Welcome to Booklifenow.com! (Sign Our “Guestbook”)

Welcome to Booklifenow.com, a site that serves as support for and a supplement to my new book Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer.

(Would you trust these guys to advise you on your Booklife? Sure you would! Matt Staggs and Jeff VanderMeer, at a conference in Memphis, after running the first-ever Booklife workshop. Jeff had lost his dress slacks, button-down shirt, and blazer, and had to do the workshop in cargo shorts, t-shirt, and hoodie.)

My book is somewhat unique: a manual that’s about how to be a writer in our new media age, but with the spotlight on sustainable creativity and sustainable careers rather than on new media tools, although tools are an integral part of the discussion.

There’s such a welter of advice and options available via the internet that, after 25 years in the industry—as a writer, editor, publisher, teacher, and, creative consultant—I felt it was important to provide a guide that’s both practical and idealistic. The reason for the focus on career and creativity is that a focus primarily on the tools you might use to achieve success would also mean a discussion that’s more about tactics than strategy. Nothing hurts a writer more than to think primarily on a tactical rather than strategic level. (Example: the idea that spending a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter automatically guarantees you an audience for your books.)

Booklife integrates discussion of the topics traditional to such manuals with how the landscape has changed as a result of the innovations of the electronic age. Although many of these changes are wonderful, it isn’t a uniformly positive development—new media can fragment you, disrupt your ability to be creative, and make you pursue tactical goals that don’t support your overall career. It also may be hard to determine how to be an effective advocate for your book without sacrificing what’s most important: your personal joy stemming from the creative impulse, your intimate relationship with your writing.

This blog will provide a sometimes brash, sometimes clinical exploration of these issues—posting excerpts from Booklife, expanding on material from the book, soliciting the opinions of other experts, and in general providing you as a beginning or intermediate writer with a resource for good advice for your Private and Public Booklife. (Even advanced writers may benefit from the content.) My goal is to never post any content that I don’t think is genuine, honest, and of use. Helping me in this regard will be my friend the creative consultant Matt Staggs, whose ideas are an integral part of the book.

What, specifically, can you expect from Booklifenow.com between now and the end of the year?

  • -New content every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, some excerpted from Booklife and some original to the site. For this special opening week, though–content every day!
  • -A “Top 10 Links” for the week feature by Matt Staggs (every Friday starting Oct. 30; Matt is a publicist, writer and creative consultant focused on facilitating the success of both authors and publishers.)
  • -Recommendations of the top writing resources–websites and books (we will never recommend anything we don’t support one hundred percent)
  • -News about Booklife-related events that bring workshops and other resources to your area
  • -Periodic Friday Q&A sessions where you can ask an expert about issues related to your Booklife

As I write in Booklife, no one ever achieves all of their goals–I keep the photo above as an amusing reminder of that fact–but striving to do the best possible job is half the battle.

I hope you’ll join us on this journey, and contribute to the conversation. And, as part of getting know our audience, I’d love it if you’d take the time to comment and tell me a little bit about who you are and what career or creativity issues related to writing are most on your mind at the moment.

(A big thanks to Publishers Weekly’s Booklife portal for their cooperation and help, as well as the immensely talented Luis Rodrigues for creating this website.)

68 thoughts on “Welcome to Booklifenow.com! (Sign Our “Guestbook”)

  1. Just discovered your book on the featured books shelf of my public library here in Indy. Wow! This is just what I'm looking for….Can't wait to dive into your book…..I'm going to order a copy from my local indie bookstore, because I know I'll be referring to it often. I sense that you've tapped into a crucially needed part of the puzzle. Thank you!

  2. A million thank you's to Vandermeer and his support team. This is precisely the book I've been looking for as I wade into the scary world of publishing. With a complete manuscript under my arm, I was staring into the internet quagmire, confused and lost as to how to take my next steps. Thank you for a PRACTICAL, insightful book to act as a roadmap along the way.

  3. I just started reading BookLife yesterday.

    The idea that I don't have to self-promote in the areas that frighten me is very liberating. In other areas of my life I'm kind to myself and don't do things that give me nightmares but for some reason I had not thought I could be as good to myself in my BookLife


  4. Booklife is a terrific resource and I'm going to spread the word about your website. I know some of the writers on here and admire their work greatly. There are some good insights here into writing and how writers work.

  5. I am a Recovered Cancer patient originally diagnosed on 11-26-1982 @ the age of 26.

    I was sent home for my last Christmas on 12/12/1982.

    Well I just turned 55 & I self-Published my True Story w/pertinant Medical Reports

    to document My Battle that basically is ongoing & I need help promoting this book.

    "COUNTED OUT" : The Battle That Never Ends

    I can respond to any Emails w/Direct Link to FREE PREVIEW of My Story.

    Hope I hear back soon…..Sincerely, Steven P.Winkler

  6. Great resource. Very helpful, inspiring and – most of all – encouraging.

    Rock on, Jeff.

  7. Hi Jeff.

    Was reading Booklife and being frustrated with parts of it that I was already doing and then falling over other bits and saying "oh…um… I should do that." A wonderful resource and reminder even for someone well past their first publication. Thank you.

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