Saturday, June 29, 2013

5 Great Essay Collections

As Writer Abroad puts the finishing touches on her Swiss essay book in order to send it to her editor in the best possible condition on Monday, she’s been referring to other essay collections regarding structure and organization. Here are some of her favorites:

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron. If there’s a better essay collection on women’s issues, Writer Abroad doesn’t know what it is. Unfortunately, another book of hers, I Remember Nothing, which Writer Abroad also bought, doesn’t live up to the Neck collection. Maybe the author got too big of head when writing it? She name-dropped in it so much that Writer Abroad couldn’t even finish reading it.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman. Wonderful coming of age best-selling essay collection whose final chapter is a bonus—at least to those of us in Switzerland—since it takes us to Geneva.

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. If you like a life served up funny and self-deprecating, then this essay collection about being a young person in New York City is for you.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. Learning French is fun when you’re in class with Sedaris. While you might not learn to conjugate the past, you’ll learn what’s so funny about the present.

Tales from the Expat Harem edited by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gökmen. If you often feel stuck between two worlds, then this book will introduce you to 32 foreign women living in Turkey who are trying to find themselves somewhere between East and West.

Any great collection of essays you've read recently?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Writers Should Get Digital

Writer Abroad loves printed books so she just didn't know if she could bring herself to do the unthinkable: Read an e-book.

Nevertheless, Writer Abroad got a Kindle in December. But like any good traditional book lover, she procrastinated. She didn’t read her first e-book until May.

Call it desperation because she was not only traveling, but also sleeping in the same room as Baby M. And a book she could read in the dark? Perfect.

The day she was leaving for her trip, a friend recommended Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran: How to Self-Publish and Why You Should.

It was a self-published e-book and it cost less than $4. Writer Abroad didn’t even read the blurb. She bought it and read it in two days. It was wonderful. It was wonderful to read on the Kindle as she could hold the Kindle with one hand and Baby M with the other. It was wonderful because this book wasn’t even available as a print book so she couldn’t have read it any other way. And it was wonderful because the book itself was inspiring.

Let’s Get Digital was well written, informative, and made Writer Abroad believe self-publishing and e-books just might be the best things to ever happen to writers. The book gave an overview of the troubled traditional publishing industry and how the internet has revolutionized publishing to make it easier than ever for writers to find audiences and make money from writing. It also discussed how to self-publish: how to find editors, create book covers, format, and more. Finally, 33 bestselling self-publishers shared their inspiring stories. They made Writer Abroad wonder, what the heck is she waiting for?

As a reader, writer, and international traveler, Writer Abroad has decided an e-reader may just be of the best inventions this century.

What do you think about e-books as a writer and/or reader?


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