Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Publishing Takes Time

Hello readers!

I've been thinking about this topic for a while now and I went to the SCBWI Editor's Day at Cal State Fullerton this last weekend.

Check out this line-up!

Our fabulous guest Editors are:

Alexandra Penfold, Editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster
Yolanda LeRoy Scott , Editorial Director at Charlesbridge
Frances Gilbert, Editorial Director of Doubleday Children's Books, a
division of Random House
Kira Lynn, Publisher at Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Jeffrey Salane, Senior Editor at Cartwheel Books and Scholastic Press

Our Agent Panelists are:

Sara Sciuto, Literary Agent from Full Circle Literary
Taylor Martindale, Literary Agent from Full Circle Literary

Our Guest Authors are:

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro – Horror Author and Living Legend – International
Horror Guild (2006)
Marilyn Donahue – Middle Grade Author
Dr. Mike Mahin – Picture Book Author/Professor and Pitch Guru
Candace Ryan – Picture Book Author

Several editors and authors talked about how long it takes to publish a book. In short, a very long time. It can be expected to take 1-2 years AT MINIMUM to publish a book. And now you're staring at the screen thinking, "This girl is crazy!" No, really. It does take that long. Let's check this out.

-You write your book. (And rewrite it, edit it, rewrite it, etc.)

-You submit it to publishers/agents.

-Agent accepts your work. Sells it to a publisher. (This can take years to do.)
Publisher/editor accepts your work directly (without an agent involved).

-Sign a contract after discussions. (This can take a few days to a few weeks...possibly months??)

-Editor reads your book and edits it. (Takes weeks/months.)

-You revise it based on editor's comments and return it. (Takes weeks/months, depending on extent of edits.)

-Editor reads it again. Sends it to copy editor for proofreading.

-Copy editor sends it back to author for more edits.

-Author sends back *final* copy to copy editor.

-Copy editor and editor both read over it ONE MORE TIME.

-Meanwhile, cover art is being done by illustrator. Needs to approved by head of illustration department. (Author often has no say in cover art.)

-Book gets sent to initial print run for Advance Review Copies (if it's a big name publishing house with lots of $$). Did you know that it costs more to print ARCs than it does to print the finished copy of the book?? That's why not every company prints ARCs. More will offer e-copies of books for review.

-Sales and marketing team work on...sales and marketing. ;)  Getting bookstores to stock the book, setting up other author appearances, printing posters, etc. Review copies are sent to reviewers/book bloggers/journalists. This often takes the longest time. The publishing company wants to build up a buzz for the book.

And then...the book comes out. UNLESS there are other factors that delay it. There could be a delay at the print shop. There could be many other books coming out at the same time and your book gets moved to a new slot in a different quarter for the publishing company. A major edit may be discovered and need to be fixed before the final print run. Stuff happens and books get delayed.

And sometimes, we freak out about it.
 One of the authors who spoke on Saturday was asked what was the longest she's waited for a book to get published. "21 years." Gasps around the room. "I'm still waiting for that book to get published. But you know  what? I just kept writing other things."

One of the editors said she had to wait five years for a children's book to get published. They couldn't find the right illustrator for years. The author was patient and hung in there and when the book finally came out, it was fantastic. But it took a long time and a lot of faith.

So, if you're getting discouraged about the amount of time it's taking for YOUR book to be published, relax. Just keep writing another story. Eventually, your book will come out. And then you can throw confetti and eat cupcakes and twirl around the room.

Happy waiting! ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger

Book Review


Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)

From Goodreads: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.

My review:
I received a copy of KEEPER while I was in New York at Book Expo America in June. It was the first book I read out of all the books I received. I read all 500+ pages in one day/night because it was THAT awesome. The reader is right there with Sophie, trying to figure out her new life. There are mysteries and secrets that you *need* to know the answers to. Even as an adult, I really loved this story. Appropriate for a middle grade reader, engaging for an adult reader. I'm looking forward to reading Book Two when it comes out next year. (So long to wait!!) 

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES releases Tuesday, October 2nd. (I'm going to one of Shannon's launch parties at the B&N in Oceanside!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012


My children's book SOMETIMES MY BROTHER BUGS ME, published by MeeGenius! Books is now available for download! 
MeeGenius! works with the iPad/iPhone, Android, Google TV, and website. I hope you enjoy it! :)  
(Now I will go back to eating sour gummy worms.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Cover Reveal!

Hello friends!
I am SO excited to share the cover of my children's book SOMETIMES MY BROTHER BUGS ME. Ready? Here it is!

Isn't that AWESOME?! 

It will be published on Wednesday, September 19th through MeeGenius Books!
 Go to MeeGenius.com for the ebook or if you already have the ebook app on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android phone, you can get it there.  (MeeGenius is the #1 app bookstore for children's books.)

Please excuse while I go twirl around my house in happiness. :)

About MeeGenius
MeeGenius is the world’s largest virtual store for enhanced children’s books. Available as a website and an application, MeeGenius works across all platforms offering the largest selection of classic children’s stories anywhere. Both old and new titles are available with and enhancements such as read-along word highlighting, audio playback and personalization. MeeGenius creates premium educational content faster and cheaper with a wider distribution channel than anyone on the planet.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book Giveaway of Epic Proportions!

I've spent A LOT of time this summer reading the books I've gotten at BEA and ALA. I've sent some of those books along to Twitter followers, some to friends, some to the summer reading program at the library (as prizes). I still have some books that need reading and reviewing! *puppy dog eyes* Are you the one to give these ARCs a home? Will you read them and love them? And buy finished copies if you like the books? Yes?! Then fill out the form below!

I'll pick out winners (based on which book they would like in order received) and send along the books after the giveaway closes. :)


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reading PDF files on E-readers

Hey there!
I've had the question recently (after finally buying a Kindle - it was a *very* discounted refurbished one) about how to read a PDF file on an e-reader. If you've had the same question, I'll spare you the trouble of searching the interwebz to find an answer. (And if you read e-galleys from publishers, you're likely to get a PDF or similar file for a review book.)

Email the PDF file to your Kindle email address. Didn't know your Kindle had an address? Well, it does! :) It is the same amazon.com address associated with your account but instead of @yahoo.com, etc., it is @kindle.com.
Example: If my normal email is:  melissa@yahoo.com, my Kindle email is: melissa@kindle.com
If you want the PDF converted to make it easier to read, you must put "convert" in the subject line when you send the email to yourself. Easy peasy!

You can also plug in your Kindle to your computer via USB and transfer files to it. Open "Computer", "Kindle", "Documents". You can typically click and drag files into this folder. Check the home screen to be sure the file is there before you leave the computer.

You first need to download Adobe Digital Editions for free on your computer.
Plug in your Nook, authorize the ADE to view your Nook. This *should* then allow you to add the PDF to your Nook for reading.
However, it has been stated that reading PDF on the Nook is annoying. Sometimes the formatting is off. You can turn the PDF into an ePUB format. Wondershare is supposed to be a good conversion tool.
All that to say - the Nook isn't the best at PDF reading. (Sorry!)

You can also just read the PDF on your computer. I know this is difficult for a lot of people with a desktop computer. I like to read PDF on my laptop because I can go sit on the couch with it, you know, actually on my lap. ;)  If you don't enjoy reading on the computer, be sure to get up and take breaks for your eyes and your body. Otherwise, you're going to put your angst of sitting for hours on the book you're reading. :)