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Elizabeth Scott

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Last night, I got to go to a dinner hosted by S&S--there were teens there, librarians, authors like Holly Black, Sharon Draper, Ellen Hopkins, and Carol Lynch Williams (I KNOW!)--and me. We all spoke in alphabetical order and okay, let me just say, speaking after Holly Black AND Sharon Draper AND Ellen Hopkins?


I honestly don't remember what I said. I hope it was coherent--I do not think I have ever been so scared in my life. It's hard enough following one amazing authors, but three??? (Oh, and Ellen Hopkins?? Her speech made me tear up!!) I really thought I was going to faint.

On the other hand, how cool is it that Simon & Schuster thought I deserved to be in the same room with all those amazing authors and the teens and librarians who were nice enough to come? I was--and am--so grateful to them, as well as to everyone who came. (And I apologize for my speech--I had a nightmare last night that I was talking backwards during it and I hope it wasn't THAT bad!!)

And! BONUS! The lovely people at Simon Pulse, who know how much I adore you guys--and love giving away free books--have given me not one, not two, but FIVE sets of the following books:

That's right, there are so many books I actually couldn't hold them all! But, just so you know, every single one of the FIVE winners gets:

an ARC of Ellen Hopkins' Fallout
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams
a signed copy of The Unwritten Rule by your truly
The Curse Workers: White Cat by Holly Black

PLUS one extra ARC from Simon & Schuster (yes, really! which means SIX books total!!) and a tote bag to carry all those books in!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me what your best moment this summer has been so far by this Friday, July 2nd, at midnight EST. You'll also need a US mailing address (there's no way I can ship so many books overseas without taking out a loan!) and please, please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you win one of the FIVE sets of books!

I'll pick the five winners at random, and I can't wait to hear what your best moments of this summer have been. I bet you can guess mine!!

ALA! and loads of links...

Monday, June 28, 2010

ALA was amazing! I was really nervous about the YALSA Coffee Klatch, where I'd be talking to a group of librarians at one table for a short time and then moving on to another--but it ended up being so much fun! Honestly, I wish I could have spent more time talking to all the librarians I did meet, and the ones I didn't get to, because librarians? WOW! They work so hard, and face so many challenges today, especially in terms of unrelenting budget and staff cuts. (So, the next time you go to your library and see your fave librarian, be sure to thank her/him for all they do!)

And the signings? I admit, I was terrified no one was going to show up for the Grace signing but WOW! There were so many people--and thank YOU, everyone who waited so patiently--and so much excitement about the book and I owe it all to the bloggers who have gotten copies of the book and written such marvelous and heartfelt reviews. You're the ones who've gotten people talking and wanting the book, and as a result, I ended up late to my next signing because I wanted to sign all the books I could before I absolutely *had* to go!

It was, of course, as it always is, a pleasure to sign over at the Simon Pulse booth, and many thanks to everyone who came to that signing as well--especially to everyone who told me they'd read all of my books! (I meant those WOWs, okay? Because that is the kind of thing that makes an author--or at least this one!!--want to jump and down in glee and thanks)

I also managed to swing by Ivy Devlin's signing of Low Red Moon, and picked up a little something that will be going into the very giveaway I'll be doing a little later this week...

Also, thanks to everyone for their suggestions/questions last week and yes, I will be doing a video blog answering some of them as soon as I can. (That was a great idea!!) And, of course, congrats to last week's Clockwork Angel ARC winner, Alannah.

One quick reminder: when you leave a comment for a contest/giveaway you really REALLY should leave a way for me to get in touch with you! There was one other person who left some amazing questions--but no email address--and when I went to their blog profile, there was no contact info there--or even on their blog!

You can't win if I can't get in touch with you, okay?

Moving on, I've got loads of links to share as well...

Editorial Ass on why the first page of your manuscript is so important--"Assume whoever is reading your submission is going to be in a terrible mood when they look at page 1. You just don't have until page 2."

Agent Jessica Faust on what makes agents cranky -- I can't believe someone would do this, but I have to admit, if it happened to me, I'd be pretty cranky too!'

Jessica also talks about requesting a manuscript that an agent knows she/he can't represent, but is dying to know the end of--I didn't know this happens, and many thanks to Jessica for talking about it!

From Pimp My Novel, an entry outlining the "no advance" publishing model

Generality on writing as a mountain and writer insecurities -- I have yet to meet a writer out there who isn't worried about something! (Sometimes I think being a worrier is somehow tied into writing, actually!)

Are agents underpaid?

Author, agent, and former editor Betsy Lerner looks at a "letter" to her and talks about it, point by point--One of things I love about Betsy's blog is that she is completely and utterly unafraid to call things *exactly* how she sees them. Plus her entries always have the best titles!

Agent Kristin Nelson on advance money--this is the most thorough breakdown I've ever seen an agent do for what possible advances are for a first novel in various genres. In other words, get going and read!

Two great entries over at Writer Unboxed--The Best Techniques Are The Simplest and the truly beautiful Have More Fun, or as I like to think of it--remember the joy that writing brings you? Hold on to that. Hold on to it tight and try your best to not let it go for a second. If you read only one like today, make it this one.

Agent and author Nathan Bransford on why he sends vague rejection letters-like Jessica's entry about requesting books an agent can't/won't represent, I think it's fantastic that Nathan is talking about why agent rejection letters and how/why agents construct them the way that they do.

Over at Murderati, Little Truths--"It's hard to see, sometimes, when you're deep in the woods, lost, in pain, but you'll take that dark and those woods and learn from them, and what you end up with will be so much better, that if given the choice to go back and live life without having had the pain, you'd choose the same path."

Agent Jennifer Laughran on What is YA anyway? and a very enlightening post on why she does or does not request a manuscript and why she may or may not take on the requested manuscript once she's read it. I see a lot of agent posts about query stats, but this is one of the few I've seen that breaks down why full requests may not result in representation.

nerves, ALA, and links

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I admit, I've got a serious case of nerves going on right now, but guess what? It totally works out for YOU because if you offer a suggestion (or suggestions) for what I should talk about when I give a ten minute talk on writing during ALA, you could win an ARC of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (yes, really!)--just go here and leave your suggestion(s)! (Also, while I'm talking about giveaways, last week's winner was nymfauxx, and Wendy Tolliver will be in touch with the person who won the copy of Lifted)

And speaking of ALA, you don't have to be a member to go-=in fact it only costs $25 for a pass to see "the exhibits" aka the floor where all the books are! You can find out more (and register) here and if you get a chance to go to an ALA annual conference, you should. BEA is all about the big buzz books, and ALA lets you learn a lot more about the school and library market, which is very important to publishers of YA, MG, etc. books.

Finally, I've got loads of links:

I've linked to this post about self-promotion before, but it was very weirdly formatted. Now it's far more readable, and it is a post worth reading

Author Lisa Schroeder on amazon sales rank checking, sales, royalty statements, and another reminder as to some of the problems with bookscan's "sales figures"

A Day in the Life of a Writer -- I think this is tongue-in-cheek but I have yet to meet a writer who doesn't spend a least part of the day worrying about something writing or writing-career related.

And speaking of writing, how about some writing tips from the amazing Anne Tyler?--"The whole purpose of my books is to sink into other lives, and I would love it if the readers sank along with me."

A Genreality post about writing and the pressures of being online -- "Writing life isn’t just sitting at the desk (or on the couch, or in the giant chair) writing a book any more, maybe doing a book signing or two when something new drops. Now we teach classes and give book talks and have blogs and facebooks and twitter accounts…Not only do we need to be accessible to readers, there’s also pressure to be entertaining, informative, and/or profound all the time. That’s a lot of pressure."

Also at Genreality, a look at reviews

One last post from Maggie Stiefvater on revision

Editorial Anonymous--briefly--on something I haven't seen talked about before, but that does happen--an editor gets your requested book. And never responds

Also from Editorial Anonymous-- on YA manuscripts that are over 100K--make sure to check out the comments on this one!

Over at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, there's a wonderful blog post about being pre-published--"Before publication, when she sat down to write, she could do whatever she wanted. There were no expectations about what she’d write, no deadlines to write to, and no promotional commitments to take her away from her creative time. So she wrote, and revised, and developed her craft on her own, at conferences and with other writers. She’s done very well for herself in her career, and she wouldn’t give any of it up, but she felt that she lost a little something when she became a published writer, and she wished that other authors would stop and enjoy the process." To which I say, EXACTLY.

Over at Writer Unboxed, two pieces on writing advice, one here and the other here -- the second one touched me, but I think it's because it made me feel no so alone about my habit of writing entire books before I try to sell them. (And also at Writer Unboxed, Kathleen Bolton follows up on her previous post on writing)

I know everyone is talking about e-readers and how e-books are going to revolutionize publishing, but I found these poll results from Pimp My Novel very interesting-- if the most plugged-in people on the Internet aren't all lining up to buy e-readers left and right, what does that mean? (I think e-books will take off when e-readers hit the under $100 mark, or when more people decide they want to actually, well--read. It's very easy to forget that there are plenty of people out there who read one, two--or scarier yet, zero--books a year.)

Agent Kristin Nelson on multi-book deals and one-book deals

Finally, agent Jessica Faust on What Is Love?

ALA yay!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I can't believe this weekend is ALA's annual meeting, but it is!

This year, I'm lucky, not just because it's held in my hometown of Washington, DC, but also because I'm (hopefully) going to see lots of YOU!

I'll be at the following events:

Sunday June 27th

9-10 AM YALSA's Young Adult Author Coffee Klatch

1-2 PM signing ARCs of Grace (yay!!) in Penguin's booth--number 2500

2-3 PM signing copies of The Unwritten Rule in the Simon & Schuster booth--number 2644

I'll also be attending the Newberry/Calecott banquet on Sunday night, as well as the Printz reception on Monday night, June 28th.

Oh! And Ivy Devlin, who owns shoes like Sarah has in The Unwritten Rule (we totally matched at BEA!), and who is the author of Low Red Moon, will also be signing on Sunday, June 27th, from 3-4 PM in Bloomsbury's booth (number 2800)

this week's BEA giveaway--Clockwork Angel (!!)--and all I need is YOUR help!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

So, to recap--all you'll need is a suggestion (or more, if you have them!), a US mailing addy, and make sure you leave a way for me to get in touch with you! I'll take comments through this Friday, June 25th at midnight EST, and then the person with the suggestion(s) I like best will get the ARC!

PS For feeds that strip the embedded clip out, here's a direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqm3qi6bJ2E

Interview with Wendy Toliver--and win a copy of Lifted!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit (GCC) is a webring of YA novelists, and I'm happy to be part of it because I get to talk to other YA authors about their books--which, well, how awesome is that? (And I think we all know how much I love YA!)

Today I'm talking to Wendy Toliver about her new novel, Lifted

Me: Tell us about your book in ten words or less!

Wendy: When shoplifting becomes an addiction, who can Poppy turn to?

Me: What's the best--or worst==writing advice you've ever been given?

Wendy: The best writing advice I ever got was, simply, Read. The worst writing advice I ever got was, To get published, your manuscript must be perfect.

Me: What do you wish you'd known about being published/publishing before your book/first book came out?

Wendy: That’s a toughie. I can’t really think of anything. Sure there are lots of things I’m still learning but I like that I’m learning them along the way and not all at once. It makes this journey even more exciting.

Me: What's the last book you read that you loved so much you had to tell everyone about it?

Wendy: When I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth I told a lot of people about it. It was so different from everything I’ve read before and I found it very interesting.

Me: So, I hear you have a copy of Lifted to give away?

Wendy: I do! I'll give one person a signed copy of Lifted (US mailing addresses only, though, please)

Me: YAY!! So, everyone, if you're interested in winning a copy of Lifted, just leave a comment by midnight EST on Friday, June 18th--and make sure to leave a way for Wendy to get in touch with you!

Me: Random Bonus Question Time...What's your favorite salad dressing?

Wendy: Depends on the type of salad and my mood, but today I’m going to say bleu cheese vinaigrette.

Thank you, Wendy, for stopping by, and don't forget to leave your comment (and a way for Wendy to get in touch with you) for your chance to win a free, SIGNED copy of Lifted by midnight EST this Friday, June 18th!

hey there Tue--oh wait, it's Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This has been one of those weeks for me--those of you who saw my video for the latest BEA giveaway will know what I'm talking about--it's like my head is stuff with cotton.

Okay, more cotton that usual. (!!)

Luckily, other people have been creating interesting and very informative blog posts that are totally worth checking out on a whole range of subjects:

Want to know more about lead titles? Pimp My Novel has a great entry about what they are--and what it means for you, as an author, if you get one--and what do you know--a post from April Henry, who has a YA coming out (Girl, Stolen) that is one of Holt's lead fall titles, and who talks about what having a lead title is like

A year in the life of a debut author from agent and author Mandy Hubbard -- A very frank look at what really happens to just about every first-time author (there are, of course, always exceptions!)

Why book titles are changed

A freelance editor looks at ten publishing myths -- pay close attention to number 10, okay? I can't tell you how many authors I've read discussing quitting their jobs and well--the only reason I can afford to write full-time is that my husband has a good job and decent health insurance. If he didn't have either of those things, I would be back at work in a second because earning enough to live on as a writer? Hard, especially when you can wait for years (yep, years) to get paid. (Advances are most commonly split into three parts now--one part on signing, one part on "acceptance" (after revisions, and as the book goes to copy editing) and then one on publication, which means if you sell a book and it takes eighteen months to publish, you're looking at almost two years before you see the last of your advance money. And, of course, don't forget that you have to pay quarterly taxes as well.)

Great reminder about what matters most in books

Over at Genreality, a good list of common writing mistakes

And a bunch of posts on revising--two from Maggie .Stiefvater, and one from Allison Winn Scotch -- I love what Scotch says about revision, but this in particular, is, IMO, so, SO true: "It’s starting with your skeleton, and being willing to smash it and piece it back together. Revising isn’t as glamorous as writing the first draft, and to be honest, it’s probably less fulfilling on some sort of emotional level, that one that is so gratifying when you reach the last page. But of all the things you do for your book, I’d argue that it’s the most important. Don’t neglect it, even when – and I speak from experience – that sixth draft feels like it might kill you."

What does it take to be an agent?

Agent and author Betsy Lerner on types of clients,dialogue in memoirs, and having a potential client sign with someone else

Tess Gerristsen address a subject most writers I know have had to deal with: buying clothes that aren't what you slob around the house in because, as she puts it, "Not a single outfit I owned was Angie Worthy. I imagined myself onstage with the svelte and stylish Ms. Harmon as the audience titters: 'Who's that lumberjack in the flannel shirt standing next to her?'"

Three things to keep in mind when writing
--nothing fancy here, but solid and awesome advice.

And speaking of awesome, guess what? Agent Jennifer Laughran points out that there is always a market for it.

From Dystel & Goderich Literary Management--make sure you always read your contract before you sign it

This is one of the most interesting writing advice posts I've seen

Author Lynn Viehl on physical and creative fatigue--"If you're not interested in becoming the next writer to flame-out, I believe you have to set some limits and boundaries in order to protect yourself and the work. Fortunately there's a single, amazingly powerful word that I use all the time that does it for me: No."

Related to Lynn's post is Kate Elliott's fantastic post on burnout--and yes, I have linked to it before, but yes, it's *that* good.

Finally, because how often do you see this?? Airline food that's...well, frankly, pretty freaking fantastic-looking! (And sounds yummy too!!)

BEA giveaway number 3!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One thing I forgot to add in the video: just one review is all you need to do, and it just needs to go up at one of the three places I mention. Let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck because these two books? FANTASTIC!!

(Also, don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you, and congrats to last week's winner, Jackie Noel!)


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I dvr'ed (if it's not a word, it should be!) Pretty Little Liars last night--I'm so excited it's a tv show. But! I'm even more excited that the latest (and supposedly, last--sob!!) book is out and I can't wait to read it!

For those of you who've seen the tv show already, how is it?

Also, congrats to the first BEA ARC winner, jpetroroy! And yes, there is another BEA giveaway going on--you can enter here (and I'm sorry to say that I can't afford to ship books overseas now, so unless I state otherwise, all contest are open to those with US mailing addys only)

And of course, per the title of this post, I do have a lot of links to share...

Imagine going from unpublished to selling ten (yes, 10!) books in a year--really great post about being an "overnight" success and the inevitably reality that always lies behind it (for most authors, anyway!)

Agent Kristin Nelson shares her thoughts on the Adult Fiction BEA buzz panel, plus she's beginning to share the story of a book that an editor passed on--and then decided they wanted

Outstanding post about motivation -- "Lately I’ve been trying to find my motivation. It might be under the couch; write an average of 5 releases a year for 5 years and vacuuming falls to the bottom of the To Do list, so it’s possible dust bunnies obscure it. But from research on the subject, I discovered something really interesting; motivation for physical work can be provided with physical rewards. But when the tasks require cognitive skill (and believe me, even writing a bad book takes a boatload of cognitive skill), rewards fail. It turns out that what motivates people to flex their mental muscles takes a combination of three things; autonomy, mastery, and meaning."

Author Allison Brennan has a very moving blog post about career limbo and the importance of friendships

Why an agent might not actually read your query letter--I don't know if I've ever seen a post this honest or this informative about how many queries agents get and why they simply don't read some (one word: guidelines!)

Agent Jessica Faust on selling foreign rights, a way deals can change, and--something I've never heard of before--an author-created style sheet.

The INTERN on YA cliches
--I agree with some of what she has to say, but where I grew up and where I live now the prom is still a big deal. I think it's very much a regional thing in the US--for instance, where my husband grew up--the Boston/NYC/NJ area the prom didn't matter so much--but IMO, it is considered pretty important in the South and Midwest. (And of course, it all depends on if you want to go or not--if you do, then it's going to matter. If you don't, then it's not.)

Over at Writer Unboxed, a post about being extraordinary and one about creating characters

Maureen Johnson doesn't want to be a brand -- "The other side, the side I am on, is the one that sees an organic internet full of people. Sure, when I have a book come out, I will often say, “Please, could you buy a copy? I need to buy food and post-it notes and hamsters.” But in reality, I wouldn’t suggest it if I didn’t think you would like it. I have a lot of fun writing my books, and hey, if you can buy one, great! I think it’s just as great if you take it out of the library. I write because I actually like doing it, and through some miracle of science, I get paid, so wayhay!"

Kody Keplinger, author of the truly fabtastic upcoming novel, The DUFF, on realistic dialogue in YA

The article that inspired John Grisham when he was writing The Firm -- a lot of these are applicable to all kinds of writing, especially this: "Don't write anything you wouldn't want to read."

More free ARCS from BEA for *YOU*!!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

And in case your feed strips out the embed code, here's a direct link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dk7HJk1a38

Can't wait to hear--or,er,read!--your answers....

oooh, shiny links!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

This has been a very good week for links..

Author Juliet Marillier on how she came to writing -- "It never occurred to me to seek out the advice and opinions of experienced writers during my journey to initial publication. I’ve never studied creative writing and, until the last few years, did not belong to a critique group or attend events at our local writers’ centres, which routinely run writers’ groups, workshops and talks by visiting authors. Why didn’t I feel the need for this, and how did I manage without it?"

Editorial Anonymous is answering more reader questions

BookEnds's intern blogs about her job
--"I’ve come to know that authors are actually at a bit of an advantage if the intern reads their proposal first. You see, most successful literary agents have been in the business for quite some time. They’ve seen heaps of ideas and pages upon pages of writing from all types of authors. They continue to receive a slew of queries and proposals daily. Their goal, when reading proposals, is to find a good reason to reject, because they know, from all that experience, that the gems in the pile are few and far between.

But the intern is new in the business. All she knows of publishing is that glittery afterglow. Think J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyers. Stephen King. The intern, to align her own experience with her starry-eyed preconceived notions, desperately wants each proposal to be the next big thing. And she wants to be the first to have read it."

Agent Kirstin Nelson shares her thoughts on BEA's YA Buzz panel--this is the panel where editors talk about *the* big YA books for Fall 2010.

Diana Peterfreund has a great post up about writers, writing, and money

And hello, new recipe I am making for my husband!: chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

links and update on DC signing

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I'm very pleased to say I'll be doing a panel talk and signing in the DC area this month with Kieran Scott and Jenny Han--the three of us will be speaking, courtesy of Politics and Prose, at the Bethesda Public Library on Saturday, June 12th, at 2 PM.

If you live in the DC area, I hope you'll come by the library--it's very easy to get to via bus, car, or the Metro, plus Kieran and Jenny are both awesome, and since we're speaking at the library, we'll get a chance to talk to everyone in addition to just selling and signing books!

Also, don't forget to check out this week's BEA giveaway... (So far, I can tell you one book that is going to be HUGE this fall--Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angels--you all want that! (I totally do too!!) )

Moving on to the links:

Lots of posts about leaving an agent, two from an agent's point of view: Jennifer Laughran and Jessica Faust -- as well as my personal favorite, from author Steven Harper Piziks, which contains a very handy and straightforward list of behaviors that should make you run (yes, RUN!) from an agent

Tess Gerritsen shares her thoughts about BEA, and something all authors face--the signings where no one shows up

And speaking of BEA, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management wonders if it's still even necessary to have it -- as someone who's been to BEA since 2006, I can tell you that the changes in the economy have definitely made it a smaller event, and it does seem to be less relevant to the publishing community that it used to be. But! I think it matters to the librarians and booksellers who are able to go (though moving it to mid-week certainly has caused problems with that) and, as we see bloggers seeing a bigger role, BEA is certainly very important to them. (This, in fact, was the first BEA where I saw more bloggers than booksellers/librarians--did anyone else notice how many bloggers were there as well?)

And, speaking as someone who loves books, BEA lets me see what *publishers* think are going to be their big titles and that--well, if you're in the industry, believe me, you want to know that. You *need* to know that. Also, even though you there aren't nearly as many ARCs as they're used to be (one year, my car trunk was so full of ARCs---just ARCs!!--that it almost touched the ground!!), it's still a great way to get a sneak peak at upcoming books--and again, with a focus on the books publishers are throwing all their weight behind.

Maggie Stiefvater--whose upcoming novel, Linger, I heard mentioned *everywhere* at BEA (and this was with no galleys available!)--on authors and worrying as well as two very interesting posts where she talks about how she's trying to handle all her email. (Over 4,000 a month!!)(Part one is here, part two is here)

The INTERN, who last talked about good reads and how they work using an adult title, now does the same with a YA novel (no, I'm not telling you which one! You have to click on the link and find out!!)

Pimp My Novel continues to provide so many insights into the publishing industry--I'm so thankful for it! Check out this explanation of Billing vs. POS as well as thoughts on publishing trends

I admit, I've never thrown a book launch party, but if you are hoping to are planning to, Editorial Ass has a great guide on how to have one.

I'm continually shocked by things authors have seen other people do that will most definitely cause you carer problems -- this one is especially important to read for writers struggling to be agented and/or published.

Agent Donald Maass on invisible tension --something I'd never heard of, but I'm sure glad I have now!

Finally, I leave you with a recipe for s'mores bread pudding (!!!)

BEA giveaway #1!!!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

And if, for whatever reason, you can't see the video, you can check it out here:

Don't forget you have until Friday to leave your comment HERE! (and make sure to leave a way for me to get in touch with you)

And again, a huge thank YOU to everyone who came to the Teen Author Carnival or to my signing at BEA or went and asked for a Grace ARC. You all make doing this the best job ever.