Cynsational News & Giveaways

Things I Like About Being Traditionally Published by Lisa Schroeder from Lisa’s Little Corner of the Internet. Peek: “Having a sales team who works on my behalf to get my books in bookstores, and talks up my book to the necessary people so I don’t have to worry about distribution at all.” Notes: (a) watch for Lisa’s next YA release, The Day Before (Simon Pulse, June 2011) and her next children’s release, Sprinkles & Secrets (Aladdin, 2011); (b) scroll for related links from Chris Eboch and Janni Lee Simner.

Just What Does an Editor Do All Day? (Or Nibbled to Death by Ducks) by Stacy Whitman from Stacy Whitman’s Grimoire. Peek: “I like to joke that I get to read for a living, but the reality is that reading manuscript submissions is only a small part of my job, one that I constantly feel like I don’t have enough time to do. So here’s just a little window into the kinds of tasks I’ve been doing over the course of the last few weeks…”

Surrounded by Inspiration by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “…don’t overlook the world around you for new ideas–or just new twists and subplots for your writing.” See also Kristi on Marketing Block.

Cynsational Blogger Tip: respect speakers’ intellectual property (this includes sessions at writing workshops and conferences). Preparation for a new presentation takes time and energy. The speaker fee is negotiated with the idea that talks can be given again. Appropriating them can reduce that possibility or, at least, diminish the experience for future audiences.

What to Do If Your Agent Isn’t Feeling the Love by Jennifer Laughran from Jennifer Represents. Peek: “The fact of the matter is, no matter how sympatico a client and agent might be in terms of taste and and personality, there are bound to be some occasions where you don’t quite see eye-to-eye.”

From now until July 15, Cheerios® is searching for the next great new children’s book author. One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a possible publishing deal with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing in addition to having his or her book featured inside Cheerios cereal boxes nationwide. From now until July 15, Cheerios invites aspiring authors to enter the contest by submitting an original story in either English or Spanish and suitable for children ages three to eight. Those who think they have the “write” stuff can visit for more information.

Oops! Or What to Do When You Mistakenly Publish a Blog Post by Greg Pincus from The Happy Accident. Peek: “Edit the mistakenly published post.”

Reading Like a Writer: What Is At Stake for Y-O-U? by Bethany Hegedus from Writer Friendly; Bookshelf Approved. Peek: “…what about us—as the writer and creator of these words and worlds? What is at stake for us?”

Informational Interviews by Alvina Ling from Blue Rose Girls. Tips for those looking to break into the publishing industry. Peek: “show up on time, and take the person’s lead as to when the meeting is over. It might be a good idea to ask the person how much time they have at the beginning of the interview.”

6 1/2 Thoughts on Marketing and Promotion by Donna Gephart from R.L. LaFevers at Shrinking Violet Promotion. Peek: “If contemplating marketing and promoting gives you hives, think about the process as connecting and giving.”

The Road to Publication: Beware the Public Diary by Mary Lindsey from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “Do not give tallies of the number of queries sent/rejected/accepted.”

Congratulations to Teaching Authors on their second anniversary! In celebration, they’re sharing a new poem from April Halprin Wayland and offering two critiques by a Teaching Author. Note: the giveaway is open to writers worldwide.

13 Reasons You Didn’t Get Followed Back by Laura Dugan from Al Twitter: The Unofficial Twitter Resource. Peek: “Spam accounts are notorious for not uploading a profile picture. If you still have that little white egg as your pic, change it today and we bet those potential followers who were a little leery of your account will start following you back.” Source: Jessica at BookEnds, LLC – A Literary Agency.

Enter the Illegal Photo Contest from author Bettina Restrepo. Readers ages 13 to 18 are invited to submit photo(s) that represent their reaction to the book Illegal (HarperCollins, 2011) to win a chance at monthly prizes and the Grand Prize of a Nook e-reader.

In a Similar Vein: Vampire Books by Heather Brewer from The Guardian. Peek: “Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd, explains the allure of writing about vampires and suggests some of her favourites.”

Comics Alums John J. Muth and Mo Willems Team Up for Children’s Book from Peek from John: “…there was this frog that kept showing up on my porch, for three nights straight! I still hadn’t said yes to Mo, and on the third night, this frog was on my porch, and I called him and said, ‘I think I have to do this project, because there’s this frog on my porch, and I think it’s a sign or something.’


The April Carnival of Literature by Carol H. Rasco from Rasco at RIF.

New Agent Alert: Kathleen Rushall of Waterside Productions from Chuck Sambuchino at Guide to Literary Agents Editor’s Blog. She is seeking picture books and “YA and MG fiction across the board (historical fiction, science fiction, mystery, humor, fantasy, romance, thriller, and horror)….”

The Role of Agents in Self-Publishing by Chris Eboch from Write Like a Pro! A Free Online Writing Workshop. Peek: “While some agents are still largely dismissing and ignoring the self-publishing trend, others are figuring out how they can work with self-publishing in their business.” Note: Chris is both self- and traditionally published.

On why traditional publishing is about more than a few weeks of chain bookstore distribution by Janni Lee Simner from Desert Dispatches. Peek: “I know what my editor has done for my books, and honestly, I don’t think I could afford to buy that level of editing, let alone the years of experience behind it. Certainly we’d be talking thousands, not hundreds of dollars to do so.”

Time Period Settings by Mary Kole from Peek: “The event or period really has to be central to the events of your own novel. In other words, there has to be a dang good reason for you to be setting your book in another time.” See also Mary on Avoid the Obvious in a Query.

Gay In YA: GLBT Characters & Pairings in YA Fiction: “a forum, blog, and fansite dedicated to everything gay in YA!”

First-page Critiques

Chris Eboch is offering first-page critiques on her blog, Write Like a Pro! A Free Online Writing Workshop. Here are Chris’s instructions:

  • Post the opening of your novel, short story or picture book in the comments — up to 300 words. Everyone who posts will get a brief critique. That’s right, everyone!
  • One out of every five submissions will get a more thorough critique.
  • (That means the more people who play, the more critiques you’ll see. So bring your friends and spread the word!)
  • Visit Chris’s blog to see the first critique.
  • Scroll down to get the complete rules for submitting your first page.

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the book trailer for Family by Micol Ostow (Egmont, 2011).

More Personally

For those who missed it, here’s the big news of the week from Tuesday’s issue of Publishers Marketplace:

“New York Times bestselling author of Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Smolder, to Deborah Wayshak at Candlewick Press, in a three-book deal, for publication in 2013, by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown Ltd. (world English).” Yay!

Check out this book-spine poem by Christy Cochran, an Austin Independent School District librarian. Copyright 2011, reproduced with permission.

It reads:

Notes from the midnight driver
On the run
Magic steps
One false note
Dark fire

Isn’t that cool? Thanks, Christy! Support Texas librarians.

Liz Garton Scanlon launches Noodle & Lou, illustrated by Arthur Howard (Beach Lane, 2011) last weekend at BookPeople in Austin.

Personal Links of the Week:

Cynsational Events

Diversity in YA Fiction: Austin Tour Stop 7:30 p.m. May 9 at BookPeople. Featuring authors With authors Bethany Hegedus, Malinda Lo, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Cindy Pon, Dia Reeves, and Jo Whittemore, and moderated by Varian Johnson.

Chris Barton will be signing Can I See Your ID? True Stories of False Identities, illustrated by Paul Hoppe (Dial, 2011) at 7 p.m. May 14 at BookPeople in Austin. See discussion guide. See also Chris on Unbridled Silliness and Carefully Researched Truth-telling.

The First Annual BooksmART Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11 as part of Arts & Letters Live from the Dallas Museum of Art. Peek: “Come spend the day with authors, illustrators, musicians and actors, and enjoy talks, workshops, gallery tours, and entertainment, designed to appeal to every member of the family and every age group.” Featured children’s-YA book creators include Rick Riordan, Norton Juster, Laurie Halse Anderson, David Wiesner, Jerry Pinkney, Gene Luen Yang, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Duncan Tonatiuh, Antonio Sacre, Joe McDermott, Jan Bozarth, and Ann Marie Newman.

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