The MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for Book Authors

What it is, why you should build one, and how it can spread your big, beautiful project.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to set the stage for the release of a book I am writing, an 80s memoir about houses. The bulk of my proposal for this book is finished, but I find myself  digging into the section about author platform and thinking (and over-thinking) the many ways I […]

That time I took 15 years to write an essay

The reason for memoir is the space between who you were and what you are now.

So here’s a story that basically encapsulates what it means to write memoir. My family has this zany ritual of visiting open houses but never actually moving. It emerged a lot from our love of spaces and more than a little from our long-held belief that life would be better if yada yada [insert your […]

The unexpected benefits of forgetting to save your work

I wrote. It disappeared. I wrote again.

The other day someone sent me one of those stories where a writer ran back into a flooding building to retrieve his laptop because it had something like a 200,000-word novel stored on it. The first thing I did was shake my little finger and say to myself: “Come on, man, Google Docs!” But even […]

In praise of the 100% Real Fake Book Cover

A little inspirational wall art never hurt anyone.

Things are getting real over at the Emily Grosvenor studio, ahem, in the corner room where I pound out my words every morning. So real, in fact, that I’ve made a real fake book cover for my current writing project. Why? I believe firmly in the power of visual dreaming. It’s been a bit of […]

Putting together a book proposal? Map it out!

Amidst the agony and the thrill of starting new projects, make a plan.

I’m waist-deep in a new memoir book proposal. The juices are flowing, the words seem to be flying off my fingers (my mom, a typing teacher, would be so proud!) and I’ve got that thrilling new project feeling. But I know myself. I am very good at starting projects. There’s little at stake in starting, […]

Writing a memoir book proposal? Use this checklist.

Stay on task, pace yourself and finish!

I’m deep in the thrill of starting a new project right now, an 80s memoir about houses. Last week, I was feeling really good about how much I had accomplished (a sample chapter and prologue, an overview of the book for a book proposal) until I decided to really map out what it is going […]