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Posts Tagged ‘HarperCollins’

Editing a Manuscript: Inside the Editorial Process

Posted by inkpopbecki on June 8, 2011

So many of you have asked, what goes into the editorial process? Well as inkpop author Leigh Fallon will tell you, Carrier of the Mark went through A LOT of editing. Want to hear more or ask a real live HarperCollins Editor about publishing? Join us for a live chat today at 5 p.m. EST in the inkpop forum events.

Until then, check out some of the work that went in to making Carrier of the Mark the fantastic novel that will be published on October 4, 2011

Eric performed two rounds of line  edits on Carrier of the Mark. These were the first line edits, done by hand. Line-Edits

The second line edits were done through  Track_Change.

Want to see more or want to find out more about the editing process? Psst a comment or a question in our  inkpop forum events.

Posted in inktips, Inside the Mind | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Breaking into the Publishing World: Inside the Mind of Sara Bennett Wealer

Posted by inkpopbecki on February 9, 2011

Finding an agent; landing your first book contract; these are all pretty daunting task. Some people feel like it takes knowing the right people or living in New York City, but Sara Bennett Wealer can tell you that is just not the case. Having gone through all the standard processes for getting published, she landed a book deal with HarperCollins. How you ask? Well ask her yourself. Join us for a live chat with Sara Bennett Wealer today at 6 p.m. EST in the inkpop forum events. In the meantime check out this Q&A we did with Sara about her experience getting published.

How did you come up with the idea for Rival and when did you start writing it?

It’s hard to remember when I started writing RIVAL, because I usually have a couple of projects going at any given time. But I believe it was almost 7 years ago that I started the first draft. I wrote another book while I revised and worked at getting RIVAL published, so it’s not like I spent 7 years straight on just that one novel.  I do remember that when I started RIVAL I was in the middle of a really busy period with the Symphony chorus I was singing in at the time, so I had music on the brain. And I’ve always remembered how crazy things felt when I was in high school, singing in a music program that could get pretty competitive. Rivalries are always juicy, high-stakes situations so I decided to explore the subject from both sides.

What was your background in writing before submitting to agencies? How did you find your agent and what was the experience like working with your agent before submitting to publishing houses?
I’ve been fortunate to make my living as a writer—I started off as a reporter for daily newspapers, then moved into experiential marketing, copywriting and PR.  It pays the mortgage, but it’s not always my creative calling; that’s where the novel writing comes in.
I actually had another agent before signing with my current one. My first agent was the first one I ever queried, and was something of a big name at the time. But the agency was in transition and, for several reasons, I came to feel like we weren’t a good match, so I started my search over. I did it the good old-fashioned way—through queries. I submitted the book I’d written after RIVAL, and that’s the one my current agent signed me on. She sent it out without making me do too many revisions, and ultimately that book didn’t sell. So we started showing RIVAL instead.

As a first time book author what was the experience like submitting to publishers? What were some of the questions they had about your manuscript or you as a professional writer? How did you ultimately end up with HarperCollins?
I found the submission experience pretty similar to the agent-hunt—you send the novel out, then you wait, then you get feedback, either in the form of rejections or in some level of interest.  The rejections never get any easier, let me tell you! I ended up with HarperCollins because Erica Sussman, who eventually became my editor, believed in my book. She had some revision notes and asked if I would mind working on them before she showed the book to her team. I agreed because I could tell she really got the story, and I could tell her ideas would make the story stronger.  Erica ultimately was able to sell the book internally, and Harper made an offer.

The teen market is pretty packed right now with a lot of paranormal. How do you make a contemporary romance really stand out on the shelves?
This is a tough environment for contemporary novels—I would go so far as to say it’s brutal right now!  When I started RIVAL, chick lit was still the rage and people were just beginning to write paranormals, so I didn’t really think about the market as I wrote the book (if I had, I might have made Brooke and Kathryn witches or sirens or something – I’m only half joking about that!). Now that the book is about to launch, there’s not much I can do about what’s *in* it, as far as making it stand out.  What I’m trying to do is highlight angles that have a popular appeal – for example, I’m getting


ready to go after “Glee” fans in as big a way as I can from my little corner of the Midwest. I’m also trying to work with word of mouth – the majority of people who’ve read RIVAL really seem to love it, including a couple of big-name authors, so I’m hoping that will help spark people to pick up the book.

Want to hear more from Sara Bennett Wealer? Join us for a live chat today in the inkpop forum events.

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inkpop Fundamentals: August 5, 2010

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on August 5, 2010

Justin Bieber…the book! Justin Bieber has accomplished quite a bit in his short sixteen-years. Not only was his debut album My World certified Platinum, but he is the very first artist in history to ever have a total of seven songs, from one album, hit the Billboard Hot 100 List. Now, with World Tours, billions of fans, and a wide array of guest appearances on everything from Saturday Night Live to CSI, it’s no surprise that the teen heartthrob would set his sights on commandeering the publishing world…but it’s not exactly what you think. Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story is the illustrated memoir being released by HarperCollins, which captures Bieber’s rise to superstardom via unseen photographs. Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story hits shelves in October of 2010, and is set to sell for $21.99. MediaBistro.

I was named after… There’s no question that pop culture influences society; but that inspiration goes further than merely providing ideas for what you’ll wear for prom, or what TV show you’ll be watching this Friday night. Pop culture, especially of the Twilight variety, is now one of the biggest sources for something a little more unexpected…baby names. Since the year 2005, the use of baby names such as Bella, Cullen, Jasper, Alice, and Emmett has nearly doubled; and even stranger names from Meyer’s series – including Carlisle and Renesme – have been scooped up, making it obvious that the next generation will bear the mark of Twilight. Chicago Tribune.

‘READ’ all about it! Back in the 80s and 90s, school libraries were decked out in READ posters starring everyone from Sting and Oprah Winfrey to Britney Spears, Tony Hawk, Dakota Fanning, and High School Musical’s Corbin Bleu. The posters were used as a method of sparking interest in young minds to dive into reading; and now they’re back! The American Library Association has now released a 2010 series of READ posters starring some of the biggest contemporary celebrities, which you can buy here to decorate your very own bedroom. And, if you’re so inclined, make a READ poster starring you, or one of your friends, by using the image generator. Pop Candy.

Over to you…are you a Justin Bieber fan? Will you be buying a copy of Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story for you or your friends? Do you know anyone who has drawn baby name inspiration from Twilight or another book series? If you could see any celebrity – dead or alive – star on one of the ALA’s READ posters, who would it be and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Fundamentals, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

inkpop Fundamentals: July 15, 2010

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on July 15, 2010

Let the invasion begin! Over the years we have seen literary releases from a variety of species – from human to feline to canine, and even hamster a la Betty G. Birney’s The World According to Humphrey; but perhaps HarperTeen’s upcoming release I Am Number Four, is the very first novel to be penned by an actual extraterrestrial – Pittacus Lore, to be exact. Scheduled for release on August 3, 2010; I Am Number Four will be the first in a series of six books that follow the misadventures of an on the run teenage alien. Don’t let the release date fool you; I Am Number Four is already stirring up hype in the book and film community. Why? Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay have already signed on to produce the movie adaptation! Entertainment Weekly.

Show & Tell…shopping style The economy may be down, but that doesn’t mean that back-to-school shopping is coming to a grinding halt – rather, some of your favorite stores are merely looking for a new way to market their products…with your help! In a marketing move that places stores such as Forever 21, J.C. Penney (JCP), and American Eagle (AEO) in the throes of social media; retailers are turning to VLOGGERS who post “hauls” – self-made videos which allow the star to claim bragging rights on their most recent purchases, and share them with viewers – to get the word out about products, and help drive up sales. USA Today.

From Broadway to the big screen! Since it’s publication in 1995, Gregory Maguire’s Wicked has been a phenomenal hit, spawning a long-running Broadway show of the same title that has won the hearts of worldwide readers and viewers; now, however, with demand for film musicals at an all-time high, there is talk of a possible Universal Pictures-backed big screen version of the Broadway hit – with rumors of four individuals in the running to direct the film, including Glee’s Ryan Murphy. MTV.

Over to you…do you believe in life on another planet? Will you be reading I Am Number Four? Do you think that the arrival of aliens in teen fiction will displace the current vampire craze – why or why not? Do you trust video hauls, or do you think of them as another form of advertising? Would you ever purchase items seen in a haul and/or star in a video haul of your own – why or why not? What do you think of a big screen adaptation of a Broadway musical – yay or nay? Who do you think would be the best person to direct a big screen adaptation of Wicked?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Fundamentals, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Writing Poetry: inktips from Author Stephanie Hemphill

Posted by inkpopbecki on June 16, 2010

Author Stephanie Hemphill knows what it takes to make the more obscure areas of writing–poetry, historical fiction–into successful, published works. Her new book, Wicked Girls, is a historical novel set against the backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials. If you’d like to hear more about writing historical fiction, join our live chat tomorrow on this inkpop forums to talk with author Stephanie Hemphill. Check out her tips for writing poetry below.

1. Haven Fun: Poetry gives you freedom to play with words and images and language.

2. Push your images a little farther than you feel comfortable—into dangerous. That is where you might find something truly original. After all, the grand goal in poetry is to speak of the world better or more clearly or more beautifully than anyone else has ever done before, to make people say, “Yes, exactly,” and understand with precision what you are describing.

3. Write outside the margins. This is not like think outside the box—that is a cliché. Be messy, write faster than your pen. Try not to overanalyze. Find the child inside you who thought everything he or she did was great. Be confident. Don’t worry if it’s not good. Just tell the truth.

4. Be honest and observant. Really take time to look at things, to delve deeply into yourself. There are no bad poems, but there are weak, dishonest ones, thinner than the paper that contains them. Even if you are creating a fantasy poem, be consistent and honest inside whatever world you create.

5. Learn new language. Increase your vocabulary and then use it appropriately.

6. Avoid clichés. If you use a loaded concept word, like “love” or “happiness,” bring it to earth with images and reality and specifics so it becomes meaningful.
7. Read. Read books and poetry, read nonfiction, read anything that interests you that increases your knowledge and understanding of yourself and the world and others. Think about what you know and feel and observe, and then if you are so inclined, write it down and share it.

Join our live chat tomorrow on this inkpop forums to talk with author Stephanie Hemphill.

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inkpop Fundamentals: June 10, 2010

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 10, 2010

‘Glee’ gets literary While most pieces of entertainment take the approach of translating from fiction to big or small screen adaptations; FOX’s runaway hit Glee is doing the reverse. With “Gleeks” across the nation tuning in to find out what happens on each episode every Tuesday night; it is no surprise that the show would go one-step further to satiate the appetites of fans. Starting in August 2010, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will begin releasing an official line of Glee-related books, approved by Twentieth Century Fox. The first release is an original novel toted as the Glee prequel, titled Glee: The Beginning, and will include a full-color double-sided poster! Entertainment Weekly.

The real life teen wolf Cheerleaders, goths, jocks, emo, nerds…we’ve seen them all trolling through the halls of high school campuses; now, however, there is a new trend being seen upon school grounds across the country, and that is…the teen wolf. Running in packs of ten to twenty members, teen wolves slightly resemble that of a goth or emo, with the additions of chained leashes hanging from collars around their necks, fangs, contact lenses that make their eyes appear more animalistic, and the occasional howl or two. The craze is said to stem, most recently, from the Twilight films based upon the highly-popular book series by Stephenie Meyer. Brand X Daily.

Storytime hits the ‘Net Though storytime has always involved physically visiting a bookstore or library (oftentimes in one’s pajamas!), and listening to an employee read one or more picture books aloud to young children; this past week, Barnes & Noble launched a new millennium version of storytime via their Online Storytime Program, starting with a reading of Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly. The Online Storytime Program is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week; and includes video footage of the author reading their book. A new storytime entry is added the first Tuesday of every month. Publisher’s Weekly.

Over to you…are you a Glee fan? Will you be buying the official Glee book series? What do you think of the new teen wolf trend? Have you encountered actual teen wolves, either at school or around where you live? What do you think of Barnes & Noble’s Online Storytime Program? Do you feel that going virtual takes the magic out of storytime – why or why not?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Fundamentals, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

How to Write About Love: inktips from Author Eric Luper

Posted by inkpopbecki on June 9, 2010

Eric Luper knows a lot about love. Just check out his book Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto if you don’t believe me. So we asked him to give us a few tips on love. Check out his tips below or join us in the forums at 5 p.m. EST today to talk with Eric live online about how to write love and relationships.

A Guy’s Perspective on Love

Love is one of those things that people talk about, but does anyone really understand it? So far, scientists have identified eleven distinct types of love and each one affects our brains differently. I thought this would be a fascinating topic to tackle in my novel and the more I learned about it, the more I realized I’d only be able to scratch the surface.
Whether you are writing from a guy’s perspective, have a female protagonist who has a thing for a guy or if you have a crush on a guy in your math class, here are some tips to help you understand what is going on in a guy’s brain:

1.      When you are writing, feel with your heart and write from your brain: We all know the feelings associated with love: racing heart, flushed face, elation, etc. but most guys don’t express themselves in those terms… and they certainly don’t discuss them with their friends. A guy feels emotion, but then typically acts on it rather than dwelling on it.
2.      When guys are infatuated they will talk about a girl like she’s his favorite sandwich: Have you ever heard a guy describe his favorite sandwich? He’ll hold out his hands like he’s actually holding the thing, he’ll describe each layer as though it can hear him. And that first bite… Ooh, my heart is all aflutter! When a guy stops talking like that about his infatuation, something has changed: either for the better or the worse.
3.      When a guy falls in love, he’ll stop talking about it: To swipe a line from SETH BAUMGARTNER’S LOVE MANIFESTO, “guys are stoic; it’s a Mars-Venus thing.” It’s understood that guys are not supposed to discuss matters of love. Lust is okay; Love, not so much. Sad but true.
4.      Points 2 and 3 are generalizations. Of course, no two people are the same and guys come in all types. We all express ourselves differently. Just remember, if a guy internalizes too much about love in your story, he’ll come across as “emo.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just be aware of what you’re doing.
5.      For both guys and girls, the feelings are the same; it’s how we express ourselves that differs. Whether you write from the point of view of a guy in love or just need to understand the goings-on

inside the mysterious male brain, just remember to stay true to those feelings and have them come out in ways appropriate for that particular guy.

In the immortal words of Seth in his Love Manifesto, “You can’t dissect love, you can’t explain it, because once you do you prevent yourself from being able to experience it. You pull yourself out of the enjoyment of it, the excitement of it, the meaning, no… the importance of it. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Love is important.”

Check out Eric Luper’s live chat today at 5 p.m. EST and ask him everything you ever wanted to know about love!

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The Young Carrie Bradshaw: Inside the Mind of Candace Bushnell

Posted by inkpopbecki on June 2, 2010

It seems like it’s just Carrie fever this summer and we’re definitely on board here at inkpop. We were so excited about the publication of The Carrie Diaries, we just had to ask Candace Bushnell a few questions about her famous leading lady.


What was the inspiration for Carrie?

I’ve always thought of Carrie as an “every girl.” She has to make it own her own by relying on her wits, humor, and sensibility.

What did you find was the biggest difference writing a YA book?

In my other books, I’m always trying to stay just a step ahead of the culture, so with The Carrie Diaries, it was great to be able to go back in time.

What was it like going back and writing Carrie as a teenager? Did you already have her back story written in your head or did you have to start from scratch?

I came to the book with presumptions about her back story, but, as with all of my books, when I sat down and start writing, things began to change. The story evolves in the process of writing the book, so my goal was to write what felt authentic to the character in the moment.

Want to experience more Carrie? Check out our latest writing challenge Uniquely You: The Carrie Diaries Writing Challenge.

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Tips From a First Time Author

Posted by inkpop on May 7, 2010

Ever wonder what it takes to publish your first novel? Well wonder no more. Phoebe Kitanidis, author of the new book Whispers, has some writing tips for you!

Photo Credit: Dani Weiss Photography

1. Find yourself a power group.

Forge your own community of four or five writer buds, supportive people who take writing as seriously as you do. Give your new group a name (really… it helps!) and meet once a week, online of off, for critique or shoptalk. You’ll feel a surge of inspiration after every meeting.

2. Listen to your gut.

Your subconscious is your partner in writing, so don’t ignore your partner’s feedback. Notice your physical response to your words as you type them: when something jars or rings false, you’ll feel it before you go too far in the wrong direction. On the other hand, when you get that quickening pulse or deep shiver, you know you’re onto something amazing.

3. Accept the challenge.

Every book you write will challenge you. Instead of feeling inadequate or frustrated because it never gets any easier, accept that writing books is tough for everyone. Be proud that you’re someone who perseveres anyway, and who actually enjoys learning and growing and becoming a stronger writer with every project.

4. Remember, it’s your world.

When you’re struggling to get your character from point A to point B, keep this in mind: if the higher truth of your story demands it, you can always change the landscape, the situation, the timing, the outline, or anything else you please.

Cover Design by Tom Forget

Want to hear more from Phoebe Kitanidis? Check out her live chat Monday May 10th at 5 p.m. EST on inkpop.

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Inside the Mind of an Author

Posted by inkpopbecki on May 5, 2010

Okay, so we all agree that books are interesting, that’s why we’re here. And how an author came to write the book he or she wrote is always intriguing, but what is it really like in the mind of a writer? We’re trying to answer that question with our new series “Inside the Mind”. Every week we’re going to bring you questions from our upcoming and bestselling authors, giving you the chance to get inside and poke around  the crazy and wonderful minds of an author!

This week we’re going inside the mind of Tera Lynn Childs, author of the recently released novel Forgive My Fins.

Inside the Mind of Tera Lynn Childs

Courtesy of Tera Lynn Childs

Do you have any quirky habits, traditions, or rituals that help get you into the writing space?

First, I leave my house. I can’t write at home because there are just too many potential distractions (TV, email, laundry, food, my adorable Dalmatian mix, Daisy). I head to the nearest coffee shop that has comfy chairs, stake mine out, and then get a weather-appropriate beverage. Once I’m in my chair with my drink, I need to tune out the rest of the world, so I pop in my earbuds and pull up the playlist-du-jour (whatever music I’m into at the moment). There’s a lot of dawdling and procrastinating, but eventually I pull out my AlphaSmart (the best writing investment I ever made) and plunge into the story.

Where do you derive most of the inspiration for your writing?

Oh, everywhere. Life, people, books, TV, magazines. I came up with the idea for Oh. My. Gods. by tweaking the reality TV show title Growing Up Gotti to my create my working title, Growing Up Godly. The idea for Forgive My Fins hit me when I was in Florida for the summer, spending lots of time on the beach, and thinking how cool it would be if a mermaid could bestow her magical powers with a kiss (and what if she kissed the wrong boy). The kernel of the idea for my upcoming (and still untitled) Medusa girls trilogy came from a magazine feature about snake-themed jewelry. I’m kind of always keeping my mind open for the next great inspiration, because I never know what little detail is going to lead me to a fabulous idea.

If there were one bad writing habit you have that you would love to kick, what would it be?

Procrastination. I wish I could be one of those writers who gets up every day and writes a certain page quota, no matter how far away my deadline is. I tell myself I need all that procrastination time for brainstorming and subconscious plotting and problem solving. (Note: That is possibly just a very convincing, self-deluding excuse.)

Publishing books is a hard process! If a magic genie were to appear and tell you that there was one step in the process that you could skip and still publish a successful book, which step would that be and why?

Honestly, not a one. Every step of the publishing process is important, a crucial learning experience that made and continues to make me a better writer. Querying agents was hard, but it taught me how to encapsulate my story in a paragraph, which helped me learn how to identify the core concepts of my books. Rejection was (and still is) hard, but it taught me that publishing is a very subjective business and that no book is going to please every agent/editor/critic/librarian/reader. (Note: This is a very important lesson if you want to maintain a modicum of sanity in this industry.) Revision will always be hard, but it teaches me how to tear apart and analyze my

Designed by Amy Ryan

story to make it better, which in turn     helps me figure out how to do that on the first try next time.  Skipping any one of those steps would cheat me out of an opportunity to become a better writer, which is my constant goal.

Want to hear more from author Tera Lynn Childs? Tune in to her live chat, When Fantasy and Fiction Collide, today at 5 p.m. EST

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