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1. Monday Mishmash: 9/1/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Back to School  My daughter starts second grade tomorrow. This summer flew by. I guess being out of my house had something to do with that. We've only been home for two weeks.
  2. Back to My Writing Schedule  Back to school means back to my usual writing schedule. I have two ideas battling it out in my head. I'll get to work on the one that screams the loudest. ;) I'm so excited to draft a new book.
  3. Into the Fire Author Copies!  Look what came in the mail last Friday!
  4. Free Monthly Newsletter  My newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here. My newsletters have information about my releases, giveaways, and writing tips each month.
  5. Perfect For You and Into the Fire Release Giveaway  I'm looking for people to help me spread the word about my two YA releases by posting my giveaway with teaser from both books sometime during the week of September 8th. If you can help me out, sign up below: 
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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2. Writer Wednesday: Frequently Asked Questions

I've decided to add a Frequently Asked Questions feature on my website and blog as part of my Press Kit. So today, I'm asking for your help. What questions would you like me to answer? It can be anything about my writing or my books.   Things like when I started writing, how I choose my genres, why I span age groups. Whatever you'd like.

Okay, you can ask me some silly questions too. Why not? I have a few quirks I'm willing to share for your amusement. Maybe I'll answer those as part of a vlog for fun. Sound good? 

You're up. Leave me your questions in the comments. I won't answer them there though. I'm compile a list and share all the answers once I've finished. Thanks!

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3. Monday Mishmash: 8/25/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My Mom's Birthday!  Today is my mom's birthday! Happy birthday, Mom! You're the best mother, friend, and beta reader I could ever ask for.
  2. Booking Events  I'm booking author events for the fall. I've got at list of signings planned and I will start working on booking school visits soon. :)
  3. Perfect For You Pre-order  Perfect For You is now up for pre-order and it's only $2.99! I'm excited. You can order it here.
  4. Perfect For You Release Day Blitz  In addition to the blog tour, there will be a release day blitz for Perfect For You. Want to sign up? Click here.
  5. Curse of the Granville Fortune Blog Tour Signups  The Curse of the Granville Fortune Blog Tour will run from October 20 to November 2. If you'd like to sign up, click here.

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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4. Monday Mishmash 8/11/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Two Blog Tours  Since I have two Ashelyn Drake titles releasing on September 9th (Into the Fire and Perfect For You), I've been busy with blog tour posts. They're almost ready to send to my publicists.
  2. My Dream Office  Even though I won't be able to settle into my new office for a while yet, I'm dreaming of my oversized chair to work and read in, my large desk with bookshelves, and the cheery daisy paint color I picked out. I can also finally frame the giant posters of my book covers my husband had made for me. It's going to be epic. Now I have to work on that pesky thing called patience.
  3. Painting and Flooring  Last week the construction at my house, which had involved gutting the entire first floor, progressed to painting. This week I'm hoping to have the painting finished and flooring going in so I can go home before the summer is over.
  4. Editing  I'm editing for clients this week, and I already have clients booking me for next month too.
  5. The Monster Within Book Blitz  Fandom Monthly Magazine is hosting a book blitz for The Monster Within August 15-18th. I'm looking forward to it. 

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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5. Friday Feature: Sassy Summer Book Party


I'm one of the 61 authors participating in the Sassy Summer Book Party. There are 10 prize packs up for grabs with books, SWAG, and gift cards! You don't want to miss this.


Into the Fire is one of the books in prize pack #3, which is a YA prize pack. If you want to try to win a copy along with 7 other books and a gift card, enter here.

That's not all though. You can enter all 10 giveaways and increase your chances of winning. Just click on the links below to enter. (Some books are ebook, while others are print. Click on the giveaway to find out the format.)

Prize Pack #1 YA
Malicious by Alissa T. Hunter
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
My Sister's Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer
My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer
Darkness Watching by Emma Adams
Lore (YA fantasy anthology)
Eternal Shadows by Kate Martin
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #2
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Of Breakable Things by Lyden Rolland (includes SWAG)
Resisting Fate and Seizing Fate by Heather Van Fleet
Elixir Bound by Katie Carroll
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
Crown of Ice by Vicki Weavil (includes SWAG)
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #3 YA
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane
Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway
Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake (That's me!!!)
Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel
Surrender the Sky by Meradeth Houston
Fatal by T.A. Brock
A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #4 YA
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
The Mystery Prince by Mary Waibel
Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein
Snark and Circumstance by Stephanie Wardrop
Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Park #5 NA
Wonderfully Wicked by C.J. Burright
Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by Helena Hunting
Because the Night by Kristen Strassel
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Bloodlust by Nicole Zoltack
Double Life by S. Usher Evans
9th Life by Wendy Beck
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #6 NA
Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
$5 Starbucks Gift Card
In the Desert by Dierdre Riordan Hall (includes SWAG)
Up For Grabs by Heather Young Nichols (includes $5 Amazon GC)
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Over the Ocean by Georgia St. Mane
The Darkness of Light by Tammy Farrell
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Goodbye to You by A.J. Matthews
Adorned by Georgeann Swiger
Up For Grabs by Heather Young Nichols
Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by Helena Hunting
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Crossing the Line by Nicola Marsh
Black Hellebore by Nicola Marsh
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Packs 8-10 are Adult/Erotica, so I won't list them here since this blog doesn't cover adult or erotica. You can access the page for those giveaways here if you are interested.

Good luck to all who enter!

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6. Writer Wednesday: Making a Book Trailer


I've made my share of book trailers so I thought I'd share some tips on how you can make a trailer without spending a fortune. It's also fairly simple, so even if you aren't computer savvy, you can figure it out pretty quickly.

First, your computer comes with programs to create movies. I use iMovie because I have a Mac. PCs usually have Movie Maker. If you don't see an icon on your desktop, search your Applications. I'm willing to bet you'll find a program. The programs are designed to let you drop pictures into the frames and then add text, voiceover, music, etc. You get to set the duration of each clip, which is great for adjusting the length of your trailer to fit your music. There are even transitions to choose from between the slides.

Once you locate your program, you need to find images for your trailer. A very cost efficient way to do this is to create a book trailer for an entire series instead of each book. You can then use your book covers and crop them for images. That's what I did for the Touch of Death series. All the images, with the exception of one, came from the front and back covers of the books.



I did the same thing for my Campus Crush series, written under my pen name. 



If you have a budget that allows you to purchase images for your trailer, I suggest royalty-free stock photos. I use Shutterstock, which allows you to purchase images on demand. I usually opt for the package of five downloads, which isn't expensive at all, and you can almost always find a coupon code online to take about $10 off the price.

For The Monster Within, I opted to purchase images instead of sticking to my cover. I did find some sites (thanks to an article in the SCBWI Bulletin) that offer completely free images as long as you credit them. I found similar sites for the music tracks. Both are great options for keeping costs down. The Monster Within Book Trailer uses paid images and free images along with free music. I made sure to credit my sources on the final slide.



Another option is to film your book trailer yourself and hire some actors to portray your characters. I haven't tried this myself just yet, but maybe one day.

I recommend playing around with whatever movie program your computer has and get used to the different features and how they work. You'll be surprised by how easy it actually is to create a trailer for your book.

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7. Monday Mishmash 8/4/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Into the Fire SWAG  I have awesome swag for Into the Fire! I'm loving the fire pendants and phoenix buttons. Check them out. Watch for a giveaway soon since the book releases on September 9th!

  2. Free Monthly Newsletter  My newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
  3. Blog Tour Posts  I'm getting all my blog tour posts for Into the Fire together this week. Thank you to everyone who signed up for the tour. If you tried to sign up and were told the schedule was full, feel free to contact me. We can still set something up separate from the tour.
  4. Reading  I've been a little LOT stressed lately with the construction on my house. I'm coping by reading.
  5. Leap Books Editor  I'm so excited to be part of the editorial team at Leap Books. I'll be editing for all three of their imprints! I couldn't be happier about it. If you missed the big announcement about the new direction of Leap Books on August 1st, you can read it here. If you're interested in submitting to Leap Books (I'm not the acquisitions editor.), you can find their guidelines here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?


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8. Confessions of a Serial Novelist (Part 3) by Clara Kensie

Welcome to the final installment of the Adventures in YA Publishing series on serialized novels! Two weeks ago we discussed the surprising pleasures of reading a serial, and last week I gave you some tips on how to write a serialized novel. Today, we’re talking about how to market your serial. Serialized novels are making a big comeback! If you are considering joining the serial revolution, I hope these marketing tips are helpful to you:

How do you find readers who will embrace your serial?
Photo credit: Robbert van der Steeg via flickr

NUMBER, LENGTH, AND PRICE OF INSTALLMENTS

We’re all word-lovers here, so hold on tight: I’m going to throw some numbers at you. According to my (admittedly unscientific) research, while there is no industry standard for price, traditionally-published serials tend to be priced at $1.99 per episode, regardless if the audience is adult, new adult, or YA. The number and length of installments, however, can vary greatly. To compare, I’ll give you four examples: one adult, one new adult, and two young adult:

• Three of the books in Beth Kery’s BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE adult romance series (Berkley) have eight installments apiece. Each installment is priced at $1.99, and each installment is approximately 55 pages long. The installments of each book were released weekly.

Jessa Holbrook’s new adult romance WHILE YOU’RE AWAY (Razorbill) has six installments of about 48 pages each, priced at $1.99 apiece (weekly releases).

THE WITCH COLLECTOR by Loretta Nyhan (Harper Teen) is a YA paranormal novel serialized into two parts of 184 and 110 pages respectively, and priced at $1.99 each. Released monthly.

The two books in my YA romantic thriller series, RUN TO YOU (Harlequin Teen), have three installments each, averaging 95 pages apiece. They are priced at $1.99 each. The installments of each book were released weekly.

Notice that in the examples above, the YA serials have fewer installments and a much longer length than the adult and new adult serials. Personally, I’m happy that Harlequin Teen serialized my books this way. While it’s not a big deal for an adult to make six or eight purchases of $1.99, teens often don’t have their own accounts with online e-tailers (serials are usually published digitally). To make an online purchase, many teens must first ask their parent’s permission or ask their parents to order it for them—which means for an eight-part serial, they would have to ask permission eight times. Also, an installment of 95+ pages is long enough to leave the YA audience satisfied with both the length and the price they paid. If you are budget-conscious, you will be delighted to note that at $1.99 per installment, the total price of the two- or three-part YA books is still lower than the average full-length digital book. A great deal for the YA audience!

The take-away: While adult and new adult serials have more, shorter installments per book, if you are considering publishing a YA serial, I highly recommend keeping the number of installments low, and the number of pages per installment high.

RELEASE SCHEDULE

Weekly releases seem to be the most popular release schedule lately (although there are exceptions). Why are weekly releases the most popular? Weekly releases give the readers enough time to finish one installment, and they don’t have to wait very long for the next. The book is still fresh on their mind when the next installment is released, so they don’t have time to forget about it and move on to a different book. Also, TV series broadcast their episodes weekly, so we’ve become programmed (pun intended) to enjoy our stories in weekly doses. Finally, for readers who prefer to read the entire book at once, they don’t have long to wait for all the installments to be released.

FINDING READERS

Okay! You’ve determined the length, number, and price of each installment of your serial, you’ve set the release schedule of your serial, and you wrote your serial. Good for you! Now you have to find readers for your serial. I’m not going to lie to you: there are definite challenges to finding readers for a serial. Why?

• Some people won’t read your book simply because of its serialized format. They will see that it’s a serial, and that’s it: they won’t even give it a chance. They want a complete book, and nothing else will do.

• Many readers don’t want to make multiple purchases for the equivalent of one book. They assume every serial will eventually be released as a complete novel, and they’ll wait until then to read it. In my (non-scientific) research, this is by far the biggest reason most people give for not wanting to read a book in serial format. But for some serials, the publisher has no intention of re-packaging it into one complete novel, which unfortunately means those people will never read it.

Other obstacles:

• Some readers will be disappointed that an installment is shorter than a full-length book. They may leave a bad review or give it low stars—not because they dislike the writing or the story, but because they dislike the length or the serialized format. They are perfectly entitled to their opinion, of course. As the author, you just have to hope that they like the story enough to read the next episode. But those bad reviews and lower stars will affect the book’s overall rating.

• All authors spend lots of time promoting their books. But because serials are new and different, you may spend more time explaining the serialized format of your book, rather than explaining what your book is actually about.

OPPORTUNITIES

But fear not, my friends. While there are definite challenges to marketing your serial, there are some unique benefits, additional audiences, and fun opportunities!

Benefits:

• Multiple releases in a short time frame help get an author’s name out faster through consistent exposure week after week.

• A serialized novel offers an author multiple opportunities to communicate with a growing and potential audience in a short time frame.

• Serials offer more opportunities for reviews.

• Multiple installments means multiple covers! Every author knows how hard it is to stand out from the crowd. The multiple, connected covers of your serial are a unique way to catch the eyes of readers.

Additional audiences:

• Serials appeal to busy people. If someone tells me they don’t read books, I often ask them why not. The most common reason: they don’t have the time. But most people have an hour here or there throughout the week, the perfect amount of time to read an episode of a serial.

• Serials appeal to the reluctant and occasional reader. I’ll give you a personal anecdote: I received an email—one I will cherish forever--from a mother who said RUN TO YOU was the first non-school book her teenage daughter had ever read. Her daughter envied her “fangirl” friends who were obsessed with popular YA novels such as HARRY POTTER, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, and DIVERGENT. But those longer tomes intimidated her, and she felt excluded from the book fandom experience. Her mother discovered the RUN TO YOU serial and purchased it for her. Its weekly episodes of 95 pages each were perfect for the girl, who felt accomplished and proud after finishing each installment. Reluctant and occasional readers find serials to be incredibly gratifying.

• Serials also can also appeal to voracious readers. While reluctant and busy readers may take a week to read an episode, avid readers will read an episode in a single sitting. If they still want more, they can wait for all of the installments to release, then read them all at once.

Additional opportunities:

• Serialized novels can make reading a social experience. Like with television series, your readers can read each installment of your serial, then discuss it with each other and online. They will anxiously anticipate the next installment together.
• For example, you can utilize the fun social aspect of serials by having an online read-along! Your current readers will enjoy engaging with other fans, and the read-along will attract new readers as well. (Psst… we’re having a read-along of my serial right now! See the info at the bottom of this post.)

DISCUSSION:

So there you have it, folks: I’ve told you about reading, writing, and marketing serialized novels. Any questions? Ask away!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

Today Clara is the author of dark fiction young adults. Her debut series, the romantic thriller RUN TO YOU, is Harlequin TEEN’s first serial. Book One is First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm. Book Two is Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.

Her favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.

Find Clara online: Website   Twitter   Facebook   Tumblr   Instagram   Goodreads  Newsletter

About the books

Good news! The first installment of my serial, RUN TO YOU Part I: FIRST SIGHT, is still free across all e-tailers! It won't last much longer, so get it before the price goes back up!
In Part One of this romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can't even tell him her real name. But Tristan won't be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

RUN TO YOU is Tessa and Tristan's saga—two books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Each book is told in three parts: a total of six shattering reads that will stay with you long after the last page.

Grab FIRST SIGHT now for free, then join Harlequin Teen and a whole bunch of book bloggers and fans at the RUN TO YOU read-along. It's not too late to join in the FIRST SIGHT and SECOND GLANCE discussions, and we're starting the THIRD CHARM week on Monday, August 3. We’re having a great time, and we have some fun prizes to give away. Get more details on my blog: http://bit.ly/readR2Y. I’d love to see the Adventures in YA Publishing gang at the read-along!


For more about each installment of the RUN TO YOU series, click here

Find RUN TO YOU at your favorite e-tailers, including:



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9. Pinterest and Your Novel

By Julie Daines

The other day I had the most wonderful surprise. A reader read my book, Unraveled, and loved it so much she created a Pinterest board for it with a few pictures that sparked her imagination about certain elements of the story.

I can't believe I didn't think of that. What a great way to share fun visuals with readers. I started thinking how Pinterest could be used as a promotional tool, as a forum to draw readers together to share something they love, or as an idea generator while drafting.

Here is a link to her awesome Pinterest board. It's only got seven pictures, but it captures the novel perfectly.

I'm not always the best at using all the tools at hand when it comes to writing and promoting.

I'd love to hear ideas from all of you on ways you've seen Pinterest--or any of the social media platforms--used in any part of the writing process.

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10. Writer Wednesday: Enthusiasm Goes a Long Way


You know those authors who spam you with buy links all the time? Well, I think most of us know that's not the best route to take when you want to get the word out about your books. But you don't want to go in the complete opposite direction either, where you don't even tell people you're a writer. First, you should be proud of what you do, because writing a book is a great accomplishment. And second, you should be enthusiastic about what you do, because that will make other people excited, too.

I went to an author signing this month and met a very young author. She self-published her novel and while she knew that this wouldn't be her best book ever because it was the first novel she ever wrote, she had this enthusiasm that made people stop at her table and talk to her. She greeted everyone who walked by and told them all that she's a teenage writer. She was proud of that fact. She wasn't trying to push her book on them. She was simply sharing her love of writing with those around her. Because of this, people listened to her, asked her questions, and even told others about her. Before the event was over, she was interviewed by the local TV station because she stood out for both her age and her enthusiasm.

I think we all can learn something from this young girl. Author events are about making connections and sharing our love of books and writing. If we focus on that, people will be drawn to our enthusiasm, and we just might sell more books in the process.

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11. BookBub Has Raised $3.8M in Funding

bookbubeBook promotion site BookBub has raised $3.8 million in Series A funding, bringing in investments from NextView Ventures, Founder Collective, Avalon Ventures and Bloomberg Beta.

The site is designed to help authors and publishers build audiences and for readers to discover new reads through flash sales on eBooks. The site counts almost 3 million members. According to the Cambridge, Mass.-based company, members buy an average of one million eBooks per month through the service, not including free eBooks. Indie authors and the big five publishers have all been working with the company.

“BookBub’s traction proves it’s filling a huge need for readers, authors, and publishers,” stated David Beisel, partner at NextView Ventures. “We meet with countless startups, but it’s uncommon to find one that has become such a meaningful part of an industry so early in its existence.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. Your LinkedIn Company Pages - Where to Share Your Products and Services

In a recent update notice, LinkedIn noted that it would be “removing the Products and Services tab from all Company Pages” on April 14th. The content there will still be okay, but you won’t be able to add new items. If you have a LinkedIn Company Page, you need to know how you can still promote your products and services through LinkedIn. Using Updates The first way is to use your Updates

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13. Writer Wednesday: Battling Nerves at Author Events


Today's topic came by request from Taurean Watkins after last week's Writer Wednesday post about enthusiasm. Taurean wanted some tips for how to handle author events if you are shy or if you get extremely nervous talking about your books. So, here are my tips for you all.

If you get nervous talking about your own books or approaching potential readers, bring a friend or family member along who has read your book and is willing to talk you up. The advantage of doing this is that someone else is enthusiastically promoting you and your work, so you won't come off as the author who loves to talk about him/herself. This person can greet people as they come into the store, library, or wherever you are holding your event. They can invite people to come meet you and check out your books. 

Now, what do you do when people come up to you if you're shy or nervous? If you're hands shake, then I suggest holding something. Got a stack of business cards, bookmarks, or other SWAG? (You should!) Hold it and hand the SWAG to whoever stops by your table. That will give your hands something to do to keep from shaking and to keep you from fidgeting.

Next, ask people what kind of books they like to read. This takes the focus off you and gets the potential reader talking. Feel free to discuss books you love, too. It doesn't and shouldn't just be about your book that you're selling. Make a connection and have a real conversation. That should put you more at ease and get you talking. Don't like talking about your book and feeling like a salesman? That's fine. Encourage people to pick up your book, to read the blurb, and to flip through the pages. Some readers prefer to read the back cover than to ask you what the book is about.

Too nervous to ask people to sign up for your newsletter/mailing list? That's fine, too. Have a sign-up sheet front and center so it's visible. Want to offer more but fear you're too shy? How about making a YouTube video ahead of time and then bringing a laptop so people can view the video? When you make a video, it's just you talking to your computer. The pressure of face-to-face interaction isn't there. But…by playing the video for people, you are giving them that interaction they want without having the in-the-moment pressure.

I hope these tips are helpful, and if you have any to add, please leave them in the comments.

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14. The Swamp Where Gator Hides as an App

SWAMPAPP-Cvr-Sm

The Swamp Where Gator Hides written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by me, Roberta Baird is now an app!! Click here to download it at 20% off!  Dawn Publications Book App

Preview it now!

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15. Adventures in PubSmart (part three) by Kate Tilton

I am thrilled to be back on Adventures in YA Publishing to share some highlights from one of the best keynote speeches I have attended. Many of you likely know Jane Friedman already, but if you don’t be sure to follow her on Twitter and check out her latest adventure, Scratch Magazine, a must-read for authors about writing & money.

If you are new to this PubSmart series please take a minute to check out the first two parts covering tips from the master classes. Part one IBPA’s Mini Publishing University and part two Social Savvy & Media Mastery are jam packed with information to help you publish smarter.

Keynote

What Does It Mean to Publish? by Jane Friedman


Highlights:

  • The 1800s experienced a shift to universal literacy; now we are experiencing a shift to universal authorship.
  • Publishing is now instant, so instead of asking, “why publish this?” we are asking “why not?”
  • Instead of scarcity of content we are now faced with scarcity of attention.
  • From the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press to the 20th century, to print something was to amplify it.
  • Now distribution can be done by everyone. This shift among others leads us to where boundaries and routes are blurred and gatekeeping has become filtering.
  • Authors must focus on lifetime marketing because the conversation never stops.
  • There is a quickening pace in publishing as it is easier to sell to existing readers than to gain new ones.
  • We are seeing dynamic pricing and giveaways being used to build loyalty before monetization. “Free” is the tool of the unknown.
  • Serial and mobile driven content like Kindle serials, Rooster, and Wattpad are growing.
  • Author co-ops are forming, such as bestselling box sets featuring multiple authors.
  • Trans-media is growing, where one story is developed for different forms of media such as television, audio, print, etc.
  • The power of social media is in the information it gives you about your audience and finding your readership.
  • Instead of taking on an adversarial relationship with others, focus on how you can help them reach their goals.
  • We are not going back to the way things were.


I loved Jane’s message. Too often we waste time debating over what is the “right” way to publish or what to call this method or that method. Instead we should focus on what is and how we can all publish smarter no matter the route we choose. Because we are not going back to the way things were. We are moving forward. Together. If you have any questions about this article, publishing, or social media I would love to hear from you. We are all in this together! Just leave a comment below or connect with me on my website, katetilton.com.


About Jane Friedman:


Jane Friedman has spent more than 15 years in the media industry as an editor, publisher, and professor. Currently she serves as the web editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), based at the University of Virginia, where she also teaches digital publishing and online writing. Her newest digital media initiative is Scratch magazine, a quarterly publication for writers, all about the intersection of writing and money.

Before joining VQR, Jane was the publisher of Writer’s Digest, a $10-million multimedia brand where she was responsible for the business strategy and financial performance of a team of twenty, which covered editorial, design, advertising, and online media operations. She also worked personally with many authors and oversaw the publication of hundreds of books.

Her expertise on the transformation of the publishing industry has been featured throughout many events and media, including NPR’s Morning Edition, Frankfurt Book Fair, Publishers Weekly, SXSW, Nieman Journalism Lab, and AWP. Since 2001, she has spoken at hundreds of writing and industry conferences, and has also served on panels and advisory boards for nonprofits such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.

Related Articles:
Reasons to Be Optimistic During the Disruption of Publishing: A Few Thoughts Following My Muse Keynote Talk
The Role of the Expert Has Radically Changed [Smart Set]
Will Self-Pub Dwindle When There’s Less Backlist for Authors to Exploit?
Are There Limits to Literary Citizenship?

About Kate Tilton:
Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. You will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10pm Eastern.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

And don't forget to tune in for the last three posts in the PubSmart series, coming May 10th, 22nd and 24th!

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16. Adventures in PubSmart (part five) by Kate Tilton




My favorite session of the PubSmart conference, Authorpreneurship, covered how to get money for publishing, where you should spend it, and why you (the author) should value yourself and what you do. This panel flowed in an all-in-one package that I summed up for you below. No matter where you are in your publishing journey this session will help you.

If you are new to this PubSmart series please take a minute to check out the first parts of the series; IBPA’s Mini Publishing University, Social Savvy & Media Mastery, What Does It Mean to Publish? by Jane Friedman and Insights from Bestselling Author Hugh Howey. You’ll be glad you did!

Session

Authorpreneurship: From Cost-Planning to Funding to Reinvestment
Speakers: Amanda Barbara (PubSlush), C. Hope Clark (Funds for Writers), Miral Sattar (BiblioCrunch), Orna Ross (ALLi), Kathy Meis (Bublish, moderator)

How to fund your book, where to spend the funds, and why you should value yourself and your work.

  • Crowdfunding is the process of funding a project/venture by raising small amounts of money from many sources.
  • Using a crowdfunding platform designed for books only like PubSlush allows you to gain marketing analytics for future marketing efforts.
  • 7 tips for crowdfunding success: pre-campaign research, know your audience, target, don’t be timid, be personal and make it easy, update your supporters, and offer enticing rewards.
  • Don’t send your crowdfunding campaign to your email list when it is sitting at zero; first ask a few people you know will contribute and then reach out to your list.
  • It is feast or famine in this business; do not discount your other options such as article writing. More people will see your one article in a week than your book in a year. Prove you are a writer in any way you can before you become an author.
  • Reach out to your art and humanities council.
  • Don’t turn down opportunities like contests; in fact, don’t discount any opportunities that come your way.
  • Miral Sattar shared her numbers on the costs of self-publishing. You can view the whole list here.
  • We are in the collaboration business.
  • The reader is king, queen, prince, and princess. You must know your readers and know yourself.
  • Invest for success. If it is not important to you, then why do it? Value what you do.
  • Copyright your work; it costs $35.
  • Step out and reevaluate what you are doing.



If you’d like to experience more of PubSmart you can now purchase videos of ALL the events on the PubSmart website. I would love to hear from you about this article! If you have any questions about this article, publishing, or social media just leave a comment below or connect with me on my website, katetilton.com.

About the Speakers:


Amanda Barbara is the vice president of PubSlush, a global crowdfunding platform for books.

C. Hope Clark is the editor of FundsforWriters.com and an author.

Miral Sattar is the founder and CEO of BiblioCrunch, an award-winning literary services marketplace.

Orna Ross is the founder and director of The Alliance of Independent Authors.

Kathy Meis is the founder and president of Bublish, the social book discovery and commerce platform.












Related Articles:



About Kate Tilton:

Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. You will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10pm Eastern.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

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17. Adventures in PubSmart (part six) by Kate Tilton


Today is the last article in the PubSmart series! It has been a long journey. I am so pleased I have been able to share all these tips and insights with you from some of the greatest minds in publishing today. Below you’ll find a few short notes on a popular topic, but don’t let the length scare you these insights have massive effects if used correctly.

If you are new to this PubSmart series please take a minute to check out the first parts of the series; IBPA’s Mini Publishing University, Social Savvy & Media Mastery, What Does It Mean to Publish? by Jane Friedman and Insights from Bestselling Author Hugh Howey and Authorpreneurship: From Cost-Planning to Funding to Reinvestment. Each session has valuable insight for authors of all stages in the publishing journey.

Session

Cultivating Influencers: Reviewers and Book Clubs
Speakers: Eric Liebetrau (Kirkus), Kiffer Brown (Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media), Lynn Bettencourt (Book Club), Shari Stauch (Where Writers Win), Tarah Theoret (NetGalley)

  • There are many professional outlets available to authors such as NetGalley, Kirkus, Winner Circle (from Where Writers Win), and Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media.
  • Authors can also look for reader reviews on sites such as Goodreads and BooksILove (a new app for Apple).
  • You can find live book clubs on sites like meetup.com.
  • You can find virtual book clubs on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.
  • Skype is a powerful tool authors can use to attend book clubs that are reading their books that may be a bit too far to travel to in person.
  • Authors should put in their press release that they are willing to attend book clubs.


I hope you have enjoyed this inside look into the first PubSmart conference. You can find out more about the conference on pubsmartcon.com. Videos of the sessions are available for purchase for those who are interested. If there is one thing I have taken away from this conference, it is the word “research”. As professionals we must do our research before we do anything else, whether it is writing, marketing, or publishing. We are blessed to be part of an industry full of people who are giving and willing to help each other on this shared journey. If you have any questions about this article, publishing, or social media please leave a comment below or connect with me on my website, katetilton.com. I look forward to going on this adventure with you!

About the Speakers:




Eric Liebetrau is the managing editor and nonfiction editor of Kirkus Reviews, the premier destination for pre-publication book reviews.

Kiffer Brown is the founder of Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media, today’s best books with editorial reviews and international writing competitions.

Lynn Bettencourt participates in multiple book clubs, including a club she runs located in Savannah that includes more than 300 members.

Shari Stauch is the creator of Where Writers Win, the team’s newest collaboration is The Winner Circle, vetted book review directories, book clubs and other cultivated resources for emerging authors.

Tarah Theoret is the Reader Concierge at NetGalley, a service to promote publishers’ (of all sizes) titles to professional readers of influence.








Related Articles:



About Kate Tilton:

Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. You will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10pm Eastern.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

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18. Writer Wednesday: Book Expo America 2014



BEA!!! Okay, I still haven't come down from my BEA high. This is seriously my favorite event. Why? Because I always get to hang out with really awesome writers and bloggers and publishing people. Man, I love my job.

So, here's a recap of my BEA 2014 experience:

First, check out the awesome Spencer Hill Press signing chart. (Do you see my name?)


And here I am signing The Monster Within ARCs. Photo courtesy of the very awesome Miss Dvora Gelfond.

Fellow horror writer Charles Day stopped by to get an ARC of The Monster Within.


I got really amazing triquetra necklaces for my book, which we raffled off in baskets and during the signing. I don't think I'm ever taking mine off. It's so pretty!


And here's the beautiful Jennifer Allis Provost who made the triquetra necklaces for me because she's that awesome.

Brooke Delvecchio is one of the most adorable people ever. I love her.


Here I am with Richard Shealy, one of my copy editors.

Here I am with Jessica Porteous, Lisa Amowitz, and Elizabeth Langston.

My agency sister, Vicki Merkel, attended my signing. 

Vikki Ciaffone is not my editor at SHP but I love her.

And I got to meet Eliza Tilton in person finally too! And I met J.A. Ward.


I also had a signing as Ashelyn Drake for my upcoming YA contemporary Perfect For You. Swoon Romance was awesome about getting people to stop by my booth to pick up signed postcards and talk about the book. I also had two amazing dancers (Yes, I said dancers.) bringing people in. A special thanks to Dorothy Dryer and Dan Cohen. You two are the best cheerleaders ever! 


After knowing Rachel Harris online for years we got to meet in person!

Okay, and this has nothing to do with my signings or meeting people, BUT… I finally got to see Rick Riordan!!! Thank you to Dan Cohen for making sure I got a picture of Rick this time. 


AND…I got Becca Fitzpatrick's new book! Yay! I'm so excited to read it. I loved the Hush, Hush series. I have to thank Dan Cohen for this one too because he totally snagged me a copy early and I didn't even have to wait in line.

I had to leave early on Saturday because the train schedule changed and we are having work done on our house and had to be home for it. I was sad to go and am already counting the days until BEA 2015!

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19. Book Birthday: How to Support an Author's Ebook

Howdy, folks, The official launch date is June 10, 2014, but, happy news, my ebook PLUMB CRAZY has found its way onto the virtual shelves of booksellers worldwide.  I hope you consider giving it a look. Try here for a copy from Amazon US. Here is Amazon UK. Here is Amazon Australia  Try here for a copy for you B&N Nook .

The world has changed, so this week I'm going to offer a list of useful ways to support the release of an author's ebook. Traditional ways don't always work ebooks. Here are a dozen reasonably easy things to do!

1. Buy the ebook.  Pretty, simple, huh.
2. Give the book to a friend!  You can totally give ebooks. Here is a link on how to on the Nook. 
3, Lend the book to a friend. You can totally lend an ebook. Here's a how to do it  link on Kindle. 
4. Post a review of the ebook on the site of your choice:  your blog, B&N, Goodreads, Amazon....
5. Let the author know you posted a review, so they can share the news on their social network.
6. Like the Author's Facebook page.
7. Post news about the ebook on your social media channels -- Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, Pinterest, wherever you hang out.
8. Do you have a blog?  Interview an author. Authors love interviews.
9. Join an author's blog campaign. This is a matter of signing up and sharing the good news on your blog.
10. Too busy to blog?  Ask an author to guest blog on your blog.
11. YouTube for you? Vlog about the ebook.
12. Over the top fan? Write an article about the ebook for a site like Gawker, Jezebel or other newsy site -- even the local newspaper. This is a nine-yard move and you get a credit. Neat.

I hope this helps you on your journey.

Want to do more to support PLUMB CRAZY?  Join my upcoming social media campaign. You can sign up for a "Release Day Book Blitz" for PLUMB CRAZY here! Another thing? Like my Facebook page. 
I will be back next week with more Book Birthday blogging!

Many dropped by the Swoon booth at BEA. I handed out doodles. Here's one that went to a lucky visitor.


Finally a quote for your pocket.  Suddenly the world is way less, Maya. 

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

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20. Writer Wednesday: Dream Casts

 
When we're drafting a new book or are preparing for a book to be published a fun thing to do is scour actors to potentially play the roles of our characters. Yes, it's dreaming big, but like I said it's fun. Since The Monster Within released yesterday, I want to share my dream cast—well, a partial cast at least.

Samantha Thompson ~ Sam is my MC. She dies of cancer at seventeen and is brought back to life by her longterm boyfriend, Ethan. Sam is strong but falls victim to a monster inside her, one that surfaces after she's brought back to life. She definitely has a dark side, but she's also a survivor. My pick for Sam is Adelaide Kane. You probably recognize her from the TV series Reign.


Ethan Anderson ~ Ethan is the male lead and Sam's boyfriend. He loves her so much he found a way to bring her back from the dead, but he won't tell her what he did. Ethan is extremely loving and sexy, but he's keeping a big secret. My choice for Ethan is Brandt Daugherty. You might recognize him as Noel Kahn on Pretty Little Liars.


Mr. Ryan ~ Mr. Ryan is one of Sam's teachers at her new school. He happens to both help Sam get used to a new school and cause problems for her at the same time because he's the hot young teacher every girl in school drools over. This was a no-brainer for me as far as casting Mr. Ryan. He's definitely Jensen Ackles, best known as Dean Winchester on Supernatural.


Now, there are a lot of other characters in this book, but I'm not going to post them all. Instead I'm going to show you the triquetra necklace that goes along with this book, because it's not just fun to think of dream casts. It's also fun to see objects in the book brought to life. 


Do you create dream casts for your books? Do you do this before you start drafting, while you're writing, or after the book is finished?

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21. Writer Wednesday: Group Promotion


Promotion is tough. I think we all can agree on that one. But there are ways to make it easier and one of them is to join forces with other authors. First, it's fun to cross promote with authors who write similar books. Second, you reach a bigger audience by merging your promotional efforts. Here's how I'm using group promotion right now:
  • Group Book Tour: I have a book tour in the works with three other authors for this coming fall. Bookstores love to book multiple authors for events because it usually drives in more traffic. More authors means more fans. 
  • Group Blogs: I'm also part of two group blogs, YA Bound and Darkly Delicious YA. YA Bound has been around for a while and runs the very successful Swoon Thursday meme. We get a lot of traffic on a daily basis. DDYA is relatively new and made up of YA authors who write darker books. We promote each other's books and do joint giveaways. In fact, we have one going on right now. We're giving away a ton of our books. That's another plus to joining forces with other authors. You can offer big prizes for very low cost to you and the other authors. 

Enter this giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Blog Hops:  I participate in blog hops, which also allow authors to band together and offer prizes to readers. The more authors, the more prizes, and the more happy readers.
These are just a few ways you can join forces with other authors and promote each other. I'm always looking for more ways, so feel free to share in the comments if you know of others.


Do you use group promotion?

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22. Writer Wednesday: Putting Yourself Out There

I recently got an email from one of my publicists asking me what events I had coming up. To be honest, it was an eye opener for me. I planned a lot of events in the spring, but then there was a gap. A big gap. I have a book tour with other authors planned for the fall, but I realized my summer was wide open, which just isn't okay. So, I got my butt in gear and started contacting bookstores.

I reached out to a bookstore owner I met at YA Fest and got a very nice email stating she'd love to have me sign at her store this summer. I also contacted the Books-A-Million by me because they were on my list for the fall witch book tour for The Monster Within. But after I talked to the manager about the tour I also asked if I could come in alone over the summer for my Touch of Death series. And they said they'd order my books right away.

Sometimes we need a reminder to get ourselves out there. I love doing events. Other than writing a new book, it's the most fun part of this career. What I don't like is booking the events because it means I have to step out of my comfort zone and sell myself and my books to people. But that's exactly what I have to do. I'm really glad my publicist emailed me, because now I can go back to her and give her a list of events I have coming up.

What are you doing to put yourself out there?

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23. Writer Wednesday: Ebook and Online Promotion

Last week I talked about booking store signings to promote your books, and several people commented that they have books that are only available in ebook format so booking in-store signing wasn't an option. For that reason, I want to talk about ebook and online promotion today.

First of all, you can book signings for ebooks. You really can. I know authors who bring a laptop to the signings so people can go online and order their book. Since you don't have paperbacks to sign, you sign SWAG instead. Post cards or bookmarks work well for this. If you want to get more people to come, hold a raffle. You can have anyone who comes over to get signed SWAG enter, AND people who order your book online right there can get extra entries. They leave their contact info and you mail the prize to the winner if they aren't present for the drawing. 

Aside from signings, you can host Twitter parties using a specific hashtag for your book. For instance, I'd use #TheMonsterWithin for a Twitter party for my YA witch book The Monster Within. Invite people to come for an hour in the evening (weekdays work best because people are busy on the weekends) and hold giveaways every fifteen minutes. The giveaways can be for anything: chocolate, ebooks, signed paperbacks, SWAG, gift cards, etc. Also, your book title will be mentioned in every hashtag, which might make your book trend on Twitter. Attendees can ask you questions about your book, but be prepared with teasers, videos (your book trailer and/or videos from your book's playlist), and other interesting things people would want to know in case attendees get shy. You don't want a silent Twitter feed.

Facebook parties are also great. You create a page for the event and run it much like the Twitter party. Come prepared with teasers and everything I mentioned for the Twitter party. Hold the giveaways the same way too. You can hold contests where people post pictures of your characters and the one that most closely resembles the character wins a prize. Be creative. 

Book Blitzes are a great way to get your book on multiple blogs in a short period of time, usually one day or one week. When a book pops up all over the place, people notice. You can set up a book blitz yourself or through a touring company.

Blog Tours are similar to book blitzes but they are more in-depth. These include excerpts, interviews, guest posts, trailer reveals, giveaways, etc, in addition to just your cover, blurb, bio, and buy links. Again, you can set these up on your own or through a tour company.

Ads are another way to go if you're up for spending some cash. Goodreads, Facebook, and popular book sites all sell ad space for different size ads and they run for different lengths of time depending on price.

These are just a few ways to promote your ebook. Know any other ways? Please share in the comments.

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24. Everyone Agrees That Book Promotion Is Necessary, But...

The two writers taking on the question of the necessity of book promotion in The Demands of Book Promotion: Frivolous or Necessary? are pretty much in agreement that it definitely isn't frivolous. They just don't/can't get into the subject much beyond that. The comments are a little more nitty gritty.

But, you know, it's rare to find a promotional essay that offers a whole lot of help and hope to writers.

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25. Monday Mishmash 7/28/14

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
  1. Picture Book Sketches  I got to see sketches for one of the three picture books I have in the works. I love that part. It's so much fun to see how an illustrator views my characters.
  2. Revisions  Revisions on my MG will be finished this week and then I'm sending the book on to my betas. After that I have to revise the third book in the Birth of the Phoenix series.
  3. The Monster Within Book Blitz  Fandom Monthly Magazine Book Tours is hosting a book blitz for The Monster Within. Bloggers who participate will be entered to win an ebook copy of the book. You can sign up here.
  4. Perfect For You Blog Tour  YA Bound Book Tours is hosting the blog tour for Perfect For You. Want to sign up? You can here.
  5. Into the Fire SWAG and Blog Tour  Swag is on its way! I have Phoenix buttons arriving tomorrow and the flame pendants already here. Check out the pendant. I love it.
    Want to participate in the blog tour for Into the Fire? Sign up here
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?


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