Thursday, March 31, 2011

To DVR or Not to DVR...

Tip of the Day: Check out this HUGE list of articles on promotion for writers on Cynthia Leitich Smith's Web site.

It's always DVR. I have control of the DVR in this house (hubby doesn't watch TV. Talk about opposites attracting!) and I'm going to share the top secret list of what is on my DVR right NOW. Ready?

American Idol
Real Housewives of Atlanta
Bethenny Ever After
Real Housewives of Orange County
Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes

Yep. I'm a big reality tv junkie. I love it! It's all I ever want to watch! These are just the current ones on my DVR. I also love all the Bridezillas, Tori & Dean, and I'm not going to lie, I've even watched a couple of episodes of Jersey Shore. But it's not a fave and I do worry that it could possibly be the one show that may literally push me over the edge into complete brain mush. So only small doses at a time.

Why do I find reality tv so fascinating? Hmm, good question. I think mostly I like the unscripted fights and relationships between the characters. Ok, I'm sure some parts are scripted but most of the time I think they're being fairly truthful as to who they are. So it's like studying the human condition. (See? Research. That's what I always tell my hubby when I'm watching a show and he walks by and looks at the tv and then at me in bewilderment.) And I also like to pick up details of current trends in clothing, hair, accessories, and of course current phrases/lingo. All important info for books, right?

And my very favorite reality shows of all? Real Housewives of Anywhere. Beverly Hills, Orange County, New Jersey, New York, Miami, Washington, you name it, I'll watch it. I think I like watching it because I am really a "housewife" I guess you'd say and there isn't anything real about the "Real Housewives" on tv. I mean, come on. Who has four nannies for their two kids AND stays at home? So I guess I watch them for the same reason people read books about zombies and werewolves etc. Because they're so out of the ordinary and not part of my experience. :-)

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Television to Book (or Visual Stimulation)

Tip of the Day: Actress Jennifer Lawrence will play Katniss in THE HUNGER GAMES movie! After seeing her in WINTER'S BONE, I think she'll be perfect! Funny that this week we are writing about how our TV viewing shapes our novel writing since my YA that is on sub was, um, highly influenced by a television show that I love. In the interest of secrets and surprises, I'm not going to reveal which one TV show influenced my current book, but I will share a few options (and these are all television shows I enjoy), some of which I would like to incorporate elements of into my future work. I love the cake episodes where the challengers make these incredible pastries that are completely edible. *Creativity* This show makes me laugh out loud, partly because of how closely it resembles my old office job.... *Hilarity* Watching the contestants make complete outfits in two days is just amazing. Tim Gunn rocks, too. *Visual drama & lovable main character* I have a thing for food and watching people cook so this show fascinates me. *Creating taste and smell where there really is none* Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teen movies teach us so much...

Tip of the Day: having a chocolate party this week and decided to try a fondue buffet. Let me know if you have suggestions of things to put in fondue!

Last week I talked about my love of libraries, this week we get to talk about my love of movies (wow, I feel like I'm in heaven).

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE movies (and TV).

So much so that I'd love to try writing scripts one day. Until that day comes, I'm perfectly content writing MG and YA fiction.

When I first started getting into reading teen fiction I was an adult. I was obsessed with teen romantic comedies and there weren't any scheduled to release and I needed my teen fix, so I opted to start reading a bunch of them. Then I discovered I love to read them just as much.

But I haven't forgotten my love of teen movies and I turn to them every now and then to get ideas for my books.

Here's just a few common things I've found while watching teen romantic comedy movies (and to be honest a lot of the supernatural ones too!):

1.) The main character is almost always the underdog, the ugly duckling, or gets picked on. From Mean Girls to A Cinderella Story to Princess Diaries and everything in between.

2.) There's ALWAYS a makeover scene or speedy scene taking place in a store where all the girls dress up. I had my doubts about this being in every movie, but then I started to pay attention and was amazed at how there's almost always a physical way of showing a character's transformation. Have your doubts? Just watch any Mary Kate and Ashley movie.

So what does this tell us: character transformation is KEY, especially for teen movies and novels.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Why Writing a Novel is Like Spongebob

Tip of the Day: Friday is April Fools Day! I'm looking forward to playing tricks like Rodrick from Wimpy Kid, such as bringing frozen dinner to the table with pot holders, saying, "Be careful, don't burn yourself!"

So my writing doesn't bear a lot of resemblance to my television watching, which is a good thing, trust me. I know, script writing is a great talent and resource. I'm glad that writers get inspired by television scripts. I like shows that are well-written, like Arrested Development. I've always wanted to write a novel with a large ensemble cast like that, but yeah, it just doesn't work out well. Maybe in a decade or so.

Mostly I watch cartoons. Futurama. The Simpsons. I like bright colors, and I love watching stuff happen that could never happen in "real life." That's sort of an inspiration.

Actually, when it comes to basic character conflict, you can't beat Spongebob Squarepants. It's like paint by numbers:

1. Start with a good-natured, likable main character.
2. Put him in a unique setting.
3. Put your main character in conflict with characters with opposite traits: pessimistic, greedy.
4. Make sure your conflicting characters are forced to be together (a job at the Krusty Krab works).
5. Up the stakes by giving your character someone or something to care about, like a pet or a best friend.
6. Keep the scenes moving fast and use snappy dialogue.
7. Your main character shouldn't be perfect, and his faults will cause him setbacks, but ...
8. In the end, we want your main character to have a satisfying life that he engineered himself.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fun Friday: Guest Post from YA Author KARLY KIRKPATRICK

Blazing An Indie Trail

I’d like to give a big thanks to Kristina Springer for asking me to come here and discuss the options available to authors in 2011.

My path started much as many authors have. I finished my first book, Into the Shadows, in the summer of 2008. I spent the rest of 2008 and most of 2009 querying that same book around to agents and editors. I joined SCBWI (Society of Childrens’ Writers and Illustrators), and joined three critique groups. I continued to write while I waited, sometimes minutes, sometimes months, for responses on my queries.

I had some very positive responses, requests for partial and full manuscripts (which my SCBWI friends were very impressed with) but ultimately I got a NO. 100 times. I even had some nice rejections…agents who liked the writing, or liked the story, but due to the economy were unable to take on new authors.

Oh well. On to the next. The book was thrown on the shelf to collect dust. I wrote another book and started working on shopping that around, even getting a full request from an agent that had requested a partial on my first book. Things looked positive, but ultimately she rejected it as well. I was in the process of researching and writing my third book (now fourth or maybe fifth book as it’s still a work-in-progress) when I came across a blog in the summer of 2010. I honestly don’t remember how I found it, but there I was at J.A. Konrath’sblog (, reading all about his ebook adventures.

I was shocked. I’d always thought self-publishing was for losers who couldn’t get a ‘real’ publishing deal. But here was a published author skipping his publisher and going straight to ebooks. And he was making a lot of money. A LOT of money. Now, I am, of course, a realist and thought, well, he’s been published before, he has a following, but because the money he was making would allow me to write full time, I certainly kept paying attention and following along. I read about every epubbed author I could, how they did it, what they were writing, using social media to talk to these people and just gathering all the information I could.

And after a lot of thought and consideration, I decided that I would try out this epublishing and see what the big deal was about. I figured—what did I have to lose?

I had a book collecting dust on the shelf and I figured if anything, I’d get some readers, get some experience, and maybe make a little money as well. I planned to still submit my second novel to agents, hoping it wouldn’t be a black spot on my name that I had *gasp*—self-published. I followed Konrath, using the same cover artist and formatter. I figure it’s best to copy the successful folks.

But something happened. The further I got into epublishing, the more I realized I loved it. And that maybe I didn’t want to query anymore.

And I’m not knocking people who are traditionally published, being published is fantastic, no matter how you do it, but I’m also happy there are more options now than there were when I first started querying. You can chose your own path, which is great. Some authors are even doing a combination of traditional and self-publishing, which is a great idea.

As for me, since November 1st,2010, I’ve sold over 400 copies of Into the Shadows, and sales have really increased, I’m now selling 100 or more copies a month. I expect them to continue to grow as word gets around and with the release of my second book, Bloody Little Secrets, later this spring. I’ve earned back the money I spent on the cover and the formatting and am now making profit. If I can sell at least 100 of each of my upcoming books (I hope to have a total of 4 titles of my own by the end of 2011), I will be making $800 a month off of ebooks, or $9600 a year. And that’s assuming I don’t write any more books, which I of course will! This is also assuming sales stay the same, however I believe they will continue to increase, so these numbers are modest.

In the meantime, I decided to band together with other like-minded authors, and with Megg Jensen ( and G.P. Ching ( to create DarkSide Publishing ( DarkSide is a publishing label, where indie authors work together to produce great ebooks. By April 4th, DarkSide will have 4 titles available, and by the summer of 2011, we should have 7-8 titles available.

Megg Jensen has also seen great results, just in the first month, turning a profit and cracking the top 100 in Teen Fiction Ebooks on G.P. Ching hit bestseller category lists on Amazon within the first two days of her release. We have high hopes for new author Angela Carlie’s upcoming release. (

All in all, I think self-publishing has emerged as a viable option for authors looking to get their work in front of readers. Some epubbed authors have received book deals here in America and abroad, movie deals, gotten agents, and have really made a career for themselves.

I’m so happy with the decision I made and so excited for the future and I wish you the best of luck with your reading and writing endeavors. Be sure to try out an indie book the next time you have a chance!

Karly Kirkpatrick is the co-owner of DarkSide Publishing (, an indieepublishing label and author of Into the Shadows, available now, and Bloody Little Secrets, coming soon. She writes about her Adventures in Epublishing on her blog, In addition to being a grad student in the Writing and Publishing program at DePaul University, Chicago, Karly is also a member of SCBWI, a high school German teacher, and mother of an almost-four-year old.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Library Love

Like the rest of the A2A girls, I too love my public libraries! When I was a kid I would ride my bike there on summer days. When I was in high school I would study there after school and look things up in the Encyclopedia (do kids still use them? :-) ). In college I would camp out there all night and study for exams. As an adult I checked out every single girlie fiction audiobook the library had for long car rides/commutes to work, I've brought my kids there for countless activities, and I've checked out probably a ton of books/games/DVDs.

On my personal blog last week I talked about the new AMAZING library that just opened in my town. You can read about it here but I want to tell you guys specifically about the way cool teen section at the new library. It's gorgeous! It's separated from the rest of the library by a door so the teens have their own space. It's stylishly decorated with snowboards on one wall and a couple of walls of hanging beads that spell words. There are comfy chairs and giant bean bags for kids to sit on. And there are rows of sweet looking computers stocked with games. There is even a quiet room for kids to study in. And of course, all the middle grade and teen books are stored here. I can imagine that loads of teens from my town will be spending a lot of time there and I'm glad they have somewhere fun to hang out!

The ONE thing that I didn't like? ALL THE MIDDLE GRADE AND TEEN BOOKS ARE STORED HERE. Yeah. The sign outside the door says it's for 6th through 12th grade. I'm slightly older than that. Makes for a bit of a situation for me since I read MG and YA books. Maybe I'll have to hire a kid to go in and check out my books for me. :-)

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Love Affair with Libraries (or Booked for Years)

Tip of the Day: Sending LOVE & LIGHT to Japan! Check out the generous donations from the kidlit world to benefit Japan in this auction.

Considering that my current career is Young Adult Service Librarian and it is no secret that I love my job, it would be pretty lame for me to go on and on about why I love libraries (why not????), so instead let me give you my history with public libraries the way I remember it.

Grades 1-2: Attended the summer First and Second Grade Story Hours where we sang songs, read stories, made crafts, and watched movies.

Grades 3-5: Attended the summer Third, Fourh, & Fifth Grade Reader's Club where we book talked, made crafts, and watched movies, often with themes each week.

Grades 5-6: Participated in the summer Reading Contest; read 101 books in 6th grade to win the Waldenbooks gift card.

Grades 6-10: Volunteered as a helper for the summer programs for grades 1-5.

Grades 10-12 + Years 1-4 of College: Worked at the same library in Hilton, NY as a Page/Processor/whatever else they needed me to do. I continued to help with the summer programs.

...AND THEN THE ONE-YEAR NON-LIBRARY GAP HAPPENED! I graduated from college and needed a full time job that the Parma Library could not offer me. I was hired in June as an editor at a legal publishing company, but after only three months I knew I couldn't do an office job forever so...

One Year Post BS Degree: Started MLS degree.

Three Years Post BS Degree: Finished MLS degree. Yay! And decided that despite my initial thoughts that I might be sick of public library work, I wanted to be a YA Librarian.

...AND THEN THE 3.5 NON-LIBRARY GAP HAPPENED! (To be fair, I did regularly visit the public libraries to check out books during this time, of course!) The thing with deciding that you only want to be a YA librarian is that it takes a long time to get a FT job -- but the wait for me paid off! (It also helped $$$ that I was still employed FT at the publishing company during this time.) Averaging one interview a year, I finally scored my awesome current job....

2008 to Present: YA Librarian!

I do think it's fair to call me a book nerd. Even more-so after I read over this post.... :)

Support your public libraries! We need your support!

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A love of libraries

Tip of the Day: show your support for your local library, join your Friends of the Library group or check out one of their used books sale.

I LOVE libraries.

That should be obvious, since I love books.

But to be honest I think I love libraries even more than books. What's not to love: easy access to books and movies, smart services to help you research, and tons more.

So it's no wonder I now work at a library. But other than that I've also been a patron at a number of different libraries: from large to small. And here's some of my favorite things:

1.) I love access to all different types of books. I'm a browser at heart and I love to try lots of new things. If I had to buy a new book for all the ones I wanted to try, I'd go into debt quickly. I love the option of checking out twenty books, just to find the perfect one.

2.) I love that you can put things on hold. I'm embarrassed to admit how lazy I am, that even though I work at a library, sometimes it's nice to still be able to put stuff on hold (even at another library). I love that other people do the work for you and all you have to do is go to the circulation desk to pick up your materials. And I love it even more that you can also order books from other libraries. The list of books are endless!

3.) I love that most libraries don't discriminate. I'm not a lover of literary fiction and chances are pretty good I never will be. Sure I might enough a book here or there, but my true reading love lies with chick lit, romantic fiction, and cheesy YA. Luckily for me, librarians buy all of these books too!

4.) I love that there's no need to monitor how many books you get. Sure you might be limited to how many you can check out at once, but there's no need to count pennies. You are only paying for books and services during tax time, and with that you are only limited by how you use the services.

5.) I love that you can also get movies, because sometimes all you need is a good movie.

Basically, I just love libraries. Some have more services than others and easier access to information. But in the end every library I've ever been to just wants to give their patrons a good experience and provide them with good reads they enjoy. LOVE IT!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Today I Want to Say Thank You

Tip of the Day: Plan ahead! The Rochester Teen Book Fest is May 14th. Check it out.

I think I fell in love with the library before I fell in love with reading.

I grew up around the corner from the public library. Here's a photo of it. OMG, was it really that tiny? It was a special outing with my family to walk to the library, then cross the street to the deli for a soda. I was determined to read EVERY BOOK IN THE LIBRARY. I really just wanted to be there, to escape thinking about real life and have some time to myself strolling through the stacks, reading all the titles and fantasizing what the stories inside the spines might be. The children's librarians knew me by name and saved books for me; it made me feel special.

When I was a teenager, my friends and I met at the library to study. It was the perfect "I'm not really out with boys, Mom, honest" location to meet boys. And do their homework for them and get them to buy you a soda afterwards. I was the one who actually knew where everything was, although looking at the size of that library, really, how hard was it? But my friends let me go get them things, bless their lazy hearts.

Once my library tried out a program where they loaned out pictures you could hang on your walls. I couldn't figure out why my mother didn't borrow new pictures every two weeks. I would have, if I could've taken them home on my ten speed.

My friend Jackie and I used to ride our bikes to the next town, which had a bigger shopping area, and every time I suggested we stop at their library, she used to kick me and call me a nerd. But she'd go with me as long as I wasn't wearing my blue and gold Bayport jacket. We'd be surrounded by kids in purple Sayville jackets, and we were sure if we were wearing blue and gold, we'd get chased out. Naturally Jackie didn't own a school jacket as that was for rah-rahs, and although she didn't mind hanging out with a nerd like me, she had to draw the line at people who took school spirit seriously.

Today, I see teenagers at the library all the time. Sometimes I know their parents, and I wave and smile and they look at me funny and try to figure out how they know me. They're still in there, riding bikes or skateboards to get there, studying in giggling, flirting groups, browsing the titles in the stacks. I'm sure there are teens who meant to escape from life like I did in the library, but who also found people. Public libraries aren't just libraries. They are community places. To all of you public librarians who welcome teenagers, today I want to say thank you!

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun Friday: Twilight Jokes

Here's to dreaming our books one day get popular enough that people make AWESOME jokes about them! :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Blame Facebook...

Tip of the Day: Jessica Verday (The Hollow Trilogy) announced yesterday the short story anthology she is publishing with 25 YA authors (I'm in there too!). Click here to read the full announcement.

My blog habits have changed SO much over the years. Like Deena, I never thought about blogs until I decided to give YA writing a try in 2005. The first blogs I followed were Lauren Barnholdt and Robyn Schneider. I was 29 at the time and these two ladies were in their early twenties and publishing YA books. I thought they were totally inspirational and I remember thinking if they could do it so could I. So I studied everything they said, what blogs they recommended, agents they had submitted to etc., and I read everything I could YA related. When I joined Lauren's YA Chicklit class online I had to start a live journal blog to participate. And I loved it! I pretty much talked about everything and anything writing related and I loved the support and cheering of the YA community on LJ as everyone was searching for agents and submitting to publishers. At that point I was reading as many blogs as I could. I loved knowing what everyone else was doing on their writing journeys. So much, me and the A2A girls started up this blog. And After I got an agent and sold my first book I joined the 2009 Debutantes and read the posts on there daily too.

Then something happened. There was a big blog reading drop off for me. I'm not sure what it was exactly. Was it that I had published books now and I wasn't reading agent blogs or blogs about the beginning of the publishing journey anymore? Was it that my four kiddos weren't babies anymore and my free time was now divided up between boy scouts/girl scouts/ballet/karate/soccer/swimming/gymnastics/school? Or was it the explosion of twitter and facebook and everyone I've ever met in my entire life being on there and discussing everything from their kids poop to their killer pot roast recipe?

I blame Facebook.

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A History of My Blog Habits (or "We Didn't Start the Fire")

*With apologies to Billy Joel

Tip of the Day: Getting sucked into The Bachelor can really dig into Monday night writing time....

When I started my first blog on LiveJournal in 2006, it was just for an online YA writing class; I didn't expect to keep it going, but as more and more writers I came to "know" on Verla Kay's message board posted about their writing lives on LJ, the more I wanted to keep up with my "Friends List" -- and I also wanted to contribute something to those who "friended" me back. I've never been comfortable with posting too many personal anecdotes online, so my LJ became a place for me to write short summaries and reviews of every book I read. I like that identity for my LJ; anyone who chooses to follow me knows what to expect. Maintaining it also allows me to get more "personal" with some of my "friends" because I can comment on their posts.

In 2009 when we started A2A, I decided this would be my blog to post about writing from both the creative and business sides. I know that my posts here are sometimes more engaging than others, but I enjoy keeping this blog not only for conneting with readers, but also with my A2A Misses, and it forces me to "publish" a piece every week and to think about writing topics.

I don't know that I'll ever trade these two blogs for Twitter or Facebook, although I have minimally used accounts for both.

In terms of my blog reading, besides those on my LJ feed right now I tune into some publisher blogs, a group blog, and others as tweeted/linked to -- as time allows. That's where I am now in my online reading life.

But sometimes what I'm doing in my life changes how I read blogs. When I was looking for an agent, I read a TON of agent blogs. When I subbed to a few editors on my own in between agents, I read a TON of editor blogs, or blogs where they were interviewed. And I think that's OK. As long as the material is out there on the internet, I like knowing I can tune into different entries when I need them.

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's an ever changing blog world...

Tip of the Day: if you haven't done so already, go congratulate our dear friend Lisa Schroeder on the sale of her latest book. Yay, Lisa!!!!!!

A few weeks ago, all of us at Author2Author started emailing about blogs and Facebook in general and how it seems to be constantly changing, both in good ways and bad. This has really gotten me thinking about blogs in general.

I used to read a ton of them. I'd check my LJ feed several times a day and then Google Reader even more. I also used to religiously check Facebook.

But somewhere along the lines, I got burned out. And now I've cut back tremendously on what I read. And I rarely look for new blogs to read now, unless I hear about a post through a friend or other trusted blog.

If I'm that way, then I guarantee lots of other people have cut back on the blogs they read as well.

When there wasn't as much competition it didn't seem you had to work as hard at creating a unique topic. Blogging to me used to be more about community and meeting other writers. I've loved all the connections I've made online with other writers, both through blogs and online communities. Some of the connections have become lasting friendships and I'm so grateful to writing friends to chat with and share critiques with.

And I would be incredibly sad to loose that if all blogs started going in the route of too much publicity or they'd become so over saturated it would be hard to connect with people. For me it's always been about the relationships. That tends to happen when you are still in the pre-published state.

And as the blogosphere gets even more saturated with blogs, I still hope people new to blogging can make those same connections. I'd hate for it to become all promotion, all the time. And for people to feel increased pressure (myself included) to keep having to work at bigger and better topics. Work is great, but there's a place for fun in writing too.

I love the ideas mentioned yesterday to keep a balance of work-specific blogs, those you read for fun, and those people you like to just connect with. And as blog writers it's always good to keep in mind variety is key. Not only for readers, but for yourself as well.

Not sure this has a point. Just to say blogging is great, in all it's forms. And I hope people remember connections are just as important as communicating about new books and what you are working on.


Monday, March 14, 2011


Tip of the Day: Enter to win books in a contest to congratulate Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Inkygirl) for her S&S book contract!

How many blogs do you read every day?

If you're like me, you would like to keep up with more blogs, and yet I feel guilty about the amount of time I spend on the computer. The challenge has always been to keep up with the RIGHT blogs--and once I've found a great blog, to be able to find it again.

Blogging has changed a lot since I started here at Author2Author over 2 years ago. Back then, I had a list of favorite blogs in my Internet browser bookmark, and I checked each one over lunch at the office. But it got too big, so I moved to a blog reader, Bloglines. That went under and then was purchased and relaunched recently.

In the meantime, I tried to migrate to Google Reader, but by then I was also trying to keep up with Facebook and Twitter. I found myself reading more and more blogs I had never read before, sucked in by intriguing Twitter "headlines." "I should promote Author2Author on Twitter," I think, but I'm not chatty on Twitter. I use it more to get news. And who wants to only hear from someone about promotion?

Lately, my personal and work life have both been super busy, so I've had less time online than ever. There are a few blogs I check on a regular basis no matter how bad it gets: My online critique group, MiG Writers. I love this group because we have such varying life experiences and viewpoints. I really need to plug Andrea Mack's extremely thoughtful, well-written blog on writing, That's Another Story. How to Write Badly Well. It will cheer you up immensely. Bookshelves of Doom. If it's going on in YA lit, the very funny Leila Roy knows about it. The Comics Curmudgeon. Comic strips commentary. Really. The highlight of my lunch hour.

Now I used to follow a lot more: Editorial Anonymous, Nathan Bransford, Live Journal accounts. (Hey, I still try to check in on my LJ buddies, but LJ is becoming increasingly incomprehensible to me.) But lately I rely on Twitter buzz to let me know when someone's blog is especially hot. And I suspect I'm not alone in this sea change. So I feel more pressure to be interesting. Look at me!! I'm interesting!!

Then I see a link to a blog post of mine from a year ago, and I realize that these entries are semi-permanent. This seems to be happening more and more with the increase in blogs: people link to old blog posts "on topic." Blogging has changed a lot since the LJ "what I did today" days.

Regular blogging doesn't seem to mean as much as hot, topical content. Do you agree?

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fun Friday: Writer's Block No More!

Trying to come up with the next BIG idea but you've got nothing? Worry no more, there is a Writer's Plot Generator available online! Go ahead and give it at try, you know you want to.

In the mean time, I'll get to work on my suggested plot from the generator: "When their plane crashes, a convent of nuns go on a road trip. The story is extended by a robbery by an eight foot man-eating bunny."

I'm sensing best seller stuff here so don't go stealing my idea.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Ebooks from Indie Authors

Tip of the Day: Want to see a super cool library? Check out the blog I did on our new town library. And here's an extra tip for today, if you have an iPad or iPhone you can download an ereader app (exp. nook) to read books on instead of buying an ereader.

Since we've been talking about ebooks all week I thought it would be fun to share a few ebooks that I have my eye on. Specifically I'm going to be looking at ebooks recently put out by indie authors.

Megg Jenson epublished her first young adult book, Anathema, just a couple of weeks ago. The book is already doing well and she even broke into the top 100 most popular ebooks on this week. She's got an engaging cover and a great price at $2.99 a book.

Karly Kirkpatrick began epublishing four months ago with her first young adult book, Into the Shadows. Her book is also nicely priced at $2.99. She blogs all about the epub experience in detail and it's fascinating to follow. Karly will be guest posting for us on a Fun Friday later this month.

Tera Lynn Childs is known for her traditionally publisher young adult books but has recently begun self-publishing adult books. Her first two are Eye Candy and Straight Talk. I love the covers, which is a HUGE thing in epub. Gotta have a great cover. And of course, her price is awesome at $.99 a book.

I've always liked reading Lauren Barnholdt's traditionally published young adult books from the Devon Delaney series to Reality Chick. Lauren has recently started self-publishing a number of series novellas on, all priced between $.99 and $2.99. Sweet! The covers are all gorgeous! Here's a long list of her books.

What about you? Any ebooks by indie authors that you have your eye on?

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

eBooks are eVeRYWHeRe

Tip of the Day: See if your local library has a subscription to an ebook/audiobook lending site like Overdrive.

Here's some more thoughts on the pros and cons of ebooks from a public library perspective:

1. libraries have limited shelf space; ebook collections don't take up shelf space so more titles can be ordered

2. ebooks don't fall apart/get stolen/get lost

3. ebooks automatically "check back in" on their due dates so the next person on the holds list doesn't have to wait longer than expected from patrons who keep books past their due dates and therefore....

3a. ebooks don't accrue overdue fines

4. putting an ebook on hold is free, while in my library system putting a paper book on hold is 50 cents to a dollar

1. ebooks depend on technology to be accessible; if a library's network system goes down (like my library's did yesterday for over two hours), the books are not available for example

2. book publishers are still figuring out their terms for selling ebooks to libraries -- some times in ways that aren't beneficial to libraries (see the HarperCollins article that Kate linked to last week; my library system is now boycotting the purchase of HC ebooks because other publishers are NOT changing to terms such as this)

3. lending materials budgets will be stretched thinner; less titles might be purchased because now paper AND electronic versions of popular titles need to be purchased

Anything else obvious I'm missing about ebooks being held in library collections?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ebooks are here to stay...

Tip of the Day: yay for the snow finally going away!!

Ebooks seem to be more popular by the minute. Working at a library, it's definitely the hot topic of discussion right now, since a whole slew of people seem to have recently bought ereaders.

My husband and I looked into a reader, but not for it's primary purpose. Instead, we wanted one merely to get Internet access wirelessly without having to carry our laptops around our house and have a bigger screen than our phones.

My biggest reason for not buying a reader yet is because I borrow most books from our library and up until recently many of the libraries in my area didn't offer ebooks that could be read on most ereaders. But now that's changed.

Our library is currently in the process of adding ebook content for ereaders. From the library standpoint, it's just another book version we are getting now, in addition, to the hard copy. So it will be interesting to see if ebooks will replace the bulk of paper books in the near future.

Eventually I'm sure I'll get a reader to read books. I still love paper books, but the convenience will be nice. Currently, I could read stuff on my phone, but the screen seems to0 small for me personally, so have an ereader makes sense.

It does seem to present a lot of new issues for publishing companies and I hope everything works out where all sides are happy. Because this definitely seems to be how the publishing industry is going. I welcome the change, but do hope it doesn't effect the quality of books in the long run.'s to change.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Pro E-books, Anti Reading Device

Tip of the Day: The New York Times has added e-books to their best seller lists. Check it out.

I love the convenience of downloading books onto my Android phone. I use the Nook application because it downloads fast, and searching "Young Adult" turns up some intriguing titles. This weekend, I was stuck at a laser tag place waiting for my daughter, so I downloaded SOLD by Patricia McCormick. The time flew by.

I don't know if I'd ever actually buy the Nook, though. The whole point of reading an e-book to me is that I don't have to tote a novel everywhere I go. If I bought a Nook, I'd have to bring that with me all the time. It's just as easy to carry a book. I'm carrying my phone with me anyway. The Nook would be something extra.

I admit, it would be tempting sometimes when I'm in the mood for a particular book to be able to download it as the whim struck me. But at home, I have a big backlog on my To Be Read pile as it is. I can't see me using e-books at home. But downloading e-books to my phone has become my favorite "stuck waiting somewhere" activity. I paid about $7 for SOLD on my phone, which I felt was money well spent.

The only problem is that I didn't get to finish it before laser tag was over. So now I have to wait until I'm stuck somewhere else to finish it. Or I could read it and pretend I'm doing something obnoxiously important on my phone instead. "Yeah, sorry, gotta take this message, it's life or death. We'll catch up on that fascinating story about your cat's sprained leg later."

Do you download books when you're out and about?

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fun Friday: Just Your Average Princess Cover!!!!

Happy Fun Friday!

Our Author2Author readers get the very very first peek at the cover for my fall book (10/11/11), JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS!

Summary: Jamie Edwards has loved growing up on her family’s pumpkin patch in Average, IL, and she’s always dreamed of one day being the town’s Pumpkin Princess at the annual Pumpkin Festival. But when her rich and famous cousin, Milan Woods, comes to town and changes everything, Jamie knows she has to expose Milan for who she really is and teach her that life’s not all pumpkins and apple butter at the patch.

And here's the cover!!!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Yearbook Fun!

Tip of the Day: Check out this list of indie bookstores near the 200 Borders that are closing.

Going through old yearbooks is a blast! I completely forgot that I had a 5th grade yearbook (it was tucked inside a junior high yearbook) and WOW, is this any indication of how I was at ten years old?

"Tina, Hope you have a great summer. Find a hunk. -Eileen"

"Tina, I like you a lot, hope feel better, and find a boy! -Ann H."

"Tina, Have a great summer. Good luck with the boys. -Teri"

So what is that about? Was I that boy crazy? Was I the only one without a boyfriend?!! Oh yeah, that's how that Fake Boyfriend thing got going... moving on...

Some junior high gems:

"Tina, Gee, I've known you since kindergarten! Wow! You're someone special I'll always remember! A/S/S Love, Sharon 668-2014"

(I have no earthly idea who this is. Think I should give her a call?)

"Tina, I spit of (Eric the thing) on the phone were good friends. Have a great summer! from Jenny"

(One of my smarter friends I guess. Who's Eric? Who's Jenny?)

And an abundance of people wishing me a"kick ass summer" and those who LYLAS (love me like a sis. Where are you know sisters?! lol).

And high school is full of lots of swear words, lots of obscure references to silly things we did in classes and on weekends, and lots of we rule the school type talk. In high school people liked to fill entire pages with nonsense so it's hard to pull out gems. In case you think I'm exaggerating, this is one person, and it goes on for a third page:

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A2A The Teen Years: Yearbook Yackin' (or We Were Only Freshman*)

*With apologies to the Verve Pipe

Tip of the Day: Stay tuned to future posts for intriguing gems from my sophomore through senior yearbooks!

Here's some great lines from my freshman yearbook -- feel free to steal them for your YA novels!

"You might as well face it, me & Steve's relationship is not at an end. I know in my <3 he likes me."
(UPDATE: they dated on and off for most of high school, and then thankfully it ended.)

"We are making the bestest quilts in the whole darn world!"
(UPDATE: my "quilt" maxed out at about 3 square feet.)

"It's a good thing we didn't waste our freshman year & pay attention."
(UPDATE: I still agree with this. :))

"Maching band was fun too but don't drop out...."
(UPDATE: I did the next year to get a job.)

"...and I love your hair!"
(UPDATE: I still have no idea how anyone could love my hair, especially during the puberty years.)

Reading through these was fun and embarassing! It was the first time I opened this yearbook in, well, years!

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A2A Teen Years: Yearbook Flashbacks

Tip of the Day: March seems like a good writing month...which is why I'm officially making it March Writing Madness Month.

This week we are talking about yearbook messages. I’m having so much fun reading over old messages in my yearbook, but trying to figure out what to share on the blog has been quite challenging. I’ve figured out that a lot of people wrote general (a.k.a boring) good luck message or stuff way too specific that no third party would understand.

Also, my senior yearbook is almost empty, since we didn’t get it till everyone was in college, which made it hard to reach people to sign it. Boo…(hopefully they’ve figured out a quicker way of getting yearbooks out to graduating students now.)

But here are bits and pieces that stuck out at me from some of my older yearbooks…

“When I have a bad day I can always look forward to you having a big smile for me and about 30 hugs to go along with it. I really do enjoy your hugs, but let’s try to have them in moderation.” (For that I'm sure he got 60 in one day :)

“Remember all of our guy talks! I know you will find that really built businessman that wears suits all the time and he sings 'She doesn’t know she is beautiful!'" (Ha…my husband wouldn’t know a suit if it hit him over the head…but he does sing. 1 for 2!)

“Thank you so much for making my endurance for patience very high.” (This came from a long, long entry after I apparently made one of my best guy friends write more in my yearbook. He proceeded to give me a huge story of how he needs patience around me. Ha. The stories were funny, but too long and too specific to share. Lesson learned: let people write as much or as little as they want!)

“…which reminds me of the other time you guys really made me happy. When you ran the Taurus through my dad’s brand new landscaping. That was highly intelligent.”

“Continue to do a good job being President of the Klutz Club!” (Still the President till this day!)

“Well you’re a wonderful person and we have a lot of memories. Like when you fell down the stairs in aerobics and then fell off the bars, that was so funny!”

“Someday I’ll be calling you up and asking you to represent me in my upcoming court battle. I’ll find your name in the phone under: Emily {MAIDEN NAME}, Attorney at Law.” (Not even close…and for that I’m glad!)

Oh high school. What good times!