GOD AWFUL REBEL is here!

Hi, everybody!

Long time no talk, but I have a really great reason. I’ve been busy with beta readers and final edits, and I’m thrilled to announce that Cupid, the god of love, is returning in GOD AWFUL REBEL, the third and final book in the God Awful series of books! YAAAAAAYYYY!

Aaaaaand, here you have it! The cover reveal!

Sssssseriously ominoussss, don’t you think?

Here’s its beautiful jacket blurb:

God Awful Rebel by S. Acevedo - blurb

I am so thrilled to have finished this series, which was a big endeavor and personal goal. To have the series end so neatly and with such a satisfying ending, well, it brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.  And I really want to thank all you readers who’ve joined my book world and had such great things to say about it.

GOD AWFUL REBEL releases in March, but you can pre-order it here: http://www.threepointspublishing.com/product/god-awful-rebel-by-silvia-acevedo-hardcover/

And in honor of its release, the first two books in the series have a special price. It’s a great deal, so check it out, too: http://www.threepointspublishing.com/product/god-awful-loser-and-god-awful-thief-bundle/

My launch party for GOD AWFUL REBEL is scheduled for late March 2019. I’ll have the exact date soon and will let you know in another announcement. I hope to see many of you there! Until then, set your sights for a fun read at the end of March. Thanks, everyone!

What’s the Difference Between Indie Publishing and Self-Publishing?

What's the Difference Between Indie Publishing and Self-Publishing?As SCBWI-WI’s Indie/Self-Publishing Coordinator, I get asked (a lot), “What’s the difference between indie and self-publishing? Aren’t they interchangeable?”

The short answer is no, they are not interchangeable. The long answer is much more fluid as the publishing industry changes due to the pangs of financial and structural upheaval.

Once upon a time, indie publishing used to meant traditional publishing through a small, independent publisher, that is, not one of the Big Five houses. The small press would, like another other traditional publishers, pay an author for rights to publish their work while assuming the financial risk of publication. Today, that form of publishing, regardless of the size of the publisher, is almost universally called traditional publishing. Very few people still use the term indie publishing this way.

So what does the term indie publishing mean today? It’s now a catch-all term for the vast array of publishing options that are not traditional publishing.

Indie publishing can indeed include self-publishing, particularly for those authors who have created their own publishing houses for current and future projects. But indie publishing also encompass the wide array of options between traditional publishing and self-publishing.

An example of indie publishing is “hybrid publishing,” also called “author-assisted publishing.” Hybrid publishers often look like a traditional publishing house with a formal submission process, editorial staff, and curated lists. However, hybrid publishers do not provide the payroll. They rely on creators paying for some or all of the services involved in publishing the work in exchange for higher royalties.

SCBWI strongly advises authors to research publishers. While some hybrid publishers are well regarded, others are really predatory operations masquerading as traditional publishers. To complicate matters and add to the confusion, even some well-respected traditional publishers have created hybrid-publishing imprints through which they’ve been brokering deals for years. And recent reports indicate that literary agents are getting in on indie publishing, too. The lines blur more each day.

Self-publishing is much easier to distinguish. It is the model in which the author maintains total creative control by taking all financial risks. Self-publishers often get creative to accomplish all this. They may create a crowd-funding campaign to garner reader support and fund the production of their works (like I did for my first book). They might create their own publishing company for current and future projects (again, like I did). They may harness the power of an established publishing platform or partner with a printer to manufacture the books themselves (I chose offset printing through a manufacturer.). They might work out distribution deals (agai- oh, never mind) and schedule book tours. No matter the means to their end, self-publishers publish the work themselves and may or may not pay others with specialized skills to help them along the way so that the final product is not attached to a publisher other than themselves.

With the myriad of options out there, I can’t help but feel that we’re experiencing a golden age of publishing, one in which creators are empowered as never before to get their work out into the world and into the hands of an entertainment-loving public.

Is Self-Publishing Right for Me?

Is Self-Publishing Right for Me? by Silvia Acevedo

The question I get asked most as SCBWI-WI’s Indie/Self-Publishing Coordinator is “Is self-publishing right for me?”

I usually take a deep breath and ready myself for a long conversation because those asking are generally at the beginning of their publishing journey and are hoping for a quick overview of self-publishing. Really, though, self-publishing is a nuanced and personal decision, so let’s back up.

Ask yourself these three questions:

1) Are you done writing your story? If so, huzzah and congrats. Move on to Question 2. If not, that’s where you need to start. Finish your manuscript. Make it the best it can be. And then consider Question 2.

2) What is your goal with self-publishing? The answer to this question will oftentimes answer the question about whether self-publishing is right for you and which method is the best choice.

If you want to publish, say, a family memoir, and give out less than, say, 25 books at a family reunion, then, yes, self-publishing is right for you. A traditional publisher would clearly not want such a small and limited project.

If your goal is to have your work placed in bookstores across the country, having expended little to no energy in creating the physical book or promoting it to market, then no, self-publishing is not right for you. Although some self-published works do land a national deal eventually, there was a lot of work logged before reaching that success.

If your goal was to be traditionally published, but your manuscript hasn’t been picked up by an agent/editor/publisher, and you’ve decided you are the best person to ensure your story sees the light of day, then yes, you are a good candidate to self-publish.

These are just examples, though. Only you can decide what’s best for you.

And notice that I did not mention money (earnings). What one author considers good compensation for a year or more writing a book is peanuts in the mind of another author. And, anyway, being traditionally published doesn’t guarantee you good pay on your writing any more than being self-published does. Too many variables. So let’s consider Question 3.

3) How willing are you to learn new things? Develop new skills? Get out there to promote your work? OR how willing are you to pay someone else to do that which you can’t or aren’t willing to do?

Understand something. There’s an awful lot of self in self-publishing. And it is a long-term project. You are choosing to do the work of a traditional publisher to get your creation out into the world. You will (alone or with semi/professional help): write the manuscript, edit it, choose your publishing platform or printer, format the text and inside art, design a cover image, submit all to a printing platform, check print-runs, submit advanced copies to reviewers, finalize distribution methods for book suppliers, promote your book, and become a millionaire (Results may vary.). There is a lot to do even within this very basic list. Some publishing platforms make the process relatively easy. Other platforms require more work. Either way, to go into self-publishing with blinders on about the work involved is to be dishonest with yourself.

If, after reading these questions, you think self-publishing isn’t for you, don’t give up on your dreams. Keep writing. Keep submitting to agents and editors. Keep learning what you can about the publishing business, and keep up with news about self-publishing. The process of self-publishing gets easier every year, it seems, and more and more people are doing it. What one person can do, so can another. Your journey is your own no matter your path.

Writers Getting Together AND the Michigan-Indiana Writers & Illustrators Retreat

Silvia Acevedo and Valerie Biel

There is so much good to be said about getting together with other creative people. Other creative types “get” you. They support your efforts, share your work in the world, and are all around great fun.

Window View

Today I have the privilege of hanging out and writing with my good friend and fellow critique partner Valerie Biel at her home in the countryside. We may move our writing at some point from the porch extension to the cornfield. Or lakeside. Either way, we can thoroughly enjoy each others’ company even while taking breaks to type away. It’s awesome.

SCBWI-Michigan-Indiana Pokagon Writers & Illustrators Retreat

Another retreat I’m looking forward to is the SCBWI-Michigan-Indiana Writers & Illustrators Retreat in October. I’m presenting on world building, but I’m also excited about it because the format allows hours for afternoon writing. The mornings are for learning/sharing, while the afternoons are for more creating. How great is that? Registration just opened up today, August 1st, so get on it if you love the idea of creative comaraderie.

Thanks for letting me crash your place, Val! Happy writing, everyone! 🙂

SCBWI-WI Indie & Self-Publishing Coordinator

Library Book Shelves _ silviaacevedo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, everyone!

I’m proud to announce a project that I’ll be sharing here and a new title. I am now SCBWI-Wisconsin’s first Indie & Self-Publishing Coordinator. This is a new position for the Wisconsin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and I actually think it might be the first in the nation.

I’ll share information about the many new and nuanced forms of publishing, including independent presses, hybrids, and self-publishing. My goal is to provide resources, programming, and network opportunities for authors and illustrators interested in paving their own way.

Point of View with Asst. Editor Catherine Laudone of Simon & Schuster

Silvia Acevedo at SCBWI-WI Spring Luncheon 2018

 

 

Clarity and Joy come with every SCBWI Spring Luncheon. This year, though, the organizers pitched those benefits in the event title.  That’s a big promise, and I think the organizers did a great job delivering both.

 

 

 

 

 

The Spring Luncheon of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators-Wisconsin is an annual half-day conference that always seems to come at the right time, when I’m starting to get a bit of the winter blahs and am happy to connect with other writers and illustrators. This year’s was held in Sturgeon Bay, which is still wintery, but features a beautiful bay.

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Catherine Laudone, Asst. Editor, Simon & Schuster

 

Assistant Editor Catherine Laudone of Simon & Schuster spoke about the pros and cons of the various forms of points of view in writing. You remember POV from middle school, right? First person uses “I.” Second person uses “you.” And then there’s third person with its options (limited, omniscient, etc.). Laudone spoke about how different POVs offer varying levels of emotional connection and descriptive opportunities. POV is important, and it was helpful to dive into the intricacies of the many types of narrative voice.

 

Miranda Paul, Author and SCBWI-WI Regional Advisor

 

 

The event also marked a transition for SCBWI-Wisconsin. Fearless leader Miranda Paul is stepping down after three years as co-Regional Advisor. She and Andrea Skyberg have done wonders highlighting our work to literary and educational leaders around the world. Southeast WI Area Rep Rochelle Groskruetz, who’s organized great events for years, steps in.

 

 

 

As usual, some of my favorite moments were catching up with fellow writers and illustrators, seasoned and newbies. If you’re aspiring to write or illustrate a book someday, come to this inspiring event! It’s great to hang around with creative people.

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators-Wisconsin 2018 Spring Luncheon

 

 

 

 

Cleansing the Palate – What I’m Reading

Just a fraction of the Uffizi Library in Florence, Italy

Just a fraction of the Uffizi Library in Florence, Italy

Every once in a while, I like to cleanse my palate from my normal reading tastes. As a writer of young adult fiction, I tend to read a lot of YA Fic. But the past month, maybe because of the weather and wanting a change, I’ve plunged into other styles. So here’s what I’m reading and my thoughts on them.

the joy of leaving your sh*t all over the place - the art of being messy by jennifer mccartney

the joy of leaving your sh*t all over the place – the art of being messy

by jennifer mccartney

(Even typing that without the capitalization required by civilized society hurts.) Look. I like orderly spaces. I’m more organized than not and generally don’t appreciate people leaving messes, especially in shared spaces. So a comical book about being messy challenged my sense of duty. Onward then!

This book genuinely had me laughing out loud. I can’t get to the point of living the lifestyle (which isn’t really the point, of course), but I sure had fun by the author trying to convince me to embrace consumerism and messiness with a light heart. Hey, life happens. Author Jennifer McCartney makes a solid point lamenting how grownups lose the ability to enjoy an environment without feeling the need to change it (i.e., tidying). The neat freak in me, though, just pictures the neighbors desperately wishing a force of nature would whisk the backyard flotsam far away. Funny read. There’s swearing (Duh, read the title), so lighten up.

Sleep No More - Six Murderous Tales by P.D. James

Sleep No More – Six Murderous Tales

by P.D. James

I cannot read real crime stories as entertainment. Fictional stories are another matter, though, especially short stories that are low on gore, high on motive, and follow in the vein of Edgar Allen Poe. I blazed through these six wonderfully written stories (I’m a sucker for an unreliable narrator.) and found myself thinking about motives long after I’d put down the book. Written by the incomparably thrilling and recently deceased P.D. James, whose talent the world misses. Recommended.

Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories from Around the World by W. W. Norton & Company

Flash Fiction International Very Short Stories from Around the World

editing by James Thomas, Robert Shapard, and Christopher Merrill

Flash fiction is just like it sounds: very, verrrry short works. They range from just a few paragraphs to just a few pages. Think of it as a story you could read during a cigarette break, if you smoke, or a quick chocolate break, if you’re… well, human. I’m half-way through this book and find it interesting to read if just for the descriptive writing. Some of the stories aren’t stories in the traditional sense of having a beginning, middle, and end; they’re just glimpses of life without a story-driving conflict, much less a solution. Some of the other works are traditional short stories. Recommended if you’re looking for quick reads or to explore a condensed writing style.

Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein

Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein

by Lita Judge

This book retells the personal history of Mary Shelley, author of the literary masterpiece Frankenstein. I sat next to the author/illustrator at the author signing table of the Wisconsin State Reading Association conference last month. Lita told me it took her six years to complete this book, and no wonder. It’s 312 pages, each pair of pages a spread containing a free verse poem and her accompanying black-and-white watercolor illustration. The art is chilling – in a good way – again reminding me of the way Poe’s work is often illustrated. I start this book tonight and will report back later.

UPDATE: I read Mary’s Monster in one evening. The poetry is story-driven and accessible; the art haunting and a wonderful match to the narrative. If you’re a fan of Mary Shelley, you’ll love this book.

So that’s how I’m mixing it up. Do you also find the need to change your reading habits now and then?

Ten Years Blogging

http://www.silviaacevedo.com

Milestones trigger emotions, and this one is no exception. Today marks ten years blogging. My website and blog is mostly about the creative life (writing, publishing, media in general) and occasionally sports. I’ve experienced growth in all those areas, and I hope something I wrote added to your insight on a subject.

My very first post was about inspiration, specifically about shooing the Muse. You can read it here:  http://www.silviaacevedo.com/a-writer-writes/muse-schmuse/ I feel pretty much the same way today. If I waited until I felt inspired, who knows when I’d ever get around to it? The funny thing is, once I start, it’s the writing itself that inspires me to write more. What inspires you?  And what topics should I hit in the next ten years? 🙂

Writing Prompt – Dancing

Dancing FeetI recently bought a prompt journal (300 Writing Prompts by Piccadilly Inc.) to force really quick writing.  Here’s my latest prompt:

Do you prefer to dance with no one watching, with a group of friends, or with one special partner?

All of the above. I just like to dance. I’m not particularly good or bad at it. I suspect I’m like most people, just shuffling or bouncing along to the beat of the music, but I like the freedom of dancing.

Why do so few people dance in public? Why is it so hard for me to coax (or pull) a friend onto the dance floor at a music festival or county fair? Do people seriously care that others watch? I don’t, but I know I’m in the minority there. :/

Writing Prompt – Admired Personality Trait

Angel Halo

Bought myself a journal (300 Writing Prompts by Piccadilly Inc.) to force really quick writing.  Here’s my latest prompt:

What is a personality trait do you admire in other people?

Patience, which often manifests itself in kindness.

Look, the world is a trying place. People and circumstances can frustrate us and lead us away from our daily (or lifelong) goals. It is so, so easy to take out a slew of perceived injustices on others because they’re not as “whatever” as we’d like them to be.

But we’re all unique individuals on highly personal journeys. We’re all of us more than we are at any given moment, and so exhibiting patience often provides the buffer that all sides in a situation need to save themselves from themselves.

I’m still working on this trait and suspect I always will be.

What personality trait do you admire? Tell me in the comments. 🙂