans emerge as an enthusiastic subject of conversation on this month’s EarlyWord Galley Chat on Twitter. (Also gleaned that a review will be published in the March issue of Shelf Unbound.) Thanks to everyone who participated in the chat for the surprise highlight of my Tuesday!

    Finally (drumroll, please!): Quiet Americans is now available on Yes, I know the official release date is January 19. But if you know me at all, and you know that I’m working with a micropress where the authors are heavily involved with the publication process, you’re not surprised that the book is available a little bit ahead of time.

    In related news: Behind the scenes, I’m continuing to prepare for our Winter Blog Tour and my upcoming events in Washington, D.C.

    Please stay tuned for next week’s Thursday post–our last one before we shift officially from “pre-publication” to “post-publication” posts!

    Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: Keeping My Promises

    People who know me know that I am a real stickler for keeping promises. That holds both for promises I make, and promises others make to me.

    Today, I want to focus on two promises that I made in last week’s pre-publication post. I’m very happy to tell you that there is major progress to report, and those promises have been kept!

    First, I am delighted to announce the superb blogs where my forthcoming story collection, Quiet Americans, and I will be stopping along our upcoming Winter Blog Tour. The tour begins the week of January 17 and continues for a month. Please read all about our amazing hosts and the schedule at the Winter Blog Tour HQ.

    Next, although it will still be at least a couple of days before you can order Quiet Americans on Amazon, you can now purchase an autographed copy right from this website. (At least, you can do so if you have a mailing address in the U.S. or Canada.)

    So that’s the latest from here. We’ll see what gets accomplished in time for next week’s post!