B-Fest Teen Book Festival, here we come!

b-fest

Barnes & Noble is hosting B-Fest, the first ever nationwide Teen Book Festival, a three-day event over the weekend of June 10 – June 12th celebrating all the best young adult literature has to offer. And I’m so pleased to announce that myself and Month9 author Brynn Chapman will be part of the festivities! Brynn and I will signing and giving a workshop for teens at three Barnes and Noble stores in NJ! Here is the official blurb:

“CONNECTING TEENS TO THE EXCITING WORLD OF PUBLISHING”

Workshop- presented by YA authors Marlo Berliner (The Ghost Chronicles) and Brynn Chapman (Boneseeker and The Requiem Red). This event is a must for any teen who dares call themselves an avid reader or fan of YA!
Marlo and Brynn will discuss how teens can discover the hottest new young adult books, receive content tailored specifically to their preferences, access exclusive excerpts and giveaways, and connect with their favorite authors online in a variety of new and exciting ways. Marlo and Brynn will also discuss how teens can begin writing and sharing their own fan fiction, flash fiction, poetry and short stories. The door to the publishing world is more open to teens than ever before, Marlo and Brynn will be here to help lead them through it!

Brynn and I are so excited to speak with teens about something we are very passionate about – encouraging reading, writing and literacy among young adults.

Here is the schedule of where we will be:

7:00 PM Friday, June 10th Barnes and Noble in Bridgewater, NJ.

Somerset Shopping Center
319 Route 202/206
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
908-526-7425

RSVP: Bridgewater Event

1:00 PM Saturday, June 11th Barnes and Noble in Hamilton, NJ.

The Hamilton Marketplace
425 Marketplace Boulevard
Hamilton, NJ 08691
609-581-2523

RSVP: Hamilton Event

11:00 – 2:00 PM Sunday, June 12th Barnes and Noble in Freehold, NJ.

3981 US Hwy 9
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-409-2929

RSVP: Freehold Event

This is going to be the biggest weekend of author events in Barnes & Noble history, including not just signings but trivia, exciting sweepstakes, giveaways (while supplies last), and more. Be the first to sample upcoming teen novels, take part in games, and discover great new reads. Follow along with the fun at #BFestBuzz! More information about the nationwide event can be found here: Barnes & Noble B-Fest.

Also, if you are a YA book blogger and would like to be on the list of YA blogs on our workshop handout, please send me an email at marloberliner@gmail.com by June 6th and we’d be more than happy to include your blog on the handout! Again, our goal is to direct teens to where they can find the best information about new and upcoming YA books. What better way to do that than to spread awareness of all the fantastic YA book blogs out there!

 

Good News – The Ghost Chronicles hits #9 on Amazon, $0.99 sale, and a book signing!

20160430_100117_001Friends and Fans,

I have good news to share! Yesterday THE GHOST CHRONICLES hit #9 in its category on Amazon in the US and #11 in the UK! 20160430_223609_001

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Thank you all so much for making this happen! And the weekend’s not over yet…THE GHOST CHRONICLES will be on sale for $0.99 through 5/2. Please help me spread the word!

I also wanted to share the good news about my next book signing! I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Freehold, NJ on May 18th at 6PM talking about THE GHOST CHRONICLES and signing the book. I’ll also be giving away a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card to one lucky attendee who signs up for my VIP newsletter. More details about the book signing can be found here: Barnes & Noble Event.

Keep checking my Events tab here on my website for upcoming news about more signings and appearances. Better yet, sign up for my VIP newsletter on the right hand side of my home page so you can be the first to know about sales, giveaways, signings and all the other good stuff :)

The Inspiration for The Ghost Chronicles…and a giveaway!

tgcsmallthumbnailThe best stories lie at the intersection of truth and imagination. The Ghost Chronicles began this way, as well. I had my ‘eureka’ moment one day while sitting on the beach in the Outerbanks of North Carolina (for those of you who don’t know where that is, I urge you to find out and go visit). At the time, I was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Chapter Eight, The Deathday Party, deals with ghosts and what it might be like to ‘live’ in the afterlife, so that provided the spark that ignited the fire to write The Ghost Chronicles. As a flood of ideas filled my head, I scribbled down a rough outline and the book quickly took shape.

That was the imagination part, but let’s face it, we also distill our own personal experiences and our own truth into our novels. When I was seventeen I was in a car accident that was not my fault. An accident that almost took my life. The thought of ‘what if I had died’ has been one that has haunted me ever since. So immediately I knew I wanted The Ghost Chronicles to be not only a story of what it’s like to be stuck in the afterlife, but I also wanted it to be about a boy who dies tragically through no fault of his own. The kind of story ripped from the headlines about a promising young person who has their life taken away far too soon. Unfortunately we read these stories nearly every day in the newspaper or see them on TV. The kind of young person you hear has died and you find yourself thinking, What a shame. They had so much going for them, such a promising future. Why did that have to happen? For this reason, this book was the book of my heart. I wanted it to be as realistic a story as possible of what it might be like to die tragically and be trapped in the afterlife as a ghost. Let’s face it, we all have to die and none of us can say with certainty what happens when we do. It’s the biggest fear of the unknown there is! Oh, we may think we know, or may have certain beliefs about what might happen, but what if it doesn’t happen that way? What if you are suddenly and unfairly taken from this life and now you’re stuck and don’t know why? How angry would you be? What would you do? How much would you begin to question all you’ve ever believed in? It won’t be completely apparent until later in the series, but I wanted it to be a story of great hope for anyone who has tragically lost someone they love, especially someone young. I’m also hoping readers will take away the theme embodied in this quote from the book – “Cherish life, it’s absolutely precious.”

angelcompleteviewThe setting for most of the story was inspired by The Angel of the Sea, an award-winning bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ that I visited several years ago and fell in love with. This spectacular inn has been featured on several television programs and in magazines throughout the world. Most notably, it was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of the “Best Vacations in the World” and included in her television talk show. The Angel of the Sea is one of the most recognized Victorian structures in the United States. Legend has it that in the late 1960’s, a girl did fall to her death at the Angel of the Sea and did at one time, haunt the inn. The story of the girl has been included in several non-fiction books about ghosts in Cape May. Sarah’s character in The Ghost Chronicles was inspired by this legend. You can learn more about The Angel of the Sea by visiting their website http://www.angelofthesea.com/.

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Michael and Sarah are lying side by side on the bare wooden floor of the attic at The Angel of the Sea, listening to the rain tapping out a spastic yet soothing rhythm on the old gabled roof above. It’s a romantic scene that I wanted to be reminiscent of the romantic attic scene in Mystic Pizza, a 1988 coming-of-age movie starring a young Julia Roberts. One of these days I’d love to see my attic scene from The Ghost Chronicles play out on the silver screen. (If you’re going to dream, dream big I always say.)

As it happens, I’m currently running a Goodreads giveaway of The Ghost Chronicles! Win one of three signed copies!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo Berliner

The Ghost Chronicles

by Marlo Berliner

Giveaway ends April 27, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

If you’ve already read The Ghost Chronicles, I hope you’ll share the news about the giveaway with your friends. And leave reviews of The Ghost Chronicles everywhere :)

All best,

~Marlo

 

 

Barnes & Noble Bookfair – Saturday, March 5th!

THIS SATURDAY IS THE
BARNES & NOBLE BOOKFAIR!

Please spread the word! I’m going to be the featured author signing my book,
THE GHOST CHRONICLES!

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Join me at Barnes & Noble #2217 on Saturday, March 5th from 1 to 3 PM.
425 Marketplace Boulevard  Hamilton, NJ 08691. We will have a reading, refreshments, and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit The Friends of the Hamilton Twp. Library.
The Bookfair is free and open to the public. More information can be found here: Barnes & Noble Event

The book was inspired by the legend of a haunting at The Angel of the Sea in Cape May, NJ and it’s an honor to be signing not only in NJ, but in my home town of Hamilton Twp. Please print out the Bookfair flyer which can be found here and bring the vouchers with you, so all sales will count for the library: Bookfair Flyer

Can’t make it to the signing? That’s okay! Your online purchases will count towards the library fundraiser if you simply use Bookfair ID# 11808474 when making your B&N online purchases between 3/5/16 – 3/10/16. Anything you buy – books, movies, CDs, DVDs, toys or games, and much more – will count towards the Bookfair total sales as long as you use Bookfair ID# 11808474 when making your online purchase.

To purchase THE GHOST CHRONICLES from Barnes & Noble, click here.

Wanted a signed book, but can’t make it to the signing? Contact me through my website and I’ll be in touch with you to either arrange to sign the book, or mail you a signed bookplate!

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL BOOKSIGNING – Part Two

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B&N January 17th

Having had three very successful booksignings since my book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES, came out in mid-November, I thought I would share some tips on how you can make your own signings as successful and stress-free as possible. I have signed at three different types of places – the B&B that is the setting for my book, a public library, and a Barnes & Noble – but I did the same things for each and had tremendous results. This post was long, so I had broken it down into three parts – PRE-SIGNING, AT-THE-SIGNING, and POST-SIGNING. In my last post which you can read here, Part One, I covered things to do PRE-SIGNING. In this post, I’ll be tackling what to bring and what to do AT-THE-SIGNING, and then the essential followup things to do POST-SIGNING.

First, let’s talk about what you’ll need to bring to the signing. (Technically, you’ll need to gather all this PRE-SIGNING, but yesterday’s post would have been ginormous so I’ve lumped it in here with what you’ll need AT-THE-SIGNING.) I’ve culled this advice from many seasoned authors and now keep all these items in a box ready to go. (You can add items to the box that you’ll need specifically for school visits or other presentations too.) Here is a list of what I bring:

  • Mints or TicTacs
  • Gum
  • Cough drops (for dry throat)
  • Tissues
  • Pens
  • Your book! (marked with excerpts to be read)
  • A printed copy of your short bio
  • Any other written materials you might need or want to read from
  • Business cards (some writers/authors/readers may want to connect)
  • Candy/candy dish
  • Stickers (autographed copy, local author, etc)
  • Hand lotion/sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Large rubber bands (for rolling up posters)
  • Tablecloth (mine is B&N green, LOL)
  • Bookmarks
  • Silver or black Sharpee marker (for signing bookmarks, other swag)
  • Postcards & all other swag items you have
  • Tacks/tape/clips to hang posters or materials
  • Display signs (I have three 8×12 clear plastic displays – one with my pic and bio, so anyone who misses that info in the beginning can just come up and read it, one with the back cover blurb of my book so it can be easily read in case they missed that, and one with the full spread of my cover juxtaposed against a panoramic picture of the Angel of the Sea so folks can easily recognize that my cover is a likeness of that B&B with a caption that explains how my story is inspired by the legend of a haunting there. That, of course, is specific to my book, but think outside the box for any eye-catching displays you might be able to create.)
  • Wipeoff marker & display board – I have an 18”x 24” foam-backed laminated display board of my cover. I bring the marker in case I want to write anything in the two inch white border around the display.
  • Clipboard with newsletter signup sheet
  • Extra cash (if you’re at a venue doing hand sales)
  • iPad adapter/flashdrive/laptop/cords (if you’re giving a presentation)
  • Post It Notes (so your assistant can write down names so you don’t have to ask each person how they spell their name)
  • Your assistant (Son, daughter, boyfriend, husband, friend, agent, editor, publicity person, whoever)

On that last point, try not to stuff your assistant into the box. Just kidding! But it is important to have someone at your side while you’re trying to sign. You can’t always rely on the venue to have staff available for this purpose. And your assistant can be very important. They can be the one writing up the post-it notes with the names, reminding people to sign up for your newsletter, putting stickers on books after you’ve signed them, creating orderly lines, and making change if you’re handselling. You will be too busy signing books and talking to readers! It can be more overwhelming than you think to take care of so many little things at once. So many people were coming up to me eager to talk (mostly about their personal ghost stories which were fascinating) that I honestly think I forgot to put stickers on half of the books at my Barnes & Noble signing. I also got too busy to remind half of the people to sign up for my newsletter. I’m sure if I had pointed out the clipboard they would’ve done so, but it just slipped my mind while I was busy signing and chatting. Once my son started helping, things got much easier.

And the night I signed at the library for more than 100 people, it was even more important to get help. In the first few minutes, people lined up on both the left and right sides of my table, so crowd control became an issue. Once a friend stepped in and organized the line, again, things went more smoothly.

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Event at the Hamilton Twp Library – Jan 26th

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A little more organized at the library signing.

I would also stress having a game plan for what you’re going to say to your audience before you begin signing. Are you going to read your bio, or will someone from the store? Decide this ahead of time. Are you going to say a little about your book, read the back cover blurb, explain some of your research, or just get right into reading a short excerpt? This is all up to you, just remember to first thank your audience for coming, be mindful of time (you don’t want to talk so long that you lose your audience), and do a short Q&A at the end so your audience can interact with you. Many people came up to me and said they had never met an author. At that moment, believe it or not, in some people’s eyes you’re a rock star and they’re tickled to connect. The more thought and preparation you can put in ahead of time, the less stressed you’ll be at this moment and the more you can enjoy it! And speaking of enjoying, be sure to have your assistant or someone take pictures of your special moment! Take pictures of the crowd. Take pictures with your fans. You want to be able to document how well your event went so you can talk it up later. IMG_1104upAt my first ever signing at the Angel of the Sea the owner snapped this photo before the crowd of people came, but then we completely forgot to take any more pictures!

Lastly, there are just a few things you’ll need to do POST-SIGNING:

  • Remember to sign remaining stock if you are leaving it at the bookstore
  • If you signed at a library, sign and donate a copy or two
  • Thank the venue that hosted your signing – personal, handwritten notes are best
  • Create a bragbook – remember those pictures your trusty assistant took? Print them out and put them in a little flipbook. I have one that holds thirty-six 4×6 pictures. Use your bragbook to approach the next bookstore when setting up other booksignings, particularly at indie stores. It’s the easiest way of saying, “Look, here’s how well my last signings went, now when can I sign here?” Of course, you’re a savvy author so you’ll do it more subtly, but you get the idea 😉
  • Write a blogpost with pictures about how it all went and share tips or stories with your author friends. Or include pictures in your latest newsletter. Better yet, send a good photo in to Publishers Weekly, pics@publishersweekly.com and see if they put you in the PW Daily announcement. I completely forgot to do this and wish I had!

You better believe I’ll remember the next time, which by the way will be on March 5th 1-3 PM at the Barnes & Noble at 425 Marketplace Blvd, Hamilton, NJ 08691. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Friends of the Hamilton Twp Library if you use Bookfair ID#11808474. And online orders for anything you buy at BN.com between 3/5/16 and 3/10/16 will also count towards the fundraiser if you use if you use Bookfair ID#11808474. That includes books, music, toys, movies, gifts and more! The official Bookfair flyer can be found here: B&N flyer and more info about the event can be found here: B&N Event

So, any other tips for booksignings I missed? Anyone have any funny or embarrassing incidents at their booksignings they want to share? Any amazingly good things that happened at a signing?