Posts Tagged ‘ agents ’

KIdLit Cares

My director at work brought this initiative to my attention a couple days ago. Created to help those affected by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, the goal of this program is to auction of things that writers and readers might be interested in with the proceeds going directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. I’ve perused the auction and it’s really amazing what people from all over have donated to help this cause. Anything from Skype visits to editorial critiques to autographed books to school visits. Agents, editors, authors and the like have banded together to give of their time and services in order to help those in need.

I checked out some of the auction items and was blown away both by the generosity of what was being auctioned off as well as how many people are bidding! It’s definitely worth checking out at Joanne Levy’s blog/website. As of today, there are 64 Auction items up for grabs. Stop by and see what cool stuff you can win while you help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.


Coming Soon to a Library Near You – Pitchapalooza!

  You’ve heard the rumors. You’ve seen the signs. Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for is here…


 People from all over migrate to wherever the famed Book Doctors are presenting to garner words of wisdom and helpful tips on how to break into the world of publishing. You may even be one of the lucky ones to give a one-minute pitch to a panel of judges at the event.

Past pitch winners have gone on to meet agents and editors and even sell their books. Gennifer Albin won during a Pitchapalooza event at a packed house at the Kansas City Public Library March 2011 and went on to sell her YA dystopian three-arc series for six figures! (The first, Crewel, is set to be released Fall 2012.) Talk about a testimony to the power of Pitchapalooza and the Book Doctors!

Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, the Book Doctors, co-wrote The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, which is filled with valuable information and guiding tools. Anyone who purchases a book at a Pitchapalooza event will receive a 20 minute phone consultation with Eckstut & Sterry. So even if you don’t get a chance to pitch during Pitchapalooza, you can still benefit from both the wisdom of the book and the suggestions from a one-on-one consultation.

Together with my helpful colleagues I am pleased to announce Pitchapalooza is coming to the Bridgewater Public Library, Bridgewater, NJ. It will be held on March 1, 2012, from 7-8:30pm. Registration is FREE but required and is limited to the first 80 people (the list is currently at 25). You can register HERE. Refreshments will be served.

So come with your pitch and leave with some great information on breaking into the publishing world!


When I went to my writer’s group the other day (note I’m calling it mine already 😉 ), the topic of what we would do as writers if asked to change our novel in a way we aren’t comfortable with. For example, upping the violence or sex quotient because it will sell more books. It made for a lively dialogue and has made me think a lot about keeping the integrity of the book vs. nabbing an agent. While I haven’t been faced with this dilemma, it seems as though it’s become a hot topic of late. Sometimes banning books doesn’t always happen after it’s published. Sometimes books are banned, partially or entirely, because there’s a stigma or preconception that certain elements sell and others don’t.  And since Banned Book Week  is almost upon us (Sept. 24 – Oct. 1) I wanted to see if anyone’s ever experienced this or know someone who has.

Yesterday, an article on being censored popped up in my email. The article was written by co-authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith relating to their experiences in trying to find an agent for their post-apocalyptic YA novel, Stranger. Their novel has a main character who is gay, has a boyfriend, and *egad* kisses him! They spoke to an agent who would sign them on the condition that the character was made straight. They refused to change their character on the basis that heterosexual couple sell more books and the agent refused to sign them. Banning a book before it even gets a chance to hit the shelves!

I’ve found that a lot of the covers of my YA novels feature waifish, white, flawless girls on their covers. And while I understand that many of these have central characters as white, females, not all do. I read a book, that shall not be named, recently where the female protagonist was severely physically flawed. The cover? An alabaster-skinned girl with no noticeable physical defects. For some reason publishers think that us as readers aren’t willing to invest in any cover with a less than model perfect, white person gracing it. I was way more frustrated when I found out that the heroine was flawed because I felt like I’d been tricked by the cover.

I do think it’s an interesting topic of conversation as I’ve been tempted to change some characters based on what I think will sell and I think that’s a shame.

YA authors asked to ‘straighten’ gay characters

Authors Say Agents Try to “Straighten” Gay Characters in YA


  What the heck is Pitchapalooza?

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this, well, phenomenon, for a while and, while intrigued, haven’t really looked into what the event is beyond what people have told me. The event began with Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry and is touted on their website, The Book Doctors, as an American Idol for writers. Any writer with an idea for a book is able to pitch it (in one minute) to a panel of judges. The judges then critique said pitches and even if you don’t make a pitch, you can still walk away with valuable advice on how to get your book published.

Eckstut and Sterry have also written a book entitled The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published which is chalk full of helpful tips, dos and don’ts, and all around good advice. Their philosophy is that anyone can get published, you just need to know how to go about doing it successfully.

The reason I started looking into Pitchapalooza and the Book Doctors is that I’m trying to host an event at the library I work at. I’m on a committee (one of many…) where the goal is to stay relevant and continue to drawn people in through the library doors. And with the ever-growing interest in writing, it seems only perfect to host such an event.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress just in case you live nearby (or don’t and are looking for adventure…) and want to participate.

I’ll leave you with a few topics that the Book Doctors cover during Pitchapalooza:

  • Choosing the right idea
  • Creating a blockbuster title
  • Crafting an attention-getting pitch
  • Putting together a selling proposal/manuscript
  • Finding the right agent/publisher
  • Self-publishing effectively with ebooks, print-on-demand or traditional printing
  • Developing sales, marketing and publicity savvy
  • Producing a video book trailer and helping it go viral
  • Building a following through social media

Happy writing! 😀

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is sponsored by Sheila over at Book Journey, come join the fun!

I am SO, SO excited! After blood, sweat and tears, I finished the third draft of my novel! Hooray! I’ve sent out my query letters and am working on a synopsis and feel amazing just having a finished product after two years – TWO YEARS! Trying to keep a balance between optimism and realism as I try to land an agent. But, I’ve resolved to keep busy on other projects I’ve been putting off so that I could finish my novel so that I don’t go crazy while waiting for replies. I’ll be sure to keep you posted! 🙂

ALSO, WriteOnCon is finally here! Well, tomorrow is the official start date, and perfect timing as I’ll have the time to participate as much as I want! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online conference hosted by some fabulous writers/bloggers and is designed to help book lovers, writers, and aspiring writers to learn, give and get feedback, and dialogue about writing. It’s FREE so there’s no reason you shouldn’t sign up. For more info and the schedule, visit the WriteOnCon website or check out Lisa and Laura Write – one of the awesome and talented sponsors of the conference and published authors of LIAR SOCIETY coming out March 2011.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Coolest Race on Earth by John Hanc – This short book, chronicles the history and anecdotes of the Antarctica marathon. Runners are already known for being a little crazy and this book does nothing to help that image. Sold out years in advance at the price of a few thousand dollars, runners from all over the world trek to the southern-most part of the world to participate (and survive) this marathon. While I’m not quite at that point of being crazy, I love reading about people who are! I’m really enjoying the book so far and even if you aren’t a runner, you can appreciate the lengths someone will go to in order to follow their passion.

Ender’s Exile by Orson Scott Card – I’m listening to this on cd after listening to Ender’s Game, a classic I had been meaning to read for a while. While it was a slow start, I like Ender, the military boy genius, that I can’t help but want to find out what his fate is. While giving you any plot lines in this book may spoil the first one, I would recommend actually reading it rather than listening to it. I feel like some of the intricacies of the characters are overshadowed by bad accents and too many readers.

What are you reading this week?