Category Archives: Launching a Book

Love me! Read me! Buy me! Writer’s Fear-Clenching Book Launch Thoughts


Book launch day shoots towards me like an asteroid.

Three weeks.

Not ready.

Almost-final drafts of essays surround me. Fear, sleeplessness, and worry consume me. I won’t get reviewed. I will get reviewed—but they will all hate me. I have nothing to wear to events. Okay, I do have stuff to wear, but nothing will fit, since I can’t stop eating.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter, since no one will come to my launch readings.

Okay. My husband will come. (That’s a law, right?)

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The Before and After of Author (All?) Photos

If you love every picture of yourself, or you’re one of those naturally photogenic people, you won’t need this post. And I probably don’t want to stand next to you in any photo.

For the rest of us, there are tricks to make ourselves look less double-chinned, squint-eyed, or serial killerish in photos. I know. I am decidedly not one of those naturally photogenic people. Thus, my gathering of every bit of advice I could find before having an author photo taken. (Now I want to figure out how to outlaw people from ‘tagging’ me in candid shots they’ve taken. Isn’t there something about souls being stolen?

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Writers on Stage: 10 Tips for Readings in Public

man with feet in water

The first time I read in public (a Grub Street open mike event at Johnny D’s in Somerville, Mass.), I sucked.

Years later (no more experienced) with my debut book launch looming, I had to do better. Pre-publication months were spent attending bookstore events with a notebook (and money*) in hand.

Many of the ‘rules’ below I learned from either the awful readings I attended or the great ones. My first lessons in how-to-not-bore-people-to-death came from listening to and watching Boston (and Grub Street) authors Steve Almond (enormously funny, edgy, and self-deprecating) and Jenna Blum (extraordinarily entertaining, honest, and generous.) Learning by watching was invaluable.

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From Metal Sculptor to EMT to Novelist: “An Unseemly Wife”— A Fascinating Look At E.B. Moore


Nichole Bernier talks to E.B. Moore about publishing her debut novel at 72: “The Amish life is exotic to behold and comforting, a little like going to a habitat zoo to watch the slow march of elephants cropping grass with their trunks and blowing dust over their backs.”


When I first moved to Boston and began attending literary events, I noticed a striking woman who seemed to be at all of them. She was statuesque and ageless, with long white braids piled on top of her head, blue eyes twinkling and, at the same time, penetrating behind wire-rimmed glasses. Reserved, but appeared to know everyone. Usually in jeans, wool socks, sneakers, and a sensible Oxford blouse. Extraordinarily good posture. Who was she?

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Friendly Fire? Writers Caught in Conflict & Trying to be Switzerland.

Who remembers shaking in bed while Mom and Dad fought?

“Damn it, Harriet, we can’t go on like this! You’re spending money like a drunken sailor, but I’m not seeing a dime!”

“For goodness sake, Ozzie. Spending money where? Tell me! Where?”

“Fine! How about those fancy dresses you wear to work? How much do you pay those designers, huh? Everyone but me seems to get the benefit.”

“Don’t you want me to look good?”

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“My Next Big Thing”


“My Next Big Thing” is a meme making the rounds, a series of questions about one’s work-in-progress. Many national and international writers have participated—and part of the fun is tagging someone else at the end!

I was tagged (almost simultaneously!) by Ania Szado, author of Beginning of Was and Diana B. Henriques, author of The Wizard of Lies. Both are great writers for whom I have tremendous admiration.

Certainly my next big thing is The Comfort of Lies, as it releases tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb 12) but in the obsession of my life that is writing, I’ve finished the first draft of my next book, so I’ll answer the questions for that upcoming (barely titled) book.

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The COMFORT OF LIES Begets THE COMFORT OF FOOD: Free with Pre-order

When I was newly married (19!) my then-husband and I moved to a farm located between Binghamton and Ithaca, New York. His job was being a farm hand. Mine was reading, watching the one television station available (for a limited number of hours), and gaining weight as quickly as possible. The cookies below helped wildly in that last endeavor.

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11 Things NOT To Do When Your Book Launches

By M.J. Rose

Sometimes what you mustn’t do is just as just as important as what you must do.

I’ve had a dozen novels published and have made far more than a dozen mistakes. Which is why Randy Susan Meyers and I wrote a guidebook to help authors avoid making our mistakes. This list contains just a few my “must nots” inspired by the much longer list of “must dos” from What To Do Before Your Book Launch that just launched this week.

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What To Do Before Your Book Launch: A Guidebook

What to expect when you’re expecting your book? What’s going to happen first, and second, and third?  For me, as I waited for the launch of my debut novel, I was overwhelmed with how much I had to learn, had never learned, and perhaps could/would/should have learned—were there an eight-day week into which I could tap.

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The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. : A Powerful Debut Novel

Written with exquisite grace, depth, and honesty, The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier explores decisions driven by motherhood and marriage. I was transfixed as Kate read the journals she’d inherited from Elizabeth, peeling back the layers of her friend’s life, and in the process grappling with her own choices and terrors. Women have secret lives—sometimes hidden in the corners of our minds, sometimes in dreams unrealized. One mark of friendship is when and whether these nightmares and ambitions can be revealed. This riveting novel fiercely captures this fulcrum of the public and private lives of American mothers.

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