3 S.R. Johannes: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Marketing Round Up (4/30)

The New "Market Your Words" Newsletter

I have decided at the prompting of readers and friends to do a monthly marketing newsletter that will have tips and articles about how to market yourself before you get a book deal as well as after. I will also be running quarterly contests for various free marketing stuff.

If you would like to be included in my first one that will go out in May, please either email me your email address or leave it in the comments. You can also directly sign up on the left hand side.

Thanks for your support.

National No Phone Zone

Today is the first ever National No Phone Zone day.

If you have a cell phone, please don't text and drive! A text is not worth a life. This is becoming a serious issue in this country. If you need to talk, use a headphone/handsfree. It is so much safer. Whenever I am about to do one of these things, I just look in the back seat at my kids and realize its not worth it.

You can get a bumper sticker and proceeds go to charity. Stick the No Phone Zone bumper sticker on your car and help spread the word to stop texting, emailing and talking on the phone while driving. Remind your ones you love to take the No Phone Pledge (along with 300,000$ other people) to be a safe driver and save lives!

Here are my favorite marketing posts of the week:

Getting into libraries -
The reality is that if you have a good book, you can get into the library system. Here’s how.

Use blogging as an interactive tool - 8 ways for using blogging in social and interactive ways.

When do you begin your marketing? In order to most effectively promote a book, when do you begin setting up social networking profiles / blogs / websites?

Generating the all important buzz - How do you ensure that, when it comes time to promote your book, your friends—particularly ones with blogs, websites, and a huge list of social media contacts—will help with promotion.

Publicize your book with courage - Getting your book onto a show is like getting that child of yours into the right college and beyond. Here are a few things you need to know about sending your "babies" out into the world.

The Author Questionnaire - One way editors get authors involved in the process is through the use of a questionnaire. Here are a few of the questions they might ask.

Using social media to connect with young readers - A few social-media-savvy experts and successful YA authors point you towards time saving social media tools that have worked for them in reaching teens.

10 things every blogger needs to do. Here is a list of things every bloggers might want to do.

So - how was your week? Any news? Meet any milestones. I'd really like to know!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WTF Wednesday...

To celebrate LiLa's WTF Wednesday. I have some of my own to add:
  • Sandra sites discord? Sandra Bullock is citing "discord and conflict of personality" as means for divorce. How about man from hell sleeps with scanky woman, lies, cries at Oscars, and then claims sex addiction. She's too nice. (oh yeah - and isnt her baby cute? :)
  • Homeless man dies on street and nobody notices? What is the world coming to? The poor guys saved some ladies life, got stabbed, she left the scene, and many people walked by and did nothing. What ever happened to watch out for your fellow man. WTF
  • Amy Winehouse in hospital. Again? Who is paying the medical bills for this? Seems like she has a permanent bed in some facility with white walls and Ivs. And for bruising her ribs? WTF
  • Pamela Andersen as a brunette? It doesn't work. My grandma has better wigs than that. DWS spends $1,000 on each person'a weekly spray tans but the show gets their wigs at a Halloween shop? WTF.
  • Courtney Love - need I say more? Ok I will. What happened to your face? And how did you get on The View with that song? Oh yeah, and just in case you forgot - you don't cuss on The View either. Your whole interview was bleeped which didn't do much for your image either.
What about you? Come across an WTF honorable mentions this week? Share them with us all so we can enjoy them too!

Dear High School Self

For those of you who don't know - Sarah Mylnowski's new book Gimmee a Break has just been released.

This book's premise is awesome. Basically, right before Senior Prom, Devi drops her cell phone in a fountain. ItJust her luck's it's broken and only calls one number...her number.

At age fourteen, three years ago!

Now, she can tell herself all the right things to do because she's already done the wrong ones.

On Twitter, Sarah was asking people what they would tell their High School self.

Here are my top 10 pieces of advice:

1. When you and your friends want to see what it's like to drink beer and cheer... trust me when I say - it' not fun nor worth the backlash. Just say no!

2. Never ever perm naturally curly hair, crimped bangs don't look good, Sun-In is not good for your hair, and don't use baby oil on your skin in the sun (it is true, the sun causes wrinkles and it will matter later!)

3. Parachute pants, Jammers, fingerless gloves, leg warmers, jelly bracelets, swatches, shoulder pads, stirrup pants, bright blue mascara, yellow eyeshadow, & anything neon are NEVER...EVER cool!

4. Duran Duran will not be the next Rolling Stones. Ralph Macchio doesn't look as good through adult eyes. Appolonia is not as cool as you think she is. Prince forgets his name. Miami Vice dudes are not nearly as hot as you think. And, even Bon Jovi realizes his hair is too big.

5. CB is not the only guy you will ever love. But I think you should stay away from anyone else who comes along before the age of 21 (especially the guy in your 8th grade Home Ec class because that will be the biggest heartbreka of your life. Oh yeah, and it DOES NOT work out. Just know you will find the one and you will get married. Contrary to what yo believe, you will not be a spinster or alone FOREVER.

6. Pay attention in English lit. You do need vocabulary and grammar. However, you were right - you DO NOT NEED Algebra or Trig. (calculators will be available on phones)

7.Eat a cookie! You are not fat! Someday you will wish your were still the size you are now. Oh yeah, and keep all your journals and writing projects. You will want them later.

8. Don't give up guitar or singing for cheerleading. You wont be able to cheer after college and you will miss not signing with your guitar later in life.

9. Your family loves you and wants you to be happy. Try not to think they are ruining your life. In reality, they saved your some serious heartache and your brother will be one of your closes
t friends. Your parenst love you and you will not know how much until you have your two babies.

10. Life in high school is nearly as hard as life as an adult. Don't try to grow up too fast. Enjoy where you are. You will regret it later and wish you had more time.

More than anything - love life. It is precious!

In the end, all this would not matter. Because my HS self would never have listened anyway. :)

What about you? If you could talk to your high school self, would you> What would you tell your HS self if you could? Would you avoid any heart break? Would you do things differently?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Skype Book Tours: Guest Post by Kate Messner (author of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z)

KateMessner is the author of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. and SUGAR AND ICE (Walker/Bloomsbury, Dec. 2010), the MARTY MCGUIRE series with Scholastic (Spring 2011), and two forthcoming picture books with Chronicle Books.

"The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z" - Gianna Zales is a star runner with one more hurdle to jump before she goes to cross-country sectionals – a monster leaf collection project. To get it done, she’ll have to survive a rival who desperately wants to take her place at sectionals, a grandmother who leaves her false teeth in the refrigerator, and a best friend whose feelings about her are changing like the leaves. Gianna Z needs a stroke of brilliance to make it work!


Hi Shelli, thanks for having me!

You asked me to talk a little about Skype tours and why I find them useful use.

When my middle grade novel THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. came out in September, one of my goals was to make a personal connection with as many teachers, librarians, and young readers as possible. In addition to writing for kids, though, I’m also a middle school English teacher, and spending too much time out of my classroom at the beginning of the school year was out of the question. Thankfully, technology came to the rescue!

If you’re part of the online children’s literature world, you’ve probably already heard a thing or two about Skype author visits – a low-cost or no-cost way for classrooms, libraries, and book clubs to connect kids and authors. As someone who wears two hats – both author and teacher – I’m a huge fan of this new kind of author visit for a few reasons.

  1. Flexibility. Though I love visiting schools in person, I spend a limited number of days out of my own classroom each year and get more requests than I’m able to accommodate. Skyping with some schools allows me to connect with kids, librarians, and teachers I would have missed otherwise. I can Skype with a classroom on the other side of the world during my 40-minute lunch hour or after school, and hang up in time to teach my afternoon class or make dinner.
  2. Cost. While traditional author visits are amazing opportunities, they are cost prohibitive for many schools. If you know an educator, you probably know that many schools are facing dire financial situations right now – the worst they’ve seen in years. Enrichment activities like author visits are often the first thing to be cut in a budget crisis, and virtual visits offer an alternative that still allows for those connections.
  3. Far-reaching. While an in-person author visit requires many months of planning and the cooperation of a whole school community, a single dedicated teacher or librarian can often arrange a Skype visit in just a few weeks. The potential to connect with more readers – readers whose schools may never be able to host an in-person visit – is a huge benefit.
  4. Fun! Skype author visits are fun.

If they sound fun to you, too, you may want to take some of the following steps before diving in:

  • If you have a computer with a microphone, camera, and Internet connection, you already have the equipment you’ll need. Just download Skype (www.skype.com), register with a username, and try it out with a friend.
  • Make sure you like the background and lighting in the shot. Practice looking into the camera so that the person on the other end of the connection sees you looking right at them.
  • There are some how-to-Skype features available online that you may want to read, including this technology feature I wrote for School Library Journal.
  • You’ll also need to decide what kind of Skype visits you’d like to offer. Some authors only do paid visits, while others offer a couple different options. For example, I offer free 20-minute Q and A sessions with groups that have read one of my books in addition to paid Skype visits that are longer and include an emailed PowerPoint presentation that the teacher runs on a second computer.
  • Once you’re comfortable with Skype, it’s time to let teachers and librarians know that you’re available for Skype author visits. You can register with the terrific Skype-An-Author network.
  • The SLJ Skype feature has a list, as well as a link to my blog, where I keep an updated list of traditionally published authors who offer free 20-minute Skype visits to classes & book clubs that have read their books. Just leave a comment with your name and website if you’d like to be added.
  • When teachers and librarians begin to contact you about Skype visits, many will be looking for guidance about how it all works. The SLJ feature includes a how-to list that may be helpful for you to share with those who request Skype visits.
If you’d like to know more about Skype author visits, she'll be presenting on this topic at both the New England SCBWI Conference in May and at the International Reading Association Conference in Chicago later on this month.

Tell me what you guys think about Skype Tours! Do you think you would utilize them or do you prefer signings in person? Do you have any questions about Skype Tours?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Help a fellow blogger, Weronika Janczuk

I believe you all know Weronika Janczuk, a fellow blogger buddy and a gifted writer.

She just won a scholarship to Backspace, but I know she's a little worried about getting there.

Those of you who follow her blog know that her mother is currently going through chemo and her parents are unable to help her get to NY.

The fabulous, wonderful and side-splitting Little Ms J is trying to collect a donation to help with her expenses.

If you can help or just to send good wishes, visit Little Ms J.

Thanks :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Call to Partay if you going to BEA or LA?

Yay - so it's official. I'm going to BEA and LA. NOt sure how long for BEA but I'm definitely going.

Can't wait.....

I love going to these places where book groupies hang out. The books, the knowledge, the energy, the people.

Mostly because I love all you guys and want to support all my blogger buddies who have books coming out at BEA and hang out with the masters of the business in LA.

Both are so worth the money! Plus BEA - can you say ARCS!

My goal is to set up some kind of happy hour at each place for bloggers or tweeters (or blogger/tweeter groupies :)

A Blogger Blowout. A Tweeter Throng (not to be confused with thong - look it up! ":)

So tell me, who is going to BEA and who is going to LA?

Leave me a comment so if/when I plan a Blogger Bash at each - you will be on the list.

PS ON a side note - my new business (marketing, book publicity) site is now up! Check it out!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Marvelous Marketer: Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown Literary)

Update: Thanks to Danielle Leafty for interviewing me for her new series: Wickedly Awesome Writers Society. I love mysterious clubs!

For those of you who haven't met Jennifer, let me tell you what I have learned from hanging out with her in many late night chat after-parties. She is sweet, funny, honest, smart as hell, and a damn good agent! Query her! Now let's get to the interview.

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by today. Can you tell us about yourself and
your agency?

I've been an agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 2007. We're a children's & YA only agency with offices in San Francisco, NY, Chicago, LA and San Diego. I'm based in San Francisco.

I started out my career in books at my older sister's bookstore, at age 12, where I worked for lunch money and all the stripped copies of Sweet Valley High I could read. I continued to work as a bookseller, events coordinator and children's book buyer for independent bookstores all over the country, which has given me a unique perspective on the book industry for sure! I think that my background is a definite asset for my clients.

I've read that you started Not Your Mother’s Book Club. Can you tell us more about it? (NYMBC Blog)

NYMBC is a YA author event series for teenagers that I started way back in 2005 at Books Inc. in San Francisco, where I was a buyer and events person. I call it a "literary salon for teens" - we have amazing authors visit every month, and do all kinds of cool events, like a tea party with Meg Cabot or a private luncheon with Sarah Dessen. Later this month we have David Levithan and John Green visiting our San Francisco location to talk to us about WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, and then on May 6th we're having a ginormous pizza party with FIVE authors (Susane Colasanti, Michael Grant, Cynthia Omololu, Jenny Han and Beth Fantaskey) to celebrate the beginning of Not Your Mother's Book Club Berkeley.

I still run the events and have a blast doing it. And that has definitely given me a direct insight in to what real kids are reading and loving!

You must get great teen insight! What do you as an agent encourage your authors to do to market themselves?

I think that every published author should have a website of some kind. It doesn't have to be flashy, but it does have to be professional and neat, with a brief bio, your book info and some kind of contact info at the very least. It is like the equivalent of a business card.

As far as social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, or blogging and vlogging and whatever the next thing will be - I think that if that is your kind of thing you should go for it. I personally love Twitter and have amazing and fun conversations both with people I know personally, authors and editors I admire but have never met, and people I've never heard of who just drop in to the mix! So for ME PERSONALLY, Twitter rocks. But if an author finds that it is a drain rather than a pleasure, they shouldn't do it.

Some people are naturally great at Blogging or Twittering, and for others it is really a time and energy suck. I think that if you don't want to be doing it, or you are doing it because you feel you HAVE to, it will show. There is nothing more irritating than reading the "blog" of somebody who only has a blog because somebody told them they had to. You DON'T have to. If writers spent as much time ACTUALLY WRITING as they do anguishing over what they should or shouldn't be doing online, they'd be a lot better off.

Ultimately, the very best thing you can do for your career and to "market yourself" is to write the next great book. You write an absolutely amazing, unbelievable book, it will find its audience. But no matter how big or small a budget you think your book is being given, I would go ahead and assume that you are going to get zero publicity help. Start from there.

If you are getting zero publicity help, what can YOU do? You could send postcards to indie bookstores maybe. You could talk about your books to librarians and booksellers. You could do school visits. You could have bookmarks to give out to people. You could make friends with other local authors and book folks. You could have a launch party at your local bookstore. You could do online contests. You don't HAVE to do any of that stuff... but you probably ought to do some of it.

Let me make this clear: Nobody is going to care more about the fate of your book than you do. If you want a bunch of online buzz, YOU are probably going to have to help create it. Publishers and publicists can only do so much. They can't make a boring product fly off the shelves - the product has to be compelling - and part of that product, for better or worse, is YOU.

Wow that's all great advice. Thanks for being so detailed. As an agent, when evaluating whether to take on an author or book, I'm assuming you Google them. What do you look for?

Oh, I just look to see if they have a web presence. If they don't that's fine, but if they DO, I'd check to see if they have any prior publication history, if they seem to be web-savvy, and just generally gauge the "crazy-factor". Do they blog and if they do, do they publish embarrassing things on it? Do they go into details about all their rejections and how nobody likes their writing and who cares anyway because publishing is full of IDIOTS who don't know anything about books? OR are they secretly some sort of political/religious/philosophical extremist or something? I mean, I seriously doubt that any of your readers would have horrifying or embarrassing websites, but there are weirdos out there.

How have things changed with agencies promoting their author books? What things do agents/literary agencies do to help promote their author's books?

I think that the majority of promotion is still shouldered by the author themselves and either the publisher's in-house publicist, or sometimes freelance publicists. Agents tend to be much more "behind the scenes". We do have an agency facebook fan page where we proudly tout our new releases every month and brag when one of our books gets a starred review or ends up on the NYT bestseller list or similar. And I certainly talk about my authors every chance I get, and help my authors make decisions about how to do their own promoting and marketing... but we don't do a lot of that work ourselves, that is really what publicists and gung-ho authors do for the most part.

As an agent, what are you looking for in 2010?

Oh, I am always looking for sparkling, awesome Middle Grade & YA novels. I'd love to see more middle grade of all kinds - adventure, realistic, comedies, mysteries, and fantasy. And cool high-concept YA like Hunger Games. I am actually quite full up on paranormal/fantasy YA, but if something was truly unique I might still be interested. Check out the submission guidelines before querying.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks Shelli

Now, you tell me. What other questions do you have for Jennifer or about agenting in general? Did anything surprise you about her answers?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Georgia Center for the Books Supports Libraries

Interview with Joe Davich, Georgia Center for the Books

To continue the celebration for National Library Week, here is an interview with Joe Davich, Assistant Director at Georgia Center for the Book.

Can you tell us a little about you and how the Georgia Center for the Books help libraries?

Well, I am from Fairmont, West Virginia, home of Author John Knowles. I attended West Virginia University, and I read books during football games, much to the chagrin of all those around me! I read across all genres, but I enjoy Fiction and Poetry very much.

One of the missions of the Georgia Center for the Book is to support Libraries. We always attempt to use the resources we have at our disposal to shine the light on Georgia's Libraries weather that is to book author lectures in a library, to host a touring exhibit at a branch, to include librarians on our Advisory Council, and to ask librarians for input on our reading lists, are just a few ways we try and engage Libraries in what we do. We really try to impress on all Georgians what a great resource their public library can be.

How do libraries hear about new releases and how do they promote books they love ?

Now, this varies from Library System to Library System, but there are a few basics. Librarians hear about books from trade shows, blogs, patrons, publisher catalog and trade publications such as Library Journal, BookList and Publishers Weekly. As far as promotion goes, Libraries create displays just like bookstores do, they use blogs and write on-line reviews for their patrons. Some also sponsor one or several books clubs.

What do you think authors can do to better support libraries?

I think that Authors can be the advocates that Libraries so desperately need. I think Authors can actively encourage their fans to help their local Library by volunteering, by becoming a Friend of their local Library or Georgia Libraries, or helping in fundraising efforts. So many Libraries are facing terrible budget cuts, and at a time when literacy is so essential, we all must do what we can to help our Libraries.

What would you like to see more of in the way of books for teens?

Wow, this may be the loaded question of 2010! I think that teens will always be hard to pin down - we just throw so many options at them at once! I think I will always like to see good writing. Sure, if vampires are your thing, have at it, but write well. I don't think we serve teens at all by giving them a poorly written book to read just for the sake of having them read. We need to impress upon teens that good writing is an art, that craft is a skill, and that words do have meaning.

What do you think is the best way for authors to contact libraries/your organization when promoting or informing about their books?

Start with the Georgia Center for the Book! We are a proud supporter of all of our Georgia Authors! I welcome e-mails and phone calls, and I love to hear about what our authors are doing! Just don't get upset if we can't do something for you right away. We have a small staff of two, and we do work 4 to 6 months in advance.

Thanks Joe!

Library Appreciation Day Winners!

Thanks again to everyone who showed the love for libraries!!!!

The winners of the drawing are....

Michelle Sussman
won the free query/5 page critique with Mandy Hubbard!!!!!!
Congratulations and email me at sjohannes@bilaninc.com for instructions.

Katterly's Chatterly has won the free book basket to donate to her library.
Congratulations and email me at sjohannes@bilaninc.com me your address

Thanks to all the authors who donated their books to the Book Basket:
Other books donated:
  • Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad (donated by Cathy Hall)
  • Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff and Heartbeat by Sharon Creech (donated by Jessica Leader)
  • Twilight PB - by Stephanie Meyer
  • Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
  • The Hunter's Moon by OR Melling
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
  • Cross and Double Cross by James Patterson
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
If you sent me a book or are sending me a book, please email me at sjohannes@bilaninc.com and I will add you to the list. These are the ones I have received so far.

Come back tomorrow for an interview with the Assistant Director at The Georgia Center for the Books who discusses how they support libraries and how you can best market to libraries.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Library Appreciation Day! :)


Contest ends tonight (tuesday) at midnight EST!

This week is National Library Week. So the blogosphere has declared Monday as "Library Appreciation Day."

Celebration Giveaway!

Be a follower of my blog and comment on today's post telling everyone "why you love libraries." Then, you will automatically and be entered into a drawing for 2 fantastic prizes:

1) Win a large book basket for your local library that includes over 20 great books from children book authors who have graciously donated.

2) Win a free Critique of a Query Letter PLUS 5 PAGES!! from Mandy Hubbard (author of Prada & Predudice and fabulous new agent at D4EO Literary (Her submission guidelines can be found here!)

Top Reasons why everyone should use their Public Library

1) Believe it or not, not everything is on the Internet (I know you are in shock but its true!)

2) They carry books not in print! (like The Pink Dress by Anne Alexander)

3) The number of books available is amazing and everyone can find something. (Do you know how many books are in the library? Neither do I, but that’s not the point.)

4) They have access to more than just books (archives of Newspapers, Magazines, and old

5) They actually know about books. (unlike the people working at bookstores who think Moby Dick is shelved in nonfiction)

6) Who else is going to learn the Dewey Decimal System? (You?)

7) You can count on the accuracy of information. (Because contrary to a politician's belief Dinosaurs did NOT exist 4,000 years ago. ;)

8) You are paying for it through taxes! (So use it or lose it!)

9) They have great community programs and classes.

10) Libraries offers open access to all kinds of information no matter how controversial (Here's to free speech!)

11) If your library offers wi-fi, it’s probably free. (maybe even the coffee!)

12) Someone has to buy all those books that college professors write. (At least they sold one copy!)

13) Not everyone can afford books, but everyone has access to the library. (no matter how bad the economy is, libraries can help you escape into another world.)

14) Libraries provide free and abundant knowledge to everyone (BTW, this is a privilege people haven't always had).

15) A librarian is always ready to help you find what you need and what you didn't realize you wanted. (Thank god for librarians!)

16) Where else can a kid walk out with 20 books they want to read for free. (especially all the ones they would never read unless they got them at the library)

17) Where else can a young kid get their own card to get books. (and charges no interest!)

18) You can't find everything at Barnes and Noble. (Especially the turn-of-the-century National Geographics which can be very entertaining.)

19) Despite advances in computer technology, a human can still find information better than a search engine. (They are much more friendly too.)

20) Because let's face it, where would we be without libraries?

For more, check out the entire list of 85 reasons.

Here are some other writers who are celebrating with us by discussing their favorite libraries! Some have interviewed librarians and some have shared their favorite librarian stories with us.
  • Jackee Alston showcases two Flagstaff's finest Youth Librarians and Youth Librarian Assistants
  • Elizabeth Bird - NYPL librarian, author, and fellow blogger at Fuse 8
  • Anna J Bole - Talks about a 14 year relationship with Curtis Memorial Library's children's librarians
  • Joan Broerman talks about a former children’s librarian and her novel, STEPPING ON THE CRACKS,
  • Martha Calderaro interviewed Dale Smith, supervisor of children’s services at the Morse Institute Library in Natick, MA about sweet and funny moments in the children’s department.
  • Ramey Channell is a librarian at Leeds Jane Culbreth Library.
  • Andrea Cremer thinks Vaughn Library is her second home.
  • Tina Nichols Curry talks about librarian and blogger, Eva Mitnick - L.A. Public Library
  • Terry D talks about her library and gives some additional resources
  • Lisa Desrochers talks about a world without libraries and is donating money per comment at her blog
  • Elizabeth Dulemba (illustrator of Soap, Soap, Soap and many more!)
  • Shoshana Flax - goes to the library even thought her TBR pile is huge.
  • Tessa Gratton - met and interviewed her Teen Services librarian, Rebecca Power
  • Cathy Hall - lists the "top 10 reasons why she loves libraries"
  • Julia Karr will be blogging library-related posts all week and donating $1/comment to her library.She even got her local newspaper to do an article!
  • Phoebe Kitanidis interviews a Teen Services Librarian
  • Jo Knowles (author of Jumping Off Swings) wants you to save libraries. She even remembers her card number!
  • Sheri Larsen - interviews her local librarian at Winslow Public Library
  • Jessica Leader (author of Nice and Mean)
  • Carmela Martino and teaching authors
  • Shari Maurer (author of Change of Heart) interviewed her wonderful librarian at the New City Library
  • Georgia McBride talks about one of her favorite libraries, Palentine Public Library
  • Cathy Stefanec Ogren interviews Catherine Baer, Youth Services Librarian at the Rosemary Garfoot Public Library, Wisconsin’s first green library.
  • Linda Sue Park - Why I love Libraries Poem
  • Greg Pincus has a video on how social media can help libraries
  • Lisa and Laura Roecker talk about the happiness libraries bring.
  • Pamela Ross send in this great article from Sunday's New York Times on The Lost Librarian Voice
  • Donna Seagraves (author of Gone From These Woods) interviews librarian Jacqueline Elsner, or "Miss Jackie" who is now head of the Oconee County Library (she used to run the children's department at Athens Regional Library)
  • Diane Sherrouse discusses the amazing revival of the Hancock County Library System devestated in Katrina.
  • Melissa Stewart's experience with the recommendation from a librarian to read Sid Fleischman’s, Mr. Mysterious & Company
  • Heather Trese appreciates her library!
  • Kristin Tubb (author of Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different) shares her favorite librarian stories.
  • April Halprin Wayland shares a poem and some great links
  • Amy Brecount White (Tenner and author of Forget Her Nots) interviews Susan Kusel, a children’s librarian in the Arlington County, Va.
  • Lee Wind - (author of The Zen of Blogging ebook) shares a guest post by YA Librarian Henry Gambill.

Also - a Special Thanks to Georgia McBride at YALitChat for helping to spread the word :) If you have not joined this group, you are missing out on some great stuff so go now!!!

If you have a post relating to libraries this week, feel free to email me at sjohannes@bilaninc.com and I will you add to the list of love!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday Marketing Round Up (4/2)

Here are my favs for the week:

The importance of a pitch - Nathan Bransford tells us why it is important to know the premise of our books.

Deliver a winning pitch - A great pitch is often the first encounter in a successful publishing relationship.

The zen of blogging
- Whether you are struggling with trying to decide whether or not to start your own blog, or not sure what to do with the one you've got, we think you'll find some helpful information.

The good, bad and ugly side of publishing - Discussing fiction factories (a relatively new phrase in publishing) and what, if any, is their value both to the reader and the writer.

Top 5 tips to keeping fans to your writing - Publishers have become increasingly aware of the power of a writer’s online fan base. It has now become common place for a publisher to factor in a writer’s online presence when weighing up whether to offer a book deal or not. Here’s the five best ways to find and keep fans of your work.

Who are you writing for? Before your book can get into the hands of casual or even very experienced readers like the friends in your critique group, it has to get through the gates of PROFESSIONAL readers.

The hunt for the elusive influencer
- We hunt the elusive influencer because we think they need to find and convince or brainwash that one influencer that spreads the word to success.

Have a great, sunny weekend :)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Just not that into you - rejection letters vs dating

No matter what stage of writing you are in, we all get different kinds of rejection letters. I have had my share. What we forget is that agents and editors get them too and they are just as painful. (ok maybe not JUST but they hurt).

As I hear of other's rejections, I started thinking about how much getting published is like we're dating all over again trying to find Mr. Right (or Mrs :).

I've heard of many rejections over the years and think I can safely categorize them into the most common dating scenarios so it will be easier for you to tell which editors or agents are just not that into you.

This is just to show you that even after you have a commercial idea, with a good voice that has been edited to death - sometimes - it is just about being at the right place at the right time. Finding the right person.

It's the X factor.

Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like we all live in Alaska and there are only 50-100 members of the opposite sex and our sex consists of about 10,000 people.

1. You are not right for our list

You are just not my type. I prefer blondes and you are a brunette.

2. We love the book and premise, but didn't quite connect enough.

We love you, but we are not in love with you.

3. This one does not work for me but I'd be interested in seeing something else of yours.

Can we just be friends? BTW does your friend have a boyfriend?

4. You are a wonderful writer with great potential. After much contemplation, regretfully, I'm going to have to pass.

It's not you... it's me.

5. You deserve someone who is passionate about your work.

You deserve the best and it's not me.

6. Our list is full.

My calendar is booked for the next several weekends. I'll call you, don't call me.

7. Should you choose to replot your book, we would be inclined to see it again.

If you lose 10 lbs, dye your hair, and dress better - I might take you out (but I cant guarantee it or that I will pay).

8. While your story showed some very strong writing, it just didn’t hold my interest.

You are funny and nice, but I'm not attracted to you.

9. No response to your query

I didn't have time to call you back. I was busy. (Just not that into you)

10. You are clearly a writer to watch.

I'm moving on but I'm sure I will regret it when you date someone else.

11. Please give me some time to think through how you would fit into our list.

I have a headache.

12. Form letter

The wing man calls you to say he's not interested or you get a text.

I once heard of a guy who sent back a rejection letter to an agent rejecting his rejection.

“ Thank you so much for your rejection but I’m afraid I’m unable to use it at this time. For that reason I will have to reject your rejection. Please don’t take this personally. I receive many fine rejections every month, so I have be quite selective in the rejections I accept.”

I do not recommend this but it will make you laugh.

Here's to getting a great rejection and a few articles that might help you feel better.

Good luck and keep going. "The one" is out there for you - you just have to find them.