Thank you Magic Valley. We had a great time at the Book and Arts Fair this weekend!
Tag Archives: Bonnie Dodge
Tomorrow marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo. If you’ve been thinking about participating but you’re procrastinating, let me offer some advice based on my own experience.
First, if you’re unfamiliar with “Nano,” National Novel Writing Month is a fun, fast approach to novel writing. The goal is to finish 50,000 words in one month. That means beginning November 1 and ending midnight, November 30, you have 30 days to write 50,000 words. Whoa, that’s ambitious, and yes, it is doable. You can learn all about Nano here.
November is typically a busy month for me, but then, what month isn’t busy? With holidays and preparing for Christmas, who wants to add one more thing to the calendar? It’s daunting to commitment to writing 1666 words a day. But that’s how books get written, one word at a time.
I’ve participated in Nano several times, and here’s what I’ve learned. Nano taught me how to increase my word count on a consistent basis. Compare it to exercise. You have an hour to walk four miles. You have an hour to write one thousand words. Get ready, get set. Go. There is no time to stop and research. There is no time to look up misspelled words. There is no time to stare into the refrigerator or talk on the phone. There is only time to write.
I’m a little bit OCD and the perfectionist in me wants everything perfect before I write the next page of my story. Nano taught me to keep going, to type XXXX if I am stumped or lost. Nano taught me to ignore the misspelled words or the out of sequence scenes and to just keep writing. It becomes a form of free-writing that results in words to edit instead of a blank piece of paper staring back at me at the end of the day.
Nano taught me to kill Ms. Snarky Editor and banish Ms. Holy Perfectionist. They aren’t allowed into the room until December. By silencing them, I was able to complete my novel in thirty days. Yes, the manuscript was rough. Yes, there were plenty of misspelled words and lots of XXXs that needed to be addressed. But instead of having one chapter or half of a manuscript, I had a complete book ready for revision and edits. That book became Waiting, published by Booktrope this fall.
If you’re still procrastinating, or on the fence, why not give Nano a try? You might surprise yourself. You might actually write a book.
Today we stopped by Morningside Elementary in Twin Falls and presented the Principal, Steven Hoy, a copy of our book, Billie Neville Takes a Leap. Billie attended Morningside in 1974, the year Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon. Thank you, Morningside Elementary for letting us wander your halls. You have a great school.
We had so much fun today at the Perrine Bridge Festival. It was a little windy, but, then, this is Idaho. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by and saying hello!
You’ve written a great book and someone wants to publish it. You take a deep breath and sigh. You can relax now. The hard work is done.
Wrong. The hard work is just beginning.
Both Patricia Santos Marcantonio and I have books releasing this fall. My book Waiting is scheduled for release by Booktrope in September. Pat’s book, The Ghost Sisters and the Girl in Hallway B, is also scheduled for release by Sunbury Press. Any given day you can watch us scurry, like the busy squirrels outside, as we get ready to launch our books.
Countless times we’ve been asked which is better, to self-publish or to go with traditional publishers? Over the years we’ve learned it doesn’t matter. Regardless of how our books are published, the work we, the authors, have to do to launch a book is the same. We’ve also learned it’s good to start early, before the book is released. Once the book is released is often too late.
Here are only some of the things we have to do to launch our books.
1) Build an online presence. In addition to social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) create author pages at Amazon and Goodreads. There are also other sites like Shelfari and Smashwords. Every day more opportunities arise for social promotion and it’s up to the author to make sure this happens (unless you’re lucky enough to have a publicist willing to do this for you).
2) Have a website, a blog, and update it regularly.
3) Have a public email address where your fans can reach you.
4) Your publisher may ask for back cover blurbs. Have some ready. Ask readers/fans you respect and admire, preferably someone who writes in the same genre, and be willing to reciprocate.
5) Ask for reviews and be willing to give one in exchange. Remember to say something nice about the book, even if it is only that you like the title or the cover.
6) Make a budget and stick to it.
7) Build a mailing list and an email list.
8) Make sure your media/press kit is up to date with current pictures and information. Spend time writing an interesting bio.
9) Design and order swag, something like bookmarks or postcards you can sign and handout at book signings and events.
10) Schedule giveaways and perhaps a Facebook launch party.
11) Seek out book clubs. Offer to attend through Skype. If you haven’t done so, develop a reading guide list of questions.
12) If you don’t have a publicist, prepare press releases and contact the media.
13) Determine whether or not to promote your book with ads. Is there money in your budget?
14) Schedule blog posts, blog tours, and guest posts. Be sure to reciprocate.
15) Schedule book signings.
These are only some of the things you need to consider before you launch your book; there are countless more suggestions online. Make some time now, before your book releases, to develop a plan and then try to stick to it. Take a deep breath and try to stay calm as you plan your book launch. But most of all, remember to smile, and enjoy the journey. Then kick off your shoes and celebrate, you’ve earned a nice reward.
A discussion about Evel Knievel’s Skycycle and a new children’s book about Knievel’s 1974 jump across the Snake River Canyon will take place Sunday, Sept. 7 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 239 Pole Line Road E. in Twin Falls.
The 1 to 4 p.m. event is in conjunction with River St. Press’ release, “Billie Neville Takes a Leap” by award-winning authors Bonnie Dodge and Patricia Santos Marcantonio. The story is about a ten-year old girl who dreams of being a daredevil amid the excitement over Knievel’s jump near Twin Falls.
At 1 p.m. Jay Michaels, the liaison with the Return to Snake River project, will talk about Bob Truax, who designed and built the X-2 Skycycle used by Knievel during the Sept. 8, 1974 jump. He will discuss why the 1974 Knievel launch didn’t work as planned, and the differences between the original X-2 Skycycle and the updated design that Truax’s son Scott hopes to launch over the canyon this fall with his team, fellow engineer Craig Adams and Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun.
Dodge and Marcantonio will also discuss the writing of the book. In addition, the winner of River St. Press’ “What is a Hero” essay contest will be announced. The contest was open to students entering the sixth grade.
Copies of “Billie Neville Takes a Leap” also will be available for purchase and signing.
Magic Valley kids entering the 6th grade this fall listen up. Aug. 15 is the deadline for our “What is a Hero?” essay contest. The winner will receive $50!
There is no entry fee. The contest is sponsored by River St. Press in conjunction with the release of its new children’s book, “Billie Neville Takes a Leap” by Bonnie Dodge and Patricia Santos Marcantonio. The book, which will be released in May, is about friendship and heroes.
Ten-year-old Billie wants to be a daredevil, just like her hero Evel Knievel. She also wants a best friend. Riding “the best bike in the whole world,” Billie’s desperate to enter a bike jumping contest with three boys named The Meanies and show them her cool skills. In the meantime, she also enters an essay contest in hopes of meeting Knievel. When the famous daredevil comes to Twin Falls to jump the Snake River Canyon, Billie learns she has to be a friend to make friends and that not all heroes have to soar over canyons.
The River St. Press contest is open to any student who will be in the sixth grade by September 2014. Essays must be typed or printed, and no longer than 400 words. They must include the entrant’s name and telephone number, and the name of the school the writer attends. The entry deadline is Aug. 15. Entrants can email their essays to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to River St. Press, P.O. Box 5073, Twin Falls, ID 83303.
The winner will be announced at a book party in Twin Falls. The winning essay will be printed on the River St. Press website, riverstpress.com.
We had so much fun putting this book together. Take a tomboy with no friends with a dream to be a daredevil and you have little Billie Neville. Add a skycycle and the Snake River Canyon and there’s bound to be lots of action.
Hurry and get your copy now!