Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Cookbook PR advice from authors of Earth to Table

Cuisine Canada has a great food blog, featuring news about and interviews with Canadian top Canadian food writers and cookbook authors. I just read a post of particular relevance to any food writer working on a cookbook project. Jeff Crump, author of Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm (Random House Canada, 2009) discusses how he used social media and the internet to have a ready-made fanbase for his book which has just been released but which is getting a lot of buzz and media attention. That translates directly into sales and bigger crowds at book signings. It also landed them an audience with Martha Stewart, the holy grail of exposure in the US cookbook market. Here's the post I'm talking about.

In short, the promotion actually starts when the writing starts, so that when the book is finally published, you come out swinging in the book sales department. That gets you on the media radar and the best-seller lists which in turn fuels more book sales. There's no time these days to wait for a book to build an audience because there's always another cookbook right behind it vying for that shelf-space at the bookstore (or in COSTCO). Remember: it's standard to have a year to write the book after inking a book deal with a publisher; THEN the book is a year in editing and production). So, aspiring cookbook authors, start your Twitter / Facebook / Blog engines now!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So many literary events...start your daytimers

Thursday, October 22, 2009
How to Pitch Panel
Want to write for magazines and see your byline flashing back at you? Don't know where to start? Learn how to focus your pitches and sell your stories to noted Alberta magazine editors. These tips are straight from the pros and this panel is highly recommended for any writer looking to improve their batting average.

Featured editors:
- Barb Dacks, Legacy
- Michael McCullough, Alberta Venture
- Omar Mouallem, Avenue Edmonton
- Joyce Byrne, Venture Publishing

Grant MacEwan University, 10045 - 156 Street
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Room 436
Free event, open to the public

Friday, October 23, 2009
The Inside Story on Magazine Features: Q & A with a Magazine Pro

AMPA and LitFest are hosting a special professional development session with New York Times Magazine editor, Paul Tough.

Paul will discuss how to develop a killer feature story, plus it's your chance to pick the brains of this star editor. So bring your questions and get ready to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Stanley A. Milner Library, Sixth Floor, Room 7
2:00 pm
Cost: $10 for AMPA members and students. $15 for non-members.
Registration is required.

To register, email Alberta Magazine Publishers with your name, phone number and email address.

Friday, October 23, 2009
Small Press & Maga/Zine Fair
Hosted by the Edmonton Small Press Association (ESPA) and AMPA

Stanley A. Milner Library, Library Theatre Lobby
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Free and open to the public

AMPA & ESPA team up to present a one-day event in the Library Theatre Lobby to expose you to some of the great literary activities happening in our backyards. Find some of your favourite magazines like filling Station, Legacy, Notebook, Penguin Eggs, Synchronicity, and more, all in one place.

Friday, October 23, 2009
RAMM cocktail reception followed by films presented by the North of Nowhere Expo
Metro Cinema, Citadel Theatre, 9828 101A Ave NW, Edmonton

5:30 pm: Come check out Alberta magazines and have a bite and some vino on us!
7:00 pm: Radical Jesters: A Film about Media Hoaxers & Culture Jammers with HONK! No Noise is Illegal
8:30 pm: American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein
Admission to films is by donation, recommended donation $8 to $12

Saturday, October 24, 2009
RAMM cocktail reception followed by films presented by the North of Nowhere Expo
Metro Cinema, Citadel Theatre, 9828 101A Ave NW
6:00 pm: Come check out Alberta magazines and have a bite and some vino on us!
6:30 pm: Freedom of Expression: Resistance & Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property
7:30 pm: You, Me & the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule
*plus post-film Panel Discussion, Director in Attendance
Admission to films is by donation, recommended donation $8 to $12

October is Read Alberta Magazines Month! Enter to win a Bellstar getaway to Canmore.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

RIP Gourmet magazine...listen to editor Ruth Reichel's CBC Interview

I have played this interview in my food writing classes, time-permitting, because Writers & Company's Eleanor Wachtel interviews Gourmet magazine's (then) editor Ruth Reichl, and Wachtel asks all the right questions. This is a great one-on-one discussion of Reichl's long career and relationship with food. If you want to know what drives a great food editor to do what she does, take a listen.

I'm glad the CBC has resurrected the interview in light of the recent news that Conde Nast has shuttered Gourmet magazine. Grab a snack, coffee or tea. It's worth the hour spent listening.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Support your local writers, editors, photographers, designers and publishers

It's cold outside, which means it's October, which also means it's Read Alberta Magazines Month (RAMM). Yes, put your money where your mouth is and renew your magazine subscriptions; it's the chief selling point for a magazine to a potential advertiser, so yes, your $20 matters! And buy, buy, buy local magazines instead of giant lattes. They're the same price, but one lasts longer.

This year, Alberta Magazine Publishers are also campaigning to convince the Alberta government that local magazines matter, both economically and culturally. So, check out What is Ed Stelmach Reading, and send a letter to the premier. Besides, it's funny to see the various magazines zip through Stelmach's hand on the main flash page.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pitching Workshop from the Pros

Here's a great looking course for anyone looking to sharpen their pitches to editors...

What Not to Pitch – Style your Magazine Query for Success

9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m., October 17th
MacEwan University, City Centre Campus
$10 for members; $20 for non-members
Hosted by Get Publishing Society and Alberta Magazine Publishers Association

Magazine editors and experienced writers will give you the tips and tools to put your best foot forward to successfully enter, branch out or specialize in magazine writing.

Editors Tracy Hyatt from Westworld and Gregory Kennedy from Where Edmonton are just some of the people you will meet at this interactive session that will include magazine pitch dos and pitch don’ts. Understand print and digital magazine trends. Learn about topics that never go out of style. Find out how to create eye catching storylines to pitch to different magazines. Get the scoop on opportunities to strut your writing for new magazines. For sophisticated and experienced writers, find out how to develop a niche for yourself. Leave this session with the inside scoop on how to make your query pitch shine, get an editor’s interest and get your writing published into magazines.

To Register

Email your name and contact information to and send a cheque to What not to pitch" Workshop c/o Cynthia Dusseault, Treasurer, GPCS, 14011 - 91 Avenue, Edmonton AB, T5R 4Y1. Make the cheque payable to Get Publishing Communications Society. Include your contact information, including your email address, with the cheque. Receipts will be provided at the workshop. Enrolment is limited.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Edmonton's Fall Literary Season Kicks Off in Style, Oct 13 at The ARTery at 7 p.m.

The first exciting event to kick off the Edmonton literary season (a.k.a. October, or whenever the first of the winter-type weather drives us all indoors) is the launch event of the Edmonton Literary Saloon, a fantastic concept dreamed up by local literary lights Marina Endicott (Good to a Fault, Open Arms) and Lynn Coady (Mean Boy, Saints of Big Harbour, Strange Heaven).

To launch this Saloon series in high-style, Coady and Endicott anticipate a very special evening will feature scintillating readings and some gossipy conversation with award-winning authors from the House of Anansi: Karen Solie (Pigeon, 2009), Lisa Moore (February, 2009) and Shani Mootoo (Valmiki’s Daughter, 2009). It's a steal of a deal at $5 to attend and rub elbows with the likes of so many great writers in a room. If that doesn't convince you, maybe this will. SEE YOU THERE!

Join the Edmonton Literary Saloon on Facebook too.