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London Book Fair 2024

t was 1950’s house wife day. At our booth at the London book fair. Thanks to H.A Stories Lucid house press Madville publishing Micheal Nelson Brandy Miller Jennae Elle Beaugard R.L Merril Abeni Celeste And so many other authors

Six Madville Books went to the London Book Fair

Our friends, Jade and Wilnona, the “And I Thought Ladies,” took six or our recent titles to the London Book Fair this year. These are some of the pictures they sent back. We expect a few more, so check back! We wish we could have joined them. It looks like they had a really great time in our tiny 2 meter by 2 meter booth.

Here is an article we just read that does a great job of describing the experience of the London book Fair. That NYT Piece about LBF??

Madville books on display

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AWP24 came early

Madville author, Lee Zacharias poses in front of the AWP24 Conference & Bookfair banner in Kansas City.

We had a smaller showing at this year’s AWP conference. Kim didn’t attend, having begun her college career in Missouri, she could only think of the weather and the unpredictability of flights in early February in Kansas City. But of course, Madville has a number of authors who have no such aversion to the cold or fear of driving on icy roads, and they did attend and represented Madville happily.

Michael Simms, Madville author of Bicycles of the Gods, The Green Mage, and Windkeep, also edits the online journal, Vox Populi, and he invited us to share his table in the book fair. Our authors signed books and greeted potential readers all three of the afternoons at that table. In addition, we have friends at Hoot, who also shared Luanne Smith’s three anthologies (Muddy Backroads, Taboos & Transgressions, and Runaway) and Jodi Angel’s Biggest Little Girl.

Thanks to Lee Zacharias for sharing her wonderful photos! (Also Michael Simms and Cherise Pollard!)

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Why Do Writers Need Websites?

Old typewriter keyboard with www keys side-by-side

It\’s all about creating a brand

Authors need websites dedicated to their work. This foundational building block of brand creation is essential in today\’s world where if you want your work to find an audience, you have to roll up your sleeves and do the bulk of the publicity yourself. This may seem obvious to self-published authors, but it is also true even if your book is published by a big-five publisher. You may think that if a traditional publisher buys the rights to your work, you\’re home free, but that is not the case. Publishers\’ budgets no longer stretch to a lot of publicity or advertising.

This is true for writers of all sorts. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, or magazine articles. The Internet is now the first place your audience or prospective publisher will turn when they want to find out about you and your work.

You’ll want to have a website even before you sell your book. It’s ideal to include a link to your website in your signature for query letters to agents and publishers, for example.

Here are the essentials:

Purchase your domain name

( It costs about $15/year, and you should do this immediately, even if you are not yet ready to use it. If the name you want is unavailable, come up with an easy to remember variation. If you wait to do this, you may have a hard time securing your desired name, and it may be very expensive.

.com is still the most popular, but people often elect to purchase the .net variation as well so there will be no confusion or lost website visitors. (It is easy to make both domain names resolve to the same website.)

Avoid using dashes or underscores in your domain name. That gets very clumsy when you are giving radio or t.v. interviews.

A Writer’s Website should display the following information:


  • Author’s BioSee Best Practices for Writing Author Bios. Note that for your website, you can list ALL the awards and publications. Just keep a shorter version for publication with books and articles.
  • Clips—If you seek freelance work, you need clips. This term “clips” derives from the practice of collecting newspaper and magazine clippings to demonstrate a writer\’s published work. These clips may be scanned copies of published works, such as copies of pages from anthologies Your clips may also include links to your articles that have been published online.
  • Samples of your writing—use this term if you don’t actually have any published clips. You need to put your best work on display but be aware that first publication rights are gone once it appears on your website, so the sample you use can only be sold as a reprint later.
  • A Blog—excerpt from: Should You Blog? And If So, What Are Best Practices? by Jane Friedman on the Writers Digest website:For fiction writers and poets, a blog should exercise your creative muscles and let you write in an unpressured way. Sometimes it can help you stumble on insights, as well as new friendships. However, for an aspiring writer, you have to be careful it doesn\’t detract or replace the “real” work of writing the book or the manuscript. For nonfiction writers, blogs can be an essential part of your marketing and promotion—the author platform that helps you get published in the first place.


  • Sales Pages for your published work. It is not necessary to have an entire online shopping cart. Your publisher or POD vendor will have a page you can link to. You may even be able to earn a few extra pennies from each sale if you sign up for affiliate sales programs. Amazon and B & N have affiliate programs, for example.
  • A calendar to show any upcoming publication dates, book-signings or events you plan to attend.
  • Links to Social Media This is a big subject all its own—just know it should connect to your website.

The least expensive way to get started

I recommend authors with limited resources start by signing up for a free blog like the ones at You’ll end up with an address like You don’t even need a domain name, but if you have one, it’s a simple matter to “forward” your domain name to the WordPress address. Your domain registrar will be able to talk you through this.

For just a little bit more

I prefer to purchase domain name registration together with the economy hosting from a well-known registrar or BEWARE, GoDaddy will try to sell you all sorts of things when you check out. When you get started, don’t buy anything but the domain name. You can add those other services as needed, but you’ll be wasting money if you don’t understand what you’re buying.

Kimberly Davis holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a BA from Columbia College-Chicago in Arts and Entertainment Media Management. She is currently the Director at Madville Publishing, where she solicits literary poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. In addition, Kim has been designing websites for 20 years. See her portfolio at Sublime Design Studio.

Contact her at to speak to your group.

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Best Practices for Writing Author Bios

Kimberly Davis Bio

Every author or prospective author needs a bio. Here’s what you need to include in that bio.

Follow these six basic rules when writing an author bio:

  1. Write it in using third person POV. It should look like someone else is writing about you.
  2. List facts. No one cares about your aspirations. They want to know what you have actually done. List publications, relevant work and education experience. Note: if you have a lot of publications, don’t list everything, only the most important or most recent.
  3. List only Pertinent Education. If you have a degree that relates to the piece you’re writing or a degree in writing or journalism, then list it. Otherwise, skip this information in the interest of brevity.
  4. Memberships and Awards. Again, this depends on the assignment. If you are a member of a professional organization that relates to the assignment, mention it. If you’ve won awards for your writing, mention those, but be prepared to cut them if they don’t really relate.
  5. Be Concise. Keep this bio short. 100 words is a good length to shoot for.
  6. Memorable. Include something special about you.


This is the bio of a man whose first novel is currently a blockbuster:

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has been a recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and a winner of the William Faulkner—William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for a Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, Ruffin is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance. Read more at his website,

This is the bio of a man at the end of his career, with more credits than he cares to list:

Sam Pickering grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. He spent 67 years in classrooms learning and teaching and has long been a rummager and writer wandering New England and the South, the Mid-East, Britain, Australia, and Canada. He has written some thirty books and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His most recent book is The World Was My Garden, Too (Madville Publishing 2019).

And this is the bio of a first-time author writing under a pseudonym:

Kate Saunders is a first-time author, but a life-long writer and avid entrepreneur. Following spinal surgery and a subsequent near-death experience, she felt compelled to reevaluate her life and reinvent herself through activism and writing. She views Stand in the Traffic as a subtle path to raise her readers’ awareness.


NOTE: There’s an even shorter version of the bio required for Social Media, but that\’s a talk for another day!


Kimberly Davis holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a BA from Columbia College-Chicago in Arts and Entertainment Media Management. She spent five years on the editorial staff of Texas Review Press, with two of those in the director’s chair. While at TRP, she filled various roles including layout, cover design, editing, and acquisitions. Davis is currently the Director at Madville Publishing, where she solicits literary poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. In addition, Kim has been designing websites for 20 years. See her portfolio at Sublime Design Studio. Contact her at to speak to your group.