HOW I ONCE THOUGHT EVERYONE WOULD HEAR ABOUT MY NEW BOOK.

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The Internet is a great place–my favorite place, actually–but I still need you to help me spread the good news that Awkward is currently discounted to $2.99 and that Invisible will be released in under a week! Need a fun way to broach the subject? I created 6 Decent-ish Reasons to Buy Awkward for that very reason!

Here’s the link to Amazon for good measure: http://www.amazon.com/Awkward-Marni-Bates/dp/0758269374/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366937058&sr=8-1&keywords=awkward+marni

Oh, and there is a giveaway going on over at Teatime Romance where you can win a free signed copy of Invisible! Check it out here!

Love you all!

~Marni

HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK PROMOTION PROCESS…

I couldn’t resist.

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This might be the hardest part of my job! So help an author out? Tell your friends that they should read Awkward (available on Amazon for a limited time at the low price of $2.99) and preorder Invisible!

You can purchase it right here!

Sincerely,

Marni

How Did I Get Here?

Hey everyone,

I still can’t believe this is my life.

That’s not a joke or an exaggeration. It stuns me nearly every single day that I get to live out my wildest fantasy–one I was too afraid to even name for most of high school. And every day brings something ridiculously wonderful into my life. A message on my Facebook author page from someone who enjoyed reading Awkward and can’t wait to buy Invisible. A tweet from an author whose work I admire. An email from my fantastic Hungarian publisher. Maybe it will be as simple as reading a line in my new work in progress which cracks me up.

I still find myself trying to understand how I could have gotten here.

My older brother recently reminded me that when I was in elementary school he predicted that I’d be a trash collector. He told me that waste disposal was the logical occupation for someone with dog-poop brown eyes and a lack of common sense. “Hey someone has to do it,” he reasoned. “And that someone is definitely going to be you.”

I remember being terrified that he’d be right.

And now here I am proudly holding this!

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My Hungarian publisher renamed Awkward: Help, I’ve become a YouTube Star!

I love it so much!

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My best imitation of the Mackenzie yell.

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Signed and everything! It doesn’t get any more official!

If you’re curious about my experience with my Hungarian publisher, you should definitely check out the video I made about it!

It doesn’t feel real to me.

My third novel (Invisible) will be released in just under two weeks.

There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to capture how I feel about that.

And I know that there is someone very important I need to thank for all of this: you! 

Yep.

You.

You are the reason I’m not hauling trash off to landfills right now. You are the reason I will be leading a panel at the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta. You are the reason I will be celebrating my 24th birthday in Las Vegas with a whole bunch of sensational YA authors!

Maybe that’s the hardest part for me to believe. Somehow I found a group of people–intelligent, passionate, unashamedly geeky people–who have supported me throughout this process. Who believe in me even when I don’t.

Remember that scene in The Sound of Music where Maria turns to Captain von Trapp and sings, “For here you are, standing there, loving me–whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good”?

You guys make me feel like Julie Freaking Andrews.

I think vlog Marni might say it best, so I’ll let her take it from here!

All my love,

Marni

 

 

By Popular Request…

Hey everyone!

So a bunch of you awesome people have wanted me to sign your books. Just for the record: I totally want to do it for you! I even got a PO Box to make it possible!

The logistics involved are definitely daunting though. You have to send a copy to my PO address and then I have to ship it back…

And the last time I sent a package through the US postal service it reached the intended destination…three months after her birthday.

Good thing there weren’t cookies in there. That’s all I’m saying.

So yesterday in order to fix this problem, I knowingly journeyed somewhere that makes me lose my mind. Seriously. The last time I went there four of my friends had to forcibly remove me from the premises.

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I know it’s ridiculous, but I instantly morph into a preschooler when I’m at Sticker Planet. And the one thought running through my mind becomes: MINE! ALL THESE STICKERS MUST BE MIIIINE!!!!

That’s when my friends usually try to remind me that I need to save my money for the Romance Writers of America Conference in Atlanta (SQUEE!!!! I can’t wait!) and that I don’t actually need fifteen packages of stickers.

And then I remember that since these stickers are obviously an essential part of my writing process, they are technically tax deductible.

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Fake moustache stickers: $5

These expressions: priceless.

The cashiers were like, “Um…do you want to join our valued customer program or something?”

And I said, “HAHAHA…NO! Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how dangerous that would be?!”

That’s when they traded looks and edged further away from the crazy girl who thinks the words “stickers” and “dangerous” belong in the same sentence.

But c’mon…how great is this:

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It’s Jane! And no, sadly, my video trailer will not include all these awesome stickers. But a future one totally will!

And who will look ridiculous then, I ask you?!

Okay, probably still me.

But I did it all so that I could buy these fun labels for you guys!

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This way you can have an autographed copy of my books without a logistical nightmare. If you want me to send you one (or more!) I just need you to follow a very simple procedure:

1. Email me at MarniRBates@gmail.com or send me a letter addressed like this:

Marni Bates

PO Box 415

Los Angeles, CA 90078

I know it can be scary sending an email to a stranger with your address in it, so I totally understand if you’d prefer to go by mail. The important thing is that I get an address to send it to!

2. Write your name clearly so that I can personalize it for you.

3. If you don’t want me to address it to you, let me know! I can just sign my name if you’d rather have me do that.

4. Wait for me to send it to you!

That’s it! That simple. And this offer totally applies to my friends outside the US too! *Waves  enthusiastically to all my awesome fans in Hungary and Brazil*

And now I better start packing! I’m going home tomorrow so that I can give my mom a big ol’ hug on Mother’s Day.

But there will still be a vlog post on Sunday and Monday (probably), so stay tuned!

~Marni

Almost Too Much Awesomeness for One Blog Post!!

Hey everyone!

Okay, it’s been awhile since my last post. I have some very exciting news that I’m not allowed to share right now though. So I thought if I put myself on blogging lockdown that would make my secret keeping easier.

It totally didn’t.

And now I have all of these things to tell you!

Where to start? Perhaps with the Romance Writers of America who recognized the absolute brilliance of my friend Erica O’Rourke’s book, Bound?

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Erica is one of those authors that makes you curl up into a little ball and say, “I cannot handle the awesome. I. Cannot. Handle. The. Awesome.

At least that was my reaction while I read her books.

So I could not be more thrilled for her (or more excited to meet her in real life at the RWA conference in Atlanta! We will be speaking on a panel with the spectacular Jennifer Estep, the incomparable Nina Berry, and our editor-of-awesome Alicia Condon!) and all the other nominees!

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I look forward to meeting you all in Atlanta!

AND THEN…

I received this COMPLETELY AWESOME package from KTeen!

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Advanced Reader Copies of INVISIBLE (Jane’s book)!!!

I’m going to set up giveaways and post some sneak peeks soon! So keep checking in!

AND THEN…

I got another package from KTeen with the coverflats of NOTABLE (Chelsea’s book)!!!

But if I posted those right now that might be too much awesome. I don’t want to send you into awesome overload all at once.

*Grins*

Except now I feel guilty for leading you on so….

HERE IS THE HUNGARIAN BOOK TRAILER FOR AWKWARD!!!

That’s right. The Hungarians made a book trailer! Which means that if you don’t actually speak Hungarian, you’re not going to be able to understand, y’know, what she’s saying…

But I happen to think the CPR scene speaks for itself! I am beyond thrilled with it!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

I am starting a vlog!

This is a brand new venture for me so you should definitely expect there to be a learning curve. But I decided that this would be an exciting way for me to interact with all of you in a way that goes beyond words. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be speaking in my YouTube videos. I won’t just like, stare creepily at the screen or anything.

Not often, at any rate.

So I hope you enjoy my vlog! I also really hope you leave me a question or a comment. Remember: I’m doing this for YOU! Questions about writing, editing, college, high school, life…all of it is totally fair game!

Marni’s Vlog!

Or for the direct link to YouTube: 

And on that note…it’s time for me to get back to writing!

Love,

Marni

Extreme Hedgehogs of AWESOME and a Challenge/Giveaway for YOU!

Hey everyone!

I recently had a case of love at first sight. It was a magical moment. His eyes met mine and I just knew it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

To tell the truth: I fell head over hedgehog.

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Everyone, meet Oswald! Isn’t he the cutest thing ever!?

There was just one thing preventing our happily ever after–the fact that we both knew he was destined for someone else. Oswald’s heart will always belong to his incredibly talented artist/my best friend, which is why after we spent a blissful month together, Oswald traded in my bedroom for hers. And because she is completely amazing . . . I now fall asleep every night looking at these three handsome fellows!

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Gregory MacGuffin the Third!

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Poquito Incognito!

And last, but certainly not least:

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Umberto!

I can’t even tell you how much I love these hedgehogs. I like to think that they are diligently guarding my books from bad reviews.

And these aren’t the only cool photos I have to show you!

I know it might sound silly, but I absolutely love seeing photos of people enjoying my books. It makes my day. So obviously I was delighted when I caught a glimpse of these:

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The seriously skilled Melina Souza took this photo and wrote a great review of Awkward that you can read here!

Just a quick heads up . . . she wrote it in Portuguese. Because that’s her first language.

You know what book I’m able to pick up and start reading in an entirely different language?

Me neither.

Probably because it doesn’t exist.

I’ve taken five years of French classes and I still relied heavily on the subtitles for this hilarious/adorable cat video!

I hope your reaction looks like this:

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I’m not going to repost all of Mel’s awesome photos here but . . . this one is my new desktop image.

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Overwhelmed with the awesome!

These pictures inspired me to try creating a game (I really hope you’ll all play it with me! Pretty please?) that goes something like this:

Step One: You stick a copy of Awkward (or Decked with Holly) in your purse/backpack/car and take it with you everywhere.

Step Two: Every time you think to yourself, Now that would be a funny place to see Awkward, you pull out the book.

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Step Three: You take a picture.

Step Four: You send the photo to me (either here or on my Facebook author page would be great!)

Step Five: I completely geek out!!!

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Fun, right?! I also think it has some pretty great ice-breaker potential. I mean, let’s say that someone you happen to be crushing on is around and you have nothing to say to them.

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*Cough* Marni’s daily experience in high school.

So instead of letting the opportunity to talk slide away like this . . .

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You can be all, “Okay, so I know this is a little awkward, but um…would you mind holding up a copy of this book right by the sign for the boys’ restroom? HAHA! I know. It’s weird. But the author said that the person who posts the best photo gets an advanced reader’s copy of her next book so…”

Oh, did I forget to mention that?

Because I will totally do it. I don’t usually send stuff to people who live outside the US, because shipping can get expensive, but for this contest . . . game on!

That way we will have something fun to do while we wait for the Invisible ARCs to be ready!

*Happy dances*

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I would love to hear what you think of the game, so feel free to leave me a comment! *Super subtle hint*

Good luck!

~Marni

I Didn’t See THAT Coming!

Hey everyone!

Okay, so recently I was asked if anything surprised me about life as a writer. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I did start my career with some major misconceptions.

I remember thinking that authors must love it when reviewers bring up really insightful critiques of their work. That they would prefer a well-thought out 3.5 star review to an inaccurate 5 star one.

We don’t. We just want you to love us whole-heartedly.

Are we ridiculous for wanting unconditional praise? Yes. Absolutely.

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But this is totally how we behave whenever we read the zinger in an otherwise awesome review.

I also thought that being published would in some way reduce my writing-related freakouts…and it hasn’t. When my characters are giving me trouble and I know I have to edit out all my Navy SEALs but I don’t want to lose them, it still feels something like this:

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Okay, I’m not that bad. Usually.

There are also a number of lifestyle things I didn’t expect to change for me. For starters this looks like a perfectly reasonable purchase to me now.

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I hear you, Mindy. I would so be all over that.

And this is something I would definitely say to my bestie while I complain about going to the post office…

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Then she would totally look at me in disgust and say:

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It’s good to have people who keep you grounded.

I also never expected to be this tied into social media.

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An overreaction or…a perfectly reasonable response? You decide. I can’t.

Last but certainly not least, I thought the process of being published would generally make me cooler/less awkward. But as you can see…

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Although for me it will always be pictures of ducklings and baby tigers. I just turn to mush.

I hope this post doesn’t sound negative because there are also so many wonderful things I never saw coming! Y’know, like having Disney interested in turning my debut novel into a made-for-TV movie. And because I have such amazing readers…I am getting a P.O. box so that I can sign anything you want me to (within reason, people!).

Just as soon as I get dressed…

Now some of you have requested that I send you some book-related swag, but I don’t have any. Seriously. I don’t have bookmarks or stickers or anything remotely cool that I think you would want. The closest I come is about a hundred or so coverflats of the Magical Mayhem Anthology:

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So if anyone wants me to sign that and send it to them, I can do it! Otherwise, I’m a little stuck in terms of how to increase my levels of swag. If I bought white labels and signed them would you guys like that? I could even try to buy sparkly stickers to give it a little something extra if you want! Maybe some unicorns…

Or not!

If any of you have suggestions for swag, I’d love to hear your ideas!

Hopefully, that way it will feel something like this…

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…without breaking my budget.

But my original point (I swear, I did have one) is that I had a lot of misconceptions about the writing world when I started out. And I think my most off-base notion was that for some people this is easy. They make it look so effortless! They juggle author obligations with full-time jobs/part-time jobs/diaper changes/child-care/political and social activism, and so much more. Here is the kicker: they do all of it really well.

It is both awe-inspiring and intimidating.

Especially since most days I feel like I really accomplished something if I blog.

The truth is that those authors are sweating through their stories just like we are, even if it sometimes feels like they do this:

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…while we do this:

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Now I’m off to the post office!

For real this time…

~Marni