#ComedyBookWeek Banner Design Competition is open!

#ComedyBookWeek

As we are getting ready to open doors for the Winter 2017 #ComedyBookWeek, it’s time to spruce up our image. We were lucky with the last event to have Kirsty McManus, author of Zen Queen, volunteer her time and design skills to create the current banner.

humor_book

By default, this banner is now the first entry in the design competition, winner of which will be judged by you, authors and bloggers. What will the winner receive?

  1. The fame of having designed the new image for an international event;
  2. Exposure during the competition, voting, and a dedicated post announcing the winner, which will be shared on social media to an estimated 500,000 followers (via shared author and blogger networks);
  3. $50USD prize;
  4. Ad banner of their choosing in side panel of this website from the day of award until the close of the next event on 22 January 2017.

Entries for the competition are…

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Quick How-To: get 1,000 Goodreads followers with 5 minutes of effort

Have a gander at these here numbers: I now have 1,020 Goodreads friends!

Ana Goodreads stats

How did I manage this, you ask? Well, about a week ago, I had 200 friends, as a result of a year of giveaways (total of 8, which are also responsible for the staggering 2,424 of my books on people’s to-read shelves) and also because of two months of madness advertising #ComedyBookWeek. Then I discovered something most of you probably already know.

Goodreads lets you connect to your friends on other social platforms  en masse.

So, if you already knew that, then why didn’t you tell me? For those that didn’t, here’s how you can connect to thousands of your Twitter or Facebook friends with a few clicks (assuming you have thousands of Twitter or Facebook friends):

  1. On Goodreads, hover over your picture in the top-right corner. When a menu appears, click on “Friends.”
  2. Find this in the top-right corner of “Friends” page:                                        Ana Goodreads stats
  3. Click on each platform’s icon and send out invites by clicking on “Add Friends” button.

That’s it. Now they all will see your general updates, comments you’ve made in groups, and you can invite them to your groups or events. Like, I dunno, you can invite them to #ComedyBookWeek group. Just sayin’.

You’re welcome.

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#ComedyBookWeek is changing for the better – we need your ideas!

Whew! How’s everyone feeling after that rollecoaster ride? Due to popular demand, #ComedyBookWeek is coming back sooner than originally planned – in January. It will be even better, but…

Source: #ComedyBookWeek is changing for the better – we need your ideas!

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Vote for the best 2016 #ComedyBookWeek Review!

Nominations for the People’s Choice award are in! In the order submitted, the following book blogger reviews were submitted: Books, Books and More Books nominated by Portia Porter because …

Source: Vote for the best 2016 #ComedyBookWeek Review!

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2016 #ComedyBookWeek Blogger Awards

Nominate your favourite review for the People’s Choice award!

#ComedyBookWeek

The event is over and the results are in!

In addition to 117 featured books on this website, an incredible 74 reviews, interviews, guest posts, and Facebook Q&As have taken place on 28 blogs and other platforms across the week and the globe. I’m not sure of all the locations, but it’s a fact that bloggers and authors from the US, Great Britain, Australia, and India have participated. Let’s all take a moment to shake hands and slap each other on the back, as golden confetti drifts down to the sounds of “We are the champions!” (Or whatever music makes you feel like a winner. I will be cranking up DMX’s “X’s gonna give it to ya!”)

On behalf of all the participating authors, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every blogger that took the time to read and review our books, cared enough to…

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#ComedyBookWeek review – Beaver vs. Beaver by Portia Porter, Esq.

I couldn’t help myself – despite going nuts with trying to figure out HTML and keep track of all the updates, I’ve read another book from the 117 funny books on offer at #ComedyBookWeek. This is not an ordinary event, and it features some not-so-ordinary books. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that Beaver vs, Beaver came out at me from the left field. It’s a humorous memoir of a divorce lawyer, striking out on her own for the first time, and landing her very first client – a multi-millionaire, no less. I don’t know what I expected, although it was probably something along the lines of Ally McBeal. It promised an insider look into the family law court, and I settled in, looking forward to some light reading and maybe relieving my dreams of being an attorney. ‘Cause I could totally do that. I work hard, and I can look adorable when in the right mood and viewed from the right angle.

Oh. My. God. This was so not Ally McBeal.

Yes, it’s an insight into the law practice, alright. And yes – it’s funny when Portia Porter pulls down the pants of the legal practice and reveals all of its warts. It’s like she’s the Julian Assange of family law, but without that rapey vibe. There’s the part towards the end of the book, where the narrative steps away from the main story and details some of the ways the lawyers go about screwing each other, the judge, vice versa, the client and vice versa, and various combinations of the above. Because of that, I see this book as a short course for potential clients, told in a humorous way. Portia is also a Malcolm Gladwell of sorts – educating you about something as painful and dry as divorce proceedings through storytelling and humor.

The story is told from the first person, but you get to understand what Portia in the story doesn’t yet know. It’s gut-wrenching in the way that makes people in movie theaters yell “Don’t open that door!” I actually had to stop in the middle of the book and take a walk when she did open that door – the pain of anticipating the ultimate swindle was excruciating. I don’t want to reveal too much, sufficient to say that I found the resolution of the story very satisfying.

The voice of the book is both intelligent and lighthearted:

“Lawyers on TV—at least the ones who play the good sort—never have the smallest problems with their memory and organization. All the exhibits are always at their fingertips, they never forget a date, they have the statutory Codes memorized cold, even when they must quote what is a five sub-paragraph deep citation.”

“8:55 A.M. Judge’s bench still empty. It’s just me, Ms. “Human Coil” Boom and the sheriff.
9:10 A.M. No change.
9:20 A.M. No change.
9:25 A.M. Starting to lose hope. The judge forgot about us probably.
10:10 A.M. The back door opens . . . false alarm! It’s the Judge’s Secretary Tonya, the author of the cryptic email.”

Expertly written, flowing prose has been just as expertly edited, something that is too often overlooked. I’ve learned quite a few things from reading this book – for starters, that I’m not cut out for the court. That if I ever do have to hire a lawyer, I’ll make sure I won’t have to fire him or her. Oh, and that I will have to read her other books: Can You Stiff Your Divorce Lawyer? and Alienation of Affections.

Buy Beaver vs. Beaver to read just for kicks, and then to keep on your bookshelf, you know, just in case. Buy it if you or anyone you know is considering a divorce. And, for the love of God, buy it for that bright-eyed daughter or niece of yours that is nurturing dreams of being the next Ally McBeal.

You can thank me later.

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Day 7 of #ComedyBookWeek highlights

Wow, what a crazy week, and there’s still more to come! I finally had to close the event to new authors, after the Participating Books list reached 117 and it all became too much. But fear no…

Source: Day 7 of #ComedyBookWeek highlights

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#ComedyBookWeek review – There’s been a Change of Plans by Amy Koko

Hey, it’s Day 7 of 8-day-long #ComedyBookWeek! It has been a surreal experience, and a hectic one, with emails pouring into my inbox every day, asking to add even more books to the participating list. Good thing I’ve been on leave, because all my energy went into making sure all the links work and all the emails are answered.

This has been going on for the last month or so, and to tell you the truth, I did not plan to review any of the participating books – simply no time. Still, one of the blurbs attracted my attention. The next thing I knew, I was reading “Look Inside” excerpt of There’s Been A Change Of Plans: A Memoir about Divorce, Dating and Delinquents in Mid-Life, and once I finished that, I had to know what happens next.

The author pretty much had me at the opening scene, in which she is admiring her brand-spanking-new washer and dryer and expecting an announcement about the overseas trip from her husband. Instead, she gets some unexpected news – there’s been a change of plans. No trip to Italy – Amy is about to embark on a rollecoaster ride through mid-life crisis.

I finished this book in two days. I would have read it in one setting, if not for the constantly dinging email notifications. It’s a true story, but told in such a funny, engaging voice, that I had to remind myself that this has actually happened to a real person and not to some fictional character. I was cheering along and face-palming with every twist and turn of the plot…I mean, the real story! I caught myself anticipating the reveal of the Other Woman’s hair style and body type; getting angry at The Husband; cringing at The Dates; and getting frustrated with The Job Search.

This is officially my very first review, so I am probably not following the Best Practice of Book Reviews. All I can say is that I loved it, and that the protagonist reminded me of Isa Maxwell, so I can confidently recommend this book to anyone who liked one of my own books. As mentioned, I found the voice of the author to be the best part of the whole experience, so I’d like to share a few of my favourite quotes with you:

“I pictured myself in the Pinellas County jail, my orange jumpsuit stained with sweat and maybe a little pee, eating beans from a tray with a spork and all bloated from not pooping in months.”

“No more drunk e-mails that now, for sure, had killed any chance I ever had at running for governor.”

“Think! I tell myself, think back to that day roughly thirty years ago when you made that brilliant decision to drop out of college. What was your career goal?”

“…for a moment I was temporarily blinded by a vision of me drinking champagne at gallery openings and exhibits, where the artist would probably approach
me and ask if he could paint me and I would have to politely decline and walk away leaving him standing there breathless and disappointed.”

“Yes, I went into divorce kicking and screaming and drunk texting with some slight stalking thrown in. But on a positive note, I came out stronger and with some great new underwear.”

All I can say is, give the “Look Inside” excerpt a go – I’m willing to bet you won’t be able to put it down.

After reading the book, I just had to learn more about the author, and luckily she was willing to answer my questions. Everyone, please put your hands together for Amy Koko!

amy cover photo

Hi, Amy, and thank you for your time to answer the questions that I’m sure will be on the mind of other readers. For starters, your book is hilarious, especially the comedic voice, which I’m sure took years to develop. When and how did you come to be a comedian? Is it genetic or learned? Can you recall the first time you’ve made an audience of at least one laugh?

I will be honest Ana, I never really tried to be funny, I just started writing and this is what came out, so I am going to say it is genetic. That being said, I definitely have my comedic idols that I turn to for inspiration, such as Nora Ephron, Helen Fielding and I adore Mindy Kaling and Amy Schumer. Jenny Lawson is another favorite.

Do you have other outlets for your comedy, such as acting or stand up?

Oh my gosh no! I am horrible at telling jokes, I start speeding up as I get closer to the punch line and find people staring at me, mouths open, like, “What? I don’t get it,” as they head back to the humus dip.

Is your book mixing fact with fiction, or is it autobiographical? If it is close to the truth, how did you feel about a tell-all story – did you have fears or backlash from anyone?

Ana, this story is 100% true. Names have been changed such as my husband’s and my children and I also had to change Doritos to “chips” but it is all true. I did fear some backlash and long lasting effects on my kids, after all it does go into some very personal details of my intimate life with my husband, their father. Still, I felt like my story could help and hopefully inspire other women out there going through this gut wrenching experience so I had to get it out there, and I believe my kids are proud.

How long did it take you to create this book, from the first idea to publishing? How long did each stage take, for example, the concept, the first draft, and then preparing for publishing?

The book took me roughly a year of devoted writing. This includes formulating the book proposal which is actually harder than writing the book! It has to include your marketing strategy, stats and analytics, and WHO is going to actually buy your book and a completed table of contents. This 50 page document complete with the first three chapters, is what my agent was able to sell to the publisher. I met with my writing coach every two weeks which helped keep me on track and accountable.

How did you find the experience of selling your book to a traditional publisher?

The first step for me was finding an agent which is no easy task as any writer will tell you. Talk about low self esteem…wow! It’s not for the faint of heart that’s for sure. It was my agent who actually sold this book to a large publisher and I was thrilled beyond words. Imagine how devastated I was months later, when they told me that they had lost several editors and were no longer doing memoirs. I was able to keep my advance but they would not be publishing the book. My agent then sold it to a small independent publisher, Martin-Brown who published it in October.

What is next for you? Will we see more autobiographical stories, or will it be fiction? Have you thought of turning your book into a screenplay?

I am currently working on a fiction novel, although isn’t everything we write really based on things we know? I am excited about the concept and plan to have it finished in late September. It is a hysterical tale of a midlife woman who moves from a small town in Florida to New York City and becomes a…oops…you’re going to have to read it!

I would love to turn my book into a screenplay and as a matter of fact I have been looking for courses in screenplay writing as I have never attempted one before. I do think that Change of Plans, and my new book as well would do great as screenplays.

What do you wish you’ve done differently – or what were your biggest lessons learned?

As far as my book goes, my biggest wish is that I had paid for a professional editor. I now know I cannot edit my own work, it’s like trying to find imperfections in your children’s faces which we all know is impossible because they are totally perfect. So that is a BIG lesson learned for going forward. The other lesson I learned is to stop doubting and start doing. Life is short and based on the rate that my eyebrows seem to be disappearing, I don’t think I’m getting any younger.

Once again, please put your hands together for Amy Koko…I mean, put them on the keyboard and download her book:

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Day 6 of #ComedyBookWeek highlights

#ComedyBookWeek

How do I love thee, #ComedyBookWeek? Let me count the ways…

First off, you’ve brought together authors and book bloggers. There’s so much love on webpages all over the Internet, so many people discovering new authors or even genres, that alone makes the event worth it.

Furthermore, you are giving those authors and bloggers much-needed exposure. Forget about being too rich or too thin – you can never have too much publicity.

And finally, you’ve proven that laughter can be found in most unexpected places…birthday parties, graveyards, corporate offices, and even divorce court.

Wait, did I just say “divorce court?” Yep, that’s right –  Jam (Leaves et Livres) review of Can You stiff Your Divorce Lawyer by Portia Porter will prove just that.

Can You stiff Your Divorce Lawyer is a mix of cautionary tales, inside information, and elaborate tongue-in-cheek instructions, that exposes the achilles heel of the legal profession: if…

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Quick How-To: add a static welcome page to WordPress.com without losing your blog

Hi, guys!

I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks, and for a good reason – as you’ve probably noticed, I am now running #ComedyBookWeek. It’s been a full-time job for the last month or so, what with setting up an official website, approaching 100 book bloggers, and gathering 112 (and counting) books to participate. Not to mention the daily highlights and social media – luckily I’m on leave right now, otherwise, I’d have a nervous breakdown!

Still, I had to take a little timeout and post this How-To, because it took me forever to figure out what should take you five minutes to do. If you’ve looked on #ComedyBookWeek webpage lately, you might have noticed that the front page is now a static one, showcasing all the books on offer. To see the actual blog posts, you now need to click on the “Blog” tab at the top. This makes the page look more professional from the event point of view, rather than the WordPress standard landing page being a blog. Plus, it gives more weight to the books on offer. Incidentally, this is what most professional authors do – when you go to their website, the welcome page is about the author and their books. I am going to revamp this blog in the same way, so I wanted to give you heads up and write down how I did it for #ComedyBookWeek webpage .

Please follow the steps below exactly – if you only assign the front page, you will notice that your blog will DISSAPEAR! And we don’t want that.

Here are the steps:

  1. Create a landing Page that you want to be your “front” page. For this blog, it will be my “About Ana” page. Here are all the pages used in comedybookweek.com:Add page
  2. Create a “Blog” page. Just trust me – add a new page, call it “Blog” or whatever you want, but DON’T WRITE ANYTHING in the body/text box.
  3. Now go to your WP Admin, and in Settings-Reading, assign two static pages as shown below. Assign your welcome page to “Front” and your empty “Blog” page to “Posts.”Reading settings
  4. In Appearance-Menus, add pages and rearrange them as desired. Here’s what #ComedyBookWeek menu looks like:Menus

That’s it!

You’re welcome:-)

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