Part 2 of the World Builders Summit (Monica Today: Episode #3) 

Part 1 of the World Builder’s Summit w/ the Self-Publishing Podcast Team (Monica Today: Episode #2) 

The Very Beginning (Monica Today: Episode #1) 

Watch two authors write a book LIVE in 30 days (and change how the world thinks about storytelling!) #fictionunboxed

Watch two authors write a book LIVE in 30 days (and change how the world thinks about storytelling!) #fictionunboxed

Words of Wisdom.

Words of Wisdom.

A Casual Vacancy and the Pricing Complaints

I just tried to read the reviews for JK Rowling’s new adult novel. I was disappointed to see that price was the main factor in many of the reviews.

The part that disturbed me the most was not just that Amazon allows people to rate books without reading them (and a lot of the 1-stars were based solely on price) but that people think JK Rowling is somehow “greedy” for charging what looks like a reasonable price for her work.

Here are the facts. The hardcover is listed for $35 retail. This is fairly in line with an average new-release hardcover.

Bookstores (including Amazon) have discounted the book to $21. That is around 40% off.

The ebook version is less than the print version at $17.99. Yes, $17.99 is a bit higher than the average $9.99 - $14.99 that new releases come out at. But not by much. And JK Rowling is a celebrity author with proven success in the marketplace.

If you don’t want to buy the book at $18, that’s your prerogative. While I don’t feel the Amazon review section is the place to express that feeling, as most of us are reading to find out what people who read the book thought of the book, I think it is fine to say, “This offering is not for me.”

That said, the word “greed” and the implication that, because JK Rowling has already made her fortune, she should not be charging as much or anything at all for her work is completely disgusting.

For example, one reviewer titles his (her?) review: “Greedy B—— Greedy Amazon.” Now really, is it necessary to call someone the B-word because her publisher, knowing that they have a famous name attached to the project, decided to charge $18 for a Kindle book that is $21 in print at the moment?

Here’s the thing: We live in a world where people and entities create products and offer them to the marketplace at a price of their choosing. It is then up to individuals in the marketplace to decide if they personally accept the offering in exchange for their money. That is capitalism at its best.

JK Rowling and her publishers have done nothing wrong. They have produced a book and offered it to the marketplace at a price that falls within publishing standards. It is not for any individual to decide how much money JK Rowling or her publishers need, or to expect that anyone involved should work for free or for less than they want to because they have made a profit in the past.

As a fan of her Harry Potter books, I commend JK Rowling for trying something different. Whether I buy the book or not, whether I read the book or not, it takes a lot of guts for her to put out something new when the world has already placed her in a certain box.

And if I do purchase the book from this worldwide phenomenon, I will not hesitate to pay a fair asking price. JK Rowling deserves all her success.

Hi Monica, when will the second book of Silver Smoke come out? I LOVED it, and would be so happy to read what happens with Brie and the does she find the 7 stones, and what happens with her brother, and with Rykken etc, etc, etc — Asked by Anonymous

Hi! First, I’m so happy that you enjoyed the book. So many people are waiting for the second book in this series right now, and I am currently working on it. I went through a lot of personal stuff during the last half of 2011 and the first half of 2012 that basically halted all production on all writing. I am, however, writing every day again and make tons of progress very quickly. This is good news for people who are waiting for new books.

I don’t have a publication date at the moment, but hope to have several new projects out before the end of 2012, including the next part of Brie and Rykken’s story.

Is the sequel to Socialpunk, Socialmob still going to be out this July? — Asked by Anonymous

I’m not sure. But I’m working on it now! I hope to have it out by summer, at the latest, but I am not setting a release date at this time.

Hello Monica I am newly published author of the book Girl you are worth a million dollars and I am working on another book as well but i only have 1 book published as of now. I am currently working on its revisions as we speak but I am very interested in being apart of this book tour. I believe it will help me a great deal with marketing and promoting my womens book. I am not big with social media i know that is what is hurting my sales. please let me know what i can do to get on board thanks — Asked by Anonymous

Hi! The sign-up page and the tour details are up at, and the main website is at Not much is up on the main website yet, but once we get started on promotion we should be putting out a lot more.

Sign-up dates are first-come, first-served and several dates are sold out already. Many have one or two spots left as well. However, take your time and let me know if you have any questions!
Once you sign up, you should get a link to the Facebook group where the authors are talking shop and figuring out how to help each other with promotions. Fun stuff! Hope to work with you.

Cassandra Clare: Casting news: Isabelle

This is exciting! And Jemima West is awesome in The Borgias. Though I literally did not recognize her at first because she is blonde in that show and had slate hair in these pictures.


This will probably be up on Deadline and all the other good places soon enough, but Sony told me I could spill the news so I AM GOING TO. I’ve been traveling and doing Dark Artifices research in Italy and Vatican City so I wasn’t hiding from y’all, but it is nice to come back with BIG FUN NEWS TO…

Calling Authors of Female Protagonists for the Heroines With Heart Book Tour

The Heroines With Heart Book Tour spans 100 cities in the US and Canada, starting Jan. 2013. It’ll be made up primarily of indie authors and there will be different authors at each location, and we’ll be releasing more information to the public starting in July 2012. Authors who participate in the tour also get:

Pre-Tour Promotion

  • 30-page inclusion (per book series) in free digital samplers that will be promoted online
  • National PR campaign to promote the on-the-ground events
  • Local PR campaigns in each city where an event takes place
  • Local College, High School, and Book Club outreach
  • Heroines With Heart blog tour + contest (to promote the events)
  • Author interviews via Skype and posted to YouTube

On-Tour Promotion (75-100 attendees per event)

  • One of no more than five authors at the event
  • Inclusion in the event goodie bag (through either a program or a print sampler)
  • Opportunity to pre-sell books and sell books at the event

Post-Tour Promotion

  • YouTube videos of the event, including interviews with authors and fun side videos (car trip, etc.)
  • Photos of the event
  • Blog follow-ups of the event (hopefully from book bloggers)

Additional benefits include:

  • Establishing genuine relationships with other like-minded authors that you can work with in the future
  • Reaching a wider audience online through the digital samplers, the author interviews, and the blog tour
  • Reaching a wider audience offline through the PR campaigns and the events
  • Selling a ton more books, of course!
  • Having lots of fun, meeting tons of fans, and doing something big to establish your long career as an author

Planning, Promotion, Travel, and Lodging:

At the event, everything will be covered, including all the planning and promotion, the venue, the printing costs for the program or print sampler (if we have the budget), the goodie bags, and any food/drinks we offer. We’ll also bring pens and tables and anything else you’ll need to do signings. Travel will likely be via an SUV/van rental so we can haul books and luggage and goodie bags around, and lodging will likely be shared with a roommate or two. Expenses are only covered for the author (not family or friends) and authors are responsible for their own meals and for travel to and from the pick-up/drop-off points (though if we can spring for a group meal here and there, we will, depending on the budget).

We do charge a small reservation fee per stop, but it’s well worth it! For more information about the tour, please email me at monicaleonelle at gmail and I can send you the details and the tour dates. Looking forward to speaking with you!

Watching John Green at Printers Row Lit Fest! (Taken with Instagram)

Watching John Green at Printers Row Lit Fest! (Taken with Instagram)

One more sketch for tonight (Taken with instagram)

One more sketch for tonight (Taken with instagram)

Sketches (first ones in nearly 15 years!) (Taken with instagram)

Sketches (first ones in nearly 15 years!) (Taken with instagram)