Showing posts from October, 2010

Don't Burn Bridges

The publishing world can appear gigantic but don't make the mistake of assuming it is so big that the things you do or say will not be noticed. This goes for good and bad things. The path to publication is a long one and it is paved with frustration and heartache. With footing like that it is easy to become disheartened and say or do things you might regret later. When this happens always think before you speak and think twice~or more~before you tweet, blog, or write on one of your network pages. Trust me, do it, you'll thank me for it later. People in the publishing world all know each other, and even if they don't it's safer to assume they do. Agent and editors go to a lot of the same conferences, workshops, and book fairs. Just like writers, they hang out with their own kind, and they talk. If you send an agent a rude, abrupt or threatening email after a rough rejection you can bet he/she will talk to their colleagues about it. They're not evil, they're jus

Twitter Tuesday~Agent & Editor Advice

Twitter was hopping with great advice and tweets for writers this week. I could hardly keep up with it all! Check out what an editor of Kensington books had to say about receiving an offer from a publisher: @meganrecords Don't be coy if you have an offer. Don't simply inquire about status at other pubs, TELL THEM YOU HAVE AN OFFER. (cont) #pubtip @meganrecords Will try to get to it quickly if you tell us. Otherwise, you'll wait your turn like everyone else. And don't lie to get faster read. #pubtip Agent Mandy Hubbard was kind enough to let us know what trends she has been seeing in her inbox: @MandyHubbard Today's trends: Dystopias, Angels, Dream worlds or living in dreams/meeting boy of your dreams IN a dream. #queries Chuck Sambuchino from Writer's Digest shares some very encouraging words: @ChuckSambuchino Wrote a guest column for @RachelleGardner today: You Can Write for Love AND Money This is a different genre from last

The Reality Of Author Advances

We all dream of the big six figure advance and hope that one day it will be handed to us. Unfortunately the reality is that with the tumultuous state the publishing industry is in, the six figure advance has become extremely rare. Brace yourself for a much harsher reality of four or five figures. But there is good news! Smaller advances means you'll make them back for your publisher faster which is a very good thing. When you make back your advance for your publisher they are more likely to buy your next book. That also means you'll start to get royalty checks faster, which is where you're going to make your real money anyway, as long as you're prepared that is. Smaller advances mean less money for marketing as well so be ready to do a lot of your own promoting. But that is a post for another day! A good friend of mine, Lindsey Edwards gave a fantastic link on her blog to someone who researched average advances. Check it out here , but brace yourself.

Manuscript Request Etiquette

Getting multiple requests to read either a partial or your full manuscript can be a wonderful, confusing, and scary thing. It is a problem I sincerely hope every one of my aspiring author friends has. Now that I've wished that upon you, how do you deal with it? The good news is there is a sort of etiquette to it, the bad news, as you probably already know, is that every agent is different. We'll start with partials. If you are lucky enough to have multiple agents ask for a partial of your work (which is typically 30-50 pages depending on the agent's preference) then you know you're on the right track. You don't have to notify agents that someone else has a partial of your work but it certainly wouldn't hurt anything. In fact, it may help. If they're aware that someone else has requested it then they know others have shown interest and they may get to it faster. If you aren't sure how much they want when they ask for a partial don't be afraid to ask

Twitter Tuesday~Writer's Cruise, Agent Critique, & WriteOnCon

I'm sorry peeps, I didn't get on Twitter much this last week at all! Chances are you caught more links than I did. But I did have a few really good ones for you. This first one is a writer's cruise retreat with super agent Deirdre Knight of The Knight Literary Agency. I'm keeping a space in my calendar clear for it just in case I can make it! Check out her tweet about it here: @DeidreKnight Hey, tweeps! Want to come on a writing cruise with me? Deets here:   The fabulous ladies from WriteOnCon have put together another excellent chat with literary agent Sara Megibow. You don't want to miss this one! It's occurring one week from now! Get the details here: @Casey_McCormick Did ya see? Didja? We have Sara Megibow for our next WriteOnCon Live Chat! Here's an opportunity to have your first page critiqued by an agent from The Knight Agency! Check it out here: @KnightAgency Hey tweeps! We're starting a 1st p

Monday's Muse~Giant's Causeway

This breathtaking picture isn't something from a sci-fi or fantasy movie, it's the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland and it has been my inspiration for the last week. More than a few intriguing legends surround this wonder of nature and no doubt a touch of that will make it into my novel. I'm blown away by how inspired I am by the things I'm discovering about the world we live in. I've always been a hard core fantasy person who loved new and strange worlds, places that take me away from this one. But that was before I started researching and studying the history of the world around me. Now I'm filled with inspiration for stories that take place right here on Earth. Who would have thought? I'm thoroughly enjoying Blood Promise (click on the image to the right to check it out). It has nice creepy feel to it, is filled with vampires, secret societies, and takes place in Russia. What more could a girl ask for in October? Well okay, a few werewolves woul

Digging Deep For Character Motivation

What truly motivates your character? I'm not looking for the easy answer here. I want you to dig down deep into their psyche and figure out what is really motivating them. Take my new main character for example. It's easy to say she wants to avenge the death of her brother. But that is what she wants, it isn't what motivates her. What motivates her is the tremendous hole eating it's way through her soul because he died fighting on the battlefield and she wasn't there to help him. What motivates her is that he was the only one in her family that saw her for who she was and supported her dreams. To figure out what their motivators are look to their past. Is there something about the way they were raised that may affect their motivations? Is there a relationship that may be a driving force for them? Family, loved ones, or lack thereof all affect your character. What are their beliefs, culture, customs, occupation? All of those factors affect motivation and the way a

Twitter Tuesday~Agents, Conferences & Literary Advice

This was another busy week in which I didn't get to spend much time on my favorite social networks but I did glean a few really good links off Twitter for you. Here is a prime example from Agent Natalie Fischer about why aspiring authors should be on Twitter: @Natalie_Fischer Twitterbugs, keep on twittering: agents are reading!  #PUBTIP It's easy to be impatient while sitting on the writer's side of the computer but check out this tweet about what it's like on the agent's side from agent Weronika Janczuk: @WeronikaJanczuk Ever wonder why agents need a week to decide whether they want to offer rep? And why offering rep isn't so easy? See a conference from the agent's point of view: @Natalie_Fischer Wondering what my conference horrors were? Read on!  #pubtip, #conferences Excellent advice from Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest: @ChuckSambuchino Generic phrase to avoid in a qu

Monday's Muse~Ancient History

I spent almost every free moment I had last week researching for my new novel, a historical young adult fantasy. It's set in Ireland, hence the picture of this amazing old castle. Researching this has been so much fun. I've started outlining now and can hardly wait to begin writing it. This one feels like it's going to be special. My sources of research ranged from the internet to the real world. My favorite place to search for anything is Google and Wikipedia . But, as with anything you discover on line, you have to double check your facts. I love libraries and believe they are one of the best places to go for research and fact checking. However, the library in my town barely has more books than I do in my personal collection (it's a very tiny, isolated, town). In the absence of a library I go to Barnes and Noble's  on line store and pick up the best books on the subject I can find. Since I'm moving on to outlining my new novel I'm going to have to put

Social Media Shout Out

You may have noticed that I've added a few links to my Where Else You Can Find Me box. I finally found the time to join a writer's social network I've been meaning to join for a long time, Scribblerati . I'm really glad I did and am sorry it took me so long. It is filled with fantastic people, tons of information on submitting, query letters, contests, and they host a fabulous chat on Twitter every week. If you need support, encouragement, or help with the writing or submitting process, it is the place to go. I've also joined Goodreads because I love reading and talking about the books I've read. It is like the biggest book club you could possibly imagine. One of the coolest parts is, all my favorite authors are on it. It makes their day to see someone add their book to their 'to be read' list or write a great review. Surprisingly, joining these two hasn't been taking up much of my time either. I just pop in and out real quick. That's the beaut

Barnes & Noble's Answer To Self-Publishing

Many writers have at least entertained the thought of self-publishing but there is the big question of what self-publishing company to go with. Now a known and trusted name, Barnes and Noble, has jumped into the world of self-publishing. They're calling it pubit. At 60% (40% in some cases) royalties paid to the author they're being extremely competitive. It is e publishing only so there is a drawback if you want to see your book in print. However, there is no charge for publishing your novel. Really, I even read the fine print. To learn more check out the FAQ's here . And you can browse Barnes and Noble's EBook store here. Will I be jumping into the self-publishing pool? No. I have a powerful compulsion to fight the good fight of traditional publishing a bit longer. But, I will be checking out the titles on their site!

October's Featured Debut Author~Denise Jaden

This month Denise Jaden , author of the young adult novel Losing Faith  takes a bit of time to drop in and answer a few questions about her novel. First a bit about Losing Faith. A terrible secret. A terrible fate. When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger. Those two paragraphs were all it took for me to pick up Losing Faith and carry it to the register. And wow am I glad I

Twitter Tuesday~Editor & Agent Advice

It was another great week on Twitter for writers. I even had the opportunity to jump in on a few great, spontaneous chats with agents and editors. Here are some of the best links I found last week: @jsubject There Are No Rules - Back to Basics: Why Am I Getting Rejected? via @JaneFriedman This is an excellent post by agent Nathan Bransford on banned books week. I'm very lucky that @jsubject re-tweeted it because I missed it! @jsubject Banned Books Week in the Internet Age via @NathanBransford I found another fabulous editor to follow. You can learn a lot by doing that, case in point: @rantyeditor This is who can write query letters referring to the author in third person: agents. This is who should not: everyone else. If you are on Twitter you really should be following Chuck from Writer's Digest. Here is an example of why: @ChuckSambuchino Very simple stuff here but worth repeating: RT @JanetKGrant - 10 Ways to Drive Traf

Monday's Muse~Character Inpiration

This picture of Kellan Lutz makes me think of my main character for the novel I'm currently editing. While the resemblance isn't spot on it's close enough to be very inspiring. ;-) I just finished the red pen stage of the editing process and I'm moving on to my read aloud stage. I love this part! I finished reading Shadow Hills  and loved it! It is a unique look at things like telekinesis and telepathy. If you love young adult paranormal novels it is a must read! I'd say it's easily one of my favorite books of the year. Now I'm reading Losing Faith  by Denise Jaden. It's about a girl who's sister dies suddenly. She didn’t get along with her which complicates the grieving process. Worse yet, it starts to look like her sister's death wasn't an accident. I love Denise's writing style. Be sure to stop by this Wednesday when I interview her about Losing Faith! What's inspiring you this week and what are you reading?

Contests For Readers And Writers

Today I want to highlight two excellent contests, one is for writers and the other is for readers. Writer Bethany, over at A Writing Journal , is running a contest in which she'll critique your entire manuscript and you can win a $25 gift certificate from Amazon! An extra set of eyes on that manuscript can't hurt and you never know, you might find yourself a critique partner out of it. I'll wait while you check out the link and enter. Literary intern, Amanda Johnson , is doing a fabulous book giveaway. If you love adult books she's giving away Soulless by Gail Carriger and Stray by Rachel Vincent. But if you're like me and you love YA she's giving away three of the best YA books out there right now, Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Don't miss these! Best of luck.