Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Piracy Revisited

Well, it’s time once again to beat the dead horse of book piracy. I just visited a site that features all of my published books—total downloads, 9042.
Have a question in your mind about whether book piracy really hurts authors? Two authors recently posted about the direct effect piracy is having on their careers.  
In this post, author Saundra Mitchell explains how her failure to earn out her modest advance on her first book, Shadowed Summer, made it nearly impossible for her to sell a second one. Not that the book isn’t popular—on one site alone thieves are downloading 800 copies a week.  
Kimberly Pauley, author of Sucks to Be Me explains the direct impact illegal downloads (22,000 on one site alone) have had on sales of the second book in her series. Her publisher won’t authorize a third book because actual sales of the book haven’t been strong enough.
            Who steals books? Probably people I would like if I met them—fellow book-lovers. It breaks my heart.
Think—if book piracy is a victimless crime, would so many authors be complaining? Do you think it’s just money out of the pockets of millionaires? Guess again. Most authors don’t go into this business to earn a fortune—but if they cannot make a living, they will have no choice but to turn to something else.
If you want to see more books from your favorite authors, please think twice before you illegally download a book. Confront piracy wherever you see it.  And let your friends know you don’t approve.
Climbs down off soap box.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Had Fun in Florida and Texas, Ya'all!

It’s been a busy travel week for me. Last weekend I spoke at the Florida SCBWI Winter Conference, planned by the energetic Linda Bernfeld. On Friday, I did a fantasy-writing intensive with Arianne Lewin, my former editor at Hyperion, and Alex Flinn, author of novels including Beastly
At times it got a little chilly in the conference room.

Saturday evening, we attended the Dragonslayer Ball. The costumes were stellar. Here I am with Linda, a fairy (?)

and with Ari Lewin and Krista Marino, an editor at Delacorte. I came as a clan princess, Ari and Krista came as awesome editors.  
 On Sunday after the conference, Marjetta Geerling  took Bruce Hale and me to Deco Days, on South Beach. It was great to catch some sunshine before heading back north.

This week, I’ve been in Frisco, TX for a week of school visits. Exhausting and exhilarating is how I’d describe it. My hat’s off to the librarians of the Frisco district—they really go above and beyond for kids. Here I am with my librarian posse.
And later today I head up to Sherman, TX for Authorfest!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Authorfest XXII
Monday, January 24, 2011, 6:30 P.M.
Sherman Public Library
421 N. Travis
Sherman, TX 75090
Telephone (903) 892-7242

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Demon King Named to YALSA'S Best Fiction for Young Adults 2011!

Check out the list here. I'm honored to be rubbing shoulders with some really great books (not sure that metaphor is totally working, but, oh, well, I'm excited!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Finding Magic in Unexpected Places

You know that I am a sucker for magic. But magic can be conjured in many different ways, and found in the most unexpected places—sometimes between the covers of a book, and sometimes in real life when somebody says or does something brilliant and unexpected.
And sometimes you find it in places where magic should be but is rarely found.
My son sent me this link to a blog post by sports writer (emphasis on “writer”) Joe Posnanski about taking his daughters to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’ve not been to the WWHP-- I almost got to go there a few weeks ago when I was in Orlando for NCTE. But it didn’t work out. And now I find out that there really is magic there and I missed it. But read it for yourself.
Posnanski’s story reminds me of the time my husband and I took our young sons to Disney World. First, it was brutally hot, and then it began pouring down rain and then Eric threw up (a common response to excitement at that time.) We tried to figure out how to salvage something from an awful day. So my husband sat with Eric in the picnic shelter and held him while he slept. Keith and I walked out in our yellow Mickey rain slickers to watch the parade.
The rain had thinned the crowd, and so, for once, we stood right in front where we could see. We heard the drums and the music and the parade flowed toward us like a ribbon of color through the midsummer dusk. We stood there holding hands while the parade marched by, like vinyl-clad refugees from a damp disaster. The mist rolled up from the hot pavement like magic and we held hands and I cried then, too. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Audio Book News

The Demon King Shortlisted for 
ALSC Notable Recordings List
 The Demon King audio book (from Recorded Books, narrated by Carol Monda) has been nominated for the Association for Library Services for Children’s Notable Recordings list. The final selection will be made at the ALA midwinter meeting in San Diego January 7.

The Exiled Queen Audiobook Coming 1.23.11

In response to several queries, The Exiled Queen audiobook, also narrated by Ms. Monda, is set for release January 23, 2011.