2. Been reading!
Think YA meets Talented Mr. Ripley. Twists and turns throughout this novel with a very twisty ending.
It feels odd to have to mention this, but often it isn't enough to have a book physically available at a convention. Yes, having a cupcake launch party will create interest (and some people did stop down to the Zumaya Publications table in the dealers room afterwards), but often you need to have some means of generating awareness. Just having signs posted around the convention (with pictures of the beautiful cover) before the party had people coming up to me later during the con saying things like "Oh, you're the cupcake lady! Is that the book?" "Sorry I missed the party, where can I check out the book?"
Fortunately, I had already prepared enough ahead of both conventions to have promo pens I could hand out for those times I wasn't at the table. Because I'm still a newbie with my smartphone and get easily frustrated with my fingers not hitting the right keys on the screen (how can people type so quickly on those things?), I decided to have stylus pens, which seemed to be popular. They've got my book title, my name and website on them just in case people decide to check out the book (and if people don't want to, they still have a good black ink pen with a useful stylus).
VistaPrint this time for my paper promos, rather than the company I used in my previous blog post about promotion material. For some reason this year VistaPrint had a better selection of business card designs and an easier setup method for double-sided postcards. The stylus pens are from National Pen, which I've had good luck with over the years.
So now I'm all set for the next month's worth of conventions, library workshops and bookstore events. At some point I should probably add a banner, as a number of my other author friends have done, but that should wait until I see the new covers for the upcoming re-releases from Zumaya Publications. A banner would work for those conventions I drive to, but when I'm flying to a convention the weight limit for suitcases means I'd rather bring books than a banner. Maybe a custom designed tablecloth? Vistaprint immediately showed me what my postcard design would look like on a banner, a tablecloth, and a few other items. They all looked lovely and it was very tempting, but I don't know.
What are your go-to items for promotion? What attracts your attention?
|Photo courtesy of Starbucks.com|
April Martinez. She really captured my wizard Salanoa.
For those new to the collection, there are fantasy stories about wizards, elves, talking horses, and dwarves as well as humans trying to deal with magic. There are also science fiction stories about psi powers, interplanetary agents, aliens attending college on Earth, and aliens attempting to figure out Terran slang. And, as indicated by the title, there are experts, and there are those trying to learn, with mixed results.
The paper version is planned to appear at FenCon in Dallas. I have a cupcake party (short stories = cupcakes) scheduled to celebrate there. This works out extremely well as Zumaya Publications will be at the convention as well. So I'll be able to hang out with publisher Elizabeth Burton and fellow authors Gloria Oliver and Rie Sheridan Rose.
By that time I should also be calmed down from running around town and showing off the new cover to people (so far the librarians at the local library, the local bookstore owner, people at the post office who hand out my pens, people at my credit union - and one must not forget friends on Facebook). Or do you know authors who don't get excited about new book covers?
During Worldcon 75 this year in Helsinki, Finland, the question of a YA Award came up again at the business meeting. The previous year's YA Award Committee report was to cover its decisions on the following questions:
Will the award be named for a person? Will the award be called ‘YA’, ‘teen lit’, or some other such thing?
Alex Acks reported on the Hugo Awards rules changes at the Business Meeting – nominations, Best Series, and, most importantly, the Young Adult Award.
The committee report given last year at Sasquan had a good breakdown on how various other awards determined what was YA, what was middle grade, and the pros and cons of using marketing categories. The YA Committee decided that the Award should be treated like the Campbell Award (not a Hugo), so that a strict definition of what constitutes YA wouldn't be needed, nor would a word limit (which is what determines several of the categories of the Hugos).
However, the Committee couldn't decide on a name for the award. They created a committee to collect and evaluate name ideas.
The report from the YA Award Study Committee listed the names they collected via several surveys. It went into their naming considerations: should the award be named for a person or an idea, were there other awards already using the proposed name, and several other points. One point that a few people missed at the Business Meeting was that, if a personal name of an author was suggested, the committee also looked at whether the author's other works would somehow reflect negatively on the award. They eventually decided against personal names for the award.
The Committee came up with ten names on their shortlist. Those ten names were run past a group of people knowlegeable in cultural diversity and cross-cultural sensitivity. Those ten names were then put on a Public Shortlist Voting Survey which people could vote on from January 15 through March 15, 2017. They had both a Facebook and a Twittter page from which they promoted the survey, and those of us following the whole award debate also passed on the news about the survey. The final name chosen by the Committee after all that was Lodestar.
I recommend that anyone interested check out the Committee's report. There were quite a few names suggested by people and the Committee did a fantastic job checking and evaluating each one.
The name will be ratified at the 2018 Business Meeting in San Jose. The Business Meeting in Helsinki (after a lot of procedural backs and forths*) voted to ratify the Young Adult Award (Not A Hugo) 65-27. And there was much cheering. The Young Adult Award will be on the Hugo nomination form for the 2018 Hugos. Yayy!
Hopefully the Business Meeting in 2018 in San Jose will ratify the name as the Lodestar Award. Which will work out nicely for the 2019 Worldcon, which will be held in Dublin, Ireland. The Guest of Honor for that Worldcon has already been announced, and the GOH will be Diane Duane! (I highly recommend her YA Young Wizards series)
What do you think of the YA Award (not a Hugo)?
* Seriously, a lot of back and forths. If you really want all the details, Alex Acks detailed it in a liveblog starting at 1116. And running until 1245 (whew).
The Silver Ship and the Sea: 9-90’s Fiction and YA
I believe you can write fiction for all age groups that will appeal to a YA audience. By the time I was thirteen, I often went to the adult shelves to find books to read.
I think there are two reasons for this:
This book is “otherness.” It’s about six genetically enhanced children left behind on a planet that detests genetic modification. While the theme of “otherness” is appropriate to people of all ages (and currently a major point of our national conversation), it is perhaps most germane to teens. For many, one of the most import tasks is to find their chosen tribe and then find a way to belong there. I know that I tried on many personalities and social circles, and also tried to join some I just couldn’t quite reach for. At that age, every social rejection mattered, every time I was referenced as a “geek” or a “smart kid” or a “mentally gifted monkey.” Yes—that was a thing in my life—being called a “Mentally Gifted Monkey.” I’m pretty sure teens are called worse things now.
The Silver Ship and the Sea is narrated by a teenager. Chelo Lee is the oldest of the teens, and the one who feels like she has to get her little tribe through its dangerous existence. This is also a very teen thing—a chance to explore taking responsibility as a leader and to feel what that might be like.
Even though it has always been shelved in the adult science fiction section, teen readers have found it and commented on it to me at conventions. So there are other teens now who are like I was—looking to the adult sections to find works that might appeal to them.
Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, and sometimes, poetry. Her most recent novel is Spear of Darkness, from Pyr and her most recent story collection is Cracking the Sky from Fairwood Press. Brenda is a technology professional and a futurist, and publishes non-fiction on the environment and the future. Her non-fiction has appeared on Slate and Crosscut and her short fiction has appeared in Nature Magazine, among other venues. See her website at www.brenda-cooper.com.
Brenda lives in the Pacific Northwest in a household with three people, three dogs, far more than three computers, and only one TV in it.