Thursday, November 27, 2014

2 Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all of our U.S. readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Today, we are sharing which books we're the most thankful for this year. Tell us in the comments which book you would pick!

Photo credit: Benn Wolfe, Flickr


Martina Boone

What book am I thankful for today? Honestly? COMPULSION. I am thankful that so many people invested their time, talent, energy, and resources into this book. From my amazing critique partners, to my beta readers, fabulous editors and my agent, to every person at Simon Pulse who have all contributed to bring this book into the world. I'm also thankful for the authors who read early copies and said nice things about it, and the authors who have been generous in sharing their advice and expertise, here at Adventures, elsewhere on the web, and in person. But most of all, I am thankful for the readers, librarians, and booksellers who have so kindly embraced this book. I appreciate and love each and every one of you!


Becca Fowler

The book I'm most thankful for would have to be Harry Potter (I'm going to cheat a little, and use the whole series!), because I'm horrible at remembering what books shaped me into the person I am today without the Harry Potter novels overshadowing them. I adored those books growing up, and attended every single midnight release for them. To say I wasn't obsessed with Harry, Ron, and Hermione's adventures would be a vast understatement. My parents didn't understand it at the time (I'm still trying to convince my mom to read them), but those books are what opened me to reading. Without them, I'm not sure who I would be today. My best guess is probably someone who wouldn't have books stacked in every available place in my room and office. I think I speak for a lot of people when I talk about Harry Potter. For my generation, it was a huge gateway to reading and discovering new worlds in other books after our copies of Harry Potter started falling apart from too many rereads.


Lisa Gail Green

This month I’m most thankful for The Selection. Not because I read it, but because my daughter, AKA the reluctant reader, read it and demanded the rest of the series immediately under threat of believing I no longer encourage her to read. Probably the happiest moment this month for me was watching her remove the books from her bag in the car and start texting pics to her friends, saying, “Look what I got!” Wish I could’ve taken a picture of her at that moment. So thanks, Kiera Cass! You rock.


Alyssa Hamilton

I have two that my mind immediately jumps to. The first is OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. It's not YA but it opened my reading up to adult historical fiction again, and I had been off it for a few years. OUTLANDER really reminded me of why I love it and i've devoured the entire series in a matter of months! The relationships, the decadent writing, the history and absolutely everything captivated me from the first word.

The second is Laurie Halse Anderson's THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY. This book was the first book I had ever read by LHA and it was absolutely brilliant. The story was heart breaking but so incredibly realistic. The characters reached me in a way not a lot often can. The romance wasn't the main focus but it became a pillar of strength for Hayley. The relationship between Hayley and her father Andy was heart wrenching, beautiful, frustrating, destructive and yet LHA was able to weave an underlying thread of hope that completely struck a match in my heart. My experience of reading this book has stuck with me for almost a year and I absolutely know it's one that I will be rereading soon and frequently.


Jocelyn Rish

The book I am most thankful for is KILLING RUBY ROSE because not only is it a fun and thrilling read, it also brought the fabulous Jessie Humphries into my life. The full story involves much rambling about the stars aligning the right way several times, but the short version is this: The incredibly talented Megan Miranda recommended I read KILLING RUBY ROSE because it had the mixture of humor and darkness I was striving for in my WIP. So I read it, loved it, and when I saw that Jessie Humphries was a #PitchWars mentor, I had to submit to her. To my happy-dancing delight, she picked me to be part of her team, and her feedback on my WIP has been very helpful in finding the right balance between laughter and horror. As I finish my revisions and prepare to query, I’m thankful for Megan and Jessie and the book that brought us all together.


Shelly Zevlever

I'm going to say that the book I'm thankful for this year is I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. The writing style is beautiful, the characters are easy to relate to and the plot itself is just weaved in perfectly within the two different point of views.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1 WoW Wednesday: Conquering One of the Biggest Obstacles in Writing: You by Tonya Kupper

Tonya Kupper is the debut author of ANOMALY, which just hit shelves yesterday! Tonya is here today to share her experiences dealing with something every writer struggles to get past and her advice is something I think we can take beyond writing and into our every day lives as well.

Conquering One of the Biggest Obstacles in Writing: You by Tonya Kupper



I’ve been writing for five years and my first published book just released so I’ve had my share of ups and downs, rejections and successes, breakthroughs and slumps. The path to publication, no matter what that path looks like, is riddled with road blocks, sink holes, and a host of other obstacles. Sometimes though, the biggest obstacle is you – the writer.

One of the hardest things to do as a writer is checking our ego and expectations at the door. For some of us, myself included, we need to set attainable goals and this helps with our continued success moving forward as a creative person. But there is a difference between setting goals and expecting to be a best-seller right out the gate. As writers, we’re also often our worst critiques. As we craft, I think we need to let those expectations of writing the cleanest first draft or whatever “our thing is” go. Along with unreasonable expectations, the ego seems to get in the way. Sometimes us writers like to compare ourselves to others. DON’T. Our work, whatever it may be at the time, is OUR work. We don’t need to figure out if: we’re better at <insert craft skill> than our critique partner, if someone in our agency has a better platform, who sold more, who got what reviews, and so on. It works the opposite way, as well. We’re not “better” than anyone else just because we’re with a particular agency our publishing house. What matters is that we are continuously growing as a writer. 

As writers, our discipline practices can get in our own way. If we don’t make the time to write the dang story, someone isn’t going to write it for us. Sometimes it might come down to consistency, a chunk of time like a writing retreat, a writing/accountability partner. We have to figure out what we need to do in order to reach our goal. And sometimes, it’s as simple as sitting our butts in a chair and making ourselves write.

One of the biggest challenges I, and many other writers, face is the gnarly beast of Self-Doubt and his little weasel friend named Fear. That duo can drag down self-esteem and amp up the anxiety like nothing else. It’s almost impossible to be creative when we question our skills and abilities. We can’t let self-doubt and fear cripple our ability to do what we love to do – write. It takes strength and determination to move past self-doubt. Sometimes that strength comes in the form of taking time off and sometimes the determination is writing when you know you could delete it all the next day. It’s going to be different for all of us. No matter what, we need to be aware of our doubt and fear and face it, head on.

For me, I’m still learning how to get out of my own way. If I let go of my ego, stay disciplined, and squash my self-doubt, I will allow myself to be the best writer I can be. And I have to remind myself of this. Every. Single. Day. 

ABOUT THE BOOK
Anomaly by Tonya Kuper Paperback 
Entangled: Teen Released 11/25/2014 

Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

About The Author

Tonya Kuper is a young adult author living in Omaha, Nebraska with her two cool boys and husband. ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger’s Consortium trilogy, is her debut novel and releases November, 25, 2014 by Entangled Teen. Tonya is a music junkie, Star Wars dork, and Sherlock lover.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

4 Three Easy Tips to Jumpstart Your Creative Writing PLUS a Giveaway of THE YOUNG ELITES

Do you edit censor yourself as you write? Before you even start to write?

We all second guess ourselves, at least to some extent. I do. Something happens, someone says something negative, or I read something brilliant by someone else, and the doubt demons start nibbling away at my self-confidence, whispering that what I'm doing isn't good enough.

There is so much noise in this business, so much whispering, so much doubt.

We can't let it take hold or we'll paralyze ourselves. Deadlines don't give into paralysis or doubt. : )

When I'm feeling like writing has become a chore and I need to regain the joy of writing, I find that there are a number of things I can do that practically guarantee to get me back on track.

If you're doing NaNoWriMo and feeling like you're overwhelmed, don't give up. Here are a few tricks I use to convince myself that I can keep going.

  1. Connect to what you love. If you're anything like me, the characters are what you love most about your manuscript, but if you're more invested in the plot or the concept, that's okay. Make a list of what you love and why you love it. Concentrate on rekindling that initial enthusiasm. Got it? Good. Now look at the scene or chapter you're currently writing and find a way to incorporate what you love into that chapter. Make your character do something that shows who she is, or demonstrate the "cool" aspects of your plot or concept.  
  2. Write a letter. Get in the head of your character more deeply by writing a letter from her to someone else in her life. What is bugging her most? What does she need someone to know? What would she tell someone who wronged her if she had the chance? What would she say to her best-friend, right here, right now.
  3. Write a paragraph. Focusing on writing a thousand words or two thousand or more can be debilitating. The task can feel too huge when you're not feeling inspired. Instead of telling yourself you have to write ALL THE WORDS, tell yourself to write the first sentence in a paragraph, and then another sentence. All you have to write is one paragraph. Then another. You can quit any time, but once you've met your goal for the day, the words may come more easily. 
Remember one more thing: your words may not be perfect, but they don't have to be when you first put them on the page. Focusing on word count can be debilitating, but words don't matter.

Hear me? Words don't matter.

Words change. Sentences change. Paragraphs and scenes and chapters may be deleted. 

Focus on what the characters want and why your main character isn't getting what she wants, why it's almost impossible for her to get what she wants, and your story will write itself. Once it's down on the page and you are happy with the story, THEN you can focus on the words. In the meantime, focus on the joy of story! : ) 

Happy writing,

Martina

Giveaway This Week


The Young Elites
by Marie Lu
Hardcover
Putnam Juvenile
Released 10/7/2014

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.


Purchase The Young Elites at Amazon
Purchase The Young Elites at IndieBound
View The Young Elites on Goodreads



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Monday, November 24, 2014

13 Giveaways of ANOMALY and ICE WAR plus New YALit releases 11/24-11/30

We have a couple of great giveaways for you this week. We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! What plans do you have or the holiday? Hopefully they include some reading time!

~The Ladies of AYAP
Martina, Alyssa, Lisa, Susan, Shelly, Jocelyn, Becca, and Jan


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


* * * *


Anomaly
by Tonya Kuper
Signed Paperback Giveaway
Entangled: Teen
Released 11/25/2014

Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…


Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…


Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Anomaly?

I love the fact that ANOMALY is a science fiction story taking place in present day. I still had to think about some enormous scientific theories for world building, but I got to create that world within what readers know - our everyday lives. The characters are like any high schooler today, yet they are thrust into this crazy, secret life that only a fraction of the human population knows about. It was fun merging our contemporary world, using pop culture and scifi references, with an entirely new world. Meshing the two worlds makes the science fiction element all the more fun, and even a little eerie because it is based on a quantum physics theory.

Purchase Anomaly at Amazon
Purchase Anomaly at IndieBound
View Anomaly on Goodreads

* * * *


Ice War
by Brian Falkner
Personalized Hardcover Giveaway
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 11/25/2014

A sci-fi military thriller perfect for kids who love Halo and Call of Duty!

February 2033. Things are not good. Recon Team Angel has been shut down, and if the alien forces manage to cross the frozen Bering Strait from Russia into Alaska, then humanity has lost the war. So far the aliens seem to be marshaling their resources, preparing for their invasion. But something isn’t right—at the control center, two Navy Seal teams have vanished without a trace. Did they lose their way on the ice? Or is something terrible happening? Recon Team Angel is secretly reinstated and authorized to investigate. What will they find in the frozen tundra? This could be their most chilling mission yet.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Ice War?

Ice War takes the characters that have been slowly developing over two previous books and fleshes them out much more without sacrificing excitement and action. I loved getting more into their souls.


Purchase Ice War at Amazon
Purchase Ice War at IndieBound
View Ice War on Goodreads


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS



Mystery Box Winner -
Tammy VanScoy


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


* * * *


On the Edge
by Allison van Diepen
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 11/25/2014

From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami’s gangs.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back.

But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

On the Edge is a compelling story about fighting for what’s right and figuring out where you belong. The novel showcases a gritty, realistic voice and earth–shattering romance that will intrigue readers of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin and captivate fans of Allison van Diepen's other novels.

Purchase On the Edge at Amazon
Purchase On the Edge at IndieBound
View On the Edge on Goodreads


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

1 What's on Reader's Minds?

Hey, everyone – this is Becca, with a new post we are doing here on Adventures in YA Publishing, called What's on Reader's Minds?Once a month, I send an email out to bloggers, asking them to tell me what's been on their mind lately. Sometimes they even post a segment from a discussion they've had on their blog recently, and then I post their answers right here! Want to be a part of our book blogger panel? Leave your blog name and contact details in the comments below! We’d love to have you! 

**

"I've been thinking a lot about the publishing industry the past few months. It's so much bigger and more complicated than I'd known as a non-blogging reader! I've also been thinking about the people I've met within the industry and how wonderful they are. So I started a new series called What I Think Of When I Think Of... to help untangle the knot that is publishing companies and their imprints and also to call out some of the fantastic people I've met through my contacts as a blogger."




--Shae @ Shae Has Left the Room, Twitter:  @ShaelynCherie

***

"What is the worst thing that could happen while you read? Your M.C. make you want to punch walls? You have a weird back and forth narration going on? Or perhaps M.C. has perished and your now trailing their ghost? None of these things are as bad as the dreaded Insta- love triangle!! *duh duh dummmmm*. This is the absolute most common of the hated trend in Y.A. Or in any literature for that matter....but why? What do we have against these 2 cliches? They drive the story well and make things a hell of a lot more interesting. Are we so cynical as readers that we hate to see people In love? What's with all the hate...when it comes down to love?"

--Britt @ Please Feed the Bookworm, Twitter: @kalebsmome



***
Meg on (Shipping) tropes I'm over/can't get enough of:

"Spoiler alert: I am framing this in terms of both YA-focused books and TV (including the 100
because apparently that's all I can talk about now). 

I am sick to death of these "nice guy" love interests that put the MC on a pedestal and fall in love with the idealized version of her. (I'm looking at you Finn/Stefan/Angel.) These guys all have created fictionalized ideas of what she is in their heads that they never totally let go of. The problem is, these creations aren't real people. Real people are flawed and surprising. Ideals are set in stone. It's an insidious trope because all of these guys are the good guys and are, arguably, encouraging the MC to become the best version of themselves. It's easy to see why people root for them. Unfortunately that best version isn't based on reality and when the MC fails to live up, the nice guys can't accept that. They often end up holding the reality of the MC against them. 

And I'm not saying all nice guys are bad. Levi from Fangirl is probably one of the nicest fictional love interests ever written and he is absolutely fantastic. The difference is he sees Cath. He doesn't come into the relationship with a fortified idea of who she is. He actually gets to know her in real time. Ditto Cricket with Lola in Lola and the Boy Next Door. He grew up with her, he's seen her at her best and her worst. He knows her for who she is from interacting with her and getting to know her. Not following her around like a puppy (at best, a stalker at worst) and observing. 

As Spike said to Buffy:

I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand, with perfect clarity, exactly what you are. 

That is what I ship and why I end up shipping the Bellamys, the Damons and the Spikes. These guys see the MC. They actually hate the pedestal version of the MC. Then when they see who she really is beneath the hype and end up over throwing their preconceived notion, they connect to the real person they've come to know.  (Well done) hate to love is such an infinitely more interesting trope to me because there are so many more layers to it. I'd also like to point out that all of these guys encourage the best in their love interest but they do so in a way that recognizes what the love interest's best self actually is, not what they think it should be. They don't tell them who to be, they tell them they know they can be the best of who they are. That is a ship trope I will never get over. 

Thus endeth the ramble."


--Meg @ Cuddlebuggery, Twitter: @MegSaysThings 

***

"I've recently discovered a new blog (Notebook Sisters) and Cait wrote a post about how we should stop Apologizing on our blogs. I've actually been in the process of writing the same post. I swear the girl has been shuffling around in my brain! This is something that's been bugging me for a long time, and every time I see a new post where someone is telling the world sorry for their blogging choices, it makes me want to shake someone. NOOOOO!!!! Don't do it! You can read more on my blog here."


--Andye @ Reading Teen, Twitter: @ReadingTeen


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Sound off below! What's been on YOUR mind lately?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

0 First Five Pages December Workshop Opens November 29

The First Five Pages November Workshop has come to an end.  This group worked so hard on their revisions, and it showed! A huge thanks to our guest mentor, J.R. Johansson (I can’t wait to read CUT ME FREE!), to Pam Glauber, my editor for The Exceptionals, and now a free lance editor, and of course to all of our fabulous permanent mentors! You can check out the final revisions here: First Five Pages November Workshop

Our December workshop will open for entries at noon on Saturday November 29, 2014. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have the talented PETER SALOMON, author of HENRY FRANKS and ALL THOSE BROKEN ANGELS, and agent GINGER CLARK!  

So get those pages ready – First Five Pages December Workshop opens in one week. Click here to get the rules!

Friday, November 21, 2014

2 Preparing for Release Month by Kate Brauning

Today we welcome Kate Brauning to the blog to share a different type of craft article -- the rewards of doing the craft well.  Publication!  But with publication comes its own stress, and Kate is in a great position to tell us how to handle it as not only did her first novel, How We Fall, release this month, but she's also an editor with Entangled Publishing, guiding many other writers through their first release month and beyond.

Preparing for Release Month by Kate Brauning

Release month is almost always a hectic, stressful time for authors. As an editor, I’ve seen my clients go through it, and my first novel just released on the 11th, so I’m going through it myself! Especially with all the different opportunities and strategies available to authors now, it’s easy to get bogged down, worry about what you aren’t doing, stress over what you are doing, and lose the excitement of it altogether.

One thing seasoned authors kept telling me was that this one is special because it’s the first. Enjoy it.
Do something for yourself. Celebrate in market-smart ways, but also celebrate in personal, zero-stress ways.

One of the things I did to personally celebrate my release week was to go on a weekend writing retreat with my critique partners. It was so, so much fun, and a great stress relief. I planned as if my release day was 3 days earlier than it was, so 95% of what I needed to do, I already had done. I took very little work on the retreat with me. Also, it was tremendously good stress relief to not think about the launch and get back to actually writing that next book. And of course, my critique partners are the ones who have been through this with me, and getting to celebrate with them was so meaningful and just plain fun.

Aside from celebrating for yourself, authors can do a few simple things to prepare for a book release that will make that week and month a little less stressful.

image credit: thepenandinkblog.blogspot.com

Marketing:

Get started on major marketing elements as soon as possible. As soon as you have a book deal/decide to self-publish, (or even before) you can get started on these things:

1. Author photos. Many authors have a friend take a photo, but there’s a big difference between a snapshot and a professional headshot. If you know someone talented, that’s great and definitely take the less expensive route. But first, look at the author photos of major authors in your genre and aim for that kind of result. Author photos are a significant piece of your marketing, and a great photo helps you look like a professional, and it might end up on your book jacket. It can take several months to line up a photographer, schedule the session, and get your edited photos back, so do this ASAP. I was interviewed by my own photographer, Jenni O Photography, where I discussed what I looked for in my author photos, so check that out if you’re interested.

2. Author website. Every author needs a website, even if you don’t blog. A site where readers can see your book and read a bit about you is definitely something you need as an author. You can design it yourself, but if you don’t have experience and talent there, hire someone. Friends who will cut you a deal can work out well, but again, look at the sites of authors in your genre who are doing well. See what’s possible for professional, clean layouts and informative, interesting content. Decide what kind of site you want, and then hire someone who can do that. Your website is another major piece of marketing, so to me, it’s worth spending a little money to have a quality website. Design, revisions, and launching the site can take a long time, too, so get started right away.

3. Street team. Many authors assemble a street team from fans, friends, book bloggers, and fellow authors. Not everyone wants a street team, and it’s important to be grateful, courteous, and reasonable with your team members, but they can be a huge help. Many authors have street team members get the word out through book blasts, reviews, and social media, and they can help word about your book break out of your own circle of friends and fellow writers. Start building that street team immediately—you can start this as soon as you have a book deal. Keep in mind street team members need to be able to reach people you can’t, so look beyond friends and family members, though they can certainly be enthusiastic supporters, too. It’s also great to let your team earn some value for their work. I sent each of mine a welcome package with swag and an ARC, and prizes along the way. It has definitely paid off.

4. Think about your dedication and acknowledgements. A lot of writers take a long time to get these done because they mean so much to the author. These don’t have to wait until your editor asks for them, and waiting to do them until then can make edits even more hectic, so you can definitely start them early. At the very least, you can start a list of who you need to thank and what you need to thank them for—don’t lose track of those early beta readers. And keep in mind there are a lot of people behind the scenes at your publishing house who are working hard for your book. It’s not a bad idea to email to ask who has been working on it, so you can specifically thank people besides your editor and publicist.

5. Conferences. Talk to your editor and publicist (or figure out for yourself) what the plan is for appearances and conferences leading up to and after your book release. Early-bird pricing and promotional opportunities are a great reason to get started on this early, and if you know you have a conference during a certain week, it can be something you plan your other launch preparations around. That way you don’t have to cross conference days off an already-full schedule. Conferences, even just for the connections, are wonderful marketing. I’ve never been to a conference that hasn’t paid off well for my investment.

6. Launch Party. There are so many options here! An in-person party, an online Facebook or Twitter party, a bookstore signing as your party, etc. As far as I know, those are the three main models, and they all have pros and cons. Online parties can be impersonal, and I’ve seen a lot of online parties that are poorly attended, even though hundreds or even thousands of people were invited. Authors work hard on their launch parties to make them have fabulous content, but it is really hard to engage a crowd online for a long period of time. They tend to drop by, learn a bit about you and your book, play a game, and then move on. And that’s great if that’s how you want to reach your readers. In-person & bookstore launch parties can have the same drawbacks—a small crowd, and difficulty reaching new readers. They can also be expensive, depending on what you do, and they are limited to people within traveling distance. Of course, there are pros to both—reaching fans who can’t travel to you and lower costs for online parties, and more personal connections with in-person parties, etc. I did a blend of both, and hosted 9 other authors at a livestreamed book party, so readers could ask questions, see, hear, and interact with all 10 of us. The combined draw meant we had a large audience, and we discussed everything from publishing paths to movie adaptations. Can you blend models to limit cons? Release vlogs during an online party, for example, or host other authors to draw on combined platforms.

image credit: http://jasouders.blogspot.com

Launch Month:

Prepare for launch month events ahead of time. There are so many things authors can do: book blasts, blog tours, book giveaways, book hunts, library appearances, book signings, etc. Debut authors are often encouraged to say yes to much of it, but that can lead to stress and burn-out, and it can take a toll on that next book you need to be writing. So here’s how to keep it manageable:

1. My advice is immediately start researching the opportunities and identifying your goals.

  • What’s possible? Realistically—what will you have time and money for? Can you re-prioritize to change any of that? What are your boundaries?
  • What sounds fun? Ideas you’re enthusiastic about will feel like less work than ones you’re already dreading, and they’re more likely to get done.
  • What meets your specific goals for your book release? Some authors want the launch to build their platform, some want to push for ranking high on Amazon or bestseller lists, and some want a stress-free way to celebrate with friends and family.

See what’s out there before you settle on anything, and think creatively. Talk to other authors about what worked for them. Do you want a book trailer? Can you do something high concept for your launch party?

2. When you do decide what you’d like to do, and when someone comes to you with an opportunity, calculate the time and financial investment, and choose wisely where you’re putting your hours and money. Keep in mind it will almost always cost more and take more time than you’re figuring. Chose the things that sound fun to you, because they will automatically be less stressful and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate on them! Also, choose the opportunities that reach a wide audience or allow for deeper connections with readers.

3. Order swag/promotional items ASAP. Calculate amounts you’ll need, and as soon as you have the information and images you’ll need for on any paper products (like postcards, bookmarks, and business cards), order them. Printing and shipping can take a while, and rush shipping costs can be expensive. This is something that can be done early and stored safely until you need them. My personal advice is to not spend a ton of money on swag. Thick, professional business cards and bookmarks that won’t crease are a great idea. (As soon as it creases or crumples, people tend to throw it out. Moo.com does fabulous, high-quality work.) Swag can be expensive, especially considering how much authors make per book sold, so keep that in mind when you’re laying out your budget—calculate what you make per book, and balance that against the value the swag will provide. Some of it depends on the book, of course, but I went with nice business cards, postcards, and book pins. I haven’t found myself needing anything else so far, though I might do a mix of postcards and bookmarks next time.

4. Don’t leave preparing for a few weeks before release. Treat it a bit like wedding planning. Make a to-do list for each event you’re doing for your launch, right down to items to purchase and announcements to make, and figure out which items can be done ahead of time. Schedule them into a certain day or week on your calendar. For example, if you’re doing a blog tour, start writing the posts three months in advance. One or two a week means you don’t have to scramble and you can keep your schedule balanced. You can even write your release day post early and have it saved as a draft to make changes to as the event gets closer. If you’re doing a book blast/blitz, you can write that material far in advance, too.

Stress Management:


This whole post is about stress management, really, but there are a few specific things you can do to help keep balanced and to enjoy your book release instead of dreading it.

1. Schedule R&R. And I actually mean plan it into your day. An hour for reading, an evening or two a week where you catch up on that show you love, time with your family and friends. You aren’t a machine, and if you act like one, you’ll break down. The most efficient, productive thing you can do during busy, demanding times is take care of your brain and your body. So rest well, eat well, and take that R&R. I’m not kidding. If I push myself hard a few days in a row with a stressful project, it takes me several days to feel like I’m functioning at 100% again. And don’t forget to schedule R&R for after your release—staying balanced will help reduce those nerves.

2. Disconnect. If you don’t need to be on Twitter or your email, close them. As it gets closer to my release date, I feel more and more bombarded by stats, reviews, emails, and questions. It’s overwhelming. Closing up email and social media frees up my concentration and lowers my stress levels. It can be tempting to stalk relatively meaningless rankings and count reviews, but don’t do it. Let yourself look once in a while if you have to, but several times a day or even once a day is usually both a time drain and a cause of stress.

3. Keep writing. One of the best things you can do for your book is to write another one. A new book is great marketing for the old book. Writing also lets us invest somewhere else, and helps us see that not everything hangs on this one book. And it can be fun and inspiring to keep working on a new project, and it can take our minds off everything about release day. Writers write, so keep writing!

About the Author:


Kate Brauning grew up in rural Missouri and fell in love with young adult books in college. She’s now an editor at Entangled Publishing and pursues her lifelong dream of telling stories she'd want to read. Visit her online at www.katebrauning.com or on Twitter at @KateBrauning, and order How We Fall from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or IndieBound.









About the Book:

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for...no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

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