Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spring Writing Bootcamp!

How did it get to be May already? 

Moving along, it's time to get to work!

Writers: It's time for another session of YA Buccaneers' Writing Bootcamp! 


YA Buccaneers site
We're hosting a FREE, two-month writing challenge, and you are invited! Spring Writing Bootcamp starts May 1st, 2016 and runs until June 30th, 2016. As with all of our bootcamps, this is a free-form (and free!) writing challenge open to all writers. You set your own goal - to finish a first draft, complete revisions, blog once a week, etc. - and we'll help you make it happen.
How? We'll provide the writing motivation in the form of Word Sprints and blog posts, encouragement via private groups, and book giveaways to keep things exciting. All you have to do is focus on writing, revising, drafting, or blogging - whatever you want to accomplish during the next two months.
We have SO much in store for those who join Spring Writing Bootcamp this year! Just a glimpse of what you'll get when you sign up:
  • Goal setting worksheets
  • A printable weekly writing progress tracker
  • Access to private bootcamp groups on both Twitter & Facebook
  • GIVEAWAYS
  • & more! 

Additionally, you can find me on Instagram in May doing this photo prompt challenge under the tag #MayIGAuthors. My Instagram is @StephScottYA



Monday, April 25, 2016

RT Booklovers Con!

Hey all! I'm back from RT Booklovers Con in Las Vegas!

Here are a few snapshots from the trip. My badge read Published Author which was a first for me! It was a worlds colliding type conference where I met writers and book fans from all corners of my online writer life: Pitch Wars mentors, writers who found agents from the contest, fellow Sweet Sixteens debut authors, YARWA members, bloggers, and pubbed authors through three different Facebook groups. I met ALL THE PEOPLE!


And more authors signing!


And though I'm not a gambler, I did play slots twice and won money both times! The hubz was with me for this trip visiting family, so I had some time away from the conference to do other stuff around town, like eat seriously good food (including a ramen bar which sadly I do not have back home), visited a comics shop, and saw the mountains. The hubz got to hike Red Rocks but I was busy getting my conference on!


Do you have any favorite conferences? Or favorite cities to visit? Which do you like and why?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG April: Are You Suffering Social Media Overload?


Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be insecure no longer! Commune with fellow writers and find your tribe. For more regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support.

Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!

Are You Suffering Social Media Overload?

If you're a writer, chances are you've heard you need a social media presence. Since the idea of social media is SOCIAL, having a presence means more than phoning it in with auto-tweets, buy my book links, or other impersonal posts that can't be differentiated between a highly competent robot.

We are writers after all--communicating should be the easy part, right?

The best way to avoid social media burnout is to not become overwhelmed in the first place. 


You don't have to do every social media platform.

What, you say? But so-and-so Top Marketing Insider told me I MUST be on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Linked In, Goodreads, Tumblr and twitter and post every single day on all of them or my book will FAIL!


Nope. If you try to engage in everything all the time then
1.) it leaves you no time to write books which is the biggest factor to selling books (writing them and then writing more of them)
2.) you will lose steam and become frustrated because your efforts are watered down across too many platforms.

However, it is a good idea to register your username on all the big social media sites to secure the name in case you decide to use it. You will find the platforms you like best and use those the most. It does not mean you need to be on ten platforms daily spending all of your time churning out content.

But you do have to invest somewhere

Photo: Stephanie Scott

Where do your readers/potential readers hang out online? Where do YOU go to find updates on the books you like? Romance writers and readers tend to use Facebook heavily. You'll see tons of reader groups, Facebook parties and plenty of interaction because the age demographic fits who writes and reads romance. 


Teen readers? Not so much. Know your niche and then go where your people are! Spend your time where it counts.

Regardless of platform, you want to point back to your home base: your website or blog. If someone looks you up on twitter and barely sees a pulse, but your website is linked in your profile--that's a win. The person looking for you will find your website and ideally what they need.

I don't know where to start. I'm already overwhelmed!

*Cue up your best Al Pacino Scarface impression*: Welcome to my Google Friend 
(see what I did there?)

GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. If you have a question about something, chances are someone else already had the same question and someone other than that already blogged about it. Search things like:

"What's the best social media for indie writers?"
"How do I created a kick-butt Pinterest account?"
"What's the best way to get started on twitter?"

There are dozens and hundreds and zillions of resources out there. Save yourself frustration and read up on social media trends to better focus your efforts.

Thanks for reading! And just for you awesomely awesome Insecure Writer Support Groupers, if you're curious on how to more effectively use Instagram as an author, join the Facebook group I started called Instagram for Authors. The group is exactly as named: we are working together on how to best use Instagram as an author.



*In approving members, I look for some identifying feature in your profile that indicates you are a writer--seeking publication or published.

Don't forget to leave a comment! Which social media platform do you like best? Which do you wish you had a better handle over? 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Upcoming Events!

While my new website is under construction, here's an update on some book events where I'll be this Spring!


Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention
April 11 - 16, Las Vegas, NV

  • April 13: Pitch Wars Road Show: pitching workshop at RT Con
  • April 16: RT Teen Day While I won't be signing (my book's not out yet!) I do have buttons that will be in each gift bag of swag for participants at teen day. There will be an Instagram giveaway related to my swag. Details soon!


Chicago North Romance Writers Spring Fling
May 20 -21, Schamburg, IL

  • May 20: YA panel Game of Tomes: Navigating the YA Publishing Kingdom
  • May 21: Public Author Signing event (swag, mailing list, giveaway)
Spring Fling has been called a "mini Nationals" in relation to the Romance Writers national conference. If you're within driving distance, or a cheap flight, it's an excellent conference. The headliners are all top notch--Robyn Carr is currently on the Bestseller romance list, along with Courtney Milan and Christina Lauren who are very successful and top sellers. Ask me if you have questions! 

Since Book Expo America is in Chicago this year, I am considering going to BookCon on Saturday with the masses of fans and bloggers. Anyone else going?

Monday, March 21, 2016

THE DARKEST LIE by Pintip Dunn



I'm thrilled to take part in the Excerpt Blitz for Pintip Dunn's upcoming YA thriller, THE DARKEST LIE! Check out the book below, along with the teaser excerpt, and be sure to enter the giveaway!


THE DARKEST LIE by Pintip Publisher: Kensington Release Date: June 28, 2016

“The mother I knew would never do those things. But maybe I never knew her after all.” Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked. As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own… Goodreads | Pre-order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
“This one will tug your heart and leave you breathless!” --Natalie D. Richards, author of Six Months Later

Excerpt from THE DARKEST LIE

The Darkest Lie, by Pintip Dunn

Excerpt

It’s time to view the body. Family first.

Well, technically, me first. There was always only three of us in the nuclear unit, and

Dad’s been locked in the den for the past seventy-two hours. I’ve only seen him once, when he

shuffled upstairs like a pajama-clad zombie and asked me if I’d eaten.

That was it: Did you eat?

Not: I prefer the cherry wood casket. Or: Let me make your grandma’s travel

arrangements. Or even: I know this was Mom’s favorite dress, but isn’t the neckline a

little...low?

Did I eat?

Yes, Dad. I had soup from the can and microwaved pizza rolls and a bowl of cereal. The

food sloshes in my stomach now as I walk down the runner to the casket I picked out because of

its mauve tint.

Calla lilies pile in urns around the viewing room, and the air-conditioning wars with the

sweat along my hairline. My mom smiles at me from a portrait erected behind the casket. Her

eyes are hesitant and a little wary, as if she knew, somehow, some way, she would wind up here.

Lifeless. Pumped full of formaldehyde. About to be gawked at by a town full of gossips.

This was only going to end one of two ways—with Tabitha Brooks dead or in jail. I never

thought I’d say this, but I’d give anything to see my mother behind bars.

I wade through the dense, chilly air and stop a few feet from the body. Behind me, my

grandmother and aunt sit, a box of tissues between them, blowing their noses like it’s a sport.

“Look at our Cecilia,” Gram sniffs. “So brave. Not a single tear shed.”

If she only knew. I’m not brave. Fifteen minutes ago, I was retching into the toilet bowl.

Five minutes from now, when the doors open for the visitation, I’ll be long gone, leaving Gram

to shake people’s hands and deal with the bit lips, the knowing eyebrows, that inevitable

speaking-in-a-funeral-parlor whisper. I can hear the titters: “Is it true? Tabitha’s heart stopped

while she was boffing the high school quarterback? Why, she must’ve been twenty years his

senior!”

Twenty-three years, to be exact, and a high school English teacher to boot. But she didn’t

actually die during sex. Instead, a few days after Tommy Farrow came forward with their affair,

my mother took her own life.

What could be a clearer admission of guilt? She might as well have been caught in the

act. The investigation was shut down before it even began.

I take a shuddering breath. Two more minutes. A hundred and twenty seconds and then I

can leave. I steel my shoulders and walk the final steps to my mother’s body.

Oh god. It’s even worse than I thought.

The room whirls around me, and nausea sprints up my throat. My hands shoot out to grab

the casket, stopping short of actually touching the corpse.

This . . . this thing . . . can’t be my mother. She never smiled like that, all serene and

peaceful-like. She never wore this much makeup; her red hair was never chopped so closely to

her head. My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. Dad used to say you could

reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song.

Well, her eyes are closed now, and I’m not sure there’ll be any music in my life, ever

again.

About the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,” Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

Giveaways (2!)


 One winner will receive a prize pack including the following 5 books: Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn; Six Months Later by Natalie Richards; Find Me by Romily Bernard; and From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan; Lies I Told by Michelle Zink a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Darkest Lie by Pintip 

Dunn

The Darkest Lie

by Pintip Dunn

Giveaway ends March 28, 2016. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Ent er Giveaway


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Cover Reveal: MY PERFECT MISTAKE by Kelly Siskind

I'm so excited to be sharing the cover of Kelly Siskind's MY PERFECT MISTAKE today! Check out the beautiful cover below, read a sneak peek, and enter to win!

Siskind_MyPerfectMistake_2

About MY PERFECT MISTAKE
What happens in Aspen is definitely not staying in Aspen . . .

About MY PERFECT MISTAKE

What happens in Aspen is definitely not staying in Aspen . . .

A girls' trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She's got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared. 

Kolton doesn't know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool---although she does have an unholy gift for that---but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they're both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don't kill each other first.

Add MY PERFECT MISTAKE to Goodreads here

Preorder MY PERFECT MISTAKE:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-perfect-mistake-kelly-siskind/1123347506?ean=9781455565429



About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.
She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning. She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group. 2015 Golden Heart® Finalist

Connect with Kelly Siskind:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG March: How to Succeed at Twitter Without Really Trying


Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be insecure no longer! Commune with fellow writers and find your place and your tribe. For more regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support.

Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit  a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!

How To Succeed at Twitter Without Really Trying

Yesterday on twitter, I happened upon a tweet stream discussing how not to behave as an author: when you get a big book deal, or a big-time agent, don't forget about your pre-published writer friends. More importantly, don't intentionally cut them out.

Here is the Storify link to the tweets I'm referring to.


Bad advice is everywhere, and especially when you get into social media management. You may find advisers suggesting you pare down your lists of followers, that following more people who follow you looks bad. You may even hear a suggestion to cut those who aren't "influencers," meaning users who tweet/post often and have large followings.

You never know where your fans are. There are people I've barely corresponded with on twitter whose books I've bought. There are people whose classes I've promoted, whose causes I've championed, because I've seen them be awesome within the writer community (and beyond). What's worse--showing a lower number of people you follow vs. who follow you, or losing a potential champion for YOUR books/teaching/author brand?

The IWSG community is great--I doubt anyone here would drop writer friends once they got a book deal or a hot shot agent. But apparently some people do this. I am a big proponent of using twitter as it was meant--SOCIALLY. When you interact and don't auto-tweet, you are engaging as a real person. When you don't cull your follow list with an automated-tool based on "influencer" quotients, you keep real people who may not be social media stars, but who may actually buy your book. When I sift through who I follow on twitter, I cut people who aren't following me whom I also rarely interact with, or who themselves are rarely using the platform.

Think about it. If your mom is on twitter and follows two people, one of whom is you, do you cut her? Or is she your biggest fan waiting for the chance to shout your praises?

I love to hear from you! Please share in the comments a time where you made an unlikely social media connection!


Writing Workshops and More Blogging:

YA and Middle Grade Writers: Looking for feedback on your first pages? The First Five Pages Workshop is held monthly as part of the Adventures in YA Publishing blog. The March sign-up is this Saturday March 5.

Stay tuned tomorrow on my blog for a cover reveal by a fellow Pitch Wars mentor Kelly Siskind, for her second New Adult romance!

One last thing! I joined The YA Buccaneers, a Young Adult blogging collective. Here is my intro post, plus I'll be posting What the Heck Makes a Good Book this Friday for our month-long Spring Cleaning theme. Please stop by!