Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review incentive for THE ART OF LAINEY

Hi peeps! I cannot believe some three years after I started writing THE ART OF LAINEY that it's now hanging out on shelves next to books by people like Maggie Stiefvater. Do you know that I interviewed her when I was an unpublished book reviewer for a review website back in 2010? I used to ask her questions on Verla Kay's blueboards and be so excited when she actually answered. And now my to hers. Holy surreal life!

Is it me or does that copy of Shiver look a little...rumply?

I've posted before about how important reviews are to me--yes, even the not-so-good ones. Because I believe more reviews will give my book a greater chance of success, I've come up with a review incentive. If you read and review THE ART OF LAINEY by June 3rd, and copy/paste your review in at least three places online, you can win an ARC of LIARS, INC, a copy of the e-novella INFINITE REPEAT, or a postcard signed by Lainey, Micah, Bianca, and me. Contest is international with limitations on the e-novella. More info on the contest form.

Micah says he worked hard on these postcards and you should want one.

Now you are probably wondering if you want an ARC of LIARS, INC. I mean, it doesn't even have a cover or flap copy yet. HarperTeen is still approving this stuff in-house, but I can tell you that LIARS is the story of  Max, Preston, and Parvati, who start a business selling lies and alibis to their classmates. Then one day Max sets up an alibi for Preston so he can hook up with a chick in Vegas and it's all good...until Preston never comes home. Did I mention Preston is a US senator's kid? Yeah, the FBI goes after Max and the evidence against him piles up. Max's CIA-wannabe girlfriend, Parvati, tries to help him prove his innocence, with some surprising results. Content info, FYI: there are F-bombs and sexual situations. I think it's a really cool book, but it's quite different from LAINEY. Keep an eye out for a cover reveal in the coming weeks because OMG this cover is going to be ridiculously awesome.

Happy holiday weekend to the U.S. peeps. Happy Sunday to everyone else.

Monday, May 19, 2014


The Art of Lainey doesn't officially go on sale until tomorrow, but copies of the book are already appearing on bookstore shelves. Check it out!

Looking fancy at a Florida Books-a-Million!

It's such an exciting and terrifying feeling, but mingled in with all that is this tremendous sense of gratitude. And so today I've created a sort of hybrid playlist** and extended acknowledgments page.

I've talked a lot in different blog posts about how thankful I am to have an agent who is the perfect mix of tough and honest and supportive. She's more than that, though. She's insanely well-connected and business-savvy. She's attentive. She's efficient. She puts up with long angsty emails where I basically worry for pages about nothing, and then she manages to make me feel better in two sentences.

I'm also so grateful for my editor, who really understood my vision for the book and pushed me to make it even better. She was always there to say, diplomatically: "a little too much, maybe?" Who? Me? :-) Yes--it's true. I am the Queen of Too Much when I write. I never hold back. It's easier to remove stuff that's not working than remember that thing I wanted to do but didn't because I was too afraid to go for it. My editor also listened to me obsess over irrelevant minutia and fielded an endless barrage of questions about editing things, promotional things, and other burning concerns. Despite all that, her enthusiasm for Micah  the book never waned.

"How about me enjoying a moment for once?"

(I really wanted that to be a clip of Boyz II Men's Thank You, but I couldn't find a licensed video for it. If you do the Spotify thing, you should check out that song too. Oh, and, just a warning. Alanis Morissette is naked in that video. Don't ask me. It's a good song.)

My friends and family have also been awesome throughout this journey, as have my coworkers in Portland, and my lovely YA Valentines co-bloggers. And #TeamLainey--I have a fantastic street team of people from all over the world who are tweeting and posting and making fan art, some of them for a book they still haven't read! Basically, I am incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic support system.

"Oh, and I might fail. Oh, I might succeed
Whatever the outcome is just keep your faith in me
Just believe in me and I will be there."

But here's what really blows my mind: the immense outpouring of support from strangers who read my book and liked it. Part of my self-guided promotional plan involved reaching out to "big bloggers" and asking for reviews. Most of the people I reached out to read the book and liked it. And then, in many cases, they told their friends to read it. Who then told their friends to read it. And suddenly my book was getting reviewed all over the blogosphere and I was being invited to do giveaways and guest posts on sites with high visibility and traffic.

Many authors believe that blog exposure doesn't help sales, but I can see in the comment streams where reviews written and posted by people I don't know literally changed the minds of their blog followers who weren't going to read my book. That is HUGE. That is just, my heart like swells up and splits open thinking about it. You spent your time writing reviews and answering comments essentially telling people to read The Art of Lainey and now they are. And every read matters. I know one girl on twitter who got the ARC passed to her by a friend and she loved the book so much she sponsored her own giveaway. She's been telling everyone to read it. [ETA: Another giveaway has sprung up, sponsored by another kind reader!] You can't buy that kind of enthusiasm with marketing dollars. You guys--the blogosphere--you got the word out for me so that people who would love the book are managing to find it. Every read matters. Every review matters. Every sale matters. No matter how many books I sell, some of those sales will be because of you. Thank you for being so kind and generous.

"For your kindness I'm in debt to you
And I never could have come this far without you."

Got #gratitude? What are you feeling grateful for today?

**All videos were uploaded to youtube by the content rights holder and are embedded in this post without infringement.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Mighty Mississippi Book Blast!

Guys, GUYS! I have spent the last few months organizing an awesome tour type of thing with fellow YA Valentine Philip Siegel. We wanted to do a week's worth of events. We wanted to gather as many awesome YA writer-friends as possible. Oh, and since I grew up in St. Louis and Philip currently lives in Chicago, we wanted to bring bookish awesomeness to the middle of the country.

Today, exactly two months from our first event date, Philip and I are proud to release all the information about the Mighty Mississippi Book Blast! Running from July 14th through July 20th, the #MMBB will be bringing YA authors from all over the U.S. to cities from Wayzata, Minnesota to Houston, Texas.

Check out all the details on the fantastic tumblr page made by Phil!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Okay, if you know me at all then you know I've got all kinds of giveaways and fun stuff planned for The Art of Lainey's release! Be prepared for nonstop partying between now and May 20th!

Random scary cheese factory machine, because studies have shown blog posts with pictures get more attention. Also, I like cheese a lot.

Will there be blog tours? Two of them! Both chock-a-block with trivia, interviews, helpful advice from Lainey and Bee, Micah, and more Micah. What about chances to win the book? Absolutely! Will there be ways to get postcards signed by all the main characters? Yup (as Micah would say.) What about the novella, INFINITE REPEAT? Yeah, I'll be giving pre-orders of that away too in the next few weeks.

For all the info, check out this blog post over at Ensconced in Lit! I <3 you, Christina!

Kittehs!! In case you're feeling a little freaked out by that scary cheese factory machine. Look--Taz is sleeping with one eye open. He knows I'm up to no good.