WELCOME HOME Pre-order Giveaway: Open Internationally!

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Oh my goodness! Welcome Home is almost here!

It’s been a really lovely ride so far, and a huge thank you goes out to the team at Flux and all the wonderful contributors who have been pushing this little book out there. The anthology was recently featured by Bustle and Barnes & Noble in some lovely lists, and the reviews coming in from places like Kirkus, School Library Journal, and VOYA have totally warmed my heart.

“Authors across a variety of genres share stories that range from the fantastical to gritty, but all will touch readers hearts (and cause a few to shed some tears).” – School Library Journal

“This volume earns a place in every YA library and it is up to YA librarians to put it into the hands of teens who need it most.” – VOYA

To celebrate the upcoming release, I’ve put together a little pre-order campaign to get some swag, including some limited SIGNED swag, into your hands. And yes, it’s all international, because mailing paper and postcards is something I can totally do. I learned my lesson (glares at the necklaces I made for Inked).

So! Here we go! Swag, all artfully photographed on pieces of my furniture.

THE FIRST ONE-HUNDRED

It’s not too wild to hope for 100 pre-orders, is it? Cause that’s what I’m shooting for here. A boy can dream, you guys.

The first 100 pre-order-ers will get a bundle of signed postcards, autographed by Young Adult rockstars Adi Alsaid, Courtney C. Stevens, Dave Connis, Kate Watson, and Shannon M. Parker. These beauties were designed by author and artist Ashley Poston.

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They are currently on their way to the respective authors to be signed and mailed back.  You’ll also get a signed bookmark (seen below) from me!

I’ll keep this option up as long as it’s available, so if you see it here… guess what! I’ve still got signed sets to send.

EVERYONE

If we miraculously break that one-hundred number, don’t worry! I’ve still got prizes to send out.

After those one-hundred signed postcard bundles are gone, everyone after that will receive one unsigned card of their choosing as well as a signed bookmark, pictured below.

signed bookmarks

Look how FUNCTIONAL that bookmark is! My goodness. The ottoman that these bookmarks were photographed on will not be included, sorry.

Now! How do you dish that you pre-ordered?

LET ME KNOW

Let me know you pre-ordered by sending your proof right to me! I’m at ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com. Forwarding a receipt or a photo of your pre-order at a favorite local bookstore is just fine. You can order WELCOME HOME wherever books are sold, and here are a few links for you:

And that’s it!

Your Story is Welcome, An Adoption Short Story Microsite

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A big part of why I wanted Welcome Home to happen was the lack of adoption stories floating around for kids. I wanted teenagers to see themselves in the stories they’re reading. In all ways. Happy stories, sad stories, stories that’ll make them angry.

And I also wanted to encourage them to tell stories themselves.

So, as a part of Welcome Home, I’m launching Your Story Is Welcome.

What is it?

So, Your Story Is Welcome is a microsite tied into the book. And yes. I know. I did book marketing for years. I know microsites for books are generally a bad idea. But this isn’t just about the book.

It’s about the kids the book is written for.

Here, I’m encouraging young writers and guest authors to pen their own adoption-centered short stories, and send them on over to be published on the website.

How Will it Work?

Writers can send over their short stories, and if the story is accepted (I can’t take everything!), I’ll commission a piece of artwork for the story. I’ll also be tapping guest editors for each short. You might get an editor at a big publishing house, you might get an author you love, you might get a literary agent. It’ll be a fun surprise.

I have some wonderful volunteers lined up and ready to play along, including Adi Alsaid, Sangu Mandanna, Nic Stone, and Dave Connis. Want to be a guest editor? Let me know.

The stories will be published on the microsite, and hopefully, they’ll get shared around a bit due to the joys of Tumblr. If you’re wondering who owns the story after it’s published on the website… the answer is you. Do whatever you want with the story after. Please. I don’t want the rights to anything.

Guidelines & How to Submit

Short stories should be around 2,000 words or less, and centered around adoption. They can be entirely fictional or based on personal experience. You can send your story in right to me at ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com, and tell me a little about yourself. Simple as that. You’ll hear back pretty quickly.

Are you a teacher, foster parent, librarian, adoptive parent, youth center worker, etc. who knows someone that might want to participate? Do you want some flyers and postcards to share? Please email me (ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com) with your address, and I will send you a bundle of free postcards in the mail to giveaway to students and colleagues.

The postcards are lovely with gorgeous quotes on the front, and the flyers are short one-sheets that will explain how to send in a story. Thanks to Ashley Poston for designing these. Please buy all her books, past and future.

How to Download Flyers & Postcards

You can download the flyer here, and save the images from the postcards below, if you just want to print them out yourself to hang around or pass out. That’s fine too, of course!

Note, that these files are BIG, so these are going to load up pretty giant on your screen when you open them.

Questions?

I’m here to answer them. Email away. Thank you! Read more

Book News: The Dryad of Fairmount Park, To Be Published Spring 2018

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That bundle of images is from a #NovelAesthetics I tweeted last year.

And now that book is actually happening.

Before I moved away from Philadelphia, I spent every other weekend holed up with my YA writing group (hi Randy, Lauren, Katherine, and Julie, I miss all of you terribly), fussing over a book that was challenging the hell out of me.

Much like the drive to curate my adoption-themed anthology Welcome Home, I wanted to write a novel for adopted kids. Teens who were wrestling with finding a sense of identity, the way I did when I was younger. I wanted there to be magic, friendship, a diverse cast of characters. I wanted to talk about how we treat the world around us, and how it reflects on how we treat one another.

I wanted a lot.

I affectionately referred to this book as “The Nena Book” whenever I talked about it, as my wife pushed me to try and write this. To talk about transracial adoptees (like me), and to write a story that was incredibly close and personal to me.

It was absolutely the book of my heart. And now, it’ll be published by Flux in the Spring of 2018. Read more

Requesting Review Copies of WELCOME HOME and BRANDED

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Well, 2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year. Branded is coming out in May, Welcome Home is coming out in September, and I’m not sleeping until the beginning of 2018.

Right now, you can request review copies of both books! They’ve even both on NetGalley right now at the same time. Yes, that is the sound of me breathing heavily.

Here how you can scoop up a copy:

WELCOME HOME, my adoption-themed YA anthology, is up on NetGalley, and people are already reading it! This is blowing my mind. The book comes out on September 5th with Flux.

You can request it on NetGalley here.

The book features short stories across genres from over two dozen authors, and I’m so proud of it. And this is your chance to read it almost half a year before it comes out! Whoa!

Also, be sure to add it on Goodreads? You can expect some giveaways there soon, as well as other really cool news regarding the book (a top secret microsite project, pre-order campaigns, posters!) soon.

Interested in requesting a physical ARC? Flux has a limited print amount that they are sending out to reviewers. If you’d like one, you can email me at ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com, and I’ll forward your request.

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BRANDED, the sequel to INKED, comes out with Bloomsbury’s digital imprint, Bloomsbury Spark, on May 23rd. It’s also up on NetGalley (is this really happening?), and you can request it here.

If you haven’t read the first book, and you’re interested in reading it… let me know! I would be more than happy to gift a copy of Inked your way. This is an eBook exclusive series though, so only ask if you don’t mind me sending you a Kindle of Nook code.

And hey, if you pre-order Branded, I’m doing a fun pre-order campaign! You can get temporary tattoos and signed postcards! And it’s international!

That’s all!

Book News: Welcome Home, An Anthology, To Be Published Fall 2017

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Growing up, I could never find stories about adopted kids.

I always sought out other adoptees, to hear their stories, and as a teenager, wrestled with identity a lot. When people asked where I was from, I made things up. When kids poked fun at me for being adopted (that does happen), I got in fights. As an escape, I read. I read voraciously. And I wish that a some point, in all those pages, that I had been able to see stories about people like me.

“Aw, come on champ. Even Superman is adopted.”

Okay, adopted kids hear that all the time. But adoptees can’t fly away from their problems. There’s no fortress of solitude to retreat to, and even if there was, being alone, feeling alone, is one of the biggest problems in the first place.

Which is why I’m really thrilled to be announcing my Young Adult anthology, Welcome Home. 

Welcome Home collects genre-spanning short stories centered around the theme of adoption, with tales about foster care, searching for birth parents, group homes, adopted siblings, struggling adoptive parents, and more by a number of amazing authors.

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The list includes Adi AlsaidDave ConnisHelene Dunbar, Kate LethLauren Gibaldi, Libby CudmoreMatthew Quinn Martin, Mindy McGinnisShannon ParkerRandy Ribay, Nic Stone, and many, many more we’re going to reveal over the coming months. Note the question marks.

There are even a few debut voices in the mix, including Hello Giggles staff contributor Sammy Nickalls.

The book will be out with Jolly Fish Press in the Fall of 2017. We’ll be donating the book’s royalties to organizations that work with adoptees and foster kids, and I can’t wait to share those plans when we’ve got them ironed out, as well as other fun announcements with the book, from covers to contributors.

And speaking of.

You might have noticed those question marks in the image up above. Are YOU someone with a close tie to adoption, and possibly interested in writing a story? Let’s talk. I’m still looking for stories, particularly from diverse voices. No, you don’t have to be published before, we have some exciting debut voices we’ll announce very soon. You can find my contact info here.

Update (6/15): The collection is finalized, but we will be taking stories for the online portion of the anthology, a website where we will collect adoption stories. If you’d like more info on that, drop me a line.

Want to keep updated on pre-orders, giveaways, and all of that? You can add Welcome Home on Goodreads. Please do!

Now, some thank yous.

When it comes to my writing and literary agent life, my wife pushes me. She does it all the time. Pushes me to try things that are difficult, to work outside my comfort zone. To tackle serious ideas. Growing up, I shied away from all that, but since meeting Kristina, I’ve really started to try harder. Welcome Home is one of the first projects to come out of that. Thank you, Nena.

Thanks to all the authors who jumped in to play along with this, and took a chance writing short stories for a project that might have never happened. It’s a hard thing, putting together an anthology (there will be a blog post on this down the line). It’s a passion project, and you never know if it’ll get picked up.

And the YA community as a whole. I literally emailed over one hundred of you. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, making introductions.

And my superstar agent, Dawn Frederick, thank you for reading my long rambling emails about this thing, and letting me prattle to you on the phone about it. I’m not sure how you deal with me. You’re a saint. And McKelle George at Jollyfish, for taking this labor of love on.

And Mom and Dad?

Thank you for bringing me home.

Stay tuned. <3

Jolly Fish Press: Twitter (@JollyFishPress), Facebook (facebook.com/JollyFishPress)

Welcome Home: On Goodreads (goodreads.com/book/show/28902446-welcome-home)