elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

your library needs YOU

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

As usual, I come bearing links, but today I'm all about something very close to my heart--public libraries:

The library situation in Pennsylvania is pretty dire . You can read more about what's going on, including a round-up of how budget cuts are hitting public libraries all over the country, in this Pennsylvania Library Association article

I've posted about this group before, but PAYA is running a series of auctions to try and raise money for Pennsylvania's public libraries. All of these auctions are here, and my contribution (a very special copy of Something, Maybe) is here

When I was growing up, my only source of books was the public library. I shudder to think what my life would have been like without it. For every area that has lots of libraries and bookstores and people with the money and willingness to support both, there are areas like where I grew up, where my elementary school library was in a closet, the nearest bookstore was half an hour away and about the size of a large closet, and the county I lived in absolutely refused to subsidize any kind of library (and still won't, which makes me sad)

I know it's easy to think of public libraries as simply being there, but in this economic climate, that's not that case. Please consider donating money, books, or even your time to your local public library. They need your help, and do you want to live in a world without public libraries?

I know I don't.

Monday, Monday, Monday (it is Monday, right????)

Monday, October 26, 2009

This weekend flew by in a blaze of rewriting (I actually woke up this morning not entirely sure of what day it was!) but I do have loads of great links to share:

Agent Nathan Bransford wants to know if writing can ever be bad for you--or, as he says, "As a society, we often celebrate tortured and struggling artists who finally make it big despite their obstacles, and yet we don't often examine the flip side of this, which is that the vast majority of tortured and struggling artists don't actually make it."

Agent Kristin Nelson talks about authors looking to change agents--scary reading, but a good look at how tough the publishing market is right now.

Editor Unleashed on agents and trust--or why you should run as fast as you can if an agent refers you to a self-publishing company

Agent Jessica Faust talks about deadlines, what agents do, and why agents set guidelines not just for potential clients, but for clients as well

Author Lynn Viehl has a lovely post about writing the last book in a series

The Rejectionist has a fascinating rejection letter to share

Justine Musk, who is one of the best bloggers to ever blog about writing, has another great one: Failure Is Good For You. She talks about all the novels she wrote before the one that got accepted for publication--she started writing when she was really young!--and she also has some really smart things to say about writing and being rejected. I love the whole thing so much I could quote it all, but I'll just share this part:

"What is required, however, is a long-range view and a cool eye. You need to see your completed novel not as your ‘baby’ but one small part of a much larger whole: your education and growth as a writer.

You need to be cool and dispassionate enough to stand apart from your work and understand it as exactly that – your work.

It is not you.

It is not your ego.

It is this thing you made, and by making it you became a better, more-practiced writer, and now you’re going to make something else and, after that, something else again.

It is not a waste of time and effort because it didn’t get published.

It is practice.

Let me repeat that: it is practice."

See? A definite must-read, so go on and head over to Justine's blog!

Agent Jennifer Jackson on query letters

Finally, ast September, I posted a link to Barbara Caridad Ferrer's livejournal entry about having a book canceled. As I said then, "I didn't know this sort of thing happened, so color me surprised, and very impressed with Ferrer's honesty in writing about it." (As far as I know, she's still the only writer to ever talk about having a book canceled by the publisher)

Why bring up a link from last year? Well, you see, I'm happy to say that the book in question has found a new home--Congragulations, Barbara, and thanks for being so open about your writing journey!

thank you! (and links)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last night was the readergirlz chat, and it was amazing! I had so much fun, and thank you to everyone who asked questions or came by--the hour just flew by--and of course, a huge thank you to the readergirlz for letting me be part of their Teen Read Week chats!

The chat be going on for the rest of this week at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST, and they are loads of fun, so be sure to stop by if you can!

Also, just a reminder that if you are interested in an ARC of The Unwritten Rule, just drop by here.

One last thing before I move on to the links: PAYA, which is working to raise money to support Pennsylvania’s libraries, which are under the budget gun, are holding auctions on their livejournal community--there's lots of great stuff to bid on, and it's for a great cause!

And yes, I have contributed something---if you're interested in a signed --and full of notes copy of Something, Maybe plus some bonus books I'll throw in for the winner, you can bid here or go to http://community.livejournal.com/ya2pa/2717.html. (The notes in Something, Maybe are from when I marked up the book for readings at the the New York Public Library and elsewhere, so if you've ever wondered how authors get ready for readings, this will definitely show you how I do it!)

Okay, now we're on to links:

Great overview of the publishing process from Writer's Digest

The Rejectionist posts a list of book ideas that apparently were actually sent in as queries.

The Intern has some advice for authors about what to put (and what not to put!) on their websites

Agent Kirstin Nelson is still tackling royalty statements here and here

Agent Jessica Faust answers questions -- topics range from query letters to how to get a job at a literary agency.

Justine Musk has an outstanding blog post about why writers must read--if there is only one link you click on today, make it this one. Justine is an amazing writer, and this post is just...wow. Seriously.

Agent Nathan Bransford talks about writers and sensitivity

Interesting interview with Laura Anne Gilman about changing gears--or switching genres

From Australia, home to many amazing authors and bloggers!--musings about writing and day jobs

Nicola Morgan talks about a letter she got from a struggling author -- it's not an easy read, but I do think it's very much worth reading. As Nicola herself says, Why have I revealed the terrible heartache of the long-distance writer? Because you need to know. You need to know how good you have to be, how much you have to want it, and how even when you get it it may not be enough. In fact, if you're any good and if you want it so much, it probably won't be enough. Wanting more, being hungry, being greedy for success, being grasping and dementedly desperate are the things that will screw you up and carry you through. They will bring you heartsong and success and they will hurt you in the process. That's the horrible paradox of writing.

ARCs of The Unwritten Rule

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recently, I've been getting lots of notes from people who want ARCs of The Unwritten Rule, which is fantastic--I'm thrilled you're all excited about the book (I can't wait for April myself!)

What I thought I'd do is go ahead and start a list of people who want an ARC of The Unwritten Rule so I can send it to the great people at Simon Pulse so that when the ARCs are ready....well, you get the idea. I can't promise that everyone will get a copy, but I do hope there will be enough!

If you are interested in an ARC of The Unwritten Rule, here's what you need to do:

send an email to elizabethwrites@gmail.com

in the email, please give your full name and mailing address (US mailing addresses only for the moment, I'm afraid) PLUS your blog's URL.

And that's it! (Well, that and I really am super excited that you want to read this book--thank you so much!)

In the meantime, if you feel like it, come join me, Lorie Ann Grover, and Nina Weingarten tonight at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST for a chat about our books---we'll be at readergirlz, and I'd love to see you there!

today's post is brought to you by the letter T and D

Monday, October 19, 2009

Usually I get up pretty early, but today--oh, today!

My husband and I alternate nighttime dog patrol, and last night started my turn. The dog usually wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (she's almost 12, so no wonder) and she did, and I took downstairs, managing to neither trip nor to knock anything over, which is pretty good for me.

So I send her outside and prop myself up by the door and sort of half-snooze. Then I bring her back in and it's back to bed for everyone and all is well. Right?

HA! I bring the dog in, I take her back upstairs, and it's like suddenly she's a puppy again. She wants to run up and down the hall. It's 4 in the morning, okay? 4 A.M.

I put her in her dog bed. She proceeds to whimper so loudly that she wakes my husband up. So I take her out into the hall and let her run around. I blearily read New York Magazine while she does this (the issue I'm reading is the Fall apartment design one and every time they run one of those it always fills me with an urge to pack up everything and move to New York RIGHT NOW, never mind that we can't afford to live there) and as I'm finishing the restaurant reviews (oooh, no stars to on place!) she decides she's done.

Finally, bedtime! Or back to bedtime, rather. The dog, of course, falls asleep right away and I lie there thinking about falling asleep but not actually falling asleep, which is the worst. (I did finally fall back asleep though, thank goodness, but let me tell you, tonight the dog is on her own if she decides she wants to play. She knows where she sleeps, she can walk back there on her own!)

Moving on, congrats to last week's contest winner, Jessica, who replied that Bit o' Honey was her least fave Halloween candy--and wow, you all do NOT like candy corn. (It's actually the second year in the row where it's prove to be the least fave candy)

And you know I have links to share:

Agent Kristin Nelson talks more about royalty statements

Interesting article on book marketing, which is mostly about things you can't control, like your cover and getting co-op at Barnes and Noble (my not-so-secret dream!) and your book getting into Wal-Mart, but it's interesting to see how much of what matters is beyond your control. Having Wal-Mart pick up Something, Maybe was amazing, but all credit for that goes to Wal-Mart for deciding to take a chance on me and to all the amazing people at Simon Pulse who worked so hard for that chance! (And who design extremely awesome covers as well!)

Editorial Anonymous on authors sharing far too much personal information during public events

One of the many amazing things about the KidLitosphere Conference was that someone from the FTC came and spoke about the new book review blogging guidelines--great write-up of the entire session over at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

Fantastic blog post about something you don't see that often (as a matter of fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen another post addressing those who wish to edit, even on editor blogs!) --tips for those who want to become book editors. The tips are from Kit Whitfield, a UK author, but they are applicable to those in the US who want to be editors as well.

It's Teen Read Week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Okay, I'm exhausted (the KidLitosphere Conference was FABULOUS but I'm so SO tired it's not even funny) but I HAD to do this!


It's time for Teen Read Week, a celebration of my fave readers in the whole wide world!

I know I said this a bunch in the video, but it's worth saying again: THANK YOU.

seriously not kidding about the haircut. you should have seen it right after I came home. I cried. CRIED.

links, book signing, and congrats to Melissa de la Cruz!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't forget to tell me what your least favorite Halloween candy is--you could win an ARC of Beautiful Creatures AND The Hollow!


Just about everyone in the blogosphere has linked to this piece in The New Yorker, and there's a reason for it--read it, and you'll see why.

Pimp My Novel continues to discuss P&L statements--part two and part three

Agent Kristin Nelson talks about royalty statements, using Random House's as an example

Editorial Ass on Your Pub Date, Minus Two Weeks

And a reminder--this Sunday, as part of the KidLitosphere Conference, I'll be signing copies of Something, Maybe at Hooray for Books in Alexandria at 2 PM--if you can come out, I'd sure love to see you!

Hooray for Books is in Old Town Alexandria at 1555 King Street, and I'll have a few little gifts on hand for people who come by....

Finally, congrats to Melissa de la Cruz because her amazing new Blue Bloods book, The Van Alen Legacy, hit the NYT and USA Today list--no small feat! AND it's a bestseller at Target, Borders, B&N and Bookscan as well, which--well, that's beyond impressive, and that's what Melissa is! If you haven't read The Van Alen Legacy yet, what are you waiting for?

win an ARC of Beautiful Creatures AND The Hollow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This week, I'm giving away an ARC of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl AND The Hollow by Jessica Verday. (That's over 1100 pages of reading joy!!!)

I was talking to my husband about this week's contest last night and he said, "Well, you know what it has to be about, right?"

I shook my head, and he said, "Remember last year? The contest I kept wanting updates on?"

And then I remembered and so, for my husband--and also because it is a lot of fun--this week's contest is:

Your *least* favorite Halloween candy!*

For your chance to win both books, all you have to do is tell me your least favorite Halloween candy (mine is, and will always be, Mary Janes, and my husband's is Boston Baked Beans) by midnight EST this Friday, October 16th, and then I'll pick one name at random and that person will get both books.

So start telling me about the Halloween candy that makes you go "Ugh, couldn't you have just given me pennies instead?"

*I know it's a little early for Halloween, but it's never too early to talk candy. Plus, my husband was so cute--he's convinced that someone else out there must hate Boston Baked Beans as much as he does.

it is Tuesday, right?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I know it's not Monday, but it sure feels like one. Weird. But on the plus side, it's going to be under seventy degrees here today. Yay for almost fall weather! (And it does look like later this week temps will actually be in the 50s--oooh, sweaters here I come!)

Moving on to links:

The one thing you don't ever want to hear from your publisher

Nicola Morgan on writing and publication expectations -- the first entry makes me wince a little (okay, a lot) but I put the link up for this: "children's writing is very much harder than it looks. Everyone thinks they can start there but it's probably the hardest place to start and I can tell you that the most delirious drivel on the slush-pile consists of writing by people who thought they'd start with children's writing because it looked easier."

Do We All Talk In Soundbites?

Pimp My Novel has started a series of posts on a very important subject--the profit and loss statement (P&L) publishers pull together before they make an offer. This--the P&L is what ultimately gets a book picked up--so if you're interested in being published, please read this post! (Long time readers will remember Anna Genoese's excellent posts on the subject from several years ago)

Finally, congrats to ksutton, who won the ARC of Hush, Hush!

And the winner of the ARC of Beautiful Creatures never responded to any of the emails I sent them about the book, so guess what will be up for grabs again this week? That's right! And I may throw another book into the mix as well...


Thursday, October 08, 2009

I woke up this morning and it was cool out so I got all optimistic and grabbed a sweater. And then my husband said, "You do know it's going to be about 75 today, right? And 80 tomorrow."

Ugh, ugh, UGH! Am I the only person out there who wants fall--real fall--to show up already? I feel like I need to go outside and chant or something. I'm not asking for a lot, just for a chance to wear shirts that have long sleeves all day!

Also! Don't forget to tell me about ya covers you love (or those you don't)--over here, because if you do, you could win an ARC of Hush, Hush!

Before I go off to sulk about this so-called "fall," I've got some links:

Agent Jessica Faust on What Publishers Bring to the Table--great post about how different books are positioned by publishers

Pimp My Novel with a reminder that publishing is a business -- and like all businesses, they want to--in fact, *need* to--make money. -- "I mean, think about your current job: would you make an acquisition or other career move that you thought would bleed money everywhere? How would you justify something like that to your colleagues and superiors? And, if you're nodding along with me now and admitting that you couldn't: what makes that any different from buying a nice book that just won't sell?"

Nicola Morgan on the idea that you can turn in a manuscript you know isn't the best you can make it because your editor will fix it, or Myth About Writing 1:"I Can Leave It To My Editor"

dc area book signing (yay!) and contest

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I'm super happy to say that, thanks to the awesomeness that is the KidLitosphere Conference, I'll be signing copies of Something, Maybe at Hooray for Books in Alexandria on Sunday, October 18th at 2 PM--if you can come, I'd sure love to see you!

Hooray for Books is in Old Town Alexandria at 1555 King Street, and I will have a few little gifts on hand for people who come by....

And now for the contest--this week I'm giving away an ARC of a book everyone's buzzing about: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

It's about forbidden love, a sacred oath--and a fallen angel.

With all that, how can you possibly go wrong? Plus the cover is just gorgeous--which leads me to this week's contest question:

What's your all-time favorite young adult novel cover? You can tell me your least favorite too, if you want--I say let's hear what you love AND what you don't!

Leave me a comment about your fave--and unfave--young adult book covers by midnight EST this Friday, October 9th and then I'll pick one name at random from the comments and that person will win the ARC of Hush, Hush!

I also have a few links to share:

Pimp My Novel has another post up about comp titles, or books used to forecast how well your book may sell. If you haven't read the earlier post, please do--I'd never even heard of comp titles until Pimp My Novel!

The Rejectionst on why nobody likes jerkwads

Victoria Strauss, the force behind one of the best publishing websites out there, Writer Beware, has some thoughts on self promotion

There's a lot of stuff going on with the FTC and on-line book reviewers--the best overview of the situation I've found is at Dear Author

Nathan Bransford on why you should never call other books trash in your query letter --I think Nathan sums it up very nicely with this: "But try and resist the "trash" syndrome, especially if you're a writer. Not only have you probably stopped learning, but don't forget: someone else thinks your books are trash too, and they're no more right than you are."

Can't wait to hear about your fave--and least fave--young adult covers!

one eye open

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I totally hate those nights where you technically "sleep," but most of said sleep is taken up by strange dreams (people looking at bowls of alphabet soup (???)) and waking up every thirty minutes or so. What I wouldn't give to be able to sleep like my dog, who not only can seemingly fall asleep at will, but who is a true, champion sleeper. She can sleep through thunderstorms that produce window-shattering hail, through 4th of July fireworks that go on at night well past the 4th, and through my husband's truly legendary snoring. (On more than one occasion, he has snored so loudly he has woken himself up. I think that pretty much says it all)

So before I head off to attempt a nap (feels very strange to type that in the morning!), I leave you with links:

Very interesting post at Storytellers Unplugged about writing in different genres--Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Betsy Lerner shares a few editor lunch horror stories -- "I was having lunch with an author and his wife, also a writer, on the eve of his publication. At the beginning they let me know they felt nothing but disdain for our corporate parent company. Then to alleviate their liberal guilt over taking money from such monsters, they ordered everything on the menu and stuck me with a $300 bill for lunch.”

Thought-provoking post about promotion--What Then Should We Do?
I think the following quote is so true and is, hands down, the best publicity any author can get: "There is still one thing that is beyond price, that cannot be bought and paid for, that cannot be wheedled or bullied or blackmailed out of people. Word of mouth. Readers’ word of mouth. If you like a book...tell other people about it."

Agent Jessica Faust on blurbs

The Rejectionist on sentimentality. Also, so right about Reality Bites!

ARC winner, links, and when is it going to actually be fall?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Is it just me, or is anyone else getting tired of these balmy October days? If nothing else, I have some super cute long sleeved shirts and these awesome boots that I want to buy! But it's hard to wear the shirts or buy the boots (what do you think? Should I???) when it's going to be 75 degrees. (I did mention that it's OCTOBER, right? Shouldn't it be not summer-like outside???)

Okay, moving on. Congrats to Staysi, who won the ARC of Beautiful Creatures and keep an eye out for this week's giveaway of another book everyone's talking about--Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

On to the links:

Agent Janet Reid has a quiz about aspiring author advice

Agent Nathan Bransford writes about queries from previously published authors--and the one thing they tend to forget to mention

Two interesting posts on authors and editing: Editor Unleashed on Is Editing Worth It? and a thoughtful response from agent Jessica Faust on Editing and Authors

Carrie Vaughn wonders about author platforms

YAY! Nominations for the 2009 Cybils are open (Required shameless plug: Something, Maybe is totally eligible for nomination!)

PAYA is a group of Pennsylvania young adult bloggers, authors, and librarians working to raise money to help Pennsylvania's libraries -- to learn more about what's happening in Pennsylvania with regard to it's public libraries, there's a good overview here

PAYA will be running auctions to help raise funds here starting October 7th, and I'm proud to say I'll be part of it. The public library was my *only* source of books for years, and I hate to think of them disappearing.