Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fun Facts

"The brain that doesn't feed itself, eats itself." ~Gore Vidal

Fun Fact #1: Carina Press, the new digital imprint at Harlequin, is actively seeking submissions in a variety of genres. Angela James, who used to be Executive Editor at Samhain, is heading up things at Carina, so if you submit/are accepted, you'll be in good hands.

Fun Fact #2: Merpoint is a brand new e-publisher that's also currently seeking submissions. As with any new, start-up company, proceed wth caution if you're considering submitting there.

Fun Fact#3:William Paterson University (NJ) is holding its annual one-day writers' conference on April 17, 2010, and I highly recommend it. For only $50, you get breakfast, lunch, a keynote speech, and two valuable workshops (morning and afternoon). It's one of the most affordable and useful workshops I've attended.

Fun Fact #4: The first Super Bowl was played on this day in 1967. Green Bay beat Kansas, 35-10!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Writer's Wednesday: YA and Absolute Write

"The troubles of adolescence eventually all go away - it's just like a really long, bad cold." ~Dawn Ruelas

In case I haven't mentioned it before, Absolute Write is a terrific place for writers of all genres/abilities/etc to spend time, share stories, and get feedback. They have forums for everything from perfecting your query letter to asking questions about agents and venting about your latest rejection.

Since I've been toying with the idea of writing Young Adult, I've been spending a fair amount of time lurking over there lately, reading other people's excerpts and experiences with the genre.

And speaking of that, here's a little taste from some freewriting I did the other, opening pages. I discovered (or remembered) that I really like writing in first person:

"OK, here’s the thing: I understand why my parents pulled us up by the roots. Why they moved me and Paul from the only place we’ve ever lived, the only home we’ve ever slept in, and trekked us in two U-Haul vans four hours away, to a town in the middle of Nowheresville, New York. I’m sixteen, not stupid. They can sing us their excuses until they’re blue in the face. They can tell us stories with painted-on grins that they think we can’t see through. They can explain that Dad wanted to return to the place where he grew up, and that Mom wanted to give up her crazy whirlwind of a job (the job, which, by the way, gave her a company car, trips to Europe twice a year, and enough money that Paul and I both already have four years of college paid for) and trade it for a teaching position in – what did she call it? – “a quaint small town where everyone still knows their neighbors.”

Terrific. I knew my neighbors back in Pound Ridge. I liked my neighbors. And if every town in Westchester County, with its rolling hills and old brick homes and Main Streets lit by white lights all year round, isn’t quaint, I don’t know what is. But that doesn’t matter now. None of it does, when you become That Family, the one in the neighborhood that the devil takes by the throat and turns black with the evil that seeps under all the doors, no matter how much you try to keep it away. When you become That Family, your parents move you as quickly and quietly as possible, which brings us back to why I am sitting in an empty room staring at walls painted an awful green color and wondering how my life got to this point..."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Mentionables: The 2010 Promo Push

"Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days." ~Zig Ziglar

I'll admit it: I haven't done much in the way of book promotion in the last few months - well, since school begin, really. And promotion is a big part of the lifeblood of an author's success. You'll hear it in many, many places, and it's true: be prepared to do A LOT of your own promotion and marketing when you sign that publishing contract.

Now that the new year has started up in full swing, I'm trying to plan my promotion, especially since I have 2 books coming out in print and 2 coming out in audio book. Whew! Yes, of course I'm happy about all that, but it's a lot to juggle in my head.

What kinds of promotion will I do? Well, I've just ordered a slew of new bookmarks and oversized postcards for excerpt booklets, from Vista Print. I actually just got an email from a bookstore in Ohio asking me for some more booklets (I had sent them some about a year ago). I've taken out some cover ads on a couple of well-known romance reader websites and booked a few blog/author interview spots for around the time of each release.

I'll also send out press releases closer to each release date, and I'm starting to set up a few signings for the year as well. Oops! Guess that means I should update "Allie's Appearances" on my sidebar :) I'll be at the Yonkers Barnes and Noble on February 7 with some other local romance authors, and the woman who coordinates the book club in my hometown, where I've spoken the last 2 summers, just emailed to see if I'd be coming back again this year. Of course!

So...slowly but surely I am trying to get a handle on this promo thing! Now, it's off to work...

If you're an author, what kinds of promotion do you find works the best for you?