My friend Kai Strand has a new book out! She has stopped by today with a quick interview about publishing Middle Grade, information about her book, and a giveaway of a PAPER COPY at the end!
About the book: SAVE THE LEMMINGS! 8th grade inventor, Natalie Isabelle Cailean Edwards is the N.I.C.E. girl who finishes last with the kids in school. Sappy inspirational phrases and monochromatic outfits have all but her best friends wrinkling their nose at her. When Natalie’s invention, the Texty-Talky, goes nationwide, she becomes an overnight sensation. Suddenly her days consist of photo shoots and interviews with little time left for her friends. A local reporter shatters her good-girl image by reporting a graffiti incident and the media launches into a smear campaign. It is so bad, even her friends start to believe the stories. Will Natalie be able to overcome the lies being printed about her? And will she be able to SAVE THE LEMMINGS?
Me: Save the Lemmings is published through a small press (Featherweight Press) – can you tell us a little bit about the advantages of going small press for an MG book?
Kai: Small press has been very accepting of my ‘shorter’ work. Even though I’ve seen plenty of books with a similar word count on the shelves at B&N, I kept hearing from agents and editors that my novels were too short. But the stories were told! Why would I add more words? Not all middle graders like fat ‘door stop’ novels, either.
After I discovered small presses I learned that my needy-self loves the personal attention from the editors and book designers. I have lots of input to my covers, and we have good conversations during the editing process. A real personal touch. I’m not yet confident enough in myself to be able to put a book together from beginning to end, so a small press is a great place for me. It’s quicker to market than a mid-range or large publisher, which is good for my “I want it now” personality. You’re going to pay for the services in one way or another, in self-publishing it is up front, in traditional publishing it is through your book sales.
Me: That's a fantastic point about "paying for it" one way or another. Traditional publishers invest in you, and intend to make their money back, but indie published authors do the same, only they're investing in themselves. Marketing is another aspect where small press and self-pub authors invest in themselves and their work - you’re doing a great series of blog posts, virtual touring Save the Lemmings around the blogosphere! What other marketing are you and your small press doing to get Save the Lemmings out there?
Kai: I am participating in the Northwest Author Fair in Lincoln City, Oregon this Saturday (August 25th). I love face time with readers. If any of your readers live in the area, I hope they’ll stop in and say, “hello.” If they mention they’re a reader of yours, I’d love to snap a picture together to share with you, Susan! [Ed. note: that would be AWESOME]
I’m rather obsessed with contacting libraries and bookstores. Now that my book is available, I’ll be methodically contacting librarians and booksellers hoping to get on their shelves and maybe do an event or two for them as well. Have I mentioned how much I love real time with readers?
I have two new books out this month (swipes sweat off brow) and I’ll be doing a virtual book tour for both in October. Anyone interested in following that should cyber stalk my facebook page: Kai Strand, Author. I will share lots of random facts, give writing and reading advice and giveaway more books.
Me: Very cool! And I think the library/school circuit is very important for MG, so you're hitting all the right notes with that. You have The Weaver and Wishing Well out already. What’s next for you, now that Save the Lemmings is out?
Kai: I am stepping into the exciting world of young adult with my 2013 release, King of Bad. It is the first book of the Super Villain Academy series. I’m super excited for young adult readers to meet Jeff Mean. Everybody loves a bad boy and when you’re a villain, it’s not only okay to be bad, it’s expected.
I have to get busy finishing up the second book in my SVA series. I’m also working on a young adult book that combines romance and intrigue. It is so much fun to write. On the middle grade front, I need to get back to an emotional book about friendship that I abandoned when I lost my mom last year. I think I’m strong enough to dive back in and I’m looking forward to it. Last but not least, I’m planning the next Weaver Tale book. All I can say is that I’ve checked out a lot of Grimm’s fairytales and Hans Christian Anderson for research.
Me: I'm so sorry to hear about your mom! But I'm glad you're able to return to that book. And I have to say, I'm Super Excited about the Super Villain Academy. That can't come out soon enough for me! I hope you'll visit again when it does! Thanks for chatting with us today!
Kai: Susan, thanks to you and your readers for having me today. I’m so excited to share Save the Lemmings with the world! Read an excerpt and order your print or electronic copy here.
About the author: Kai Strand writes fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. The Wishing Well: Another Weaver Tale is set in the same storytelling village as The Weaver. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, "Do your dishes!" She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.
To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: www.kaistrand.com.
Giveaway Open to the U.S. only.