readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Monday, September 9, 2013

rgz Newsflash: Kickstart Grey Griffins: Night of Dragons and Anthology

In this new age, books are being published in so many ways. Here's a fresh example and a chance for you to participate in the launch yourself. Listen in as Jon S. Lewis shares the latest news about Grey Griffins. What caught my attention is that 100% of his profits from the accompanying anthology will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Kids Need to Read.

readergirlz who write, there's an opportunity for your query letter or partial manuscript to be reviewed, a possible Skype session with Jon, and a chance your short story might be included in the final Grey Griffins Anthology. Check it out, and let us know what you think.

Best to you, Jon!

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

by Scott Altmann 

How to Unlock Stories By Bestselling Authors
I’ve been lucky enough to publish nine books with Scholastic, Little Brown, and Thomas Nelson. I hope to work with them again one day, but I’ve decided to selfpublish my next book (Grey Griffins: Night of Dragons).

According to BookStats, sales of e-book trade titles rose 44% in 2012 and e-books represent 20% of all books sold, which is up 4% from the prior year. It won’t be long before digital overtakes print.

Companies like CreateSpace have made it easy for authors to go direct to market without a publisher, which means we have the ability to take control of our careers. Look at Amanda Hocking. She  couldn’t find an agent to represent her (much less a publisher) and yet she went from an unknown commodity to a literary rock star in less than a year. Amanda isn’t alone, either. There’re authors like Hugh Howey, John Locke, Rachel Van Dyken, H.M. Ward and dozens of others who are flourishing in the new paradigm. And don’t forget Barry Eisler, who turned down a $500, 000 advance to publish his own books.

I’ve talked about publishing my own books for years but I was always worried about the stigma of being a self-published author. But everything is different now and it’s time for me to jump in.

Why I’m Going to Publish Two Books Instead of One
When I decided to self-publish I knew that I had to make a splash, so I asked some author friends if they would help me out. So while I write Grey Griffins: Night of Dragons, they’re going to write Grey Griffins short stories. We’re going to collect those stories in an anthology, which means I’ll be releasing two books instead of one. And the best part is that 100% of the profits from the anthology will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/) and Kids Need to Read (http://www.kidsneedtoread.org/).

Check out the roster of authors who are involved:
• Brandon Mull | NY Times Bestselling Author, Fablehaven
• Aprilynne Pike | NY Times Bestselling Author, Wings
• Frank Beddor | NY Times Bestselling Author, Looking Glass Wars
• Michael Spradlin | NY Times Bestselling Author, Youngest Templar
• Dean Lorey | Co-Executive Producer, Arrested Development
• Shannon Messenger | Let the Sky Fall, Keeper of the Lost Cities
• Tom Leveen | Party, manicpixiedreamgirl, Sick
• Joseph Nassise | International Bestselling Author, Templar Chronicles
• Matt Forbeck | Leverage: The Con Job based on the TNT television series
• Janette Rallison | My Fair Godmother, Slayers

The Drawback
Each short story in the Grey Griffins anthology will be professionally edited. It will also have a cover painted by the incredibly talented Scott Altmann (http://www.scottaltmann.com/). The final product will look every bit as good as what the major publishing houses produce, but there’s a drawback. When you publish your own books you have to come up with the money to pay the artists and the editors. That’s why I’m turning to Kickstarter.

Crowdsourcing with Kickstarter
Right now those short stories are locked and they won’t be released unless I can make enough money to cover the costs of the artwork and the editorial. I want to be able to make a ton of money for those amazing causes, and here’s how you can help…

Kickstarter provides a way for you to pre-order the book and in return I’ll invest that money in the product. And trust me, I know what it means to have a tight budget. It’s why I made sure the pledge levels started at $1. There are some fun rewards, too, like custom Grey Griffins short stories, collectible character trading cards and sketches from the cover artist. For the writers out there, we’re offering the chance for a query letter review, a partial manuscript review, and even a Skype brainstorm session where I’ll help you come up with ideas for your story. You can help fund the Kickstarter campaign here. http://kck.st/1aXVQQC

You Can Even Get Your Story Published in the Grey Griffins Anthology
Because I also have a passion for helping new writers break into the industry I thought the best way to do that with this project was to give someone a chance to get a short story published in the anthology. Your story will end up in the same book with all those New York Times bestselling authors. If it sounds like something you’re interested in, you can find the submission guidelines here: bit.ly/gg-anthology.

Thank you
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your consideration to back the Kickstarter campaign. I’m going to need your help to make this project a reality, and I know that together we can do something incredible!

Photo by Scott Mitchell

Jon Samuel Lewis is an American writer best known for the acclaimed Grey Griffins series published by Scholastic’s Orchard Books. After selling nearly a million copies in the original trilogy, Lewis and his writing partner, Derek Benz teamed with Little Brown to publish the Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles. He is also the author of CHAOS Novels, a young adult urban science fiction series published by Thomas Nelson and has written for DC Comics. Lewis is also a marketing executive and content strategist who works with Fortune 500 companies on their digital marketing strategies.


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