Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GYDO: Ashley Elston

Ashley Elston, Author of The Rules for Disappearing

I’m so excited to be a part of GYDO! And since this has been a wild and crazy ride – I thought I would give you my “Rules” for surviving your Debut Year:

Rule #1: Be prepared for your family to act crazy.
Your mom will approach strangers is a bookstore and stalk them until they agree to buy your book. You may be present and watch in horror as this happens or she may call you afterward to report her sales for the day. I’m sorry, book-shoppers. She means well.

Rule #2: Do not Google yourself.
Ever. Or search for your book’s title on Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, etc… This is a hard one. No matter how many gushing, awesome, incredible reviews and posts you find where the reader loves your book, it only takes one gif of a guy banging his head against a wall, screaming, “Noooo!” to crush you completely. Save yourself that heartache.

Rule #3: Find 348 ways to tell the same story.
            I’m not kidding. Friends, co-workers, family, and strangers in the grocery store all ask how you sold your book. In order not to be completely sick of yourself before your book hits the shelves, find a way to replay this story in an entertaining way so you don’t drone on like that teacher from FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF. 

Rule #4: Hope for a crowd but be prepared for empty seats.
Sometimes you will have awesome turnouts for events and sometimes you will hear crickets. My first book signing was incredible – Barnes and Noble sold out at 175 books. And then I had an event where the only attendees were my parents and a random family of three that probably thought they were there for something else. Both were incredibly humbling experiences.

Rule #5: Have fun!

            This is the most important rule. You are only a debut once so make the most out of it!

Rules for Disappering Blurb
She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.
Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.
But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

Author Bio
Ashley Elston is the daughter of an attorney and grew up surrounded by talk of court cases and the law in general --- all of which triggered the ideas in her debut YA novel, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING. She has a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University and worked for many years as a wedding/ portrait photographer. She is also a licensed landscape horticulturist. Ashley lives in Shreveport, Louisiana with her husband and three young sons.


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