Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











UtopYA 2015 starts 4 days… 4 days folks!  And that meas it’s time to get ready for real–no more lists in our heads of what we want to bring, who we want to see, and what we want to do–we’ve got to pull out the suitcases, pack ’em up, and make sure we have everything we need.  It can be a daunting and scary process leading up to the con, from packing, to traveling and getting to the hotel, to meet and greets, and toting your books around and getting to the right places, but I’ve got some tips and advice for you.

UtopYAThursday, June 18, 2015 at 7:00 AM – Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM (CDT)

Nashville, TN

Get your last minute tickets here, if you still need one!!!

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Packing:

Wrapped BooksSo, you’ve purchased your ticket to the con, but still need to pack, right?

Pack light.  You’re only at the conference for four days, and you don’t need to change your outfit multiple times a day.  TRUST ME.  You may feel like you’ll need extra clothes just in case, but you truly don’t.  PACK LIGHT. The more room in your suitcase when you arrive, the better off you’ll be when you leave with ALL YOUR BOOKS!!  Plus, I hardly packed anything to wear last year, and I still didn’t wear it all.

What you need:

  • 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants (or dresses)
  • 2 comfortable tops—you’ll probably want to buy the t-shirt at UtopYA, so count that as a third
  • 1 pair of comfy sandals (shoes if you want)
  • 1 “formal” outfit for the awards ceremony with shoes and accessories to match (think PROM) and 1 costume for karaoke.
  • Pajamas (we’re talking pajama parties, here)
  • Undergarments (socks optional)
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail file, perfume, hairbrush, women stuffs, straighteners, etc.—they have hairdryers in the rooms)
  • ANY BOOKS YOU ALREADY HAVE THAT YOU WANT SIGNED and a rolling carryon
  • Saran Wrap and Bubble wrap (you will want to double wrap your books in stacks for the travel home so they don’t flop all over the suitcase and end up damaged)   ====> Newspaper is NOT a good idea, though, as it leaves black ink on things and is too thin.
  • Cash for books—some authors take credit cards via PayPal, but it’s just easier with cash on hand.  There are ATMs in the hotel, though, if you run out.
  • Name Badge that shows off your icon.  People don’t know my face or necessarily my full name, but they DO know my blog, so last year I made my own badge to stick over the white badge UtopYA gives out, and it worked like a charm.  Bring business cards to hand out as well, if you have them.

NameBadge

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Getting There:

If you can drive to Nashville without getting car sick (like I do), then do it!  But, if you’re like me, or if it’s just too far by car, then fly.  If you’re taking SOUTHWEST, then you’re already ahead of the game–Southwest is the only carrier I’ve found that doesn’t charge for luggage.  This is a book conference, so that means you’ll have LOTS of books to take home.  You could mail them, technically, and spend a lot of dollars doing it, OR, you could fly Southwest, which allows you TWO FREE CHECKED BAGS UP TO 50 POUNDS EACH!  Yeah. <== This.

carryonI flew Southwest last year based on their stellar service and the free checked luggage.  Remember, you don’t need a suitcase filled with clothes.  But you DO need lots of space for your books.  I checked two bags for the conference last year, and one was completely empty on my way down to Nashville.  Hey, it’s free, right?  And it saved me a ton of cash when I left the conference because I checked all my books… my combined weight with books, swag, and clothes was about 76 pounds between the two bags (not counting my 30 pound carryon).  And about 50 pounds of that 76 was book weight.  Imagine the price tag on mailing home 50 pounds of books?

BUT–maybe you’re not flying Southwest and there’s a fee to check your bags… find out how much that fee is for a certain weight… sometimes it’s just $25 extra for 50 pounds… still cheaper and faster than mailing them.  Check around and see your option.

ALSO–make sure you bring a carry-on, and that it has wheels.  Put as many books as you can IN IT for the trip down to Nashville, because if you’re packing light for the con, and your checked luggage is sparse, as it should be, you want to keep your precious books safe from flopping around as the luggage gets thrown around.  Plus, you will want it for the conference to transport all your books and swag (and, it’s gentler on your body). I wheeled my carryon all over the conference this year, and it was a real life saver. Even though my room was just upstairs, and totes are everywhere and they’re fun to use, carrying books around is heavy, and it hurts your back. So bring a rolling carryon.  Trust me.

And if you have the chance, do what I do when flying home: if they’re asking people to standby and take another flight because your flight is full, DO IT–if they’re offering vouchers!  In 2013, Southwest asked me to take the next flight out, which was just four hours later than my original, and they GAVE ME A VOUCHER FOR DOUBLE WHAT I PAID FOR MY ROUNDTRIP TICKETS.  That means my flight for the 2014 convention to Nashville was completely free!

In other words, make sure you don’t schedule any pressing engagements for June 22, 2015, and take the voucher on any flight if they’re offering, and it’ll add up to some awesome free flights.  I took my voucher from 2013 and paid for BOTH my trip to Nashville AND my vacation to Florida.  For real.  Take the voucher if the opportunity arises.

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Shuttle:

So you’ve arrived at the airport and you don’t have any friends coming to pick you up and take you to the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel.  NO WORRIES.  The hotel does offer a FREE shuttle service roundtrip to the airport, even if the concierge tells you they don’t… however, for the sake of time, you may want to go ahead and just book a shuttle service instead, which is what I did my first year attending in 2013.

While FREE is nice, I did spend over an hour waiting for the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel Shuttle to pick me up from the airport (only seats 10), and I spent a good 45 minutes waiting for it to take me back to the airport at the end of the conference. So plan accordingly and make sure you head out for the shuttle early, especially if you are under any time constraints.

May I suggest InShuttle… a very prompt service that will take you roundtrip between the Maxwell House and the Airport for ONLY $18 (it will also take you other places, but the fee is a little higher). I used this service in 2013 and really enjoyed it.

InShuttle  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hotel:

Once you get to the hotel, check in… to both the hotel and UtopYAcon 2015 (if that’s an option at your arrival time).  You want to get registered as soon as possible… trust me. If your room isn’t ready and you have to wait in the lobby, ask the concierge to hold your bags for you (they will), and go grab a bite to eat in the Bar.

Millennium Nashville Exterior ImageHere’s some info about the Hotel:

Facilities:

Outdoors — Outdoor Pool

Activities — Golf Course (within 2 miles), Fitness Center

Food & Drink — Restaurant, Bar

Internet — Wired internet is available in the hotel rooms for a fee of $9.95 per day, but it is free of charge in the lobby. Our internet didn’t work in the rooms at all this past weekend, so it was taken off the bill for all guests.

Parking — Free! Free public parking is available on site (reservation is not needed).

Services — Room Service, Airport Shuttle (free), 24-Hour Front Desk, Baggage Storage, ATM on site, Laundry, Ironing Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Business Center, Fax/Photocopying, Souvenir/Gift Shop

General — Newspapers, Safe, Non-smoking Rooms, Facilities for Disabled Guests, Elevator, Heating, All Spaces Non-Smoking (public and private), Designated Smoking Area

Extra Charges:

Upon checkout, the hotel does automatically add on a $50 a day amenities charge JUST IN CASE, so if you see a pending transaction for a lot more than your bill AFTER you check out of the hotel next year, rest assured that it will be taken off—it’s only a security measure.  But do make sure you FOLLOW UP with the hotel about it!

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Food:

Bring it.  Not a ton, but definitely have snacks.  The hotel restaurant and bar is indeed delicious, but they’re both tiny, and when 700+ people are all hungry for lunch, it just doesn’t work.  If you want to eat in either of these places, plan to eat during off times.  11am brunch, or 2pm lunch… avoid the crowds so you don’t have a long wait and can get back to conferencing.

Millennium Nashville Dining Image ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Conference:

Go in knowing that this conference is epic.  I adore it and the laid-back nature of it all.  Janet Wallace, the founder of UtopYA, has made it an unforgettable event that you just cannot miss!

This year’s keynote speakers are Denise Grover Swanke, Lauren Miller, Kim Holden, and Lauren Miller.  From Thursday-Saturday, each will speak, beginning at 9am.  But don’t wait until 9am to get your seat!!  There are always amazing giveaways to start the mornings, so make sure you’re in the conference room by 8:30 at the latest!!  So many people showed up late, missing the opening statements and, therefore, lost out on their prizes!  Hey, more for me!  But seriously, you don’t want to be late for the opening announcements each morning.

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Author Signings:

We also have a full day author signing event on Saturday from 11-4! It’s FREE to the public, but you STILL NEED A TICKET–get it now, time is running out!  Exhibitors

What does an all day signing mean for you, you might ask?  You have MORE TIME to get all the signatures you want!  So, you have time to go to the panels. Last year I struggled getting to panels because I wanted to make sure all my books were signed, and hunting down people was difficult at times, but with a public signing from 10-4am, you’ve GOT TIME!  So hit those panels!!  Check out the schedule here: http://utopyacon.com/2015-schedule/ or better yet, use the Sched App, which you can sign up for, or log in to, just by clicking “sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.”

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Books and Pre-Orders:

Moving on, I HIGHLY suggest that you bring as many books as you can TO the con

ference as many authors only bring limited quantities.  Though, there is a bookstore on site, it also seemed a bit limited itself last year.

BUT–Pre-order’s are available for a TON of authors!  Check out this pre-order list hosted by Maria Pease. You can check out what kind of deals/sales the authors are offering, and find some amazing swag. Just click the name of the author to go to their pre-order page, and MAKE SURE you write down what books you purchased on a spreadsheet so you don’t forget, especially if you’re buying a lot! Many authors also have deals for those pre-ordering, like extra swag, lower prices, etc., so do check out the pre-orders list.

And, be sure to check out Jo Michael’s Blog Post about giveaways, freebies with pre-orders, and her advice of what to bring/do while at UtopYA.  It’s great!

Likewise, you will acquire much swag and meet tons of authors you haven’t read yet.  So bring cash in case you decide you want to buy their books as well—I met so many new authors and after connecting with them and learning about their books, I just had to have them!  Set a budget and plan accordingly.

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Mailing Books Home:

If you didn’t drive, or you just can’t check anymore bags for whatever reason… so you need to mail them home.  That’s cool, just make sure you send it USPS (regular mail) and tell them it’s MEDIA MAIL (if you’re mailing in the USA ONLY–media mail doesn’t exist for international mailing)!  I highly suggest avoiding FedEx because it’s mad expensive.  USPS is the least expensive, and media mail makes it even less so. But you can ONLY send books media mail—not swag, so I suggest putting on the swag in your checked luggage as it’s light (and make sure you put any and all magnets in your checked bag—I made the mistake of putting my business card magnets in my carryon and the TSA agents flagged it and were seriously nervous about going through my bag).

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Costumed Karaoke:

And did I mention costumed karaoke?  Because, yeah.  That happened, too. BRING AN OUTFIT–you don’t have to sing!!

Minion Love

This year I am saddened to say that I will NOT be in attendance… school is STILL in session and my students are taking their finals through June 19… and since I’m not allowed to take off during finals, it just didn’t work out this year.  Had I been able to come, THIS would have been my karaoke outfit.  You’re welcome.

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The Awards:

The awards are a BIG DEAL at UtopYA.  It’s like a red carpet event; it’s not a sit down dinner event, but there is a cocktail hour prior to the awards, and the hor d’oeuvres are delectable, though you still might want to eat a light meal prior to the awards ceremony. Awards

What to wear?  Well, really it doesn’t matter.  Since it’s like a red carpet event, most people were dressed to varying formal degrees—from sundresses to prom dresses, I saw them all.  I also saw slacks and jeans, so don’t feel like you have to dress up!  It’s not mandatory.  The only thing that is mandatory is that you have a good time, and that’s a given.

And make sure you stick around for the after-hour dance party, which is great fun!

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And over the course of the year I’ve posted a TON of information about UtopYA–check them all out below.

{UtopYA} Panels for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Authors, Bloggers, Editors, and Readers

{UtopYA} The Writing Cave and Official Voting

{UtopYA Sched App} – Adding Events and Panels to Your Schedule – Official UtopYA 2015 Post

{UtopYA Con Interview} Victoria Faye of Whit&Ware – Book Branding Blueprint Workshop

{UtopYA 2015} Author Guest Post – Heather Hildenbrand

{UtopYA Con 2015} Millennium Maxwell House Information – Restaurants

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All in all, UtopYA is beyond fantastic! What do I love about it?  Everything!  But especially that authors and aspiring authors, publicists and publishers, bloggers and readers, cover designers and cover models are all in close proximity to one another, chatting, networking, eating, singing, dancing… and the list goes on. It’s like one HUGE slumber party for four days, and mixed in are awesome activities, with keynotes, panels, visiting booths, signings, pool parties, an awards ceremony, dancing, costumed karaoke, and even some sight-seeing, should one so choose–I hear there’s even going to be a tattoo party… yeasssss! I love that it’s a camaraderie of talents where attendees are willing to share their experiences, jump out of their comfort zones, do some crazy fun things, and all the while make long lasting friendships. You’re going to have a blast.  Just. Breath.

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It’s almost time, folks!  UtopYA 2015 is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY–and tickets sales for the panels are ending in just a few short days, on May 31, so grab your tickets while you still can!  Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss out!

So, let’s talk about why you should go to UtopYA and what you can learn from your experience there! We’ll even give you some insights to the panels so you can decide which ones will be best suited for you.  Ready?

UtopYAToday, I’m highlighting the afternoon panels for Thursday, June 18.  Make sure you stop on over to Jo Michael’s blog for the morning panels highlights for June 18, and then jump on over to The Paisley Reader and Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous, tomorrow, to see the June 19 panel highlights!

Thursday, June 18, 2-3pm Panels Include:

Is Time Travel Possible?

Moderator: Myra McEntire

Panelists: Sherry Ficklin • PK Hrezo • Robert Scherrer • Rysa Walker

What you can expect to learn:

Join physicists and fanatics as we talk quantum leaps and butterfly effects in this fascinating panel. Learn how to convince your reader without overwhelming them with technical mumbo jumbo.

For: Beginners — Authors

It’s All about the Money…and How You Manage It

Moderator: Susan BurdorfPanelists: Kim Holden • Alison Pensy • Eva Pohler

What you can expect to learn:

You gotta keep track of it all – the cost of swag, the travel, the conferences, the paperbacks, the promotions and advertising, and on and on. This session will help keep you sane and your budget balanced (hopefully). Get tips from accountants and authors on how to keep track, keep up and report it to Uncle Sam without losing an arm and a leg.

For: Beginners/Intermediate — Authors/Editors/Personal Assistants

What a Difference a Year Makes

Moderator: Amanda Jason (C. A. Kunz)Panelists: Delphina Henley • Heather Lyons • Amanda Michelle Moon • Stacie Wilson

What you can expect to learn:

The dramatic effect that utopYAcon has on attendees and panelists is staggering, and beyond our and their wildest dreams. Hear stories of those who got published, those who made new and lasting friendships, and those who made career contacts and connections that have propelled their careers faster and better than they expected. This is your chance to hear how to make the most of utopYA, hear how its impacted attendees year-round to help them achieve their goals, and how you can do it, too!

For: Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced — Authors/Bloggers/Readers/Editors

Thursday, June 18, 3-4pm Panels Include:

So You Wanna be a Book Blogger/Tuber? 

Moderator: Jo Michaels

Panelists: Maria Pease • Chris Cannon • Tammie Zimmerman

What you can expect to learn:

There are some big ol’ perks that come with being a book blogger or book tuber – advanced    release copies of books for review, invitations to events, street cred, income, and more. But first you gotta build your blog, build your rep, build your community and learn the ins and outs of professional blogging, giveaways and relationship-building. Find out from authors and bloggers the right and wrong way to do this blogger/tuber thang in this hot session.

For: Beginners/Intermediate — Bloggers/Authors

The Golden Age of the Book Trailer

Moderator: Denise Grover Swank Panelists: Adam Cushman • Amy Miles • Cameo Renae

What you can expect to learn:

Book trailers have gone from “that would be cool to have” to a “MUST HAVE” for authors. Find out the elements, the copyright laws, and the hooks that can move your trailer from ho-hum to awesome.

For: Intermediate/Advanced — Authors

Why YA Matters

Moderator: B. J. Sheldon

Panelists: Hope Collier • Chanda Hahn • Lauren Miller • Lana Popovic

What can you expect to learn:

With the massive proliferation of New Adult sweeping the market, the beloved Young Adult category that helped pave the way for NA has been left to collect dust. It seems that the writers who helped make it matter are taking a “been there, done that” approach to it, even going so far as to consider it passe and for newbies rather than for the now experienced who are milking the sexy romance book market trend all the way to the bank.

While trend- and genre-hopping can be very good choices — 1.They challenge the writer, 2. Alleviate boredom, 3. Avoid getting labeled into a corner — there are still a growing number of Millennials out there aching to read more Young Adult that represents them.

This session will cover the stigma attached to YA, share findings on why it should still matter to writers and readers, as well as discuss personal experiences.

For: Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced — Authors/Readers/Bloggers



UtopYA

It’s Friday! Yay yay yay!  Let me tell you, this week has been rough for me, but I’ve got a fun post for y’all to make your Friday even better!!  The ever talented Victoria Faye of Whit&Ware is here to answer some interview questions and talk about her upcoming workshop—Book Branding Blueprint —at utopYA Con 2015. If you don’t have your ticket yet, you need to get one soon! There are only 98 days until the event, and you don’t want to miss out on all the epicness that is utopYA 2015!  Scoop up your ticket here (hint: you can purchase a ticket to Victoria Faye’s Whit&Ware workshop here and find out more about it).

In addition to the amazing information you’ll get this month from the official bloggers, be sure and write down the partial phrase you’ll find on each blog. We’re giving away Saturday signing space, and you’ll need the whole phrase in order to enter.

So without further ado, here’s my interview with Victoria Faye of Whit&Ware:

ww_2015_logo_a

Where did you go to school to gain your mad design and marketing skills?

While I did go to school and get a degree in Media Technology and Graphic Design in Northern CA (Hartnell, Monterey County) I’m largely self taught. Most of my learning actually happened on the job, I got an internship at Marketing company almost right out of a high school, and they put me on every job possible as the assistant inhouse designer. I was there for a few years, then I had the luck of having friends who worked in entertainment, specifically in set design and fashion styling, I was able to learn lot from them about branding individuals and styling/designing concepts. That experience helped me land a job as a visual artist and merchandiser at Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Macys before I started doing freelance design. I got to design floor displays and store graphics and create style directives for womens/juniors fashion. After that I worked for a video production/manufacturer as a marketing coordinator for 5 years designing branding and marketing campaigns while building my design business, so its mostly been 15 years of on the job training, I also try to get into professional workshops and study for certifications every year to help me stay updated on all the software and practices I’m constantly learning!

 What kind of degree(s) do you hold in these fields?

I have a degree in Graphic Design, and currently working towards a BA degree in New Media Marketing.

What part of the workshop are you looking forward to presenting most and why?

I really want to break down what branding and marketing is and how they are both easy to do at any scale. Indie authors wear so many hats, and sometimes the final piece of the puzzle, the marketing, gets convoluted because there’s no clear brand identity, nor is there a clear plan other than just to sell a book once its done. I want to share how authors can create longevity over their indie careers and grow as indie publishing grows so they can stay relevant.

What’s your biggest success story with an author?

Hmm…its a bit of a tough question…My measure of success is this: if I’ve stayed true to an author vision and a books story, then I have succeeded, lol. I don’t keep track of peoples book sales, though I know several have been in amazon bestseller lists. However, I do have a few books in mind that I had to pay special attention when creating the graphics and “brand” for I felt these were especially successful:

Tammy Blackwell THE TIMBER WOLVES TRILOGY

I rebranded Tammy’s first book, DESTINY BINDS and after that I was blessed that she chose me to do the rest she wanted her covers to be mysterious and unique so we worked together to create silhouette styled covers that weren’t photography based.

Heather Lyons THE COLLECTORS SOCIETY

Heather has an existing marketing plan that she was working on with her publicist so from her covers to her trailer, I needed to make sure I stayed within the guidelines of a something that felt magical and paid homage to fairytales, but was still easily recognizable as more adult. I designed the fonts and the series logo for her as well as the additional artwork I knew she would need for promotions.

Ty Drago THE UNDERTAKERS REBRAND

The Undertakers series moved to a new publisher so they needed the title branding and supplemental art to be updated, yet still similar to the original release of the series. I designed the title art and the jacket design to stay reminiscent of the original books, but still look fresh.

Currently Im doing a branding case study with Eva Pohler. Alongside Indievisible.com, I am rebranding all her books and working on a new campaign that will enhance the amazing marketing that Eva already has in place. You can follow along on Eva’s blog or on the Indie-visible Blog on how I use the elements I’ll be sharing the the workshop to update her branding and streamline her marketing efforts its a long term branding project that I’m excited about because people will actually get to see how it works in real time.

Real measurable success happens overtime, while tweaking the branding and the marketing methods. Its not instantaneous. First having a plan of action and then revising accordingly is essential, and authors get overwhelmed and frustrated with figuring out how to do that. My workshop is specifically aimed at teaching authors how to execute a marketing plan and keep their branding consistent.

What does the Dream Like a Boss package include?

The DREAM LIKE A BOSS Giveaway (opening March 20) includes a full length trailer, book branding for up to 3 books, a 6 month marketing plan with all graphics included, An author logo Author website and consultations through out. It includes a planner that will itemize marketing goals, track progress and tasks, creating a design/plan for merchandising and so much more!

Why should authors take advantage of the workshop?

Consultations and packages for branding and marketing can get fairly expensive. Into the thousands of dollars range. Over several books you can’t afford to keep hiring someone or taking blind guesses. I designed the workshop to teach authors (In two hours) how to produce practical results like increased readership, visual consistency and yes, even better sales. The workshop basically offers indie authors a crash-course/guide that explicitly outlines what to, when to and how to market/brand each book release they have I’ve spent a year specifically designing the Indie Book Branding Blueprint and included FREE resources so that authors can feel like they are still in control of their whole publishing process and budget I’m just so excited to pass on what I know and what I’ve learned from working in marketing the workshop packs in so much in so little time, I think authors should take advantage of the fact they don’t have spend hours or even weeks hunting for all the answers!

So, so awesome!!!  Special thanks to Victoria for answering these questions!  Excited?

The workshop is available for just $80.00! The 2-Hour Intensive condenses 3 weeks of information from Whit&Ware’s Book Branding Blueprint Program (reg. $225).Purchasing the workshop also qualifies you for a %25 discount from the regular Blueprint program should you choose to enroll after UtopyaCon.

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Victoria Faye

More about Victoria Faye:

When I first imagined my brand and design company, Whit&Ware, I knew I wanted to partner with my clients to help them define and chase even their smallest dreams because I value the importance of having someone on your side who believes in you and can help bring those dreams to life through solid branding, marketing and design.

In my 10+ years as a designer and marketing professional, I have learned that when dreams are defined, they clearly communicate who you are, they attract believers in you and your brand, and ultimately, they help you thrive and inspire others.

As Whit&Ware, I am committed to helping every client define their dream for those purposes exactly. It’s why I so often ask – how do you want to dream out loud today?

For more information on Whit & Ware’s Book Branding Blueprint, please visit: http://main.whitandware.com/bookbrandingblueprintworkshop/ or http://main.whitandware.com/main/blog/

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Phrase part two: make the most

AND don’t forget to visit the other official utopYA bloggers this month for information on the other workshops, and the special event going on Friday evening.

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1 – Jo Michael’s Blog hosts C.J. Redwine’s discussion on her Query Letter Workshop
Week 3 – The Paisley Reader hosts Regina Wamba’s discussion on her workshop for graphic designers and photographers
Week 4 – Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous  will be talking about the special Friday night event, will have a list of Saturday signing authors, and will be giving away a spot at the signing

Special thanks to Jo Michael’s for coming up with such awesome questions for Victoria!



Here’s the third leg of the Official UtopYA Scavenger Hunt!! Check it out and ENTER, ENTER, ENTER!!!

The Paisley Reader

Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I am happy to bring you my section of the utopYA Con official bloggers’ scavenger hunt for our panelists’ books. Before I get to the rules, let me tell you about the utopYA2015’s earlybird ticket prices! They’re ending February 28th, and that’s next week! Standard admission is currently $90, and VIP is $115. On the 28th, those prices go up to $110 for standard admission and $135 for VIP. Thinking about getting your tickets? Pick them up here.

Now, let’s get to the book hunt! Here’s what you have to do to win:

  1. Read the synopsis below.
  2. Guess which book from my short list the synopsis belongs to.
  3. Type your answer in the Rafflecopter entry form.
  4. Enter every day throughout the month of February for a shot at the prize!

Each blogger will list one synopsis and five possible titles for you to choose from. It’ll…

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UtopYA

It’s Friday!  Happy weekend to you!

Today, I am excited to bring to you an awesome contest from the utopYA Con official bloggers: We pulled together and are leading you on a scavenger hunt for our panelists’ books!  Read on for more deatils, but first, let me remind you about the utopYA Con 2015 earlybird ticket prices! They’re ending February 28th! Standard admission is $90 right now, and VIP is $115. On the 28th, those prices go up to $110 for standard admission and $135 for VIP. So, go get yours here. For serious.  Get ’em now!

Now, let’s get to the book hunt! Here’s what you have to do to win:

  1. Read the synopsis below.

  2. Guess which book from my short list the synopsis belongs to.

  3. Type your answer in the Rafflecopter entry form.

  4. Enter every day throughout the month of February for a shot at the prize!

Each blogger will list one synopsis and five possible titles for you to choose from. It’ll be a different title each week (this is week two).

This form will stay up on my blog for one week. Then, I’ll change the entry form to a link for the new hunt over on The Paisley Reader. And so on, and so forth. At the end of the game, all incorrect entries will be removed before the winner is chosen.

What’s the prize? Well…

You have a shot at winning a pack of three e-books–one from EACH of our keynote speakers:

Denise Grover Swank, Kim Holden, and Lauren Miller

These prizes are being donated by the official bloggers. We wanted to do something awesome for you guys. What’s better than books written by awesome women you’re going to meet?

So… are you ready?  Here’s your synopsis:

One thing set Lydia Shaw and her store apart from the other antique shops in town…

Lydia’s collection was plagued by curses, and it was her duty to break them.

Rachel, Angie, and Jo knew nothing about their aunt’s secret life. In fact, they didn’t even know she owned an antique shop, until they inherited it. Unfortunately for them, Lydia passed down more than just her store. The sisters are the proud new owners of countless deadly curses, buried under centuries of dust.

Lydia also left behind her apprentice, Peter. He does everything he can to protect the girls, as they explore their new store, unaware of the dangers it hides. In spite of his efforts, Rachel finds herself obsessed with opening a strange trunk, Angie has vivid dreams, haunted by a man who claims he needs her help, and Jo’s imagination starts to run wild.

When one of them falls victim to a curse, it’s up to Peter and her sisters to save her. But, if Peter can’t teach them to wield a magic, that he barely understands himself, she’ll be the first one to die.

And the possible titles are:

Tammara Webber — Breakable (Contours of the Heart Book 2)

Elizabeth Kirke — Carved in Cherry (A Curse Collectors Novel Book 1)

Misty Provencher — Stronger

Katie McGarry — Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits)

Megan Curd — Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series Book 2)

Time to enter your guess! Remember, you can enter once every day.

ENTER HERE USING RAFFLECOPTER!

So–where’d those book titles above come from, anyway?  Check out the official utopYA Con Reading list here: It’s a giant list of books by authors sitting on panels in 2015, and where we’ll be taking the titles we play the game with. We love our panelists!

And don’t forget to visit the other official bloggers this month:

Week 1 — Jo Michaels Blog
Week 3 – The Paisley Reader
Week 4 – Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous

What do you think of our little giveaway? Did you enter?

DO IT!  Until next time…



et cetera
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