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Did you know Easter Ann Peters’ Operation Cool is a finalist for the 2012 Book of the Year Award in juvenile fiction from ForeWord Press? Meet author Jody Lamb this Sunday, May 5 at the Brighton District Library. Read about the event here.

We had a wonderful write up in the Detroit News this week!

If you’re in or around Hamburg Township, Michigan on Saturday, March 2nd, stop by the library between 10am-1pm to meet our authors, Jody Lamb and Molleen Zwiker!

Debut Michigan author Jody Lamb’s heartwarming middle-grade novel tackles the tough topics of parental alcoholism and depression along with coming-of-age struggles of fitting in and bullies.

“Easter Ann Peters’ Operation Cool,” written for children ages eight to 13, is slated for release on November 6 by Scribe Publishing Company.

“This is a tender story of friendship, coping with parental alcoholism and the power of hope,” said Jennifer Baum, founder and editorial director of Scribe Publishing Company. “It stands out because it’s told by Easter Ann, a lovable, witty character readers will cheer for as she copes with common family drama and coming-of-age struggles.”

Lamb was inspired to write the story when she learned how common parental alcoholism is for American children.

Researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Association for Children of Alcoholics estimate that 10 to 25 percent of American kids live with at least one parent who abuses alcohol.

“When I was growing up, I thought alcoholism was unique to my family,” Lamb said. “When I discovered how common it is, I was disappointed in the lack of contemporary, effective books on the subject. Millions of kids are coping with the destructive effects of loved ones’ alcoholism and they believe they are alone because it remains a family secret. I wrote a realistic story to spark discussion, awareness and hope.”

Accomplished middle-grade authors and Jerry Moe, National Director of Children’s Programs at Betty Ford Center, have praised the novel.

“[This story is] a sensitive look at how alcoholism affects the entire family, especially the children,” Moe said. “A message of hope and the possibility of healing makes this a very powerful read.”

The novel will be available for purchase on November 6 in bookstores and on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. An e-book edition is also available in the Kindle store.

A reading and book-signing event is planned for Sunday, November 11 at 1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Brighton, Michigan.

The novel cover image, author photos, videos, event details and other media materials are available at www.JodyLamb.com.

We are still alive. Haven’t posted on the blog lately, but have been gearing up for our fall collection. Made two offers so far. Can’t wait to announce the collection later this summer. Regular publishing news will resume shortly!

More and more, the lines (and audiences) between adult fiction and young adult fiction aren’t so clear anymore — and we think that’s a good thing. Read more in this insightful article from The Globe and Mail.

California startup CoverCake offers publishers, authors and retailers a complete rundown on what books people are talking about online.

From their site:

“While working on solving the book discovery problem, we noticed book readers were leaving hundreds of thousands of comments on many social networks. We thought it would be beneficial for the book publishing and book retail industries to be able to see turn-key measurements of this activity and corroborate it with their outbound marketing campaigns, author appearances and media features … We’re now focused completely on providing meaningful analytical data on books that can be used by publishers, authors, book retailers and even end users.”

Find out more.

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you can make yourself more desirable to publishers or agents (and thus, more likely to get an offer) if you can demonstrate that you’ve already got a good grasp on who your readers are and how to reach them. Social media makes this an easier task.

Take the phenomenon of a blog tour. Sort of like an author tour without the hassle of traveling, a blog tour is when a targeted list of 40-60 bloggers are recruited to blog about a book, either using their own reviews or pulling from the press release.

You can expect your publisher to do a lot of the leg work here, but if you were to do a “blog tour,” what are the best blogs for you to target? Who reads the genre you write in? Approaching a publisher with well-thought-out suggestions will make you a more appealing author.

Blog tours are just one facet of a book promotion campaign, and it’s part of your job, as the author, to help brainstorm how to best get your book in front of its intended audience. You’ll have a richer (in more ways than one) author experience because of it.

We’ll explore other social media outreach strategies in future posts.

If you’ve never seen it before, it’s worth interacting with: Publishers Weekly’s Bookselling Mapped

It’s nowhere near November, a.k.a. “National Novel Writing Month,” or NaNoWriMo for short, but I was thinking about it today, and while many literary agents (or so I’ve heard) despise the month and its subsequent onslaught of not-yet-ready submissions come every December 1, it really is a great way to force yourself to get that first draft on paper, which is possibly the hardest part. (Well… let’s just say the first of many hard parts).

What NaNoWriMo can do for you:

1. Force you to turn off your inner critic and just write

2. Make your story shape up, fast, even if you didn’t know where it was going

3. Give you lots of street cred with your friends. From turning down that after-work drink because you’ve “got to work on your novel” to, for the rest of your life, being able to say you wrote the first draft of your novel in a month. Street cred, people, street cred. Never mind the fact that it wasn’t published until 5 years, 7 rewrites and 467 rejections later. Leave that part out. You wrote 50,000 words in a month! Suddenly Mt. Everest is looking a lot more doable.

What NaNoWriMo can’t do for you:

Leave you with a coherent first draft. It might be shaping up nicely in your head and sort of make sense on paper, especially after a glass of wine, but expect a lot of work to follow. Possibly years of work. But if it’s a good project, it’ll be worth it.

Don’t forget, March is coming up, and that’s NaNoWriMo’s smart sister (brother?), National Novel Editing Month (or NaNoEdMo). Enough with the silly abbreviations, already!

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