Friday, July 31, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

“We are no longer the knights who say ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!”

The week in book news & such...

Book Bloggers! Is your blog listed at YA Book Central? They are asking for great suggestions - YA Books Central

Lillie Ammann has a fantastic 8-part series on character building at her site!! Lillie Ammann

Carol Denbow interviews MaAnna Stephenson - do you need a website? A Book Inside

Marketing Tips For Authors had two great posts this week:
Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author and book marketing expert - Creating Relationships with Potential
Tony discusses blog lengths -
How Long Should Blog Posts Be?

Carolyn Howard-Johnson discusses multiple submissions - Sharing With Writers

And I'm happy to announce that Book III of my series will be available as a giveaway at Goodreads starting August 1st - Book III GoodReads Giveaway


Thanks for all of the wonderful comments this week! Hugs to the new followers as well. I was on the road Wednesday & Thursday, so sorry if I missed any of your wonderful blog posts.


* MOVIE REVIEW *

Still haven't ventured from the house for a movie, but got a great NetFlix title this past week.

BOLT - A-
I'd heard this was a good movie, but we didn't make it to the theatre to see it last year. I was surprised by the genuine heart and the great storyline. Loved Mittens the cat, but I think Rhino the hamster was my favorite. Very funny and very touching!


* CONCERT REVIEW *

Say what?

Yup, I'm reviewing a concert this week, because that's where we were Wednesday night - at a concert!

This was the "Progressive Rock Tour" and the headliner was a band my husband has wanted to see for almost 20 years. So off we went and...

Scale the Summit - they were the opening act and really caught us by surprise. They only do instrumentals, but it was a group of very young men who were talented beyond reason. We were so impressed we purchased their CD!

Big Elf - heavy psychedelic 70's influence. Not sure if I could listen to a whole album, but they were very good, and individually the songs were great. Wouold do really well in Europe!

Zappa on Zappa - they were the last opener before Dream Theater, and I almost fell asleep! Dweezil's band was top notch, but he was doing a tribute to his father, and until I heard the music, I'd never realized how self-indulgent Zappa was as an artist. LONG songs with no purpose other than allowing the musicians to just play. They played 90 minutes, and it should've been 30...

Dream Theater - THE headliner and tour organizer! This is one of the biggest bands never to get airplay and they showed off their incredible talent for over two hours. Very few musicians play at this level. (Prog rock is where the masters go!) My husband had a fantastic time seeing his band and I really enjoyed it as well.

Which leads to the photo of the day - Dream Theater!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Thursday Excerpt - The Frugal Editor Herself!


Today I welcome none other than the Frugal master herself, Carolyn Howard-Johnson!

This excerpt is from a must-own & read repeatedly book for any author!

Outside by B&N Box

(This excerpt is from The Frugal Book Promoter, How To Do What Your Publisher Won't by Carolyn Howard-Johnson)

Chapter 34: Catalog Sales Are Exposure, Too!

Catalogs are show business. They spotlight a product for the sole purpose of selling merchandise but they also create a buzz, project an image, tell a story, leave an impression. They create celebrity for themselves and for each of their products.
CHJ

Experts disagree about how extensive the crossover is between sales and publicity. The primary reason for your book to appear on the pages of a retail catalog is, of course, sales but that exposure is also extraordinary publicity for your book.

It qualifies as publicity because you don’t pay for it. It is paid advertising for the catalog company or store that issues the catalog; for you it is a free ride that will result not only in sales through the catalog itself but will stir up interest in other places.

Other advantages are:
* The catalog company will probably pay the freight for their book shipments.
* Their purchases are outright; unlike most bookstores, they will not return what they buy.
* They will reorder when their stock is depleted.
* They don’t care if your book is current as long as the information is accurate and it sells.
* Most don’t require exclusivity.
*Their orders will be substantial enough to make both you and your publisher smile. That your publisher probably will not attempt to sell your book this way is beyond understanding, but most don’t.

Disadvantages are:
* Learning curve ahead! You’ll need to negotiate sales to catalog buyers expertly.
* Because catalogs buy in quantity they may expect a hefty discount. If you or your publisher cannot give 50 percent or more, there is no point in pursuing this avenue. However, if you only break even on catalog sales, it may be worth pursuing them for the publicity benefits.
* Some authors and publishers fail to print enough books to supply a catalog’s needs.
* Nonfiction books are generally more suitable for catalogs.

Here’s how to find catalogs that might be interested in your book:
* Do an engine search on “retail catalogs.” About 600,000 lists and individual catalogs will appear. Narrow the search to include only catalogs that will find your book irresistible.
* Go to a bookstore or library for CATALOG OF CATALOGS. Find one or more categories that are a fit for your book and Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo! Another way to see your book cover in print and realize sales at the same time.
* The fast but more expensive way to find leads is to purchase John Kremer’s specialty retailer and catalog databases for about $60 from BookMarket
* Watch for catalogs that come to your home. Become familiar with their products. Ask your friends to pass their catalogs on to you. When you find an appropriate one for your book, go for it!
* Read BEYOND THE BOOKSTORE by Brian Jud. Call (800)-43-BRIGHT.

Hint: It is almost a certainty that your publisher won’t pursue this avenue for sales. If you can crack a catalog deal for a gross or more of your title, it is highly unlikely that your publisher won’t see the value in it and work with you. If you approach your publisher first, they most probably won’t be up for it. They may not understand the potential until it is laid in their laps.



Carolyn is an author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for writers, including USA Book News' award winners:

The Frugal Editor Amazon

The Frugal Book Promoter Amazon

The Great First Impression Book Proposal Amazon

Find her at How To Do It Frugally and at Linked In & Twitter and blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick:
Sharing With Writers
The New Book Review
Sizzling Book Fair Booths
The Frugal Editor Blog







Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Authors Joyce Meyer & Deborah Bedford

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Any Minute FaithWords (June 30, 2009)
by
Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Joyce Meyer is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than seventy inspirational books, including The Confident Woman, I Dare You, the entire Battlefield of the Mind family of books, her first venture into fiction with The Penny, and many others. She has also released thousands of audio teachings as well as a complete video library. Joyce's Enjoying Everyday Life® radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, are the parents of four grown children and make their home in St. Louis, Missouri.

Deborah Bedford is a career fiction writer who began her professional life as a journalist in a Colorado mountain town.
A Rose By The Door, Deborah's first with Warner Book (name changed to FaithWords in 2006), hit bookstores in November 2001. A Morning Like This was released by Warner Books in 2002. Deborah's short story, “Connor Sapp's Baseball Summer,” is included in Multnomah Publisher's The Storytellers' Collection, Tales From Home, alongside stories by Chuck Colson, Terri Blackstock, Randy Alcorn and Karen Kingsbury.
Deborah and Jack have two children, Jeff and Avery. When she isn't writing, Deborah spends her time fly-fishing, cheering at American Legion baseball games, shopping with her daughter, singing praise songs while she walks along the banks of Flat Creek, and taking her dachshund Annie for hikes in the Tetons where they live.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sarah Harper is driven to achieve success no matter what the cost. She wants to do good and not hurt the people she loves--especially children and her husband, Joe--but her desire to succeed in her career too often leaves little time for family.
One cold, autumn afternoon, all of that changes when Sarah's car plunges off a bridge and into a river. She is presumed dead by those on the "outside," but Sarah's spirit is still very much alive. What she discovers on the other side transforms everything about Sarah's view of life--past, present, and future.
When Sarah is revived, she is a changed woman. And the unsuspecting world around her will never be the same again.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
Any Minute, go here!
The book link is:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446582530

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Photo Tuesday - Character Growth

Character growth is an essential part of any good story.

As writers, it helps if we view our characters as children. They come to us incomplete and not well versed in the ways of the world. Perhaps they lack in a crucial area, such as people skills or talent. Perhaps they are prisoners of their environment. Quite often they begin with personal challenges, hang-ups and inconsistencies.


As the story progresses, our characters start to change. Their hearts grow and they develop a greater capacity for emotion. Perhaps challenges force them to become stronger or bolder. Maybe the situations in their life cause them to question what they thought they knew. Often they become like gangly teenagers, stumbling and failing and struggling to find their place in life.



By the end of our tale, those characters grow up. Like a caterpillar to a butterfly, they are changed creatures. Hopefully for the best, although sometimes the growth is not considered positive. But regardless of the direction, the characters are different and this growth is unmistakable.


And we hope that by experiencing this transformation through our characters, our readers will come away changed as well!

Okay, maybe not THAT changed!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A New Twist - Interviewing the Book Blogger, Debbie!

Today I decided it was time for a book blogger and reviewer to be interviewed!

So please welcome Debbie! She has an awesome book blog at
Debbie’s World of Books and I appreciate her taking the time to answer some questions.

So all you authors & writers out there, take note!


How many books do you read a month?

It varies depending on what kind of books I am reading and how long they are. For the most part I average about 20 books a month.

Do you have a couple favorite authors? Are you afraid to try someone new?

I definitely have some favorite authors that I pick up their books no matter what. Since I tend to go through a book pretty fast there are many times there is nothing new to read from my favorites so I love finding new authors to read. This is one great thing about the book blogging world. I have found so many great authors including yourself through other people's blogs.

Are there authors who started out strong, but their successive books have grown week? Is it the repetition of ideas or lack of editing? Or something else?

Hmmm...that is a tough one. I will admit that although Julie Garwood is one of my all time favorite authors I have not cared so much for her latest books. I don't think it's so much repetition of ideas or editing but I am not a fan of her contemporary novels.

I noticed under ‘Favorite Authors’ you listed Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child! Which book is your favorite? Which one would make the best movie?

I really love their books! I would probably pick Relic since it was the first book I read by the two of them and was the one that got me hooked. Cemetary Dance comes in a close second. I always have a hard time picking a book to be made into a movie because I am rarely happy with the adaptation. Relic would have been my pick and I was excited when I heard Relic was being made into a movie but I thought the movie was pretty bad.

As a reviewer, I’m sure you are besieged with review requests – what’s the most ‘out-there’ book anyone has ever asked that you review?

LOL. The books usually are not too bad although sometimes the way the book review requests can be a little 'out-there'. The most recent book that I found a little strange was Fiction by Ara 13. The humor was really odd and the story revolves around a priest trying to convert a group of "natives" whose current beliefs are based on the holy book, The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

Ever had an author rant about a less than stellar review?

So far I have been really lucky not to have any author rantings. I've seen a lot of news lately about some authors going off about negative reviews and with all the social networks available today it's easy to speak before thinking and then you end up regretting it. I try not to be too negative in my reviews. I'll list the things I did not like but also try to mention the things I did. I think what everyone needs to keep in mind is not everyone is going to like the same book so I can't imagine any book that is going to have 100% positive reviews.

What advice would you give to publishers, publicists, and authors who want to pitch their book to you? What would you suggest to make the experience pleasant for all involved?

My main pet peeve is receiving a request that doesn't address me by name. With my site being called, Debbie's World of Books, it is not that difficult to figure it out. It is also helpful to include a summary of the book and if they want the review posted during a time period to also list that. I have received some requests that just say "I have write a book called xyz would you like to review it." That means I have to go look up the book to see what it's about and for some of the smaller publications sometimes those summaries can be hard to find.

What about your real life might surprise those who follow your blog and book reviews?

Gosh, I live such a hum drum life I don't know what would surprise people. My co-workers and friends are surprised how many young adult books I read even though I just turned 30. What can I say? I love them. The other thing people are surprised at is that I only have one bookshelf in my house. We live in a tiny home so I can't fit any more shelves in. Not that it prevents me from getting more books and having piles around the house.

And the last word, Debbie…

Thank you so much for interviewing me on your blog. I love hearing from the authors I read and I think the blogging world is a great opportunity to encourage interaction between readers and authors.

Here is the link to my Twitter profile DebWorldOfBooks

Thanks again for featuring me on your blog!

Debbie

And thank YOU, Debbie! Please be sure to visit her site: Debbie’s World of Books

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Comic Con & Twitter Mosiac

The news from Comic Con has been exciting and I’ve enjoyed reading all the info online and watching some of the television coverage.

What about this year’s Comic Con has me stoked?

AVATAR – James Cameron! Need I say more? And a few lucky ducks that got to see 25 minutes of this film during Comic Con…

Tron: Legacy – Yes, I was a teenager when the first Tron came out – back when the movie rocked and the video game sucked! So, the nostalgic geek in me is really excited about this new movie.

District 9 – JoBlo raved about this movie on his website, claiming it’s one of the best movies of the year. After glimpsing the trailer for this movie a couple months ago, I knew this was a must-see and cannot wait for it to come out in just a few weeks!!!

Yes, the sci-fi geek in me is showing!


Also - thank you to my new Followers!!! For some reason, I've been unable to pull up that feature on Blogger and I can't trace my new followers to their blogs. I do appreciate you, though!


Also, I discovered a really cool mosaic program that allows me to display all of my Twitter friends!(And so sorry if this feature is SO big it gacks your Internet.)





Get your twitter mosaic here.



Thanks to A Year of Reading for the tip on this Twitter Mosiac!