I’m a big fan of “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. So when I shout out “It’s Release Day!” I’m channeling Chip Gaines’s enthusiasm for “It’s Demo Day!”
As I said in my acknowledgments for the book, becoming an author is a (relatively) new dream of mine. Accomplishing it with Azra, Henry, Nate, and everyone else in the Becoming Jinn series has made that dream not just a reality, but one I’ve enjoyed more than I ever thought I would.
When readers tell me or write to me that they love these characters and these books, it’s sometimes hard for me to believe. That characters who live in my mind, who I’ve spent more than three years with, could mean that much to other people . . . well, it astounds me. And it makes all of this worth it. I am proud of these books and grateful for all the doors they’ve opened for me, especially the new friends I’ve made, readers and authors alike.
This release day post is a thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey. I hope you enjoy reading the conclusion to Becoming Jinn as much as I enjoyed writing it.
There’s still time to get in on the preorder/release week giveaway. Swag, critiques, and more. Check it all out here.
I’ll be doing some events in support of Circle of Jinn. If you are near (or like to drive), I’d love to see you! Full list on my events page, including launches at Trident Booksellers in Boston on May 19 and Porter Square Books in Cambridge on June 3 with Jen Malone.
To be the first to know about any and all events, giveaways, contests, and new book news, signup for my sporadic (I promise!) newsletter. Signed up on the bottom of my contacts page or send me an email.
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| TAGS:Becoming Jinn, Circle of Jinn, Porter Square Books, Trident
SCBWI is rolling out its first Book Launch Party and Becoming Jinn is a part! Help celebrate the 2015 releases by visiting all the book launch party pages.
Thanks for swinging by Becoming Jinn‘s page and coming to my Web site. Sign up for my newsletter to receive the latest news on books, contests, giveaways, and more.
And, as always, if you are a writer and you purchase a new copy of Becoming Jinn or preorder Circle of Jinn, you get a free first page or query critique. Simply email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Right now, Becoming Jinn is sitting on bookshelves and in libraries in all its purple glory and I’m sitting here in my kitchen, sipping tea with my husband, and alternating between grinning like a fool and tearing up like a goofball.
Entirely appropriate responses for a day like today.
With all the blog tours and book talk over the past couple of weeks, there’s not all that much new to say, so I’m keeping this post brief.
Just know that I appreciate all the support and encouragement from my family, friends, readers, bloggers, and everyone else who has been a part of this incredible journey. I am grateful to my author friends, Anna Banks, N.K. Traver, Chelsea Bobulski, Jen Malone, Aubrey Cann, Trisha Leaver, Jessica Khoury, Nikki Kelly, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, among so many more–too many to name here. I am indebted to the wildly talented group of debut authors I’ve been lucky enough to share this journey with, the Freshman Fifteens: Jen B., Lee, K-Lig, K-Sav, JMT, Chandler, V…and V…, Charlotte, Kelly, Stacey, Jenny, Jasmine, and Laura. I may still be here without you, but it wouldn’t mean half as much.
And I am grateful to my editors, Liz Szabla and Anna Roberto, for giving a home to me and to Azra and for all their insights and efforts to make this the best book it could be. And to my stellar agent, Lucy Carson, I still remember the day she took a chance on me, and there’s nothing I can say that will ever come close to thanking her for all that’s happened and all that’s yet to come. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in all of this.
But I can’t sign off and go stalk all the bookstores until they open without thanking my husband, Marc, who has not just been beside me every step of the way, but behind me, pushing me, encouraging me, and supporting me in more ways than I thought was possible. I know this book would not exist without him. He’s my first reader, he’s my plotting partner, and it’s his laugh (and tears) I write to hear.
Now, let’s go sign books!
P.S. If you’re in the area (or want to go on a road trip!), be sure to swing by Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, for the official launch party on April 27 at 7 pm. RSVP to the Facebook invite and love to see you there! Not local? I’m doing events through June–check out the full list here and come say hi!
You can order a signed copy from Porter Square Books anytime, but if you buy a copy there (or anywhere) by April 25 and email me your receipt, I’ve got goodies for you as a thank you! Full details here.
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TWO WEEKS. After a long, two-year wait to publication, Becoming Jinn releases in just fourteen days on April 21 (and, yes, I’m having trouble believing all this is real!).
With the release so close, many people have been asking me what they can do to help support me. While buying the book is one very nice way I will never say no to (!), most people, aside from my mom, won’t be buying more than one copy. So what else can you do to support an author you love?
My good friend, Jen Malone, author of the upcoming Hollywood YA novel, MAP TO THE STARS, has two excellent posts on this very topic. If you are looking for ways to support the authors whose work is important to you, I urge you to read those posts here and here.
Here are some of my favorite tips excerpted from Jen’s articles (with her permission!):
If you’re going to buy the book, preorder it. I’m running a special campaign to thank readers who preorder Becoming Jinn or buy it before April 25, 2015, which is the end of the first week of sales. All you have to do is preorder Becoming Jinn from any online or local retailer and e-mail me a copy of the receipt, dated no later than April 25, 2015, at email@example.com, and you’ll receive a signed Becoming Jinn bookmark PLUS an infinity necklace like the Jinn girls in the book wear. Want more? Well, you’ll also be entered into a raffle to win one of several gift cards to places like Starbucks, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more in amounts ranging from $5-$50.
Why is preordering this so important? Here are three of the biggest reasons:
1. This gets it on the radar of bookstores, whether it’s your favorite local one or a big one like Barnes & Noble. Enough preorders can trigger automatic orders for additional copies due to the formulas these companies use to calculate ordering strategies. High pre-sales also encourage booksellers to offer extra marketing attention and prime in-store placement to those titles.
2. When bookstores order more copies in advance of a book’s release, it can trigger publishers to order a bigger initial print run and generate a push for more in-house marketing efforts. Additionally, many houses wait for early sales numbers before green-lighting a sequel or follow-up book, so strong pre-sales could give them the confidence to move forward on another book deal for the author you love.
3. Preorders get lumped into first week sales, thus bumping the author farther up in the sales charts for their “opening week.” This can also capture the attention of smaller indie bookstores, who factor sales rankings into their ordering decisions. In some slower weeks, as few as 2,000 combined preorders and opening week sales can put an author on the NYT bestselling list. Any idea what having “NYT Bestseller” on a book cover does for future sales?
ASK FOR IT BY NAME
After the book’s release, when you go into a bookstore or a library, ask for the book by name (you can do this even if you don’t intend to buy a copy or check it out that day). Have the bookseller or librarian direct you to the book. This makes them aware of it, shows consumer interest in the book, and may prompt them to recommend it to the next person who comes in looking for something in that genre. Word of mouth is key, and this is one way you can generate it.
SPEAKING OF WORD OF MOUTH…
If you loved an author’s book, spread the word! Tell your family and friends, post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (pictures of the cover are great to post as it adds to brand building and recognition for the title and book). If you have a book club, suggest they read it. Most authors will do Skype chats with book clubs, and many will visit locally in person. Check out an author’s contact page on their Web site to see if they’d be willing to visit your book club. Recommend the author to your bookstore, library, or child’s school as a speaker. Many of these places run events or panels where they include authors. Recommendations help get authors on the radar for the organization’s next event.
Telling friends and family is great, but why not tell the whole world? If you have an account on Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, review the book (if you don’t have an account, get one!). On some of these sites, a book must have a certain number of text reviews to be entered into the algorithms that recommend books either on the site or in e-mail newsletters. Your review can help the author get there. And, yes, it’s perfectly okay to copy and paste the same review into multiple sites. Don’t worry about “saying the right thing.” If you loved it, say that. That’s enough!
Many local libraries have Web sites that allow you, as a library patron, to request that the library carry a certain book. Most libraries will order requested books, which means you can get your favorite authors’ books on more shelves and exposed to more readers. If you do this online, you may need certain information like the ISBN number, the publisher’s name, and the release date. Fortunately all of those are easily found in the details area on both Amazon and Goodreads. They are usually on the author’s “books” page on their Web site as well. If your library doesn’t allow you to do this online, simply swing by the desk the next time you visit and ask in person. While this may sound simple, it makes a huge difference, and authors will be most grateful!
TELL THE AUTHOR
While all of the above is very important for the book’s success, one of the nicest things you can do if you love a book is to simply tell the author. Tag them on a Facebook post, Twitter message, or Instagram picture. Send them an e-mail. Writing is a long, often lonely, process. To hear from readers—the people we are writing for—who love the book means more than everything else combined.
Nice segue way, right? I’m going to be doing several solo appearances as well as embarking on a Northeast Freshman Fifteens Spring Break Tour (#F15SB) with some very talented author friends, and if you are in the area, I’d love to meet you!
I’ll be at the Newburyport Literary Festival on April 24-25, the official launch party will be held in my hometown bookstore, Porter Square Books, on Monday, April 27, and I’ll be heading to Derry, NH, on May 2 for the Derry Public Library Author Festival. I’ll then be hitting the beach in Falmouth, MA, with an event at Eight Cousins on May 8. And I will be a featured panelist at the South Carolina Book Festival on May 15-17. Full details on all my appearances (which sounds both scary and official) can be found on my events page.
And you can follow all the shenanigans of the Freshman Fifteens Spring Break Tour from NYC to New Hampshire, from May through July, by following my Tumblr. We’ll be chronicling the tour with photos and fun tidbits about our books and the things we will surely discover about each other!
Thank you and happy reading!
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| TAGS:Becoming Jinn, bookstores, libraries, preorder
Becoming Jinn, with its fancy new purple color, will magically appear on doorsteps, bookstore and library shelves, and my anxious little hands on April 21!
As a thank you to all the readers who have already preordered (and to give a gentle nudge to the rest of you), I’m running a special signed bookmark and gift card giveaway.
Simply preorder or buy Becoming Jinn from any online or local retailer and e-mail me a copy of the receipt, dated no later than April 25, 2015, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll automatically be sent a signed *limited edition* Becoming Jinn bookmark.
You’ll also be entered into a raffle to win one of several gift cards to places like Starbucks, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more in amounts ranging from $5-$50. The more preorders I get, the more gift cards I’ll offer!
As a special bonus, and to support my favorite local indie (where I’ll be having a launch event–all invited!–on April 27!), if you preorder or buy from Porter Square Books by April 25, you’ll earn an EXTRA ENTRY in the raffle. Plus, you can then also get your book SIGNED by me!
To order a signed/personalized copy from Porter Square Books, after you add Becoming Jinn to your online cart, just enter “signed copy” and the name to make it out to in the comments field on Porter Square’s online ordering form. Then send me a copy of the receipt and you’ll earn two entries in the gift card raffle.
And speaking of events…my spring is filling up fast with bookstore and festival appearances where I’ll be talking all things JINN. Check out my events page, which I’ll be updating daily, to see if I’ll be in your neck of the woods. I hope to see you all!