Sunday, February 28, 2010

Launching Teri Hall's Debut Novel

Robin and I thrilled for the opportunity to launch another debut novel. Congratulations to our reader Teri Hall!

by Teri Hall
Young Adult
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: March 4, 2010

Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it’s far from the city where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most people, is that it’s close to the Line—an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country.

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she’s never really believed the stories. Until the day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It’s a voice asking for help.Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?

"A tense narrative that will leave readers intrigued.... a good choice for introducing young readers to the science-fiction genre." --Booklist

"Encourages young readers to think about the tension between freedom and security...a suspenseful story. Well done indeed." –Kirkus

"The Line took me 'away' in one page- turning gulp. Seamless, smooth, and compelling-- I can't wait for the next installment. This is a new author to keep an eye on." -Mary E. Pearson, author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Teri Hall lives in Washington State. She has two cats; Nadine and Henry. She has a tiny dog named Simon. She likes to write books. You can visit her website at by clicking here.

photo by Steve Garfield

I talked Teri into sharing her Big Launch Day plans with us and here they are!

An Introvert’s List of The Things I Won’t Be Doing on The Line’s Launch Day

1: Making sure the flowers and refreshments are perfectly displayed at my gala reading/signing location

2: Coordinating with the crowd control service for my gala reading/signing

3: Calling in an anonymous tip to the paparazzi about my gala reading/signing

4: Actually having a gala reading/signing

An Introvert’s List of The Things I Will Be Doing on The Line’s Launch Day:

1: Working at my day job

2: Getting groceries after work

3: Laundry

4: Smiling. A lot.

Teri would love to donate a copy of The Line to one of our readers’s local libraries. It could be yours! If you’d like to be in the raffle, leave a comment. We also will be including all our Shrinking Violet Followers in today’s raffle. Good luck, everyone.

To buy a copy of Teri's new novel for yourself, a teen, a school or public library, follow the link to Indie Bound.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: The Line has been optioned for television!

Sony Pictures Television has optioned The Line for Jamie Tarses (Fanfare Productions) to produce an original series by writer/director Mary Harron. Mary Harron and director John C. Walsh are working on a script now.

Fabulous news, Teri! Many congratulations.


Do you have a new book coming out in 2010? If you'd like your book to be considered for launching here at Shrinking Violets, please email me by clicking here. This is an opportunity for our introverted readers to enjoy the softlight here in a supportive community.

We haven't had a Milestone Monday in much too long. What is happening with you? Any good news to share--promising starts, breakthroughs, connections, completions, acceptances, contracts, movie options? Do tell!

Robin and I had the opportunity last week to travel together briefly, and we talked a lot about YOU. We've got some terrific posts coming up in the next few weeks. As always, we'd love to hear your ideas about posts you'd like us to do. Don't hesitate to share! If fact, if we choose your idea, you will be properly gifted. :-) So, fire away? Any topics you'd like us to cover? People you'd like us to interview?

* * *Don't forget on Thursday, March 4, to call your local bookstore and ask if they have Teri Hall's new book. Let's kickstart the Launch Day buzz! * * *

Wishing you each an absolutely lovely surprise this week--

Mary Hershey

Monday, February 22, 2010

Marketing Stages Part 2 by Guest Blogger Shelli Johanes-Wells

Today we continue talking about the different stages of marketing in a writer's career.

Last week we covered the first two stages, 1) Prior to getting an agent/publication and 2) Agented/Before deal. Today we will talk about 3) After deal/Before publication and 4) After published

After your deal, before publication

Now the marketing shifts to identifying your potential market so when your book comes out, things are already in place. As you go through umpteen rounds of revisions, cover views, copy edits, ARC reviews, etc you MUST be starting some of the marketing that will take place once your book in finalized.

Your Audience

* Who are they? What are the segments? For example if you wrote a historical mystery for young adults. In addition to Young adults, also consider middle graders as a potential audience b/c they read up and grow up. IN addition, look at the areas of history and mystery. Are there are YA societies/ezines, etc that focus on history or mystery for kids. Tap into those.
* List out all audiences and potential ways to reach them. What channels are best? How can you mingle with them? Do they have meetings, online newsletters etc.

Your platform

* Update your web presence. Be sure to add your book release date, publisher information and address to your email signature, write up of your book and any other materials people may need to easily download.
* Also create a media kit link on your web site with a professional photo, write up of your book.
* Create ways readers can begin to connect - such as Facebook, myspace pages etc
* Decide how you will market and learn how to do them? Will you do blog tours – if so what blogs would you like to approach? Do you want to do Skype tours – if so then learn Skype. Are you going to do Newsletters – if so what software will you use? These things take time and can be tackled now.
* Have you met your local bookstore people and librarians? Now is the time. Not when you have something to sell.
* Cultivate longstanding relationships
* Do you want to speak at any conferences?
* Take marketing classes or read marketing books. Get up to speed on what you can do to market your book

6 months Prior to publication/After published

By this time, your networking and web presence should be well established. Now you need to focus on your getting ready for your launch and creating a buzz for the book release date.

Be sure to answer these questions:

* Begin building a 6-month plan (3-4 months prior to launch and 2-3 months after launch.

* Find out who is your publicist assigned to you and meet. It is important to partner with them.

* What publicity or marketing is your publisher giving you? If any.

* Can you meet the sales reps that will be pitching your books to stores?

* Are any galleys going out? If so where?

* Are you allowed to contact Indies or librarians or is your publicist doing that?

*Are you making any appearances at conferences ALA, etc?

* Where is your launch going to be? Who is planning it?

* Are you doing signings? Tours?

* Partner and discuss any plans with your publicist/editor

* What is the plan for tours – whether online or in person –Do you need any swag – bookmarks, postcards, pens etc? Now is the time to order.

I hope that this gives you a place to start thinking about your marketing journey as you embark on your writing career.

Please feel free to comment and ask questions


Shelli has worked in marketing for almost 20 years and is the founder of her own marketing company, Bilan inc. Since 2000, she has worked with clients including Spanx and Goody Hair Products. Her Market My Words blog is a popular marketing blog for authors. Shelli is a children’s book writer ( currently represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group.


We want to thank Shelli for so generously sharing her marketing knowledge with us! Shelli kicked off her popular blog in October of 2008 with very few visitors. In 2009, she's logged over 50,000 visitors! What a whopping growth spurt! Clearly she knows whereof she speaks.

And lastly, we'd like to invite any of you have a question for our Introverted Marketing Guru Ms. Nancy Ancowitz to please send your questions to
Mary or I. Don't forget, Nancy is a business communication coach, an adjunct instructor at NYU, and the author of Self-Promotion for Introverts (McGraw-Hill). She has graciously agreed to answer more questions for us and we'd love for that question to be from YOU. Now is your chance to tap into all that aMaZinG expertise!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marketing Stages by Guest Blogger Shelli Johanes-Wells

I wanted to talk about the different stages of marketing as it relates to every writer's career.

There are generally four stages to an author’s career and your marketing focus will change as you move through these stages.

1) Prior to getting an agent/publication
2) Agented/Before deal
3) After deal/Before publication
4) After published

An author’s platform is what they do to connect with their readership. I believe your readers change as you move through the process.

1. Prior to Publication - Target Agents and Writers

The “marketing” should be targeted specifically towards agents as well as building a writers network. Writing a great book and marketing your book to the right agents are the most important things in this phase.

Your audience
  • The essential piece to marketing is to be sure you understand your audience.
  • Be sure you have an awesome book,
  • Do your research. Market your book to the agent that wants it. Look at and to find out who the right people are. Do they have a blog? Are they on twitter? What are they representing?
  • Where does your kind of writers hang out? If you write for children, check out Verla Kay and SCBWI.

Your platform (Note: As far as platform - I see it as identifying what you do special and then making yourself visible. For writers it is how they present themselves and what they are known for. It is finding your niche and presenting it to the world so people remember you. Marketing collateral (web sites, brochures etc) are ways to present that platform to the world)
  • You MUST begin building a web presence. Reserve your web site address. It is essential in this day and time. Most agents will Google authors they like and see what platform they have. Be sure it is professional.
  • At the very least, your web site should be basic and have your book summaries, bio, as well as any contact information. You never know who will visit. What will you name it? What’s your tagline? What is your signature?
  • Build a great bio
  • Create online presence. So, what is the right way for you to become visible? Do you want to start a blog, twitter, Facebook? Do you have any topics that are special to you? Can you begin building a name for yourself?
  • Get business cards that you can hand out to agents or writers. Be sure they are professional. GO to for inexpensive but quality cards.
  • Look for and join organizations that align with you and your platform. For example - for children’s writing - SCBWI and Verla Kay.
  • If you have other niches – like maybe you write historical fiction – look for other places to integrate. Are there any historical fiction or societies that you can join?
  • Slowly start to get your name out there. You never know who you will meet. The more people who know about you or your book – the better.

2. Agented/Before deal – Target Editors

Once you have an agent, the marketing continues. Now it is time to start switching your attention and begin marketing towards the houses/editors as you near going on submission. This does not mean stalking them. It means putting yourself in the places they are.

Your Audience
  • Learn about the houses, the imprints, and their lists. Get their catalogs and read them. Your agent will know all this but it can’t hurt for you to stay connected.
  • Study the editors - what do they buy and what do they like. Publishers Marketplace and Publishers weekly are great resources.
  • Be visible. Go to conferences, meet them, talk to them. You want them to remember your name in case your agent sends your manuscript to them. They will not only buying your book, they will be buying into you. The more you can get them to recognize your name, the better.
  • Attend kitlitchats and yalitchats on twitter. Many editors attend those as well and give you insight into the publishing side.
Your Platform
  • Update your website. Be sure it is professional in case editors go there during the submission process. Tell them about you, your books, the better. Be sure your agents name and contact information is visible.
  • Be sure you are participating on the discussion boards. If you join but are not visible or active sometimes, it is a waste of time.
  • Volunteer to help – give back before you ask for anything.
  • Actively support and promote others in their journey and publication. Maybe someday, they will support you.

Shelli has worked in marketing for almost 20 years and is the founder of her own marketing company, Bilan inc. Since 2000, she has worked with clients including Spanx and Goody Hair Products. Her Market My Words blog is a popular marketing blog for authors. Shelli is a children’s book writer ( currently represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group.

Be sure to check back next week to find out what to do for Stages 3 and 4!


I want to apologize for being so absent lately, and need to thank Mary for bringing such a STELLAR line up of guest bloggers to grace SVP! What a feast of great information and inspiration!

I promise I will be back to blogging more regularly once I get my deadlines met! Miss you all!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gathering, Introvert-Style

By Laurie Helgoe, PhD, Author, Introvert

How do you gather with people you can’t find?

How do you gather with people who aren’t drawn to gatherings?

Introverts are everywhere, but they aren’t easy to identify: Some stay out of view, keeping their profiles as low as possible, while others enjoy hamming it up on stage or in the break room. Some create the books and products we love, but do their work where we don’t see them. Many seem too outgoing or influential to be introverts. We forget to look for introverts while stuck at a party (they’re looking at their watches, too).

And the introverts we pass by pass us by for the same reasons.

So how do introverts find other introverts? And if we can’t find each other, how can we experience our collective presence as well as our diversity?

We live in a society largely defined by extroversion. Rewards come to fast talkers, team leaders and those who schmooze, and many introverts have learned the game. Introverts either become less visible or start to look like extroverts.

Contrary to the stereotype of the basement-dwelling social phobic, most introverts enjoy and seek connections with others – especially other introverts. A couple of key factors get in the way of these connections:

  1. For the reasons mentioned above, we have a hard time identifying those in the introvert majority, and they have a hard time identifying us.
  1. We’re not big on the preliminaries: initiating contact, introducing ourselves, easing into the kind of conversations we desire.

But the need is there. And we’re ready to respond. Mary, Robin and I have been envisioning a gathering of introverts: a retreat or conference for -- and about -- introverts.

An oxymoron? I don't think so. Imagine a gathering with a new set of rules, a culture in which your values and pace are honored: Where a breakout session means breaking away from the group rather than chatting with the person to your left. Where competitive hand-raising is prohibited. Where you don’t feel alienated when you say no to the cocktail hour and formal dinner, because these activities aren’t on the menu. Where interaction emerges consensually and organically rather than mechanically and on cue. Where you can withdraw and recharge without being seen as rude -- or diagnosed as depressed.

Here are some questions to get you going:

[ What topics would strengthen and enrich your introvert identity – and help you bring introvert power into your life?

[ When (time of year, days of the week) would you enjoy attending such a gathering?

[ Where would you hold the event? Hotel in a city or funky artist village? Rustic, natural setting? Large house on the beach? What city, setting or part of the country?

[ Why do we, as introverts, need this type of gathering?

[ How would you structure the learning experiences?

[ What would you prohibit at the event?

[ When you are not gathering, where would you want to be? Doing or experiencing what?

We’d love to know what you’re envisioning. The seed has been planted and a groundswell of introvert desire is pushing toward the surface.

Spring is on the horizon. I can’t wait to see what we’ll create!

Laurie Helgoe is the author of INTROVERT POWER: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength. Laurie is often mistaken for an extrovert because she has fun leading seminars, coaching other writers and performing on stage. But she also loves to hide, particularly in dark movie theaters with a bag of popcorn. Laurie’s website is



Congratulations to Vivian (aka HipWriterMama) for winning a signed copy of Becky Levine's newly launched book entitled The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide.

More congratulations out to the winners from our two part interview with business and communication coach Nancy Ancowitz.

Jan Godown Annino has won the 45-minute tele-coaching session with Nancy! And Carol Grannick, you are the winner of a signed copy of Nancy's book Self-Promotion for Introverts. If each of you will email me off-line by clicking here, we'll make arrangements to get you prizes to you. We are so happy for you each!


In case you have been wondering if Robin has fallen headlong into a tear in the universe's starry fabric, well, she has! :-) Robin is working fast and furious against some exciting (read excruciating) deadlines. She is looking forward to being back with us just as soon as she can.

Can't wait to hear your comments about an Introvert Conference--


Mary Hershey