So when Cynthia Lord knew her galleys were coming for book Rules she got the bright idea to hold a little contest to see when they would arrive and offered to send a copy of the galleys to the winner. I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a unique contest of my own for the galleys but no such luck. I decided that if you’re going to copy, why not copy from the best? With credit to cynthialord I hereby launch the official Hugging the Rock "When Will They Get Here" galleys contest. My publicist said they have been ordered and will be at the publisher on Friday. This Friday. Then mine will be shipped to me. Note: Both my publisher and I are on the same coast.
By my reckoning I should have them by the end of March so here are the ten arrival date options:
3/19, 3/20, 3/21, 3/22, 3/23, 3/27, 3/28, 3/29, 3/30, 3/31 Pick one and win!
And another plug for you to sign up for my newsletter (just in case you forget to read my blog.) The first issue will go out shortly and, if you’re a subscriber, there will be another contest in the newsletter to win a copy of the published book.
Getting early attention for your book is really important but I think it’s also hard for many writers to do because so many of us, (like ME) are introverts. I have a hard time jumping up and down and asking people to look at my book, read my book, review my book. But I truly believe that Hugging the Rock is the best thing I have written yet and if it takes me going out on the limb to the uncomfy zone to talk about it, I will. So that brings me to the topic of blurbs. My publisher mentioned it was time to start thinking about blurbs. Blurbs are endorsements, bits of praise, the appear on the cover (back or sometimes front). Actually they’re used in all sorts of promotional efforts.
Usually they’re by someone famous but my publisher said they use blurbs from regular readers, reviewers, librarians, etc for all sorts of things. But asking people to read for the purpose of blurbing is hard. First off, just because you like a person doesn’t mean you will (or have to) like their book. But some people don’t understand that. Some people think that if you hate their book you hate them. And some people are afraid to be asked to blurb for one person because then they’ll feel like they are fair game for everyone else to ask. So it’s a decidely awkward place to be. I’ll just say this, if you read a copy of the book, in galley or final form, and you want to comment on it, good, bad, or whatever, you can send to me, but you can also send to any comments to Laura at the email above.
Hugging the Rock is a journey of the heart that does make many people cry, but it is a hopeful journey that portrays a relationship not often seen in children’s books, a positive relationship between a girl and her father. In writing this book I gave myself the father I’ve never known.
As important as promotion is to getting the word out about an author’s books, it’s often the most difficult (and time consuming) thing to do until you’re so famous that it seems like you don’t need worry about it anymore. I rely on the kindness of friends and strangers to help spread the word. That being said, it seems like blogs are becoming one of the top ways that booklovers share their love (and dislike) of various books. Not long ago,
Now’s the part where I ask for a little help of my own. My latest book, Robert Smalls Sails to Freedom, is out now. It’s an easy reader, On My Own History title from Millbrook/Carolrhodda. Robert Smalls was a slave in South Carolina during the Civil War. He worked (handing over his money to his master) on a sidewheel steamer and knew every inch of the Carolina waterways. When he got his chance, he stole the ship he was working on and sailed himself, his family, and a few friends, right out of the harbor under the eyes of the Confederate troops. He handed the ship over to the Union Navy. For the rest of the war Smalls assisted the Union Navy. After the war Smalls went on to become a South Carolina congressman. He is considered one of the first African American heroes of the Civil War.
I haven’t had nearly the time I needed or wanted to promote this book in time for Black History Month next month. If you are a teacher or a librarian or know someone who is a teacher or a librarian or a homeschool parent or anyone who is looking to read about an interesting slice of history, please consider taking a look at this book. And I hope you will help me spread the word. If anyone can, bloggers can and will.
I have more time to get the word out on this next book, but as many of you know, it takes time to build a buzz, and that’s what my publisher and I hope to do with my middle grade verse novel, Hugging the Rock. It will be published in the fall of 2006 by Tricycle Press. This weekend at ALA Midwinter Tricycle is handing out excerpts from the book with information on how librarians and reviewers can request a galley. If you weren’t able to make it to ALA and pick up a copy of your own, never fear. Download an excerpt of Hugging the Rock in PDF form right here on my website.
Fall books have a higher chance of being lost in all the holiday stuff so please help me spread the word about the availability of the excerpt to any librarians and reviewers you might know. And if you like what you read, please let me and/or Tricycle know.
How far can a blog reach? Let’s find out, and thank you, in advance.