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<<August 2014>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: List, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 92
1. Agent Talk: 7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With

carly-watters-p-s-literary-agencyA few weeks ago, Agent Carly Watters on her blog talked about after you write a great manuscript, how does an agent decide to work with someone after that? She has seven tips.

7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With by Carly Watters:

1. Open to revisions

Right away, I know if an author is going to be a fit for me based on how they react to revision ideas. Agents are looking for writers that are open to feedback and collaboration. If I gave you an R&R did you connect with my notes? Did you ask questions that take my notes from suggestions to big picture changes that make the novel better?

2. Always wants to get better

A line I like to use is “trust your future self.” What that means to me is if you can write good novel, you can write many more. Getting defensive about your novel means you are holding on to it when really you should be willing to let it go and work on the next. Agents are looking to represent authors for the long term, so what we need is the faith that you want to be the best writer, every time you write a new book. We know there will be ups and downs, but it’s that drive to succeed that will separate many writers from the ones that don’t make it.

3. Treats assistants and senior industry members alike

From time to time we get people who respond to our query letter auto-response with condescending and mean emails. It doesn’t matter who is on the other end of those emails, our principal agent or our assistant, you have to be friendly to everyone–not just the people who influence your career. Those mean emails just reinforce our decision to pass without a second thought.

4. Asks questions

I love it when authors want to know more about the process. Don’t be shy about wanting to know how the business works. Whether it’s a Twitter #askagent session or when you’re on ‘The Call’ with an agent, make sure you ask the important questions that help your understanding.

5. Trusts us

The number one way to work with an agent for a long period of time is trust. I know this isn’t built over night, but you have to trust your agent to have your best interests at heart. This is one of the most important long-term author/agent relationship requirements. Only query agents that you see yourself working with and that you already trust (whether it’s a referral, their taste or client list).

6. Communication

This is part of trust, but authors have to be up-front with agents. Did you self publish before? Have you had an agent before? Can you share your sales numbers from your previous book? It’s the little things that add up when it comes to communication. We need to know everything if we’re going to represent you well.

7. Professional on social media

As easy as it is for authors to Google agents to see if we might be a fit for you, when we fall in love with a query or manuscript the first thing we do is Google you back. What agents love to see on social media is a personality (not just link blasts). You don’t have to have a ton of followers (but points if you do!) to get our attention. It’s all about the balance between promotion and personality. We love it when authors are part of writing communities and support other authors. That means, when the time comes, those other published writers will support you too.

You should check out Carly’s Blog: http://carlywatters.com/blog/

PS Literary is looking for an intern. Carly has information about working remotely for them. If you have any aspirations to become a literary Agent, this would be something to consider.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, Agent, article, authors and illustrators, list, opportunity, Social Media, Tips Tagged: 7 Ways to Make Yourself an Easy Author to Work with, Carly Watters

3 Comments on Agent Talk: 7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With, last added: 8/10/2014
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2. Amazon Strategies: Sales Page


If your book is up on Amazon, you can have an Author Page. This is another opportunity for you, so use it. Here are a few tips:

1. Think of your book’s Amazon.com page as a ¼ page ad in a glossy magazine. You want to build excitement, hype, and the urge to buy rather than dutifully explaining your product.

2. Watch out for typos and grammar, so you put your best foot forward. Make sure what is written makes sense. If you can’t write a good Author Page, most people will think you can’t write a good novel, either.

3. Include review quotes. You want to draw someone into buying your book.

4. Put up book trailers, interviews, and videos on your Amazon page.

5. You can show recent blog posts and twitter entries.

6. List places your events and the dates.

7. Another thing you can do is to encourage a discussion with your fans on this page.

Let’s take a look at Yvonne Ventresca’s Author Page:


Yvonne has included a lot of the tips on the above list, but I’d like to see her add a few quotes from reviews of Pandemic, a book trailer, and to work on getting a video interview she can put up on the page. Adding these things will maximize the free space Amazon has given her and help increase the sales of her new book.

Good job, Yvonne!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, authors and illustrators, Book, list, Marketing a book, Publishing Industry, Tips Tagged: Amazon Sales Page, Maximize Book Sales, Pandemic, Yvonne Ventresca

2 Comments on Amazon Strategies: Sales Page, last added: 8/6/2014
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3. Amazon Ranking vs. Daily Book Sales

Thought you might be interested in the information I presented at the “How to Sell More Books” Workshop I gave at the NJSCBWI Conference in June. You might want to use it as a general rule of thumb when checking out your book (on other books) on Amazon.
amazon rank

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, demystify, How to, list, need to know, Publishing Industry, reference Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Amazon Ranking vs. Daily Book Sales, How to Sell More Books

4 Comments on Amazon Ranking vs. Daily Book Sales, last added: 8/2/2014
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4. YA Digital Book Publishers

Here is a list of publishers who look to publish digital books. I thought you might like to keep this list for future reference, a good list to research. Note: The number of deals are only the ones reported to Publishers Marketplace.


Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: list, Places to sumit, publishers, Publishing Industry, reference, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 State of the Market Report, YA Digital Publishers

3 Comments on YA Digital Book Publishers, last added: 7/22/2014
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5. Fun – Cool – Interesting Words

Author Tara Lazar posted a list of Fun Words on her blog. I have done a number of Word Lists on this blog, so as not to reinvent the wheel, I copied Tara’s list and deleted some words so you would have to visit her site. To the right of the column, I added some of my own fun words. I’m sure you have a bunch of words you could add. If you do, just leave them in the comments.

Rainbow coloured swirl background

All writers love language. And we especially love fun words, don’t we? Some have funky spellings, tongue-twisting turns, a satisfying “ooh”…and some sound too hilarious to be true! So I’ve put together a list of favorite fun words that I’ll add to periodically. Have fun, lexicon lovers!

  1. aficionado
  2. akimbo
  3. alfresco
  4. ambrosial
  5. anemone
  6. aplomb
  7. apoplectic
  8. appaloosa
  9.                                                  Arietta
  10. avuncular
  11. balderdash
  12. bamboozle
  13. barnstorming
  14. befuddled
  15. berserk                                    Bilge
  16. boffo
  17. bombastic
  18. boondoggle
  19. bozo
  20. braggadocio                            Brewski
  21. brouhaha
  22. bucolic
  23. buffoon                                    Buffoonery
  24. bulbous
  25. bumbledom
  26. bungalow
  27. cacophony                               Caboodle
  28. cahoots
  29. candelabra
  30. canoodle
  31. cantankerous
  32. caterwaul
  33. catawampus                             Chameleon
  34. chichi
  35. chimichanga
  36. claptrap                                    Clairvoyant
  37. clodhopper
  38. cockatoo
  39. codswallop
  40. comeuppance
  41. conundrum
  42. copacetic
  43. cornucopia                                 Coquette
  44. cowabunga
  45. coxcomb
  46. crestfallen
  47. cuckolded
  48. curlicue
  49. demitasse
  50. diaphanous                                 Diatribe
  51. digeridoo
  52. dilemma                                      Dilettante
  53. dirigible
  54. discombobulated
  55.                                                      Donnybrook
  56. doohickey
  57. doppelganger                            Drivel
  58. ebullient
  59. effervescence
  60. egads                                           Enchantress
  61. extraterrestrial
  62. finagle
  63. fandango
  64. festooned
  65. fisticuffs
  66. flabbergasted
  67. flapdoodle                                  Fledgling
  68. flibbertigibbet                           Floozy
  69. flummoxed
  70. fortuitous
  71. fracas
  72. frippery
  73. froufrou
  74. fussbudget
  75. gadzooks
  76. gallimaufry                                   Garantuan
  77.                                                         Giddy
  78. gibberish                                       Ginseng
  79. gobbledygook
  80. gobsmacked
  81. gorgonzola
  82. gossamer
  83. guffaw
  84. haberdashery
  85. harrumph                                     Harlet
  86. highfalutin
  87. hijinks
  88. hippocampus
  89. hobbledehoy                               Hobgoblin
  90. hodgepodge                                Hoedown
  91. hogwash                                      Hooey
  92. hooligan
  93. hootenanny                                Horsefeathers
  94. hornswoggle
  95. hubbub
  96. hullabaloo
  97. humbug
  98. humdinger                                  Huzzy
  99. huzzah
  100. hyperbole
  101. idiosyncrasies
  102. indubitably
  103. jabberwocky                               Jibber
  104. jitney
  105. juggernaut
  106. juxtaposition
  107. kaleidoscope
  108. kerfuffle
  109. kerplunk                                      Killjoy
  110. kismet
  111. knickerbocker
  112. knickknack
  113. kumquat
  114. lackadaisical
  115. lambasted
  116. lampoon
  117. limburger
  118. logjam
  119. logorrhea
  120. lollapalooza
  121. lollygag                                 Ludicrous
  122. lugubrious
  123. magnificent
  124.                                                 Magnum
  125. malarkey
  126. mayhem
  127. mellifluous                           Mealymouthed
  128. menagerie                            Melee
  129. milquetoast                          Mincemeat
  130. misanthrope
  131. mishmash
  132. mojo (character in THE MONSTORE) Motormouth
  133. mollycoddle                          Monkeyshine
  134. mulligatawny                        Niggle
  135. nincompoop                          Nitpicky
  136. nomenclature
  137. onomatopoeia
  138. oxymoron
  139. pachyderm
  140. palindrome                             Palooka
  141. panache
  142. pandemonium
  143. pantaloons
  144. parallelogram
  145. persimmon
  146. persnickety
  147. pettifogger
  148. phantasmagorical
  149. phylactery
  150. plethora
  151. pollywog
  152. pomposity
  153. poppycock
  154. potpourri
  155.                                                      Prattle
  156. quixotic
  157. raconteur
  158. ragamuffin
  159. rapscallion
  160. razzmatazz
  161. rejigger
  162. rendezvous
  163. resplendent
  164. ricochet
  165. rigmarole
  166. riposte                                       Rotund
  167. ruffian                                       Ruckus
  168. sabayon                                     Rumpus
  169. sassafras
  170. scalawag
  171. schadenfreude
  172. schlep
  173. scintillating
  174. scrofulous
  175. scrumdiddlyumptious
  176. scuttlebutt
  177. serendipity
  178. shenanigans                             Shindig
  179. skedaddle
  180. skullduggery
  181. smorgasbord
  182. sojourn                                     Soothsayer
  183. splendiferous
  184. squeegee
  185. squooshy
  186. staccato
  187.                                                     Stiletto
  188. superfluous
  189. Svengali
  190. swashbuckler
  191. swizzlestick
  192. synchronicity
  193. syzygy
  194. talisman
  195. taradiddle                                Teetotaler
  196.                                                    Teenybopper
  197. telekinesis                                Tenderfoot
  198. thingamabob
  199. thingamajig                             Tirade
  200. tomfoolery                               Tootsie
  201. trapezoid                                  Twadle
  202. usurp
  203. uvula
  204. verisimilitude
  205. vermicious
  206. vertigo
  207. verve
  208. vivacious                                      Voodoo
  209. vuvuzela
  210. wanderlust
  211. whippersnapper
  212. wigwam
  213. woebegone
  214. zaftig                                              Yakkity
  215. zeitgeist
  216. zenzizenzizenzic (yes, this is a word! look it up!)
  217. zephyr
  218. zeppelin
  219. zigzag                                             Zombie

Here is the link to Tara’s list:


Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: inspiration, list, reference, writing Tagged: Additional Words on List, Fun words, kathy temean, Tara Lazar

6 Comments on Fun – Cool – Interesting Words, last added: 6/25/2014
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6. Kudos: Kirkus Review 2014 Nominees

Last week, Kirkus Review put out a 27 page list of their 2014 Young Reader Book Nominees. They did a really good job of putting all the information about each one in an easy to use display. The link is at the bottom of this page. I took the books from the list that were written or illustrated by people I know for this post, but it is a great list to use to find books you might want to read.

Kudos to all my friends who made the list below:

SLEEPYHEADS by Sandra J. Howatt
Released: May 6, 2014
Reviewed: March 17, 2014

by Sandra J. Howatt, illustrated by Joyce Wan

“A superb execution of soporific shapes and sounds perfect for the bedside table. (Picture book. 2-6)

Sleepyhead readers explore a hushed woodland at dusk, where they discover animals nestled in their cozy places at bedtime. Read full book review >

TEA PARTY RULES by Ame DyckmanReleased: Oct. 3, 2013
Reviewed: Sept. 1, 2013>
by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by K.G. Campbell

“Strong storytelling, pacing, emotive illustrations that match the deceptive plot and an exuberant sense of fun make this little gem a winner. (Picture book. 3-7)

What stops a bear cub from gobbling down a plateful of delicious cookies? Tea Party rules, of course! Read full book review >

PETEY AND PRU AND THE HULLABALOO by Ammi-Joan PaquetteReleased: Oct. 8, 2013
Reviewed: Aug. 21, 2013

by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Joy Ang

“Here’s hoping that there are more kerfuffles and shenanigans in the future for this undeniably delightful duo. (Picture book. 4-8)

Quiet Petey and his devil spawn of a best friend indulge in a little chaos propelled by gleefully sesquipedalian writing. Read full book review >

KING FOR A DAY by Rukhsana Khan

Released: Jan. 1, 2014

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2013

by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Christiane Krömer

“This story soars. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)

Set in Pakistan during Basant, “the most exciting day of the year,” this story focuses on the strength and resourcefulness of a child in a wheelchair as he navigates the skies at the spring kite festival. Read full book review >

PANIC by Lauren Oliver

Released: March 4, 2014

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus StarPANIC
by Lauren Oliver

“The only thing more terrifying than the game itself is not getting the chance to play it. (Thriller. 14 & up)

Oliver makes a white-knuckle return to realism that will have readers up until the wee hours. Read full book review >


Released: Feb. 11, 2014
Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2013


by Lin Oliver, illustrated by Tomie dePaola

“A tenderly crafted collection that captures the joyous individual moments of infant discoveries. (Picture book/poetry. 6 mos.-2)

Twenty-three original, first-person poems for the very young. Read full book review >


Released: Feb. 1, 2014
Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2013
by H. Chuku Lee, illustrated by Pat Cummings

“This lovely reimagining of an old tale affirms the browning of American’s contemporary young readership. (Picture book. 4-8)

A brown-skinned Beauty—what a refreshing change! Read full book review >

THE TORTOISE & THE HARE by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Oct. 1, 2013
Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2013


by Jerry Pinkney, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

“A captivating winner—start to finish! (artist’s note, design notes) (Picture book/folk tale. 3-6)

With luminous mixed media pictures, a short, carefully meted-out text and a Southwestern U.S. setting, Pinkney (The Lion and the Mouse, 2009) takes on another of Aesop’s fables—marvelously. Read full book review >


Released: April 1, 2014
Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2014


by Emily Jiang, illustrated by April Chu

“From the booming paigu to the delicate strings of the ruan, the lutelike pipa and the yangqin, or hammered “butterfly harp,” a lively medley that will expand the musical boundaries of most young audiences. (bibliography) (Informational picture book/poetry. 6-9)

Thirteen young musicians of diverse ethnic background ready themselves to play their traditional Chinese instruments on stage in this informative and gracefully illustrated twin debut. Read full book review >

THE GRUDGE KEEPER by Mara Rockliff

Released: April 1, 2014
Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2014

by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler

“Wordplay and humor provide an effective vehicle for a valuable moral. (Picture book. 5-8)

“No one in the town of Bonnyripple ever kept a grudge. No one, that is, except old Cornelius, the Grudge Keeper.” So begins this original fairy tale that provides a literal illustration of the idiom “holding a grudge.” Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 2013

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2013

by Susan Jeffers, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

“A whimsical, magical interpretation of a holiday classic, improved by the additional storyline and the charming narrator. (artist’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Jeffers has created a lovely story incorporating the words of the old folk song with one important change: a clever substitution of Santa as the giver of all the gifts instead of the narrator’s “true love.” Read full book review >

FIREFLY JULY by Paul B. Janeczko

Released: March 11, 2014
Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2014


edited by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

“Scintillating! (permissions, acknowledgments) (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Choosing from works spanning three centuries, Janeczko artfully arranges 36 elegant poems among the four seasons. Read full book review >

TWO BUNNY BUDDIES by Kathryn O. Galbraith

Released: March 4, 2014
Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2014


by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Released: March 4, 2014

“Learning how to navigate the path of friendship is an important part of life, and these bunny buddies learn a lesson that is gently, beautifully shown rather than told. (Picture book. 2-7)

In this simple but insightful story, two rabbits discover that lunch with a pal is more fun than eating alone. Read full book review >

Don’t miss the full 27 page list. CLICK HERE FOR FULL LIST.

Have you read any of the books? Do you know anyone whose book is listed? If so, give them a pat on the back.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, Kudos, list, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 Young reader Nominees, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Amy Dyckman, Joyce Wan, Kirkus Review

2 Comments on Kudos: Kirkus Review 2014 Nominees, last added: 6/9/2014
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7. The best and worst things about journalists

By Tony Harcup

Journalists are heroes to some and scumbags to others but the truth is that most are somewhere in the middle, trying to do as good a job as they can, often in difficult circumstances. That, at least, is the view of Tony Harcup, author of A Dictionary of Journalism. We asked him to tell us about some of the good – and not so good – things that journalists do. Do you agree with the below?

The nine best things about journalists:

  1. We tell you things that you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
  2. Our default position is healthy scepticism.
  3. We know that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
  4. Our way with words translates jargon into language that actual people use.
  5. We juggle complex intellectual, legal, commercial and ethical issues every day, simultaneously and at high speed, all while giving the impression of being little deeper than a puddle.
  6. Our lateral thinking spots the significance of the dog that didn’t bark (noting in the process that Sherlock Holmes was created by a journalist).
  7. We speak truth to power (or, at least, we say boo to a goose).
  8. Our gallows humour keeps us going despite the grim stories we cover and the even grimmer people we work with (perhaps the most literal exponent of the art was journalist Ben Hecht who wrote the movies His Girl Friday and The Front Page about hacks covering a hanging).
  9. We identify with other journalists as fellow members of society’s awkward squad (which is why even those of us who have left the frontline of reporting and become “hackademics” still can’t stop saying “we”).

Meet the press

The nine worst things about journalists:

  1. We have a tendency to tell young hopefuls that all the quality has vanished from journalism compared to when we started out (journalists have been harking back to a mythical golden age for well over a century).
  2. Our scepticism can sometimes become cynicism.
  3. We routinely demand public apologies or resignations from anyone accused of misbehaviour (except ourselves).
  4. Our way with words is too often used to reduce individuals or communities to stereotypes.
  5. We have been known to conflate a popular touch with boorish anti-intellectualism.
  6. Our collective memory lets us down surprisingly often. (We won’t get fooled again? Don’t bet on it.)
  7. We are in danger of viewing the world through the eyes of whoever employs us, forgetting that, while they might hire us, they don’t own us.
  8. Our insistence that we are something of a special breed is a bit rich given that most journalistic jobs have more in common with The Office than with All The President’s Men.
  9. We eviscerate politicians for fiddling their expenses while celebrating hacks from the golden age (see no. 1) for doing exactly the same.

Tony Harcup is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield. A Dictionary of Journalism, first edition, will be published 15 May 2014. It covers over 1,400 wide-ranging entries on the terms that are likely to be encountered by students of the subject, and aims to offer a broad, accessible point of reference on an ever-topical and constantly-changing field that affects everyone’s knowledge and perception of the world.

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Image credit: Meet the press. By stocksnapper, via iStockphoto.

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8. Top Self published Books


This high flying chick was sent in by illustrator Barbara DiLorenzo. Barbara was featured on Illustrator Saturday April 14th 2012. Click here to see her artwork and interview.

Publishers Marketplace Reveals the Top 35 Self-Published Books

1. The Fixed Trilogy, by Laurelin Paige  (Laurelin Paige; ISBN: 9780991379644)

2. The Will, by Kristen Ashley  (BNID: 2940045582384)

3. Reasonable Doubt, by Whitney G. Williams  (ISBN: 9780990317005)

4. Mud Vein, by Tarryn Fisher  (BNID: 2940149516117)

5. Ask More, Get More, by Michael Alden  (ISBN: 9781937110611)

6. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, by JJ Smith  (Adiva Publishing; ISBN: 9780982301821)

7. Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries (Books 1-3), by Madison Johns  (BNID: 2940148574064)

8. Dangerous Dozen, by Charity Pineiro, Tina Wainscott, Maureen Child, Paige Tyler, Tawny Weber, Nina Bruhns, Virna DePaul, Karen Fenech, Kristin Miller, Gennita Low, Joyce Lamb, Maureen A Miller  (ISBN: 9780615971216)

9. Chances, by Jackie Collins  (BNID: 2940014780711)

10. Tempting Fate, by Vi Keeland, S.E. Lund, Penelope Ward, J.L. Mac, Julie Richman, Kahlen Aymes  (BNID: 2940149456109)

11. Rebelonging, by Sabrina Stark  (BNID: 2940149195107)

12. Unbelonging, by Sabrina Stark  (BNID: 2940148275213)

13. Lost In Me, by Lexi Ryan  (ISBN: 9781940832920)

14. Obsessed, by Deborah Bladon  (ISBN: 9780993721601)

15. Obsessed: Part Three, by Deborah Bladon  (ISBN: 9780993721625)

16. Obsessed: Part Two, by Deborah Bladon  (ISBN: 9780993721618)

17. All Roar and No Bite, by Celia Kyle  (ISBN: 9781311031419)

18. After the Ex Games, by J. S. Cooper, Helen Cooper  (ISBN: 9781940218175)

19. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, by JJ Smith  (ASIN: B00I6W7O5S)

20. Rook and Ronin, by JA Huss (ISBN: 9781936413393)

21. Out of the Shallows, by Samantha Young  (BNID: 2940149401222)

22. The Billionaire’s Obsession, by J. S. Scott  (J.S. Scott; ISBN: 9781939962010)

23. When I Break, by Kendall Ryan  (BNID: 2940148290902)

24. Lucky 7 Bad Boys, by Charity Pineiro, Sophia Knightly, Tawny Weber, Nina Bruhns, Susan Hatler, Virna DePaul, Kristin Miller  (Lucky Romance Authors; ISBN: 9780615955032)

25. The Nelson Touch, by Christopher G. Nuttall  (ASIN: B00J6DKWSM)

26. Plain Jane, by Carolyn McCray  (CreateSpace; ISBN: 9781452854342)

27. Fated Mates, by Adriana Hunter, Liliana Rhodes, Lynn Red, A.T. Mitchell, Michelle Fox, Eve Langlais, Skye Eagleday, Tabitha Conall, Alexis Dare, Molly Prince, Georgette St. Clair, A.E. Grace  (Excessica; ISBN: 9781609827885)

28. Mystery Spring Fling, by Gemma Halliday, Sibel Hodge, Kathleen Bacus, Christina A. Burke, Leslie Langtry, Aimee Gilchrist, Jennifer Fischetto, T. Sue VerSteeg, Maria Grazia Swan, Traci Andrighetti  (BNID: 2940045768450)

29. Ultimate SEAL Collection, by Sharon Hamilton  (BNID: 2940149309016)

30. Love and Danger, by Amy Gamet  (ISBN: 9780988218253)

31. Dare to Desire, by Carly Phillips  (BNID: 2940149343454)

32. The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife, by Darlene Schacht  (ASIN: B00HZFSVLI)

33. Knox: Volume 1, by Cassia Leo  (BNID: 2940149395767)

34. Hardwired, by Meredith Wild  (ISBN: 9780989768429)

35. Alphas After Dark, by Vivian Arend, Deanna Chase, Marie Hall, Crista McHugh, M. Malone, SM Reine, Roxie Rivera, Kit Rocha, Mimi Strong  (Bayou Moon; ISBN: 9781940299136)

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, list, News, Publishing Industry, Self-publishing, success Tagged: Publishers Marketplace, Top Self-published Sellers

2 Comments on Top Self published Books, last added: 4/24/2014
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9. Tracking Submissions


erikaphoto-45Tracking Submissions

by Erika Wassell

Polished manuscript?

CHECK – one I’m proud of.


YUP – Found a few agents who are a perfect match.

Query Letter?

WRITTEN – Pitches my manuscript and myself.

There it is …


My finger hovers on the mouse. Hesitation. I KNOW this is a worthy story but maybe I shou—– ACK! I’m doing it!

CLICK. Message sent.

So that’s it right? Wave goodbye and cross my fingers?  Not exactly.

While I definitely support leaning back and letting out that breath you may have been holding, you still have another important step… tracking your submissions.

First, the top three reasons WHY:

1) So you don’t query the same agent without realizing it: How long to wait before submitting to an agent again is another topic. But you certainly don’t want to do it by accident! Repeat submissions can look very unprofessional.

2) Follow Up: For many agents, no response, means it’s not for them. But in the research stage, you may find others that say at a certain point, it’s okay to reach out. Following up at the appropriate time shows that you’re dedicated and serious.

3) In case you get a yes! The best reason of all!! If an agent or publisher is interested in your work, you will want to inform everyone else it’s currently out to. (A) Because it’s professional courtesy. And (B), it can drum up additional interest and lead to the sort of “bidding war” that every author dreams of!!

Okay. So what exactly do I track?

Here’s the HOW:

My suggestion is use Excel. It’s easy to set up, and gives me data that is simple to keep track of, look back through and actually use – more so than the stack of scribbled on pieces of paper that form an ever-growing precarious tower next to my computer.

Here are the eight column titles that I use when tracking submissions:

First come the four most obvious: 

Who: The name of the actual person I addressed the query letter to.

Where: The name of the agency/publisher, including its website for easy reference.

What: What manuscript did I send them?

When: Exact date that I hit the all-powerful SEND BUTTON.

       These next four are not as obvious, but they’re JUST as important! 

Why: A few notes about why the agent is a good fit for my manuscript, what interviews I read or what specific things made me query them.

Wait time: What their estimated timeline is. Most places give you an idea of how long it may take them to look over your query and whether or not they will necessarily respond. I note things like “no means no, 6-8 months” or “will respond within 10 weeks”.

Follow up: Often times, no response means not interested. But if I know someone is open to follow up, I make a note as to when to do that, and where I got the information. This way, in my follow up, I can say something like, “As per your interview with ____, I’m following up on the query I sent you three months ago.” IMPORTANT: When following up, I make absolutely sure that I don’t come off irritated. These agents work hard, and receive thousands of queries. I love when I’m able to follow up, so I make sure they know I appreciate the opportunity.

Response: If I get a rejection, or any sort of response, I make a note of when I got it and what was said.

It’s really just eight little columns in a spreadsheet, but it allows me to treat my writing professionally. I know what I’ve done, why I did it, and what I’m waiting on. And that’s really the best way to prepare for what I’ll do next.

When I hit that at-times-OH-so-unnerving SEND BUTTON, I’m comforted in knowing that my manuscript still has a tie to me, right here in my tracked submissions and is not just disappearing into the world of Ethernet cables and fiber optics.

I know your manuscripts deserve the same professional attention.

Thanks Erika for the valuable post. Erika has agreed to be a regular Guest Blogger for Writing and Illustrating.

Erika Wassall is a writer, a farmer and a liver of life. She is a member of SCBWI and a proud Mad Scientist, bringing science experiments right into children’s classrooms, and hearts. She has a small farm in New Jersey with sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables. Check out her new website at www.TheJerseyFarmScribe.com where as a first generation farmer, she often takes the long way, learning the tricks of the trade on The Farm. On her website is also The Shop page with tips and a free Q/A from her husband’s mechanic shop, and The Writer page where she shares stories, experiences and characters from the heart. Follow her on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe. She’d love to hear from you!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, article, list, Process, submissions, Tips Tagged: Erika Wassell, List of tips, Tracking Submissions

6 Comments on Tracking Submissions, last added: 4/17/2014
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10. Reference Links to Help With Query Letter Writing


This illustration of the cute girl with pink glasses above was sent in by Carol Schulman. She is the author of two books on art, both now represented by Schulman Literary in NY.  The first, “The Creative Path: Process and Practice” is a look at creativity from philosophical, psychological and practical points of view.  The sequel: “Art Smarts: A Book to Help You Become a GR8 Artist” is a sequel for children. See more at: http://www.carolynschlam.com/Art_Pages/Illustration/Illustration_info.html

Leslie has been focusing on querying agents and looking for places that had good information about navigating this process. She decided to share some resources she gathered from various writing friends on her blog “Rear in Gear”. She says, “I’m always thankful for their help, and thought I’d pay it forward in a small way.”

Queries Not Questions

by Leslie Zampettis at Rear in Gear.

Here is Leslie’s list, in no particular order:


Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents

Successful Queries (a subsection of the above guide)

Preditors and Editors

Publishers’ Submission Guidelines


SCBWI BlueBoard

 8 Steps to Finding the Right Agent

 Critiquing First Pages and Queries

10 Questions to Ask an Agent

Kidlit.com – Queries

How to Write the Perfect Query Letter

Query Shark

Query Tracker

Writers Market  *This is a subscription service. IMHO, well worth it.

Children’s Writer Newsletter  *Another subscription service. Articles often contain market bib biographies, and every issue contains market profiles. Also well worth it.

  • lesliezLeslie Zampetti has had stories published in online children’s magazines and is now querying agents for her middle grade fantasy novel. A childhood spent in Florida has this transplanted New Yorker frequently dreaming of sunshine – but she enjoys the whirl of the city and its riches, not least of which is the New York Public Library.

    According to most successful authors, the best way to succeed is to plant your tushy in your seat and write. Leslie’s been doing that for some years now and is beginning to see the seeds of her labor blossom. Interested in knowing more? Stop by her blog, “Rear in Gear,” at http://zampettilw.wordpress.com.

Thank you Leslie to sending this to me. It is nice to have a list and it is nice that you were willing to share the wealth. I am sure everyone will bookmark this one.

Talk tomorrow,



Filed under: demystify, How to, list, reference, Writing Tips Tagged: Carol Schulman, Leslie Zampettis, Links to resources, Queries, Rear in Gear

3 Comments on Reference Links to Help With Query Letter Writing, last added: 4/15/2014
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11. The Little Magic Box for School Visits and Signing

Debbie 2My Little Magic Box by Debbie Dadey

It took me about twenty years to figure it out, but making a magic box to take with me to book events was a great idea! Okay, it’s not magic but it does have everything I need to make a book signing or school visit go smoothly. What does my little plastic container have inside? Here’s what I’ve collected for my little 6.5 by 4.5 inch box (a left-over from my teaching days):

1. Business cards (Because the minute you don’t have one, you need one.)

2. Tissues (Because boogers are not pleasant with 200 kids watching!)

3. Book plates (Someone will always cry because they forgot their book.)

debbiebox2004. Award winning author stickers (Which I bought in a silly moment, but kids like stickers.)

5. Sticky notes (Because kids have the strangest names these days and it’s better to write it first on a note than ruin the book-better yet have the school or bookstore do it for you while the kids are waiting in line.)

6. Tic Tacs (Bad breath is not an author’s friend.)

debbiecontent2007. Protein bar (Let’s face it, sometimes school lunches are horrible.)

8. Candy (see above)

9. Cough drops (A coughing fit really doesn’t work well with my presentation.)

10. Hand lotion (It makes me feel better!)

11. Hand sanitizer (It keeps me from catching every illness because schools are breeding grounds!)

12. Chap stick (I am prone to fever blisters and they aren’t pretty.)

13. iPad adapter (I started taking my iPad on school visits instead of my laptop and I love it.)

14. Clips to hold up something (Just a handy thing to have for posters.)

15. Memory stick with presentations (Some schools have their computers far away. I also have a clicker to advance slides. There is an app available to advance Keynote-the iPad version of PowerPoint. PowerPoint will convert to Keynote, but there are always a few adjustments to be made.)

16. Slips for information (These are leftovers from a giveaway and everyone likes free stuff.)

17. Rubber band (These come in handy for keeping my rolled up posters tidy.)

18. Markers or ink pens (Some people like Sharpies to autograph with, but I’m not picky).

Missing from my box are my fun red Author pin, camera, book signs, bookmarks, a bottle of water, and school visit brochures. Not all of them will fit inside my box, but I have them listed in marker on the inside of my box so I don’t forget them. Something I’ve been wanting to get is a tablecloth with my logo and maybe some book covers on it. On my scheduling page (http://www.debbiedadey.com/Events/Scheduling/index.php)

debbieDream of the Blue TurtleI have an Author Visit Checklist that lists everything I could think of to help a school prepare for my visit. Click Here to View. 

Perhaps there is something on it you can adapt for yourself. Do you have more suggestions for my box? Please let me know, I have more book events coming up soon!

Check www.debbiedadey.com for one near you.

My newest book is Dream of the Blue Turtle (Mermaid Tales #7) with Simon and Schuster. Treasure in Trident City (#8) comes out in May. I hope you’ll like me on Facebook.com/debbiedadey. I’m hoping it doesn’t take me twenty years to get the hang of Facebook!

Thanks Debbie for sharing your idea for having a handy box that you can grab whenever you do a book event. It will definitely help everyone who has a hard time juggling everything that has to be done in our busy lives.

I love the idea of getting a table cloth made with your logo and covers. They don’t cost very much and it really adds to making you look exciting and professional.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, Events, inspiration, list, Tips Tagged: Debbie Dadey, Dream of the Blue Turtle, Simon & Schuster, Tresaure of Trident City

4 Comments on The Little Magic Box for School Visits and Signing, last added: 4/8/2014
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12. Strategies for Pricing Your Illustrating Work



You may know Joann Miller over at the Directory of Illustration. Well, she asked Friend + Johnson (illustration representation agency) if she could share the best advice they had about pricing that they would give an illustrator. I thought I would share the part about how to come up with a price for a potential client. It is quite good.

Here is a list of questions to ask your potential client to help create an accurate estimate that fulfills both their expectations and your needs.


1. How did you find out about me? Is there something in your portfolio that inspired them to think of you for this project? Make sure you understand exactly what they’re referencing so you can make sure you’re comfortable executing it, and are clear on what they’re hiring you to do. This will also help you determine the level of complexity of the illustration they’re looking for.

Project Description

2. Do you have a layout? How complex are the illustrations? Are they single-spot illustrations or more complex scenarios? Are they providing any references for you to use? Are they looking for you to concept illustration ideas with the creatives, or are you working from a pre-approved layout that will not allow for much change? Is this black-and-white or a four-color piece? Are you working in layers?

3. What is the timing for the initial pencils and the final illustration? Usually, you should have three to four days for the initial pencils, and after client approval, another five to seven days to deliver the final. Two rounds of pencils are standard; anything more should have an additional charge.

Usage, Licensing and Copyright

4. Usage is very important in helping you price your project. Note that consumer advertising will be priced much higher than illustrations for a children’s book or direct mail.

Does the client want national, regional, international, web or worldwide uses? How long is the usage? What is the media use: consumer ad, trade ad, packaging, direct mail, billboards, brochures?

5. If clients say they want unlimited use, you should explore if this is really what they need and offer alternative licensing to match their budget. Often times, clients are not “educated” in this area of rights-based pricing; they will be much more understanding if you take the time to outline that they will ultimately save money by purchasing just the usage they need. For example, if they see the difference in cost for a two-, three- or five-year use, this may be more in-line with what they really need vs. unlimited use/time. 

Most clients aren’t planning on a consumer magazine campaign or any out of home use, they may just want unlimited collateral (direct mail and consumer or trade brochures and inserts) use. Find out specifically what they’ll use the artwork for and tailor your pricing to match.

6. If at all possible, never do “work for hire,” give buyouts or sell your copyright. You’re essentially giving away all of your rights as the creator of the artwork and giving ownership to your client. They in turn can reuse and resell the artwork in any way they want.

You can still retain your copyright even if it’s unlimited use, worldwide for an unlimited time and exclusive to them. If they feel they may need the artwork for other uses down the road or for a longer period of time, these extended uses can be renegotiated or factored into the original contract as well.

Remember, they want to use you and you want to work with them. This is a negotiation to give them what they need and pay you fairly for the creation and use of the work. You’re working together to create a fair contract for both parties.

7. Will this image have resale potential in stock or other markets? Does your licensing give you this option?

Keep Budgets & Other Paperwork in Mind

8. Editorial and book clients usually have a predetermined budget. Sometimes you can renegotiate if you feel it’s too low for the amount of work they’re requesting. You should always get a credit line for editorial or pro-bono work.

9. Do they have an allotted budget already in mind? If not, when do they need numbers?

10. Is there a contract? You should have your own contract in addition to anything they supply.

Hang Up

11. Never give an estimate while you’re on the phone with your client. It’s best to hang up and think about what you’re comfortable with.

12. Review your estimate before submitting it. A great source for guidelines for estimating various projects is the “Graphic Artists Guild Handbook” at www.graphicartistsguild.org/handbook/.


13. After you have submitted your estimate and it’s approved, make sure to have it signed and sent back to you.

14. After the project is confirmed, you should bill 50% of the job. This is important for cash flow since illustration projects can stretch over a number of weeks with the back-and-forth for approvals. This is also important with a new client that you don’t have a payment history with.

15. In addition to billing upon confirmation AND having a new client sign your contract, you may want to get a purchase order from you client as it is a contract to purchase your services from your buyer.

To read all the other helpful information use this link: http://joannsartadvice.blogspot.com/2014/03/take-charge-of-pricing-your.html

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, Agent, article, authors and illustrators, How to, illustrating, list, Tips Tagged: Directory of Illustration, Freelance Pricing, Friend + Johnson, Joann Miller

2 Comments on Strategies for Pricing Your Illustrating Work, last added: 4/1/2014
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13. Books Edited By…

Are you using all your SCBWI member benefits? I bet there are a lot of busy writers who are missing a lot of things that the SCBWI provides to help you sell your manuscripts. Did you know if you are a member and login to www.scbwi.org, you can find a list of editors and what books they edited? This is valuable information when trying to find the right home for something you have written. 

A smart writer or illustrator (they list picture books with the illustrators) would save this file and every time they read a book, they would look in the author credits to see if they mentioned who helped them make their book shine. If they are smart, they will mention the editors at the publishing company as a way to thank them for their expertise. We can use that information to hone our submissions and use that information in a query letter or when we run into an editor. This is called, “doing your homework” and makes you appear as someone who knows the industry.

Below is just part of one page to give you an idea of what it looks like.


Hope you take the time to check out all the benefits your SCBWI membership provides.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, authors and illustrators, Editors, list, need to know, opportunity, organizations, Publishing Industry, reference Tagged: Books by Editor, SCBWI Benefits

8 Comments on Books Edited By…, last added: 4/1/2014
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14. Agents Wishlist

Brooks Sherman at The Bent Agency


Brooks Sherman represents picture books, fiction for young adult and middle-grade-readers, select literary and commercial adult fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of humor, pop culture, and narrative nonfiction.

Prior to joining The Bent Agency, he worked as a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management and in the managing editorial department of Henry Holt and Company. He is a hands-on, editorial agent who delights in developing projects with his clients before bringing them to the attention of publishers.

Before starting his career in publishing, he spent several years working in the entertainment industry (in both New York and Hollywood), and two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa. Having bounced around all over the world, he is delighted to be back in Brooklyn—although he looks forward to his next Transylvanian backpacking expedition with great anticipation!

He is seeking projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot lines. Stories that make me laugh earn extra points! My interest in adult fiction runs the gamut from literary to speculative (particularly contemporary fantasy rooted in realistic settings, horror, and magical realism), as well as historical and crime fiction. On the children’s side, He’s looking for middle grade fiction of all genres (but particularly fantasy adventure and contemporary), humorous projects from author-illustrators, and young adult fiction of all types except paranormal romance. He would love to get his hands on a creepy and/or funny contemporary young adult project. 

Here are a few more detailed things that Brooks says he is looking to read.

On the MG side, I’m still looking for someone to send me this generation’s THE WITCHES. Are you my Dahl?

On the YA side, I’d love to find some projects with realistic settings and a speculative twist. (See: NOGGIN; GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE)

Still looking for a historical project set in or around the WWI era to sink my fangs into. Speculative elements encouraged!

I would love to work on some alternate history projects — MG, YA, or adult. A fantasy element (a la BARTIMAEUS) would be just dandy.

“I desperately want to find the next JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL—eerily beautiful crossover fantasy”

And of course, I’d love to get my hands on a dark adult psychological thriller, or historical or speculative thriller (a la THE ROOK).

I’m also keeping an eye out for MG stories that are either funny/contemporary or fantasy/sci-fi adventure!

I’m looking for contemporary YA fiction, in the vein of ELEANOR & PARK or ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE.

MG with sweetness and wit (not necessarily snarky).”

I’d love to see a twisted adult thriller like Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL or William Landay’s DEFENDING JACOB.


I will be talking about Query Letters this week, so you might want to read that to make sure you are doing that to the best of your ability. Brook will still be there, so their is no need to rush something out.

To query Brooks, please review The Bent Agency’s submissions guidelines
Then email brooks@thebentagency.com

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, list, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies Tagged: Agents Wishlist, Brooks Sherman, The Bent Agency

1 Comments on Agents Wishlist, last added: 3/29/2014
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15. Ask Kathy

Children’s book illustrator and writer Nata Romeo sent in this stylize iguana for today’s post. She says, “Art is my passion.” I recently completed illustrations for a book titled ‘Wildlife Animals A to Z’, which she intends to self publish. Her preferred medium is a combination of watercolor and pen and ink. www.artistadonna.blogspot.com/
www.ArtistaDonna.ebsqart.com  www.facebook.com/artistadonna.nata 

This coming weekend I will be meeting with Agent Sean McCarthy and Publishing Executive Director and Managing Editor, Steve Meltzer. Some of you have sent in questions for me to ask so I can relay the answers to you. Please email me if you would like to add to the list.

Here are the questions sent to me:

1.  What do you think of prologues? Use them or lose them?

2.  When formatting a manuscript: Do you know of any rule that says you must NOT indent the first paragraph of a new chapter? What do you think?

3.  What’s the best way to label a manuscript/book that falls on the borderline between middle grades and young adult? (Think ages 10 to 14. For example, I’m talking about a horsey book, and that is the age at which the most girls are the most horse-crazy, and the best time to market such a book to them.) Would agents/editors want to see it called upper middle grades? Tween?

4.  What is the preferred word length for a book aimed at the upper middle grades/tween reader?

5.  Are there any conventions for labeling manuscripts/books that mix genres? (For example, a series that is historical/science fiction/fantasy.)

6.  Because agents now often don’t respond if they aren’t interested in a query, that certainly makes it acceptable, almost imperative, to send simultaneous queries (although with each obviously tailored to a particular agent/agency). Is ten to a dozen too many to send out at once?

7.  Underlining makes it clearer to copyeditors and typesetters what needs to be italicized, but do agents have a preference whether the manuscript uses the italic or the underline function of the computer to indicate what will ultimately be italicized?

8.  I read on your blog to only use one space between each sentence in your manuscript. I had someone tell me they have asked editors and were told it was okay. Would you double check with Sean McCarthy and Steve Meltzer on this?

9.  I never heard of using capital letters the first time a character is mentioned in a synopsis. Would you ask about that at your retreat?

10. I have been told not to use any “ing” words in my manuscript. Is there a rule about this that I have missed?

11.  What amount of books do you need to sell to have a publisher think your book was successful?

12.  How hard is it to get your rights back on a book you that has gone out of print? Do you have any words of wisdom or steps an author could take to get the rights back?  

13.  What do you think about using the real name of a media or entertainer in your book? Is that okay or should you make up a similar name?

14.  I am an illustrator and writer. Is it okay to send in a picture book dummy?

15.  What is speculative fiction?

16.  If you want to write a book from two character’s POV, using alternating chapters, is it okay to scatter in a few chapter’s from a third character’s point-of-view?

17.  If you are writing a book using two character’s POV with alternating chapters, could the main character be in first person and the second character be in third person?

18. Do you have any thoughts on when to give up on a manuscript your have completed and has gotten rejected?

Talk tomorrow,



Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editors, list, opportunity Tagged: Agent Sean McCarthy, Ask Kathy, Publisher Steve Meltzer, Questions for Answers

10 Comments on Ask Kathy, last added: 3/24/2014
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16. Synopsis Check List

CeciliaClarkcherry blossom

This illustration my Cecilia Clark gives us a glimpse of what awaits us after this long cold winter. Cecilia is a budding writer and illustrator from Australia. Her writing and illustrating has been published in anthologies. She is a member of SCBWI Australia and New Zealand(Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FWA) and Romance Writer’s Australia(RWA).  http://ceciliaaclark.blogspot.com.au

Synopsis Checklist:

1.   Is your synopsis between one and three pages?  Double spaced if more than one page?

2.   Does the opening paragraph have a hook to keep the editor or agent reading?

3.   Did you use capital letters the first time you introduced a character?

4.   Did you show your characters goal, motivation, conflict, and growth?

Your synopsis should give a clear idea as to what your book is about, what characters we will care about (or dislike), what is at stake for your heroes, what they stand to lose, and how it all turns out.

5.   Have you hit on the major scenes, the major plot points of your book, and include the ending?

6.   How you gotten to the who, what, where, when and why in your synopsis?

7.   Do you keep the interest level up throughout the synopsis?

8.   Is there good flow between  paragraphs.

9.   Have you avoided all grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes?

10. Do you think you captured the flavor of your manuscript?

See yesterday’s post for synopsis details.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: demystify, How to, list, Process, reference, Writing Tips Tagged: Australian Illustrator, Celcilia Clark, Synopsis Checklist, Synopsis evaluation

0 Comments on Synopsis Check List as of 3/20/2014 3:13:00 AM
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17. Tips on Writing A Synopsis


Doris Ettlinger sent in this gorgeous illustration reminding us of how March comes in as a lion and goes out like a lamb. Doris graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  She was featured on Illustrator Saturday in 2010: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/illustrator-saturday-doris-ettlinger/ 

After talking about formatting your manuscripts, it was logical to receive a few emails asking about how to format a synopsis. That lead to adding other things you need to consider when writing one for your novel.

How to format your synopsis.

Use a one inch margins on the top, bottom and sides. Justify text at the left margin only. Use Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Type your name, address, phone number, fax number and e-mail address, each on a separate line single-spaced at the top left margin on the first page of your synopsis.

If you can fit your synopsis on one page, then you can single space the text with a space between paragraphs . If it goes over one page, then double space your text. Editors generally want one or two pages, but if you must go longer than you must – just keep it tight. You should always check a publisher’s submission guidelines, just to make sure you are following their rules before submitting.

Here are some things to help guide you through the synopsis writing process:

• You want to briefly tell what happens. This is one place you can ignore Show, Don’t Tell.

• Your goal should be to give an escalating series of turning points, a strong central crisis, a dramatic climax and a satisfying resolution.

• Introduce your main character first. Type a character’s name in all CAPS the first time you use it in the synopsis. Why? It helps the editor remember or find your character names.

• Remember your synopsis should showcase your unique voice.

• The synopsis should reflect your story. If it is humorous, be funny, etc.

• Start with a hook.

• Use present tense. This gives the story immediacy.

• Write the high points of your story in chronological order. Keep these paragraphs tight.

• Always answer basic who, what, where, when, why–early in the synopsis.

• Don’t waste words or time describing settings, unless crucial. Sometimes it’s enough just to put the date and place at the top, then start your synopsis.

• Omit unimportant details.

• Only include backstory if it is necessary to give the editor the information they need about the character’s motives.

• Always resolve the external plot question before you resolve the internal and/or relationship question.

• If it’s not a turning point, it doesn’t belong in the synopsis.

• Don’t use secondary characters in your synopsis, unless they are absolutely critical to the emotional turning points of the relationship. Even then, try to get by with the using the secondary’s relationship to the major characters (sister, teacher, boss.) They are too hard to keep up with and only add clutter. Only name them when necessary.

• Clearly convey the central question of the story, and what the resolution looks like. And resolve it at the end — don’t leave the editor guessing. They hate that, so spell out the story, including the ending.

• Rewrite your synopsis until each sentence is polished to the point of perfection. Use strong adjectives and verbs. Make every word count.

Check back tomorrow for a synopsis checklist you can use when drafting one for your manuscript.

Talk tomorrow,



Filed under: demystify, How to, list, Process, reference, Tips Tagged: Doris Ettlinger, Rhode Island School of Design, Synopsis Format, Synopsis Guide

3 Comments on Tips on Writing A Synopsis, last added: 3/21/2014
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18. Agent Jenny Bent Wish List

jenny_bentJenny Bent is the founder of The Bent Agency. There is no reason why you shouldn’t try to snag an agent who has been in the industry for over 20 years. Just make sure that what you want to submit needs to be revised and polished and you feel the writing is at the top of your game, before sending a query letter.  I thought you might like to read about her and what she is looking for. The Bent Agency has seven other agents working with Jenny. You should check them out, too. 

To send Jenny requested materials, please review our submissions guidelines Then email queries@thebentagency.com

Jenny Bent represents literary and commercial adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction. She also represents nonfiction in the areas of memoir, humor and select narrative nonfiction.

I was born in New York City but grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia in a house full of books where I spent many lazy afternoons reading in a sunny window seat. I went on to England to get a BA/MA with first class honors from Cambridge University, but I began my career in publishing as an undergraduate, with jobs at Rolling Stone and Ladies Home Journal. I then worked with prominent agent Raphael Sagalyn and with Michael Cader, the force behind the website Publishers Marketplace, before establishing a successful career at several boutique agencies. In 2003 I joined Trident Media Group, where I was promoted to Vice President before leaving to found the Bent Agency in 2009. I now live in Brooklyn in an apartment full of books and while there are not quite so many lazy reading afternoons, I manage to fit one in now and then.

My list is varied and includes commercial and literary fiction as well as memoir and select humor titles.  In adult fiction, I particularly enjoy women’s fiction and crime/suspense.   I also love novels—for grown-ups or children—that have an element of magic or fantasy to them or that take me into a strange and new world, whether real or imaginary.   All of the books that I represent speak to the heart in some: they are linked by genuine emotion, inspiration and great writing and story telling. I love books that make me laugh, make me cry, or ideally do both.

Please send me:

  • Literary fiction
  • Women’s fiction
  • Commercial fiction, including romance
  • Young adult and middle grade fiction
  • Memoir
  • Humor
  • Suspense/crime

I’m not currently considering queries in the following genres:

  • Science fiction
  • Poetry
  • Picture books
  • Serious nonfiction
  • Reference
  • Sports
  • Self-help/how-to


1. A classic YA fantasy with at least one female lead, like the upcoming LARK RISING by @sandrajwaugh

2. In general, I love strong, feisty female characters with a purpose

3. Non-genre fiction with a paranormal, fantasy or otherworldly element to it, like DISCOVERY OF WITCHES or NIGHT CIRCUS or GHOST BRIDE

4. Historical fiction based on a famous real life person

5. Women’s fiction or YA with a strong gothic feel.

6. Here’s some of what I am looking for: stylish psychological crime/suspense with at least one female lead (not cozy mystery, thanks).

7. Women’s fiction with a strong hook or premise and lots of plot and emotion.

8. Definitely would love some YA horror.

Follow on Twitter: @jennybent

Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, list, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Agent Wish List, Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency

3 Comments on Agent Jenny Bent Wish List, last added: 3/6/2014
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19. Thoughts on a year ended

It's 7.37am Jan 1st, 2013. I'm at the desk, drinking tea and nibbling blueberry pie. Well, it is still a holiday! I'm thinking on how we humans need touchstones and wondering why that is. Reflection and thinking forward seems our peculiar fate.

Enough with the philosophizing. I'm on a book deadline this week and am looking forward to a full day off sometime soon. Possibly. Here's the other thing - it's brilliant to be doing something you can't wait to leap out of bed to get on with.

But, before I pick up my pencil, I wanted to underline the highlights (mostly!) of 2012 for myself. Writing it here, on my blog, is an affirmation and a reminder of where I have been and where I am going (see para.1). I can see if I hit the goals I had in mind - or what came along on it's own two feet. There are things on the list I didn't think I would see. It's a reminder that the future always has some great things in store if we work hard at our dreams.

I could also write a list of things I didn't achieve or that went wrong. But that would be a bunch of negative and you don't want to hear me moaning (not on New Year's Day anyway).


Published - 5 books
Illustrated - 2 more coming 2013
WIP - graphic novel and MG illustrated adventure
Got shingles - :-(( (See below)
Attended ALA - 2 signings
Attended 1 conference
Attended a Highlights Foundation course
Attended R.Michelson Gallery opening and was part of the group photo (awed)
Attended an awards ceremony in NY Times Center for 'How to Talk to an Autistic Kid'
Won a gold medal from Foreword Reviews at ALA for Autistic Kid book, a couple of other awards and mentioned on lists
Mentioned in Publisher's Weekly
Exhibitor at Princeton Book Festival and several others
Did school visits (learned a lot!)
Heard some great authors and illustrators speak (feeding the soul)
Met new friends
Sadly said goodbye to old friends
Met up with wonderful old friends
Sailed on the sea several times
Art in a couple of exhibitions and visited some great ones
Received fan mail (means I gave back to someone)
Read a good amount of books (but not as many as I would like!)
Started a couple of new blogs
Sketched and drew more than I ever have
Stopped worrying about my style and just did it

Writing that list just made me realize what a fantabulous year 2012 was! I did so much more than I remembered. Thinking of those things gives me vitality and optimism for 2013. Except shingles ... and I nearly took that off the list. It wasn't an achievement or a good thing ... but it does remind me that in the list I write for 2013 looking after my health must be high.

So off to write me a list of goals for the coming year - I know already it's going to be a good one. I will do my best not to let myself down. Check back in next year to make sure I didn't.

Happy New Year to you all and I hope your resolutions bring you happiness and peace in 2013.


6 Comments on Thoughts on a year ended, last added: 1/4/2013
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20. 2012 High Book Sales

dowcalendar winter
This January illustration was sent in by Dow Phumiruk who is a pediatrician with a passion for art. www.artbydow.blogspot.com

Using Nielsen BookScan dara, Publishers’s Marketplace takes their annual look at the top sellers in multiple categories. (Nielsen tracks print book sales only, at the point of sale.)

Total print book sales for 2012 as recorded by BookScan were 591 million units, down 9.3 percent compared to 2011 (and those sales were down 9.25 percent from 2010). The 2012 data reflects both the absence of Borders from the marketplace, as well as the harder-to-quantify increase in ebook sales. Year-to-year comparisons are tricky, since the 2011 data included the deeply discounted inventory from the Borders sell-off (Nielsen BookScan tracks unit sales, but not dollar expenditures)–and next year’s comparison will also be difficult since Nielsen is growing the data pool significantly for 2013 with the addition of WalMart data.

Trade paperback sales declined more in 2012 than in 2011, down 8.6 percent. Hardcover sales fell 5.7 percent and mass market paperbacks were down 20.5 percent.

EL James’s Fifty Shades books sold over 14.4 million prints units, and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books sold over 9.6 million print books. Collins’ 2012 total is only slightly lower than  all the top 15 children’s books in 2011,which sold roughly 10.2 million books altogether.

On the children’s list, Collins taking 6 places left fewer slots for Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney, who occupies 3 places this time around, compared to 6 books on the 2011 list. and 2 for Rick Riordan.

2012′s Top 15: Juvenile

1. THE HUNGER GAMES*, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic; trade paperback 9780439023528) 2,810,000
*, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic; hardcover 9780439023498) 2,612,000
3. MOCKINGJAY*, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic; hardcover 9780439023511) 2,302,000
4. THE THIRD WHEEL, Jeff Kinney (Amulet; hardcover 9781419705847) 1,402,000
5. THE MARK OF ATHENA, Rick Riordan (Hyperion; hardcover 9781423140603) 705,000
6. THE HUNGER GAMES*, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic; hardcover 9780439023481) 652,000
7. THE HUNGER GAMES*, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic; trade paperback 9780545425117) 631,000
8. THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY*, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic; hardcover 9780545265355) 599,000
9. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID # 6: CABIN FEVER*, Jeff Kinney (Amulet; hardcover 9781419702235) 584,000
10. ELF ON THE SHELF, Carol Aebersold (CCA&B; hardcover; 9780976990703) 467,000
11. THE WIMPY KID DO-IT-YOURSELF BOOK*, Jeff Kinney (Amulet; hardcover 9780810989955) 446,000
12. THE SERPENT’S SHADOW, Rick Riordan (Hyperion; hardcover 9781423140573) 440,000
13. THE LORAX, Dr. Seuss (Random House; hardcover 9780394823379) 368,000
14. OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!, Dr. Seuss (Random House; hardcover 9780679805274) 359,000
15. GREEN EGGS AND HAM, Dr. Seuss (Random House; 9780394800165) 348,000

*These editions were first published prior to 2011; underscored books appeared on the 2011 list in the same edition +Means the title was on the 2011 list in a different edition.

2012′s Top 4: Adult Fiction -

1. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, EL James (Vintage; trade paperback 9780345803481) 6,345,000
2. FIFTY SHADES DARKER, EL James (Vintage; trade paperback 9780345803498) 3,834,000
3. FIFTY SHADES FREED, EL James (Vintage; trade paperback 9780345803504) 3,441,000
4. FIFTY SHADES TRILOGY, EL James (Vintage; trade paperback 9780345804044) 787,000
5. GONE GIRL, Gillian Flynn (Crown; hardcover 9780307588364) 701,000
6. THE CASUAL VACANCY, JK Rowling (Little, Brown; hardcover 9780316228534) 590,000
7. THE RACKETEER, John Grisham (Doubleday; hardcover 9780385535144) 553,000
8. BARED TO YOU, Sylvia Day (Berkley; trade paperback 9780425263907) 506,000
9. THE LAST BOYFRIEND, Nora Roberts (Berkley; trade paperback 9780425246030) 319,000
10. THE LUCKY ONE*, Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central; mass market 9781455508976) 317,000
11. WINTER OF THE WORLD, Ken Follett (Dutton; hardcover 97805259529232) 315,000
12. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST*, Stieg Larsson (Vintage; trade paperback 9780307454560) 309,000
13. CALICO JOE, John Grisham (Doubleday; hardcover 9780385536073) 308,000
14. THE GREAT GATSBY*, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner; trade paperback 9780743273565) 301,000
15. NOTORIOUS NINETEEN, Janet Evanovich (Bantam; hardcover 9780345527745) 290,000

2012′s Top 15: Adult Nonfiction

1. NO EASY DAY, Mark Owen (Dutton; hardcover 9780525953722) 908,000
2. KILLING KENNEDY, Bill O’Reilly (Holt; hardcover 9780805096668) 861,000
3. KILLING LINCOLN*, Bill O’Reilly (Holt; hardcover 9780805093070) 781,000

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Book, list, News, Publishing Industry Tagged: Book Sales, Dow Phumiruk, Nielsen's Book Scan, Publishers Marketplace, Top 15 dollar sales for 2012 books

3 Comments on 2012 High Book Sales, last added: 1/13/2013
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21. On Target? – What are you living for?


I have thought about how important it is to live a purposeful life each day!  I am always busy, but I want to be busy doing the right things each day.  I don’t want to waste a moment! Think of December.  Will you carry out any major goals before then?  Do you have a goal?  Your chances of accomplishing goals are better if you keep them in front of you! Write them down and then look at them each day. It’s okay to change your mind about a goal too.  We are complex beings. We can change our minds!  It only means we are growing!

Look at this website I found for girls in Dallas.


Our Vision

To empower girls from the inside-out. We envision girls celebrating their femininity. We envision girls at the conclusion of each program level possessing the understanding, wisdom and knowledge to live life on purpose.

We envision girls better equipped to make good, sound decisions to do all that they purpose to do. We envision girls developing a plan and taking action, not allowing their race, gender, community, or financial status to limit their potential.

Our Mission

Our mission is to inspire girls from all walks of life to discover who they are, to connect with other like minded girls and to pursue their purpose with passion

After reading this I found myself wanting to attend!   We did not have anything like this when I was growing up.  Empowered with wisdom, knowledge and understanding, making sound decisions, taking actions, no limits due to race or finances. (those are excuses) inspired! discovered!

What are your first steps in the right direction this year?  Mine is to make the MASTER LIST!  Then I can fill in times and plans to carry out the things on my list! Perhaps I will even share my list with you in another blog.  For now, I leave you with this.

Ephesians 5:15

Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),

Filed under: Inspiring Websites, Kicking Around Thoughts

1 Comments on On Target? – What are you living for?, last added: 3/20/2013
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22. The Master List!


Hooray for The Master List! There is nothing like getting all your thoughts on paper…. and yes, I said paper!  Sitting right in front of me where I can doodle on it, cross it off, highlight it etc. I have tried the electronic list making but nothing quite satisfies this artist.

All my ideas are added to my The Master List.  For a creative person, this list is quite freeing!  I can stop trying to shuffle all of this around in my head.  Yes, these items and more have been yelling at me from my head!  ha!  Everything was fighting for recognition… saying things like,  “Me first!”,  “NO! Me first!”

Now I can decide who is first!  Does this sound a little scary to you?  Leslie is hearing things?  I assure you, this is the world of many of us who are visual thinkers!  The world speaks to us! Being the cartoonist that I am, I can actually imagine people as cartoons.  Many of my Facebook friends can attest to that fact.  It’s quite fun!

Okay,  Now to the next step.  Working at crossing off all these things on the list!  I will keep you posted.

So what do you have on your list?

Filed under: Kicking Around Thoughts, Work is Play....?

4 Comments on The Master List!, last added: 3/23/2013
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23. Ebook Sales – Best YA Fiction

Ebooks made up 20% of trade publishing net sales in 2012. That’s an increase from 2011 when ebooks were only 15% of trade net sales.

The BookStat report shows prices are fairly stable for trade, ebook growth has slowed but contributes significantly to book sales overall, and that both romance and YA are growth genres, according to Ned May, VP and practice leader at Outsell Inc.

Ebooks single-handedly drove trade sales, accounting for $995 million in net new dollars last year. Total U.S. net book sales for the year were $27.1 billion.

The complete BookStats report will be available in June.


2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults

Each year, YALSA presents the Best Fiction for Young Adults list after ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. This year’s list of 102 books was drawn from 200 official nominations. The books, recommended for ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction and novels in verse.

In addition to the full list, the Best Fiction for Young Adults committee also created a Top Ten list of titles from the final list, denoted here by an asterisk.

“I am very proud of the hard work, patience and dedication each committee member took this year in selecting the 2013 BFYA list,” said Chair Ted Schelvan. “After much deliberation and discussion, our final list is comprised of books a library can be proud to add to their Young Adult collection.”

Anderson, Jodi Lynn. Tiger Lily. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062003256; $17.99.

Before Wendy came into Peter Pan’s life, there was only Tiger Lily.

*Andrews, Jesse. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Abrams/Amulet Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781419701764; $16.95.

Greg and Earl are forced to spend time with a classmate recently diagnosed with leukemia. Will their lives change for the better or just stay the same as usual?

Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Drowned Cities. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780316056243; $17.99.

Mahlia and Mouse are cast-off refugees from the Drowned Cities of a war-torn future American Southeast when they meet Tool, a half-man genetically engineered for one thing: killing.

Bardugo, Leigh. Shadow and Bone. Henry Holt and Company, 2012: ISBN 13: 9780805094596; $18.00.

Alina discovers she has secret powers and must try abolishing the monsters of the Fold.

Barnaby, Hannah. Wonder Show. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547599809; $16.99.

Portia is looking for another new beginning and a place to belong. Does she have a strong enough constitution to do it at the travelling freak show?

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. Every Other Day. Egmont, 2011; ISBN 13: 9781606841693; $ 17.99.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be something else every other day? Kali D’Angelo is just that; an “Other,” or so she calls herself, invincible one day human the next. When Kali comes across a student who has an ouroboros mark, giving her moments to live; she ventures into a dangerous world where few survive the things that go bump in the night.

Barraclough, Lindsey. Long Lankin. Candlewick Press, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780763658083; $16.99.

In a town paralyzed with fear over the presence of a nightmarish creature, sisters Cora and Mimi learn that Long Lankin may be the least of their problems.

*Bray, Libba. The Diviners. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780316126113; $19.99.

New age, old magic.

Brennan, Sarah Rees. Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy. Random House Books/Random House Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375870415; $18.99.

Your imaginary friend turns out to be not so imaginary. Meeting him brings its own mystery and conflicts. Which do you trust more what you’ve always known or what you see?

Calame, Don. Call the Shots. Candlewick, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780763655563; $16.99.

Sean, Matt, and Coop have pulled off a few schemes in the past, but can they manage to make a low-budget horror film?

Cameron, Sharon. The Dark Unwinding. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545327862; $17.99.

Sent to prove her uncle insane, Katherine discovers another windup world.

Carey, Janet Lee. Dragonswood. Penguin/Dial, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780803735040; $17.99.

Tess has endured a lot in her short life. She has witnessed an execution, watched her siblings die, been accused of witchcraft and tortured. She’s now escaped to begin a magical adventure that could bring three races together for the common good.

Carlton, Susan. Love & Haight. Henry Holt and Company, 2012; ISBN 13: 97800805080971; $16.99.

Chloe and MJ are spending their Christmas vacation in San Francisco. While MJ is looking for a good time, Chloe is looking for an abortion, but in 1971, abortions, while legal, aren’t easy to find.

Cashore, Kristin. Bitterblue. Penguin/Dial, 2012; ISBN 13: 978-08373-4739; $19.99.

Katsa saved her life, but now Bitterblue has to save her kingdom

Coats, Jillian Anderson. The Wicked and the Just. Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547688374; $16.99.

In the late thirteenth century, Cecily practices a haughty style as befits a lady of the manor in occupied Wales where her father has landed them in search of cheap land. Gwinny, the servant is not about to accede to these upstart English who she knows are simply tyrants to the Welsh who used to rule their own lives.

Cronn-Mills, Kirstin. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. Flux, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780738732510; $9.99.

Everyone knows the A side of the record but it’s time for everyone to know the B side.

Cross, Sarah. Kill Me Softly. Egmont, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781606843239; $17.99.

Your life is a fairy tale. That doesn’t mean it’s happily ever after.

Crowley, Cath. Graffiti Moon. Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375869532; $16.99.

Lucy has a crush on Shadow, a local graffiti artist. Little does she know that Shadow may be closer to her than she thinks.

Damico, Gina. Croak. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547608327; $8.99.

Who would have thought being a grim reaper could give you a life?

Danforth, Emily M. The Miseducation of Cameron Post. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062020567; $17.99.

Cameron explores her lesbian sexuality in small town Montana in the early 1990′s, and is sent to God’s Promise, a school to cure homosexual tendencies.

Derting, Kimberly. The Pledge. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011; ISBN 13: 9781442422018; $16.99.

Charlie knows that she is different.  In a world where each class system had their own language, she can understand them all.  What happens when people figure out her secret?

Doller, Trish. Something Like Normal. Bloomsbury, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781599908441; $16.99.

Travis, a young Marine, deals with life at home after his best friend is killed in Afghanistan.

Jordan, Dream. Bad Boy. St. Martin’s Press, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780312549978; $9.99.

Kate has been institutionalized her entire life, but things start to look up when she connects with a handsome stranger. But can she heed the warning signs of his abusive behavior?

Ellison, Kate. Butterfly Clues. Egmont, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781606842638; $17.99.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not all Lo must deal with when she accidentally witnesses a murder.

Fama, Elizabeth. Monstrous Beauty. Macmillian/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780374373665; $17.99.

Syrenka, a vicious mermaid who’s a victim of circumstance, and Hester, a modern day teen who’s a victim of her family’s tragic past, have a lot more in common than they think.

Farish, Terry. The Good Braider. Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780761462675; $17.99.

This is a story of Viola’s escape from the Sudan, her long and arduous journey to the U.S., and her struggle with the emotional effects that still linger. Upon arriving in the U.S. she struggles with trying to fit it while maintaining the traditions of her family. This story, told in verse, immerses the reader in the struggles that immigrants have to face while trying to build a new life for themselves but still trying to maintain the ideals of their cultures.

Fforde, Jasper. The Last Dragonslayer. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547738475; $16.99.

With magic drying up, it’s hard for a freelance magical agency to stay afloat, especially with the rumors and prophecies of the death of the last dragon.

Fitzpatrick, Huntley. My Life Next Door. Penguin/Dial Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780803736993; $17.99.

Samantha was always curious about the large, boisterous family next door since her family is quiet and orderly.  One day, Jase, one of the boys, climbed up to her hidden perch. What happens next?

Gagnon, Michelle. Don’t Turn Around. HarperCollins, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062102904; $17.99.

Computer hackers Peter and Noa stumble across a conspiracy targeting runaway teens.

Gaughen, A. C. Scarlet. Walker & Co., 2012; ISBN 13: 9780802723468; $17.99.

Scarlet, a spunky lady-thief, has made a home in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood and his band of thieves, but a face from the past may put her forest life and people she loves in jeopardy.

Grant, Michael. BZRK. Egmont, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781606843123; $17.99.

A war is raging in the nano…where biots and nanobots battle in the brain for control of the human race. For the soldiers of BZRK and AFCG it victory or madness.

Grant, Michael and Katherine Applegate. Eve & Adam. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780312583514; $17.99.

What if you could design the perfect boy?  Eve is given the chance; but what are the consequences of playing god?

Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. Penguin/Dutton Juvenile, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780525478812; $17.99.

Hazel and Gus are both Cancer Kids with very different prognoses when they meet and bond over what they share outside of their disease. Funny, poignant, charming, honest and powerful.

Halpern, Julie. Have a Nice Day. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780312606602; $16.99.

Home after a stay in a mental institution, Anna discovers that maintaining her improved outlook is a challenge as the stresses of life that sent her there in the first place are pretty much the same. It’s really up to her to make a difference, and perhaps a sense of humor will help.

Hand, Elizabeth. Radiant Days. Penguin/Viking, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780670011353; $17.99.

Art student Merle and poet Arthur Rimbaud may live in separate continents and time periods but one night together will change their lives forever.

Harrington, Hannah. Speechless. Harlequin/Harlequin Teen, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780373210527; $9.99.

Chelsea could never keep her mouth shut, always having to tell the latest gossip as soon as she heard it.  The latest secret she tells causes someone to almost die.  What happens when she decides to take a vow of silence?

*Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina. Random House, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375866562; $17.99.

Intriguingly, in this world, dragons can transform at will into the body of a human. Part human, part dragon, Seraphina must hide her heritage  as the tenuous peace her country has with dragons seems likely to slip away as unknown elements are stirring up trouble that even Seraphina’s music can’t assuage.

Hiaasen, Carl. Chomp. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375868429; $16.99.

Wahoo lives with a bunch of animals, including his father.  When they get contacted to provide animals for the show Expedition Survival they agree- but can they live through it?

Johnson, Angela. A Certain October. Simon & Schuster, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780689865053; $16.99.

After surviving a train accident that killed her friend, Scotty must reevaluate her life and find a way to forgive herself.

Kagawa, Julie. The Immortal Rules. Harlequin/Harlequin Teen, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780373210510; $18.99.

Allison lives in a society that requires humans to register as blood donors for the ruling class of vampires. Instead of surrendering to their demands, she survives on the fringes of the city by scavenging for food and banding together with other runaways. However, the situation changes drastically when she finds herself at the top of the food chain.

Kincaid, S.J. Insignia. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062092991; $17.99.

Tom is great at one thing: gaming.  He’s given the chance to make something of himself in the military and he jumps at it.  Can he beat the best the enemy has?

Kindl, Patrice. Keeping the Castle. Penguin/Viking, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780670014385; $16.99.

The only way Althea can hope to keep the family home, Crawley Castle, is to marry a rich man.  She must vie for the affections of too few men with her older step-sisters and the mysterious Miss Vincy.

King, A.S. Ask the Passengers. Little, Brown and Company, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780316194686; $17.99.

Astrid, who just moved from the big city to a small town, must discover her way in life, her sexuality and, most importantly, herself.

Knowles, Jo. See You At Harry’s. Candlewick Press, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780763654078; $16.99.

Harry’s, the restaurant owned by 12 year old Fern’s family, has always centered them but when tragedy takes Charlie, her sticky, smelly, younger brother, nothing will ever be the same.

Kokie, E.M. Personal Effects. Candlewick, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780763655273; $16.99.

Matt’s brother has died fighting for his country, and now Matt has the remnants of his brother’s personal belongings. In looking through these items, Matt discovers a side of his brother he never knew.

*Kontis, Alethea. Enchanted. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Harcourt Children’s Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547645704; $16.99.

Sunday’s child may be able to find her story with the help of ….a frog.

Lacey, Josh. Island of Thieves. Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Children, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547763279; $15.99.

An unexpected adventure with Uncle Harvey will leave Tom’s life changed forever..That is if they can make it out alive!

LaCour, Nina. The Disenchantments. Penguin/Dutton, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780525422198; $16.99.

Colby and his friends’ band, The Disenchantments, go touring for a week right after graduation. Will they use this time to figure out what’s next in their lives?

LaFevers, Robin. Grave Mercy. Houghton Mifflin, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547628349; $16.99.

Ismae, a daughter of death and trained by the convent as an assassin, is assigned to assist Duval, the bastard brother of her ruler in this alternate medieval history novel.

Lake, Nick. In Darkness. Bloomsbury, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781599907437; $17.99.

Trapped in darkness on Haiti hundreds of years apart, the lives of gangster Shorty and slave rebellion leader Toussaint l’Ouverture are intertwined as Shorty tries to survive the 2010 earthquake.

Lanagan, Margo. The Brides of Rollrock Island. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375869198; $17.99.

On an ungenerous island where life is hard, Misskaella, herself unattractive, discovers she has the power to pull humans from the seals cavorting in the sea. A selkie tale that is unromantic and details the unlovely consequences for future residents.

Larbalestier, Justine and Sarah Rees Brennan. Team Human. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062089649; $17.99.

Vampires may be an everyday part of life, but Mel still isn’t thrilled when her best friend Cathy suddenly wants to become one.

Leavitt, Martine. My Book of Life by Angel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780374351236; $17.99.

Angel must escape her life of drugs and prostitution before she is forced to do the same for another.

Lee, Y.S. The Traitor and the Tunnel. Candlewick Press, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780763653163; $16.99.

Mary Lang cannot keep herself out of scrapes. Once again, she is thrown into the thick of a murder mystery. This time it involves both the British Royal Family and her own long-lost father. The clues bringer her closer to the truth, but deeper into trouble!

Lerangis, Peter and Harry Mazer. Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781416938958; $15.99.

Ben Bright makes the decision to enlist in the Army. His deployment to the Middle East stresses his relationships with his friends and family, but nothing can prepare them for the way he returns home.

Leveen, Tom. Zero. Random House, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375869211; $16.99.

Zero didn’t get the scholarship to art school, so she’s stuck in Phoenix trying to figure out how to emulate Dali when she falls for the drummer of Gothic Rainbow.

Levine, Kristin. Lions of Little Rock. Penguin/Putnam, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780399256448; $16.99.

Painfully shy Marlee lives in Little Rock and makes friends with Liz the year after the ‘Nine” integrated. When schools close, these friends decide they can make a difference.

*Levithan, David. Every Day. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780307931187; $16.99.

How can love survive if each day you wake up as a different person?

Lyga, Barry. I Hunt Killers. Little, Brown and Company, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780316125840; $17.99.

Jazz, the son of one of the most notorious of all serial killers, must come to terms with his upbringing by hunting down a new serial killer in his hometown.

Maas, Sarah. Throne of Glass. Bloomsbury, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781599906959; $17.99.

Left for dead in a notorious prison work camp, Celaena is given a second chance at freedom by the Crown  Prince himself.  However, this freedom must be won in a cut-throat tournament of assassins, and some of her competitors are not playing by the rules.

MacColl, Michaela. Promise the Night. Chronicle Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780811876254; $16.99.

Famous aviator, Beryl Markham’s childhood in Kenya with racehorses, lions, and the Nandi neighbors at a time when white women were expected to be ladies and Beryl is anything but.

Mackall, Dandi. The Silence of Murder. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011; ISBN 13: 9780375968969; $16.99.

An 18- year old, autistic boy has been put on trial for murder. Only one person thinks he’s innocent. Did he do it? What really happened that night?

Magoon, Kekla. Fire in the Streets. Aladdin, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781442422308; $15.99.

Maxie’s attachment to the Black Panthers in Chicago in the late sixties gradually confronts some of the other constants in her life, but she knows it’s her only way to make a powerful difference in the world.

Marchetta, Melina. Froi of the Exiles: The Lumatere Chronicles. Candlewick Press, 2011; ISBN 13: 9780763647599; $18.99.

Three years after Finnikin of the Rock completed his journey back to Lumatere, young Froi is sent away from Lumatere on a journey of his own.

Marillier, Juliet. Shadowfell. Knopf Book for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375869549; $16.99.

Frightened of being made a king’s hostage if her powers are known, Neryn must decide whether  or not to trust  taciturn mysterious Flint who has won her in a bet.

Matson, Morgan. Second Chance Summer. Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781416990673; $16.99.

Taylor’s family is spending one last summer together at their house on the lake, which means she can’t run away from the people she hurt five summers before.

*McCormick, Patricia. Never Fall Down. Harper Collins/Balzar + Bray, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780061730931; $17.99.

Arn is taken from his home by the Khmer Rouge and forced to become a child soldier. What will he do to survive?

McDonald, Ian. Planesrunner. Prometheus Books/PYR, 2011; ISBN 13: 9781616145415; $16.95.

Convinced his Dad was kidnapped, Everett uses his computer expertise, his soccer skills and his math knowledge to try to go after him—even as far as into another universe.

McQuerry, Maureen Doyle. The Peculiars. Abrams/Amulet Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781419701788; $16.95.

Lena, left destitute on her way to the frontier, is recruited as a spy, infiltrates the library and home of a wealthy recluse, and discovers genocide may be coming.

Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. Macmillian/Feiwel & Friends, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780312641894; $17.99.

Cyborg Cinder, a mechanic in the chaotic street market of New Beijing, threatened by disease and aliens, meets Prince Kai when he brings a beloved robot in for repair.

Michaelis, Antonia. The Storyteller. Abrams/Amulet Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781419700477; $18.95.

Anna falls in love not only with Abel, the boy she has a crush on, but also the fairy tale he tells his younger sister. When people in the story actually turn up dead, Anna has to choose between love and the right thing.

Mieville, China. Railsea. Random House/Del Ray, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780345524522; $18.00.

Sham Yes ap Soorap, a lousy doctors assistant aboard the Medes, has been given a dream to look at but may never see. The unending space of where the railsea ends and where angels may roam, is a legend, and it’s the place Sham wants to go.  Captain Naphi, however, has other plans. She is after the great white moldywarpe, Mocker-Jocker, and will stop at nothing to capture it.

Myers, Kate Kae. The Vanishing Game. Bloomsbury, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781599906942; $16.99.

Still grieving the loss of her brother, Jocelyn unexpectedly receives a letter from him, a letter that sends her on a hunt through her past.

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. No Crystal Stair: A Novel in Documents, Based on the Life and Work, of Lewis Micheaux, Harlem Bookseller. Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780761361695; $17.95

Lewis will do whatever people tell him he can’t which surprisingly turns the young thief into someone nobody ever expected, particularly the white banker who told him “Negros don’t read.”

Newman, Leslea. October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Candlewick, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780763658076; $15.99.

In 1998, Matthew Shepard was robbed, beaten and left to die tied to a fence in a field in Wyoming. The events surrounding his death are told through various forms of poetry and from varying points of view.

Nielsen, Jennifer. The False Prince. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545284134; $17.99.

The ambitious Conner hand-picks four orphans with the intention of selecting one to pose as the lost Prince Jaron, heir to the throne of Carthya, then taking the kingship for himself.

Nix, Garth. A Confusion of Princes. Harper Collins, 2012: ISBN 13: 9780060096946; $17.99.

When Prince Khemri comes of age, he finds he has a lot to learn about the intergalactic empire he serves. This is the story of his first three deaths.

Oppel, Kenneth. Such Wicked Intent: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Book Two. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781442403185; $16.99.

Try as he might, Victor cannot swear off the two great temptations in his life: the power over life and death offered by the Dark Sciences, and his love for his brother’s fiancé.

Pearce, Jackson. Purity. Little, Brown and Company, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780316182461; $17.99.

Shelby promised her dying mother three things: listen to her father, love as much as possible, and live without restraint. What happens when promise one runs up against promises two and three?

Poblocki, Dan. The Ghost of Graylock. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545402682; $16.99.

Be warned sometimes things follow you home.

Pratchett, Terry. Dodger. HarperCollins, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062009494; $17.99.

Dodger is the canniest cove in all of London, scheming with Dickens, glad-handing Disraeli, and even getting the upper hand over Sweeney Todd in his quest to protect an anonymous girl.

*Quick, Matthew. Boy 21. Little, Brown and Company, 2012: ISBN 13: 9780316186193; $17.99.

A chronicle of grief paralleling Finley’s silence and immersion in the repetition of basketball with Boy 21′s belief that his murdered parents will return from space and take him to the cosmos.

Rivers, Karen. The Encyclopedia of Me. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545310284; $16.99.

Pick a letter and let Tink take you on a journey.

Rossi, Veronica. Under the Never Sky. HarperCollins, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062072030; $17.99.

Aria has grown up living in the safety of the domes, while Peregrine is a savage outsider. When a series of events leads to Aria’s banishment, Peregrine helps her survive.

Rubens, Michael. Sons of the 613. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780547612164; $16.99.

Having skimped on his prep sessions for his bar mitzvah, Isaac gets schooled in what it means to be a man by older brother Josh, who could use some lessons on responsibility and sanity himself.

*Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781442408920; $16.99.

Aristotle and Dante could scarcely be more different, but through the years of growing up, they become more to each other than they ever imagined.

Schrefer, Eliot. Endangered. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545165761; $17.99.

A book of friendship that endures through hardship. A book of human cruelty and human compassion. A book that crosses cultures and species, to connect us with one another.

Schumacher, Julie. The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780385737739; $16.99.

What would you do if you were forced to join a book club with girls that you never met? But that’s not the worst part your mom and their moms are part of this book club as well, a mother-daughter book club. Ugh, that is exactly what Adrienne Haus thinks when her mother informs her that she is now part of this endeavor and has no choice but to join.

Selfors, Suzanne. The Sweetest Spell. Walker, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780802723765; $16.99.

Emmeline Thistle has survived sure death a couple of times due to cows coming to the rescue but will she be able to find true love and the long lost secret of chocolate?

Sherman, Delia. The Freedom Maze. Big Mouth House, 2011; ISBN 13: 9781931520300; $16.95.

Forced to spend her summer at her grandmother’s Southern house in the 1960′s, Sophie unwittingly finds herself transported to the Civil War era as a slave of her ancestors.

Schreiber, Joe. Au Revoir Crazy European Chick. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011; ISBN 13: 9780547577388; $16.99.

Perry’s priorities shift when the geeky Lithuanian exchange student his parents make him take to the prom ends up being a vengeful assassin in need of transportation to her “hits.”

Sonnenblick, Jordan. Curveball: the Year I Lost My Grip. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545320696; $17.99.

After Peter endures a sports ending injury, he discovers that life can curve in new directions, not always the way he anticipates; a new girl and Grandfather’s Alzheimer’s among them.

*Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven Boys. Scholastic, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545424929; $18.99.

Blue Sargent has been told her entire life that she will kill her true love.  She stays away from boys, but when one boy’s ghost shows up on the corpse road, which is a promise of death within a year, Blue understands that she can no longer avoid the Raven Boys.  When she teams up with them to search for ley lines and lost kings, she knows that something has started and that her life will never be the same.

Summers, Courtney. This is Not a Test. St. Martin’s Griffith, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780312656744; $9.99.

Meet the girl who doesn’t want to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Tregay, Sarah. Love & Leftovers. Harper Collins/Katherine Tegan Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780062023582; $17.99.

When a summer vacation with her mother turns into a permanent move, Marcie realizes her life will never be the same.

Vivian, Siobhan. The List. Scholastic/Push, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780545169172; $17.99.

The list of the hottest and ugliest girls of Mount Washington High is finally out. Meet the eight teens whose lives will changed by one piece of paper.

Volponi, Paul. The Final Four. Penguin/Viking, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780670012640; $16.99.

Experience March Madness from the point of view of those who know it the best: the players. Who will triumph and who will fall?

Wasserman, Robin. The Book of Blood and Shadow. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375868764; $17.99.

In one night, Nora’s best friend is murdered and her boyfriend disappears.  When she starts looking for answers, she finds cryptic clues that lead to more danger and, perhaps, the answers to much more than she bargained for.

*Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity. Disney/Hyperion, 2012; ISBN 13: 9781423152194; $16.99.

Verity and Maddie are friends working in the war effort.  When the Gestapo captures Verity, she trades information for freedom.  Meanwhile, Maddie tries to free her.  This is their story.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Beneath a Meth Moon. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780399252501; $16.99.

When Laurel moved to a new town, she was introduced to the drug moon.  What happens when she can’t get enough?

Woolston, Blythe. Catch & Release. Lerner/Carolrhoda LA, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780761377559; $17.95.

Body parts are among the things one-time pretty girl, Polly, and football star, Odd, lost when they were struck by flesh eating disease. Can a road trip heal them?

Zettel, Sarah. Dust Girl. Random House, 2012; ISBN 13: 9780375869389; $17.99.

“Oh Brother Where Art Thou” meets Rapunzel.

I was shocked that there were only seven books I have read or have in my Kindle to read on the list. Glad Veronica Roth’s Under The Never Sky showed up on the list. The nice thing is I have more books to consider down the road, while I am waiting for the next books from my list of favorite authors.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: list, News, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2013 Best Fiction for YA, ebook sales, YALSA

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24. 11 Books Not to Be Missed On Your Summer Reading List (9-12yrs)

2013 Summer Reading List

Here are just some of our favorite titles for Summer Reading and available on the First Book Marketplace. Contributions are pulled from the fabulous lesson plans compiled by teachers on Share My Lesson.

Summer Reading List Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls and her family leave their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin and set out for Kansas. They travel for many days in their covered wagon until they find the best spot to build their little house on the prairie. Sometimes pioneer life is hard, but Laura and her folks are always busy and happy in their new little house.


Summer Reading List: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. – Judy Blume

It is the story of twelve-year-old Margaret Simon who is worried she’ll never have anything to put in her bra, won’t know how to kiss a boy when the time comes, and worst of all, will be the last in the PTS club to get her period. As if all that weren’t enough, she’s getting used to a new home and a new school. Her private talks with God are special to her, but is she supposed to be Jewish or Christian?


Summer Reading List: Sarah Plain and Tall

Sarah Plain and Tall – Patricia Maclachlan

Their mother died the day after Caleb was born. Their house on the prairie is quiet now, and Papa doesn’t sing anymore. Then Papa puts an ad in the paper, asking for a wife, and he receives a letter from one Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton, of Maine. Papa, Anna, and Caleb write back. Caleb asks if she sings. Sarah decides to come for a month. She writes Papa: I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall, and tell them I sing.


Summer Reading List: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

“Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1961, this story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for eighteen years on an island off the coast of California, still fascinates young readers. Her survival story–fighting the wild dogs and loneliness, hunting for food, and hoping to be rescued–is spellbinding.” — Children’s Literature


Summer Reading List: The Magician's Elephant

The Magician’s Elephant – Kate DiCamillo

When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortuneteller’s mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true.


Summer Reading List: Henry Aaron's Dream

Henry Aaron’s Dream – Matt Tavares

Before he was Hammerin’ Hank, Henry Aaron was a young boy growing up in Mobile, Alabama, with what seemed like a foolhardy dream: to be a big-league baseball player. He didn’t have a bat. He didn’t have a ball. And there wasn’t a single black ball player in the major leagues. But none of this could stop Henry Aaron.


Summer Reading List: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

In L. Frank Baum’s original tale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, readers will find themselves along a familiar yellow brick road and with their favorite beloved characters. After more than a hundred years since its first publication, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz continues to charm its readers on an adventure of self-discovery filled with excitement, Flying Monkeys, and Wicked Witches to the Emerald City.


Summer Reading List: The Indian in the Cupboard

The Indian in the Cupboard – Lynne Reid Banks

What could be better than a magic cupboard that turns small toys into living creatures? Omri’s big brother has no birthday present for him, so he gives Omri an old medicine cabinet he’s found. Although their mother supplies a key, the cabinet still doesn’t seem like much of a present. But when an exhausted Omri dumps a plastic toy Indian into the cabinet just before falling asleep, the magic begins.


Summer Reading List: Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – Beverly Cleary

All the Quimbys have their ups and downs, but none feels them more intensely than Ramona. Her low point is undoubtedly reached the day she throws up in class and Mrs. Whaley instructs the children to hold their noses and file into the hall. But three days later Ramona recovers her nerve sufficiently to give a book report in the style of a T.V. commercial, bringing down the house.


Summer Reading List: To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.


Sumnmer Reading List: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins – Dr. P.L. Travers

An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences.

The post 11 Books Not to Be Missed On Your Summer Reading List (9-12yrs) appeared first on First Book Blog.

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25. Do Your Part To Encourage Reading

novel conclusions2Christi Gerstle over at Novel Conclusions had a great post about what we can do to encourage reluctant readers.

I didn’t know that only 25% of adults go a whole year and never read a book.

As Writers, I think it is in our best interests if we remember that and try some of her techniques to try to turn that dismal statistic around.

She asks if you have any ideas you can add to her list of her five ideas.

How have you been successful in encouraging friends to read?  What could we add to this list?

Let’s put on our thinking caps and try to grow her list.


  • Do not (publicly) judge what others are reading; it doesn’t pay to be discouraging.  It might horrify me a bit that my teenage cousin is reading some disgusting political propaganda book, but at least she’s reading something.  I’m sure there are some five dollar words in there somewhere to build her vocabulary.  It might be disconcerting to sit next to someone on the subway reading 50 Shades of Gray, but at least they’re getting back into the habit of reading books.
  • Ask about books that they have read.  If you can get someone talking about a book they read that they loved, it might remind them how much they miss reading.
  • Recommend easy “transition” books (e.g. transitioning from not reading).  The book that finally got my man back into reading was Hunger Games (he picked up my copy, of course, after seeing me wrapped up in it a few years ago).  He spent a number of years after undergrad just reading accounting textbooks and movie scripts (he’s an accountant who used to work in the film industry), and he says that Hunger Games was just like a movie script.  It hooked him, and he stayed up until 2am one night finishing it.
  • Talk about books you love.  Enthusiasm is infectious.  My mom, my dad, my boyfriend, my best friend, my friend’s mom, and a coworker –among others – have all been talked into picking up The New Geography of Jobs after my enthusiastic description of the book’s awesomeness and its applicability to everyday life.  When I first read Hunger Games, I was similarly excited – though I still haven’t talked my mom into it.  She’s afraid it’s too violent (and she’s into Game of Thrones!  Talk about violence!).
  • Recognize people for reading.  This may sound silly, but people need to be validated.  A simple “That’s awesome you make time to read!” goes a long way.

Thanks Christi for bringing up the subject.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, inspiration, Interview, list Tagged: Adult Reluctant Readers, Christi Gerstle, Encouraging reading, Novel Conclusions

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