Monday, July 29, 2013


I love summer.

Well, I actually love summer more when I'm not twenty-five pounds heavier than usual (baby will be here by the end of the season), and when it's not pushing 95 degrees and 100% humidity (hello, South!). I've actually spent most of this summer sitting on a chair with my feet propped up, praying the power bills don't break the bank.

Still, summer is my favorite season. It was my favorite growing up, too (back when I could tolerate the heat and humidity and spent most of my days playing in the woods, hanging in my tree house, or swimming in my backyard pool).

But I think more than the freedom I had from school and life in general, I liked summer because of the potential.

During my summers, I was away from school for at least two to three months, I saw best friends sporadically and acquaintances not at all, there were camp weeks and family vacations. . . .

It seemed like anything could happen during that span of down time, which always felt like forever. I could meet new people. I could experience new things. I could somehow transform from that "ugly duckling" into a beautiful swan that no one would recognize come fall.

A tan would help. Better hair would help. A growth spurt, maybe. And then things would be different. But every year it was the same, and every year I looked forward to the new school year thinking: this could be the one. It never was, but that's okay.

I think that's why, even today, I enjoy YA "summer" books. Because authors know this, too: when summer comes, anything can happen. And for those characters living through summer, things do happen. And everything changes.

A few of my favorite summer reads:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (anything by her, really, but this is the best of her "summer" reads, in my opinion).

The Summer Series by Jenny Han (I adore this series for all the reasons mentioned above: it's summer, there's a beach, and the main character is just starting to get noticed).

Stay by Deb Caletti (nothing better than trying to escape life for the summer and having it punch you right in the face).

And there are cute boys, which always helps.

So spill it: what are your favorite summer-related reads (YA or otherwise)?


Katie Klein is a diehard romantic with a penchant for protagonists who kick butt. Her YA contemporary romance, Cross My Heart, is an Amazon Teen Top 100 Bestseller and was a 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best YA Fiction.

She loves the potential summer holds and cute boys—the recipe for a perfect YA novel.

You can find her on the web at,, or!/katiekleinbooks.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Secrets to Planning a Rockin' Twitter Party

I know consider myself a Twitter Party Addict. I have managed three of my own and hopped on the bandwagon of over twenty of them.

It's a great way to spread the word about your book and to play as an 'appetizer' to a larger launch party.

Who says you can only have one book launch party? Well I say, have many. This is the main event for your book. You've been building up to this for months. Doing it on multiple platforms will afford your book a lot of visibility. But even though Twitter is always hopping, you need to promo it a bit.


I usually start my book launches that include a Twitter Party, Blog Party and Facebook Party with a mini-blog tour which includes all the authors who will be part of my Facebook Virtual Launch Party. We do this to build up the buzz.

About 6 weeks before the party all of the authors involved in the big Facebook Party event tweet about the Twitter Party coming (using a hashtag for the book title & a link to our Party Map Page).

The mini blog party kicks off 1 week before the Twitter Party. It's used to build awareness of all of the book release events coming. The Twitter Appetizer Party (which runs the Friday before the Facebook Party) is used to drive even more traffic to the book sales pages for participating authors.

The Giveaway announcement. We run a giveaway announcement on twitter (a daily tweet from each participating author) with link to Party Map Page which has the schedule of the mini-blog tour, the Twitter Party, Facebook Party, links to all books, and rafflecopter.


We call it an appetizer because it's the night before the big Facebook Party event (which usually last for 8 hours on a Saturday and is run by a number of authors not limited to the launch guest of honor).

These usually last 3 hours. Three hours is enough time to run 3 trivia games, intro the book, shout out for prize winners and share links to big party coming the following day on Facebook.

The trick though is to have about 3 other people who you KNOW will be there to help you keep the party going, promo the party, and invite others.

A neat way to make sure you know who's coming is to use the mini-blog tour to build an invite list and later tweet a reminder to participants.


For a twitter party to work, you need to have the Trivia Questions, links, etc preset (you can use hootsuite or socialoomph to do this in advance). This makes things much easier and allows facilitator to just do promo, invite tweets, and personal interaction with crowd.

Announcing the party should be done 60 to 30 minutes before by the 3 party facilitators. Invites to fans who are on twitter at the time & share a party favor if they show up is a great kickoff. Have a main prize of about $25 gift card that you will give out at end of night.
Kick off party with party jargon, a swag giveaway like bookmarks, introduction of participating authors, book, book trailer. Then start the games. Try to stick with games that are themes of the book. In between shout out a reminder about follow-on Facebook party, shout out winners and 'thank you' to participants before running next game. Sticking to 10 questions for each trivia works.

Trivia ideas. Movie lines, guess that tune, caption picture contest and many more depending how creative you are.


by LM Preston, YA & MG Author,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Gender Cover Swapping? How about Title Swapping?

Okay, I admit my post should have been up earlier in the day but I forgot. Blame it on PST zone i'm in and my kids. Yes, lets just do that. Anyway on to the blog post of the day and I'm in a weird mood...which is my normal mood.

A few months ago Maureen Johnson posted on Twitter "I do wish I had a dime for every email I get that says, "Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it. - signed, A Guy"
Thus followed the CoverFlip Challenge. Where Readers where encouraged to take the cover of a popular book and imagine if the author was of the opposite gender and what the cover would look like. 

Some of my favorite's of the CoverFlip are below.

Originals on the Left          Cover Swap on the Right.





Does this make me want to read some of them when I probably wouldn't have? Yes...Yes it does. Until I got to the end of Carrie and probably would throw the book across the room and scream FALSE ADVERTISING!  I don't like scary movies, or books to much.

What has been happening more and more is the Single Title Books. Hey Look there Chanda! You did it on three of your books. UNENCHANTED, FAIREST & FABLE!!! Yes. Hangs head in shame. I've fallen in with the peer pressure and did it for my series. Now stop pressuring me and hand be some chocolate like a good little minion...I mean er reader.

Now imagine you are at a movie theatre, you paid for your ticket, bought your $8 popcorn and $4 drink and pretend that you didn't take a second mortgage out on your house just to take your family of six to the movies. Okay, it's not that bad, but it feels like it. You walk past the stancions and proceed down the hallway toward theatre 10 and it's filled with movie posters. And all of the tag lines and titles suck.  Believe me, I've been there and quite a few times I thought I could do better than what they put on those posters.

Now it's your turn my epic readers, authors and bloggers. To come up with Tag lines and Titles for all of your favorite books out there that have fallen into the one word-ism spectrum. 

The best example my family always talks about is the movie Speed.
Or as my father in law calls it "The Bus that couldn't slow down"

Or the opposite happens and books with really really long titles should have just been a single word and it could describe the whole thing. 

Here's a whole list of BOOKS WITH LONG TITLES on GOODREADS

And here is another list of LIST WITH ONE WORD BOOKS 

So take your pick. Pick a book from the long list and make it short. 
Or pick a book from the short list and make it long.  POST YOUR TITLES BELOW!!

And don't feel bad if you want to swap any of my book titles around. Coming up with a title is one of the most fun and terrifying ordeals ever.

Blog Twitter Facebook Goodreads

Chanda Hahn is the author of the popular Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series which includes UnEnchanted and Fairest which have topped the ebook charts in 5 countries. She also has a passion for writing YA epic fantasy. She's been a children's librarian, children's pastor and costume mascot. She lives in the beautiful but rainy northwest that is Portland Oregon with her husband and twin children.

Monday, July 15, 2013

More on Author Branding

I really enjoyed what Susan Kaye Quinn said about the Author Branding last week. It's something I've been thinking a lot about.

I am passionate about branding and feel 100% confident that the "me" I represent online is truly, well, ME. However, my brand doesn't represent my stories very well at all--and the reason is that it's simply not possible. And the reason for that? *I* am not one story. I am not only Desolation, but I am Jump Boys as well. I'm not only Jump Boys, I'm The Swift, Land Magic, Addicted, Blood Crown and the list goes on and on.

I write the stories in my heart and my heart is a bit psycho!

Have you seen the commercial starring musician Carrie Brownstein?

I could watch it all day, but I had a hard time finding it on YouTube because 1) I couldn't remember what she was advertising and 2) I honestly didn't know Carrie Brownstein before the commercial. But I persevered (thank you Google and YouTube search engines) and now I've listened to her music and watched her videos and could probably tell you anything you want to know about Carrie Brownstein. Why? Because of what she said in this American Express commercial.

She said,
I'm Carrie Brownstein and I get to be whoever I want.
Heck yes, she does! And guess what? So do we!

One of the privileges we enjoy as indie authors is freedom, like Sue said in her post. Feel like writing a fun middle-grade romp through space even though all you've written is dark, edgy YA angst? Go for it!

Think it might be fun to write a YA contemporary romance even though you've never written contemporary before? Why not?

Want to throw your hat into Manga, adult romance, or heck, create your own genre?

You. Can. Do. It.

Here's the thing. I've polled my readers on Facebook and Twitter and the answer is universal: Readers want a) to know when your next book is coming out, b) more about YOU and c) more about your stories.

Not once did someone tell me, "I don't care what else you write, I only want to read more about Desi."


They told me, "I love everything you write!! Just give me MORE!"

And because we're indie and we can do whatever we want, more is what we can give them!

I think the notion that we are pigeon-holed based on the first story we publish is outdated. I do think we ought to have Facebook pages or websites for those looking for story-specific information, but as for your *AUTHOR NAME* blog/website, I think you should brand it YOU, not your stories.

Because you are many things, just as you have many stories to tell. I know I do. So while yes, I'm the author of the dark and angsty Desolation series, I'm also the author of a space-adventure done Hardy Boys style. And I have a hecka lot more stories (with much genre-hopping) to come.

I am Ali Cross, Author Extraordinaire. I am whatever I want to be. That's my brand.

Ali Cross is the sensei of the writer's dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one  ninja cat, one sumo dog and four zen turtles.

She's the author the the young adult paranormal romance Desolation series, and the middle grade sci fi adventure, Jump Boys.

Find Ali online: Blog |Facebook Twitter

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Author Brand in the Age of Indie (Indie Life)

Because being indie doesn't have to mean going it alone.

So, it's 12:37am and I'm awake. 

Not on purpose, actually, but never one to waste a good bout of insomnia, I've trolled a few writer's boards, googled my book, caught up on the news, and... decided to write a blog post about Author Brand.

You see, I've written some young adult science fiction novels. 
My "brand" was all about stories for young people - you can see that right there in my banner:

Which was fine when I had only published YA and had a few MG manuscripts stuffed in the drawer.

Then I published this:
Future-noir. Death. Sex. Life hits and drug abuse.
Needless to say my "brand" suddenly got a lot darker and grittier. And muddier.

Plus, in the next year, I plan to publish a middle grade fantasy, a steampunk romance, another young adult science fiction series, as well as Season Two of Debt Collector. These can all fit under the umbrella of Speculative Fiction, and perhaps that should be my new tagline:
Susan Kaye Quinn, Speculative Fiction Author!
all the zing of a dead possum, but functional and accurate

The freedom to publish that comes with being indie can easily mean a tangled mess when it comes to author brand. And if there's something the Blogosphere is Very Sure about, it's that Author Brand is Supremely Important. (Sorry, it's 12:37 am; the Capitalization Faery has been set loose.)

Is this cause for alarm?

I think not.

You see, I'm still the same author. I still write books that have mind-bending premises that make my readers think. I still revel in creating stories with wrenching emotional content, whether it's the love-story between a boy and his dad, or an aching need for love in a man who drowns himself in sex. I still like to look to the near future or alternate past, the shadow where stories hide just behind our eyelids, and explore what if... what if the world were filled with mindreaders? What if you could transfer life energy? What if a faery tricked you into swapping places and now there's only one body but two souls that need it?

Some people may like some of my stories and not others. I'm seriously okay with that. It could even be part of some devilishly clever plan of mine to grow a broad fanbase by dipping into many different genres. 

Or I could be easily bored.

But my point (and I do have one, even at 12:37... wait, it's now 1:04 am), is that having the freedom to write anything means nothing if you don't exercise it. Having just come off a vacation to Washington D.C. on the Fourth of July, I have Freedom running through my veins, pumping me up with an appreciation of just how much of it we truly have as indie authors. I don't know about you, but I didn't realize how heavy the shackles of publisher expectations were until they fell away.

And I'll be damned if I'll let a silly thing like Author Brand stand in my way. I'll continue to write and publish the stories that speak to me... because I can. To mangle John Paul Jone's brave proclamation in service of indie freedom... I have not yet begun to write!

Susan Kaye Quinn is the sword-wielding author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series, but she doesn't (often) wear a tri-cornered hat. Her future-noir Debt Collector serial is her more grown-up SF. Now that Season One of Debt Collector is complete, she can return her attentions to her steampunk fantasy romance, which has been pouting in the corner. And play even more on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time. You can find her at
What's your life worth on the open market? A debt collector can tell you precisely. The first episode of Debt Collector, Delirium, is FREE.

Other Brave Indie Lifers...

Friday, July 5, 2013

June New Releases by Indelible Authors

June releases by Indelible Authors
by Stacey Wallace Benefiel


Due to heavy subject matter, Crossing is recommended for readers 17+.

He stole her lipstick…and her heart.

Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back.

When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

Amazon Kobo B&N itunes smashwords ( *75% off for the month of July!)


by S.R. Johannes
(book 2 in the Breathless novella series)

When Eria escapes her home in the Biome, she uncovers more about her
features and specifications as a HumaNot. Following her father's
instructions, Eria embarks on a journey into a dangerous and unpredictable world.

Along the way, she encounters a young rebel, Dirk, who explains he's from the Anarchy, an underground human resistance rising up against the BOTs--advanced man-made robots gone wild. Together, Dirk and Eria battle underground serpents, desert dingos, sand storms, and advanced Bots that are always hot on their trail. As they become closer, Dirk reveals his hatred of machines, forcing Eria to hide the secret of what and who she really is.

When the truth of her identity comes out, Eria is forced to become the very thing she hates the most.

(the complete series)
by Elle Strauss

Enchanted meets Peter Pan in Love, Tink.

Tink is hopelessly smitten with Peter, the leader of the lost boys who'd mysteriously arrived at Neverland two years ago. Unfortunately, Peter is tired of the adventure and especially tired of dodging Captain Hook who is after his head. He just wants to go back to New York City and live his life as a normal fifteen-year-old.

Tink is the only one who can help Peter return, but it breaks her heart to do it. She just wants to make him happy, so she does the unthinkable and betrays the fairy king. Now her heart is filled with remorse. Should she go after Peter? Should she follow him to his New York?

Originally published as six separate novella episodes, Love, Tink the complete series is all six stories together in one volume.

Amazon Kobo itunes smashwords (coming soon to Barnes and Noble)

by Leigh Talbert Moore

“Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.” –Magan Vernon, international bestselling author of The Only Exception
Three bad things I learned this year:
-People you trust lie, even parents. 
-That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one. 
-Things are not always how they appear.
Three good things I learned this year:
-Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away. 
-That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one. 
-Oh, and things are not always how they appear.
Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy.
Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced... Until he mysteriously withdrew.
Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father. 
A secret that could permanently change all their lives.

Congratulations to our Indelible authors who made the 2013 Kindle Book Review Awards semifinalist lists in the YA category!

G.P. Ching for GROUNDED,
and Christine Fonseca for TRANSCEND.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

INDIEpendence Day 2013!

Back for its second year, the INDIEpendence Day bloghop will return this summer, July 2nd through the 5th! We had such a great time last year, discovering new indie authors and making new friends, that we couldn't wait to do it again.

This INDIEpendence day, the Indelibles would like to celebrate indie authors (self-published and small-press) by holding up examples of outstanding indie works. We believe that amazing works of fiction can be found in indie novels. By highlighting and bringing greater awareness to quality indie books, people will find great books to read, indie authors get support, and we continue to change hearts and minds about the gems that can be found among self-published and small-press novels.

WIN all around!

Will you join us?

Here's how it works:

  1. PICK A BOOK: Pick an indie (self-published or small press) book that you either HAVE READ AND LOVED or WANT TO READ. 
  2. WRITE A POST: On INDIEpendence day (July 2nd), write a post about that book. It can be a review, an interview with the author, or simply a post highlighting the book. In your post, be sure to include: 1) HOW you found out about the book and 2) WHY you liked it (or WHY you want to read it). Make it easy for people to sample your indie author by providing buy links as well.
  3. DO A GIVEAWAY (optional): You can give away swag, or a copy of the indie book you're highlighting, or don't do a giveaway at all - it's up to you! 
  4. IMPORTANT: you may NOT highlight your own novel or one of the Indelible's novels (this is a Pay It Forward event!) 
  5. GO TO GOODREADS (optional): Add the Indie book or books you're featuring to our ever-growing INDIEpendence Day List.
Easy peasy.

For extra incentive, the Indelibles will be giving away a $10 Kindle gift card (to be used on Indie books!) to a random host from the participating blogs! But the real win is a chance to pay forward your love of an indie author's work while helping your friends find a great summer read.

Sign up on the linky below!

p.s. Please spread the word to your fellow author and book blogger friends so we can get as many participants as possible.