Friday, November 27, 2009

Bridget Zinn KICKS CANCER AUCTION!



BRIDGET
ZINN KICKS CANCER AUCTION!
go to www.32auctions.com
Auction ID: bridget
Password: rules
(as in: Bridget rules!!)

BID NOW!


1) I donated a QUERY + 10 PAGES MG or YA CRITIQUE
2) EDITORIAL ANONYMOUS donated a PB CRITIQUE
3) Agent Micheal Stearns donated a QUERY + 10 PAGES MG or YA NOVEL
3)Agent Jennifer Laughran donated QUERY + 10 PAGES MG or YA CRITIQUE
4) Author April Henry donated a 20 PAGE MS CRITIQUE
5) Author Jennifer Cervantes donated a MG CHAPTER CRITIQUE
6) Authors Jo Whittemore, P.J. Hoover, and Jessica Lee Anderson donated a QUERY LETTER, SYNOPSIS AND 1ST 3 CHAPTERS CRITIQUE--3 critiques for your work:)
7) Foot in the Door Critique Package
Critique of your whole novel, synopsis, and query letter by Through The Tollbooth-9 wonderful writers/9 critiques
8)Picture Book Critique from Picture Book Author, Jean Reidy
Detailed critique of a fiction picture book manuscript up to 1000 words
9)Proofreading services for one query letter and synopsis
By Martha Brockenbrough, Punctuation Activist
10) lots of signed books by many of your favorite authors and more!

Browse, bid, and win for a good cause at this online auction to raise money for Bridget Zinn and Barrett Dowell. Bridget is a 32-year-old writer and librarian who is currently being treated for stage 4 colon cancer – and her "healthy young person between jobs" health insurance does not cover many of her expenses. Read Bridget's blog at http://www.bridgetzinn.com/blog for more information.

Bidding will begin on Nov. 27 and continue through 9 p.m. Central time on Dec. 11.

Auction items can be viewed at http://www.32auctions.com/view_auction?id=bridget&pwd=rules - or just go to www.32auctions.com and use the Auction ID: bridget and Password: rules (as in: Bridget rules!!) . You will need to create an account on the site in order to bid on auction items. (Creating an account simply requires your name, email address, and a password, and it is required so that the organizers can contact you if you win an item.)

The auction opened today with 59 items listed. More items will be added through Monday, so if you or someone you know would like to donate, please email me and I will connect you with the wonderful and generous Cailin O'Conner.

Please help. Contributors have donated manuscript critiques and proofreading services, signed copies of books, unique works of art, yummy food and drink, fab baby gifts, beautiful jewelry, and more. Many of the items would make lovely gifts, just in time for your holiday shopping. Take a look – you may find just the thing you’re looking for!

Friday, November 20, 2009

TITLES & COVERS-YOUR BOOK'S BILLBOARD

Some great blog posts in the kidlitosphere on titles and covers today:

First up, EDITORIAL ANONYMOUS answers every writer's burning question--Do I have to come up with the perfect title for my manuscript when I know if I ever sell the darn thing my editor will probably change it?

Second, ANDREW KARRE, Editorial Director of Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Pub Group, shares the trials and tribulations of choosing a YA cover and why that decision is so very important in a two-part post: Why YA Covers are Hard & We've Been Busy.

And for the all important....do titles and covers affect book sales, let's go back to the PW article WHAT TEENS WANT?

What Motivates Them to Buy

Consistent with our 2005 survey, book copy was the most important factor that would make teens pick up a book. A stunning 91% saw this as the most important influence. The cover was important to 79%. The next most important influence, with 77%, was familiarity with an author's previous work; 74% were looking for the next book in a series. For 73%, the title was important. (See related post HERE)


As writers, you have little control over what your cover will look like, but you do have control over the title you stamp on your hot, new love-it-so-much-I-hope-every-agent-and-editor-who-reads-it-sees-why manuscript you submit.

When a submission hits my inbox, one of the first things I notice is the title. It is usually in all caps or italics or bold so it's hard for it not to be the first thing my eyes track to. Titles are not something to anguish over, they are your golden opportunity to attract someone to your manuscript. To make an agent or editor think....I have to stop what I am doing and read this query/ms now!

What I find interesting is that many writers think a manuscript title must tell me what your story is about. Let me make this clear...A book title's job is NOT to sum up your story. A book title's job IS to entice an agent/editor to request your full manuscript and/or move your full to the top of their reading pile.

Your book title is your whistle, your magnet, your bullhorn.

So, how do you write a title if it is not what you are good at. Ah, this is where the 'it takes a village' comes in.

Fee associate a bunch of titles. Type them out, double spaced, and eliminate the ones you hate. Send the list to fellow writers, friends, kids. These writers, friends, kids do not have to read your book first. Heck, the agent/editor you are querying hasn't read your book yet and that is who you are trying to attract. Ask 'which title would make you want to pick this book off the shelf?' Let each person only pick three and order their winning choices.

Don't pour years into a book and short change your title. You are just short changing yourself.

And yes, not every title of famous and super seller books are bullhorns. But that argument does not hold water with me. Don't look towards the mediocre and say it worked for them, aspire to the stars and look towards the neighboring galaxy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

IT'S RAINING QUERIES

Lots of queries are zinging their way into my inbox as well as every other agents' I know. Lucky us! Because some of those queries are the first step to the next bestselling children's books.

As I leave tomorrow to do a workshop on how to find an agent, I thought I'd link to a few helpful query and agent posts I've written in the past.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

1. HOW TO WRITE A QUERY LETTER

2. HOW I READ A SUBMISSION/QUERY LETTER+ A QUICK NOTE ABOUT QUERIES

3. HOW TO WRITE A QUERY LETTER, OH I MEAN FLAP COPY, A LA CHERYL KLEIN + SURVEY SAYS: JACKET COPY SELLS BOOKS

4. EDITOR TALK: SUBMISSIONS

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