Friday, December 30, 2011

January Giveaways in exchange for reviews

I was going to post this on LibraryThing but it wouldn't let me post, so I'm going to post as a blog on both my blogs. I will start taking requests January 2. I hope that all the librarians and teachers out there will take advantage of this.

I have six titles in my state series available for review as well as three other titles available. I will offer 100 copies of each title in exchange for reviews.

The state series is geared for 3rd through 5th grade level, would make a great supplement to a US History social studies curriculum or an individual state social studies. Each book comes with its own study guide which supplements the book and should not be used without first reading the book or it makes no sense. The books are written like a handheld game that gives the kids clues (facts and trivia) about a state and the readers and characters have to guess the state being described. Each book is one state and all the clues will pertain to that specific state. There are bonus clues highlighting one of five US territories (Washington DC, US Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and US Samoan Islands) as well as discussion questions. The study guide takes some of the clues in the book and turns them into deeper discussion questions or research projects, either a science project or map/math skills project or social studies project or ELA project, and then there are bonus things like secret message puzzles (state motto is the secret message), a craft idea (based on clues but not in every study guide - only as the clues are fitting), and a trivia game that is designed to show that the students or child read the book.

Titles available are State of Wilderness (ID), State of Quarries (AR), State of Reservations (OK), State of Successes (SC), State of Heights (CO), and State of Nature (WY). I will send a PDF file to the 100 persons requesting any of the titles available. You can request more than one.

My other titles include Finally Home (a YA paranormal mystery), The Proposal (an April Fools Day Story, a humorous romance ebook), and The Tulip Kiss (a paranormal romance). Available in January will be Bride-and-Seek (a paranormal romance ebook) and Butterfly Halves (a YA fantasy ebook). Again, I will take 100 requests for the three titles available in exchange for reviews. Please email me at eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com with the "free books in exchange for reviews" in the subject line. In the body of the email, please list the titles you are requesting or all titles if you would like all nine available right now.

This promotion will be valid for the month of January only. Once the 100 requests per title have been met, no other requests will be taken. I will also have available the next two short stories (hopefully) by the end of the month and if you request those ("Bride-and-Seek" and "Butterfly Halves") and they are not available at the time of the request, as soon as they are available, I will send you the file - Ma America & the JGDS

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery
"The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
"The Tulip Kiss", a paranormal mystery ebook
"Bride-and-Seek", a paranormal mystery ebook (coming in Janaury)
"Butterfly Halves", a YA fantasy ebook (coming in January)
Elysabeth's other blog
Elysabeth's non-JGDS writing website

Ma America, The Travelin' Maven
Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series and "Train of Clues" (a mystery destination story and predecessor to the JGDS, state series)
Where will the adventure take you next?
JGDS blog
JGDS website

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Christ is born. Ma America and the JGDS wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May you be blessed no matter which event you celebrate. We will return after the first of the year with new books and contests. If you are traveling, may you have a safe journey. Keep an eye on my other blog for updates on other writings and some possible contests coming up. Ma America & the JGDS :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Congrats to Karen

I forgot to do my random draw Saturday for the dilemma question I posed last week. This morning I pulled up, put in the perimeters of 1 and 5 and the lucky number picked was 3, which is Karen. She was the third person to respond on the question. So congratulations to Karen for winning a copy of one of the state books. Ma America & the JGDS :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fiction vs Nonfiction Dilemma followup

I sent an email to the librarian who does the cataloging in our local library asking her about classifying the books as fiction versus nonfiction as she has them catalogued. Her answer, though a bit surprising to me since I was not familiar with really how books were shelved in libraries, was very helpful.

She said I could share her reply with all of you since I had posted this asa dilemma question to everyone. In essence, shelving books is a subjective and depends on how the librarian feels the books should be shelved. There are about as many ways to classify a book as there are books out there. So, here is her reply:

My first email to her:

Hey Susan,

I see that you have my books listed as nonfiction. This is incorrect. I publish them as fiction since the storyline is fictional characters playing a fictational game that is giving them factual clues. I would appreciate it if you could fix this.
(I also had some other concerns in the email that affect only the listings in the local library, so will not bother posting that info.)

Susan Manalli replies:

Hi, Elysabeth,

We do appreciate your gift of your clever and educational books to the ACL system, and I, for one, am convinced that children will find them delightful. Your goal of covering all 50 states and, at the same time, make learning fun, is commendable.

As for your concerns: with all due respect, you view your creations as fiction, but if you ever study the Dewey Decimal System you would see that all of fiction is really 813 (American fiction in English), but because the section becomes so large, convention has it pulled out of the 800’s (Literature), dropped the number, and put it into a section all its own called Fiction.

There are multitudinous areas within nonfiction that deal with fictionalized subjects. Consider mythology, short stories, nursery rhymes, poetry, cosmology, etc. There are even fictional Manga characters teaching algebra as a graphic story. So, although your characters are fictional, the content requires it to be NF because its main concentration is an adventure/mystery game on information, trivia, geography, and history of a state, and that is considered NF. 793.93. You state it yourself: “factual clues.”

I recall that at the beginning you were most insistent that the state not be mentioned in the subject tracings, and so I acquiesced. With this particular wish of yours in mind at that time, Donna Long, the ACL Head of Childrens, and I spoke about it, and decided not to catalog them by the state, but that 793.93 would be the most appropriate for our system to keep them on the shelf in an area where children find all sorts of literature trivia games, etc. In a more recent email, you said you didn’t mind if I now put the state in as a subject for each book. I have not yet have time to do so, but it would immensely help students who are studying a particular state find them.

A library can classify it as it chooses for their collection. Who knows but that that eventually Donna might decide to move them into the individual states classification, which would make the SC book 975.7, a Montana book 978.6, etc., because any local library system cataloger can decide, within the rules of the Dewey system and the intellectual content of the book, what to assign as a classification number so as to be the most accessible to the system’s patrons and be the most appropriate for the local system. Other libraries and other vendors can catalog them as they chose.

(more info on the second issue not necessary to this dilemma of classifying my books as fiction or nonfiction)

My reply:

This helps tremendously as I had posted this question on my blog for teachers and librarians to respond to and the general consensus was that the books were fiction with state facts and they were similar to The Magic Treehouse books - fictional characters exploring real history or events that have occurred or they have even likened them to Historical Fiction - again using the real history but fictional characters and the author's creative licensure to embellish on the actual facts or real persons used in the books.

Do you mind if I post part of your response on my blog as an answer to my posting? I guess not being a librarian and not really knowing how you all catalog books it has put me in a different mindset.

When I publish them, should I change the books to nonfiction to be consistent with your classifications? The other two libraries that I know have copies of some of the books also have them classified as nonfiction and here I was listing them as fiction and selling them as fiction. This may help more librarians along the way. (just to let you know the other two libraries have the copies in the 910 and 913 numbers, so from your explanation, they are in the state section but not by individual states?) - anyway - I just need all the classifications to be consistent because whatever I list them as on createspace is how they get processed in the listings for Baker & Taylor and Ingrams and createspace's distribution -
(some other information concerning "publisher listing" - not necessary for this posting)

Susan replies again, clarifying the dilemma even more:

Hi, Elysabeth,
Feel free to quote my response!

Are you required to provide a specific Dewey classification on your postings with vendors? Can you provide several suggested Dewey numbers?

These are general possibilities for your books:
793.93 [Mystery games]
910 [Geography and travel]
913 [Geography of and travel in specific continents, countries, localities]
Each state in the 970s has its own Dewey number, which places it first in a US region and then provides a number for the state after the decimal. Attached is a Word document (I've printed it out and the states go from 976.1 - Alabama through 978.7 - Wyoming, and everything in between those numbers) of the states with their Dewey numbers which may be of some help to you. Of course these would all have subjects subdivided as “Juvenile literature.”

I did send Susan one more reply to which she responded but not directly answering my questions:

When I publish the books, I have to classify them from a drop down menu - fiction, nonfiction, et cetera and then each of those categories has subcategories - I try to put them out as far as I can to make sure that all bases are covered. I don't know how libraries and schools place orders for books and that is where my concern is. If they order from Baker & Taylor or Ingrams when they go looking for my stories, they are right now listed under fiction, children's, mystery & detectives and I add other tags - geography, games and puzzles, et cetera -

If the libraries who actually have copies on hand are listing them as nonfiction therein lies my dilemma - either I'm misclassifying my books or the libraries are. But since receiving your explanation, I feel maybe it is on my shoulders to make sure that I list them in the correct place. I don't want any confusion - lol. Now I know a little bit more about the Dewey classification, that also helps. I will post these two email explanations on my blog - - giving credit to you and will share with other librarians and teachers on my social network so that we all will be on the same page. I'm doing a presentation at the SCASL conference in March and this may be my new presentation - classifying books such as mine. I guess there is no definite way to shelf books like mine, and that it is a subjective thing - each will put them on the shelf where they feel best suited? - You really have given me a good bit of helpful information. I appreciate it and I'll double check my print copies to make sure they have the line that says published by Elysabeth Eldering with the correct listing so that I can get those to Cheryl for ya'll to have copies that reflect that 4RV is no longer the publisher of the books (except the copies of State of Wilderness, State of Quarries and State of Reservations you have - those are published by 4RV with State of Wilderness having been republished since it went out of contract, so there is a second printing of that out - new cover, new illustrations, et cetera). Thank you so much for taking the time to explain to me why the books are classified as they are in the three different libraries - E :)

To which Susan sent this very brief answer:

My pleasure, Elysabeth. That’s why, although I have a Masters in Library Science MA/LS, it is from the Liberal Arts Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cataloging is not just a science; it is an art.

Susan Manalli, Head of Technical Services
Anderson County Library
300 N. McDuffie Street
Anderson, SC 29621
864-260-4500 ext. 169

Susan and I were on the spelling bee team together this past March, which I hope to be able to participate on again this coming March. I've enjoyed it and Susan is very knowledgeable and someone I feel I can take these questions to.

So, now, how do you all feel about the ways my books are being classified in the different libraries that have them on their shelves? E :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fiction versus nonfiction dilemma

Here is a question and problem for all you librarians out there. My state books are now listed in three libraries, two in South Carolina (Anderson County and Pickens County) and one in Georgia (Live Oaks Library system in Savannah).

When I publish my books and I have to categorize them, I choose Juvenile fiction/mysteries and detective stories. The characters are fictional, the storyline of them playing the game is fictional but the clues given by the game are factual (the facts and trivia leading to the characters guessing the state).

I checked the library listings and all three are saying the books are nonfiction. Savannah Library has my books in the 910 section; Pickens has my book in the 917 section and Anderson Library has me in the J 793 section.

So now my dilemma comes as to who is correct in classifying the books. Are they really nonfiction because they contain facts about the states or are the fiction because the storyline is fictional? Which section do they really belong in? 790s, 910 or 913? Is categorizing per each individual library system or is there a rhyme and reason for the way the books get shelved?

I know there is a term for the type of books my state stories are and that is "faction" (a book that is part fiction and part fact) but there isn't a category in the publishing industry for these types of books nor is there is a library shelf dedicated to faction books that I'm aware of. So where does the Junior Geography Detective Squad fit in?

I'd appreciate all my librarian and teacher friends out there to leave a comment on this subject, so for the week ending next Saturday, December 17, I will have a drawing for a copy of one of the six states completed and published to all who leave a comment. For every 25 persons commenting, a drawing will be done for a copy of one of the books. That means that if 50 of you comment, I'll do two drawings; 75 comments three drawings, et cetera. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic. - Ma America & the JGDS :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Afghan Drawing

Congratulations to Karen S. from Davidson, NC for winning the afghan. The afghan will either be mailed out tomorrow or next week when I get paid. Hope you enjoy your lap throw, Karen. - Mrs. E :)

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