Friday, February 18, 2011

Spooky News & NE Tour Report

In Memorium

Redwall Author Brian Jacques Dead at 71 from The Washington Post. Peek: "Jacques wrote the first book in his famous Redwall series for the children at the Royal School for the Blind in Liverpool, England. The book's hero was a timid mouse named Matthias who found the courage to protect his home, Redwall Abbey. " See also Extreme Sadness: Brian Jacques from Book Moot.

Margaret K. McElderry (1912-2011) from Locus Online. Peek: "Children’s editor and publisher Margaret K. McElderry, 98, died February 14, 2011. She is best known as founder of her eponymous children’s imprint, Margaret K. McElderry Books."

More News

E-Book Sales Rise in Children's and Young Adult Categories by Julie Bosman from The New York Times. Peek: "In 2010 young-adult e-books made up about 6 percent of the total digital sales for titles published by St. Martin’s Press, but so far in 2011, the number is up to 20 percent, a spokeswoman for the publisher said." Source: Varian Johnson.

At Tools of Change, Former ABC Director Kristen McLean to Discuss New Venture, Bookigee by Andrew Albanese from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "Created with input from a 'team of innovators' in fields ranging from specialty design to retail, editorial, Silicon Valley tech, engineering, bookselling and book marketing, Bookigee has an admittedly ambitious goal—in essence, to begin reshaping a consumer process that has become entrenched over decades, but also somewhat inefficient."

The Do's, Don't's and "Stuff" of Writer Conferences by Donna Bowman Bratton from Writing Down the Kidlit Page. Peek: "When you find yourself in the room with revered editors, agents, and award-winning authors, there are certain rules of etiquette you should abide by."

Managing Information Overload by R.L. LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "I have no trouble producing pages, it’s the blocking out unnecessary ‘information’ that lurks everywhere, promising to inform and enlighten me to within an inch of my life."

Author Skype Tour Blog: "a place where authors, teachers, and librarians can connect to help readers discover great new titles and learn more about writing. There are already great Skype-author resources like the Skype-an-Author Network and Kate Messner's list of authors who do free, 20-minute chats with classes & book clubs that have read their books. But sometimes, teachers & librarians may want to connect with an author whose books students haven't read yet...and sometimes, authors may want to talk with groups that haven't read a book yet, to help get the word out about a new title. That's what this site is for."

Teachers and Librarians Love Book Trailers by Darcy Pattison from Greg Pincus at The Happy Accident. Peek: "That is 99% of librarians surveyed who think trailers are effective. Wow!" See also Five Ways Your Characters' Job Affects Your Novel by Darcy from Fiction Notes.

Two Literary Agents by Kathy Temean from Writing and Illustrating. Learn what Molly Jaffa of Folio and Christina Hogrebe of Jane Rotrosen Agency are seeking in manuscripts/clients. Note: in New Jersey, all of the buzz was about the upcoming NJ SCBWI Annual Conference June 3 to June 5 in Princeton. We're talking a mega list of editors, agents, and authors--well worth the trip! Early bird rate deadline: March 1.

Promoting Your Own Books: Who Is Your Publisher? by Michelle in Marketing at Boxcars, Books & A Blog AKA Albert Whitman & Company. Peek: "Aside from the first time author (read: lack of brand name) issues inherent in those possibilities, your publisher just might be more concerned with Baker & Taylor and the American Library Association."

Call for Characters by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: "I’m looking for contrasts in names, height, weight, ethnic background, style of clothing and personality factors. If X loves cats, Y should love lizards. No, not dogs, silly."

Borders Stores Closing from The Wall Street Journal: about 30% of stores; a complete list. See also FAQ for Vendors about Borders Reorganization from Borders Group Inc. Note: please support brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Seven Tips to Grow Your Mailing List by Katie Davis from Blue Rose Girls. Peek: "Let’s get you a mailing list. You are going to grow your audience and then stay connected."

From Editor to Agent: a chat with Alyssa Eisner Henkin by Bobbie Pyron from From The Mixed-Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors. Peek: "...I know both editors and kid readers are very ken on the plot-driven-pull-you-in-and-don’t-let-go books that are popular these days. So I’d say plot is a huge factor in my decision in whether or not to represent a book. However, a great voice is certainly of paramount importance."

Spooky Screening Room

Canadian Writers Speak Out On Copyright from Marketwire News Studio.

More Personally

Thank you to Candlewick Press, the event planners, and everyone who turned out, cheered, and helped promote last week's official Blessed tour in NYC, New Jersey, and the Philly area.

(The view out my window at The Standard Hotel in Manhattan/the meat-packing district.)

Cheers to fellow authors Jen Nadol, Sarah Beth Durst, Shannon Delany, and especially Daniel Nayeri (with whom I did two events), who joined me at stops along the way.

(Rita Williams-Garcia--to whom the novel is dedicated--models Blessed at Books of Wonder.)

Mega thanks to Books of Wonder, Francis Lewis High School,, Borders Columbus Circle, Baker & Taylor, New Brunswick Free Public Library, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, NYPL Mulberry Branch, Romantic Times Book Reviews, The New School, Brooklyn Public Library, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, The Voracious Reader, Mercer County Library, and Barnes & Noble, Cherry Hill, N.J.!

(Literary agent Mary Kole and Daniel at The Brass Monkey! Jill Santopolo was kind enough to organize this get-together of Vermont College of Fine Arts faculty, alumni & friends.)

(Susan Van Metre's MFA class at The New School.)

(The Brooklyn Public Library.)

(Authors Libba Bray, Marianna Baer and Melissa Walker at the Brooklyn Public Library.)

(Shannon Delany, Jen Nadol and Shannon Delany at The Voracious Reader.)

Q&A with Cynthia Leitich Smith by Jessica from Chick Lit Cafe. Peek: "Quincie is smart enough to realize that her soul is who she is. If she gives herself up, there’s nothing left. Not her evolving patchwork family or the business she inherited from her mama or her amazing connection to Kieren. He loves her, the real her, not some monster walking around in body. She fights for herself because she has value intrinsically and to those who truly care about her."

Book Review: Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith by Jessica from I Just Want to Sit Here and Read. Peek: "I love Kieren, Quincie's best friend and the only hybrid werewolf. I actually found myself jealous of their friendship. There of course is the slight sexual tension because they haven't pronounced any real feelings for each other, even though you want to scream at them!"

Links of the Week: Dear Teen Me by Bethany Hegedus and Won Ton: A Cat Tale in Haiku recommended by Mercury Boo Leitich Smith (don't miss the comments).

Even More Personally

I'm voting for Chef Drew (Andrew Curren at 24 Diner in Austin) for best new chef in the southwest (and you should, too!).

(My Valentine's Day flowers from my very cute husband and sometimes co-author, Greg Leitich Smith.)

Last night, we joined Anne Bustard and my former Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA student (now alum) Janice Scully (in town from New York state) at the Broken Spoke for some country music by Tony Harrison and Hot Texas and then continued on to County Line on the Hill for barbeque.

Spooky Events

12th Annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 19 in Fort Myers, Florida. Note: speakers include Cynthia Leitich Smith.