Another year, another book drop. The Middle Grade Book Bomb is becoming a milestone, like a birthday or anniversary. For me, it marks another year of living my dream.

You see, not everyone gets to do what they love, and although self publishing is more difficult than I ever imagined, it's also the best thing I've ever done. 

So happy third anniversary to me! And a very happy week of reading to this year's lucky book finders! I hope you all love the books you found and are eager for more. Because books are like chocolate chip cookies - you can't have just one. So hit your local library and check out a stack. Read them all. Read everything. Read the world! 

This year, the book bomb was in peril at almost every step. Seriously, if something could possibly go wrong, it did. My posters got put up late thanks to transportation troubles. The blogs and websites that usually help promote the event...didn't. Then it stormed - and I mean car dinging, crop smashing, hail and rain and thunder and lightning. Finally, my own books were delayed in the mail and I had to scramble to give away even a single copy of Spark and Blaze.

Jeez Louise! 

But we rallied, my team of assistants and I. And we had a wonderful morning giving away books under dark skies that threatened, but decided not to soak us after all. 

I had the help of the lovely Bella and Mckenna, my adventurous nieces, who are aged 8 and 9, and happy to officially be middle graders.

Our target: the sweet, slightly sleepy, town of Raymond, Alberta. A prairie town much like the towns saved by Nathan and his band of angel warriors in Spark and Blaze. We decorated the books we were dropping with paper straws and swirly yellow ribbons to make sure they got noticed - and because we're just crafty like that. I also included a Kindled bookmark in each. Because everyone needs a new bookmark.

We chose tucked away corners on the main street of town to hide the books and once they were "dropped" we boogied home to post some picture clues on facebook for those Raymond tweens who were planning on doing some book hunting. 

It made me wish that I was doing the hunting instead of the hiding. What could be more awesome than hunting for free books? Unless maybe it's eating onion rings and clothes shopping while hunting for free books...in New York City...

Anyway, four kids found the books we dropped and all four were pleased as punch. One gal even snuck away from her swim meet to snag a book before hurrying back to hit the water. This brings me an enormous amount of happiness. Bella and Mckenna felt pretty good about it too.

The moral of the story is...giving away books is a sure way to make the world a better place. You don't need an event like the Middle Grade Book Bomb to be a book champion. You can donate books in your own community, volunteer at the public library, participate in community literacy events and help your school's librarian. But never fear, the MG Book Bomb will also be back next summer and maybe you could get in on the book hiding too. 

It's a great way to spend a saturday morning.

If you're just stumbling onto my website and have never heard of the Middle Grade Book Bomb, then click here for the details. 

If you'd like to see my previous book drops, click here and here.


Mad Skills

One of the best parts of being an author is hearing other people exclaim how envious they are because I can sit at home all day doing nothing but write books. 


Double Ha Hah!!!

If only it were that easy. We writers, particularly we self published writers, have much to do that has absolutely nothing to do with putting pen to the page, or fingers to the keys. 

There are many steps to publishing a book that involve formatting, editing, art and design...
And then the marketing begins.
Don't even get me started on the marketing.

The point of this mini tirade is that the more skills we have, the more we are empowered to do for our books. We don't get the editor and agent, the book launch, the tour. We get only what we ourselves can scrounge together. And that seems woefully meager at times.

All the things you can do - the skills you have other than writing - become just as important as the manuscript itself. So I am about to share with you my magic formula for becoming adept at web design, cover illustration, social media wrangling, and event planning.

I google.

I kid you not. I have no money for hiring knowledgeable people so I have had to become one. And every time I conquer some tiny skill through far too many hours of frustrated web searching, I build myself as an author. You don't need to take classes in this or that or become some other person who can write html code. You just need to be patient and determined...and willing to feel like a complete dunce.

One of my greatest achievements thus far was to discover digital painting. I have drawn almost nothing in the past twenty years, so my skills as an artist have been sadly neglected. But I needed art quite desperately and my fairy godmother seems to have gone on vacation. I invested in a tablet, found a brilliant free open source painting program online, and started practising. I've been learning by watching demos on youtube. That's how classy I am. It's going slowly, but it's moving in the right direction. And by the time I'm ready, I will be able to create any cover, poster, web button, or promotional material I need.


Observe the new Kindled art I'm working on...


You can do more than you think you can, even if you're sitting there reading this and arguing, "But Ginger, I can't draw!". If you have a camera, learn to take great promo pictures and video so you can make the best book trailers. If you are slightly tech savvy, learn to design a website and maximize a twitter account. If you're more social, focus on planning school presentations, workshops, and meet-the-author events. If you love to talk, learn how to make a podcast. Collect skills like I collected stickers in the 80's and soon you will have the ability to put any idea in motion.

That is power.
And that will get your book noticed.


Being an author is sometimes like being a pirate. We too are always hunting for treasure. Only our treasure isn't buried gold...it's new readers, who are not usually buried at all and much harder to find since they tend to move around a lot. There are no maps, no clues and no "X marks the spot" when hunting for new readers. So I guess authors work much harder than pirates to find their treasure...and authors have much better grammar and fashion sense than pirates do. I'm sorry if I have insulted any pirates out there, but it's the truth.

I recently went on a reader hunt and darned if I didn't find a few. They like to gather in all sorts of places, including book festivals, which is where I was camped out last weekend.

The event was called The Word on the Street and it was held in the parking lot of my childhood library. I got to sit in a wind-blown tent all day and peddle copies of SPARK and BLAZE.

I also sat at a table next to a cartoonist who drew the story of an unhappy radish, I counted at least twenty dogs going by my tent and nearly fifty babies, and I had cheese pizza for lunch. It was a pretty good day.

But the best part of all was finding middle graders who are excited to read my books.

You are a much better treasure than diamonds and doubloons.


They have these marvelous things in the book biz called ARCs. Or Advance Reading Copies. They're sent out before a book is actually published so that people can start reviewing the book and telling everyone else how wonderful it is. You know...gotta get the word out.

And sometimes, if we're very lucky, an author has an extra ARC lying around and they graciously decide to give it away to someone who doesn't write reviews, but who gobbles up books left and right as if they did write reviews.

Someone like me.

I happened to make a smart-alecky remark on twitter one day about pirates and grammar. And because the stars were aligned, or some other reason, the author decided to send her spare ARC to meeeeee!

So look what I got in the mail! Fresh off the pre-published presses. Am I not terribly lucky?

I'm thrilled to start reading Heidi Shulz's new swashbuckling adventure story. Look for her first in the series, Hooks Revenge, published by Disney Hyperion.

Thanks Heidi!

Find her here