Saturday, January 27, 2018

Want A Sneak Peek?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Cari Dubiel has paid her dues. BIG TIME. She’s the Adult Learning and Information Services manager at the Twinsburg (Ohio) Public Library, and coordinates all programs, services, and collections for adults. She also  spent five years as the Library Liaison to Sisters in Crime. So we all have much to thank her for! And now, she’s written a novel of her own.
I know it’s unusual for us to do this, but before you hear from Cari, here’s a sneak peek at her book!

HOW TO REMEMBER

Lauren’s house is one of the huge ones. It may as well have been a castle, since I would never live in a place like this, with its vaulted ceilings and bathroom just for guests. She flung open the door, her eyes lit with a tempered rage as I held the cups of coffee out to her. My penance.

“Come in, come in,” she said. “The baby’s asleep.”

Baby? What baby? Did they get a dog? I thought I remembered her talking about that, the last time I’d seen her. Which was yesterday and felt like a hundred years ago.

I followed her into the dining room, where Jim sat with his Mac and a mug in front of him. Shoot. I snapped my fingers. “I forgot. Jim, I’m so sorry. I should have brought you some.”

He got up and put a skinny hand on my shoulder. I tensed, my own shoulders tight. 

Then he stepped back. “What’s up?”

I shook my head. “I don’t even know, man. I don’t even know.”

“It’s fine.” He waved a hand. “I’m glad you’re okay.”

“Why wouldn’t I be?” Lauren and I took seats at the dining table. I loved coming here, loved the comfort of their beautiful house and warm company. It was one of those places where I always felt safe. I was determined to ignore the oddness that poked at the edges of my consciousness. This was not the place for those feelings.

Lauren and Jim exchanged glances. “We haven’t been sure where you went,” she said finally, carefully, as if she had taken all the words she had thrown at me and wrapped them in a neat package.

“Where I went?” I looked between their concerned faces. “I went to Ethan’s last night after work, like I always do. The bar.”

An unearthly wail echoed from upstairs. Lauren groaned and put her head on the table. “Just let me sit here for one minute. All I ask for is one minute.”

Jim got up. “I’ll get her. You talk.” He climbed the stairs, his steps heavy.

I turned to my friend, peered at her. “What is going on?” I had to face it. If there was a problem here, it was mine. I took a sip of my coffee. It was getting cold, the warmth I had sought gone so fast.

Jim came back down the stairs clutching a small, squalling bundle to his chest. He handed it to Lauren, who sighed and sat back in her chair. She leaned over and grabbed a round pillow from the chair beside her, positioned it around her waist, and attached the baby to her breast. 

I watched the process, dumbfounded, and my body ached in response. “Wait. You have a baby now? When were you pregnant?” The words tumbled out of my mouth in clumsy, staggering succession.

“You missed it,” Lauren said. She reached for her own cooling coffee with one hand, the other encircling her breast as the baby gulped. “I mean, Miranda, I know you weren’t happy about it. But you didn’t have to disappear.”

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Yes. I know you want to read more of her fiction.
But first, here’s Cari. With the rest of her real-life story.

Crowdfunding a Novel
 or 
Why Did I DoThis to Myself?

It’s been a crazy journey so far, and I’d love to take you all with me. This book started when I woke up from a disorienting dream. In the dream, I’d forgotten an entire year of my life. I checked my calendars, my to-do lists, but everything was gone.
 I started to wonder how such a thing could happen, if it could happen.

In October 2017, I read THE PUNCH ESCROW by Tal M. Klein. It’s hard science fiction with heart – great characters and a story arc that explores what it really means to be human. As I read it, I kept thinking about how my book was similar. My novel is a blend of mystery and science fiction, with a hint of a love story, set in the suburbs of Ohio. Protagonist Miranda Underwood is a neuroscientist who loses a year of her memories, and computer programmer Ben Baker is the guy who helps her put it all back together, while he’s also investigating the mysterious death of his mother.
When I investigated Tal’s journey to publication, I discovered he was on Inkshares, a platform that will release a novel when it meets a certain number of copies sold. 
When I first read about it, I was ecstatic! I had just finished a five-year term as the Library Liaison to Sisters in Crime, and I knew a lot of people were excited about my book. I could sell enough copies to meet the goal – no problem!
Spoiler: I was wrong.
Right now I’m sitting at 159 copies. In the time since I started my campaign, an excerpt from the novel was chosen for the Hugh Holton Award, given by the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. The book was chosen for two Inkshares Syndicates, which means that a group of Inkshares members have pooled their money to support my book. But I still have more work to do. I’m trying to meet the goal for the publisher’s Quill program before it ends.
 I have to sell 250 copies by February 9 to be eligible.
This has been a wild ride. I didn’t expect to meet so many people along the way – Inkshares has an awesome community of helpful, supportive authors. And feedback about the work has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m really excited to continue the marketing process once I know I have a product to sell!
So, what have I learned so far?
·      Selling a book is hard work. You have to be able to communicate the value of your work to your potential readers.
·      You need a good cover. Since my fabulous designer redid my cover, I’ve sold many more copies.
·      You have to send people personal messages and ask for the sale.
·      You have to swallow your pride and shout your mission from the rooftops.


HANK: SO exciting! And we cannot wait to her what happens.  Reds and readers, what do you think?  Will she make that Feb 9 deadline?  Check it out here!

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     Cari Dubiel is a librarian, writer, speaker, and teacher in Northeast Ohio. She is the co-host of The ABC Book Reviews Podcast and the mom of two young boys.

Read the first two chapters and pre-order here: https://www.inkshares.com/books/how-to-remember
@caridubiel
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36 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Cari, on your book [and I love the cover] . . . I’ve never heard of Inkshares before, but, judging from the excerpt here, I’m sure you’ll reach your goal by the deadline. I’m looking forward to finding out how Miranda lost a whole year of her life . . . and how she gets its back.

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    1. Yes, I think it sounds terrific! And I am so proud… If I may say so… of you, Cari! You have worked so genuinely hard on this, and it really shows! Hooray!

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    2. Thank you so much, Joan, and Hank!! I'm at the library right now so it's been hard to find time to check in, but I so appreciate it!

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  2. Cari— how do you juggle all this? And tell us more about your work at the library, too! And that fabulous podcast!

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    1. It is definitely a lot of work - I have a pretty regimented system (although things do slip through the cracks sometimes). Right now I'm really focusing on marketing, so I'm not writing as much, but as soon as I finish my campaign I'll go back to my schedule of one chapter per week (about 500 words a day). I've been doing that since 2011 and it works well for me. I write more if I have time.

      At the library, I have 13 direct reports who do tons of stuff. Technology help, classes, a small makerspace, passports, meeting and study room reservations, notaries, reader's advisory, homebound, events and programs... the list goes on and on. I am mainly in charge of making sure all the ducks are in a row. I also select the "hot" items, plus e-books and databases. I am privileged to be the one purchasing many Red books!

      My podcast is at www.abcbookreview.com. I've been recording with Beth Hatch for more than ten years. We took a break last year - she took a fantastic opportunity to be a library director, and it's taken her some time to get into the swing of that, but we're back now with a fresh new look. Check it out! (And of course I'm selling my book there too, right now, but once this is all over I'll be back to normal. Haha)

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  3. Congratulations on the book, Cari! It looks wonderful and I love the 'sneak peak'! Yes, I'd love to know more about your library work and your time as Library Liaison to Sisters in Crime. From one 'library' person to another (I used to work at the Austin Public Library), well done!

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    1. Thank you, Kay! I'm so excited! I'll reply to Hank upthread; feel free to chime in :-)

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  4. I got the shivers reading that excerpt, Cari! And Inkshares sounds like such an interesting idea. Best of luck with your goal.

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  5. Cari, congratulations! Tell us more about what happens when you meet the goal and where you go from there? Is the book finished? this is all new and fascinating!

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    1. Thanks Lucy/Roberta :-) Yes, the book is complete. I have engaged a professional editor, separate from Inkshares, to make sure that the novel is the absolute best it can be. As a librarian, I have high standards, so I want those professional eyes on it. If I meet the goal, after I turn in the polished manuscript, it will go to a copy editor and then an interior designer. They'll give me a release date and will do all the distribution, and some marketing consultation may also be available. I am going to ask my designer to do the back cover and spine.

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  6. I learn something new here everyday, it seems, as well as meeting fabulous new authors. There have been days I've woken up and wondered if maybe a decade (or two) has gone missing! Here's hoping you reach your goal--and, like Lucy, I'm curious--what happens when you do?

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    1. Haha, that's true! I feel like I lose time every day! I'll reply up thread to Lucy so everyone can see the answer :-)

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  7. That designer did well by you on the cover... it's terrific. AND congratulations(!) on your success! I get SO uncomfortable asking people to "buy my book," too. I'll never get used to it.

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    1. Thank you so much!! I can't wait to let her know. She's amazing. Yes - selling things is SO hard! Especially when you work in a library!

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  8. Congrats on the book, Cari! I'm sure you'll make your goal. I've heard of Inkshares, but only in passing so it's interesting to learn more.

    Yes, what happens after you meet the goal?

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Thanks, Mary!! I'm getting there. I've got an event on Facebook for the last day of the campaign, so one way or the other, we're going to have fun wrapping things up :-) I'll reply upthread with what happens next!

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  9. Wow! I liked the premise. I haven't heard of marketing a book like this. Very interesting. Back in the early 80s we moved from the Texas panhandle to Hudson, straight down 91 from you. I remember the school kids would use either your library or the Stow library for research. We had a wonderful librarian but a very small library. We moved away in 2000 but still get back to the area to visit.

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    1. Wow, that's awesome! I live in Stow, but I'm just off Route 8, so Hudson is actually closer to me than any other library. I have a lot of dear friends who work there (including Amanda Flower - she writes fabulous cozies).

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  10. Do we all have a library and we especially remember? I am trying to think about that… Coming to you from the Miami airport, so —ready to board a plane. More to come!

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  11. Congratulations Cari. I've ordered the book and flogged it on Facebook. Bet of luck. You are close to your goal.

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    1. PS, I was #178. 72 books to go.

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    2. Thank you so much!! We're up to 180 now :-D

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  12. Hi Cari! I love the premise of your book, and the "sneak peak." I hadn't heard of Inkshares but it sounds like a really cool idea! Good luck meeting your goal!

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    1. Thank you so much! I've been really happy with the community there as well. Reminds me a lot of Sisters in Crime. I've met so many cool people - I wish I could travel the world and hang out with them all.

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  13. Cari- This premise is amazing! I really hope you hit your goal - going to order your book RIGHT NOW! I'd never heard of Inkshares until your email - this idea fascinates me. You have been such a wonderful liaison at all of the ALA conferences I've been to - truly, I am ever grateful to you for all of your hard work. Off to pimp the book!

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    1. Thank you so much, Jenn - I'm so excited!! I am going to miss being involved this year, but I'm still active on my local chapter board. And of course, the SinC community is fabulous online!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so excited!! You'll get an update from me soon :-)

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  15. We have so many writers who read Jungle Red... Cari can you explain how Inkshares works? Is it like Wattpad?

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    1. Sure! It is an interactive site where writers can post drafts in addition to books they are funding. It is kind of like Wattpad in that if you create a page for your book, you can post as much of it as you want. Since I'm trying to sell copies of HOW TO REMEMBER, I only have two chapters up right now (plus it'll go through another revision or two before it's published). But I do have a site for short stories in the MindTech world, and those stories will always be free to read on Inkshares, much like Wattpad. That link is https://www.inkshares.com/books/lost-memories

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  16. Yay Cari! Like Debs, I'm not familiar with Inkshares; I'm always learning something new on JRW! I look forward to reading more of your sneak peek!

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  17. Loved the excerpt! Loved it so much I just placed a pre-order. I really hope you hit your goal!

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