Monday, September 27, 2010

Contest of Awesome

In celebration of my 100, 125, and 150 followers and my 21st birthday, I'm having a contest. An awesome contest.

The Rules: 

1) You must be a follower.
2) You must comment on this post.
3) Honestly, that's about it, because this contest is open to everyone! (So long as you live somewhere the Book Depository ships to.) :)

Extra Entries:

+1 for being a follower (automatic)
+1 for commenting (automatic)
+1 for telling me your newest favorite book and
+1 for telling me why you loved it
+1 for Tweeting about the contest*
+1 for linking on your blog *
+3 for an actual blog post*

9 total possible entries 

The Prizes:

There will be TWO prize packs.**
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Stray by Rachel Vincent 

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Contest Ends: Monday, October 11th (10/11/2010) @ 11:59pm 

You have two weeks to enter. 

* I want links people. 
** If you win and already have these books, I will more than likely swap them out for something else.





Psst. Since I've been all over the place with my updates on here, I'm actually getting on to tell you to check back later for something awesome. Because the contest I've been wanting to hold since, umm, May (?) is about to go down.

There will be multiple ways to earn entries.
There will be winners from all over the world. (Why hello, Book Depository.)

There will be multiple winners.

There will be less money in my bank account.

So tell your friends and check your watch, because I'll be back in 6+ hours with contest details and a list of prizes!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review: Paranormalcy

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: August 31, 2010 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 352 pgs
Source: Purchased

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Calling Sarah E. Olson

Sarah, if I don't hear from you by Sunday night, I'll be forced to draw a new winner.

I'll repeat that. Sarah E. Olson, you won a signed copy of Cinders from my contest last week. If you don't send me an email by Sunday night with your mailing address, I'll have to give the book to someone else.

Monday, September 13, 2010

CINDERS Winner!!

After much deliberation, I have selected a winner. Which roughly translates into, "I numbered you and had my friend pick a random number, 'cause I'm spiffy like that."

So, one lucky person gets a signed copy of Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle, 2 Cinders bookmarks, and 2 business cards for Michelle Davidson Argyle

And the winner is . . .

Oh, hey, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who participated, and hello to everyone who stopped in and said 'hi' even if they didn't want to be entered. You guys rock. : )

So, I could stall some more, but I have to go to work now.

The winner is . . . Sarah E. Olson.


Welcome to the blog! Send me an email at with your mailing address and all get your prize sent off to you ASAP.

Thanks again, everyone! And have a good Monday!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Guest Post from My Dog Ate My Blog

Today, I have a guest post for you from one of the contributors to  a very interesting- and rather informative- site, My Dog Ate My Blog. Rather than tell you who they are and what they talk about, I'd rather just let you guys check them out for yourself. So, enjoy:

So You Want to Break Into the Publishing Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the publishing industry can always expect to take a hit during times of economic downturn. Couple that with the rise of the Internet and the subsequent demise of traditional print media and it's no wonder you always hear about newspapers folding and talking heads proclaiming the publishing industry dead. On the contrary, the industry far from dead, just changing, like so many other industries experiencing growing pains as they transition into a new, on-line, interactive world. Anybody may be able to have a blog but the public still turns to trusted sources for news and other material, and thankfully, books, business-to-business or "trade" publications, and textbooks still see the same if not better circulations as earlier in the decade. Here are 8 hot jobs in the publishing industry that ARE on the rise.

Graphic designers are in high demand for not only the layout of the publications themselves but that of the publication's website, and are often required to do extensive work on both. Graphic designers must be familiar with InDesign and similar layout applications, and must be able to create an intuitive, immediately eye-catching, and engaging interface for online content. Jobseekers with web design and animation experience will have an edge over the competition.

Market and survey researchers find out what the public wants by means of surveys, focus group discussions, etc. They figure out how best to reach readers and what content they want to view, an increasingly important aspect of the industry because with so many options available online and in print, it is essential to find the audience that will keep coming back for more. Market and survey researchers report their findings to....

Advertising sales are what fuel newspapers, magazines, and their websites, and so advertising sales agents are absolutely necessary to find the revenue that will keep these publications alive. Agents analyse findings from the market research department and present them to potential clients in the hopes they will buy advertising space in their publication and/or website. Commissions often make up a large portion of an advertising sales agent's earnings, and so this can be a tough way to go, especially in less than ideal economic times.

It is increasingly difficult for writers to find steady, paid work, especially as most publications downsize or hire out work on a freelance basis, but one often overlooked though less sexy sector of the publishing industry that is hiring workers is the business-to-business or trade publication. These smaller publications cover stories and topics specific to certain industries and so only appeal to a small but stable audience, one with fewer (if any) options to receive their news. Writers for these publications may write for various magazines at once and may also be required to handle other tasks as well, and so should have some experience in layout, photography, and/or graphic design to help their prospects.

No one will read a book if they do not know it exists, and so it is the public relations specialist's job to get the word out and create buzz about new material. PR specialists devise ad campaigns in other publications, radio and television ads, etc., set up author interviews and promotional tours, and utilize any medium possible to reach their target audience. Increasingly experience and expertise with social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is essential.

Textbook sales constitute almost half of the revenue generated by the publishing industry, and with more students (especially in higher education) than ever, the demand for new textbooks and revised editions of those already published does not look to diminish anytime soon. Generally professors or other experts in a certain field devise the content for a textbook, but oftentimes need help putting their thoughts to paper in a digestible, engaging way; this is where the jobs are, and so textbook writers should have knowledge of the field to translate highly technical talk into something that makes sense for a student.

More and more in today's business climate writers are being hired on a freelance basis. Publishing companies commission freelance writers to complete any kind of assignment, mostly short-term but also recurring columns, scripts, and books. Freelancer writers are self-employed and so have the freedom to handpick the assignments they undertake and also work on their own schedule. As a downside, jobs can be hard to find and so freelancing can be a tough way to make a living, particularly as an unestablished or new writer. However, there are always jobs out there waiting to be found, and it is a good way to get published and create a portfolio to use when finding steadier work.

The area with by far the best job prospects, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is that of computer network, systems, and database administrators. With so many periodicals and other publications already online, and many books being converted to a digital format, it is absolutely essential to have a working, fluid, interactive, intuitive, and cutting edge website. Webmasters turn publishers and writers' ideas into online reality, and must be up-to-date on current technologies and innovations for implementation.

Joseph Gustav is a guest post blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on accredited online colleges for Guide to Online Schools.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


So, I have a lovely signed copy of this pretty book here:

And I'd like to give it away, because I totally have one for myself. : )

ANYWAY, if you live in the US or Canada (I'm cheap right now, sorry everyone!) then you're eligible for this. I'm not going to get all kinds of fancy and give you the chance to have 20 billion entries, so you get one entry per person.


(1) You must be a follower.
(2) You must leave a comment, preferably with some content in it other than, "Woo! Great contest!"

I'd like to get to know you all. So if you've never spoken up before, introduce yourself. If you have, tell me how things are going: have you read a good book lately, made any progress on your MS, or have you been so incredibly busy that it's not even funny?

That's it. Not hard at all.

ENDS: Next Friday (9/10) at 12:00 AM EST (I'll stay up an extra hour for all of you.)


1 signed copy of Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle (my review here, and yes this week is brought to you by Cinders for the most part).
2 Cinders bookmarks
2 business cards for Michelle Davidson Argyle

I'd appreciate it if you spread the word about this, mostly because Cinders deserves all the attention it can get. AND if I see my link popping up everywhere, I *might* be persuaded to give out extra entries in my next contest which will be coming up later this month. Hopefully.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Author Interview: Michelle Davidson Argyle

I have the privilege today to interview the wonderfully talented author of Cinders, Michelle Davidson Argyle. If you were here on Monday, you'll need no introduction to the book, but I'll give you one at the end anyway. 'Cause I'm nice like that.

About Michelle: 

"I'm a mother, artist, and writer who lives in the Rocky Mountains with my sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. I write contemporary, literary, and fantasy fiction." - from Michelle's author site
Yours Truly: CINDERS is a look at what happens to Cinderella when happily-ever-after doesn’t go according to plan. What made you want to write about the beloved fairy-tale?

Michelle: I've always had some issues with Disney princesses, and since my daughter kept watching Disney's *Cinderella* over and over again, I one day got the idea to tell a short story about Cinderella after she gets married. The short story grew into a novella.

YT: Your book is a novella; is there any particular reason you chose the shorter format?

M: Yes, actually. One of my favorite stories is *The Awakening* by Kate Chopin. It's a novella, and I fell in love with that format back in college. I always knew I wanted to write a novella, so when I got the idea for * Cinders,* I knew it was perfect for a novella-length piece. I wanted a fairly simple story - straightforward and a quick, fun read. Like a fairy-tale.

YT: I'd definitely say you accomplished that, though I don't know that "fun" is the word I'd use to describe CINDERS, haha. Since most people think about writing novels, which are by definition longer than novellas, how did you go about getting CINDERS published? Is the process any different than the process for publishing novels?

Novellas are difficult to get published in the mainstream traditional publishing sense, so I knew that *Cinders* was the perfect project to self-publish. Self-publishing is different for every writer, meaning you can go many different routes. Some writers choose to publish only an ebook, some go with a vanity press, some go with a POD (print-on-demand) publisher. I knew I wanted to go with a POD publisher, and then had to do my research on who was right for me. The process to self-publish is, of course, different from traditional publishing with a large publishing house, but as far as the difference between self-publishing a novel vs. self-publishing a novella, to me they would be the same.

If you want more information on my self-publishing process, you can follow my self-publishing series at The Literary Lab. It begins here:

YT: As a writer, you contribute to The Literary Lab blog which gives great advice to writers; if you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice,what would it be?

Keep writing and make professional connections. I think it's vital for writers to know when their work is ready, and most of the time their critique partners can't tell them that. Save your pennies and hire a professional editor. Query your work to agents and see what feedback you get. Make friends with a published author who might be willing to read your work and give you an honest opinion. Most of all, don't cheat yourself into thinking your work is ready simply because you're impatient and want to share it with the world (trust me, I know how that feels). I wrote 3 novels and countless short stories and got an English BA degree before I knew I was ready to publish on any sort of scale larger than a short story. I'm not saying you have to get an English degree, but be serious with your work and yourself no matter what you decide to do. From my experience, 98% of the time, my work is not ready.

YT: (As an English major myself, I have to say I'm a little biased, but I think everyone should have an English degree . . . Totally kidding, you guys.) Are you working on anything else that you can share with us?

M: I'm currently working on a novel to submit to a small press, and intermixed with that I'll be writing two more fantasy fairy-tale novellas that I will self-publish alongside *Cinders*. I also plan on self-publishing a
novelette with Scott G.F. Bailey and Davin Malasarn from the Literary Lab. We'll be doing a collection of three novellas/novelettes. I'm excited for all these projects!

YT: Me too!! So, what is your favorite part of writing?

M: Plain and simple: sharing it with readers!

YT: Great answer! Haha. And one last question for fun: since I know you’re a fan of poetry, if you could meet any poet who would it be and why?

M: Oh, tough! I'd have to say Annie Dillard. She is the writer whose work made me turn from an editing degree to a creative degree in college. I love her work dearly.

YT: Sorry about that, Michelle. Sometime I ask mean questions. : ) I loved CINDERS, and thanks again!

M: Thank you! It's been a pleasure.


Cinderella's happily-ever-after isn't turning out the way she expected.

With her fairy godmother imprisoned in the castle and a mysterious stranger haunting her dreams, Cinderella is on her own to discover true love untainted by magic.

Visit the author online.
Buy the book: Amazon | Others 


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