Carrie Ryan started it by asking on twitter, "how do you define muse?"
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Carrie Ryan started it by asking on twitter, "how do you define muse?"
Monday, February 22, 2010
I've been getting some wonderful e-mails lately from readers who have enjoyed CHASING BROOKLYN. And many of them ask - what are you working on now? When will it be out??
I feel bad that I can't tell them. I mean, I could tell them the premise, but I don't like to do that, except with my husband and kids, and close writing friends. But I'm thankful they write to me and ask. Because they motivate me to keep going, probably even more than the February 28th deadline.
SO, this week, it's about writing - hours and hours of writing every day, as much as I can do!!!
Because soon, March will be here, and you know what that means!!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Checklist for months leading up to book release
by Lisa Schroeder
Six months prior
o Look into speaking opportunities at conferences that will fall in the months after your book is released. They often have opportunities to sell and sign books, so it’s a great way to get out there, meet people and sell books. Once you find these opportunities, you often have to submit a proposal, and there are deadlines, so it’s good to start looking pretty far in advance.
o Get bookmarks and/or postcards made (once cover is finalized) and start handing them out as you can to let people know about your book(s). This is ongoing up through release date and beyond.
o If you don’t have a web site, now is the time to put the wheels in motion! Don’t have the skills yourself? You’ll want to spend time researching other authors’ web sites, and when you find one you like, take a look at the designer’s site and start making a list of designers to contact. If you already have a web site, how long has it been since you’ve updated the information? Fresh content is important!
o Does your book have an angle that would be good for a web site of its own? If so, that should also be created now.
o Line up a videographer and send manuscript or questionnaire for the making of a book trailer, if this is something you want to do.
Three - Four months prior
o Touch base with the in-house publicist. Ask what he/she plans to do and how you might assist with the efforts.
o Work on blog tour and get hosts lined up. Figure out when you want questions sent, how you want to handle prizes, if there will be prizes, and all the other necessary details.
o Schedule your book release party at a book store, or a fun location where a book store might be willing to come and sell books.
o Schedule book signings in nearby towns, if possible during the first month. Your publicist may want to help with this.
o Think about teaming with other authors for book events and approach them about your idea to do group events.
o Look into other swag you may want to do for your book – buttons, t-shirts, lip gloss, etc.
o Forward any ARC requests to the publicist
o Begin gathering addresses of nearby school librarians, language arts teachers, etc. for mailings the month before your signing.
o If your book would work well in schools, work on making a teacher’s guide or seek someone out who helps authors make these for a fee. Post to your web site when done.
Two months prior
o Put a call out for a street team. Send postcards, bookmarks, other swag to a certain number of people who are willing to talk up the book to their friends, teachers, librarians, etc. Make them feel special, perhaps give a little gift for helping!
o If you are willing to do Skype visits, join the skype author network.
o Create an on-line press kit, and get this uploaded to your site.
o Start preparing press releases and figure out where to send them.
o Make sure your web site has a good, up-to-date bio.
One month prior
o Do some informational blog posts that will hopefully drive people to your blog, but which have nothing to do with your book. Some of the best promotion is simply getting your name out there by offering up helpful information to other people.
o If you want to have contests to bring attention to your book, start planning them here.
o Send out postcards or letters to school librarians and teachers in your area letting them know about your book, school visit availability, and your scheduled book signings.
o Make sure to tweet and blog about any good reviews your book gets, especially from well-known publications.
o Look for volunteers to hand out bookmarks and postcards. Drop some by your local school libraries.
o Ask people who read and review the book to post the reviews on Amazon and goodreads for further exposure.
o If your book signing will include a talk, start preparing that now, and decide where in the book you’ll read. 5-10 minutes of reading is PLENTY. Anything more than that, and you lose people.
The month of the release
o Have fun! Enjoy this time! Go to your book signings and other events knowing you did everything could in the months preceding the release to help give your book a fabulous start!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
With sunshine and temps in the upper fifties, we seem to be having a preview of spring. Those of you who still see snow, I'll wish for some to come your way!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
She had everyone in the audience laughing with her reading selection. I've read it, and it really is such a fun, clever book. I mean, spying cheerleaders? Come on - you know you want to get in on some of that action! But seriously, the book took twists and turns I didn't expect and kept me turning the pages. So if you haven't read it yet, you should!
I took a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure!
So lucky to live in the Portland area where we have lots and lots of wonderful, talented authors for kids and teens, many of whom I'm blessed to call friends!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
and this one:
Valentine's Day was just okay. Jennifer Garner is one of my favorite actresses, so she was my favorite part of the movie. Oh, and the teen story lines. They made me laugh. I really liked Dear John, despite the weird ending that many people have hated. I'm a huge fan of Amanda Seyfried. And I thought Channing Tatum did a great job too. I LOVED the music in Dear John and immediately went and bought the soundtrack, and have been listening to it pretty much non-stop. It's great music for my WIP.
Apparently another Nicholas Sparks book is coming to the big screen later this year - THE LAST SONG. I tried the audio version of this book and didn't get very far. The dialogue just seemed really stilted to me, and it was painful to listen to. The movie preview didn't look that good to me either - perhaps because Miley plays the main character. Can anyone look at her and see someone besides Hannah Montana? I can't.
Watching romantic movies inspires me with my writing. Listening to romantic music inspires me with my writing. And reading helpful blog posts, like this one by Martha Mihalick, remind me of the things to keep in mind when writing a book with romance in it. My biggest take away? "Love stories are best when they're subplots." I think I knew this, but it's good to be reminded of it. Although Nicholas Sparks might disagree.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
One month from today, on March 9, 2010, IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES will be released by S&S - Aladdin.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
See, here's the thing. I keep hearing from people that some are afraid to read my books because they are called "verse novels."
Okay, okay, I understand when something is different, it's easy to think the worst. To assume it's going to be too weird or too hard to read or a hundred other things. But it's kinda like being afraid to try a new flavor of a cupcake. It's still a CUPCAKE!!!
(this is a chai spice flavored cupcake. Different, yes? But come on - wouldn't you try it if someone handed you one?)
From the entries, I'll randomly pick one name to win a signed copy of CHASING BROOKLYN. (Contest open to US residents only. You have until midnight EST on Saturday, Feb. 6th to enter)
Try it, you might like it!!
Now go on and comment, please! It's my birthday - make me happy! :)
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Disappointment can be hard.
I’ve had some disappointing moments over the past couple of months.
And when you’re in the middle of that disappointment, it’s hard to see beyond it, to know that eventually you’ll come out of it, life goes on, and it will all be okay.
When you’re there, surrounded by it, it’s all you can do to just make it through the day. What works best for me is to lose myself in exercise and music alternated with cozy sessions with my journal, where I write down words and brainstorm new story ideas.
Because here’s the thing, people. The thing we must try to remember, in the midst of that disappointment.
There are ALWAYS new stories to tell.
I’m happy to say that I’ve made it through.
Believe it or not, I’m now thankful for that disappointment! Isn’t that amazing? I’m actually THANKFUL for it! Because I am now writing a story that I love with my WHOLE, ENTIRE HEART.
I had forgotten what it was like to write a book with this much love in your heart for the story you are telling.
I was trying to write with other things in mind, none of which were really love. When I write a book from that sincere place of love, I firmly believe there will be others who love it too.
So, excuse me if I say farewell to you. My love is calling to me, and I cannot keep it waiting!!
Monday, February 1, 2010
It was a good month.