Pre-order WE CAN WORK IT OUT for FREE Lonely Hearts Club items!

**UPDATE: Since We Can Work it Out is FINALLY out (HOORAY!), the pre-order campaign is over, HOWEVER, Books and Company has a bunch of signed books, stickers, and buttons leftover so you can still get a signed book, it just won't be personalized!** Hello everybody!

I can't believe we're less than two months away from the release of WE CAN WORK IT OUT (coming January 27th!)! I'm very excited to announce that I've teamed up with the fabulous independent bookstore Books and Company in Oconomowoc, WI to give you awesome goodies if you pre-order a copy of WE CAN WORK IT OUT!


Not only will you get a SIGNED, PERSONALIZED copy of WE CAN WORK IT OUT if you pre-order through Books and Company, you'll also receive a Lonely Hearts Club button AND three different Lonely Hearts Club stickers!

HOW TO PRE-ORDER: Click here or you can call (262) 567-0106. International shipping available to some areas (contact the store for more details).

AND! If you happen to be in Wisconsin, I'll be celebrating the release of WE CAN WORK IT OUT at Books and Company on January 27th at 6:30 along with one of my favorite authors (and people) Ally Carter! If you aren't in the area, be sure to check out my EVENTS page regularly for more events this spring!

XOXO, Elizabeth

The Lonely Hearts Club FREE short stories!

Hello lovely readers! As much as I'm bummed that summer is over, this does mean that we're getting closer to January 27, 2015 when We Can Work it Out will be released. Don't want to wait until then to return to the world of Penny Lane Bloom? You don't have to! As some of you may recall from from The Lonely Hearts Club sequel announcement, I also mentioned that there will be THREE FREE e-short stories. The first one, A Hard Day's Night, is coming out in just four weeks--AND it includes a sneak peek of We Can Work it Out!

Below are the adorable covers for the books as well as a little description of each (please note, a big SPOILER ALERT if you haven't read The Lonely Hearts Club).  These three short stories will be available wherever e-books are sold. And again, they're FREE!! Don't have an eReader? No problem! The short stories will also be available on the This is Teen Facebook page. I'll be posting links to the stories on Twitter, so be sure to follow me there.

 A HARD DAY'S NIGHT -- Coming October 1, 2014 

Hard Days Night

Penny Lane Bloom, founder of The Lonely Hearts Club, has never loved Halloween. Her dad's a dentist, so she's never been allowed much in the way of candy. And forget being a witch or a ghost or a superhero--Penny is always one of the Beatles, along with the rest of her family.

But this year, she's got the Club, and the support of an amazing group of girls who all have each other's backs. So when someone tries to ruin Halloween for one member, the Club sets out to prove revenge is a dish best served en masse.

PLUS! A Hard Day's Night will have the FIRST chapter from We Can Work it Out!

TWO OF US -- Coming November 1, 2014

Two of Us 

Penny Lane Bloom founded The Lonely Hearts Club, which means that she basically doesn’t date. She’s got her awesome girls to hang out with, she’s got her hilarious (and sometimes annoying) family, she’s working towards high grades to get into a great college--she’d never give up any of that to be with a boy.

But (SPOILER ALERT!) all of a sudden, the rules of the Club have changed and Penny’s not only allowed to date--she’s going out with Ryan Bauer, longtime friend, all-around amazing guy, and her best friend Diane’s ex-boyfriend. It’s not like Penny hasn’t been on plenty of first dates before, and it’s not like she hasn’t seen Ryan practically every day for years…so could someone please let the butterflies in her stomach know it’s okay to calm down?

PLUS! Two of Us will have the SECOND chapter from We Can Work it Out!

FROM ME TO YOU -- Coming December 1, 2014!

From Me to You

Four months ago, Penny Lane Bloom was heartbroken over a guy, had only a small handful of close friends, and was sure that, somehow, this year was going to be different.

Four months later, everything has changed. Penny’s gone from a few friends to a huge group of girls who all have each other’s backs, from a guy who thought nothing of cheating to a total sweetheart, and from the idea for The Lonely Hearts Club to a full-scale girls-rock revolution. Just think how much more she’ll be able to accomplish by the end of the school year! And it’s the holidays, which means Penny has two blissful weeks to spend eating cheese fries with her girls and kissing Ryan. The only thing she still has to do…is survive Christmas with her family.

PLUS! From Me to You will have the THIRD chapter from We Can Work it Out!

Lots of Penny Lane Bloom to come this fall AND on January 27th! I'm so fortunate that I was able to return to these characters and hope you enjoy reading these new stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.

XOXO, Elizabeth

P.S. - My dear foreign language readers, I don't have any information on release dates in other countries for the short stories, but you WILL be able to read the English one. When I do have any idea on dates for foreign countries (including when We Can Work it Out will be available), I'll share it!

What Authors Have NO Control Over

Hello dear readers! I hope you're having a great summer. I'm currently awaiting a few projects to come back to me so I have that rare week with no deadline (in case you're wondering why I'm doing something as crazy as writing a blog post!). 

I've noticed that, more often than not, my replies to questions from  readers have been a mixture of "I don't know," "It's not up to me," and "I have no control over that." Mostly these are in relation to a question about when one of my books will be out in a foreign country, if I can do an event in a certain town/country, or if one of my books will be turned into a movie. This got me thinking about the many things authors have no control over that would surprise readers. When I do school events, I often hold up one of my books and peel away the pages until it reaches the dedication in the front and the acknowledgements in the back. I show this to the students and say, "THIS is what the author can control, the WORDS on these pages." (Even those words have been combed through by an editor and copyeditor, which as you'll probably notice the many grammatical mistakes in this blog, I'm grateful for.)

Yep. That's pretty much it: the words. While there are some exceptions, the following is just a sampling of the surprisingly true things authors have NO control over.

THE BOOK ITSELF: Authors have NO control over the release date, price, cover design, title, flap copy, inside design, where it's sold, where it's shelved in bookstores, recommended age range

I'm very fortunate that I've been involved with the cover design on my books, but most authors are shown the cover once it's done. I've also come up with all the titles of my books, except Better Off Friends (Scholastic editorial came up with it before I even started writing the book). The cover and title of a book are considered marketing tools since those two things will help sell the book to bookstore accounts. So sometimes the publisher will veto an author's original title or have to pick a cover that an author might not like. I used to work in publishing, so this didn't surprise me. I'm an author - I'm not a cover designer. There are a lot of people behind the book with a lot of experience and expertise that you need to trust your baby (aka your book) with. After all, if it wasn't for my publisher, I... I actually don't even want to think about what I'd be doing!

MARKETING/EVENTS/PROMOTION: Authors have NO control over their marketing and publicity plans, including how their book will be marketed, if they'll do events, where they'll have events, which reviewers get review copies or approved for Netgalley requests, if and where their book is submitted for award consideration

Events are  really expensive: there are costs for air travel, ground transportation, hotel, food, etc. Plus, there's the little matter that authors need to be invited to attend a festival or book signing. If you really, REALLY want to meet an author, go to your local bookstore and ask them to request the author. If there's enough interest, the store may ask the publisher, and the publisher may send the author. Of course, authors can pay for their own events, but again, it isn't cheap. I did a week during the launch of Better Off Friends in Wisconsin and Chicago, which I did on my own (although my fabulous publicist at Scholastic set up the events). I was able to do this because I have family in the area so I drove my dad's car and crashed at family member's houses. I still had to pay for my flight, gas, and food. (It was totally worth it, though!)

Authors get only a handful of Advance Readers Copies and finished copies of their books. My mom housed me in her womb for nine months and put me through college, so she gets one of my coveted ARCs. I don't have extras for reviewers. If you are a book reviewer or blogger, contact the publicity department for a review copy, not the author. But please note: ARCs are expensive and I'm positive publicity departments are inundated with requests for Netgalley approval. They have a marketing and publicity plan and budget that they are following (a plan that some authors don't even see). [Since I used to work in publicity, I'm very sensitive to the demands of the marketing and publicity department. At the end of the day, the publisher does what they think is best for the book and their budget. If the author wants to do something different, it'll have to come out of their pocket.]


Here's the thing: yes, I've thought about turning one of my books into a movie. Who hasn't? There's just one small problem: I don't have tens of millions of dollars and a movie studio to do it. This is basically how a book gets turned into a movie: a movie studio/production company must be interested in a book, then they option your book which means they have the right to think about possibly someday making your book into a movie, maybe. If they actually buy the rights they can write the script and cast the movie without an author's input, as well as make sequels without an author's permission. When they buy the rights to your book, the movie studio generally buy the rights to your characters and can do whatever they want.

I once was fortunate enough to have an option on one of my novels (it has since expired, which is very common). The contract was 54 pages long. There was only one page of "reserved rights" for me, which essentially boiled down to this: I could write more books about the characters that I created.

So next time you want to ask an author if they've ever thought about making their book into a movie, remember: the author has NO control. AND next time you see a movie based on a book and think, "How on EARTH did an the author let this happen?" The answer (say it with me): The author had NO control.

[Yes, I realize there are some exceptions, but the above is pretty standard. Unless your name is JK Rowling or John Green, you don't get much say.]

Same goes with Audiobooks. It's only going to happen if a company wants to produce it.

FOREIGN EDITIONS: Authors have NO control over if their book will be translated into a foreign language, if it is they have NO control over when it will come out, what countries it'll be available in, the cover, the title, and everything else that happens with a book release

The majority of questions I get are about foreign releases. To be honest, I usually find out one of my books is out in a specific country because someone tagged me on Twitter or Facebook (that's also when I generally see the cover for the first time or find out if the title has changed). So if you're in a foreign country and really want to know when an author's book is coming out, ask your local bookseller. Believe me when I say that they'll know more than the author!


I wanted to write a sequel to The Lonely Hearts Club since I finished writing the book. But I had to wait. Why? Because we needed to see how the first book would sell. My debut novel, while relatively successful, was not a huge #1 bestseller so the decision to do a sequel was not mine to make. Fortunately, I finally got the okay (We Can Work it Out comes out on January 27 in the US, and if you've learned anything from this blog post please be that I have absolutely NO IDEA about foreign countries).

You know who has the biggest control over if an author writes a sequel or if an author publishes another book? YOU! Yes, you! You vote for more books from an author when you buy their book (not illegally downloading, besides basically STEALING, it takes away your vote). And when you tell a friend, when you tumbl, tweet, etc. about a book. An author can only do our job if there are readers who want to read our books. So while authors can only control so much, and publishers have a lot of books to promote and limited resources, the reader will always be the most powerful person over all. You vote when you BUY a book.

I hope the above hasn't made you think, "Gee, why would anybody want to be a published author? You don't have control over anything. That's scary!" I love my job. I'm very fortunate that I can do it. I'm also grateful that I have so many people at my US and foreign publishers who work to get my book out into the world. We all have our jobs to do. Mine is to write the best book that I can.

After all, that's really the only thing that I can control.

XOXO, Elizabeth

TAKE A BOW Epilogue!

Hello all! First, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everybody who has e-mailed, tweeted, facebooked, etc. about Better Off Friends - I'm thrilled with the response. You guys are kinda my boss, so it makes me really happy when you're happy! Now to the task at hand!

I think this goes without saying, but just to be clear, if you haven't read Take a Bow yet...

**************SPOILER ALERT!!!**************

When I first wrote Take a Bow, I included a "10 Years Later" epilogue that let the reader know what ended up happening to Emme, Ethan, Carter, Sophie, Ben, and Jack after graduation from the New York City High School of the Creative and Performing Arts. It's just a short snippet but answers a lot of questions I get from readers about "What happened to..." We didn't include it in the book because my editor and I preferred the book ending the way it did with (again, SPOILER ALERT!) Emme, Ethan, Jack, and Ben stepping out into the spotlight to perform at graduation. 

I always knew I was going to post this, but wanted to wait until enough time had passed (I can't believe it's been two years!). So without further ado, the (unedited so please excuse any errors) Take a Bow epilogue. Take it away, Emme!



I study my face in the mirror.  I feel like the same person who graduated from CPA ten years ago.  But I’m older and allegedly wiser.

But I don’t think I’m wise enough to give the commencement address to this year's graduates.

“Why aren’t they making you do it?”  I call out to Ethan in our West Village apartment.

“Because you're the public persona of this partnership.”

“Since when?”

He wraps his arms around my growing belly.  “Oh, I don’t know, probably since you gave such an amazing acceptance speech at the Oscars that made practically everybody cry.”

“I just talked about not letting your dreams go ‘n stuff.  See, I’m not that eloquent.”

“Yeah, but do I really have to tell you what we were like at CPA?  We needed to hear that.  We were beaten down so much with all the auditioning and placement. These students need someone to remind them why they are there in the first place.  Plus, CPA probably wants you to wear the Oscar and Grammys as a necklace so they can brag about you even more.”


The doorbell buzzes.  I look over my final draft of the speech.  When I sat in that audience, I never imagined that it would be my picture up there at the beginning of the year, or that I’d be asked to come back and speak.

It was always supposed to be Sophie.  But Sophie decided to forego college and did some Off-Broadway chorus work and then worked on a cruise ship.  She never talked to me again after the Showcase.  She did contact our production company after Ethan and I won the Record of the Year Grammy two years ago for a song we wrote.  I was tempted to see her again, but Sophie wasn’t interested in me when I was struggling at Juilliard or worked as a barely paying temp at a record company.

I guess it’s nice to know that some things never change.

“From Ben.”  Ethan brings in a huge bouquet of flowers. 

Ben!  He’s a professor at the Puget Sound Music School.  Ethan and I have gone each semester to visit him and talk to the students about songwriting.  Basically it’s an excuse to hangout with Ben.  A few times Jack has flown up from LA when he wasn’t busy working on his TV scores to join us.  It was Jack who recommended Ethan and I to a friend who was composing a movie score.  Who knew we’d get an Oscar?

I smile at the thought of the guys and our get togethers.  The four of us jam, pretend like we're teens again, give each other crap.  Same ol’, same ol’.

I can’t think about people at CPA who influenced me without remembering Carter.  We’ve been in and out of touch through the years.  He designed our wedding invitations.  He started up a design company, which has won countless awards.  I can’t ride the subway without seeing his logos or designs on an ad.  Last time we talked, he was opening up yet another branch, this time in London.

We all went to CPA to be these big stars.  But life gets in the way.  So does reality.  Sure, none of us have our names on the marquee, and none of us are getting stalked by paparazzi (thank God).  But in our own ways, most of us found ourselves and happiness along the way.

Because what’s the point of having fame in your life if you don’t have anything else.