Monthly Archives: June 2014

World Cup of Literature

In June and July, the University of Rochester’s resource for international literature, Three Percent, held the first ever World Cup of Literature.

The program featured a 32-book knock-out tournament during soccer’s World Cup game. Each match pitted two books against each other. Only one of the books moved on until the championship match determined the ultimate winner.

This program might look like it would draw more attention outside the United States (which doesn’t share the soccer fever that infects other nations). But keep in mind that Britain has a reality TV show that features authors, and publishers in the U.S. are constantly looking for new ways to engage readers. We might see similar events tied into American obsessions like football or the Fourth of July.

I look forward to holidays spent counting down competitions like this!

Literary Tour as Marketing Idea

Foyles is launching a literary tours program. Winners receive trips guided by well-known authors to places that have appeared in books.

While this program took quite a bit of effort and investment to create, really any author can add this idea to their marketing efforts. Many times fiction authors use real locations as part of their books. Add a self-guided tour description to the end material in your work and use that as a way to enhance sales. Or even guide a tour yourself during your next visit to that city. Have fun, meet fans and revisit the plot…sounds like heaven!

Unknown Authors Win, $750 Cash Awaits!

The Laine Cunningham Long Form Fiction contest selected the winners for first, second and third place as well as honorable mention. Then came the big surprise: two of the entries that won were submitted without contact information for the authors. One doesn’t even have a name!

We now have two winners, for second and third place, who remain unknown. An email address for one has not received a response. The other entry is the nameless one…no name, no email, no phone number or address.

The titles of the winning entries are, for third place, Good Enough Mother by Lora Hilty and, for second place, Rosa. The name on this entry was handwritten in very cramped writing. Our best guess at the author’s name is either Barbara de la Cuesta or Barbara de la Cueta.

The prizes that await are $250 for third place and $500 for second place. That’s a total of $750 that any writer would be glad to receive for pens, printer paper, computer devices, or more contest entries. The $1,000 first place award went to Love’s Wilderness by Enid Harlow, who unfortunately hung up on the administrator when he called to tell her she had won because she thought he was trying to sell her a magazine subscription. Honorable Mention went to The Rummy Club by Anoop Ahuja Judge, who received the news with much more joy than the first place winner.

We are asking for your help finding these two unknown authors. Reblog this, tweet it, post it on Facebook, and talk to your writer’s groups. If you know the authors (or are one of the unknowns), please contact The Blotter Literary Magazine at

Also note that this will be the last year of the contest unless we can find another sponsor. Interested individuals can connect with Garrison Somers of The Blotter for more information.

Target to Offer Ebooks

Target is partnering with a startup ebook subscription service called Librify to provide an online platform for buying, sharing and discussing books. Librify has more than 500,000 titles available already (about half of Amazon’s number), and it has only been beta testing since March.

Even better, the social aspects of the platform allow readers to review and discuss their favorite books…providing word-of-mouth validation that is so critical to readers. Authors should check into Librify now to ensure their titles are available once Target is ready to launch.

See Harry Potter’s New Cover

Link here to see the new Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets cover. The new design is part of the revamping of the series with illustrator Johnny Duddle. All seven books will be released September 1, the day Hogwarts students return to wizarding school.

Children’s Books Enhanced by Multimedia

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has purchased Curiosityville, a children’s learning website. The move expands HMH’s reach into the K-12 educational market, and reflects the growing push by publishers to break outside of the book’s binding and expand a story into different mediums.

Between the growth in the age group from 2 to 8 and increased government funding of early childhood programs, publishers see an opportunity to reach more readers and generate more profits. Authors should recognize that even if they are working in fiction, projects ranging from picture books through middle-grade chapter books are hot commodities right now. Send out your work today!