Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guest Blog by Jon S. Lewis + Giveaway

I would like to give a big welcome to Jon S. Lewis, author of the
Grey Griffins series. Jon is here today to talk about his Kickstater campaign. His goal is to publish the next Grey Griffin novel and a charity anthology that he's collaborating with other incredible authors. For more details, continue reading the guest post below! 

The Silver Lining for Authors
by Jon S. Lewis

Sprig (Welsh faerie) by Imaginary
I haven’t been this excited about writing since I signed my contract with Scholastic.

The publishing industry is going through massive changes. Borders and Walden Books are gone and according to reports Barnes & Noble is going to shut 33% of its stores (Source).

Limited distribution and declining sales (Source) means that publishers have been forced to sign authors with massive sales numbers. That means midlist authors are in trouble. And if you’re trying to break in as a new author, you’ll need more than a dynamite book—you’ll also need a built in audience to buy your book (social media fans and blog subscriber).

The Silver Lining
Despite all the doom and gloom, there’s good news! According to BookStats, sales of e-book trade titles
Natalia and Brooke by Simone Kesterton
rose 44% in 2012 and e-books represent 20% of all books sold, which is up 4% from the prior year.

Companies like CreateSpace have made it easy for authors to go direct to market without a publisher, which means we have the ability to take control of our careers. Look at Amanda Hocking. She couldn’t find an agent who would represent her (much less a publisher) and she went from completely and totally unknown to literary rock star in less than a year.

Amanda isn’t alone. There’s Hugh Howey, John Locke, Rachel Van Dyken, H.M. Ward and dozens of others. And let’s not forget Barry Eisler, who turned down a $500, 000 advance.

I’ve talked about publishing my own books for years but I was worried about the stigma of being a self-published author and I didn’t want to upset my publishers. But everything is different now. Self-publishing has changed the paradigm forever and it’s time to jump in.   

Why I’m Self-Publishing Two Books Instead of One
My first self-published book is going to be Grey Griffins: Night of Dragons, the continuation of the Grey Griffins series that was published by Scholastic and Little Brown. But I wanted to do something different—something that would make a splash, so I enlisted some of my author friends to write an anthology of Grey Griffins short stories and 100% of the profits from that anthology will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation ( and Kids Need to Read (

And these aren’t just any authors … they’re some of the biggest names in the industry today:
  • Brandon Mull | NY Times Bestselling Author, Fablehaven
  • Aprilynne Pike | NY Times Bestselling Author, Wings
  • Frank Beddor | NY Times Bestselling Author, Looking Glass Wars
  • Michael Spradlin | NY Times Bestselling Author, Youngest Templar
  • Dean Lorey | Co-Executive Producer, Arrested Development
  • Shannon Messenger | Let the Sky Fall, Keeper of the Lost Cities
  • Tom Leveen | Party, manicpixiedreamgirl, Sick
  • Joseph Nassise | International Bestselling Author, Templar Chronicles
  • Matt Forbeck | Leverage: The Con Job based on the TNT television series
  • Janette Rallison | My Fair Godmother, Slayers
Ice Dragon
The Drawback with Self-Publishing
Each short story in the Grey Griffins anthology will be professionally edited. It will also have its own cover painted by the incredibly talented Scott Altmann ( The final product will look every bit as good as what the major publishing houses produce, but there’s a drawback. When you publish your own books you have to come up with the money to pay the artists and the editors, and those things don’t come cheap. That’s why I’m turning to Kickstarter.

Crowdsourcing with Kickstarter
Running a Kickstarter campaign gives readers the chance to pre-order the book. In turn I’ll invest the money into making an amazing product. And I know what it means to have a tight budget, so I made sure the pledge levels started at $1.

There are some fun rewards like custom Grey Griffins short stories, collectible character trading cards and sketches from the cover artist. For the writers out there, we’re offering the chance for a query letter review, a partial manuscript review, and even a Skype brainstorm session where I’ll help you come up with ideas for your story.

You can help fund the Kickstarter campaign >>>>here! <<<<

You Can Even Get Your Story Published in the Grey Griffins Anthology
Because I also have a passion for helping new writers break into the industry I thought the best way to do that with this project was to give someone a chance to get a short story published in the anthology. Your story will end up in the same book with all those New York Times bestselling authors. If it sounds like something you’re interested in, you can find the submission guidelines here:

Thank you
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your consideration to back the Kickstarter campaign. I’m going to need your help to make this project a reality, and I know that together we can do something incredible!

Jon is generously giving away a hardcover copy of his latest novel, The Paragon Prison (The Clockwork Chronicles #3) to a Short & Sweet Reviews reader! To enter please fill out the rafflecopter below :).

[US only]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Jon Samuel Lewis is an American writer best known for the acclaimed Grey Griffins series published by Scholastic’s Orchard Books. After selling nearly a million copies in the original trilogy, Lewis and his writing partner, Derek Benz teamed with Little Brown to publish the Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles. He is also the author of CHAOS Novels, a young adult urban science fiction series published by Thomas Nelson and has written for DC Comics. Lewis is also a marketing executive and content strategist who works with Fortune 500 companies on their digital marketing strategies. 


Books by Jon S. Lewis 

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