Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finding books for younger teens - How do Parents find age appropriate novels

I write Teen and Young Adult novels. That poses an interesting problem. At what age do kids have carte blanche access to the traditional (funny—traditional— in a new world of eBooks) methods of getting the word out about books for teens and YA. Obviously, the upper end of that age range is not an issue. Older teenagers can and will download books all day long. 

The real question is how do you access the younger audience? Who are the gatekeepers for the 12, 13, 14 year-olds out there? Maybe I’m the one out of touch, and if so, please let me know because I sure do want to reach the kids that should be reading my books. 

With this in mind, I looked into what was available out in the cyber world. There’s no better place to start than a fantastic site that reviewed THE CARD, way back in the beginning.

The mission at BookDads.com is to highlight books, which show fatherhood in a positive light. Some of the content they bring to you includes:
* Author spotlights and interviews
* Advice and resources for dads to help promote reading to their children
* Parenting resources for dads
* Book reviews

The premiere site for parents of twins. A great resource for just about everything associated with having twins. Articles, giveaways and an unbelievable support group of other parents with twins. One of the most active portions of their site is the forum, which contains a constant and ever-changing discussion of all things twins.

The nation’s leading independent nonprofit advocating for kids. This site is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing trustworthy information and education. They review all things media—books, movies, video games and more. The also offer resources for understanding your children and what they are going through at all ages. An excellent and vital resource to understanding your kid and what the media world means to him.

This number one global community of reviewers connects Moms and Dads who enjoy reviewing cool products. The site is chock full of reviews on books, gifts, merchandise, food and tons of giveaways.

These are just a few of the tip sites that help busy parents understand what’s appropriate for their children. Our kids are growing at light speed and it is very difficult to know about every new fad, gadget, or social media site that hits the mainstream every day. 

With a little help from these folks, you should have an easier time finding age appropriate material to help stimulate your child’s love for reading, writing and learning.

If you know of other sites that you would like to mention, please leave them in the comments section for others to see.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award - Advancing to the Second Round

I received great news this week. In January, I submitted THE CARD in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. This yearly award is given to an independently published or unpublished novel after going through several rounds of judging. THE CARD has been selected to move on to the second round in judging, now down to the top 20% of entrants.

The first round consisted of 5,000 entrants in the young adult category. The Amazon editors selected the top 1,000 entries to advance to the second round by rating the PITCH, or the blurb that you might see on the back of a book. The Pitch was rated on the following criteria, originality of idea, overall strength of the Pitch and the quality of writing.

Now the waiting begins, again. The second round will conclude on March 11, 2012 and will include Amazon's expert reviewers, including Amazon editors and at least one Amazon Top Reviewer. This round will judge on the EXERPT (up to the first 5,000 words of the novel) and will be rated on the following criteria: 
a) Overall Strength of Excerpt
d)Originality of Idea

The top 250 entries will advance to the Quarter-Finals.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Group. The finalist will be announced in mid May and will include a "customer" voting component.

As you might have guessed, if I make it that far, I'll be asking everyone to help out. For now, I will enjoy advancing to the second round.

Thanks all who have helped me along the way, and please keep your fingers crossed for this next challenge.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Grants, Fellowships and Author Loans

You can check out my research into creative ways for authors to pick up some needed assistance. Whether its for a medical emergency, schooling, or just funds to help complete a project, there are many ways to get assistance. 

Click this link to see the full article at Indies Unlimited.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jim Devitt goes live on Indies Unlimited

Recently, I've had the honor of being invited as a contributing author to join the staff at Indies Unlimited, a fast growing and influential site. Launched last fall by author Stephen Hise, the site is dedicated to the independent authors, publishers, reviewers and readers who are on the cutting edge of the technological revolution of indie publishing.

My first post is available today, and you'll find a post from me each Saturday.  I hope that you will find great information and fantastic ideas to help wade through the Indie Publishing world. If you are into traditional publishing, maybe you'll learn a few things along the way.

Please take a moment to check us out. Meanwhile, the #1 Kindle Bestselling novel, THE CARD, continues to enjoy its best run ever. Thanks to everyone that has helped keep us on the charts.