Six Things I Learned Running a Pre-Order Campaign for My Book


A few months before INKED came out, me and the team at Bloomsbury started talking about building buzz on the ol’ Internet. There are a lot of ways you do this. Sending out review copies, creating book trailers (or in my case, a book song), releasing excerpts, putting together blog tours, pitching media… stuff like that is all pretty standard, and really helps launch a book online. The crew at Bloomsbury did a killer job, and worked closely with me and the contacts I’d put together. It was an awesome experience.

And since INKED was a digital-first release, building that Internet buzz was extra important.

I wanted to take things a little bit further, and put together a fun pre-order campaign for the book. I promised signed posters, postcards, and handmade (more on that shortly) necklaces to anyone (also that) that pre-ordered the book. Since INKED is a digital-first book, I thought it would be a good idea to give readers some extra incentive to pick it up.

Was it a successful campaign? I’d say it was. Building pre-orders can be tough, and I was really thrilled with the results.

Here’s what I learned putting one together. Read more

INKED Exists: Some Thanks


So two weeks ago, INKED hit eReaders everywhere thanks to the awesome people at Bloomsbury Spark. And my goodness, it has been a fabulous two weeks watching that little book do its thing.

To kick things off, Paste Magazine posted the exclusive excerpt, the entire first chapter. Now, as a former ‘scene’ kid with pop-punk pumping through my veins, this was such a major thrill. I grew up reading Paste, Alternative Press, and AMP quite regularly, as it was required reading. So seeing my name on that site… man, no words. Thanks Frannie & Paste!

Right after that, the blog tour kicked off, and I’m just so happy with how everything came out. An epic thank you to The Book Smuggles, Cuddlebuggery, The Perpetual Page Turner, Snuggly Oranges, Not Yet Read, Good Books & Good Wine, and My Bookish Ways for being on my team, and pushing the book out there with my guest posts and giveaways. You ladies absolutely rule. You can check out the posts by clicking on their respective links. Read more

INKED: Readings, Parties, & Blog Tours!


Does INKED seriously come out tomorrow? Seriously? As they say on the Internet, I cannot even.

There are a lot of fun things going on this week into next, to celebrate the release of the book. And I hope you’ll join me online (and off!) to party down for the book.


There are two fun events this week, where you can catch me reading and talking about the book.

On Thursday, January 22nd, I’m heading back to my grad school (hi Arcadia!) to talk to MFA students about Inked, YA books, life in publishing, and writing. Details can be found over on Arcadia’s website, and I’m really excited to be heading back. Last time I was there, I talked about blogging, writing essays, and wanting to write books. Now, I’m talking about those books. Crazy.

And on Friday, January 23rd, is the Inked release bash at Tattooed Mom here in Philadelphia. Rob at T-Moms has always been really great to me, and for the party, he’s dishing out free food, some free drinks, and giving me the upstairs on the house. What a guy. There will also be readings from Zoraida Cordova, a Young and New Adult author I adore, and Robert Repino, a Philly-area author who just released an awesome book called Mort(e) with Soho Press.


Tomorrow, The Book Smugglers will be unveiling the theme song to INKED, written by one of my favorite pop-punk musicians. There are no words for how excited I am to share the song with you. Chances are if you know me and the music I listen to the most, you can figure out who wrote the song. But we’ll see.


Want to join the celebration online? Kicking off tomorrow, I’ve got a fun blog tour launching across a bunch of my favorite book blogs. There are some fun giveaways lined up, some bits of advice from other writers, and like I said, the premiere of the theme song to INKED.

Dates for the blog tour are below, and of course I’ll be tweeting and promoting the heck out of all the stops. Keep an eye out! Fun stuff happening. And thanks for playing along, you awesome bloggers, you. <3

1/20: The Book Smugglers
The Premiere of the Theme Song to INKED by (Surprise!)

1/21: Cuddlebuggery
On Editing, Revising, & Learning to Leave Things Out

1/22: Snuggly Oranges
What To Do When You Just Can’t: Researching Outside the Box

1/23: The Perpetual Page Turner
A Roundup (And Giveaway) of YA Novels That Inspired INKED

1/26: Good Books & Good Wine
Music & Inked: The Soundtrack to a Young Adult Novel

1/27: Not Yet Read
How Video Games Can Make You a Better Author

1/28: My Bookish Ways
The Best Pieces of Advice I’ve Ever Gotten From Other Writers

INKED: Pre-order the Book, Get Swag!

Inked_FC_FNL (1)

Now that the cover is revealed (again, thank you, Adam Silvera, Susan Dennard, and Publishing Crawl!), and the blog tour is scheduled, it’s time to announce the pre-order campaign for INKED, my debut YA novel coming out with this month with Bloomsbury Spark, the digital imprint of Bloomsbury.

Why throw a pre-order campaign? Not just to drive sales. Not just to support the fabulous Bloomsbury marketing team (and fabulous they are!). But to say THANK YOU for supporting the book early on. Plus, since this is a digital exclusive series, I wanted to be able to hook my readers up with something tangible. Something you guys can hold on to.

The book is currently available for pre-order via:


If you pre-order the book, send me an email with a photo or a screenshot of your receipt (ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com), and that’s that! You’ll get your swag, limited swag, or awesome prize, should you win it.

Okay, so, here’s what we’ve got. Read more

And We Have a Cover!

inked final


And we have a cover! Hooray!

Last week, while I was on a little writing retreat with one of my best buds and my fiancee (I’ll write more about that in a future post), Publishing Crawl revealed the cover to INKED, my debut YA novel with Bloomsbury Spark.

It was a really exciting day, with the reveal hitting at 9AM on Monday. It was an absolute thrill to see so many of my friends tweeting and posting about the unveiling! Author buddies, publishing pals, friends from Philly and back at home… you guys were all over this, and for that, I sincerely thank every single one of you.

After the reveal, the book cover appeared on MediaBistro’s GalleyCat, fed into JacketFlap, and a number of blogs I adore, including Lauren Reads YA, M&EM Reads, A Reader of Fictions (in her Cover Snark column, yes!), Cuddlebuggery, my friends at BookRiot, Nicole’s Novel Reads, The Book Loving Nut, and more!

If you posted about the reveal and I missed you, let me know!

It’s also now on over 350 bookshelves on Goodreads. Before the reveal, it was just barely beyond 100.

So yay! Thanks again for everyone who shared and promoted the reveal, especially Adam Silvera and Susan Dennard, the two stellar authors over at Publishing Crawl who made it happen. And be sure to go meet Jenny, the stellar designer who created the cover. She rules.

Stayed tuned for more news, including the pre-order campaign, book trailer, blog tour… all that good stuff that leads up to book release. We are going to have a fun time, you guys.  Read more