Yes, people, the book releases officially on Tuesday, 4/26, so today, it’s all about me. Deal with it.

*Dying to read family? Pre-order your copy now!

*Want a chance to meet yours truly and get a copy of the book all signed and pretty? Come see me at BEA, Thursday, 5/26, 12;12:30, table 5.

*Want to read an amazing review of the book via librarian Liz Burns? Here you go! Sorry to be all braggy-pants, but I can’t help but post a snippet. I don’t think anyone has ever said such nice things about my writing in my life!

Because the language is deceptively simple. Because phrases haunt me. Because I want, so desperately, for Mel to find herself. Because I found sympathy for the most unsympathetic actions. Family is a Favorite Book Read in 2011.

*And one from VOYA:

Ellen Hopkins fans will appreciate the use of verse to tell the gruesome story. Those who know the details of the Manson murders, particularly those who have delved into Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi (Norton, 2001), will quickly notice the similarities between real life and fiction here….[A]n interesting psychological study of cults and the lost souls they attract.

*And finally, what better birthday present than a night of reading, signing, and schmoozing with other awesome Contemps? April 29th, The Voracious Reader, Larchmont, NY. Come for the authors, stay for the free pizza!

I think that’s about it, for now. Next week will probably be equally self-promotional and gross, what with the book releasing and all, but, y’know. Hopefully it’s understandable.

Hope you can make it out to an event or five!

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Today’s the day, people! Figment and readergirlz have partnered to promote the 2010 Rock the Drop celebration in honor of YALSA’s Support Teen Lit Day. Download a bookplate, slip it into a beloved YA novel, and “drop” that book for an unsuspecting reader to find! Snap a photo of your “drop” and send it to readergirlz or figment to be featured on the blog, and you’re entered to win a set of Ruby Oliver books by E. Lockhart.

What are you waiting for? Go rock the drop!

Bookish goings-on and such.

* Jezebel features a review of Sweet Valley Confidential. Deadlines kept me from the book  party, but you can bet I’m still all over reading this one. (Spoiler alerts!)

Have you bought your copy yet?

* This gown was made from Little Golden Books. Wild.

*(Of course,

these are still my fave re-appropriations of that iconic line.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*readergirlz has a nice shout-out to the family trailer on their site, as well as info about Rock the Drop and Support Teen Lit Day. Will YOU Rock the Drop?

*Finally, two chances to see me! I’ll be on a panel at the Albany Children’s Book Festival this weekend, or,  you can Get Real with me, Sarah Darer Littman, Melissa Walker, and Lena Roy at the Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY on 4/29 if you’re so inclined. In addition to the date of the royal wedding, that happens also to be my birthday. But your presence would be present enough!

Bookish goings-on and such.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*If you’ve been following the legendary self-publishing success of Amanda Hocking, you probably won’t be surprised to read about her monster book deal with St. Martin’s of last week. Details here. (WARNING: You might not want to read this unless you’re feeling REALLY confident about your own earning potential as a writer….)

Chasing Ray’s Colleen Mondoor has a thoughtful post up raising what are sure to be the bigger questions about Hocking’s deal, and what this does (or doesn’t) mean for the self-published author in the digital age. Though I can see quite clearly that e-book deals can (and will) be lucrative for a certain type of author – namely, those who write very commercial fiction, most likely serialized, who develop passionate, rabid fan bases – I don’t know that Hocking’s model is applicable to any old writer out there. I don’t begrudge Hocking her mondo-deal because, hey, live the dream, sister!, but I do see Mondoor’s point that a ridonk advance to one author means fewer smaller advances to other, more unproven (aka less-hyped) writers.

That’s a problem, no?

Fact is, to me, anything (including any book deal) that indicates that readers are jazzed about books is a-ok by me. But I do find myself frustrated by these ever-more-jaw-dropping mega deals being reported that essentially tell me what I’m going to LOVE in the upcoming season. Big books have always existed, and likewise, so has buzz. But buzz is different than hype, in that buzz is usually generated by legitimate enthusiasm, whereas hype is fanfare. By throwing wads and wads of cash at a book, a publisher is telling me, YOU WILL CARE ABOUT THIS. I mean, maybe I will. But being dared to, to the tune of zillions of dollars, makes me feel all itchy and twitchy inside.

How could any book possibly live up to that claim?

Give me a good sleeper hit, one that takes a few months to build a fiercely loyal following, and I’m there. I don’t want to get psyched about something just because someone in a corner office told me to.

(*Side note: Colleen also wonders if Hocking’s e-book fans are going to be willing to pay full price for her books rather than the reduced e-book rate they’ve grown to expect. We’ll see!)

*Oh! But there are other writers out there, too – including moi! I’m going to be presenting a workshop to a group of major-talented high school writers as part of this Long Island English Scholars Program on Friday! That’s tomorrow! We’re talking about breaking rules in our narrative form. Though I’ve been teaching grown-ups about young adult writing for almost three years now (there’s still room to sign up for the April session, by the way!), I have very little experience with working with actual, honest-to-goodness young adults. I can’t decide if I’m more nervous, or more excited. Bit of both, it would seem.

 

*Double Oh! Tonight is the release party for Sweet Valley Confidential. I. CANNOT. WAIT. Were you Team Elizabeth, or Team Jessica?

*Last but not least, the Children’s Choice Book Awards finalists were announced last week. Congrats, finalists!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookish goings-on and such.

 

*readergirlz.com’s Featured Title of the week is the very excellent JULIAN GAME by Adele Griffin. I devoured this one.The theme of the month is Risk-taking; swing by and join the conversation!

*The inimitable @Literaticat (for those of you on twitter) offers a great post on how to proceed when your agent just isn’t feeling the love. Sounds like an icky situation that I’ve thankfully had yet to face, but her advice reads sound as ever.

*And speaking of twitter, last week’s twitter #kidlitchat was all about the evolution of self-publishing in the digital age. At my last check-in, folks were tearing up the keyboard; everyone’s got an opinion about this topic.

*On Tuesday night I went to a book release party for the very grown-up nonfiction title THE BLAME GAME by Ben Dattner. It was not unlike a typical YA book release party, except for how I was the only one there (to my knowledge) currently making a living writing YA books.

*Authoress and fellow Denizen of the Dark Side Sarah Darer Littman offers up a full recap of last week’s NYC Teen Author Fest, so now I don’t have to. Thanks, Sarah! And thanks for saying amazing things about my book in front of a room full of people!

*Ooh! Cover reveal for A BEAUTIFUL DARK by debut novelist (and former student/all-around cutie) Jocelyn Davies. Can’t wait!

*Finally, in honor of her forthcoming BFF BREAKUP, another former student and current fellow-author-and-friend (and cutie!) Taylor Morris is holding BFF Tuesdays on her blog.

Those are the highlights from these parts, people – how have bookish things been for you?