Listen to Live @ the Kelly Writers House

ya authors kelly

Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of reading at the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, something that's been on my "OMG I WANT TO DO THAT" list for a very long time.

I was joined by a number of local authors I adore and admire, including E.C. Myers (@ecmyers), Katherine Locke (@bibliogato), Lauren Saft (@lsafticle), I.W. Gregorio (@iwgregorio), and Tiffany Schmidt (@TiffanySchmidt). Everyone read a lil' something, answered a question or two, and hung out afterwards to chat with the many people that showed up.

I was thrilled to see familiar faces from graduate school in the audience, a number of local friends, as well as a bunch of blogger / author buddies who came on out. Those of you who came, thank you SO much!

If you missed it, don't worry! The Kelly Writers House uploaded the reading to their website this weekend, and you can listen to all of us read. You can even hear me gush about E.C. Myers and how he helped with my manuscript. It's a true story, and I'll never stop saying thanks. (more…)

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. (more…)

Giveaway: The Asteroid Belt Almanac

asteroid belt

Back in May, The Head & The Hand Press' Asteroid Belt Almanac came out. This was (and still is!) a pretty big deal for me. It was the first time one of my essays appeared in an actual book.

Not sure if I've ever said it here, but I'm a little obsessed with essay collections.

I own almost all of the Best American Essays... collections, pulling random essays from them for the courses I teach at Peirce College. I also own a bunch of the Travel Writing, Nonrequired Writing, and other Best... books. What can I say? Essays make me happy. So it was a real thrill to see one published in print for the first time.

The other day, Nic Esposito (founder and publisher at The Head & the Hand) and I grabbed a cup of coffee, and did some catching up. He also dropped off a couple author copies of the Almanac.

Since I already own two copies and sent one to my Mom, I figured I'd run a little giveaway. To introduce you guys to the book, some of the contributors (yes, even my faux nemesis Christopher Wink), and this fun local publisher.

You can enter to win a copy by entering the Rafflecopter below. You can follow / like the publisher, the contributors, etc. to enter. Good luck, and I'll send out THREE copies at the end of the month. (more…)

Upcoming Bookish Events this Spring

Wow, this month has been a whirlwind of awesome. I ran around like crazy during Philly Tech Week, participated in an awesome gameshow event at National Mechanics, and had my (sold out!) Creative Mornings talk earlier this month.

I should have a video of that soon, but for now, here's my favorite picture.

creative talk

And here are a few more fun things coming up soon.

Hang On With Aaron Nevins: Friday, April 18th
A local comedy talk show in Philly, featuring celebrated comedian Michellen Biloon as a guest.

Reading & Signing @ University of Penn Bookstore: Tuesday, April 22nd
Togather and Barnes & Noble College invited me do three talks and signings in the Philly area. This is the first one, at the Penn bookstore. I'm excited about this, since the last time I read there was when I self published my first novel years ago.

Signing at C2E2 in Chicago: Saturday, April 26th
I'm heading to C2E2 with Quirk, and will be signing on Saturday. 2:30PM, Booth 520.

Reading & Signing @ Drexel University Bookstore: Monday, April 28th
The second reading with Togather and Barnes & Noble College, this time at Drexel.

There will also be a release party for The Asteroid Belt Almanac (Head & the Hand Press) sometime in the middle of May at Indy Hall. I have an essay in that book, along with my friends Christopher Wink and Christine Neulieb. Really excited to see that on my bookshelf.


The Philadelphia Inquirer!


Yes, I am aware of the insanely goofy face I'm making in that picture.

So hooray! A few weeks ago, I had interview with Lini Kadaba, a journalist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The result? This amazing spread in the Style & Soul section, which even included a blip on the cover of the newspaper! Whoa! (more…)