I think book tours are so 2000s. Or however you reference the last decade. At least that's what publishers would have you believe. These days, it's the rare author who gets a tour, and it's the even rarer one who has a full audience. (Although last year I went to Alyson Noel's signing at Powells Beaverton and every seat was filled and each person literally had a dozen books for her to sign. That's the kind of tour everyone dreams of and few - very few - people get.)
">I love this guy's description of his book tour</a> and general promotion efforts, which will ring a bell for any author.
And here's <a href="http://www.aprilhenrymysteries.com/diary-of-my-first-book-tour-from-2000.html
">the diary of my very first book tour in 2000</a>
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I've got 16 days and the help of some feedback to polish my new book. When it comes out, it will be my 16th published book.
So how come I still feel like I'm floundering?
I open up the document and have a hard time focusing. I need to work on both a micro and a macro level. And the weird thing is that even though I wrote it (and some of it just a few days ago), when I think of writing new chapters to address some problem areas, I freeze!
I reviewed two new YAs in the Oregonian: Uses for Boys and Falling for You.
I put a new website together - all by myself
Are you working on a query letter? Galley Cat had a roundup of successful ones,
which you can read here.
Isn't this freakin' - hm, gorgeous may not be the right word. Freakin' freaky? It's the cover comp for my June book, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. They are doing a photo shoot for it. Normally I wouldn't show a cover comp, but it's already up on Amazon, so I guess it's okay to.
I just sold Chinese rights to this book. I have never sold Chinese rights before. I have had books come out in Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, French, and Turkish. And the UK, which is a foreign edition even if it's not a foreign language.
I just got some queries from my UK editor for The Night She Disappeared. She asked could they change:
- bangs to fringe
- skim milk to skimmed milk
- fresh to afresh (as in, “And then I can start afresh.”)
- pants to trousers
- Life Flighted to airlifted
- As readers will not know what a Hobart is, can you suggest another word? Would cooker work? (Which is what we call an oven.)
Science may help solve crimes that have been unsolved for decades.
Take the case of the killer clown, John Wayne Gacy. [Full disclosure: the only book I have ever literally thrown away, straight into the trash, was one about John Wayne Gacy. Not because it was poorly written, but because it was putting me into the mind of a man who was a monster.] A sheriff has “exhumed the remains of unknown victims of Gacy to create DNA profiles that could be compared with the DNA of people whose loved ones went missing in the 1970s, when Gacy was killing young men.
“That effort, which led to the identification of one Gacy victim, caused Dart to wonder if the technology could help answer a question that has been out there for decades: Did Gacy kill anyone besides those young men whose bodies were stashed under his house or tossed in a river?”
But even when the sheriff found three vials of Gacy’s blood stored with other evidence, he was out of luck. Because the state would only put the blood in the crime database if it came from a coroner or medical examiner. [Hello, Illinois, you need to change that!]
The sheriff got lucky when some turned up at the coroner. But again, the state had a weird law. It will only send DNA to the FBI's Combined DNA Index System if they are homicide victims or if they were convicted since a new state law was enacted about a decade ago.
So no go on Gacy, right?
Wrong. It turns out that when the state kills someone, it’s classified as a homicide. So Gacy is now in the data base, and as people add more cold case DNA, there might be further matches.
Read other Gacy and DNA testing here.
And in another case, the bodies of the two men executed for the 1959 murders of a Kansas family that became infamous in Truman Capote's true-crime book "In Cold Blood" were exhumed Tuesday to see if their DNA could be linked slayings of a Florida family killed weeks later.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/bodies-cold-blood-killers-exhumed-effort-solve-family-slaying-article-1.1223486#ixzz2Glrv1mth
In 2012, I had one goal. It was “More or less.” Pretty much everything in my life I wish I had/did more of or less of. It’s proved to be a good guiding principal, including helping me to say no to some things that I had a feeling if I said yes I would be sorry.Strength
This year I got my orange belt in kung fu (I have on in kajukenbo as well) and became the only woman in our school who regularly spars. Every Tuesday I glove up and kick guys in the groin and try not to freak out if I get popped in the face in return. (Everyone has good control, so it’s “kiss-touch” contact.)
I also decided to just own being 53. I am the cool older woman who takes kung fu. She may not be the best, but by God, she is out there trying. On my birthday, I took a class on practical responses to violence taught by Rory Miller. I was probably the newest kung fu student there, and I only knew two of the 30 people (who were all younger than me.) I had thought it was going to be him talking, but it turned out to be mostly us practicing techniques. It is scary having a stranger sneak up behind you and attack you!
One of the best things I did this year was to find an excellent physical therapist. There was nothing really wrong with me. Just a nagging pain in my back that never went away. Runs that sometimes hurt to the point where I would think maybe I should just stop
Erika Lewis, PT, turned out to be a miracle worker. She has changed the way I sleep, sit, stand, walk, run, and lift weights. I think of all the books I have bought or checked out over the years - Yoga for Athletes, Heal Your Hips, Dynamic Stretching, etc. etc. - but they were NOTHING compared to having a gifted person look at me and say, “Did you know you run with the toes of your right foot pointing out?” or “Did you know that you stand with most of your weight on your left leg?” Now I am basically pain free. This whole year I have not had one of those episodes where all I can do is lie down in a fetal position and try not to move
Take aways: Sometimes you need an expert. And it’s good to venture past your comfort zone
After losing three people I loved to cancer last year, I was sure I had been clear to the universe about being so over cancer. But I guess the universe didn’t listen. In February my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in September my close friend X was diagnosed as well. I take X to chemo every Thursday, and watch her having as much fun with it as she can (she likes goofy hats and wigs).
Over the summer, someone close to me had a scare where it looked like he had something serious. I watched him lose weight and rack up bad test results while doctors tried to figure it out. He was sick for several months, but now he is back to normal, although no one is the wiser as to what caused it
Take aways: Life is short. Love your friends and family and show it. Don’t complain about age spots and wrinkles. There are a lot of people who never got to be your age.
My 12th and 13th books were published this year. I also had a bunch of crazy book deadlines this year, but I have met or am meeting all of them
I did book events in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada and Oregon. At one talk, it was warm, spring break was the next day, and they had not been prepared at all. They had no idea who I was - 120 kids just herded into the library. They were giggling, squirmy and some were falling asleep.
Even though I couldn't stop yawning beforehand - I only got about four hours of sleep the night before - things still clicked. Since it was all high school students, I just emphasized the scary/gory parts of my talk and the kids woke up and paid attention. I have become a lot more comfortable speaking to kids and getting them to connect
I sold a new series, started a new book that I’ve had to put aside for a bit, sold audio rights to a bunch of books, and added Turkey to the list of foreign countries where my books have sold
Take aways: You can do more than you think
Even people who have never been to Portland have heard of Powells Books, which covers an entire city block and has more than a million books. [There are also several satellite branches, but the Big Kahuna is downtown.] Michael Powell was inspired to become a bookseller when he found a first edition of Moby-Dick (first known as The Whale) in a box of books he’d purchased.
To honor Powells 41st anniversary, a local brewery, Rogue Ales & Spirits, has brewed White Whale Ale, which they say is “infused with the sea-faring spirit of Moby-Dick.” Michael and Emily Powell took pages from a copy of the book and, along with Rogue Brewmaster John Maier, placed them into the brew kettle. You can get bottles on site, or purchase them at rogue.com. They call it "a beverage for anyone who has a thirst for books and artisan craft beer"
My husband, who is a bit of a beer snob (and Portland’s a good place to be one, with more than 40 breweries) kind of made a face at the idea, but I have a feeling the pages can really be tasted more with the mind than the tongue, which seems fitting.
Writing Girl, Stolen opened my eyes to some unique problems people who are blind face.
Electric cars seem like a great idea, but it turns out their nearly silent operation isn't so great for blind folks who might be relying on their ears to tell them if a car is coming.
And now that many schools are turning to Kindles for reading, that's affecting blind kids as well - and not in a good way.
Are you writing about crime?
Top 10 tips for writing about cops - from a cop who is also a writer.
Got a mystery set in the outdoors? There's a new mystery line for that. My Point Last Seen search and rescue mystery series would have been a nearly perfect fit. Except it's a YA series (because the real life group that inspired is teen-led), and it's already been bought by Henry Holt. Look for the first book in 2014.
Scholastic editors said:
- Bullying is THE Timely Topic in Kids’ Books.
- True Sci-fi.
- Intriguing Nonfiction.
- Kid Lit on the Screen.
- Tough Girls.
- Survival Stories.
- Spotlight on Diversity.
- Nature Runs Amok.
I've got number 7 covered, and maybe 8 with the next book. Read more here
1. I have been a bad blogger.
2. Because, like most people, it's easier and more timely to post things on Twitter or Facebook. http://twitter.com/aprilhenrybooks and http://www.facebook.com/AprilHenry But I miss the days where it felt like the YA community was so strong on LiveJournal.
3. I sold a new series based on Multnomah County's teen-lead Search and Rescue group. They not only look for people lost in the woods, they also spend about a big chunk of their time doing crime scene evidence searches.
4. I sold audio rights to next year's book, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, as well as to The Night She Disappeared and Girl, Stolen. The last is really important to me because it will make it more accessible to folks who are blind, like the main character.
5. A few weeks ago, I got my orange belt in kung fu. Will I ever make purple? One of the requirements is to be able to do a cartwheel. Even when I was a little kid, I don't think I ever successfully did a cartwheel.
One of the books by author Mitchell Gross was called Circle of Lies. A story in Atlanta Magazine tells how Gross also “has been—or has claimed to be—an attorney, an author, a neuropsychologist, a secret agent, a Hollywood deal maker, a businessman, and a champion fencer.” He’s also bamboozled people out of at least six million dollars.
It’s a fascinating read.
I’ve known several sociopaths. Not the killer kind, just the kind that mess up other people’s lives, big time. One hallmark is that they always have amazingly cool stories about things they have accomplished. It may take you years to figure out that they are just stories.
Reuters reports that an "author" is suing filmmaker Tyler Perry. She says he stole the plot of his 2012 movie, "Good Deeds," from her book. Terri Donald, who also writes under the pseudonym TLO Red'ness, says Perry based the film on her 2007 book, "Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit." She says she sent a copy of her book to Perry's company before production on the movie began. In the movie, Perry stars as a wealthy businessman who meets a struggling single mother.
This kind of thing is the reason no one wants to get anything in the mail anymore. If the description of her self-published book (with 0 reviews on Amazon after five years) is as badly written as the book, then heaven help us all. Here is part of it:
"This mysterious secret must unfold in order for the woman to allow a committed vow. In this story her past unravels tragedy, murder and her secret. What the man isn t being honest about is that he also has a secret that materializes in the midst of the storm and the raging fury it holds. The two come to grips with the truths and decide for the future and what it has to offer them."
It reads like someone took a paragraph, translated it via Google Translate into Polish, and then translated the Polish back into English.
Or how about this self-description:
"Terri Vanessa Donald is a 36-year-old female writer who first began writing as a hobby. After meeting Steve Martin through casting agent Mindy Morin in Los Angeles during the shooting of LA Story, Steve showed her manuscript format. Two years later, she began writing for Artist Darrin O Brien, a.k.a. Snow, and had three-time platinum success. Terri plans to take the book industry by storm with her Maya Angelou-style of writing technique. She is a proud mother with family values and a native-born New Yorker who is now serving proudly in the US Army during this very exciting venture."
Words fail me. If anyone has a lawsuit here, it might be Maya Angelou.
Are criminals the new vampires, the hot thing in YA fiction? That’s what The Guardian thinks. I sure hope so!
I don’t think I’m ever going to write a YA blockbuster. Even the books where I think I’ve come up with a high concept (I had one book where an entire city is evacuated due to a Sarin gas attack) don’t see to come across as high enough. Not like “teens who battle to the death on TV” (Hunger Games), or “school for teenage wizards” (Harry Potter).
Read an fascinating article about a panel by industry insiders on YA blockbusters.
Nestle has a campaign that will them to track a buyer and shower him or her with prizes. But what if someone did something like this, only evil?
From Publishers Weekly, both middle grade:
Ward's The Fantastic Family Whipple and an untitled sequel in a pre-empt for world English rights. The debut middle-grade series follows Arthur Whipple, the only non-record breaker in the Most World-Record-Breaking Family on Earth, who investigates his family's sudden string of disasters, and discovers a conspiracy, a family curse, and his own role within his family. Publication is set for fall 2013; Laura Rennert and Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency were the agents.
Molly O'Neill at Katherine Tegen Books has acquired Molly Burnham's humorous debut middle-grade series at auction, in a three-book deal. In the still-untitled first book,10-year-old Teddy Campbell seeks to stand apart from his six siblings by nabbing a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records. Publication date has not been set; Tina Wexler at ICM negotiated the deal for world rights.
Are you thinking of self-publishing in hopes of getting a traditional contract? Agent Janet Reid (whom I knew back when she lived in Portland) says, “To get noticed, you have to sell a lot of books. By a lot I mean more than 20,000.”
A look at reality.