elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

wow, I do not miss dial-up...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today's entry is brought to you by my maddeningly slow internet connection, which seems to think it is dial-up. On the plus side, I'm now caught up with Modern Family (If you aren't watching Modern Family, give it a try--it's one of the best shows I've seen in ages. That and Justified are my current big tv crushes.)

Also! You all are really getting into the Celebrate The Unwritten Rule contest--I've got to mail out another fifteen (!) books today and then I have to go buy some more YA novels for you to get when you enter the contest. Whee!! Book buying is..well, you all know how I am about that! And you're all so amazing and supportive and thank you for all your fb notes and tweets about the contest as well--I really appreciate them.

Moving on to links:

Editorial Ass on what makes a book a lead title--this one is a must-read because well, getting to be a lead title is a big deal, especially if co-op becomes involved

And speaking of co-op, agent and author Nathan Bransford blogs about it here and of course you can find plenty of talk about it over at Pimp My Novel and here's a link from Andrew Wheeler that will be very familiar to long-time readers because I've put it up a bunch of times: Book Marketing 101: Co-op at the Chains (Yes, it's an older blog entry, but such a great one!)

Everyone's been sharing this link, but that's because it's just that awesome: Meg Cabot on Writer's Block

Finally, I have to share a link for this divine-sounding recipe for Samoas Ice Cream. YUM!

your questions, and links

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To answer some questions I got yesterday:

--If The Unwritten Rule does drop below 1000 on either barnesandnoble.com or amazon before April 6th at midnight EST, then yes, everyone who entered the contest will get a second free hardcover young adult novel, even people who have already sent in their receipt and gotten their free book. (It's only fair, right? And for those of you on the mailing list-it goes for you too, but remember that tomorrow is the deadline to get your receipt in for for your special mailing-list only prize!)*

--The Unwritten Rule is starting to show up in Barnes and Noble stores (YAY!) but if you can't find it in your local B&N, please let me know what state you live in so I can let my publisher know. (So far, as best I can tell, it appears to be showing up in the Northeast and then moving down and out across the rest of the country)

I think that covers all the questions, but let me know if there's anything else, okay?

On to the links:

Editorial Ass on How Do I Get Into Publishing? -- for those of you who want to be editors, in-house publicists, and so on, check this one out. (Editorial Ass also has a longer entry about breaking into the world of publishing here )

Agent Jessica Faust on query formatting

Pimp My Novel has another great blog post up about co-op, this one focusing mostly on on-line co-op and questions authors can have their agents ask.

The INTERN wonders if some publishers are "easier" to sell to -- "But at the end of the day, the ease or difficulty involved in getting published anywhere depends on the quality and/or marketability of the project (d'oh!). You can drive around the neighborhood for hours scoping out your dream home, but if all you have is the key to the gas station bathroom (and the germy wooden spoon that was supposed to prevent you from taking it) you can't use it to unlock the castle door. "

Over at Genreality, Carrie Vaughn has a follow up to her wonderfully honest post about leaving her publisher (for those of you who missed the link to original entry when I posted it before, you can read it here)

Author Megan Crane/Caitlin Crews on why hitting the wall isn't such a bad thing -- "Books are funny. They are so very rarely what you think they'll be. This is my fifteenth book and do you know what I've learned?...The hows and the whys and the walls? They're different every time. I'm guessing that's why I still love doing it, all these words and walls and frustrated afternoons later.

Nathan Bransford on You Can't Make Something A Phenomenon -- with a comment and agreement from Editorial Anonymous here


* I feel I should point out that my husband says that based on what he saw from my rankings yesterday, he feels that The Unwritten Rule isn't going fall below 1000 at either online bookstore again. Sorry. (But hey, if he's proven wrong, he says he'll be the first person cheering! And he'll help me send out all the book I'll owe...)

I get schooled! and links

Monday, March 29, 2010

Well, this weekend my husband, who checks my sales ranking for The Unwritten Rule on amazon and barnesandnoble.com a lot (how much? let's just say I never need to do it!), was talking to me about my contest, and when I got done telling him about how I'd thrown in a second book if the book broke the 1000 mark at both amazon and barensandnoble.com he said, "Well, you know, your book broke way past 1000 at B&N.com while you were in NYC, so I don't see why it couldn't happen again.")

He was right--the below 1000 drop happened on March 17th, and he even sent me a picture of it, which I stared at and stared at. (And then shrieked in glee, which, thankfully, no one else heard!)

This, btw, is the picture (thank you, kind husband!):

So, long story short, I came up with the idea of trying to get the book below 1000 in both places after that and changed the contest accordingly, and then, this weekend, he pointed out that when the book had a sales ranking of 1000 or below on Barnes and Noble.com it not only got as he put it "way cheaper" but that the under 1000 ranking held there for a while (instead of the ten or so minutes I got when the book was, very briefly, at 1000 on amazon right when it came out) and that, when a book gets cheaper, more people buy it because it costs so much less, so "Why not make it so people get two books if the ranking drops below 1000 at only *one* online bookstore?"

In other words, my husband pointed out something I hadn't ever thought about--instead of trying to get under 1000 at both barnesandnoble.com and amazon--why not focus on just getting below 1000 at one? He suggests barnesandnoble.com.**

So what the heck does this mean for you???

If you buy a copy of The Unwritten Rule at your fave local bookstore or online at barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com and the book drops to 1000 or below at either amazon.com OR barnesandnoble.com any time from now, March 29th until the contest ends at April 6th at midnight EST, then when you send me your receipt, you'll get TWO free hardcover YA novels.** (And, as always, full contest details can be found here)

Moving on (see, told you I got schooled!), I've got some great links to share:

Adele, who runs the fabulous blog Persnickety Snark, is conducting a survey to find out the top ten young adult novels of ALL time. (I went with ten of my fave YA books by non-US authors that I feel didn't/don't get enough love (or will never even get published here!)) So, go here and name your all-time young adult novel faves!!

Pimp My Novel on why it takes time for a book to be published -- a lovely, concise look into how the publishing industry works.

Editorial Anonymous tackles reader questions , why it can be hard for non-US books to find a US publisher, It's an auction! Or not., why there seems to be so many "rules" for submissions, and on how YA horror novels are dead -- Wow! EA's been busy!!

Agent Jessica Faust answers questions about submitting a partial and discusses the slush pile. She also links to a great article about slush in Publishers Weekly

Dear Author has several reports on the new iPad e-book pricing--first here and then here

The Dystel & Goderich Agency on three publishing misconceptions

Author John Scalzi answers reader questions about writers and depression and various "writery bits"

Finally, a great list of things authors SHOULD do -- if you read only one link, make it this one. And then print it out and keep it. It's great, solid advice--and all in one handy place!

**My husband has also instructed me to add that, as I mentioned earlier, he thinks barnesandnoble.com is the best place to buy The Unwritten Rule so that it will drop below 1000 and you'll get two free young adult hardcover novels-- he has a whole explanation of why, but I don't get it. However, if there's one thing he does get, it's online book rankings. How--well, see that picture up there? He knows his stuff. Which is why he's the best husband ever!)

yay! and links

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wow, you all liked the changes to the Celebrate The Unwritten Rule contest! I visited the post office this morning with ten books--and those were just from entries that came in yesterday!!! Keep them coming and remember, if I break the 1000 barrier on B&N.com and amazon, the number of free books goes up to TWO each...

As always, full contest details are here and a big thank you and YAY! to all of you for your understanding and support.

And keep those entries coming in! You all know how much I love to give away books and this time, I have to admit, it's extra fun!

OH! And I got the most amazing surprise when I stopped by my post office box yesterday--The Unwritten Rule t-shirts from Morgan!! Check them out:






See, it's stuff like this that makes me know you're all the most awesome EVER!

And now I have some links to share:

Agent and author Nathan Bransford on query letter subject lines and on the latest Amazon review controversy (is it just me, or is there a new amazon controvery every week??)

Interesting blog post on writing slower -- and be sure to check out the comments too!

Things you shouldn't ever send an author (Blood? People send things with blood on them????!)

The Rejectionist with a brief but hilarious post on the importance of proofreading

The INTERN has a guest blog about names, and why some of them just seem/sound better than others

Jessica Faust talks about the term 'coming of age'--I love Jessica's posts because she not only has some pretty darn good advice, but because she talks about actually being an agent and not just how many queries she's gotten and so on. And while there are loads of agent blogs offering advice, I like it when agents talk about their work and how they think too.

Author Jim C Hines did a survey asking novelists about their first published book. He really, *really* took a lot of time doing the survey and then breaking the results down, and you can read them here: part one, part two, and part three. A definite must-read for anyone who wants to be published--and, IMO, for those who are published too.

Finally, a few posts from the Dystel & Goderich agency blog: one on their submission process to editors for clients, one on the very popular subject of what authors can and can't control and a great one about the extreme importance of being professional, or, as the blog post title says, think before you kvetch

bookstore update and BIG contest changes...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First, a huge thank you to everyone who let me know if they could find The Unwritten Rule at their local B&N or Wal-Mart Super Center yesterday on fb and twitter--you were all so helpful!

Second, a special shout-out to everyone at Simon Pulse who have been working so hard to figure out WHY The Unwritten Rule isn't in Barnes & Noble stores yet.

Here's the latest: Barnes & Noble has the book, but hasn't yet shipped them to stores. Hopefully, that will happen really soon and I've got my fingers crossed that this weekend/early next week, it'll be there! And as for Wal-Mart, the book is indeed in Super Centers, but because there are so many Super Centers (we're talking thousands!!!) it's not in every single one.

What does all this mean?

Well, you've all been so awesome and helpful and just plain fantastic about all of this that I've decided to change the Celebrate The Unwritten Rule contest a little. Check it out:

Email me a picture of either your online or bookstore receipt* for The Unwritten Rule by Tuesday, April 6th at midnight EST.

You'll also need to include your mailing info.

Why?

Because everyone who sends me a picture of their receipt (and remember, it has to be an actual receipt) will get a FREE hardcover young adult novel.

That's right. You buy my book, and I send you a FREE one!

But wait! There's more...

If the book goes below 1000 at amazon.com OR barnesandnoble.com, everyone will get TWO FREE YA books. I'll also randomly pick five people from the entries on April 7th, and those people, in addition to getting a free book (or books!), will also each get a $25 gift card to the bookstore of their choice! (And if I get enough entries, I'll make it ten winners!)

Receipt pictures should be sent to: elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

And that's it!

So to recap: Buy a copy of The Unwritten Rule either online or at a bookstore by April 6th, send me a picture of your receipt and your mailing info to elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com, and you'll get a FREE hardcover young adult novel AND have a chance to win a $25 bookstore gift card as well!

fine print: please note that this contest is open to US residents/those with US mailing addys only. *receipt--if you order the book online, you must send me the receipt that comes when you get the book. Confirmation emails aren't receipts, and won't be counted as such.

you=Best EVER!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm back from New York, and while it was a real honor to be part of the NYC Teen Author Festival with so many amazing authors, the best part of the whole thing was meeting all of you who either came to see me speak on the panel or came to the signing at Books of Wonder--I mean, talk about WOW! I'd met some of you before, but I also met a bunch of you for the first time and I have to say, YOU make writing worth it. Thank you so much!!

I also have some news about The Unwritten Rule--as those of you who came to BOW know, the book still isn't in stock in certain places. (Most Barnes and Noble stores and some indie bookstores don't have the book. But! You can find it at both Borders and Books-A-Million and in Wal-Mart Super Centers)

I've checked in with Simon Pulse again and I've been told that the book really and truly IS on its way to B&N and those indies that don't have it and will be in *all* bookstores soon.

However! Since the book has proven so hard to find in Barnes and Noble stores/certain indies--and for those of you who came to BOW just to get it, I am SO sorry they didn't have it--I've decided to extend the Celebrate The Unwritten Rule contest. You now have until Tuesday, April 6th to buy the book either online OR in a bookstore and send me your receipt* for your FREE hardcover YA novel. The full contest details are here

And I come back bearing one other thing--loads of links!! Here they are:

Agent Kristin Nelson answers more reader questions here and here--topics cover everything from query letters to an author wanting to change genres to when is the best time for a first-time novelist to debut

So, you've found a publisher for your book, and they want "camera-ready copy"--what does that mean? (I'll give you a hint: RUN!)

Agent Rachelle Gardner answers questions she gets asked most often *and* tackles the question on every writer's mind: How Long?????

Great blog post about writing what you DON'T know--"And then you won’t have to write only about growing up in Orange County, or what a jerk your partner is, or what a jerk you are, or any of the other stuff that makes up most people’s lives."

Two thoughtful posts about writing when you're dealing with grief, stress, or any of the things life can throw at us.--"My point is this: Every writer here at SFNovelists will tell you that the best way to improve your craft and increase your chances of being published, is to write. Write regularly, write as often as possible. But every one of us will also tell you that sometimes you can’t do it."

Agent and author Nathan Bransford on the secret of a great query letter. He's also got up an interesting post on something I can very much relate to: having no confidence in your writing (turns out, it may not be such a bad thing!)

Editorial Ass on Do You Really Want To Be Published? -- There's a lot of really good stuff in this one, and a link to Aprilynne Pike's post about the importance of examining your goals *before* you start trying to be published. (Her point about mid-list authors not usually moving to bestseller status made me wince but...well, I hope I can prove that it can happen!)

Pimp My Novel on why how well a book sells is largely out of your control -- it's a great entry, and all very true. And really, in the end, you know what sells books better than anything else? People buying one, reading it, and then liking it enough to tell their friends to go out and read it. Word of mouth is the *best* sales tool around.

Editorial Anonymous on hooks and thoughts on Dean Wesley Smith's blog post about agents and editors (The blog post by Dean Wesley Smith is here)

The INTERN on why authors can't read your work

Justine Larbalestier on writing as career vs. writing as identity--"Writing as a career can be brought to an end by many different factors almost all of which are outside our control...That’s why it’s always been so important to me to keep my sense of myself as a writer separate from my career as a novelist. All I have to do to believe in myself as a writer is to write the best I can.If I depended on getting published for that then my sense of myself is at the mercy of other people."

Must read post over at Genreality on choosing to leave a publisher -- this is something I've *never* seen talked about openly online before and I'm glad Carrie Vaughn has done this. (Kudos to you, Carrie!)

*receipt--if you order the book online, you must send me the receipt that comes when you get the book. Confirmation emails aren't receipts, and won't be counted as such.

more time for The Unwritten Rule Celebration contest!

Friday, March 19, 2010

As you know, I decided to celebrate the release of The Unwritten Rule with a contest (because, well, it's me!!) BUT I've gotten a lot of emails from you saying that you can't find the book in Barnes and Noble stores, and after checking--because you'd know I'd check for YOU!--I have found out that the books have been shipped to Barnes and Noble, but may take a few extra days to show up in B&N stores, mostly because the release date for The Unwritten Rule got moved up so far and so quickly.

So! I've changed to contest dates so *you* have more time, and here are all the details again:

Celebrate The Unwritten Rule!

How?

Email me a picture of either your online or bookstore receipt* for The Unwritten Rule by Tuesday, April 6th at midnight EST.

You'll also need to include your mailing info.

Why?

Because everyone who sends me a picture of their receipt (and remember, it has to be an actual receipt) will get a FREE hardcover young adult novel.

That's right. You buy my book, and I send you a FREE one!

But wait! There's more...

If the book goes below 1000 at amazon.com OR barnesandnoble.com, everyone will get TWO FREE YA books. I'll also randomly pick five people from the entries on April 7th, and those people, in addition to getting a free book, will also each get a $25 gift card to the bookstore of their choice! (And if I get enough entries, I'll make it ten winners!)

Receipt pictures should be sent to: elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

And that's it!

So to recap: Buy a copy of The Unwritten Rule either online or at a bookstore by April 6th, send me a picture of your receipt and your mailing info to elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com, and you'll get a FREE hardcover young adult novel AND have a chance to win a $25 bookstore gift card as well!

fine print: please note that this contest is open to US residents/those with US mailing addys only.

Also! One quick note for those of you on the mailing list: don't forget that if you want to enter both the mailing list contest and this one, make sure your contest entry qualifies for both. Feel free to email me if you have questions!

*receipt--if you order the book online, you must send me the receipt that comes when you get the book. Confirmation emails aren't receipts, and won't be counted as such.

Simon Pulse online chat TONIGHT, The NYC Teen Author Festival, and more!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Don't forget that today is THE day for the Simon Pulse PulseIt online chat about The Unwritten Rule! It starts at 6 PM EST, and will last for one hour. I can't wait to see you there!

And if you haven't signed up for PulseIt yet--you get to chat with authors (like me, tonight!), see sneak peeks of upcoming books, and even sometimes get free books too (!!!)--head over here and do it!

Also, I'm going to be doing a few things at this year's NYC Teen Author Festival--you can find out information about all the events here, and this is what I'll be doing:

Thursday, 3/18 at 10 A.M.:
Authors read to high school students and the public in libraries across the city.

Queens: Broadway Branch, QPL, 40-20 Broadway, Long Island City

Jessica Blank
Sarah Burningham
Heather Duffy-Stone
Marianne Mancusi
Elizabeth Scott

Friday, 3/19 at the Main Branch of the NYPL (at 42nd Street and in the South Court) from 4:15 to 5:00 PM:

The Boy You Can’t Have

featuring:
Susane Colasanti
Elizabeth Eulberg
Robin Palmer
Elizabeth Scott
Melissa Walker
Maryrose Wood


And then, on Sunday, March 21st, there is a HUGE signing (over 70 authors!) at Books of Wonder. The signing starts at 2 P.M. and runs till 6 P.M.

I'll be there the whole time (so come say hello!!), but this is when I'll be signing:

4:15-5:00 P. M.
Diana Peterfreund
Shani Petroff
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Matthue Roth
Marie Rutkoski
Lisa Ann Sandell
Samantha Schutz
Elizabeth Scott
Kieran Scott
Courtney Sheinmel
Sara Shepard
Abby Sher
Jon Skovron

So yes, if you live in/around NYC, I'd love to see you!! (Or even if you don't, the author signing on Sunday--WOW! There are going so many amazing, super mega bestsellers there that it's mind-blowing! Don't believe me? Check out the full list!)

Finally, if you've ever wondered how I create characters, or if there were scenes in The Unwritten Rule that got cut, or if I ever saw the book going in a different direction, check out my latest Author In Residence video blog over at readergirlz!

And, of course, don't forget about The Unwritten Rule Celebration Contest!

The Unwritten Rule release day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Well, today is the official release date for The Unwritten Rule and I think that calls for a celebration!

But which I mean...well, you know what I mean!

Contest time!!!!

So let's celebrate The Unwritten Rule:

How?

Email me a picture of either your online or bookstore receipt* for The Unwritten Rule by Tuesday, April 6th at midnight EST.

You'll also need to include your mailing info.

Why?

Because everyone who sends me a picture of their receipt (and remember, it has to be an actual receipt) will get a FREE hardcover young adult novel.

That's right. You buy my book, and I send you a FREE one!

But wait! There's more...

If the book goes below 1000 at amazon.com OR barnesandnoble.com, everyone will get TWO FREE YA books. I'll also randomly pick five people from the entries on April 7th, and those people, in addition to getting a free book, will also each get a $25 gift card to the bookstore of their choice! (And if I get enough entries, I'll make it ten winners!)

Receipt pictures should be sent to: elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

And that's it!

So to recap: Buy a copy of The Unwritten Rule either online or at a bookstore by April 6th, send me a picture of your receipt and your mailing info to elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com, and you'll get a FREE hardcover young adult novel AND have a chance to win a $25 bookstore gift card as well!

fine print: please note that this contest is open to US residents/those with US mailing addys only.*receipt--if you order the book online, you must send me the receipt that comes when you get the book. Confirmation emails aren't receipts, and won't be counted as such.

The Unwritten Rule!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Well, tomorrow is the official release date for The Unwritten Rule, but some bookstores have put it out already, and last Thursday I said the first person to send me a picture of themselves with their copy would win a prize.

And that person was...Felicia!! Here she is with her copy of the book:



YAY!

Tomorrow is the official release day, so come back and look for a little blog party...

Moving on to links:

Agent Jessica Faust talks about her query pet peeves

Author Jennifer Echols offers "tips" on how to promote your novel--if you need a good laugh, be sure to check this out! I think my fave "tip" is this one: "2. I am going to be a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars." I do not even need to be paired with a partner/coach. I am going to bring down the house with my rendition of the robot."

The Intern on the ten best things you can do for your manuscript

Genreality offers up some thoughts on young adult novels--"One of the reason that I don’t talk specifically about writing YA very often, is that the principles of writing YA are exactly the same as writing any other genre: Stay in character and write a good story."

Editoral Ass on what the submission process is (usually) like

Yet another way to trash your writing career--don't deliver a book you've already sold to a publisher: "Once you have signed a contract and taken an advance (and maybe even cashed the check and spent the money!) you really do have to produce something mildly similar to the work you have contracted to provide...And this is why, if you are a new writer without a track records, you must finish the entire work before trying to sell it. It is easy, too easy, to begin writing. To finish the work, this is labor."

Author Jay Lake has some novel (I know!) writing advice--why new writers shouldn't listen to me: "We all believe our experience is central, core, valid. But it’s also a truism that genre publishing goes through transformations every five or ten years, like a snake shedding its skin."

changes, and The Unwritten Rule in stores?--show me your copy and win!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wow, have the past few days been crazy here re: site stuff. My fab site designer, Silas Dilworth, worked pretty much non-stop to get all the blogger ftp stuff taken care of and then my whole site had to be migrated to new servers at my hosting company--which naturally (why does this always happen? why?)--meant that a number of nifty things he'd done to help make the site easier for me to run broke. And he fixed all of them *and* the whole time he was doing it--the site was still up and running! Silas is usually booked--when you do the kind of great work he does, it's not a surprise--but if you are thinking of having a site built, check out his work, especially if you (like me!) like clean, simple, and fast-loading sites.

In other news, I'm hearing rumors that The Unwritten Rule is showing up in stores?! First person to post a picture of themselves with their copy*--showing the front and back (because the back? SO. PRETTY.)--here (or you can email me a picture of you with your copy at elizabeth at elizabethwrites dot com) gets a nifty little prize!

Oh! And today, I'll be doing my video blog about The Unwritten Rule for readergirlz, and many thanks go to Hannah and Just_Me 37, who both asked fab questions!

Links:

Maggie Stiefvater offers ten rules for query letters--and when a NYT best-selling author speaks (or rather, blogs!) about something like this, it's most definitely worth checking out!

Hey, guess what? Another newspaper has figured out that...gasp!...adults are reading YA!--although the idea isn't a shocker to any of us, there's still some great quotes in the article

Agent Jessica Faust on writing to an agent about an idea you have for a book (yes, this actually happens!) and why people who don't follow guidelines make things easier for those who do

A great post about something all writers worry about (at least the ones I know, including yours truly): productivity--I love this part: "....when you feel like your productivity is down, you may be counting the wrong kinds of progress."

And another post along that line, from someone who has a very interesting answer to the question lots of writers get: How Many Hours Do You Write Every Day?

Agent and author Nathan Bransford is wondering what writer's career you'd like to have--at over 200 answers so far--and still going!--there's plenty to check out.

*an ARC is not the book, so please don't send or post pictures of that

One Week!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's now one week (ONE!) until The Unwritten Rule is in stores! I can't believe it's almost here--I've got my fingers crossed for the book and I just wanted to say Thank You! again to all of your for your support.

And! Speaking of The Unwritten Rule, don't forget that you have until midnight *tonight* to let me know what you'd like to know about how/what/why I wrote The Unwritten Rule for my next readergirlz vlog! The person with the best suggestion wins a copy of Hex Hall AND the YA book of their choice--so head on over here and let me know what you'd like to know!

I've also got some links to share:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes on Five Things (That You Think When Writing Sequels)

Megan Crane has found The Easy Way To Write Ten Pages Today -- if this doesn't make you laugh, then well....I don't know what will! -- "Arrive at store that sells the jeans you know, via historical trial and error and an unforgiving camera lens, provide the most flattering jeans for what you euphemistically call your "figure." Skulk about, fingering all the skinny jeans and wishing you had the right body to prance around in them--i.e., thighs that are not as wide as the length of your foot. Catch sight of self in mirror and confirm fact that said proportions will never be yours. Veer between righteous celebration of your realness and desperate longing to be transformed into some gazelle-like-creature with tiny thighs."

The problem(s) that can happen when you mix genres -- "Besides, you may well say, there are all sorts of books that have stood between genres and done fantastically well! Twilight (horror and YA), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (‘literary’ and fantasy), “The Dark Tower (fantasy, western, horror, romance), and all of Neil Gaiman’s books. Right you are, as usual! But again, this is a list of books for which things turned out all right. What about those books -- some of which might be just great -- that stand between genres, but you never heard of them? What happened to those books?..."

One Week!!!!!!!

blogger question, video blog contest, and links

Monday, March 08, 2010

Thank you all for your lovely comments about the cover of Grace--the designer really did an amazing job! The cover gods are definitely looking out for me, which is very nice indeed!

As some of you may know, Blogger is dropping ftp support for blogs soon--they claim there aren't enough people using it to keep letting it be a feature. And while that may be true, as one of the people who uses ftp, I am not sure what's going to happen to this blog. I checked out blogger migration tool, but it seems to require that my entire site be redirected through blogger's servers, which makes no sense to me because a. 3/4 of the site has nothing to do with blogger and b. blogger has, shall we say, some downtime issues.

Anyone out there using blogger on a multi-page and not all blogger site, and found a way to move your blog without having to name google/blogger as your entire site server??

Moving on, I'm getting ready to do my next Author In Residence video blog for readergirlz, and I'm planning on talking about The Unwritten Rule.

Is there anything specific about the writing of The Unwritten Rule that you'd be interested in hearing about? While I can't talk about anything spoiler related (the ending, etc), anything else is a go. Best suggestion gets a coy of Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall AND any other published and in-print YA book of their choice--I'll take comments about this through TOMORROW, Tuesday, March 9th, at midnight EST, and then the comment/suggestion(s) I like best will win the copy of Hex Hall and the YA book of their choice!

And now for the links:

Maggie Stiefvater on So, YA Literature Is Going Down The Toilet

Agent Jessica Faust on submitting a requested partial and a great introductory post about how to find an agent and/or publisher

The Intern on enchanted instruments...and endings in YA--"It's more satisfying, somehow, to see a magician pull a rabbit out of the hat he's been wearing all along than to see the magician call a herd of purple goats from the enchanted flute that just dropped out of the hatch that just now appeared in the ceiling.

Pimp My Novel on Having What It Takes

Author Jim C. Hines on Why Advances Matter

Genreality on sticking with a project -- "So, whether you’re a young writer, a not so young writer, beginning or experienced, on those days when the book seems too huge and the end too far away, just think about it in chunks." (Great advice!)

Also over at Genreality, a fab post about an author's choices--"Sometimes we concentrate so hard on being writers that we forget that if we want to make a career out of this that we have to be businesspeople too, and that means that we have to make tough choices at times. Sometimes it’s about more than the story. Sometimes it’s about knowing that the choices you make and the path you follow is ultimately your own responsibility."

Agent Jennifer Jackson posts--and breaks down--some more query stats

Turns out, authors have always been worriers

contest winners, links--and Grace cover

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Here are the Spread The Word About The Unwritten Rule contest winners--and yes, I did expand the prizes, but after what you all did, how could I not??:

Grand prize: Morgan, who really wowed me with her entry--seriously, I actually said "WOW!" out loud and woke my dog up when I saw it--and you can see it here -- The party is adorable, but what really put Morgan's entry over the top was that she took her efforts out into the real world and documented them. Plus, those t-shirts? LOVE!! (I totally want one!)

Other winners:

2nd place, winning a copy of The Unwritten Rule as well as 10 ARCs and 10 YA paperbacks, is Tricia, who did a ton of stuff, but who got me with a song she wrote about the book (yes, an actual song, how cool is that?) which you can see it on YouTube here

3rd place, winning a copy of The Unwritten Rule as well as 5 YA novels, is being_nikki2, who also did a ton of stuff, but who got me with her collection of The Unwritten Rule shower gel, moisturizer, and etc. that she made for her friends (isn't that so cute?), along with cds she made about the book featuring the following songs: "Avalance" by Marie Digby, "Jump Then Fall" by Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift, "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, "What You Mean To Me" by Christopher Wilde, "I Want You To Want Me" by KSM, ""Bubbly" by Colbie Callait, "Love Song" by Sara Bareillis.

And the other contest winner, who who gets a copy of The Unwritten Rule as well as 3 YA novels, is Addicted Book Reader, who created a gorgeous countdown widget for The Unwritten Rule, but who stole my heart with the bookmarks and magnets she made for the book as well--and is giving away on her blog! I never would have thought about making magnets, but what a super idea! I mean, I don't know about the rest of you, but I put magnets up on my fridge and see them every time I open it--what a unique way to get the word out about the book!

Thank you ALL for your entries, and for spreading the word about The Unwritten Rule--I've got my fingers crossed that it does well when it comes out, and if it does, I know it will all be thanks to YOU!

In other news, I'm pleased to say that I can finally share the cover of Grace, which will be out on September 16th, with you. Here it is:



For a summary of what the book is about, check out my books page

And finally, here are the links:

Pimp My Novel on ISBN numbers--the system behind them and even links to articles about the specific publisher codes that appear in them

Editoral Ass talks about becoming an editor

The Rejectionist offers reassurance and some sensible advice--"Maybe what you need is a break from the internet altogether! Try it!... It's kind of amazing! Freeing! Joyful! Try it for more than seven minutes! Try it for a day!--As someone who won't go online while I'm writing, I can say it is pretty liberating to be offline for at least part of the day.

Tess Gerritsen writes about the Lexile number

Finally, a publicist blogs about why bookstore events are scheduled for authors, as well as why they aren't

last day to enter The Unwritten Rule contest...and two weeks until the book is in stores!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Today, March 2nd, is the last day you have to enter the Spread The Word About The Unwritten Rule contest--please make sure you get your entries in by midnight EST tonight! I'll be going through all the entries tomorrow...

And! It's now officially two weeks until The Unwritten Rule is in stores--YAY! If you're looking for a sneak peek, you can find it here.

Moving on, I'm thrilled to say that I'll be taking part in this year's NYC Teen Author Festival--you can find out information about all the events here, and this is what I'll be doing:

Thursday, 3/18 at 10 A.M.:
Authors read to high school students and the public in libraries across the city.

Queens: Broadway Branch, QPL, 40-20 Broadway, Long Island City

Jessica Blank
Sarah Burningham
Heather Duffy-Stone
Marianne Mancusi
Elizabeth Scott

Friday, 3/19 at the Main Branch of the NYPL (at 42nd Street and in the South Court) from 4:15 to 5:00 PM:

The Boy You Can’t Have

featuring:
Susane Colasanti
Elizabeth Eulberg
Robin Palmer
Elizabeth Scott
Melissa Walker
Maryrose Wood


And then, on Sunday, March 21st, there is a HUGE signing (over 70 authors!) at Books of Wonder. The signing starts at 2 P.M. and runs till 6 P.M.

I'll be there the whole time (so come say hello!!), but this is when I'll be signing:

4:15-5:00 P. M.
Diana Peterfreund
Shani Petroff
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Matthue Roth
Marie Rutkoski
Lisa Ann Sandell
Samantha Schutz
Elizabeth Scott
Kieran Scott
Courtney Sheinmel
Sara Shepard
Abby Sher
Jon Skovron

So yes, if you live in/around NYC, I'd love to see you!! (Or even if you don't, the author signing on Sunday--WOW! There are some amazing authors that are going to be there--check out the full list!)

Moving on to links:

Want to win a bunch of free books, including a copy of The Unwritten Rule? Then check out this fab contest run by I Heart Daily!

Yesterday, The New York Times ran an article about e-book pricing -- I should note however, that they claim authors "generally" get a 15% royalty on hardcovers---ha! I can tell you right now that this author has never even *heard* of anyone getting that. Maybe a best-selling author, but your regular author? Nope.

Anyway, the Times also has this nice little graphic that neatly illustrates how publishers (ideally) make money on books.

Two bloggers wrote about this article--Tess Gerritsen and Pimp My Novel--and both posts are very much worth reading.

Agent Jessica Faust has updated her publishing dictionary

hey there, March!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Well, it's March and that means the Spread The Word About The Unwritten Rule contest is almost over!! You've got until midnight EST tomorrow, March 2nd, to get your entry in for your chance to win--and see your name in print, get a phone call from me--and get 35 FREE books!!

So all of you who want to enter, now's your chance--just head over here, follow the instructions, and remember, I'm looking for something that makes me go WOW!!

Moving on, I've got some links to share:

Agent Jessica Faust on the importance of being professional --It can be so hard to do, especially when it feels like everything rotten that could possibly happen has happened, or is happening, but, as Jessica says, "So, while it’s understandable that you will, at times, be frustrated, try not to always share it with everyone."

Pimp My Novel on the difference between frontlist and backlist titles--if you want to be in publishing, either as an agent, editor, author, what-have-you, this is the kind of stuff you need to know.

Author Charles Stross on how books are made--if you read only one like today, make it this one, and be sure to check out the production workflow, which is very detailed and covers everything from scheduling to print runs to shipping. In short, if you're looking for how a book goes from manuscript to being an actual book, this is what you want to read.

Excellent post about cover art--"Money disappears very quickly in this industry. Which is where cover art comes in. It is the single most important decision in selling books. The casual customer is led – nearly always, when they don’t know the author – by cover art. It’s the first thing they’ll see. And they buy the book with money, which pays the wages of lots of people. The right cover feeds lots of publishers and authors and keeps people very happy indeed."

Responding to negative feedback--It's quite a long post, but keep an eye out for the part about Alex Scarrow, and how he responded to someone who felt his books were not for them. (I'll give you a hint: he was very, very polite and respectful. In other words, class act all the way!)

Yet another way to trash your writing career--decide you don't need to be edited anymore

Great post over at Genreality about falling into the comparison trap

Finally, with all the back-and-forth that's been going on about e-books, it's important to remember that while sales of e-books *are* growing, they still account for only a tiny percentage of books sold--although, interestingly enough, the number of books (and yes, I mean print books!) bought online is rising. The always wonderful Tess Gerritsen talks about it here