Monday, March 30, 2015

Blogging tips

Okay, totally not middle grade, but as I was trolling twitter I found a link to a great article about blogging by Abrar Mohi Shafee.  For the full article click here. Here are some of the points I found that I think are genius.


According to Quick Sprout, the best timetable of social media posting is:

Platform Name Best Days to Post Best Time of The Day to Post

Facebook-  Thursday, Friday 1pm, 3pm, 9am – 7pm
Twitter- Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday 12pm, 5pm, 6pm
LinkedIn- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10am – 11am, 7am – 8am, 5pm – 6pm
Pinterest -Saturday 8pm – 11pm
Google+ - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am – 11am

According to Add This, following are the high performing materials based on different platforms:

Platform Name Content Types

Facebook - Quizzes, Heartwarming Stories, Entertainment News
Twitter-         Business, Breaking News
LinkedIn-  Industry News
Pinterest-  Recipes, Fashion, DIY Projects
Google+ -       Deals, Coupons, Celebrity News, Sport Articles

Visuals?
  • Photos on Facebook can get 53% more likes and 104% more comments than an ordinary Facebook post. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Images in Twitter can get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets than an average non-image tweet. (Source: BufferBlog)
I suggest giving this article a read. It has more information involving hashtag usage, social tags and more! 


* Graphic from wikicommons. "Buy Facebook likes". Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buy_Facebook_likes.jpg#/media/File:Buy_Facebook_likes.jpg

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Wind Catcher Blog Tour

Welcome to this stop on the Wind Catcher tour. Today I am reviewing  the YA supernatural thriller, Wind Catcher by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef. See below for prizes that are up for grabs from the tour host, Novel Publicity.

WC Release

The Story- 
Juliet Wildfire Stone hears voices. They have gotten more insistent in the last couple months and play a continual static in the back of her mind. Her grandfather Sicheii, a Native American medicine man, tells her that it is her destiny and she needs to listen to the voices. When another medicine man is murdered, Juliet doesn’t think it is a coincidence that he was friends with her grandfather.

Juliet and her best friend Troy start searching for clues about the murder, clues that lead her straight to her grandfather and a secret society to which he belongs. The Order of the Twisted Arrow has been passed down for generations, and evidently Juliet is the “Chosen One” of their stories.

Soon Juliet is fighting for her life as more and more people are murdered and she is forced to run from the law. Her only hope lies in accepting her powers and trusting her grandfather.

My Thoughts-
First off, great story that completely took me by surprise at the end and went somewhere I totally didn’t expect. That alone gets bonus points from me. I was so sure that this was going to be a Native American supernatural thriller that when the author threw in a curve ball I was shocked. Yep, you’ll have to read it to understand my point J

The characters are wonderful and I really didn’t know whether Juliet’s grandfather was legit or not. The author does a great job with cross information. I was totally into the budding romance that seems to be lurking between Juliet and Troy, I just wish there had been more. That part was underdeveloped for a YA book, and I can only hope the second book delivers.

I did have one issue and that was with the author’s own anger issues soaking through into the book. The entire beginning of the book everything is so slanted towards prejudice against Native Americans that I could feel the author’s feelings more poignantly than Juliet’s. She is a tough, amazing girl and I really wanted to just ask, where is the balance? Not everyone at a private school is a prick and Juliet’s isolation seemed a little too stereotypical.Thank goodness the author continues on into the story and the plot really flows. 4 stars!

Get your copy now on
EP_Sales_Button_Amazon
FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Winner: Mom's Choice Award -- Silver Metal
Winner: Awesome Indies -- Seal of Approval
Recipient: Readers' Favorite -- 5 Star Review

"Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won't want to escape from. Brava!" - Stephen Fisher, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews


And Now for the Prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I love me a sale :) Amazon Fire Kids

On sale now- $25 off! Amazon Fire Kids edition :) I love my kindle.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Children's Book Choice Awards


Have you ever looked at the winner's of National book awards and wished you were a judge? I just came across the Children's Book Choice Awards, a chance to vote on your own favorites! Here's the link- http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=6288852011&ref_=pe_321720_135246240

Started in 2008 by the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader, The Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards program is the only national award voted on by children and teens. Cast your vote from March 17-May 3, 2015 (over 1 million children and teens voted last year) from the list of finalists in each category: K-Grade 2 | Grades 3-4 | Grades 5-6 | Teen Choice | Children's Choice Debut Author | Teen Choice Debut Author | Children's Illustrator --winners are announced during Children’s Book Week, the oldest national literacy event in the United States. 
Here are the choices for Middle Grade best book of the year (2 categories)-



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Children's Book Competition from Middle Shelf Magazine

MIDDLE SHELF MAGAZINE'S COMPETITION FOR BEST INDEPENDENTLY PUBLISHED CHILDREN'S, MIDDLE GRADE, AND TEEN BOOKS

CALL FOR ENTRIES
Middle Shelf Magazine's Competition for Best Independently Published Children's, Middle Grade, and Teen Books
 
Middle Shelf Magazine announces the Middle Shelf Magazine Competition for Best Independently Published Children's, Middle Grade, and Teen Books. Any independently published book in any genre in these categories is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $40 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Middle Shelf Magazine.
"Independently Published" books include self-published books and e-books (such as those published through Blurb.com, CreateSpace, Lulu.com, iUniverse, etc.) and/or books and e-books published through small presses releasing less than five titles per year. There is no limit to the number of books an individual can enter; each book is a separate entry. The competition is open to authors worldwide; books must be in English. Any length book is eligible.
The official rules for the competition can be found at here.
To submit an entry, email a PDF or Word Doc of your entire book, including the cover, toMargaret@shelfmediagroup.com, subject line Contest Entry (or mail a physical copy of your book to: Shelf Media Group, PO Box 852321, Richardson, Texas 75085-2321), and send a check for $40 made out to Shelf Media Group to Margaret Brown, Shelf Media Group, PO Box 852321, Richardson, Texas 75085-2321, or pay via PayPal (click on this link and select "Competition Entry Fee"). All entries received (and entry fee paid) will be considered. Please include your email and book title with your entry if sending by mail.
In each of the three categories (Children's, Middle Grade, and Teen), an overall winner will be named as well as five finalists. All winners and finalists will be featured in the November/December issue of Middle Shelf Magazine. The overall winners in each category will each receive $500 and a year's worth of full-page ads in Middle Shelf Magazine (rate card value $4,500). In addition, more than 100 books deemed by the editors as "notable" entries will be featured in the November/December issue of Middle Shelf Magazine.
The deadline for entry is midnight on August 1, 2015. The winners will be notified by September 4, 2015. Additional information and rules can be found on our contest rules page atwww.shelfmediagroup.com.
For further information, please feel free to contact Margaret Brown, Publisher, via email:Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com.
Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids magazine, a 2014 Maggie Award finalist for Best Digital-Only Publication, reaches more than 125,000 avid readers in the U.S. and in 65 other countries around the globe. Subscriptions to Middle Shelf are free at www.shelfmediagroup.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pam Van Hylckama Vlieg- Agent

Let's get to know Pam Van Hylckama Vlieg, a literary agent with D4EO. I had the pleasure of meeting Pam at the Spring 2015 ANWA conference.

First, a little background. Pam started off as a literary assistant to agent Laurie McLean at Foreward Lit back in 2012. In just a few months she moved up to Associate Agent and in June 2014 she joined D4EO.

What does she represent? Pam reps genre fiction including mystery, horror, thriller and romance (no erotica) along with middle grade, young adult, and new adult (main character is in their 20's).

What does she look for? Pam told us she wants, "story and voice." She likes stories on the slightly darker side. She also said she's, "not looking for perfection, but looking for good." So make your manuscript as clean as possible, though she will overlook some grammar errors.

Where does she find her clients? You'll be happy to hear she gets most of her clients from the slush pile. Her advice, "if you follow the rules and submissions guidelines you're ahead of the game."

Why she thinks you should have an agent? "We fight your battles so you can be happy. We fight to get you more money because that's how we get paid."

Her advice to writers- Start social media now before stuff happens. Writers should be networking online. If you write for teens you should be on tumblr and instagram. Also, only 10% of your tweets/posts should be for promotion, the rest should be all you.

What drives her nuts? Manuscript schematics. She likes for each person speaking to get their own paragraph and that thoughts should be in italics in their own paragraph.

How to query Pam? Email Pam querypamvhv@gmail.com. Include query, synopsis, and first chapter pasted into the email. She just recently re-opened to submissions in January 2015.

You can find out more about Pam at http://www.d4eoliteraryagency.com/p/pam-van-hylckama-vlieg.html



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cover Reveal- Scion by Kelly Oram

TWO cover reveals today! 
Scion, a YA paranormal by Kelly  Oram. 

Blurb:
Russ Devereaux used to have it all—loving father, beautiful best friend, a carefree life in a town he loved, and strong magic. He was the king of his happy universe. Five months ago, that life was taken from him. Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars.

He’s spent months fighting back and building himself a new life, in a new city, with new friends he now considers family. But suddenly, his new life might be in jeopardy of getting shot straight to hell just like the last one. Literally, this time.

He’s discovered power inside of him—an ancient, dark power that he shouldn’t have, can’t explain, can’t control, and definitely needs to keep secret. He needs answers, but before he can get them, he finds himself arrested and on his way to face the supernatural council. The same council that stole everything from him the first time.

As Russ struggles to keep his new power under wraps, his old life and he new one are about to collide and it’s bound to be explosive. He may not have all the answers he needs, but one thing is certain: he’ll be damned if anyone is taking his new life from him. That is, if he’s not just plain damned.

The Giveaway:

Kelly is giving away 10 signed posters of the Scion cover, and one grand prize of all three books in the series so far (signed).Giveaway is international.

Learn more about the book and enter HERE.
Have fun and good luck!

Scion is the third book in Kelly Oram's Supernaturals series. Be sure to check out the first two books in the series, Chameleon, and Ungifted.