Author Archives: Ryan

Prepping for a Book Launch

Today, I’m wearing my “publisher” hat as I prepare for the release of the new book series by Lisa M. Bolt Simons: Choose to Win! Lisa wrote three books for my publishing company, Lake 7 Creative, LLC, based on a concept I developed but didn’t have time to write.

The Choose to Win Series

She did a fabulous job blending the Choose Your Path formula with three sports titles, Goal-Minded, Out at Home, and Save the Season. Now, I’m scrambling to get ready for the October 11 release date. Essentially, for a small operation like Lake 7, that preparation boils down to two key components:

A. Get the Author Marketing

It’s no secret that a book’s success usually depends on the author, and that’s doubly true with small presses. We don’t have the budget or the staff to make much noise—so I’m depending on a lot of help from Lisa. To that end, I gave her a copy of a book I wrote called 30 Days of Book Marketing. It’s intended to give busy authors a relatively small task each day to get the marketing train moving forward.

30 Days of Book Marketing

Along with that, I gave her a short “to do” list. It includes the following:

  1. Actively promote the books on social media leading up to the release date.
  2. Create and/or update her Amazon Author Central page.
  3. Try to line up 20 Amazon reviewers for each book.
  4. Find 10 blogs to which she’d like me to pitch her books.
  5. Prepare to pitch press releases to her local media.

That’s her job. As for me…

B. Get Book Reviews—and Lots of Them!

Obviously, telling the author what to do is the easy part. This—garnering book reviews—is the hard part. It takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a fair amount of money, and the odds are stacked way, way, way against us. But it’s so essential to a book’s success, that it’s well worth the effort.

  1. Pre-pub reviews: I sent advance review copies (ARCs) to the major pre-publication reviewers several months ago. Now, I must prepare those reviewers’ follow-up packages to ship out the moment the finished books arrive. (Most of the reviewers require finished copies before they’ll publish a review.)
  2. Blog reviews: Along with Lisa’s 10 blogs, I intend to pitch 30–50 more. Bloggers like to have plenty of lead time, so I’m already behind on the pitches. So if we can get anywhere close to 20 reviews, I’ll be thrilled.

That’s what I’m working on this week. I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

My First Endorsement Deal . . . Sort of

I’ve done a lot of public speaking and keynote addresses over the years, but I’ve never been asked to do a radio commercial before. So I was tickled—and kind of intimidated—when asked to record a 30-second spot for the Young Writers Conference in Marshall, MN, an event at which I’ll be providing the keynote address.

I was given a rough script and instructions to see if I could get help from a local radio station. Fortunately, the folks over at KBEK 95.5 FM were more than happy to oblige.

A gentleman named Shawn gave me a tour of the station and then sat me down in front of a microphone. I read my script twice through. Then he showed me all sort of “radio secrets,” like decreasing the volume on the “p” sounds and deleting my breaths in between sentences.

Finally, after a few experiments at background music, Shawn found the perfect, whimsical number.

All told, the process only took about 20 minutes to put together. Here’s how it turned out:

If you happen to be in Southwest Minnesota, keep an ear on the radio. As of Monday, this spot is live!

A Day at the ITEM Fall Conference

Ryan Jacobson at the ITEM Fall ConferenceSome of my favorite author events are those in which I get to spend time with other authors. Last Friday was just such a day: I was an invited guest at the Information and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) Fall Conference, along with a dozen or so other authors and illustrators.

The annual event attracts media specialists from schools across the state, so it was a chance to promote a few of my books and—more importantly—to shamelessly plug my services as a guest author.

All in all, it was a great day. I saw some old friends and made a couple of new ones. Plus, I garnered interest from several schools that are considering an author visit. It’s shaping up to be a busy year!

Barnes & Noble Appearance a Success!

Ryan Jacobson book signing with a bald eagle at Barnes & Noble

My book signing at Barnes & Noble on Sunday was a wonderful event! I had a chance to hang out with fellow author Christie Gove-Berg (and went on a failed adventure to find chicken strips at a restaurant that turned out to be closed). I got to rub elbows… er… wings with a real-live bald eagle for two hours. Best of all, the day provided an excellent opportunity to chat with some book-loving fans.

Thank you to everyone who came to see us on Sunday!

Book Signing at B&N This Sunday

Summers are usually pretty slow for us children’s book authors, but now that school’s back in session, it’s time to get to work. My first big event of the school year is actually a rare book signing. (I don’t do many of those because I live so far from any bookstores.)

This Sunday, September 27, I’ll be a guest at Barnes & Noble in Roseville, MN. The theme for this event is “bald eagles,” so I’ll be promoting my new children’s book, Eagle in the Sky.

Eagle in the Sky

My friend and co-author Christie Gove-Berg will also be on hand, with her book, Esther the Eaglet. (Side note: I was the editor of that book.) But neither Christie nor I get top billing at this event. No, that honor goes to the real-live bald eagle that will be with us, courtesy of the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota!

Esther the Eaglet

It should be plenty of fun for all ages, so I hope to see you there. For more information, check out the Barnes & Noble event page.

Free Coloring Page (Eagle in the Sky)

Bald Eagle Coloring PageCelebrate Independence Day with our National Emblem! Share the spirit and enthusiasm of the holiday with young nature lovers by downloading this free coloring page. It comes courtesy of Christie Gove-Berg’s and my newest eagle books: Eagle in the Sky and Esther the Eaglet.

To download the coloring page, click here.

Book Signing with a Bald Eagle

I don’t do a lot of in-store book signings—mostly because there’s only one bookstore within an hour’s drive of me. But when I do accept an invitation, it’s usually a lot of fun. Saturday, June 6, was no exception at Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge, Minnesota. In fact, it might have been the most fun I’ve ever had at a bookstore event.

I was actually third fiddle at this particular event. The star attraction was definitely the Raptor Center from the University of Minnesota. They brought a bald eagle and a great horned owl to the signing, which certainly attracted a crowd. There was always a steady stream of 10 to 20 people gathered around their tent.

Bald eagle

The Raptor Center attended the book signing in conjunction with author Christie Gove-Berg and her book Esther the Eaglet (which I edited, by the way). A portion of the proceeds from the book benefit the Raptor Center. Since Christie knew I had my own eagle book, Eagle in the Sky, she and Scout & Morgan Books were gracious enough to let me tag along for this eagle-centric event. (Christie and I have actually shared a few events together, and it always works well.)

Eagle in the Sky

On this particular day, the customers were aplenty. In fact, the store actually ran out of Eagle in the Sky. A minor glitch, for sure, but if you’re going to encounter a problem, that’s a good one to have!

Thanks to everyone who came out and made the day such a wonderful event.

Christie Gove-Berg and Ryan Jacobson

Teacher Offer: Eagle in the Sky Author Talk

A great book and an amazing presenter

For a limited time, take advantage of these wonderful Eagle in the Sky classroom opportunities:

  • Order a copy of Eagle in the Sky, and enjoy a FREE short author chat with your class*
  • Order a classroom set of Eagle in the Sky, and enjoy a FREE short author presentation*

 Eagle in the Sky sample spread

Eagle in the Sky + author talk
Get an autographed book and a classroom Q&A. $9.95


Eagle in the Sky classroom set + author talk
Get a book for the teacher and every student, up to 20 books total. $109.95
Each additional book is $5, up to 10 additional books.


*At your request, Ryan Jacobson will be happy to connect with you and your class via phone or video call. A short author chat includes a Q&A session of about five minutes. A short author presentation includes a story-building activity and a Q&A session totaling about 15 minutes. (Limit one author event per classroom per school year.)

New Book Allows Children to Become Bald Eagles

Eagle in the Sky

As a child, Ryan Jacobson enjoyed reading Choose Your Path books, in which the reader made choices that affected the story. Now, as an adult, the author takes pride in writing that same kind of interactive fiction. For his new project, Eagle in the Sky (April 2015, Lake 7 Creative), Jacobson has taken his craft to the next level by creating his first interactive picture book—about life as a bald eagle.

The story begins with the reader, an eaglet, breaking out of its shell. With each turn of the page, the eaglet grows older, and life gets more challenging. Sometimes, the reader must make a choice, such as deciding when the eaglet is ready to fly. Other times, the reader is encouraged to act out such activities as flapping wings or gobbling down fish.

“Kids seem to love interactive books,” said Jacobson. “With Eagle in the Sky, I wanted to bring interactivity to a younger audience and educate them about nature.”

Eagle in the Sky is an appealing, educational book. It’s a reading adventure unlike any most children have ever experienced before. They’ll love the chance to wiggle with the story, and they’ll appreciate the opportunities to decide what the eagle should do. It’s a perfect introduction to wildlife, and it will give kids a new appreciation for birds.

Eagle in the Sky ($9.95, softcover) is available at area bookstores and gift shops, through online retailers, by visiting or by calling 800-678-7006.

Eagle in the Sky: April 15, 2015 • 32 pages • $9.95 • softcover • 978-1-940647-08-1