Blood, Sweat, & Book Launches (September 2017)

You wrote it. You edited it. (Go you! Woohoo!) Now it’s time to send it out into the world. But you can’t just push your book out of the nest and expect it to fly– book launches require strategy, research, and some good ‘ole fashioned sweat equity.

While their own recent launches are fresh on their minds, Julia and Alexis share their top tips for making the most of your book launch, from how to leverage a following from one pen name to another (for example, Julia Kelly to Julia Blake) to why you really should consider going live on Facebook.

Pour a pint, and check out all the good stuff here:

Or take us on the go, the podcast is available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

We’ll be back next month to chat about everything you need to know about e-mail newsletters! Want the show delivered to your inbox? Sign up here.

Thank you so much for watching/listening. If you’d like to support our show and help us grow, please be sure to check out our Patreon page (there are some great thank you gifts for your donations)! 

Oh, and speaking of book launches– congrats to Alexis on 7 Dirty Lies and Julia on Changing the Play!

 

 

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I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now … (March 2017)

We’ve been at this writing and publishing game for a few years now; which means we’re far enough in to have learned some big lessons, and close enough to the beginning to remember what it felt like to be new to the arena. This month we’re sharing some of the things we wish we’d known when we started: everything from setting our own pace and owning our identity as writers (even if we didn’t quite believe it yet), to navigating the often sticky terrain of etiquette among writers. Grab a drink, and join us:

Or if you prefer take our chat on the go, you can find this episode on iTunes or SoundCloud.

Special thanks to Katie DunnebackZoe York, Dana Volney, and Karen Booth, for commenting on Alexis’ Facebook page and on Twitter so we could pass along their sage wisdom. (And to Heather Gardner whose post we ran out of time before getting to, but who also offered excellent insight.)

As always, thank you for your support of First Draught. Got an idea for a future show? Please don’t hesitate to let us know about it in the comments below.

And finally, we offer the below, with apologies in advance for the earworm:

Drink of the Month (October): The Great Pumpkin

When I started the First Draught Drink of the Month feature, I had every intent to alternate between beer and cocktails each month (fair coverage for all). Except now it’s October, and per the rotation it’s time to feature a cocktail, except, what about all those pumpkin beers …

I know, I know, there’s pumpkin everything these days and it can be a bit much. But I’ve always been a huge fan of a nicely spiced pumpkin beer. A phenomenon that well pre-dates pumpkin flavored Milano cookies, pumpkin hand soap, pumpkin potato chips and yes, even the hallowed Pumpkin Spice Latte.

So this month, while Alexis Anne and Julia Kelly (as her alter ego Vivienne Thorne) share all their amazing knowledge about writing serials, I’ll be sitting back, sipping a lovely fall brew. Serials are sort of trendy right now, just like all things pumpkin, but to stand the test of time you’ve got to create a well-crafted story meant to be delivered in small “sips”. And just like a good pumpkin ale, Alexis’ and Vivienne’s serials are perfectly spiced!

IMG_0648Here are some of my favorite pumpkin ales: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Farmhouse Pumpkin (my local favorite); Rogue, Pumpkin Patch Ale; Dogfish Head, Punkin Ale; Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, Pumpkin Hunter; and Sam Adams, Fat Jack.

See you this Tuesday, October 6, at 8:30 PM EST to chat serials and sip pumpkin beer!

Drink of the Month (September): It’s Bitter, Baby

I’ve decided that when the drink of the month is a beer, I’ll choose a style of beer instead of one specific beer. Craft beer can be pretty regional and I would hate the thought of sending a west coast reader running around trying to find some fabulous ale that is only available on the east coast.

That being said– this month’s style is an IPA, but not just any ‘ole IPA. No, for September you’ll want to find the most hoppy IPA you can possibly find. The one where you put your nose over the glass and all you smell is deep citrus-y bitterness. The one that is going to sting the back of your tongue just a little bit (in all the best ways).

First Draught this month is all about social media, and let’s be honest– it can be a bitter pill to swallow at times. All you want to do is write and yet today’s publishing culture demands that you have an online presence. We’ll be chatting about how to figure out which sites are the best for you, how to use them to make genuine connections with readers, and how not to let it suck away all your writing time.

Just like that super-hopped IPA that seems like it’s going to be WAY too much, but has a sweet-ness to the finish, social media can be your new favorite thing. (Okay… maybe I’m getting a little carried away there, but we’ll at least help you make it drink-able.)

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To find a super hoppy IPA, look for styles with high IBUs (International Bitterness Units – yep, that’s actually a thing). Here are a few suggestions to get you started: Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute, Foothills Brewing’s Hoppyum, Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo, and Ballast Point’s Sculpin.

Cheers! And we’ll see you next Tuesday, September 1 at 8:30pm EST for First Draught!

Drink of the Month – Bubbly Manhattan

IMG_0577We’re rolling out a new feature here at First Draught. Every month, at least a week before our show goes live, we’re going to share our Drink of the Month with you. That way you can prepare in advance and enjoy our featured beverage during the show. Or, you know, just make the drink for fun right now. That works too.

Since we are just getting back home from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference in New York, the natural choice for August was a Manhattan. I googled recipes and found several excellent contenders. Then I stumbled on The Bubbly Manhattan, and the search was over.

The Bubbly Manhattan replaces dry vermouth with an IPA. That’s right, folks — it’s a beer cocktail. Even better, it’s a bourbon and beer cocktail. Clearly making it the most perfect drink ever for First Draught. Seriously, I’m not sure how I’m going to top this next month, but I’ll certainly enjoy trying.

Get the recipe for a Bubbly Manhattan here* and join us next Tuesday, August 4th at 8:30 EDT to talk about Hooking Readers with Effective First Chapters.

IMG_0579* First disclosure: I used bourbon instead of rye and a nice hoppy saison instead of an IPA (’cause that’s what I had on hand). Second disclosure: I’ve got the best job here at First Draught, but if Julia and Alexis ask — trying out drinks is super hard work.