Dream Smashers celebrated her first birthday all alone in March. I’m a horrible book parent and didn’t even throw her a party. To make up for it, I gave her a facelift. I hope she likes it. And I hope her readers like it, too.
Take a look. Isn’t she pretty?
Dream Smashers has needed a new cover for a while now. It’s an important story, but often gets overlooked. The original cover, which I love, wasn’t sitting well with the readers. It even was nominated for a most ugly cover list over on Goodreads. The second cover was an experiment, something I whipped up myself, and not very professional. I believe this new cover captures the emotion of the story, but also has appeal for the readers. I adore it!
About Dream Smashers:
Letting go is hard to do, but sometimes, it’s all you can do.
Sixteen-year-old Autumn is a human heartache. Everywhere she turns people are stomping on her hopes and dreams. Her mom’s a tweaker. She’s lived with her chain-smoking grandmother for as long as she can remember. Even her best friend has issues. Autumn seems to be the only responsible person she knows and she’s sick of putting up with it all.
When she meets Evan, a hot guy without a worry in the world, she can only wonder if he’s for real or just another Dream Smasher.
A girl who no longer wants to care and a boy who cares enough for the both of them. Dream Smashers is a love story, but most of all, it’s about letting go.
Thanks to my good friend, Megg Jensen, for inspiring me to get ‘er done, and Rashelle Workman who referred Megg who then referred me to the cover artisan Steven Novak. Go check him out. He’s awesome.
Dream Smashers is available on Amazon Kindle and wherever else eBooks are sold. It may take a day or two for the new version to be available.
The Driven Blog Tour: Race to snatch up this book!
It is an honor to present Lisa Nowak’s next contemporary YA novel to all of you and to participate in her blog tour. I had the privilege of meeting Lisa at my own book launch in 2011 and this awesome woman is a fiercely loyal friend, tireless advocate of ebooks and books, and brilliant author who writes edgy, funny fiction that will have you flipping through her pages like a racer. Driven is the second novel in her Running Wide Open series.
The last thing on 16-year-old Jess DeLand’s wish list is a boyfriend. She’d have to be crazy to think any guy would look twice at her. Besides, there are more important things to hope for, like a job working on cars and an end to her mom’s drinking. Foster care is a constant threat, and Jess is willing to sacrifice anything to stay out of the system. When luck hands her the chance to work on a race car, she finds herself rushing full throttle into a world of opportunities—including a boy who doesn’t mind the grease under her fingernails. The question is, can a girl who keeps herself locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets open up enough to risk friendship and her first romance?
“The first romance is captured beautifully—just the right combination of natural and awkward, of eager and scared.”
~ Bob Martin, writing professor, Pacific Northwest College of Art
In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron.
Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.
First, invite authors who write different genres to come and participate in your launch. I write YA, so I get a picture book author, a middle grade author, a cookbook author and a few adult fiction authors to take part. I plan a game, get a local business to bring a treat for the first 100 customers and get people to donate lots of prizes for door prizes and drawings.
Now, you need to get the word out to the schools.
The great thing about being a YA author is that you can easily promote your book to teens through the schools. How do you do that?
First, get some professionally looking posters made up. Photoshop does amazing things. Print up the posters at Costco or somewhere similar. The posters only cost $3 each. Take them to Jr. highs and high schools in the area of your launch. Tell the school office it is a literary event and make sure you have all authors at least listed on the poster. Do this 2 weeks before the event.
Second, create a teacher packet.
Make fliers that advertise the event. Use Photoshop or something like it. If that is beyond you, hire someone. Make one 8X10 and then make the same flier divided 4 per sheet. Find a place that prints on the cheap when you print large amounts of the same thing. Do black and white copies. I used this for my first launch and for the second, I found a sale for double sided 3X5 cards and made them into a cool invitation to give out.
Next, write a short and to the point letter to the English teachers of the schools. Every kid is required to take English every year of school, so you’ll hit them all. This letter should explain how the teacher could benefit from telling their students about the event and encouraging them to go.Offer a big prize for the teachers. Give something that the teachers won’t be able to refuse. A Nook or something. Tell them that each student that comes to the launch and tells you the name of the teacher who sent them, will earn them one entry to win the prize. The more of their students that come, the greater the chance they will have to win the prize. Ask them to hand out the fliers to their students and hang the 8X10 of the announcement you’ve created, by their door, where all the students will see it.
Put an elastic around the small fliers and put a sticky note that has the teacher’s name on it on the letter.
Take these packets to the schools. Make sure you look nice and presentable. Ask if you can put the fliers for this literary event in the English teachers’ boxes. They will usually let you do it on your own. Sometimes they want to do it, though. Be respectful and kind and they will help you.Thirdly, you need to make it a fun event. Go early. On my first launch, I had people there a half-hour early. I was the third highest selling author at an author signing ever at that Barnes and Noble. Not bad for a debut author.
Those are the basics of getting the schools involved. If I wrote about all of it, this post would be way too long. Here is a short list of more things to do to help you be successful.
Send a press release to the newspaper. They reviewed my book and told about the event.
Talk it up with everyone
Take fliers around your neighborhood the day before
Hang some fliers around town, wherever they’ll let you
Have all your peeps blog and Facebook about it.
Make a Facebook event for sure
Put the event on your author central page for Amazon
Make sure you have a tab on your blog dedicated to it.
Most of all, have fun! Start early! There is a lot to do to be successful, but it will be worth it.
Have you ever been to a debut author’s book launch? What would make you want to go to a debut author’s book launch?
Cindy Hogan enjoys spending time with and writing about unpredictable teenagers. If she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her with her own teen daughters or her fun husband. She graduated with a BA in secondary educa
Cidney Swanson’s new young adult novel, Unfurl, has launched! I’m hosting her today as part of her blog tour and she has graciously shared with us her tips on how to overcome the evil writer’s block. Take a look at her book cover below. Isn’t it gorgeous?!
About the book
Against all expectations, Samantha Ruiz has survived attacks by two of Helmann’s deadliest assassins. She’s alive, but she’s far from safe. Helmann is planning a second Holocaust and wants Sam to play a starring role. Will, meanwhile, separated from Sam by an ocean, seeks a way to prevent Helmann’s apocalypse. Along with Sir Walter and Mickie, Will plays a deadly game sneaking into Geneses’ facilities, discovering unsettling clues as to Helmann’s plans. The clock ticks down as Will and Sam discover just how much they must be willing to sacrifice to stop Helmann. UNFURL, the powerful conclusion to The Ripple Series, will leave fans breathless.
Writer’s block can cover a host of issues that stem from a number of sources ranging from something as simple as fatigue to something as complex as clinical depression. Most of the time, though, it doesn’t come from anything quite so dramatic. Most of the time, writer’s block crops up when we’re afraid to commit our words to paper or when we have “run out” of things to say.
Cidney’s Secret for Success: B-I-C
Although these causes are really dissimilar, the solution for both is the same: B-I-C. Butt in chair. As in: you need to sit down and just write.
Have you ever primed a pump? There’s a campground I visit every summer where we have to do that. You pull that handle up and down a few times and it seems like nothing is happening, but then all the sudden you’re jumping backwards to avoid being drenched in icy fresh water.
Your brain is like that pump. It needs to be primed, and often it will look like nothing is happening for the first little bit of B-I-C time. Inspiration really does follow perspiration, though, and as you get your mind to recognize that you are going to go through with this activity right now, your mind will usually supply you with a few things to jot down. And then a few more.
Still feeling stuck? Here are my two favorite ways to get unstuck:
Interview your characters. You can ask them anything, really. Sit at your [writing instrument of choice] to do this, and actually write out the Q’s and the A’s. I find out all kinds of amazing stuff when I start asking my characters questions.
If you’ve truly tried, truly done your B-I-C time and you’re still stuck, go take a walk. Sometimes a little change in scenery will loosen things up. Or maybe it’s the physical motion that does it. I’m not sure. But before you take your walk, ask your brain, “So, what happens next?” and see what comes up!
Want to enter to win a giveaway ebook of Unfurl?! Enter the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck! [click to continue…]
Indelibles on Fire Blog Hop!
In celebration of our official launch, we are giving away a KINDLE FIRE! If you’d like to start at the beginning of the INDELIBLES ON FIRE GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP, then please start here: http://indeliblewriters.blogspot.com/
If you are already mid-hop, then welcome to your next stop! By following the link at the bottom of this post, you can proceed to the next author (and check out the awesome, individual giveaways we are doing along the way!). If you are entering to win the KINDLE FIRE, don’t forget to make a note of the keyword at the end of every blog post – the words spell out a phrase you will need to enter the contest on the last stop.
Marketing guru Shelli Johannes Wells has teamed up with twenty-four other indie and small press authors to bring you the Indelibles.
Who are we? We are indie authors who write middle grade and young adult fiction. We are dedicated to leaving a permanent mark on the world with our stories and words.
We are The Indelibles.
Each week, we’ll explore fun, fabulous, and fierce topics for today’s teens, drawing on pop culture and themes from the books we write. Check out our official launch Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 for fun giveaways at http://indeliblewriters.blogspot.com/. We’ll also be having a “blogger” chat on Jan. 11 and a writer/author chat on Jan. 18 to answer questions about self- and indie-pubbing. See our blog for details.
And now with no further ado, I will introduce myself: Cheri Lasota
I’ve explored many avenues in my life, but everything always seems to boil down to STORY. As a girl, I immersed myself into movies and novels and then tried my hand at poetry, novels and finally short stories. I majored in film at university because I wanted to continue my love for and my education in storycraft. I’ve been an editor since high school, and in 2004 I launched my freelance fiction editing business, Stirling Editing. (And yes, I named my biz after my miniature schnauzer. Doesn’t everyone?)
I started my first novel when I was in 3rd grade, but I didn’t end up with a usable idea until I was 22. Deciding to set my novel in the Azores Islands and basing it on mythology jumpstarted a 10-year odyssey of research, plotting and rewriting. Glad it’s over and done at last!
When I need a break from writing and editing, I launch myself down ski hills going 50 mph. I love to ski race (slalom), and I am a host patroller up at Timberline on Mt. Hood. When I’m mentally and physically exhausted from all that, I find I have a new obsession to waste countless hours on: enhanced ebooks and html coding. This is a new realm for me and I’m embracing it wholeheartedly. I adore ebooks and I’m looking for more ways to bring out their innovative features and show readers just how amazing an electronic reading experience can be.
Google+ Author Page (Circle my page on Google+, and you’ll be entered to win my ebook giveaway!)
Enter to win Artemis Rising! If you click through to “circle” my Google+ author page, I’ll enter you in a drawing to win my ebook of Artemis Rising in any e-format you wish! I’ll announce the winner here on Thursday (1/12/12)