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Waiting on Wednesday: Party Games by R.L. Stine

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Horror, Waiting on Wednesday, Writing | 0 comments

Waiting on Wednesday: Party Games by R.L. Stine

Those of you who know me, know that I’m a HUGE R.L. Stine fan. I’ve read all of his books. I love horror. And I even write some of my own. Imagine my excitement when I received the most glorious thing in the mail this weekend… an ARC of Party Games by R.L. Stine!   As you can imagine, when I first spotted it, it was love at first sight (I’m sure it was mutual…)   And then, well, things between us got pretty hot and heavy, pretty quickly.   Though my initial instinct was to call out sick until...

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How to Build a Kick-Ass Street Team by Mina Vaughn

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Artistry of Marketing, Guest Post, How To, Marketing and Branding, Writing | 1 comment

How to Build a Kick-Ass Street Team by Mina Vaughn

So you’re going to be an author. Congrats! You’re at the start of a really exciting journey, so why not bring along your friends and gain some major cheerleaders! I love my street team, but it wasn’t easy putting it together, so that’s why I’m here at the Pen and Muse school to help you figure out how to put one together. There’s no right or wrong way, and many other authors may do it differently, but here are five steps to putting together an awesome street team.   1)      Figure out what you want. Do you want your street team to blast...

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Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Reading, Writing, Young Adult | 4 comments

Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

I almost lost it when I first heard of Forest of Whispers. I thought, holy crap, this book looks fantastic! I eagerly searched for any blog tours and thankfully found one run by Rockstar Book Tours and of course, immediately joined. Jennifer, the author, was kind enough to let me interview her for the post today and I couldn’t be happier! Just look at this cover– it’s gorgeous! I love the intrigue here. The tagline Magic Haunts Her… is SO good. And then of course I read the blurb and was hooked. Check it out. About the...

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The Dark Carnival Anthology: Cover Reveal & Book Blitz Sign Up

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Horror, Pen and Muse news, The Dark Carnival, Writing | 1 comment

The Dark Carnival Anthology: Cover Reveal & Book Blitz Sign Up

Last week we did something exciting. We approved the finalized cover of the Dark Carnival Anthology. The fantastic author and graphic designer extraordinaire Cara Vescio designed the cover — and it’s no less than incredible. Man, we are lucky! If you’re looking for an affordable and creative graphic designer, there really is no need to look any farther than her. This anthology came about after having a writer and illustrator showcase last October that had around 80 contributing artists and authors. It was so popular and...

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Review: A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Reading | 0 comments

Review: A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

With summer rapidly waning and Fall swiftly approaching, back-to-school is on my mind. What better way to get in that educational spirit than with a novel set in a historical time period? I was on the hunt for smart historical fiction with a riveting plot and a well-rendered accurate setting. When I came across Makiia Lucier’s novel set against the backdrop of the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic, I knew I had found the book for me. A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier Safe in her home in Portland, Oregon, Cleo Berry can only imagine the...

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Freebie: Author Website Checklist

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Artistry of Marketing, Writing | 1 comment

Freebie: Author Website Checklist

All good things must come to an end, right? True fact: I (Muse KJ) hate that saying. Buttttt, it’s also true that Summer School is coming to an end – today.  Did you miss any of the earlier posts? Be sure to stop by the syllabus and poke into any classes that you missed! One of the most powerful tools in marketing is your website – and bonus: it can be one of the easiest (and most fun) to use! But how do you know if you’re using your website to the max? Simple – we’ve got a freebie for you with what you...

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The Importance of A Great Website & What Every Author Should Have On It by Tyler Snell

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Artistry of Marketing, Marketing and Branding, Writing | 1 comment

The Importance of A Great Website & What Every Author Should Have On It by Tyler Snell

The Importance of Writer Websites: What You Should Include By Tyler Anne Snell I won’t sit here and pretend I have the most amazing author website in the land of the internet. Sure, I’m fond of what I have and spent a good few days getting the details finalized, but there are still some things I’d like to improve. Then again, like writing a book, there’s always something I feel needs to be changed. Maybe it’s just our creative pursuit for perfection popping its head up again? But, I digress. For those of you who don’t know me, let me give you...

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A Guide to Handling Revisions by Kate Brauning

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Editing Wizardry, Pen and Muse Summer School, Writing | 0 comments

A Guide to Handling Revisions by Kate Brauning

A major part of writing a novel is revising. Good, solid revisions are a different process than drafting, and may take several rounds. Handling the editorial letter itself can be difficult—hearing someone point out all the areas your manuscript needs work can be overwhelming, even if you’re braced for a tough critique. As an author-editor, I’ve been overwhelmed by edits myself and I’ve seen it happen to my clients, too—but revisions really don’t need to be overwhelming. So pull up a chair and we’ll talk about specific, simple strategies that...

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Social Media Marketing Etiquette by Sara Raasch

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Artistry of Marketing, Marketing and Branding, Pen and Muse Summer School, Writing | 2 comments

Social Media Marketing Etiquette by Sara Raasch

When Jamie asked me to participate in this, I knew instantly that I wanted to do a marketing post. My mind filled with grandiose plans to impart the plethora of knowledge I’ve acquired over the past few years of bookish insanity—until I realized that this would be only one blog post, and babbling on and on would go against Sara’s Marketing Rule #298:   Keep it short and sweet, you marketing genius, you.   Which ties in nicely with Sara’s Marketing Rule #176:   Talk to yourself like the badass MoFo you are, you glorious creature,...

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What An Acquisitions Editor Looks For In a Pitch by Marissa Fuller

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Pen and Muse Summer School, Writing | 2 comments

What An Acquisitions Editor Looks For In a Pitch by Marissa Fuller

So, you wrote a book. It’s complex, with fresh, new characters, and goes places no book has gone before! Your blood, sweat, and tears (oh, the tears) have gone into your manuscript, and it is finally ready to be shared with the world. But how will you ever explain all of that in a 140 character Twitter pitch, you ask? Well…you wont. When you arrive at the pitching/marketing mile marker on the road to publishing, you’ve got to let go of the blood, sweat, and tears. If you did it right, those things will all be clearly visible in your...

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