Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How to Promote and Market E-books. A Promotion Post for Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent

In 2016, I have a goal of shifting my focus to marketing, as opposed to writing, my books. This generally puts me in a funk, but I've determined to power through. I created a marketing plan with a goal to have a book promoted each week. Although my plan won't be set in motion for real until after my house guests return to their own homes and lives, a few weeks ago, I decided to set up a promotion for Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent. It starts today.

Because you can find Tent in the Paranormal 13, a collection of 13 paranormal, teen novels, for  free I can't put it in the Kindle Select program. I don't mind. I have no idea how many times the collection has been downloaded, but since it has 774 reviews, (with a 4 star rating) I think it must be a whole lot. I'm extremely grateful to have been included, not just for the visibility, but also for the authors I've grown to admire and the things I've learned about marketing.

Anyway, today before the ads begin, here are the current rankings of my Beyond books.

Book one, Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent
#2,499 Free in Kindle Store
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Historical Fiction

Book two, Beyond the Hollow
#126,718 Paid in Kindle Store

Book three, Beyond the Pale
#233,188 Paid in Kindle Store 

I've chosen my very favorite ad sites. I'll keep a score sheet throughout the promotion showing each ads performance. A couple of things to keep in mind--an ad that does well once, may under perform a second time for a variety of reasons.

Here's the lineup:
Kindle Books and Tips  12/28 (You can see it here. www.fkbt.com)
BK Knights Fiverr          12/28 for 7 days
Sweet Free Books           12/29
Ereader News Today       1/7
Robin Reads                    1/14

And now, I'm going with my friends to the Wild Animal Park. (Not kidding.)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Witch Wishes, Chapter One

I just finished the second draft of Witch Wishes. After a round of edits, I'll send it to beta readers. I really love this story, and think it's maybe my favorite so far. But I really worry some readers won't be able to follow it. It's weird, even for me. Here's the first chapter. If you'd like to be a beta reader, please email me at kristyswords@yahoo.com, although if you haven't read book one and two, you'll be lost, I promise.

Witch Ways, book one in the series is only .99 cents for a limited time. Get yours here.

WITCH WISHES--book three in the Witch Ways series.
I sat on the split rail fence that separated the Henderson’s property from Uncle Mitch’s, Josh stood directly in front of me, his torso inches from my knees. Despite the snow covered field, the icicles dripping from the trees and eaves, and the sharp wind cutting through my fur-lined cape, I was warm and flushed by Josh’s nearness.
His excitement made him look young, and just for a brief second, I saw him as a kid, about the age he’d been when I’d moved to Uncle Mitch’s house after my parents’ divorce. He’d been older than me, of course, his three years my senior launching him into a stratosphere where my Barbies and I could never venture, not even in my imagination, and so now, after 8 years, it seemed impossible he could stand in front of me, his eyes gleaming with an emotion I didn’t know how to interpret, and say, “I bought you something.”
“For Christmas?” I asked.
“What?” Confusion clouded his expression.
And just like that, the happiness I’d felt, the excitement of our first kiss faded. I touched his hand, and he intertwined his fingers with mine. He felt warm and solid, and his touch sent tingles up my arm, even though a dozen alarm bells jangled in my head. A skin-pricking sensation told me we weren’t alone.
I glanced around at the deserted fields stretching in all directions. The dark woods loomed in the distance. A pair of goldfinches flitted through the gray sky, their brightly colored feathers contrasting sharply with the snowy landscape. Still, despite the quiet surrounding us, I couldn’t shake the being-watching-feeling.
“Christmas,” I repeated. “It’s a major holiday.”
Stepping closer, he drew my hand to his mouth and ran his lips over my knuckles. The prickles spread like fire, warming me from the top of my head, and down. He acted as if I hadn’t spoken.
“Do you want to see what I got you?” he asked, flipping his dark hair off his forehead.
I nodded, because when he looked at me with his big blue eyes, the only answer I could ever offer would be yes.
Cupping my cheek in his hand, he leaned forward and kissed me. With his lips warm against mine, I found it hard to think of anything, or anyone but him and the tingles running up, down, and over my skin.
“Is that it?” I asked. “Because that’s what I got you, too.”
“Good gift,” he said, placing his forehead against mine so our eyes were just inches apart. “But no, I got you something else.”
“They’re not mutually exclusive, right? If I accept your gift, can I still kiss you?”
“Anytime,” he said.
“Mmm, but probably not in front of your family.”
He pulled away and lifted his eyebrows. “Yeah, that’s going to be awkward.”
“I have to tell Bree.”
“I’m sure she already knows,” he said.
“What about your mom?”
“She probably knows, too. She has serious Mom-dar.”
I nodded, agreeing. Mrs. Henderson really did seem to have a heaping helping of intuition when it came to her kids. She could spot lie-loaded conversations before anything was ever actually uttered, and she probably knew about crush long before her child even attempted to flirt. This probably came in handy for her, but it caused a lot of havoc and frustration for her kids…and girls-next-door who happened to have a thing for her son. I was pretty sure if Mrs. Henderson could read her children, she could probably also sniff out a girl crushing on Josh.
“Let’s not worry about anyone else right now.” Josh planted a quick kiss on my lips, leaving me hungry for more. “I want to show you my present.” Taking my hand, he pulled me off the fence. “You okay? Are you going to be warm enough?”
I nodded. My head still felt a smidge fuzzy, but I wasn’t sure if that was because of my recent accident and head injury, or because kissing Josh made me dizzy.
Something in my expression must have concerned Josh, because he stopped, and stepped in front of me. “Get on,” he said.
And in a flash, I was little again, climbing on for a piggy-back ride, something I must have done a hundred times in the years before there ever was an Evie-and-Josh, back when I was just his little sister’s best friend. I wanted to ask him when he started thinking of me differently, as someone other than the sidekick of one of his life’s biggest annoyances, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to answer, just like I knew I couldn’t say when I first decided I’d rather kiss Josh than breathe. Wrapping my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist, I decided the exact beginning of the relationship didn’t matter. It wasn’t a race with a starting line. What mattered was if we ever got close to the finishing line, we’d find a way to stay on the course.
Josh tromped across the field, holding me as easily as if I was Gabby, his baby sister. I guessed we were headed for the barn, but I also noticed we stayed close to the woods, on the distant side of the shed, far away from the windows, and the spying eyes of his siblings inside his house. As the trees stretched their branches toward us and the goldfinches swooped in the air, the skin-crawling feeling of being watched returned. I tightened my hold on Josh.
Inside the dimly-lit barn, Josh loosened his grip, and I slid off. A fiberglass boat stood on its hind end, propped up against the wall beside a collection of fishing poles, nets, and waders. Mr. Henderson used the opposite side of the barn for a wood shop. Countless tools lined his workbench, and a large hanging fluorescent light hung from the ceiling.
Josh went to the boat, reached behind it, and pulled out a package about the size of a bread box. “It’s not a big deal,” he said, flushing. It was wrapped in brightly colored paper covered with pictures of balloons, which seemed wrong, but glancing at his happy, hopeful expression, also right.
“I’ll love it whatever it is,” I told him.
“Open it,” he urged.
“You don’t want me to wait for Christmas?”
“Why do you keep mentioning that word?” Annoyance flashed across his face. “I want you to open it now.”
Smiling, I tore it open. Ice skates, black with red racing stripes, built for speed.
“I bought them at a used sporting goods store.”
“They’re perfect,” I said, hoping I wasn’t lying. I’d never tried ice-skating before, at least not on real skates. I’d slipped my way across frozen Peter’s Pond hundreds of time, but not with anything sharp or pointy attached to my feet. I ran my finger across the blade.
 “They should fit,” Josh continued.” You let Bree borrow your shoes and I took one with me to the shop. Not that it matters. Clayton Carlson works there, and he told me I could return them if they don’t work out.”
I saw myself inching around the perimeter of the lake, clasping onto Josh with a death grip. I slid him a glance, wondering if he’d foreseen that, too. “Want to try them out?” I asked.
His face brightened and the apprehension in his eyes disappeared. “Yeah!” He leaned behind the boat and pulled out his own, well-worn skates. “I thought you might say that. But…are you sure you’re up to it?”
“I feel fine, and I’m tired of being babied.”
My dad, stepmother, uncle, and even normally cranky Mrs. Mateo, our housekeeper, had been fussing over me ever since my accident a week ago. Sick of being treated like a princess on a pillow, I’d escaped with Josh. Occasionally, my ribs would twinge with a complaint, and my head would throb, I got tired easily, and I’d been really bored, which meant I slept a lot, which made my head fuzzy…it all seemed like a vicious circle, and besides all the physical trauma, there was also all the unanswered questions. My memories didn’t line up with what anyone else could tell me about the night I fell at the Creature of the Chasm State Park.
Except for Birdie.
Josh startled me out of my thoughts. I smiled up at him and took his hand. “Do you want to walk?”
“Let’s take the bike,” he said. “As long as you think you’ll be warm enough.”
I shot a glance at Josh’s dirt bike propped up between the boat and a stack of boxes. “I’m good,” I said, tying the laces of the skates together and looping them around my neck.
“Yeah, you are,” Josh said, leaning in to kiss me again.
I pulled the hood of the red cape over my head and settled on the back of the bike behind Josh while he gunned the engine. The bike sputtered a few times before it roared to life. Moments later, we were cruising down the road, bypassing downtown and avoiding the busier streets. I shot a glance at the town green.
It looked different somehow, bleaker, although I couldn’t say why. In the distance, a gazebo stood on a small hill beside St. Mark’s stone chapel, the oldest building in Woodinville. Something nagged in the back of my mind, like a song wanting to be repeated, but the only lyrics I could recall were la, la, la. I tightened my grip on Josh and leaned against him. The skates pinched me, and I had to ease away.
Black and barren trees stood like sentinels along The King’s Highway. Silver ice clung to the bushes edging the road. I had forgotten we’d have to pass Birdie’s house to get to Peter’s Pond.
I bit my lip as we roared past her driveway. Birdie’s house was as lean and bare as the meat on her bones—long stretches of hardwood floors, soaring windows, and a circular staircase that twirled toward heaven. I guessed the house was old, given the stately mansions in the neighborhood, but I couldn’t have pinpointed an era by the exterior architecture. I loved it, and I loved the fact that one day it would be mine. My feelings for Birdie were a lot more difficult to define. I loved her honesty, her ability to speak her mind without worrying what anyone else would think of her. Her tiny body radiated with energy. She seemed much more alive than anyone else I knew. And yet, despite her frankness, I didn’t completely trust her.
A small wooden sign marked the entrance to Peter’s Pond Park. If not for a wide swatch of dirt cutting through the forest, it would be easily missed. The park was composed of two picnic tables, a trash can, and a few fallen trees strategically placed to serve as benches in a small clearing
Josh cut the engine, rolled the bike to a nearby tree, and climbed off. I followed him to a picnic table and sat down. My gaze wandered back to Birdie’s house, barely visible through the thick woods.
Go and talk to her, a voice inside of me urged.
I told the voice to shut up. Besides, everything I need to say couldn’t be said in front of Josh. If I started talking about the Creature of the Chasm and disappearing magic he’d think I’d hit my head too hard. He’d probably tell my Uncle Mitch, who would tell my dad, who would make me go to a doctor at the least, and a therapist at the worst. And my dad would tell uber-religious Maria, my stepmother, and she’d make me talk to her pastor…maybe even an exorcist…
I looked up, surprised to see Josh had already put on his skates while mine still sat on my lap.
“Do you need help?” Josh asked, dropping to his knees beside me, acting like a shoes salesman.
“No, don’t be silly.” I bent over to pull off my boots.
Josh loosed the lashes on one skate and then the other. He handed them to me one at a time, squatting beside me as if ready to jump in and help if I couldn’t do it on my own. I tightened the laces, placed my boots on the table next to Josh’s shoes, and took his hand. Together, we hobbled to the pond’s edge.
The ice looked black, thick and streaked with countless cuts from previous skaters. The woods ringing the pond provided a screen from the road. Here Josh could kiss me for hours and no one would know. But…even though we had the pond to ourselves, I couldn’t shake the eyes-on-my-back feeling. Hearing a rustling in the trees, I turned and caught sight of a deer. He stared at me with large black eyes.
Holding onto Josh’s arm, I placed one skate on the ice and then the other. My ankles wobbled, my feet went in different directions, and I tightened my hold on Josh.
He pulled away from me, left me standing on my own, despite my complaints, and came up behind me, placing his hands on my waist. “Just let me push you,” he said. “Don’t try and move your feet, yet. I’ll go slow.”
With Josh behind me holding me upright, we skirted around the edge of the pond at a snail’s pace. At first, I held my breath and concentrated on keeping my legs ramrod straight. After our second loop around the pond, Josh pushed me away from him.
“Hey!” I twirled my arms and fought to retain my balance.
Behind me, Josh laughed. He skated up beside me, spun around me, and stopped with a screech of his skates at my side. “You’re doing great,” he said, taking both my hands. “Ready to move your feet?” Skating backward, he towed me toward the center of the pond. “Relax,” he said. “I won’t let you fall.”
Ignoring the deer in the woods, and anyone else who may have been watching, I kept my eyes locked on his. In my mind he was ten years old again, and I was seven, and---
He spun me, before catching me in his arms. Breathless, he gazed down at me and I knew—hoped—he was going to kiss me again.
“Yeah! Josh! Evie!” a voice called to us.
Annoyance flashed across Josh’s face and he dropped my hands. “What are they doing here?” he asked through tight lips.
I peeked over his shoulder at the small congregation gathering on the pond’s edge. “Skating. Although, I have to warn you, it looks like Lincoln is making snowballs.”
Josh muttered something beneath his breath. “How many of them are there?”
I quickly counted. “Nine. Ten if you count the dog.”
“Nine? There’s only seven of us. And we have three dogs, not one.”
“Bree brought Marcus and the twins brought friends.”
“Marcus? Your stepbrother?”
I nodded.
Josh spun around to watch his six siblings, one of mine, and Leopold, a giant Great Dane skittering our way. “Any chance they’ll break the ice?” he asked.
“You don’t really want that.”
“I guess you’re right,” he said.
“Why didn’t you bring us with you?” Lincoln demanded, sliding our way in his red Converse sneakers. He was only seven, but he looked a lot younger in his hand-me down jacket. He did a great impression of Barbara Walters or Harvey Levin, asking all the questions no one wants to answer.
Josh put his arms around me, shielding me from the oncoming Lincoln. “Maybe we wanted to be alone.”
“Why?” He batted his white blond eyelashes at his.
“Hey!” Bree called out.  She waved with the hand that wasn’t holding onto Marcus, my gorgeous, Argentine half-brother.  She wore a parka almost as bright as her red curly hair. “Your dad sent me to look for you. Maria was cursing you in Spanish.”
Marcus shot Bree a reproachful look, but he didn’t drop her hand. “They are just worried,” he said. “Your accident really shook them up.”
“I’m fine.”
Marcus slid closer, pulling Bree with him. “They’re not so sure. I think they both feel guilty you are living with your Uncle Mitch and not with us.”
I started to roll my eyes but caught sight of Leopold plowing through the woods and taking Gabby with him.
“Help!” Gabby shrieked, clutching the leash and trying to keep up with the dog. “Leopold! Stop!”
“Drop the leash, Gabs!” Bree called.
Josh gave Bree a nasty look, before skating after his baby sister.
“So, what should I tell your dad?” Bree asked me, grinning. When I didn’t answer, she continued, “Were you seriously kissing my brother?”
I flashed a look at her hand clasped in Marcus’s. “You’re holding hands with mine.”
“This is just for stability,” Bree said. “He’d totally fall if not for me.”
Marcus turned a handsome red and looked away.
“Why is Leopold here?” I asked.
“Mrs. Cleary is paying the twins to walk him,” Bree said.
“But the twins aren’t walking him.” I glanced over at the twelve year old twins trying to knock each other off their feet. “They’re going to break something.”
“Won’t be the first time,” Bree said.
“As long as it’s not the ice, it’s okay with me,” Marcus said.
I watched Josh confront his sister, take possession of the leash, and rein in Leopold.
“I’m going to see if Josh needs help,” I told Bree and Marcus, without thinking about my skates. Seconds later, I was on my back, looking up at the gray sky.
Bree, Marcus, Lincoln, the twins, and two kids I didn’t know came to stare at me.
“You okay?” Bree asked.
“You belong in Washington,” Marcus said.
Bree slugged his arm. “She totally could have fallen just as easily in Washington as here!”
“Are you moving to Washington, Evie?” Lincoln asked. “Like with the president?”
Josh pushed his way through. “Back off,” he growled. Reaching down, he pulled me up and steadied me on my feet. “You alright?”
I nodded and touched my forehead.
Josh steered me to the pond’s bank, helped me up onto the solid, non-slippery ground, and held my hand as we wobbled to the picnic bench where we’d left our shoes.
Leopold, tied to a tree, watched us, his big brown eyes pleading for freedom.
“You sure you’re okay?” Josh asked.
I nodded, lying, but not wanting to worry him.
“Want to return Leopold to Mrs. Cleary?” Josh asked. “We’ll have to walk.”
“Did they really drive here with nine people and that huge dog in the van?” I stifled a giggle at the thought as I pulled off my skates and slipped on my boots.
Josh rolled his eyes. “My mom must have left Bree in charge.”
“I know why Bree came,” I said. “She probably thought it would be more fun to pile everyone into the van than to stay at home and play referee, but how did she get Marcus to come?” I tied the skates together and strung them around my neck.
“I bet he went over to our house looking for you.” Josh finished tying his shoes, stood, and went to get Leopold.
I fondled Leopold’s ears, and he looked up at me with a loving gaze, as if he knew and understood I had recently saved his life. I closed my eyes against the rush of memories. The Creature of the Chasm, the lies, the monster crashing the Winter Formal dance…
“Evie? You ready?” Josh asked.
I shook my head, as if I could clear it from the unhappy memories…but were they memories? Delusions? A dream? A psychotic break?
“It’s kind of far, isn’t it?” I asked, taking Josh’s hand.
“I know a short cut.” His steps slowed. “Unless…”
“Well, maybe you don’t want to go that way.”
“Why not?”
“We have to go through the Chasm State Park.”
“Oh.” A tremor shook through me. “That’s okay.” It was, right? I should be able to walk through the Creature of the Chasm State Park...in the daylight…with Josh, not to mention Leopold. Nothing, no one, could hurt me…again. I held Josh’s hand a smidge tighter.
Under the canopy of trees, a light dusting of snow lay on the ground. As we moved deeper into the woods, the sound of the cars on the highway, or the buzz of civilization faded into stillness, amplifying the crunch of our shoes on fallen leaves and twigs. The last time I’d been here it’d been close to midnight. I remembered the dark night, the stillness, but little else.
As we walked, Josh talked about his hopes for a scholarship and the colleges he wanted to attend. I listened with a sick heart, knowing I should be excited for him, but the thought of being left behind, again, hurt.
“I’d love to go to California,” he said.
“Mmm,” I replied.
“I mean, I haven’t ever been further west than Chicago. You’ve been to India!”
“I’m not sure if they have football in India. I don’t think there’s room.”
He grinned and elbowed me.
I tried to smile. “I’m serious. How many players are allowed on a football field at a time?”
“Eleven for each team, or twenty-two.”
“And how big is a football field?”
“About a hundred and ten yards.”
“And there’s about a zillion people in India. You do the math.”
Josh laughed.
“I’m serious. You do not want to go to India.”
He cut me a sideways glance. “Do you want to go to Washington with your dad?” he asked.
“That’s not going to happen.”
Josh dropped my hand and draped his arm around my shoulder, pulling me close. I inhaled his warm scent. Then I froze.
“What’s the matter?” Josh asked.
We’d come to the other side of the park, the main entrance. A large wooden sign stood by the guard gate, reading, Welcome to the Chasm State Park.ark.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Does Education Always Equal Success?

Mark Twain, dropped out of school at the age of twelve. H.G. Wells at eleven. Jack London at thirteen. Ever heard of Ray Bradbury? Stieg Larsson? Agatha Christie? Herman Melville? None of them went to college. DID NOT KNOW THIS!
“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth."
"What giants?" Asked Sancho Panza.
"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."
"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."
"Obviously," replied Don Quijote, "you don't know much about adventures.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

It's also unknown if Cervantes attended school. This is what Wikipedia said about him. His major work, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes").[6] He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios ("The Prince of Wits")

Here are some more great quotes from not so great students, but very great writers.

“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. MARK TWAIN

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.
It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.
The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes. AGATHA CHRISTIE

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. HERMAN MELVILLE

Friday, December 11, 2015

How to Get Your Books in Libraries--Friday Writer's Forum

I noticed that some of my most frequented blog posts are from my Friday's Writer's Forum, something I stopped posting almost two years ago. Which was a shame, because I often myself rereading them when I personally have a question. So, hail the revived Friday's Writer's Forum. Today, I had a question on how to get my books in libraries, so I did some research. For more info, visit: http://www.booklistonline.com/get-reviewed

This is a picture I took inside the New York City Public Library, one of my very most favorite places.

Submitting Review Material to Booklist

If you wish to submit materials for review consideration in Booklist or Booklist Online, specific guidelines for various formats and types of materials are provided below. Any publisher of a book reviewed in Booklist will receive a tearsheet of the review. Due to the volume of submissions (more than 60,000 per year), we are unable to notify publishers whose books have not been selected for review. All submissions of materials for review become the sole property of the American Library Association; request for return of materials or other restrictions cannot be honored.
Send review materials to:
American Library Association
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Whom to Address

Adult Books: Donna Seaman, Editor, Adult Books
Contact editorial assistant Chris Anderson or Biz Hyzy for questions about review status.
Books for Youth (Children’s and YA): Dan Kraus, Editor, Books for Youth
Contact editorial assistant Briana Shemroske for questions about review status.
Graphic Novels: Sarah Hunter, Senior Editor, Books for Youth
Media: Contact Joyce Saricks, Audio Editor, for specific audio recording and audiobook procedures. Contact Sue-Ellen Beauregard, Video Editor, via her assistant, Biz Hyzy, for specific video procedures.
Reference Materials: Contact Rebecca Vnuk, Editor, Collection Management and Library Outreach, for specific reference procedures.

What to Send

Vital Information. Review copies in all categories must include a publication slip specifying prices and ISBNs for all editions, publication date (month and year), and publisher/distributor. Audiovisual media must be accompanied by running time and distributor name, address, and telephone number. For audiobooks, children’s music CDs, and spoken-word audios, please indicate the names of the performers, readers, and authors when applicable. Please read our current policy concerning ebooks.
Galleys: Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. Send one galley, bound if possible, of all original adult fiction and nonfiction titles, paperback as well as hardcover. Month of publication should be clearly indicated. Galleys should arrive at Booklist at least 15 weeks prior to publication. In cases where no galleys are available, photocopied manuscript, page proofs, folded-and-gathered sheets, or other forms of prepublication copy are acceptable. Galleys received less than 15 weeks before publication will be considered provided they are sent toBooklist no later than to Publishers WeeklyKirkus Reviews, and Library Journal.
Galleys: Children’s and YA Books. Send two copies of folded-and-gathered sheets for picture books, nonfiction, and other titles primarily dependent on illustrations. Send bound galleys for other children’s and YA books including original paperbacks.
E-Book Only Submissions: We are currently only accepting select e-book originals if they are easily available to libraries (via Overdrive, Axis 360, 3M Cloud Library, etc.).  Please query the relevant editor via email.
Graphic Novel Materials: If galleys or finished versions of original graphic novels or comics collections are unavailable before the date of publication, send submissions as soon afterward as possible.
Media Materials: Send one copy of newly released videos, DVDs, audiobooks, spoken word audios, and children’s music CDs.
Galleys: Reference books. Galleys or other prepublicaton copies of reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc) may be sent, but two finished copies are required before a review can be published. Titles will not be reviewed more than six months past their publication date.
Finished Copies. When galleys are not available, Booklist will consider finished copies for review. As with galleys, it is vital that finished copies be sent to Booklist no later than to other prepublication media. (Many publishers depend on United Parcel Service, Express Mail, or Federal Express to reduce the number of lost or late materials.) Reference Books Bulletinrequires two finished copies before a review can be published.
Finished Copies of Books Submitted in Galleys. Regarding books submitted for review in galley form, please send one finished copy of all adult titles, and two finished copies of all others, as soon as they become available. These copies are submitted to reviewers and used throughout the year in the compilation of bibliographies and Editors’ Choice lists.
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Thank you for your interest in Booklist.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Psycho-Pictography, the New Way to Use the Miracle Power of your Mind.

While cleaning out an investment property we purchased, I came across Vernon Howard's Psycho-Pictography, the New Way to Use the Miracle Power of your Mind. It was first published in 1966. Vernon also wrote The Secrets of Mental Magic, How to Use Your Full Power of Mind, Action Power: The Miracle Way to a Successful New Life and a few more with similar titles. Like The Secret, some of it rings true and some of it just wants to be true, but I found it more entertaining than most of the other things I found while cleaning out a rental unit.

Here are some of the things I underlined: (It's important to note that not everything I'm quoting from the book came from Vernon. This first quote is from Emerson.)
 Our strength grows out of our weakness. The indignation which arms itself with secret forces does not awaken until we are pricked and stung and sorely assailed. A great man is always willing to be little. While he sits on the cushion of advantages he goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something: he has been put on his wits, on his manhood; he has pained facts, learns his ignorance; he is cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill. The wise man throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak points. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Our growth into full personal power is basically a process of discard. Discard what?
Unrealistic beliefs
Unworkable assumptions
Painful imaginations
False conclusions
Impulsive decisions
Hazy judgements

Ask yourself where are you going every day.

What is success? First and last, it is personal happiness.

Remember the three magic words: Try Another Way.

It is your moral duty to be happy.

As long as we are aboard the ship, if we are traveling in the right direction, we can completely relax. The ship is headed in the right direction and so are we.

Know exactly what you want.
Dismiss wasteful and negative attitudes.
Make the most of every opportunity.

Our viewpoints make our world whatever it is. A new awareness creates an entirely new world.

Always remember your castle.

It is very painful to pretend to be someone.

Don't drain your energy by thinking negatively toward people who harm you.

Just as a tiger is restrained by the bars, a hostile person is prevented from harming you by your own understanding.

What he dislikes in himself he dislikes in others.

When you really understand that he acts as he does because he is scared, you can be emotionally free.

All negative emotions have a foundation of fear. Whenever encountering a troublesome person, do not identify him as being cruel, stupid or rude. Instead see him as frightened.

Do not identify with an unwanted habit. It is merely acquired; it is not part of the real you.

Listen to the secret message of your experiences. Let them help you build self-serving habits.

We cling to harmful habits because they give us temporary gratification.

How can we dissolve a habit? By getting an entirely new self--a self that is not identified with the habit.

Guilt is a self-centered emotion concerned only with what others will think, with reputation.

Monday, December 7, 2015

E. B. White's Christmas -1952

E. B. White's Christmas -1952

 From this high midtown hall, undecked with boughs, unfortified
with mistletoe, we send forth our tinselled greetings as of
old, to friends, to readers, to strangers of many conditions
in many places.

Merry Christmas to uncertified accountants, to tellers who have
made a mistake in addition, to girls who have made a mistake in
judgment, to grounded airline passengers, and to all those who
can't eat clams! We greet with particular warmth people who
wake and smell smoke. To captains of river boats on snowy
mornings we send an answering toot at this holiday time.

Merry Christmas to intellectuals and other despised minorities!

Merry Christmas to the musicians of Muzak and men whose shoes
don't fit! Greetings of the season to unemployed actors and the
blacklisted everywhere who suffer for sins uncommitted; a holly
thorn in the thumb of compilers of lists!

Greetings to wives who can't find their glasses and to poets who
can't find their rhymes!

Merry Christmas to the unloved, the misunderstood, the overweight.
Joy to the authors of books whose titles begin with the word "How"
(as though they knew!). Greetings to people with a ringing in
their ears; greetings to growers of gourds, to shearers of sheep,
and to makers of change in the lonely underground booths!

Merry Christmas to old men asleep in libraries! Merry Christmas to
people who can't stay in the same room with a cat! We greet, too,
the boarders in boarding hoses on 25 December, the duennas in
Central Park in fair weather and foul, and young lovers who got
nothing in the mail.

Merry Christmas to people who plant trees in city streets; Merry
Christmas to people who save prairie chickens from extinction!
Greetings of a purely mechanical sort to machines that think--
plus a sprig of artificial holly. Joyous Yule to Cadillac owners
whose conduct is unworthy of their car!

Merry Christmas to the defeated, the forgotten, the inept; Joy
to all dandiprats and bunglers! We send, most particularly and
most hopefully, our greetings and our prayers  to soldiers and
guardsmen on land and sea and in the air-- the young men doing
the hardest things at the hardest time of life. To all such,
Merry Christmas, blessings, and good luck! We greet the
Secretaries-designate, the President-elect; Merry Christmas to our
new leaders, peace on earth, good will, and good management!

Merry Christmas to couples unhappy in doorways! Merry Christmas
to  all who think they are in love but aren't sure!

Greetings to people waiting for trains that will take them in the
wrong direction, to people doing up a bundle and the string is
too short, to children with sleds and no snow! We greet ministers
who can't think of a moral, gagmen who can't think of a joke.

Greetings, too, to the inhabitants of other planets; see you soon!

And last, we greet all skaters on small natural ponds at the edge
of woods toward the end of afternoon. Merry Christmas, skaters!
Ring, steel! Grow red, sky! Die down, wind!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good morrow!

E.B. White, 12/20/52

Thursday, December 3, 2015

By the Yard it's Hard, but by the Inch it's a Cinch.

Today my novel, The Cowboy Encounter is FREE on Amazon. Hurry. The promotion won't last.
Writing a novel is a lot like hiking. It reminds of the saying by the yard it's hard, but by the inch its a cinch.

Last February I visited the Glacier National Park in Southern Argentina and hiked 19 miles. I don’t think I intended to hike 19 miles, but summer’s daylight in the southern hemisphere lasts a long time and there didn’t seem to be a reason to return to the hotel.

The scenery was mouth dropping gorgeous and the weather perfect. Lakes a surreal blue, a matching sky, big fluffy clouds, a gently breeze, a soft sun, which made the thunder difficult to explain until we realized we weren’t hearing thunder, but the splintering and crashing of glaciers.

Whenever I’d start to feel buff and proud of my ability to hike with Larry and Nathan, I’d be passed by some 60ish sisters with serious looking backpacks. Once I was overrun by a herd of tiny Asian women who looked about as strong and substantial as hummingbirds. But, when I came to mile 10 and the sign that read DANGER, STEEP INCLINE NEXT 1.5 MILES, all middle-aged ladies disappeared.

And after a few yards, I thought I’d disappear, too. A thirty-degree incline up loose shoal. One foot up, slide 6 inches down. No trees, bushes or hand holds. After serious arguing involving words such as chauvinists, sexists, and death, I convinced Larry and Nathan to leave me behind. They went to find the lake and glacier and I sat on a rock.

For about 3 minutes.

A teenage looking hiker passed by and I asked him how long until the glacier. 20 minutes, but he assured me it was worth the climb. So, I came up with a plan. I took 60 steps and then picked up a pebble (they were plentiful.) When I had five pebbles (300 steps) I allowed myself to sit down and replaced the pebbles with a rock. When I had two rocks a pair of hikers passed and I asked them how long to the glacier. 10 minutes, they said. By the time I had another rock (300 steps, 5 minutes) I crested the hill and could see the lake and glacier below. I could also see Larry and Nathan at the water’s edge. I found a place to sit down and watch them. I didn’t need to join them; I just liked seeing them together.

There’s the old maxim, by the yard it’s hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch. But, it wasn’t a cinch, ever. It was hard. If I hadn’t taken it at my pace and allowed myself to occasionally sit down, I wouldn’t have made it. But, I did make it. One pebble, one rock at a time. Was the view worth the climb? I’ve seen prettier postcards, but watching Larry and Nathan together at the lake’s edge, that was worth seeing.

When Larry and Nathan caught up with me, Nathan said, “I knew you could do it, Mom.” Which was nice to hear, because I didn’t know I could. We were still 9 miles from the trailhead, but it was all downhill from there.