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Valerie Peterson

Valerie's Book Publishing Blog


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I Got Schooled...

Wednesday April 16, 2014

cover of book Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose... in American Revolutionary spy history by the first two episodes of TURN on AMC, Craig Silverstein and Barry Josephson's compelling, historically-based drama.

Of course, I want to know what happens in the next episode (18th century waterboarding and honey pots? Bayonets and ambushes? Father-son dynamics and thwarted romance?). And I also want to learn more about Culper Ring -- the Long Island boyhood friends who become spies for the George Washington (especially fun because so much of the history took place in my tri-state "backyards" of Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey).

Luckily, "learning more" is handily available via the book on which the show is based Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose (now complete with its TV tie-in book jacket). So with the show as a dramatic, must-see entry point, I'll be digging in further... and while I'm at it, maybe dipping into Donna Thorland's fictional Philadelphia-based Revolutionary spy saga, The Turncoat (highly recommended to me by the Penguin/NAL national account manager).

Bonus fun publishing fact: Robert Rogers, the acclaimed-then-disgraced tracker-soldier and mercenary leader of the Queen's Rangers (in TURN played by the actor Angus MacFadyen) was also an author. Published in England in 1765, Rogers' A Concise Account of North America is in print today.

Image: Bantam Books

Congratulations to the Pulitzer Prize Winners

Wednesday April 16, 2014

TomsRiver.jpgThe 2014 Pulitzer Prize recipients were announced this week. Among the Letters (aka book) winners were Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, by Dan Fagin (Bantam Books), which took home the award for General Nonfiction; and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown) which won the Fiction prize.

See the list of 2014 Pulitzer Prizes for Letters. Or read more about the history and criteria for the prestigious Pulitzer Prizes.

Image: Bantam Books

Tweet for National Library Week

Wednesday April 16, 2014
A Manhattan branch of the NYPLLove libraries? Did a library change your life?
If so, join honorary chairperson Judy Blume and the ALA and celebrate the 2014 National Library Week (April 13 - 19) by tweeting it out with the hashtags #LivesChange and #NLW14
And read more about libraries:

Bookish inclinations - being a librarian.

The American Library Association (ALA) - serving libraries and librarians.

The New York Public Library (NYPL)- iconic repository of knowledge.

The Morgan Library and Museum - literary treasures from ancient to modern times.

Image: NYPL branch by Valerie Peterson

Launching Bourbon...

Tuesday April 1, 2014

Dane Huckelbridge - BourbonIs Bourbon truly "A wonderfully entertaining look at American history as seen through the lens of Kentucky's famous brown water"?* Or just a clever ploy to enable the author, Dane Huckelbridge,** to take his bar bills as tax deductions?

We may never know for sure. But Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit launched this week with a lively book party. Tonight Huckelbridge -- "The sage of sour mash"*** -- kicks off his book tour with a bourbon history and tasting event at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.

Read more about the 92Y Bourbon history & tasting event.

Or, to review your own potential for liquor deductions, read tax tips for authors.

novelist Jim Fuerst

*Bill Samuels, Jr. president emeritus of Maker's Mark Distillery

**Is that even his real name?

***John Baxter, author of The Perfect Meal

Images: Author Dane Huckelbridge with bourbon and Bourbon; book-party-goer/novelist Jim "Ron Barrelitos" Fuerst.

Green Apple Books Wins PW Bookstore of the Year

Monday March 31, 2014

Green Apple Books San FranciscoCongrats to Green Apple Books in San Francisco, named Publisher's Weekly 2014 Bookstore of the Year and to Teresa Rolfe Kravtin of Southern Territory Associates, who has  won PW Rep of the Year.

Read about Green Apple Books -- and about last year's Bookstore of the Year, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi.

Read the full PW announcement here.

Image: from Green Apple Books

Thinking About Publishing with a Small Press? Read This Expert Advice First...

Wednesday March 19, 2014

Lou-Aronica-author-photo-1-.jpgWhat advantages can a small press bring to an aspiring author? In this Q&A, The Story Plant President and Publisher (as well as bestselling novelist) Lou Aronica provides small press insights and the five key questions to ask before your sign your book contract.

Image courtesy of The Story Plant

2014 IACP Cookbook Award Winners Announced

Monday March 17, 2014

The 2014 IACP Cookbook Award winners were announced on March 15 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. As is traditional, the winners were announced at an awards event at the annual conference, which took place this year in Chicago.

The list of 2014 IACP cookbook winners includes The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food & Drink in America, Second Edition (Oxford University Press) by Andrew F. Smith,  which was awarded the prize for Beverage/Reference/Technical;  One Souffle at a Time (St. Martin's Press) by Anne Willan and Amy Friedman, which won for Literary Food Writing; and Wine Grapes (HarperCollins Publishers) by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding & Jose Vouillamoz, which took home both the Wine, Beer and Spirits category and Jane Grigson awards.

Notably, Stone Edge Farm Cookbook by John McReynolds, winner in both First Book and Book of the Year categories, was self-published under the Stone Edge Farm imprint.

Read more about the IACP Cookbook Awards:

The list of 2014 IACP Cookbook Award finalists.

The history of the IACP Cookbook Awards and about the different IACP Cookbook Award categories.

For more about cookbooks, see articles about:

The James Beard Foundation Book Awards

Writing "recipe books" - all about cookbooks

How to make a so-so title really "cook"

Iconic cookbook author, Julia Child


Acing Your Author Appearances

Friday February 28, 2014

pop043.jpgJust wanted to call out the recent article series on making the most of author appearances. From nailing your book's marketing message to what to wear when you're in front of the TV camera, there are dozens and hints and tips that an author can use to get their message out to engage readers and get more book sales.

Get your "hook"! Crafting your marketing message and "take-aways."

How to prepare for a media interview - strategies and advice.

What to wear to an author appearance

Looking good on camera -  TV or video dressing / grooming advice

Checklist for an author interview

Strategies for answering tricky interview questions

9 Tips for book signings

Image: Getty Images

Love is in the air...

Tuesday February 11, 2014

Reclaim My Heart by Donna Fasano ... and so is Romance in all it's bookish forms. While the Romance Writers of America won't be holding the RWA annual conference until July, Valentine's Day is a great time to read about:

  • The RWA awards for both published and unpublished authors.

Image: courtesy of Donna Fasano

No Shushing at the ALA Midwinter Conference

Wednesday January 22, 2014


Librarians will gather at their annual Midwinter ALA in Philadelphia starting this Friday, January 24 through Tuesday, January 28.

Highlights of the conference include New York Times best-selling authors David Baldacci and Matthew Quick (the Silver Linings Playbook author also did a video thanking librarians), and children's book illustrators Melissa Sweet and Kadir Nelson. The Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture on Saturday 1/25 will be given by human rights advocate and best-selling author Ishmael Beah, whose book  A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, has helped shine an international spotlight on critical issues related to children and war and has been published in over 30 languages.

Of course, what would a conference be without exhibits? There will be plenty -- and the much-anticipated annual ALA Youth Media Awards (which include the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott Medal) will be presented on Monday, January 27.

For more information, visit the 2014 ALA Midwinter conference website.

Image: Getty Images

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