Guest post by Elle Strauss – adding a playlist to your e-book

Elle Strauss, author of the awesome YA novel Clockwise, has a new MG book out, entitled It’s a Little Haywire. Elle did something cool with It’s a Little Haywire, in that she added both illustrations and hyperlinks in the book to one of the characters playlist.

I’ve asked Elle why she chose to add a playlist and I think her answer is fab.

More on that in a second. First, here’s a little about It’s a Little Haywire, which will be FREE on Amazon February 22nd and 23rd:

Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka, Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact, the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.
Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?
And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?


“Strauss’ characters are absolutely precious, especially Mikala. Your heart just breaks for her and her family. And Owen was a funny little toot, with a heart of gold. Just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t help a community in need!Such a wonderful little read, that brought a tear to my eye at the end.” –  Mandy at twimom101 book blog- book reviewer

“IT’S A LITTLE HAYWIRE reminds me of Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. It’s that good….I loved the magic in this story. I mean the magic of story, a great story, the kind that pulls you in and makes you care about the characters. Elle Strauss does a wonderful job of pulling everything together at the end in a moving way.”  – Laura Pauling – book blogger,  book reviewer

And now, a word from Elle:

Charlie True’s Playlist


One of the cool things about digital publishing is that you can include extra features with your e-book that you can’t with print. And as e-readers advance in technology, the extra features are going to get more high-tech as well.  With the ipad and kindle fire now on the market and in the hands of many consumers, there will be a hunger and eventually, an expectation for books to have extra features like music, video clips, and inter-active apps.

The only thing that is holding back the tide is that many readers currently used by the consumer can’t handle all that extra media, but I think we’ll see the day soon when e-books will be published with two versions, one with the bells and whistles and one without. And over time, everyone will have a reader with the technology and bells and whistles will be the norm.

I decided to add hyperlinks to It’s a Little Haywire just because I could. It’s not high-tech, meaning the songs aren’t imbedded in the actual story. The links take you to another web source, youtube in this case, that showcase the songs. But, doing it this way also meant I didn’t have to deal with copyright issues.

Since the story of It’s a Little Haywire holds its own without the hyperlinks, why did I bother?

The reason I decided to include the hyperlinks was sentimental. Like my character, Gramps, my dad has a habit of breaking out into song. The most mundane thing will remind him of a tune from days gone by and he just has to sing it. What I noticed over the holidays was that while I recognized the songs, my kids didn’t. There was just something sad about that.

When I decided Gramps was going to be a spontaneous singer, I asked my dad for ideas. So, everyday while he was visiting he would tell me about the song that came to him in that moment. I made a list and the ones that fit the story of IT’S A LITTLE HAYWIRE, made the cut.

I included the hyperlinks because I thought it would be an interesting way to expose the next generation to some great songs they may never hear of otherwise. I hope it catches on.

Elle Strauss – Author
Bio: Elle Strauss writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. She’s a married mom of four, and lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famous for beaches and vineyards. She’s fond of Lindt’s sea salt dark chocolate and hiking in good weather. Her Young Adult rom/com time-travel CLOCKWISE and contemporary/otherworldly Middle Grade IT’S A LITTLE HAYWIRE are now available on Amazon.
Contact: ellestraussbooks at gmail dot com
Links: www.ellestraussbookscom

Twitter: @elle_strauss

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I’d like to thank Elle for stopping by today. Now go get her books!!

Author: Stacey Wallace

Stacey Wallace is the author of The Retroact Saga, Day of Sacrifice Omnibus, Open Door Love Story series, and multiple short stories. Her latest novel, Her Other Life, is a stand-alone novel of magical realism.