Monday, November 19, 2012

50 Clean Tween Reads (plus win an ereader)

I may be in my thirties but I still love a good Young Adult book. Now that I have children, however, I realize that there are many books that claim to be YA that I would never, ever, ever let my child read. It gets even harder when you have children who are in that in between age. They are not quite old enough to handle teenage topics, but they are well past Minnie’s Princess Tea Party books. (Although I still love princess themed tea parties.) And not everyone has time to read every single book before their child does. So I got together with a few other authors and decided to compile a list of 50 Clean Tween Reads. I hope this helps other parents in their search to provide wholesome but not simplistic entertainment for their children.

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (PG)

2. The Priscilla the Great series by Sybil Nelson Rated PG

 3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid By Jeff Kinney (G)

 4. The Troubled Tweens: Jinnie Wishmaker By DD Roy (G)

 5. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin (G)

 6.The Eyes of Pharoah by Chris Eboch (G)

7. Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls series by Meg Cabot (G)

8. My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond Rated G

9. Dark Marco Volume One by Sybil Nelson (PG)

10.Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell (G)

11. Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb by MJ Ware (G)

12. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein (PG)

13. The Mortal Enemy List by Tess Oliver (PG)

14. Enter Ten Tales for Tweens by Various (PG)
An added bonus to buying this books is that all the proceeds go to charity.

15. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (PG)

16. Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce (G)

17.The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (G)

18.Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (PG)

19. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (G)

20. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (PG)

21. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (PG)

22. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (G)

23. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (PG)

24. The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaeffer (PG)

25.Timekeepers: Civil Disturbance by J.Y. Harris (PG+)

26. Redwall series by Brian Jacques (PG)

27. Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep by Liz Kessler (G)

28. Warriors by Erin Hunter (PG)

29. Theodosia by RL Lafever (G)

30. The Castle Sisters by Jason Krumbine (PG)

31. Broken Shell by Dalya Moon (PG)

32. Emotionally Charged by Selina French (PG)

33. Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick (PG)

34. Gasparilla's Treasure by Scott Clement (PG)

35. Matt Archer: Monster Hunter by Kendra C Highley (PG)

36. The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson (G)

37. The Odd Job Squad by Karl Fields (PG)

38. Savvy by Ingrid Law (PG)

39. Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria by Rahma Krambo (PG)

40. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (PG)

41. Howl of the Wolf by Diane Rapp (PG)

42. The White Giraffe by Lauren St John (G)

43. Nashoga by Rebecca Weinstein (G)

44. Goosebumps by RL Stine (PG)

45. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (PG)

46. The Stone Bearers by R.E. Washington

47. It’s a Catastrophe by Sibel Hodge (G)

48. Alcatraz by Brandon Sanderson (PG)

49. The Sister's Club by Megan McDonald (G)

50. Nancy Drew

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are thousands of great books out there for tweens. Sometimes it’s just hard to know where to start. So, consider this list a launching point. Enjoy! Now as a special treat, just for reading this blog post I'm going to give you a chance to win a Kobo reader and a $25 gift card. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Question from Readers: Createspace

Occasionally I'll get questions from readers about the basics of self-publishing. I thought I'd start posting some of those here. That way there will be a searchable archive. Here is one from Nadia in the UK.

Firstly, I've heard rumours that the quality of the books is not all that it could be. The website itself describes its books as "library quality". As I've seen library books quite literally falling apart at the seams, that wasn't very reassuring. What is your experience?

I've seen different levels of library quality. When I think library, I think hardback book with the think sewn binding. Honestly, you don't see that very often anymore. Mostly, you just see the paperbacks with glued binding. That is what Createspace does. The quality is fine, but if you're looking for really nice, you might want to go with Lulu or Lightening Source. I haven't used them, but I here that they are really good. I would compare Createspace quality to that of the type of books you would pick up at the airport.

I was also under the impression that you had to pay to publish your books with Create Space but the website claims there are no set-up fees and the only paid services seem to be marketing, editing etc

Publishing with Createspace is completely free. You can list your book at and at the Createspace estore. However, if you want expanded distribution, you have to pay $25. Expanded distribution gets your books listed at libraries and other bookstores. For example, all the books that I have in expanded distribution can be bought at Barnes and Noble. I think it's worth the $25. Beware that to be listed in library catalogs, you have to use a Createspace ISBN. This is fine, but Createspace will be listed as the publisher. If you want to list your own publisher, you have to pay $10. Most people just make up a name for their publisher and pay the $10 so their book doesn't seem self published. I do both. I really want my Priscilla the Great books in libraries so I use the Createspace ISBN. All the books under my pen name, Leslie DuBois, have my company as the publisher.

Finally, if you have to buy lots of copies to distribute to bookshops, isn't that really expensive?

It depends. If you're giving your books to bookshops on consignment, then yes, you have to buy the books and personally deliver them to the shop and make out a contract with them for how much you get paid per book. But since your book is listed with Createspace, the bookshops can order them themselves. Honestly, though, you get a great price from Createspace so it is worth it to order a bunch of copies and sell them yourself. You make more money. For example, I can buy copies of my book Priscilla the Great for about $4 per book from Createspace. The book retails for $12. I can offer the bookstore a discount of $2,sell it to them for $10 each and I'll still make a profit of $6. If they order the book themselves from Amazon, I'll only make $4 in royalties from Createspace.

If you have questions, send me a tweet @sybilnelson.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

5 Tips for Turning FREE into Profit!

I just wanted to let you know that I've started a biweekly radio segment about book marketing. My first show airs today and it is titled The Power of Free. In it, I give several tips for how and why you might want to give away your book for free for a while. Listen to the show here.