Carolina VonKampen

Editor. Reader. Writer.

Tag: publishing

How I Successfully Cold Emailed My Way Into Two Publishing Internships

‘Twas the summer of 2016, and I was desperate for an internship somehow related to publishing. After my searches for internships showed that there were no relevant ones in St. Louis, where I would live for the summer, I had to figure out how to get the professional experience I desired. I had a list of publishers and literary magazines in St. Louis, so I started cold emailing. Not all of my cold emails were successful; most recipients never acknowledged my emails, in fact. But two were successful.

I emailed Amphorae Publishing and Open Books Press/Brick Mantel Books, introduced myself, and asked whether they needed an editorial intern for the summer. Both publishers responded that yes, they could use an intern.

Now, I’m not suggesting that I know some special secret about cold emails. I don’t—I just got lucky. But if my emails succeeded, maybe they’ll work as helpful templates for writing your own cold emails. Continue reading

To Read or Not to Read: An Experiment in Intentionally Buying Books

I buy too many books.

I see a book that looks mildly interesting on Instagram and save it to my TBR Instagram Collection. I come across interesting articles on LitHub, enjoy the writing or subject, and save the author’s most recent book to my Amazon wish list. I realize that an author who wrote a book I liked has another book…or two…or three…so I buy more of his books for my collection, figuring that I’ll read it some day. I buy them because I write in books, so borrowing from a friend or a library would result in some annoyed friends or libraries.

But the problem is that at this rate, I’ll never read all the books I buy. Honestly, even if I stopped buying books today, I’d have years of new reading material on my shelves. I want to read more, in general, but I need to be more intentional about my choices, especially in which books I spend money on.

Continue reading

Reflections on the Personal Significance of 3 Ishiguro Novels

Japanese novelist Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature yesterday; although I am delighted he won such a prestigious award, his importance to me is of a more personal nature. You see, three of his novels played an integral role in the first year of my relationship with my husband, Sean. Readers are funny in this way. Despite the fact that I could study Ishiguro’s novels using my English major skills and write about his skill and genius as a storyteller, I find myself reflecting on the emotional significance of three of his novels upon my life. Continue reading

My Thoughts on BookFest St. Louis

St. Louis just hosted its first annual book festival, BookFest St. Louis, in the Central West End. As a reader, writer, and editor, this event was a dream come true. We don’t get a lot of literary traffic down here in St. Louis, so to have this many authors and book-focused events in one space on one day was amazing.

It’s pointless to describe each event I attended—that would be boring to read. So instead, here are some observations about the various BookFest St. Louis performances and panels I attended. Continue reading

7 Essential Elements Your Book Review Policy Must Have

So you’ve decided to be a book reviewer. You’re itching to get your hands on some advanced review copies for free. But how do you go about doing this?

The first thing you need to do is make sure your book review blog looks professional and represents the type of books you like and the type of reviewer you are. Then, you need to write some book reviews. Authors and publishers aren’t going to send you books if you haven’t proven that you are capable of reading a few books and writing reviews.

Once you’ve written several book reviews and posted them to your blog and elsewhere (Amazon, Goodreads, #bookstagram, etc.), you can start to position yourself as a reviewer worthy of receiving copies of books to review. Create a new page on your book blog titled “Book Review Policy,” put it in your menu, and include these seven elements in it: Continue reading

Steven Meyerhoff Pursues Writing With Passion

Steven Meyerhoff’s 31-year career as an editor of various forms of media, including newspapers, magazines, books and online content, has allowed him to focus on his passion, journalism that evokes an emotion from readers.

“It can be in a newspaper or magazine, bound as a book or online; it could be a photo, or a video,” Meyerhoff said in an email interview. “I love journalism that has a purpose, that makes people think or act, that makes people angry, or happy, laugh or cry, or in this day and age ‘share’ or ‘like’ or ‘favorite.’”

Meyerhoff discovered an appreciation for English and creative writing in high school because of its subjective nature. Continue reading

10 Mistakes Authors Make on Twitter and How to Avoid Them

Authors are often expected to market themselves and their books tirelessly on social media. It can be exhausting, especially if you’re new to Twitter or aren’t an expert in marketing! As a social media freelancer for an author and an intern for two publishing companies, I’ve looked at thousands of authors’ Twitter profiles, so I’ve seen some authors who could have a great profile with just a few tweaks. Here are 10 common mistakes authors make in presenting themselves with their Twitter profile and how to avoid them. Continue reading

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