I’m so excited to announce the details about the star studded guest that will be running the party at
Here’s the PARTEE!!!! Be in on the buzz:
Spotlight Author Guest Hosts Keeping the Party Rolling will be:
LM Preston to kick it off – Yours Truly
12pm-1pm (EST) – LM Preston party kickoff
1pm-2pm – Willow Cross
2pm-3pm – Leah Diane Hutchinson
3pm-4pm – C. Lee McKenzie (NOON for those in CA! I need this to remind myself I’m not on eastern time.)
4pm-5pm – Norwood Holland
6pm-7pm – Alivia Anders
7pm-8pm – Alicia ‘Kat’ Dilman
8pm-9pm –KaSonndra Leigh
9pm-10pm – Kristi M Worrell
10pm-11pm – Shevi Arnold
11 hour marathon of Spotlight Authors, trivia games, food, itunes gift cards, list of freebie party favors, interactive chatting, singing, dancing, nonstop games, music, prizes and free stuff!! Author segments each hour that are themed and more giveaways!!!
Also having a Twitter release party on Tuesday April 3th, sponsored by #AAMBCBookParty so follow that hashtag on 4/3 if you want to party more 😀
Virtual Tour Schedule for Explorer X-Beta More Prizes More Fun:
April 8th: Mariah @ A Readers Adventure
April 8th: The Plot Thickens
9th: Angie @ My Four Monkeys
10th: Glenda @ Book Reader’s Heaven
11th: Krystal @ Live To Read
12th: Nicole @ Purple Peguin Reviews
13th: Shelia @ Shelia Deeth
14th: Luke @ Luke Reviews
15th: Andrea @ So Many Books, So Little Time
16th: Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! (Guest Post Only)
17th: Dee @ Book Zone
LM Preston,YA SciFi Author
Tweet Me: http://twitter.com/LM_Preston
Explorer X – Alpha, The Pack, BANDITS
Read Excerpts: The Pack, Bandits, The Pack-Retribution, Explorer X-Beta
Writing stories for and about kids that overcome the impossible…
I think I’ve been in this mood several times since I started writing and publishing books. Confused must be a necessary part of this business.
Marketing people are saying you must BRAND yourself if you want to sell books. Authors either embrace this idea or they give it the old ➥➥➥➥➥➥
So what is a Brand and how do you get yourself one of those, just in case you decide it’s a worthwhile strategy.
It’s been said before, but it needs restating: BE YOURSELF. You’re unique and there’s nobody else who can be YOU. Here are some writers I think have been very successful at creating their brand. I visit them a lot because I want to read what they write and share the time in their special place. I have others, but these have been on my “must visit” list a long time.
CREATE A CATEGORY OF ONE. (For this term I must credit Lethia Owens.)
This category is very different than a category that lumps you under a file that includes a lot of other writers. I love how Ms. Owens shows the difference. If you say you’re a YA or MG author, the person will file you under YA/MG along with all the other writers s/he likes in that category. If you say you’re the writer who captures the pulse of adolescent confusion in your book XXXXX. You get a special file that’s all your own. I like that.
I’m still looking for more about marketing, so hope you’ll pop back next Monday. I’ll try to have a few more tips. Oh, and please add to whatever I’ve said. I’d love a good collection Marketing Strategies.
One thing that has caught my interest in joining the A to Z Blogging Challenge is meeting all the new writers/bloggers.
Karen Jone, Coming Down the Mountain, has some super posts. Here’s one of my favorites about MARKETING. She poses some great questions and the comments she received added so much information that I decided to post a link in case some you hadn’t read her blog post.
I still consider myself a novice at this social media/marketing business, but I’ve been taking notes from people who seem to have experience and, most importantly, success.
Alex Cavanaugh’s launch of his Cassa Fire was a great example of how to use the blogOsphere to get the word out about your book.
|It’s a lot about Connecting.|
Some of my MARKETING experiments using SOCIAL MEDIA.
Facebook, no. I didn’t think anything much happened when I took out an ad there, and I’ve heard that echoed by others.
As to Twitter, I changed the default home page so that it showed my book cover and I ran MANAGE TWITTER to clean out Tweeps that didn’t 1) Tweet 2) Follow my Tweets. That freed me up to follow those interested in what I have to say in 140 characters. You can “unfollow” 50/day, but I’m not sure about how Twitter reacts if you do that repeatedly. I’m thinking the “unfollow” should be done over some time. Anyone know more about this?
Jump in and add your ideas or please tell me if I’m totally wonky. I’m off to experiment with more MARKETING and maybe find out something I can share about BRANDING and BOOK REVIEWS (I know there are some pros and cons on this topic). I’ll post what I find out next week.
|Asilomar Beach Tidepools|
Today’s MONDAY MOOD is tired, but with post-Asilomar SCBWI Conference inspiration to off-set it. The conference is at the Pacific Ocean’s backdoor, so before or after sessions there’s nothing better than a stroll across Hwy. 1 to peer into a few tidepools.
|Dan Yaccarino and Naomi Kinsman|
As usual the faculty gave excellent presentations filled with encouragement and helpful information for writers. At the final panel, Media Presence: Go Social in 2012 here’s what they had to say about writers who blog:
- If you’re going to blog be professional.
- The first thing most agents do if they are interested in a manuscript is Google the author.
- Never post anything you don’t want others to know. Realize that anything on any forum should be treated as public information.
- Blogging is an excellent tool for promoting, but doing only promotion for your books is deadly. Give something your readers need or enjoy; don’t just push your work with “buy” messages.
- Being a blogger doesn’t replace writing an excellent book.
We’ve all heard these comments before, but it’s good for those who’ve been at this a while to be reminded; then there are always new writers/bloggers who might not have. What did I miss?
The Catch Fire! sign up form will close 9 pm EST Monday night, February 27, and the five winners will be listed on Alex’s blog post the following morning.
Be sure to join the Twitter Party, too. The Twitter hashtag for the party is #CatchFire . . . Make CassaFire Catch Fire!
by Alex J. Cavanaugh
CassaStar was just the beginning…
The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend – to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.
The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.
To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…
Science fiction – space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6×9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats
CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” – Library Journal
My mood today is EXCITED. We’re at the end of February and one month closer to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. If you haven’t signed up DO IT! The goal is 1,000 bloggers all slogging with grace through the alphabet. One post each day (except Sunday.) It should be wild with so many participating.
Here’s the LINKY to see who’s already signed up, so visit and join.
I’ve been posting about Young Adult writing for four weeks now, and I’ve focused on intercultural themes. Well, here’s another book in a series of books that have intercultural relationships at their core–two of them are just for a slightly younger reader; one is an adult book. However, I’d like to feature them here anyway on this Tuesday because of their related theme.
I met the author, FREDDIE REMZA, a few years ago at the SCBWI conference in New York, and she impressed the heck out of me with her interest and full-throttle drive in this business of writing for young readers. And I think we connected because we both love to travel. She was also a great companion in the Big Apple, and we’ve kept in touch. So today I’d like for you to get to know Freddie and find out about her books.
I love traveling. I love being taken out of my comfort zone and placed in a spot on the globe where I’ve never been, consuming things I never imagined could be eaten, and talking to people who dress differently than me and live in houses I’ve seen in the National Geographic. I don’t want a replica, a simulation, the Disney version. I want the real thing. I’ve always been like that.
When I was an elementary teacher, I noticed that kids from other countries knew more about us than our children knew about them. That bothered me and so I set off on my own private mission to change that. The world map had a prime location in the front center of the classroom. I continuously pulled it down to perhaps explain the location of the recently erupted volcano or to compare the desert communities of the world. One of my favorite quotes is by Rudyard Kipling. He wrote, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” So after retirement, I came up with this excellent idea of joining the two…traveling and writing stories that will not only entertain, but also let kids know where a plane ride can take you. My goal was to create a storyline where these settings could naturally unfold. They would contain real, live-sounding people with everyday problems and situations to resolve.
THE JOURNEY TO MEI is about an American family who decides to adopt a child from China. Their 10-year-old birth child is not too keen on that; that is, not at first. So off I went to China to learn about the country, visit an actual orphanage, talk to the people about the one child policy, and use what I learned in my writing. As it turned out, there was a need for this type of story. This middle reader not only became a teacher read-aloud, but was also used by adopting families. They found it to be a sensitive vehicle that opened up conversation between family members and the adopted child.
But my young readers were not satisfied. They wanted to know what happened after the story ended. Oh, the emails I received! They loved the family and didn’t want them to disappear, and quite frankly, I also became a little attached. So back to the laptop I went and the sequel, RIDE THE WAVE, was born. This book has the family moving to Cape Town, South Africa. Our 10-year-old birth child is now 15 and simply does not want to leave her friends, her activities, her comfortable life…not even for a year. And so, the theme of a teen adjusting to change seemed pretty evident, as well as issues of bullying and harassment. Halfway through the story I joined my pretend family as they made that long flight over the Atlantic. What’s an author to do? I learned first-hand about this country—the apartheid, effects of global warming, Cape of Good Hope—and used them as needed; much like a well-crafted jigsaw puzzle.
On the other hand, THE ORCHID BRACELET forced me to come up with a different set of people. There I was in Vietnam running around snapping photos, filling two notebooks with observations that were insignificant to the average tourist. You see, I wasn’t a tourist; I was a traveler. There is a difference. I made note of everything from the duct tape covering the slit on a vinyl couch inside a Vietnamese home, to the gravel on the pathway that a barefooted child walked upon as she carried her younger brother on her back. But it wasn’t until an unexpected conversation I had with a young Vietnamese teen that I realized I needed to go in a different direction with my story. That’s what experiencing the setting first hand will do. And when that last page has been read, if the reader feels a little stirring inside that makes him sit and think about things…well, then my job was done correctly.
- My ROW80 goals for the week.
- Mike Jung & Nan Marino.
- Veterans’ Day.
Next Post: In The Throes of Thursday I’ll share what I’ve learned about PACING.
Last week didn’t produce the results I’d hoped for in my ROW80 challenge. Truth? It didn’t produce anything I’d set out for myself. I’m still at around 41,000+ words with some scenes that are looking for a reason to exist. I doubt they’ll find it. Still I’m not giving up. Here’s my goals for next week:
1. Finish the short story for 2009 Debs Ebook anthology.
2. Write at least 1,000 words on my WIP.
3. Find the top of my desk.
4. Find that pair of Sexy Butt Jeans that Kait Nolan, another ROW80 blogger, just reminded me I should be wearing.
Do you want to join this highly motivated ROW80 group? Click here and add your blog to the LinkyTool. Also be sure to stop in and say high to those who have already joined, especially my YALitChat compadres who are writing like crazy. Sheri Larson, Susan Kaye Quinn, Margo Berendsen
MR. BLOGGY WOGGY AND ME
Mike Jung gave a great presentation about Social Media on Saturday. One of the best comments he made was that in building an authors’ network on the media, it’s more important to remember you’re connecting with people than it is to create a BRAND identity. Thanks, Mike. I needed that.