Monday, July 29, 2013

Time to BLACKOUT (or Release Day is Here!)

Tip of the Day: Verla Kay's Blue Board is so amazing that it is merging with the SCBWI message boards! Go Verla and BBers!

Four days early, my YA novel BLACKOUT is out in the world*!

It is only $2.99 (what a deal!) through the following retailers:
Also, my super talented husband wrote original music and put together this awesome book trailer. I love it!

For a reminder on why I decided to self e-pub BLACKOUT, here's my blog post from April.

Thanks to all the A2A Misses and critique partners past and present who helped bring this book to life!

If anyone has any questions on the e-pubbing process from a first timer, feel free to ask them here. And if they are beyond my ability to answer, I will forward them to the epub master, Megg. :)

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

*Except for through slooow iTunes and delayed Kobo.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A2A Chat: Lisa Tiffin and the THEFT OF THE STAR TRACKER

Tip of the Day: If you get requests for partials and fulls but no offers of rep from the first couple dozen agents you query, keep going for a few dozen more! It only takes one.

Today I would like to welcome Lisa Tiffin, independent publisher of Apple Cart Books and author of the Eagle Ridge Prep middle-grade novels, starting with her first release, THEFT OF THE STAR TRACKER! And yes, this book is available now through!

(Isn't this cover fabulous?)
What is THEFT OF THE STAR TRACKER about, you may ask?
When their highly technical science project is stolen, brothers Drew and Alex Richfield are thrown into an action-filled battle with bully, Brett Larson, who always seems to be just one step ahead of them.
Drew and Alex must learn to work together to stop Brett from registering their GPS Star Tracker as his own in the Annual Science Fair. At stake are the brothers’ reputations, their relationship and the Grand Prize!
Full disclosure: Lisa is one of my critique partners and a reason I have grown so much as a writer these past few years. I read THEFT OF THE STAR TRACKER as a draft and knew it would have an audience. Now that it is available as an ebook, I am thrilled to see it find its readers!

And onto our A2A chat!

1. Tell us a little about yourself. An About the Author if you will.
Sure, start with the hardest question! I think story was always part of my life. When my siblings and I were young, instead of reading to us our dad would make up stories to tell us. Later, I got involved with theater. I loved to bring a story to life through a character to entertain an audience. I suppose writing is similar though hearing and seeing the reactions are a bit delayed. In my work as a freelance writer, I often have to get a message or a brand across, but when I write fiction, I can focus more on entertaining readers. And that all ties back to what our dad did for us – entertain!

2. What was your initial idea for
It all started with a conversation with my older brother. He was frustrated with the lack of great books for his boys. As a mother of twin boys, I knew my own sons would soon be in the same position as their older cousins were. Somehow that conversation ended up with my brother challenging me to write the kind of books that we both wanted for our sons: entertaining, smart adventures capable of holding a boy’s interest.

I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I outlined and wrote and wrote. I actually sent each section to my nephews with questions for them to answer about the characters, plot and interest level. I paid them with Legos, if you can believe it! After that, the book went through a revision workshop, my critique group, and several industry professionals before it was ready for prime time.

3. What made you decide to self-epub?
This book is really close to my heart. Maybe because my family was the catalyst that propelled me into writing it, maybe because it is the book that taught me I really do love science (as long as that science is technology related!) or maybe because it was the book that really sealed the deal for me as a children’s author.

The book has come really close to traditional publication (it was once under contract with a small publisher) and has had a lot of good reviews, so I just felt like it was time to get it out there into the world. I’m hoping lots of kids will enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

4. What else do you write?
I’ve written a few picture books, other middle grade novels and short stories for adults. In fact, I love short stories and am working right now on a YA book of short stories about Haiti. I’m not sure how that will ultimately play out, but I like what I have so far. In my day job I write newspaper articles, essays, magazine articles and lots of business copy like Websites, brochures and newsletters. So pretty much everything. J

5. What are your thoughts on self-epubbing and traditional publishing?
Great question! With our economy in tenuous shape and the ever-changing landscape of traditional publishing, I feel like agents and editors are all looking for that one, breakout, NYT best-selling novel. Unfortunately, a lot of competent and even brilliant writers are penning good quality, midlist, dependable novels. I think self publishing and e-publishing open the field for authors to get their books into the public’s hands. Most readers don’t care who published the book if it’s something they want to read, something of quality and something that will entertain and enlighten them.

6. Any last thoughts for our readers?
Thanks for having me and thanks to all the readers out there who care about books and what they represent. Our culture thrives on stories, and I love the interdependence between writers and readers. I’d love to hear your comments or answer questions about that relationship, e-pubbing vs. traditional pubbing, my book or anything else!

Thank you, Lisa! And you heard her, readers: What questions do you have about the various types of publishing?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Things Are Happening (or "Is It Really Happening?")

*with apologies to Marky Mark and M. Night Shyamalan

Tip of the Day: Another reminder that WriteOnCon is happening August 13-14. Don't miss this free online kidlit writing conference! Thanks, WriteOnCon team!

Readers! Things are Happening!

Wanna know what? OK. Keep reading.

1. You may remember that in April I decided to self-epub my YA novel, BLACKOUT. This plan is moving forward and I am set to release my first novel on August 1st! It will be available through Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Smashwords. Here is the cover, designed by the talented Shana Norris.

I love the artwork and can't wait for it to be out in the world! I plan to epub the sequel, DESERTED, in 2014 and can already picture the companion cover.
2. To go along with my book release, I have a website. I've owned for years. I mean, I had to reserve it early since I could tell people would be fighting over that domain name one day. Now it is finally live! The site still needs some embelishments, but you can learn more about BLACKOUT there.

3. Four out of five of the A2A Misses are meeting up later this month for gossip and writing and let's face it, more gossip! We invited Megg, but since she just closed on a new house, she can't make it but we'll send her love from Ohio. This will be the first time that Tina and Em are meeting Kate. This will be a fun union and reunion.

4. I have some good buzz on the agent front and hope to be able to make something official later this month! This had made me want to spend days revising my next MG novel and dive into another idea. Writing mojo is kicking in!

What summer writerly things are happening for you?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing