Cynsational News & Giveaways

Cecil Castellucci on Medusa

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Five Great Books to Give to a Young Woman from CBC Books. Peek: “…awesome young female Canadian writers who have all written great books recently.”

When Pig’s Fly: The Improbable Dream of Bookselling in the Digital Age by Elizabeth Bluemle from The Horn Book. Peek: “When The Horn Book invited me to write about the joys and challenges of operating an independent bookstore in the twenty-first century, I was both honored and a bit wary: do people really want to
know the realities of bookselling? Or do they want the dream?”

Physical Attribute Entry: Hair by Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: “Though hair doesn’t do much on its own, people often touch their hair to indicate certain emotions.”

National Library Legislative Day: “On May 7 and 8, 2013 ALA invites librarians to attend in Washington, DC. At this event, you will learn how to approach legislators, attend a congressional reception, and visit legislative offices. All in the name of advocating for our services and those who need them. There is also a virtual component to the day, allowing librarians to ‘attend’ from a distance.” Note: ALA asks librarians and other author/book bloggers to post in support of its lobbying efforts.

What Facebook’s New Feed Will Mean for Authors by Caitlin Muir from Author Media. Peek: “It’s time to start thinking like Pulitzer and Hearst. Scratch that. Start thinking like National Geographic. Your articles will be ignored if they don’t have photos that draw readers in. This is your time to shine.”

Should I Submit My Picture Book Dummy to Editors and Agents Simultaneously? by Sara Sciuto from Peek: “I wouldn’t suggest planning on submitting to agencies and publishing houses simultaneously while you’re trying to find an agent. Here’re a few reasons why…” See also on Submitting to an Agent at the Same Agency That Previously Rejected Your Manuscript.

Industry Q&A with Matt de la Pena from CBC Diversity. Peek: “Growing up biracial, I was always trying to
figure out how to define myself racially. Was I a white kid? A Mexican kid? The problem was, I never felt I actually deserved either label. Not full time.”

What Do Amazon Sales Rankings Really Mean? by Chris Eboch from Write Like a Pro. Peek: “…the most copies sold according to BookScan, but the worst Amazon sales ranking. That suggests it sells better through non-Amazon channels.” See also How Many Copies Does It Take to be an Amazon Bestseller? by Gabe Habash from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “…a title in Amazon’s top five averages 1,094 print copies sold across all channels, including other retailers, on a typical day.”

The Trappings of Difference: Writing about Emotional and Developmental Disabilities by Lyn Miller-Lachman from CBC Diversity. Peek: “Because emotional and developmental disabilities are usually invisible, it is tempting to exaggerate behavioral differences so that readers know a character has a disability. Thus, a character with Asperger’s syndrome offers lengthy explanations, and the story grinds to a halt.”

The Most Influential Children’s Publisher You’ve Never Heard Of from Publishing Perspectives. Peek: “…most of those books are published in overlooked languages — Lao, Hindi, Tamil, Afrikaans, SeSotho, Kiswahili, Chinayanja and 20 others.”

Does It Matter What Books Your Library Has? by Elizabeth Burns from School Library Journal. Peek: “…public libraries adding ebooks to their collection that are self
published because they are easier and cheaper and more available than the big 6 titles.”

New Series: June 2013

Bruce Hale Shares Three Excellent Tips for School Visits by Lee Wind from The Official SCBWI Blog. Peek: “It’s not about you.”

25th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced by Tony Valenzula from Lambda Literary. Scroll for the LGBT Children’s/YA book category.

Promoting a Late Author’s Debut Novel: Poison by Bridget Zinn by Alexis Burling from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “…how can a book be successfully launched without an author? In the case of the YA fantasy novel Poison (Hyperion) by debut author Bridget Zinn, who died of colon cancer in May 2011 at the age of 33, the answer is simple: with a lot of help from friends.” Note: please promote, purchase, and/or otherwise support Bridget’s Poison. See also “The World’s Fastest Librarian: A Film Made By and For Librarians.”

Does YA Fiction Need Strong Language? by Karen King from An Awfully Big Blog Adventure. Peek: “I tried to think of alternative words but ‘Oh Sugar,’ or ‘Gosh’ didn’t quite have the effect I wanted so I decided to delete most of the offending words and let the dialogue stand on its own. And to my surprise it worked.”

Author Insight: Story Starts from Wastepaper Prose. Peek: “Tell us the first sentence of your most recent book.”

Interview with Illustrator Clint Young by Patti from Illustrator’s Market. Peek: “Good lighting can make or break a painting.”

See also This Week for Writers — Pub Tips, Writing Craft, Inspiration, Books and Industry News from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.

Cynsational Giveaways

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

Today Cynsations is coming to you from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where I’m teaching the 2013 Novel Writing Retreat for Middle Grade & Young Adult Authors this weekend with author Lauren Myracle and Candlewick editor Andrea Tompa. (So far celebrity sightings have included Leda Schubert, M.T. Anderson, Debbi Michiko Florence, Sarah Aronson and Cindy Faughnan.)

This week my email IN box began to glow with joy when I received this terrific pic from Eve from New York, who’s a huge fan of my Tantalize series (and looks great in that color, too)! Thank you so much, Eve, for your support and enthusiasm! Read on! Read on! It’s an honor to write for you!

(Permission granted from Eve’s mom, via her teacher, to share this adorable photo.)

The week’s highlights included a speech by Lindsey Scheibe at the Austin SCBWI monthly meeting at BookPeople. Huge thanks to Lindsey for recommending Cynsations as a resource for children’s-YA writers! I’m honored!

Lindsey with fellow Austin authors Nikki Loftin & P.J. Hoover
Me with incoming ASCBWI leadership Shelley Ann Jackson (RA), Samantha Clark (ARA) & Amy Farrier (IC).
Thank you, Shirley Smith Duke, for this shelf shot of Feral Nights (Candlewick) from Alamosa Books in Albuquerque.

Congratulations to Bethany Hegedus for signing with Alexandra Penfold of Upstart Crow Literary, and congratulations to Alexandra for signing Bethany! Note: Bethany is an Austin-based author and the creative director of the Writing Barn.

Congratulations to my one-time WIFYR assistant, Courtney Alameda, on the sale of her debut novel to Liz Szabla at Feiwel & Friends!

Personal Links

Cynsational Events 

The Art of Dr. Seuss from April 5 to April 20 at Art on 5th Gallery, 3005 S. Lamar, in Austin. Source: Austin SCBWI.

Authors/Speakers at TLA 2013 April 24 to April 27 in Fort Worth from the Texas Library Association. Look for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s signing and Spirit of Texas High School author panel.

YA lit readers! Join Cynthia Leitich Smith at 1 p.m. May 25 at Cedar Park (TX) Public Library.

Join Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith at 11 a.m. June 11 at Lampasas (TX) Public Library.

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers will be held from June 17 to June 21 in Sandy, Utah. Note: I have taught at this conference in the past and highly recommend it.

Join authors Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, Nancy Werlin and ICM Partners literary agent Tina Wexler at a Whole Novel Workshop
from Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, sponsored by the Highlights Foundation. Peek: “Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress.” Special guests: Curtis Brown agent Sarah LaPolla, authors Bethany Hegedus and Amy Rose Capetta.

Save the Date! 5th Annual Austin Teen Book Festival by Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books. Note: Sept. 28, 2013.