A Giveaway!

by Greg on February 24, 2010

At conferences recently, besides doing my main presentations, I’ve also been giving individual, shorter social media consultations (see below for the details of how they work).

Because they’ve proven to be so popular, I’ve decided to start offering that same service here through The Happy Accident.

To kick this new offering off┬á (and to help celebrate my fourth anniversary of blogging over at GottaBook), I’m going to give one of these consultations out for freeeeeee. Yup. You could be a winner right here!

Here’s how the consultation works: I send out a worksheet in advance to find out what you’re doing and what you’re hoping to accomplish in social media.

From that, I write up a page or two of notes, action items, and ideas, and then we talk for 30 minutes to go over it all in detail (and answer other questions, too, as time allows). These have proven quite productive for people just beginning and more advanced, so I’m excited to start offering this outside of a conference setting, too.

How do you win? Thanks for asking!

I will pick one winner at random from the comments section of this post as of 11:59 PM on Sunday, Feb 28th. But wait, there’s more…

In your comment, you need to recommend a blog you think others would enjoy reading. You can’t recommend your own blog (or mine). And since not every blog is right for everyone, you need to write a very brief description of why you’re recommending the blog you’ve chosen.

Finally, make sure you use your email address when you fill out the information my blog asks for as you comment. It will not be public, nor will I put it on a list or anything like that, but if I can’t contact you, I will re-draw the winner.

Sure, I’d love it if you subscribed here or followed me or tweeted the post or any such… but I’m always looking for good new blogs to read, and I’m betting y’all know some great ones.

Questions? Ask away! And I look forward to reading your blog suggestions!

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

elizabeth February 24, 2010 at 6:08 am

What a cool offer Greg! Of course, I’d love your input – count me in! I follow two blogs I find incredibly useful:
Chris Brogan and Seth Godin. (Funny they rhyme.) They are both social media marketing consultants. Seth especially has the ear of the publishing industry and is really shaking up the way we look at the book business.


Becky Levine February 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Greg, I’d love to win–I have some specfic questions I bet you could help me with! ­čÖé

People may already know this blog, but for those that don’t, I highly recommend Shrinking Violet Promotions (http://shrinkingvioletpromotions.blogspot.com/), a blog for introverts who are trying to find marketing ideas that work for them.


pdw February 24, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I desperately need a social media makeover. However, this is a good opportunity to recommend a terrific new blog for those who want to write stories for children:


Chris is multi-published and a member of SCBWI. She calls this blog her “free, online writing workshop.” Each post provides basic tips on plot and character. It’s excellent and I look forward to each entry.


Deborah Underwood February 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

This has nothing to do with social media or children’s lit. BUT the blog I’m most fascinated by these days is


An acquaintance of mine and his family have just pulled up roots to serve on the African Mercy, a ship that provides much-needed medical services to the people of Africa. The ship recently docked in Togo and will be there for the next six months. My definition of “adventure” = taking BART from San Francisco to Walnut Creek, so I’m looking forward to vicariously experiencing Africa through this blog.


Mary Cronk Farrell February 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Hi Greg!
I would love to hear your ideas on how to best use social media.

The blog I recommend is http://plotwhisperer.blogspot.com/
I met Martha at a conference and learned so much from her. She is great at helping writers strengthen their plots by deepening emotional resonance and and gearing up dynamic action. I highly recommend her.



Amy Allgeyer Cook February 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm

That sounds like such a great consultation!

The blog I’ll suggest is Agent Kristin Nelson’s:


She has a wealth of writing info stored on her blog and her posts are always informative or funny. Or sometimes both.
.-= Amy Allgeyer Cook┬┤s last blog ..WEDNESDAY WORRIES =-.


Cheryl February 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm

What a generous giveaway!

I like agent/writer Nathan Bransford’s blog http://blog.nathanbransford.com



Lori Calabrese February 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm

What a way to kick this new offering off! Thanks for this great giveaway, Greg!

I follow so many blogs, it’s hard to pick just one, but since we’re talking social media and marketing, I recommend…

Market My Words. It’s an awesome marketing blog by MG/ YA Author Shelli Johannes-Wells. She often has great interviews with editors, agents, etc… to talk about what they think is vital to marketing your brand and book.

Thanks and I look forward to finding some new blogs!
Lori Calabrese
.-= Lori Calabrese┬┤s last blog ..Win an autographed copy of Rene Has Two Last Names =-.


Jessica Young February 24, 2010 at 7:16 pm

One blog I love is: http://chavelaque.blogspot.com/ Cheryl Klein is brilliant and, as Senior Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, she has many insights on publishing and on life in general. Her posts always make me think and make me smile.


Victoria Sterling February 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

What a great offer and I could use to win a free consult! Truthfully, I don’t really follow any blogs except yours, so instead I’m recommending Sharon Good’s “Living the Creative Life” website:


I find she has reassuring advice, innovative ideas, and her creative tips and “Wise Words” are indeed both!!! I highly recommend her for anyone looking to live their life creatively. You can sign up for her emails and they’re great!


Dianne White February 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

What a fabulous offer. I’d be thrilled to win one of your consultations!

Narrowing down my favorite blog recommendations is tough since I already subscribe to quite a few (yours included.) Here are three favorites: Simple Saturdays ,
Paper Clips on My Pillow, and Through the Tollbooth


cjomololu February 24, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I saw you work your magic in person – I’m in!

I recommend The Intern at http://internspills.blogspot.com/ . Read between the snark for valuable insights.
.-= cjomololu┬┤s last blog ..Why Twitter is Like High School =-.


Susan Taylor Brown February 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Terrific idea for a giveaway, Greg. Let’s see you didn’t specify social media blogs and Elizabeth already mentioned Seth and Chris. I’d put Mashable.com at the top of my list. What I like is that I can do a quick skim of the latest news or I can dive into a specific section such as Twitter or Facebook. The news is always current, the tips often cutting edge.
.-= Susan Taylor Brown┬┤s last blog ..Of Dogs and Writing – Finding Your Pack =-.


Jennifer Swanson February 25, 2010 at 5:27 am

Hi Greg,

Thanks for this opportunity. I would love a consultation with you. I follow a lot of blogs, but I find these two really helpful. They are both by agents

Rachelle Gardner http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2007/12/how-to-write-query-letter.html

and Mary Kole http://www.kidlit.com great stuff on both!


Mary Bowman-Kruhm February 25, 2010 at 5:52 am

I subscribe to posts from http://www.maryanndames.com. She is certified dietician in addition to children’s book writer and links children’s books to recipes w/ friendly, engaging style. Relaxing, not heavy stuff for when I want a break.


Liliana Erasmus February 25, 2010 at 6:29 am

Hi Greg and readers,

This is my chance and I’m going for it!

I’d like to recommend: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/ by Joanna Penn, because she does it all for me: market updates, great articles, helpful tips, free stuff… It’s Hyperactivity, but well dosed and very much allowed.

Sunny regards from Aruba.


Cathy C. Hall February 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

I gotta million questions, but I promise I’ll whittle them down to, oh, the top 300.

One of my fave blogs is the “blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks…http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

Because all work and no play makes Cathy a dull writer.


Maribeth February 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

I want to win! :):):)

This is a great opportunity. Thank you for being kind enough to offer it.

I am recommending the blog Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris. She is super cool and so is her blog.

My fingers are crossed.
.-= Maribeth┬┤s last blog ..Re:Query =-.


Sheri Larsen February 25, 2010 at 8:53 am

This is way cool! Thanks, Greg.

As others have mentioned, I too had a tough choice to make between a few inspiring sites. But finally I narrowed it down to Literary Rambles at http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com. Casey has a unique way of dedicating herself to her topics, blog, and followers. Her coverage of agents, the market, and writing aids is top notch. I’d recommend all writers visit her. ­čÖé


Nuria Coe February 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

Thank you Greg, this is truly a gift. I am very nervous about it all, and would love to pick your brain on this issue.
I have been GLUED to Anne Minni’s blog Author! Author! http://www.annemini.com
In her latest series she has been going over every single formatting dos and don’ts and why they are so vital. If you have any question whatsoever she probably already has an answer for it, you just need to browse her list of tags on the right… she will read every comment from every post, no matter how long ago she posted it, and most likely will personally answer any questions you may have.
I feel like I am getting college-grade education for free every time I read her blog, and it has become a part of may daily routine. I would love for more of my fellow writers to discover her too.


madelyn February 25, 2010 at 10:41 am

Great giveaway. I really like Sare Lewis Holmes’ Read, Write Believe for writing advice and poetry and writing advice written poetically. And PBS Booklights for book recommendations.
.-= madelyn┬┤s last blog ..Tastes like Can =-.


Dawn February 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Well, my recommendation is the anonymous brilliance of MissSnark.com who stepped forward to share her cluegun with the world in a way that wouldn’t get her axed and made her a icon for grateful would-be writers everywhere. Seriously, two years of insider knowledge there for the inhaling: go check it out & read read read!

And I shall ReTweet this for the chance to powwow with you!!

.-= Dawn┬┤s last blog ..Hooray! =-.


Cuppa Jolie February 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Great contest, Greg!

I would highly recommend The Chinook Update Blog.
This is SCBWI Western Washington’s blog and is contantly updated (many times a day) with great links and info related to children’s publishing and books.

Wow, I love all these recs. ­čÖé
.-= Cuppa Jolie┬┤s last blog ..Looking for Some Writerly Company Today? =-.


Tere Kirkland February 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I follow Miss Snark’s first victim at http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/

Her Secret Agent contests might be the best thing since sliced bread, but she also hosts other unique critique opportunities. One to keep an eye on!
.-= Tere Kirkland┬┤s last blog ..Work in Progress… Thursday? =-.


Maria Zannini February 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Well, I’m pretty random and I could use some help with social media. Maybe I have a shot. :o)

I recommend ‘A Writer Afoot’. http://www.barbarasamuel.com/blog/
.-= Maria Zannini┬┤s last blog ..Life Interrupted =-.


Kim Kasch February 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

He’s not an “official” writer – but let’s not hold that against him – after all he’s out there saving lives in the world – or at least that’s what he says he does, but he could be a Mongolian Sheep Herder in real life – no matter what he does in the REAL world – he’s hilarious. So check out “Dr. Grumpy’s Blog”


Cheree Smith February 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I would highly recommend http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/

She always has a lot of information on writing, especially writing queries, and it’s always interesting to read.


caroline starr rose February 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Valerie Geary’s Something to Write About is fabulous. Each month she focues on a different genre, reviews books within that genre, and interviews their authors.

.-= caroline starr rose┬┤s last blog ..Why We Read =-.


Victoria Dixon February 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I’m going to recommend http://openquery.blogspot.com/. The folks there provide great feedback on both queries, synopsis and excerpts. For that matter, Ray Rhamey at http://www.floggingthequill.com/ also gives some great feedback, but he does take longer to do so.
.-= Victoria Dixon┬┤s last blog ..Time to Think =-.


Rachele Alpine February 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Hey, hey…awesome contest!

I’m recommending “The Intern.” The blog is kept by an intern of a publishing house. She gave her readers the inside scoop into everything publishing during a long stint at her first publishing house. She just started at a different one and her stories crack me up. She’s funny and honest. Check it out:



Wendy February 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I’ll second Madelyn’s mention of Sara Lewis Holmes’ Read Write Believe blog. Until I read Sara’s blog, I didn’t quite get what blogs were about, or why a blog would have a following. Sara writes with great thought and integrity on a number of issues important to people who care about children’s books.


Lara Ivey February 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Great idea for a giveaway, Greg! I’d have to suggest Jen Robinson for a blog to visit. I know that when I read her blog I’m going to get something out of it that I can use. She is reliable and reads a variety of books. Jen is well-respected in the book blogging community so if you haven’t checked out her blog, take a look and be ready to bookmark it!
Jen Robinson’s Book Page


Dee White February 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I really enjoy visiting the blog of author, Sandy Fussell. I admit she’s a friend, and I sometimes do tours to her blog, but her site is a great resource for children’s writers with writing tips, reviews, author interviews and lots of useful links. The URL is http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com



Wendy Shang February 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm

…And Madelyn Rosenberg’s own blog, the Furnace, covers a range of topics, from gastronomical to musical to literary(-ical). A former music journalist and now debut picture book author, her most recent entry on letters gets you from Jane Austen to the band KISS in one post. Don’t try this at home, kids.



Sandy Fussell February 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I have found so many new great blogs by looking through the list your give-away has generated. One of my favourite blogs is ‘DeeScribeWriting’. http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com – I’ve found the information on blog touring particularly useful but what I like best is her regular “Tuesday Writing Tips. I always learn something there.


Taffy February 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

Anyone can use tips on social marketing I think! Thanks for this post and all the great links!

http://kidlit.com/ is one I like.


Lisa and Laura February 26, 2010 at 8:02 am

Awesome contest, Greg!

And we have to reccommend Elana Johnson’s blog. She always has something interesting and helpful to say. AND her monthly newsletter is made of win. SO much great information.



Lisa February 26, 2010 at 8:49 am

I would love to win this. The blog I find to be helpful is this one. http://penperfectassociates.blogspot.com/ she does the free writers muse and is also an editor and has great writing tips.
.-= Lisa┬┤s last blog ..The Christmas Present Chapter 5 Part 2 =-.


Jessica Leader February 26, 2010 at 9:03 am

I’ve gotten so much out of scrolling through the comments to see others’ recs! Definitely love “unnecessary quotations.” (Heh.)

My fave: Shelftalker, by VT booksellers Elizabeth Bluemle and Josie Leavitt. They tell great stories about the book-selling life and raise thoughtful questions on a wide variety of subjects related to children, writing, reviews, book design, and more. They make me feel like I’m not just writing in a little cave, and they’re funny, too!



Stina February 26, 2010 at 9:28 am

Great contest! And I loved your advice last week on Market My Words.

I highly recommend The Bookshelf Muse. It’s an amazing theasaurus you have to see to believe.


Linda Stanek February 26, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hey Greg, great contest!

I want to recommend a unique blog called Needle and ThREAD: Stitching for Literacy (http://jenfunkweber.com/blog).

Children’s book author and needlework designer Jen Funk Weber hosts a yearly event called “The Bookmark Challenge” which involves stitchers across the country to create one of a kind bookmarks to be donated to schools and libraries where they are used as give-aways to encourage kids to read. It’s a very unique program that is gaining strength nationwide.


Taffy February 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

Well, since someone else said kidlit also, I want to post another:
.-= Taffy┬┤s last blog ..No Clue =-.


Rebecca Knight February 26, 2010 at 10:24 am

I would recommend a daily stop to http://www.cakewrecks.com. Trust me on this one :). Pure hilarity!
.-= Rebecca Knight┬┤s last blog ..The Long Wait =-.


Heather Z. February 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

http://spacestationnathan.blogspot.com/ – He is an illustrator and a fabulous person. His comics are hilarious and often informative. He is doing a Land of Doom comic series infiltrating the wide world of Children’s Publishing. It’s fantastic. So, definitely worth your while. ­čÖé


holly cupala February 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Very cool idea, Greg! Your session at SCBWI in Seattle was most helpful.

I end up at Darcy Pattison’s Fiction Notes all the time (http://www.darcypattison.com). She regularly posts on the art of writing, revising, character deepening, and all kinds of instructional topics of interest to writers at all stages. Also makes procrastinating feel productive! ­čÖé
.-= holly cupala┬┤s last blog ..DIY Friday: Get Yourself Some Socks =-.


Sarah Campbell February 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Well, I could sure some help on the social networking thing. I feel burned pretty bad this week by a twitter hacker. Am wondering whether twitter is worth the trouble. You can help me sort that out.

I recommend Susan Voisin’s Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.
She writes well, posts photos that will make your mouth water, and helps me get supper on the table.


Emily Ann Benedict February 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Hm, a social media consultation? That sound like it might be very vaulable.

When it comes to recommending blogs, I’m going to have to put up http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/ Jody has devoted her blog to helping authors understand the process of writer, getting an agent, and navagating the publishing world. It’s a huge help to anyone who is thinking of writing a book.


angela February 26, 2010 at 9:47 pm

This is truly a golden prize–thank you for offering it!

It was really tough for me to single out one blog, I have to say. I’m going to put forth The Character Therapist, because it offers something very valuable to writers…a virtual ‘therapist couch’ to all different types of possible character neuroses, personality traits and environmental triggers that affect emotions and behavior. It’s a great resource for building a realistic, complicated character. http://charactertherapist.blogspot.com/
.-= angela┬┤s last blog ..Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Death =-.


Regina Richards February 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm

A favorite is http://booksonthehouse.com/

They interview authors and give away free books by those authors once a week to commenters. Allison Brennan is this week’s author interview.


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