Tag Archives: Queries

Thx

I seriously need one of those things that you speak into and it types for you.  After pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas, the girl’s birthday parts 1-3, and finishing Rebellion, I have an awesome case of carpal tunnel. 

Dear Toy Manufacturers:  Enough with the impossible tape and 75 twist ties per item in each hard to get into box.  Enough with the miniscule parts that “click” together (only when I stand on top of them) and the picture directions with confusing arrows that don’t actually tell me how or what order to put things together in. 

 I have enough toys in my house to start a daycare.  My kids are very happy with everything they got, but I’m pretty sure they would have been happy with half as much.

Next year we’re going to give our money to Matt Damon and let him build some wells on our behalf in Africa. 🙂

Of course, all my kindle “next page” clicking could be contributing to my owie wrists.  This is the time of year when I read a lot.  As you may have gathered, December stresses me the fuck out, so escaping in a book for several hours each evening is a must.

Last year I got my kindle for Christmas and by the 29th was probably on the second Outlander book.  I straight abandoned my family for a month reading those.  I needed extra escape last year, I was pretty bummed.  I’d rewritten Glimpse and received about 40 rejections at that point.  I was going into 2010 asking myself, “What happens when you write a decent book and you can’t get anyone to read it?”

After I finished the Outlander books I was on the lookout for other things like it-something with romance and adventure that was kind of sci-fi/fantasy.  I didn’t realize this was an actual genre.  I delved into the House of Night books and Vampire Academy.  Great books, but YA and at $10, kind of expensive for e-books. (To her publisher’s credit, the Outlander books are all about $5 for an 1,000 “page” e-book, a more reasonable price I think.)  That’s when I found Kept by Zoe Winters.  It was 99 cents.  Devoured it.  Loved it.  Needed more. 

But who published her books?  I couldn’t figure it out.  I stumbled on e-publishers and submitted Glimpse to a couple of them. Met a great author named Ashlynn Monroe who helped me navigate the submission process.  More rejections, but nicer ones and this time with notes!  Apparently, Glimpse was a YA novel in the making, not a family saga like I’d thought.  Query redo!  More submissions!  More nice rejections with contradictory suggestions!  I started writing Glimmer to get my mind off the madness.  Then, yay! A publisher requested specific rewrites for resubmission…and then turned it down.  By this time I’d figured out that Kept was self-published.  Really?  But self-published books supposedly sucked and Kept most definitely didn’t.

I started reading Zoe’s blog posts (I caught her at a time when she was super rah rah indie and on the internet constantly) and gleaned everything I could from what she was saying.  Damn.  I was inspired.  So, I took my 8 times revised Glimpse and I self-published it as an e-book.  A month later I put out the paperback with Createspace and I waited.

Twelve people bought my book.

I could not effing believe it.

I started posting the blurb on the kindle message boards (only in the appropriate places!!) and got a Goodreads account.  A writer named Jess C Scott and I traded review copies.  This one chick, Amanda Hocking, and I did the same. (How funny to think that there was a time when either of them had to ask for reviews!) V.J. Chambers randomly found my blog and liked Glimpse-I geeked out on her books. I signed up for Twitter and met Susan Bischoff, who knew my roomate from college, Christel, who knew Zoe Winters and Kait Nolan, who knew Claire Farrell, and Belinda Kroll, and Lauralynn Elliott, and Reena Jacobs, and Imogen Rose.  It just keeps spiraling, I’m meeting and reading more awesome authors, like, every freaking day.

So, this December 29th is a lot more hopeful.  I published two novels and a short story this year.  Wrote another short story that will be out next week.  Signed up to be a sponsor in ROW80. Met a ton of wonderful writers and book bloggers that I now consider friends.  Found a community.  And as of this morning, I’ve sold nearly 2,500 books.  Sure, other writers sold more, in some cases A LOT more, but when I think of myself at this time last year, having not sold a single book, 2,500 is a great figure.  (This sentence is dedicated to Sarah for my extreme and probably inappropriate use of commas.)

When my husband gave a long rambling toast at our wedding, my first duty as his wife was to interrupt him and say, “What he’s trying to say people, is, thank you!”

Readers, writers, bloggers: What I’m trying to say people, is, thank you.

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Blog Carnival: Why I’m Indie (and why I now want some cotton candy)

Indie author Chris Kelly is doing something called a blog carnival.  The topic is: Why I’m indie.  I thought I’d give it a go, although at the mention of the word carnival I pretty much wanted to abandon my family for a deep-fried Snickers and the Tilt-a-Whirl. Uh-hum, I digress.

There are a lot of smart reasons to go indie-complete creative control, owning your own rights, not having to share your royalties with seven other people. I went indie for all of these reasons, but they weren’t my primary driving force.  The number one reason I chose to self-publish is because I don’t have one iota of patience.

I hate having to wait for other people to give me the go ahead to do anything.  After a year and nearly 70 rejection letters, I was more than over querying for Glimpse.  I was pissed off, depressed, and sick of doing things the “right” way.  A few months before I came to this conclusion I’d received a Kindle.  I’d only read things by traditionally published authors on it and it was getting a little spendy, so I thought I’d check out stuff by Kerry Allen and Zoe Winters.  Well, me likey, and the cost of all their works together was less than one traditionally published book. I didn’t realize that they were indie at the time, I just thought that their stuff was only published in e-book form.  I searched to find their e-pub’s and, what is this?  THIS IS SELF-PUBLISHED?!?  That was the point where my frustration plus their inspiration made me say, “Eff this noise, I’m going indie.”

I love it.  Glimpse was released as an e-book in April, followed by a print release through Createspace in May.  The next book in the series, Glimmer, is going to be out in both e and print November 1.  That’s right, two full-length novels released in one year.  For a writer without any patience, that is the sweetest thing.  At this point, I can’t even imagine letting another person steer my writing career.  There’s no going back for me, self publishing makes me super happy.  And to never have to write a query letter again? Bliss.

quickie

Just a couple of funny tidbits to add this evening:

I got home from doing King Midas tonight (we rocked it) and found this delightful video on my Goodreads page.  I know I talk about Zoe Winters all the time on here, but the chick cracks me up and she’s a good writer and one of the people who inspired me to go indie.  She did this video that I found hilarious, especially the part about the query letter.  Here’s the vid:

I have a strong desire to make one of these videos now.  Perhaps I’ll use the dialogue Sarah and I had on FB chat this morning while playing the Scrabble-we were having two conversations at the same time, one about some crazy chick from Sarah’s high school posting a picture of an actual dead body on her FB page, the other about my sister’s friend Colleen meeting Kathy Griffin in Las Vegas and giving her one of my sister’s Levi Johnston Playgirl photo shoot lino cuts.  That would make for one kick ass vid, don’t you think?

Another thing I wanted to tell you all about is Switched by Amanda Hocking.  Switched is the first novel in a new YA trilogy and I am hooked already.  It was released as an e-book yesterday, I bought it for my kindle yesterday afternoon for only $2.99, and finished it this morning.  If you’re in the mood for a quick paranormal romance YA novel, check it out, you won’t be disappointed.  I daresay I liked it better than her My Blood Approves series and I’m a huge fan of those books!

Caitlin from Written Word Review posted her interview with me today.  She asked some pretty great questions.  Take a look at it if you get a chance-I actively try not to give the same answers to similar questions in every interview, so you might actually learn something new about me if ya want to. 🙂

Also on the review front-over at Page Turner’s Blog they’ve let me know that they’ll be posting a review of Glimpse sometime later this week, keep yer peepers open for that.

On a final note, if you notice my temper being quite short this week, don’t fret, I stopped eating carbs again.  I saw a picture of myself taken over the weekend and I was like, “Who is that fat ass?  OMG.”  Let’s just say that some changes need to be made.  Currently, I’m noshing on pickles and celery schmeared with blue cheese-it’s good, but you know I wish it was a hot fudge sundae. 🙂

A serious discussion of hotties

I’ve been busy sending Glimpse all over the place for review.  I’ve sent out queries to 15 websites/blogs and so far 9 of them are going to read/review Glimpse!  I did have a small moment of terror yesterday when I realized that by reading and reviewing Glimpse there would be actual reviewing involved.

My terror quickly turned to extreme anger when I decided that I needed some swag for a giveaway and attempted to make bookmarks.  Does everything need to be so annoying and frustrating?  Must I order 5000 of something that I’m 90% certain is going to be lame?  Let me explain:  One of the bloggers I sent a review copy to, wanted to know if I had a book trailer and if I wanted to do a giveaway.  I said no to the book trailer-I have tried to make one and the end result was so mortifying it will never see the light of day.  But bookmarks, stickers, magnets, buttons?  How hard could that be?  Maybe not that hard if you are a graphic designer or a middle school student, but if you have my awesome skillz, you have the capacity to create many lame and expensive items that no one would want.  Times like these a girl wished she had an agent and a publisher.  I ended up with bookmarks and made some buttons, but haven’t bought them yet because I just keep feeling like there has got to be a better deal somewhere!  What I really wanted was pens, but they’re like the most expensive thing out there!  Your choices are 3 for $4 per pen or 1000 for $.27 per pen.  Well, thanks, but both of those choices suck.

After doing that all day while watching the kids, not getting any writing done or transcription and then having a play practice where only some of the actors chose to show up (again. always and forever.) I decided I needed to enjoy a large deli meat sandwich on white bread and do something fun.  On many of the YA blogs I’ve been perusing they “cast” the books as if they were movies or tv shows.  This is something that I love to do and decided to give Glimpse the casting treatment. I could not have gotten through the Outlander books if not for casting Jamie as Kevin McKidd.  I managed to cast all of the roles except for Avery, because I’m Becky (because I’m really Becky minus the crazy) and that left me with the dilemma of casting someone I think is hot as my son.  Sarah aided me in the Avery decision via a long ol’ FB chat while we were also playing Scrabble.  Multitaskers, we.  There was even looking up of boys on Teen beat or some such website-but all of the boys were determined to be too teenagery and it was decided that they needed to be at least 22 for us to not feel gross about them being hot. (Taylor Lautner is excluded from this rule due to super abs and his pretty mouth.)  Here’s what we came up with:

Zellie-Emma Stone

She always plays Zellie like characters and would look awesome in a floral print skirt.

Avery- Cory Monteith

Okay, I 1. have a massive crush on Cory as Finn on Glee 2. Sarah’s son is named Finn which makes me feel funny 3. Me playing his mom is just wrong, plus, I think I’m only like 9 years older than him.  Still, c’mon, he’s soooo Avery.

Claire-Selena Gomez

I enjoy that the picture I liked most of her is one of her talking on the phone.

Grace-Laura Leighton

Although she will always be Sydney from Melrose to me, she can be Grace from Glimpse to you.

Pastor Paul-Joel Gretsch

He’s already playing a priest on V, but I heart him from the 4400 days.

Melody-Elle Fanning

I think she just screams “leader of the rainbow and unicorn squad.”

Mike- Jeffery Donovan

Um, I maybe just wanna be fake married to Jeffery, here.  Also, he’s already used to being called Mike from Burn Notice.

Becky-Stacey Wallace Benefiel

I’m all about the drama as you can see from my Glimpse photo shoot.

Tee hee.  That was fun.  If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Writerrhea

It’s not a pretty word, it’s not even a real word, but when writerrhea happens to you, it’s a good thing.  I have consistently been able to write 2-4 new, publishable pages every day this week despite much household craziness and I couldn’t be happier. Writing daily is good for me in both the “practice makes perfect” and the “Calgon take me away” senses.  I don’t, however, think that the adage that you must write everyday or you’re not a real writer is true.  I have no idea who said that, but it was most likely  a dude who’ll  never experience the joy of pregnancy brain.  I was lucky to be able to remember my address everyday, forget writing paragraphs.

I’m hoping to get 10 more pages written for *Glimmer* in the next 2 days, so I can finish out the chapter I’ve been working on this week.  I won’t be writing this weekend because I’m holding auditions for the children’s show I’m directing this summer.  But, no regrets, because I heart the theatre too. 

Got a couple of automatic responses yesterday telling me that my query was received-I like getting those and find them helpful, although I do get a little shock to the heart thinking it’s an actual response sometimes.  I also requeried Flux after finding out that they will get back to you within 4 months if they’re interested.  I doubt anyone remembers the last version I sent and the query is completely different, so here’s hoping no one recognizes the still very similar synopsis.  I figured what’s the worst thing that could happen, they reject me again and I don’t know about it for another 6 months?

Additionally, snarkily, and phantasmagorically, from now on *Glimmer* will be denoted as such on this blog.  The * indicate jazz hands, duh.

Trampled by a herd of magical unicorns

Magical unicorns (that’s an oxymoron isn’t it?) have nothing to do with this post.  Sarah suggested that if I wasn’t going to write about vamps and werewolves in Glimpse that perhaps the addition of a magical unicorn was in order.  I could name it Horny and then I’d pique the interest of the sexer crowd too.

What this post is about is querying.  I sent out five this morning to agents from my latest list, it would’ve been more, but I had to cross a few off.  Even if you get the agents information off of a reputable site like Agent Query, always recheck it before you send them a query.  If they have one, it’s a good idea to peruse their personal website-sometimes they have slightly different submission guidelines than the other agents at their agency do or they’ve updated what they’re looking for.  This morning I discovered that one of the agents I’d put on my list hasn’t written a new post since July of 2008.  I did some searching and found no evidence that she has been so awesomely busy that she couldn’t add her recent sales or new clients to her site, nor was she no longer an agent or deceased.  You have to consider how an agent would treat you if they take you on and I’m not sure someone who can’t update their blog for almost 2 years and I would get along.

I’m holding off on sending Glimpse to the two  e-publishers I’ve written all the formatting instructions down for  until I hear back from this last batch of agents.  If I don’t hear from them within a month, I consider that a “no.”  Every once in a while I’ll get a response back several months later-the longest I’ve encountered is four, but I’ve heard of other writers even getting requests for full manuscripts up to nine months after they’d queried.  Again, is that someone you really want representing you?

I’ve got one more Glimpse related piece of business to do today.  I need to check up on Flux.  They are a print publisher that takes unagented manuscripts and I sent them Glimpse at the end of August.  Last time I looked they said the wait period for a reply was running about 6 months, so I think I’m warranted a little investigative e-mailing.  Plus, I kinda hope they lost it because the version I sent was so 8 edits ago.

After that, I’m on to more Glimmer.  I’ve finally gotten over the speed bump that was causing me to stare into space and go, “uhhhh” for minutes on end trying to figure out how to bridge where I was at to where I needed to be.   And standing on that bridge was Horny, the magical unicorn.