Articles tagged with: utopYA

#UTOPiAlove GoFundMe Blog Hop


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As many of you know, I’m a four year veteran and a HUGE fan of UTOPiAcon – the book conference that takes place every June in Nashville. This year was beyond epic, and I’m still buzzing from all the positivity, information, and inspiration. And I can not wait for June 2016 to attend the FIFTH anniversary. 

As we jump into this anniversary year, we want to give back to the organizers who have given so much inspiration and support to us. A conference of this magnitude–of this level of MAGIC–is valuable, and also expensive to produce properly.

Utopia has been the birth place of so many books, partnerships, blogs, teams, and friendships. It so genuinely enhances the lives of it’s attendees, but – even more importantly – it helps authors and bloggers bring great things into the world. 

So we wanted to share a little of that with YOU!

Without Utopia I would never have…

That’s the fifteen second version. For lots more reasons, check out this blogtalk radio interview I did with the fabulous Jo Michaels. And check out the other folks on this bloghop to learn about the many ways Utopia changed their lives for the better too.

Over the past few months, we’ve learned that organizers, friends, and even family have come forward and given from their own personal funds in order to help move Utopia forward another year and we want to pay them back. We want to FIGHT FOR OUR WRITE and do our part to help.

So if you’ve ever been touched by Utopia, or if you love any of the authors, bloggers, or readers who have, please take a moment to give a few dollars. This will insure the inspiration continues.

We hope you’ll be led to give from the heart, but to sweeten the deal we have some MAJORLY EPIC incentives! In addition to what you’ll get from the Go Fund Me organizers (see the donation page to read about those), you’ll also get entered to win any one of these amazing raffle prizes listed in the rafflecopter below!

 

Prizes like these:

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There is no purchase or donation necessary to enter to enter the drawing, but we encourage you to give even just $10 in order to help move us toward our big goal. And don’t forget, every donation of at least $10 earns you free books!

 

How to enter:

 

  1. Go visit #UtopiaLove’s Go Fund Me page and make a small donation (this isn’t necessary, but we would be so jazzed if you did this first! AND this earns you an automatic prize based on your donation level. Check your email to collect.)
  2. Click through any one of the rafflecopter entry methods. Complete the necessary item and get entered for all of the raffle prizes listed below.
  3. Click through to the list of other participating authors & bloggers to read how Utopia has changed them!

 

That’s it! Thanks!

 

Participating Blogs:

 

Karen Hooper    http://karenamandahooper.blogspot.com/

Kallie Ross    Kallieross.com

Susan Burdorf www.facebook.com/susanburdorfauthor

Jo Michaels http://jomichaels.blogspot.com

Carlyle Labuschagne Www.worldsawaybookblog.blogspot.com

Shantella Benson https://thewordsmithe.wordpress.com/

Shelley Custer www.stalkingshelves.blogspot.com

S.M. Boyce smboyce.com/boyce-blog

Komali da Silva www.komalidasilva.com

PK Hrezo Http://Pk-Hrezo.blogspot.com

Elisabeth Kauffman http://writingrefinery.blogspot.com

Patti Larsen www.pattilarsen.com

Michaela Mills http://www.michaelamillswrites.com/blog

Ginny Gallagher http://ginnygallagher.com

Liz Long http://lizclong.com

Raine Thomas http://rainethomas.com

Stacey Marie Brown http://www.staceymariebrown.com/

Heather Hildenbrand http://www.heatherhildenbrand.com

Amy Evans http://amyevansbooks.com/

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You know CLICKS? It used to be called The Dolphin Book!


CLICKS are many things – they’re instincts, they’re connections, and they’re one of the sounds dolphins make when they communicate.

All of these definitions factored into the name of my first bookdolphin cloud.

For so long, I called it The Dolphin Book. Eventually, it had to have more of a name, so I called it The Dolphin Prophecy, because a major theme in the book is that what happens to the dolphins will happen to humans too. But then, I began to pitch. Editors didn’t know what to say because those I talked to insisted  dolphins only worked in middle grade,but I felt this story needed to stay Young Adult. Agents told me to send it because they were intrigued, but it sounded too different, which wasn’t selling at the moment. And they all told me, no matter what other advice I would heed, to bury the storyline about dolphins in the background, and definitely keep it out of marketing.

Clicks Book Cover Then I went to Nashville and UtopYAcon 2012 where I found a whole bunch of people who were publishing independently. They all thought CLICKS sounded interesting, and that I didn’t need to change it to please the publishing industry when they’d discovered another way to get books to an audience. t was Amy Bartol who put it most succinctly. She said “Do you want to spend the next year getting rejections, or readers?” She advised me to hire an editor, a cover designer, and a publicist, and get the darn thing into the world myself. So I did. I was blessed when Jennifer Rees, Regina Wamba, and KP Simmon came on to help. All had worked on NYTimes best sellers and each of them connected with CLICKS. Together, we moved towards publishing. I could ignore the naysayers because I knew the book was interesting, I couldn’t shake the idea that the “dolphin thing” could be damaging, so I changed the blurbs to focus more on surfing and twinning, and made the series name The Pinhold Prophecy. Pinhold is the name of the island, and an anagram for dolphin that very few people caught.

Almost a year later, I can honestly say that “hiding the dolphins” didn’t work at Sphere CLICKs word cloudall. They drive the plot, the mythology and the action and that hadn’t changed with the marketing copy. Just look at this update word cloud I made. I may have skipped the dolphin shape, but the size of the word tells you how often it was mentioned.  Most readers thought the dolphin parts were the most interesting, exciting and unique. A few didn’t like them at all and, in truth, they would have been much better off if the marketing materials had warned them off. By not mentioning the dolphins, I consistently struggled to explain the book, and I missed out on attracting the audience most inclined to read The Dolphin Book from the start.

 

 

Echoes ART square ICONI’ve learned my lesson, though, as the ECHOES cover indicates. It’s the sequel to CLICKS and comes out in June, and before that I’m rereleasing CLICKS as well with the word “dolphin” on the cover. There’s going to be a lot more images and teasers with dolphins as well, because they are the very heart of the book.

There is so much that we can learn from them In CLICKS, Cami had to learn to trust her instincts. I should have  trusted my own as well.  And you know, if you don’t like dolphins? You may not want to check out too much on here for these next few months.

xoxo

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